Last Updated: November 22nd at 7:09pm ET.
Falcons at Bucs
Team Totals: Falcons 27.5, Bucs 23.5
Even with a league-high 18 interceptions – second most by any player through ten games in over two decades – Jameis Winston has stayed among fantasy’s most-consistent assets with top-14 scores in seven of his last eight starts and five top-ten outcomes mixed in. Winston’s bankability will be put to Week 12 test by Atlanta’s upstart defense. Resurrected by assistants Raheem Morris and Jeff Ulbrich’s play calling, the Falcons stymied Drew Brees for Week 10’s QB22 result, then held Carolina to three points while intercepting Kyle Allen four times in Atlanta’s second straight road-upset win. With Winston toughing out a balky ankle that clearly contributed to at least two of last week’s four picks, the Falcons’ D/ST is firmly in play, even as Jameis’ box-score projection remains high in this potential track meet. … A fairly predictable Week 11 flop versus run-tough New Orleans, Ronald Jones managed six innocuous touches and was out-snapped 43% to 30% by Dare Ogunbowale, largely due to negative script after Tampa got down 13-0 in the first quarter and spent the rest of the day playing from behind. Peyton Barber didn’t log a single carry but stayed involved, vulturing a six-yard receiving score late in the second quarter. Jones is still the best flex option in the Bucs’ backfield, but Bruce Arians’ three-man ordeal isn’t going away. Running back roles are determined by game flow and “hot hands” in Tampa.
Winston’s 2019 target distribution: Mike Evans 97; Chris Godwin 89; Cameron Brate 35; Ogunbowale 32; Breshad Perriman 31; O.J. Howard 26; Jones 23; Scotty Miller 22; Barber 15. … Even while Atlanta’s overall defensive performance has improved markedly of late, their secondary has stayed vulnerable to wideout production as Michael Thomas (13/152/0), Tyler Lockett (6/100/0), and D.J. Moore (8/95/0) could all attest in the Falcons’ last three games. On the season, only five defenses have surrendered more yards to wide receivers than Atlanta. While Evans is a no-brainer elite play as 2019’s overall WR2 behind Michael Thomas, slot man Godwin’s matchup makes him similarly enticing. Slot receivers facing the Falcons have accounted for a crisp 715 yards and seven touchdowns on 96 targets (7.45 YPA) this season. … Benched for an ugly first-half drop that became a Winston pick, Howard has lost virtually all fantasy viability shuttling in and out of Arians’ doghouse. Brate was last week’s obvious beneficiary with 10 catches on 14 targets, running a season-high 47 routes on 75% of Tampa’s offensive snaps. Brate’s usage and involvement are always hit or miss, but he’s at very least a better Week 12 streamer than Howard. … 4.36 speedster rookie Miller may be making a run at Perriman’s third receiver job after parlaying six targets into 71 yards in last week’s loss to New Orleans. Perriman hasn’t reached 50 yards in a game all year. Miller looks to be the preferred long-shot WR4 dart throw in this potential shootout.
Although Atlanta’s defense has been carrying the team lately, this is a breakout spot for the Falcons’ offense at home facing a Bucs team that’s allowed 27-plus points in 9-of-10 games and a 33.5-point average over its last eight. Tampa Bay provides passing games with safe floors by permitting top-15 fantasy results to eight straight quarterbacks faced, while only Arizona (29) has allowed more touchdown passes to the position (25). Quiet over his last three outings, this is an eruption spot for Matt Ryan. … Even after his Week 11 box score underwhelmed, Brian Hill remains RB2/flex playable versus Tampa Bay, whose once-impenetrable run defense has yielded 331 yards on 74 carries (4.47 YPC) to enemy backs in its last four games. With 16 touches, three targets, and 18 routes run on 60% of last week’s offensive snaps, Hill logged fantasy-viable usage at Carolina, while rookie Qadree Ollison fumbled on a fourth-quarter run and special teamer Kenjon Barner touched the ball twice on offense.
Ryan’s post-bye target distribution: Julio Jones 17; Calvin Ridley 12; Russell Gage 9; Hill 5; Justin Hardy 4; Christian Blake 3; Jaeden Graham 2. … This is a dream spot for Julio and Ridley against a Bucs defense yielding the NFL’s most fantasy points to wide receivers. With Mohamed Sanu gone and Austin Hooper (knee) still on the shelf, Julio is a cinch top-three WR1 play and Ridley a WR2 with WR1 upside. Scoreless since Week 3, Jones is a colossal positive-TD regression candidate. Ridley used his game-breaking route-running tools to put repeated Week 11 clown suits on usually-stingy Panthers CB Donte Jackson. … Gage’s target counts are just 5 and 4 since Atlanta’s bye, and he played 48% of last week’s offensive snaps as a rotational slot receiver. The likely back-and-forth nature of Sunday’s affair keeps Gage in WR4 range, but he’s a touchdown-or-bust option without a game above 58 yards all year. … In his first post-Hooper audition, Graham drew just two targets on 52% of Atlanta’s offensive snaps and ran 21 pass routes compared to block-first TE Luke Stocker’s 10. Clearly the Falcons’ preferred receiving tight end, Graham is a Hail Mary streamer with matchup working in his favor. Fellow TEs Evan Engram (6/113/1), Jonnu Smith (6/78/1), Greg Olsen (6/110/0, 4/52/0), George Kittle (8/54/0), Gerald Everett (5/44/1), Anthony Firkser (3/43/0), Jared Cook (4/41/1), Tyler Higbee (4/41/0), Josh Hill (3/39/0), Jacob Hollister (4/37/2), and Cook again (2/33/1) have all met or beaten PPR expectations versus the Buccaneers.
Score Prediction: Falcons 28, Bucs 23
Broncos at Bills
Team Totals: Bills 20.5, Broncos 16.5
While Brandon Allen deserves credit for handling himself passably in Denver’s win over Cleveland and last week’s one-score road loss to Minnesota, this is a come-to-roost spot for the Broncos’ offense and potential smash situation for Buffalo’s D/ST. 9-of-10 signal callers to face the Bills have managed fantasy scores of QB13 or worse, while Sean McDermott’s defense ranks top ten in sacks (29) and top 12 in QB hits (61). Denver has allowed sacks per dropback at the NFL’s fifth-highest rate (9.0%). And as we’ll explore more shortly, the Broncos’ pass catchers match up exceptionally poorly with the Bills’ stingy secondary. … Denver’s best path toward Week 12 competitiveness is on the ground, where Buffalo has generously conceded 4.58 yards per carry and ten all-purpose TDs in ten games to enemy backs. Phillip Lindsay overtook Royce Freeman as the Broncos’ lead back following Week 10’s bye, out-snapping Freeman 65% to 29% with an 18-to-9 edge in touches. Lindsay also ran a season-high 26 pass routes. He’s an RB2 play with RB1 upside in this plus draw. Freeman has devolved into a low-floor flex option. Due to his hiked usage, I wouldn’t sleep on Lindsay as a low-owned DFS-tournament play. Per Sports Info Solutions, Buffalo has stacked the box with eight-plus defenders on just 0.6% of its 2019 run-defense snaps, while Lindsay has shredded light boxes for 5.9 yards per carry compared to 2.5 YPC when opposing defensive boxes are stacked.
Allen’s 2019 target distribution: Courtland Sutton 17; Noah Fant 15; Tim Patrick 7; Troy Fumagalli 4; Devontae Booker and Diontae Spencer 3; Lindsay and Freeman 2. … With 70-plus yards and/or a touchdown in 9-of-10 games, Sutton continues to show remarkable consistency in the face of severely substandard quarterback play. In Week 12, Sutton is still a high-risk, fade-matchup WR3 play virtually certain to draw shadow coverage from Bills top CB Tre’Davious White. … Isolating Allen’s Weeks 9 and 11 starts, Fant ranks No. 4 among tight ends in both targets (15) and Air Yards (128) in those weeks and has receiving lines of 3/115/1 and 4/60/0 to show for it. Like Sutton, Fant is purely a bet-on-talent and bet-on-opportunity option; not a single tight end has cleared 50 yards against Buffalo this year. … An underrated talent who runs 4.47 at 6’4/208 and led Denver in receiving yards over last season’s final month, Patrick is a stretch-run sleeper who should be rostered across Dynasty leagues. Not including Week 1 where he got hurt against Oakland, Patrick has averaged a robust 63.8 yards over his last five games and logged 72% of last week’s snaps. Patrick should close out the year as Denver’s No. 2 wideout.
