So you went through your fantasy football draft. You made a trade or two, picked up a guy off the waiver wire. But then before everything went live ... something didn't feel right. Maybe you had a player who was a game-time decision. Or there was a match up that wasn't in your favor. Whatever the reason, you decided it was time to make a bold choice. You know what they say ... No Guts, No Glory. So this column is for you. Every week here, we'll salute the outside-the-box thinking that was rewarded with big fantasy production. Fortune favors the bold, so here's to you. We sent out the call early Monday morning, and here's what you came back with. Congratulations to those of you who are looking at a Week 12 win!
Doug Baldwin was fantasy's highest scoring wideout of the week, with 32.5 fantasy points in standard leagues. He shredded the Steelers defense for 145 yards and three touchdowns on the day, including an 80-yard touchdown reception late in the fourth quarter. But starting Baldwin did take a certain amount of guts, as does starting any Seahawks wide receiver in fantasy. The week prior, Baldwin had just 60 yards, so we were skeptical that he could produce. Welp, he proved us wrong. Still, Week 12 was only Baldwin's third double-digit fantasy point game of the season, so his lack of consistency keeps him from being a reliable option week in and week out. He may have a tougher time producing in the stat sheets against the Vikings in Week 13.
Since Arian Foster went out for the season, Alfred Blue has been the Texans' "No. 1" running back. But Houston has one of the worst ground games in the league, so we usually advise staying away from the Texans backfield in fantasy when possible. But Blue proved us wrong in Week 12 with 81 total yards and a touchdown against the Saints. Now, starting him over Lamar Miller might be one of the gutsiest calls of the week Since Miller has been so productive, but man that surely did work out since the Miami running back had just 13 total yards. Week 12 also marked Blue's second-straight game with 14 or more fantasy points as he scored on a trick play in Week 11 against the Jets. His fantasy owners will have to hope that he can keep up this kind of production, but we're not buying it just yet.
Whew Watkins was on fire on Sunday. He finished as the second-highest scoring wide receiver for the week with 27.8 fantasy points in standard leagues thanks to his 158 yards and two touchdowns against the Chiefs. The Bills learned their lesson after Watksin had just 39 yards the week prior, and Buffalo lost the game to the Patriots by seven points. Rex Ryan said the team was going to make a point to get Watkins the ball, and the team made good on that promise, although it didn't result in a win. But for fantasy owners who started Watkins following two dud outings in Weeks 10 and 11, it was definitely a decision that took some guts. We saw a crazy stat about Watkins on Twitter Sunday that proves just how much of a boom or bust player he is: Watkins has zero games with more than 60 yards and less than 158 receiving yards. Try to wrap your head around that one!
Matt Franciscovich is an associate fantasy editor at NFL.com. Hit him up on Twitter @MattFranchise for fantasy advice.