Fantasy Football 2012: Position Rankings for Week 12

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistNovember 21, 2012

Nov 18, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Fox sports reporter Pam Oliver interviews Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) after the game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Packers beat the Lions 24-20. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-US PRESSWIRE

In honor of Thanksgiving, I decided I would open this week's fantasy football rankings with a few words of thanks for those players who have been good to me on my various teams this season.

My Foles Gold team would like to thank Andrew Luck, A.J. Green and C.J. Spiller, who have all dramatically exceeded expectations this season.

My Cassel Made of Sand team would like to thank Matt Ryan and Doug Martin, who have alleviated the pain I would have otherwise felt due to the disappointing campaigns from Matthew Stafford and Matt Forte. (Sheesh, I have a lot of Matts on that team.)

My Sex Panthers team would like to thank Arian Foster, Brandon Marshall and Randall Cobb for being so freaking awesome this season.

And finally, my MeRaji Trois team would like to thank Aaron Rodgers, Trent Richardson and a slew of IDPs—you truly have kept kept me in contention for the league title this year. 

But enough about my teams. Thanksgiving is about more than stuffing faces and giving thanks; we must share with those we love as well. And while I may not love you like that, dear fantasy readers—that would be awkward—I've decided to share with you a list of players that will leave you feeling quite thankful this week.



1. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers (New York Giants)

2. Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos (Kansas City Chiefs)

3. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

4. Tom Brady, New England Patriots (New York Jets)

5. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints (San Francisco 49ers)

6. Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals (Oakland Raiders)

You might think this is a bit high for Mr. Dalton, but consider what he's done in recent weeks. Since coming off a Week 8 bye, Dalton has thrown for 728 yards, seven touchdowns and just one interception in three games.

Not too shabby.

Add in the fact that the Raiders give up 19.3 fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks per week in standard-scoring leagues (30th in the NFL) and give up 253.2 passing yards per game (23rd in NFL), and you've got yourself a recipe for a big afternoon.

7. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts (Buffalo Bills)

8. Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins (Dallas Cowboys)

9. Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers (New Orleans Saints)*

10. Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys (Washington Redskins)

11. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers (Philadelphia Eagles)

12. Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Atlanta Falcons)

13. Eli Manning, New York Giants (Green Bay Packers

14. Carson Palmer, Oakland Raiders (Cincinnati Bengals)

15. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Buffalo Bills (Indianapolis Colts)


Running Backs

1. Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans (Jacksonville Jaguars)

2. Frank Gore, San Francisco 49ers (New Orleans Saints)

3. Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Atlanta Falcons)

4. Ray Rice, Baltimore Ravens (San Diego Chargers)

5. Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings (Chicago Bears)

6. Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks (Miami Dolphins)

7. Arian Foster, Houston Texans (Detroit Lions)

8. C.J. Spiller, Buffalo Bills (Indianapolis Colts)

While we don't yet know if Fred Jackson will play this week (it seems likely he will), we do know this much: Spiller is the more-threatening player at this point. He deserves the lion's (or Bills') share of the touches.

Despite the time share, he's remained a consistent producer for his fantasy owners all season.

The Colts allow 19.6 fantasy points to opposing running backs per week in standard scoring leagues— 22nd in the NFL—so even if both play, each should be effective. I'm hoping we'll see Spiller take over the majority of the snaps at some point.

However, even if he doesn't, he's still an excellent play for the rest of the season.

9. Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs (Denver Broncos)

10. Matt Forte, Chicago Bears (Minnesota Vikings)

11. Trent Richardson, Cleveland Browns (Pittsburgh Steelers)

12. Ryan Mathews, San Diego Chargers (Baltimore Ravens)

13. Alfred Morris, Washington Redskins (Dallas Cowboys)

14. Ahmad Bradshaw, New York Giants (Green Bay Packers)

15. BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Cincinnati Bengals (Oakland Raiders)

16. Stevan Ridley, New England Patriots (New York Jets)

17. Ronnie Hillman, Denver Broncos (Kansas City Chiefs)

18. Marcel Reece, Oakland Raiders (Cincinnati Bengals)

19. Bryce Brown, Philadelphia Eagles (Carolina Panthers)*

20. Michael Turner, Atlanta Falcons (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

21. Steven Jackson, St. Louis Rams (Arizona Cardinals)

22. Mikel Leshoure, Detroit Lions (Houston Texans)

23. Reggie Bush, Miami Dolphins (Seattle Seahawks)

24. Beanie Wells, Arizona Cardinals (St. Louis Rams)

25. Jalen Parmele, Jacksonville Jaguars (Tennessee Titans)


Wide Receivers

1. A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals (Oakland Raiders)

2. Brandon Marshall, Chicago Bears (Minnesota Vikings)

3. Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys (Washington Redskins)

Can we finally start trusting Dez Bryant as a legitimate WR1 at this point? Has he finally taken the next step?

