Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!

Lost password? [X]

Receive free daily analysis:

NFL    NBA    MLB

Already have an account? Log in here.

[X]

Forgot Password


[X]

Welcome to the second part of our Week 12 matchups analysis and starts/sits column for fantasy football. We'll be covering every matchup from every Sunday game to help you make the best decisions for your fantasy lineups. We'll also be updating this as injury reports come in, so check back often for the latest advice.

This article will cover the late slate of games, beginning after 4:00 pm EST on Sunday as well as the Sunday night game. Don't forget to see our early game matchups analysis here and look for our MNF matchups analysis as well.

Check back here each week to get advice for your toughest start/sit decisions and take a look at our consensus rankings each week. For start/sit advice or anything fantasy football-related, find me on Twitter @Pfunk00 and I'll be glad to offer help.

Editor's Note: Stay on top of our fantasy football analysis and NFL news all year round. Read our daily articles about risers and breakouts, 2019 redraft rankings, the NFL draft, dynasty leagues and much more. It's always fantasy football season here. Read More

 

4:05 PM ET Games

As usual, the late afternoon slate has three games, mostly featuring non-contenders this week. The Sunday night game is a critical showdown between two teams battling for relevance in the NFC North as the Packers and Vikings square off for the second time this season.

 

Cardinals at Chargers

Matchups We Love:

David Johnson (RB, ARI)
Now this is what we've been waiting for. DJ is finally being utilized like the elite all-purpose back he is, carrying the ball a season-high 25 times last week for 137 yards after tallying a season-best 28 touches the week before. While the Chargers aren't the pushover on defense that the Raiders were, they have allowed the third-most receiving yards to RBs, which could work in Johnson's favor.

Melvin Gordon (RB, LAC)
It's hard to believe Gordon still hasn't carried the ball 20 times in a game all year. A career-low 15.9 rush attempts per game has made him more effective, leading to a career-best 5.2 yards per carry. The fact he's averaging nearly 50 receiving yards per game has made him a running back with the highest floor outside of Todd Gurley. This week, he gets to face the team allowing the fourth-most fantasy PPG to running backs, making him a near-lock for a top-five finish.

Keenan Allen (WR, LAC)
Apparently Allen was just fine despite word of a finger injury ahead of Week 11. He wound up with a season-high nine receptions for 89 yards and a TD. This week, he'll get a far better matchup in the slot and should be treated as a low-end WR1.

Mike Williams (WR, LAC)
The fact that two catches and 56 yards last week represented Williams' best output in both categories since Week 5 and Week 3 respectively shows how TD-dependent he's been for value. There's no promise he'll see a big uptick in targets this week but if Tyrell Williams doesn't go, that bodes well for the second-year wideout. A matchup with Jamar Taylor is certainly more promising as well. He's not a must-start by any means but this could be a sneaky spot to chance Williams if you're looking to replace one of your Rams or Chiefs at the WR3 spot.

Matchups We Hate:

Austin Ekeler (RB, LAC)
Ekeler is still a mere change-of-pace back who doesn't see enough touches to be flexed anywhere. A neck injury has made him questionable this week, meaning fantasy owners should simply keep him benched.

Tyrell Williams (WR, LAC)
With a quad injury bothering him, the worst case scenario is that Williams doesn't suit up for Week 12. Best case, he plays through discomfort and faces Patrick Peterson. With diminishing returns the last two weeks anyway, this is a good time to give TyWill a spot on your bench.

Ricky Seals-Jones (TE, ARI)
Just when there was promise for a tight end in Arizona, RSJ throws up a one-catch dud. There could be some hope for Seals-Jones if there were a chance for a touchdown but that's only happened once this year and he's seen just two red zone targets all year. You can do better than chancing your TE spot to RSJ, even if the defensive matchup is average.

Other Matchups:

Josh Rosen (QB, ARI)
Week 11 was a mixed bag for the rookie QB. On the one hand, Rosen tossed three touchdowns for the first time in his NFL career. On the other hand, he completed 45% of his passes for just 136 yards and threw two more interceptions. It's clear there is still a lot of room for growth. The Chargers pose a middling challenge as a pass defense and the Cards will likely be forced to throw much more this week, so Rosen could be considered a low-end QB2 in superflex leagues if needed.

