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Week 12 Rankings

By Cody Smith

Another week, another handful of crazy “where did that come from?” type of fantasy football performances.

First off, where did Bo Scarbrough come from? The last I heard of him, he was mowing over defenders in the SEC two years ago, and then out of nowhere he pops up with a 14-55-1 performance out of the Lions' backfield.

Scarborough is now one of the top waiver wire adds coming into Week 12.

In the same game, Jeff Driskel posted his second consecutive top-12 QB finish, posting QB5 numbers against the Cowboys. Also, Tony Pollard joined Zeke Elliott as top-10 running backs thanks to both backs finding the end zone.

The Ravens also placed a pair of backs in the top-10 with Mark Ingram finishing as RB2 and Gus Edwards finishing at RB10

Jonathan Williams - another top waiver wire add - posted RB14 numbers after Marlon Mack left the game with a broken hand.

And as for wide receivers, if you had John “Smokey” Brown, D.J. Chark and Calvin Ridley finishing as WR1, 2 and 3, let me know. I need you to give me the numbers for the next Powerball drawing.

Last week I said the following:

“Here is to hoping this week is a little more predictable. Good luck to all the teams out there still in contention. Hopefully the rankings below can help guide you to a victory.”

The same applies for this week, but if anyone has learned anything over the course of this season, fantasy football is anything but predictable.

Injury Notes

Jameis Winston picked up an ankle injury late in Sunday’s game, but it seems as though he’ll be alright. You can play him against Atlanta if you have no other options, but expect the usual amount of turnovers.

Matthew Stafford remains out with broken bones in his back. Though the Lions’ are saying he is week-to-week, his original timetable would indicate that he won’t return until late in the playoffs (Week 15.)

Mitch Trubisky is not nursing a hip injury, but according to head coach Matt Nagy, he will “absolutely” remain the Bears’ starting QB. Don’t be the Matt Nagy of the fantasy football world, move on if you haven’t already.

Marlon Mack has had surgery on his fractured right hand and is being considered out indefinitely. Jonathan Williams, Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins will somehow split the load, but how exactly is yet to be seen. If you have room, add one of these guys in the order listed above and wait it out to see how each is utilized.

James Connor has an AC Joint injury and it isn’t clear if he plays this week or not. If he does, I think he’ll have to be rolled out. If he doesn’t, Jaylen Samuels is an intriguing option.

Devonta Freeman is not on pace to practice Wednesday and things aren't looking promising for him to play this week. In that case, Brian Hill would be a flex option this week, but he faces a tough match-up against Tampa Bay and is probably better left on benches.

Saquon Barkley has a banged up shoulder and has been vocal about not wanting the Giants to rest him or limit him down the stretch. For now I expect him to maintain his workload, but if I own Barkley, i’m definitely adding Wayne Gallman to my roster.

Jordan Howard (shoulder) missed a match-up last week where he probably wouldn’t have posted great numbers anyway against a tough New England defense. He looks set to return against the Seahawks where he should hold value as an RB2 or Flex.

Matt Breida is on track to return in Week 12 after missing a game against Arizona with an ankle injury. He faces the 30th ranked rush defense of the Packers which puts him in flex consideration.

Tyler Lockett left a week 10 game with a shin injury and spent some time in the hospital. It seems the Seahawks are planning on him playing this week in a juicy match-up against the Eagles. Lockett is a must-start if he plays this week.

Robert Woods missed Week 11 with a personal matter and it is unclear when he will rejoin the team. It is worth keeping an eye on Woods this week. He would be worth a play at least in the flex if he rejoins the team this week.

Juju Smith-Schuster and Diontae Johnson are both in concussion protocol for the Steelers. They’ll face the Bengals this week if they play. Keep an eye on the injury report for additional information.

Mohamed Sanu tweaked an ankle against the Eagles, but should be fine this week. The same seems true with Deebo Samuel’s shoulder injury and Will Filler V’s hamstring. T.Y. Hilton on the other hand is not trending toward playing this week with his calf injury.

