Fantasy Football Week 12 Rankings: Projections and Matchups to Love

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistNovember 24, 2017

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 12:  Todd Gurley #30 of the Los Angeles Rams is seen before the game against the Houston Texans at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on November 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Week 12 of the NFL fantasy football season seems akin to a holiday feast spread this time of year—there's a little something for everyone.

The three-game Thursday slate beat its chest in this regard. Keenan Allen continued his bounce-back campaign with a monster fantasy performance. Philip Rivers announced he was still around. Marvin Jones once again made the Cincinnati Bengals look silly for letting him get away. And Case Keenum continued to be the most surprising football player on the planet.

Chaos seems likely to continue into Sunday and Monday, when more divisional games and high-scoring matchups await. Here's a look at projections for each position based on Yahoo standard leagues.

         

Week 12 Schedule

Buffalo at Kansas City

Carolina at N.Y. Jets

Chicago at Philadelphia 

Cleveland at Cincinnati

Miami at New England 

Tampa Bay at Atlanta

Tennessee at Indianapolis

Seattle  at San Francisco 

Denver at Oakland 

Jacksonville at Arizona

New Orleans at L.A. Rams 

Green Bay at Pittsburgh 

Houston at Baltimore 

         

Quarterbacks

PlayerProjected Points
Tom Brady20
Russell Wilson20
Carson Wentz19
Cam Newton18
Andy Dalton17
Drew Brees17
Alex Smith16
Matt Ryan15
Marcus Mariota15
Jared Goff14
Ben Roethlisberger14
Tyrod Taylor13
Jacoby Brissett12
Derek Carr12
Joe Flacco12
Author's projections. *If he plays.

It's a Russell Wilson and Andy Dalton sort of week.

The Seattle Seahawks quarterback looks like he's locked into the best matchup of the slate, once again getting the San Francisco 49ers. He faced the same defense back in Week 2 and only posted 15.32 points, but he's adapted to the iffy surroundings and exploded lately.

Wilson has posted 25 or more points in four of his past five outings and shouldn't have a problem making it five in six against a 49ers defense allowing the fourth-most points to opposing quarterbacks on average this season.

Speaking of favorable matchups, the Cincinnati Bengals quarterback happens to own his AFC North rival. Dalton posted his best game of the year back in Week 4 on the road against the Cleveland Browns, tossing four scores on the way to 28.34 points.

While he hasn't been as impressive as of late, he's coming off five touchdowns over his past two games to face a Browns defense allowing the 12th-most points to the spot.

           

Running Backs

PlayerProjected Points
Le'Veon Bell18
Todd Gurley18
Mark Ingram18
Kareem Hunt18
LeSean McCoy17
Leonard Fournette17
Alvin Kamara17
Carlos Hyde15
DeMarco Murray14
Lamar Miller13
Tevin Coleman12
Jordan Howard12
Christian McCaffrey11
Dion Lewis11
Joe Mixon11
Jay Ajayi11
Alex Collins11
Damien Williams11
Doug Martin10
Devontae Booker10
Rex Burkhead9
Jamaal Williams9
Adrian Peterson9
Marshawn Lynch8
Derrick Henry8
Author's projections. *If he plays.

It's understandable if fantasy owners are up and down on a guy like Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley.

After all, the 23-year-old only has a total of about 24 points over his past two outings, which is what a lot of people have come to expect from him in most games outright. Before that stretch, he had 20 or more in two straight and five times overall.

Fret not—Gurley should get back to his normal ways against the New Orleans Saints Sunday. It's a unit that coughs up the 13th-most points to backs, but more importantly, Gurley should see plenty of work as the Rams try to keep a Drew Brees-led offense off the field.

Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

It's a similar story for Kareem Hunt of the Kansas City Chiefs, an explosive player who has somehow scored in single digits three weeks in a row. That's a shame considering he started the season with outputs of 40.6, 22.9 and 24.3 points.

If Hunt is going to get back to his early-season form, it will happen in Week 12 against a Buffalo Bills defense surrendering the second-most points to backs. Usage hasn't been a problem with Hunt, who is one week removed from 18 carries, so perhaps all it takes is the right matchup.

             

Wide Receivers

PlayerProjected Points
Antonio Brown17
A.J. Green16
Julio Jones*16
Brandin Cooks16
Jarvis Landry15
DeAndre Hopkins14
Mike Evans14
Doug Baldwin14
Michael Thomas13
Alshon Jeffery13
T.Y. Hilton12
Devin Funchess12
Tyreek Hill12
JuJu Smith-Schuster11
Demaryius Thomas11
Larry Fitzgerald11
Michael Crabtree11
Robby Anderson11
Rishard Matthews11
Davante Adams10
Emmanuel Sanders10
Cooper Kupp10
Amari Cooper9
Mohamed Sanu8
Sammy Watkins8
Devante Parker8
DeSean Jackson8
Kenny Stills8
Corey Davis8
Marqise Lee7
Author's projections. *If he plays.

