Let's not waste too much time with pleasantries here. I've got a turkey to cook and side dishes to finish, and you've got whatever duties on your to-do list to get to. You want to spend time with family, and so do I, so today's newsletter is strictly utilitarian: We're going through every game on the schedule with the latest injury news and start/sit calls for each game, starting with the Thanksgiving trio.
Hopefully you can get your lineup set in between everything else that's going on. Have a happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, now let's go get a win.
Get ready for Week 12 with all of our preview content here:
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- Starts, sits, sleepers, busts: |
- Week 12 Position Previews: | | |
- Week 12 Rankings: Jamey | Dave | Heath
- My rankings: | | |
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🔍Week 12 Game Previews
There's something to watch in every game on the NFL schedule every week, even if you have to squint to see it sometimes. Here's a look ahead at every Week 12 game, with some thoughts and start/sit calls from the FFT team:
All odds are via Caesars Sportsbook.
- Thursday, 12:30 p.m. ET
- Line: Bills -9.5; 54.5 O/U
- Implied totals: Bills 32, Lions 22.5
I'm surprised the line isn't bigger on this one, though I'm pretty sure the Bills' implied total is the highest for any team this season. The biggest question here is whether the Lions can score enough to force the Bills to keep their foot on the collective gas. That's asking a lot against this defense, though they have been vulnerable of late, allowing at least 396 yards in three of four games since the bye as they continues to struggled with injuries.
Dawson Knox -- Start. "Normally Knox is a touchdown or bust tight end, but with Josh Allen's elbow issues potentially altering his decision-making on downfield throws, Knox becomes more appealing as a modest-volume pass-catcher. I'd start him over Greg Dulcich, Hayden Hurst and Mike Gesicki." -Dave Richard:
Injuries: The Fantasy-relevant names in this one aren't really dealing with any injuries with the exception of Josh Reynolds (back), who you probably don't need to worry too much about now that Amon-Ra St. Brown and DJ Chark are healthy. The Lions are missing some key defensive pieces in this one, notably Jeff Okudah (concussion) -- not that you were ever thinking of sitting the likes of Stefon Diggs or Gabe Davis, right?
- Thursday, 4:30 p.m. ET
- Line: Cowboys -10; 45.5 O/U
- Implied totals: Cowboys 27.75, Giants 17.75
The Cowboys kept Tony Pollard as their No. 1 back last week, and it would be awesome if they kept that hierarchy moving forward. However, I worry that was more about Ezekiel Elliott coming back from his knee injury, and I'm expecting to see Elliott's role grow from here on out. Still, both are probably worth starting this week.
Toughest lineup decision: Ezekiel Elliott -- Flex starter. "Elliott's Fantasy outlook will always revolve around whether or not he can score. If he doesn't score, you're looking at five Fantasy points or so. If he does, that balloons to 11 or more. It's always a tough task to hit the road on a short week, and the Giants figure to allow plenty of rushing. He's not a must-start but will work as a flex in non-PPR ahead of Kenyan Drake, Brian Robinson and D'Andre Swift." -Dave Richard
Injuries: Wan'Dale Robinson (knee) is out for the season with a torn ACL, and there's no obvious replacement for him as the go-to short-area target. Darius Slayton should remain the top target here, and he's a decent WR3/4 option ... Micah Parsons (knee/ankle) and Demarcus Lawrence (foot) are both questionable after missing some time in practice this week, but both are expected to play at this point. That's bad news for the Giants offense.
- Thursday, 8:20 p.m. ET
- Line: Vikings -2.5; 42 O/U
- Implied totals: Vikings 22.25, Patriots 19.75
The Patriots are winning ugly, but they're still winning, with three Ws in a row. They go as their defense goes, and they've allowed fewer than 45 passing yards in each of their past two games. They won't make it three in a row, but they're well situated to slow down this offense. Whether their offense can hold up their end of the bargain is the constant question.
Toughest lineup decision: Kirk Cousins -- Sit. "I'm worried about Cousins' potential to get to 20 Fantasy points, much less exceeding 20 Fantasy points. Deploying a quick-game passing approach might help set up an efficient game, but it figures to keep Cousins from finding three scores or 300 yards. Because the upside is capped and the downside is scary, you should strongly consider going with Jimmy Garoppolo, Derek Carr, Ryan Tannehill or even Jacoby Brissett (22-plus Fantasy points in two of his past three!)." -Dave Richard
Injuries: The Patriots are missing starting left guard Isaiah Wynn (foot), and center David Andrews is questionable for Thursday's game as well. This is a tough spot for an offense that is already struggling.
- Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
- Line: Dolphins -13.5; 47 O/U
- Implied totals: Dolphins 30.25, Texans 16.75
If the Texans manage to slow this Dolphins offense down, it would be one of the biggest surprises of the season. So, what are the chances they'll be able to keep up with them? They're betting that replacing Davis Mills with Kyle Allen will be able to jump start their offense, but I'll be honest, I'm pretty skeptical -- his career 3.8% touchdown rate and 6.9 yards per attempt is barely better than Mills' 3.7% and 6.7 marks.
Jeff Wilson -- Start. "This matchup features a gamescript that should work in the favor of both Wilson and Raheem Mostert with Miami entering the game as nearly two-touchdown favorites. Houston's decision to bench Davis Mills for Kyle Allen could lead to more turnovers and shorter fields for Wilson and the Dolphins offense. Combine that with arguably the best matchup for running backs on the slate and Wilson has top-12 RB1 appeal for Week 12. Dave would start Wilson over David Montgomery, Travis Etienne and James Conner in PPR leagues." -Dan Schneier:
Injuries: Raheem Mostert (knee) didn't practice Wednesday, which is a bit of a concern coming out of the bye week. He's been limited at times on Wednesdays throughout the season, but they typically make a note that it's a rest day, so this could be something different. Mostert is a decent option in a great matchup, but I wouldn't sit any of the likes of viable options from Thursday for him, and that includes D'Andre Swift.
- Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
- Line: Bengals -3; 42.5 O/U
- Implied totals: Bengals 22.75, Titans 19.75
This is one of the toughest games to write about right now, because two significant cogs in the Bengals offense are up in the air as of Thursday morning. We're hoping Ja'Marr Chase plays -- Joe Burrow said he expects him to -- but Joe Mixon (concussion) looks like he's very much in doubt. Mixon's absence wouldn't change much about how I view the Bengals offense, but Chase obviously changes how this entire team plays if he's 100% healthy.
Treylon Burks -- Sneaky Sleeper. "Think back to the prior three seasons -- when the Titans wanted to become multi-dimensional on offense, they did it with A.J. Brown. I'm not saying Burks is a carbon copy of Brown but he's probably the most diverse receiver they've got. In a matchup where the Titans should have to throw the ball a decent amount, Burks should be counted on for more red-zone routes and at least as many deep targets as he had in Week 11. Give Burks a shot over Darnell Mooney, Curtis Samuel, Diontae Johnson and Adam Thielen." -Dave Richard:
Injuries: Joe Mixon (concussion) didn't practice Wednesday. He'll have to be cleared through the league's concussion protocol, and I'm just hoping we know before the weekend. Samaje Perine is a top-15 RB for me if Mixon is out ... Ja'Marr Chase (hip) was limited Wednesday, a good sign for his chances of returning. I'm a little worried he might be coming back too quickly, but hopefully the Bengals are smart enough not to risk any long-term damage by bringing him back. You're starting him if he's active, and you're starting Tee Higgins no matter what. Tyler Boyd is a fringe WR3/4 either way.
- Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
- Line: Ravens -4; 43.5 O/U
- Implied totals: Ravens 23.75, Jaguars 19.75
The Ravens are still finding ways to win, but their offense hasn't been quite as explosive of late, with Week 11's 13-3 win over the Panthers hopefully representing the low-water mark. They just don't have enough playmaking in the passing game, and it's left them almost entirely dependent on the running game to move the ball -- which isn't great when their RBs are beat up and Lamar Jackson is dealing with a hamstring injury. I'm not quite sure I agree with them being four-point favorites on the road.
Trevor Lawrence -- Sit. "Fantasy managers may be scrambling for options at QB this week due to a number of QB injuries and benchings, but you can likely do better than Lawrence. His lack of TDs over the Jaguars' last six games limits his ceiling, especially against a Ravens defense rounding into form. Dave is playing Ryan Tannehill, Jacoby Brissett, Jimmy Garoppolo and Kirk Cousins over the Jaguars QB this week." -Dan Schneier:
Injuries: Lamar Jackson (hip) didn't practice Wednesday, but John Harbaugh already said he is going to play despite the injury. I am, admittedly, a little bit concerned about Jackson, and he's more like a low-end QB1 at this point ... Gus Edwards (hamstring/knee) was limited Wednesday, which doesn't really offer much of a clue as to his chances of playing, seeing as he was limited all of last week before being ruled out. Both he and Kenyan Drake are touchdown-dependent RB3s.
- Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
- Line: Jets -5.5; 38.5 O/U
- Implied totals: Jets 22, Bears 16.5
Both teams come into this game with QB questions, though for very different reason. Justin Fields is dealing with an injury that has his status for Week 12 very much in doubt, while the Jets made the decision to bench Zach Wilson this week, demoting him to third on the depth chart. Mike White will start in his place, and that's a pretty interesting wrinkle here, since White threw 38% of his passes to running backs last season. It's hard to be worse for Garrett Wilson than Zach Wilson was, but this introduces some uncertainty that keeps him in the untrustworthy range of the rankings.
Michael Carter -- Start him in PPR. "The Jets' QB change should be great news for Michael Carter and James Robinson, as Mike White tunneled on running back targets during his time on the field last season, including peppering Carter and Ty Johnson with 16 targets in his relief debut, then feeding the pair 20 targets in his 405-yard starting debut. Dave is starting Carter in PPR over D'Andre Swift, Latavius Murray and Cordarelle Patterson." -Dan Schneier:
Injuries: That Justin Fields (shoulder) was made available to talk to the media Wednesday seems like a decent sign he'll be playing this week, but he did tell us he's dealing with a partially torn ligament as a result of the separated shoulder he suffered in Week 11. It's in his non-throwing shoulder, but it's concerning enough that I'm trying to avoid the Bears offense besides David Montgomery, and I'd make sure I have an alternative ready to go if Fields can't go. There's also a chance he plays and either isn't effective or ultimately can't manage the pain well enough, so there's serious risk here.
- Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
- Line: Commanders -5.5; 41 O/U
- Implied totals: Commanders 22.75, Falcons 18.25
The Falcons continue to, improbably, remain competitive, and that makes it increasingly unlikely we're going to see a QB change at any point. The Commanders have already said they're sticking with Taylor Heinicke, so the status quo reigns here. The Commanders are allowing the ninth-lowest yards per carry this season and have given up over 100 rushing yards just once in their past five games, which includes a matchup with the Eagles, so this could be a tough one for the Falcons.
Jahan Dotson more snaps than Samuel last week with the first-round pick getting healthier following a long-term injury. Dave is sitting Samuel in PPR for Treylon Burks, Parris Campbell and Donovan Peoples-Jones." -Dan Schneier: Curtis Samuel -- Sit him. "Samuel will be an intriguing option for his Fantasy managers considering the elite matchup against the Falcons, but beware the red flags. He had just three touches last week but was saved by a rushing TD, and the Commanders gave
Broncos at Panthers
- Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
- Line: Broncos -2; 36 O/U
- Implied totals: Broncos 19, Panthers 17
I've said it a few times already this season, but I'm done saying, "Things can't get worse," when it comes to the Panthers. Clearly, rock-bottom is especially hard for this team to find. Sam Darnold is coming back as the starter this week, and he's got one of the toughest matchups in the league welcoming him. I don't think I want to start anyone on the Panthers in this one if I can help it -- though it says something about how miserable the Broncos offense is that they are only two-point favorites.
Melvin Gordon and placed Chase Edmonds on the IR, but volume isn't the issue with Murray, who hasn't topped 50 rushing yards in four straight games despite seeing 17 carries last week and 14 carries in Week 8. He'll need an end-zone plunge to pay off for Fantasy managers, and trips to the red zone aren't guaranteed on this awful offense. Dave is starting Samaje Perine, Rachaad White and Michael Carter over Murray in PPR." -Dan Schneier: Latavius Murray -- Possible bust. "The impulse is going to be to start Murray after the Broncos waived
Injuries: Jerry Jeudy (ankle), who missed last week's game, was unable to practice Wednesday. I'm not planning on having him available at this point.
