Lineup Prep: Week 12

Wed Nov 20 10:06am ET
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer

Mixon is trending up right now



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It is hard to believe, but the regular fantasy season is about over. There are just three weeks left in most formats. Some teams are already eliminated from playoff contention. Hopefully, you aren’t one of those teams. For those of you still in contention, a strong finish is what you are all hoping to happen. You don’t want to limp into the playoffs. So here is to wishing all of you a great finish to your regular season. We are going to do all we can to help you finish on a high note. 

Now for my random thoughts for the week. . . . .

I would be worried if I had any Rams right now. This offense is trending the wrong way, mainly because of the poor play from Jared Goff. He just looks indecisive and unsure of himself these days, losing confidence. I think the league is catching up with the Rams offense, which is causing issues for Goff. He is having a hard time adjusting. I would expect continued struggles from him going forward, which is bad news for Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods and Todd Gurley. 

Kyler Murray is the real deal. He is going to a star and fantasy star for years to come. He is a rookie but still seventh overall in fantasy quarterback scoring despite playing in an offense that lacks some top playmakers. This guy just makes plays. He is only going to get better as the Cardinals surround him with better talent. Murray has multiple touchdowns six of 11 games.

Jets receiver Jamison Crowder has been a pleasant surprise for me. His career has seen a resurgence with his new team. He has at least five receptions three straight games and is up to 23rd overall in fantasy receiver scoring. He also is finding the end zone, having scores three straight games. This guy could be a big fantasy factor down the stretch, giving many teams that took him late or picked him up on the waiver wire a big advantage over the rest of their league mates.

Melvin Gordon’s numbers are better the last few weeks, but I think the missed camp and some regular season games has really impacted his play. He just doesn’t look like the same player from the past few years. He is dropping passes and lacks a little burst. Maybe he can get it going after his bye this week, but I’m not sure he reaches his big numbers of the past few years. You might have to wait until next season for Gordon to look like the Melvin Gordon of old.

I would not count on David Johnson being much of a help to fantasy teams the rest of the way. Johnson played just nine snaps last week and didn’t get an offensive touch. He just doesn’t look healthy while Kenyan Drake is playing well with his chances. I would expect the Cardinals to keep relying on Drake the rest of the way. Drake has six receptions each of his last two games and is eighth overall in fantasy running back scoring his last three games. He could be a big fantasy factor the rest of this season.

Who would have thought Jarvis Landry would be the leading fantasy receiver for the Browns? Well, that is the case right now. Landry has been the better fantasy player, outplaying Odell Beckham. Landry has touchdowns three straight and at least four receptions seven of 10 games. He is 20th overall in fantasy receiver scoring and should continue to be a big part of this offense going forward. 

The Ravens continue to impress me on a weekly basis. They are now my favorite to win the Super Bowl. I still think the defense needs to pick it up a little, but for now, I think this is the best overall team in the NFL. Lamar Jackson is doing special things at quarterback, making that offense extremely tough to defend on a weekly basis. I know the Patriots are the Patriots, but I have questions about that offense this year. Tom Brady finally seems to be slowing down some, which is a concern for me. I think the Ravens are the better team. We’ll see.

You have to give the Falcons some credit. This team has started to play much better in recent weeks, especially on the defensive side of the ball. Atlanta could have packed it in after a terrible start to the season, but this team looks like a tough opponent going forward. The defense was a disaster earlier in the season but is showing signs of life. Atlanta has allowed just 12 points the last two games, playing the Saints and Panthers - two pretty good offensive teams. So kudos to the Falcons for not giving up and trying to turn their season around.

As always, don’t forget to check out my weekly rankings here: Week 12 rankings

News and Notes: The Dolphins released running back Mark Walton on Tuesday. Walton was already suspended for violating the league's personal conduct policy, but had another off the field incident, leading to his release from the team.  

HOT PLAYS

Joe Mixon, RB, Bengals. The insertion of Ryan Finley into the lineup has been a big positive for Mixon. He has produced his best fantasy numbers with Finley as the Bengals starting quarterback. Mixon is sixth overall in fantasy running back scoring his last three games. He has more than 100 total yards two straight games and found the end zone three of four games. He should get another workout this week against the Steelers. Pittsburgh has allowed more than 100-rushing yards two of their last three games. 