Facing a Broncos defense that has permitted just one top-12 fantasy QB1 score on the season in this week’s lowest-totaled affair, expectations should probably be checked for Josh Allen even as he returns from his top-two box-score results of the year. Vic Fangio is too smart a defensive mind to let Allen beat him with the run and figures to focus on keeping Allen confined to the pocket, where Allen is especially turnover propense. Allen earned every-week starter treatment in season-long leagues long ago, but his Week 12 upside is worth questioning. … Although Devin Singletary reasserted himself as Buffalo’s lead back in last week’s win over Miami by out-touching Frank Gore 16 to 12 on a season-high 73% of the Bills’ offensive snaps, Gore’s continued involvement combined with Allen’s rushing-TD threat are putting caps on Singletary’s ceiling. Singletary’s most-appealing Week 12 characteristics are his relative role security and home-favorite advantage in a game Buffalo should control. He’s a classic mid-range RB2.
Allen’s 2019 target distribution: John Brown 80; Cole Beasley 60; Dawson Knox 33; Singletary 23; Isaiah McKenzie 21; Gore 11; Duke Williams 7; Tyler Kroft and Robert Foster 6; Andre Roberts 5. … Denver surprisingly didn’t shadow Stefon Diggs with Chris Harris in Week 11, providing hope Brown could avoid Harris’ coverage too. Combining consistency with a high ceiling, Brown has earned matchup-agnostic WR2 treatment on pace for 90 catches and 1,308 yards. … Beasley is a PPR-specific WR3/4 option facing Denver in a probable low-scoring affair. A bigger part of Buffalo’s offense early in the season, Beasley has averaged just 4.7 targets over the Bills’ last six games. … Retaking the Bills’ clear-cut tight end lead, Knox logged his second-highest snap rate (72%) of the year in last week’s victory and scored his second TD since high school against the Dolphins. His playing time still limited somewhat by Kroft on low target volume, Knox remains a better Dynasty than season-long prospect. … McKenzie has stayed entrenched as the Bills’ No. 3 wideout ahead of Williams and Foster but has made minimal fantasy football noise.
Score Prediction: Bills 20, Broncos 6
Giants at Bears
Team Totals: Bears 23, Giants 17
Fresh off their Week 11 bye, the Giants visit Soldier Field to face an eminently beatable Bears team that isn’t giving up fantasy-acceptable passing-game production despite its persistent overall struggles. Just 1-of-10 quarterbacks to face Chicago has tallied top-12 results, including shutdowns of Aaron Rodgers (QB23), Kirk Cousins (QB25), Philip Rivers (QB24), Carson Wentz (QB18), and Jared Goff (QB27). The Bears’ D/ST sets up as a better Week 12 fantasy bet than Daniel Jones, who’s committed 16 turnovers in eight starts while averaging 5.5 sacks taken over his last four. … Saquon Barkley’s health should have improved during New York’s Week 11 bye, while his Week 12 matchup is favorable against a soft Bears run defense enemy backs clocked for an average of 101.8 rushing yards and nine total rushing TDs over its last six games. Dearly missing space-eater DT Akiem Hicks (elbow, I.R.) and team-leader ILB Danny Trevathan (elbow), Chicago has also permitted the NFL’s third-most running back catches (66) this year. Barkley’s post-bye legs should feel fresh, and he’s drawn five-plus targets in every game this season.
The Giants will without Evan Engram (knee) and Rhett Ellison (concussion), while Sterling Shepard (concussions) is due back to round out New York’s three-receiver sets with Golden Tate and Darius Slayton. Averaging 8.8 targets and 80.8 yards with three TDs over his last five games, Tate is the G-Men’s top Week 12 pass-catcher play against burnable Bears slot CB Buster Skrine. Tate’s stat lines in Engram’s previous two missed games were 6/102/1 and 4/95/2. … Shepard is WR3 playable in PPR leagues after drawing nine targets in each of his last three games and racking up five-plus catches in 4-of-4 appearances. Shepard’s upside is fair to question, however, facing a Bears defense that’s allowed the NFL’s second-fewest fantasy points to wideouts. … Shepard’s return renders Slayton a boom-bust play with 50 yards or fewer in 5-of-8 games. Slayton is now the Giants’ No. 4 pass option behind Tate, Barkley, and Shepard. … Engram and Ellison’s absences reduce New York’s tight end depth chart to journeyman Scott Simonson and sixth-round rookie Kaden Smith, who the Giants claimed off waivers from the 49ers after Week 2. Smith, who ran a molasses-slow 4.92 forty coming out of Stanford, drew just one target on 57% of the Giants’ pre-bye Week 10 snaps. As Simonson and Smith will likely form a rotation, this is a fantasy situation to avoid.
Even after last week’s unorthodox late-game benching for Chase Daniel – chalked up to a phantom hip pointer – the Bears plan to start Mitchell Trubisky once again despite his sustained ineffectiveness and utter lack of on-field command. Sunday’s matchup does have an outside shot to be a confidence builder since 8-of-10 quarterbacks to face Giants DC James Bettcher’s unit have tallied top-ten fantasy results, including six in a row entering Week 12. Trubisky hasn’t turned in a top-12 fantasy score all year, but I’d be willing to play him in two-quarterback leagues against the Giants. … At home for a winnable game in a favorable run-defense draw, Week 12 should theoretically set up positively for David Montgomery. Yet Montgomery’s snap rates have declined in four straight games (74% > 73% > 61% > 46%), and the Bears’ run blocking remains nonexistent. Making matters worse, Montgomery has cleared 20 receiving yards once since Week 1. He’s a dicey RB2/flex option even in what should be an optimal on-paper draw. … A colossal Weeks 1-10 flop, Tarik Cohen finally made box-score noise in last Sunday night’s loss to the Rams with 74 yards and a touchdown on a season-high 14 touches. While last week’s usage and production provide some going-forward hope, ultimately Cohen is a Week 12 coin-flip flex play due to coach Matt Nagy’s come-and-go commitment to utilizing him and Cohen’s own lack of effectiveness.
Trubisky’s 2019 target distribution: Allen Robinson 70; Cohen 49; Taylor Gabriel 44; Anthony Miller 30; Montgomery 21; Adam Shaheen and Cordarrelle Patterson 11; Ben Braunecker 7; Javon Wims 6. … Not only is Robinson popping in Week 12’s Buy Low Air Yards Model, his matchup is enticing against a Giants secondary permitting the NFL’s second-most fantasy points to wide receivers. The G-Men got creamed by fellow outside WRs Kenny Golladay (6/123/2), Demaryius Thomas (6/84/0), Amari Cooper (4/80/1), and Michael Gallup (2/33/1) in their last three games, and A-Rob will tack on high-percentage catches in the slot. … Especially after Gabriel spoiled 14 targets for 57 scoreless yards in last Sunday night’s loss to the Rams, his playing time should come into question going forward. The Bears are in obvious late-year roster-assessment mode, and none of their pass catchers’ roles should be secure behind Robinson. Some Chicago media have called for Wims to begin playing more at Gabriel and/or Miller’s expense.
Score Prediction: Giants 21, Bears 17
Steelers at Bengals
Team Totals: Steelers 22.5, Bengals 15.5
Almost as bad at playing quarterback as he is at fighting, Mason Rudolph will nevertheless make his eighth straight start, this week against a Cincinnati defense that’s permitted top-13 quarterback results in eight of its last nine games while showing no pass-rush capability with league lows in sacks (13) and QB hits (37). Rudolph turned in his season-best game when these teams met in Week 4, completing 24-of-28 throws for 229 yards and two scores in Pittsburgh’s 27-3 rout. Rudolph’s ceiling is limited by JuJu Smith-Schuster’s (knee, concussion) absence and his own utter lack of rushing value, but this is a good two-quarterback-league spot. He might be worth a desperation stream in 14-team season-long leagues. … Jaylen Samuels and Trey Edmunds formed a near-even timeshare after James Conner’s (shoulder) early Week 11 exit with Edmunds out-snapping Samuels 33 to 25 but Samuels out-touching Edmunds 10 to 8, out-targeting him 6 to 3, and scoring Pittsburgh’s lone touchdown on a third-quarter reception against the Browns. Benny Snell’s return from a midseason knee scope likely poses more of a threat to early-down grinder Edmunds than swiss-army-knife Samuels. While this backfield threatens to devolve into a three-man RBBC until Conner returns, I’m quite willing to take my chances with Samuels as an upside PPR flex play. Samuels has averaged 8.0 targets and 6.4 catches over his last five games and should create all kinds of mismatch problems against Cincinnati’s coverage-deficient linebacker corps.
