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

Matchup: 49ers

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

Matchup: Steelers

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

Matchup: Saints

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.


QB: Josh McCown, Browns

NFL.com QB projection: No. 16

Matchup: Ravens

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

Matchup: Colts

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

Matchup: Giants

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.



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.