Fantasy intel for all 32 NFL teams ahead of Week 12

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Updated: November 21, 2017

3:47 PM ET

Below are notes covering each of the NFL’s 32 teams from a fantasy perspective. Use these tidbits to make the best waiver-wire, trade and lineup decisions for Week 12. Be sure to check back each week of the season for a new version of the Fantasy 32.

Throughout this piece, I’ll be referencing “OTD.” OTD stands for opportunity-adjusted touchdowns. It is a statistic that weighs every carry/target and converts the data into one number that indicates a player’s scoring opportunity. For example, if a player has an OTD of 3.0, it means that a league-average player who saw the same number of carries/targets in the same area of the field would have scored three touchdowns.


Arizona Cardinals

The top-scoring fantasy tight end in Week 11? You guessed it: Ricky Seals-Jones. OK, maybe you didn’t guess it. But considering Seals-Jones entered Sunday with one career snap to his name, it’s an excusable miss. Seals-Jones caught 3 of 5 targets for 54 yards and two touchdowns in the loss to Houston. Seals-Jones played wide receiver at Texas AM but was signed as an undrafted free agent earlier this year and was converted to tight end. It’s possible the big day will vault Seals-Jones into a larger role (he played only eight snaps Sunday), but he’s unlikely to unseat Jermaine Gresham as the Cardinals’ every-down tight end anytime soon. Seals-Jones’ pass-catching ability makes him a worthwhile dynasty stash, but don’t add him in season-long formats.

Atlanta Falcons

With Devonta Freeman sidelined Monday night, Tevin Coleman played 42 snaps and delivered 20 carries for 43 yards and one touchdown while also hauling in one of two targets for 15 yards. The efficiency wasn’t good — albeit against a tough Seattle defense — but Coleman saw enough volume to finish the week as a top-25 fantasy back. If Freeman returns against Tampa Bay this week, Coleman will revert back to fringe flex territory. If Freeman is out, Coleman will be a back-end RB1 and should be locked into lineups.

Baltimore Ravens

Danny Woodhead was back in the mix against the Packers on Sunday. It was his first appearance since the Ravens’ first drive of the 2017 season. Woodhead played 13 snaps (12 were pass plays) and was limited to one carry for 2 yards and five catches on six targets for 21 yards. Though the stat line is far from inspiring, keep in mind it was his first game back and the game script was very much not in his favor (the Ravens won 23-0). Woodhead’s role will expand at the expense of Javorius Allen (10 snaps played in Week 11) and Alex Collins (36). Woodhead is a risky flex play against Houston this weekend.

Buffalo Bills

After managing a total of 115 yards and no touchdowns during his first seven professional games, Zay Jones has totaled 121 yards and one score during his past two outings. Granted, Jones benefited a bit from garbage time against the Chargers on Sunday, but the rookie finally seems to be emerging following a slow start to his career. Kelvin Benjamin was limited to four snaps by injury on Sunday, which helped allow Jones to see the field on a position-high 50 of the team’s 62 offensive plays. The health of both Benjamin and Jordan Matthews (knee) remain in question, but Jones will warrant flex consideration if one of them is out against Kansas City this week.

Carolina Panthers

With each team now having played 10 games, Christian McCaffrey sits 12th among running backs in fantasy points. Forty-one running backs have exceeded McCaffrey’s 69 carries, but the rookie sits ninth in the NFL (and first among backs) in receptions and has scored five touchdowns. McCaffrey’s OTD sits at 5.4, which is highest on the team (Jonathan Stewart is next closest at 4.0). McCaffrey averaged 2.4 yards per carry during his first eight games but sits at 4.5 YPC during his past two outings. McCaffrey’s massive workload locks him in as a RB2, and his increased efficiency — as well as the removal of Kelvin Benjamin and Curtis Samuel from the mix — keeps him very much in the RB1 discussion.

Chicago Bears

Adam Shaheen caught all four of his targets for 41 yards and one touchdown against the Lions on Sunday. Trubisky has favored tight ends in a major way this season, targeting them on 30 percent of his throws. Shaheen — a 2017 second-round pick — played a career-high 44 snaps in Week 11 but was on the field for only 18 of the team’s 33 pass plays. Dion Sims is dealing with an illness and is expected to resume a sizable role once healthy. That would leave Shaheen without a clear path to consistent targets. Shaheen remains a terrific dynasty hold and might find himself in the TE1 discussion in 2018 or 2019, but he’s not a worthwhile add in season-long leagues.

Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals are averaging 48.8 offensive plays per game during five outings since their Week 6 bye. That includes fewer than 54 plays in all five outings. For perspective, the Bengals averaged 65.6 plays per game last year and at least 61.5 plays per game each season over the past decade. The NFL average this season is 63.4 plays per game. Plain and simple, the Bengals aren’t able to keep their offense on the field. Their offense ranks dead last in time of possession (26:54), first downs per game (15.3), rushing yards per attempt (2.98) and yards per game (265.6). The unit has converted 33.1 percent of third downs (third worst) and has gone three and out 42.2 percent of the time (third worst). This is a shocking development for an offense that has been solid in years past and one that is loaded with offensive skill position players. Of course, the offseason losses of Kevin Zeitler and Andrew Whitworth have left the team with arguably the NFL’s worst offensive line. Moving forward, only A.J. Green is a reliable weekly start, though Joe Mixon is seeing enough volume to remain on the flex radar. The Cincinnati offense will face one of the league’s toughest fantasy schedules the rest of the way.

Cleveland Browns

Corey Coleman hauled in 6 of 10 targets for 80 yards against the Jaguars on Sunday. It was the 2016 first-round pick’s first action since he went down with an injury in Week 2. The game marked Coleman’s most receiving yardage in a game since he totaled 104 in Week 2 last season. Coleman was immediately re-inserted as a full-timer, playing 51 of 55 offensive snaps, including 37 of 39 pass plays. Coleman is averaging a generous 23 percent target share (7.1 per game) in his career and that volume is enough to keep him on the flex radar regardless of the team’s quarterback woes. On the negative side, Coleman faces a pair of tough secondaries on the road in Cincinnati and Los Angeles over the next two weeks.

Dallas Cowboys

Dez Bryant was targeted 14 times Sunday night, which continues a bizarre trend in which he has reached double-digit targets every other game tracing back to Week 1. Bryant is averaging 9.8 targets overall and has handled a career-high 31 percent of Dallas’ targets. Despite the massive workload, Bryant sits 21st among wide receivers in fantasy points. He’s averaging a horrific 5.5 yards per target (second worst among wide receivers with at least 50 targets) and has caught 51 percent of his 98 targets (fifth worst). Bryant has dealt with a very tough slate of cornerbacks, and his 6.6 OTD suggests he should have more touchdowns. But with the Chargers and Redskins up next on the schedule, his inefficiencies might not improve anytime soon. He should be downgraded in season-long and faded in DFS against Casey Hayward shadow coverage on Thanksgiving.

Denver Broncos

Devontae Booker carried the ball 14 times for 44 yards and caught 5 of 6 targets for 54 yards against the Bengals in Week 11. Booker played 47 snaps in the game and has now led the Denver backfield in the category in three consecutive games. Booker has 28 rushes and 10 targets on 92 snaps during that span. C.J. Anderson sits at 32 carries and five targets on 69 plays. Jamaal Charles, who played a season-low four snaps against Cincinnati, has 15 carries and five targets on 39 plays during the three games. Booker appears to have emerged as Denver’s lead back, though it’s possible that changes following the firing of offensive coordinator Mike McCoy and promotion of Bill Musgrave. Until Musgrave’s plan is unveiled, Booker and Anderson are no more than uninspiring flex options. Charles should remain on waivers.

Detroit Lions

Marvin Jones Jr. caught 4 of 7 targets for 85 yards and one touchdown against a Bears defense that has been good against the pass this season. Believe it or not, Jones now trails teammate Golden Tate by only nine fantasy points on the season, though Jones has played 145 more snaps. In fact, Jones has been on the field for 401 of the Lions’ 405 pass plays this season, which has helped allow him to handle 21 percent of the team’s targets. Jones sits 16th among wide receivers in fantasy points (Tate is 12th) and his 5.8 OTD ranks 13th in the NFL. Jones should be locked into lineups most weeks but is certainly a risky play against Minnesota on Thursday. Jones has posted targets-receptions-yards-touchdowns lines of 5-2-42-0, 11-4-54-0 and 5-1-5-0 in three games against the Vikings while with the Lions. Same as in Week 4, expect Xavier Rhodes to shadow Jones this week.

