Week 12 Fantasy Football Rankings: Updated Look at Top Players at Every Position

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Week 12 Fantasy Football Rankings: Updated Look at Top Players at Every Position
Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

For most fantasy football owners, Week 12 marks the "do-or-die" portion of the season, which makes choosing the right players to start on a weekly basis a critical exercise. For those who struggle in this regard, positional power rankings are a useful tool that can help you get over the top. 

There are some players like Peyton Manning, Calvin Johnson and Jamaal Charles who are weekly must-start players, and you'll usually find these men atop the rankings.

But other players who aren't as consistent—such as Eddie Royal, Zac Stacy and Geno Smith—have emerged as top-10 players often enough to warrant consideration for a starting spot.

Taking into account individual matchups and recent trends, this is one man's interpretation of how the top players will stack up at every position at the conclusion of Week 12. 

Note: All point totals for standard-scoring leagues (ESPN). Points against stats (ESPN). The Buffalo Bills, Philadelphia Eagles, Cincinnati Bengals and Seattle Seahawks are on bye. 

 

Quarterbacks

Week 12 Fantasy Rankings: Quarterbacks
Rank Player Team Opponent Proj. Points
1 Drew Brees New Orleans Saints Atlanta Falcons 30
2 Peyton Manning Denver Broncos New England Patriots 28
3 Matt Stafford Detroit Lions Tampa Bay Buccaneers 26
4 Tom Brady New England Patriots Denver Broncos 23
5 Tony Romo Dallas Cowboys New York Giants 21
6 Andrew Luck Indianapolis Colts Arizona Cardinals 19
7 Cam Newton Carolina Panthers Miami Dolphins 18
8 Colin Kaepernick San Francisco 49ers Washington 17
9 Robert Griffin III Washington San Francisco 49ers 15
10 Alex Smith Kansas City Chiefs San Diego Chargers 14

Author

Drew Brees tops the list this week, as his New Orleans Saints head into Atlanta to take on the hapless Falcons. He's scored 30-plus points in two of his last four games, and the Falcons have allowed over 17 fantasy points to quarterbacks in every game but two this season. 

Both Tom Brady and Peyton Manning should be due for big nights when they play against one another on Sunday Night Football. Both the New England Patriots and Denver Broncos have given up significant point totals to opposing quarterbacks this year, and these two always bring out the best in one another.

Peter Aiken/Getty Images

With Russell Wilson, Nick Foles and Andy Dalton out this weekend on byes, fantasy owners will be scrambling to find their temporary replacements. Thankfully, there are a few worthy sleepers for this job such as Alex Smith, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Ben Roethlisberger.

 

Running Backs

Week 12 Fantasy Rankings: Running Backs
Rank Player Team Opponent Projected Points
1 Zac Stacy St. Louis Rams Chicago Bears 25
2 Adrian Peterson Minnesota Vikings Green Bay Packers 23
3 Frank Gore San Francisco 49ers Washington 21
4 Jamaal Charles Kansas City Chiefs San Diego Chargers 20
5 Matt Forte Chicago Bears St. Louis Rams 20
6 Ben Tate Houston Texans Jacksonville Jaguars 19
7 Eddie Lacy Green Bay Packers Minnesota Vikings 15
8 Knowshon Moreno Denver Broncos New England Patriots 14
9 Rashad Jennings Oakland Raiders Tennessee Titans 13
10 Chris Johnson Tennessee Titans Oakland Raiders 13

Author

A couple of NFC West studs have a prime opportunity for monster games this weekend. 

Zac Stacy and the St. Louis Rams take on the Chicago Bears, which have allowed more fantasy points to opposing running backs than every team in the league but two. Frank Gore and the San Francisco 49ers are headed to Washington this Sunday, and the Redskins are one of those teams. 

Michael Regan/Getty Images

Also, look for Ben Tate to have a big game at home against the hapless Jacksonville Jaguars. 

Those who've been relying on Marshawn Lynch and LeSean McCoy to carry the load will need to find a replacement this week, and that's no easy task, considering their lofty production this season. Donald Brown and Pierre Thomas are a couple of worthy backs for your consideration.

 

Wide Receivers

Week 12 Fantasy Rankings: Wide Receivers
Rank Player Team Opponent Proj. Points
1 Victor Cruz New York Giants Dallas Cowboys 28
2 Calvin Johnson Detroit Lions Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27
3 Vincent Jackson Tampa Bay Buccaneers Detroit Lions 25
4 Dez Bryant Dallas Cowboys New York Giants 22
5 Brandon Marshall Chicago Bears St. Louis Rams 20
6 Demaryius Thomas Denver Broncos New England Patriots 18
7 Jordy Nelson Green Bay Packers Minnesota Vikings 17
8 Josh Gordon Cleveland Browns Pittsburgh Steelers 15
9 Larry Fitzgerald Arizona Cardinals Indianapolis Colts 14
10 Marques Colston New Orleans Saints Atlanta Falcons 13

Author

Victor Cruz is going to get a couple of opportunities to get his salsa dance going against the pitiful secondary of the Dallas Cowboys. He scored 29 points in Week 1 against this team, catching five passes for 118 yards and three touchdowns, and the Cowboys have actually gotten progressively worse since that time. 

