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Favorites & Fades

Week 12

By: Nick Caron | HC Green | Eli Mack | John Fessel
Updated: 11/26/23





Sunday Early:


NO @ ATL | TB @ IND | NE @ NYG

Sunday Late:





- Green highlight indicates plus matchup (top eight)
- Red highlight indicates negative matchup (bottom eight)
- Lines and totals updated Sunday morning

Packers @ Lions - (Green)
Line: DET -8.0
Total: 47.5

DET FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.9
DET FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.28
DET FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.12
DET FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.14

No Brainers: N/A

Favorites: WRs Jayden Reed / Romeo Doubs

While Reed (chest) popped up on Tuesday’s injury report as a limited participant, let’s assume he suits up. The rookie led the team in yards (96) this past Sunday, and he also racked up his fifth touchdown of the season. Reed has become a focal point of the offense, and with Aaron Jones (knee) and Luke Musgrave (abdomen) unlikely to play, the Packers will need their remaining playmakers to pick up the slack. If Reed can’t go, this designation applies even more to Doubs, who trails only Tyreek Hill and Courtland Sutton in receiving touchdowns this year. The Nevada product has scored in four of his last five games and set season highs in receptions (9) and receiving yards (95) when these two teams locked up back in Week 4. Both warrant WR3 consideration.

On the Fence: QB Jordan Love

Coming off the first 300-yard game of his career, Love has been looking more and more comfortable running the offense in recent weeks. Improved pass protection has been a big part of that, and it’s something he did not enjoy when the Lions sacked him five times and generally made life uncomfortable for him on Sept. 28. Love did finish that game with 246 yards passing and 2 total TDs, which is passable production. Still, under other circumstances he’d be listed as a fade. With the RBs banged up, however, the Packers are unlikely to be able to run the ball effectively, so Love may get a lot of chances to rack up yardage, even if it’s in garbage time. He’s a risk/reward play.

Fade: RB AJ Dillon

With Jones and Emanuel Wilson (shoulder) injured, Dillon figures to get most of the work on Thanksgiving with newly re-signed Patrick Taylor sprinkled in on passing downs. The bruising back averaged just 2.1 yards per carry versus a suspect Chargers D on Sunday, so don’t expect big numbers against Detroit’s fifth-ranked run defense. You can still trot Dillon out as a flex candidate based on what should be a high snap count, but this has 15 touches for 45 yards written all over it.

GB FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.27
GB FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.12
GB FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.29
GB FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.21

No Brainers: RB David Montgomery, RB Jahmyr Gibbs, WR Amon-Ra St. Brown, TE Sam LaPorta

Favorites: N/A

On the Fence: N/A

Fade: QB Jared Goff

Put bluntly, the Lions are a more physical team than the Packers. They proved it back in Week 4 when they ran for 211 yards and 3 TDs. Why deviate from that formula with both Montgomery and Gibbs available on Turkey Day? During Detroit’s four-game winning streak over Green Bay, dating back to 2021, the veteran has averaged 202 yards and 1.25 TDs per game. Don’t expect much more than that.

Prediction: Lions 31, Packers 20 ^ Top

Commanders @ Cowboys - (Caron)
Line: DAL -13.5
Total: 48.5

DAL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.26
DAL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.27
DAL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.30
DAL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.16

No Brainers: N/A

Favorites: RB Brian Robinson Jr.

If you told fantasy managers that a Washington running back had made 13 receptions over his past two games, they’d almost certainly assume that his name was Antonio Gibson. But while he’s struggled to get things going on the ground as of late, the Commanders back who’s been making huge plays in the passing game has actually been Brian Robinson Jr. Robinson played on a season-high 78 percent of Washington’s offensive snaps this past week, compiling 131 total yards on the day - his second game of over 125 total yards in a row.

The Cowboys’ defense has been excellent this season, but there have been times when they’ve struggled to shut down opposing running backs. Most recently, the Panthers duo of Chuba Hubbard and Miles Sanders was able to compile 107 rushing yards against the Cowboys despite losing the game 33-10. We should expect Washington to keep things closer than that, which would allow Robinson to remain a big part of the offense throughout the afternoon. Don’t expect him to continue this crazy receiving production, but the fact that he’s not just always coming off of the field on passing downs is a great sign for his fantasy potential.

On the Fence: WR Terry McLaurin

While McLaurin has struggled to put together any big numbers for fantasy over his past three games, the fact remains that he’s been by far the favorite target for Washington quarterback Sam Howell. McLaurin has been targeted an average of over nine times per game over his past six contests, making him a good bet to see enough targets to remain a viable fantasy starter this week, even against a tough Dallas defense. There’s a possibility that we see another shootout in this game, or even the Washington offense playing from behind and being forced to pass more than they’d otherwise like to, so there’s some potential for a big game from McLaurin on Thanksgiving.

Fade: WR Jahan Dotson, WR Curtis Samuel

Although he has two touchdown receptions over his past three games, Washington wide receiver Jahan Dotson has managed just seven receptions during that stretch. In fact, he’s been held to four or fewer receptions in all but three games this season and he’s only eclipsed 70 yards in a game once. Dotson and the Commanders matched up against the Cowboys twice in 2022 and he managed just eight total targets, and six catches for 115 receiving yards with one touchdown in those contests. Dallas’ pass defense has actually been much better this season than they were in 2022, so it’s tough to imagine that he’s going to significantly improve upon those numbers.

Curtis Samuel had five total catches for a measly 36 yards in his two games against Dallas in 2022. While he was a bigger part of the offense early this season than he was in 2022, it’s still worth noting that he hasn’t gone over 25 receiving yards in a game since Week 5. He does get some usage in the running game, but Samuel just doesn’t see the ball often enough to be a viable fantasy option against a good defense like the Cowboys.

WAS FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.2
WAS FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.14
WAS FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.3
WAS FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.17

No Brainers: WR CeeDee Lamb

Favorites: QB Dak Prescott

The Cowboys didn’t need much passing game production in order to completely control the game and walk away with another blowout victory over a bad team in Week 11. Still, quarterback Dak Prescott was able to put together his fourth-straight multiple-passing-touchdown performance against a Panthers defense that quietly ranks as a bottom-three matchup for opposing quarterbacks.

Prescott now faces a Washington defense that ranks as the second-best matchup for QBs, and who just got lit up for 246 yards and three touchdowns by the Giants’ Tommy DeVito in Week 11. The Commanders have allowed opposing quarterbacks to compile two or more total touchdowns in all but two games this season, making them one of the highest floor options for opposing quarterbacks while also providing an excellent ceiling as they’ve conceded two four-touchdown days to the position as well. As long as the Commanders offense can put some points on the board, Prescott is in a great spot to compile some big numbers here in Week 12.

On the Fence: RB Tony Pollard

It seemed like an eternity since Pollard last turned in a useful fantasy performance, but he finally got things going this past week in the Cowboys’ blowout victory over the Panthers. While it wasn’t a huge output, Pollard nevertheless delivered a very solid day, rushing for 61 yards while scoring his first touchdown since all the way back in Week 1, and he added an additional bonus with four catches in the passing game.

