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Week 12 Rankings

by Patrick Daugherty
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:09 pm ET

Updated 11/23 at 12:00 PM ET. Removed Reggie Bush and Larry Fitzgerald. Moved Robert Griffin III down, moved Theo Riddick up. Ticked Boom Herron up one spot.   

This week’s message is simple: Don’t over think Josh Gordon. Gordon was not a WR1 in 2013. He was the WR1. His 16.2 weekly points were 0.4 more than Calvin Johnson, and a whopping 2.0 more than No. 3 Demaryius Thomas. Gordon’s 1,646 yards were 10th most all time even though he only played 14 games. You may have heard that statistic 100 times by now, but that’s because it’s never not amazing. I mean, seriously, Brandon Weeden and Jason Campbell were his quarterbacks for 13-of-16 games. Think about that.   

So Gordon was not some run-of-the-mill WR1 last season. He was historic, and those skills didn’t evaporate while he was selling used cars. By nearly every account, Gordon stayed in shape during his ban, and was at the Browns’ facility on a daily basis. This is why talk of the Browns “easing in” their otherworldly No. 1 receiver isn’t just nonsensical, but frankly, unbelievable. Just ask Falcons coach Mike Smith. "Absolutely I do," was Smith’s response when asked if he expected Gordon to be full go on Sunday. “(He’s) a game-changer. He's a guy that with the ball in his hands, he can make plays. So we're anticipating that we're going to get a full dose of him this week."

Let’s say the Browns truly do want to limit Gordon’s snaps in his return from a 10-month absence. Fine, whatever. You don’t think survival instinct is going to kick in for a team that’s sitting at 6-4 and within striking distance of its first playoff appearance since 2002? If there’s ever been a team that wants to win now, it’s the 2014 Cleveland Browns. But let’s take this hypothetical one step further and say the Browns actually are disciplined enough to keep Gordon on a pitch count. It’s not as if he’s going to be running decoy routes. He’s going to be racking up targets, catches and fantasy points.    

God bless Andrew Hawkins, Taylor Gabriel and Miles Austin, but they look like college players compared to their 23-year-old, All-Pro teammate. Gordon is going to hit the ground running. Don’t be surprised to find the Browns and fantasy owners on his back.  

Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-week $2.5 Million Fantasy Football league for Week 12's games. It's only $25 to join and first prize is $300,000. Starts Sunday, November 23rd at 1pm ET. Here's the link.


Week 12 Quarterbacks

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Aaron Rodgers at MIN -
2 Andrew Luck vs. JAC -
3 Peyton Manning vs. MIA -
4 Drew Brees vs. BAL -
5 Tom Brady vs. DET Probable (ankle)
6 Jay Cutler vs. TB -
7 Mark Sanchez vs. TEN -
8 Matt Ryan vs. CLE -
9 Colin Kaepernick vs. WAS -
10 Tony Romo at NYG Probable (back)
11 Josh McCown at CHI Probable (back)
12 Russell Wilson vs. ARZ -
13 Matthew Stafford at NE -
14 Ryan Tannehill at DEN Probable (shoulder)
15 Philip Rivers vs. STL Probable (-)
16 Joe Flacco at NO -
17 Kyle Orton vs. NYJ Probable (toe)
18 Andy Dalton at HOU -
19 Alex Smith at OAK -
20 Eli Manning vs. DAL -
21 Brian Hoyer at ATL -
22 Robert Griffin III at SF Probable (ankle)
23 Blake Bortles at IND Probable (wrist)
24 Michael Vick at BUF Probable (foot)
25 Drew Stanton at SEA -
26 Shaun Hill at SD -
27 Zach Mettenberger at PHI -
28 Derek Carr vs. KC Probable (quadriceps)
29 Ryan Mallett vs. CIN Probable (chest)
30 Teddy Bridgewater vs. GB -

QB Notes: Aaron Rodgers is averaging 32.1 fantasy points over his past five starts, which would rank first on the season by nearly 1.5. We’ve heard a lot about Rodgers’ dominance at home, but he’s also averaging 31.1 points over his past three road jaunts. That, too, would lead all quarterbacks on the year. The last time Rodgers faced Minnesota, he racked up just 19.8 points because the Packers got up so big, so early that throwing wasn’t necessary. The league MVP won’t be slowed in Week 12. … Andrew Luck had his best game of the season in Week 3 against the Jaguars, completing 79.5 percent of his passes while piling up 370 yards and four touchdowns. The Jags have made (some) strides since then, but it’s going to be another long day for Gus Bradley’s defense. … Coming off his worst game in a Broncos uniform, Peyton Manning gets a Dolphins defense allowing the second fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks. The game is in Denver, however, where the Broncos have scored fewer than 31 just once all season. Expect Manning’s “slump” to last all of one game.

