Derek Carr (@ ATL): I can confidently say that the Falcons pass defense is a bottom three unit in the league this season. Carr faces that defense in Week 12, in the Mercedes-Benz dome. Vegas, coming back after a tough Sunday Night Football loss to division rival Kansas City, is in a great situation this week. Derek Carr, Josh Jacobs, Darren Waller, and Nelson Agholor, all are solid starts in this contest.
Carson Wentz (vs. SEA): Wentz has been so inexplicitly bad to this point in the year however, he has a phenomenal matchup here in Week 12. Seattle, over the last four weeks, has allowed 24.90 fantasy points to quarterbacks, 343 passing yards per game, and the most completions to quarterbacks over that span. The quarterbacks Seattle have faced over the last four weeks: Kyler Murray, Jared Goff, Josh Allen, Nick Mullens. Aside from Murray, none of these are standout options at the quarterback position. If Wentz can’t produce here, his job security should really be in question.
Jared Goff (vs. SF): The entire Rams offense is in a tough spot here, even with the 49er’s injury situation. Over the course of the season, the 49ers’ have allowed just 219.6 passing yards per game, 20.1 pass completions to quarterbacks, which is the third fewest. Goff has been mediocre himself this season. The receivers don’t have promising matchups either. If you can, try to find an alternative this week.
Ryan Tannehill (@ IND): This week, Tannehill gets a matchup against division rival Indianapolis Colts. The Colts are no easy opponent, as they have allowed just 14.4 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks, a mere 227 passing yards per game, and just 20.4 pass completions to quarterbacks allowed. The Colts also do not give up a ton of rushing production to quarterbacks, just 14.5 rushing yards per game. This is not the easiest spot for a QB.
Wayne Gallman (@ CIN): There are some bad running backs that are in good spots this week, and the list starts with Gallman, who faces the Bengals on the road. Cincinnati allows 120.6 rushing yards per game, which is 14 more yards per game than the next highest team. Not only that, but they’re also allowing 19.4 fantasy points per game. Cincinnati is also the 23rd ranked rush DVOA on the year. It’s a good spot for any RB. I’m definitely not a Gallman fan over the long-term, but I can see starting him as a FLEX option in this matchup. DeVonta Freeman is out for the year, as well as Barkley, so there’s just not a whole lot of competition for Gallman for touches.
Brian Hill (vs. LVR): Todd Gurley has been ruled out for Week 12, and that will leave a committee between Hill and Ito Smith. The Raiders have the 32nd ranked rush DVOA in the league, the most fantasy points per game to RBs. Hill is a solid FLEX option this week.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire (vs. TB): You might be looking at the names I have listed in the starts, and the names I have in the sits section, and think I had a typo or something. Nope. I’m suggesting tampering expectations for Clyde Edwards-Helaire this week. Tampa Bay has one of the best run-stopping units in the NFL this season. Let’s dive deep into this: first, in terms of Football Outsiders’ DVOA, Tampa Bay is the number one rush unit in the league. Statistically, they allow just 17.6 rushing attempts per game, 53 rushing yards per game, and just 14.7 fantasy points to running backs per game. They are prone to give up receiving stats to RBs, but keep in mind, Le’Veon Bell was added in KC to handle some of the load. Clyde Edwards-Helaire should still be a solid FLEX/low end RB2, but I’m not expecting the best from him here this week.
Melvin Gordon III (vs. NO): The number two rush DVOA in the league is the New Orleans Saints, who take on the Broncos this week. The Saints are just as good as the Bucs against the run, allowing 19.1 rushing attempts, 66 rushing yards, fewest TDs per game, and on top of that, they are pretty solid against receiving backs as well. Add it up, and we have Gordon, an RB who needs volume to really get the fantasy production we are looking for, and it could be a tough spot for him here in Week 12.
Jarvis Landry (@ JAC): Landry has not been the most consistent WR this season, especially in recent weeks, but he’s in a solid spot this week against the Jaguars. Jacksonville has allowed 187.90 total yards to receivers, 14 receptions, and 33.71 fantasy points per game to wide outs over the last four weeks. With Beckham on the sidelines, Landry should continue to have targets coming his way. The Browns should be able to handle this one easily. It’s worth noting that this weather is actually a good spot for the Browns after a few weeks of rough weather spots. I know Landry has not been useful to us recently, but just be patient here and you might be surprised.
Michael Pittman (vs. TEN): The Titans defense against the pass is not very good. The stats further explain this. Let’s start out looking at the DVOA: Tennessee is the 25th ranked DVOA against the pass. They allow nearly 17 receptions, 187 receiving yards, and one TD per game to receivers this year, which is 11th most in the league. Nobody else in Indianapolis has been able to step up, but Pittman has shown flashes recently. I’d start him in Week 12.
Tyler Boyd (@ NYG): Losing starting quarterback Joe Burrow is going to be a tough blow for the entire Bengals offense, but specifically Tyler Boyd, who has been a solid number two receiver for fantasy purposes this year. He now moves into FLEX territory and should only be used in good matchups, until proven otherwise. The Giants matchup is a mediocre one, but I’m not expecting the Bengals to have a pulse on offense right now. All Bengals players should have lower expectations than normal. You might not have a choice but to start Boyd, which I guess is fine, just don’t expect the same production you have gotten all year.
Mike Williams (@ BUF): The Bills are usually a tough opponent for outside wide receivers, mainly because of the Tre’Davious White factor. Buffalo is allowing just 21.4 fantasy points per game to receivers, and 153 total yards to all wide outs. No thank you. There’s better ways to get pieces of this Chargers’ offense in this one.