It’s tough to truly trust Pollard right now given the shockingly low floor that he’s been providing, but the truth is that he does still have some serious potential for big games as long as the Cowboys are able to continue moving the ball. He’s been quite unlucky in the touchdown department throughout the season, so don’t be surprised if he gets back into the end zone again this week.

Fade: WR Brandin Cooks

Cooks absolutely crushed in Week 10 when he went for 173 yards and a touchdown on nine receptions - all of which were season highs - against an underrated Giants defense. That caused many fantasy managers to hit the waiver wire, acquire him, and even start him this past week against the Panthers. Of course, Cooks was back to his usual self in Week 11 when he was targeted just four times, making three receptions for 42 yards and failing to reach the end zone in the process.

While fantasy managers were burned this past week, they might be looking at this matchup against the Commanders as a serious potential bounce-back week for Cooks. After all, the Commanders have given up the third-most fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers this season. However, while the matchup might be enticing on paper, the truth is that Cooks himself just doesn’t see enough usage to make him a startable option in normal leagues. He’s been held under a 20 percent target share in all but one game this season and while he played on a season-high 83 percent of the Cowboys’ snaps this past week, he saw just 11 percent of the team’s targets during that contest. It’s understandable if you need to start Cooks in leagues with very deep starting rosters, but otherwise, he should remain on benches until we see him doing more than running wind sprints in back-to-back weeks.

Prediction: Cowboys 31, Commanders 23 ^ Top

49ers @ Seahawks - (Fessel)
Line: SF -7.0
Total: 44.5

SEA FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.14
SEA FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.6
SEA FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.14
SEA FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.19

No Brainers: RB Christian McCaffrey, TE George Kittle

Favorites: QB Brock Purdy

With the 49ers’ offensive weapons returning to full health, Brock Purdy has put up 149 and 158 passer ratings, tossing 3 touchdowns over the last two weeks. Purdy continues to be asked to only make 25 to 30 throws per game, having only surpassed 30 pass attempts twice this year, but there’s just so much talent that the efficiency has been about as good as one could imagine. As such, Purdy is now averaging a league leading 9.7 yards per attempt.

The Seahawks have made life difficult for most quarterbacks since Week 4, only giving up over 20 points once during that time (Sam Howell, Week 10). While Purdy’s ceiling is limited due to his managed share of responsibility in this offense, it’s hard to imagine even a solid defense like the Seahawks having enough talent to put the brakes on this 49er machine. Purdy should again be a reasonable play as a QB1 up against Seattle this week.

On the Fence: N/A

Fade: RB Elijah Mitchell

Even in a wipe out last week, it continued to hold that Mitchell is just not seeing enough touches to warrant more than a McCaffrey handcuff or deep bench stash. There’s no reason to expect that to change against Seattle, so Mitchell can safely remain tucked away as an emergency cord to pull if McCaffrey goes down.

SF FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.25
SF FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.22
SF FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.8
SF FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.29

No Brainers: N/A

Favorites: WR DK Metcalf, WR Tyler Lockett

The 49ers have been tough on opposing QBs, giving up just a 78 passer rating and collecting 27 sacks through ten games. They’ve also only surrendered 6.1 yards per attempt, so it may be a bit surprising to see that they’ve surrendered the tenth most points to opposing wide receivers. This has a lot to do with volume, as the 49ers have the third best point differential in the league and, as such, their opponents have been forced to throw a lot (39 times per contest). Such volume creates plenty of wide receiver targets: In each of the last four weeks, an opponent receiver has enjoyed double digit targets versus the Niners.

The Seahawks justifiably enter this game as underdogs, with a lot of potential for negative game script. Additionally, the team being down their top running back, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Geno Smith and Drew Lock - if Geno cannot finish the game – combine to throw over 40 times. As it is, the Seahawks have averaged 35 pass attempts this year. Metcalf has seen double digit targets in two of the last four games and just missed out on a third such outing last week (9 targets). Tyler Lockett has also seen his targets on the rise, going for double digit targets two weeks ago and having at least 7 in each of the last four games. Both talented receivers are plausibly WR2’s in a volume-based match up with San Francisco.

On the Fence: RB Zach Charbonnet

Kenneth Walker is doubtful this week, and he’s likely on a path to miss multiple games. The 49ers come to town to begin what looks to be a rough four-game stretch for the Seahawks backfield, and Zach Charbonnet is poised to inherit the task this week.

The 2nd round rookie running back is adept as a physical runner and as a pass catcher (4.9 yards per rush, 8% break tackle rate on rushes and an 83% catch rate), so while he appears to lack the explosiveness and elusiveness of Walker, he does have talent worthy of an every-down back. That’s likely the role he sees this week, sans Walker, and so the only question – a big one – is whether quantity amounts to quality. The 49ers have yet to allow a hundred rushing yards or 50 receiving yards to a running back, so it will be a tall task for Charbonnet to pull out a Top 25 performance on Thursday night.

Fade: QB Geno Smith

Geno Smith was forced from last week’s game versus the Rams, but then was essentially forced to re-enter due to Drew Lock’s struggles. It seemed that the Seahawks would have rather kept him on the sideline, rather than risk him suffering further injury. Nonetheless, Smith has managed to practice all week and is set to go versus the 49ers. How good of a condition he is in remains to be seen, and the 49ers pass rush is extremely unforgiving, especially with Chase Young on board. In 2023, Smith simply hasn’t had enough QB1-worthy outings to justify starting him while he’s both banged up and facing a difficult defense.

Prediction: 49ers 24, Seahawks 17 ^ Top

Dolphins @ Jets
Line: MIA -9.0
Total: 40.5

NYJ FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.23
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.9
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.32
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.15

No Brainers: WR Tyreek Hill

Favorites: RB Raheem Mostert

Devon Achane suffered a knee injury almost immediately upon his return to the lineup in Week 11, leaving Raheem Mostert with nearly sole control of the Miami backfield during the game. The end result wasn’t the greatest fantasy output with the Dolphins’ offense struggling to put points on the board against the Raiders, but Mostert managers should still have some confidence in knowing that the running back was trusted to take 22 carries during the game and he looks poised to have a strong touch share again here in Week 12 as the Dolphins head north to face the Jets. Miami has allowed 10 different running backs to score 13 or more PPR fantasy points already this season, making Mostert a nice floor play to go along with his usual high ceiling.

On the Fence: QB Tua Tagovailoa

Tua Tagovailoa has been a borderline QB1 on the season, but it’s fair to say that the Dolphins’ offense as a whole has been struggling as of late. After being one of the hottest offenses in the league to start the season, they’ve now scored just 41 points over their past two games. They now face a Jets defense that ranks as a bottom-10 matchup for opposing quarterbacks this season. New York allowed Josh Allen to throw for three touchdowns this past week, but they had previously held every other quarterback they’ve faced to two or fewer touchdowns. That included matchups against Josh Allen (earlier in the season), Dak Prescott, Patrick Mahomes, Jalen Hurts, and Justin Herbert.

Tua is unlikely to be completely shut down in this game, but this matchup is not an easy one and we have to lower him in our weekly rankings given that his usual ceiling might not be entirely there.

