Fantasy Football: Decoding the Top-12 QBs for Week 12

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After that Monday night extravaganza, you realize the plethora of QB scoring options we had last week. Here were Week 11’s top-12 scorers and last week’s decoder ring successes and failures.

Rank QB Fantasy Points Hit?
1 Patrick Mahomes 47.92 x
2 Jared Goff 43.12 x
3 Drew Brees 38.52 x
4 Cam Newton 30.48 x
5 Andrew Luck 29.88 x
6 Aaron Rodgers 25.58
7 Ben Roethlisberger 24.66 x
8 Philip Rivers 23.64 x
9 Andy Dalton 23.34
10 Russell Wilson 22.10 x
11 Eli Manning 21.14 x
12 Kirk Cousins 20.98

Boom! 9-of-12 ties our season best and puts us above the 55(!)% for the season.

If you don’t see your guy, here’s a reminder of how I categorize decoding the top-12 list each week. This isn’t about predicting the order of the top-12 nor who is a safer option but who could end up as a QB1.

Four-Sures: Top 4 for the week and definite must-starts.
Com-Four-table: Four QBs with relatively safe floors with added upside to be a solid top-12 choice.
Four In the Door: Four QBs who could sneak into the top-12 including the Ballers “Stream of the Week” options and at least one daring dart throw.
Four-Get-About-It: Four QBs I’m fading this week and projecting to finish outside the top 12.  Often this includes some higher profile QBs with tougher matchups that could underperform.

Check out where Andy, Mike, and Jason have their QBs ranked for Week 12.


Drew Brees vs. ATL
Matt Ryan @ NO
In their Week 3 matchup, Brees went bananas for 396 pass yards, 3 pass TDs & 2 rush TDs. All Ryan did was match him for 375 pass yards and 5 pass TDs until the Saints prevailed in overtime. The total in this one is 60 points and the Saints are 13 point home favorites. Enjoy your post-Thanksgiving food coma and then wake up for fantasy point goodness from your QB if you own these guys. 

Cam Newton vs. SEA
Newton ranks first in the league in carries and rushing touchdowns so every week he has among the highest floors at the QB position regardless of the matchup. As a home favorite in a game with a 47.5 over/under, Newton is a top-5 guy and is the Ballers Consensus QB3.

Andrew Luck vs. MIA
Luck is having a great season as he ranks 12th in passing yards per game and second in TD passes. He gets to play at home this week against a Dolphins defense that ranks 19th in passing yards allowed per game and 22nd in Pass DVOA. The Colts have the 2nd highest team implied total (30) and Luck has thrown for 3+ TDs in 7 straight games, tied for the NFL record.

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Tom Brady @ NYJ
Coming off the bye and that Monday night excitement, it’s easy to forget about Tom Terrific and the Pats who are 7-3 and beginning their annual run towards the playoffs. The Patriots have a 27.8 team implied total and I’m expect a demolition. The Jets are giving up the 2nd most slot WR fantasy points per game so this screams Julian Edelman or Gronk if he’s healthy. Brady is 25-7 against the Jets in his career.

Tim Bradbury/Getty Images Sport

Carson Wentz vs. NYG
Before his Week 11 debacle, Wentz had thrown for 300+ yards or 3 TDs in six straight games. He’s going to come back to the norm against a Giants defense that ranks 22nd in passing yards allowed per game and 27th in Pass DVOA. The Eagles have a 26 point team implied total at home and I love Wentz to get there mostly through the air.

Philip Rivers vs. ARI
Rivers has been “steady Eddie” all year long despite a heart-breaking loss to the Broncos last week. He has thrown for multiple TDs in every game this year, an insane 10-game streak. The Chargers rank seventh in yards per game and tenth in points per game. The floor is there in a game where they have the 4th highest team implied total (28.3)

Jameis Winston vs. SF
Jameis Winston is somehow back under center and the stats show it doesn’t matter who Dirk Koetter chooses to start. Per TJ Hernandez, Tampa QBs have averaged the 9th MOST fantasy ppg EVER. The Bucs rank first in yards per game and eighth in points per game. The 49ers defense that ranks 15th in passing yards allowed per game and 21st in Pass DVOA. The Bucs have the 3rd highest team implied total (29) of the weekend. He’s the Ballers Consensus QB3, although slightly lower in my tiers simply because there’s always the threat of him being benched.

