Week 12 of the fantasy football season is finally here, and the Rotoworld crew has everything you need to leave the weekend with a win. Patrick Daugherty answers your lineup questions with his Week 12 Rankings, Nick Mensio tells you who to start and who to fade in Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em, Ian Hartitz dives into which receivers are destined for production in his WR/CB Matchups Analysis, Hayden Winks breaks down every matchup in his famous Fantasy Forecast Column, and I preview NBC's nightcap between the Packers and 49ers in my Sunday Night 7 piece.
I'm also here to shed some light on the most important injury situations facing fantasy owners heading into the weekend. The sister resource to this column is the Rotoworld News Page, which will have every single inactive and all the late-breaking news up to kickoff and beyond. I'll also join Josh Norris and a rotating member of the crew every Sunday morning at noon ET on the Rotoworld Fantasy Football Show to answer all of your pressing start/sit decisions.
Editor's Note: Drafting is only half the battle. Dominate all season long with our Season Pass! Use our NEW Start/Sit Tool, Trade Analyzer, Consensus Rankings, Projections and more on your way to a championship! Click here for more!
Seahawks @ Eagles
*In one of Week 12’s most impactful transactions, Ed Dickson (knee) was removed from injured reserve but promptly placed back on it once his knee locked up in practice Wednesday. The Seahawks promoted 25-year-old Tyrone Swoopes from their practice squad, but Jacob Hollister figures to continue playing the same role he’s buoyed into two top-five finishes on 80 percent of Seattle’s offensive snaps since Week 9. Seahawks coach Pete Carroll has additionally stayed insistent Tyler Lockett (shin) will suit up despite struggling through the shin contusion he suffered prior to the team’s bye. Barring any reported limitations, he’s a lock-and-load WR2 with a WR1-ceiling.
*Nelson Agholor (knee) didn’t practice at all this week but is still designated as ‘questionable.’ Alshon Jeffery (ankle, questionable) warrants an upgrade pending Agholor’s status in a soft matchup against Seattle’s secondary that’s recently been pillaged by Julio Jones (10/152), Mike Evans (12/180/1), and Deebo Samuel (8/112) on the outside. Jordan Howard’s (shoulder) technically questionable but hadn’t been cleared for contact as of Friday, putting both Miles Sanders and Jay Ajayi back on the FLEX radar. Ajayi, of course, didn’t play a single snap last week but is expected to be involved moving forward — though what that entails remains unclear. Lane Johnson’s absence (concussion) is also worrisome since that can solely be attributed to Philadelphia’s second-half woes against New England, seeing Carson Wentz take five sacks once rookie Andre Dillard shifted to right tackle.
Buccaneers @ Falcons
*Brian Hill will get another nod in place of Devonta Freeman (foot, out) but can’t be trusted as anything more than a bye-week FLEX fill-in after struggling for 2.0 yards per attempt (and getting benched for Qadree Ollison inside the five) behind Atlanta’s incapable o-line. Austin Hooper’s (knee, out) continued absence also keeps Atlanta’s target tree whittled as opposed to opening the door for anyone else to get involved. Luke Stocker and Jaden Graham, for example, cannibalized one another on 43 and 34 snaps respectively last week.
Broncos @ Bills
*Starting C Connor McGovern (back, questionable) and OG Dalton Risner (ankle, questionable) are “good to go” despite getting designated as questionable. That should be enough help to keep third-year standout Tim Patrick (shoulder, questionable) involved opposite Levi Wallace as a WR4 and DFS cash game cheapie after he returned from injury to soak up eight targets on 72 percent of Denver’s snaps in his first game off injured reserve in Week 11.
*Second-rounder Cody Ford will play a full-time role with Ty Neskhe (ankle, out) listed as “week to week.” The latter had played 56 percent of Buffalo’s offensive snaps to date.
Giants @ Bears
*Golden Tate has leveraged Evan Engram’s (foot, out) and Sterling Shepard’s absences into a team-high 23 percent target share in his last five contests, but that mark should decrease with the latter suddenly removed from New York’s injury report. Cleared from the league’s protocol altogether, Shepard returns to low-end WR3 status in a rough matchup against Chicago’s stout secondary. Sixth-round rookie Kaden Smith and Scott Simonson project to wear the shoes of Engram in an unfortunate TEBC.
*Ben Braunecker will again sub in for Adam Shaheen (foot, out) and Trey Burton (calf, IR), but Mitchell Trubisky’s (“hip”) limited vision keeps ‘Braunk’ scaled back as a desperation TE2 dynasty start.
Steelers @ Bengals
*With James Conner (shoulder) still sidelined, Jaylen Samuels makes for an all-too-obvious RB2 against a Bengals front-seven that’s been bulldozed for 4.7 yards per attempt and 23.5 fantasy points per game by enemy runners. James Washington is an interesting flier to consider without JuJu Smith-Schuster (knee/concussion, out) in the mix, but it’s more probable the latter’s vacated six targets per outing simply fall into Vance McDonald’s lap. McDonald, for instance, has quietly played 97 percent of Pittsburgh’s offensive snaps the past two weeks, ranking No. 2 among all tight ends in routes run in that stint.