Fade: WR Jaylen Waddle

With Tua being bumped down due to the matchup, it also makes sense that the Dolphins’ WR2, Jaylen Waddle, should probably be avoided if at all possible here in Week 12. While he still ranks inside WR3 range, it’s been a very disappointing season overall for Waddle who has now failed to reach even 10 PPR fantasy points in either of his past two games. He’s still seeing a relatively strong target share, but the end results just have not been there and therefore fantasy managers need to strongly consider whether someone who’s normally on their bench might be a better fit in the starting lineup this week over Waddle.

MIA FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.12
MIA FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.26
MIA FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.7
MIA FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.13

No Brainers: N/A

Favorites: WR Garrett Wilson

The Jets’ passing game has been an absolute nightmare this season and with Zach Wilson being benched this week in favor of Tim Boyle, it’s a tough sell to put Garrett Wilson as a “favorite.” Even given the tumultuous quarterback situation, though, Wilson has seen such an excellent target share this season that he’s remained a solid WR2 in almost every game. Wilson hasn’t been targeted fewer than seven times in a game since all the way back in Week 1 and he’s seen 12 or more targets in five of his past seven contests. It remains to be seen whether or not he and Boyle will have any sort of a connection, but the overall offensive approach really shouldn’t be much different given that Wilson is by far the best pass-catcher on the roster. Additionally, the Dolphins offer a top-10 matchup for opposing wide receivers this season, making Wilson a solid option overall in this contest.

On the Fence: RB Breece Hall

Running back Breece Hall has been able to cling to fantasy relevance primarily due to his plays in the passing game, but it’s tough to not be concerned that he’s now averaging just over 31 rushing yards per game with under a 2.5 yards per carry average over his past five contests. Hall now faces a Miami defense that has given up the third-fewest receiving yards to opposing running backs this season and hasn’t allowed a running back to exceed 13 fantasy points against them in a game since all the way back in Week 5.

It’s tough to bench Hall given the workload he’s been seeing and his high usage in the passing game, which should continue especially if the Jets fall behind on the scoreboard in this game, but this is a sneaky bad matchup for him.

Fade: QB Tim Boyle, All other Jets pass catchers

While it appears obvious that Zach Wilson is not the answer at quarterback, the move to Tim Boyle also doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence that things are suddenly going to take a dramatic shift for the better in the Jets’ offense. Boyle took over for Wilson mid-game in Week 11 against the Bills, but managed to throw for just 33 yards on 14 attempts, including an interception and no touchdowns. Sure, he now has a full week to prepare, but this Jets offense is very likely to remain one of the league’s worst at least until Aaron Rodgers returns.

Prediction: Dolphins 27, Jets 13 ^ Top

Jaguars @ Texans - (Mack)
Line: JAX -1.5
Total: 47.5

HOU FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.13
HOU FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.17
HOU FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.20
HOU FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.2

No Brainers: RB Travis Etienne

Favorites: WR Christian Kirk, TE Evan Engram

For the most part, Christian Kirk has continued to produce low-end WR2 numbers despite the ugliness that has been Trevor Lawrence for most of the season. The return of WR Zay Jones may limit some of Kirk’s production, but Kirk has established himself as the team’s No.1 outside option, despite Calvin Ridley’s breakout performance last week. The Texans have a classic bend-but-don’t-break pass defense this season, as they are in the bottom seven in the league with surrendering passing yards, but the 10 passing TDs they have given up is 3rd in the league. So, Kirk could have a nice game in terms of yardage but may find getting in the end zone a more difficult task. You could do a lot worse than Christian Kirk as your WR2.

Heading into the 2023 season, I’m sure very few people predicted that Evan Engram would be neck and neck with Kirk for the team lead in targets. His 74 targets are not only second on the team behind Kirk’s 77, but he’s third in the league at the tight end position in targets behind only T.J. Hockenson (102) and Travis Kelce (81). That kind of high-volume role is pure gold at the position. Keep starting Engram as your TE1.

On the Fence: QB Trevor Lawrence; WR Calvin Ridley

Both Lawrence and Ridley had their best games last week against Tennessee, but I will go with what both have shown for most of the season in terms of predicting this week. When these teams met in Week 3, neither Lawrence nor Ridley justified the top-10 ranking both had heading into that contest. Lawrence had a Trevor Lawrence kinda day (279/1/1), and Ridley’s performance was another in a long line of ugly games for him in 2023 (3/40/0). It’s tough to look at what both have done this year and suggest starting them with any confidence. It’s one of those things where you hope for the best but prepare for the worst. That’s no way to field a good fantasy football team, but it’s what we got this season with Lawrence and Ridley. We can only hope that they have a repeat performance from last week, but I’m not too optimistic. Personally, I have a vested interest in Lawrence because I’m forced to start him every week now that Kirk Cousins is done. And I’m not comfortable with that option.

Fade: N/A

JAC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.8
JAC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.18
JAC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.15
JAC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.10

No Brainers: QB C.J. Stroud, WR Tank Dell

Favorites: WR Nico Collins

Nico Collins started the 2023 season red hot. Through this year’s first four games, Collins grabbed 22 passes for 428 yards and three TDs. His play has leveled off since, but he remains a top option in one of the league’s most dynamic passing attacks. I expect C.J. Stroud and this Texans passing game to light up the scoreboard this week. The Jaguars have one of the league’s worst pass defenses in terms of passing yards and TD receptions surrendered, so expect Collins and the crew to contribute to your fantasy team in a positive way in Week 12.

On the Fence: TE Dalton Schultz

Dalton Schultz’s 5 TDs are tied for the second most TD receptions for tight ends, but his 39 receptions place him 12th at the position. That kind of efficiency is usually not sustainable over the course of an entire season, and TDs are difficult to predict. And as good as Stroud has been, there’s a limit to how many mouths he can feed in this dynamic passing attack during a given game. But Schultz is hot right now, and so you should continue staring him until he is not. Just be mindful of the incredible efficiency he’s shown and know that it could dissipate rather quickly and without notice.

Fade: WR Robert Woods

As I mentioned above, there will be an odd man out each week in this offense. It’s routinely been Robert Woods, but he could be a desperation play this week with Noah Brown’s status up in the air. More than likely, Woods won’t give you much even if he does see an uptick in snaps.

Prediction: Texans 30, Jaguars 23 ^ Top

Steelers @ Bengals - (Green)
Line: PIT -2.5
Total: 36.5

CIN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.6
CIN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.16
CIN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.16
CIN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.5

No Brainers: N/A

Favorites: RB Jaylen Warren

Let’s start with this: the decision to oust Matt Canada as offensive coordinator injects an element of uncertainty into Pittsburgh’s offense. Quarterbacks coach Mike Sullivan will reportedly call plays under the direction of interim OC Eddie Faulkner. Sounds like a mess. Whoever runs the offense would do well to get Warren the ball more often. Over the last three games, Warren has turned 43 combined touches into 368 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He deserves to be a featured weapon. We’ll see if new OC agrees. Plug him into your lineup as an RB3 with upside.

On the Fence: WR Diontae Johnson

The passing game has done next to nothing over the last month, and that level of impotency has spread to the receivers. Only Johnson has shown glimpses of production, catching 15 passes in Weeks 8 and 9 before catching just three of 12 targeted balls during the past two weeks. If the training wheels are going to come off Kenny Pickett a bit under the new regime, the steady veteran seems a more likely beneficiary, especially in a game like this where points figure to be at a premium. If you want to try Johnson as a WR3 he might deliver.