Drew Brees is fantasy’s No. 4 quarterback on the year, but the questions keep mounting. The latest being, how will he adjust to the loss of rookie playmaker Brandin Cooks, who had emerged as the Saints’ top downfield threat? At least for Week 12, the answer is “by facing the Ravens’ ragtag secondary.” The Ravens’ top-three corners are Ladarius Webb (106-of-112 in Pro Football Focus’ corner ratings), Anthony Levine (converted safety) and Danny Gorrer (street free agent). If that doesn’t bust a (relative) slump, nothing will. … Smokin’ Jay Cutler has been anything but this season, but is coming off his second-best fantasy performance against a Bucs team allowing 266 weekly passing yards. Lovie Smith’s unit has been pasted for a 20:8 TD:INT ratio against. Cutler doesn’t exactly inspire confidence, but neither does Tampa’s defense. … Coming off a game where he handed the ball off 40 times, Tom Brady must now contend with the Lions’ league-best defense. If there’s good news for Brady’s owners, it’s that Detroit is just as stout on the ground as it is in the air, meaning Bill Belichick should entrust the keys to Brady instead of breakout back Jonas Gray. It’s unlikely to be Brady’s crispest performance, but the points should be there.

Nevermind the garbage time. Mark Sanchez is averaging 24.9 fantasy points as the Eagles’ starter, which would rank fourth on the season. The early results have been fairly definitive: This is not a brand-new Sanchez. But it is Sanchez in a brand-new offense, one that masks his deficiencies better than Brian Schottenheimer ever did. There will be picks and fumbles, but also plenty of yards and touchdowns. … Week 12 is a great spot for Colin Kaepernick, but be warned: Kaep has surpassed 20.0 fantasy points just once in six starts, and managed only one total score in four-straight games. Nearly all signs point toward a Niner thrashing of Washington, but a huge Kaep game should not be considered an article of faith. … Yes, the Browns have Joe Haden, but they’ll also be missing pass rushers Jabaal Sheard and Karlos Dansby. It means Matt Ryan might have time to throw, something that’s rarely been the case this season. With Roddy White finally coming on opposite Julio Jones, there should be a run in Ryan’s immediate future.

You’re probably squirming in your chair as you consider the concept of “Josh McCown QB1,” but consider: 1. Mike Evans has been the best receiver in football over the past month. 2. It’s McCown’s “revenge game” with the Bears, a team that just so happens to be surrendering the second most fantasy points to quarterbacks. There is obvious bust potential here, but with so many of the usual QB1 suspects having tough matchups for Week 12, McCown is worth a long look. … Coming off his worst game of the season, Matthew Stafford must now travel to Foxboro, where the Patriots never lose and have Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner waiting for Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate. That’s the bad news. The good news is, things finally up open for Stafford in Week 13. The side-armed one has one of the fantasy playoffs’ most-appealing schedules (vs. CHI, vs. TB, vs. MIN, @ CHI). … Despite continual struggles as a passer, Russell Wilson’s legs have kept him from falling off the QB1 map. He’s fantasy’s No. 8 quarterback over the past five weeks, and still No. 7 on the season. At home against a Cardinals defense that gives up its fair share of passing yards, Wilson’s floor isn’t quite as scary as it’s been in recent weeks.

