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Week 12 Rankings

by Patrick Daugherty
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Updated 11/29 at 12:00 PM ET. Flipped Tom Brady and Eli Manning. Moved Spencer Ware up. Ticked Keshawn Martin up. Flipped Travis Kelce and Jimmy Graham. Removed Greg Zuerlein. 

You had never heard of Thomas Rawls three months ago. An undrafted free agent out of Central Michigan, Rawls shined in OTAs before excelling in the preseason. He forced Robert Turbin and Christine Michael off the roster, but still began the year a distant third on the depth chart behind Marshawn Lynch and Fred Jackson.

Now it’s Thanksgiving and Rawls has had two of the top-six rushing performances of the season. If not for Doug Martin’s 235-yard outburst against the Eagles last Sunday, Rawls’ 209-yard day against the 49ers would be the best by any runner in 2015.

Averaging 5.98 yards per carry, Rawls has 187 more yards than Lynch on 10 fewer totes. His 101 carries are tied for 33rd in the league, but his 604 yards are 14th. Rawls is quick, but like Lynch, power is his calling card. Re-watching all 107 of Rawls’ rookie touches, the Seattle Times discovered that Rawls has “never willingly stepped out of bounds.” Seriously. In the words of coach Pete Carroll: “He makes somebody miss to find somebody to hit.”

For Week 12, it’s the Steelers who have the unfortunate task of slowing Rawls down. Though the Steelers rate well against the run by raw numbers, they’ve missed a league-worst 103 tackles by Pro Football Focus’ count. Rawls isn’t going to be stopped by arm tackles or sloppy dives. The new heartbeat of an offense that’s struggled to find traction, Rawls has locked himself into monster workloads, and every-week RB1 status for the season’s stretch run.         

Week 12 Quarterbacks

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Carson Palmer at SF -
2 Cam Newton at DAL -
3 Aaron Rodgers vs. CHI -
4 Ben Roethlisberger at SEA -
5 Eli Manning at WAS -
6 Tom Brady at DEN -
7 Drew Brees at HOU -
8 Derek Carr at TEN -
9 Andy Dalton vs. STL Probable (groin)
10 Matthew Stafford vs. PHI -
11 Blake Bortles vs. SD -
12 Tony Romo vs. CAR Sidelined (clavicle)
13 Russell Wilson vs. PIT -
14 Philip Rivers at JAC -
15 Marcus Mariota vs. OAK -
16 Matt Ryan vs. MIN -
17 Brian Hoyer vs. NO Probable (concussion)
18 Jameis Winston at IND -
19 Jay Cutler at GB -
20 Josh McCown vs. BAL -
21 Ryan Tannehill at NYJ -
22 Ryan Fitzpatrick vs. MIA -
23 Tyrod Taylor at KC Probable (shoulder)
24 Brock Osweiler vs. NE -
25 Matt Hasselbeck vs. TB -
26 Kirk Cousins vs. NYG -
27 Mark Sanchez at DET -
28 Alex Smith vs. BUF -
29 Teddy Bridgewater at ATL Probable (shoulder)
30 Blaine Gabbert vs. ARZ -
31 Nick Foles at CIN -
32 Matt Schaub at CLE -

QB Notes: Fresh off shredding the Seahawks and Bengals’ elite defenses for a combined seven touchdowns over the past two weeks, Carson Palmer gets a 49ers unit allowing the sixth most passing yards in the league. Only nine teams have coughed up more fantasy points to enemy signal callers. Playing the best football of his career, Palmer leads the league in passing scores (27) and yards per attempt (9.04). … Matchups haven’t mattered for Cam Newton, who has been held below 24.0 fantasy points in just 3-of-10 starts. The Cowboys are playing stout defense, but won’t be able to slow Newton on Thanksgiving. … Mired in the least-inspiring stretch of his career, Aaron Rodgers has still managed multiple scores in three straight games. Getting a Thanksgiving rematch with a Bears team he absolutely shredded in Week 1, Rodgers should get fantasy owners their numbers even if the on-field product remains less than elite. … The league’s most explosive player when he’s taken the field this season, Ben Roethlisberger has played absolutely unstoppable football. The Seahawks would seem to be a forbidding matchup, but those haven’t mattered much for Big Ben, while Seattle got pasted by Carson Palmer two weeks ago before hardly dominating Blaine Gabbert in Week 11. With two weeks to prepare for his trip to Seattle, Big Ben will be a top-five quarterback.