Fade: WR George Pickens

While Pickens has actually led the team in receiving the past two games, that amounts to stat lines of 3-45-0 and 4-38-0, respectively. His last impactful effort came on Oct. 22 against the Rams when he caught five passes for 107 yards. The second-year pro is more of a vertical threat than Johnson, and we have no idea how much the Steelers will want to push the ball downfield with a first-time starting QB on the other side of the field. Maybe Pickens will give you something as a flex or low-end WR3, but we’re four weeks and counting from the last time he did.

PIT FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.21
PIT FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.13
PIT FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.9
PIT FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.28

No Brainers: RB Joe Mixon, WR Ja’Marr Chase

Favorites: WR Tyler Boyd

Not to state the obvious, but the loss of Joe Burrow (wrist) changes everything. The tandem of Mixon and Chase remain no-brainers for the time being based on their expected roles and talent level. That could change. One player that may see an uptick in opportunities is Boyd. The veteran has primarily operated underneath this year, averaging a career-low 9.3 yards per catch, and he lacks the speed and upside of Chase or Tee Higgins. Boyd is reliable, though, and you cannot overlook the importance of a safety net for an inexperienced QB like Jake Browning. Boyd as a WR3/flex could pay off.

On the Fence: WR Tee Higgins (hamstring)

It’s too early to know whether Higgins will return from a hamstring injury that cost him the last two games. Even if he does, he’ll be stepping into a new world. The loss of Burrow will have a ripple effect throughout the offense, and on paper Higgins appears as though he could be least apt to weather it. The Clemson alum is the resident deep threat, whereas Chase and Boyd are more comfortable working on shorter routes. That isn’t to suggest that Higgins is incapable of contributing. He absolutely is. It’s more a case of not knowing how his role will change. That makes him a dicey option.

Fade: N/A

Prediction: Bengals 16, Steelers 13 ^ Top

Panthers @ Titans - (Mack)
Line: TEN -3.5
Total: 36.5

TEN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.18
TEN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.21
TEN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.6
TEN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.31

No Brainers: N/A

Favorites: WR Adam Thielen

Adam Thielen is the brightest bulb in an otherwise dark and dreary Carolina Panther offense. His 97 targets are nearly double the next closest teammate. The fact that the Panthers must rely so heavily on a 33-year-old receiver is indicative of this team’s lack of playmakers elsewhere. Thielen keeps delivering, so keep starting him because the rest of Carolina’s cupboards are empty.

On the Fence: N/A

Fade: RB Chuba Hubbard, RB Miles Sanders, QB Bryce Young

Perhaps if you were to combine the stats of Chuba Hubbard and Miles Sanders you would have a serviceable RB. But separately, both RBs leave a lot to be desired and should be nowhere near your starting lineup. Sanders, especially, has opened some eyes—but not in a good way. Some pegged him as a sleeper this season after arriving in Carolina from Philly. He had the most carries (18) and the most yards (72) in the season opener but hasn’t eclipsed either since then. The team eventually started incorporating Hubbard more into the mix, but he appears to be Miles Sanders 2.0. Stay away from this backfield.

And what can we say about the struggles of Bryce Young that hasn’t already been discussed and dissected? It appears that he has a lot of growing up to do when it comes to improved play at the NFL level. Frankly, it’s painful watching him lead this offense. Giving up D.J. Moore as part of the trade with Chicago to secure the top overall pick is limiting the growth of this young QB. They will need more than just Adam Thielen if they are to have their young signal caller justify such high draft capital.

CAR FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.30
CAR FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.2
CAR FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.28
CAR FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.23

No Brainers: N/A

Favorites: RB Derrick Henry

Over each of the past two games, Derrick Henry has not rushed for more than 38 yards. But now he gets to go up against the league’s 24th-ranked rush defense that has given up the most rushing TDs this season—16. If he struggles this week, it will be more of a sign that this offense has completely come off the rails. With the rookie Will Levis under center, this team has little choice but to rely on Henry. Let’s hope that necessity bears some fruit this week with a solid outing.

On the Fence: WR DeAndre Hopkins

DeAndre Hopkins’ Week 7 performance of 128 receiving yards and 3 scores brought back memories of his domination while playing in Houston. But his 146 receiving yards and 1 TD combined over the previous three games illustrates the up and down nature of his fantasy value in 2023. By the numbers, it appears the Panthers are tough against the pass (6th ranked pass defense), but that could be more a sign of teams being able to run all over them. Either way, it’s tough to rely on Hopkins for anything more than a high-end WR3 this season.

Fade: QB Will Levis

Will Levis is not quite a “thing” in fantasy just yet. The more pass attempts he has in a game, the more he tends to struggle, both in terms of his completion percentage and overall play. But a simple eyeball test reveals that Levis has that certain “it.” If Tennessee does something to bolster their playmakers in the next season or so, Levin just might end up being a solid QB2 in fantasy as soon as 2024. Stay tuned.

Prediction: Titans 17, Panthers 14 ^ Top

Saints @ Falcons - (Mack)
Line: NO -2.0
Total: 41.5

ATL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.7
ATL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.31
ATL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.24
ATL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.6

No Brainers: RB Alvin Kamara

Favorites: WR Chris Olave

Chris Olave enters Week 12 with the hope of scoring a TD in three straight games for the first time in his career. The first half of his Week 10 performance left his managers perplexed, as he got off to a slow start with one target and one catch for 15 yards. But he finished strong after QB Jameis Winston entered the game, ending the contest with 6 catches for 94 yards and a score.

Atlanta’s defense has been quite generous when it comes to surrendering receiving TDs, as they rank in the bottom-five in that category with 17. As good as Olave is, however, the QB play in New Orleans has been less than stellar. Olave’s 59.6 percent catch rate ranks 150th in the league, thanks in large part to the struggles under center. I’d love to see how much Olave’s numbers would improve If he got better play from the QB position. But for now, Olave remains one of the most solid WR2 fantasy options in the league.

On the Fence: WR Rashid Shaheed

With WR Michael Thomas placed on IR this week, Rashid Shaheed gets to prove that he’s not just a one-trick pony who is only best at running go routes. He moves up a spot in the team’s pecking order, which should increase his volume in the pass game. He had a career-high nine targets in Week 10 but could only muster 24 yards on 5 receptions. That efficiency will have to improve, of course, if fantasy managers are to trust him. How Shaheed performs now that defenses will give him added attention remains to be seen. You should exercise restraint when formulating expectations for him this week, but he should be a viable flex option.

Fade: QB Derek Carr, QB Jameis Winston

Derek Carr has battled a number of injuries so far this season, but he has yet to miss a start. As of this writing, he remains in concussion protocol with the expectation that he should be removed in time to play this week. In Carr’s absence in the second half, Jameis Winston had the expected Jameis Winston stat: 13 of 25 for 122 yards, with 2 TDs and 2 INTs. None of it matters because neither is a viable play this week.