Rudolph’s 2019 target distribution: JuJu 43; Diontae Johnson 39; Samuels 37; James Washington and Vance McDonald 33; Conner 17; Johnny Holton 9; Nick Vannett 8; Edmunds 6; Tevin Jones 4. … The Steelers’ sans-JuJu three-receiver set will likely be comprised of Johnson and Washington outside with Jones in the slot. … Johnson and Washington have similar Week 12 outlooks against a Bengals defense that lost LCB Dre Kirkpatrick to I.R. and can’t rush the passer, creating big-play opportunities on the backend. Despite having faced a league-low 292 pass attempts, Cincinnati has coughed up the NFL’s third-most 20-plus-yard completions (47). Johnson and Washington are upside WR3 plays with hiked opportunity in a plus spot. … McDonald is also set up nicely; the Bengals have allowed 45 completions on 59 tight end targets (76.3%) for 595 yards (10.1 YPA) and four TDs. Darren Waller and Foster Moreau combined for a 7/86/1 receiving line on nine targets against Cincy just last week. … A Dontrelle Inman-type talent at 6’2/217 with 4.53 speed, Jones offers long-shot WR4 appeal with a plus matchup and lots of opportunity. Jones inherited JuJu’s slot role in last week’s loss to Cleveland, drawing four targets on 26 pass routes. Holton figures to operate as the Steelers’ situational depth threat and No. 4 wideout.
The Steelers’ D/ST is among Week 12’s most-obvious plays facing a Bengals team against which enemy defenses have banked top-12 fantasy scores in 8-of-10 weeks, including five top-six results. Pittsburgh is stout enough up front to turn Cincinnati into a one-dimensional, pass-reliant unit, meaning lots of Ryan Finley dropbacks behind arguably the league’s worst line. … The Steelers have held enemy backs to 3.77 yards per carry and four all-purpose TDs, and they limited Joe Mixon to 63 scoreless yards on 19 touches in these teams’ Week 4 affair. Still not a true every-down back, Mixon lost 50% of last week’s offensive snaps to Giovani Bernard. Mixon is a high-risk RB2 option on a team unlikely to score many Week 12 points. Despite his every-week involvement, Bernard hasn’t topped six touches in a game since Week 2.
Finley’s 2019 target distribution: Auden Tate 12; Tyler Boyd 11; Tyler Eifert 8; Alex Erickson 7; Mixon 6; C.J. Uzomah 5; Gio and Stanley Morgan 4; Damion Willis 1. … As Tate (concussion) appears unlikely to play, A.J. Green (ankle) has no reason to return to an 0-10 team, and Morgan missed early-week practices with an illness, Cincinnati’s likeliest Week 12 three-receiver set will have Erickson and Willis outside with Boyd in the slot. Boyd has been an extremely frustrating producer with one touchdown on 94 targets and zero yards in his last game, while Finley’s brutal play has deenergized the entire offense. Optimism for Boyd stems entirely from his heavy volume and matchup. 76% of the Steelers’ completions allowed have come in the slot, including 13 of Pittsburgh’s 21 touchdown passes allowed, 81% of their receiving yards allowed, and an 8.8 yards per attempt average versus a minuscule 5.0 YPA permitted on perimeter throws. Boyd also popped in Week 12’s Air Yards Buy Low Model. … Erickson has one catch for zero yards on seven targets since Week 8. … Willis opened the season starting in Green’s place, flopped so badly he got cut, and was brought back out of sheer necessity. … Eifert’s snap rates are 32% and 33% over the last two weeks. He was out-targeted by Uzomah in last week’s loss to the Raiders.
Score Prediction: Bengals 17, Steelers 16
Dolphins at Browns
Team Totals: Browns 27.5, Dolphins 16.5
Suspensions to difference-making Browns DLs Myles Garrett and Larry Ogunjobi stemming from last Thursday night’s on-field brawl on top of DE Olivier Vernon’s (knee) continued absence and SS Morgan Burnett’s Achilles’ tear ease Miami’s Week 12 offensive matchup enough that Ryan Fitzpatrick is a fine two-quarterback-league play with mild streaming appeal. Cleveland’s ability to create pressure figures to be minimized by what amounts to a second-string defensive line, while the Browns’ offense should not struggle to score points against the Dolphins’ defense, giving this game high-scoring possibilities. Fitzpatrick has accounted for multiple TDs and/or exceeded 300 yards in four of his last five starts. … Despite extreme ineffectiveness, Kalen Ballage maintained Miami’s Week 11 lead-back role with 14 touches on 77% of the Dolphins’ offensive snaps, even as Patrick Laird severely outplayed him, gaining 58 yards on seven touches including six receptions. Laird’s playing time did improve to 23% from 11% the week prior, also running 13 routes. Even before losing Garrett and Ogunjobi up front, the Browns were clocked for 212/1,006/5 (4.75 YPC) rushing and 144.8 total yards per game by enemy backs. This is the rare occasion to support Ballage as an opportunity- and matchup-based flex option. Laird is a PPR-specific Hail Mary flex in deep leagues.
Fitz’s 2019 target distribution: DeVante Parker 56; Mike Gesicki 33; Allen Hurns 22; Albert Wilson 21; Ballage and Jakeem Grant 18; Laird 8. … Albeit with the majority of Parker’s production occurring in garbage time of last week’s 37-20 loss to Buffalo – he had just two catches at the half – Parker continued to assert himself as fantasy’s most-undervalued player with 135 yards on ten targets in an imposing one-on-one battle with Tre’Davious White. Parker now has 55-plus yards and/or a touchdown in 9-of-10 games, showing legitimate consistency with matchup-proof moments. Even as perimeter CBs Denzel Ward and Greedy Williams represent the strength of Cleveland’s defense, Parker has earned upside WR3 treatment ranked top 15 in the NFL in Air Yards (973). … Gesicki’s Week 11 was disastrous – he dropped one ball and managed 18 scoreless yards on six targets – but his participation was legitimately elite with career highs in snaps (86%) and routes run (51) against the Bills. Allowing the NFL’s 11th-most fantasy points to tight ends, the Browns pose a softer matchup, especially without SS Burnett. Gesicki is a boom-bust streamer whose outlook is enhanced as Week 12’s No. 4 buy-low player in Josh Hermsmeyer’s Air Yards Model. … Hurns hasn’t cleared 53 yards all year, but he has taken over as Miami’s No. 2 wideout in Preston Williams’ (ACL) absence after playing 87% of last week’s snaps. Wilson is now manning the slot but only in a part-time role. Wilson and Grant are sharing third-receiver playing time.
Winners of two straight, the Browns maintained their two-back offense in last Thursday night’s victory over Pittsburgh with Kareem Hunt handling double-digit touches for the second consecutive week and Nick Chubb clearing 17 touches for the tenth straight. With 17 targets to Chubb’s 5 in Weeks 10-11, however, Hunt is cutting into Chubb’s critical receiving-game work from a fantasy perspective. The good Week 12 news is Chubb sets up as a two-score home-favorite workhorse versus Miami, which enemy backs have clocked for league highs in touches (32.1) and rushing yards (128.7) per game. While Chubb’s RB1 stock remains intact, Hunt has earned PPR-friendly RB2/flex value on consecutive touch counts of 11 and 12. … Baker Mayfield showed signs of positive fantasy life against an imposing Steelers defense, logging Week 11’s QB9 score and absorbing just one sack on three quarterback hits versus Pittsburgh’s previously on-fire pass rush. A top-15 fantasy passer in four of his last five starts, Mayfield is a Week 12 breakout candidate against the Dolphins’ leaky defense. Only six teams are surrendering more fantasy points per game to quarterbacks than Miami, which Josh Allen lit up for Week 11’s overall QB1 score.
Mayfield’s Weeks 10-11 target distribution: Odell Beckham 22; Hunt and Jarvis Landry 17; Chubb 5; Demetrius Harris and KhaDarel Hodge 2; Rashard Higgins 1. … Ruled down at the one-yard line on last week’s opening drive, OBJ’s positive-touchdown regression remains inevitable with a single score on the year. Even as Beckham’s 2019 results have underwhelmed, this is the kind of spot where that could turn on its head. OBJ is averaging 9.2 targets over his last five games, and the Fins don’t have a defensive back capable of keeping pace with him. Fellow speed-burner No. 1 WR John Brown ethered Miami for a season-best 9/137/2 line in Week 11. … This is a revenge spot for ex-Dolphin Landry, who has been Cleveland’s most-reliable pass catcher with 65-plus yards and/or a touchdown in six of his last seven games. Particularly with Mayfield and Beckham struggling to find the same page, Landry has earned every-week WR2 treatment on bankable week-to-week production. … Higgins operated as the Browns’ No. 3 wideout against Pittsburgh but drew zero targets after catching Week 10’s game-winning score. … Njoku (wrist) has an outside shot to return against the Dolphins but could be placed on a snap count. Njoku hasn’t played since Week 2. Harris and Ricky Seals-Jones have stood in as Cleveland’s primary tight ends in Njoku’s absence.
Update: The Browns chose not to activate David Njoku (wrist) from I.R. this week, so he’ll start aiming for a Week 13 return.
