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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 (and Monday’s) NFL contests. While this piece is not intended to be solely a start/bench list, it can be used for some of 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 for the week. 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 concerns, and need to have 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 this week.

Note: Fantasy points allowed statistics are based off of the Fantasy Sharks default PPR scoring system.

Bye Week Teams: Kansas City, Los Angeles Rams

Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals

Tale of the Tape – Ranks for Most 2018 Fantasy Points Allowed Per Game
Position Browns Bengals
Quarterback 15th 1st
Running Back 6th 3rd
Wide Receiver 7th 8th
Tight End 5th 3rd
Defense/Special Teams 15th 17th
Vegas Line: Bengals -3
Vegas Over/Under: 46.5
green-light
  • Nick Chubb – Prior to the Browns’ bye week, the rookie sensation put up a career high 209 total yards and two scores in Week 10 against the Falcons. The Bengals have given up 12 touchdowns to opposing running backs over their last six games played.
  • Baker Mayfield – He’s on a four game streak of throwing two or more touchdown passes.
  • Joe Mixon – Since returning from a knee injury in Week 6, Mixon’s touch counts are 15, 16, 24, 13, and 15. With the Browns defense being one of the worst at defending opposing backfields, look for Mixon to cross the 20 touch threshold this week.
yellow-light
  • Jarvis Landry – Has surpassed 69 receiving yards just once since Week 4, and he’s seen a decrease in volume the past two weeks with just 12 targets over that span. This matchup has get-right potential though.
  • Duke Johnson – Even with the Browns coaching changes, it’s clear that Johnson’s rushing load won’t increase. However, he’s totaled a 13-109-3 receiving line over in his last two games played, as opposed to 20-203-0 over his first 9.
  • David Njoku – He’s struggled in his past three games played, averaging just 23.7 receiving yards per game over that span and no touchdowns. Maybe the knee issue that had been limiting Njoku prior to the Browns bye contributed to the ineffectiveness, but with a week to rest the second-year tight end should be fully healthy.
  • A.J. Green (toe) – There’s optimism he’ll return this week, though the risk of in game re-aggravation is high for a player with a long history of toe issues. The Bengals offense as a whole stands to benefit if Green can suit up, however.
  • Tyler Boyd – Has cooled off immensely with just 7-136-0 over his last two games played, though getting Green back should help alleviate some of the extra defensive attention Boyd has been seeing.
red-light
  • Andy Dalton – Has averaged just 211 passing yards and 1.5 passing scores per game since Week 6. Regardless of A.J. Green‘s status, Dalton’s matchup against the Browns isn’t the most inviting.
  • John Ross – He’s found the end zone in three of his last four game played. However, with no more than three catches or 52 receiving yards in any 2018 contest, Ross is merely touchdown-or-bust.

Seattle Seahawks at Carolina Panthers

Tale of the Tape – Ranks for Most 2018 Fantasy Points Allowed Per Game
Position Seahawks Panthers
Quarterback 29th 8th
Running Back 21st 25th
Wide Receiver 13th 17th
Tight End 25th 1st
Defense/Special Teams 19th 23rd
Vegas Line: Panthers -3.5
Vegas Over/Under: 
46.5
green-light
  • Russell Wilson – His 16-game passing touchdown pace puts him on pace for a career-high 36. The Panthers defense has allowed at least two passing touchdowns in 8 of their 10 games played this season.
yellow-light
  • Cam Newton – Seattle has allowed just two QB1 performances this season, though each instance occurred in the last two weeks. More concerning for Newton’s floor is that he’s ran the ball just four times over that same span.
  • Christian McCaffrey – Came back down to Earth a bit last week, but still managed 110 scrimmage yards. The Seahawks have wilted a bit against opposing running backs as of late, allowing at least 103 total yards and a score to each of the last three they’ve faced.
  • D.J. Moore – The last time Moore broke out (Week 8), he followed it up with two duds, so it’s not a given he builds on last Sundays 7-157-1 performance. However, the matchup could be lucrative as only the Redskins and Rams have allowed more receiving yards to opposing wideouts over the last four weeks.
  • Chris Carson – As long as Carson is healthy, he’ll be the one spearheading the on the NFL’s most rush-heavy offense. While the Panthers’ haven’t allowed a 100-yard rusher since Week 2, they’ve allowed five touchdowns to opposing running backs over their last four games played.
  • Doug Baldwin – Declared himself over his knee woes prior to Week 11’s win over the Packers, and the veteran backed it up on the field en route to a 7-52-1 line on 10 targets while showcasing his trademark crisp route running. Baldwin should be able to keep it going against a struggling Panthers secondary.
  • Tyler Lockett – Highly efficient with limited targets (just over five per game), Lockett has converted 74.5 percent of them into receptions. The Panthers have allowed the 7th-most receiving yards to opposing wideouts, however, Lockett’s low target volume caps his ceiling.
  • Devin Funchess – Has now gone scoreless in four straight contests, while averaging 35.5 receiving yards per game over that span.
  • Rashaad Penny/Mike Davis – Penny looks like he’s relegated to change-of-pace duties with Carson healthy, while Davis simply handles obvious passing situations and the Seahawks’ two minute offense.