Others to keep an eye on: Chris Thompson (toe), Jordan Wilkins (ankle), Benny Snell Jr. (knee), Alshon Jeffery (ankle), Phillip Dorsett II (concussion), Auden Tate (concussion), Brandin Cooks (concussion), Corey Daivs (hip), Sterling Shepard (concussion) and Paul Richardson Jr. (hamstring).

Teams on a bye this week include the Chiefs, Chargers, Cardinals and Vikings.


Quarterbacks I like

Derek Carr used his first rushing touchdown of the season to put together a solid fantasy day against the Bengals last week. Though he hasn’t thrown for 300+ yards in a game this season, he still has a nice match-up this week against the New York Jets. The Jets have allowed multiple touchdown passes in each of the last four games. Carr is a fine streaming option this week.

My Rank: QB10

ESPN Rank: QB15

Jimmy Garoppolo has posted a pair of four touchdown games in his last three performances. Both of those games came against the Cardinals. He has a tougher match-up this time having to take on the Packers who have only allowed one touchdown pass in the past two weeks, but have also allowed Kyle Allen to post a 300+ yard game. I believe Jimmy G is another streaming option this week.

My Rank: QB9

ESPN Rank: QB16

Quarterbacks to avoid

Drew Brees faces the 10th ranked defense this week (Carolina) coming off of a three touchdown game last week against the vulnerable Tampa Bay secondary. The Carolina defense hasn’t allowed a multi-touchdown performance from a QB since Week 8 and have only allowed three such performances this season. I’m lowering expectations for Brees this week, though he should still post low-end QB1 numbers.

My Rank: QB12

ESPN Rank: QB5

Dak Prescott faces the top-ranked New England defense this weekend, and despite posting otherworldly numbers for the majority of the season, he may meet his match this weekend. The Patriots have allowed just four passing touchdowns this season and only three quarterbacks have thrown for over 200 yards. This is a tough match-up for Dak who is a borderline QB1. Find another option if you can.

My Rank: QB14

ESPN Rank: QB7

Nick Foles returned with a nice game where he threw the ball 47 times, completing 33 of those and adding a pair of touchdowns. Tennessee could be a challenge this weekend, even though they have given up some nice performances lately. The Titans are at home and coming off of a bye which should also play to the defense’s advantage.

My Rank: QB19

ESPN Rank: QB23

Week 12 Quarterback Rankings

1. Russell Wilson @Phi

2. Lamar Jackson @LAR

3. Matt Ryan vs. TB

4. Jameis Winston @Atl

5. Deshaun Watson vs. Ind

6. Josh Allen vs. Den

7. Jacoby Brissett @Hou

8. Carson Wentz vs. Sea

9. Jimmy Garoppolo vs. GB

10. Derek Carr @NYJ

11. Baker Mayfield vs. Mia

12. Drew Brees vs. Car

13. Aaron Rodgers @SF

14. Dak Prescott @NE

15. Tom Brady vs. Dal

16. Jeff Driskel @Wsh

17. Ryan Tannehill vs. Jax

18. Sam Darnold vs. Oak

19. Mason Rudolph @Cin

20. Jared Goff vs. Bal

21. Mitchell Trubisky vs. NYG

22. Kyle Allen @NO

23. Nick Foles @Ten

24. Daniel Jones @Chi

25. Ryan Fitzpatrick @Cle

26. Dwayne Haskins vs. Det

27. Ryan Finley vs. Pit

28. Brandon Allen @Buf

Running Backs I Like

Le’Veon Bell has now scored in back-to-back weeks. Despite not having a 100-yard rushing game this season, he is still the RB12 on the season. Bell faces Oakland this weekend who has allowed 100+ rushing yards and a rushing touchdown in each of the last two games. I expect a strong performance from Bell this week.

