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The Worksheet

The NFL Week 12 Worksheet

by Rich Hribar
Updated On: November 21, 2018, 2:13 pm ET

Happy Thanksgiving! Week 12 is here, and we’re really closing in on making our final push towards the fantasy postseason. Hopefully everyone is setting up a playoff run, but if you’ve been unfortunate this season in your leagues, there’s always DFS to keep the fantasy juices flowing.  This is our final bye week, with some studs off as the Chiefs and Rams are resting. Also, don’t forget to set those lineups prior to Thursday morning.

 

For those that are new here, the goal of this article is to provide a top-down, statistical snapshot for each game each week, running down weekly point spreads, team totals, play calling splits, and statistical bullet points on the players and teams involved. Although we’re focusing strictly on PPR league scoring here as a baseline, there’s more than enough to spread around across formats and daily leagues. The reason we’re operating under a PPR umbrella is it allows us to cover a larger portion of the players involved in action weekly.

 

As the author, it’s imperative that I note that this is an expectations-based column over a linear start/sit forum. The labels for each subset of players for each game is simply the vehicle for those expectations and have a different context for each player. Players that are high performers week-to-week are held to different standards than a secondary option in an offense. Every player runs into down weeks, and we’re trying to identify those moments, even for the star players you’re going to ride through thick and thin moments that don’t tally many low points during the season. That said, we’re still embracing some of the elements that will go along with a start/sit column as a byproduct of those expectations. I encourage that you use the game by game tables and data points here in conjunction with the Start/Sit column posted weekly by Nick Mensio, Pat Daugherty’s rankings in the Goal Line Stand, Evan Silva’s Matchup’s column, Ray Summerlin's Waiver Wired and most importantly, your own information and thought process.  Remember, you control your own team. If you are curious as to my personal weekly rankings, they can be found each and every week in the Season Pass section.

All lines are taken from VegasInsider on Tuesday nights 

 

Bears @ Lions

 

Chicago Rank @ Detroit Rank
-3   Spread 3  
24.0   Implied Total 21.0  
29.4 6 Points/Gm 22.2 20
19.5 4 Points All./Gm 26.3 26
63.2 20 Plays/Gm 64.0 14
63.9 22 Opp. Plays/Gm 57.8 1
46.2% 5 Rush% 36.9% 24
53.8% 28 Pass% 63.1% 9
35.1% 3 Opp. Rush % 45.0% 29
65.0% 30 Opp. Pass % 55.0% 4

 

  • The Bears have scored 24 or more points in seven consecutive games for the first time since the 1995 season, matching their second-longest such streak in franchise history.
  • Mitchell Trubisky has faced four top-10 defenses in passing points per game allowed and has been the average QB23 in those weeks. He has faced six defenses outside and has been the average QB6 in those games.
  • Detroit ranks 29th in the league in passing points allowed per game (18.4).
  • Opposing teams have scored on just 28.8 percent of their possessions versus the Bears, the lowest rate in the league.
  • The Lions average -1.83 yards per play on first down than their opponents, the largest margin in the league. They rank 30th in yards per play on first down on offense (4.8 yards) while ranking 29th in yards per play allowed (6.6 yards).
  • Chicago has allowed the fewest runs of 10 or more yards (15) and fewest runs of five or more yards (63) in the league.
  • The Bears are allowing a league-low 10.8 percent of completions to gain 20 or more yards. The Lions rank 31st in the league at 19.1 percent, ahead of only the Raiders (21.1 percent).
  • Kenny Golladay was targeted on a season-high 36.8 percent of his routes in Week 11.

 

 

Trust (spike starting production)

 

  • Kenny Golladay: He now has 13 and 14 targets over the past two games, which leads the league over that span. It also has led him to lead the league in air yards over that span as he has amassed 35 percent of the Detroit targets and a gaudy 64 percent of their air yards in those games. With Marvin Jones likely sidelined once again, Golladay will have another game to be force fed high-volume.

