Fantasy Football 2013: Week 12 Mailbag

By Adam Pfeifer
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports


The questions are becoming even more crucial.

Week 12 serves as the final slate of byes, and fantasy owners are seeing their trade deadline rapidly approach. Who should I trade, start and sit? Let’s get to the questions and answers.

Q: Shane Vereen or Rashad Jennings, non PPR? (Kris Hughes)

AP: Man, I really don’t like Jennings, simply because he always seems to tease fantasy owners when given the opportunity. However, that has not been the case this season. Since Darren McFadden went down, Jennings has rushed for 340 yards in three games, while scoring two touchdowns and hauling in 11 passes. He’s been extremely impressive, and for a 231-pound back, he’s showcased some breakaway speed lately. In a non PPR league, you have to ride with Jennings here. Vereen only had one carry last week, and he likely won’t see more than 10 anytime soon. Meanwhile, Jennings has a solid matchup against the Titans. You can’t throw on them, but they are, however, allowing 24.77 fantasy points per game to rushers, the sixth-most in football. The backfield is all Jennings’ in Oakland, which can’t be said about Vereen in New England.

Q: In a non PPR league, Chris Johnson or Ray Rice? (Jeff Alto)

AP: I know it’s tempting to roll with Rice after a breakout game, but that was against a depleted Bears defense that was allowing more rushing yards than anyone besides the Jaguars. He’ll likely have a tough sledding this week against the Jets. The strongest part of this defense is their defensive line, while the Ravens have one of the worst offensive lines in football. The Jets are allowing just 73.2 rushing yards per game this season, which is the lowest among defenses. Opposing teams are only running the ball 24.9 times per game, which is the 6th-fewest in the league. Rice, who was averaging 2.5 yards per carry heading into Week 11, should struggle against a defense allowing a league-low 2.9 yards per carry. Johnson has been better, has a much better offensive line, and a friendlier matchup.

Q: Shane Vereen or Darren Sproles in PPR? (Colin McCollick)

AP: Here I would go Vereen. The fact that he was targeted 11 times, catching eight passes during his return and the Patriots “eased him in” is awesome. He is going to be used in the backfield, out wide, in the slot, anywhere. Sproles, meanwhile, didn’t practice on Tuesday, and in a short week, may not even suit up on Thursday. Besides, Pierre Thomas is the back to own in New Orleans, as he is catching more passes and seeing about nine more snaps per game than Sproles. I think New Orleans runs the ball a lot in this game with Thomas and Mark Ingram, rather than Sproles. Meanwhile, the Patriots should have to throw the ball a lot against the Broncos, and Vereen is the clear passing downs back.

Q: What to expect from Michael Crabtree when he returns? (Adam Williamson)

AP: It’s hard to say, as an Achilles injury is nothing to scoff at, and Crabtree is no Adrian Peterson. However, I do think he will immediately become the most targeted receiver in the 49ers passing game. Crabtree and Colin Kaepernick was two peas in a pod last year, and both had much to do with each other’s breakout campaigns. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Kaepernick completed 68.5 percent of passes directed towards Crabtree for eight scores and zero picks. Crabtree won’t be as explosive as he would normally be, but I think he can help fantasy owners who are struggling at the receiver position right now.

Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.

You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.

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