Four in the Door

Lamar Jackson vs. OAK
Last week was the primer of what could be with LJax: 117 rush yards on a QB-record 27 attempts and only 19 Pass attempts. He didn’t even throw or rush for a TD but it’s clear the floor is high. The matchup this week screams he’s a “must-start”. The Raiders rank 32nd in DVOA against the pass and 29th in overall defense. He’s the Ballers Consensus QB9 and Andy’s “Start of the Week”.

Kirk Cousins vs. GB
Cousins has been a roller coaster all year long in fantasy with some huge highs and some turnover-filled messes. However, in Week 3 against the Pack, he exploded for 425 passing yards and 4 TDs. Cousins ranks 8th in the league in passing yards per game (294.7) and projects to benefit from playing in this favorable fantasy game with a current 47.5 point Over/Under. Cousins is Jason’s “Start of the Week”.

Deshaun Watson vs. TEN
I think it’s time for Watson to show out in a primetime matchup after we’ve all basically finished up our fantasy weeks. He hasn’t thrown for more than 25 pass attempts since Week 5 but the Titans rank 23rd in pass DVOA. CB Malcolm Butler is going to be matched up on DeAndre Hopkins which is a complete joke. Watson is Mike’s QB11 on the week and a solid 6-point home favorite.

Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Baker Mayfield @ CIN
It’s time for some offensive firepower after the Browns were on a bye last week. The matchup is as good as it gets. The Bengals have given up the MOST fantasy points to opposing QBs, the most yards per game and the second-most passing yards per game. While Nick Chubb could also eat this week, I like the fellow rookie and the No. 1 pick to begin to rebuild a connection with Jarvis Landry in this new offense.

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Nick Mullens @ TB

It’s time to ride-or-die with Nick Mullens. This game has a 55(!) over/under and the Bucs sports arguably the worst defense in football. They rank 31st in defensive DVOA, 30th in pass DVOA, given up the 3rd most fantasy points to QBs and allow the MOST slot WR fantasy points per game. Expect someone to blow up whether that be George Kittle, Marquise Goodwin or sneaky DFS play Dante Pettis. Mullens has done it before in a good matchup and is Mike’s QB “Start of the Week”.


Aaron Rodgers @ MIN
I’m sorry but “fantasy” Aaron Rodgers hasn’t actually been a great QB. If you spent the early pick on him, you likely had a sunk team. Despite an awesome 19:1 TD to INT ratio, Rodgers is only the QB10 on the season and has posted only 4 top-12 performances. This is a tough one on the road against a defense that has come into its own giving up the 2nd fewest QB fantasy points over the last 6 weeks. Football Outsiders has them ranked as the 5th best defense overall – 6th against the pass and 4th against the run.

Dak Prescott vs. WAS
He’s definitely turned his fantasy season around with a QB1 performance in 3 of last 5 weeks. However, this game has a super low over/under (40.5) on Thanksgiving afternoon when you’re about to eat your dinner. You might end up falling asleep after you eat your meal; but don’t worry, leave Dak on the wire.

Russell Wilson @ CAR
Wilson has been insanely efficient this year with the 5th most TD passes despite only 26th in pass attempts. That’s a TD rate of 8.3%, second to only the greatness of Patrick Mahomes. Wilson is the Ballers Consensus QB14 this week and I think he’s just outside of that group as well. The Panthers rank 2nd against WR1s and have the pass rush to keep Wilson contained.

Eli Manning @ PHI
Eli and the offense have been somewhat competent recently and this matchup on paper could add even more empty calories in the stats department. The Eagles secondary has had some major losses and ranks 26th in passing yards per game and 19th in Pass DVOA. However, the entire game is dependent on the Giants shaky defensive line and his ability to keep up with Wentz. If volatility is your thing, Eli is worth a play. But he’s more of a DFS play than someone to trust at this point in the fantasy season.

Previous Week’s Record: 9/12

2018 Overall Percentage: 56%

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