 

On the Cusp (proxy of a player’s baseline)

 

  • Mitchell Trubisky: He would’ve been listed above, but his shoulder injury and potential availability are now in question. Trubisky has been one of the more matchup dependent fantasy options this season and this week he gets a soft one that he recently exploited for 36 fantasy points just two weeks ago. Detroit ranks 28th in completion rate (68.6 percent), 31st in touchdown rate (7.6 percent) and 32nd in yards per attempt (8.9 Y/A) allowed to opposing passers on the season. If Chase Daniel starts, he is more of a floor-play 2QB option in a good matchup.
  • Tarik Cohen: He’s fallen back into RB3 territory over the past three weeks as he’s had just 13, 44 and 50 yards in each of those games, but Detroit has allowed six receptions to an individual passing-game back in each of their past two games, including six to Cohen two weeks ago.
  • Allen Robinson: The Bears passing game is slightly dinged if Daniel gets the start, but it doesn’t move anyone off the board. Robinson is always going to carry volatility given that he’s averaging just 6.2 targets per game over his past six games played. We can’t expect him to walk into another 6-133-2 line that he had two weeks ago against this Lions Defense with Darius Slay out, but Slay hasn’t been a world beater this season, allowing five touchdowns in his coverage, tied for the fourth most in the league.
  • Anthony Miller: He’s been a WR3 or better in four straight games while the Lions are 25th in points per game allowed to receivers out of the slot, including a 5-122-1 line to Miller two weeks ago.
  • Trey Burton: He has just 10 catches on 12 targets over his past four games which he’s turned into just 95 yards. That leaves him vulnerable for a low floor, but such is the case for all the tight end company he keeps in the lower-end portion of TE1 ranks.

 

Bust (underperformance)

 

  • Matthew Stafford: There’s not much to see here at this stage as he’s continuously floated around the middle of the pack in weekly scoring throughout the bye season. Stafford hasn’t finished higher than QB14 since Week 2.
  • Jordan Howard: He’s still in play as a lower-end RB2 since he can find the end zone and stack touches as a favorite, but he’s averaging just 57.3 yards from scrimmage per game over the past nine weeks and was able to tally just 32 total yards versus this Lions Defense at home two weeks ago.
  • LeGarrette Blount: An underdog that doesn’t catch passes against a Bears Defense that has allowed one running back all season to reach 60 yards on the ground. Blount has 21 carries for 16 yards over his past four games, opening the door for Zach Zenner to potential squeeze into some touches.

 

If You Must (Swing on a bench option/deep league play)

 

  • Theo Riddick: It is not going to be sexy, nor is it going to come along with a higher ceiling, but Riddick has been a top-30 scorer in each of the past three games and has paced the position with 18 receptions over that span. 62.8 percent of the fantasy points that the Bears allow to the running back position has come through passing, the highest share in the league since they are so good versus the run. Tack on that Kerryon Johnson also had 13 targets over that same span, and Riddick is a low-ceiling stopgap in Week 12.
  • Bruce Ellington: With all of the injuries to the Lions passing game, Ellington has been thrust into tangible targets. He received nine a week ago, which he turned into six catches for 52 yards. With Jones likely out once again, Ellington should find his way to a similar target total.

 

Washington @ Dallas

 

Washington Rank @ Dallas Rank
7.5   Spread -7.5  
16.5   Implied Total 24.0  
19.7 27 Points/Gm 20.3 25
19.8 5 Points All./Gm 19.0 3
64.3 13 Plays/Gm 61.0 25
61.7 12 Opp. Plays/Gm 61.5 11
43.4% 10 Rush% 44.3% 8
56.6% 23 Pass% 55.7% 25
36.5% 5 Opp. Rush % 42.1% 22
63.5% 28 Opp. Pass % 57.9% 11

 

  • The Cowboys average +1.25 more yards per rushing play than their opponents, the most in the league.
  • Dallas is allowing 5.0 yards per play at home, fifth in the league.
  • Washington is allowing 16.2 points per game on the road, the fewest in the league.
  • After allowing 80.1 rushing yards per game through seven games, Washington is allowing 132 per game over the past three weeks.