To nobody's surprise, Calvin Johnson is among the top receivers this weekend. He's caught seven touchdowns in the past four games while being double and triple teamed on most plays. 

Vincent Jackson will continue his fine play against the Detroit Lions—the second-worst fantasy defense in the NFL against receivers. 

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

For those owners in need of help while A.J. Green, DeSean Jackson, Riley Cooper and Percy Harvin sit the week out on byes, there are a few worthy players to consider: Jerricho Cotchery, Cecil Shorts and Nate Burleson could be the answer you've been looking for. 

 

Tight Ends

Week 12 Fantasy Rankings: Tight Ends
Rank Player Team Opponent Proj. Points
1 Jimmy Graham New Orleans Saints Atlanta Falcons 20
2 Rob Gronkowski New England Patriots Denver Broncos 17
3 Julius Thomas Denver Broncos New England Patriots 16
4 Vernon Davis San Francisco 49ers Washington 15
5 Coby Fleener Indianapolis Colts Arizona Cardinals 14
6 Jason Witten Dallas Cowboys New York Giants 12
7 Tony Gonzalez Atlanta Falcons New Orleans Saints 12
8 Rob Housler Arizona Cardinals Indianapolis Colts 10
9 Delanie Walker Tennessee Titans Oakland Raiders 9
10 Jordan Cameron Cleveland Browns Pittsburgh Steelers 9

Author

Jimmy Graham and Rob Gronkowski are going to top this list most weeks, and Week 12 is no different. The Falcons have no chance of stopping Graham, given the injuries sustained to the team's linebacking corps, and Denver features the league's sixth-worst fantasy defense against tight ends. 

Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Coby Fleener could have a monster game for the Indianapolis Colts against the Arizona Cardinals. He's coming off a big game against the Tennessee Titans (eight catches for 107 yards), and the Cardinals feature the league's worst fantasy defense against tight ends. 

Of the teams on a bye this weekend, there aren't any real superstar tight ends, but if you need a substitute, here are a few players to think about: Rob Housler, Heath Miller and Greg Olsen.

 

Defense

Week 12 Fantasy Rankings: Defense
Rank Team Opponent Proj. Points
1 Carolina Panthers Miami Dolphins 16
2 Houston Texans Jacksonville Jaguars 15
3 San Francisco 49ers Washington 17
4 Tennessee Titans Oakland Raiders 17
5 Kansas City Chiefs San Diego Chargers 15
6 Baltimore Ravens New York Jets 14
7 New Orleans Saints Atlanta Falcons 12
8 St. Louis Rams Chicago Bears 10
9 New York Jets Baltimore Ravens 9
10 Miami Dolphins Carolina Panthers 8

Author

It's hard to bet against Carolina's defense right now. The Panthers have allowed just 12.8 points per game in their last five contests, and the team's defensive line has really ramped up pass-rushing efforts of late. 

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sport

Houston's defense should have a field day against the Jaguars, and you can expect the Baltimore Ravens and New York Jets to beat up one another in an ugly defensive struggle. 

 

Kickers

Week 12 Fantasy Rankings: Kickers
Rank Player Team Opponent Proj. Points
1 Matt Prater Denver Broncos New England Patriots 15
2 Stephen Gostkowski New England Patriots Denver Broncos 14
3 Ryan Succop Kansas City Chiefs San Diego Chargers 13
4 Mason Crosby Green Bay Packers Minnesota Vikings 12
5 Garrett Hartley New Orleans Saints Atlanta Falcons 12
6 Dan Bailey Dallas Cowboys New York Giants 11
7 Robbie Gould Chicago Bears St. Louis Rams 10
8 Adam Vinatieri Indianapolis Colts Arizona Cardinals 9
9 Shaun Suisham Pittsburgh Steelers Cleveland Browns 8
10 Justin Tucker Baltimore Ravens New York Jets 8

Author

You can't go wrong with either Matt Prater or Stephen Gostkowski this Sunday night when the Broncos and Patriots kick off. 

Kansas City's Ryan Succop should also have a big game at home against the San Diego Chargers. The Chiefs do a nice job moving the ball on offense between the 20s, and the Chargers haven't been able to stop anybody this year. 

 

Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78

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