Lineup decisions are often tough calls, so here are my Week 12 flex rankings listing the top-100 PPR options at running back, wide receiver, and tight end. With a lot of injured players questionable to play, including big names like James Conner, George Kittle, and more, make sure to check back for injury updates before finalizing lineups. Also, four teams are on bye this week, so get your Chiefs, Vikings, Cardinals, and Chargers out of your lineups. Good luck with your matchups this week!
Shooting for Shootouts
Atlanta’s matchup against Carolina was last week’s highlighted game to target, and we’ll go right back to Atlanta’s matchup this week against Tampa Bay. This game has the highest over/under with Vegas projecting 51.5 total points scored. Such a projection makes sense, as the Buccaneers’ secondary has allowed the most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this year. Julio Jones disappointed in a great matchup against the Panthers last week with just six catches for 91 yards, but he has huge upside yet again this week against Tampa Bay’s struggling corners. The only concern to monitor is Jones’s health, as he missed practice on Tuesday with a limp, likely related to the ankle injury he suffered but played through at Carolina. If Jones’s effectiveness is limited, this could mean more targets for Calvin Ridley, who is already an excellent play. Russell Gage could benefit as well, especially since he nearly had a touchdown last week were it not for his failure to secure the catch in the process of going to the ground. And with many top quarterbacks on bye or facing tough matchups this week, Matt Ryan is my fantasy QB3 for Week 12.
In theory, there should be a good catchup game script for Tampa Bay, but the big question is whether Jameis Winston will be able to take advantage. Atlanta’s defense has also been on fire since their bye, limiting the Saints and Panthers to a combined 12 points. But even a turnover-prone Winston should be able to support Mike Evans and Chris Godwin for fantasy purposes. Both receivers should receive a high target volume in a game where the Buccaneers should trail for much of the game. Cameron Brate is an interesting name at tight end as well if O.J. Howard remains benched after his bobbled pass led to an interception last week against the Saints. If Winston struggles to find time in the pocket against this suddenly lethal Falcons pass rush, Brate could again be the beneficiary with a large number of check-down targets. He’s also one of Winston’s favorite red-zone targets, so Brate has scoring upside in addition to a potentially high target volume.
Benching Big Names?
In Week 11, Amari Cooper scored just 6.8 points in PPR formats against Detroit. Lingering knee and ankle injuries contributed to his lack of production against the Lions, as Cooper played only about half the snaps on offense, frequently coming on and off the field. And while Cooper is a refined route-runner with immense speed, he has struggled with press coverage throughout his career. With Darius Slay in tight shadow coverage, Cooper’s target share was limited even when he was on the field against the Lions. Unfortunately, he’ll face an even tougher matchup against Stephon Gilmore this week, a top cornerback who has allowed just a 43.5 passer rating to opposing quarterbacks when targeted this year. Cooper is still my WR21 this week, as his talent and play-making ability could still allow some catches and yards. However, depending on other wide receiver options available, it wouldn’t be crazy to bench Cooper given the limiting injuries and difficult matchup.
Ranked just one spot behind Cooper this week is John Brown at WR22. Despite logging nine catches for 137 yards and two touchdowns against Miami just a week ago, this week’s contest against Denver will be much more challenging. The Broncos have allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season, and Brown is sure to see plenty of shadow coverage from top cornerback Chris Harris Jr. Brown’s target volume (over 27 percent of Buffalo’s total targets this season) gives him an okay floor in PPR formats, but he has eclipsed 100 receiving yards just twice this year despite the high target share. Part of that is due to the fact that Josh Allen struggles with deep passes traveling beyond 20 yards of the line of scrimmage. Per Player Profiler, Allen has completed just over 26 percent of his deep passes this year, which ranks 29th among quarterbacks. While Stefon Diggs beat Harris Jr. deep for a 54-yard touchdown last week, Cousins is far more efficient than Allen in completing deep passes (ranked seventh compared to Allen at no. 29). Outside of the long score, Diggs managed just four catches for 67 yards against Harris Jr. For those without better options at wide receiver this week, Brown is still a serviceable WR2 to start, but his upside is limited.