Score Prediction: Browns 27, Dolphins 20
Panthers at Saints
Team Totals: Saints 28.5, Panthers 18.5
Christian McCaffrey overcame Kyle Allen’s four-pick, five-sack implosion in last week’s blowout loss to Atlanta for his eighth game above 140 total yards in ten tries to remain fantasy’s No. 1 overall PPR back by a very-nice 6.9 points-per-game margin over Dalvin Cook. McCaffrey encounters one of his toughest matchups of the season at New Orleans – DC Dennis Allen’s defense has bottled up enemy backs for 3.67 yards per carry, five TDs in ten games, and the NFL’s fourth-fewest receiving yards (300) – but McCaffrey is the league’s most matchup-proof player with an ability to compensate for any rushing unproductivity with elite passing-game usage. CMC is on pace for a 94.4/827.2/4.8 receiving line, which would make him this year’s PPR WR22 if you ignore his rushing production. … Having gone seven straight starts without a fantasy result above QB15, Allen finds himself in no place to right the ship on the road facing a Saints defense that held six of its last seven quarterbacks faced to outcomes of QB14 or worse. Allen’s Week 11 play was beyond atrocious, “seeing ghosts” by anticipating pressure that wasn’t there and throwing three of his four interceptions in scoring position. Top ten in the NFL in QB hits (66), the Saints can keep Allen uncomfortable with a combination of pass rush and crowd noise in the amped-up Superdome. New Orleans’ D/ST is a better straight-up play than Allen in Week 12.
Allen’s 2019 target distribution: D.J. Moore 70; Curtis Samuel 58; CMC 56; Greg Olsen 43; Jarius Wright 26; Reggie Bonnafon 7. … Especially with Marshon Lattimore (hamstring) looking likely to miss another game, Moore shouldn’t struggle to pay fantasy dividends even if his quarterback underwhelms. Moore is averaging 10.5 targets over his last six games and cleared 70 yards in five of them. He’s an easy every-week WR2. … Samuel’s touchdown reliance is far more pronounced with 53 yards or fewer in 7-of-10 games but five end-zone trips to Moore’s one. Although Samuel has drawn more 2019 Air Yards than Moore, Moore’s significant target advantage on higher-percentage routes places him firmly ahead of Samuel on weak-armed Allen’s pecking order. Samuel is a dice-roll WR3. … Athletic at linebacker and talented at safety, the Saints never present a favorable matchup for tight ends. That leaves Olsen as a purely usage-based TE1 play with a league-high 158 routes run and the NFL’s fourth-most Air Yards (197) among tight ends since Carolina’s Week 7 bye. I’m starting Olsen with confidence wherever I have him.
Even as Carolina typically presents tough quarterback matchups by ranking No. 1 in sacks (39) and No. 3 in QB hits (73), the Saints are an offense to continue betting on with their skill-player cast at full strength behind a butt-kicking offensive line. In last week’s Falcons upset of the Panthers, Matt Ryan exposed leaks in Carolina’s backend on a year-high ten yards per pass attempt. Drew Brees is a solid season-long QB1 play with just enough upside for DFS-stack consideration accompanied by Alvin Kamara and/or white-hot Michael Thomas. In his four 2019 games played start to finish, Brees’ fantasy outcomes are QB12 > QB4 > QB22 > QB10. … Even as Latavius Murray siphoned 12 touches on 40% of last week’s snaps, Kamara maintained high-end PPR RB1 usage and results with 122 yards on 23 touches, including ten catches at the Bucs. Murray’s participation isn’t so much a question of whether Kamara takes a hit as it is of Murray’s own flex viability. With 18-plus touches in five of his last six games facing a Panthers defense enemy backs have throttled for 18 TDs and 4.81 yards per carry, Kamara offers Week 12 eruption potential. … Murray’s stock does feel tenuous after consecutive box-score flops, but his Week 11 opportunity was strong enough to stay in the flex-play conversation, and Murray could come in especially handy in clock-killing mode with the Saints favored by two scores at home over the Panthers.
Brees’ 2019 target distribution: Thomas 50; Kamara 28; Murray 20; Jared Cook and Ted Ginn 17; Taysom Hill 8; Tre’Quan Smith 6. … Even with Panthers top CB James Bradberry playing at shutdown levels, Thomas’ constant movement around the formation should render Bradberry largely irrelevant as it pertains to Thomas’ Week 12 box score. Thomas has made 32 of his catches in the slot this year; Bradberry plays less than 1% of his snaps inside. Among seemingly everything else, Thomas leads the NFL in target share versus zone coverage (31.5%), while Carolina runs zone at the NFL’s second-highest rate (82%). … Back in every-week TE1 good graces, Cook enters Week 12 with 70-plus yards and/or a touchdown in four straight games. The Panthers haven’t given up big tight end production, but Cook’s stable role in an efficient passing attack should keep him stapled into fantasy lineups. … Ginn and Smith are low-floor, big-play-reliant WR4 dart throws with a lean toward Ginn this week. This is a revenge game for the ex-Panther, who ran 27 routes compared to Smith’s 25 in last week’s win over Tampa Bay.
Score Prediction: Saints 30, Panthers 10
Raiders at Jets
Team Totals: Raiders 24.5, Jets 21.5
Winners of three straight and five of their last seven, the suddenly-playoff-contending Raiders trek to The Meadowlands to face a pass-funnel Jets team that got lit up by Ryan Fitzpatrick (QB6), Gardner Minshew (QB6), and Daniel Jones (QB2) in Weeks 8-10 before becoming the first defense to make Dwayne Haskins (QB16) appear competent last week. Derek Carr is rarely an upside fantasy play – he’s finished QB12 or better in just 3-of-10 starts and never exceeded QB7 – but this matchup is favorable enough to support Carr as a high-end streamer with some DFS-tournament appeal in stacks with Darren Waller or Tyrell Williams, whose plus draws we’ll get to shortly. … Josh Jacobs enters Week 12 with 17-plus touches in seven straight games to face a run-tough Jets front that’s smothered enemy backs for 217/654/8 (3.01 YPC) rushing. Working in Jacobs’ favor is his bankable workload as Oakland’s offensive centerpiece and the likelihood of neutral script favored at New York, which should allow Jon Gruden to keep pounding his run game even if it doesn’t work early. As Jacobs has at least two catches in six of his last seven games, it helps that the Jets have allowed the NFL’s fifth-most-running back receptions (63).
Carr’s 2019 target distribution: Waller 71; Hunter Renfrow 48; Tyrell Williams 43; Jacobs 23; Jalen Richard 22; Foster Moreau 20; DeAndre Washington 15; Zay Jones 12; Derek Carrier 10. … Fresh off busting his three-game slump in last week’s win over the Bengals (5/78/0), Waller catches a Jets defense Mike Gesicki (6/95/0), Zach Ertz (5/57/1), Jason Witten (5/57/0), Rhett Ellison (3/42/0), and Jeremy Sprinkle (2/16/1) all touched up for useful-or-better receiving lines within New York’s last seven games. Fourth among tight ends in Air Yards since Oakland’s Week 6 bye (263), Waller is a shoo-in top-five TE1 in this favorable spot. … Renfrow has earned PPR-specific WR4 treatment with 40-plus yards and/or a touchdown in four straight weeks, even while averaging just 5.5 targets during that span. Renfrow’s ceiling remains limited as a short-area possession receiver hovering around 50% of Oakland’s offensive snaps. … Williams draws the Raiders’ best Week 12 pass-catcher matchup against a Jets secondary that’s allowed at- or above-expectation production to fellow perimeter WRs Darius Slayton (10/121/2), Chris Conley (4/103/1), D.J. Chark (6/79/1), Preston Williams (5/72/2), Terry McLaurin (3/69/0), DeVante Parker (4/57/1), Kelvin Harmon (5/53/0), and Phillip Dorsett (3/46/1) over its last five games. Tyrell The Gazelle has cleared 80 yards and/or scored a touchdown in 6-of-8 appearances this season.
This game offers shootout potential with pass-funnel defenses on both sides that should encourage each team to stay aggressive through the air, raising offensive efficiency and spiking incompletions that stop the clock. Albeit against the lowly Giants and Redskins, Sam Darnold caught Weeks 10-11 fire on 38-of-60 passing (63.3%) for 523 yards (8.72 YPA), five touchdowns, one pick, and an additional rushing score. Quarterbacks have a 24:8 TD-to-INT ratio against Oakland while averaging 8.2 yards per attempt, the NFL’s fourth-highest mark. Darnold is an upside streamer with legit DFS playability after back-to-back top-eight QB1 scores. … Although partly because they nursed a 20-3 lead into the fourth quarter, the Jets scaled back Le’Veon Bell’s Week 11 snaps to a season-low 56% with Bell battling rib and knee injuries in addition to an illness. He still emerged with 20-plus touches for the third straight week and should be healthier here. While the Raiders have defended the run stoutly for most of the season, DC Paul Guenther’s unit has shown enough recent vulnerability for this to be considered an unimposing draw for Bell. Oakland was touched up for 61/320/2 (5.25 YPC) rushing by enemy backs over the last three weeks and has allowed the league’s ninth-most receiving yards to running backs on the year (478).
