Week 12 Fantasy Sleepers: Ride the Derrick Henry gravy train

Week 12 Flames: Tyrod, Perine to tickle fantasy taste buds

Each week the Noise highlights under-started names who he believes are destined to torch the competition. To qualify, each player must be started in fewer than 60 percent of Yahoo! leagues. Speaking as an accountability advocate, I will post results, whether genius or moronic, the following week (Scoring thresholds – QB: 18 fpts, RB: 12 fpts, WR: 11 fpts: TE: 10 fpts; .5 PPR). If you’re a member of TEAM HUEVOS, reveal your Week 12 Flames in the comments section below.

Tyrod Taylor, Buf, QB (4 percent started, $28 in Yahoo DFS)
Matchup: at KC (Game over/under: 45)

Just when you thought the UCLA basketball shoplifting incident, and the ridiculous high-profiled Twitter feud that resulted, raised the bar of incompetence along comes Sean McDermott. His demotion of Taylor, in the midst of a wildcard chase no less, was nothing short of moronic. Sure the incumbent, hampered by a plaguing case of check-down disease, had greatly underwhelmed, but Nate Peterman clearly wasn’t the answer. In his first NFL start, the promoted backup redefined “rancid.” In one half, he devastated fantasy box scores with the horror of 100 Brock Osweilers. He completed one more pass to Bills than Chargers (6 completions, 5 picks). Of course, McDermott turned back to Tyrod after halftime, which needs to be a permanent move rest of season. Assuming No. 5 is indeed under center in Week 12, he should shed his short-arm ways and attack downfield. The matchup demands it. Including last week’s Mother Nature-influenced effort in New York, KC has yielded 7.4 yards per attempt, 263.9 pass yards and 1.6 passing touchdowns per game to QBs. Getting specific, Chiefs DBs Marcus Peters, Phillip Gaines and Terrance Mitchell have given up a 95.2 passer rating to signal-callers. Throw in Buffalo’s unraveled defense and it’s possible Tyrod posts one of his finest fantasy lines of the season.

Fearless Forecast: 244 passing yards, 1 passing touchdown, 1 turnover, 34 rushing yards, 1 touchdown, 23.2 fantasy points

Samaje Perine, Was, RB (22 percent started, $17 in Yahoo DFS)
Matchup: vs. NYG (Over/Under: 45)

In the amount of time pumpkin pie disappears from your corpulent uncle’s plate, Chris Thompson, one of the surprise sensations of the season, was taken from fantasy owners. In an all-too familiar play, a Saints defender rolled up on the priced running back and forced his leg to bend awkwardly. Recognized by every one of his teammates in an emotional moment, he was carted off to the locker room. Diagnosed with a broken leg, his breakout campaign, brutally, is over. With one finger snap, Washington’s entire offensive dynamic changed. The injury to Thompson, a key centerpiece in the pass game, forces the ‘Skins into a more traditional setup. Perine, who flourished in a breakthrough performance in New Orleans (112 yards, TD, 4.17 YAC), will assume the role of hammer, working between the tackles to add balance to an already Kirk Cousins-centric scheme. His efforts in the Crescent City were only the beginning. The Oklahoma product is a grinding downhill runner. His unsightly 7.9 missed tackle percentage, occasional fumble problems and sporadic use in the pass game diminish confidence. Washington’s battered offensive line does too. Still, with Thompson and Rob Kelley sidelined, 15-20 touches will be routine rest of season for Perine. With knife and fork in hand, look for him to dissect a Giants D suddenly riding the high of an actual victory. Despite last week’s shocking triumph of KC, New York remains incredibly vulnerable. On the year it’s surrendered 4.22 yards per carry, 107.3 rushing yards per game, seven total touchdowns and the 10th-most fantasy points to RBs.

Fearless Forecast: 18 carries, 93 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 9 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 17.2 fantasy points

Derrick Henry, Ten, RB (21 percent started, $16 in Yahoo DFS)
Matchup: at Ind (Over/Under: 44)

Sickened by DeMarco Murray’s ongoing presence in the timeshare, Henry owners continue to wait with bated breath for the moment their shining knight sweeps the Titans, and their fantasy teams, off their feet. Similar to the script that unfolded late in the regular season last year, Henry is starting to slowly gain momentum. Since Week 6, he’s run with the vigor of a ticked off moose. During that stretch he’s averaged 12.6 touches per game, 4.38 yards per carry, 57.8 total yards per game and scored twice. Chipping in a monstrous 4.4 yards after contact per attempt while forcing a missed tackle on 20.6 percent of his touches, he’s looked every bit a future megastar. If only Mike Mularkey would give him the rock 15-plus times per game. … It’s unlikely his workload will suddenly balloon to the desired number, but even with limited touches he’s a strong candidate to crack the RB2 class in 12-team leagues this week. The My Little Ponies of Indianapolis are without a doubt a premium matchup. Outmatched by Tennessee’s man-tossing front, the Colts are sure to surrender several chunk plays. They’ve given up a respectable 4.05 yards per carry to RBs, but rank No. 4 in fantasy points allowed conceding a touchdown and 149.6 total yards per game. If Marcus Mariota exhibits the “A” game early, it could be Henry who levies the knockout blow late. Sound familiar?

