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Love/Hate for Week 12 of 2022 Fantasy Football

I’m earlier than usual with the Week 12 Love/Hate column. As six teams are set to play this Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, getting content out to help with Week 12 start/sit decisions should help us all put ourselves in a position to succeed. While I’m looking forward to the food, family, and football, this week is a crucial point in the fantasy football season with just three regular season games left. Enjoy your Thanksgiving and let’s keep pushing toward the playoffs.

Sometimes you don’t have many choices as the bench options on your roster become scarce. If you do have options, though, I believe what I have to say about these players that I love and hate will help put you in a position to win your week. My track record, thus far, is pretty spot on as I continue to hold myself accountable, review each list every week on Twitter (@Colin_McT) and improve week-to-week! Let’s take a look at who deserves to start and who you should consider sitting this week.

Players I Love and Hate in Week 12 of the 2022 Season


Love: Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars

With the Jaguars playing at home in Week 12 out of their bye week, I think they can hang with their opponent, the Baltimore Ravens. Quite frankly, Baltimore isn’t playing up to their potential. Their offense lacks firepower and Lamar Jackson’s performance in the passing game is not enough to elevate the players that are there. Though they’re on a four-game win streak, their average margin of victory in that span in just 5.5 points.

With two weeks to prepare, and added rest, I think Jacksonville can keep up with the Ravens, or even give them a bit of trouble in Week 12. It all rests on Trevor Lawrence who I love to rise to the occasion. The Ravens defense is allowing the eighth-most passing yards to quarterbacks this season. Teams are throwing at the sixth-highest rate against them. That bodes well for Lawrence as a volume-based streamer in fantasy football.

Baltimore is also allowing the seventh-most passing yards to running backs. Travis Etienne is having a more efficient season running the ball, but is a more than capable pass catcher out of the backfield whose production this Sunday could rack up points for Trevor. If you’re looking to pick up someone to perhaps fill-in for Justin Fields, Kyler Murray, or are just continuing to stream in general, I love Lawrence as a top option in Week 12.

Some Extra Love:

Dak Prescott is averaging 22.74 fantasy points in the Dallas Cowboys’ last three games. There is a lot of emphasis on the Tony Pollard/Ezekiel Elliott debate regarding their workload split out of the backfield. Don’t let that distract you from the fact that Dak is the QB6 on a points per game basis since Week 8. The Cowboys host the New York Giants on Thanksgiving Day. New York will be without star cornerback, Adoree Jackson. I love Dak to continue his hot streak and highly recommend stacking he and Ceedee Lamb in Daily Fantasy Sports formats.

Hate: Marcus Mariota, Atlanta Falcons

It’s been a hot and cold season for Mariota from a fantasy football perspective. He has three top-10 finishes, two in the top-six, through 11 games. However, he also has three games with 12.06 or less fantasy points, with plenty of other mediocre performances scattered about. He is a matchup-based quarterback streamer that I hate for Week 12.

While Kyle Pitts is a disappointing fantasy football player this season, he is an important target for Mariota in the Falcons’ passing game. Pitts is now on the Injured Reserve with a knee injury. Additionally, Atlanta’s Week 12 opponent, the Washington Commanders, are getting defensive end, Chase Young, back this week.

I’m not expecting a ton of rushing production from Mariota in this one either. Washington is stingier than most against rushing quarterbacks allowing the 13th-least total rushing yards and just two touchdowns to the position on the ground. With a tougher matchup than expected, a lack of expected rushing, and one of his top weapons missing in Pitts, I’m fading Mariota in Week 12. I think the Commanders add one more to the win column.

Running Back

Love: Jeff Wilson, Jr., Miami Dolphins

Jeff Wilson is back on the love list after living up to his appearance on it in Week 10 then missing Week 11 while the Dolphins were on bye. Coming out of their bye, Wilson gets the absolute best matchup for a running back in fantasy football. The Houston Texans are allowing the most points to running backs this season. That is aided by allowing the most rushing yards and touchdowns to the position.