Dolphins @ Browns
*Ryan Fitzpatrick (shoulder) was limited to start the week; no surprise after he took seven sacks in the Fins’ Week 11 loss to Buffalo. He was removed from the injury report on Friday.
*David Njoku (wrist, IR) wasn’t cleared for Sunday, keeping him locked on injured reserve for at least one more week. Cleveland’s front-seven will also be without three starters following the suspensions to Myles Garrett and Larry Ogunjobi since Olivier Vernon (knee, out) hasn’t practiced since initially suffering his knee injury in Week 9 against Denver.
Panthers @ Saints
*Slot corner Ross Cockrell (quad) was back practicing on Friday but remains questionable.
*It didn’t mean much against the Bucs since Jameis Winston leaned on Cameron Brate for a team-high 14 targets over the middle of the field, but stud corner Marshon Lattimore (hamstring, questionable) is expected to miss his second straight contest after failing to practice throughout the week. If officially scratched, consider it a rocket emoji for D.J. Moore, who’s averaged 11.3 targets in his last four games since returning from Carolina’s bye week.
Raiders @ Jets
*Slot corner Lamarcus Joyner (hamstring, questionable) will travel with the team to New York but may not play. He’s obviously responsible for draping Jamison Crowder, who leads the Jets in targets (23), air yards (210), receiving yards (240), and receiving touchdowns (3) since coach Adam Gase shortened the team’s passing attack over the last four weeks.
*New York’s injury report is sprinkled with question marks in their front-seven — Henry Anderson (shoulder), Brandon Copeland (hip/thumb), Neville Hewitt (neck/knee), and Steve McLendon (neck) included — but none have hindered the team’s ability to suffocate opposing rushing assaults to date. Even in his toughest on-paper matchup to this point, however, Josh Jacobs remains a tried-and-true RB1. Demaryius Thomas (old) is also a game-time call but is fully expected to play.
Lions @ Redskins
*Fire up Jeff Driskel as a low-end QB1 for at least one more week with Matthew Stafford (back) shelved without a timetable. If skeptical, note Driskel’s 14 fantasy points via his legs over the last two weeks en route to finishing as the QB12 and QB5 in consecutive starts.
*Adrian Peterson (toe) closed the week with a limited session under his belt, foreseeably ensuring he’s on the field come Sunday. Derrius Guice’s fantasy outlook (albeit terrifying) would only take a hit if Chris Thompson (toe) is activated. NBC Sports’ JP Finlay speculates Thompson won’t be ready since the scat-back was unable to cut without pain mid-week.
Jaguars @ Titans
*D.J. Chark (hamstring, probable), Chris Conley (hamstring, probable), D.J. Hayden (hip/wrist, questionable), and C Brandon Linder (shoulder, questionable) head Jacksonville’s notable injuries, but all are expected to be on the field for kick-off.
*Delanie Walker (ankle) remains doubtful despite encouragingly shedding his walking boot and practicing mid-week.
Cowboys @ Patriots
*Amari Cooper (knee) and RT La’el Collins (knee) were fortuitously removed from the injury report on Friday.
*Mohamed Sanu’s (ankle, doubtful) and Phillip Dorsett’s (concussion, doubtful) injuries will likely keep both sidelined, thrusting N’Keal Harry into the mix as a low-end WR3 the moment both are inevitably deemed inactive. Harry played 32 snaps in his first game off injured reserve against Philadelphia and will have no choice but to stay glued to the field with Julian Edelman and Jakobi Meyers in three-wide sets. Fantasy players should also consider Tom Brady’s (elbow, questionable) supposed bruised elbow a non-issue. He’ll suit up and file in as a QB2 on the week, per usual.
Packers @ 49ers
*Davante Adams (toe) is technically probable but will undoubtedly line up unfazed as a firmly entrenched WR1 after soaking up 34% of Green Bay’s targets in his two games back from injury.
*All signs point to George Kittle (knee/ankle, questionable) returning from his two-game absence at less than 100 percent. Given the floor of his position as a whole, however, garner the elite 26-year-old an inarguable TE1. Emmanuel Sanders’ (ribs, questionable) and Deebo Samuel’s (shoulder, questionable) injuries are less serious as both are expected to fight through their current pain. Samuel in particular was able to jump back onto the field after he was injured against the Cardinals, so his status as a WR3 shouldn’t be hindered. Raheem Mostert also gets one more week of FLEX consideration without Matt Breida (ankle, doubtful) available behind Tevin Coleman.
Ravens @ Rams
*Interior run-stuffer Michael Pierce (ankle) is the only injury of note for Baltimore.
*Brandin Cooks (concussion) was cleared from the league’s protocol and in turn practiced in full. Even so, he shouldn’t be ranked inside the Top 30 since the Ravens haven’t allowed a single receiver to cross 90 yards since adding Marcus Peters in Week 7.