Welcome to Week 12. And with it comes the final week that you’ll have to deal with bye weeks affecting your team. From next week onwards, you can ride your best players all the way to that first-place trophy. For now, though, you’ll have to figure out how to win without the likes of Patrick Mahomes, Stefon Diggs, Melvin Gordon and Kyler Murray at your service.
This week started with a crucial AFC South match-up, which saw the Houston Texans claim victory over the Indianapolis Colts and take first place in the division. Those of you that started the ever-reliable DeAndre Hopkins got rewarded with two touchdowns and 27.4 fantasy points. The stand-in Colts running back, Jonathon Williams, also put up an impressive performance and certainly rewarded those who dared to start him. But it wasn’t all great for fantasy owners, as those who started TY Hilton saw just 18 receiving yards in return.
Moving forward, we have some great match-ups to get excited about. Later on, the Cowboys (6-4) head to Foxborough to take on the Patriots (9-1), in a game that Tom Brady will certainly be ready for. He was quoted this week saying that he’s disliked the Cowboys “since coming out of the womb”. The fun doesn’t stop there, as the Packers (8-2) head west to take on the 49ers (9-1), which will certainly impact playoff seeding. To finish off, Lamar Jackson and the Ravens (8-2) roll into Los Angeles to take on a Rams team (6-4) that cannot afford any more slip-ups.
Byes: Minnesota Vikings, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Arizona Cardinals.
*Fantasy points references based on PPR (NFL.com).
– Start ‘Em –
Derek Carr – opponent: vs Jets
The Raiders have won three in a row and Derek Carr is playing at a standard that we haven’t seen since that devastating injury in 2016. Over the last four weeks, Carr ranks sixth among quarterbacks in scoring and even found the end zone with his feet last week. He gets a plus match-up this week when the Raiders travel to the Jets, who are giving up over 270 passing yards to opposing quarterbacks this season.
Prediction: 290 passing yards, 2 TD.
Jeff Driskel – opponent: @ Redskins
It appears that the Lions have found a genuine back-up to Matt Stafford in Jeff Driskel, who is this week’s high-risk, high-reward quarterback. Driskel’s ability to run the football, with 88 rushing yards and a touchdown in two games, makes his fantasy outlook worth considering. He gets a mouth-watering opportunity against the one-win Redskins, who just gave up four passing touchdowns to Sam Darnold.
Prediction: 260 yards, 2 TD, 40 rushing yards.
– Sit ‘Em –
Aaron Rodgers – opponent: @ 49ers
Rodgers can no longer be relied on to win you your fantasy match-up. In his last two outings, he’s ranked 23rd and 21st among quarterbacks in scoring. This week, he goes up against a 49ers defense that ranks first in passing yards allowed, giving up just 142.5 per game. The 49ers defense has struggled mightily against the run over recent weeks so we should expect to see a lot of Aaron Jones this week.
Prediction: 210 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT.
Brandon Allen – opponent: @ Bills
Brandon Allen took a backwards step last week, posting a fantasy score of 13.4 points thanks to his sole passing touchdown. However, he did have a tough ask against a very good Minnesota Vikings team. He gets an equally tough challenge this week when the Broncos take on the Buffalo Bills, who rank third in passing defense this season. He shouldn’t be considered as an option this week.
Prediction: 175 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT.
– Start ‘Em –
Bo Scarborough – opponents: @ Redskins
Detroit’s Bo Scarborough came out of nowhere last week, with 55 yards and a touchdown against the Cowboys. With 31 offensive snaps, he saw significantly more time than both Ty Johnson (18 snaps) and JD McKissic (14 snaps). He gets a great opportunity to stake a claim as the Lions starting running back this week against a Redskins defense that has given up the fifth-most rushing yards this season.
Prediction: 68 rushing yards, 1 TD.
Kareem Hunt – opponent: vs Dolphins
Those who stashed Hunt on their benches for the first half of the season will finally get a big reward this week when the rising Browns take on the Dolphins. After two weeks back, it’s clear that there is a role for Hunt in this Browns offense. He may be playing second fiddle to Nick Chubb in the backfield but he’s getting things done when working as a receiver, which makes him a valuable addition in PPR leagues. With the Dolphins up next, there’s never been a better time to start Hunt.
Prediction: 35 rushing yards, 60 receiving yards, 1 TD.
