Week 12 Fantasy Football Rankings: Top 20 Players at Every Position
It's Thanksgiving week, and that means a couple of things for fantasy football enthusiasts.
First, with three games on tap on for Thursday, fantasy owners are faced with a short week in which to set their lineups, so decisions on some players need to be made much more quickly than usual.
Second, the fantasy playoffs are just around the corner, and that means that there's no margin for error when it comes to setting those lineups this week, as one more loss will all but end the postseason dreams of many fantasy squads.
So in order to help you get a much-needed Week 12 win, here's a look at the top 20 players at every position in point-per-reception (PPR) fantasy football leagues.
Aaron Rodgers and the Top 20 Quarterbacks
If there's one thing that many fantasy owners have to be thankful for this year—at least those who spent an early pick on a quarterback—it's the recent play of Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Over the past five games, the eighth-year pro has tossed 17 touchdown passes against only two interceptions, and there's no reason to think that won't continue Sunday night against the New York Giants' 25th-ranked pass defense.
1. Aaron Rodgers - GB at NYG
2. Matt Ryan - ATL at TB
3. Peyton Manning - DEN at KC
4. Drew Brees - NO vs. SF
5. Tom Brady - NE at NYJ
6. Tony Romo - DAL vs. WAS
7. Carson Palmer - OAK at CIN
8. Cam Newton - CAR at PHI
9. Robert Griffin III - WAS at DAL
10. Matthew Stafford - DET vs. HOU
11. Andrew Luck - IND vs. BUF
12. Eli Manning - NYG vs. GB
13. Andy Dalton - CIN vs. OAK
14. Colin Kaepernick - SF at NO
15. Josh Freeman - TB vs. ATL
16. Matt Schaub - HOU at DET
17. Philip Rivers - SD vs. BAL
18. Ryan Fitzpatrick - BUF at IND
19. Chad Henne - JAX vs. TEN
20. Russell Wilson - SEA at MIA
Adrian Peterson and the Top 20 Running Backs
Granted, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has a tough matchup this week with a Chicago Bears defense that ranks eighth in the NFL against the run and has allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs in 2012.
However, the sixth-year pro leads the NFL in rushing, is averaging a career-high 5.8 yards per carry and has averaged over 150 rushing yards and 1.5 touchdowns over the past four games, so frankly I don't care how bad his matchup is.
All day, baby.
1. Adrian Peterson - MIN at CHI
2. Arian Foster - HOU at DET
3. Doug Martin - TB vs. ATL
4. Frank Gore - SF at NO
5. Ray Rice - BAL at SD
6. Chris Johnson - TEN at JAX
7. Matt Forte - CHI vs. MIN
8. C.J. Spiller - BUF at IND
9. Marshawn Lynch - SEA at MIA
10. Trent Richardson - CLE vs. PIT
11. Marcel Reece - OAK at CIN
12. Jamaal Charles - KC vs. DEN
13. Alfred Morris - WAS at DAL
14. Steven Jackson - STL at ARI
15. Jalen Parmele - JAX vs. TEN
16. Stevan Ridley - NE at NYJ
17. Ryan Mathews - SD vs. BAL
18. Ronnie Hillman - DEN at KC
19. Ahmad Bradshaw - NYG vs. GB
20. BenJarvus Green-Ellis - CIN vs. OAK
Calvin Johnson and the Top 20 Wide Receivers
One of the traditions on Thanksgiving is plopping down in front of the television to watch the Detroit Lions play, and for many fantasy owners, that means they'll have the chance to see their top wide receiver in action.
Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson has feasted on Thanksgiving in the past, scoring in four of five career games. And given that "Megatron" has averaged over 150 yards a game the past three weeks, the 27-year-old should it make it five out of six this year.
1. Calvin Johnson - DET vs. HOU
2. A.J. Green - CIN vs. OAK
3. Roddy White - ATL at TB
4. Reggie Wayne - IND vs. BUF
5. Wes Welker - NE at NYJ
6. Brandon Marshall - CHI vs. MIN
7. Victor Cruz - NYG vs. GB
8. Dez Bryant - DAL vs. WAS
9. Andre Johnson - HOU at DET
10. Demaryius Thomas - DEN at KC
11. Randall Cobb - GB at NYG
12. Marques Colston - NO vs. SF
13. Vincent Jackson - TB vs. ATL
14. Julio Jones - ATL at TB
15. Steve Johnson - BUF at IND
16. Miles Austin - DAL vs. WAS
17. Jordy Nelson - GB at NYG
18. Eric Decker - DEN at KC
19. Torrey Smith - BAL at SD
20. Michael Crabtree - SF at NO
Jason Witten and the Top 20 Tight Ends
With Rob Gronkowski of the New England Patriots out with a broken arm, the tight-end position has been cast into chaos! Up is down! Right is Left! The Kansas City Chiefs are good!
