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Fantasy Hipsters Week 12 guide: Kenny Stills surges

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  • By The Fantasy Hipsters, Matt Franciscovich and Matt Harmon NFL.com
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The Fantasy Hipsters are back for the 2017 season with their weekly guide to how to approach fantasy football a little bit off the beaten path. In this space, Matt Harmon and Matt Franciscovich (Franchise) will give you a mix players to add, overlooked weekly plays and in-depth stats all layered with the type of unique, off-the-mainstream tone you can only expect from these two well-groomed hipsters. Since the communal approach to creating a living space is the only way to exist in harmony, the duo will split the work. Here's this week's division of labor.

Harmon:
Vintage veteran
Most ironic stats

Franchise:
Sustainable pickup
Barrel-aged bargain

Communal living space:
Pour over your lineup

Vintage Veteran


Some things get better with time. Like a full-flavored cask of aged bourbon or that one pair of skinny jeans you've worn in so much that they feel like sweatpants (let's be honest, I have, like, eight pairs of those). Same goes for fantasy football players. Did you draft Hunter Henry thinking the shiny new young tight end would be the next big thing? Get in line with the rest of the herd. While you and the rest of the mainstream horde are all about the up-and-coming young talent in the NFL, us Fantasy Hipsters are sticking with experience over youth. Each week in this space, we'll deliver one Vintage Veteran player of the week that you can rely on to produce for your fantasy team. Now where did I put my great-grandpa's brogues?

Kenny Stills, WR, Miami Dolphins

Some partnerships are just meant to be legendary. Batman and Robin. Johnny Cash and June Carter. Franchise and Harmon. Kenny Stills and Matt Moore.

Don't believe that last one? Try to keep up. Stills rocks for fantasy anytime Moore takes the field. Doesn't everyone know this? I guess that's why I have to be the one to write this hipsters article. Good thing I'm here.

Anyway, yes, Moore and Stills do seem to have some kind of connection. I mean, seriously, Stills scored a touchdown in all of Moore's starts in 2016 and caught all five of his targets for 82 yards in the playoff loss last season. Moore has come in relief of an injured Jay Cutler in two games this year. He's chucked touchdowns to Stills in both. Three of Stills' five touchdowns this season have come from Moore. Despite seeing 18 fewer targets from him, Stills has accumulated 44.4 percent of his yards on passes from Moore here in 2017.

Kenny Stills even said this offseason that the Dolphins had their guy at quarterback in Matt Moore. The team didn't listen to him and brought in Jay Cutler. Remind me how that one's working out for them.

Jay Cutler was not cleared from the concussion protocol in time to play Sunday. Moore draws the start in place of Cutler, so he and Stills will be in a good spot to notch another bead in their best friend bracelet. The Patriots have mostly fixed their defense but teams are still forced to take to the air against them because they're constantly trailing. Over the last four weeks New England ceded 80 targets to wide receivers, the fifth-most in the league during that span.

Sustainable pickup of the week:


Sustainability is all about preparing for the future. From discovering and developing new source of energy like wind and solar to crop rotation and water conservation, we all have to do our part to mitigate our impact on the environment. A small investment now goes a long way down the road. And when it comes to fantasy football, a major key to building sustainable depth from waiver wire adds means finding players that you can rely on for the long term without wasting resources. So in this section, the Fantasy Hipsters will get ahead of the curve and offer up one player to add for depth who should pay off dividends in the future. Hey man, turn that light off in the other room. It's not hard, okay?

Sustainable pickup of the week:


Sustainability is all about preparing for the future. From discovering and developing new source of energy like wind and solar to crop rotation and water conservation, we all have to do our part to mitigate our impact on the environment. A small investment now goes a long way down the road. And when it comes to fantasy football, a major key to building sustainable depth from waiver wire adds means finding players that you can rely on for the long term without wasting resources. So in this section, the Fantasy Hipsters will get ahead of the curve and offer up one player to add for depth who should pay off dividends in the future. Hey man, turn that light off in the other room. It's not hard, okay?

J.D. McKissic, RB, Seattle Seahawks

If you've followed me the past few seasons you know that for some sick reason, I have tirelessly attempted to figure out the Seattle Seahawks backfield, for the most part to no avail. In 2016, I fantasized about drafting Christine Michael in the late rounds, thinking the journeyman back had a shot at winning the starting job. Despite playing in just nine games before being traded, Michael ended up leading the team in rushing with 469 yards and seven total touchdowns. He was a legit fantasy starter for the first half of the season before he flamed out. Even in that case, I was only about 51 percent correct.

This year, the job was up for grabs between tries-too-hard Thomas Rawls, free agent consolation prize Eddie Lacy, oft-injured C.J. Prosise and undrafted revelation Chris Carson. Here's how that played out:

Carson: Played in four games before landing on IR, but still leads the Seahawks backfield with 208 yards on the season.
Rawls: In and out of the starting lineup Rawls owns a 2.6 yards per carry average with no TDs on 49 attempts.
Lacy: Also been in and out as a starter, with a 2.6 yards per carry average with no TDs on 51 attempts.
Prosise: Constantly injured (on IR now), played in five games with 110 total yards and no TDs on 17 touches

So if you've started any single one of these players in any given week this year, you have likely come away extremely disappointed, save for a couple of weeks of Carson in the first month of the season.

That brings us to J.D. McKissic. That's right, I'm touting yet another Seattle running back. It feels like forever-ago when McKissic broke out with 18.5 fantasy points against the Colts in Week 4. Since that game, he's honestly not been very productive from a fantasy perspective, but the guy is getting his chances. In fact, while the lesser Seattle running backs play healthy-scratch musical chairs the last two games, McKissic has quietly collected 21 touches. He actually leads the entire team in touches with 26 over the last three games and has averaged 4.5 yards per carry in that span.