It sounds silly to point out that Atlanta Falcons wideout Julio Jones should have a big week considering the fact he's Julio Jones.

But look at it this way: Jones has seven single-digit outings this year and a high of 15.9 points. Over his past six games, Jones has hit double digits only twice.

Still, he is a guy to know Sunday because he's a big bounce-back candidate against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, an NFC South rival allowing the second-most points to wideouts on the season. Better late than never for Jones owners to get a huge game from him, right?

SEATTLE, WA - NOVEMBER 20: Wide receiver Julio Jones #11 of the Atlanta Falcons brings in a 29 yard pass against cornerback Jeremy Lane #20 of the Seattle Seahawks in the fourth quarter of the game at CenturyLink Field on November 20, 2017 in Seattle, Was
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Miami Dolphins wideout Jarvis Landry is also one of the bigger gambles each gameweek despite his role as one of the league's bigger target hogs. He has double-digit targets in eight games this year yet double-digit points in five.

Landry is on a tear, though, boasting a touchdown in three straight games, surviving iffy quarterback play and showing owners he's a great option in a solid matchup.

Said solid matchup comes in Week 12, as he takes on a New England Patriots defense permitting the fourth-most points to wideouts. He's going to see a ton of looks as the Dolphins try to keep pace with a guy named Tom Brady.

             

Tight Ends

PlayerProjected Points
Rob Gronkowski11
Delanie Walker11
Jared Cook10
Jimmy Graham9
Travis Kelce9
Zach Ertz9
Jack Doyle8
Greg Olsen8
Tyler Kroft7
Austin Seferian-Jenkins7
Austin Hooper7
Charles Clay7
Cameron Brate7
C.J. Fiedorowicz6
Adam Shaheen6
Author's projections. *If he plays.

Quietly, Tennessee Titans tight end Delanie Walker has been one of football's most remarkable players this year.

Walker has battled constant injuries and struggling quarterback play to emerge as a top option. Over his past three games since a bye, he has a minimum of 6.3 points on at least five targets per game. It doesn't sound like much, but a solid floor at tight end this year is rare to find.

It also means booming upside in the right matchup, which Walker has thanks to a date against the Indianapolis Colts, a team allowing the 10th-most points to the position.

NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 12:  Delanie Walker #82 of the Tennessee Titans signals to the referee during a game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Nissan Stadium on November 12, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee.  The Titans defeated the Bengals 24-20.  (Photo by
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

It's a similar story for Jared Cook with the Oakland Raiders. He's had a strong year and receives consistent usage in a poor offense, boasting at least five targets in nine games this year.

Consistency like that means big upside in a solid matchup, which Cook has against the Denver Broncos. It may sound like a tough situation, but those Broncos allow the second-most points to tight ends, and the offense targeted Cook eight times when he last lined up against them.

          

Defense/Special Teams

UnitProjected Points
Jacksonville Jaguars12
Cincinnati Bengals11
Seattle Seahawks9
Pittsburgh Steelers9
Philadelphia Eagles8
Baltimore Ravens7
Carolina Panthers7
New England Patriots7
Kansas City Chiefs6
Atlanta Falcons6
Author's projections

It's all about the Bengals in Week 12.

Well, it's all about the Browns. Cincinnati has a solid defense sitting on 29 sacks and seven interceptions while holding every opponent under 30 points this year.

But Cleveland is the main talking point here. The Browns cough up the most points to opposing defenses on average by a huge margin, including six double-digit outings. This includes highs of 17, 18 and 22 points—not to mention 25 points in Week 11.

Given Cincinnati's ability to rush the passer at home, the Bengals could be another 20-plus performer.

            

Kickers

PlayerProjected Points
Stephen Gostkowski10
Harrison Butker10
Chris Boswell9
Greg Zuerlein9
Justin Tucker8
Chris Boswell7
Wil Lutz7
Matt Bryant7
Ryan Succop6
Blair Walsh6
Author's projections

It isn't hard to find a quality kicking game in Week 12, though owners in need should make a point to target Chris Boswell of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

He's a hot commodity coming off a 19-point performance, to say the least. The real story with Boswell, though, might be the fact he's scored seven or more points in seven games this year—a hint he will have huge days in great matchups.

Week 12 is another for Boswell, who should be kicking often in a trap game against the Green Bay Packers—owners of a unit giving up the sixth-most points to opposing kickers.

             

All scoring info, points-against info and ownership stats courtesy of Yahoo standard leagues.