Fantasy football Week 12 recap and top waiver wire picks

Congrats if you have been waiting on Julio Jones to have a breakout game that justified your use of a high draft pick on him. The wide receiver for the Falcons has been good all season, but he hasn’t had a performance that could win your week until Week 12. Jones caught 12 passes for 253 yards, including a 51-yard score from fellow receiver Mohamed Sanu. That makes three 250-plus yard games in Jones’ career. No other receiver in NFL history has more than one.

Sanu also had a good game as a result of the long touchdown pass. He added eight catches for 64 yards, though the single TD pass already gave him a double-digit performance in six-point TD fantasy leagues.

Keenan Allen also put up a huge game for owners who had possibly been regretting drafting him too high. For the most part, though, he hadn’t been overvalued during drafts this season due to his injury history. He caught 11 passes for 172 yards and a 42-yard touchdown in the win over the hapless Cowboys on Thanksgiving.

Keenan Allen #13 of the Los Angeles Chargers runs the ball in for a fourth quarter touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium on November 23, 2017 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

On the other side of the ball, Dez Bryant and Dak Prescott continue to be big disappointments. Bryant has played below his asking price all year while Prescott has gone into a deep swoon over the last three games. In six-point touchdown leagues he’s scored 13, minus-2 and 3 points in that stretch.

Bryant had just three catches for 37 yards on Thursday. The touchdown-dependent wideout hasn’t scored since Week 7 against the 49ers. He has single-digit fantasy performances in non-ppr leagues in each of his last five games and has yet to gain over 100 yards in a single game this year.

The NFC East has fallen out of the hands of the Cowboys due in large part to the successes of the Eagles this season. Philadelphia is running away with the division title and it’s mostly because of Carson Wentz and his offensive weapons.

Carson Wentz #11 of the Philadelphia Eagles passes the ball to Zach Ertz #86 against Christian Jones #52 of the Chicago Bears in the second quarter at Lincoln Financial Field on November 26, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

If it’s not Zach Ertz hauling in passes from the second-year signal caller, it’s Alshon Jeffery or Nelson Agholor, or one of many out of the backfield. Wentz and Ertz are the centerpieces of the offense, however. The quarterback proved it again with a ho-hum 227-yard, 3-TD performance. Wentz also rushed for 29 yards against the Bears.

Ertz caught 10 passes for 103 yards and a 17-yard touchdown. Both Jeffery and Agholor caught touchdowns as well on the day.

A big disappointment this week was Jay Ajayi. The Eagles’ running back situation is starting to look like that of New England, where you can’t predict who will be the most productive from week to week. This week it was LeGarrette Blount, who carried the ball 15 times for 97 yards. Ajayi had just six total touches for 33 yards.

A running back that hasn’t disappointed in many weeks is Alvin Kamara. He continues to impress and makes a case as the No. 1 running back in New Orleans. He outscored Mark Ingram this week against the Rams. Kamara’s versatility and high efficiency are huge values in fantasy leagues. He finished with 84 yards rushing, but he also added six catches for 101 yards and totaled two scores. Usually it’s safe to play both Saints running backs and come away with either RB1 or high-RB2 numbers. This week Ingram was hurt by a pass interference penalty that took away a touchdown for him as he totaled just 36 yards.

New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara, top, jumps over Los Angeles Rams cornerback Kayvon Webster during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)

One rookie who has struggled to gain solid footing is Joe Mixon. He finally broke out in Week 12 as he ran for 114 yards and scored. It was the first time he eclipsed 100 yards on the ground this season. He also caught three passes for 51 yards.

Another running back worth mentioning, not because of a huge week but because he is consistently putting up solid weeks, is Latavius Murray. After being relegated to single-digit carries when Dalvin Cook was the lead back in Minnesota, Murray sputtered out of the gate when he took on the featured role. In Week 7 he rushed for over 100 yards and scored to spark a nice run in which he’s scored in four of five games. Murray is currently on a three-game scoring streak and faces the Falcons next.

Murray’s quarterback, Case Keenum, is starting to look like more than a spot start candidate at the position. He threw for 282 yards and two scores while rushing for 20 yards and another touchdown. That performance made it four straight solid outings. He’s thrown nine touchdowns to three interceptions in that span.

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Case Keenum rushes for a 9-yard touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions, Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017, in Detroit. The Vikings won the game 30-23. (Jeff Haynes/AP Images for Panini)

Sharing the field with Keenum on Thanksgiving was Marvin Jones of the Lions, who came through with six receptions for 109 yards and two touchdowns. It was a bit of a surprise performance against a tough Vikings defense.