Green Bay Packers

Week 4 marked the most recent occasion in which Jordy Nelson finished a week at better than 28th in fantasy points among wide receivers. Nelson has failed to eclipse 35 yards and hasn’t scored a single touchdown during his past four outings. Nelson scored 78 fantasy points in five games (seventh most among wide receivers) with Aaron Rodgers and sits at 31 in five games with Hundley (57th). Up next is a very tough matchup against a Steelers defense allowing the fourth-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers this season. Nelson shouldn’t be close to fantasy lineups, though competitive teams might want to keep him rostered in case Rodgers returns in Week 15 or 16.

Houston Texans

Bruce Ellington caught 6 of 7 targets for 63 yards and added a 5-yard run against the Cardinals on Sunday. Of course, Will Fuller V was out with a rib injury, which vaulted Ellington into a sizable offensive role (he played 65 of 67 possible snaps). Ellington has now handled at least seven targets in three consecutive games and sits 28th in fantasy points among wide receivers during the span. Despite the hefty usage, and even if Fuller remains out, Ellington is not a particularly good start against a much tougher Ravens defense this week. Consider him a desperation flex, especially with bye weeks now concluded.

Indianapolis Colts

It has been a miserable season for the Colts without star quarterback Andrew Luck, but replacement Jacoby Brissett has been better than most expected. The 2016 third-round pick has chucked nine touchdowns and run for three more in 10 games. He has thrown only five interceptions and is completing 61 percent of his passes. Brissett has been off-target on 13 percent of his throws, which is the league’s third-lowest rate behind only Drew Brees and Josh McCown (minimum 150 attempts). He’s also averaging 7.4 yards per attempt, which ranks 14th among 32 qualified passers. Though Brissett has played solid ball, he’s not scoring enough to enter the QB1 mix most weeks (15 quarterbacks have more fantasy points). Brissett is, however, a streaming option at home against the Titans this week.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Dede Westbrook finally made his NFL debut against Cleveland on Sunday. With both Allen Hurns and Arrelious Benn out, the rookie was busy, handling six targets on 33 snaps. Westbrook ran 21 of a possible 33 pass routes and delivered three catches for 35 yards in the win. Though the heavy usage provides optimism, Westbrook ran behind both Marqise Lee and Keelan Cole and figures to also be behind Hurns once he returns from an ankle injury. Westbrook, a fourth-round pick in the 2017 draft, has the talent to explode onto the fantasy scene, but he’s facing tough odds in a run-heavy offense. He should be rostered but on benches against Arizona this week.

Kansas City Chiefs

Alex Smith was fantasy’s top-scoring quarterback during the Chiefs’ demolition of the league during Weeks 1-5. Since that point, however, he sits 13th. Smith totaled 12 touchdowns and no turnovers during the five-game winning streak to begin the year but has seven scores and four turnovers during the recent 1-4 slump. Smith’s hot start got our attention, but a breakout in his 13th NFL season was always unlikely. Smith has never finished a season better than 13th at the position in fantasy points and has reverted to fringe QB1 territory in recent weeks. Despite his recent struggles, Smith has a very appealing upcoming schedule and should be in lineups against Buffalo’s floundering defense this week.

Los Angeles Chargers

Keenan Allen caught 12 of 13 targets for 159 yards and a pair of touchdowns against the Bills on Sunday. Allen had found the end zone only once during his first nine games but sported a healthy 3.5 OTD (now up to 4.1) and had seen eight end zone targets. Allen’s big day vaults him to ninth among wide receivers in fantasy points, and he’s only seven points out of the top five. Allen is handling a career-high 26 percent of the Chargers’ targets (8.8 per game) and has been on the field for 90 percent of the team’s pass plays. He’s a solid, weekly WR1 play, and his heavy slot usage will keep him away from top corners most weeks.

Los Angeles Rams

Tavon Austin played a career-low two snaps against the Vikings on Sunday. Austin entered the game averaging 13.8 snaps per game this season. For the year, Austin has carried the ball 36 times for 171 yards (4.8 YPC) and one touchdown. He has added seven catches for 43 yards on 11 targets (3.9 YPT). Austin has progressively plummeted further and further from fantasy relevance since he scored the 27th-most points at the position back in 2015. He’s a nonfactor in the Rams’ high-scoring offense and not even worth holding in many dynasty leagues.

Miami Dolphins

Kenny Stills caught seven of nine targets for 180 yards and one touchdown against Tampa Bay’s struggling pass defense Sunday. He has now handled nine-plus targets during four of his past five games. Stills sits third at the position in fantasy points during that span and is up to 20th on the season. As noted last week, the Dolphins run a ton of three-wide sets, which has allowed Stills to see the field on 97 percent of Miami’s pass plays this season. The fifth-year receiver was over-reliant on touchdowns (nine on 42 receptions) en route to finishing 46th in fantasy points last year, but he already has 40 catches (and five scores) in 10 games this season. Stills is a flex option against New England this week.

