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Target Analysis: Week 12 (2020 Fantasy Football)

Dec 3, 2020

Allen Robinson was still an elite producer despite the mediocrity surrounding him.

We’ve seen it time and time again. Volume is the clearest indicator of fantasy success, as it’s rare for a player to be a fantasy football stud without the opportunity to convert touches into points. Pass-catching opportunities, especially in PPR leagues, are often a bigger determinant of fantasy success than a player’s talent or circumstances.

So, every week of this fantasy season, I will diagnose the target landscape in the NFL. Who’s seeing the highest share on a team? Who’s trending downward? And most importantly, what takeaways can we draw from this data to ultimately help you make better fantasy lineup and roster decisions?

Here is your Week 12 Target Analysis.

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Arizona Cardinals

DeAndre Hopkins 7 27 9.00 103 9.36 ⬆️
Christian Kirk 6 18 6.00 58 5.80 ⬆️
Andy Isabella 6 9 3.00 29 2.64 ⬆️
Chase Edmonds 5 12 4.00 47 4.27 ⬆️
Kenyan Drake 4 10 3.33 20 2.00 ⬆️
Dan Arnold 3 9 3.00 25 2.27 ⬆️

In a rough outing against Bill Belichick’s defense, the Arizona Cardinals only passed 170 gross yards and failed to throw the ball into the end zone. Despite being matched up against Stephon Gilmore, DeAndre Hopkins had a decent day catching five of his seven targets for 55 yards. Andy Isabella has become more involved as the team’s WR3, catching four passes for 33 yards in this matchup. Still, he has no fantasy relevance unless Hopkins or Kirk were to succumb to injury.

It’s best to just forget this game for data evaluation. The Cardinals had a bad game in an early game on the East Coast. Hopkins should still be an auto-start every week, and Kirk is a big-play wide receiver that should have some fantasy viable performances down the stretch. I wouldn’t worry too much about these Cardinals pass-catchers’ performances when considering your start-sit decisions next week.

Atlanta Falcons

Calvin Ridley 9 18 6.00 86 8.60 ⬆️
Hayden Hurst 8 10 3.33 64 5.82 ⬆️
Russell Gage 5 17 5.67 69 6.27 ⬆️
Ito Smith 5 5 1.67 15 1.36 ⬆️
Olamide Zaccheaus 3 4 1.33 32 2.91 ⬆️
Jaeden Graham 2 2 0.67 3 0.27 ⬆️

Without Julio Jones, it was expected Calvin Ridley, Hayden Hurst, and Russell Gage would all see an uptick in targets. Ridley led the team in pass-catching opportunities with nine, logging six receptions for 50 yards and a score. Despite increased utilization, Hayden Hurst was not very productive; the former Ravens tight end managed just four catches for 48 yards on eight targets. Russell Gage was also useless for fantasy purposes, managing just three receptions for 34 yards.

In a game where the Falcons scored 43 points, it is quite disappointing to see only one Falcons pass-catcher surpass double-digit fantasy points. Ridley and Jones will still be auto-starts going forward, but I find it hard to trust any other Falcons pass-catcher going forward. Hurst is a mediocre tight-end streamer, as his ceiling is shallow. Gage is droppable in redraft leagues, as he hasn’t managed a game above 13 points since Week 2.

Baltimore Ravens

Marquise Brown 8 17 5.67 66 6.00 ⬆️
Devin Duvernay 3 8 2.67 23 2.09 ⬆️
Dez Bryant 2 7 2.33 7 7.00 ⬆️
Justice Hill 2 3 1.00 3 0.27 ⬆️
Luke Willson 2 2 0.67 2 2.00 ⬆️
James Proche 1 2 0.67 3 0.30 ⬆️

To be fair, it’s not like the Baltimore passing offense has been a world-beater by any means this year. Still, without their starting quarterback and best offensive weapon in tow, the Raven’s offense never stood a chance against the ferocious Steelers front seven. Robert Griffin III made a start in Week 12, and he didn’t do much of anything through the air. Griffin completed seven of his 12 attempts for only 33 yards. Third-stringer Trace McSorley actually had a better passing performance, hitting Marquise Brown on a 70-yard touchdown late in regulation. Aside from that one big play, the remainder of the Ravens pass-catchers combined for eight catches for 40 yards receiving. 

Even before Jackson and Andrews were ruled out, you weren’t starting any Baltimore wide receivers in your lineups. You may feel compelled to play Marquise Brown or even Willie Snead against the horrendous Dallas Cowboys defense in Week 13, but I would advise against it. The Ravens will likely run all over Dallas and not even need to throw the ball to win the game; if you hadn’t dropped Brown, Snead, or Duvernay already, feel free to do so now.