The Broncos have an elite defense, but also surrender a ton of yards because of the shootouts Peyton Manning invites on a weekly basis. It’s a tight spot for Ryan Tannehill, but his likely volume gives him a high floor. … The Rams allow the eighth most fantasy points to opposing signal callers, but have really gotten after the quarterback in recent weeks. With Philip Rivers (rib) at less than 100 percent behind a leaky line, a strong performance cannot be taken for granted. … Kyle Orton was lucky not to earn a mid-game benching in Week 11. That’s how bad he was against the Dolphins. Thankfully for Orton, the Jets — and their impossible-to-believe 25:3 TD:INT ratio against — are on deck for Week 12. … Alex Smith has failed to produce a passing touchdown in three of his past four starts. That’s where the Raiders come in. Smith is a low-risk, moderate-reward QB2 streamer. … Robert Griffin III on the road against the 49ers? Good luck with that. … With Josh Gordon back against the Falcons’ porous secondary, Brian Hoyer has a higher ceiling than usual. … Zach Mettenberger seems to be a proponent of the YOLO lifestyle. A deep-ball specialist against an Eagles D that bleeds big plays? YOLO.


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Week 12 Running Backs

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 DeMarco Murray at NYG -
2 Jamaal Charles at OAK Probable (shoulder)
3 Matt Forte vs. TB -
4 Marshawn Lynch vs. ARZ Probable (back)
5 LeSean McCoy vs. TEN -
6 Eddie Lacy at MIN -
7 Mark Ingram vs. BAL Probable (shoulder)
8 Justin Forsett at NO Probable (ankle)
9 Rashad Jennings vs. DAL -
10 C.J. Anderson vs. MIA -
11 Denard Robinson at IND -
12 Andre Ellington at SEA Probable (foot)
13 Alfred Blue vs. CIN -
14 Trent Richardson vs. JAC Probable (illness)
15 Isaiah Crowell at ATL -
16 Frank Gore vs. WAS Probable (hip)
17 Tre Mason at SD -
18 Jeremy Hill at HOU -
19 Steven Jackson vs. CLE -
20 Alfred Morris at SF -
21 Joique Bell at NE Probable (ankle)
22 Giovani Bernard at HOU Probable (hip)
23 Shane Vereen vs. DET -
24 Jerick McKinnon vs. GB Probable (back)
25 Ryan Mathews vs. STL Questionable (knee)
26 Lamar Miller at DEN Questionable (shoulder)
27 Fred Jackson vs. NYJ Questionable (groin)
28 Chris Ivory at BUF Probable (shoulder)
29 Bishop Sankey at PHI -
30 Terrance West at ATL -
31 Charles Sims at CHI Questionable (ankle)
32 Pierre Thomas vs. BAL Probable (shoulder)
33 Bryce Brown vs. NYJ -
34 Latavius Murray vs. KC Sidelined (concussion)
35 Branden Oliver vs. STL -
36 Dan Herron vs. JAC -
37 Jonas Gray vs. DET -
38 Darren Sproles vs. TEN -
39 Theo Riddick at NE -
40 Chris Johnson at BUF Probable (ankle)
41 Benny Cunningham at SD -
42 Knile Davis at OAK -
43 Carlos Hyde vs. WAS -
44 Juwan Thompson vs. MIA Probable (knee)
45 Roy Helu at SF -
46 Darren McFadden vs. KC -
47 LeGarrette Blount vs. DET -
48 Doug Martin at CHI Questionable (ankle)
49 Joseph Randle at NYG -
50 James Starks at MIN -
51 Toby Gerhart at IND -
52 Ben Tate vs. GB -
53 Anthony Dixon vs. NYJ -
54 Bobby Rainey at CHI -
55 Travaris Cadet vs. BAL Probable (hamstring)
56 Andre Williams vs. DAL -
57 Bernard Pierce at NO -
58 Damien Williams at DEN -
59 Jonathan Grimes vs. CIN -
60 Stepfan Taylor at SEA Probable (calf)
61 Devonta Freeman vs. CLE -
62 Jacquizz Rodgers vs. CLE -
63 Lorenzo Taliaferro at NO -
64 Daniel Thomas at DEN -
65 Shonn Greene at PHI -
66 Donald Brown vs. STL -
67 Maurice Jones-Drew vs. KC -
68 Robert Turbin vs. ARZ -
69 Chris Polk vs. TEN -
70 Christine Michael vs. ARZ -
71 Dexter McCluster at PHI Questionable (knee)

