As Week 12 arrives, we are right in the heart of the fantasy season. Our decisions are never more critical than they are right now. One wrong decision in the middle of the season can be the difference between missing or making the playoffs. Crossing the Streams is here to help!
This article aims to help you with those tough decisions at kicker and D/ST. For this column, I will avoid any options ranked inside the top 12 by Fantasy Pros ECR. Those options are easy calls and are unlikely to be helpful. I’m going to look into the deeper options to help those hampered by matchup or bye-week issues.
Defences/Special Teams (Start’em)
Minnesota Vikings vs. CHI
The Vikings currently rank as DST13 and have been far better for fantasy than they have been in real life. One week they look like an elite squad and the next they look awful. This week they face a Bears offence that allows 10.5 fantasy points per game to opposing DSTs. That’s the 6th most in the NFL. Minnesota has 46 tackles, 29 sacks, 14 forced fumbles, 5 fumble recoveries, 2 interceptions and 2 touchdowns this season.
New York Jets vs. MIA
The Jets currently rank as DST13 and have been so good that they have kept this terrible Jets offence afloat for far longer than it should have. This week they get a matchup with a Dolphins offence that has been elite against the bad defences and bad against the good defenses. The Dolphins are allowing 6.7 fantasy points per game to opposing DSTs, the 14th most in the NFL. New York has 61 tackles, 26 sacks, 10 forced fumbles, 5 fumble recoveries, 10 interceptions and 1 touchdown this season.
New Orleans Saints vs. ATL
The Saints currently rank as DST15 and have been good but not great for most of the season. This week they get a matchup with a Falcons offence that has struggled mightily over the past few weeks behind the combination of Desmond Ridder and Taylor Heinicke. The Falcons are allowing 7.8 fantasy points per game to opposing DSTs, the 11th most in the NFL. New Orleans has 37 tackles, 18 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, 5 fumble recoveries, 12 interceptions and 1 touchdown this season.
Miami Dolphins vs. NYJ
The Dolphins currently rank as DST18 and have relied more on their high-flying offence to win games than their defence, however, they have come on lately. This week they get a matchup with a Jets offence that is likely to be starting Tim Boyle. The Jets are allowing 11.6 fantasy points per game to opposing DSTs, the 2nd most in the NFL. Miami has 49 tackles, 31 sacks, 7 forced fumbles, 5 fumble recoveries, 7 interceptions and 1 touchdown this season.
Greg Joseph, MIN vs. CHI
Joseph has been below average this season and has struggled along with his banged-up Vikings teammates. He currently ranks as PK22 on the season and is stagnant in the rankings. He faces the Bears this week who have been the 10th best matchup for opposing kicker. The Bears are allowing 9.1 fantasy points per game. Joseph is 17 for 22 on field goals, 26 for 28 on extra points and has added in 2 field goals from 40+ yards, and 3 from 50+ yards.
Cairo Santos, CHI vs. MIN
Santos has been surprisingly good over the past month and finds himself skyrocketing up the kicker rankings. He currently ranks as PK13 and has huge potential. Santos faces the Vikings this week who have been the 6th best matchup for opposing kickers. The Vikings are allowing 10.8 fantasy points per game. He is 19 for 20 on field goals, 21 for 22 on extra points and has added in 3 field goals from 40+ yards, and 5 from 50+ yards.
Matt Prater, ARI vs. LAR
Prater has been in the middle of the kicker rankings for much of the season and is nothing more than a streamer. He currently ranks as PK14 and his ranking reflects his borderline status. Prater faces the Rams this week who have been the 3rd best matchup for opposing kickers. The Rams are allowing 10.8 fantasy points per game. He is 19 for 20 on field goals, 11 for 12 on extra points and has added in 5 field goals from 40+ yards, and 6 from 50+ yards.
Blake Grupe, NO vs. ATL
Grupe has been massively inconsistent in his rookie season and has never become a reliable streamer, but we will fire him up this week anyway. He currently ranks as PK15 and his ranking reflects his little upside. Grupe faces the Falcons this week who have been the 8th best matchup for opposing kickers. The Falcons are allowing 9.4 fantasy points per game. He is 22 for 24 on field goals, 15 for 17 on extra points and has added in 2 field goals from 40+ yards, and 3 from 50+ yards.
Week 11 Report Card
For the purposes of this article, I think it is fair to set the line at 8.0 fantasy points. Any total of 8.0 or higher will be deemed a hit, and a total of 7.9 and lower will be called a miss.
D/ST (4 hits, 0 misses)
Detroit Lions- 9.10 points HIT
Houston Texans- 9.60 points HIT
Jacksonville Jaguars- 8.80 points HIT
Miami Dolphins- 15.00 points HIT
Kickers (3 hits, 1 miss)
Greg Joseph- 8.40 points HIT
Cameron Dicker- 8.10 points HIT
Brandon McManus- 9.50 points HIT
Matt Amendola- 3.00 points MISS