Minnesota Vikings

Stefon Diggs was limited to four catches for 32 yards and no touchdowns on six targets against the Rams in Week 11. Diggs has now failed to eclipse six targets in a game since Week 4 and has one touchdown during his past five games. Diggs averaged 8.0 targets per game and was fantasy’s No. 1-scoring wide receiver (by 10 points) during Weeks 1-4 but is averaging 5.3 per game and sits 36th during the past four weeks he has been active. Diggs is a good bet to draw shadow coverage from Darius Slay this week, and though he had success in the Week 4 meeting between the teams (98 yards), he should be downgraded to WR3 territory in this matchup. Adam Thielen is the Vikings’ top slot man and will thus dodge Slay’s coverage most of the time.

New England Patriots

Brandin Cooks exploded for six catches, 149 yards and one touchdown on nine targets in Mexico on Sunday. Cooks has handled only 19 percent of the Patriots’ targets this season (7.2 per game) and thus ranks 17th at the position in receptions this season. However, his 10.9 yards per target is tops among all players with 65-plus targets. That high-end efficiency has allowed Cooks the eighth-most fantasy points at the position despite the underwhelming target share. Cooks is a back-end WR1 and should obviously be locked into lineups against Miami in Week 12.

New Orleans Saints

Coby Fleener caught all five of his targets for 91 yards against Washington in Week 11. Despite the big performance, don’t feel the need to claim the Saints’ top tight end on waivers this week. Fleener entered the week with 196 yards and two touchdowns on the season. His 91-yard performance marked his highest yardage total since he put up 109 against the Falcons in Week 3 last season. Even after the big game, Fleener sits 25th at the position in fantasy points. He was out-snapped by both Josh Hill and Michael Hoomanawanui in five straight games entering Week 11 and has been on the field for only 37 percent of the Saints’ offensive snaps (51 percent of the pass plays) this season.

New York Giants

Evan Engram shockingly managed only one catch for 9 yards despite six targets against the Chiefs on Sunday. Engram now has 40 yards on 15 targets during his past two games, though he did enter Sunday with touchdowns in four straight games. Despite the “slump,” Engram should remain locked into fantasy lineups. He has now seen at least seven targets during seven of his 10 games this season. He has been on the field for 80 percent of the offensive snaps, including 84 percent of the pass plays and is handling a 20 percent target share (7.4 per game). Engram is a top-five option against Washington on Thanksgiving.

New York Jets

With Matt Forte sidelined for the team’s most recent game, Elijah McGuire racked up eight carries and seven targets on 33 snaps. Bilal Powell handled 10 carries and one target on 31 snaps. The Jets enjoyed their bye in Week 11, but Forte remains questionable to return this week with a knee injury. If he’s out, we should again anticipate a two-man committee. Powell has been terrific this season, averaging a team-best 4.5 yards per carry, but he has only 19 receptions in nine games. Neither Powell nor McGuire can be trusted as anything more than flex options against Carolina’s tough run defense this week.

Oakland Raiders

Derek Carr struggled to 237 yards, one touchdown and one interception on 49 attempts against New England on Sunday. Carr has now managed exactly one touchdown during six of his past seven games and a total of nine scores and eight interceptions during the seven-game span. Believe it or not, Carr sits 23rd among quarterbacks in fantasy points this season. He has finished a week ranked better than 16th at the position once during his past seven outings. Carr’s completion percentage (64 percent) and yards per attempt (6.9) are about the same as last year, but he’s throwing deeper, getting less help after the catch, getting sacked more, throwing more interceptions and dealing with more drops. That has all added up to a rough fantasy campaign. Carr is not a recommended play against Denver this week but will be back in the QB1 discussion against the Giants, Chiefs and Cowboys in December.