 

Trust (spike starting production)

 

  • Ezekiel Elliott: Washington held Elliott to a season-low 33 yards rushing when these teams met in Week 7, but their run defense has gone a slide since that game and have allowed over 100-yards from scrimmage to a running back in three straight games. Elliott is finding his stride, posting 112, 187 and 201 total yards over the past three games.

 

On the Cusp (proxy of a player’s baseline)

 

  • Jordan Reed: He found the end zone for the first time since Week 1 and while his overall production isn’t intoxicating, it is still serviceable among his peers at the tight end position. Reed has averaged 7.8 targets per game over the past four weeks, tied for third among all tight ends. Dallas’ tight end numbers are skewed by the monster game that Zach Ertz had in Week 10, but they have allowed three other TE1 scoring weeks on the season outside of that game.
  • Amari Cooper: We're apparently completely out of the woods with the Cooper -Coaster this season, but his share of the Dallas targets (23 percent) and air yards (34 percent) are still a marked improvement over the totals (14 and 24 percent) he held while active in Oakland. The Dallas passing game may not allow for him to have a high weekly ceiling, however.

 

Bust (underperformance)

 

  • Dak Prescott: He was in a prime spot last week and couldn’t deliver, reminding us that he’s no sure thing. He has a rushing touchdown in four of his past five games, but he’s still not running a lot as he has just 25 yards on the ground over the past three weeks. If you don’t get the rushing production, it’s hard for him to get over the QB2 hump. With all but two teams in play this week, there are just more attractive backup options to pursue.
  • Adrian Peterson: He’s had at least 16 touches in six straight games, but he has rushed 44 times for 136 yards (3.1 YPC) over the past three games with Washington’s battered offensive line. He carries some scoring upside if Washington gets into position like he did last week, but that’s all he has going for him as he has 33, 69 and 51 total yards in those games with 17 receiving yards total.
  • Colt McCoy: The last time that McCoy started a game was in 2014. He is capable of producing a solid floor game, but we’ve seen the plan for the Washington offense this season. Washington ranks 23rd in passing rate and has multiple passing scores in just three games this season.
  • WAS WRs: McCoy targeted Josh Doctson on five of his 10 pass attempts in relief a week ago, but Doctson and this receiving unit are strictly only deep sigs if you’re playing the Thanksgiving slate in DFS. Doctson has yet to reach 50 yards in a game this season. Rookie Trey Quinn came off injured reserve to run 36 pass routes and push Maurice Harris to the outside, putting him in a spot to stack volume paired with the intermediate passing acumen of McCoy.

 

Falcons @ Saints

 

Atlanta Rank @ New Orleans Rank
13   Spread -13  
23.3   Implied Total 36.3  
26.3 9 Points/Gm 37.8 1
27.6 29 Points All./Gm 23.9 15
63.9 15 Plays/Gm 66.3 6
63.3 18 Opp. Plays/Gm 58.2 2
34.1% 29 Rush% 47.2% 3
65.9% 4 Pass% 52.8% 30
37.4% 7 Opp. Rush % 35.7% 4
62.6% 26 Opp. Pass % 64.3% 29

 

  • The Saints Week 12 implied is the highest implied total for a team since the 2013 Broncos in Week 6 (39.8 points).
  • New Orleans is just the fourth team to ever score 45 or more points in three consecutive games and the first since the 2007 Patriots.
  • The Saints have scored on 24-of-29 (82.8 percent) possessions over the past three weeks with a touchdown on 18 (62.1 percent) of those drives.
  • Opposing teams have scored a touchdown on 34 percent of their drives versus the Falcons, the second-highest rate in the league.
  • 78.3 percent of the yardage gained against the Saints this season has come via passing, the highest rate in the league.
  • Michael Thomas averages 8.2 catches for 107.8 yards per game with three touchdowns over five career games versus the Falcons.
  • The Falcons have allowed three or more touchdown passes in six games this season, the most in the league.
  • 29.2 percent of Alvin Kamara's targets have come from inside of the red zone, the highest rate in the league.
  • Opposing teams target their running backs 27.2 percent of the time versus Atlanta, the highest rate in the league.