Something that didn’t come as a surprise was the performance of Antonio Brown. The guy just performs week in and week out, elevating the play of Ben Roethlisberger in the process. Brown had 10 receptions for 169 yards and two scores. That helped Roethlisberger reach 351 yards to go with four TD passes.

Le’Veon Bell had a great game as well, rushing for 95 yards while catching 12 passes for 88 more.

Also playing Sunday night was Brett Hundley, who finally looked like an NFL quarterback. He threw for 245 yards and three touchdowns against a tough Steelers defense. Davante Adams was the beneficiary of most of Hundley’s throws. Adams caught five passes for 82 yards and a touchdown. Rookie Jamaal Williams also had a touchdown reception in the best game of his career. He gained 135 yards from scrimmage and scored twice.

Jamaal Williams #30 of the Green Bay Packers runs upfield after a catch for a 54 yard touchdown reception in the first quarter during the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on November 26, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

Among the biggest disappointments this week were Kareem Hunt, Jordan Howard and Leonard Fournette. Danny Amendola, T.Y. Hilton, Demaryius Thomas and Golden Tate had some of the worst performances for wideouts.

Along with Prescott, Marcus Mariota had one of the worst weeks for a quarterback against a bad Colts team.

Top waiver wire picks

Brett Hundley, QB, Packers: 245 yards, 3 TDs.

Jermaine Kearse, WR, Jets: 7 rec., 105 yards, TD. He had fallen off in previous weeks and was dropped by a lot of teams. His performance against the Panthers could be a sign of things to come.

Ricky Seals-Jones, TE, Cardinals: He still isn’t owned in many leagues, likely because last week could have been a fluke. But when you see that his success has been tied to the play of Blaine Gabbert, it might be smart to add him.

Austin Ekeler, RB, Chargers: 70 yards from scrimmage. He’s doing a little bit of everything and serves as a nice complement to Melvin Gordon. A must-have handcuff for Gordon owners.

Martavis Bryant, WR, Steelers: 4 rec., 40 yards, TD. If JuJu Smith-Schuster’s hamstring heals up sooner rather than later, you’ll have to temper your expectations of Bryant. He’s finally out of the doghouse and performing well.

Chargers defense/special teams: Their last two games have been spectacular and they get to face the Browns in Week 13.

Dontrell Inman, WR, Bears: 4 rec., 64 yards. He’s been somewhat productive in his three games with the Bears.

Contact Cat Vasquez at 512-445-3677. Email cvasquez@statesman.com. Twitter @AAS_Cat.

Fantasy football Week 7 recap and top waiver wire picks

Week 7 had its share of disappointing performances, with three teams being shut out, but there were some big days by the usual suspects.

Ezekiel Elliott finally put a complete game together as the Cowboys trounced the 49ers 40-10. Elliott rushed 26 times for 147 yards and two touchdowns. He only had one catch out of the backfield, but he took it 72 yards for a score as he tight-roped the sideline and cut back to get into the end zone. Despite having the top performance of the week, Elliott’s future remains very much in question. He’s going to play Week 8, but after that his status is up in the air.

RELATED: Fantasy football Week 8 rankings.

In that same game, Dak Prescott accounted for four touchdowns. Prescott threw for 243 yards and three touchdowns. He ran four times for 26 yards and another score. He’s a must-start every week at this point in his career. If Elliott can stay on the field, Prescott’s value will stay high.

The quarterback that had the best week played on Thursday night. Derek Carr threw for 417 yards and three touchdowns. Two of those scores went to Amari Cooper, who finally had a big game this season. He caught 11 passes for 210 yards.

Amari Cooper #89 of the Oakland Raiders scores a 38-yard touchdown against the Kansas City Chiefs during their NFL game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on October 19, 2017 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The Raiders kept their season alive with a big win and it could possibly spark better play all around. Tight end Jared Cook is starting to earn a reputation as a big-play receiver. He had six receptions for 104 yards, including a big sideline catch to set up the winning score. Michael Crabtree continued to play well, scoring the game-winning touchdown.

The biggest disappointment for the Raiders was Marshawn Lynch, who rushed just twice for nine yards before he left the bench during a dust up and put his hands on an official. He’s been suspended for a week, making Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington possible waiver pick ups.

Also playing Thursday night, Tyreek Hill continued to put up nice numbers. He caught six passes for 125 yards and a touchdown.