Tom Brady is the league MVP through 11 weeks, but is making the trip to Denver without Dion Lewis, Julian Edelman and possibly even Danny Amendola. Even for the best player in the NFL, that makes for a tall task against a defense that’s surrendered just eight passing touchdowns in 10 games. … Coming off three straight multi-score afternoons, Eli Manning gets a Redskins defense that’s allowed the fourth most passing touchdowns in the league (20). Logic doesn’t always work out with Peyton’s little brother, but on paper, he’s one of the safest plays of Week 12. … Derek Carr is coming off his worst game since Week 1, but is still tied for fourth in the league in passing touchdowns (21). For Week 12, he gets a Titans pass defense that’s softened up mightily in recent weeks. Carr should bounce back. … Drew Brees is the QB4 on the year, but has been dramatically better at home. Brees boasts a 14:4 TD:INT ratio through 207 Superdome throws compared to 6:5 in 163 road tosses. Playing easily their best football of the season, the Texans will present a major challenge in Houston.

No matter how much you want him to, Andy Dalton isn’t going away. The QB6 by average points, Dalton is fresh off throwing for 315 yards and two touchdowns in a tough road matchup with the Cardinals. The Rams are a stiff on-paper challenge, but have wilted against the better quarterbacks on their schedule this season, including Ben Roethlisberger, Aaron Rodgers and even Jay Cutler. With their pass rush banged up, the Rams are unlikely to slow Dalton to the degree some might imagine. … Trusting Matthew Stafford is an ever-risky proposition, but he has a mouthwatering home matchup in an Eagles defense that’s in full-on collapse. … Blake Bortles’ on-field production hasn’t come close to matching his fantasy numbers, but he continues to provide the roto bacon. With the banged up Chargers seemingly packing it in for 2015, Bortles should get his usual two scores. … Returning from a nine-week absence, Tony Romo knocked off the rust by the final whistle of Sunday’s win over the Dolphins, but a Panthers defense allowing the fourth fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks is a daunting proposition on a short week. Romo is always a good bet for two scores, but anything more is unlikely on Turkey Day.

Russell Wilson finally had a multi-score day, but it came against the 49ers’ unimpressive defense. The Steelers are far from lockdown through the air, but have allowed only 32 carries for 90 yards to rival quarterbacks. Wilson’s season-long numbers (QB18) are more compelling than his Week 11 performance when it comes to determining his ranking. … With Keenan Allen and Malcom Floyd sidelined and Antonio Gates ailing, Philip Rivers has managed just one touchdown over his past 72 throws. The Jags are a plus Week 12 matchup, but with all 32 teams playing, Rivers is a stretch as a QB1. … Allowing the third most passing yards and fifth most fantasy points to quarterbacks, the Raiders are a plus matchup for Marcus Mariota, but can he take advantage of it? Mariota has just five passing scores over his past five games, four of which came against the Saints’ historically-bad unit. Mariota is finally running a little bit more (10 attempts over the past two weeks), but is always a better bet for QB2 numbers than QB1. … The QB17 on the year, Matt Ryan is coming off a three interception performance. He has a low ceiling against a Vikings defense allowing the seventh fewest fantasy points to signal callers.     