Philip Rivers (QB, LAC)
In an unexpectedly tight contest with Denver, Rivers threw for 401 yards and another two touchdowns. He's a sure thing for two TD at least, something he's done every game this year. The yardage could be lower though, as Arizona is allowing 237.5 passing yards per game, fourth-lowest in the NFL. Arizona tends to be generous enough against opposing runners that Rivers simply won't need to throw it too often. He can still be played as a high-floor QB in 12-team leagues but could be surpassed by other quarterbacks this week.

Larry Fitzgerald / Christian Kirk (WR, ARI)
Both Cardinals receivers face tough opponents at CB, making for sketchy starts. Fitzgerald's recent revival, presumably tied to his hamstring getting healthy, can't be ignored though. He caught only two passes last week but both went for scores. Before last week's low passing output, Fitz had averaged 9.5 targets per game in the previous four. He's a safe bet as a WR3 in full PPR leagues whereas Kirk is far more boom-bust, having caught three or fewer passes each of the last four games.

Antonio Gates (TE, LAC)
Hey, remember Antonio Gates? He's still playing! That might have been the reaction in Week 11 by many who forgot Gates was still around, as he'd been quiet nearly all season. His five-catch, 80-yard output was by far a season high and the touchdown was his second of the year. The Broncos have been generous to tight ends this year (and last) but the Cardinals are not, ranking sixth-best in limited fantasy points to TE. Feel free to ignore Gates again.

 

Steelers at Broncos

Matchups We Love:

James Conner (RB, PIT)
We're at the point where it's shocking to see Conner fail to put up top-five RB numbers. Things should change in a hurry this weekend, as the Broncos have allowed the fifth-most rushing yards in the league compared to the Jags who are fourth-toughest against running backs. Don't let last week's dud put his status in any question - Conner is a strong RB1 this week.

Antonio Brown (WR, PIT)
We know it doesn't matter the matchup - Brown will get his one way or another. Even in a game against the best secondary in the league where he had done nothing all day, Brown managed to get loose for a 78-yard TD late in the third quarter in Jacksonville last week, extending his scoring streak to eight games. Brown should find the end zone at some point this game as he has in all but one game this year.

Jeff Heuerman (TE, DEN)
Keep in mind this is all relative. Heuerman probably won't outproduce receivers Sanders or Sutton (although he did two weeks ago) but he could be a top-12 TE this week against a Steelers defense that has been more vulnerable to that position. Heuerman has taken over starting tight end duties and seen 16 targets the last two weeks without Thomas around, keeping him in the streaming conversation.

Vance McDonald (TE, PIT)
The last two weeks, McDonald has found the end zone. This is impressive considering he only has four red zone targets all year. He's shown breakaway ability and is fourth on the team in targets, ahead of Jesse James and WR3 James Washington so he must be considered a strong TE streamer against a defense that allows the sixth-most fantasy points per game to tight ends.

Matchups We Hate:

Case Keenum (QB, DEN)
Keenum has at least been an adequate QB2 most weeks but two recent trends make him a less-than-desirable start this week. In the two games since losing Demaryius Thomas, Keenum has tossed one touchdown while averaging 247 yards. The Steelers defense, after an awful start to the year, has been a totally different unit since their bye in Week 7. In their last four games, Pittsburgh has allowed 144.5 passing yards per game while allowing 17.75 points. The Broncos figure to keep the ball on the ground as much as possible to limit Pittsburgh's time of possession, which further works against Keenum. His value could be far lower than the perception entering a matchup with a powerful offense on the other side.

Other Matchups:

Ben Roethlisberger (QB, PIT)
The Broncos gave up a season-high 384 passing yards last week but otherwise have only allowed the Chiefs to surpass 300 yards through the air. The notion that Big Ben is no good away from home is partially true; he's actually averaging more yardage on the road this year (328 away vs 312 home) but has just a 9/7 TD/INT ratio away from Heinz Field. Expect numbers similar to his Week 9 outing at Baltimore when he finished with 270 yards and two TD.