Baker Mayfield, QB, Browns. If Mayfield is ever going to have the huge week, this is the week. He gets the Dolphins, a team that allows the seventh most fantasy points to quarterbacks and 31 points per game. Mayfield also has been showing some signs of life in recent weeks, which is also encouraging. He had his first three-touchdown game of the season last week and has multiple scores two straight games. 

Allen Robinson, WR, Bears. Some might be really down on Robinson because of his poor showings two of the past three games. He has fewer than 20 yards two of three games. But you can’t ignore his production from throughout the season, having at least four receptions nine of 10 games. He gets his catches and targets on a weekly basis despite poor quarterback play from Mitchell Trubisky. We don’t think the play of Trubisky will impact Robinson this week against the Giants. New York has been a disaster all year against the pass, ranking 25th overall against the pass. The Giants allows the third most fantasy points to receivers this season. Robinson can turn it around this week.

Tevin Coleman, RB, 49ers. Coleman had his struggles last week, rushing 12 times for just 14 yards. But the Cardinals have a pretty stout defensive front. It wasn’t a huge surprise to see him get shut down, especially after he had his struggles against this same defense a few weeks back. Coleman has enjoyed plenty of big games this year, though, so he can turn it around this week. He gets the Packers, a team that has consistently struggled against the run all season. Green Bay allows the third most fantasy points to running backs and rank 25th overall against the run.

D.K. Metcalf, WR, Seahawks. Metcalf continues to grow in the Seahawks offense. He has six receptions each of his last two games and double-digit fantasy points five of six games. Metcalf had a season high 10 targets last week. He also has touchdowns two of three games. He has a good chance to find the end zone again this week against the Eagles. Philadelphia has allowed 17-passing touchdowns this season and allows the seventh most fantasy points to receivers. Metcalf should be considered a solid No. 2 fantasy receiver in Week 12.

COLD PLAYS  

David Montgomery, RB, Bears. Montgomery is getting most of the carries at running back these days but that isn’t helping his fantasy numbers. He has just six fantasy points each of his last two games. And one of those games was against the Lions, a team that really struggles to stop fantasy backs. This is not a good sign for Montgomery. If he got more work in the passing game, he would be a lot easier to trust for fantasy teams. He has one or no receptions five of 10 games. It might look like a good matchup on paper for Montgomery this week, getting the Giants, but New York has allowed fewer than 80-rushing yards two of three games. It could be more of the same for Montgomery in Week 12. 

Gerald Everett, TE, Rams. Everett was a huge bust last week, getting a catch for 20 yards. He had a favorable matchup and was coming off a big performance, so he got plenty of starts from fantasy teams. Everett had just a target the entire game. This followed a pattern of erratic play from Everett, though. He has 20 or fewer yards three of five games. He is a hard player to depend on for fantasy teams, especially this week against the Ravens. Baltimore allows the fifth fewest fantasy points to tight ends.

Aaron Jones, RB, Packers. Jones has been great this year, finding the end zone on a regular basis while also getting his yards. He had a three-touchdown game his last time out while rushing for 93 yards. Jones didn’t have a catch his last game, though, and has just one catch his last two games. That is a little concerning for his fantasy value. Jamaal Williams is getting more chances in the passing game, which is limiting Jones a little in recent weeks. Jones also has seen his rushing number dip a little, having fewer than 70-rushing yards four of five games. He could have a tough game this week against the 49ers. San Francisco allows the second fewest fantasy points to running backs and just five rushing touchdowns all year.

John Brown, WR, Bills. Brown is having his best season to date as the No. 1 receiver for the Bills. He has been really consistent, having at least four receptions every game. He has double-digit fantasy points all but a game. So it is tough to bench Brown. He is producing on a weekly basis. We would just temper your expectations for Brown this week. He has a tough matchup against Broncos cornerback Chris Harris. He has done a great job of shutting down opposing No. 1 receivers. Denver allows the third fewest fantasy points to receivers. 

Tom Brady, QB, Patriots. His team might be winning but Brady isn’t helping many fantasy teams win right now. He didn’t find the end zone last week and has one or no scores three of four games. His fantasy numbers have been very mediocre much of the season. Brady could produce more of the same this week against the Cowboys. Dallas allows the eighth fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks and have looked much better against the pass in recent weeks. 

SLEEPERS  

Sam Darnold, QB, Jets. Darnold had his best game of the season last week, throwing four touchdowns passes. He also threw for 293 yards, giving him 230 or more passing yards three straight games. Darnold is never a sure thing but you have to be encouraged by his play the last few weeks. He is starting to produce more consistently, having 16-plus fantasy points four straight games. He gets a matchup for more success this week against the Raiders, a team that allows the sixth most fantasy points to quarterbacks. The Raiders are 27th overall against the pass and allow 25 points per game.

