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Fantasy Football Risers and Fallers - Week 12

Najee Harris - Fantasy Football Rankings, NFL Injury News, DFS Lineup Picks

Hi RotoBallers, I'm Joe Nicely, and I'll be filling in for the great Adam Koffler this week. With Week 11 now officially in the books, we have a lot of good information we can use to help make decisions as we head into Week 12 and beyond.

In this weekly column, we'll be looking at players whose arrows may be pointing up, and players whose arrows may be pointing down based on the previous week's games. We'll try not to overreact, but instead, use relevant data to make informed decisions about certain players.

Here are the key risers and fallers coming out of Week 11 of the NFL season.

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Week 12 Fantasy Football Risers

Isiah Pacheco, Kansas City Chiefs

The rookie's ascension to the top of the depth chart in the Kansas City backfield now feels complete. Pacheco exits Week 11 having logged back-to-back outings with 15 or more carries for the Chiefs. To the extent that there is such a thing as a "workhorse" back in an Andy Reid offense led by Patrick Mahomes, Pacheco feels like it.

The rookie rushed for a career-high 107 yards against the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 11 and he's now topped 82 rushing yards in two straight. His 31 combined carries across Weeks 10 and 11 represent the most rushing attempts by a Chiefs running back in any two-game stretch this season.

While veteran Jerick McKinnon has solidified his role as the passing-down back for KC, his presence hasn't had much of an impact on Pacheco's early-down work, as Pacheco has out-carried McKinnon 31-7 since Week 10.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire has become a ghost in this backfield of late. CEH has garnered just 10 total opportunities since KC's bye in Week 8. To add insult to injury, he was forced to leave last week's game against L.A. in the first quarter with an ankle injury, which further solidifies Pacheco's stranglehold on the top job in the Chiefs' backfield.

Treylon Burks, Tennessee Titans

There have been some highly-publicized ups and downs for Treylon Burks since the Titans selected him with the 18th pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. The fact that the pick came as compensation in a trade that sent A.J. Brown to Philly likely put some unfair expectations on Burks' young shoulders as well.

While the rookie out of Arkansas has yet to fill even a portion of Brown's shoes in Tennessee, he possesses some obvious physical talent and has a clear path to targets in a passing offense that's searching for a spark. His potential was on full display in a Thursday night clash with the Green Bay Packers last week, a game in which Burks posted career highs in targets (eight), receptions, (seven), and receiving yards (111).

Burks has spent the majority of the season sidelined with a turf toe injury, but he's now garnered 14 targets in two games since returning from IR and is quickly evolving into the alpha of a Tennessee receiving corps that has been completely ineffective this year. Look for Burks' role to continue to grow down the stretch for the Titans.

Latavius Murray, Denver Broncos

I don't know how jacked we can get about a 32-year-old running back on a 3-7 team that's last in the NFL in average points per game...but here we are. While fantasy managers might not be fist-pumping Latavius Murray into their starting lineups, he's primed to make an instant impact in fantasy leagues.

With the news that Denver waived the perma-fumbling Melvin Gordon earlier this week and that Chase Edmonds is likely to miss multiple weeks with a high-ankle sprain, Murray appears set to take over as the clear lead back for the Broncos. And while the circumstances are what they are in Mile High, it's a role that fantasy managers can't ignore.

Murray is averaging just 3.3 yards per carry, but the volume and goal-line duty can mask a lot of shortcomings. He carried the ball 17 times for 49 yards and a TD in Week 11 against the Raiders, while also mixing in four catches for 23 yards through the air. Murray has now had 12 or more total opportunities in three straight games while stuck in a backfield-by-committee situation. That usage will only rise in the coming weeks as he slips into the lead-back role for the Broncos.

Najee Harris, Pittsburgh Steelers

This is the guy you drafted...

Long left for dead by frustrated fantasy managers, Harris appears to be running with a renewed purpose since rumors surfaced a few weeks ago that Jaylen Warren was in line for a bigger workload.