My Rank: RB6

ESPN Rank: RB12

James Conner has a very nice match-up this week against the 28th ranked rush defense in Cincinnati. So long as Conner is fully healthy and can remain that way this weekend, a solid fantasy game should be in store. Conner posted 26.5 fantasy points in a Week 4 match-up with the Bengals.

My Rank: RB9

ESPN Rank: RB13

Matt Breida faces the 30th ranked defense in Green Bay this week. Like Conner, Breida is also nursing an injury. He hasn’t been incredibly effective lately, but in a game where the 49ers could be running the ball a lot, I expect Breida to have a breakout game.

My Rank: RB28

ESPN Rank: RB32

Running Backs to Avoid

Ezekiel Elliott will be in a tough spot this weekend in a game against New England. Last weekend against the softest run defense, Zeke only had 16 carries for 45 yards. This week, he gets the best defense in the league. Limit expectations for Zeke. He will probably post closer to RB2 numbers than RB1 numbers.

My Rank: RB11

ESPN Rank: RB7

Aaron Jones is your current RB4 on the season thanks to an unforeseen 14 touchdowns in 10 games this season. This week he may face his toughest test to date against San Francisco. Jones has split carries with Jamaal Williams all season and only has two 100-yard rushing games this season. San Francisco has allowed just three rushing touchdowns this season. I expect limited production from Jones.

My Rank: RB10

ESPN Rank: RB15

Miles Sanders is just not very good, but he also hasn’t gotten a ton of chances. Sanders hasn’t had more than 13 carries in a game - which happened in Week 3 - and also hasn’t rushed for over 74 yards in a game. What relevant fantasy weeks he has had have come on long receptions and the occasional touchdown (he has scored twice this season.) A tough Seattle run defense should continue to shut him down.

My Rank: RB28

ESPN Rank: RB36

Week 12 Running Back Rankings

1. Christian McCaffrey @NO

2. Alvin Kamara vs. Car

3. Saquon Barkley @Chi

4. Nick Chubb vs. Mia

5. Leonard Fournette @Ten

6. Le’Veon Bell vs. Oak

7. Derek Henry vs. Jax

8. Josh Jacobs @NYJ

9. James Connor @Cin

10. Chris Carson @Phi

11. Ezekiel Elliott @NE

12. Todd Gurley vs. Bal

13. Mark Ingram II @LAR

14. Joe Mixon vs. Pit

15. Aaron Jones @SF

16. James White vs. Dal

17. Tevin Coleman vs. GB

18. David Montgomery vs. NYG

19. Devin Singletary vs. Den

20. Phillip Lindsay @Buf

21. Carlos Hyde vs. Ind

22. Kareem Hunt vs. Mia

23. Jordan Howard vs. Sea

24. Sony Michel vs. Dal

25. Brian Hill vs. TB

26. Ronald Jones II @Atl

27. Tarik Cohen vs. NYG

28. Matt Breida vs. GB

29. Kalen Ballage @Cle

30. Latavius Murray vs. Car

31. Bo Scarbrough @Wsh

32. Jaylen Samuels @Cin

33. Nyheim Hines @Hou

34. Adrian Peterson vs. Det

35. Duke Johnson vs. Ind

36. Miles Sanders vs. Sea

37. J.D. McKissic @Wsh

38. Jamaal Williams @SF

39. Rex Burkhead vs. Dal

40. Royce Freeman @Buf

41. Jonathan WIlliams @Hou

42. Jordan Wilkins @Hou

43. Derrius Guice vs. Det

44. Frank Gore vs. Den

45. Chris Thompson vs. Det

46. Patrick Laird @Cle

47. Peyton Barber @Atl

48. Raheem Mostert vs. GB

49. Dare Ogunbowale @Atl

50. Tony Pollard @NE

Wide Receivers I Like

Terry McLaurin has faded from his hot start and is struggling to haul in more than three or four passes a game. Despite playing with Dwayne Haskins at Ohio State, the two haven’t shown much chemistry thus far. I believe that could change in a plus match-up this weekend. Detroit has allowed a touchdown pass in six consecutive games, and I believe McLaurin gives the team its best chance this weekend.