Taylor Gabriel, WR, Bears. Gabriel led the way at receiver for the Bears last week, catching seven passes for 57 yards. His reception total was a season high for Gabriel. He has been getting more looks in recent weeks, though. Gabriel has at least three receptions four straight games and nine or more fantasy points all of those games. His workload has been steadily increasing, giving him some value as a spot starter or injury replacement. We would consider using him this week in either of those capacities. Gabriel gets the Giants, a team that allows the third most fantasy points to receivers.

Dallas Goedert, TE, Eagles. Goedert has been a top red-zone target for the Eagles in recent weeks. He has scores three of four games and at least three receptions five straight games. The Eagles have all sorts of injuries at receiver, giving Goedert more playing time despite Zach Ertz continuing to serve as the starter for the Eagles. Goedert can help fantasy teams as a low-end No. 1 fantasy tight end. He has a matchup for success this week against the Seahawks, a team that allows the eighth most fantasy points to tight ends.

Derrius Guice, RB, Redskins. Guice returned to action last week and split the work at running back with Adrian Peterson. Guice was the more productive back, though, finishing with 69 total yards and a touchdown on eight touches. His role should continue to increase going forward, taking over as the lead back for the Redskins. He could be a help to fantasy teams down the stretch, especially this week against the Lions. Detroit allows the most fantasy points to running backs and are 24th overall against the run.

Ted Ginn, WR, Saints. Ginn has not been much of a fantasy help most of the season. He has double-digit fantasy points just two times all year. He has more than two receptions just two games. The good news is he has at least two receptions all but two games. He gets some weekly work. He also found the end zone last week, which was another positive for Ginn. He is alway capable of that big game in this offense because of his big-play ability. It would not be a surprise to see him have his best game to date this week against the Panthers. Carolina allows the fifth most fantasy points to receivers. Ginn could be a sneaky No. 3 receiver play in Week 12. 

High/Low Scoring Games

Each week we will take a look at some of the high and low scoring games for the coming week. In high scoring affairs, get your marginal players on those teams in your lineup to take advantage of the possible points barrage. And in the low scoring games, keep those marginal players on the bench and make sure to have your defenses involved in those contests.

High Scoring Games: Colts/Texans, Bucs/Falcons, Panthers/Saints, Seahawks/Eagles, Ravens/Rams.

Low Scoring Games: Steelers/Bengals, Broncos/Bills.

Bye Weeks: Cardinals, Chiefs, Chargers, Vikings.

Jeff Paur is a two-time finalist for FSWA Fantasy Football Writer of the Year and won the FSWA award for Best Fantasy Football Article on the Web in 2011. He also was the most accurate expert in 2012, winning the FSTA Fantasy Football Accuracy Award. If you have any questions for Jeff, email him at jeff@rtsports.com. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffpaur.

Player Notes
Marquise Goodwin Dec 11 12:50am ET

The San Francisco 49ers placed wide receiver Marquise Goodwin (foot, knee) on injured reserve on Tuesday. The seven-year pro has been dealing with chronic leg issues and will be shut down to undergo treatment. Goodwin managed just 12 catches for 186 yards and a touchdown in 2019 and its probable his three-year tenure with the Niners is over. The speedster will likely find his way onto another roster next year but at 29 years old, Goodwin holds minimal dynasty value. With Goodwin shelved, wideout Kendrick Bourne will continue operating as the primary third receiver. With five scores over his past six games, Bourne has emerged as a red zone threat and will be a low-volume WR5 in Week 15 against the Atlanta Falcons.

From RotoBaller

Marquise Goodwin Dec 10 5:33pm ET

San Francisco 49ers WR Marquise Goodwin (knee) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list with a knee injury on Tuesday, Dec. 10.

