Stars of Week 12

QB: Baker Mayfield, CLE: 19-26, 258 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INTs

RB: Christian McCaffrey, CAR: 17 carries, 125 yards, 1 TD (11 catches, 112 yards, 1 TD) 

WR: Amari Cooper, DAL: 8 catches, 180 yards, 2 TDs

TE: Zach Ertz, PHI: 7 catches, 91 yards 1 TD 

Week 12 brought us three Thanksgiving day games, the continued implosion of the Jaguars, the Browns clowning former head coach Hue Jackson, and a week without the high-powered Rams and Chiefs.

Baker Mayfield has Browns’ fans downright giddy, and with good reason. He earns the nod for QB of the week with four TD passes against the Bengals. Mayfield can help you down the stretch as the fantasy playoffs approach, and he’ll be a solid QB1 next year.

Moving from a rookie QB to a second-year RB, Christian McCaffrey torched the Seahawks this past Sunday with triple digit yardage in both the passing and running game, with a TD in each phase of the game to boot. McCaffrey will be an easy first rounder in fantasy drafts next year, with the top-5 being a distinct possibility.

Amari Cooper has found new life with the Cowboys, and he delivered the Thanksgiving performance of the day against the Redskins. We’ll look at Cooper’s rebound below.

Last but not least, Zach Ertz has posted yet another solid performance for his fantasy owners. Ertz has crossed the 800 yard threshold for the season, and he’s solidified himself as a top-3 TE. 

Week 12 Takeaways – A Closer Look

Each week we take a closer look at a handful of performances and sort out what such performances mean going forward. 

- Josh Allen, QB – BUF: 8-19, 160 yards 1 TD, 0 INTs (13 carries, 99 yards, 1 TD) 

Analysis: Josh Allen entered the NFL as the most polarizing QB from the 2018 first round draft class. Traditional scouts loved Allen for his cannon-like arm strength, his prototypical size and his QB like “look”. Statistic based analysts were underwhelmed by his inaccuracy and mediocre performance when normalized for the quality of his competition in the Mountain West conference. Well, while Allen has missed much of the year due to injury, both sides can claim to have been somewhat correct in their assessment of the QB. Allen has predictably struggled in the passing game, with a completion percentage hovering around 50% and a 3 to 5 TD:INT ratio. That being said, Allen has made some great throws under duress, and has impacted the game with his underrated rushing prowess – he has four rushing TDs and around 250 rushing yards. Allen is obviously not ready to help anyone’s fantasy team this season, but for those of you in deeper dynasty leagues, you should keep an eye on him. Note that Allen has little to work with in terms of pass catchers, and he’s shown enough to merit a chance to show what he can do next season with a hopefully upgraded cast around him. So this is essentially a “don’t close the door” on Allen message as it pertains to future seasons. 

- LeGarrette Blount, RB – DET: 19 carries, 88 yards, 2 TDs

Analysis: With Kerryon Johnson out with a knee injury, Matt Patricia turned to LeGarrette Blount to carry the load against the Bears. Coming into the game, Blount averaged a paltry 2.3 yards per carry. Shockingly, Blount averaged close to five yards per carry against an ultra tough Bears run defense, and he managed to score two TDs in the process. The Lions face the superpower Rams next, and Blount will likely be in line for the bulk of the carries once again if Johnson remains out. That being said, don’t expect a repeat performance from Blount next week. The Rams will put up points at leisure against the Lions defense, and Stafford and company will need to throw to keep up. Given that Johnson should return in the next few weeks, the return on Blount won’t be all that high. If you desperately need an RB on a short term basis, then you can do worse than Blount. But he’s a low end flex play next week at best, and upon Johnson’s return, Blount will revert back to a TD dependent value play. 