Phillip Lindsay / Royce Freeman (RB, DEN)
The Broncos RB duo performed as well as they could have hoped in Week 11, combining for 102 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 18 carries. If the defense does its job, Lindsay could get enough touches to maintain RB2 value while his modest involvement in the passing game gives him a decent floor even in a tough matchup. Freeman is pretty much TD-dependent as long as Lindsay is around, making him a desperation start in PPR.

Courtland Sutton (WR, DEN)
The rookie has been consistent if nothing else, catching three passes in each of the last three games. There hasn't been any scoring, however, and last week's 78 yards marks his high point on the season. He should draw some interest in standard leagues as a flex play but is somewhat touchdown-dependent, which isn't too promising.

Emmanuel Sanders (WR, DEN)
As mentioned with Keenum, this might seem like a better matchup than it really is. The Steelers have been clamping down on receivers lately and Sanders has seen his numbers go down, not up since DT left town. In the last three games, Sanders is averaging 4.7 receptions and 53.3 yards with no touchdowns. Prior to that, he was averaging 6.6 receptions and 86.1 yards. His individual matchup with Mike Hilton doesn't make things easy either. Sanders can be started as a WR3 in PPR leagues but may need a score to put up a high point total.

JuJu Smith-Schuster (WR, PIT)
He's become an automatic start regardless of matchup, facing Chris Harris may limit his upside but shouldn't be enough to scare you away from putting him in your lineup. Smith-Schuster has gone over 75 yards in seven of 10 games this season and is second in the league in red zone targets. He's a solid WR2, even if it's in the lower range this week.

 

Dolphins at Colts

Matchups We Love:

Andrew Luck (QB, IND)
At home this season, Luck averages 304.2 yards per game and has a 16/2 TD/INT ratio. The Dolphins have been good about forcing turnovers and limiting damage through the air but much of that results from a schedule that has included the Titans, Raiders, and Jets twice. There is no reason to think Luck won't be a top-10 QB with the chance for a top-five finish. Only the runaway success of the running game could serve to limit Luck's point total.

Marlon Mack (RB, IND)
If you were off the Mack train after two weeks of low yardage, now's the time to hop back on. Tough matchups against the Jags and Titans can be attributed to his poor showing. On the ground, the Phins are anything but tough, allowing the third-most rushing yards to RBs this year. Mack could also benefit from game flow if the Dolphins are unable to generate much offense early on, making him a strong RB2 that should be started everywhere.

T.Y. Hilton (WR, IND)
Before Hilton's explosion in Week 11, his usage had been steadily going up over his last four games played. His targets increased each game (4, 5, 7, 9) as did his yards (25, 34, 77, 155). It's easy to envision Hilton having another big game at home against Miami, especially with the injuries to their secondary. He is a high-upside WR2 this week.

Kenny Stills (WR, MIA)
Love may be a bit strong but this is a great chance for Stills to break out with a strong showing for the first time since Week 1. Stills should be 100% healthy after the bye week and will get a decent target share by default, with few other receivers around to compete for targets. He saw a 96% snap share in Week 10 and will have a similar level of activity this week. Stills never clicked with Brock Osweiler but could connect on a deep ball with Tannehill back, although that's certainly hard to predict. If the Dolphins are in comeback mode throughout the second half, Stills has a good chance to see heavier volume and can be considered a sleeper flex play this week.

Matchups We Hate:

Ryan Tannehill (QB, MIA)
Where to start? First, it's been six weeks since Tannehill saw the field. Second, he was averaging less than 200 yards with eight touchdowns in five games before his injury. Finally, the Dolphins still have a depleted receiving corps with Albert Wilson and Jakeem Grant on IR and Devante Parker questionable. There is a chance for garbage time if the Colts are up big in the second half, but not enough for him to even crack the top-20 fantasy QBs.

Mike Gesicki / Nick O'Leary / A.J. Derby (TE, MIA)
Needless to say, none of these tight ends warrant a look in fantasy leagues. They faced a nearly even split in snaps with all three healthy in Week 10 before the bye, with Derby on top at 44% and Gesicki the lowest at 29%. Tannehill's return won't do much to bolster the value of any of these players, as he traditionally doesn't target the tight end very much.

