Week 12's fantasy football playbook
The latest fantasy football news, rankings, start/sit advice, and more to help you avoid misery on Sunday.
Thanks again for being a loyal reader and subscriber! Keep reading for the latest fantasy football rankings, news, and analysis from the 5th Down Fantasy team and around the web. Best of luck in Week 12!
📰 Week 12 news you can use
Who is trending up and down heading into Sunday’s action, courtesy of our friends at FantasyPros.
Odell Beckham Jr., who has been on a hot streak, is officially listed as questionable for Sunday’s matchup with the Chargers. He is dealing with a shoulder injury and has called himself a game-time decision. Fantasy managers should expect Nelson Agholor and Rashod Bateman to see more targets should Beckham or Zay Flowers miss Sunday’s game.
🙌 Lamar Jackson (ankle) stated that he is ‘100%’ for Week 12. Jackson suffered an ankle injury against the Bengals, but remained in the game and is expected to be ready to face the Chargers on Sunday.
🤔 Cooper Kupp (ankle) will play in Week 12 against the Arizona Cardinals. He slots in as the team’s WR1, though he has performed below the lofty standards placed on a triple-crown WR. After four straight weeks under six half-PPR points, he is the WR33 since his return.
🏥 Jerick McKinnon has been ruled out versus the Las Vegas Raiders with a groin injury, which further opens up the floor for Isiah Pacheco and potentially even former first-rounder Clyde Edwards-Helaire, especially in pass-game usage and third-down looks.
⚖️ Dameon Pierce is going to share the backfield once he returns from his ankle injury, per Texans’ OC Bobby Slowik. He has returned to practice in full over the last few days and could be set to return after missing his third straight game. Devin Singletary has averaged five yards per carry with Pierce out, so fantasy managers will need Pierce to find the end zone consistently to be a strong fantasy option once he returns.
📋 Week 12 rankings update
🚨 Our Week 12 fantasy football rankings for PPR, Half-PPR, and Standard scoring formats will update frequently up until kickoff on Sunday.
Insights on key fantasy matchups from the 5th Down team and some of my favorite experts from around the web.
📈 3 guys up
Isiah Pacheco (KC at LV) — “Las Vegas is No. 5 in most Fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs, and five running backs in the past seven games have scored at least 13.6 PPR points against the Raiders. ... Pacheco has gone five games in a row without a rushing touchdown, and he's caught one pass in his past two games. But I'm expecting him to break out of this mini-slump against the Raiders. He played at Las Vegas in Week 18 last year and had eight carries for 64 yards and a touchdown, and I'm expecting Pacheco to perform like a top-15 Fantasy running back in this game.” — Jamey Eisenberg, CBS Sports
Justin Fields (CHI at MIN) — “Fields was off to a slow start this season, but he completely dominated in Weeks 4 and 5 from a fantasy perspective, throwing for four touchdowns in each game. He suffered a thumb injury in Week 6 and didn’t return until last week, when he achieved his first 100-yard rushing performance of the season. Fields is facing a Minnesota Vikings team that has allowed at least 250 passing yards and one passing touchdown in each of the past five weeks. The Vikings are favorites on Monday Night Football, which should leave Chicago either passing the ball or running with Fields for most of the game.” — Nathan Jahnke, PFF.com
Christian Kirk (JAC at HOU) — “Kirk leads Jacksonville in both targets and yardage; he will be matched up with Texans’ corner Tavierre Thomas out of the slot. Buy Christian Kirk in this one. While Thomas has not allowed a touchdown in 2023, he allows receptions on 81.3% (PFF) of targets and has an aDoT of just 5.0 (PFF). Kirk will not only have an opportunity to rack up catches but also to beat Thomas down the field with an aDoT of 10.3 (PFF); Kirk is a solid WR2 in Week 12.” — Gavin Babbitt, 5th Down Fantasy
📉 3 guys down
Davante Adams (LV vs. KC) — “Adams and Jakobi Meyers will be covered by both L’Jarius Snead and Jaylen Watson of the Chiefs. Adams outgrades both corners by a significant margin, but this Chiefs coverage group limits fantasy production. Watson is the only Chiefs’ corner having allowed multiple touchdowns this season (PFF). It’s unlikely the Chiefs will allow Adams to take Jaylen Watson apart in the red zone, and with Aidan O’Connell still phasing in as the starting QB for the Raiders, it is hard to see Adams having an overly productive fantasy outing.” — Gavin Babbitt, 5th Down Fantasy
Russell Wilson (DEN vs. CLE) — “Wilson has bounced back this season while limiting turnovers and running hot with touchdown passes, but he’s also sporting easily the lowest YPA (7.0) of his career and has yet to run in a score. Mr. Unlimited has become Mr. Checkdown and gets an unfavorable matchup this week against a Browns defense allowing an NFL-low 166.5 passing yards per game and the fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks. Sit Wilson in a matchup with a lowly 36-point total.” — Dalton Del Don, Yahoo Sports
James Cook (BUF at PHI) — “Cook totaled over 100 scrimmage yards and found pay dirt. Cook didn't see any carries near the goal line, but his receiving touchdown was from the five-yard line, so that's a step in the right direction. Hopefully, the new OC keeps him in the game more often in that area of the field. It's a brutal matchup this week, so he'll need the receiving work and goal-line opportunities to come through as a top-24 back.” — Josh Constantinou, RotoBaller.com
💸 Wanna bet?
Here are two lineups I’m going with in Week 12 DraftKings based on some of my favorite matchups.
Lastly, a few takes that have me sold on certain DK plays this week from some of my favorite experts on the World Wide Web (you may refer to it as the information superhighway).
Gardner Minshew (QB, $5,100) — “The main slate has been left with table scraps this week, so we had to go really deep to find sleepers. The Bucs have been atrocious against the pass since Week 6, allowing 27.3 DK points per game to QBs during that span. Five different signal-callers have passed for 324-plus yards and two-plus TDs against Tampa Bay this season, and we wouldn't be surprised if Minshew makes it six. The way to beat this defense is through the air, not on the ground, as TB ranks top six in rushing yards, rush TDs, and yards per carry allowed this season but bottom three in DK points allowed to QBs. Invite the Gardner to Sunday dinner.” — Sloan Piva, sportingnews.com
Jaylen Warren (RB, $5,400) — “Especially on DraftKings, Jaylen Warren is projected to continue to be a great value play. He has a 96% Bargain Rating on DraftKings, where he has the highest Projected Plus/Minus of all running backs under $5,500. … Warren has exceeded salary-based expectations in eight of his 10 games on DraftKings with an Average Plus/Minus of 4.82 DraftKings points on the season. He has been even better lately, with an Average Plus/Minus of 12.3 in his last three contests.” — Zach Thompson, Fantasylabs.com
DeVonta Smith (WR, $7,100) – “Smith is my favorite DFS play this week given his upside and price. … I expect him to stay hot with Goedert out. Smith was amazing last season with Goedert sidelined, and the trend continued in Week 11 at Kansas City in the first game Goedert missed. … You want pieces of this game since the expected point total is the highest of the week at 48.5. And the Eagles passing game should be heavily involved, with Smith being a huge contributor.” — Jamey Eisenberg, CBS Sports