Week 12 Power Rankings: 1-32 poll, plus each team’s most underrated player

Updated: November 19, 2019

6:35 AM ET

The NFL Power Rankings are all about evaluating teams every week. Since we have to rank all 32, there aren’t teams that fall through the cracks. That’s not the case with individual players, though.

Some players, no matter what they do, don’t get the big headlines. Whether they are stars who aren’t fully appreciated or role players who defer the praise to their more celebrated teammates, our NFL Nation writers identified that guy on the team they cover who quietly gets the job done. Our power panel — a group of more than 80 writers, editors and TV personalities — evaluates how teams stack up throughout the season.

Previous rankings: 11 | 10 | 9 | 8 | 7 | 6 | 5 | 4 | 3 | 2 | Preseason

1. New England Patriots (9-1)

Week 11 ranking: 1

Most underrated player: Lawrence Guy, DT

Big, powerful defensive tackles who don’t put up weighty sack numbers aren’t often part of the postgame conversation, especially if they prefer to be under the radar with the media, such as the 6-foot-4, 315-pound Guy does. But a large part of the success of the Patriots’ defense, which is the backbone of this year’s team, is Guy’s unsung work at the line of scrimmage — particularly against the run. He also tallied his first career interception earlier this season on an exemplary play. — Mike Reiss


Pat McAfee says Lamar Jackson is doing something that nobody else can do right now in the NFL.

2. Baltimore Ravens (8-2)

Week 11 ranking: 3

Most underrated player: Nick Boyle, TE

Boyle often takes a backseat to the Ravens’ pass-catching tight ends — Mark Andrews and Hayden Hurst — with fans. But Boyle is the NFL’s top blocking tight end and a major reason why Baltimore has rushed for 2,038 yards — the most by any team in its first 10 games of a season since the 1977 Bears. “We all know how valuable he is,” Andrews said. “He’s basically what makes this offense tick.” — Jamison Hensley

3. San Francisco 49ers (9-1)

Week 11 ranking: 2

Most underrated player: K’Waun Williams, CB

The diminutive Williams is a favorite in the Niners locker room for playing much bigger than his 5-foot-9, 185-pound frame would suggest. Williams is one of just three defensive backs with at least one sack, two forced fumbles and two interceptions through the first 11 weeks. “We call him the Shark for a reason, because he’s just out there tearing everything up in sight,” Niners linebacker Fred Warner said. “He kind of is the whole package and an outstanding player for sure.” — Nick Wagoner

4. Seattle Seahawks (8-2)

Week 11 ranking: 4

Most underrated player: Shaquill Griffin, CB

Of all the issues the Seahawks have had on defense, Griffin has not been one of them. His 11 pass breakups are tied for the league lead among defensive backs, per ESPN charting. He has allowed a passer rating of 75.9 when he has been the nearest defender in coverage, per NFL Next Gen Stats. That’s eighth best among DBs with at least 50 targets. Griffin will have a hard time making the Pro Bowl unless he starts picking off some passes, but he is otherwise playing at that level. — Brady Henderson

5. Green Bay Packers (8-2)

Week 11 ranking: 5

Most underrated player: Elgton Jenkins, LG

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  • The second-round pick ranks fourth among all NFL linemen in ESPN’s pass block win rate at 97.3%, which also is second among all guards. The rookie trails NFL leader and fellow Packer Corey Linsley, who was probably second choice for this write-up. Jenkins took over as a starter in Week 3 after left guard Lane Taylor suffered a torn biceps but would’ve done so eventually even without an injury to Taylor. “There’s been so much good, both in the run and the pass,” Packers coach Matt LaFleur said. “But what I love about Elgton is the consistency and the level of effort that he brings each and every day on every play.” — Rob Demovsky

    6. New Orleans Saints (8-2)

    Week 11 ranking: 6

    Most underrated player: Demario Davis, LB

    The eighth-year veteran has never made a Pro Bowl. But he is working on his third straight season of at least 110 tackles. Since he arrived as a free agent last year, the Saints have had the NFL’s No. 1 run defense (allowing just 82.2 rushing yards per game over the past two seasons). Throw in everything Davis does as a captain, emotional leader and signal-caller wearing the defensive headset and he might be the Saints’ best free-agent signing in a decade. — Mike Triplett

    7. Minnesota Vikings (8-3)

    Week 11 ranking: 7

    Most underrated player: Jayron Kearse, S

    In back-to-back weeks, Kearse has been credited with making the final play of the game to seal victories. He picked off Dak Prescott‘s Hail Mary attempt last week and broke up a pass in the end zone as time expired on Sunday against the Broncos. Kearse’s playing time has fluctuated, and the return of Andrew Sendejo puts the 6-foot-4 safety’s role in question. Still, when Harrison Smith sustained a hamstring injury late against Denver, Vikings coaches trusted Kearse to cover tight end Noah Fant in the ultimate “got to have it” situation. Coming through in these moments cements Kearse’s importance in the secondary. — Courtney Cronin


    Stephen A. Smith and Max Kellerman debate if Patrick Mahomes can lead the Chiefs’ potent offense on a Super Bowl run despite the team’s vulnerable defense.

