Happy Thanksgiving! We’ve made it through all of the bye weeks and have our first of six full slate weekends to close the season. Here’s the disclaimer that I encourage that you use the game by game tables and data points in conjunction with your own information and thought process rather than searching out your own players in the individual player diagnosis and turning that section into a linear start/sit guide. With that out of the way, let’s hit all of the Week 12 games in a PPR fashion….
Philadelphia vs. Detroit
|41.8%||Opp. Rush %||44.3%|
|58.2%||Opp. Pass %||55.7%|
- Calvin Johnson has scored in seven of eight career games on Thanksgiving, averaging 20.5 points per game.
- The Eagles have allowed 23.6 points to Matt Cassel (QB6), 16.5 points to Ryan Tannehill (QB13) and 29.8 points to Jameis Winston (QB2) over their past three games and a combined 10 touchdown passes to one interception.
- Ameer Abdullah played 29 snaps last week, the most he’s played since Week 6.
- 63.8 percent of Golden Tate‘s receiving yardage is generated from yards after the catch, the highest dependency of all receivers with 400 or more yards receiving.
- Detroit has scored just four touchdowns on their past 33 offensive possessions.
- Mark Sanchez has thrown an interception in six consecutive games, the longest active streak behind Matt McGloin (7) and Peyton Manning (9).
- Jordan Matthews has been targeted on just six of Mark Sanchez‘s 64 pass attempts (9.4 percent).
- Outside of his two games against the Cowboys, Matthews has been a top-40 scoring receiver just once.
- The Lions have faced 23 rushing attempts inside of their 5-yard line this season and allowed 10 rushing touchdowns on those carries; both are the most in the league.
Trust: Calvin Johnson (he’s been a floor player this season, but the Eagles have allowed the opposing WR1 to score in nine of ten games), Matt Stafford (he’s been steadier over the past five weeks and the Eagles have been giving away points recently)
Bust: Jordan Matthews (doubtful that Darius Slay moves inside, but Matthews hasn’t instilled any confidence in usage or performance), Mark Sanchez (Sam Bradford could still start on a short week, but I feel similarly about him here. Detroit has come out of the bye and been stout on defense except for late game junk script to Green Bay), Eric Ebron (the Eagles aren’t a team I look to target when going into the fringe bin of tight end options), Ameer Abdullah/Joique Bell (the Eagles have been a bad run defense for the better part of a month, but Detroit hasn’t proven they can run at any point yet)
Reasonable Return: Golden Tate (had his best week last week and seen 31.4 percent of the team targets), Theo Riddick (has been a solid floor flex weekly), DeMarco Murray (Detroit has stuffed the run the past two weeks, but Murray has consistently held a floor in the receiving game), Brent Celek (with Zach Ertz out, he seen 10 targets last week and Detroit has given up points to tight ends near the end zone)
Carolina vs. Dallas
|35.6%||Opp. Rush %||41.8%|
|64.4%||Opp. Pass %||58.2%|
- Jonathan Stewart has 20 or more rushing attempts in six consecutive games, the only back with ongoing streak at all of 20 or more carries.
- Carolina is the only team in the league with 30 or more rushing attempts in every game this season; no other team has more than six.
- Only New England (124) has run more plays in the red zone than Carolina (123) this season.
- Carolina has 21 rushing attempts inside of the 5-yard line, most in the league.
- Cam Newton has five touchdown passes on the road this season in four games compared to 15 at home in six games.
- Devin Funchess‘ 12.6 yards per target over the past three weeks rank as the fourth highest of all receivers with double digit targets over that span.
- Jason Witten has finished higher than TE14 just once over his past six games played.
- Darren McFadden had a touch on 65.3 percent of his snaps (32 of 49) last week, the third highest rate for any back with 40 plus snaps in a game this season.
- The Cowboys ran just 49 plays in Week 11, their fewest total on the season and led for 85.7 percent of those plays, the highest in a game this season.
- Noteable WR1 performances against Carolina this season: Allen Robinson (WR85), DeAndre Hopkins (WR48), Brandin Cooks (WR28), Mike Evans (WR72), T.Y. Hilton (WR72).