A week doesn’t go by without Kareem Hunt gaining over 100 yards from scrimmage. He became just the second NFL player to reach 1,000 scrimmage yards in his first seven career games, joining Eric Dickerson.

Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt (27) is forced out of bounds by Oakland Raiders cornerback T.J. Carrie during the first half of an NFL football game in Oakland, Calif., Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

LeSean McCoy, Aaron Jones and T.J. Yeldon all had big weeks from the running back position as well. McCoy totaled 122 yards and scored twice. Jones rushed for over 100 yards, including a 46-yard score, for the second time in three weeks as he continues to be the go-to back for the Packers.

Yeldon put up great numbers when it was expected that Chris Ivory would be the beneficiary of Leonard Fournette missing the game. Ivory was decent and had the bulk of the carries, but Yeldon rushed just nine times for 122 yards and a touchdown. That said, there’s really no reason to pick up Yeldon with the Jaguars’ bye week coming up and Fournette expected back in Week 9.

Speaking of the Jaguars, their defense pitched a shutout, as did the Rams and Chargers. Jacksonville recorded 10 sacks against a terrible Colts offense. The team is in shambles without Andrew Luck, but even if he returned tomorrow, they would still be in trouble with that offensive line. The Chargers shut out the Broncos while making five sacks and picking off one pass. The Rams blanked the Cardinals and severely jeopardized Arizona’s season as they knocked Carson Palmer out of commission with a broken arm.

The Palmer injury will be a big blow to the value of Larry Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald had just three catches for 29 yards Sunday. It also makes me wonder if the Cardinals will hold out David Johnson once he’s healthy if their season is beyond saving.

T.Y. Hilton had a terrible day as well, catching two passes for 27 yards. The Colts are 2-5 and with Luck’s recent setback, it seems like a lost season for the Colts and its skill players.

The worst nightmare came true for fantasy owners of the Packers receivers. Davante Adams, Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson combined for five catches and just 40 yards a week after Aaron Rodgers went down to injury. Anyone who picked up Brett Hundley thinking he’d be somewhat adequate were severely disappointed. He threw for 87 yards and one interception. Hundley did rush for 44 yards and a touchdown.

Another disappointing quarterback this week, though unexpectedly, was Matt Ryan. He had a great matchup with a struggling Patriots defense and only managed 233 yards passing and a touchdown. Ryan’s regression is real and he’s looking like he did before his big year last season.

On the bright side, Alex Smith, Russell Wilson and Jameis Winston are all healthy and each had outstanding performances. Smith threw three touchdown passes in a losing effort while Wilson had a big second half to beat the Giants.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) looks to pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Rich Barnes)

Even Josh McCown, a suggested streaming quarterback from last week, had a great day, throwing for 209 yards and three touchdowns.

Winston hooked up well with rookie tight end O.J. Howard for the first time this season. Howard caught all six of the passes sent his way, gaining 98 yards and scoring twice.

Another rookie tight end who keeps playing well is Evan Engram. He caught six passes for 60 yards and a touchdown. The Giants are a mess offensively, but Engram is probably the only quality start.

Top waiver wire picks

Jalen Richard, RB, Raiders: 9 rushes, 31 yards; 4 rec., 45 yards.

Kenny Stills, WR, Dolphins: 6 rec., 85 yards, 2TDs. He’s played well with quarterback Matt Moore in the past.

Ted Ginn, WR, Saints: 7 rec., 141 yards. He’s had two quality games in a row and Drew Brees can utilize a speedster.

Latavius Murray, RB, Vikings: 18 rushes, 113 yards, TD. Jerick McKinnon was the hot name last week, and the duo were virtually even in touches, but Murray had the most success.

Deonte Thompson, WR, Bills: He hasn’t been with the team for a week yet and he’s already proving to be valuable. He caught four passes for 104 yards Sunday.

Matt Moore, QB, Dolphins: Jay Cutler is out and Moore can be productive as a streaming QB.

O.J. Howard, TE, Buccaneers: 6 rec., 98 yards, 2 TDs.

Contact Cat Vasquez at 512-445-3677. Email cvasquez@statesman.com. Twitter @AAS_Cat.

Updated Week 7 Fantasy Football rankings

Week 7 starts today and there have been a few injury updates ahead of the action. Leonard Fournette isn’t expected to play, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. I moved Fournette down on my rankings, but make sure there’s not a game time surprise before you sit him. Here are the rest of my updated Week 7 fantasy football rankings by position.

RELATED: Fantasy football: Who to start — and sit — in Week 7

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Contact Cat Vasquez at 512-445-3677. Email cvasquez@statesman.com. Twitter @AAS_Cat.

