Welcome to Week 12!
There are no teams on bye this week, so hopefully, your team is stacked with fantastic options as we head into the final weeks before the playoffs begin.
However, there is a high possibility that you may be in need at the quarterback position now that we know Joe Burrow is done for the season. It’s a significant blow, especially for those in two-quarterback leagues, who are now left scrambling and searching the waiver wire.
Another major blow is the loss of tight end Mark Andrews for the season. There are only a few elite fantasy options at the position, and managers who used an early draft pick will need to spend some FAAB this week for his handcuff. Luckily, Isaiah Likely has plenty of upside, and even those who didn’t lose Andrews should consider an add, as he could be an upgrade from whomever you are currently streaming. Don’t forget the value of blocking the Mark Andrews manager, either, if you have the room for a stash.
In running back news, it looks like Aaron Jones has avoided an ACL tear, but we could still be without him for a few weeks. Ken Walker, Jr. is unlikely to play on a short week, and it’s hard for managers to trust De’Von Achane after he left early for a potential injury to the same knee he had previously injured. See below for a few running back options to add.
Don’t forget that now is the time to start looking ahead for playoff stashes. Running back handcuffs should be rostered now, and make sure you are deep at QB, too, based on how this season is going. Aaron Rodgers could be worth an IR stash at this rate.
Now, let’s get down to business.
Zach Charbonnet, Running Back, Seattle Seahawks
Things were already trending in a good direction for Charbonnet, as the rookie’s snap share for the past four weeks has been at 50%, and he has been playing the majority of third downs. Kenneth Walker exited the game Sunday with an oblique injury, and Charbonnet should lead this backfield in a short week as the Seahawks play on Thanksgiving. Charbonnet has averaged an efficient 4.9 yards per attempt this season. The matchup with the Niners is a tough one this week, but he’s worth an add as an RB2 without Walker.
Isaiah Likely, Tight End, Baltimore Ravens
Likely is the handcuff for Mark Andrews, and he played every tight end snap after Andrews left the game on Thursday. With Andrews done for the season, Likely should start to see more targets, and he has a juicy matchup this week with the Los Angeles Chargers, who have allowed the most fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends across the last four contests- including an average of 107 receiving yards per game to the position. In his final game last season with no Mark Andrews, Likely broke out with 103 receiving yards on 13 targets.
Gardner Minshew, Quarterback, Indianapolis Colts
Minshew has an ideal matchup this week vs. the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who have surrendered 1243 yards and seven passing touchdowns to quarterbacks across the past four games. Brock Purdy, CJ Stroud, and Josh Allen finished as the QB2 or better in three of those games. Minshew has a pair of 300+ yard games this season, and fresh off a bye, he should be able to deliver a solid floor for fantasy managers. His schedule for the playoffs is also favorable, with Atlanta and Las Vegas in Weeks 16-17.
Odell Beckham, Jr., Wide Receiver, Baltimore Ravens
Beckham has been coming on strong for a few weeks now, leading all Baltimore wide receivers with 15 targets, two touchdowns, and 212 total receiving yards across the past three contests. OBJ exploded for a season-high 116 yards on Thursday vs. the Bengals, and I’m willing to bet on his experience. With Mark Andrews out for the season, Beckham’s veteran presence and ability should not remain on the waiver wire. The Ravens wide receivers have favorable fantasy playoff matchups, too.
DeMario Douglas, Wide Receiver, New England Patriots
Douglas has been in this column for multiple weeks as a top WR target yet remains under 40% rostered. After putting together a six-catch, 84 receiving yards game on nine targets the week before the bye and finishing with double-digit fantasy points in three of the last four games played, there shouldn’t be any more questions about whether he is the new WR1 in New England. His last game played was a career-best day for the wideout, despite being limited with an ankle injury all week and having unpredictable quarterback play.
Jayden Reed, Wide Receiver, Green Bay Packers
Reed has 80+ yards in three of his last four games, including running three times for 46 yards and a touchdown Sunday. All three carries came before Aaron Jones left with an injury, so we could expect the slot receiver- who currently leads all Packers with 463 yards this season- to get even more involved in this offense that is missing its RB1.
Brandin Cooks, Wide Receiver, Dallas Cowboys
Cooks has 21% of the team’s receiving yards across the past three games with an 81.3% catch rate. With all of the attention on CeeDee Lamb, expect more opportunities to open up for Cooks, who has one of the best schedules for wide receivers down the stretch.
Khalil Shakir, Wide Receiver, Buffalo Bills
Shakir led all Bills receivers on Sunday with 115 receiving yards on four targets. He now has two 90+ yard games across the past three contests, and he’s a high-upside dart in deeper leagues.
Josh Downs, Wide Receiver, Indianapolis Colts
Downs suffered a knee injury in Week 9 that has kept him limited, but coming off a bye, he should be fresh. The matchup with the Buccaneers could not be much better for the rookie wideout, who finished with double-digit fantasy points in five games before the injury. He’s one of Minshew’s favorite targets.
Tyjae Spears, Running Back, Tennessee Titans
The Titans have one of the best remaining schedules for running backs, seeing Houston twice and Seattle once in Weeks 15-17. This is your chance to roster a handcuff with high upside, who also can have some standalone value. Spears' explosive run rate is the highest in the league among players who have played in at least six contests, and he ranks fourth in yards after contact for players who have played in at least ten games. Should anything happen to Derrick Henry, Spears is an automatic RB1.
Ty Chandler, Running Back, Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings weren’t without Alexander Mattison, but those who added Ty Chandler last week still got results, as Minnesota used both backs to run all over the Denver defense on Sunday night. Chandler carried the ball ten times for 74 yards and caught all four of his targets for another 37. The matchup is even better this week vs. the Chicago Bears on Monday night.
Tutu Atwell, Wide Receiver, Los Angeles Rams
Cooper Kupp left Sunday’s game with an ankle injury, and that means we should see more playing time for Atwell moving forward. Atwell has been successful when given the opportunity, and should Kupp be out for a longer period, Atwell’s playoff matchups are also favorable.
Derek Carr, Quarterback, New Orleans Saints
Carr is available in more than 80% of ESPN leagues, and he should be rostered in all two quarterback leagues now that Burrow is done for the season, as the Saints have a favorable schedule over the coming weeks. This week, they face an Atlanta team that has allowed the second-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks across the past four games played. Carr finished as a Top 15 QB for five weeks before leaving with a shoulder injury in Week 10. The Saints had a bye last week and Carr is expected back, but should he not return, managers could also consider streaming Jameis Winston in this week’s matchup.
Will Levis, Quarterback, Tennessee Titans
In deeper leagues if you need a stash, consider adding Levis for your playoffs, though I wouldn’t play him this week. Levis looked alive mostly in garbage time vs. the Jaguars on Sunday, completing 76.5% of his passes for 186 yards and two touchdowns. Matchups with the Texans and the Seahawks will likely follow a similar pattern, with the Titans playing catch-up vs. defenses that can be vulnerable to the pass.
Cade Otton, Tight End, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Cade Otton caught four of his five targets for a team-high 49 yards on Sunday vs. the 49ers. He’s run the ninth-most routes among tight ends this season, and he has a favorable playoff schedule with Green Bay, Jacksonville, and New Orleans in Weeks 15-17.
Other Players To Add in Week 12
Quarterbacks: Jake Browning, Aaron Rodgers (stash)
Running Backs: Kenneth Gainwell, Leonard Fournette
Wide Receivers: Romeo Doubs, Rondale Moore
Tight Ends: Michael Mayer, Hunter Henry, Jonnu Smith