 

Trust (spike starting production)

 

  • Drew Brees: He has been bonkers the past three games, averaging 10.7 yards per pass attempt while throwing 11 touchdown passes (with at least three in each game). Atlanta has been a prime target of ours all season, ranking 31st in passing points allowed per game (18.7).
  • Michael Thomas: He’s now secured 90.1 percent (82-of-91) of his targets on the season and nearly has as many touchdowns (eight) as incompletions thrown in his direction.
  • Alvin Kamara: He’s gone over 100-yards from scrimmage in each of his past three games and is drawing an Atlanta defense allowing a league-high 8.5 completions per game to backfields and 161/5 yards from scrimmage per game to the position (26th).
  • Julio Jones: The touchdown regression dam has been broken. Jones has scored in three straight games for the first time since the 2014 season. He is averaging a league-high 115.8 yards per game with five straight games of over 100-yards and has at least 96 receiving yards in four straight games versus the Saints.

 

On the Cusp (proxy of a player’s baseline)

 

  • Mark Ingram: I have to wave the white flag on Ingram as we just have to believe in the upside of this offense supporting him being able to keep up weekly RB2 production even if his efficiency per touch from the past two weeks can’t hold. This is also a prime spot for backfield appeal as the Falcons are giving up 33.1 points per game the running back position, the most in the league.
  • Tre’Quan Smith: He was targeted on 43.3 percent of his routes last week after failing to record a target the week prior, but we always mention that the spots you want to take shots on him is in these high-total home games. In his past three games in New Orleans, Smith has been the WR5, WR32 and the WR2. He has missed practices early int he week, so make sure to check on his availability in the middle of Thursday.
  • Matt Ryan: This is not the same New Orleans defense that he hung 374 passing yards and five touchdowns on in Week 3. Ryan also has finished higher than QB12 in just one of his four road games this season while the Saints have nuked Andy Dalton (QB27) and Carson Wentz (QB29) over the past two weeks. That alone is enough to move Ryan down to the lower-end of the QB1 pool, but he is still averaging 304 passing yards per game on the road and this game still has high shootout potential if the Saints Defense takes even a small step back.
  • Tevin Coleman: He’s still not getting fed enough touches (12.6 per game over his past six games) but has started to flash some big-play ability as he’s averaging 6.9 yards per touch over his past four games, including 5.6 yards per carry. The Saints have allowed a rushing touchdown in seven straight games, the longest streak in the league.
  • Calvin Ridley: He’s been higher than WR45 in just one of his past six games and has averaged 46 receiving yards per game over his past seven. Of course, he did have a 7-146-3 line against the Saints in Week 3 and all three of those scores came against guys still playing heavily in this secondary, which will be enough to keep the lights on as a boom-or-bust WR3 option.

 

Bust (underperformance)

 

  • Austin Hooper:  He’s been a TE1 in just one of his past four games as his deal with the devil may be dead. He did still have eight targets last week, giving him eight or more targets in four of his past six games. The Saints have been stout versus tight ends, though, not allowing any TE1 scoring weeks yet on the season and have allowed just one touchdown to the position on the year.
  • Mohamed Sanu: He’s scored in three of six career games against the Saints with the Falcons, but he hasn’t had double-digit points in a game since Week 6.
  • Ito Smith: He has single-digit touches in three of his past four games with just 26 yards from scrimmage or fewer in four of his past six games.

 

 

Giants @ Eagles

 

NY Giants Rank @ Philadelphia Rank
5.5   Spread -5.5  
21.0   Implied Total 26.5  
19.7 26 Points/Gm 22.0 21
25.3 20 Points All./Gm 20.3 6
61.2 24 Plays/Gm 67.1 5
63.4 20 Opp. Plays/Gm 62.2 14
31.2% 32 Rush% 37.1% 20
68.8% 1 Pass% 62.9% 13
43.4% 27 Opp. Rush % 31.8% 1
56.6% 6 Opp. Pass % 68.2% 32

 