Darnold’s 2019 target distribution: Jamison Crowder 58; Robby Anderson 39; Demaryius Thomas 35; Bell 34; Ryan Griffin 27; Vyncint Smith 11; Ty Montgomery 5. … Dominating targets within the Jets’ offense and having tallied 75-plus yards with a touchdown in three straight games, Crowder has earned every-week WR3 treatment in season-long leagues with WR2 upside in PPR. Crowder’s target share on Darnold throws is 26.2%; for perspective, Tyler Lockett’s target share on Russell Wilson’s passes is just 23.2%. … Anderson feels impossible to trust with downward-trending target counts and just one game over 43 yards in his last eight, but this is another ripe matchup for a vertical receiver of his type. The Raiders have allowed the NFL’s second-most completions of 20-plus yards (48) and 40-plus yards (11), while Anderson has been the recipient of 29% of Gang Green’s 20-plus-yard targets; next closest on the team is Demaryius at 12%. Per Sports Info Solutions, Oakland has allowed league highs in completions on 20-plus-yard downfield targets (27), yards on such attempts (952), and touchdowns (9) on throws with 20-plus Air Yards behind them. … Still scoreless on the year and lacking big-play ability on his career back nine, Thomas is never a sexy play even in the finest matchups. … With stat lines of 4/66/2 > 6/50/0 > 5/109/1 in his last three full games, Griffin needs to be taken TE1 seriously against an Oakland defense that’s permitted the NFL’s third-most fantasy points to tight ends this year. Easily attacked in the middle of the field, Raiders opponents are 34-of-40 (85%) for 329 yards (8.2 YPA) and four touchdowns when targeting Oakland’s inside linebackers in coverage.
Score Prediction: Jets 24, Raiders 23
Lions at Redskins
Team Totals: Lions 22.5, Redskins 19
With Matthew Stafford (back) out for another game, Jeff Driskel belongs among Week 12’s hottest quarterback streamers after logging QB11 (Bears) and QB5 (Cowboys) fantasy results in his Weeks 10-11 starts and now facing Washington, which has served up a generous 19:9 TD-to-INT ratio and is giving enemy passers clean pockets by ranking 25th in sacks (23) and 29th in QB hits (45). A dangerous runner with 4.56 speed, Driskel has cobbled together a 13/88/1 rushing line in his two starts, raising Driskel’s floor and ceiling as one of this week’s most-underrated quarterback plays. Driskel is equipped with a dynamic supporting cast in an offense that struggles to move the ball consistently on the ground, creating its own pass-funnel scenarios. … Signed off Detroit’s practice squad the day before last week’s game, former Alabama power back Bo Scarbrough immediately overtook Ty Johnson and J.D. McKissic as the Lions’ featured runner with a 14/55/1 rushing line on 50% of the snaps but saw zero targets on nine pass routes run. Johnson touched the ball three times on a 29% playing-time clip, and McKissic was third in line at 23% of the Lions’ Week 11 offensive snaps, touching the ball six times. This is one of fantasy football’s least-attractive backfields, but Scarbrough offers touchdown-reliant flex appeal. Johnson and McKissic are low-floor, PPR-only desperation plays.
Driskel’s 2019 target distribution: Kenny Golladay 14; Danny Amendola 13; McKissic and Marvin Jones 11; T.J. Hockenson 8; Logan Thomas 3; Johnson 2; Marvin Hall 1. … Golladay is coming off a one-catch game, but he leads the Lions in targets, Air Yards (190), and average depth of target (13.6) in Driskel’s two starts. Driskel’s accuracy downgrade from Stafford is an every-week concern, but Golladay’s volume isn’t, and nor is his Week 12 matchup with Washington’s burnable secondary. Always a ceiling play, Golladay has 100-plus yards and/or a touchdown in 7-of-10 games. … Popping in Josh Hermsmeyer’s Air Yards Buy Low Model, Amendola’s Week 12 matchup is pristine. The Redskins have coughed up 57 completions on 68 slot targets (84%) for 656 yards (9.65 YPA) and five TDs, including Jamison Crowder’s Week 11 5/76/1 line. Amendola is a high-end WR4/flex option in PPR leagues. … Jones continues to vastly outkick his touchdown expectations, but he’s not someone to bet against facing the lowly Skins. Washington is allowing the NFL’s seventh-most yards per pass attempt (7.9) and has yielded the league’s 12th-most 20-plus-yard completions (36) despite having faced the fourth-fewest overall attempts (315). … No longer season-long viable, Hockenson is a buy-low target in Dynasty leagues.
Officially committed to Dwayne Haskins for the rest of 2019, the Redskins look to break their pathetic nine-game streak of scoring 17 points or fewer against Detroit’s similarly sad-sack defense, which has yielded top-12 fantasy scores to 9-of-10 quarterbacks faced. Albeit wild and raw, Haskins is two-QB-league playable in a game where he should see less pressure than usual; Matt Patricia’s underachieving defense ranks bottom five in sack rate (5%) and QB Hit Rate (12%) and will be without both RE Trey Flowers (concussion) and DT Da’shawn Hand (ankle). … The Redskins deployed a true three-man RBBC in Derrius Guice’s Week 11 debut; Adrian Peterson led the backfield in touches (11), Wendell Smallwood in snaps (43%), and Guice in production with 69 yards and a touchdown on seven carries plus one catch. Guice’s 45-yard fourth-quarter score occurred on a poorly-defended screen where he ran untouched up the right sideline after Washington was already behind 34-3. Even against a Lions defense enemy backs have touched up for 17 all-purpose TDs and 164.1 total yards per game, every member of the Redskins’ committee is a low-floor flex option. Chris Thompson’s (toe) likely return makes this backfield even more of a Week 12 situation to avoid.
Haskins’ 2019 target distribution: Terry McLaurin 11; Kelvin Harmon 10; Paul Richardson and Trey Quinn 9; Jeremy Sprinkle 8; Smallwood 6; Peterson and Steven Sims 5; Thompson and Hale Hentges 3; Guice and Vernon Davis 2. … McLaurin’s Week 11 could’ve been much bigger than 69 scoreless yards if not for a negated 60-plus-yard bomb early in the game. McLaurin has settled in as a boom-bust WR3 option with Haskins rather than Case Keenum quarterbacking Washington’s offense and is ticketed for Darius Slay’s shadow coverage on Sunday. … With Richardson nursing a Week 11 hamstring injury, the Skins turned to sixth-round possession receiver Harmon across from McLaurin, and the rookie delivered 53 yards on six targets in Washington’s No. 2 role. Richardson is practicing on a limited basis this week. Harmon is worth stashing in Dynasty leagues as McLaurin’s potential long-term bookend. Richardson checked in as Week 12’s No. 6 buy-low player in Josh Hermsmeyer’s Air Yards Model. … Davis (concussion) was placed on I.R. Friday, locking Sprinkle back in as Washington’s main tight end.
Score Prediction: Redskins 24, Lions 23
Seahawks at Eagles
Team Totals: Seahawks 24, Eagles 24
The Seahawks return from their Week 11 bye nursing an 8-2 record and capable of exploiting Philly’s pass-defense weaknesses via MVP co-favorite Russell Wilson and his upgraded three-receiver arsenal featuring Josh Gordon across from route dominator Tyler Lockett and rookie sensation D.K. Metcalf. Although Eagles DC Jim Schwartz’s unit has seemingly played better lately, its relative success came versus scattershot Josh Allen, lost cause Mitchell Trubisky, and a dead-looking Patriots offense all in a row. Still fantasy’s No. 2 overall QB1 behind Lamar Jackson, Wilson’s ceiling remains as lofty as any quarterback’s on the slate and is especially DFS appealing in Lockett stacks. … While Philadelphia’s run-game elimination is no secret, Schwartz’s defense is hemorrhaging 5.9 running back catches per game, keeping Chris Carson live as a PPR play. Accounting for nearly 70% of Seattle’s backfield targets and averaging 2.7 catches per game, Carson is a fringe RB1/2 despite this tough draw against the Eagles.
Tyler Lockett used Seattle’s bye to overcome his Week 10 shin-injury scare and should be all systems go at Philly. Lockett primarily aligns inside, where Eagles slot CB Avonte Maddox has been burned for completions on 30-of-45 targets (67%) for 372 yards (8.3 YPA) and a touchdown. Lockett long ago earned every-week WR1 treatment and should experience a volume spike in this pass-funnel draw. … D.K. Metcalf has shown rare consistency for a rookie, logging 50-plus yards and/or a touchdown in 9-of-10 games. Metcalf (6’3/228, 4.33) has a distinct size advantage on Eagles RCB Ronald Darby (5’10/193) and a massive speed edge over LCB Jalen Mills (4.61). Metcalf has developed into a trustworthy WR2/3. … Josh Gordon is a WR4/flex wild card after playing just 37% of Seattle’s pre-bye offensive snaps against the 49ers but making two clutch late-game catches that should theoretically earn him a greater moving-forward role. … Especially with Luke Willson (hamstring) listed doubtful and Ed Dickson (knee) sent to I.R., Jacob Hollister should safely remain the Seahawks’ primary tight end. A possession and red-zone weapon in Seattle’s last two games, Hollister parlayed 16 targets into a 12/99/3 stat line on snap rates of 80% and 78%. Hollister has earned locked-in TE1 treatment playing the old Will Dissly role.