Other Matchups:

Jordan Wilkins / Nyheim Hines (RB, IND)
Wilkins reminded us he's still around with a 53-yard jaunt against Jacksonville in Week 10 and his first NFL touchdown in Week 11. Unfortunately, that's all he did and has seen a grand total of seven touches in the last three games. Hines has been lightly used since the Mack is back, even in the passing game. Hines is seeing just three targets and 31 rushing yards per game over the last five, with zero touchdowns. It's unclear whether recently-promoted Jonathan Williams will get any run, but even so as long as Mack is healthy, there isn't any reason to consider the other running backs on this roster.

Frank Gore / Kenyan Drake (RB, MIA)
Drake outsnapped Gore in Week 10, as he typically does in games where Miami faces a deficit. Gore is still averaging a healthy 4.5 yards per carry average on the season but has only gone over 70 scrimmage yards twice in 2018. He is an unexciting option that could get you a few points in standard leagues but lacks much upside given the fact he's only scored once all year. Drake has more appeal in PPR leagues and has at least visited the end zone five times on the season. This is still not a smash spot for either back.

Chester Rogers / Dontrelle Inman / Ryan Grant / Zach Pascal (WR, IND)
Pick a random Colts receiver and you've got a decent chance of finding one who will reach the end zone any given week. The problem is picking the right one. Grant is back after a multi-week absence but seems to have fallen out of favor, while recently signed Inman has taken primary slot duties over. In Week 11, Inman saw the second-most offensive snaps (29) among all WR, behind only TY Hilton, while Rogers saw the fewest at 21. Inman could be utilized in super-deep PPR leagues as a flex play as long as your expectations are realistic. None of the others are worth anything beyond a punt play in GPPs.

Danny Amendola / DeVante Parker (WR, MIA)
Both receivers are listed as questionable entering Week 12. Amendola may be the one player who takes a step down in value with Tannehill back at QB, as he had seen a noticeable bump in usage during Osweiler's tenure. Parker is always a risk and never seemingly healthy, so he's best forgotten for now despite the great opportunity for targets if he plays.

Jack Doyle (TE, IND)
Since returning from injury, Doyle hasn't been as involved as he was earlier in the season. He's caught all seven of his targets the last two weeks but has only returned 36 and 43 yards. He hasn't been part of the end zone party going on in Indy lately, with 12 different players catching a touchdown from Luck this season. Doyle is a nice floor play in PPR leagues and has a decent matchup but the unpredictability of the Colts offense makes him marginal start in standard leagues.

Eric Ebron (TE, IND)
If you listen to the Fantasy Bomb podcast, we've been forced to discuss Eric Ebron on a near-weekly basis this year in our TE Start/Sit. This week, it was revealed again that Ebron is... touchdown-dependent. Ebron is third among tight ends for offensive snaps behind Jack Doyle and Mo Allie-Cox. He's been targeted a total of six times in the last three games, none at all last week. Nine TD on 39 receptions is pretty impressive but hard to sustain over a full season. Ebron certainly could score again this week but he could just as easily let you down with zero points if others find the red zone instead.

 

Sunday Night Football - Packers at Vikings

Matchups We Love:

Aaron Jones (RB, GB)
Jones missed the first matchup between these teams as he was serving his two-game suspension to start the season. The first half can be discarded when looking at Jones' production since he has been a different back since Mike McCarthy finally decided to actually use him the right way. In the last four games, Jones is averaging 86.5 rushing yards per game on just 13 carries, good for an outstanding 6.6 Y/A that would make Alvin Kamara proud. The Vikings are sixth-toughest against running backs for fantasy purposes but his involvement in the passing game (11 targets the last two weeks) and usage in the red zone makes him a high-end RB2. Minnesota has allowed the eighth-most receiving yards to running backs and Jones doesn't need many touches to generate big yardage.

Davante Adams (WR, GB)
What more is there to say about Adams at this point? In a tough road matchup with the Seahawks, he caught 10 passes for 166 yards and has posted a top-10 WR finish pretty much every week. The Vikings couldn't hold him in check early this year and probably won't do it this time either.