Taking on a Saints defense that’s allowed 28 passing touchdowns, Brian Hoyer has the same dream matchup Marcus Mariota and Kirk Cousins took advantage of in recent weeks, but it could be an illusion. The Saints have fired DC Rob Ryan, and had two weeks to game plan for one of the league’s worst quarterbacks. There’s still a nice floor here, but perhaps not the sky-scraping ceiling fantasy owners are hoping for. … Jameis Winston humiliated the Eagles in Week 11, accumulating 33 percent of his 2015 passing touchdowns. That’s great, but he still only attempted 29 passes, and entered the game with one total passing score over his previous three starts. The Colts are an attractive matchup, but Winston isn’t suddenly a QB1. … With his supporting cast not at 100 percent, Jay Cutler’s QB1 candidacy is on hold. … Ryan Tannehill and Ryan Fitzpatrick will be reasonable-floor, low-ceiling options in their Week 12 showdown. … At less than 100 percent against the Chiefs’ white-hot defense, Tyrod Taylor isn’t much of a DFS option. … Brock Osweiler was impressive in his first NFL start, but will have the book thrown at him by Bill Belichick. Osweiler could keep the job if he solves the NFL’s best coach. … Unloved and unwanted, Josh McCown will be an intriguing streamer/DFS option against the Ravens’ hollowed-out defense.

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Week 12 Running Backs

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Adrian Peterson at ATL Probable (hamstring)
2 Todd Gurley at CIN -
3 Thomas Rawls vs. PIT Probable (knee)
4 Jonathan Stewart at DAL Probable (ankle)
5 Doug Martin at IND -
6 Mark Ingram at HOU Probable (shoulder)
7 Darren McFadden vs. CAR Probable (groin)
8 DeMarco Murray at DET Probable (groin)
9 DeAngelo Williams at SEA -
10 LeSean McCoy at KC Probable (shoulder)
11 Chris Ivory vs. MIA -
12 T.J. Yeldon vs. SD Questionable (foot)
13 Buck Allen at CLE -
14 Latavius Murray at TEN -
15 Chris Johnson at SF Probable (knee)
16 Lamar Miller at NYJ -
17 Spencer Ware vs. BUF -
18 Matt Forte at GB -
19 Frank Gore vs. TB Probable (knee)
20 LeGarrette Blount at DEN -
21 Giovani Bernard vs. STL -
22 Eddie Lacy vs. CHI -
23 Ronnie Hillman vs. NE Probable (quadriceps)
24 Tevin Coleman vs. MIN -
25 Alfred Blue vs. NO Probable (back)
26 Antonio Andrews vs. OAK -
27 Shaun Draughn vs. ARZ -
28 Jeremy Hill vs. STL -
29 Danny Woodhead at JAC -
30 James Starks vs. CHI -
31 Rashad Jennings at WAS -
32 Charles Sims at IND -
33 Jeremy Langford at GB -
34 Melvin Gordon at JAC -
35 C.J. Anderson vs. NE -
36 Matt Jones vs. NYG -
37 Ahmad Bradshaw vs. TB -
38 Ameer Abdullah vs. PHI -
39 Duke Johnson vs. BAL -
40 Theo Riddick vs. PHI Probable (groin)
41 Karlos Williams at KC -
42 Shane Vereen at WAS -
43 Jonathan Grimes vs. NO -
44 Isaiah Crowell vs. BAL -
45 Darren Sproles at DET -
46 James White at DEN -
47 Andre Ellington at SF -
48 C.J. Spiller at HOU -
49 Joique Bell vs. PHI Probable (shoulder)
50 Jay Ajayi at NYJ Probable (elbow)
51 Bilal Powell vs. MIA -
52 Chris Thompson vs. NYG -
53 Alfred Morris vs. NYG Probable (ribs)
54 David Cobb vs. OAK -
55 Robert Turbin vs. CAR -
56 Denard Robinson vs. SD -
57 Terrance West at CLE -
58 Orleans Darkwa at WAS -
59 Knile Davis vs. BUF -
60 Mike Tolbert at DAL -
61 Jamize Olawale at TEN -
62 Brandon Bolden at DEN -

