Week 12 NFL Matchup Preview Part One
Be sure to check out Part Two of our Week 12 NFL Matchup Previews.
THURSDAY – November 24th, 2016
12:30 PM EST
Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions
QB Sam Bradford: Nothing more than a low-end QB2 at best. The positive for Bradford is that he has thrown for a TD in every game he has played in this year and faces a defense that has given up the 3rd most fantasy points to QBs this season. He isn’t the worst streamer this week but there are better QBs to choose from.
RB Jerick McKinnon, Matt Asiata: Can’t trust either back this week. Neither one has impressed on any week and the Vikings will be forced to throw since the weakness lies in Detroit’s pass defense not their 6th best defense against RBs.
WR Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen: Diggs is questionable for Thursday but is a must start in a game where Bradford will be throwing a ton against a questionable pass defense. Adam Thielen has been consistently targeted by Bradford all season and should be a solid WR2 this week.
TE Kyle Rudolph: Although the Lions have given up the most fantasy points to tight ends this year, Rudolph has been so inconsistent week to week. Consider him a high-risk, high-reward desperate streaming option vs Detroit.
QB Matthew Stafford: Has not been a great fantasy option in the past 4 weeks. Now, Stafford will have a defense that has given up the 2nd fewest points to QBs to contend with this week. Bench him and stream a QB with a better matchup as this week is not looking good for Stafford.
RB Theo Riddick: Riddick has more value in PPR formats as he typically is more productive as part of the passing game than he is running the ball. He has a tough matchup against the Vikings. He is a low-end RB2 in PPR and an RB3/flex consideration in standard leagues.
WR Golden Tate, Marvin Jones Jr.: Terrible matchup for these WRs. Marvin Jones Jr is no longer trustworthy in fantasy as it is. Golden Tate can be considered a flex play since Stafford will have to throw to someone.
TE Eric Ebron: Ebron has been the most consistent player on the Lions this season. Stafford will be throwing the ball enough to give Ebron value as a TE2 against a defense that has been mediocre against TEs.
THURSDAY – November 24th, 2016
4:30 PM EST
Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys
QB Kirk Cousins: Threw for almost 400 yards the last time he faced Dallas in Week 2. Cousins has been one of the most consistent QBs this year and should continue his QB1 status vs the Cowboys this week.
RB Rob Kelley: Will have a difficult matchup against a tough run defense but has played so well in the last 3 games that he cannot be benched. He should be a solid RB2 even in an unfavorable matchup.
WR DeSean Jackson, Jamison Crowder, Pierre Garcon: Jackson is not to be trusted even in a decent matchup as he has been the 4th option in the pass game. You can trust both Crowder and Garcon as viable WR options this week against the Cowboys who rank right in the middle in pass defense.
TE Jordan Reed: Targets have declined with the emergence of Crowder and Garcon lately. Still, Reed is a TE1 this week vs Dallas.
QB Dak Prescott: Expect Prescott to continue his QB1 momentum into this game at home against a middle of the pack defense.
RB Ezekiel Elliott: Zeke is coming off a game against the best run defense in the league and still totaled over 100 yards. The Zeke show will continue this week vs the Redskins. Play your RB1.
WR Dez Bryant, Cole Beasley: Dez Bryant and Dak Prescott have connected for 196 yards and 3 TDs in the past 2 games. Keep rolling with Dez as you WR1 this week. Cole Beasley is a safe play but continues to be a TD-dependent WR2.
TE Jason Witten: Continues to see targets from Dak but hasn’t put up consistent numbers this season. Witten has a favorable matchup as the Redskins have given more to the TEs than they do WRs. Witten is a solid TE2 this week.
THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL – November 24th, 2016
8:30 PM EST
Pittsburgh Steelers at Indianapolis Colts
QB Ben Roethlisberger: Scares me when he is away. Last week against the terrible Browns, Big Ben threw for only 167 and no TDs. That said, he has an even better matchup against the Colts this week and should bounce back from last week’s performance.
RB Le’Veon Bell: Safely insert him into your lineups as you RB1 this week. He is involved in too much of the offensive game plan to not play every week.
WR Antonio Brown, Eli Rogers: Brown is your WR1 so play him. Rogers hasn’t done enough to consider him more than a desperate streaming option this week.
TE Ladarius Green: Can’t trust at the moment. Do not play him. Jesse James sees more targets at the TE position.