Trust: Cam Newton (this feels like a potential letdown spot with a lot of running and limited possessions, but he hasn’t let us down to date)
Bust: Tony Romo (only Denver has been rougher on quarterbacks for fantasy than Carolina and this game should feature a ton of running), Jason Witten (the floor and even the ceiling are low weekly), Devin Funchess (has been getting more involved and more efficient, but he’s still in “hold” mode for your roster), Terrance Williams (he still only had four targets last week, don’t go chasing those points just yet)
Reasonable Return: Greg Olsen (Dallas hasn’t allowed a tight end to finish inside of the top-10 yet, but we know they targets will be here), Jonathan Stewart (Dallas can be run on, but as usual with Stewart, his ceiling depends on getting a touchdown or not), Dez Bryant (last week was a hard reminder not to go overboard on defensive matchups against elite talent and Bryant will still command opportunity), Darren McFadden (with Romo back, Dallas was back to their ball controlling ways. I expect DMC to have a similar game to the one Frank Gore had against Carolina in Week 8)
Chicago vs. Green Bay
|44.1%||Opp. Rush %||40.5%|
|55.9%||Opp. Pass %||59.5%|
- Aaron Rodgers‘ 47.1 completion percentage last week was just the 6th time in 124 career starts that he failed to complete half of his passing attempts.
- In Rodgers’ past four games against the Bears, he’s been the weekly QB5, QB1, QB4 and QB11.
- Davante Adams is the current leader in targets (53) without a touchdown on the season.
- Randall Cobb has just a 54.0 percent catch rate this season. He had a 73.5 percent catch rate over the first four years of his career.
- Richard Rodgers has five receiving touchdowns on the season. Four have come within the 5-yard line with a long of nine yards.
- With Jay Cutler at quarterback, the Bears are just 1-10 against the Packers and in those games he’s thrown 14 touchdowns to 22 interceptions with just one 300-yard passing game.
- Chicago has rushed for over 4.0 yards per carry as a team just twice this season, tied for the fewest in the league with Cleveland and Houston.
- The Packers have allowed 14 passing touchdowns in the middle of the field this season, tied for the second most in the league.
Trust: Aaron Rodgers (he hasn’t been putting up pretty points, but has still been a top-8 scorer in each of the past three weeks)
Bust: Martellus Bennett (the middle of the field is where to attack the Packers, but Bennett has been a top-12 scorer in just one of his past six games), James Starks (was back to his early season usage last week), Matt Forte/Jeremy Langford (you’re using Forte in seasonals if you have him, but assumption is he won’t get a full workload initially and Langford deserves a piece of the pie)
Reasonable Return: Eddie Lacy (it feels like I’m taking the cheese here as he was still just the RB21 last week, but if the Packers are truly committed to using him with volume, the Bears have been run on recently), Randall Cobb/Davante Adams/James Jones (it’s been wonky in just who will deliver as Rodgers has been scoring points and each has proven to have a basement floor, but you just plug them in where you have them this week in a good spot at home), Alshon Jeffery (even if he plays under full strength, the target volume can anchor his floor), Jay Cutler (the Packers have owned him, but he’s held such a steady floor all season. Move him down if Alshon sits out)
Buffalo vs. Kansas City
|36.6%||Opp. Rush %||37.8%|
|63.4%||Opp. Pass %||62.2%|
- 78.7 percent of Alex Smith‘s completions have been on passes under 10 yards of the line of scrimmage.
- 37 percent of the Chiefs team touchdowns this season have been passing, least percentage in the league.
- Kansas City averages 3.9 red zone trips per game, the 5th highest in the league.
- Since Week 5, the Chiefs have allowed just seven touchdowns on their opponents past 66 possessions (10.6 percent), the lowest percentage in the league.
- The Bills average just 28.8 yards per drive, 28th in the league.
- Buffalo has run just 58 plays in the red zone, ahead of only St. Louis (50).
- Prior to injury, Tyrod Taylor‘s average scoring week through five games was the QB10 as he averaged 20.8 points per game. Since returning, he’s been the QB17, QB22 and QB27 scoring 36.6 points total.
- Since having both LeSean McCoy and Karlos Williams back over the past three weeks, McCoy has handled 71.4 percent of the carries between the two.
- Over that span, McCoy has been the RB10, RB6 and RB2 and has the second most total yards (401) of all running backs.
- Sammy Watkins’ target shares weekly: 26.7 percent, 6.9, 11.9, 66.7, 25.9 and 16.7 percent.
Trust: LeSean McCoy (looks like a new player the past three weeks and has added a receiving floor to his usage)
Bust: Sammy Watkins (not only is his usage all over the place, but Kansas City has not allowed a top-20 receiver since Week 7), Jeremy Maclin (hasn’t had more than six targets or been a top-30 receiver since Week 5), Alex Smith (the past four quarterbacks to face Buffalo have all been QB17 or lower), Tyrod Taylor (he and the Chiefs defense are trending in opposite directions)
Reasonable Return: Charcandrick West/Spencer Ware (whoever has filled this role has been fantasy relevant dating back to the Philadelphia days), Travis Kelce (his slice of the pie has been steady for the past three weeks, but the overall targets are still shallow)
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