Fantasy Football Week 12 Rankings: Flex and PPR Outlook for Each Position

Richard Janvrin@@RichardJanvrinFeatured ColumnistNovember 25, 2017

PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 16: Le'Veon Bell #26 of the Pittsburgh Steelers carries the ball as he stiff arms Adoree' Jackson #25 of the Tennessee Titans in the second half during the game at Heinz Field on November 16, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

We're a couple of days removed from Thanksgiving, so it's time to get back to work and make Week 12 count, as the NFL fantasy football playoffs are upon us.

We saw three games on Thanksgiving Day, giving us a Sunday slate that is similar to when teams still had bye weeks, with 12 games on Sunday and, of course, Monday Night Football.

Hopefully you were able to come out of Thanksgiving with a satisfied appetite and some solid fantasy points.

Here, we will look at some rankings for each position as well as offer some key analysis that could help you decide between who to start and sit this week.

Let's take a look, starting with the quarterbacks.

           

Quarterbacks

1. Tom Brady, NE vs. MIA

2. Carson Wentz, PHI vs. CHI

3. Russell Wilson, SEA at SF

4. Cam Newton, CAR at NYJ

5. Matt Ryan, ATL vs. TB

6. Marcus Mariota, TEN at IND

7. Drew Brees, NO at LAR

8. Ben Roethlisberger, PIT vs. GB

9. Alex Smith, KC vs. BUF

10. Andy Dalton, CIN vs. CLE

         

The clear-cut, top dog on this slate is Tom Brady against the Miami Dolphins. 

As we head into Sunday, the Patriots are 17-point favorites at home against the Fish.

Seventeen.

That means the Patriots will be able to score at will against the Dolphins—not that you needed the overwhelming spread to know that, but it reiterates what we already know.

Brady has been on fire lately, with back-to-back three touchdown games.

Expect another one here. A big day for Brady is ahead.

            

Running Backs

1. Le'Veon Bell, PIT vs. GB

2. Leonard Fournette, JAC at ARI

3. Mark Ingram, NO at LAR

4. LeSean McCoy, BUF at KC

5. Alvin Kamara, NO at LAR

6. Todd Gurley, LAR vs. NO

7. Kareem Hunt, KC vs. BUF

8. Christian McCaffrey, CAR at NYJ

9. Carlos Hyde, SF vs. SEA

10. Tevin Coleman, ATL vs. TB

11. DeMarco Murray, TEN at IND

12. Lamar Miller, HOU at BAL

13. Joe Mixon, CIN vs. CLE

14. Jordan Howard, CHI at PHI

15. Jay Ajayi, PHI vs. CHI

16. Dion Lewis, NE vs. MIA

17. Duke Johnson, CLE at CIN

18. Adrian Peterson, ARI vs. JAC

19. Alex Collins, BAL vs. HOU

20. Damien Williams, MIA at NE

21. Rex Burkhead, NE vs. MIA

22. Jamaal Williams, GB at PIT

23. Bilal Powell, NYJ vs. CAR

24. Doug Martin, TB at ATL

25. Danny Woodhead, BAL vs. HOU

          

As you'll see in the next set of players, the Steelers skill guys are going to lead their respective positions this week.

For Le'Veon Bell and the Steelers, it's just a matter of how much damage the 25-year-old will do against the Packers.

The Steelers should get up by enough in this game where they just want to get out of dodge without too many cuts and bruises. Thus, they'll let Bell and even fellow running back James Conner run the clock out.

Bell will get 30 or more touches here—expect a huge day.

         

Flex Advice

One of the more interesting tidbits from Week 11 was the Denver Broncos backfield. In their loss to the Bengals, running back Devontae Booker—not C.J. Anderson—led the backfield in touches, with Booker getting 19 compared to Anderson's 15.

On 19 touches, Booker totaled 98 yards, but Anderson was the one who scored the touchdown.

This is starting to look like we could have a timeshare in Denver.

Booker has been in-and-out the fantasy spotlight over the past couple of years, and it appears he has returned.

Should he continue to split carries with Anderson, he'll have value this week against a weak Raiders defense.

If you own Booker, he's an excellent flex play if you're up for a bit of risk.

          

PPR Advice

It's time to look back at Duke Johnson here. Known primarily for his pass-catching abilities, Johnson caught a touchdown just one week ago against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Going up against the Cincinnati Bengals, the Browns have almost no shot here. Between their own defensive struggles, the offensive weapons the Bengals have and the Bengals defense, the Browns are looking at yet another loss.

As a result, Johnson will be a garbage time hero and get a chance to help the Browns move the ball and be there for quarterback DeShone Kizer to dump the ball off.

Expect four-five receptions from Johnson, and don't be shocked if he finds the end zone again.

            

Wide Receivers

1. Antonio Brown, PIT vs. GB

2. A.J. Green, CIN vs. CLE

3. Julio Jones, ATL vs. TB

4. Michael Thomas, NO at LAR

5. Doug Baldwin, SEA at SF

6. Mike Evans, TB at ATL

7. Brandin Cooks, NE vs. MIA

8. Tyreek Hill, KC vs. BUF

9. Jarvis Landry, MIA at NE

10. DeAndre Hopkins, HOU at BAL

11. Larry Fitzgerald, ARI vs. JAC

12. T.Y. Hilton, IND vs. TEN

13. Alshon Jeffery, PHI vs. CHI

14. Demaryius Thomas, DEN at OAK

15. Devin Funchess, CAR at NYJ

16. Michael Crabtree, OAK vs. DEN

17. Robby Anderson, NYJ vs. CAR

18. Corey Davis, TEN at IND

19. Davante Adams, GB at PIT

20. Jeremy Maclin, BAL vs. HOU

21. Amari Cooper, OAK vs. DEN

22. Cooper Kupp, LAR vs. NO

23. Mohamed Sanu, ATL vs. TB

24. Corey Coleman, CLE at CIN

25. Emmanuel Sanders, DEN at OAK

          

The Packers have legitimately no shot at winning this game or stopping Antonio Brown.