Buffalo Bills

Stefon Diggs 9 20 6.67 111 10.09 ⬆️
Cole Beasley 4 17 5.67 71 6.45 ⬆️
Gabe Davis 4 7 2.33 35 3.18 ⬆️
Devin Singletary 3 8 2.67 41 3.73 ⬆️
Zack Moss 2 4 1.33 14 1.75 ⬆️
Dawson Knox 1 4 1.33 16 2.29 ⬆️

With John Brown placed on injured reserve before the Bills’ Week 12 matchup with Los Angeles, someone needed to fill the void for WR2 in the Josh Allen-led offense. Gabriel Davis stepped up, catching three of his four targets for 79 yards and a score. Cole Beasley saw an equal amount of targets to Davis, but he only caught two balls for 25 yards. Still, we have to give Beasley some credit for Davis’ success, as he was the one who threw the rookie his lone touchdown reception of the day. Diggs was consistent as usual, managing seven receptions on nine targets for 39 yards.

Going forward, I trust Beasley to score more fantasy points than Davis. Beasley is a much safer bet to have a solid floor in PPR than Davis, who is more well-known for his big-play ability. Next week against San Francisco, you can feel comfortable putting Beasley in your lineup as a low-end WR3 who can give you a double-digit output in PPR leagues. Diggs should be an auto-start, even though he has a tough match-up against Richard Sherman on tap. Davis is worth a speculative add in deeper leagues, but he’s not playable as of now.

Carolina Panthers

D.J. Moore 9 27 9.00 89 7.42 ⬆️
Robby Anderson 7 22 7.33 104 8.67 ⬆️
Mike Davis 6 13 4.33 62 5.17 ⬆️
Curtis Samuel 5 20 6.67 63 5.73 ⬆️
Ian Thomas 2 3 1.00 20 1.67 ⬆️
Chris Manhertz 1 2 0.67 8 0.67 ⬆️

Surprisingly, the Carolina wideouts were less productive with Teddy Bridgewater back in the lineup than they were with P.J. Walker. Nonetheless, D.J. Moore, Robby Anderson, and Curtis Samuel were all fantasy-viable in their Week 12 matchup with Minnesota. Anderson was the leading fantasy-scorer on the day, catching four of his seven targets for 94 yards and a touchdown. Curtis Samuel outscored D.J. Moore yet again, logging five receptions for 72 yards compared to Moore’s four receptions for 61 yards.

Anderson has proven all season to have WR1 upside so long as Bridgewater is at quarterback, so you can feel confident putting him in your lineup regardless of the matchup. I had doubted that Samuel’s increased involvement would continue, but he’s proven me wrong; he’s a viable FLEX play in deeper leagues. D.J. Moore, despite the increased opportunity, just hasn’t done enough to make me feel confident starting him every week. With a bye week coming up for Carolina, you’ll have to take a hard look at your roster to determine if you can trust Moore for the fantasy playoffs.

Chicago Bears

Allen Robinson 13 22 7.33 108 9.82 ⬆️
Darnell Mooney 9 11 3.67 65 5.91 ⬆️
Anthony Miller 6 13 4.33 63 5.73 ⬆️
David Montgomery 6 6 2.00 47 4.70 ⬆️
Jimmy Graham 4 6 2.00 61 5.55 ⬆️
Cole Kmet 3 5 1.67 13 1.18 ⬆️

Mitch Trubisky made his first start since Week 3, and he really didn’t make much of a difference for this Bears offense. Allen Robinson was still an elite producer at the wide receiver position despite the mediocrity surrounding him; Robinson saw 13 targets and caught eight balls for 74 yards and two touchdowns. The other ancillary pieces for Chicago, including Anthony Miller, Darnell Mooney, and Jimmy Graham, were barely viable. Mooney put up a solid stat-line, but he’s not even close to being viable for fantasy until the Bears address the quarterback position.

Allen Robinson is the only Chicago Bear you should consider starting in fantasy. Jimmy Graham or Darnell Mooney might have a solid outing on occasion, but you are playing with fire if you believe they can guide you to a fantasy championship. Robinson has WR1 upside every single week, and his upcoming schedule dictates that he could very well finish in the top-12 by year’s end.

Cincinnati Bengals

Tyler Boyd 6 25 8.33 93 8.45 ⬆️
Tee Higgins 5 24 8.00 76 6.91 ⬆️
Drew Sample 5 11 3.67 37 3.36 ⬆️
A.J. Green 3 17 5.67 80 7.27 ⬆️
Gio Bernard 3 15 5.00 44 4.00 ⬆️
Auden Tate 2 8 2.67 22 2.00 ⬆️

With Brandon Allen taking over for the injured Joe Burrow, I was quite wary of starting any Bengals pass-catchers. Tyler Boyd, Tee Higgins, and A.J. Green were all going to take a major hit with former undrafted free agent Allen making his first start, so I recommended you avoid the core entirely until we could see how Allen distributed his passes. As it turns out, he favored Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd; the phenomenal rookie wideout saw five looks and caught all of them for 44 yards and a score, while the veteran slot receiver managed just three catches for 15 yards on six targets. Meanwhile, A.J. Green was virtually non-existent; the perennial 1,000-yard wideout was held catchless on three targets.