Fantasy football value picks for 2017

One of the biggest factors in achieving success in fantasy football is the ability to determine appropriate value for players. There are many ways of finding out the market value of a player, from partaking in numerous mock drafts to consulting websites like Fantasy Football Calculator to determine a player’s average draft position.

After getting a sense of where players are typically getting drafted, it’s important to target the players that can offer a nice return despite not costing you a high pick. That’s where we come in. Here’s our list of the biggest values in the draft for 2017.

Lamar Miller, RB, Texans (ADP=2nd round-24th overall)—If he’s going 24th overall and you’re in a snake draft, that could leave you with David Johnson or Le’Veon Bell taken first overall, and Miller. The Texans’ back retains a very high floor with the amount of touches he’ll receive. The team should have a better passing game, taking pressure off him.

Doug Baldwin, WR, Seahawks (3rd round-26th overall)—Taking the No. 1 WR from a team with a healthy Russell Wilson in the third round could prove to be very effective. He may even fall farther than this, given that he’s never been an exciting name for fantasy.

Demaryius Thomas, WR, Broncos (3rd round-33rd overall)—He got drafted way earlier last season, but I think he puts up even better numbers this year. Thomas was a disappointment last year as a WR1, but if he matches those numbers this season, it’ll be good value at where he’s being drafted.

Mike Gillislee, RB, Patriots (4th round, 47th overall)—He’s expected to take LeGarrette Blount’s role and was extremely efficient last season. Gillislee could be an RB1 taken in the fourth round.

Martavis Bryant, WR, Steelers (4th round, 48th overal)—Bryant might end up dropping even farther if owners shy away from him due to off-the-field issues. Keep an eye on his status, he hasn’t been fully reinstated quite yet, because he could be a steal in the fourth round.

Jarvis Landry, WR, Dolphins (5th round, 54th overall)—Taking a WR2 with possible WR1 upside in the fifth would be nice. He was tenth in receiving yards last year, but scored just four times.

Donte Moncrief, WR, Colts (6th round, 70th overall)—He would have had a highly productive season in 2016 if he hadn’t missed time. In nine games he scored seven touchdowns and could be WR2-level in the sixth round.

Donte Moncrief #10 of the Indianapolis Colts catches a touchdown pass during the game against the New England Patriots at Lucas Oil Stadium on October 18, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Donte Moncrief #10 of the Indianapolis Colts catches a touchdown pass during the game against the New England Patriots at Lucas Oil Stadium on October 18, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Jamison Crowder, WR, Redskins (6th round, 71st overall)—It seems like most fantasy experts have given the edge to Terrelle Pryor as the next No. 1 receiver in Washington. Crowder already has chemistry with Kirk Cousins and virtually tied Pryor in fantasy points last season.

Frank Gore, RB, Colts (7th round, 78th overall)—To draft a running back that finished as an RB1 in 2016 in the seventh round is the definition of finding great value. Even with questions surrounding his age and Marlon Mack, the price isn’t too high for this workhorse.

Jeremy Maclin, WR, Ravens (8th round, 87th overall)—Taking the No. 1 receiver on the Ravens in the eighth round is a tremendous value selection. You’ll have WR2 potential without having to go out on a limb, selecting him in the eighth.

Eric Decker, WR, Titans (8th round, 99th overall)—If Marcus Mariota continues to move in the right direction, Decker could put up WR2 numbers. He’s a nice candidate to make a comeback after playing in just three contests last year.

Matthew Stafford, QB, Lions (10th round, 122nd overall)—Stafford slings the ball around so much, it’s crazy to think he’ll be available in the tenth round. The return of Ameer Abdullah makes the dinks and dunks Stafford throws even more dangerous.

Adam Thielen, WR, Vikings (11th round, 128th overall)—Thielen outperformed Stefon Diggs last season, who is being drafted nearly 50 spots ahead him. He’s a WR3 with WR2 potential, being drafted extremely late in mock drafts.

Andy Dalton, QB, Bengals (12th round, 140th overall)—With weapons like A.J. Green, Tyler Eifert and rookies Joe Mixon and John Ross, Dalton definitely has an opportunity to end up a QB1 at a ridiculously low cost.

Robert Woods, WR, Rams (14th round, 194th overall)—He’ll be the No. 1 WR on the Rams. That’s the bad news. The good news is he can be had for next to nothing.

Contact Cat Vasquez at 512-445-3677. Email cvasquez@statesman.com. Twitter @AAS_Cat.