Fantasy Football Rankings, Week 12: Model that beat experts says start Vance McDonald, sit Greg Olsen

Week 12 is critical in Fantasy football. In some leagues, it's the last week of the regular season. In others, it's one of the final chances to get a win and secure a spot in the playoffs. You can't afford to take losses this late in the regular season, and every decision is critical. This week, players like Patrick Mahomes, Jared Goff, Tyreek Hill, and Todd Gurley are all on bye, so you won't find them on anyone's Fantasy football rankings. Instead, Rob Gronkowski will return from back and ankle injuries, Melvin Gordon appears ready to go despite a questionable tag with hamstring and knee issues, and AJ Green is out once again with a bum toe. Before you make any last-minute lineup changes or head to the waiver wire for a late-week pickup, check out the Week 12 Fantasy football rankings from the team at SportsLine.

When it comes to ranking players, their model beat human experts in Fantasy football last season when there were big differences in ranking. The model was also closest to the hole overall, meaning it best pinpointed where every player would finish each week. Over the course of a season, that could literally be the difference between winning your league or going home with nothing.

Last week, the model was extremely high on Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay, saying he'd finish as a top-15 running back. The result: Lindsay exploded for 106 total yards and two touchdowns. Anybody who had him in their lineup was well on their way to a huge week.

Now the model, which simulates every game 10,000 times, has revealed its latest Week 12 Fantasy football rankings. One player the model loves this week: Steelers tight end Vance McDonald

McDonald has found the end zone in each of his last two games and will look to extend that streak on Sunday against Denver. The Broncos have allowed a touchdown to opposing tight ends in three consecutive games and given up at least 13 Fantasy points in CBS Sports leagues to the position during that span. McDonald has seen at least six targets from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in three of his last five games.

The model is projecting McDonald to finish as a top 10 tight end this week, ahead of players like Greg Olsen, Evan Engram and David Njoku. Be sure to get McDonald in your lineup and look for a big performance from him against Denver on Sunday.

And a massive shocker: Panthers tight end Greg Olsen stumbles big-time this week against the Seahawks and barely cracks the top 15. He's a player to bench in Week 12.

Olsen has scored a touchdown in four of his past five games, but SportsLine's model says he'll struggle against the Seahawks, who have given up just four touchdowns to the tight end position all season. The Seahawks have also held opposing tight ends under 30 yards receiving in five of their last six games.

The model is also calling for a surprising quarterback you aren't even thinking about to finish in the top 10 of its Fantasy football rankings. This pick could be the difference between winning big and going home with nothing. You absolutely need to see it before you lock in your lineups.

So who should you sit and start this week? Visit SportsLine now to get Week 12 Fantasy football rankings for every position, plus see which QB is going to come out of nowhere to crack the top 10, all from the model that out-performed experts big time last season.

Our Latest Stories