A home-game matchup with the Seahawks offers Carson Wentz slump-busting possibilities; six of the last seven quarterbacks to face Seattle banked top-12 fantasy scores, while Philadelphia should be able to overcome RT Lane Johnson’s (concussion) absence against a Seahawks defense that ranks 29th in sacks (20) and 31st in QB hits (41). Critical Seattle pass rushers Jadeveon Clowney (knee/hip) and DT Jarran Reed (ankle/groin) also missed most of the practice week; Clowney didn’t practice at all and is a true game-time decision. Johnson’s replacement will be first-round pick Andre Dillard. Held to fantasy results of QB18 or worse in four straight starts while directing the NFL’s slowest offense, Wentz’s floor remains low but his ceiling high with a clean pocket in what has a chance to be a back-and-forth affair. … Philly’s backfield outlook greatly hinges on Jordan Howard’s (shoulder) availability; he practiced on a limited basis this week but still needs medical clearance to play. In Howard’s Week 11 absence, the Patriots geared up to take Miles Sanders away, and Sanders’ box-score results flopped despite playing a career-high 85% of the Eagles’ offensive snaps. Boston Scott mixed in for seven carries without a target in Philly’s No. 2 back role. Newly signed Jay Ajayi did not play a down but probably will this week if Howard isn’t cleared.
Update: Jordan Howard (shoulder) was listed as questionable after an entire week of limited practices, but he was not cleared for contact as of Friday. He appears likely to miss another game, giving Miles Sanders another shot at feature back work with Boston Scott and perhaps Jay Ajayi mixing in behind him.
This is a smash spot for both Eagles tight ends; only six defenses are allowing more fantasy points per game to Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert’s position than Seattle. Per Sports Info Solutions, the Seahawks play zone coverage at the NFL’s fourth-highest rate, while Ertz has a dominant target share of 30.5% when the Eagles pass against zone looks. … In chronological order, these are Goedert’s snap rates in the Eagles’ last four games: 58% > 75% > 79% > 81%. Goedert ran a season-high 40 pass routes in last week’s loss to New England and has five-plus targets in four of Philly’s last five games. He’s a legitimate season-long TE1 with DFS appeal in this plus draw. … The Eagles’ wideout corps is a complete mess. Trying to gut out a high ankle sprain, Alshon Jeffery practiced in limited fashion this week. He’ll almost certainly be well short of 100% if he plays, and Jeffery hasn’t looked right all year. … Nelson Agholor missed early-week practice time with a knee injury. He’s topped 50 yards in 1-of-10 games. Both Jeffery and Agholor happen to be popping in Week 12’s Air Yards Buy Low Model, possibly giving them some hope. But expectations for both should be low based on health and to-date performance. … Here’s how Week 11 routes run were distributed among Eagles pass catchers: Agholor 47; Jordan Matthews 46; Ertz 43; Goedert 35; J.J. Arcega-Whiteside 11; Mack Hollins 5. … I like the idea of honing in on the Eagles’ tight ends and fading their wideouts, who have performed exceptionally poorly across the board all season.
Update: Nelson Agholor (knee) sat out the entire practice week. He is listed as questionable, but there seems to be a good chance he won’t play. Coach Doug Pederson expressed more optimism Friday about Alshon Jeffery, essentially begging Jeffery to give it a go due to all the ineffectiveness around him at wide receiver.
Score Prediction: Seahawks 27, Eagles 24
Jaguars at Titans
Team Totals: Titans 22, Jaguars 19
Nick Foles makes his third Jaguars start in a difficult road trip to Nashville in what sets up as a grinding, low-scoring affair. Titans DC Dean Pees’ unit has yielded the NFL’s eighth-fewest points per game (19.7) but does have enough pass-funnel qualities for Foles to be considered a confident two-QB-league play. Enemy passers have a 17:9 TD-to-INT ratio against Tennessee, which is giving them clean pockets more often than not by ranking 18th in sack rate (6.8%) and 26th in QB Hit Rate (13.5%). Facing the Bucs, Chargers, Raiders, and Falcons in his next four, I still like Foles as a stretch-run buy. … Even as negative script has hindered Leonard Fournette for subpar touch counts of 16 and 15 in consecutive blowout losses, Fournette stayed afloat with 12 catches on 13 combined targets against the Texans and Colts and has five-plus catches in three straight games. Although Tennessee has limited enemy backs to 4.04 yards per carry, only five teams have allowed more running back receptions (63). We have called Fournette a buy since early in the season and won’t stop now. He could easily lead the NFL in Weeks 12-17 touches.
Foles’ 2019 target distribution: D.J. Chark 17; Chris Conley 10; Fournette 9; Dede Westbrook 6; RyQuell Armstead and Josh Oliver 2; Ben Koyack 1. … Foles is 10-of-17 passing for 146 yards (8.6 YPA) and three TDs when targeting Chark this year, while Tennessee’s secondary is most vulnerable outside, where Chark runs 77% of his routes. Titans RCB Malcom Butler (broken wrist) fill-in LeShaun Sims is especially burnable, having coughed up completions on 23-of-31 targets (74%) for 274 yards (8.84 YPA) and three touchdowns over the past two seasons. Chark is a WR2 with WR1 upside in this plus draw, while Conley warrants WR3/flex consideration after drawing 93 Air Yards and eight targets in Foles’ Week 11 return. Promisingly, Conley popped in Week 12’s Buy Low Air Yards Model and is likely to go overlooked in DFS tournaments. … Westbrook catches the toughest Week 12 matchup in Jacksonville’s pass-catcher corps versus stingy slot CB Logan Ryan. Scoreless since Week 1 with 53 yards or fewer in three of his last four, Westbrook has settled in as a low-ceiling WR4. … The Jags placed rookie TE Oliver (back) on I.R. Monday, reducing their tight end depth chart to blocker Koyack and street free agent signing Nick O’Leary, he of infamous 29-inch T-Rex arms. Seth DeValve (oblique) has been ruled out.
Mike Vrabel’s Titans provided a perfect template of how they want to play in Week 10’s upset of Kansas City, burying the Chiefs on 26/225/2 (8.7 YPC) rushing while Ryan Tannehill averaged 9.5 yards on just 19 pass attempts. Derrick Henry gets another chance to carry Tennessee’s offense against a leaky Jags defensive front that’s permitted 209/1,130/8 (5.41 YPC) rushing to enemy backs and got eviscerated by the Colts for 264 rushing yards and three rushing TDs last week. In Henry’s career, his 3.9 yards per carry in September and October spike to 5.34 in November and December, while Henry has scored twenty-two touchdowns in the latter months compared to 10 in the former. With 16-plus touches in 10-of-10 weeks, Henry’s workload is as secure as any back’s in football. It can’t hurt that Henry has eight TDs and has averaged 97.4 total yards in seven career meetings with the Jags. … A top-12 fantasy passer in four straight games, Tannehill’s streak is in jeopardy against the Jags, who rank No. 4 in sack rate (9%) and No. 1 in QB Hit Rate (19.7%), while Tannehill’s passer rating dives from 119.6 when kept clean to 46.0 under duress. A severe run-funnel defense, Jacksonville has surrendered only 14 touchdown passes in 10 games, while just three of the last nine quarterbacks to face the Jaguars have top-16 fantasy scores.
Tannehill’s 2019 target distribution: A.J. Brown 24; Corey Davis and Jonnu Smith 22; Adam Humphries 19; Anthony Firkser 12; Tajae Sharpe 11; Dion Lewis 9; Henry 7; Kalif Raymond 4; Delanie Walker 2. … Brown failed in Tennessee’s pre-bye Week 10 win over K.C. (1/17/0), but the Titans’ run-first offense was largely to blame. Tannehill passed just 19 times with 13 completions in a Henry-dominated game. Despite immense talent, Brown simply can’t be trusted above WR4/flex range, especially in a run-funnel environment like this. Brown did pop as this week’s No. 5 buy-low player in Josh Hermsmeyer’s Air Yards Model and would be my favorite DFS-tournament play in Tennessee’s Week 12 pass-catcher corps. … Davis (hip) missed Week 10 after logging stat lines of 4/48/0 > 2/9/0 > 6/80/1 in Tannehill’s initial three starts. Jacksonville has permitted the NFL’s 11th-fewest wide receiver fantasy points per game, while Davis has just six career TDs and over 50 yards in 10-of-36 games (28%). … Only playing 54% of Tennessee’s offensive snaps, Humphries has topped 65 yards in 1-of-10 games. … Walker told reporters he intends to return from his ankle injury coming off the Titans’ bye. While Smith has passed him as Tennessee’s main tight end, Walker’s availability will likely cut into Smith’s route-running opportunity. Ultimately, every member of this passing game is a tough Week 12 sell.