RB Notes: Devonta Freeman and Todd Gurley have both flashed, but it’s Adrian Peterson who’s been the league’s best running back. 30-year-old, out-of-the-league in 2014 Adrian Peterson. For Week 12, he gets a Falcons defense allowing the sixth most fantasy points to enemy runners. … Although Peterson has been the best, it’s not as if Freeman has faded. He’s cleared 100 yards from scrimmage in 6-of-7 healthy starts. The problem, of course, is that he might not be healthy for Week 12, as he’s yet to gain clearance from his concussion. If Freeman gets the go-ahead, he’ll be an elite option against a Vikings defense coughing up a weekly 131 yards from scrimmage to rival runners. … Todd Gurley is mired in the first slump of his career, but has still found the end zone six times in his past five games. The Bengals have a great defense, but are allowing 4.5 yards per carry. Gurley is overdue to heat back up. … The RB6 over the past five weeks, Jonathan Stewart has cleared 20 carries in six straight games. For Turkey Day, he gets to carve up a Cowboys defense allowing the seventh most fantasy points to running backs.

Coming off the best rushing performance by any running back this season, Doug Martin is once again averaging 5.0 yards per carry. That’s bad news for a Colts defense permitting the eighth most fantasy points on the ground. … Mark Ingram was bafflingly limited to five carries in Week 10, but coach Sean Payton later claimed it was because of a “nick.” Whatever it was, Ingram isn’t in doubt for Week 12, and is still the RB10 by average points amongst active backs. The Texans’ defense has stiffened in recent weeks, but remains vulnerable on the ground. … Receiving truly monstrous workloads, Darren McFadden is a weekly RB1, but has a daunting Thanksgiving matchup in the Panthers, who have allowed just 200 yards on 70 carries (2.86 YPC) over their past four games. If there’s a silver lining, it’s that only the Falcons have allowed more running back receptions than Carolina’s 66. … Detroit’s run defense has stiffened in recent weeks, but has still allowed a league-worst 15 rushing touchdowns. Averaging 23.3 touches over his past six games, DeMarco Murray is an RB1. … The Seahawks aren’t exactly an ideal matchup for DeAngelo Williams, but D-Will doesn’t come off the field for what is arguably the league’s best offense. That’s an RB1 no matter the opponent.

Only two teams are allowing fewer fantasy points to running backs than Kansas City, but LeSean McCoy has been highly productive since returning in Week 6, turning 107 touches into 599 yards over five games. That’ll play. … Chris Ivory has turned into one of fantasy’s most maddening players, but gets a rematch with a Dolphins defense he dismantled for 166 yards in Week 4. Only the Browns are allowing more rushing yards than Miami, and only San Diego is permitting more fantasy points. … Although it didn’t necessarily show up in the box score, T.J. Yeldon looked as explosive as he has all season in Week 11 against the Titans. Meanwhile, Denard Robinson embarrassed himself at the goal line in a narrow Jags win. As healthy as he’ll be all year coming off a mini bye, Yeldon has a mouthwatering matchup in a Chargers run defense that’s the worst in the league by many measures. … The week’s No. 2 waiver add after Thomas Rawls, Buck Allen has a workhorse role, but everyman talent. The fourth-round rookie is averaging a middling 3.89 yards per carry. Thankfully, that’s nothing a great matchup can’t fix, and Allen has one in a Browns defense allowing the most rushing yards in football. Allen is a veritable lock for 20 touches in a game that should be anything but high scoring.

Coming off his worst game of the season, Latavius Murray should rebound against the Titans’ middle-of-the-road Run D. The RB17 by weekly points, Murray is averaging 18.3 touches per game, and has yet to get the ball fewer than 13 times. That makes for a really nice floor. … Averaging just 37 yards rushing over his past four games, Lamar Miller has compensated by averaging 44 yards receiving, but has a dangerous floor against the Jets’ No. 3 run defense by weekly yards allowed (91.6). … Only Adrian Peterson, Jonathan Stewart and Doug Martin have more carries than Chris Johnson. He has an excellent Week 12 matchup in a 49ers run defense allowing the third most fantasy points to running backs. … Returning from a 24-day absence, it’s possible Matt Forte is eased in against the Packers, but his potential every-down role can’t be ranked any lower. Jeremy Langford should remain part of the game plan, but is a boom-or-bust FLEX with Forte back in the picture. … Frank Gore (knee, quad) is banged up, but expected to be fine for Sunday’s game against the Bucs. Gore has averaged 21 touches in Matt Hasselbeck’s three starts. … Ahmad Bradshaw, meanwhile, is coming off his most work of 2015. He’s an intriguing FLEX/RB3 in PPR leagues.