RB Notes: DeMarco Murray has the most fantasy points of any running back. The Giants allow the most fantasy points to enemy runners. In the parlance of Twitter, “Oh.” … Jamaal Charles faced a murderer’s row of run defenses in Weeks 9-11, drawing the Jets, Bills and Seahawks. How’d he fare? 55 carries for 335 yards (6.09 YPC) and four touchdowns. With Charles running as well as he ever has, the Raiders don’t stand a chance. … Matt Forte has been held below 100 yards from scrimmage just three times in 10 games. That’s bad news for the Bucs, who have coughed up 62 receptions to opposing runners. Forte is all but guaranteed to find the century mark. … Arian Foster (groin) deserves a higher rank against a Bengals defense that can’t stop the run, but as is too often the case, his health is a Week 12 question mark. The Texans, as usual, are playing things vague, calling their star runner “day to day.” Foster will be a must-start top five if he’s active. If not, rookie Alfred Blue will be a high-floor RB2 one week after handling the ball an eye-popping 36 times.

The summer’s (near) consensus No. 1 back, LeSean McCoy has inexplicably become a weekly dice roll. His Week 12 matchup could scarcely be stronger, however, as he gets a Titans squad fresh off allowing 204 yards to Le’Veon Bell at home. Shady has not been good this season, but his touchdown rate is weeks overdue for a positive regression. Tennessee has surrendered 11 rushing scores, more than all but five teams. … The Cardinals are an imposing matchup on the ground, but Marshawn Lynch enters Week 12 as the league’s hottest running back not named Jamaal Charles. Lynch is fantasy’s No. 1 runner over the past three weeks, and is averaging 5.87 yards over his past 45 carries. Don’t be surprised if a Cards D that coughed up 85 yards to Joique Bell in Week 11 gets run over by an angry Beast Mode. … Eddie Lacy has really gotten cookin’ after a slow start, but owners also can’t keep counting on the fluky, long receptions he’s notched each of the past three weeks. The Vikings are a great matchup, but Lacy’s baseline is still that of a lower-end RB1.

Rashad Jennings is the Giants’ best means of moving the ball. The three-down back has a plus Week 12 matchup in a Cowboys defense allowing 4.4 yards per carry. … Mark Ingram is averaging an old-school 30 touches over his past four games. It’s a ridiculous number that’s made him an every-week RB1, but also one the Saints know they have to scale back. That could be doubly true for Week 12, as no team is allowing fewer fantasy points to opposing runners than the Ravens. The Ravens are allowing just 3.4 yards per carry, and have permitted only six rushing scores. Ingram owners must also be monitoring the status of Pierre Thomas (shoulder) and Khiry Robinson (arm). The Saints have badly missed Thomas’ presence in the screen game. … Even in tough matchups like the one he has this week. C.J. Anderson will be strapped in as a top-16 option for however long Ronnie Hillman (foot) and Montee Ball (groin) are sidelined. … Is Justin Forsett the Ravens’ new goal-line back? His Week 10 scores tell an incomplete story, as they came from nine and 11 yards out. Forsett is still locked into 15-20 weekly touches, but don’t be surprised if Lorenzo Taliaferro and Bernard Pierce continue to act as vultures.

Is No. 12 ambitious for Denard Robinson? Undoubtedly. But if Jonas Gray can rush 37 times for 201 yards and four scores against the Colts, you have to like Shoelace’s matchup. Indy is allowing 4.6 yards per carry (30th), and the sixth most fantasy points to rival runners. Fake football’s No. 6 back over the past five weeks is going to have running lanes. … Andre Ellington is averaging just 1.75 yards per carry over his past two games, and now gets the Seahawks’ stout run defense on the road. Bruce Arians believes the Cardinals “need more out of” their No. 1 back, but they might not get it in Week 12. … Grin and bear Trent Richardson against a Jaguars D allowing the seventh most fantasy points to running backs. T-Rich may stink, but he’s all but guaranteed to see 20 touches in a game the Colts should control. At least 3-4 of those looks will likely come within striking distance of the goal line. … Alfred Morris is averaging 4.82 yards per carry and 94 yards per game since Robert Griffin III’s return.

