Baker

This week’s column might have been one of the toughest I’ve ever had to write.

And no, it’s not because I was going to tell you a super-depressing story or anything like that.

Rather, because we are now down to the wire in the fantasy football season, two weeks away from the playoffs, and I’m straight-up burned out.

To no one else’s fault other than my own, I aspired to write two weekly fantasy football columns this season along with producing a podcast that I record and edit myself. 

And in addition to my other commitments and labors, I’m less than a month away from graduating college. 

Truth to be told, I still aspire to bring you the best original and authentic content I can, but there’s no hiding that it’s getting tougher and tougher to carve out time for it.

Honestly, all I wanted to do this week was write about sweet potato pie. 

But after various rewrites and edits, I’m still not content with it.

So, I will get that sorted out for next week before Thanksgiving, and I’ll leave you with this before my starts and sits of Week 12.

Yes, it’s Week 12. You want to do everything you can to make it to the fantasy football playoffs.

However, just like how I’m feeling burnt out, you’re probably feeling similar if your fantasy teams are anything like most of mine - shaky at best.

And while I want to tell you to give it your all and go “all-in” or something like that, that I’ve said before, it’s OK if you don’t get it done.

Twelve weeks of hard-fought fantasy football is nothing to fret about. 

Do the best you can, and that’s alright with me.

And, hey, as coach said, “Are two more gonna kill ya, kid?!”

Now, let’s get to it.

Quarterback I’d Start This Week:

Baker Mayfield (Cleveland):  Welcome back to fantasy relevance, Baker Mayfield. Quietly, amongst all of the Myles Garrett drama last week, Baker Mayfield put together his best fantasy scoring game of the season (21.8 fantasy points) against a tough Steelers’ defense.

Now, he gets the Miami defense that allows an average of 255 yards, 2.3 touchdowns and a passer rating of 105.6 to opposing quarterbacks.

I think we should see a classic “Bake Show” performance Sunday, good enough for a QB1 output as well.

Quarterback I’d Sit This Week:

Kyle Allen (Carolina):   With now eight of this season’s original 32 starting quarterbacks now injured or benched, reliable options at the position have become few and far between.

And while Kyle Allen looked solid in his first four starts, averaging 225 passing yards and 1.75 touchdowns per game, he has regressed over the past month, averaging 8.6 fantasy points per game during that span.

Going head-to-head with the Saints, who can get after the quarterback with Cameron Jordan and Marcus Davenport upfront, and with Marshon Lattimore slowly solidifying himself as one of the league’s best cornerbacks, I don’t see Allen reaching QB1 status here in Week 12.

Running Back I’d Start This Week:

Phillip Lindsay (Denver):  What was once believed to be a true 50-50 split in the Denver backfield has now returned to its regularly scheduled program, “The Phillip Lindsay Show.”

Although the Buffalo Bills, Denver’s Week 12 opponent, are known for a solid defense, you can run against them. Allowing more than 4.5 yards per carry and 93 rushing yards per game, I think Lindsay stays on track this week, possibly assisting newly appointed starter Brandon Allen to his second career victory.

Running Back I’d Sit This Week:

Kalen Ballage (Miami):  I don’t care that Kalen Ballage is still the starter in Miami. And, no, I don’t care that he caught five receptions in Week 11.

Despite producing 12.7 fantasy points last week, Ballage had a total of 17 yards on 14 combined touches. This is the sole issue with him. He is ineffective and, no offense, but just looks like he’s not good enough at football to play at the pro level.

If you start Ballage, you’ll be looking for a touchdown to justify it. And with the Browns allowing only a running back rushing touchdown in half of their games, you’re betting 50-50 on an ineffective Miami running back.

Wide Receiver I’d Start This Week:

Calvin Ridley (Atlanta):  Since the Falcons traded wide receiver Mohamed Sanu, second-year wideout Calvin Ridley has reached double digits in two of the three games and has averaged 16.3 points while doing so.

In addition to the Falcons coming alive lately and reeling off two straight dominant wins against division rivals, they will be facing Tampa Bay here in Week 12.

In case you didn’t know, the Buccaneers allow a league-worst 202 yards and 1.7 touchdowns to wide receivers.

I expect a big game from both Ridley and the all-timer Julio Jones.

Wide Receiver I’d Sit This Week:

Sterling Shepard (New York Giants):  Although Shepard has been great this season when he’s been able to go (averaging 16 fantasy points per contest), concussions have kept him off the field.

And with rookie Darius Slayton coming on as of late (31 fantasy points in his last performance) paired with facing a Chicago defense that is still second-best against opposing wide receivers, Shepard is an obvious wait-and-see candidate for me, especially with the importance of Week 12 for most fantasy teams.

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