My Rank: WR21

ESPN Rank: WR27

In the same game, Marvin Jones Jr. looks to also have a big game. Jones currently has more fantasy points on the season than teammate Kenny Golladay after last week’s two touchdown game. Jeff Driskel has filled in admirably for Matt Stafford over the last two weeks, and this game could surprisingly be a shootout with neither team having a particularly strong running game.

My Rank: WR12

ESPN Rank: WR28

Tyler Boyd has expressed his frustrations after catching one pass for zero yards on three targets last week against Oakland. With Auden Tate likely out of the contest, Boyd should be the go-to target in the Bengals offense against Pittsburgh..

My Rank: WR30

ESPN Rank: WR35

Wide Receivers to Avoid

Odell Beckham Jr. is a popular choice to have a breakout week against Miami after having double-digit targets each of the last two weeks, but I believe this could be another tough game for him. With Jarvis Landry producing at the rate he has been, and playing in a revenge game, I think this is more of a Landry breakout game than a Beckham breakout game.

My Rank: WR20

ESPN Rank: WR11

Michael Gallup is in a sticky situation against New England. If Amari Cooper doesn’t play, he will see coverage from Stephon Gilmore. If Cooper does play, Gallup still has to find a way to get open against a Patriots' defense that has allowed just one touchdown to wide receivers this season (Golden Tate, Week 6.)

My Rank: WR31

ESPN Rank: WR24

Will Fuller V returns from a four-week absence with a hamstring injury. Fuller plays the Colts Thursday night who have been in the top half of the league against the pass. Fuller could have a slow start to his second part of the year.

My Rank: WR35

ESPN Rank: WR26

Week 12 Wide Receiver Rankings

1. Michael Thomas vs. Car

2. Julio Jones vs. TB

3. Mike Evans @Atl

4. Tyler Lockett @Phi

5. DeAndre Hopkins vs. Ind

6. Chris Godwin @Atl

7. DJ Chark Jr. @Ten

8. Julian Edelman vs. Dal

9. Cooper Kupp vs. Bal

10. Davante Adams @SF

11. Amari Cooper @NE

12. Marvin Jones Jr. @Wsh

13. DJ Moore @NO

14. Calvin Ridley vs. TB

15. Allen Robinson II vs. NYG

16. John Brown vs. Den

17. Jarvis Landry vs. Mia

18. Kenny Golladay @Wsh

19. Courtland Sutton @Buf

20. Odell Beckham Jr. vs. Mia

21. Terry McLaurin vs. Det

22. Jamison Crowder vs. Oak

23. DK Metcalf @Phi

24. DeVante Parker @Cle

25. Curtis Samuel @NO

26. Emmanuel Sanders vs. GB

27. Tyrell Williams @NYJ

28. Alshon Jeffery vs. Sea

29. Robert Woods vs. Bal

30. Tyler Boyd vs. Pit

31. Michael Gallup @NE

32. Juju Smith-Schuster @Cin

33. Zach Pascal @Hou

34. Brandin Cooks vs. Bal

35. Will Fuller V vs. Ind

36. Dede Westbrook @Ten

37. Golden Tate @Chi

38. Mohamed Sanu vs. Dal

39. Russell Gage vs. TB

40. Taylor Gabriel vs. NYG

41. Sterling Shepard @Chi

42. Deebo Samuel vs. GB

43. Diontae Johnson @Cin

44. Hunter Renfrow @NYJ

45. Corey Davis vs. Jax

46. Chris Conley @Ten

47. Randall Cobb @NE

48. Marquise Brown @LAR

49. Cole Beasley vs. Den

50. Darius Slayton @Chi

Tight Ends I Like

Jason Witten has a solid floor every week, though his floor and ceiling are nearly one in the same this late in his career. If there is one spot the Patriots' defense has been struggling this season, it has been against the tight end. Just last week the Pats allowed 12 catches for 130 yards and a touchdown to tight ends. As a matter of fact, the Pats' defense has allowed a tight end to score a touchdown in each of the last three games. Witten has a chance to make that a four-game streak this weekend.