– Sit ‘Em –
Tevin Coleman – opponent: vs Packers
The 49ers rushing offense has dipped recently. They’ve had multiple changes on the offensive line, and George Kittle and Matt Breida have both missed time. Opponents have also been daring Jimmy Garoppolo to beat them through the air. As a result, Tevin Coleman hasn’t found the end zone in three consecutive games. He hasn’t topped 75 total yards in those games either. Expect the Packers to continue the trend and stack the box.
Prediction: 45 rushing yards, 28 receiving yards.
Ronald Jones – opponent: @ Falcons
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been in an early hole in far too many games this year. Their need to abandon the run means that Ronald Jones (and Peyton Barber) just cannot be trusted to get things done at this stage in the fantasy season. Last week, for example, Jones saw just six touches against the Saints. Things won’t improve when the Buccaneers take on the high-powered Falcons offense (and its much-improved defense) this week.
Prediction: 48 rushing yards, 10 receiving yards.
– Start ‘Em –
DK Metcalf – opponent: @ Eagles
The Seahawks appear to have found a great addition in rookie receiver DK Metcalf. He’s posted either 50+ receiving yards or a touchdown in every game bar one this year, placing him in the top 20 among fantasy receivers. He goes up against an Eagles secondary that has been well below par and is giving up the fifth-most fantasy points to wide receivers. With Tyler Lockett limited in practice, he could see a large workload.
Prediction: 105 receiving yards, 1 TD.
Calvin Ridley – opponent: vs Buccaneers
Calvin Ridley is coming off a monster game that was no doubt his best of the season. He posted 143 receiving yards and a touchdown (his fifth of the season). He gets another attractive game this week against the Buccaneers defense that is flat-out awful in pass defense and averaging 290.9 yards passing yards allowed per game.
Prediction: 95 receiving yards, 2 TD.
– Sit ‘Em –
Marquise Brown – opponent: @ Rams
The Ravens’ Marquise Brown is another rookie receiver who has had a stellar first year, with 10+ points in four games. However, his output has been restricted by an ankle injury that has limited his targets to five or under in his last four games. He’s going up one of the best cornerbacks in the game this week in Jalen Ramsey so unless he can make one or two huge plays, his fantasy outlook is bleak.
Prediction: 32 receiving yards.
John Brown – opponent: vs Broncos
Despite having a massive game last week (137 yards, 2 TDs), John Brown should be started with caution this week. Brown has found the end zone just three times this year and two of those came against the lowly Dolphins last week. He’ll have a much more difficult time this week against the seasoned veteran Chris Harris. Start him if needed but don’t expect big numbers.
Prediction: 64 receiving yards.
– Start ‘Em –
Ryan Griffin – opponent: vs Raiders
Over the last four weeks, Travis Kelce is the only tight end with more fantasy points than the New York Jets’ Ryan Griffin. He’s unlikely to put in a repeat performance of last week (109 yards, 1 TD), but he has another great chance this week as the Raiders rank 28th against opposing tight ends over the season. Expect Griffin to be targeted in goal-line scenarios.
Prediction: 45 receiving yards, 1 TD.
Dallas Goedert – opponent: vs Seahawks
With both Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor doubtful for Sunday’s game, there is a real chance that Dallas Goedert could become the Eagles’ second-best pass catcher behind Zach Ertz. If that is the case, then Goedert offers big upside at the tight end position. He’ll be looking to maintain momentum as he’s scored a touchdown in three of his last four games.
Projection: 50 yards, 1 TD.
– Sit ‘Em –
Jason Witten – opponent: @ Patriots
Fantasy owners who have Jason Witten should look for an alternative starter this week. The Cowboys face a brutal match-up against a Patriots defense that ranks second in passing yards allowed and seventh against opposing tight ends in fantasy scoring. Witten hasn’t found the end zone since Week 2 and that trend is likely to continue this week.
Projection: 28 receiving yards.
Delanie Walker – opponent: vs Jaguars
After missing five weeks, Delanie Walker is set to return to the field on Sunday. His health will play a big factor in his fantasy performance and his lack of practice this week indicates that he may see limited snaps. The emergence of Jonnu Smith also means that the Titans are less dependent on forcing Walker back. Therefore, there’s a good chance that he could be a non-factor this week.
Projection: 39 receiving yards.
Featured Picture – Credit: AP Photo/Ron Schwane