Dez Bryant is starting to become the fantasy football monster that we anticipated coming into the season.

He has 17 or more fantasy points in three of the past four weeks. His quarterback Dak Prescott is moving up the charts as being a top-five fantasy option and the quarterback and receiver now seem to be on the same page.

Finding those high-quality, consistent fantasy receivers has been hard to find this season. The top nine receivers are separated by less than 30 fantasy points, and those stalwarts, Julio Jones, Antonio Brown and A.J. Green, haven’t separated themselves from the rest of the pack.

The point total just hasn’t been there either for receivers, with the top receiver, Mike Evans, totaling 141 fantasy points. Among the three big positions of quarterback, running backs and wide receivers, that’s the lowest for a top player by almost 70 points.

Finding those sleepers each week have been a boon to fantasy football owners. Here’s the best week 12 wide receivers start ’em, sit ’em guide.

DeAndre Hopkins will help Houston roll to a victory in week 12. Flickr/
DeAndre Hopkins will help Houston roll to a victory in week 12. Flickr/


DeAndre Hopkins vs. San Diego Chargers

This is where we are with Hopkins this season. That has a lot more to do with Brock Osweiler’s inability to be a decent quarterback than Hopkins’ talent as a wide receiver.

Many experts are dismissing Hopkins altogether and putting him at best as a WR3. This week, though, I believe he shapes up as a WR2, with a possibility of being a WR1.

He’s still being targeted heavily. He has at least 12 targets in three of the past five games. The problem is he’s not turning those into catches, as he’s hauled in only 19 catches during the previous four games.

But I get a home game against a San Diego pass defense that ranks in the bottom-five. Maybe not even Osweiler can screw this up.

Terrelle Pryor vs. New York Giants

I have a sneaking suspicion that this game could be closer than many believe. The Giants are just the right team that could beat one of the best teams in the NFL and could lose to the lowly Cleveland Browns.

But even if this is close or not, Pryor should be heavily targeted. The Giants are a bottom-half pass defense that allows teams to chunk up yards in catch-up mode. And Cleveland head coach Hue Jackson likes nothing better than to gobble up yards in catch-up mode with his quarterback.

Pryor is the best fantasy option on the worst team and should be considered a borderline WR1 this week. He has 39 targets combined in the last four games, with his lowest output being seven.

He’s only caught one touchdown pass in the last five weeks, but his volume makes him a must-start against the Giants.

Jamison Crowder vs. Dallas Cowboys

Washington’s receivers are becoming a mainstay in fantasy starting lineups.

Crowder went over the 100-yard mark for the third time in four games in week 11 against Green Bay. He was only targeted three times, but his ability to make big plays allows me to ignore the small target output.

And even with the fewer targets in week 11, I’m not concerned going forward. Before week 11, he had at least six targets in three consecutive games, with his high point in week eight with 13 targets.

I know I’m not supposed to mention this because the Cowboys are America’s team, but Dallas actually owns a pretty bad pass defense, too. Dallas is 12th-worst against the pass, and has given up 16 touchdowns compared to only four interceptions. That plays in quarterback Kirk Cousins’ hands, so expect plenty of passes in this one.

That should help Crowder’s chances at having a big fantasy day.


Golden Tate vs. Minnesota Vikings

The enigma that is Golden Tate struck again in week 11.

Tate was moving along in the right direction for a few weeks, but his ability to make fantasy owners pay for their mistake for drafting him struck again in week 11.

He registered a line of 27 yards receiving, minus-six yards rushing and one fumble for an extravagant 0.10 fantasy points. That gave him less than five fantasy points for the seventh time this season.

My confidence level in Tate is not high. He’s as inconsistent as they come and I just don’t know how I can trust him against a Minnesota defense that looked like the real deal in the second half against Arizona’s passing game in week 11.

Tate went for 79 yards receiving against Minnesota in week 9, but let us not forget most of that came on the final play of the game in overtime. He may not have that luxury this week.

Donte Moncrief vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

With Andrew Luck expected to be out, there’s room for only one wide receiver on the Colts in starting lineups for fantasy football.

T.Y. Hilton should get the majority of the looks, leaving Moncrief on the outside looking in. Even with Luck starting, Moncrief still wasn’t a high-volume option.

In the three games since he returned from injury, he has 22 targets and 11 catches. He has failed to go for more than 60 yards receiving, but has caught a touchdown in each game.

He’s too touchdown dependent to trust in a decent matchup with a Pittsburgh defense that doesn’t do a ton against opposing teams’ passing attacks. I’m leaving him on my bench for a receiver with a more favorable matchup.

Tyreek Hill vs. Denver Broncos

I liked Hill’s matchup in week 11 against Tampa Bay, and he did haul in four catches for 53 yards. It wasn’t a great day, but in today’s world of wide receivers not producing, it wasn’t a total bust either.

However, his targets severely dropped from his 13-target effort in week 10 against Carolina. The five targets he yielded in week 11 is more consistent to what we’ve seen this season.

That output won’t be good enough to score any points against Denver’s pass defense. The Broncos still own a top-five pass defense, while the run defense is their shortcoming.

I expect Kansas City to focus more on the run and short passes than to take shots deep to Hill.

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