Philadelphia Eagles

Undrafted rookie Corey Clement has scored six touchdowns on 57 touches this season. That’s despite the fact that he has handled only three carries inside the opponent’s 11-yard line and one target while within 17 yards of the end zone. Clement ranks ninth in the NFL in touchdowns but 151st in OTD (1.9), which suggests he’s as close to a lock as you’ll find for regression to the mean in the touchdown department. Clement played 18 snaps Sunday, which put him behind LeGarrette Blount (27) and ahead of Jay Ajayi (13) and Kenjon Barner (two). Don’t allow yourself to be fooled; Clement’s role simply won’t allow consistent fantasy production. He’s not a good flex option.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Ben Roethlisberger exploded for 299 yards and four touchdowns against the Titans in Week 11. It was the first game this season in which Roethlisberger scored more than twice in a game and marked his third-highest passing-yardage total. Of course, the bounce-back game was hardly a shock, considering Pittsburgh’s early-season schedule and Roethlisberger’s well-documented road struggles over the past 3½ seasons. Pittsburgh played six of its first nine games on the road, and the three home games came against tough pass defenses (Jacksonville, Minnesota, Cincinnati). The good news is that Roethlisberger will again be a streaming option at home this week against Green Bay. The bad news is that his schedule gets much tougher (at Cincinnati, vs. Baltimore, vs. New England) during the following three weeks. Roethlisberger is nothing more than a streaming option when the matchup is right.

San Francisco 49ers

With 10 weeks in the books for all 32 NFL teams, Carlos Hyde sits ninth among running backs in fantasy points. Hyde is averaging 4.2 yards per carry and has rushed for four touchdowns. He also has caught 42 of 58 targets for 274 yards but has yet to catch a touchdown. Though he has already been a terrific fantasy back, Hyde’s 8.0 OTD ranks third in the NFL and suggests there’s actually room for more scoring production in the second half of the season. Hyde has carried the ball 11 times inside the opponent’s 5-yard line, which trails only Todd Gurley (12) for most in the NFL. Hyde’s hefty three-down role keeps him in the RB1 mix.

Seattle Seahawks

Eddie Lacy returned from a groin injury Monday night, but the veteran back was limited to three carries on six snaps in the game. With Seattle behind throughout the night, J.D. McKissic stepped into the biggest role of his career and played 50 of 74 possible snaps. The RB/WR hybrid totaled seven carries for 30 yards and five catches for 23 yards on six targets. McKissic’s role makes him worth consideration on waivers this week, but Mike Davis stands out as well. The 2015 fourth-round pick racked up 59 yards on eight touches (16 snaps) before departing with a groin injury. With Lacy and Thomas Rawls (healthy scratch) falling out of favor, Davis has a shot to take over as the team’s lead back once back to full health. That would be enough to get him into the flex, if not RB2, mix. Keep an eye on his status throughout the week.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Since scoring exactly one touchdown during four consecutive games spanning Week 3 to 6, Cameron Brate has failed to find the end zone in five straight. Brate hasn’t eclipsed one catch, four targets or 12 yards in a game since Week 8. As noted in this column earlier this season, Brate is not a full-time player, which meant his production was unsustainable. He has been on the field for only 60 percent of the team’s pass plays on the year. Brate is no longer a reliable TE1 option, though it’s possible Jameis Winston‘s eventual return will help get Brate back into that conversation. That appears to be at least a week or two away.

Tennessee Titans

Marcus Mariota completed 22 of 33 passes for 306 yards, one touchdown and four interceptions, adding 5 yards and one score on five carries against Pittsburgh on Thursday. Mariota now has 12 touchdowns (eight passing) and 10 interceptions in nine games this season. Granted, he missed one game, but Mariota sits 17th among quarterbacks in fantasy points this season. He has managed at least 13 fantasy points in eight of his nine outings but hasn’t finished a week ranked better than 11th in points at the position since Week 1. Mariota’s rushing ability supplies him with a high floor, and his upcoming schedule makes him a strong rebound candidate. The Colts, Texans, Cardinals and 49ers are his next four opponents, and all four rank in the top 10 in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks over the past two months.

Washington Redskins

With Rob Kelley and now Chris Thompson done for the season, rookie Samaje Perine is all but locked into a massive workload. Perine registered 23 carries for 117 yards and one touchdown Sunday, adding one catch for 9 yards. Perine has now managed 19 or more carries in three games this season. A big, plodding back, the Oklahoma product won’t add much as a pass-catcher, but Washington now needs to replace Thompson’s 11 touches per game. Expect Perine to push past 15 carries most weeks with a target or three on top. He’s a viable RB2. Former Eagle Byron Marshall will replace Thompson as the passing-down specialist and has some value in very deep dynasty leagues.

Article source: http://www.espn.com/fantasy/football/story/_/id/21494628/fantasy-football-fantasy-intel-all-32-nfl-teams-ahead-week-12-including-notes-christian-mccaffrey-keenan-allen-brandin-cooks