NO FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.20
NO FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.30
NO FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.23
NO FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.12

No Brainers: N/A

Favorites: RB Bijan Robinson

Head coach Arthur Smith implied a few weeks ago that part of Bijan Robinson’s role in the offense is that of a decoy. Excuse me? This guy is using a top-10 draft pick and one of the most dynamic runners in the game as a decoy? Amazing. Here’s proof that he’s being used as a decoy: Robinson has played in 66 percent of the team’s offensive snaps; Tyler Allgeier, 36 percent. Yet, they both have 125 rush attempts. For Robinson’s sake, and that of his managers, we can only hope that at some point this season, the coaching staff understands fully what they have and utilize him accordingly. But it’s criminal that Robinson has the same number of carries as Allgeier. Criminal. New Orleans boasts a top-10 defense overall but is only middle of the pack in stopping the run. Despite Atlanta’s complete ineptitude on knowing how to use him, Robinson remains a low-end RB1 for his potential alone.

On the Fence: WR Drake London, TE Kyle Pitts

Reports are the Falcons will go back to QB Desmond Ridder after kicking the tires on Taylor Heinicke the previous two games. Neither has been effective enough to make Drake London and Kyle Pitts consistently startable options in fantasy this year. London hasn’t scored since Week 4 but posted his best game of the year overall in Week 6 against Washington. His targets and catches have declined each game since, with his 3-catch, 36-yard performance in Week 10 being his latest clunker.

As for Pitts, his performance so far this season continues to affirm that he’s just “a guy” at the TE position. We don’t see much of the “unicorn” player we were promised when he was drafted 4th overall in 2021. Is that because of the questionable QB play he’s gotten so far in his career, or is it because he’s simply not as dominant as many thought? Could be somewhere in between. But perhaps the biggest indictment of Pitts is his teammate, Jonnu Smith, has more yards and TDs than he does. Either way, both London and Pitts will find it difficult to solve the riddle that is New Orleans’ defense, which is top-10 against the pass. And the Saints defensive unit is opportunistic and creates turnovers, as they have the second-most interceptions in the league with 12. Don’t expect much from either of these players this week.

Fade: RB Tyler Allgeier

I’m sure Tyler Allgeier is a fine red-blooded American, but the fact that he’s a relevant topic of discussion in fantasy football is cringe worthy. He has a bigger role in this offense than most people expected or wanted, and certainly a big enough role to limit Robinson’s ceiling. But he remains a fringe option in fantasy and only relevant in larger leagues.

Prediction: Saints 23, Falcons 16 ^ Top

Buccaneers @ Colts - (Mack)
Line: IND -2.5
Total: 45.5

IND FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.19
IND FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.4
IND FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.18
IND FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.9

No Brainers: WR Mike Evans, RB Rachaad White

Favorites: N/A

On the Fence: WR Chris Godwin; QB Baker Mayfield

Chris Godwin is banged up a bit heading into this contest against the Colts with an apparent knee issue. His play has leveled off recently, as he’s posted only 12 catches over the previous three games; this after securing 17 catches over the three games prior to that stretch. Plus, his one TD reception on the season is troubling. Keep tabs on Godwin’s availability. But even if he does play, he’s only a flex option at this point.

Meanwhile, Baker Mayfield is a desperation play this week and only a viable option in bigger leagues. But it should be noted that Mayfield has had moments this season where he’s been a solid option, and he’s even posted at least 250 passing yards in two of his last three games.

Fade: TE Cade Otton

Cade Otton has a low floor and a low ceiling—his 6-catch, 70-yard, 2-TD game in Week 9 notwithstanding. The Colts are in the bottom-ten in the league in defending the TE position, but Otton may not be the player best suited to take advantage of that. Keep him on your bench or on the waiver wire this week.

TB FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.3
TB FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.29
TB FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.5
TB FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.7

No Brainers: RB Jonathan Taylor, WR Michael Pittman Jr.

Favorites: N/A

On the Fence: WR Josh Downs

The past two games, Josh Downs has only three catches for 50 yards and zero scores. Part of that was due to his early exit in Week 9, but this latest stretch is in stark contrast to his previous four games when he introduced himself to the fantasy world with a combined 23 receptions for 315 yards and 2 TDs. We shall see if he’s able to rekindle that level of production moving forward. If so, he will make himself a consistent WR3/flex option for the balance of the season. This week presents a solid opportunity for him, as the Buccaneers defense is near the bottom when it comes to passing yards and TD passes allowed. Downs is a flex, at best, this week. But you should keep tabs on his production moving forward to pinpoint the game to insert him in your lineup.

Fade: RB Zack Moss

The Zack Moss hype train was in full force during the first half of the season. But now that Jonathan Taylor is back in the mix and leading this running game, Moss should remain firmly tucked on your bench. I wouldn’t suggest dropping him because he’s shown that he’s capable of filling in as a lead back. But should Taylor miss time moving forward, Moss is a plug-and-play option.

Prediction: Colts 20, Buccaneers 17 ^ Top

Patriots @ Giants
Line: NE -4.0
Total: 33.5

NYG FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.15
NYG FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.11
NYG FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.4
NYG FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.24

No Brainers: N/A

Favorites: RB Rhamondre Stevenson

He started the season off extremely slowly, but Rhamondre Stevenson has really started to deliver for fantasy managers as of late. Over his past five games, Stevenson has averaged over 15 fantasy points per game. Perhaps most interesting is that he managed to handle 23 total touches this past week in what was an extremely low-scoring game against the Colts. While it’s hard to argue that the Patriots should continue to do what they did in a game that saw them score just six points, it’s also reasonable to assume that they won’t just completely abandon the player who was the focal point of the offense just a week ago.

The Giants are also a good matchup for opposing running backs, as they’ve given up the 11th-most fantasy points per game to the position this season. Most recently, we’ve seen big games from Breece Hall, Josh Jacobs, and Brian Robinson against this defense, all of whom are operating as bell-cow backs in bad offenses, just like Stevenson.

On the Fence: WR Demario Douglas

Aside from Rhamondre Stevenson, the only other player in the New England offense who fantasy managers should be concerning themselves with right now is wide receiver Demario Douglas. Douglas has really become the focus of this passing game, which is admittedly one of the worst in the league, but any player who’s seeing six or more targets per game has to be on the fantasy radar. Douglas hasn’t yet delivered a true difference-making fantasy performance, but he’s averaging over 11 fantasy points per game over his past four contests, making him a decent WR3/Flex option for those in tough spots.

Fade: RB Ezekiel Elliott

The Patriots continue to give touches to Ezekiel Elliott most weeks, but this “goal line back” role that many are still coveting to some degree just has not come to fruition much on the field. Elliott has scored just two touchdowns this season and he’s been under 12 PPR fantasy points in every contest. Sure, he might be limiting Stevenson’s upside, but he really is not a viable option as a fantasy starter himself right now.

NE FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.24
NE FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.15
NE FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.10
NE FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.30

No Brainers: N/A

Favorites: RB Saquon Barkley

The Giants’ offense as a whole remains one of the worst in the league, but running back Saquon Barkley remains one of the most consistent high-floor plays in the league while also showing off the ability to have the occasional huge spike week performance as we saw from him during the Giants’ somewhat surprising Week 11 road win over the Commanders. Barkley has touched the ball at least 14 times in every game he’s played this season, including at least three receptions in all but one contest, and he’s now averaged over 5.0 yards per carry in three straight games. The Patriots aren’t a particularly great matchup for opposing running backs, but they’re also not one to be worried about and Barkley should be in line for his usual high-floor/high-upside combination.

