Tuesday - Jan 19, 2021

Home / Commentary / RED LIGHT, GREEN LIGHT — Week 12


Welcome back for the Week 12 edition of “Red Light, Green Light”, your matchup guide for all of this weekend’s NFL contests. While the information conveyed below piece is not intended to be solely a start/bench list, it can be used to evaluate those decisions as well.

In each NFL Week 12 game profile below, players mentioned in the green light sections have a great matchup, and can be counted on as rock solid options. Players mentioned in the yellow light sections have just an okay matchup and/or usage concerns, meaning they are passable fantasy options but don’t expect them to set the world on fire. Players in the red light sections have serious matchup/usage concerns, require lowered expectations lowered for the week, and/or should be avoided if possible. Remember, seeing your stud listed in the yellow or red light section isn’t necessarily grounds to bench them, but more of an indication they may not be the guy(s) carrying your team to victory.

Note: Fantasy points allowed statistics are based off of the Fantasy Sharks default PPR scoring system. Point Spreads and Over/Unders are based off the Fantasy Sharks consensus analysis.

Bye Week Teams: Kansas City, Arizona, L.A. Chargers, Minnesota

Denver Broncos at Buffalo Bills

Tale of the Tape – Ranks for Most 2019 Fantasy Points Allowed Per Game
Position Broncos Bills
Quarterback 29th 30th
Running Back 22nd 17th
Wide Receiver 29th 25th
Tight End 12th 32nd
Defense/Special Teams 11th 23rd
Vegas Line: Bills -4
Vegas Over/Under: 37
  • Phillip Lindsay – Played a season-high 64 percent of the Broncos’ offensive snaps in their first game following the bye week, as the team is reportedly looking to lean on their second-year a bit more than they have earlier in the season.
  • Devin Singletary – Continues to be uber-efficient with his touches, though it remains to be seen if there will be any consequences for two fumbles last Sunday (both were fortuitously recovered by the offense).
  • Dawson Knox – Has gone 6-87-1 over the last two weeks, and the Broncos allow 56.5 receiving yards per game to opposing tight ends.
  • Bills D/ST – Playing at home, at facing the NFL’s 6th-lowest scoring offense in Denver, whose internal clocks will be two hours behind for this East Coast matchup.
  • Courtland Sutton – Shoddy quarterback play hasn’t slowed Sutton down at all, as he’s currently ranked 9th in NFL receiving yards among wideouts. Sutton has not been targeted fewer than 6 times in any game this season.
  • Josh Allen – Rushing will continue to buoy his fantasy value, but the Broncos are a brutal matchup, as they allow the 4th-fewest passing yards per game to opposing quarterbacks.
  • John Brown – Put up a season-best 9-137-2 on 14 targets last Sunday against Miami, but is primed for a letdown against a Broncos defense allowing the third-fewest receiving yards per game to opposing wideouts.
  • Noah Fant – Soaked up a season-high 11 targets last Sunday. Only San Francisco has allowed fewer receiving yards to opposing tight ends than Buffalo.
  • Royce Freeman – Has touched the ball just 15 times for 59 scoreless yards over the Broncos past two games, as it appears Freeman is fading into more of a traditional backup role.

New York Giants at Chicago Bears

Tale of the Tape – Ranks for Most 2019 Fantasy Points Allowed Per Game
Position Giants Bears
Quarterback 9th 28th
Running Back 11th 14th
Wide Receiver 2nd 31st
Tight End 27th 8th
Defense/Special Teams 3rd 13th
Vegas Line: Bears -6.5
Vegas Over/Under: 40.5
  • Allen Robinson – Comes off a quiet Week 11 (4-15-0), but faces one of the NFL’s worst secondaries in the Giants, who have allowed 193.6 receiving yards per game to opposing wideouts.
  • Bears D/ST – The Giants are second in the NFL with 24 giveaways, and are -12 in turnover differential.
  • David Montgomery – Managed to play Week 11 after being listed as a game-time decision due to an ankle injury, though managed just 50 total yards on 15 touches. Montgomery hasn’t appeared on the Bears’ practice report this week, so he should be good to go against a Giants defense that has allowed the 7th-most rushing yards per game to opposing backfields.
  • Anthony Miller/Taylor Gabriel – Tough to say which of these guys is going to pop this week, but the Bears’ lack of a viable receiving tight end means these wideouts should continue being more involved similar to last week when they combined for 25 targets (though some of that was due to Robinson getting bottled up).
  • Saquon Barkley – Over the Bears’ last four games, they have allowed 116.8 total yards per game and 5 touchdowns to opposing running backs. Hopefully the bye week has given Barkley more time to rest his ailing ankle (injured in Week 3) that had reportedly still been bothering him after returning.
  • Golden Tate – The Bears have allowed just one receiving touchdown to an opposing wideout since Week 3.
  • Sterling Shepard (concussion) – Has resumed practicing, but has reportedly not yet cleared the concussion protocol. A return to game action for Shepard would negatively impact both Tate and rookie Darius Slayton’s target shares. Update: Shepard was not listed on the Giants’ final injury report, so he appears all set to return.
  • Evan Engram (foot) – Looking like a longshot to play on Sunday after missing practice all week, which is a disappointment considering it would otherwise be an inviting matchup. Update: Engram has been ruled out for Sunday.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals

Tale of the Tape – Ranks for Most 2019 Fantasy Points Allowed Per Game
Position Steelers Bengals
Quarterback 21st 4th
Running Back 27th 6th
Wide Receiver 20th 22nd
Tight End 7th 17th
Defense/Special Teams 14th 6th
Vegas Line: Steelers -6.5
Vegas Over/Under: 39
  • None of note.
  • Jaylen Samuels – Expected to draw the nominal start at running back for Pittsburgh, but has really struggled on the ground since returning from a knee injury in Week 8, turning 29 carries into just 65 yards. Samuels’ services as a pass catcher will be needed however with WRs JuJu Smith-Schuster (concussion) and Diontae (concussion) both still in the League protocol.
  • Benny Snell (knee) –  If he can rejoin the Steelers’ lineup, the rookie could end up leading the Steelers in carries against one the NFL’s worst rush defenses.
  • James Washington – Averaging 69 receiving yards per game over the Steelers last three, and could be the man in the pass game if Diontae Johnson can’t get cleared in time (Johnson still has a shot to play, while Smith-Schuster is expected to sit).
  • Joe Mixon – Averaging 88.7 rushing yards per game over the Bengals’ last three, though Pittsburgh’ boasts the NFL’s 8th-best run defense per rush DVOA rankings.
  • Tyler Boyd – Saw the bottom fall out from under him with just a 1-0-0 receiving line in Week 11. With Auden Tate (neck) likely out and A.J. Green (ankle) seemingly nowhere near a return, Boyd will likely be smothered by the Steelers’ defensive backs.
  • Tyler Eifert – While he’s managed to stay healthy, Eifert has just one game in 2019 with more than 30 receiving yards.

Miami Dolphins at Cleveland Browns

Tale of the Tape – Ranks for Most 2019 Fantasy Points Allowed Per Game
Position Dolphins Browns
Quarterback 5th 15th
Running Back 5th 9th
Wide Receiver 14th 24th
Tight End 14th 19th
Defense/Special Teams 1st 9th
Vegas Line: Browns -11
Vegas Over/Under: 44
  • Nick Chubb – Already having hit the 1,000+ rushing yard threshold, Chubb should have no trouble trampling the Dolphins’ second-worst rush defense in terms yards allowed on the ground to opposing running backs.
  • Baker Mayfield – Steadily improving with 6 total touchdowns and zero turnovers across the Browns’ last three games played.
  • Odell Beckham – No. 1 receivers have largely feasted against Miami since CB Xavien Howard (knee, IR) was lost for the season. Beckham ranks top-10 in wide receiver air yards.
  • Jarvis Landry – Comes in to this contest on a three-game scoring streak, and is averaging 10 targets per game since Week 8.
  • Browns D/ST – The absence of suspended defensive linemen Myles Garrett and Larry Ogunjobi will be felt, but this is the Dolphins after all.
  • DeVante Parker – Averaging 8.8 targets and 75 receiving yards per game over the Dolphins last five. The Dolphins can’t get anything going on the ground, so they figure to dial up the pass frequently.
  • Kalen Ballage – Averaging 1.8 yards-per-carry over two starts. Even in a plus matchup, trusting Ballage is playing with fire.
  • Mike Gesicki – His Week 9 breakout appears to have been a mirage, as Gesicki has gone just 7-46-0 in two games since. Cleveland has allowed the 11th-fewest receiving yards to opposing tight ends this season.

About Will Weiler

An NFL Red Zone addict and all-around data nerd, I've been obsessed with the NFL and stats ever since I started playing the virtual pigskin game in 2005.