Fearless Forecast: 13 carries, 66 rushing yards, 1 reception, 8 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 13.8 fantasy points

Sterling Shepard, NYG, WR (33 percent started, $22 in Yahoo DFS)
Matchup: at Was (Over/Under: 44.5)

After absorbing the caloric intake of a sumo wrestler, plop on the couch, unbuckle the pants, ward off the post-meal nap and watch Shepard shred Washington. Thanksgiving night, it should be a thing of beauty. Inactive last week due to a crippling migraines spell, Eli Manning’s most reliable target should work up quite the lather in his return to action. The Redskins, blasted defensively in recent weeks, have come apart at the seams. Josh Norman, once feared by fantasy owners, is now a premium matchup. Since Week 7, no defensive back has allowed a higher passer rating (158.3). When Shepard ventures outside the slot confines (58.8 slot percentage), he’s sure to notch quality numbers against Norman. His sharp routes, separation skills and highly reliable hands (74.5 catch%) resemble Julian Edelman. Without many weapons outside Evan Engram, Eli is sure to line him up in the crosshairs 12-plus times. Recall in Weeks 9 and 10, Shepard enticed 22 targets catching 16 balls for 212 yards. He’s crossed the chalk only once this season, but knowing Washington’s recent shortcomings in coverage (10th-most fantasy points to WRs over the last five weeks), the former Sooner booms. Start him with the utmost confidence in all formats.

Fearless Forecast: 7 receptions, 98 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 19.3 fantasy points

Martavis Bryant, Pit, WR (14 percent started, $17 in Yahoo DFS)
Matchup: vs. GB (Over/Under: 41.5)

Confined to fantasy benches and, even in some deeper leagues, abandoned on the waiver wire, Bryant has lost much luster. Once considered the Rob Gronkowski of wide receivers due to his touchdown consistency, the outspoken wideout’s social media admissions/verbal trade demands combined with the rise of JuJu Smith-Schuster have rendered him fantasy useless. Though he barely contributed to the box score in Pittsburgh’s dismantling of Tennessee last Thursday (5-3-42-0), a silver lining emerged. His 44 snaps played was his highest mark since Week 5. With defenses centered on bottling Antonio Brown, Le’Veon Bell and Smith-Schuster, a boom performance or three are possible for Bryant down the stretch. This week could be one such occasion. Whether on offense or defense, Green Bay has rolled out the welcome mat for the opposition. Against wide receivers, the Packers have surrendered the eighth-most fantasy points and the third-highest catch percentage (65.1). When lined up against Davon House in three-WR sets, look for Bryant to use his gazelle speed to blow past the DB on a couple explosive pass plays. This season, House has yielded a 106.3 passer rating to his assignments. It’s clear, all the ingredients for a slump-busting performance are in place.

Fearless Forecast: 4 receptions, 67 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 14.7 fantasy points

WEEK 12 SHOCKER SPECIAL (Under 10-percent started)

Russell Shepard, Car, WR (1 percent started, $10 in Yahoo DFS)
Matchup: at NYJ (Over/Under: 39.5)

Cruise into Target late on Black Friday and door buster deals on highly sought after items will be long gone. More than likely, only a stack of $4 “Storks” DVDs and Sharper Image Himalayan Salt Lamps will remain. Yippee. Shepard, much like the odoriferous offering, is a leftover few, if any, desire, the Blaine Gabbert of wide receivers. This season he ranks No. 111 at the position in per game value and slots outside the top-75 in several advanced metrics including yards per target (6.4), catch percentage (51.9) and QB rating when targeted (69.8). But much like Gabbert, who altered the earth’s tilt last Sunday with three TD passes in Houston, the overlooked Panther could deliver an unexpected positive result. How so? For starters, Curtis Samuel, placed on injured reserve last week with an ankle injury, is done for the season. Post-Kelvin Benjamin banishment to Buffalo, he averaged 6.0 targets per game. Yes, Christian McCaffrey and a reactivated Greg Olsen will be vertical focal points, but Shepard, who enticed seven targets from Cam Newton in Week 10, could be thrown to 7-9 times in Week 12. His opponent, the Jets, always pass the points at the dinner table. They’ve allowed the 10th-most fantasy points and 12 total touchdowns to WRs. DBs Buster Skrine and Daryl Roberts have coughed up a combined 102.0 passer rating and 63.0 catch percentage to their assignments. Follow the logic and Shepard boasts measurable profit potential in deep leagues and Yahoo DFS GPPs.

Fearless Forecast: 4 receptions, 60 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 14.0 fantasy points


Each week one fortunate guest prognosticator will have a chance to silence the Noise. Following the rules stated above, participants are asked to submit their “Flames” (1 QB, 2 RBs, 2 WRs, 1 TE, 1 D/ST) by midnight PT Tuesdays via Twitter @YahooNoise. How large are your stones?

Fan Week 11 results: 2-5 (Season: 28-44)
My Week 11 results: 3-9 (Season: 47-77; W: Latavius Murray, Tyler Kroft, Austin Ekeler ; L: Dontrelle Inman, Blake Bortles, Arizona D/ST, Kenyan Drake, Eli Manning, John Brown, Corey Davis, Marshawn Lynch, J.D. McKissic)

Want to bull rush Brad? Follow him on Twitter @YahooNoise. Also check out his TV show, “The Fantasy Football Hour,” now available in 75 million households on Fox Sports Regional Networks, and his new podcast, “The Fantasy Record.”