Since coming out of Pittsburgh's Week 9 bye, Harris has posted his two best games of the season. He's logged a combined 189 rushing yards and a score, as well as 26 receiving yards on four catches over the Steelers' last two.

With Jaylen Warren forced from last week's game early with a hamstring injury, Harris saw 26 total opportunities against the Bengals. That elite volume could be what lies in store if Warren were to miss any time with the hammy issue.

Looking down the stretch, outside of a pair of divisional games against the Baltimore Ravens, Harris and the Steelers have a schedule that features Indy, Atlanta, Carolina, and Las Vegas.

Other Risers: Samaje Perine, Darius Slayton, Dawson Knox, George Pickens, Josh Palmer, David Montgomery

 

Week 12 Fantasy Football Fallers

Kadarius Toney, Kansas City Chiefs

The Kadarius Toney hype reached such a fever pitch last week that even Nancy down in accounting had him in her office-league starting lineup. Of course, Toney proceeded to do what Toney does in Week 11 against the Chargers, which is get hurt.

Undeniably talented, but frustratingly enigmatic, it's tough to figure out what's up with the former first-round pick that can't seem to stay on the field for any team. The New York Giants appeared ready to simply wash their hands of him, despite desperately needing help at the wide receiver position. While the fantasy community was initially bearish on his pristine landing spot in Kansas City, should Toney's fantasy managers be prepared for more of the same shenanigans they experienced during his time in New York?

It doesn't get much better than last week's situation, as both JuJu Smith-Schuster and Mecole Hardman were sidelined with injuries. Unfortunately, Toney wasn't able to stay on the field long enough to take advantage and now appears to be dealing with his own injury issue.

D.J. Moore, Carolina Panthers

Week 11 reinforced what we already knew...Baker Mayfield is fantasy kryptonite for D.J. Moore.

With Mayfield back in the Panthers' starting lineup in place of an injured P.J. Walker, Carolina mustered just three points in a loss to the Baltimore Ravens. Mayfield's presence led to a DOA fantasy outing from Moore, who finished the day with just 24 yards on three catches.

A brief spike in production across Weeks 7 & 8 aside, it has been a season to forget for Moore and his fantasy backers. Trapped in a Panthers offense that's ranked dead last in the NFL in Pass Offense DVOA, the speedster has now failed to top 30 receiving yards in three straight games.

Stuck in fantasy jail, Moore's only chance for parole comes in the form of Carolina's already-announced Week 12 starting QB Sam Darnold. Yikes.

Diontae Johnson, Pittsburgh Steelers

It's not as if Johnson had a long way to fall, but he nonetheless landed with a thud in Week 11 thanks to a four-catch, 21-yard stinker of a stat line.

Despite Chase Claypool's departure, Johnson has now failed to top 100 Intended Air Yards in any of Pittsburgh's last five games. His laughable 2.80 aDOT against the Bengals in Week 11 reinforces the notion that he has basically no fantasy upside at this point.

With Najee Harris' reemergence and George Pickens' continued evolution into the alpha role in this Steelers' receiving corps, Johnson's downward spiral into fantasy irrelevance is nearing rock bottom, as he's topped 50 receiving yards just once since Week 6.

Devin Duvernay, Baltimore Ravens

After a promising start to the season, Duvernay has hit the skids in a big way. He's now received just one target in each of Baltimore's last two games.

Despite playing in a receiving corps that's currently without Rashod Bateman and is so desperate for help that Baltimore turned to DeSean Jackson a couple of weeks ago, Duvernay has failed to make a steady impact or consistently earn targets.

Duvernay has totaled just 39 receiving yards across the Ravens' last three and has yet to top 55 receiving yards in a game this season.

The speedster's decline coincides with the emergence of Demarcus Robinson in this offense. Robinson has been targeted 23 times over Baltimore's last three. Between Robinson and TE Mark Andrews, there simply isn't much volume left for Duvernay in a run-centric Ravens attack that averages just 187.4 passing yards per game.

Other Fallers: Mike Williams, Foster Moreau, Michael Carter, Kyler Murray, Leonard Fournette



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