From TheHuddle

Demaryius Thomas Dec 10 5:23pm ET

New York Jets S Jamal Adams (ankle), OT Chuma Edoga (knee), TE Ryan Griffin (ankle), CB Arthur Maulet (calf), CB Brian Poole (concussion), RB Bilal Powell (ankle, illness), WR Demaryius Thomas (hamstring, knee) and DL Quinnen Williams (neck) did not practice Tuesday, Dec. 10. OT Kelvin Beachum (ankles), S Matthias Farley (ankle), DL Steve McLendon (knee, hip), RB Ty Montgomery (foot, hip) and DL Nathan Shepherd (ankle) were limited. RB Le'Veon Bell (illness), CB Maurice Canady (shoulder), OL Tom Compton (ankle), QB Sam Darnold (knee, thumb), QB David Fales (elbow) and LB Paul Worrilow (quad) participated in full.

From TheHuddle

Mark Ingram Dec 10 5:13pm ET

Baltimore Ravens LB Chris Board (concussion), DB Anthony Levine (ankle), OT Ronnie Stanley (concussion), RB Mark Ingram (non-injury), S Earl Thomas (non-injury) and DT Brandon Williams (non-injury) did not practice Tuesday, Dec. 10. TE Mark Andrews (knee), QB Lamar Jackson (quad) and DE Jihad Ward (elbow) were limited.

From TheHuddle

Calvin Ridley Dec 10 4:53pm ET

Atlanta Falcons WR Calvin Ridley (abdominal) and CB Desmond Trufant (forearm) were placed on the Reserve/Injured list on Tuesday, Dec. 10. LB Ahmad Thomas was signed to the active roster, while TE Carson Meier and LB Quentin Poling were added to the practice squad.

From TheHuddle

Alshon Jeffery Dec 10 4:43pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles WR Alshon Jeffery (foot) is out for the rest of the season with a foot injury he suffered in Week 14 against the New York Giants, according to a source. The team is still reportedly gathering opinions about the exact injury, however.

Fantasy Spin: This injury wraps up yet another injury-shortened season for the 29-year-old, who has played a full season once in the last five years - averaging only 12 games over that span. Jeffrey is still due $12.75 million over each of the final two years of his deal, so he's probably not going anywhere this offseason. With Nelson Agholor also ailing, the Eagles could be forced to finish the season with Greg Ward, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside and a few practice squad players at the position.

From TheHuddle

Rodney Gunter Dec 10 4:33pm ET

Arizona Cardinals DL Rodney Gunter (toe) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list with a toe injury on Tuesday, Dec. 10. DL Caraun Reid (Cardinals) was re-signed to an undisclosed contract to replace him on the roster after getting released over the weekend.

From TheHuddle

Simeon Thomas Dec 10 4:23pm ET

Washington Redskins CB Simeon Thomas was handed a four-game suspension by the NFL on Tuesday, Dec. 10, for violating the league's policy and program on substances of abuse.

From TheHuddle

Marvin Jones Dec 10 4:23pm ET

Detroit Lions WR Marvin Jones (ankle) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list with an ankle injury on Tuesday, Dec. 10.

Fantasy Spin: The hits just keep coming for Detroit, which figures to lean on Kenny Golladay even more the rest of the way. Danny Amendola should also see more targets as well.

From TheHuddle

Auden Tate Dec 10 3:40pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Auden Tate (knee) was placed on the injured reserve Tuesday, ending his season. Tate sustained a mild MCL sprain in his left knee in the third quarter of the teams Week 14 loss to the Cleveland Browns. Damion Willis was promoted to the active roster in a corresponding roster move. Tate took advantage of all the injuries to the Bengals receiving corps this season, racking up a career-high 40 catches for 575 yards and one touchdown, and is a worthy hold in dynasty leagues heading into his third season.

From RotoBaller

Cooper Kupp Dec 10 3:23pm ET

Los Angeles Rams WR Cooper Kupp played only 20 of a possible 68 snaps in Week 14 versus the Seattle Seahawks.

Fantasy Spin: By comparison, Kupp logged 57 snaps in Week 13. Head coach Sean McVay defended the move by suggesting it was the cost of doing business in order to establish some offensive balance on early downs. However, the flaw in that reasoning is that Kupp's playing time should not be cut in favor of backup tight end Johnny Mundt. Meanwhile, Brandin Cooks didn't make a catch in his 61 snaps. Expect Kupp to return to his normal snap count in Week 15 against the Dallas Cowboys.

From TheHuddle

Jamar Taylor Dec 10 3:13pm ET

Free-agent CB Jamar Taylor (Seahawks) signed an undisclosed contract with the Atlanta Falcons on Tuesday, Dec. 10.

From TheHuddle

Le'Veon Bell Dec 10 3:03pm ET

New York Jets RB Le'Veon Bell is among the players the team is expected to make available via trade this offseason, according to sources.