Higgins may have ended the game with 17.5 PPR points, but I am not sure his performance is sustainable. He made an amazing touchdown catch, and his longest reception was 18 yards. I fear he could put up a similar stat-line to Tyler Boyd, who could not convert his six opportunities into meaningful points. With tougher matchups on the horizon, I’d bench all Bengals pass-catchers until further notice.

Cleveland Browns

Jarvis Landry 11 17 5.67 67 6.09 ⬆️
Khadarel Hodge 3 9 3.00 15 1.36 ⬆️
Nick Chubb 3 4 1.33 7 1.00 ⬆️
Austin Hooper 2 9 3.00 42 4.67 ⬆️
Rashard Higgins 2 11 3.67 26 2.36 ⬆️
Kareem Hunt 2 7 2.33 32 2.91 ⬆️

The Cleveland Browns have been a run-dominated team ever since Odell Beckham suffered a season-ending injury, so it was rare to see any pass-catcher have a “boom” game even in the most generous of matchups. However, Jarvis Landry was able to flip the script in his Week 12 contest against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The veteran slot receiver saw 11 targets and caught eight passes for 143 yards and a touchdown. He was heavily involved throughout the game and clearly Baker Mayfield’s safety valve on third downs. No other pass-catcher did anything of note, as Landry was the only player to surpass 35 receiving yards.

Jarvis Landry and Austin Hooper have been the only startable pass-catchers in Cleveland for most of the season (outside of Beckham). Still, their ceilings had always been limited, given the low volume of the passing offense. However, we finally could see one of these players be a top producer at their position, which gives me the confidence to put them out there going forward. With fantasy playoff matchups against the Giants and Jets ahead, Landry has a league-winning upside if his increased involvement continues.

Dallas Cowboys

Amari Cooper 8 15 5.00 98 8.91 ⬆️
Michael Gallup 8 13 4.33 68 6.18 ⬆️
CeeDee Lamb 7 13 4.33 79 7.18 ⬆️
Dalton Schultz 5 11 3.67 66 6.00 ⬆️
Ezekiel Elliot 3 5 1.67 56 5.09 ⬆️
Tony Pollard 2 2 0.67 21 1.91 ⬆️

Despite how horrible the Cowboy’s offense looked Thursday afternoon, the top-three wideouts for Dallas all saw seven or more targets and five or more receptions. Amari Cooper was the main beneficiary of the pass-heavy game-script, catching six of his eight targets for 112 yards and a score. Michael Gallup had a solid day as well, catching six passes for 41 yards. CeeDee Lamb only managed five receptions for 21 yards, as he dropped an easy touchdown that could’ve propelled his fantasy day.

Dallas had a rough matchup against Washington, so, unsurprisingly, not many pass-catchers had a fantasy viable day. I still believe only Cooper and Lamb are worthy starts going forward, as Gallup seems like a highly volatile option. With an easier schedule on the horizon for Dallas, there are better days ahead for the Cowboy’s fantasy options.

Denver Broncos

Tim Patrick 2 16 5.33 58 5.27 ⬆️
Noah Fant 2 14 4.67 60 6.00 ⬆️
Jerry Jeudy 1 17 5.67 78 7.09 ⬆️
Nick Vannett 1 3 1.00 14 1.27 ⬆️
Troy Fumagalli 1 5 1.67 5 0.45 ⬆️
DaeSean Hamilton 1 7 2.33 27 2.45 ⬆️

Technically, there are nine targets to diagnose in this game. I say “technically,” as I am not sure we can call these actual pass-catching opportunities. With converted-wideout Kendall Hinton operating as the Broncos quarterback, no Denver pass-catcher had the chance to succeed in this game. Hinton completed just one of his nine attempts for 13 yards; Noah Fant was the lucky receiver to actually touch the ball in this quarterback-less matchup with New Orleans.

Obviously, this target distribution means nothing going forward. When Drew Lock re-enters the lineup next week, I expect he will complete more than one pass; that should lead to at least one Denver pass-catcher being viable for fantasy. If the Broncos ever have to start a wide receiver at quarterback again, you should avoid the team entirely. I know that sounds obvious, but there are a good amount of people who started Hinton, Lindsay, and Fant in Week 12. Either way, this is a game to forget for Broncos and fantasy football fans alike.

Detroit Lions

Marvin Jones 12 28 9.33 69 6.27 ⬆️
T.J. Hockenson 8 19 6.33 68 6.18 ⬆️
Kerryon Johnson 4 9 3.00 19 1.90 ⬆️
Marvin Hall 4 10 3.33 30 2.73 ⬆️
Jonathan Williams 4 4 1.33 4 4.00 ⬆️
Mohammad Sanu 4 4 1.33 4 4.00 ⬆️

Without D’Andre Swift, Danny Amendola, and Kenny Golladay in the lineup yet again for Detroit, it’s unsurprising that Marvin Jones and T.J. Hockenson combined for 20 targets. Jones started the game cold, but as garbage time ensued, Jones became more involved and finished the match with six receptions for 48 yards. Hockenson managed five catches for 89 yards off of eight targets, but most of his production came on a 51-yard catch and run early in the first quarter.