  • The game total has gone over in six consecutive meetings between these teams with a combined average of 53.3 points scored in those games.
  • The Eagles are allowing 3.9 red zone possessions per game, 31st in the league. They allowed 2.5 per game in 2017, third in the league.
  • Saquon Barkley's nine games of 100-yards from scrimmage leads the league and is tied for the most such games through 10 games of a player's career with Eric Dickerson.
  • After allowing 66.4 rushing yards per game through five games, the Eagles have allowed 136.4 rushing yards per game over their past five.
  • Odell Beckham has averaged 109 yards per game over the past four weeks, second among all wide receivers.
  • The Eagles have allowed an average of 222.2 yards from scrimmage per game to opposing wide receivers over that same span, the most in the league.
  • Since trading Damon Harrison, the Giants are allowing 152.3 rushing yards per game and 4.9 yards per carry after allowing 113.8 rushing yards per game and 4.3 yards per carry prior.

 

 

Trust (spike starting production)

 

  • Saquon Barkley: He’s had over 20 points in every game but one as well as hitting 100-yards in each game but one. The Eagles run defense and defense in general has taken a step back while Barkley’s use is a sure thing.
  • Odell Beckham: He didn’t hit when these teams met earlier in the season, but Beckham has five touchdown catches over his past six games and the Eagles secondary has lost Ronald Darby and the health of Rasul Douglas and Sidney Jones will be in question entering the week.
  • Carson Wentz: Wentz was playing lights out prior to last week, so I’m willing to throw away his garbage performance to variance and credit the Saints rather than believe that it is the beginning of a trend. Prior to that point, Wentz was a top-5 scoring quarterback since returning to the lineup and the Giants have allowed big passing days in three of their past five games, with the exceptions being Alex Smith and Nick Mullens. Over that span, they allowed the Bucs QBs to pass for 366 yards, 379 yards to Matt Ryan and a 278-yard, three touchdown game to Wentz himself in Week 6.
  • Zach Ertz: The same for Ertz, who had been the most stable weekly option at the tight end position prior to the Eagles offensive debacle last week. Despite his down week, Ertz still is pacing the position in targets (10.3) and receptions (7.7) per game.

 

On the Cusp (proxy of a player’s baseline)

 

  • Eli Manning: As mentioned last week, Manning has come through with a stable floor in these spots this season, hitting for 17-plus points in three of his past four games while the Eagles have allowed a top-12 scoring quarterback in four straight games.
  • Alshon Jeffery: He has received just 16.8 percent of the team targets over his past three games after 24.7 percent over his first four games back in the lineup. That volume dip has kept him at WR40 or lower in each of those games. That keeps him in lower-end WR2 territory, but he did have two touchdowns when these teams last played and Janoris Jenkins has now allowed seven touchdowns in his coverage, tied for the most in the league.
  • Sterling Shepard: The volume just hasn’t been there as he has just five targets over his past two games and has scored just once over his past six games.  But the Eagles secondary is such bad shape that you still take a shot on him as they allowed touchdowns to three different Saints receivers last weekend and may funnel coverage to Beckham in the same manner they did to Michael Thomas a week ago.

 

Bust (underperformance)

 

  • Evan Engram: He ran a season-low eight pass routes last week and now has more than two receptions in just 3-of-7 games played this season.
  • Golden Tate: His usage increased as he ran 27 pass routes last week as opposed to 15 in his first game with the Eagles. He also received a team-high eight targets. Still, he was not a usable fantasy option and those targets came in a game where both Ertz and Jeffery combined for eight targets.  Tate has not had more than 50-yards receiving in a game since Week 4.

 

If You Must (Swing on a bench option/deep league play)

 

  • Josh Adams: He played a season-high 55 percent of the offensive snaps last week and ran a season-high 16 pass routes to give him a little bit more of a floor. He still takes a small step of faith since he's never had more than 10 touches in a game and the Eagles could easily delegate opportnities once again, but the Giants have allowed 15 touchdowns to opposing running backs, 29th in the league, which has him on the RB2 radar.
    Rich Hribar
    Rich Hribar is a husband, father, sports meteorologist and a slave to statistics. A lifelong sports fan and fantasy gamer. You can find him on Twitter @LordReebs.