On the Fence: N/A

Fade: QB Tommy DeVito

We finally saw some life out of the Giants’ passing game this past week when Tommy DeVito lit up the Commanders’ defense with his first career three-touchdown performance while also reaching a career-high with 246 passing yards. The Commanders have been an extraordinarily giving matchup for opposing quarterbacks this season, though, so don’t look for DeVito to match those numbers again this week in what should be a low-scoring game against the Patriots. New England is a bottom-10 matchup for opposing quarterbacks and DeVito himself is just way too risky to be trusted by fantasy managers in this type of environment.

Prediction: Giants 17, Patriots 13 ^ Top

Browns @ Broncos - (Fessel)
Line: DEN -2.0
Total: 36.5

DEN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.5
DEN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.1
DEN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.22
DEN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.1

No Brainers: N/A

Favorites: RB Jerome Ford, RB Kareem Hunt, TE David Njoku

Alexander Mattison and Ty Chandler combined for 153 rushing yards and 5 receptions (35 yards) against the Broncos last week, and the only saving grace for the Broncos was that they didn’t surrender a touchdown to either back. Still, the Broncos have surrendered 9 rushing and 4 receiving touchdowns to backs this year, and that’s on top of giving up the most rushing yards in the league.

Ford is averaging 19 touches over the last three weeks, and Kareem Hunt has had double digit rushing attempts in each of the last six weeks, while he had a five-game rushing touchdown streak broken last week. Both running backs have been capable of producing flex level value, if not better, simultaneously, and against the Broncos they are reasonably both RB2’s. Ford, seeing greater volume, has RB1 upside this week.

Meanwhile, the story holds that David Njoku’s receiving role in the Browns offense is greater without Deshaun Watson than with. Last week, Dorian Thompson-Robinson targeted Njoku an incredible 15 times! Thompson-Robinson is set to start again this week, and while efficiency will be lacking without Deshaun Watson on the field, the vast improvement in targets for Njoku coupled with a Broncos defense that has been unable to stop TE’s (most points allowed) make this a great spot for the Browns TE.

On the Fence: N/A

Fade: WR Amari Cooper

Deshaun Watson sitting may be good for David Njoku, but nor for Amari Cooper. In four games sans Watson, Cooper has had two of his three lowest yardage outputs, and his other one came in a game where Watson left due to injury after just 5 passes. To make matters worse, Cooper should see a whole lot of Patrick Surtain II this week. It’s tough to sit a player with Cooper’s talent, but the stars are not aligning here.

CLE FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.31
CLE FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.24
CLE FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.31
CLE FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.32

No Brainers: N/A

Favorites: N/A

On the Fence: RB Javonte Williams

In a game that is poised to be a low-scoring grind, Javonte Williams may present the Broncos best chance for victory. They’ll likely attempt to play ball control and hope for miscues that lead to turnovers from the Browns rookie QB Thompson-Robinson. The Browns stout defense is at it’s weakest against the run, allowing the 10th least points to RBs.

Williams saw a dip in touches last week, but is still averaging 21.5 over the last month. He could very well flirt with 20 again in this one, and while he probably doesn’t have big upside against the Browns, he has a respectable floor and could produce a flex-level performance in a close game.

Fade: QB Russell Wilson, WR Courtland Sutton

The Browns have given up the 2nd fewest points to QBs. Five of the ten quarterbacks they’ve faced haven’t even broken double digits. Wilson, a mid-QB2 so far this year, is an easy sit this week against an elite Browns defense.

Courtland Sutton, meanwhile, has kept rolling and now has a touchdown reception in each of the last five games. He’s currently ranked 18th among wideouts in points per game (12.0). With the Browns having been really stiff against the passing game, it comes as no surprise that they’ve been unkind to wide receivers. Cleveland has likewise given up the 2nd fewest points to wideouts. They’ve also surrendered the 4th fewest receiving touchdowns to opposing receivers (6), which is not good news for Sutton’s bread and butter this year. Averaging just 50 yards per game, without a touchdown Sutton’s production is likely to be very sterile.

Prediction: Browns 16, Broncos 13 ^ Top

Rams @ Cardinals - (Fessel)
Line: LAR -3.0
Total: 45.5

ARI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.10
ARI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.3
ARI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.13
ARI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.25

No Brainers: N/A

Favorites: RB Kyren Williams

Kyren Williams returns to action this week, and if there was any doubt that he’d be playing a major role in his first game back, that question was answered with the release of fellow running back Darrell Henderson. Kyren has plenty of RB1 potential against the Cardinals this week.

On the Fence: WR Cooper Kupp (ankle), WR Puka Nacua (shoulder)

Matthew Stafford showed well in his return, earning ‘legend’ status from his head coach, and that boded well for Puca Nacua (5-70-1, plus 1-7-0 rushing). Unfortunately, Nacua hurt his shoulder late in the contest, and at the moment his status needs to be carefully watched. If he shows progress as the week goes on, he reasonably will become a must start.

Cooper Kupp, meanwhile, never had much of a chance to shine with Stafford last week, as he left the game early with an ankle injury. He missed the team’s opening practice and things are not looking great for him being available this week. His status needs to be carefully monitored.

Fade: RB Royce Freeman

While the Cardinals rush defense has been scorched by running backs for over 110 rushing yards per game and 15 combined touchdowns, Freeman is not likely to see a significant amount of action with Kyren Williams returning, and can be sat and probably released for an option with better potential at the position.

LAR FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.17
LAR FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.25
LAR FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.19
LAR FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.11

No Brainers: N/A

Favorites: QB Kyler Murray, TE Trey McBride

Kyler Murray is still getting into game shape, but has already posted two top-12 performances to start his belated 2023 season. The Rams are tied for the league lead in rushing touchdowns allowed to quarterbacks (4) and have surrendered 206 rushing yards to the position. Murray punched in a rushing touchdown in each of his first two games, and there’s a solid chance he extends that streak versus the Rams. Murray’s legs make him a QB1 to fire up this week.

The Rams have surrendered five double-digit fantasy performances to tight ends this year, including 12.6 to rookie Luke Musgrave two weeks ago. Trey McBride has emerged since Zach Ertz went down with an injury, and posted a career high 131-yard outing two weeks ago upon Murray’s return. This is a great spot for McBride to have another strong outing, and he’s an easy TE1 this week.

On the Fence: WR Marquise Brown, RB James Conner

The connection that Kyler Murray and Marquise Brown had in 2022 has not been there as Brown has just 3 receptions on 9 targets in Murray’s first two starts. There’s still reason to believe the spark can reignite, especially as Murray gets more and more into game condition, but there is certainly reason for pause. The Rams are respectable against wideouts (19th most points), so they are unlikely to make it easy for Murray and Brown to get on the same page. Brown is probably more of a deep league starter until the two start clicking.