My Rank: TE8

ESPN Rank: TE13

Tight Ends To Avoid

People need to cool their jets a bit on the Jacob Hollister train. Hollister had been great, there is no denying that, but this week Hollister will be playing a 1 p.m. game on the east coast against the eight ranked defense against the tight end. I think Hollister comes back down to earth this weekend.

My Rank: TE19

ESPN Rank: TE8

Week 12 Tight End Rankings

1. George Kittle vs. GB

2. Zach Ertz vs. Sea

3. Mark Andrews @LAR

4. Darren Waller @NYJ

5. Greg Olsen @NO

6. Eric Ebron @Hou

7. Gerald Everett vs. Bal

8. Jason Witten @NE

9. Jared Cook vs. Car

10. Vance McDonald @Cin

11. Noah Fant @Buf

12. Darren Fells vs. Ind

13. Ryan Griffin vs. Oak

14. Jimmy Graham @SF

15. Tyler Eifert vs. Pit

16. Dallas Goedert vs. Sea

17. T.J. Hockenson @Wsh

18. Jack Doyle @Hou

19. Jacob Hollister @Phi

20. Mike Gesicki @Cle

21. Delanie Walker vs. Jax

22. Cameron Brate @Atl

23. Nick Boyle @LAR

24. O.J. Howard @Atl

25. Rhett Ellison @Chi

Week 8 likes/dislikes

Quarterback likes

Jimmy Garoppolo: My Rank - QB10; ESPN Rank - QB13; Actual finish - QB3

Kirk Cousins: My Rank - QB12; ESPN Rank - QB17; Actual finish - QB8

Quarterback dislikes

Derek Carr: My Rank - QB14; ESPN Rank - QB10; Actual finish - QB11

Kyle Allen: My Rank - QB19; ESPN Rank - QB12; Actual finish - QB24

Jacoby Brissett: My Rank - QB20; ESPN Rank - QB14; Actual finish - QB17

Running Back likes

Joe Mixon: My Rank - RB11; ESPN Rank - RB17; Actual finish - RB9

Carlos Hyde: My Rank - RB21; ESPN Rank - RB27; Actual finish - RB23

Running Back dislikes

Mark Ingram II: My Rank - RB17; ESPN Rank - RB10; Actual finish - RB2

Austin Ekeler: My Rank - RB24; ESPN Rank - RB14; Actual finish - RB4

Ronald Jones II: My Rank - RB26; ESPN Rank - RB21; Actual finish - RB59

Wide Receiver likes

Courtland Sutton: My Rank - WR9; ESPN Rank - WR15; Actual finish - WR13

Calvin Ridley: My Rank - WR22; ESPN Rank - WR25; Actual finish - WR3

Emmanuel Sanders: My Rank - WR15; ESPN Rank - WR29; Actual finish - WR58

Wide Receiver dislikes

DeAndre Hopkins: My Rank - WR8; ESPN Rank - WR3; Actual finish - WR16

Kenny Golladay/Marvin Jones Jr.: My Rank - WR20/WR35; ESPN Rank - WR11/21; Actual finish - WR70/WR11

D.J. Chark: My Rank - WR32; ESPN Rank - WR20; Actual finish - WR2

Tight End likes

Jared Cook: My Rank - TE5; ESPN Rank - TE7; Actual finish - TE11

Tight End dislikes

O.J. Howard: My Rank - TE22; ESPN Rank - TE13; Actual finish - TE47

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