- Tyler Lockett, WR – SEA: 5 catches, 107 yards, 1 TD

Analysis: The Seahawks went on the road to Carolina this past weekend and gave up 476 yards of offense, failed to recover any of the Panthers’ five fumbles and somehow won the game. This ain’t your LOB Seahawks anymore, as the team relies much more heavily on its offense than at any time during the Russell Wilson era. While the resuscitated rushing attack has captured much of the national attention, the emergence of Tyler Lockett and David Moore – to go along with Doug Baldwin – gives the team a trio of WRs who have established strong rapport with Wilson. Lockett has especially taken his game to the next level, having scored 8 TDs in eleven games. Lockett has also had 50+ yards in eight games. Similar to Baldwin, Lockett runs great routes and has little trouble getting open. Only volume stands in the way of Lockett becoming a dominant fantasy player - he’s a better real life WR than fantasy WR. For fantasy purposes, Lockett’s a comfortable top 30 WR option, so that’s flex/WR3 territory.

- Amari Cooper, WR - DAL: 8 catches, 180 yards, 2 TDs 

Analysis: The Raiders have been a fantasy wasteland on every level this year. Amari Cooper was one of the lucky ones rescued from the toxic dump in Oakland, with the Cowboys riding in on the horse and lassoing in the star wide receiver. While it’s hard for a QB/WR duo to develop strong chemistry after a mid-season trade, Amari Cooper seems to have done exactly that with Dak Prescott. Cooper torched the Redskins on Thanksgiving to the tune of 180 yards and two TDs, and the Cowboys offense has come to life over these last few weeks. Over his four games with America’s team, Prescott has targeted Cooper an average of eight times per contest. For those of you who have been stashing Cooper on your bench, it’s time to call him up to your lineup. The Cowboys face the Saints and Eagles the next two weeks, both of whom give up a significant number of points to wide receivers. Cooper is back to being a high end WR2 – start him with confidence. 

Rapid Fire Pickups 

Each week we throw out potential free agent pickups from each position for deeper leagues, in each case 1) someone who has NOT been featured above, and 2) a player available in most leagues.

QB: Lamar Jackson, BAL

RB: Frank Gore, MIA

RB: Nyheim Hines, IND (Marlon Mack may be out this coming week)

WR: Mike Williams, LAC

WR: Christian Kirk, ARI

TE: Gerald Everett, LAR

Week 13 Rankings 


  1. Patrick Mahomes, KC        @Oak
  2. Jared Goff, LAR                @Det
  3. Cam Newton, Car             @TB
  4. Aaron Rodgers, GB           Ari
  5. Drew Brees, NO               @Dal
  6. Jameis Winston, TB          Car
  7. Russell Wilson, Sea          SF
  8. Andrew Luck, Ind            @Jax
  9. Ben Roethlisberger, Pit     LAC
  10. Philip Rivers, LAC            @Pit
  11. Kirk Cousins, Min            @NE
  12. Deshaun Watson, Hou     Cle
  13. Dak Prescott, Dal            NO
  14. Matt Ryan, Atl                 Bal
  15. Tom Brady, NE                Min
  16. Lamar Jackson, Bal         @Atl
  17. Carson Wentz, Phi           Wsh
  18. Baker Mayfield, Cle         @Hou
  19. Matthew Stafford, Det     LAR
  20. Case Keenum, Den         @Cin

Running Backs:

  1. Todd Gurley, LAR            @Det
  2. Christian McCaffrey, Car  @TB
  3. Alvin Kamara, NO           @Dal
  4. Kareem Hunt, KC            @Oak
  5. Saquon Barkley, NYG       Chi
  6. Ezekiel Elliott, Dal            NO
  7. Aaron Jones, GB              Ari
  8. David Johnson, Ari           @GB
  9. Nick Chubb, Cle               @Hou
  10. James Conner, Pit            LAC
  11. Phillip Lindsay, Den         @Cin
  12. Joe Mixon, Cin                 Den
  13. Austin Ekeler, LAC           @Pit
  14. Sony Michel, NE               Min
  15. James White, NE              Min
  16. Dalvin Cook, Min             @NE
  17. Lamar Miller, Hou            Cle
  18. Matt Breida, SF               @Sea
  19. Gus Edwards, Bal            @Atl
  20. Chris Carson, Sea            SF
  21. Tarik Cohen, Chi              @NYG
  22. Mark Ingram II, NO         @Dal
  23. Josh Adams, Phi              Wsh
  24. Tevin Coleman, Atl          Bal
  25. T.J. Yeldon, Jax                Ind
  26. Dion Lewis, Ten               NYJ
  27. Kerryon Johnson, Det      LAR
  28. Marlon Mack, Ind            @Jax
  29. Adrian Peterson, Wsh      @Phi
  30. Kenyan Drake, Mia          Buf
  31. LeSean McCoy, Buf          @Mia
  32. Duke Johnson Jr., Cle       @Hou
  33. Carlos Hyde, Jax              Ind
  34. Theo Riddick, Det            LAR
  35. Jalen Richard, Oak           KC
  36. Jordan Howard, Chi         @NYG
  37. Frank Gore, Mia               Buf
  38. Derrick Henry, Ten          NYJ
  39. Peyton Barber, TB           Car
  40. Nyheim Hines, Ind          @Jax