McKissic is clearly the hipster pick of this backfield despite what the mainstream media says about giving Rawls "another chance" or getting Lacy "more reps." They've tried that before and it hasn't worked. Let's give this McKissic dude some love and at least pretend he can thrive in Week 12 against the 49ers and beyond.

Barrel-aged bargain:


When we're building lineups for the week, we're always looking for a bargain. The thing is, those of us who don't want to live cookie-cutter lives aren't chasing for some boring old fill-in; we're still after something fresh. Just like a good barrel-aged craft beer that's off the beaten path away from dull domestic brews, we want a different kind of bargain brought on by a unique spin on an outcome of a game that the public just hasn't considered yet.

Cooper Kupp, WR, Los Angeles Rams

Black Friday? UGH.

There may be no bigger marketing scam in the history of herding sheep. Don't fall for it.

Instead, go bargain shopping for a wide receiver on one of the highest scoring offenses in the NFL. That's right, Cooper Kupp is actually a bargain this week.

Remember that guy Robert Woods who sold out with 171 yards and two touchdowns in Week 10? Yeah, well he's injured now. That means more opportunity for Kupp who's already overflowing with targets. He's second on the Rams with 61 looks this season, and is second in the NFL among all receivers in red zone targets with 16. With Woods out, Kupp's 6.1 targets per game should only increase. And that should all begin this week when the Rams play the Saints, as that game should be about as high scoring as it gets.

So you can see what I'm getting at here. Kupp is a bargain and you don't even have to wait in line to get him. Literally, he's a click away. Or touch-screen tap. Whatever. I have beans to grind. Peace.

Most Ironic Stats of the Week


Every week, there are some pretty crazy stats floating around that you might be able to apply to making decisions in your fantasy lineups. So, just for kicks (actually I need a new pair of vintage Converse), here are the most ironic stats of Week 11. Enjoy. Or don't ... it's more ironic that way.

-- Since Week 6, only two NFL players with 50+ carries are averaging over 5.5 yards per carry. The first is Alvin Kamara (6.6 yards per carry). The second is his Saints teammate, Mark Ingram (5.6 yards per carry). It's not a revelatory concept to start both guys, even in the same lineup. It's just the right thing to do.
-- In Weeks 1-5 of the season, the Chiefs tied for the most offensive touchdowns in the NFL (17). Since then, they have tied for the fewest offensive touchdowns in the NFL (7). Fantasy is all about adjusting expectations based on new information. At this point, hopefully you aren't using the same data from earlier in the year to talk yourself into playing many Chiefs, outside the major guys.
-- Russell Wilson leads the NFL with 13 passing touchdowns in the fourth quarter this season. What's more clutch: Russell Wilson carrying his team or me calling him the Fantasy MVP before this season. Nailed it.
-- Le'Veon Bell leads the NFL with 281 touches. Todd Gurley is second with 225. It's the time of the year when you need to stash high-upside backup running backs in case an injury occurs to the starter. James Conner is at the top of the list. And no, sheep, it doesn't matter whether you own Bell or not.
-- Vernon Davis didn't have a catch on Thanksgiving. Sorry, I'm just still not over this one. The irony is that this didn't take more years off my life.

Pour over your lineup


Harmon Apparently our guy here needs a win this week. Interesting. I try my best to lose a few games before heading into the fantasy playoffs to lull my opponents into a false sense of security.

Franchise: I like that strategy, although it seems like it could backfire like my '86 VW. Stacking L's late isn't how you get a playoff berth. Anyway, let's see what we can do here.

Harmon: Despite Brett Hundley being as washed as this faded denim jacket I'm wearing, I think we definitely roll with Davante Adams. He leads the team in targets since Hundley took over and is the only guy he actually completes passes to.

Franchise: Wait a second ... I think ... Yep. I agree with that. DeVante Parker feels like he should have some upside, but we need to get the idea that the Patriots defense is as beatable was it was earlier in the year out of folks' heads. And Marshawn Lynch is basically droppable. I'm with you on Adams.

Harmon: As I indicated in my correct analysis above (thanks for reading), Kenny Stills is going to be the guy to go off this week. But Parker is still a fine play, too.

Franchise: Miami's defense can't stop anyone, and they definitely won't be able to stop the Patriots. That means a ton of targets to go around for their wideouts. I am into it. What about his TE position? It's been a limited-edition 17th-century coin flip in that spot all season. I am kind of leaning Clay, but its a tough call.

Harmon: I think you might be right. Normally the Chiefs give up a ton of production to wide receivers. But the Bills do not employ too many of those. So Clay should see the spotlight.

Franchise: Clay is back healthy, and our savior, Tyrod Taylor, is back to being the starter for Buffalo, plus it's a good matchup. I can't find it in me to trust ASJ against the Panthers and Kroft is too much of a deep option. Let's lock in Clay ... either way he'll be better than Vernon Davis was on Thursday.

Harmon: Oh no. You've brought up Vernon Davis. I haven't tilted that hard since the bike shop across from my apartment said they couldn't replace my kickstand because the model was too old (vintage, obviously). I better get out of here and go make sure no one has stolen it while balanced on the wall of the office.

Franchise: I'm not sure what to make of this, but see you on Sunday, I guess.

Follow the Fantasy Hipsters on Twitter @MattHarmon_BYB and @MattFranchise. You can also see them on Sunday morning on the NFL's Twitter Blitz show streaming live 8:30 am PST on Twitter.com. You've heard of that website, right?

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