I want to start this week’s edition of Hank’s Bank off by wishing everyone a happy and blessed Thanksgiving. Is anyone else thankful for winning fantasy football strategy this year?? I know I can’t be the only one! While the coming weekend will be filled with food, family, and friends, don’t forget that the fantasy playoffs are just two weeks away. Lineup decisions matter now more than ever, especially if you are on the playoff bubble in your league.
Hank’s Bank is cooking up a delicious meal of winning strategy as always. This week’s edition differs slightly from previous weeks given that the trade deadline in standard league formats has now passed us by. For this reason, we will be foregoing trade advice in favor of focusing more on winning start/sit and add/drop calls. After all, fantasy football championships are at stake here.
Hank’s Bank Vocabulary Key
Asset: Trade Target
Transfer: Trade Away
Invest: Free Agent Acquisition
Loan: Weekly Streamer
Week 12 Banking
Cash: Gus Edwards | RB | Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens caught a break when the NFL made the decision to move their game against the Pittsburgh Steelers from Thanksgiving night to Sunday afternoon. Baltimore’s numerous positive coronavirus cases this week were the reason behind the change. Two of those reside in the Ravens backfield in lead backs J.K. Dobbins and Mark Ingram. It’s unlikely either will be available on Sunday which makes Week 12 Gus Edwards’ time to shine.
Edwards has been on the short end of a rotation with Dobbins and Ingram this season. He did garner double-digit carries in three consecutive games between Weeks 6-9 (Baltimore had its bye in Week 7) when Ingram was sidelined by an ankle injury. While still splitting work with Dobbins, Edwards managed to find the end zone in each of those contests. Unless Justice Hill suddenly gets run, Edwards is the only game in town this week. With Lamar Jackson and the Ravens passing attack sputtering, Edwards should have enough volume to be a solid fantasy football strategy start even against the stout Steelers’ defense.
Cash: Michael Pittman Jr. | WR | Indianapolis Colts
At first, I almost threw Michael Pittman into this week’s column as an investment opportunity. After thinking on it some more, I realized we are past that point with the Colts rookie wideout. If Pittman is somehow not rostered in your league, he needs to be. And if you roster him, I like the fantasy football strategy audible of starting him in Week 12 as well.
Since getting reacclimated after his stint on IR, Pittman has quickly become one of Philip Rivers’ favorite targets. He saw seven and eight targets in Weeks 8 and 9 respectively, with his NFL breakout coming against the same Tennessee Titans defense he will face on Sunday. Pittman followed up that seven-catch, 101-yard performance with his first professional touchdown last week. The 6’4” 223 lb. USC product is a physical specimen who only figures to get better. There’s no excuse for him to only be owned in 34% of ESPN leagues.
Deposit: Melvin Gordon | RB | Denver Broncos
Melvin Gordon is fresh off of one of his best fantasy performances of the 2020 season. 84 rushing yards on just 15 carries (5.60 average) and a pair of TDs rewarded managers who plugged him into their Week 11 lineups. Unfortunately, like the Broncos offense of which he is a part, I’m not expecting Gordon’s line from last week to carry forward with any kind of consistency.
Gordon is up against it from a matchup standpoint this week against a New Orleans Saints defense that only allows 17.38 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs. That mark is the best in the league through eleven weeks. Don’t think this run D is legit? Just ask Todd Gurley who was shut down entirely by the Saints last week. Add in the fact that Gordon still is not a true “bell cow” back given that he splits time with Phillip Lindsay and he’s a hard pass for me this week.
Deposit: Darrell Henderson | RB | Los Angeles Ram
There’s no love lost for Darrell Henderson here as he makes the Deposit list for the second week in a row. In all honesty, I hate to make fantasy football strategy calls against him. Henderson has shown great potential out of the Rams’ backfield this season, even as he’s been forced to work in a true timeshare with Malcolm Brown and Cam Akers. Unfortunately, LA’s Week 12 matchup against the San Francisco 49ers doesn’t bode well for any Rams RBs.
Defensively the 49ers are allowing the tenth-fewest fantasy points per game to opposing running backs (20.81). That number has increased as San Fran has battled injuries and fallen back in the NFC West race, but stopping the run is still the strength of the unit. What’s more, Henderson has not seen double-digit carries since Week 7. The Rams will no doubt be prioritizing a pass-heavy approach on Sunday. This combined with Henderson’s spotty usage makes him a sit once again this week.
Invest: Jalen Reagor | WR | Philadelphia Eagles
Investing in an Eagles wide receiver is no doubt a contrarian play right now. It was another brutal performance from Carson Wentz and the offense last week in Cleveland, but all hope is not lost. Since returning from injury, rookie first-round pick Jalen Reagor (23.5% ownership in ESPN leagues) has had a steady snap percentage and target share. His five targets last week included two coming in the red zone.
While the looks are yet to translate to eye-popping numbers, the Eagles clearly want Reagor involved. If there’s ever a game for a breakout, it’s this Monday night against a Seahawks defense that is allowing 54.94 fantasy points per game to receivers. That’s the most of any team in the NFL by more than ten points! Reagor has FLEX appeal this week.
Loan: New York Giants D/ST
I’ve been on the record at various times throughout this season as saying the Giants defense is underrated. New York enters Week 12 tied for fifth in terms of fewest fantasy points allowed to opposing quarterbacks (16.57). Look for that ranking to improve after this week as the Giants take on the Joe Burrow-less Cincinnati Bengals. Presumed Bengals starter Brandon Allen is much more manageable than the number one overall draft pick. The Giants go from being an average fantasy defense this week to the fantasy football strategy streamer of the week.