9 Fantasy Football Stash Candidates Ahead of Week 12
Stash time is dwindling down as we careen toward the fantasy playoffs. With the number of games left to play countable on one hand, it’s imperative to look forward and create the best rosters possible.
Clear out those benches (check out my Dead Weight Report on who to drop) and make room for this week’s crop of stash candidates.
Tre’Quan Smith, WR – Saints
A tough tilt with the Bills on Thanksgiving could deter some managers from grabbing the 25-year-old this week, but there are cushier days ahead as New Orleans faces three teams from Weeks 13-16 who rank 20th or worse at defending opposing WRs this season.
DeeJay Dallas, RB – Seahawks
Despite Seattle’s propensity to run the football, their ground game has not been effective without Chris Carson this season. Alex Collins has been consistently mediocre, Rashaad Penny can’t stay healthy, leaving DeeJay Dallas.
Dallas recorded four carries for 25 yards and a score plus he saw two targets last week against the Cardinals. He could see an uptick in usage moving forward if Penny’s hamstring injury lingers, which is probable, considering who we’re dealing with. Weeks 12-17 are pretty auspicious for the Seahawks backfield when it comes to matchups, as just one of their opposing defenses sits higher than 13th in RB aFPA. Dallas could be a nice stash in a depleted RB market.
Mack Hollins, WR – Dolphins
He’s more of a boom-or-bust guy, but Mack Hollins has delivered this season when called upon. The Miami WR has three touchdowns over the last five weeks and is second among Dolphins wideouts in targets in that timeframe.
With both DeVante Parker and Will Fuller struggling to hit the field, Hollins could see an increased workload down the stretch, and Miami has arguably the softest schedule for WRs on the horizon. After their Week 14 bye, Hollins faces three defenses in a row during the fantasy playoffs in Weeks 15-17 who sit 27th, 30th and 29th in aFPA to opposing WRs, with an average of 32.7 half-PPR points surrendered per game.
Ben Roethlisberger, QB – Steelers
It’s highly likely you have a better option in single-QB formats, but some leagues have their share of QB hoarders, and we’ve also had a bevy of injuries to the position in recent weeks. Ben Roethlisberger returned from an asymptomatic COVID-19 bout to post 22.9 fantasy points in a tough loss to the Chargers, which is encouraging for his arm prowess moving forward.
It also helps that his remaining schedule is a favorable one, as five of his six remaining opponents rank 21st or worse in defending QBs in 2021, with just Kansas City coming in at 19th in QB aFPA. If you’ve been streaming signal-callers this season or your QB is dinged up, Roethlisberger could be a viable plug-in down the stretch.
Tyrod Taylor, QB – Texans
Like Big Ben above, it’s probable you have a better option at QB in leagues that only utilize one, but there are circumstances where the waiver wire is slim and you’re in need of some help moving forward. Tyrod Taylor put up a QB9 fantasy performance last week against the Titans and has a few decent matchups ahead.
This week he gets a Jets defense that’s allowing the fourth-most fantasy points to signal-callers, followed by a tilt with Indy’s 22nd-ranked unit in QB aFPA. Taylor has the potential to assist managers who are in desperation mode down the stretch.
Jaret Patterson, RB – Football Team
RB insurance is at a premium as we move closer to the fantasy postseason and Jaret Patterson is someone to invest in if there’s room to do so. He’s had 22 carries over the past three weeks as the backup to Antonio Gibson, and could be a difference-maker if the sophomore’s shin sidelines him at any point moving forward.
Patterson and the Football Team have a backfield-friendly schedule from here on out, as four of their five remaining opponents (they face Dallas and the Eagles twice), rank 24th or worse in RB aFPA. If it’s doable and you’re hurting at the RB position, stashing Patterson now could prove advantageous to your end-of-season output.
Denver Broncos Defense
The Broncos have been fairly inconsistent on both sides of the ball this season but surprisingly boast the 11th-most fantasy points as a defense. At a Yahoo! rostership of just 36%, they were most likely dropped due to their Week 11 bye and have an appealing upcoming schedule worthy of adding.
Denver’s home contest this week against fellow AFC West rival Chargers isn’t the best, but after that, they’re looking at KC, DET, CIN and LV, who sit 21st, 26th, 24th and 20th in defensive aFPA, respectively.
Green Bay Packers Defense
The Packers are another defensive unit that is worth stashing for the fantasy playoffs. They have their bye in Week 13, but then get Chicago and Baltimore’s 31st and 29th ranked defenses in their next two contests.
Green Bay has put up the 10th-most fantasy points defensively and will be looking to put their best foot forward as they jockey for position in the real NFL playoffs. The Packers are currently only on 37% of Yahoo! rosters, so there’s a solid chance you can grab and stash them this week.
Jake Elliott, K – Eagles
Jake Elliott was in this column last week but I decided to include him again one more time for the people in the back. The Philly kicker is sixth in total fantasy points on the season and has a chef’s kiss remaining schedule other than a pesky Week 14 bye.
The Eagles’ opponents for the rest of the season rank 19th or worse in kicker aFPA, and with the offense playing as well as they have been, Elliott is in great shape to add fantasy points to your rosters. If you don’t want to deal with streaming for the rest of the season, grab him now and hold him. Of course, you will have to find a replacement for Week 14.