Although Ben Tate is no more in Cleveland, the Browns’ backfield remains a crapshoot. Isaiah Crowell will certainly be the first man up against the Falcons’ vulnerable run defense, but Terrance West will be waiting in the wings, and in line for at least 8-10 touches. Crowell’s upside is such that he’s an indisputable RB2, but be aware of the downside. … Giovani Bernard is Week 12’s biggest wild card. It seems the Bengals’ coaching staff still likes him more than the fantasy intelligentsia. There’s no question Jeremy Hill is going to keep a robust role on early downs. Clarity will not be gained before the game is played, but both backs can be treated as RB2s. … The Rams’ run defense appears to have turned a corner, but Ryan Mathews is still a good bet for a one-yard touchdown. … Sit tight on Jerick McKinnon/Ben Tate. It’s possible Tate won’t be even active this week. He’s unlikely to bite into McKinnon’s upside until Week 13. … I talked about Jonas Gray at length on Monday, but the short of it? New England’s backfield is a week-to-week proposition, and Gray is just a FLEX against the Lions’ elite run defense. … If you’re digging really deep in daily leagues, Latavius Murray is a candidate for a random bigger workload.

Week 12 Receivers

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Jordy Nelson at MIN -
2 Demaryius Thomas vs. MIA -
3 Calvin Johnson at NE Probable (ankle)
4 A.J. Green at HOU -
5 Dez Bryant at NYG -
6 Randall Cobb at MIN -
7 Mike Evans at CHI -
8 Josh Gordon at ATL -
9 Brandon Marshall vs. TB Probable (ankle)
10 T.Y. Hilton vs. JAC -
11 Julio Jones vs. CLE Probable (illness)
12 Jeremy Maclin vs. TEN -
13 Alshon Jeffery vs. TB Probable (hamstring)
14 Emmanuel Sanders vs. MIA Probable (concussion)
15 Sammy Watkins vs. NYJ Probable (groin)
16 Roddy White vs. CLE -
17 Odell Beckham vs. DAL -
18 DeAndre Hopkins vs. CIN -
19 Vincent Jackson at CHI -
20 DeSean Jackson at SF -
21 Brandon LaFell vs. DET -
22 Percy Harvin at BUF Probable (heel)
23 Andre Johnson vs. CIN -
24 Mike Wallace at DEN Probable (calf)
25 Julian Edelman vs. DET Probable (thigh)
26 Jordan Matthews vs. TEN Probable (knee)
27 Reggie Wayne vs. JAC Probable (-)
28 Mohamed Sanu at HOU -
29 Anquan Boldin vs. WAS -
30 Keenan Allen vs. STL -
31 Cecil Shorts at IND Probable (hamstring)
32 Kenny Stills vs. BAL -
33 Golden Tate at NE Probable (hip)
34 Eric Decker at BUF Probable (hamstring)
35 Torrey Smith at NO -
36 Rueben Randle vs. DAL -
37 Michael Crabtree vs. WAS -
38 Kendall Wright at PHI -
39 Marques Colston vs. BAL -
40 Kenny Britt at SD -
41 Steve Smith Sr. at NO -
42 Malcom Floyd vs. STL -
43 Doug Baldwin vs. ARZ -
44 Allen Hurns at IND -
45 Michael Floyd at SEA -
46 John Brown at SEA -
47 Terrance Williams at NYG -
48 Jarvis Landry at DEN Probable (shoulder)
49 James Jones vs. KC -
50 Andrew Hawkins at ATL Probable (knee)
51 Pierre Garcon at SF -
52 Dwayne Bowe at OAK -
53 Justin Hunter at PHI Questionable (knee)
54 Davante Adams at MIN -
55 Chris Hogan vs. NYJ Probable (hip)
56 Wes Welker vs. MIA -
57 Harry Douglas vs. CLE Probable (foot)
58 Greg Jennings vs. GB -
59 Jermaine Kearse vs. ARZ -
60 Cordarrelle Patterson vs. GB -
61 Robert Woods vs. NYJ Probable (back)
62 Taylor Gabriel at ATL -
63 Hakeem Nicks vs. JAC -
64 Andre Holmes vs. KC -
65 Nate Washington at PHI -
66 Tavon Austin at SD -
67 Donte Moncrief vs. JAC -
68 Stevie Johnson vs. WAS -
69 Preston Parker vs. DAL -
70 Eddie Royal vs. STL -
71 Charles Johnson vs. GB -
72 Riley Cooper vs. TEN -
73 Brian Hartline at DEN -
74 Miles Austin at ATL -
75 Marqise Lee at IND Probable (ankle)