Okay, maybe I got a little carried away.
Gronkowski's injury does add quite a bit more fluidity to the top of the tight-end rankings, and this week, the top spot belongs to Jason Witten of the Cowboys, who should thrive in a very favorable fantasy matchup with the Washington Redskins.
1. Jason Witten - DAL vs. WAS
2. Jimmy Graham - NO vs. SF
3. Tony Gonzalez - ATL at TB
4. Vernon Davis - SF at NO
5. Owen Daniels - HOU at DET
6. Aaron Hernandez - NE at NYJ
7. Jermaine Gresham - CIN vs. OAK
8. Brandon Myers - OAK at CIN
9. Greg Olsen - CAR at PHI
10. Brandon Pettigrew - DET vs. HOU
11. Antonio Gates - SD vs. BAL
12. Jermichael Finley - GB at NYG
13. Scott Chandler - BUF at IND
14. Martellus Bennett - NYG vs. GB
15. Dustin Keller - NYJ vs. NE
16. Brent Celek - PHI vs. CAR
17. Tony Moeaki - KC vs. DEN
18. Kyle Rudolph - MIN at CHI
19. Jared Cook - TEN at JAX
20. Heath Miller - PIT at CLE
Stephen Gostkowski and the Top 20 Kickers
It's no big surprise given that he plays on one of the NFL's most prolific offenses, but Stephen Gostkoski is the second-highest scoring kicker in fantasy football to this point in the season and is one of only two players at his position averaging double digits in fantasy points per game.
That's as good a reason as any to give Gostkowski the top spot, plus the fact that fantasy owners can watch him play on Thanksgiving night right after that fifth slice of pie.
1. Stephen Gostkowski - NE at NYJ
2. Lawrence Tynes - NYG vs. GB
3. Shayne Graham - HOU at DET
4. Mike Nugent - CIN vs. OAK
5. Matt Prater - DEN at KC
6. Adam Vinatieri - IND vs. BUF
7. David Akers - SF at NO
8. Dan Bailey - DAL vs. WAS
9. Garrett Hartley - NO vs. SF
10. Jason Hanson - DET vs. HOU
11. Matt Bryant - ATL at TB
12. Sebastian Janikowski - OAK at CIN
13. Mason Crosby - GB at NYG
14. Rian Lindell - BUF at IND
15. Shaun Suisham - PIT at CLE
16. Justin Tucker - BAL at SD
17. Greg Zuerlein - STL at ARI
18. Connor Barth - TB vs. ATL
19. Rob Bironas - TEN at JAX
20. Nick Novak - SD vs. BAL
Denver Broncos and the Top 20 Defenses
I've said it before, but I'll say it again. In fantasy football, picking a team defense is all about the matchups.
With that said, the Denver Broncos have been a top-five fantasy defense this season and face a Kansas City Chiefs team that leads the NFL in both giveaways and fantasy points allowed to team defenses.
1. Denver Broncos - DEN at KC
2. Chicago Bears - CHI vs. MIN
3. Minnesota Vikings - MIN at CHI
4. Seattle Seahawks - SEA at MIA
5. New England Patriots - NE at NYJ
6. Cleveland Browns - CLE vs. PIT
7. Cincinnati Bengals - CIN vs. OAK
8. Pittsburgh Steelers - PIT at CLE
9. St. Louis Rams - STL at ARI
10. Arizona Cardinals - ARI vs. STL
11. Houston Texans - HOU at DET
12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - TB vs. ATL
13. Baltimore Ravens - BAL at SD
14. Tennessee Titans - TEN at JAX
15. San Francisco 49ers - SF at NO
16. New York Giants - NYG vs. GB
17. Carolina Panthers - CAR at PHI
18. Dallas Cowboys - DAL vs. WAS
19. Philadelphia Eagles - PHI vs. CAR
20. New Orleans Saints - NO vs. SF