Whether you need a wide receiver because your guy is hurt, on bye this week, or simply hasn’t been playing well, there are plenty of reasons why owners may be turning to the free agent pool for their Week 12 starter. Below are three guys who are available in at least 50 percent of fantasy leagues who I believe can be help owners in week 12.
3.) Aaron Dobson, New England Patriots
He may not be the first, second, third or even fourth guy in the Patriots’ pecking order. But even at the bottom of the totem pole Aaron Dobson is still a guy who starts and sees a ton of playing time in an offense led by Tom Brady, and that alone provides fantasy potential. Dobson has seen at least five targets in every game but one this season, and in his last three games he has 13 catches, 228 receiving yards and three touchdowns.
The Patriots are facing off against the Denver Broncos this week in a game that many expect to be high scoring — the over/under in Vegas is 54 points which is the highest game total for Week 12 — and if that prediction holds true there’s a great chance Dobson could be scoring points for fantasy teams. Dobson is available in 88 percent of ESPN leagues and in 40 percent of Yahoo! leagues (normally I stick to guys who are owned in fewer than 50 percent of both ESPN and Yahoo! leagues but seeing as Dobson is available in a substantial amount of ESPN leagues I still felt he would be fitting).
2.) Santonio Holmes, New York Jets
Santonio Holmes caught two passes for 71 yards last week against the Buffalo Bills in his first game since Week 4. Holmes only played in 54 percent of the Jets’ offensive snaps last weekend, and that may become a regular routine at least for now as Holmes tries to manage some nagging injuries; he’s averaging a ridiculous 26.2 yards per catch, though, and has shown in limited action this year that he doesn’t need to get the ball often in order to rack up fantasy points. There is absolutely no way that 26.2 yard per catch mark is sustainable. But Geno Smith has at times shown great ability when throwing the ball down field, and Holmes has made some spectacular plays this season. Holmes saw eight targets last week against the Bills, and he is substantially better than any other receiving options the Jets have; Holmes should have another busy game this Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens, and as long as he’s healthy he should be a decent WR3 for fantasy teams. Holmes is available in 82 percent of ESPN leagues and in 87 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
1.) Jerricho Cotchery, Pittsburgh Steelers
Cotchery has caught five touchdown passes in his last three games, and he’s now caught seven this season which is as more than he’s had in the last three seasons combined. Cotchery has run 80 percent of his pass routes from the slot this season and he’s third third among slot receivers in both yards (424) and touchdowns (5). Cotchery has also been extremely effective in the red-zone, scoring six touchdowns on eight red-zone targets.
This week the Steelers’ receivers have to face a Cleveland Browns secondary led by Joe Haden. Haden is a true shutdown cornerback and I expect him to spend most of this game smothering Antonio Brown, but secondary receivers have been able to garner some success against the Browns. Marlon Brown was able to score two touchdowns back in Week 9, Jarrett Boykin posted 103 receiving yards and a touchdown in Week 7 and Kris Durham caught eight passes for 83 yards in Week 6. If Haden does indeed shadow Brown all game I expect more targets to go Cotchery’s way which could lead to a very nice fantasy day for the fourth week in a row. Cotchery is available in 75 percent of ESPN leagues and in 67 percent of Yahoo! leagues.