Week twelve is here and that means this is the last week we have teams off. There are several good games on tap this week as we look into the matchups, with a few key divisional games that will have real life playoff implications. In other words, we should be in store for some good football this weekend. The intent of this article is to highlight players who I believe will outperform or under-perform their weekly ranking and give you confidence while you’re making tough lineup choices.
Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons (vs Buccaneers)
Ryan started the season red hot, as if it were a flashback to his 2016 MVP season, throwing for eight touchdowns in his first three games. After an ankle injury sidelined him for a week, he came out of the bye week and picked up right where he left off with three scores in his last two games. This week in another divisional matchup, the Bucs are coming to town and are bringing the second-worst pass defense in the league. They are allowing 303.4 yards per game and have allowed 25 touchdowns good for the second-most in the league behind only the Cardinals. The Bucs have given up 340 yards or more in two of the last three games and have surrendered 11 touchdowns over that same span. Ryan and the Falcons should be able to feast on this secondary, fire up Ryan this week and don’t look back.
Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans (vs Jaguars)
Fresh off their bye week, the Titans will host the Jaguars this week in a matchup that Henry should be able to exploit. Week 10 was his best game of the year so far in which he carried the ball 23 times for 188 yards and found the end zone twice. Henry is averaging 4.4 yards per carry this year and is surprisingly averaging 1.3 catches per game, which is an added bonus. The Jags are giving up on average 113 yards per game and have surrendered 480 yards on the ground the past two games. They also allowed three rushing touchdowns to the Colts last week in a game the Colts dominated on the ground. The change at quarterback to Ryan Tannehill has proved beneficial to Henry this year and has opened things up for the running game.
Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints (vs Panthers)
Kamara has been somewhat of a let down thus far this season. He certainly isn’t playing like the first-round talent (in some cases first overall pick) that he was drafted to be during fantasy drafts this past summer. He’s yet to rush for 100 yards in a game and he has just two touchdowns on the year, one through the air and one on the ground which just so happened to be in the same game back in week three against the Seahawks. The Panthers are visiting the Saints this week in a key divisional showdown as the Panthers are trying to keep their playoff hopes alive. The Panthers are giving up 105.9 yards per game and have held opposing running backs to under 100 yards just twice all year. Kamara has been good catching the ball out of the backfield averaging 5.9 catches per game which are keeping him relevant in PPR formats. This week is a great opportunity for Kamara to get over the century mark against the weak run defense of the Panthers.
Jamison Crowder, WR, New York Jets (at Raiders)
Crowder has been on fire in recent weeks. After being held without a touchdown all year, he’s now found the end zone in three consecutive games. The Jets are hosting the Raiders this week who have given up 12 scores on the year and six in their last three games while giving up an average of 208 yards per game in that same span. Crowder has emerged as the top target in the passing game for young quarterback Sam Darnold and the two are developing solid chemistry together. The Jets look anemic at times on offense, but someone needs to catch passes as they play out the string. Crowder should be in lineups this week and at the very minimum is a flex play until further notice.
DK Metcalf, WR, Seattle Seahawks (at Eagles)
The second-round rookie out of Mississippi has impressed this season and will only get better as he becomes a more polished route runner. Between Metcalf’s size and speed, he is a mismatch for almost any secondary in the league. This week the Seahawks will travel to Philadelphia to take on the Eagles, whose secondary has been better of late, but is still one of the worst units in the league. They are giving up 168 yards per game along with 13 touchdowns on the year and have held opposing wide receivers to under 155 yards just three times this season. Metcalf will square off against Ronald Darby who is allowing on average, 5.2 catches and 15 fantasy points per game. The word out of Seattle is that Tyler Lockett is going to try to play in this one, but either way, Metcalf is a solid start this week.
Zach Ertz, TE, Philadelphia Eagles (vs Seahawks)
Ertz has come alive the past two weeks seeing 11 targets in each of his last two games. That’s the type of volume we’ve been waiting for all year. He has 197 yards and one score in that span and is starting to play more like the TE1 he was drafted to be during fantasy drafts. This week he gets a matchup against the Seahawks who are ranked near the bottom in defending against the tight end giving up 615 yards and four scores on the year. Of course, the Eagles also have Dallas Goedert who is always a threat to steal targets and touchdowns but that doesn’t mean you sit Ertz with a good opportunity ahead.
Other Players to Like
Baker Mayfield, QB, Cleveland Browns (vs Dolphins)
The Dolphins have arguably the worst defense and secondary in the league, even the Browns should be able to move the ball on them.
Tevin Coleman, RB, San Francisco 49ers (vs Packers)
Likely a clock-control game for the 49ers. The Packers have given up the second-most touchdowns to opposing running backs on the year.
Jaylen Samuels, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers (at Bengals)
Conner most likely out again, Bengals give up a ton of receiving yards to running backs.
DeVante Parker, WR, Miami Dolphins (at Browns)
Double-digit targets the last two weeks. This game has back and forth potential.
Ryan Griffin, TE, New York Jets (vs Raiders)
Over 100 yards last week, he is emerging as a red zone threat for the Jets. Raiders have given up second-most touchdowns to tight ends on the year.