LeGarrette Blount has a 15-carry floor, but very little ceiling against a Broncos defense allowing a mere 3.5 yards per carry. … With Charcandrick West (hamstring) looking doubtful, Spencer Ware will be a plug-and-play RB2. Don’t expect a West/Jamaal Charles-type ceiling against the Bills’ solid run defense, however. … Jeremy Hill scored twice in Week 11, but still managed just 45 yards on 13 carries. Giovani Bernard has distanced himself from his backfield mate. … As expected in these parts, Eddie Lacy has re-established the “hot hand” in Green Bay’s backfield, but it’s too early to say he’s banished James Starks to the bench. Fire up Lacy as a high-upside RB2, but one that still has a concerning floor. Starks is an uninspiring RB3. … Ronnie Hillman is the Broncos’ clear No. 1, but still losing a decent amount of work to C.J. Anderson. With the Pats’ No. 2 run defense by yards allowed (88.8) in town, fireworks are unlikely in Denver’s backfield. … Alfred Blue has a great matchup in the Saints, but matchups can only be so great for backs who have averaged 3.19 yards through 276 career carries. … Antonio Andrews is Matt Asiata 2.0. … Don’t bother with the Redskins’ backfield. … The Lions re-established Ameer Abdullah in Week 12, but he’s not about to go Doug Martin on the Eagles’ run defense.

Week 12 Receivers

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 DeAndre Hopkins vs. NO -
2 Julio Jones vs. MIN -
3 Odell Beckham at WAS -
4 Antonio Brown at SEA -
5 Larry Fitzgerald at SF Probable (ankle)
6 Calvin Johnson vs. PHI Questionable (ankle)
7 Allen Robinson vs. SD -
8 Mike Evans at IND -
9 Dez Bryant vs. CAR Probable (knee)
10 A.J. Green vs. STL -
11 Demaryius Thomas vs. NE Probable (neck)
12 Brandon Marshall vs. MIA Probable (toe)
13 Eric Decker vs. MIA -
14 Martavis Bryant at SEA -
15 Amari Cooper at TEN -
16 Brandin Cooks at HOU -
17 Randall Cobb vs. CHI -
18 Michael Crabtree at TEN -
19 Alshon Jeffery at GB -
20 Jarvis Landry at NYJ Questionable (knee)
21 Allen Hurns vs. SD Probable (foot)
22 T.Y. Hilton vs. TB -
23 Travis Benjamin vs. BAL -
24 Brandon LaFell at DEN -
25 Stefon Diggs at ATL -
26 Stevie Johnson at JAC -
27 Jeremy Maclin vs. BUF -
28 DeSean Jackson vs. NYG -
29 John Brown at SF Probable (hamstring)
30 Vincent Jackson at IND Probable (knee)
31 Golden Tate vs. PHI -
32 Willie Snead at HOU Probable (knee)
33 Kamar Aiken at CLE -
34 Jordan Matthews at DET -
35 Emmanuel Sanders vs. NE Probable (ankle)
36 Sammy Watkins at KC Probable (ankle)
37 Marvin Jones vs. STL Probable (hamstring)
38 James Jones vs. CHI -
39 Rishard Matthews at NYJ Questionable (illness)
40 Davante Adams vs. CHI -
41 Kendall Wright vs. OAK Probable (knee)
42 Tavon Austin at CIN Questionable (hamstring)
43 Rueben Randle at WAS -
44 Michael Floyd at SF Questionable (hamstring)
45 Anquan Boldin vs. ARZ Probable (hamstring)
46 Terrance Williams vs. CAR -
47 Doug Baldwin vs. PIT Probable (ankle)
48 Nate Washington vs. NO Probable (hip)
49 Ted Ginn at DAL Probable (knee)
50 Donte Moncrief vs. TB -
51 Cecil Shorts vs. NO -
52 Devin Funchess at DAL -
53 Pierre Garcon vs. NYG -
54 Dontrelle Inman at JAC -
55 Tyler Lockett vs. PIT -
56 Jamison Crowder vs. NYG -
57 Dwayne Harris at WAS -
58 Marquess Wilson at GB -
59 Dorial Green-Beckham vs. OAK -
60 Nelson Agholor at DET -
61 Robert Woods at KC -
62 Marques Colston at HOU Probable (shoulder)
63 Keshawn Martin at DEN Questionable (hamstring)
64 Cole Beasley vs. CAR -
65 Mohamed Sanu vs. STL -
66 Jermaine Kearse vs. PIT -
67 Kenny Stills at NYJ -
68 Chris Givens at CLE -
69 Torrey Smith vs. ARZ -
70 Malcom Floyd at JAC Probable (shoulder)
71 Roddy White vs. MIN -
72 Andre Johnson vs. TB -
73 Kenny Britt at CIN Probable (knee)
74 Harry Douglas vs. OAK Probable (ribs)
75 Wes Welker at CIN -
76 Brian Quick at CIN Probable (shoulder)
77 Mike Wallace at ATL -
78 Quinton Patton vs. ARZ -

WR Notes: DeAndre Hopkins has Julio Jones edged in season points and Week 12 matchup. Hopkins is facing a Saints defense that’s somehow allowed 28 passing touchdowns in 10 games. Unfathomable stuff. This, after Hopkins torched Darrelle Revis in Week 11. … Quietly up to WR5 status on the year, Odell Beckham has cleared 100 yards in three straight games, scoring four touchdowns in the process. The Redskins are a dream matchup. … On the one hand, the Legion of Boom. On the other, a receiver who has caught 27 passes for 423 yards over his past two games. The Seahawks won’t be stopping Antonio Brown. … Larry Fitzgerald is averaging 13 targets over his past three games, but could be knocked down a bit if Michael Floyd (hamstring) comes back 100 percent. For now, it appears Floyd will play. … Calvin Johnson’s ceiling isn’t quite what it once was, but he’s averaging 88 yards if you throw out his 39-yard Week 1. In the first game of the week, Megatron gets an Eagles defense allowing the second most fantasy points to receivers. … All the way up to WR7 status by average points, Allen Robinson gets a Chargers defense that’s been bleeding big plays.

Mike Evans has been drawing a biblical amount of targets, but saw only seven after Vincent Jackson returned for Week 11. Evans still has a sky-high ceiling, but his floor isn’t quite as foolproof with V-Jax in the fold. … As for Jackson, he’s spent the better of the past two years booming or busting, but has a wonderful matchup in the Colts’ burnable secondary. He’s a mid-range WR3. … Dez Bryant is expected to see heavy helpings of Josh Norman on Thanksgiving, but there are no “islands” for the Cowboys’ No. 1 receiver, especially with Tony Romo back in action. … The Rams are a tough draw for A.J. Green, but Arizona was tougher, and Green still managed 4/79. Green is having a weird year, but is the WR15 by average points. … Demaryius Thomas scored a 48-yard touchdown in Week 11, but also drew fewer than 10 targets for just the third time all year. His three catches were a season low. With Emmanuel Sanders (high-ankle sprain) looking very shaky for Sunday’s game against the Patriots, Thomas could find himself eliminated by Bill Belichick.

The Jets’ receiver corps has proven big enough for the two of Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker. Big plays should abound against the Dolphins’ under-sized secondary. … He’s only played five games, but Martavis Bryant is the WR3 by average points. When last we left him, he was turning six catches into 178 yards (29.6 YPC) against the Browns before the Steelers’ Week 11 bye. A Seahawks defense that just benched RCB Cary Williams isn’t as imposing as it once was. … Only Mike Evans has dropped more passes than Amari Cooper. Two of Cooper’s muffs came in a disastrous one-catch, four-yard Week 11. Cooper will bounce back, but he’s been more boom or bust than fantasy owners would probably like to admit. … All the way up to WR16 status, Brandin Cooks is averaging 85 yards over his past four games. … Randall Cobb has drawn 40 targets over his past four games, but turned them into only 17 catches for 203 yards and two scores. The good news is, as Evan Silva points out in “Matchups,” Cobb has a plus Thanksgiving matchup in burnable Bears CB Bryce Callahan.

Just 12 players have caught more passes than Michael Crabtree. His ceiling is moderate, but the floor is eminently reasonable. … Still the WR14 by average points, Allen Hurns is refusing to go away. Injuries have slowed him down in recent weeks, but he’ll have had 10 days to rest up for a plus matchup with the Chargers. He’s a robust WR2. … Battling a minor knee issue, Jarvis Landry has a tough matchup in the Jets. Landry is extremely consistent, but he’s a floor, not ceiling, WR2 for Week 12. … Contained by Desmond Trufant in Week 11, T.Y. Hilton has a much more agreeable matchup in a Bucs defense that’s allowed the second most passing touchdowns in the league (21). … It appears Alshon Jeffery (groin, shoulder) will play, but he’s at risk of being a decoy for the second time in three weeks. Jeffery is always a must start in season-long leagues, but best avoided in DFS. … Brandon LaFell will be funneled looks with Danny Amendola possibly joining Julian Edelman on the shelf, but it will be hard to do much with them against Aqib Talib and Chris Harris Jr.     

You may have forgotten about Travis Benjamin, but he’s still 12th in the league in yards (736). With the steadier Josh McCown replacing Johnny Manziel at quarterback, Benjamin is an intriguing option against a Ravens defense allowing the third most fantasy points to receivers. … Stevie Johnson is the Chargers’ No. 1 receiver, but his absolute ceiling is probably 8/75. … Jeremy Maclin has been limited to 12 catches for 129 yards over his past four games. … DeSean Jackson re-established his ceiling in Week 11, but has a quietly tough matchup in a Giants defense that continues to get healthier. … John Brown has a mighty high ceiling against a 49ers defense allowing the fifth most fantasy points to receivers. … Rex Ryan wants to get Sammy Watkins more involved, but that will be easier said than done against a Chiefs defense that’s been locking down opponents for over a month. … Willie Snead fell off the radar a bit after his zero-catch Week 10, but has gone at least 6/70 in four of his past seven games. … Kamar Aiken is the Ravens’ No. 1 receiver, but good luck turning that into something meaningful with Matt Schaub at quarterback. … Do you know how to predict which of Davante Adams and James Jones will have a big game?                            

Week 12 Tight Ends

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Rob Gronkowski at DEN -
2 Greg Olsen at DAL -
3 Tyler Eifert vs. STL Probable (knee)
4 Delanie Walker vs. OAK -
5 Gary Barnidge vs. BAL -
6 Jordan Reed vs. NYG -
7 Antonio Gates at JAC Probable (hip)
8 Jimmy Graham vs. PIT -
9 Travis Kelce vs. BUF Questionable (ankle)
10 Crockett Gillmore at CLE Probable (shoulder)
11 Jason Witten vs. CAR -
12 Ben Watson at HOU -
13 Jacob Tamme vs. MIN -
14 Julius Thomas vs. SD Probable (abdomen)
15 Heath Miller at SEA -
16 Richard Rodgers vs. CHI -
17 Eric Ebron vs. PHI -
18 Vernon Davis vs. NE -
19 Zach Miller at GB -
20 Brent Celek at DET -
21 Coby Fleener vs. TB -
22 Charles Clay at KC -
23 Kyle Rudolph at ATL -
24 Ladarius Green at JAC Probable (ankle)
25 Jared Cook at CIN -
26 Jordan Cameron at NYJ Probable (hamstring)
27 Owen Daniels vs. NE Probable (knee)
28 Vance McDonald vs. ARZ -
29 Clive Walford at TEN -
30 Will Tye at WAS -
31 Maxx Williams at CLE Questionable (ankle)
32 Mychal Rivera at TEN -
33 Garrett Celek vs. ARZ -
34 Dwayne Allen vs. TB Probable (ankle)