Although Matt Patricia’s departure doesn’t affect the offensive side of the ball, we have seen teams be more competitive following the firing of their head coach. Even though Jones saw a large target share with the absence of his fellow wideouts, he was highly unproductive. I would recommend sitting Jones unless you are decimated at the wide receiver position. Hockenson continues to be a fine tight end streamer and should provide a solid baseline of points.

Green Bay Packers

Davante Adams 9 29 9.67 96 10.67 ⬆️
Allen Lazard 6 10 3.33 27 5.40 ⬆️
Robert Tonyan 5 14 4.67 42 3.82 ⬆️
Marcedes Lewis 4 5 1.67 14 1.27 ⬆️
Aaron Jones 2 12 4.00 45 5.00 ⬆️
EQ St. Brown 2 3 1.00 8 1.14 ⬆️

Allen Lazard returned to the Packers lineup in Week 12, and it looks as though Green Bay has finally found their WR2. Lazard didn’t have an amazing day by any means, as he managed four catches for 23 yards and a score on six targets, but he was far more productive than Marquez Valdes-Scantling and EQ St. Brown had been in the same role. He may not have the same explosiveness as MVS, but he’s much better suited for this offense. Meanwhile, Davante Adams continues to be a cheat code. Adams caught six passes for 61 yards and a touchdown, putting up at least 15 PPR points.

It looks as though Lazard can be a viable FLEX-play going forward. His floor is high enough that I would feel comfortable inserting him into my lineup; he doesn’t present nearly as much risk as Valdes-Scantling or St. Brown, who combined for two catches and 39 receiving yards in this matchup. Adams will always be an auto-start so long as he and Aaron Rodgers can take the field together.

Houston Texans

Will Fuller 7 23 7.67 75 6.82 ⬆️
Brandin Cooks 5 18 6.00 78 7.09 ⬆️
Duke Johnson 4 10 3.33 25 2.78 ⬆️
Keke Coutee 3 7 2.33 9 0.82 ⬆️
Jordan Akins 2 9 3.00 28 2.55 ⬆️
Kahale Warring 1 1 0.33 1 1.00 ⬆️

Will Fuller has been one of the most consistent fantasy wideouts in 2020. He hadn’t had the “boom” games we all expected, but his steady production made him an auto-start all season long. Well, Fuller finally had the ceiling game of which we all knew he was capable. The speedy No. 1 wideout for Houston caught six of his seven targets for 171 yards and two touchdowns. His 35 PPR points was a nice Thanksgiving treat for those who played him on Thursday.

Brandin Cooks also had another solid game, catching all five of his targets for 85 yards, although he failed to get into the end zone. Duke Johnson saw much more production in the receiving game than he had in his prior contests, catching three of his four targets for 43 yards and a score. With Fuller suspended for the rest of the regular season, Cooks should be in your lineup every single week, as he’s been remarkably consistent and will benefit from the target void left by Fuller.

Indianapolis Colts

Nyheim Hines 10 20 6.67 55 5.00 ⬆️
Michael Pittman 9 20 6.67 40 5.00 ⬆️
Trey Burton 6 14 4.67 38 4.75 ⬆️
T.Y. Hilton 5 16 5.33 55 5.50 ⬆️
Zach Pascal 4 12 4.00 52 4.73 ⬆️
Jordan Wilkins 4 6 2.00 12 1.09 ⬆️

The Colts were trailing the Titans for most of the game, which led to Nyheim Hines leading the Colts in targets on the day. Hines saw 10 targets and managed eight catches for 66 yards. With Jonathan Taylor out of the lineup, it was expected that Hines would see an increased workload, but the negative game-script contributed to Hines being heavily involved. Pittman was heavily targeted, but he only managed two receptions for 28 yards despite nine targets. T.Y. Hilton was actually the highest-scoring receiver on the day for Indianapolis, catching four passes for 81 yards and a score.

This was Hilton’s first usable game for fantasy purposes, so I think his performance was more of a product of the game-script than anything else. You shouldn’t bank on continued fantasy production going forward. If Taylor misses Week 13, Hines would be a solid start yet again; however, if Taylor returns, I am less inclined to start the scat-back given Frank Reich’s propensity for employing a running back committee.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Collin Johnson 8 8 2.67 21 1.91 ⬆️
Keelan Cole 6 18 6.00 59 5.36 ⬆️
James Robinson 6 13 4.33 47 4.27 ⬆️
Tyler Eifert 4 13 4.33 41 4.10 ⬆️
James O’Shaughnessy 4 5 1.67 25 2.27 ⬆️
Laviska Shenault 4 4 1.33 43 4.78 ⬆️

Mike Glennon made his first start at quarterback in nearly half a decade, and he actually wasn’t half bad. Glennon completed 20 of 35 passes for 235 yards and two touchdowns. His favorite target ended up being rookie Collin Johnson, who saw eight targets and logged four receptions for 96 yards and a touchdown. James Robinson was heavily involved in the receiving game and caught five of his six targets for 31 yards. No other Jaguars pass-catcher managed more than three receptions for 50 receiving yards.