It's going to be absolutely gruesome.

We saw what Brown did in Week 11—three touchdowns.

That's a bit of an anomaly to repeat the next week, but if anyone can do it, Brown can. However, this feels like a week where Brown could get some yardage and find the end zone once and let his running back teammate Bell do the rest of the dirty work.

Also keep in mind that fellow wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster will miss Week 12 due to a hamstring injury, per Adam Schefter of ESPN.

The stars are aligning for a huge game from Brown.

          

Flex Advice

According to Mike Reiss of ESPN, the Patriots have ruled wide receiver Chris Hogan out for Week 12 against the Dolphins.

As a result, Danny Amendola will see an uptick in snaps and be on the field plenty more.

This is one of those games where it's easy to envision Brady spreading the love in a triumphant win over the Dolphins, and Amendola will surely be a part of the fun.

The Patriots have plenty of options in tight end Rob Gronkowski, Brandin Cooks, Rex Burkhead and Dion Lewis, but Amendola will get his share of the targets. If he doesn't find the end zone, he should still at least come up with enough receptions to make the afternoon worthwhile.

Start Amendola this week at flex.

         

PPR Advice

This may never happen again, but I'm going with another Cleveland Brown here—Corey Coleman.

Now, this could contradict my perception of Johnson here, but Coleman will see plenty of action his way.

If the Browns get down by a sizable enough margin, Kizer has two main guys to throw to: Johnson in a dump-off role and Coleman down the field.

In his return, Coleman saw 10 targets and caught six of them for 80 yards against a much more stout Jaguars defense.

Why can't he have a similar line here?

Expect another solid stat line from Coleman.

           

Tight Ends

1. Rob Gronkowski, NE vs. MIA

2. Zach Ertz, PHI vs. CHI

3. Travis Kelce, KC vs. BUF

4. Jimmy Graham, SEA at SF

5. Greg Olsen, CAR at NYJ

6. Jared Cook, OAK vs. DEN

7. Jack Doyle, IND vs. TEN

8. Delanie Walker, TEN at IND

9. Tyler Kroft, CIN vs. CLE

10. Austin Seferian-Jenkins, NYJ vs. CAR

11. Austin Hooper, ATL vs. TB

12. Benjamin Watson, BAL vs. HOU

13. Cameron Brate, TB at ATL

14. Charles Clay, BUF at KC

15. Adam Shaheen, CHI at PHI

         

This goes back to the descriptions of Brady and Amendola, but Gronk is in a prime position for a big game here.

Not to sound like a broken record, but every single Patriots player is—they should steamroll the Dolphins.

It's just a matter of who will top the depth chart in terms of production.

Gronkowski has an excellent shot to against a Dolphins defense that ranks 25th in DVOA against tight ends.

Gronk will be TE1 this week.

           

Flex Advice

The matchup is less than ideal, but if you're digging deep, Adam Shaheen could be a decent play here. He's been getting involved more in the offense over the past two weeks, catching all six of his targets and scoring in Week 11.

Again, this isn't anything to go crazy over, but if the Bears find themselves trailing on the road, quarterback Mitchell Trubisky could go to his security blanket in Shaheen to try to get his confidence boosted and move the ball upfield.

Shaheen could end up being touchdown-dependent and only catch a few balls—it's hard to gauge where he'll finally fall on the map of tight ends this week.

Remember: It's always best to start a wide receiver or a running back in your flex unless you have two top tight ends. However, if you need a Hail Mary, Shaheen could be just that.

         

PPR Advice

When in doubt, start tight ends against the Browns—that's been the motto all season long.

The Browns stink against tight ends, ranking dead last in DVOA against them and allowing the third-most fantasy points to the position.

So who am I talking about? Bengals tight end, Mr. Tyler Kroft.

After the top tight ends, it's hard to pinpoint where to go at the position, but Kroft could be a saving grace.

A touchdown could be coming.

           

Kickers

1. Stephen Gostkowski, NE vs. MIA

2. Matt Bryant, ATL vs. TB

3. Harrison Butker, KC vs. BUF

4. Greg Zuerlein, LAR vs. NO

5. Justin Tucker, BAL vs. HOU

6. Chris Boswell, PIT vs. GB

7. Wil Lutz, NO at LAR

8. Jake Elliott, PHI vs. CHI

9. Ryan Succop, TEN at IND

10. Graham Gano, CAR at NYJ

         

Atop the list is none other than Stephen Gostkowski. It's been heavy on the Patriots here, and it even trickles down to the kicker.

The Patriots will score a ton, and Gostkowski should reach well over double-digit points in the process.

Get him in your lineup.

           

Defense/Special Teams

1. Jacksonville Jaguars at ARI

2. Pittsburgh Steelers vs. GB

3. Cincinnati Bengals vs. CLE

4. Baltimore Ravens vs. HOU

5. Philadelphia Eagles vs. CHI

6. Carolina Panthers at NYJ

7. New England Patriots vs. MIA

8. Seattle Seahawks at SF

9. Kansas City Chiefs vs. BUF

10. Atlanta Falcons vs. TB

          

Statistics courtesy of Football Outsiders and Pro Football Reference. All odds courtesy of Odds Shark.

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