TE Notes: Only Rob Gronkowski has more yards amongst tight ends than Greg Olsen. First-round DB Byron Jones has helped the Cowboys keep TEs in check this season, but with Jones slotted for another week of cornerback duties, Olsen is going to have a lot of space over the middle of the field. … Tyler Eifert is a modest eighth in tight ends yards, but leads the league with 11 touchdowns. Highly ordinary against tight ends since losing WLB Alec Ogletree, the Rams will be hard pressed to keep Eifert out of the end zone. … The TE6 by average points, Delanie Walker comes off his first 100-yard game of the season to a dream matchup with the Raiders. Only three teams are allowing more fantasy points to opposing tight ends. The Titans’ No. 1 receiver, Walker should be fired up in cash DFS games. … Still the TE3 by average points, Gary Barnidge is reuniting with Josh McCown, with whom he’s had his greatest success. Barnidge is playing a Ravens team he decked for 8/139/1 in Week 5.

The TE5 by average points, Jordan Reed gets a Giants team allowing the second most fantasy points to tight ends. No defense has allowed more receptions to seam stretchers (65). … Antonio Gates has scored in just 1-of-5 games, and had a dismal Week 11. The good news is, the Jaguars have coughed up 712 yards to tight ends, the fourth most in the league. … Travis Kelce has caught at least five passes in five straight games, but scored just once in the process. The end zone will be hard to find against a Bills defense that’s allowed only three touchdowns to enemy tight ends. … The Steelers are a nice matchup for Jimmy Graham, but the ex-Saint has caught three passes or fewer in three of his past four games. He’s simply not a major part of the Seahawks’ offense, no matter how badly we want him to be. … Crockett Gillmore has lost Joe Flacco, but if there’s one thing fill-in Matt Schaub did reliably well in Houston, it was target tight ends. Gillmore is the Ravens’ No. 2 receiver behind Kamar Aiken.

Ben Watson’s floor is in the TE12-15 range, but his ceiling is top five. … The Jaguars want to make Julius Thomas a focal point in the red zone. He’ll have a good chance at finding the end zone against a Chargers defense that’s permitted seven touchdowns to tight ends. … Coming off a nightmare day in a dream matchup, Eric Ebron is a middling TE2 against an Eagles defense allowing the second fewest fantasy points to tight ends. … True to early-season form, Jacob Tamme’s production tailed off with Leonard Hankerson’s return. HankTime was brutal, which will hopefully lead to a Week 12 reassessment. … Vernon Davis’ snaps continue to rise, but the Pats are a bottom-10 matchup. … With Zach Ertz (concussion) sidelined against a Lions defense that’s struggled to defense the seams, Brent Celek is a nice bottom-dollar option in DFS leagues. … Filling in for Martellus Bennett, Zach Miller is the YOLO play of the week.     


Week 12 Kickers

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Stephen Gostkowski at DEN -
2 Mason Crosby vs. CHI -
3 Steven Hauschka vs. PIT -
4 Caleb Sturgis at DET -
5 Josh Brown at WAS -
6 Dan Bailey vs. CAR -
7 Andrew Franks at NYJ -
8 Justin Tucker at CLE -
9 Mike Nugent vs. STL -
10 Josh Lambo at JAC -
11 Matt Bryant vs. MIN Sidelined (quadriceps)
12 Dan Carpenter at KC -
13 Brandon McManus vs. NE -
14 Chandler Catanzaro at SF -
15 Graham Gano at DAL -
16 Adam Vinatieri vs. TB -
17 Blair Walsh at ATL -
18 Travis Coons vs. BAL -
19 Robbie Gould at GB -
20 Cairo Santos vs. BUF -
21 Chris Boswell at SEA -
22 Kai Forbath at HOU -
23 Matt Prater vs. PHI -
24 Phil Dawson vs. ARZ -
25 Sebastian Janikowski at TEN -
26 Nick Novak vs. NO -
27 Connor Barth at IND -
28 Zach Hocker at CIN -
29 Randy Bullock vs. MIA -
30 Dustin Hopkins vs. NYG -
31 Jason Myers vs. SD -
32 Ryan Succop vs. OAK -

Week 12 Defense/Special Teams

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