The Dolphins are a whopping 13.0-point favorite for this Week 12 matchup. With an obvious expectation of pulling away from the Texans, I think Miami will kill the clock by running the football frequently and effectively. Since joining the Dolphins, Wilson has 26 carries to Raheem Mostert’s 17 in two games together. He also has eight targets to Mostert’s six. I love Wilson to continue seeing the majority of the opportunities with plenty of volume in an excellent Week 12 matchup.

Some Extra Love:

Samaje Perine is a solid start if Bengals starter, Joe Mixon, is unable to play after suffering a concussion in Week 11. In Mixon’s place, Perine set Cincinnati’s franchise record for most receiving touchdowns (3) by a running back in a single game. I’m not banking on another three scores from Perine this Sunday, but the matchup is favorable. The Tennessee Titans are tougher than most against the run, but allow the most targets and receptions per game to running backs. Cincy is averaging the third-most points per game this season. Their players are arguably matchup-proof. Again, if Mixon sits, I love Perine as a must-start running back in Week 12.

Hate: D’Onta Foreman, Carolina Panthers

D’Onta Foreman has three games of 118 or more rushing yards from Week 7 to 11. Foreman has four total rushing touchdowns in that span, as well. However, he also has two games with 4.1 or less fantasy points. With Baker Mayfield under center in Week 11, Foreman’s 2.4 points were his lowest total since Week 6. Now, quarterback, Sam Darnold, is set to make his first start and play in his first game since January 9th. I hate Foreman’s chances to bounce back based on that alone.

With a Week 13 bye on the horizon, the Panthers will play host to the Denver Broncos in Week 12. While Denver has struggles of their own, their defense, specifically against the run, is not one of them. Not only are they tied for allowing the ninth-least fantasy points to running backs, they’ve allowed just five total touchdowns to the position in 10 games.

In games Baker Mayfield starts for the Panthers, they are averaging just 15.5 points per game. For reference, the Indianapolis Colts are averaging the second-worst average of just 15.7 points per game this season. The worst? Carolina’s Week 12 opponent, the Denver Broncos, who are averaging just 14.7 points per game. I don’t expect Darnold to fare much better than Mayfield. This is going to be a low-scoring affair and I hate Foreman’s potential to produce this Sunday.

Wide Receiver

Love: Michael Pittman Jr., Indianapolis Colts

Pittman is on a 10-game touchdown drought. He is averaging 13.8 points per game which is impressive considering he has just one touchdown this season in Week 1. There have been more head coaches (2) and starting quarterbacks (2) in Indianapolis than Michael Pittman touchdowns this season. If you told me that in August, I wouldn’t have believed you.

In Week 12, I love Pittman to end the drought against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Their 14 touchdowns allowed to wide receivers this season leads the league. Matt Ryan is averaging just under 40 pass attempts per game this season. With Jeff Saturday calling the shots, he’s thrown an average of 30, though, in the past two games. Regardless, Pittman remains his favorite target and the top target on the Colts. He has a 25% target share this season and a 27.5% share over the last two games.

It’s hard to believe, but the Colts are favorites in Week 12 against the Steelers. Even though they’re averaging 15.7 points per game (31st overall), they will have the home crowd behind them on Monday Night Football. Given the favorable matching through the air, I love Pittman to lead the Colts to a gutsy win to round out Week 12.

Some Extra Love:

Darius Slayton is the clear-cut top wide receiver on the New York Giants offense. Rookie Wan’Dale Robinson’s season is over after suffering a torn ACL in Week 11. Richie James is dealing with a knee injury of his own. Kadarius Toney is no longer in New York and Kenny Golladay might as well not be, either. Slayton’s 10 targets in Week 11 are a season-high. In what I believe to be a negative game script on Thanksgiving Day, I think Slayton could see 10 more against the Dallas Cowboys. He should lead the Giants in targets and I love his chances of getting in the end zone in Week 12. Even if you just added him on the waiver wire, get him in your lineup for Thursday.

