The fantasy matchup stats you need to know for Week 12
When it comes to making start/sit decisions in fantasy football, the advice is simple: Play the matchups, and you’ll win more often than you lose. We’re out of the bye weeks, but knowing the matchups to avoid and exploit is as important as ever. Below you’ll find the key matchup stats to know from each of the 13 remaining games for Week 12 of the 2017 NFL season.
Tevin Coleman remains a fringe RB1.
With Devonta Freeman unlikely to get through the concussion protocol before Sunday’s game, Coleman is set to have another full workload for the Falcons. While the Bucs aren’t an elite fantasy matchup on paper, Coleman offers some serious upside this week. Tampa Bay held the Jets and Dolphins backfields in check over the last two weeks, but the Bucs surrendered six rushing scores to running backs in their previous four games. Coleman has seen 21 touches in each of the last two weeks, and he’s a good bet to again top 20 touches in this one.
Tough sledding ahead for Joe Mixon.
This hasn’t been the most ideal debut for the talented rookie running back. He’s playing behind on the league’s worst run-blocking unit and currently averages a disappointing 2.9 yards per carry. However, for fantasy purposes Mixon owners have had to continue to start him because he’s the clear lead back in Cincinnati. While that will likely be the case again this week, those in DFS circles will not want to look at Mixon this week. Cleveland does a good job against the run and currently allow a league-low 3.1 yards per carry to the position.
Jacoby Brissett is in play.
It looks like Brissett will be cleared to play for Sunday, which is good thing if you’re in need of a streamer. Over the last three weeks, Tennessee has allowed eight passing scores and currently sit as the No. 11 fantasy matchup for quarterbacks. Brissett is a volatile play, but with T.Y. Hilton on the field, he has the chance for some serious upside. Brissett is a streamer in season-long with some sneaky appeal in DFS GPPs.
Kareem Hunt final gets off the schneid.
Much has been made in fantasy circles about Hunt’s lack of touchdown productivity over the last two months, but all will be forgotten after Sunday. Over the last three weeks, the Bills have allowed 638 rushing yards and 11 rushing scores. By comparison, the league’s top run defense, Philadelphia, has allowed 710 rushing yards and four scores on the season. Hunt should have no problem carving up the Bills defense and he makes for one of the top plays on the board in all formats this week.
Gronk gets big this week.
Okay, so you’re starting Rob Gronkowski every week in season-long, so this is more for the DFS crowd. Gronk is expensive, but he’s worth paying up for this week. The Dolphins have struggled against tight ends in 2017, allowing the fifth-most PPR points to the positions. Tight ends have found the end zone against Miami in five of the last seven games.
Fade the Jets run game.
Matt Forte has yet to practice this week and is looking very iffy for Sunday. That means we’ll likely see a committee of Bilal Powell and Elijah McGuire. While there’s some upside with both players, this isn’t the week to roll the dice on the Jets backfield. Carolina currently yields the third fewest PPR points per game to running backs.
Downgrade Jordan Howard.
There’s no sugar-coating it. This is a bad matchup for Howard. Through their first 10 games this season, the Eagles are allowing just 47 rushing yards per game to running backs. Philly hasn’t allowed a rushing score to a running back since Week 4. Howard owners in season-long will likely have to keep using him, but the matchup essentially takes Howard out of the mix in DFS.
Plus matchup for Russell Wilson.
Wilson is the No. 1 fantasy quarterback entering the week, and he’s good bet to keep that spot. San Francisco’s porous secondary has allowed at least two passing scores to each of the last five quarterbacks they faced. The 49ers also struggle against the run and currently sit as the top fantasy matchup for running backs. With Seattle’s backfield floundering, Wilson is essentially the Seahawk’s top runner as well. Wilson makes for a rock-solid cash game option in DFS this week.
Avoid Marshawn Lynch.
This isn’t the week to roll with Beast Mode. Denver’s run defense was slightly derailed against the Eagles in Week 9, but they’ve gotten back on track and allowed just 45 rushing yards on 23 carries against the Bengals last week. Lynch is coming off arguably his best football performance of the season with 67 rushing yards on 11 carries against the Patriots, but it’s tough to rely on him in this matchup.
The Saints backfield keeps rolling.
Since Adrian Peterson was traded in Week 6, Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara are the top two running backs in fantasy scoring. That’s unreal and unprecedented. Any you know what? Things aren’t likely to change this week. The Rams have been quite generous to running backs with nine rushing touchdowns allowed and opposing backfields topping 100 yards in six of 10 games this season. Ingram and Kamara remain elite fantasy plays.
Gabbert was a strong streamer option last week, but fantasy owners will want to avoid him at all costs here. Jacksonville has been elite against quarterbacks giving up an average of 185 net passing yards per game and a total of just seven passing scores. However, there may be some streaming value to be had on the other side of this contest. Bortles isn’t the safest option, but the Cardinals do surrender the sixth-most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks with two-or-more passing scores allowed in four of their last six games.
Jamaal Williams is risky.
The Packers will likely lean of the rookie again this week with Ty Montgomery looking unlikely to get back on the field. However, fantasy owners in season-long leagues may want to avoid Williams. Pittsburgh has been extremely stingy against the run over their last five games. During that span, opposing backfields are averaging 50 yards per game and have not scored a single touchdown.
Joe Flacco is an ultra-sneaky streamer.
You have to be desperate to make this play, but Flacco offers some upside in this matchup. The Texans currently allow the most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks with at least two passing scores yielded in each of their last four games. While Flacco doesn’t possess an elite fantasy ceiling, he has enough fire power to post QB1 numbers in this favorable matchup.