Adam Thielen (WR, MIN)
What happened to early-season Thielen? MVP-caliber Thielen? Forget 100-yard games, Thielen has totaled 88 yards in the last two contests. The good news is his target count is just as high, having caught seven of 12 in Chicago last week. He caught 12 for 131 yards earlier this year against Green Bay and should get plenty of action in this contest as well.

Stefon Diggs (WR, MIN)
Is Diggs the new Thielen? He's been targeted a staggering 44 times in the last three games, putting up huge numbers for PPR owners even in two tough losses to New Orleans and Chicago. This matchup gets easier and while Jaire Alexander has been great in his rookie season, his part-time coverage of Diggs won't be enough to keep him from WR1 status. He could easily match his Week 2 numbers of nine receptions and 128 yards.

Matchups We Hate:

Latavius Murray (RB, MIN)
Murray's workload has dropped precipitously from a high of 24 carries in Week 6 to 15 then 13 carries the next two weeks, followed by 10 and four carries the last two games with Dalvin Cook back in the lineup. Last week was a terrible matchup against a top-rated defense facing negative game script all day long. Green Bay isn't Chicago, but they aren't enough of a pushover versus the run to recommend Murray in what could be a battle of gunslingers. Murray has scored five touchdowns in the last five games but will need a trip to the end zone to justify a roster spot in standard leagues.

Jimmy Graham (TE, GB)
While there have been rumblings that Jimmy Graham wants to give it a go in Week 12 despite a broken thumb, it's hard to know how many snaps he'll see or how effective he will be. Graham has been limited to one catch each of the last two games and will be hard to trust this particular week. He did post his second-highest yardage total of the year in his first matchup with the Vikings but that was 10 weeks ago under different circumstances. You can roll with Graham if you don't have a better option but you risk a goose egg in the process. Whether Graham plays or not, fantasy owners should know better than to take a chance on Lance Kendricks, who has never been a reliable option.

Kyle Rudolph (TE, MIN)
There aren't many reasons to recommend Rudolph these days. He's totaled nine catches for 96 yards with no touchdowns over the past month and faces a Packers defense that is second-toughest against the TE. He should be sat everywhere in favor of pretty much anyone else.

Other Matchups:

Aaron Rodgers (QB, GB)
We saw glimpses of the Rodgers we know and love (in fantasy) last week, as he threw for 332 yards and two scores. It was his first 300-yard game since Week 6. Rodgers is mostly matchup-proof but the emergence of Aaron Jones coupled with a tough defensive matchup keeps Rodgers on the lower end of the QB1 tier. He should be started where owned as long as it's understood he may not produce any better than his 281-yard, one-TD outing in Week 2.

Kirk Cousins (QB, MIN)
Cousins predictably flopped last week in a tough environment but now gets to return to the comfort of U.S. Bank Stadium against a lesser opponent. That's the perception at least. Statistically, the Packers allow 0.3 fantasy points per game more than the Bears to quarterbacks. The main difference is the turnovers, as the Bears lead the league with 18 INT and the Packers have just six. Cousins is throwing for 71 fewer yards per game at home too. What seems like a favorable matchup is just an average one at best, making Cousins a fringe QB1 in 12-team leagues.

Dalvin Cook (RB, MIN)
It's a tough spot for Cook owners, as he is too talented to sit but far from guaranteed to break out. Green Bay is an average run defense and Cook only managed 38 yards on 10 carries in Week 2 his first go against the Pack. If Minnesota's defense can hold and give the run game enough chances, Cook could generate some signature big plays but he stands as a boom-bust flex play this particular week coming off a 12-yard performance.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling / Equanimeous St. Brown (WR, GB)
One of the biggest disappointments of Week 11, MVS caught all of one pass for three yards despite being in fantasy lineups everywhere. Prior to that, he had been targeted at least five times for five straight games so it should be looked at as an outlier in an otherwise solid rookie year. ESB has been mostly quiet as a tertiary option but it should be noted that he out-targeted Valdes-Scantling last week. If Randall Cobb misses again, each of these receivers will get their share of looks against lesser DBs in Mackensie Alexander and Trae Waynes, with MVS possessing a higher ceiling.

More Weekly Lineup Prep