A bonus name to avoid if possible this week is Terry McLaurin. McLaurin’s production has declined since Washington named Dwayne Haskins the starter, and shadow coverage from Darius Slay drops McLaurin even further down the rankings to WR35 this week.
Week 12 Flex Rankings (PPR)
Notable injured players currently assumed to be OUT for this week include James Conner, Devonta Freeman, Marlon Mack, Matt Breida, Jordan Howard, Chris Thompson, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Mohamed Sanu, Alshon Jeffery, A.J. Green, Auden Tate, George Kittle, Austin Hooper, and Evan Engram. Rankings will be updated as injury news and practice updates are received.
Last updated on Thursday, November 21st at 4:24 PM CST.
|1||Christian McCaffrey||RB||McCaffrey as the top option needs no explanation, but it's worth noting that he scored 30+ PPR points even when CAR managed just 3 points vs ATL.|
|5||Derrick Henry||RB||TEN's offensive line is healthy and gelling, and JAX just gave up over 250 rushing yards to IND. With TEN favored to win, Henry has monster potential.|
|7||Saquon Barkley||RB||CHI's run defense has crumbled from injuries, allowing the 10th most fantasy points to opposing RBs. Even if not 100% healthy, Barkley is a top-5 RB.|
|9||Tyler Lockett||WR||Lockett faces a PHI def giving up the 7th most fantasy points to opposing WRs in what Vegas projects to be the 2nd highest scoring game this week.|
|10||Odell Beckham Jr.||WR||This should be a get-right week for Beckham and CLE's offense in general against a poor MIA def that just gave up 137 yards and 2 TDs to John Brown.|
|12||Leonard Fournette||RB||TEN has struggled to contain the run in their last couple of games, and Fournette's usage as a receiver guarantees a high floor in PPR formats.|
|16||Allen Robinson||WR||Despite concerns about Trubisky, Robinson's high target share makes him a high-floor, high-ceiling WR1 this week vs a bottom-ranked Giants secondary.|
|17||D.J. Chark||WR||Any concerns about Foles targeting Chark less than Minshew were put to rest after 15 targets vs IND. TEN's secondary isn't elite by any means.|
|18||D.K. Metcalf||WR||PHI's secondary is a prime target this week, and there's a chance Metcalf could get an increased target share if Lockett is still limited by his injury.|
|22||Ezekiel Elliott||RB||Elliott is still an RB1 given the poor state of RBs, but NE has given up the fewest fantasy points to opposing RBs. There's not much upside here.|
|25||T.Y. Hilton||WR||HOU's secondary is a good matchup, and Hilton has historically been excellent vs the Texans. The only concern is possible re-injury of his calf.|
|27||D.J. Moore||WR||Moore has averaged over 11 targets per game since CAR's bye. He's a high-floor, high-ceiling WR2 even in a tough divisional matchup vs NO.|
|30||Deebo Samuel||WR||With Sanders limited again, Samuel should again be a target magnet for Garoppolo, having averaged 11 targets per game over the last two weeks.|
|31||Jarvis Landry||WR||Like Beckham, Landry faces a bottom-ranked MIA secondary that's allowed the 4th most receiving TDs. Landry could score for the 4th game in a row.|
|33||Mark Andrews||TE||Jackson loves targeting his top TE, and Andrews should see even more targets in this one with Jalen Ramsey likely to shadow Marquise Brown.|
|36||Tyrell Williams||WR||The Jets allow the 2nd most fantasy points to opposing WRs, and while Williams's targets have declined, he's still OAK's top WR in a good matchup.|
|39||Amari Cooper||WR||Cooper still isn't fully healthy and struggled vs Darius Slay last week. Stephon Gilmore is likely to limit Cooper just as much this week, if not more.|