Even when D.J. Chark returns, I would still not feel comfortable starting any Jacksonville pass-catcher. The quarterback situation is a mess, and the offense is in flux; you cannot possibly predict who will be on the most targeted in any given game. James Robinson is the one consistent producer in this offense, and he’s the only Jaguar you should be rostering.

Kansas City Chiefs

Tyreek Hill 15 29 9.67 101 9.18 ⬆️
Travis Kelce 8 18 6.00 97 8.82 ⬆️
Sammy Watkins 7 7 2.33 36 6.00 ⬆️
Demarcus Robinson 6 14 4.67 44 4.00 ⬆️
Mecole Hardman 5 6 2.00 39 3.55 ⬆️
Le’Veon Bell 2 3 1.00 10 1.67 ⬆️

After seeing Will Fuller go off for 35 fantasy points on Thanksgiving, I didn’t think anyone would be able to outscore him this week. Well, Tyreek Hill outproduced Fuller in the first quarter alone! Hill managed 200 receiving yards and two touchdowns in his first fifteen minutes of play, and he finished the game with 13 catches for 269 yards and three touchdowns. Hill may end up having the highest-scoring fantasy performance of the season, and he almost certainly brought you a victory this past week. Hill has always had this elite upside, but we haven’t seen much of it this year; in Week 12, he finally delivered a historic performance.

In other news, Travis Kelce is still incredible. The fantasy TE1 caught all eight of his targets for 82 yards, and he almost threw a touchdown pass to his quarterback if not for a timely deflection by the Buccaneer defender. Sammy Watkins made his long-awaited return to the Chiefs lineup, further complicating whether to start him, Mecole Hardman, or Demarcus Robinson. Even though Watkins saw seven targets in Week 12, I can’t advise putting him in your lineup. He’s entirely too volatile to start comfortably, and his re-injury risk makes him completely untrustworthy.

Las Vegas Raiders

Hunter Renfrow 9 13 4.33 49 4.45 ⬆️
Darren Waller 7 19 6.33 91 8.27 ⬆️
Nelson Agholor 6 19 6.33 44 4.00 ⬆️
Henry Ruggs 5 10 3.33 31 3.44 ⬆️
Devontae Booker 4 6 2.00 14 1.27 ⬆️
Josh Jacobs 3 8 2.67 34 3.09 ⬆️

It took a 43-6 rout by the Atlanta Falcons for Derek Carr to target more than two receivers five or more times. That may sound a bit specific, but it is definitely warranted. Carr has been hyper-focused on Darren Waller as his primary pass-catcher all season long. Outside of one good game each from Hunter Renfrow and Nelson Agholor, we haven’t seen multiple Raiders players receive a heavy dose of receiving volume in the same game. Hunter Renfrow was the most targeted on the day, catching seven of his nine targets for 73 yards, while Nelson Agholor managed to catch five of his six targets for 54 yards. Darren Waller saw a healthy dose of targets, but he logged just four catches for 23 yards.

Las Vegas just couldn’t get it going in this game, so I wouldn’t put too much stock into this target distribution. Most of the time, Waller will be heavily targeted and the highest scoring Raider in any given game. Renfrow, Ruggs, and Agholor are risky plays and require a deviation from the normal game-script to have a productive day. Unless you are desperate, Waller is the only Raider you should be starting in your fantasy leagues.

Los Angeles Chargers

Austin Ekeler 16 16 5.33 33 6.60 ⬆️
Keenan Allen 10 36 12.00 122 11.09 ⬆️
Hunter Henry 10 23 7.67 75 6.82 ⬆️
Mike Williams 5 17 5.67 57 5.70 ⬆️
Jalen Guyton 4 11 3.67 30 2.73 ⬆️
Tyron Johnson 4 5 1.67 8 0.73 ⬆️

Welcome back, Austin Ekeler! After missing extended time with a brutal hamstring injury, Ekeler returned to the lineup with a vengeance, seeing 16 targets and catching 11 passes for 85 yards. While some may think this is an outlier due to the Chargers trailing throughout the entire game, I believe this should continue throughout the regular season. The Chargers running backs have been extremely productive for fantasy this season, but there was never a consistent producer. It typically alternated between Kalen Ballage, Justin Jackson, Joshua Kelley, etc. Now that a healthy Ekeler is back in the lineup, I can’t foresee any other running back seeing more than 30 percent of the snaps.

Keenan Allen and Hunter Henry were also phenomenal, as each player saw 10 targets and put up double-digit PPR points. Allen caught four passes for 40 and a touchdown, while Henry logged seven receptions for 67 yards. Both players should be started each week, as Justin Hebert continues to be a fantasy success story in 2020. Mike Williams is a much riskier play, as his role as a deep threat and red zone weapon makes him much more volatile.