Buccaneers at Browns
- Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
- Line: Buccaneers -3.5; 42.5 O/U
- Implied totals: Buccaneers 23, Browns 19.5
The Browns rank just 30th in scoring defense, which is pretty disappointing. But it's not nearly as disappointing as the Buccaneers ranking just 27th in scoring offense. No, that's not a typo. I'm still optimistic that this can be one of the better offenses in the league, but if they struggle to put up points in this one, I might have to give up the dream.
Tom Brady - Possible bust. "The Bucs are trending upward coming out of their bye as healthy as they've been all year, and that may mean less volume than we've grown accustomed to from Brady in the passing game. He had just 29 pass attempts against the Seahawks, just half of the 58 he threw in his previous game, after topping 40 in seven straight. He's been held to zero or one passing TD in all but two games this year, while the Browns have held all but three QBs under 20 Fantasy points. Dave is starting Geno Smith and Dak Prescott over Brady, but potential weather conditions could push the Bucs QB down even further." -Dan Schneier:
Injuries: Limited at practice Wednesday. Leonard Fournette (hip) is "pretty sore" still as a result of the injury, despite the bye week, and his status will be determined by whether he can run at full speed or not. At this point, I'm expecting Rachaad White to be the lead back, though obviously if Fournette plays, he'll be more like an RB3 for me ... Russell Gage (hamstring) is apparently making progress, but he didn't practice Wednesday. You can probably just go ahead and cut him if you're still hanging on.
- Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET
- Line: Chargers -3; 48 O/U
- Implied totals: Chargers 25.5, Cardinals 22.5
Coming off another heartbreaking close loss to the Chiefs, the Chargers are hoping for better results than last time, when they were blown out by the Jaguars in Week 3. The Cardinals don't really seem particularly well equipped to blow anybody out at this point, and even though Kyler Murray is expected back from his hamstring injury, other injuries on offense present an obstacle.
Injuries: Neither Rondale Moore (groin) nor Greg Dortch (thumb) were able to practice Wednesday, which isn't a great sign. If Moore plays, he's a top-30 WR; if Moore doesn't play and Dortch does, he's probably a top-30 WR. The problem is, at this point it doesn't look like either is going to play ... Mike Williams (ankle) didn't practice Wednesday, a bad sign after he aggravated his high-ankle sprain last week. For what it's worth, coach Brandon Staley told reporters Wednesday he expected Williams to be limited, so either the injury is worse than he's letting on or there's a chance he'll be able to play. I wouldn't plan on having Williams available right now ... Gerald Everett (groin) was back at practice Wednesday as a limited participant after missing last Sunday's game. He's a viable TE1 if he plays.
Raiders at Seahawks
- Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET
- Line: Seahawks -3.5; 47.5 O/U
- Implied totals: Seahawks 25.5, Raiders 22
These two teams are on opposite ends of the "feel-good" spectrum right now, and I'm genuinely surprised the Seahawks are only favored by 3.5 at home. Their defense isn't great, but neither is Las Vegas'; the bettors seem to still be pretty skeptical of the Seahawks offense. At this point, I'm not.
Justin Herbert." -Dan Schneier: Geno Smith -- Start him. "Smith has thrown multiple TDs in eight of his 10 games this year, including in tough matchups against the Broncos and Buccaneers. The Raiders defense has taken advantage of some good matchups in recent weeks but still is one of the best matchups for opposing Fantasy QBs. Even in a week with no byes, Dave has Smith as a locked-in starter ahead of Lamar Jackson and
Injuries: There are no relevant injuries of note here.
- Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET
- Line: 49ers -9.5; 43 O/U
- Implied totals: 49ers 26.25, Saints 16.75
The 49ers are kind of a headache for Fantasy, but their offense has looked pretty terrifying recently, scoring 91 points over the past three games -- basically since Christian McCaffrey became a full-time player. The Saints defense has struggled in a major way this season, especially on the ground of late, having allowed 413 rushing yards over the past three games. Expect a lot of McCaffrey and then Elijah Mitchell late. Mitchell is an intriguing RB3 play.
NFL by a wide margin, Garoppolo has worked himself into the QB1 mix, but he's not matchup-proof. In Week 12, the Saints present a middling matchup for the 49ers pass game and the likelihood of a game script that works against him with the 49ers entering this game as heavy favorites. If the 49ers jump out to an early lead, it could be the Christian McCaffrey and Elijah Mitchell show. Dave would start Geno Smith and Lamar Jackson over Garoppolo." -Dan Schneier: Jimmy Garoppolo -- Sit him. "With the best yards after-the-catch weapons in the
Injuries: Deebo Samuel (hamstring) is coming off a strong performance, and there was no indication he was hurting coming out of Monday's game, so hopefully this is more of a precaution than anything. I'm not too worried at this point.
