Week 12 is upon us and while teams are beginning to make playoff pushes in the NFL, teams in fantasy leagues are wrapping up their regular season. Some leagues may already be in the playoffs. For the most part, team owners know whether or not their teams are going to make it into the post season, but for the teams that are on the bubble or for the teams that have an outside chance of getting in, no games will be more important than the ones played in the next couple of weekends.
If some of your players are injured or underperforming (cough Chris Johnson cough), here are some sleepers to help your team this weekend.
|Carson Palmer QB Oakland Raiders|
Carson Palmer has played well in the last couple weeks as the Raiders starting quarterbacks. Yes, he's had his fair share of mistakes but he's also getting used to a new system and new receivers. The longer he plays in Oakland, the better he'll be. The Raiders are hosting the Bears which means they'll be facing a pretty tough defense but Palmer will get his yards and he'll likely have a touchdown or two as well. If your quarterback was Matt Schaub or Matt Cassel, Palmer may be your best bet for the rest of the season.
He's still available in about 40 percent of ESPN leagues so go and pick him up.
|Matt Leinart QB Houston Texans|
No, Matt Leinart is not Matt Schaub, but he is a much better option than Tyler Palko. Leinart is going to be the Texans' new signal caller and while that sounds like a bad thing, it isn't like the Texans aren't giving him all the tools he needs to succeed. He has one of the best running backs in the NFL right behind him and, luckily for him, he gets one of the leagues top receivers, Andre Johnson, back.
Leinart may not put up the numbers that Schaub would in Week 12, but he may surprise you. If you need a new quarterback, he may not be a bad play.
|C.J. Spiller RB Buffalo Bills|
The Bills have been in nose-dive mode throughout the last month and losing Fred Jackson to Injured Reserve did nothing to help them. However, losing Jackson did help C.J. Spiller get a second chance to prove that he should be the feature back in Buffalo. Spiller has a lot of talent and he was highly thought of coming out of the 2010 draft but things didn't really work out and Jackson took the starting job. Now Spiller is in something-to-prove mode and even though the Bills are playing the Jets, with as much balls that Jackson caught out of the backfield, Spiller could do the same.
I picked him up on my fantasy team and I'd advise you to do the same.
|Javon Ringer RB Tennessee Titans|
This is a pretty deep sleeper but let's face it, Chris Johnson just isn't good this year. Last week he carried the ball 12 times for 13 yards and that is just pathetic. In the times we saw Javon Ringer carry the ball, he looked better than Johnson did and Mike Munchak may grow tired of not being able to move the ball with Johnson and decide to play Ringer more often. I wouldn't go out and pick Ringer up unless you have Johnson. If you do have Johnson, you may want to pick Ringer up just in case Munchak gets as tired of him as you are.
|Denarius Moore WR Oakland Raiders|
Denarius Moore is one of Palmer's favorite targets in Oakland and the Bears have the 26th ranked passing defense. The Bears are much better at defending the run than they are the pass and if the Raiders find that they are having a hard time moving the ball down the field with Michael Bush, they may just stick to passing the ball. If that's the case, I expect Moore to have a big game.
He's still available in some leagues.
|Jerome Simpson WR Cincinnati Bengals|
Jerome Simpson put up over 150 yards receiving against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 11 and this week the Bengals host the Browns. A.J. Green looks like he'll be back as the Bengals No. 1 receiver but while Joe Haden is trying to shut him down, Simpson could run free.
He's available in almost 70 percent of ESPN leagues.
|Jermaine Gresham TE Cincinnati Bengals|
The Browns have the best pass defense in the league but the Bengals also have a very talented group of wide receivers. The Browns will likely have their hands full with the likes of A.J. Green, Jerome Simpson and Andre Caldwell as well as Andrew Hawkins, but they may forget all about Jermaine Gresham, one of the most physically talented tight ends in the league. Gresham is a huge red-zone threat and it's likely he'll score at least once.
|Jared Cook TE Tennessee Titans|
While the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are busy worrying about what Chris Johnson has the capability to do, they may forget to watch tight end Jared Cook. Cook has put up decent numbers all season and the Buccaneers are bad against opposing tight ends. If your tight end is facing a tough defense, you can give Cook a try in Week 12.
The Broncos are facing the Chargers in Week 12 and while Philip Rivers will likely score a touchdown or two, the way he's been playing lately he'll likely throw at least one interception. The Broncos are a good play if your typical defense is playing a high-powered offense.
The Redskins don't have one of the top-ranked offenses and Seattle is a tough place to play but the Seahawks offense, especially Tarvaris Jackson, has had a hard time not turning the ball over. The Redskins will likely be able to take advantage by picking off a pass or two and maybe even scoring a touchdown.