Hunter Henry (@ BUF): Speaking of the Chargers’ offense, One area where the Bills do get beaten often is the middle of the field, the spot where Hunter Henry plays. Honestly, you were most likely starting Henry every week, given his recent production, but this week in particular is a great week to turn to him. The Bills allow the most receptions, second most yards, and sixth most fantasy points to tight ends on the year. With the state of TE, just start Henry and don’t think twice about it.
Robert Tonyan (vs. CHI): The Bears are actually a tough matchup for wide receivers on the year, but that leads to weaker coverage against tight ends, an area of the field where they struggle. The Bears allow the fifth most receptions to tight ends with 5.40, 54.7 receiving yards per game to tight ends, and 8.9 fantasy points per game this season.
Chris Herndon (vs. MIA): This might be considered a cop-out since Herndon wasn’t a regular every week starter most of the time for you, but I’m going to list him here anyway. No Jet is worth trusting this week, and that includes Herndon. Herndon faces a Dolphins team that has barely allowed over six fantasy points per game to tight ends. On top of that, Miami has only given up on average 4.20 receptions, 42.2. receiving yards to the position. Probably best to look elsewhere.
Tyler Higbee (vs. SF): Higbee has been inconsistent to this point in the year, currently sitting at TE18 on the year. This week, he goes up against the tough 49ers defense. The 49ers, against the tight end, have allowed on average just 3.10 receptions, 30.7 receiving yards, and 4.5 fantasy points per game. Add in the fact that the Rams are a TE by committee unit, it’s a spot to avoid. Also, it is worth noting Higbee is questionable heading into this game and may not play.
Cleveland Browns (@ JAC): Mike Glennon is the starting at quarterback for the Jaguars, who will be without starting receiver D.J. Chark, as well as Chris Conley. The Jaguars are playing for a high draft pick. That’s it. Don’t over think this.
New York Giants (@ CIN): Here is another simple call for us not to over think. The Bengals are turning to Brandon Allen this week, instead of Ryan Finley who originally replaced Burrow. This Bengals team is in rough shape. I’m expecting low scoring from both sides in this NYG @ CIN game, The Giants might even have a shot at a win here, too.
Los Angeles Chargers (@ BUF): The Chargers defense, from a fantasy football perspective, have played worse than I anticipated this season, sitting as the 23rd ranked defense on the season. This week, they head into Buffalo, travel cross country to face the Bills and Josh Allen. I know Allen isn’t the most accurate QB, but I just can’t roll with the Chargers here in this one. Maybe in a better matchup. On top of that, Melvin Ingram and Hayward are out for the Chargers’ defense this week.
Minnesota Vikings (vs. CAR): Bridgewater revenge game here. It’s not often I suggest benching a defense against this Carolina team, but I’m doing it this week. The Vikings simply are not good. Teddy had the week off last week, but as of this writing is expected to play. If he starts, I’d avoid the Vikings if possible.
Brandon McManus (vs. NO): In case you have not learned my strategy for kickers yet, we look for kickers who are in great weather conditions, or high totals. That’s going to be the case for McManus this week, as Denver has been one of the best places for kickers in recent years. This is because of the altitude; the ball just travels differently there. It’s a similar situation in Coors Field, there’s just more runs scored in that park. I’m not expecting lots of touchdowns from Denver in this game, but I would not be surprised if they did settle for a bunch of field goals.
Jason Sanders (@ NYJ): The Dolphins, regardless of who starts at QB in this game, should be able to handle this one easily against the Jets. That means, points from everyone, including their kicker.
Michael Badgley (@ BUF): I’m expecting Buffalo to beat this Chargers’ team with ease this week, and that could mean a slow game from Badgley. There are so many better names to pick from this week.
Jake Elliott (vs. SEA): This game has the worst weather conditions out of them all, on Monday night. Nearly 50 percent chance of precipitation and winds between 10-15 MPH. With the inconsistencies of Carson Wentz and the Eagles offense this year, it’s likely you will need to look in a different direction for your kicker here in Week 12.
WEEK 12 INJURY REPORT
Joe Burrow (ACL): Out for the season.
Sam Darnold (Shoulder): Will Start.
Nick Foles (Hip): Not expected to play.
Lamar Jackson (COVID): Questionable.
Tua Tagovailoa (Thumb): Limited practice, expected to play.
Salvon Ahmed (Shoulder): Ruled out.
Kalen Ballage (Ankle): Limited practice.
Rex Burkhead (Ankle): Placed on Injured Reserve.
Giovani Bernard (Concussion): Practiced fully on Friday, expected to play.
Chris Carson (Foot): Likely to return.
Tevin Coleman (Knee): Ruled out.
J.K. Dobbins (COVID): Questionable after being placed on the COVID list.
Todd Gurley (Knee): Ruled out.
Carlos Hyde (Hamstring): Full practice, will play.
Mark Ingram (COVID): Questionable after being placed on the COVID list.
Christian McCaffrey (Shoulder): Ruled out.
David Montgomery (Concussion): Expected to play.
Raheem Mostert (Injured Reserve): Activated and expected to play.
Jonathan Taylor (COVID): Ruled out.
Jeff Wilson Jr. (Injured Reserve): Activated and expected to play.
DaVante Adams (Ankle): Limited practice, expected to play.
John Brown (Ankle): Ruled out.
D.J. Chark (Ribs): Ruled out.
Chris Conley (Hip): Ruled out.
Jerry Jeudy (Achilles): Limited practice, expected to play.
Julio Jones (Hamstring): DNP, questionable.
D.J. Moore (Shoulder): Questionable.
Zach Pascal (Knee): Questionable.
Laviska Shenault (Hamstring): Expected to play.
Hayden Hurst (Ankle): Limited practice, expected to play.
Tyler Higbee (Elbow): DNP, could miss this week.
Irv Smith Jr (Groin): Not expected to play.
Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers moved to Tuesday night.
(Cover Photo: Getty Images)