Rams at Chiefs
- Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET
- Line: Chiefs -15.5; 43 O/U
- Implied totals: Chiefs 29.25, Rams 13.75
Matthew Stafford has already been ruled out for this one, so the Rams will be down their starting QB and their No. 1 WR; they also cut their Week 1 starter at running back and leading rusher, Darrell Henderson. That's what it looks like when your season falls apart, and their 13.75 implied total is one of the lowest I've seen all season. Bryce Perkins could have a long day ahead of him on Sunday.
Kyren Williams -- Sneaky sleeper. "Williams should continue to see his role expand in the offense after getting 55% of the snaps last week with Darrell Henderson, who has since been waived, barely seeing action. His biggest impact will likely come in PPR leagues, as the Chiefs give up a lot of receptions to backs and the Rams will likely be forced to play from behind, leaving easy dump-offs to Williams on the table for much of the second half. Dave ranks Williams ahead of Damien Harris, James Robinson and A.J. Dillon in PPR leagues" -Dan Schneier:
Injuries: John Wolford (neck) was the backup to Stafford, so if he's good to go, he might end up starting here. Not that it would change the outlook for this offense ... Allen Robinson (ankle) was limited in practice Wednesday. You probably shouldn't be starting him ... Tyler Higbee (knee) was unable to practice Wednesday, so that's another player who might not be available for the Rams. He's a low-end TE1 if he plays, but I'm making alternate plans now ... JuJu Smith-Schuster (concussion) was able to practice in full Wednesday, so I'm expecting we'll have him back. He's in the WR2 discussion ... Kadarius Toney (hamstring) looks like he could miss some time (again) after missing Wednesday's practice. He has some upside, but his inability to stay healthy continues to sabotage his chances.
Packers at Eagles
- Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET
- Line: Eagles -6.5; 46.5 O/U
- Implied totals: Eagles 26.5, Packers 20
The Eagles have looked a bit pedestrian over the past two games, losing to the middling Commanders and then barely beating the Colts. The Packers aren't much better than either of those teams, but the line here suggests there's at least a little concern that the Eagles have hit a wall. I'm not too worried, personally.
Devonta Smith -- Start him in non-PPR. "What would happen with the Eagles pass game after losing Dallas Goedert was on the top of my mind heading into their Week 11 and we got the answer immediately -- a concentrated target share with Smith and A.J. Brown. That target share could easily grow to over 60% of the targets in Week 12 and Smith's share will grow with it. Smith checks in as a WR2 for Dave even in non-PPR where he would start him over Chris Olave, Josh Palmer and George Pickens." -Dan Schneier:
Injuries: There are some injuries worth monitoring here, but nothing too concerning; Randall Cobb (illness), Aaron Jones (shin/glute), and Allen Lazard (shoulder) were all limited Wednesday, so I'm expecting them all to play.
Steelers at Colts
- Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET
- Line: Colts -2.5; 39 O/U
- Implied totals: Colts 20.75, Steelers 18.25
The Steelers might be showing some signs of figuring things out, with two of their three single-game yardage totals of the season coming in consecutive games. The seven-point margin in last week's game against the Bengals probably overstates how close it was, but it's still a solid showing for a team that still ranks 28th in scoring. Kenny Pickett might matter for Fantasy yet.
Chase Claypool has done nothing to improve Johnson's targets, with the former PPR mainstay catching just four passes on five targets in each of the last two weeks. George Pickens should continue to grow into the No. 1 threat for Kenny Pickett, but there may not be any production at all for Pittsburgh receivers in this tough matchup. Dave is sitting Johnson in favor of Tyler Boyd, Parris Campbell and Treylon Burks in PPR." -Dan Schneier: Diontae Johnson -- Sit him. "The Steelers' trade of
Injuries: These teams haven't practiced yet, so we don't know who will or won't be available. However, Jaylen Warren is really the only Fantasy relevant name we're keeping an eye on at this point, and his injury makes Najee Harris easier to trust as an RB2.