WR Notes: This will surprise exactly no one, but Jordy Nelson leads the league in yards per pass route run at 2.90. Nelson is fantasy’s No. 6 receiver over the past five weeks despite drawing “just” 26 targets in four games. That’s efficiency. … Demaryius Thomas has eclipsed 100 yards in seven straight games, which is tied for the second longest such streak in NFL history. For Week 12, he’s drawing a strong corner in Brent Grimes, but with Emmanuel Sanders and Julius Thomas both ailing, no one is coming between Thomas and another 100-yard day. … When last we left Dez Bryant, he was having his best game of the season in London, rinsing the Jaguars for 6/158/2. When he faced the Giants in Week 7, he rung up nine grabs for 151 yards. … The matchup is being billed as Calvin Johnson vs. Darrelle Revis, but there’s reason to believe Megatron will see more Brandon Browner than Revis Island. Regardless, not even the game’s best corner could keep Johnson from top-five WR1 status.    

A.J. Green had his best game of the season in Week 11. His reward is a Texans defense allowing the most fantasy points to enemy receivers. Finally healthy, Green is going to win weeks down the stretch. … The Packers have played 10 games. Randall Cobb has either scored a touchdown or managed 100 yards in nine of them. … We already mentioned that Jordy Nelson leads the league in yards per pass route. Demaryius Thomas is No. 2. No. 3? Mike Evans, who is the first rookie since Randy Moss to both score and clear 100 yards in three-straight games. A special player who leads all wideouts in fantasy points over the past five weeks, there’s no reason to expect Evans to slow down against the Bears’ disastrous pass defense. … Brandon Marshall has drawn at least 10 targets in four straight games. … Coming off back-to-back quiet weeks, the league’s No. 4 receiver, T.Y. Hilton, seems primed to explode in a home matchup with the Jaguars’ makeshift secondary.

Julio Jones has drawn 11 targets in back-to-back games, but has a tough Week 12 assignment in Joe Haden. Jones is a WR1 whenever healthy, but this is unlikely to be his breakout week. … By Pro Football Focus’ count, Jeremy Maclin has been thrown 57 catchable passes. He’s yet to drop one. Although Mark Sanchez has a raging bromance with Jordan Matthews, things seemed to be heating up with Maclin in Week 11. Maclin drew 11 targets in Philly’s blowout loss to the Packers, notching nine catches for 93 yards and a score. Maclin isn’t going anywhere. … Sammy Watkins and the Bills are coming off a dismal Week 11, but nothing will cheer up a struggling passing game quite like the Jets, who have been dismantled for a 25:3 TD:INT ratio against this season. Watkins scorched Gang Green for 3/157/1 in Week 8. … Emmanuel Sanders (concussion) is trending in the right direction, but his status is far from a given. … Don’t look now, but Roddy White is fantasy’s No. 14 receiver over the past five weeks. Quietly, he’s up to No. 23 on the year. White has strong odds of finishing as a WR2.

Fantasy’s No. 14 receiver since making his NFL debut, Odell Beckham has shined on a weekly basis, managing at least 93 yards receiving in each of his past three games. He’s also shown sticky hands, posting Pro Football Focus’ 10th best catch rate (31-of-32 on “catchable” balls). He could be a difference-making WR2 down the stretch. … The Bengals have been inconsistent as a whole this season, but consistently shut down opposing passing attacks. Neither DeAndre Hopkins nor Andre Johnson can be benched, but expectations must be tempered. … Percy Harvin’s floor has risen a great deal in New York, but his ceiling is still not what his talent suggests it should be. … As we alluded to earlier, there’s a chance Golden Tate will get stuck on Revis Island. He’s a clear WR3 for Week 12. … It’s getting harder to doubt Jordan Matthews, who’s been fantasy’s No. 5 receiver since Mark Sanchez took over for Nick Foles. There’s still weekly bust potential in Philly’s spread-the-wealth passing attack, but Matthews has more than earned the WR3 benefit of the doubt. … You’ve got to be desperate to make Kenny Britt your WR3.                               

