Rank's 11 Week 12 sleepers: Finally, Tajae Sharpe!

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Every game, all season

Can you believe what we just saw on Sunday night? I do think it was one of the most improbable things I've seen in quite some time. The kind of thing that has you stunned (which is weird because of what just happened recently in this country) and lying in bed thinking about it as you drift off to sleep. The kind of thing you can't wait to get to work and talk about. It was pretty big.

I mean, Goldberg just pinned Brock Lesnar in one-minute and 25 seconds! Oh wait, did you think I was referring to R. Kelley, Kirk Cousins and the Washington Redskins? Well, I will get to them in a second. Let me say this very quickly about Survivor Series. I started off dazed and wondered why the WWE would do such a thing. (And really, if you don't care about this just skip to the next paragraph.) But after some soul-searching, I determined the whole pay per view (PPV) was really well done. I hadn't had a true 'holy [expletive]' moment in the WWE since WrestleMania XXX. When Brock beat the Undertaker, coincidentally. But the WWE just delivered on it. So many times you become a jaded jerk who thinks he has everything figured out, and then the script is completely flipped. There are a lot of things that bug me about PPVs, but you can't be upset when the E actually delivered on something memorable. So I liked it.

And before you ask, I have two full-sized TVs in my living room for such moments. One gets sound, the other does not. I mean, you don't? I was kind of bummed to have just two TVs because there was a lit Lakers game going on. So get off my back.

But the Redskins, amirite?

Let's start with Kirk Cousins. He's now graduated to that level where he's pretty much an automatic start each and every week. And I don't mean to do the meek "pretty much" because I know at least one of you will tweet me and be all, "Dude, I have Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Cousins, so should I start him over those two?" So I'm going to say pretty much. I will say he's had at least 17 fantasy points in eight of his 10 starts this season. He's topped 20 points in three of his last four. (He struggled to 18.38 fantasy points against the Vikings.) So he's good to go.

I will say one other thing about Cousins' Sunday night performance: It was pretty magical. Cousins was 10 of 13 on passes of 10-plus air yards. He completed three touchdowns and threw no interceptions for a passer rating of 157.9. Which is amazing when you compare it to Jared Goff, who didn't complete a pass greater than seven air yards downfield. (He was 0-for-5 on such attempts.)

Rob Kelley was just as exceptional. I've been a fan of Kelley since July (when you scolded me!) and he was awesome. Let's just be careful not to make too much of this performance given how the Packers have performed defensively this year. Still he should be good to go against the Cowboys this week who are actually rather decent against the run. Kelley is locked-in volume wise, though, and you can't ignore that.

And if you're reading this over the weekend, I hope I'm motivated enough to have a new intro for you. Otherwise, I would look like a huge lazy (behind).

Some Thursdays sleepers


Sam Bradford, QB, Minnesota Vikings
Adam Thielen, WR, Minnesota Vikings
Eli Rogers, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers

Rank's 11 Sleepers, Week 12


QB: Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers
QB: Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles
RB: Wendell Smallwood, Philadelphia Eagles
RB: Mike Gillislee, Buffalo Bills
RB: Alex Collins, Seattle Seahawks
WR: Tyler Boyd, Cincinnati Bengals
WR: Tajae Sharpe, Tennessee Titans
WR: Ted Ginn Jr., Carolina Panthers
WR: Brandon LaFell, Cincinnati Bengals
TE: Vance McDonald, San Francisco 49ers
DEF: New Orleans Saints D/ST

Colin Kaepernick, QB, San Francisco 49ers

Kaepernick had another solid day for the 49ers against the New England Patriots. It was kind of a struggle to watch because I had started the Patriots defense. Kapernick had just 206 passing yards but threw two touchdowns. Most importantly, he did not throw an interception. In fact, he's thrown just two picks on the season and not one since Week 9. He's had at least 19 fantasy points in three consecutive games. That seems like a reasonable expectation this week against the Dolphins.

Wendell Smallwood, RB, Philadelphia Eagles

Ryan Mathews is day-to-day. And there is a chance he plays and blows this all to smithereens. But Smallwood played really well with 79 rushing yards against a great Seahawks defense he wasn't expected to face. I wouldn't hesitate to get him into your lineup if he's the full-on starter. Obviously, it's a little riskier because it's a Monday night game. But even if he were to split time with Mathews, I don't hate this because of the matchup. The Packers are beset by injuries. And if you saw them at the end of the game on Sunday night, they looked like a group that didn't want to be there.

Tyler Boyd, WR, Cincinnati Bengals

Most of you are going to ask who to play of the two Bengals receivers. Boyd didn't have as many targets as LaFell and also trailed him in snaps (93 percent to 73), but Boyd is the more dynamic receiver to me. LaFell is going to be targeted more in the red zone, but the Bengals are going to need to get to that red zone. That's the problem with this team. Add in the injury to Giovani Bernard, and this Bengals season is going to go from bad to worse.

Tajae Sharpe, WR, Tennessee Titans

It's taken long enough, but Sharpe has started to become a fixture in this offense. Obviously, Rishard Matthews is the top option for the team. But Sharpe has the ability to get loose down the field. We saw Kendall Wright have some success earlier in the season. But Sharpe has been the most consistent in recent weeks and he played on 88 percent of the team's snaps last week. The Titans have a great matchup with the Bears this week.

Vance McDonald, TE, San Francisco 49ers

He's scored two touchdowns in the past three weeks. He's got the Dolphins who allow a lot of fantasy points to tight ends, followed by the Bears who are in the same boat. So he's going to be a nice sleeper option for back-to-back weeks.

Be sure to watch "Fantasy and Friends" at 6 p.m. ET on NFL Network, Monday-Wednesday and Friday. (Sorry, the Thursday night game preempts us. But you can be a part of the show by going to NFL.com/fantasyandfriends. Also follow Adam Rank on Twitter @adamrank.


Follow Adam Rank on Twitter @adamrank

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