Update: The Titans listed Delanie Walker (ankle) as doubtful on Friday, locking Jonnu Smith back in as their primary tight end and making him a viable low-end TE1 streamer with Anthony Firkser in the caddie role.
Score Prediction: Jaguars 21, Titans 20
Cowboys at Patriots
Team Totals: Patriots 26, Cowboys 20
Leading the NFL in total offense and yards per play (6.7), the Cowboys face by far their toughest to-date challenge at Foxboro, where the Pats have allowed 14 points or fewer in seven straight regular season games at Gillette Stadium. Dallas may view Ezekiel Elliott as its best Week 12 offensive focal point since enemy backs roughed up New England for 130/655/1 (5.04 YPC) rushing over its last seven games. While the Patriots can be willingly giving on the ground, keep in mind they’ve allowed just one running back touchdown all year and have long specialized in a bend-don’t-break approach. Zeke maintains one of the highest workload projections on this week’s slate. … Even as top-13 fantasy passer in 9-of-10 starts with eight top-eight finishes, Dak Prescott’s spot is more worrisome based on New England’s allowance of the NFL’s fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks and absurd 4:19 TD-to-INT ratio against. Amari Cooper’s (knee/ankle) questionable health creates further cause for pause, especially in his date with Stephon Gilmore. While Dak seems highly unlikely to hit his ceiling at Gillette, Prescott’s positive man-coverage splits should come in handy for a decent-floor performance against New England’s man-heavy scheme.
Dak’s post-bye target distribution: Cooper and Michael Gallup 29; Randall Cobb 23; Jason Witten 21; Blake Jarwin and Tony Pollard 7; Zeke 6. … While Cooper’s Week 12 availability doesn’t appear to be in doubt, his effectiveness certainly is after Amari struggled to get open versus Darius Slay last week and now projects to draw Gilmore. Typically an elite WR1, I’m downgrading Cooper to a boom-bust WR2 at Foxboro. Cooper ranks top six in the NFL in 20-plus-yard receptions (14), while New England has given up an AFC-low 21 completions of 20-plus yards. … Gallup has 1,037 yards over his last 16 games, showing he’s capable of capitalizing should Amari get taken away. No member of Dallas’ passing game has a truly favorable matchup, but Gallup is positioned for WR2-caliber volume. … On an absolute tear following consecutive 100-plus-yard performances, Cobb has a shot at beating WR3/flex expectations facing a Patriots defense against which fellow slot WRs Golden Tate (6/102/1), JuJu Smith-Schuster (6/78/0), Cole Beasley (7/75/0), and Jarvis Landry (5/65/0) produced PPR-useful results. … Scoreless since Week 2 and held under 60 yards in all ten games, Witten is the kind of low-risk possession threat Bill Belichick would probably prefer to force Prescott to target over more-explosive Cooper and Gallup. Witten is a PPR-specific streamer with four-plus catches in six of his last nine games.
New England’s struggling offense is expected to get back LT Isaiah Wynn (toe) against a Dallas defense that continues to disappoint, yielding top-12 fantasy results to four of its last five quarterbacks faced and point totals of 28 (Vikings) and 27 (Jeff Driskel’s Lions) in its last two. Injuries to Phillip Dorsett (concussion) and Mohamed Sanu (ankle) throw wrenches into Tom Brady’s supporting cast, however, and Brady hasn’t banked a top-12 fantasy score since Week 6 with three results of QB20 or worse over his last four. In a potentially low-scoring affair, I’m shying away from Brady as a season-long start. Per Sports Info Solutions, Brady leads the NFL in throwaways under pressure and is averaging a league-low 2.9 yards per attempt under duress. Despite its other deficiencies, Dallas’ defense has generated a league-high 43.3% pressure rate this season. … Since New England’s pass-catcher corps is banged up and the Cowboys have conceded the NFL’s fifth-most receiving yards to running backs (519), Week 12 sets up better for James White than Sony Michel, particularly with the Patriots getting nothing from their traditional rushing attack lately. Michel has averaged 3.09 yards per carry over New England’s last four games, ranks 24th among 35 qualified backs in Football Outsiders’ rushing Success Rate, and has played over 50% of his team’s offensive snaps once all season. Michel is a low-floor, touchdown-or-bust flex option versus Dallas. … Rex Burkhead has logged largely uneventful touch counts of 4 > 5 > 7 on snap rates of 19% > 36% > 28% over the Patriots’ last three games, doing more to curtail White and Michel’s fantasy viability than carve out his own.
Julian Edelman looks to rebound from his year-worst game wherein he dropped a would-be touchdown pass and finishing with 53 scoreless yards on ten targets, his box score salvaged only by a trick-play TD bomb to Dorsett. Dallas’ secondary is most vulnerable inside, having allowed completions on 55-of-75 slot targets (73%) for 575 yards (7.7 YPA). Edelman’s WR1-level volume remains bankable with double-digit targets in five straight games. … Sanu is much riskier after spraining his ankle early in last week’s win over Philadelphia, then ineffectively returning to gain four yards on four targets. The Cowboys are allowing the NFL’s fourth-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers. Just three individual wide receivers have cleared 75 yards against Dallas’ stingy zone this season. … Dorsett’s concussion moved first-round pick N’Keal Harry up the depth chart against the Eagles for four targets on 43% of New England’s offensive snaps, playing over Jakobi Meyers (2, 26%). Even in a tough draw, Harry will offer opportunity-based WR4 appeal in deep leagues should Dorsett sit. … Despite Matt LaCosse’s Week 11 return, Ben Watson kept New England’s primary tight end role with a 3/52/0 receiving line on four targets, playing 80% of the snaps. Especially with most Patriots wide receivers in bad Week 12 spots, Watson is a legit streamer against a Cowboys defense allowing the league’s fifth-most fantasy points to tight ends. Dallas is also without athletic phenom LB Leighton Vander Esch (neck), further enhancing Watson’s draw.
Score Prediction: Patriots 21, Cowboys 20
Packers at 49ers
Team Totals: 49ers 25.5, Packers 22.5
Aaron Rodgers comes off Green Bay’s bye as one of fantasy’s highest-variance passers with three top-three 2019 scores but results of QB19 or worse in 6-of-10 starts. As Rodgers’ yards per attempt sink from 8.42 at home to 6.87 on the road with 13 all-purpose TDs in six starts at Lambeau Field versus five touchdowns in four away games, Sunday night’s Bay Area visit brings with it lowered box-score expectations. The good news is San Francisco’s once-feared defense is falling apart, losing glue-guy MLB Kwon Alexander (torn pec) in Week 9, dangerous nickel rusher Ronald Blair (ACL) in Week 10, and seven-sack DE Dee Ford (hamstring) in Week 11. Each of the last three quarterbacks to face San Francisco has logged top-14 fantasy results, including two top-eight finishes by Kyler Murray. As he’s been all year, Rodgers still looks like a boom-bust start. … San Francisco’s defense has become especially leaky on the ground, yielding a 138/669/3 (4.85 YPC) rushing line to enemy backs over its last seven games. This bodes well for TD-machine Aaron Jones as an RB2 play with RB1 upside and Jamaal Williams as a bye-week flex. Jones and Williams may also experience a Sunday night passing-game spike. Per Sports Info Solutions, the 49ers have funneled a league-high 24% of opponent throws behind the line of scrimmage, while Rodgers has thrown a league-high 28% of his passes behind the line. Jones has accounted for a Packers team-high 21 targets on such throws, and Williams is right behind him at 20.
Rodgers’ Week 10 target distribution: Davante Adams 10; Allen Lazard 6; Geronimo Allison and Jimmy Graham 3; Jake Kumerow 2; Williams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling 1. … Adams visits San Francisco with seven-plus catches in four of his last five games and double-digit targets in three straight. The 49ers have allowed the NFL’s eighth-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers, but Adams’ extreme volume and incredible on-field rapport with Rodgers keep him matchup proof. Scoreless on the year, Adams is also a screaming positive-TD-regression candidate. … Lazard ranked third among Packers wideouts in routes run (16) in their pre-bye win over Carolina. A touchdown-or-bust WR4, Lazard has finished below 50 yards in four straight games. … Allison operated as Green Bay’s No. 2 wideout against the Panthers, finishing second behind Adams (29) in routes (23). Allison hasn’t topped 52 yards all year. … No team has allowed fewer fantasy points to tight ends than San Francisco, boding poorly for Graham as a season-long streamer. … Kumerow served as Green Bay’s pre-bye No. 4 receiver with MVS at No. 5.