With Drew Stanton at quarterback and Larry Fitzgerald battling a sprained MCL, the Cardinals’ passing attack is in chaos. In other words, probably not the best week to trot out Fitz, Michael Floyd or John Brown against the Seahawks, who are allowing the fewest fantasy points to opposing wideouts. If you must, Brown is the shifty kind of receiver who’s had success against Seattle’s Legion of Boom this season. … With Brandin Cooks (thumb) on injured reserve, there are targets to be had in New Orleans’ receiver corps, and there is reason to believe Kenny Stills will soak up most of them. Fantasy’s No. 35 receiver over the past five weeks, Stills is averaging 4.4 catches on 5.4 targets over his past five games. Stills could be a legit WR3 down the stretch. … Cecil Shorts finds himself in a similar situation to Stills, as Allen Robinson’s (foot) injury has freed up a ton of targets. Shorts was already averaging 7.75 over his past four games. Expected to square off with Greg Toler this weekend, Shorts is an upside WR3. … Chris Hogan is a cheap daily-league dart throw against the Jets’ ridiculously-bad secondary.  

Week 12 Tight Ends

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Rob Gronkowski vs. DET -
2 Jimmy Graham vs. BAL -
3 Antonio Gates vs. STL -
4 Martellus Bennett vs. TB Probable (ribs)
5 Coby Fleener vs. JAC -
6 Larry Donnell vs. DAL -
7 Jason Witten at NYG -
8 Travis Kelce at OAK Probable (ribs)
9 Delanie Walker at PHI Probable (concussion)
10 Owen Daniels at NO Probable (knee surgery)
11 Mychal Rivera vs. KC -
12 Jacob Tamme vs. MIA -
13 Austin Seferian-Jenkins at CHI -
14 Niles Paul at SF -
15 Zach Ertz vs. TEN -
16 Jared Cook at SD Questionable (back)
17 Marcedes Lewis at IND -
18 Vernon Davis vs. WAS -
19 Scott Chandler vs. NYJ -
20 Jermaine Gresham at HOU Probable (thigh)
21 Kyle Rudolph vs. GB Probable (groin)
22 Eric Ebron at NE Probable (hamstring)
23 Tim Wright vs. DET -
24 John Carlson at SEA -
25 Jace Amaro at BUF -
26 Andrew Quarless at MIN -
27 Brent Celek vs. TEN Probable (ankle)
28 Luke Willson vs. ARZ Questionable (ankle)
29 Garrett Graham vs. CIN -
30 Anthony Fasano at OAK Questionable (knee)
31 Richard Rodgers at MIN -
32 Ladarius Green vs. STL -
33 Clay Harbor at IND -
34 Lance Kendricks at SD -
35 Gavin Escobar at NYG -
36 Chase Coffman at PHI -
37 Gary Barnidge at ATL -

TE Notes: How has Rob Gronkowski become fantasy’s highest-scoring tight end on the season? By averaging 17.3 points over the past five weeks. That, well, Gronkian number has upped his season average to 12.7, nearly a full point more than any other player. The Lions have few defensive vulnerabilities, but no one has an answer for Gronk when he’s at 100 percent health. … Jimmy Graham appeared to be in a world of pain after George Iloka cheap-shotted his troublesome shoulder in last week’s loss, but he went on to play 76 percent of New Orleans’ 71 snaps, a season high. With Brandin Cooks (thumb) done for the season, the Saints need Graham just as much as fantasy owners. Expect him to deliver. … Julius Thomas (ankle) will be inserted as the No. 3 tight end if he can eventually get cleared for Week 12.     

Just how down is tight end this season? Martellus Bennett and Coby Fleener both find themselves in the top five in Week 12. Bennett has just one touchdown in his past seven games, but keeps plugging along in the catches and receptions department. He’s overdue to score, and the Bucs are not an imposing matchup. … Fleener’s status has just as much to do with the likely absence of Dwayne Allen (ankle) as Fleener’s own play. Coming off a career-best 144-yard effort, however, Fleener has a tasty matchup in a Jaguars defense allowing the 11th most fantasy points to tight ends. Inexplicably, Fleener is roto’s No. 12 tight end on the season. …  Larry Donnell is the definition of “just a guy,” but he keeps scoring, and the Cowboys are allowing the third most fantasy points to enemy tight ends. … Jason Witten is averaging 5.3 catches over his past three games.  