Fantasy Spin: Bell is averaging only 49.1 yards rushing behind one of the league's worst offensive lines in his first season with the Jets, and it is becoming increasingly clear head coach Adam Gase either can't find a way to keep him involved in the offense or doesn't want to. A trade will be hard to accomplish as well, as the Jets would take a $15.5 million cap hit if they deal him and his hypothetical new team would have to find a way to fit one of the larger contracts at his position onto the roster.

From TheHuddle

Auden Tate Dec 10 2:53pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals WR Auden Tate (knee) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list with a sprained left medial collateral ligament Tuesday, Dec. 10. WR Damion Willis was elevated from the practice squad to replace him on the roster.

Fantasy Spin: Tate's emergence was probably the best thing to happen to the Bengals in an otherwise lost season. Assuming A.J. Green re-signs with the team in the offseason, Tate will probably push John Ross for the other starting outside job while Tyler Boyd remains the main slot receiver. Tate, who finishes this season with 40 catches for 575 yards and a touchdown, should be considered a solid late-round flier next summer in fantasy drafts.

From TheHuddle

Cedrick Wilson Dec 10 2:43pm ET

Dallas Cowboys WR Cedrick Wilson (knee) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Tuesday, Dec. 10. OT Mitch Hyatt was elevated from the practice squad to replace him on the roster.

From TheHuddle

Parris Campbell Dec 10 2:40pm ET

Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Parris Campbell (foot) has been placed on Injured Reserve ending his season. It's an unfortunate, yet fitting, end to the rookie's season having battled injuries to his hamstring, abdomen, and a broken hand before a fractured foot put him on season-ending IR. Campbell finishes his rookie season with 18 catches for 127 yards and one touchdown. The Colts are still unsure of T.Y. Hilton's (calf) status for their Monday night game vs New Orleans, but it's looking increasingly likely Hilton misses the game. Assuming Hilton is out, Zach Pascal has interesting WR3 value with Marcus Johnson also in the mix in deeper fantasy leagues.

From RotoBaller

James Conner Dec 10 2:30pm ET

The Pittsburgh Steelers are expecting to get wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (knee) and running back James Conner (shoulder) back in time for their Week 15 game against the Buffalo Bills. Neither has played since getting injured against the Cleveland Browns in Week 11. Both players are expected to practice this week in what would be a big boost to the Pittsburgh offense as the team looks to remain in the playoff picture. Conner's return would come at an especially good time as Jaylen Samuels is looking questionable for this weekend with a groin injury. That being said, fantasy GMs need to temper their expectations for both players as the Bills have been stout on defense this season.

From RotoBaller

Calvin Ridley Dec 10 2:20pm ET

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley (abdomen) will be out for the remainder of the season after suffering an abdominal injury during the first half of Week 14's win over the Carolina Panthers. Ridley had a big game before the injury, catching five balls for 76 yards and a touchdown but went down before halftime and was unable to stand on his own. He was carted off the field and looked to be in significant pain. With Ridley out look for Russell Gage to slide in as the No. 2 receiver in Atlanta opposite Julio Jones. Gage is worth a look as a flex play in fantasy leagues going forward.

From RotoBaller

Bilal Powell Dec 10 2:20pm ET

New York Jets running back Bilal Powell (ankle, illness) is not expected to play Thursday night at Baltimore. Powell, who was filling in for Le'Veon Bell (illness) injured his ankle at the end of the Jets Week 14 win over the Dolphins. Powell is also apparently dealing with the flu but head coach Adam Gase said the ankle is the bigger concern right now. Powell is yet to officially be ruled out, but all signs are pointing to him not suiting up this week. The good news for New York is Bell is reportedly close to 100 percent and should reclaim his starting role with Ty Montgomery working as a change of pace back. Powell can safely be dropped by those that picked him up for the Miami game.

From RotoBaller

D.J. Chark Dec 10 2:10pm ET

Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver D.J. Chark (ankle) was spotted in a walking boot on Monday and left the locker room using a scooter. Head coach Doug Marrone told reporters that Chark is "week-to-week" with the injury, which puts the remainder of his season in jeopardy. Chark broke out in a big way for Jacksonville in 2019, catching 67 balls for 956 yards and eight touchdowns. With Chark sidelined, look for Dede Westbrook, Chris Conley, and Keelan Cole to all see more chances within the Jacksonville passing attack.

From RotoBaller