QB Andrew Luck: Will likely sit out of this one after suffering a concussion on a short week. Scott Tolzien will get the start for the Colts. Tolzien is not a fantasy option.
RB Frank Gore: Possibly the perfect storm for Gore to have a very productive game. With Luck out on a week against a defense that has given up the 3rd most fantasy points to RBs. Play Gore as a solid RB2 with RB1 upside if the Colts can keep this game somewhat close.
WR T.Y. Hilton, Donte Moncrief: Neither are trustworthy options this week given the situation at QB.
TE Dwayne Allen, Jack Doyle: Backup QBs tend to lean on the tight end position but neither can be trusted as all receiving options for the Colts should be avoided.
SUNDAY – November 27th, 2016
1:00 PM EST
Arizona Cardinals at Atlanta Falcons
QB Carson Palmer The Falcons have given up the most fantasy points to QBs this season. This game has the chance to be a shootout and Palmer could benefit from this. Still, Palmer is nothing more than a high-end QB2 this week as David Johnson does too much on the ground to take away from Palmer’s value.
RB David Johnson: Expect RB1 numbers from DJ against the Falcons who have given up the 5th most fantasy points to RBs this season.
WR Larry Fitzgerald & friends: Fitzgerald can easily be a WR1 this week against a terrible defense. All other WR options for the Cardinals are high-risk, high-reward desperate streaming options.
QB Matt Ryan: Hard to sit as the best fantasy QB this season but keep a couple of things in mind here. Ryan struggled against the Eagles Week 10 and he returns from a bye week against the 4th best defense against QBs this season. There are not many you should sit Ryan for this week as this game could be high scoring and if so, Matty Ice will play a big role.
RB Devonta Freeman, Tevin Coleman: Both backs will be up against the toughest run defense in the league this week and therefore are nothing more than desperate flex plays. Tevin Coleman could find himself more useful in this game as part of the passing game.
WR Julio Jones, Mohamed Sanu, Taylor Gabriel: Sanu and Gabriel haven’t been terrible options as of late but this week, I wouldn’t trust any Falcons WR other than Julio Jones who should be your WR1 vs the Cardinals challenging defense.
TE Austin Hooper: Absolutely not an option this week against a team that has allowed the fewest fantasy points to TEs.
Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens
QB Andy Dalton: Expect Dalton to struggle against a decent Baltimore defense without A.J. Green and Gio Bernard, two of his most important weapons in the pass game. I would be surprised if Dalton became more of a low-end QB in this one.
RB Jeremy Hill: Hill will obviously get more of a workload with Gio Bernard out but is up against the 2nd best run defense this week. Hill is a low-end RB2 vs Baltimore.
WR Brandon LaFell, Tyler Boyd: Dalton will air the ball out a ton in this game as the Ravens pass defense is not their strong suit. Both receivers are low-end WR2s this week.
TE Tyler Eifert: Baltimore has been very tough against tight ends this season. It would be fair to say that they have not faced many good TEs outside of Jordan Reed and Jason Witten. Consider Eifert a solid TE2 with TE1 upside with A.J. Green not in play.
QB Joe Flacco: He is not typically a great fantasy option but I like Flacco this week vs the Bengals. He isn’t a terrible stream option if you are looking for a plug and play QB this week.
RB Terrance West, Kenneth Dixon: West is an RB2 option this week vs the Bengals defense that has given up the 11th most fantasy points to RBs. Dixon has done nothing to earn more snaps and should be left on the bench.
WR Steve Smith Sr., Mike Wallace: Both should be considered WR2 even in a tough matchup this week. Give Wallace an upside of WR1 with his big play ability to break one loose.
TE Dennis Pitta: Could see an increase in targets this weekend as the Bengals give up the 4th most fantasy points to TEs this year. Pitta is a TE2 with TE1 upside vs the Cincinnati Bengals defense.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Buffalo Bills
QB Blake Bortles: Has thrown for multiple TDs in each of his last 4 games. He has thrown for 3 INTs in that time as well and faces a tough Buffalo defense on the road this weekend. Don’t expect this to be a typical garbage time game for Bortles lowering his value even more. He is a low-end QB2 at best.
RB Chris Ivory: I was unaware the Jaguars have a running back.
WR Allen Robinson, Allen Hurns, Marqise Lee: Robinson has scored in each of his last 3 games and has 70 or more reception yards in 3 of his last 4 games. Play Robinson as Bortles only true receiver. Marqise Lee has been the number 2 option on this team longer than anyone has given him credit for. He has 50 or more receiving yards in 5 of his last 6 games. Consider him as a solid WR2 this week. Allen Hurns has fallen off the face of the earth with little to no production and is no longer a fantasy option.
TE Julius Thomas: He’s now been ruled Out this week. Even before that I wrote this: A terrible option at this point as he is barely involved in the pass game and when he is he is ineffective. Don’t play him.
QB Tyrod Taylor: Had a terrible game last week vs the Bengals but has a much better matchup at home this week. He is nothing more than a low-end QB2 with high-end QB2 upside.
RB LeSean McCoy, Mike Gillislee: McCoy is expected to play even after his surgery on his thumb. Gillislee could see additional playing time if they want to take it easy on McCoy. If McCoy plays, which he will, you have to start him against the pedestrian Jaguars defense. Gillislee becomes an RB2 if by some chance McCoy doesn’t play. Gillislee could still be somewhat effective making him a desperate flex play if McCoy gets the start.
WR Marquise Goodwin: With Woods doubtful, Goodwin becomes the default number 1 option for Tyrod. I would stay clear of any Buffalo receivers in this one even if Sammy Watkins plays, it would be on a very limited basis.
TE Charles Clay: Expect Clay to see additional targets given the WR situation but still remains a non-fantasy factor this week.
Tennessee Titans at Chicago Bears
QB Marcus Mariota: Given the Bears QB situation, the Titans may be on the field a ton this week. Play Mariota as your QB1.
RB DeMarco Murray: The Bears are not good at much but they do have a very good run defense. DeMarco Murray will have plenty of opportunities, however, as I expect the Titans to dominate time of possession. Murray is still your RB1.
WR Rishard Matthews: Matthews should have a big game against a very weak pass defense. He has been a top target for Mariota and will continue his success vs the Bears.
TE Delanie Walker: Walker will bounce back from a quiet week last week. Insert him as your TE1.
QB Matt Barkley : The Bears will struggle vs the Titans this week and Barkley will be a key factor. Don’t even think about starting him.
RB Jordan Howard, Jeremy Langford: Jordan Howard has a tough matchup but will carry the load as the only viable offensive option this week. Play him as you normally would. Langford could get more involved in the pass game this week but I’m not expecting the Bears to move the ball enough where Langford becomes relevant.
WR Cameron Meredith, Eddie Royal: As is the same situation in Indianapolis, the Bears WRs cannot be trusted this week with Matt Barkley at the helm.
New York Giants at Cleveland Browns
QB Eli Manning: Play Manning as a QB1 this week. Manning has been terrible on the road, but it has been against much tougher opponents. He should have no problem exploiting the Browns defense.
RB Rashad Jennings, Paul Perkins: Jennings has back to back games over 80 rushing yards and could easily rush for over 100 yards against the 2nd worst rush defense in the league. Perkins could see more playing time as I expect the Giants offense to be on the field a ton in this one. Perkins is nothing more than a desperate flyer if you have no one to fill a flex.
WR Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard: Both should have great games vs the Browns. OBJ is your WR1 and Shepard, a solid WR2.
TE Will Tye: Expect Tye to have his best game of the season as a high-end TE2 with TE1 upside against a Browns team that has given up the most fantasy points to TEs.
QB Josh McCown: The QB carousel continues as McCown is back in as the starter. Don’t expect too much from his as he faces a Giants defense that has given up the 3rd fewest fantasy points to QBs this season.
RB Isaiah Crowell, Duke Johnson Jr.: If the Browns can find a way to keep this game close, Crowell and Johnson could take advantage of the Giants’ weakness in their rush defense. I do not expect this to be the case and therefore both should ride the bench this week.
WR Corey Coleman, Terrelle Pryor: Tough matchup for the Browns WRs. Could see a tiny boost in production with McCown but I don’t believe it’s enough to start Coleman as he has done very little to warrant a spot in your lineup. Consider Pryor a WR2 in this game as McCown will air it out.
TE Gary Barnidge: In line for a decent productive game vs the Giants who give up more to TEs than WRs. An interesting stat I read on espn.com showed that Gary Barnidge caught 7 of his 10 TDs this past two seasons from Josh McCown. Expect Barnidge to be a safety blanket for McCown and achieve TE2 status this week.