James Conner has been solid on the ground in his first two games back from injury, posting 135 yards on 30 rushes. But he hasn’t reached the end zone in either game, and that’s surely in part due to Kyler Murray’s ability down by the goal line. Conner has also seen just 2 receptions for 1 yard since his return. As a matter of fact, strangely, Conner has only seen 5 receptions in his last six active games, after posting 5 receptions on the opening week of the season.

Conner, averaging 5.1 yards per rush on the season, is hardly washed up, but with his receiving role currently up in the air and the Rams having allowed the 9th fewest points to running backs, Conner is a fence play this week.

Fade: N/A

Prediction: Rams 23, Cardinals 20 ^ Top

Bills @ Eagles
Line: PHI -3.0
Total: 48.5

PHI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.4
PHI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.32
PHI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.1
PHI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.4

No Brainers: QB Josh Allen

Favorites: WR Stefon Diggs, TE Dalton Kincaid

Wide receiver Stefon Diggs has fallen out of the “no-brainer” category following terribly unproductive performance in back-to-back weeks, but fantasy managers need to be sure to not panic as we head into what is an extremely high-upside matchup for the superstar wide receiver. The Eagles are not just bad against opposing wide receivers this season - they’re terrible. They’ve given up more points per game to the position than any other team and by a fairly wide margin. If we had reason to believe that Diggs was being phased out of the offense then there’d be some cause for concern here, but as things are, this looks like about as good of a bounce-back opportunity as could possibly be imagined. Get him back in your lineup with confidence.

Tight end Dalton Kincaid is also in a good spot, not for a bounce-back, but rather to just continue doing what he has been doing which is delivering weekly TE1 fantasy numbers. Kincaid has had double-digit PPR fantasy points in five straight contests and he’s been targeted at least six times in every one of those games. He’s operating as the second option in this Bills offense and a matchup against the Eagles secondary that has given up the fourth-most fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends this season looks like a great opportunity for him to expand upon this already great stretch of games.

On the Fence: WR Khalil Shakir

The snap counts still favor Gabe Davis, but the Bills have quietly begun to utilize wide receiver Khalil Shakir at an increased rate over the past three weeks. Shakir hadn’t played on even 20 percent of Buffalo’s offensive snaps in any game until Week 7 when that number shot up to 43 percent. That number then spiked again in Week 8 and he’s now been on the field for at least 70 percent of the Bills’ offensive plays in four straight games. Over that four-game stretch, Shakir has managed to compile 288 receiving yards, including a 115-yard game this past week which also saw him score his first touchdown of the season.

You’d need to be in a pretty rough spot to be considering Shakir in normal leagues, but he’s been significantly more productive than Gabe Davis as of late and he has an excellent matchup against a terrible Philadelphia secondary here in Week 12.

Fade: RB James Cook

While the Eagles’ defense has allowed practically every passing game they’ve faced to torch them, the same cannot be said for running backs. Philadelphia has been the league’s absolute worst matchup for opposing running backs and they’ve actually only allowed four running backs to score even 10 fantasy points in a game against them this season, with Breece Hall being the only back who’s exceeded 15 points in a game against them.

James Cook has mostly been solid for fantasy managers this season, but given that he’s still regularly conceding touches to other backs in this offense, this is a low-floor/low-upside matchup for him and that’s definitely not the kind of thing we want to be targeting in our fantasy lineups.

BUF FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.29
BUF FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.10
BUF FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.25
BUF FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.22

No Brainers: QB Jalen Hurts, WR A.J. Brown

Favorites: WR DeVonta Smith

The Eagles’ offense had a tough matchup this past week against the Chiefs, but wide receiver DeVonta Smith still managed to turn in a solid fantasy day as he caught six of the eight passes that came his way for 99 yards. While he’s technically been held under 100 yards in all but one game this season, Smith has actually finished with exactly 99 yards receiving in two of his past three contests and he should continue to be a major focal point of the Philadelphia passing game as long as tight end Dallas Goedert remains sidelined. We’ve seen this in the past and Smith’s usage has historically gone up significantly when Goedert has been out. Look for him to be at least a solid WR2 this week.

On the Fence: RB D’Andre Swift

Philadelphia running back D’Andre Swift is currently dealing with an ankle injury that has kept him limited in practice throughout the week, but it appears likely that he’ll be active this weekend. Assuming he’s on the field, Swift should resume his role as the Eagles’ top running back and he’ll face a Buffalo defense that ranks as the 10th-best matchup for opposing running backs so far this season. They’ve recently given up big games to Breece Hall, Javonte Williams, Joe Mixon, and Rachaad White, but they also gave up a couple of monster performances earlier this season to Travis Etienne and Devon Achane. Swift has touched the ball at least 15 times in every game since Week 1 and is a strong bet to deliver RB1 fantasy numbers in this matchup.

Fade: N/A

Prediction: Eagles 31, Bills 27 ^ Top

Chiefs @ Raiders - (Fessel)
Line: KC -9.5
Total: 43.5

LV FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.22
LV FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.5
LV FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.21
LV FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.20

No Brainers: QB Patrick Mahomes, TE Travis Kelce

Favorites: RB Isiah Pacheco

Despite taking a loss to the Eagles, the Chiefs running game impressively acquitted itself against the league’s toughest run defense. Pacheco ran for 89 yards and finished as RB23 for the week. Pacheco is RB24 for the season (11.4 FPts/G), and this week he’ll get a chance to flex his ceiling against a Raiders defense that has given up the 4th most rushing yards to running backs. Pacheco is well within the RB2 conversation for this one.

On the Fence: N/A

Fade: WR Justin Watson

Justin Watson has surprisingly led the Chiefs in targets each of the last two weeks, including 11 last week versus the Eagles. He’s also seen his snap rate reach a season-high 63% each of the last two weeks. Yet, outside of scoring a touchdown last week, he hasn’t done a lot with the opportunities, converting 16 targets over that span into just 7 catches for 68 yards.

On the whole, Mahomes has just a 70 passer rating on targets to Watson and the Chiefs take on a Raiders team that has been the 12th toughest on wide receivers. Watson’s role in the offense should be downsized back to where it has previously been, making him an afterthought, even in very deep leagues.

KC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.28
KC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.19
KC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.26
KC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.26

No Brainers: RB Josh Jacobs

Favorites: WR Davante Adams

Davante Adams saw his production return to form last week, as he was targeted early and often on his way to a 7-82-1 day. The Chiefs have been the 7th toughest team against wide receivers, but with 26 targets in the last two weeks and the Raiders being significant underdogs, Adams is poised to see a lot of looks.

On the Fence: N/A

Fade: TE Michael Mayer

Michael Mayer has now picked up 5 targets in back-to-back weeks, and over the last six weeks he’s completely taken over the starting TE role, playing at least 80% of the snaps in all but one of those games. Still, the rookie has a season high of just 6 targets, has only two TE1 performances, and faces a Chiefs defense that has given up just 9 yards per reception to tight ends and just 2 touchdowns. Mayer plays the part of a good sit this week, though there are better days ahead.

Prediction: Chiefs 23, Raiders 14 ^ Top

Ravens @ Chargers - (Fessel)
Line: BAL -3.0
Total: 48.5

LAC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.1
LAC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.8
LAC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.2
LAC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.3

No Brainers: QB Lamar Jackson

Favorites: WR Zay Flowers

While Zay Flowers week-to-week production has been a little bit manic due to the run-heavy nature of the Ravens offense and the fact that he’s a rookie going through growing pains, he still leads the Ravens in targets with 72. He has also added 7 rushes.