Week 12 gives San Francisco an opportunity to springboard its sputtering ground game against a Green Bay front enemy backs have stomped for 232/1,144/11 (4.93 YPC) rushing. The Packers have also given up the NFL’s tenth-most running back catches (59). Run-blocking maven George Kittle’s (knee) expected return can only help up front, while Tevin Coleman is a home-favorite lead back in a plus draw. Even as Coleman has been held under 75 total yards in five of his last six games, his Week 12 outlook is tough to resist as an RB2 play with RB1 upside. … Raheem Mostert handled eight touches on a 48% playing-time clip in last week’s win over Arizona and should see similar usage with Matt Breida (ankle) still sidelined, keeping Mostert in flex-play consideration. Mostert also ran the same number of Week 11 pass routes as Coleman (19). … San Francisco’s defensive downturn combined with its run-game struggles has forced more onto Jimmy Garoppolo’s plate. He’s responded by completing 104-of-150 passes (69.3%) for 1,164 yards (7.8 YPA) and an 11:4 TD-to-INT ratio over the last month. While Kyle Shanahan would probably prefer to impose his offensive will on Green Bay via the 49ers’ rushing attack, Garoppolo has shown he can hold his own in shootouts. Kittle and Emmanuel Sanders’ (rib) expected availability raises Jimmy G’s ceiling, while Green Bay’s evaporating pass rush has fallen to 21st in sacks (25) and 18th in QB hits (59).
Packers opponents are 57-of-79 (72%) passing for 628 yards (7.95 YPA) and five touchdowns when targeting tight ends; only three teams are allowing more fantasy points per game to Kittle’s position. On the off chance Kittle gets ruled out, 49ers No. 2 TE Ross Dwelley will stand in as a quality streamer. Dwelley’s Weeks 9-11 snap rates were 70%, 92%, and 88%, collecting 16 targets during that span. … Emmanuel Sanders’ risk is high battling a painful rib injury; he’s lasted for only 24 and 32 snaps the last two games before bowing out. Sanders’ midweek return to practice suggests he’s on track to start, however, keeping him in WR3 contention. Fellow WRs Amari Cooper (11/226/1), Kenny Golladay (5/121/0), D.J. Moore (9/120/0), Michael Gallup (7/113/1), Mike Williams (3/111/0), Allen Robinson (7/102/0), Courtland Sutton (5/87/0), Tyreek Hill (6/76/0), Mecole Hardman (2/55/1), Stefon Diggs (1/49/1), Alshon Jeffery (3/38/1), and Curtis Samuel (5/35/1) have all delivered useful games against Green Bay. … Deebo Samuel (shoulder) also emerged from last week’s loss banged up but seems healthier than Sanders, who is at greater risk of decoy usage. Samuel was the clear focal point of San Francisco’s passing attack in the last two weeks, handling double-digit targets in both and earning locked-in WR2 treatment versus Green Bay. … Kendrick Bourne is the favorite for third-receiver work in Week 12, while Marquise Goodwin has settled in as the 49ers’ lightly-used situational deep threat.
Score Prediction: Packers 24, 49ers 23
Ravens at Rams
Team Totals: Ravens 25, Rams 21.5
Lamar Jackson visits L.A. in another opportunity to demonstrate his matchup-proof scoring ability. The Rams have held 8-of-10 quarterbacks faced to fantasy results of QB15 or worse while allowing the NFL’s fourth-fewest yards per pass attempt (6.7) and a league-low 45 QB rushing yards. Rams opponents have scored 17 points or fewer in four straight games, while Jackson managed uneven outcomes of QB17 (Steelers) and QB3 (Patriots) against the best two defenses he’s faced so far this year. Even as Jackson’s floor may be a bit lower than usual on the road against crafty Rams DC Wade Phillips, Jackson always maintains slate-breaking overall QB1 upside. Incredibly, he’s posted top-three scores in 7-of-10 starts. … The matchup for Baltimore’s Week 12 backfield is just as tough on paper; Phillips’ defense has stymied enemy backs for 3.53 yards per carry and just 37.8 receiving yards per game. Mark Ingram’s touchdown equity remains as high as any back’s in football as lead runner in one of the NFL’s best-ever rushing offenses with the league’s third-most carries inside the five-yard line (11) and ten all-purpose TDs on the year. Ingram has been an every-week RB2 with touchdown-reliant RB1 upside all season, and that doesn’t change this week. … Gus Edwards’ season-best rushing line (8/112/1) in last week’s 41-7 trouncing of Houston was due largely to the massively lopsided score; Edwards’ 63-yard touchdown sprint occurred with Baltimore up 34-7 and four minutes left. Edwards is playable on one-game DFS slates but still lacks season-long flex appeal averaging under seven touches over his last eight games.
Jackson’s post-bye target distribution: Mark Andrews 15; Nick Boyle and Marquise Brown 12; Willie Snead 8; Ingram 7; Hayden Hurst 6; Patrick Ricard 4; Miles Boykin and Seth Roberts 1. … This is a plus draw for Andrews against the Rams, who gave up top-12 fantasy scores to George Kittle (8/103/0), Will Dissly (4/81/0), Tyler Eifert (6/74/0), Austin Hooper (4/46/1), and Cameron Brate (3/36/1) over their last seven games. … Possession/blocking TE Boyle is worth consideration on one-game DFS slates with an over-75% playing-time role on offense. … On paper, Brown’s Week 12 draw is arguably worst in the Ravens’ pass-catcher corps. The Rams have permitted the NFL’s second-fewest completions of 20-plus yards (21), while Brown is a virtual lock to draw Jalen Ramsey’s shadow coverage throughout Monday night’s game. Brown maintains major one-game DFS appeal based on his slate-altering big-play potential, but he is a low-floor WR3 bet in season-long leagues. … For one-game DFSers searching for sleepers, here is how Week 11 pass routes were distributed in Baltimore’s passing game: Roberts 21; Brown 20; Boyle and Snead 17; Andrews 15; Ingram 13; Hurst 11; Boykin 9; Edwards and Ricard 8.
The Ravens’ secondary dominance with Marcus Peters bookending a healthy Jimmy Smith and Marlon Humphrey transitioning inside has allowed pass-rusher-deficient Baltimore to climb to No. 4 in QB Hit Rate (18.7%), concerning for pressure-sensitive Jared Goff. Just 1-of-10 passers to face the Ravens has logged top-12 fantasy results, including shutdowns of Deshaun Watson (QB28), Tom Brady (QB21), Russell Wilson (QB18), and Kyler Murray (QB18). Goff doesn’t warrant season-long QB1 consideration but does offer contrarian one-game DFS-tournament appeal in a matchup where Lamar Jackson will command over twice as much ownership. … Todd Gurley draws Los Angeles’ top Week 12 skill-player matchup against the Ravens, who’ve yielded 154/734/8 (4.77 YPC) rushing to enemy backs over their last eight games but the NFL’s sixth-fewest receiving yards per game to Gurley’s position (34.5). Held under 100 total yards in 8-of-10 games, Gurley remains a low-floor, touchdown-reliant RB2 who got vultured at the goal line by Malcolm Brown last week and has four catches over his last four games.
Goff’s 2019 target distribution: Cooper Kupp 94; Robert Woods 71; Gerald Everett 57; Brandin Cooks 45; Gurley 31; Josh Reynolds 29; Tyler Higbee 27; Darrell Henderson 6. … Held to 53 yards or fewer in four of his last five games, it’s fair to wonder if Kupp is hitting a wall after his hot start coming off last year’s ACL tear. The good news is fellow slot-type WRs Julian Edelman (10/89/0), Mohamed Sanu (10/81/1), Tyler Boyd (6/62/0), and Tyler Lockett (5/61/1) have produced useful fantasy results against Baltimore within the Ravens’ last four games. Perhaps Kupp isn’t the elite WR1 he looked to be early in the season, but at worst he’s a strong, volume-based WR2. … The Rams expect to have both Woods (personal) and Cooks (concussions) back after the former missed Week 11, and the latter has been out since Week 8. Unfortunately, they will encounter stingy perimeter coverage from Ravens RCB Jimmy Smith and LCB Marcus Peters, who since Peters was acquired in Week 7 have combined to allow just 23 completions on 43 targets (53%) for 205 yards (4.8 YPA) and one touchdown. Woods is a good enough route runner to stay fringe WR3/flex worthy. Cooks’ outlook likely hinges on a big play, which were elusive for Cooks in his first eight appearances, where his 16-game pace was 54/804/2. … Perhaps due to a wrist injury, Everett logged Week 11 season lows in snaps (26%) and routes run (8), playing behind Higbee and “Johnny Mundt.” Neither Higbee nor Mundt drew a single target against the Bears. Not on this week’s injury report, Everett should resume his boom-bust role versus Baltimore. Everett has 21 yards or fewer in 6-of-10 games. … Reynolds figures to resume No. 4 wideout duties in Cooks’ return.
Score Prediction: Ravens 23, Rams 17