Ever seen The Tree of Life? Unique, challenging film. I once read a review that said it wasn’t a movie, but a prayer. I feel the same way about Travis Kelce’s fantasy status. Become one with Kelce, and he’ll eventually become one with you. I hope. … Delanie Walker (concussion) is expected to be cleared for Week 12. He’s had the targets, but remains an uncertain fit with Zach Mettenberger, and the Eagles have been stingy against tight ends. … Mychal Rivera is a low-risk, low-reward streamer. Nothing more, nothing less. … Jordan Reed (hamstring) is uncertain for Week 12. Niles Paul would be an intriguing daily-league option were Reed to sit. … Austin Seferian-Jenkins is facing the Bears, who are allowing the most fantasy points to tight ends. Do with that information what you will. … Hopes were probably too high for Kyle Rudolph. Teddy Bridgewater could be a serious impediment. … Don’t try and force Marcedes Lewis into lineups just yet.    

Week 12 Kickers

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Stephen Gostkowski vs. DET -
2 Dan Bailey at NYG -
3 Adam Vinatieri vs. JAC -
4 Cody Parkey vs. TEN -
5 Mason Crosby at MIN -
6 Steven Hauschka vs. ARZ -
7 Phil Dawson vs. WAS -
8 Nick Novak vs. STL -
9 Justin Tucker at NO -
10 Shayne Graham vs. BAL -
11 Chandler Catanzaro at SEA -
12 Dan Carpenter vs. NYJ -
13 Brandon McManus vs. MIA -
14 Mike Nugent at HOU -
15 Billy Cundiff at ATL -
16 Matt Bryant vs. CLE -
17 Kai Forbath at SF -
18 Matt Prater at NE -
19 Randy Bullock vs. CIN -
20 Caleb Sturgis at DEN -
21 Blair Walsh vs. GB -
22 Robbie Gould vs. TB -
23 Sebastian Janikowski vs. KC -
24 Nick Folk at BUF -
25 Patrick Murray at CHI -
26 Cairo Santos at OAK -
27 Greg Zuerlein at SD -
28 Josh Brown vs. DAL -
29 Ryan Succop at PHI -
30 Josh Scobee at IND -

Week 12 Defense/Special Teams

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Bills Def/Spec Team vs. NYJ -
2 Colts Def/Spec Team vs. JAC -
3 Eagles Def/Spec Team vs. TEN -
4 Fortyniners Def/Spec Team vs. WAS -
5 Chiefs Def/Spec Team at OAK -
6 Chargers Def/Spec Team vs. STL -
7 Packers Def/Spec Team at MIN -
8 Seahawks Def/Spec Team vs. ARZ -
9 Broncos Def/Spec Team vs. MIA -
10 Cardinals Def/Spec Team at SEA -
11 Texans Def/Spec Team vs. CIN -
12 Patriots Def/Spec Team vs. DET -
13 Rams Def/Spec Team at SD -
14 Cowboys Def/Spec Team at NYG -
15 Bears Def/Spec Team vs. TB -
16 Browns Def/Spec Team at ATL -
17 Bengals Def/Spec Team at HOU -
18 Redskins Def/Spec Team at SF -
19 Saints Def/Spec Team vs. BAL -
20 Jets Def/Spec Team at BUF -
21 Lions Def/Spec Team at NE -
22 Giants Def/Spec Team vs. DAL -
23 Buccaneers Def/Spec Team at CHI -
24 Ravens Def/Spec Team at NO -
25 Dolphins Def/Spec Team at DEN -
26 Falcons Def/Spec Team vs. CLE -
27 Raiders Def/Spec Team vs. KC -
28 Vikings Def/Spec Team vs. GB -
29 Titans Def/Spec Team at PHI -
30 Jaguars Def/Spec Team at IND -
Patrick Daugherty

Patrick Daugherty is a football and baseball writer for NBC Sports Edge. He can be found on Twitter .