It’s likely that Flowers stands to pick up targets in Andrews absence, likely making him more of a trust-worthy flex going forward despite his lack of red zone size (5’9). Put a Chargers defense that has given up the 2nd most points to wideouts and Flowers looks like a solid floor, high ceiling option for Week 12.

On the Fence: RB Gus Edwards, WR Odell Beckham Jr., TE Isaiah Likely

Gus Edwards has been a touchdown machine this season, scoring 10 times in 11 games. His fantasy value has really hinged on scoring, as he’s only averaging 51 rushing yards per game and just under 1 reception. The latter stat is particularly important this week, as Edwards draws a Chargers team that has given up the 5th most points per game to running backs, yet that is mainly due to surrendering the 3rd most receptions and receiving yards to the position (67-505).

The Chargers have actually been respectable against the run, itself, giving up just 4.0 yards per rush and the 18th most rushing yards to opposing backs. Additionally, Edwards may find it harder to reach the end zone without Mark Andrews impact on field position and the defensive attention he draws. As such, banking on Gus Edwards for RB2 production this week and going forward is an iffy proposition. He might be more of a deep league flex than anything else.

It’s an odd world when Odell Beckham Jr. is one of the healthiest players in the room. And it didn’t last long. Beckham is carrying a questionable tag after hurting his shoulder late in a season-best 116-yard performance. Beckham, who’d reeled in a touchdown in each of the previous two weeks, appeared to be getting back to form (at least late career form) prior to Mark Andrews going out, and now there are more targets available. It’s very plausible, if Beckham can stay on the field, that he is regularly in the WR3/flex conversation going forward. He certainly should be, this week, if he’s healthy enough to face the leaky Chargers secondary.

Tight End Isaiah Likely has barely been heard from this season after posting 36 receptions and 3 touchdowns as a rookie. With Mark Andrews suffering a season-ending injury early in last week’s game versus the Bengals, Likely draws an opportunity to be more involved. Last season, Mark Andrews sat for two games and Likely put a TE1-worthy performance in both, combining for 23.2 points in the two match-ups. Starting tight ends rarely have quality “handcuffs”, but Likely has the capability to be an exception.

One difference this year that may put that in doubt is the addition of Beckham, Flowers and Nelson Agholor. In part, this is why Likely has just 9 receptions this season. There’s a lot more options for Lamar Jackson to throw to, and while the match up is good, it remains to be seen whether Likely will be high in the pecking order. Last week, after Andrews left the game early, Likely saw just 2 targets. If you’re short at tight end or looking for depth, Likely is worth picking up and monitoring.

Fade: N/A

BAL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.32
BAL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.20
BAL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.27
BAL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.27

No Brainers: RB Austin Ekeler, WR Keenan Allen

Favorites: N/A

On the Fence: QB Justin Herbert

Despite seeing his wide receiver core again get depleted by injuries, Herbert came up with back-to-back strong performances following a dud versus the Jets. The Packers presented a fair challenge last week, and Herbert showed adaptability, rushing for the 2nd highest total of his career (73 yards), and tossed 2 touchdowns. This following a four-score performance versus the Lions.

The Ravens arrive in Los Angeles with the stingiest defense against QBs - just 13.5 points per game allowed – and it may be a bit too much to ask Herbert to continue to defy the odds, in the face of such a stout defense. Herbert’s continued growth and maturation offer some hope, but – as with the Jets three weeks ago – this is a match up with a very low floor for Herbert.

Fade: WR Quentin Johnston

Quentin Johnston matched his season high with 6 targets last week, but only picked up 2 receptions for 21 yards. His targets have picked up as the season has gone along and the multiple Charger receivers in front of him on the depth chart has gone down, but none of it has added up to meaningful fantasy football value. The Ravens have given up the 4th fewest points to wideouts, and that means Johnston probably doesn’t have a breakout lined up for this week.

Prediction: Ravens 24, Chargers 16 ^ Top

Bears @ Vikings - (Green)
Line: MIN -3.0
Total: 43.5

MIN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.16
MIN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.23
MIN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.11
MIN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.18

No Brainers: QB Justin Fields, WR D.J. Moore

Favorites: TE Cole Kmet

Kmet was putting in some work with Tyson Bagent at the helm, racking up 21 receptions for 179 yards and two TDs in three games leading up to last Sunday. In Fields’ return, however, he managed just three catches for 20 yards. When he faced the Vikings back in Week 6, the tight end had a 2-9-0 line. While neither of those performances generate much confidence for this Monday night, the pass is the way to go after Minnesota, and Denver made a lot happen on short connections to their running backs in their win over the Vikings. It feels like Chicago could plug Kmet into that underneath role to some success, affording him borderline top-10 potential.

On the Fence: RB Khalil Herbert

Herbert returned from IR last week, garnering 16 carries to six apiece for D’Onta Foreman (ankle) and Roschon Johnson. While the usage is encouraging, he totaled just 35 yards (2.2 YPC) and is set to face a Minnesota defense that ranks seventh in the NFL against the run (94 yards/game; 3.7 YPC). Herbert figures to see the yeoman’s share of the carries again in Week 12, particularly if Foreman can’t go due to an ankle injury, but it's hard to view him as more than a midrange RB3 based on the matchup.

Fade: N/A

CHI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.11
CHI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.7
CHI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.17
CHI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.8

No Brainers: RB Alexander Mattison, TE T.J. Hockenson

Favorites: WR Jordan Addison

At this point, it appears Justin Jefferson (hamstring) won’t be activated from IR in time to play Monday night, given that Minnesota is off in Week 13, and holding him out buys Jefferson an extra couple of weeks to fully heal. Addison has done a solid job filling in, though more so when Kirk Cousins was under center. In the better part of three games with Dobbs, the rookie has a dozen receptions for 165 yards without a TD -- he had seven scores in eight games with Cousins. The Bears represent a chance to bounce back. They boast a shaky secondary and stout run defense, which is a combination that should encourage Minnesota to throw. View Addison as a WR3 with upside.

On the Fence: QB Joshua Dobbs

Dobbs played a very Dobbs-like game last Sunday night, making some eye-opening plays along with some cringe-worthy ones. That combination resulted in 221 yards passing, 21 yards rushing, 2 total TDs, 3 fumbles (1 lost), and an interception. He should be given every opportunity to excel this Monday against the league’s 26th-ranked pass defense, though the Bears did just force three INTs from the usually reliable Jared Goff. If you’re looking to bank on some upside, Dobbs offers a considerable amount.

Fade: RB Ty Chandler

Chandler turned 14 touches into 110 yards against the Broncos, which is easily the best game of his young career. Thirty-one of those yards came on a fake punt, however, and he’ll be hard pressed to match that kind of success against Chicago’s run defense, which ranks second in the NFL at 79.5 yards allowed per game (and a league-low 3.4 YPC). With Mattison still the lead back, Chandler could have trouble turning limited usage into viable fantasy production in Week 12.

Prediction: Vikings 24, Bears 20 ^ Top