Los Angeles Rams

Robert Woods 12 33 11.00 87 7.91 ⬆️
Josh Reynolds 6 22 7.33 60 5.45 ⬆️
Cooper Kupp 5 25 8.33 97 8.82 ⬆️
Malcolm Brown 3 6 2.00 27 2.45 ⬆️
Gerald Everett 2 10 3.33 37 3.36 ⬆️
Tyler Higbee 2 12 4.00 37 3.70 ⬆️

After a career performance last Monday Night against Tampa Bay, Cooper Kupp struggled mightily in a home matchup with San Francisco. Kupp was only targeted five times and caught just two passes for 41 yards. We had seen Kupp be highly volatile early in the season, but given his immense consistency of late, I had hoped that these “bust” performances were behind him. Yet, it appears he still carries more risk than his running-mate, Robert Woods, who caught seven of his 12 targets for 80 yards. Woods continues to be the most consistent wideout in Los Angeles, although Kupp’s ceiling remains higher.

With a matchup against Kyler Murray’s Arizona Cardinals on tap in Week 13, I would feel comfortable starting all Los Angeles wideouts (including Josh Reynolds). This division game has the makings of a shootout, and Jared Goff should perform well against an average Arizona defense. However, the tight ends on this team are droppable; neither one has asserted themselves as a serious threat in the receiving game, and they continue to split work as pass-catchers. Both Gerald Everett and Tyler Higbee are droppable in redraft leagues.

Miami Dolphins

DeVante Parker 14 30 10.00 79 7.18 ⬆️
Mike Gesicki 5 15 5.00 51 4.64 ⬆️
DeAndre Washington 5 5 1.67 5 5.00 ⬆️
Mack Hollins 3 6 2.00 7 0.64 ⬆️
Durham Smythe 3 6 2.00 15 1.36 ⬆️
Jakeem Grant 2 13 4.33 36 3.27 ⬆️

Our fantasy football king, Ryan Fitzpatrick, made his triumphant return to the starting lineup in Week 12, and he did not disappoint. Fitzpatrick completed 24 of his 39 attempts for 257 yards and two touchdowns, bringing DeVante Parker’s fantasy upside back to life in the process. Parker saw 14 targets in this matchup, making eight grabs for 119 yards. Fitzpatrick’s pair of touchdowns went to the tight ends Mike Gesicki and Adam Shaheen, but neither did much of anything aside from their lone score.

If Fitzpatrick can remain the starter, Parker will have WR1 upside going forward. Gesicki will also be much more effective than he has been, but you’ve likely been starting him all year, given the state of the fantasy tight end position. Until Preston Williams makes his return from injured reserve, Parker and Gesicki are the only Dolphins pass-catchers you should feel comfortable starting.

Minnesota Vikings

Justin Jefferson 13 28 9.33 72 6.55 ⬆️
Kyle Rudolph 8 16 5.33 35 3.18 ⬆️
Bisi Johnson 7 9 3.00 18 1.64 ⬆️
Chad Beebe 7 9 3.00 18 1.64 ⬆️
Dalvin Cook 4 13 4.33 34 3.40 ⬆️
Tyler Conklin 2 4 1.33 4 0.36 ⬆️

With Adam Thielen out for the Vikings’ contest against Carolina, Justin Jefferson became the de facto WR1 for Kirk Cousins, and he did not disappoint. The rookie-of-the-year candidate saw a career-high 13 targets and caught seven passes for 70 yards and two touchdowns. Jefferson has been boom-or-bust for most of the year, due to no fault of his own. His production has been largely affected by the Vikings’ game-script, as he’s only seen extensive usage when they’ve been trailing. Still, when it looks as though Minnesota will have a pass-heavy script, Jefferson becomes a must-start in all formats.

Kyle Rudolph saw increased utilization, but that can be largely attributed to Irv Smith’s absence. Rudolph has been virtually nonexistent for fantasy purposes all season, so don’t let his seven receptions for 68 yards fool you into wasting a roster spot on the long-time Viking. Minnesota has a challenging schedule coming up, so I would be wary about starting Thielen or Jefferson going forward. They both have WR1 ceilings, but their floor is extremely low.

New England Patriots

Damiere Byrd 7 14 4.67 55 5.00 ⬆️
Jakobi Meyers 6 16 5.33 47 4.27 ⬆️
N’Keal Harry 3 11 3.67 43 4.78 ⬆️
James White 1 12 4.00 42 4.67 ⬆️
Ryan Izzo 0 4 1.33 19 1.73 ⬇️
Damien Harris 0 2 0.67 4 0.36 ⬇️

Charting the New England Patriots’ target distribution every week makes me sad. They rarely fill up the six-row chart above, and it’s rare to see highly productive fantasy assets come from this offense. Despite winning 20-17 over the Arizona Cardinals today, no Patriots pass-catcher managed more than 10.5 fantasy points. Jakobi Meyers barely hit double-digits catching five of his six targets for 52 yards. Damiere Byrd proved his Week 11 performance was just a flash in the pan, as he managed just three catches for 33 yards.

