There are some interesting matchups this week, both good and bad, creating some decisions for fantasy owners. Who should be downgraded significantly due to a poor matchup? Who has a favorable matchup, therefore boosting them up the rankings? There are definitely some surprising rankings, so let’s dive in and take a look:
- Michael Thomas – New Orleans Saints – vs. Carolina
- Mike Evans – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – at Atlanta
- Julio Jones – Atlanta Falcons – vs. Tampa Bay
- DeAndre Hopkins – Houston Texans – vs. Indianapolis
- Davante Adams – Green Bay Packers – at San Francisco
- Chris Godwin – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – at Atlanta
- Allen Robinson – Chicago Bears – vs. New York Giants
- Tyler Lockett – Seattle Seahawks – at Philadelphia
- D.J. Chark – Jacksonville Jaguars – at Tennessee
- Odell Beckham Jr. – Cleveland Browns – vs. Miami
- Cooper Kupp – Los Angeles Rams – vs. Baltimore
- D.J. Moore – Carolina Panthers – at New Orleans
- Julian Edelman – New England Patriots – vs. Dallas
- Calvin Ridley – Atlanta Falcons – vs. Tampa Bay
- Amari Cooper – Dallas Cowboys – at New England
- Courtland Sutton – Denver Broncos – at Buffalo
- Jamison Crowder – New York Jets – vs. Oakland
- T.Y. Hilton – Indianapolis Colts – at Houston
- Jarvis Landry – Cleveland Browns – vs. Miami
- Kenny Golladay – Detroit Lions – at Washington
- John Brown – Buffalo Bills – vs. Denver
- Golden Tate – New York Giants – at Chicago
- Marquise Brown – Baltimore Ravens – at Los Angeles Rams
- DeVante Parker – Miami Dolphins – at Cleveland
- Tyrell Williams – Oakland Raiders – at New York Jets
- Emmanuel Sanders – San Francisco 49ers – vs. Green Bay
- Terry McLaurin – Washington Redskins – vs. Detroit
- Tyler Boyd – Cincinnati Bengals – vs. Pittsburgh
- Deebo Samuel – San Francisco 49ers – vs. Green Bay
- Michael Gallup – Dallas Cowboys – at New England
- Dede Westbrook – Jacksonville Jaguars – at Tennessee
- Mohamed Sanu – New England Patriots – vs. Dallas
- Darius Slayton – New York Giants – at Chicago
- Curtis Samuel – Carolina Panthers – at New Orleans
- Marvin Jones – Detroit Lions – at Washington
- Diontae Johnson – Pittsburgh Steelers – at Cincinnati
- Robert Woods – Los Angeles Rams – vs. Baltimore
- Hunter Renfrow – Oakland Raiders – at New York Jets
- D.K. Metcalf – Seattle Seahawks – at Philadelphia
- Zach Pascal – Indianapolis Colts – at Houston
- Corey Davis – Tennessee Titans – vs. Jacksonville
- Kenny Stills – Houston Texans – vs. Indianapolis
- Demaryius Thomas – New York Jets – vs. Oakland
- Nelson Agholor – Philadelphia Eagles – vs. Seattle
- Alex Erickson – Cincinnati Bengals – vs. Pittsburgh
- Tedd Ginn – New Orleans Saints – vs. Carolina
- Josh Gordon – Seattle Seahawks – at Philadelphia
- Cole Beasley – Buffalo Bills – vs. Denver
- Marquez Valdes-Scantling – Green Bay Packers – at San Francisco
- Chris Conley – Jacksonville Jaguars – at Tennessee
- Julio Jones continues to be kept out of the end zone, though he has been amassing catches and yards. In Week 11 against the Panthers he caught 6 passes for 91 yards, his seventh straight game without a TD. However, over the past five he’s had 79+ yards in each game (four of which were 90+ and two of at least 100 yards) and the Buccaneers have allowed the most points per week to opposing WR (2,022 yards and 17 TD). If he had been rolling he’d be the top choice, but as it is you still can’t keep him outside of the Top 3. The matchup also puts Calvin Ridely (coming off an 8 catch, 143 yard, 1 TD performance) on the WR1 spectrum and is an obvious must start in all formats.
