Small Victories: Tannehill offers Week 12 fantasy hope

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There's a lot that goes into building a successful fantasy lineup. While we like to spend a lot of time patting ourselves on the back for getting big games from players like Tom Brady and Julio Jones, often it's the unheralded players who can make the biggest difference. That's why we're celebrating the Small Victories -- the lesser-known players who may have contributed to your weekly fantasy football glory and those who could help lead you to the winner's circle in the future.

That was then...


Robert Kelley, RB, Washington Redskins: We thought the matchup favored Kelley this week. We certainly didn't expect the type of fantasy explosion from him that we ultimately saw on Sunday night. But 137 yards and three touchdowns later, Kelley reaffirmed his spot atop the Washington running back depth chart. The volume has been there in a big way and he's taken advantage of solid matchups. This week's task against the Cowboys could be a tough one.

Rashad Jennings, RB, New York Giants: Jennings is getting healthier after a hand injury and accordingly the Giants are starting to give him a larger workload. The veteran back responded with more than 100 scrimmage yards for the second consecutive week and continued to push rookie Paul Perkins further into his rearview mirror. Hopefully this means one fewer running back committee for the remainder of the season.

James Starks, RB, Green Bay Packers: Sunday Night Football was a battle of spot start running backs and Starks certainly did his part with 71 scrimmage yards and a touchdown. Now if the Packers could get him to spend more time running north and south instead of east and west, things would be even better. The bad news for Starks is that Christine Michael is expected to be active this week, so the Green Bay backfield could be getting even more woke.

This is now...


Ryan Tannehill, QB, Miami Dolphins: Tannehill wasn't exactly lights out against the Rams in Week 11, but the weather and a stout Rams defense conspired to thwart the Dolphins quarterback. This week, Miami welcomes a poor 49ers defense to South Florida. The Niners have allowed 300-plus passing yards in two of their past three games. And while they held Tom Brady under 300 yards, he still threw four touchdown passes. Tannehill should have a chance to do some damage.

Thomas Rawls, RB, Seattle Seahawks: The obstacles to Rawls being a workhorse back for Seattle have been cleared. C.J. Prosise, who scored a long touchdown last week, is going to be out for an extended period of time after injuring his shoulder on Sunday. That means it could be all Thomas, all the time for the 'Hawks this week against a vulnerable Buccaneers run defense.

Rishard Matthews, WR, Tennessee Titans: We've been promoting Matthews all over the place in the past few weeks as the Titans passing game has started to take off. For the past seven weeks, Matthews' floor has landed around nine points, reaching that plateau six times in that span. Sunday's game against a depleted Bears squad offers hope that Matthews can continue to be a late season fantasy surprise.

Marcas Grant is a fantasy editor for NFL.com. Follow him on Twitter @MarcasG or on Snapchat at marcasg9.

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