    8. Kansas City Chiefs (7-4)

    Week 11 ranking: 9

    Most underrated player: Anthony Sherman, FB

    Sherman doesn’t play much on offense, but there’s a reason the Chiefs keep bringing him back. Sherman is now in his seventh season with the Chiefs because of his special-teams ability. He led the Chiefs in special-teams tackles with five heading into Monday night’s game against the Chargers. — Adam Teicher

    9. Dallas Cowboys (6-4)

    Week 11 ranking: 10

    Most underrated player: La’el Collins, RT

    On an offensive line with Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick and Zack Martin, it is easy to be overlooked, but Collins is having his best season. He came to the Cowboys as an undrafted free agent playing left guard and moved to right tackle in his third season. He has become comfortable in his techniques and has found the right blend between aggressiveness and patience, especially in pass protection. The only issue he has is a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee that he aggravated in Sunday’s win at Detroit. If he can’t play, then folks will see his value. — Todd Archer


    Ryan Clark explains that Dak Prescott is showing every week that he should be included in MVP conversations and that he deserves the contract he’s asking for.

    10. Houston Texans (6-4)

    Week 11 ranking: 8

    Most underrated player: Carlos Hyde, RB

    Yes, Hyde is averaging 76.9 yards per game, nearly double what he averaged last season, but he is sometimes overlooked because he plays on an offense highlighted by quarterback Deshaun Watson and wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. Thanks to Hyde, the Texans rank fifth in the NFL in rushing. — Sarah Barshop

    11. Los Angeles Rams (6-4)

    Week 11 ranking: 11

    Most underrated player: Cory Littleton, LB

    On a defense that packs plenty of star power with Aaron Donald, Jalen Ramsey and Clay Matthews, Littleton often gets overlooked. But the fourth-year pro, who entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent, often comes up with big-time plays. He has two interceptions, two forced fumbles and a team-best 82 tackles this season. Littleton, also a special-teams standout, is in the final season of his contract. — Lindsey Thiry

    12. Buffalo Bills (7-3)

    Week 11 ranking: 13

    Most underrated player: Jordan Phillips, DT

    Phillips is a known commodity among the Bills fan base, but the rest of the league likely will get to know him this coming offseason, as he has played himself into a sizable payday. Despite initially taking a backseat to 2019 first-round pick Ed Oliver, the upcoming free agent trails only Aaron Donald in sacks among defensive tackles with seven and has been a much-needed presence in Buffalo’s interior pass rush. — Marcel Louis-Jacques

    13. Indianapolis Colts (6-4)

    Week 11 ranking: 14

    Most underrated player: Zach Pascal, WR

    Pascal has been the Colts’ best receiver not named T.Y. Hilton this season. Pascal, who was claimed off waivers from Tennessee in 2018, leads the Colts in receiving yards (364) despite being fifth (23) in receptions and third in targets (40). He’ll continue to be one of quarterback Jacoby Brissett‘s favorite targets at receiver until Hilton returns from his calf injury, which has cost Hilton four games this season. — Mike Wells

    14. Philadelphia Eagles (5-5)

    Week 11 ranking: 12

    Most underrated player: Jalen Mills, CB

    He isn’t the fastest or flashiest corner out there, but there’s no denying the value Mills brings to the Eagles’ secondary. The defense has looked much different since he returned to the lineup Week 7 following a lengthy absence due to a foot injury. Over the past three games, opposing quarterbacks have managed only two passing touchdowns while averaging 170 passing yards per game. That’s quite a shift from earlier in the season, when the Eagles were among the most giving pass defenses in the NFL. Mills’ swagger and steady, physical style have been a big part of the turnaround. — Tim McManus

    15. Oakland Raiders (6-4)

    Week 11 ranking: 17

    Most underrated player: Trayvon Mullen, CB

    Sure, the rookie was a second-round draft pick, but many observers wondered if the Raiders were too high on him when they traded away a former first-rounder in Gareon Conley midseason to elevate Mullen. Turns out, the Raiders’ instincts have been on the mark. Mullen still is growing into the role, no doubt, but while he has been a step or so short on a pair of pick-sixes over the past few weeks, he sealed the Raiders’ win against the Bengals on Sunday with a pick of Ryan Finley. — Paul Gutierrez

    16. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-5)

    Week 11 ranking: 15

    Most underrated player: Steven Nelson, CB