Wide Receivers:

  1. Adam Thielen, Min          @NE
  2. DeAndre Hopkins, Hou    Cle
  3. Julio Jones, Atl               Bal
  4. Tyreek Hill, KC               @Oak
  5. Michael Thomas, NO       @Dal
  6. Davante Adams, GB        Ari
  7. Antonio Brown, Pit          LAC
  8. Odell Beckham Jr., NYG   Chi
  9. Keenan Allen, LAC           @Pit
  10. Mike Evans, TB                Car
  11. JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pit  LAC
  12. Stefon Diggs, Min            @NE
  13. Robert Woods, LAR          @Det
  14. Kenny Golladay, Det        LAR
  15. E. Sanders, Den              @Cin
  16. Brandin Cooks, LAR         @Det
  17. T.Y. Hilton, Ind                @Jax
  18. Amari Cooper, Dal            NO
  19. Julian Edelman, NE          Min
  20. Josh Gordon, NE              Min
  21. Tyler Boyd, Cin                Den
  22. DJ Moore, Car                 @TB
  23. Corey Davis, Ten             NYJ
  24. A.J. Green, Cin                Den
  25. Tyler Lockett, Sea            SF
  26. Alshon Jeffery, Phi           Wsh
  27. Jarvis Landry, Cle            @Hou
  28. Sammy Watkins, KC        @Oak
  29. Allen Robinson, Chi         @NYG
  30. Larry Fitzgerald, Ari        @GB
  31. Doug Baldwin, Sea          SF
  32. Devin Funchess, Car        @TB
  33. D. Thomas, Hou              Cle
  34. Adam Humphries, TB      Car
  35. Golden Tate, Phi             Wsh
  36. Calvin Ridley, Atl            Bal
  37. Josh Reynolds, LAR        @Det
  38. Mohamed Sanu, Atl        Bal
  39. Courtland Sutton, Den    @Cin
  40. Sterling Shepard, NYG    Chi

Tight End:

  1. Travis Kelce, KC              @Oak
  2. Zach Ertz, Phi                  Wsh
  3. George Kittle, SF             @Sea
  4. Rob Gronkowski, NE         Min
  5. Eric Ebron, Ind                @Jax
  6. Jordan Reed, Wsh            @Phi
  7. Greg Olsen, Car               @TB
  8. Jared Cook, Oak              KC
  9. Cameron Brate, TB          Car
  10. Austin Hooper, Atl            Bal
  11. David Njoku, Cle             @Hou
  12. Trey Burton, Chi              @NYG
  13. Kyle Rudolph, Min            @NE
  14. Evan Engram, NYG           Chi
  15. Jimmy Graham, GB          Ari
  16. Vance McDonald, Pit         LAC
  17. Jonnu Smith, Ten             NYJ
  18. C.J. Uzomah, Cin              Den
  19. Benjamin Watson, NO      @Dal
  20. Chris Herndon, NYJ          @Ten

Defense/Special Teams:

  1. Chicago Bears                  @NYG
  2. Los Angeles Rams            @Det
  3. Green Bay Packers           Ari
  4. Tennessee Titans             NYJ
  5. Miami Dolphins               Buf
  6. Seattle Seahawks           SF
  7. Kansas City Chiefs          @Oak
  8. Houston Texans              Cle
  9. Denver Broncos              @Cin
  10. Indianapolis Colts           @Jax
  11. Buffalo Bills                    @Mia
  12. Carolina Panthers           @TB
  13. Philadelphia Eagles         Wsh
  14. Baltimore Ravens           @Atl
  15. Washington Redskins      @Phi