|40||John Brown||WR||Like Cooper, Brown faces a tough matchup vs Chris Harris Jr. And while Diggs beat Harris Jr. deep last week for a TD, Allen is a poor deep passer.|
|43||DeVante Parker||WR||Parker is Fitzpatrick's clear no. 1 target with Preston Williams hurt. Parker is the PPR WR13 over the last 4 weeks and is averaging 15 fantasy PPG.|
|48||Mark Ingram||RB||The Rams have been excellent vs opposing RBs both on the ground and through the air. Don't expect another 2 receiving TDs, or maybe any at all.|
|52||Phillip Lindsay||RB||BUF has struggled to stop the run moreso than the pass, so expect DEN to help out Allen with a strong rushing attack this week.|
|55||Marvin Jones Jr.||WR|
|56||Taylor Gabriel||WR||Gabriel has upside after getting 14 targets vs the Rams, and the Giants are giving up the 3rd most fantasy points to opposing WRs.|
|58||Chris Carson||RB||PHI allows the 4th fewest rushing yards in the league, and Carson isn't very involved as a receiver. He needs a TD to salvage his fantasy value this week.|
|59||Hunter Renfrow||WR||Renfrow has established himself as OAK's slot receiver and has upside vs this struggling Jets secondary, much like Tyrell Williams does.|
|61||Dallas Goedert||TE||Jackson is already on IR, and both Jeffery and Agholor are questionable. Wentz has to throw it to someone, and the targets can't all go to Ertz.|
|62||Tyler Boyd||WR||Boyd called out Finley after just 3 targets vs OAK, and the squeaky wheel should get some grease this week, even if it's a tough matchup vs PIT.|
|64||Terry McLaurin||WR||The rookie Haskins has been inefficient, hurting McLaurin's production. Darius Slay in coverage this week makes McLaurin an even worse start.|
|65||Bo Scarbrough||RB||Scarbrough was DET's starter and goal-line back vs DAL. He should find success again vs a WAS def giving up the 7th most fantasy points to RBs.|
|67||Derrius Guice||RB||It's still a timeshare, but Guice showed his talent with a 45-yard receiving TD vs the Jets, and DET allows the most fantasy points to opposing RBs.|
|69||Randall Cobb||WR||Cobb benefited from Slay's coverage on Cooper, but NE's secondary is very good even outside of Gilmore. Don't expect another huge day for Cobb.|
|72||Marquise Brown||WR||Brown is likely to see shadow coverage from Jalen Ramsey this week. Still not 100% healthy, Brown is a low-ceiling option this week in a poor matchup.|
|77||Jonathan Williams||RB||Williams ran well vs JAX, but with Jordan Wilkins back, potentially stealing carries, and Hines the receiving back, Williams needs a TD to return value.|
|78||Russell Gage||WR||Julio is banged up, and TB allows the most fantasy points to opposing WRs. He almost had a TD vs CAR and has another great opportunity this week.|
|79||Duke Johnson Jr.||RB|
|83||Ross Dwelley||TE||If Kittle is out again, Garoppolo targets his TE often. He scored twice vs ARI and could again vs a GB def giving up the 3rd most fantasy points to TEs.|
|86||Ted Ginn Jr.||WR|
|89||Jacob Hollister||TE||Like Metcalf, Hollister could benefit from extra targets if Lockett is out or limited, even with PHI playing tough vs opposing TEs.|
|98||Jeff Wilson Jr.||RB|
|99||Josh Gordon||WR||Like Metcalf, Gordon could benefit from extra targets if Lockett is out or limited vs a poor PHI secondary, even splitting snaps with Moore and Brown.|
For more fantasy football content or specific questions about your lineup, follow me on Twitter @FFA_Meng.
For a look at how the rankings break down at each position, please check out Mick Ciallela’s Week 12 Rankings.
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