Predicting the Top 12 QBs for Week 12 (Fantasy Football)
Here is how I break up the weekly prediction article:
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.
***IMPORTANT NOTE*** This article isn’t about predicting the exact order of finish, but more about identifying which guys have a shot to be among the top-12. There will be QBs from among the 32 teams you don’t see listed here. If you don’t see your guy listed on here, that’s ok. This article is about predicting the top-12 not necessarily who is safest. I’d strongly advise you to follow Andy, Mike, and Jason’s advice for where they have QBs ranked for Week 12.
Patrick Mahomes @ TB
The dude is on pace for 4856 passing yards, 43 TDs & three INTs this year. He’s matchup-proof and one of Vegas’ highest over/unders (54) of the week. Yes, please.
Russell Wilson @ PHI
Mr. Unlimited annoys the crap of me off the field but on the field, he’s a machine. The Seahawks are 5.5-point road favorites with a 28.3 team implied total. The Eagles rank 20th in pass DVOA but 2nd in adjusted sack rate. It’s not all roses for Wilson but how can you ignore him on Monday night?
Consider the fact that both of these QBs were destroyed when their teams drafted them in the 1st round of their respective drafts including me in my pre-draft rookie profile of Justin Herbert. He’s a fantasy star especially with his willingness to push the ball down the field with the 5th highest percentage of 20+ yard attempts in the league. Luckily for fantasy managers, the Bills have allowed the 2nd most fantasy points to opposing QBs over the last month. Allen is the QB4 for the season leading a Bills offense ranked #1 in pass success rate and tallying the most 20+ yard completions in the league. This is also a pace up spot for both teams with Buffalo ranking 6th in plays per game and Los Angeles at 3rd.
Kyler Murray @ NE
The only reason the QB1 in dropped in a tier lower this week is his shoulder injury. It’s nothing major but he could be hindered on deep throws this week. I mentioned last week how mediocre the Patriots defense has been this year ranking dead last in defensive DVOA and 31st in pass DVOA according to Football Outsiders. Trust Murray and his legs to get to top 12-ville once again.
Deshaun Watson @ DET
He is on fire ranking as the QB4 in points per game since Bill O’Brien came to town. The difference? He’s run more (up to 35 rushing yards per game) and his aDOT has increased. He’s a locked-and-loaded top-5 QB even on the road. Expect an explosion.
Tom Brady vs KC
Brady and the Bucs looked out of sorts against Aaron Donald and the elite Rams pass rush last week. We know the formula that Brady usually follows up an embarrassing loss with setting the world on fire. Amusing anecdotes aside, the Bucs have a solid team implied total (25) and Brady will be leaned upon heavily to keep up with Patrick Mahomes. He leads league in pass attempts inside the red-zone which is everything we want for fantasy.
Cam Newton vs ARZ
Newton is on the streaming fringe although it’s concerning that over the last month, he has a much worse completion percentage on play-action (58%) than non-play-action (75.7%). Cam Newton is Mike’s Start of the Week with the 7th best QB matchup and that’s low considering the weak QB competition Arizona has faced. He has nine rushing TDs on the year which always gives him a high floor in a game with a 49.5 total.
Four In the Door
Ben Roethlisberger vs BAL
Over the last three weeks, Big Ben has upped his volume to 45 pass attempts per game. That’s what we like to see for fantasy! The Steelers have made a concerted effort to keep him upright with the lowest pressure rate in the league and a “clean pocket” on 80% of dropbacks, the highest in NFL. Disregard Baltimore’s name and open your eyes to the fact there are three elite WRs and a solid TE (Eric Ebron) for him to throw to.
Carson Wentz vs SEA
Whoa nelly… I know Wentz gives you headaches but the upside is still tantalizing. You know how bad Seattle is allowing 344 pass yards per game, the most in the NFL, and ranks 27th in pass DVOA. They’ve allowed a QB1 in 8-of-10 weeks played allowing 25.4 fantasy points per contest. I like Wentz’s chances for a boom game on Monday night trying to keep pace with Russell Wilson.
Matt Ryan vs LV
It’s pretty clear: if Julio Jones is in, I’m starting Matt Ryan. The Raiders are allowing the 4th most points Per Drive and Las Vegas allows the 5th most passing yards per game. Last week, he was terrible against New Orleans but the Saints have been unstoppable. They destroyed Brady who then went out and was the #1 QB the following week. Ryan has my vote of confidence and is Jason’s Start of the Week.
Daniel Jones @ CIN
Daniel Jones is Jason’s Stream of the Week. He’s coming off the bye week against a team who has to be dejected after losing Burrow. He’s been running the ball as good as any QB not named Kyler Murray, which gives him a good baseline. He ranks 3rd in QB rushing yards averaging 7.8 yards per rush, highest in the NFL for any ball carrier. Over the previous five weeks, Cincinnati has given up the 4th most points to the QB position and rank 28th in pass DVOA for the season. He’s tied for the best-adjusted comp percentage of 20+ yard attempts in the NFL so I like him to connect with Darius Slayton in this one.
Lamar Jackson @ PIT
In 2019, Jackson had 14(!) QB1 weeks, tied with Patrick Mahomes (2018) & Peyton Manning for the most ever. This year he has four and none inside the top-3. He’s honestly hindering fantasy teams especially because this Ravens team just isn’t built to come from behind in games. Jackson is averaging 182 passing yards per game (31st) and Pittsburgh is allowing the lowest pass success rate in NFL… not a great combination folks. He’s more of a fringe QB1 this week in a tough divisional matchup and one I wouldn’t mind benching for a streamer.
Matthew Stafford vs HOU
I don’t trust him with a bad hand/thumb. He also has some weapons out with injuries including D’Andre Swift likely joining Danny Amendola and Kenny Golladay. In five games in 2020 without Kenny Golladay, he’s been the QB21, QB19, QB24, QB6, and QB26. Not great Bob.
Jared Goff vs SF
Goff was #bad the last times these two teams played. He completed just 19-of-38 of his passes (50%) for a season-low 198 yards. I think this will be an ugly divisional game despite the fact the 49ers are fairly depleted across the board. I just don’t see his ceiling this week.
Aaron Rodgers vs CHI
I’m not telling you to bench him in redraft leagues. But Chicago ranks 3rd in pass DVOA and allowed only two QBs to finish inside the top-18 all year long! Rodgers relies more on efficiency than sheer volume and the Bears defense is one that will limit the big plays. The low total (45) also makes me pause.
Last Week: x/12
2020 Hit Rate: x%