Jacksonville Jaguars at Buffalo Bills

Tale of the Tape – Ranks for Most 2018 Fantasy Points Allowed Per Game
Position Jaguars Bills
Quarterback 23rd 32nd
Running Back 30th 10th
Wide Receiver 31st 32nd
Tight End 13th 23rd
Defense/Special Teams 5th 1st
Vegas Line: Jaguars -3
Vegas Over/Under: 
37
  • Leonard Fournette – If they could, the Jaguars would just hand the ball off to Fournette and/or Carlos Hyde on every offensive snap, as the pass game has completely cratered.
  • Jaguars D/ST – The Bills may be starting Josh Allen (elbow) at quarterback this week, but no matter, as they’ve yielded double-digit fantasy points to the opposing D/ST in eight of 10 games played this season.
  • Bills D/ST – While the Jaguars are doing their best to hide Blake Bortles behind the run game, their banged up offensive line is still allowing quarterback pressure on the few pass plays they do run. Pittsburgh racked up six sacks against this Jaguars team just a week ago.
  • Blake Bortles – The Bills allow an NFL-low 202 passing yards per game, and it’s not like the Jaguars are going to want to pass the ball to win this contest.
  • T.J. Yeldon – In what projects as a slow-paced defensive slugfest, Yeldon’s pass-catching skills won’t be needed.
  • Jaguars Wide Receivers – Donte Moncrief and Dede Westbrook will continue to be the most trustworthy options, though that isn’t saying much. Moncrief figures to be erased by Bills CB Tre’Davious White, while Westbrook hasn’t cleared 40 receiving yards since Week 5.
  • LeSean McCoy – After allowing a 100-yard rusher in both Weeks 6 and 7, the Jaguars have reverted to their usual stingy selves, having not allowed an opposing running back to surpass 61 rushing yards against them since then.
  • Bills Wide Receivers – Zay Jones had been surprising folks as of late with 8-93-1 in the Bills Week 10 win over the Jets. Given that Josh Allen is trending towards returning, all bets are off in terms of which wideout garners the rookie quarterback’s attention.

Oakland Raiders at Baltimore Ravens

Tale of the Tape – Ranks for Most 2018 Fantasy Points Allowed Per Game
Position Raiders Ravens
Quarterback 13th 26th
Running Back 8th 32nd
Wide Receiver 19th 27th
Tight End 14th 15th
Defense/Special Teams 9th 22nd
Vegas Line: Raiders -10.5
Vegas Over/Under: 
43
  • Ravens D/ST – Playing at home? Check. Favored by double digits? Check. Opponent with the third-lowest implied point total of the week? Check and mate.
  • Lamar Jackson – Rushed a whopping 27 times for 117 yards last week, though it’s likely those attempts come down, as it’s not conducive to your quarterback’s health to have them get tackled that many times in a game. Jackson finished  Week 11 as the QB13 despite not even scoring a touchdown, so it’s safe to assume some positive regression in the scoring department against the lowly Raiders.
  • Gus Edwards – With 115 rushing yards and a score on 17 carries last Sunday, Edwards appears to be taking over the Baltimore backfield. He brings little to the table as a receiver, but that shouldn’t matter in a game the Ravens should win handily. As long as Edwards is getting the majority of the carries, he should be in for an other strong performance.
  • Jared Cook – Considering how dire the Raiders’ wideout situation is, it was surprising to see Cook draw only six targets last Sunday. Nevertheless, he was able to score his fourth touchown of the season in that contest, and needs to be involved going forward if the Raiders have any hope of moving the ball against this Ravens defense.
  • Ravens Wide Receivers – With Lamar Jackson calling the shots last Sunday, John Brown and Michael Crabtree COMBINED for just 2-30-0 through the air on four targets as the Ravens only completed 13 passes on the day. Willie Snead actually led the way with 5-54, though with the Ravens favored so heavily, expect another game plan skewed heavily in favor of the rush.
  • Raiders Running Backs – Doug Martin (ankle) may not play, so rushing duties likely befall Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington. Richard amassed a season-high 93 yards on 14 touches last Sunday, but will find the sledding immensely tough against Baltimore’s uber-tough run defense.
  • Seth Roberts – He and seventh-round rookie Marcell Ateman are currently the Raiders starting wideouts with Brandon LaFell (achilles) done for the year and Jordy Nelson (knee) unlikely to be ready. Neither Roberts nor Ateman would be recommended even in a good matchup.

Miami Dolphins at Indianapolis Colts

Tale of the Tape – Ranks for Most 2018 Fantasy Points Allowed Per Game
Position Dolphins Colts
Quarterback 21st 14th
Running Back 4th 14th
Wide Receiver 24th 25th
Tight End 16th 7th
Defense/Special Teams 6th 27th
Vegas Line: Colts -7.5
Vegas Over/Under: 
51
  • Marlon Mack – The Colts won’t have their start C Ryan Kelly (knee) this week, but that won’t matter in the run game. Miami allows the third-most rushing yards per game to opposing backfields.
  • Andrew Luck – You’ve got to look back to Week 3 to find the last time Luck threw fewer than three touchdown passes in a game. Game script may be an obstacle to keeping the streak going though.
  • JackDoyle/Eric Ebron – Doyle is the safer play as the Colts’ weekly snap leader at tight end. Ebron obviously carries more touchdown upside given he’s scored 10 times on the season, though last week’s zero target/zero receiving yard output makes Ebron’s floor lower than Doyle’s.
  • Colts D/ST – Not as exciting a play as they would have been if Brock Osweiler were starting at QB for the Dolphins. Ryan Tannehill is expected to take back the reins, though he’s reportedly still feeling some shoulder discomfort, and wasn’t playing particularly well prior to getting injured.
  • Frank Gore – He’s got 58 or more total yards in four of his last five games played, but no touchdowns over that span. The Dolphins will likely spend most of this contest playing catch up, and Gore offers little to nothing in the pass game.
  • Kenyan Drake – Has been given double-digit carries in just two of his last eight games played. For whatever reason, the Dolphins refuse to use Drake as anything more than a gadget/change-of-pace option, and with Gore running reasonably well, there’s likely little reason to increase the third-year running back’s touch counts.
  • Kenny Stills – Tannehill’s re-insertion under center should help Stills’ stats, though he hasn’t recorded a game of more than three receptions since Week 1 anyhow.

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.