In the past two weeks, Bryant has had 15 catches for 232 yards and two touchdowns. He's always been a threat in the red zone, but now it seems that Tony Romo is really starting to trust him as his go-to guy.

Against a porous Washington secondary that has been very friendly to opposing fantasy players in the passing game, that could mean huge numbers on Thanksgiving. Here's hoping he carves up the Redskins, yuk yuk.

4. Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions (Houston Texans)

5. Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos (Kansas City Chiefs)

6. Roddy White, Atlanta Falcons (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

7. Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Atlanta Falcons)

8. Andre Johnson, Houston Texans (Detroit Lions)

9. Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis Colts (Buffalo Bills)

10. Wes Welker, New England Patriots (New York Jets)

11. Victor Cruz, New York Giants (Green Bay Packers)

12. Michael Crabtree, San Francisco 49ers (New Orleans Saints)

13. Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers (New York Giants)

14. Percy Harvin, Minnesota Vikings (Chicago Bears)

15. Marques Colston, New Orleans Saints (San Francisco 49ers)

16. Jordy Nelson, Green Bay Packers (New York Giants)

17. Miles Austin, Dallas Cowboys (Washington Redskins)

18. Eric Decker, Denver Broncos (Kansas City Chiefs)

19. Steve Johnson, Buffalo Bills (Indianapolis Colts)

20. Hakeem Nicks, New York Giants (Green Bay Packers)

21. Torrey Smith, Baltimore Ravens (San Diego Chargers)

22. Cecil Shorts, Jacksonville Jaguars (Tennessee Titans)

23. Denarius Moore, Oakland Raiders (Cincinnati Bengals)

24. Sidney Rice, Seattle Seahawks (Miami Dolphins)

25. Steve Smith, Carolina Panthers (Philadelphia Eagles)


Tight Ends

1. Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers (New Orleans Saints)

2. Owen Daniels, Houston Texans (Detroit Lions)

3. Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta Falcons (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

4. Jimmy Graham, New Orleans Saints (San Francisco 49ers)

5. Aaron Hernandez, New England Patriots (New York Jets)

I don't care if Hernandez only sees 25 snaps in this game—with Rob Gronkowski out of action and facing a Jets defense that allows 9.4 fantasy points to opposing tight ends each week in standard-scoring leagues (28th in the NFL), Hernandez should put up big numbers.

Here's what else we know: He's definitely playing, but his role could be limited, as Jason La Confora of CBS reported on Tuesday.

As I reported yesterday Aaron Hernandez scheduled to be active, but limited, on Thursday. Shiancoe in line for targets

— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) November 21, 2012

Limited role or not, you can bet I'll be starting him and expecting big things. When he's on the field, Tom Brady will look his way. What else do you need to know?

6. Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys (Washington Redskins)

7. Jermaine Gresham, Cincinnati Bengals (Oakland Raiders)

8. Brandon Myers, Oakland Raiders (Cincinnati Bengals)

9. Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers (Baltimore Ravens)

10. Jermichael Finley, Green Bay Packers (New York Giants)

11. Heath Miller, Pittsburgh Steelers (Cleveland Browns)

12. Scott Chandler, Buffalo Bills (Indianapolis Colts)

13. Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings (Chicago Bears)

14. Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers (Philadelphia Eagles)

15. Dustin Keller, New York Jets (New England Patriots)


Defense / Special Teams

1. Denver Broncos (Kansas City Chiefs)

No defense has been hotter than the Broncos in the past six weeks. In the team's past five games, the Broncos have managed 80 points in standard-scoring leagues for owners, a neat and tidy 16 points per contest. 

Not even the vaunted Bears defense has mustered those sorts of numbers in its past five games.

Oh, and the Broncos get the dreadful Chiefs this week, which allows an astonishing 14 points to opposing defenses each week—last in the NFL. Expect a huge game for this Broncos defense.

2. Houston Texans (Detroit Lions)

3. Chicago Bears (Minnesota Vikings)

4. Seattle Seahawks (Miami Dolphins)

5. New England Patriots (New York Jets)

6. Arizona Cardinals (St. Louis Rams)

7. Baltimore Ravens (San Diego Chargers)

8. Cincinnati Bengals (Oakland Raiders)

9. Carolina Panthers (Philadelphia Eagles)

10. St. Louis Rams (Arizona Cardinals)


* If player starts.


Hit me up on Twitter—my tweets predict crazy things like Baylor upsets. Seriously.

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