If you have been starting any Patriots pass-catcher this season, you must be in 20-team leagues or truly desperate. You simply cannot count on this offense to produce any fantasy viable assets. James White scored two touchdowns on the day, and he still finished with less than 15 fantasy points. Avoid this team for fantasy purposes unless you are actively trying to tank.

New Orleans Saints

Michael Thomas 6 25 8.33 36 7.20 ⬆️
Alvin Kamara 2 11 3.67 83 7.55 ⬆️
Jared Cook 2 5 1.67 37 3.70 ⬆️
Emmanuel Sanders 1 7 2.33 48 5.33 ⬆️
Latavius Murray 1 3 1.00 16 1.45 ⬆️
Adam Trautman 1 2 0.67 9 0.82 ⬆️

Taysom Hill was the best quarterback in the NO-DEN game, but that isn’t saying much. Hill only managed to complete nine of his 16 attempts for 78 yards; both of his touchdowns came on the ground, much to the chagrin of Michael Thomas fantasy managers. Speaking of Thomas, last year’s fantasy WR1 struggled mightily given his quarterback’s passing ineptitude, as he managed to catch just four passes for 50 yards. Still, that was by far the best performance of any pass-catcher in this game, so I guess beggars can’t be choosers.

No other New Orleans pass-catcher logged more than one reception, and tight end Jared Cook was held catchless on two targets. Alvin Kamara, who was a PPR machine with Drew Brees in the lineup, has been nonexistent in the receiving game with Hill as the starter; Kamara caught one of his two targets for a loss of two yards. Michael Thomas is the only Saints pass-catcher you can put in your lineup so long as Hill is the starting quarterback; even so, his ceiling is that of a WR2 until Brees returns.

New York Giants

Golden Tate 9 14 4.67 43 4.78 ⬆️
Evan Engram 9 12 4.00 76 7.60 ⬆️
Sterling Shepard 8 14 4.67 50 7.14 ⬆️
Wayne Gallman 5 7 2.33 21 1.91 ⬆️
Dion Lewis 3 5 1.67 27 2.45 ⬆️
Darius Slayton 2 9 3.00 67 6.09 ⬆️

In a sloppy matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals, three different players threw passes for the New York Giants. Daniel Jones suffered a leg injury half-way through the game, which caused Colt McCoy to take over passing duties for the G-Men. Tight end Evan Engram had his best game of the season, catching six of his nine targets for 129 yards, while wideout Sterling Shepard was extremely consistent yet again with seven receptions for 64 yards. Golden Tate, who had been a non-factor in this offense for quite some time, actually saw nine targets on the day; still, his four catches for 36 yards was extremely underwhelming.

In my opinion, the NFC East leaders (at 4-7) only have two viable fantasy pass-catchers. Evan Engram is a solid start at the tight end position given his involvement in the offense and the general lack of suitable options on the waiver wire; he should remain in your tight end spot unless you were lucky enough to have drafted another viable streamer. Shepard is a high-floor, low-ceiling play at wide receiver who can be counted on for a double-digit fantasy performance.

New York Jets

Denzel Mims 8 16 5.33 34 6.80 ⬆️
Breshad Perriman 8 12 4.00 36 5.14 ⬆️
Jamison Crowder 5 8 2.67 56 8.00 ⬆️
Frank Gore 3 5 1.67 16 1.45 ⬆️
Ty Johnson 2 8 2.67 10 0.91 ⬆️
Jeff Smith 1 2 0.67 35 4.38 ⬆️

Sam Darnold finally returned to the lineup, and head coach Adam Gase resumed play-calling duties for the New York Jets. Earlier in the week, Gase had said to the media, “You’re finally going to see what this offense could’ve been with everyone healthy.” And somehow, I was worse than it had been when they were injured. The Jets managed just 197 passing yards and three points in their rematch against the Miami Dolphins, as only two wideouts surpassed 35 receiving yards on the day. Both Denzel Mims and Breshad Perriman caught four of their eight targets, with the latter managing 79 yards compared to the former’s 67 yards. Jamison Crowder was abysmal once again, catching just three balls for 31 yards.

In deeper leagues, you can consider taking a shot on Denzel Mims if you are truly desperate, as he has seen a heavy dose of targets over the past three games. He’s clearly the most talented receiver on this offense, but it is doubtful he will have any fantasy relevance until Trevor Lawerence dons the Green and White. Crowder no longer presents the PPR upside he did to begin the season, so he’s a drop candidate if you require roster space.

