Fantasy

Week 12 Fantasy Football Rankings: Highlighting Most Trustworthy Offensive Stars

GREEN BAY, WI - NOVEMBER 04: Matt Forte #22 of the Chicago Bears runs with the football before getting tackled by M.D. Jennings #43 of the Green Bay Packers during the second half of play at Lambeau Field on November 04, 2013 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)
Mike McGinnis/Getty Images
Andrew GouldFeatured ColumnistNovember 22, 2013

Fantasy football owners spend the majority of the week dumpster diving for waiver-wire additions that can win their matchup while showing off their managerial savvy.

That's great, as long as those gamers don't overlook and bungle the easier choices.

Most owners have just two weeks before the playoffs commence, so now is the worst possible time to sit a star in favor of the flashy sleeper. Before delving into the tougher decisions, it's imperative to identify the week's top stars.

Our friends playing in weekly leagues will also benefit greatly from exploring the top-10 rankings at each position. So let's jump into the madness.

 

 

Quarterbacks

Week 12 QB Rankings
RankPlayerMatchup
1Peyton ManningNew England Patriots
2Tom Bradyat Denver Broncos
3Matthew StaffordTampa Bay Buccaneers
4Cam Newtonat Miami Dolphins
5Tony Romoat New York Giants
6Colin Kaepernickat Washington Redskins
7Andrew Luckat Arizona Cardinals
8Eli ManningDallas Cowboys
9Mike Glennonat Detroit Lions
10Case KeenumJacksonville Jaguars
Author's rankings

Tom Brady is coming off a close Monday night loss, and the New England Patriots are facing his nemesis in Peyton Manning. Brady is going to explode on Sunday night.

More important than his mission for vengeance, the Broncos allow 279.1 passing yards per game. Also, Brady has gained 828 passing yards, five touchdowns and a 71.2 completion percentage in his last two games. With Rob Gronkowski back by his side, look for Brady to finish the season strong.

FOXBORO, MA - NOVEMBER 3: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots reacts to the cheers of fans as he runs onto the field before a game with the Pittsburgh Steelers at Gillette Stadium on November 3, 2013 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/G
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Eli Manning is playing like the confused amateur whom fans wanted out of town before accumulating two Super Bowl rings, but fantasy owners must hold back their disgust and jump back on board this weekend. The Cowboys allow a league-high 329.9 passing yards and 21.4 fantasy points per game against opposing quarterbacks, and Manning registered 450 yards and four touchdowns during their earlier meeting.

For the daring owner needing to replace Russell Wilson or Nick Foles, Mike Glennon is going up against the NFL's No. 30 passing defense that made Ben Roethlisberger last week's premier fantasy quarterback. The rookie has thrown a touchdown in every game, most recently completing 20 out of his 23 passing attempts with two scores against the Atlanta Falcons.

 

 

Running Backs

Week 12 RB Rankings
RankPlayerMatchup
1Matt ForteSt. Louis Rams
2Jamaal CharlesSan Diego Chargers
3Adrian Petersonat Green Bay Packers
4Eddie LacyMinnesota Vikings
5Frank Goreat Washington Redskins
6Zac StacyChicago Bears
7Andre BrownDallas Cowboys
8Alfred MorrisSan Francisco 49ers
9Rashad JenningsTennessee Titans
10Reggie BushTampa Bay Buccaneers
Author's rankings

The Bears and Rams are both repugnant against the run, so expect that matchup to consist of heavy handoffs. Matt Forte and Zac Stacy are both strong bets to scoop up plenty of yards on Sunday.

Washington and Tennessee have each surrendered a baker's dozen rushing touchdowns against the opposition. After an off week, Frank Gore should rediscover his hot hand for San Francisco.

Nov 10, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA;  Oakland Raiders running back Rashad Jennings (27) tries to get away from New York Giants outside linebacker Keith Rivers (55) during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sport
Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

With 431 total yards through his last three games, Rashad Jennings has earned his touches regardless of Darren McFadden's availability. But come on, are you really counting on McFadden getting healthy?

Remember that part about the Cowboys stinking against the pass? They also stink against the run. Their 22.3 points allowed against running backs also represents a career worst. Andre Brown has already notched 212 yards from scrimmage through two games.

 

 

Wide Receivers

Week 12 WR Rankings
RankPlayerMatchup
1Calvin JohnsonTampa Bay Buccaneers
2Brandon Marshallat St. Louis Rams
3Dez Bryantat New York Giants
4Vincent Jacksonat Tampa Bay Buccaneers
5Andre JohnsonJacksonville Jaguars
6Victor CruzDallas Cowboys
7Jordy NelsonMinnesota Vikings
8Demaryius ThomasNew England Patriots
9Alshon Jefferyat St. Louis Rams
10Antonio Brownat Cleveland Browns
Author's rankings

Victor Cruz and Jordy Nelson are both facing defenses they torched earlier in the season. 

Cruz opened the season with 118 receiving yards and three touchdowns against Dallas, but he has since put on his dancing shoes just once to salsa in the end zone. The Giants have operated conservatively against vanilla opponents, but they'll have to open up the passing game with Tony Romo, Dez Bryant and Jason Witten on the other side. 

Nelson earned seven receptions for 123 yards and two touchdowns against the Vikings. Aaron Rodgers isn't feeding him this time around, but he has caught 14 passes for 173 yards in two weeks without his star quarterback.

Also, Calvin Johnson is still awesome. 

 

 

Tight Ends

Week 12 TE Rankings
RankPlayerMatchup
1Rob Gronkowskiat Denver Broncos
2Julius ThomasNew England Patriots
3Vernon Davisat Washington Redskins
4Jason Wittenat New York Giants
5Coby Fleenerat Arizona Cardinals
6Greg Olsenat Miami Dolphins
7Delanie Walkerat Oakland Raiders
8Garrett GrahamJacksonville Jaguars
9Antonio Gatesat Kansas City Chiefs
10Jordan CameronPittsburgh Steelers
Author's rankings

Due to an alluring matchup against Denver and Jimmy Graham's Saints taking the Thursday night shift, Rob Gronkowski returns to the warm, cushy No. 1 ranking at tight end. 

NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 14:  Coby Fleener#12 of the Indianapolis Colts runs with the ball during the game against the Tennessee Titans at LP Field on November 14, 2013 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Cardinals allow 14.0 points per game against opposing tight ends, with the Jaguars coming in at No. 2 at 10.6. Coby Fleener didn't need help morphing into a fantasy starter after recording 107 yards last week, but he's got it. As expected, he's becoming a bigger part of the Colts offense in Reggie Wayne's absence. He's received 10 targets in each of his last two outings, making him a focal option for Andrew Luck.

If you see any strange Twitter updates about Vernon Davis suffering a leg injury, don't be alarmed. They're either referencing the season-ending episode of The League or trying to mimic the show's scheme to trick an opponent into thinking the tight end was hurt. He's ready and playing a Washington defense that has yielded seven touchdowns to opposing tight ends.

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