As fantasy football managers begin contemplating their Week 12 start/sit decisions, we here at PFN have got some early thoughts on who might be intriguing considerations this week. This article will utilize data surrounding fantasy points allowed to the position by opposing defenses to try and identify options that could be over and undervalued in the upcoming week.
Let’s take a look through the data from the 2022 NFL season and examine whether the likes of Rachaad White, Dalvin Cook, Travis Etienne Jr., and others could be start ’em or sit ’em considerations for Week 12.
Week 12 Fantasy Football Start ’ems
Our aim in this article is to select players as potential starters who were in lineups in less than 40% of ESPN leagues the previous week. Equally, when recommending sits, we are usually looking to identify players that were started in at least 50% of leagues the week before.
The selections in this article can also help those of you looking to play in DFS or Best Ball leagues on Underdog Fantasy. By trying to identify players who appear to be undervalued, we may also identify some bargains that slip under the radar in those other formats.
Jimmy Garoppolo, QB | SF vs. NO
Since he took over at quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo has actually been a very solid fantasy QB on a weekly basis. His 5.9 fantasy points in Week 10 were his lowest since Week 4 (13.86). In the interim, Garoppolo has scored consistently between 16.3 and 18.05 fantasy points. While those numbers may not make you feel warm and fuzzy if you started him, he hasn’t been a bust either.
This week against the New Orleans Saints, Garoppolo could get right back to being a solid starting option. The Saints have allowed an average of 19.27 fantasy points per game to opposing QBs in the past three weeks. Only five teams have a worse record in that stretch, with only the Broncos being more consistently worse against quarterbacks.
However, if you are choosing who to start between Garoppolo and Baker Mayfield this week, it feels like there is only one clear choice.
Rachaad White, RB | TB @ CLE
The situation with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ backfield will be intriguing to see this week. Rachaad White was impressive when Leonard Fournette was hurt during their game in Munich. While Fournette is expected back this week, we should still see plenty of White in the game. He had already earned himself a bigger role heading into the Munich game, and his performance further cemented that.
The good news for fantasy managers of both White and Fournette is that there should be scope for both to find success this week. The Cleveland Browns are the second-worst defense this season against opposing running backs, allowing an average of 26.37 fantasy points to the position.
In the last three weeks, the Browns have actually been the easiest opponent for opposing backs in terms of fantasy points. In that stretch, they’ve allowed an average of 32.2 fantasy points per game.
There is enough scope here where you could conceivably start both White and Fournette this week, assuming the latter is healthy enough to play a significant role.
Demarcus Robinson, WR | BAL @ JAX
The last three games have been mixed for Demarcus Robinson. On Thursday Night Football in Week 8, Robinson had 64 receiving yards on six receptions. Then, in Week 9, he struggled with just 12 receiving yards from one reception.
Nevertheless, in Week 11, Robinson put together an impressive nine receptions from nine targets for 128 yards. With Rashod Bateman injured, Robinson should continue to see a reasonable role going forward.
This week, he gets an intriguing matchup against a Jacksonville Jaguars team that has allowed an average of 35.5 fantasy points to opposing wide receivers in their last two games. Their 28.92 fantasy points allowed per game is the eighth-highest this year and is pinpointed by allowing over 30 fantasy points five times in their 10 games.
There is definitely the potential for Robinson to have another good week in Week 12.
Parris Campbell, WR | IND vs. PIT
Matt Ryan’s return as the starter continues to provide solid returns for Parris Campbell’s fantasy value. Through the last two weeks, he has had 12 receptions for 143 yards and a touchdown.
The usage has been the key, with 15 targets in the past two weeks, compared to seven with Sam Ehlinger under center. In Ryan’s last four games as the starting QB, Campbell has 38 targets and scored three receiving touchdowns.
In Week 12, he goes up against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday Night Football. The Steelers just allowed 36.8 fantasy points to the Cincinnati Bengals WRs without Ja’Marr Chase.
Additionally, they allow the most fantasy points to the position this season at 35.98, including six of their 10 games allowing over 30 fantasy points. There is a lot of potential for the Colts’ WRs to have success this week, and Campbell could be an intriguing starting option.
Gerald Everett, TE | LAC vs. ARI
If Gerald Everett can get back to full health this week, then the matchup he has against the Arizona Cardinals provides huge potential. He was limited in Week 10 with the groin injury, but in the three weeks prior to that, he was averaging eight targets per game. That usage is usually a promising sign for a tight end.
The Cardinals have been the worst defense when it comes to allowing fantasy points to tight ends. Opposing TEs are averaging 15.91 fantasy points per game against the Cardinals this season. There has only been one game this year in which tight ends have not scored double-digit fantasy points.
Week 12 Fantasy Football Sit ’ems
Aaron Rodgers, QB | GB @ PHI
Aaron Rodgers is coming into Week 12 off the back of two consecutive 19-point fantasy performances. In those two games, he averaged 225.5 passing yards and 2.5 touchdowns per game. While the performance against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 9 looks even better in the context of Kirk Cousins’ struggles, there are still reasons to be cautious this week.
The Philadelphia Eagles have suffocated opposing passing games this year. They lead the league in net yards per pass attempt (4.6) and interceptions (13). No defense has allowed fewer points to opposing offenses than the 9.34 fantasy points per game the Eagles are allowing.
Additionally, Philadelphia has only allowed double-digit fantasy performances in 30% of their games this year. Therefore, the run of solid fantasy performances for Rodgers may be coming to a screeching halt.
Dalvin Cook, RB | MIN vs. NE
Rarely are you ever considering benching Dalvin Cook, but the matchup this week on Thanksgiving is absolutely brutal. The Patriots have allowed just 13.71 fantasy points to opposing RBs on average this season. While that would be a solid starting return for Cook, the bigger concern is that the Patriots have allowed an average of just 7.37 fantasy points per game in their last three games.
The mitigating factor here is that New England has shut down a combination of Michael Carter, James Robinson, and Deon Jackson. Cook is a step above those other backs, and we did see the Bears, Packers, and Lions RBs topping 17.5 fantasy points against this defense in their games.
I’m certainly not saying that you should blindly sit Cook this week. However, if you have three or four RB options you really like this week, the data would suggest that this could be another tough week for Cook after he struggled against the Cowboys in Week 10.
Travis Etienne Jr., RB | JAX vs. BAL
We’ve seen Etienne score double-digit fantasy points in five of his last six games, so he’s certainly been playing well. Etienne has achieved that in large part due to strong work in the run game and finding the end zone four times in that span.
In the last two weeks, however, we’ve seen him struggle for efficiency, averaging just 3.95 rushing yards per attempt. Etienne found the end zone twice in Week 9, which somewhat hid the concerns, while 28 receiving yards made his Week 10 output respectable.
Now coming off the bye, Etienne faces one of the toughest matchups that fantasy managers could imagine. The Baltimore Ravens have allowed an average of just 8.7 fantasy points to opposing RBs in the last three weeks.
The addition of Roquan Smith alongside Patrick Queen has made this run defense extremely stout. It has also added an extra element against backs in the passing game.
DJ Moore, WR | CAR vs. DEN
The DJ Moore fantasy relevance was nice while it lasted, but we appear to be back to struggles. It looked like Moore was going to be a big emphasis in the offense, with 9.4 targets per game between Weeks 4 and 8.
However, he has just 5.67 targets per game in the last three weeks. With uncertainty once again at the QB position for the Panthers, we are back to Moore being an option that fantasy managers should only consider when they are in desperate circumstances.