- Odell Beckham has been targeted 22 times over the past two games, but he’s turned it into just 9 receptions for 117 scoreless yards. He’s now gone eight straight weeks without a TD and has 60 yards or less in six of the past eight games. None of that makes him seem like a good gamble, but then again he gets to face a Dolphins’ defense that’s allowed 16 TD to opposing wide receivers this season. If this had been a different year he’d be considered a truly elite option in the matchup, but at the least this pushes him back up towards WR1 consideration.
- Was the lack of production from Tyler Lockett in Week 10 (3 catches for 26 yards) due to the matchup against the 49ers, or did the presence of Josh Gordon change the narrative so dramatically? Time will tell, but coming out of the bye week Gordon should be fully incorporated into the offense. He’s a boom or bust option, and not necessarily one we’d trust, but he does bring the potential to eat into Lockett’s opportunities.
- What about Allen Robinson and an incredibly favorable matchup against the Giants? You could argue that he could potentially be better off if Mitchell Trubisky was forced to miss the game, as he had 14 catches, 174 yards and 2 TD in the two games with Chase Daniels starting. It’s not that he hasn’t produced at all with Trubisky, though he’s also posted 15 yards or fewer in two of the past three games. For now we’ll operate assuming Daniels is the QB, and that actually makes Robinson look like a strong play.
- D.J. Chark is coming off a huge performance (8 receptions, 104 yards, 2 TD) and could continue to gain value as Nick Foles gets back into the swing of things. He certainly has a matchup to keep the good times rolling, taking on a Tennessee defense that’s allowed the third most points per week to opposing WR over the past four weeks (overall they’ve allowed 1,719 yards and 9 TD). Maybe he’s a low-end WR1, maybe he’s a WR2, but regardless he’s a must use option.
- We’ve become accustomed to slotting Amari Cooper in as a WR1, but he’s coming off a disappointing performance (3 catches for 38 yards) and draws the New England Patriots. Sure we wouldn’t write him off completely, and he’s worth rolling as a WR2, but he’s hardly a must start depending on your alternatives.
- As the Jets’ offense has found it’s footing Jamison Crowder has stepped up as the team’s top receiver. Over the past three weeks he’s had at least 75+ yards per game, while scoring a TD in each contest. Oakland has allowed 643 yards to opposing wide receivers over the past four games, ninth most in the league, making it a good chance that he keeps things rolling. We wouldn’t put him in as a WR1, but as a solid WR2 he holds ample value.
- After Emmanuel Sanders re-aggravated his injury in Week 11, it’s unknown what his Week 12 status is. At this point we’re leaving him on the rankings, though the risk of the injury looms large. It downgrades him, even if he dresses, but monitor the news just in case the 49ers ultimately keep him out looking at the big picture and not just one game.
- The New York Jets have allowed 10 TD to opposing wide receivers over the past four weeks, and the second most points overall. You can argue that it’s no guarantee that the Raiders direct the targets in Tyrell Williams’ direction, with players like Hunter Renfrow gaining steam of late, but even with just a handful of opportunities he could make the most of them. Put him on the WR2 spectrum.
- You would think Terry McLaurin would be able to exploit a favorable matchup against the Lions, but we were saying the same thing a week ago against the Jets (he had 3 catches for 69 yards). The fact that he has a rookie QB is going to hurt his upside, so despite the matchup consider him more of a WR3.
- DeVante Parker as a potential WR2?!?! He’s been targeted 10 times in each of the past two games, and delivered 7 catches for 135 yards in Week 11. Cleveland may not represent the easiest matchup, though the suspension to Miles Garrett is going to knock it down a little bit.
- There are rumblings that T.Y. Hilton is going to return for Week 12 against the Texans, a spot that he could really thrive in. Time will tell, but for now we’ll put him on the rankings (where he’s a WR2 with WR1 upside, only due to the injury risk/missed time). Just monitor the news to see how things play out.
- We’ll have to monitor the news and see the health for the Steelers’ wide receivers, but there’s a good chance Diontae Johnson operates as the team’s lead option. He’s never going to be a high level choice, because even in that role he’s no guarantee, but it’s enough to put him on the WR3 spectrum.
Sources – ESPN, NFL.com
Make sure to check out all of our Week 12 rankings: