Stream Starters: Week 12

Erik Drost, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons, Cropped

Writing a bit early this week to get everyone prepped ahead of the dreadful slate of Thanksgiving games forced upon us this year. As if 2020 wasn’t bad enough, we’re now all captive audiences to Texans @ Lions with the only alternative being conversing with your uncle about politics. Worry not, I’m here with my streaming picks to ensure a great Holiday week for us all:

Phillip Rivers, QB, Indianapolis Colts (vs. Tennessee Titans) – 13.8 Percent Owned
While this is a revenge game for the Titans, I have great confidence in Rivers to show up for fantasy owners on Sunday. The Titans possess one of the worst defenses in the league in terms of defending the pass, and tend to allow opposing offensive drives to persist much longer than they should. The Titans rank worst in the league on third down, and bottom five in fourth down rate. Rivers looks to have finally built chemistry with T.Y. Hilton and emerging rookie wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. (who is absolutely worth a pickup himself for your playoff push if available) which bodes well for a matchup against the Titans susceptible secondary. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that Rivers is dealing with a ‘sore toe’, but I’d be surprised if the gunslinger allowed a toe to end his streak of 245 consecutive games played. Start Rivers with confidence this week as the Colts look to secure the AFC South.

Kirk Cousins, QB, Minnesota Vikings (vs. Carolina Panthers) – 29.3 Percent Owned
Riding high on last week’s advice to start Cousins, I’m going with him again this week. This isn’t some revelation of mine on the resurgence of the Vikings signal caller, rather, it’s the best of an incredibly muddled situation at the quarterback position for fantasy. Whether it’s COVID, or just an injury-heavy year, there’s simply less experienced/desirable options at the quarterback position currently than in typical years. Making the best of this situation, the Vikings play a Carolina defense that has been susceptible all year. Cousins struggles when he’s pressured, but the Panthers boast the sixth fewest sacks league wide. Further, opposing defenses have increasingly focused on Dalvin Cook and the rushing game of the Vikings, which has led to more opportunities for Cousins. Ultimately, I believe this has fueled his strong fantasy performances the past three weeks. Grab Cousins now (especially if your quarterback is Tom Brady), play him for the next two weeks, and thank me later.

New York Giants D/ST (@ Cincinnati Bengals) – 21.6 Percent Owned
Fresh off their bye and nipping on the heels of the NFC East Leading Cowboys the Giants are gifted with a matchup against the now Joe Burrow-less Cincinnati Bungles. New York has had a surprisingly effective defense all season, being one of the few bright spots of the team when they have managed to win this year. Cincinnati features the offensive line giving up the second most sacks this year, so their backup quarterback Ryan Finley will be under constant attack. Finley himself won’t be providing much firepower as he only mustered 30 passing yards (on 30 percent completion, with an interception) after replacing Burrow last week. From a positive matchup, to facing a backup quarterback, to the Giants returning defensive playmakers after the bye, I don’t see how this isn’t a top five defensive unit this week.

As a side note, my thoughts and prayers go out to Joe Burrow and those who bet him for Offensive Rookie of the Year. Wishing both parties a speedy and full recovery.

Bills D/ST (vs. Los Angeles Chargers) – 47.5 Percent Owned
The Bills are coming off their bye week with plenty of time for the defense to replay that game-sealing hail mary against the Cardinals in their heads. This Bills defense is certainly talented, but hasn’t been able to play up to that potential against any team this year except the Jets (who barely qualify as an NFL team). Between an angry and well-motivated Bills defense, and a young/ cursed Chargers team traveling east to play in real winter conditions, the time is right for the Bills defense to show up. To aid in this Bills’ resurgence, the Chargers possess one of the more significant home/road splits this year in terms of passing, with a completion percentage of 45 percent on the road (compared to 54 percent at home). Further, Justin Herbert has thrown twice as many interceptions on the road than at home. Buffalo will need a strong defense to make a real push in the AFC, and I’m banking on this game being a turning point for the rest of the Bills season.

Logan Thomas (@ Dallas Cowboys) – 43.2 Percent Owned
Thomas has been an interesting case study all year. He’s seen fairly consistent targets for a tight end, but the volume fails to generate strong fantasy performances for much of the year. His best outings have come against other NFC East teams, and I expect him to mirror his best performance of the year this week against the Cowboys. Alex Smith has always had a penchant for targeting the tight end (cue flashbacks of Vernon Davis), which bodes well for Thomas as long as the former first overall pick continues to start for the Washington Football team. Out of all tight ends rostered in less than fifty percent of leagues, I have the most confidence in Thomas to provide you with a good week.

Neal Chuenprateep

Neal has been playing fantasy football for about a decade now. He was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, and after a short stint in Rhode Island for college, he returned to the Bay Area where he currently resides. I'm a devout 49ers fan, and enjoy consuming most sports. Prior to writing for Fantasy Guru Bros., I wrote Fantasy advice at sbnation.com. I also blog about my sports wagers (and other random thoughts) at blogofthebus.com. I'm always happy to chat about anything football, so feel free to drop me an @ or DM!

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