Fantasy Football: Decoding the Top 12 QBs for Week 12

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Here was last week’s top 12 (with the bold being correctly called) in standard 4 points per passing TD leagues…

Wilson, Roethlisberger, Cousins, Brady, Brees, Wentz, Fitzpatrick, Gabbert, Dalton, Stafford, Taylor, Rivers

6-out-12 including 6 out of the top 7 ain’t too shabby. I sincerely apologize not foreseeing Blaine Gabbert (Mike Wright’s DFS recommendation) and Tyrod Taylor emerging from Nathan Peterman‘s 5 INT-stink fest to finish as a QB1 for the week. Nevertheless, we are still hovering near the 60% mark for the season.

Each week we look at the varying tiers of quarterbacks, assessing risk, home/away matchups, Vegas totals and realizing each week will have a bit of spontaneity. This isn’t about predicting order, but simply identifying who is likely to be among the top 12. Here is how I break up the decoding each week:

Four-Sures: My 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 that top 12 including a stream of the week option 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.


Tom Brady vs. MIA
This guy leads the league in passing yards and has 345 more passing yards than any other player in the league. At home against a Dolphins defense that ranks second worst in pass DVOA is easy as pumpkin pie.

Russell Wilson @ SF
Wilson is carrying this offense on his back as his offensive line and the run game are nonexistent. This 49ers defense ranks third-worst in pass DVOA and that has allowed the tenth most passing yards per game. They’ve allowed the 4th most fantasy points to opposing QBs. Wilson is a near unstoppable force in fantasy.

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Ronald C. Modra/Sports Imagery/Getty Images

Kirk Cousins vs. NYG
Cousins is locked-in as a QB1 lately and now receives a Thanksgiving day feast at his hands. A home matchup against the Giants is just what hungry fantasy owners are looking for. They’ve surrendered the 3rd most fantasy points to opposing QBs and the 4th most passing yards per game on the season. Captain Kirk FTW.

Carson Wentz vs. CHI
If you’ve come this far with him, now is not the time to abandon Wentz as he’s been basically matchup-proof. He leads the league in pass TDs with 25 while adding a healthy 224 yards on the ground as well. Don’t be scared off with the Bears as Wentz is playing this thing at home as a 13.5 point favorite.


Ben Roethlisberger vs. GB
Big Ben broke through last week with 4 TDs against the Titans and has room for more this week. He has shown a more capable floor with has at least 15 fantasy points in four straight games and he’s at home in a good spot against the Packers who rank 23rd in pass DVOA. The Packers are also allowing the 2nd highest completion percentage (68.3) in the league. Maybe this offense is coming into form at just the right time. Start him with confidence.

Matt Ryan vs. TB
Ryan and this Falcons offense is starting to turn things around as they have won two straight games and Ryan has two touchdowns in each of his last four games. And now let me pummel you with statistics to convince you Ryan has a huge ceiling this week…The Buccaneers have allowed the fourth most yards per game, the second most passing yards per game, the eighth most fantasy points to QBs and the fifth worst pass DVOA defense in the league. Whew. Jason called it on the podcast but this could be Julio’s monster game of the season.

Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Marcus Mariota @ IND
Mariota still was relevant for fantasy last week despite throwing 4 INTs. He should have a “get-right” game against a porous Colts secondary. They’ve been picked on all season allowing the 3rd most passing yards per game and the 7th most fantasy points to opposing QBs. Expect a few big plays as the Colts have allowed THE MOST 20+ yard passing plays in the league. Stack him with Delanie Walker in DFS and reap the rewards.

Cam Newton at NYJ
Before going on bye in Week 11, Cam posted 254 passing yards for four TDs as well as 95 rushing yards. His rushing upside is tremendous in a matchup against a Jets defense that ranks 11th worst in pass DVOA and that is tied for the fourth most pass TDs allowed (20). Even on the road, I like Cam this week especially with Greg Olsen back in the mix.


Andy Dalton vs. CLE
Dalton somehow strung together 3 TDs last week against Denver and now gets a healthy dose of the Cleveland Browns at home. As an 8 point favorite against the 30th ranked pass defense, Dalton should be good to go in this one as a capable streamer. The Browns have allowed 20 passing TDs on the year, 3rd worst in the NFL.

Jared Goff vs. NO
King Goffrey is going to be needed in Vegas’ highest over/under of the weekend at 53.5. No other game tops 48 as a total. The Saints were exposed by Kirk Cousins and the Redskins last week and rookie CB sensation Marshon Latimore could sit this one out with an injury. With Robert Woods out, Goff might need to dial up Sammy Watkins and utilize Todd Gurley in the passing game. This is a sheer volume play as he showed last week that his floor isn’t as safe as you want it to be.

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Jacoby Brissett vs. TEN
Disclaimer: Brissett is a streamable asset AGAINST CRAPPY DEFENSES. Earlier this year he scored over 20 fantasy points this year against Cleveland, San Francisco, and Houston. Coming out of the bye, Brissett is a viable option against a Titans defense that ranks seventh worst in pass DVOA and that has allowed the 12th most passing yards per game. They’ve also allowed THE MOST 1st downs in the league. Why not?

Getty Images Sport/Icon Sportswire

Joe Flacco vs. HOU
Gross. I know hold your barf bag for just a minute. Flacco has been atrocious all year with some downright putrid performances. This is all about matchup and the fact that QB1 numbers tend to even out towards the end of the year. The Texans have allowed THE MOST fantasy points to opposing QBs on the year including averaging 343 yards and 3 TDs since Week 8. This is a DFS play as a forgotten contrarian play as the Ravens play on Monday night.


Drew Brees @ LAR
Let me be very clear: I am NOT telling you to bench Brees this week. We’ve seen that this offense has transitioned to being focused on the run with Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara. The Rams have allowed the 4th fewest fantasy points to opposing QBs and have been killed on the ground. I’m willing to fade Brees on the road especially in DFS.

Dak Prescott vs. LAC
It’s time to sit Dak even on a Thanksgiving Day matchup on TV. These Chargers know how to get after the QB registering 30 sacks, 3rd most in the league. They rank 8th best against the pass allowing only 209.8 passing yards per game. Sadly he’s asked to do too much and for now he’s in this section.

Matthew Stafford vs. MIN
This is all about matchup as the Vikings rank top 5 in the league against the pass. They’ve allowed the 3rd fewest passing TDs (10) and only 212.8 passing yards per game. You might be tempted to start him to start your Thanksgiving Day slate in style. If you’ve got better streaming options available, I’d rather go there.

Jorge Lemus/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Case Keenum @ DET
Detroit has been murdered on the ground recently and I give the edge in this Thanksgiving Day matchup to Latavius Murray, Jerick McKinnon and the ground game. I just don’t see Keenum’s ceiling on the road as the Vikings should win this one with defense and a running attack. Remember that this guy isn’t that talented of a QB.

Last Week’s Record: 6/12

2017 Overall Percentage: 59.1%

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