Week 12 of the Page 2 Fantasy Football Challenge is here. Each week, a guest picker chooses a QB, RB and WR. The only players off-limits are those selected by the previous week’s guest. The guest — Chuck Aoki, a die-hard Minnesota sports fan and member of the 2012 U.S. Paralympic Team for wheelchair rugby who is now training for the Rio Paralympics — will go head-to-head against Star Tribune writer Michael Rand, who can’t pick anyone projected to score in the top 10 by NFL.com experts at their respective positions:
chuck aoki’S WEEK 12 FANTASY PICKS
QB: Carson Palmer, Cardinals
NFL.com QB projection: No. 25
I’m taking Palmer for the matchup. Aside from their beatdown of the Vikings, the 49ers have looked awful all season. I’m looking for a big game from the Cards!
RB: Thomas Rawls, Seahawks
NFL.com RB projection: No. 9
Here’s my dice roll! With Lynch out, Rawls dominated last week. Tougher defense this week vs. Pittsburgh, but I’m riding the hot hand. As they say, “Never leave the table in the middle of a heater.”
WR: DeAndre Hopkins, Texans
NFL.com WR projection: No. 8
Despite his team being so-so, Hopkins is a stud. The Saints have allowed the most points all season. I’m feeling a couple TDs and 100-plus yards.
MICHAEL RAND’s WEEK 12 FANTASY PICKS
QB: Josh McCown, Browns
NFL.com QB projection: No. 16
You might look at my 1-10 record in this challenge and surmise, even with my picking disadvantage, that I’m not even trying. I promise I have been. It’s just been a really tough year. So, new strategy: Guys with something to prove. McCown fits that, and he ripped apart Baltimore earlier this year.
RB: Doug Martin, Buccaneers
NFL.com RB projection: No. 19
Martin is out to prove he’s Tampa Bay’s clear No. 1 back, that he can be consistent and that last week’s 200-yard game was no fluke. I say he stays hot against a forgiving Colts run defense.
WR: DeSean Jackson, Washington
NFL.com WR projection: No. 18
After being sidelined half the season, Jackson finally got on track with a strong game against Carolina last week. He looks like he’s finally healthy, but he’ll have to prove it.
SCOREBOARD WEEK 11 FANTASY RECAP (USING NFL.COM DEFAULT SCORING METHOD)
Winner: Mike Ferguson — Matt Ryan (17.9), Todd Gurley (10.6), Julio Jones (16.0). Total: 44.5.
Loser: Michael Rand — Derek Carr (7.6), DeMarco Murray (7.1), Stefon Diggs (6.6). Total: 21.3.
Overall standings: Guest pickers 10-1.