Hate: Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings

I’m putting Thielen in the hate column so managers can avoid disappointment on Thanksgiving night. He is set to face the New England Patriots at home. Yes, that New England Patriots defense allowing a league-best 7.7 points per game to opponents in their last three. As a whole, the Pats’ defense has held the opposition to a second-best 16.9 points per game on the season. The Vikings enter this matchup having scored just three points off of a singular field goal against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 11.

Thielen is the obvious second-most targeted player on the Vikings behind Justin Jefferson. Prior to an ugly Week 11, he was on a three-game streak of recording exactly seven targets in each game from Weeks 8 through 10. He caught 66% of those for no more than 67 yards in either game.

I’m not so sure the Vikings will quickly turn things around from Week 11 and show out against Bill Belichick’s Patriots in Week 12. New England is only allowing an average of 10 total receptions to receivers, as well. I imagine Justin Jefferson will continue to be the focal point. That will cap Thielen’s ceiling making him hard to trust in Week 12. There are better options out there that won’t ruin your holiday.

Tight End

Love: Foster Moreau, Las Vegas Raiders

With all 32 teams playing in Week 12, starting Foster Moreau is more difficult than usual. However, the current tight end landscape is bleak. Outside of Travis Kelce and a small handful of others, there aren’t many tight ends you should feel comfortable starting. The silver lining is that your opponent is probably in the same boat.

If you’re streaming like most fantasy managers, then Moreau is someone you should love plugging into your lineup this week. The Raiders are heading to Seattle to take on the Seahawks who are allowing the most fantasy points to tight ends this season. That includes allowing the second-most receiving yards on just the 16th-most receptions.

Looking at Moreau specifically, he has a 15% target share since the Raiders’ Week 6 bye. In that time, he’s averaging 7.38 fantasy points per game. Moreau’s schedule is much more favorable, though, moving forward starting with the Seahawks in Week 12. He should post numbers fantasy managers will love and carry into a Week 13 matchup with the Los Angeles Chargers who are allowing the fifth-most points to the position.

Some Extra Love:

Gerald Everett gets one of the best matchups for a tight end in Week 12: The Arizona Cardinals. They are leading the league in touchdowns allowed (9) to the position this season. Most recently, George Kittle posted his best fantasy stat line of the season hauling in four of six targets for 84 yards and two touchdowns. Everett is dealing with a groin injury though. It looked like he was going to play in Week 11 until getting downgraded on Saturday. If he practices this week, he is likely to play. If he plays, he is likely to finish as a TE1 with the matchup.

Hate: Cole Kmet, Chicago Bears

I love Cole Kmet’s recent rise to fantasy stardom as much as the next person, but I hate his Week 12 matchup with the New York Jets. Kmet is averaging 17.3 points per game over the last three weeks and is the TE2 behind only Kelce in that span. Yet, 46% of his points over the last three weeks are from touchdowns.

Justin Fields is averaging just 23 pass attempts in the last three weeks, as well. That’s simply not enough of a passing volume to continue supporting steady production from any Bears pass catcher, including Kmet unless he’s scoring touchdowns. The Jets are one of two teams this season who have yet to allow a touchdown to a tight end.

Not to bury the lead, but we also need to monitor Fields’ availability for Week 12, as well. He was carted to the locker room after a Week 11 loss on Sunday with what appeared to be a severe shoulder injury. Since the Bears aren’t a legitimate Super Bowl contender this season, I don’t expect the team to risk Fields’ health and play him in Week 12. Even if he does, again, the passing volume isn’t enough against a tough Jets defense to feel good about playing Kmet this week.

Also make sure to check out our Week 12 Rankings: QB | RB | WR | TE | Flex Rankings

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