Philadelphia Eagles

Dallas Goedert 10 22 7.33 41 5.86 ⬆️
Jalen Reagor 7 19 6.33 33 5.50 ⬆️
Boston Scott 6 10 3.33 27 2.45 ⬆️
Richard Rodgers 6 13 4.33 31 2.82 ⬆️
Alshon Jeffrey 4 7 2.33 7 2.33 ⬆️
Miles Sanders 3 13 4.33 38 4.75 ⬆️

There were rumors that Carson Wentz could be pulled out of the lineup in favor of Jalen Hurts if he performed poorly on Monday Night, and the 2016 second overall pick did not do himself any favors in putting those whispers to bed. Wentz was abysmal, completing 25 of his45 attempts for 215 yards and two touchdowns, with most of that production coming in garbage time. Dallas Goedert had his best game since returning from injury, catching seven balls for 75 yards and a score. Still, it’s doubtful he can maintain that level of consistency given his quarterback’s erratic play. So long as the Eagles quarterback play mirrors that of their fellow division rivals, Dallas Goedert, Jalen Reagor, and Travis Fulgham will be impossible to play with any certainty of production.

Outside of Dallas Goedert, I can’t justify putting an Eagles pass-catcher in my starting lineup. Despite all of the talent on offense, this team just cannot move the ball effectively. It’s certainly possible one of Reagor, Goedert, or Fulgham will have a good game next week against Green Bay as the Eagles will be forced to play from behind, but it’s a roll of the dice as far as which one will put up a solid baseline of points. I’d avoid these pass-catchers entirely unless we see Jalen Hurts enter the starting lineup and light up the scoreboard.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Diontae Johnson 13 40 13.33 94 9.40 ⬆️
Eric Ebron 11 24 8.00 67 6.09 ⬆️
Chase Claypool 9 27 9.00 74 6.73 ⬆️
JuJu Smith-Schuster 9 27 9.00 84 7.64 ⬆️
Benny Snell 4 4 1.33 7 0.64 ⬆️
James Washington 3 8 2.67 38 3.45 ⬆️

The Steelers had been put through the wringer this season in terms of scheduling. After having to use their bye week in Week 4 due to the Tennessee Titans’ failure to follow COVID protocols, Pittsburgh was once again forced to adapt on the fly as their divisional tilt against Baltimore was moved four times before settling on Wednesday afternoon. With the utter chaos going on from a scheduling standpoint, it was surprising to see Pittsburgh come out and throw the ball as much as they did.

Ben Roethlisberger finished the game with 36 completions for 266 yards and a touchdown, with most of his attempts going to Dionte Johnson and Eric Ebron.  Johnson saw 13 targets and caught eight balls for 46 yards, while Ebron managed seven receptions for 54 yards on 11 targets. Rookie Chase Claypool and soon-to-be free agent Juju Smith-Schuster each saw nine targets, with the latter catching the lone touchdown of the day. Overall, it was a low aDot game for Roethlisberger and his pass-catchers. All three Steeler wideouts are worthy starts for the remainder of the season, while Ebron belongs in the wide pool of decent tight end streaming options.

San Francisco 49ers

Deebo Samuel 13 13 4.33 35 7.00 ⬆️
Jordan Reed 6 12 4.00 30 5.00 ⬆️
Kendrick Bourne 5 10 3.33 50 5.00 ⬆️
Jerick McKinnon 3 6 2.00 39 3.55 ⬆️
Ross Dwelley 2 4 1.33 16 1.45 ⬆️
Kyle Juszczyk 2 3 1.00 19 1.73 ⬆️

Deebo Samuel made a triumphant return from injury and thrived without Brandon Aiyuk and George Kittle in the lineup. Samuel saw 13 targets and caught 11 passes for 133 yards. The sophomore wideout was utilized all over the formation and was heavily schemed into the game-plan by Kyle Shanahan. Samuel has always been a high-floor player, but so long as he’s the lone receiving option in San Francisco, his fantasy ceiling is limitless.

Jordan Reed saw the second-most targets for San Francisco, but he only managed two catches for 18 yards. It’s still undetermined when (or if) George Kittle will make his return, but it’s clear that Reed is not a viable streamer even if he is the TE1 for this team. With Aiyuk likely back next week, I can’t see Reed operating as anything more than the third-fiddle in a Monday Night matchup with the Buffalo Bills. He’s droppable in all non-TE Premium leagues.

Seattle Seahawks

D.K. Metcalf 13 22 7.33 90 8.18 ⬆️
Jacob Hollister 5 9 3.00 24 2.18 ⬆️
Tyler Lockett 4 22 7.33 92 8.36 ⬆️
Carlos Hyde 3 6 2.00 13 2.17 ⬆️
David Moore 3 8 2.67 34 3.09 ⬆️
Chris Carson 2 2 0.67 27 3.86 ⬆️

This wasn’t a great offensive performance by the Seahawks by any means, but when the opposing offense is continually failing to sustain long drives, there will be enough volume for these Seattle pass-catchers. D.K. Metcalf was phenomenal, putting up 10 receptions for 177 yards on 13 targets. He surpassed 100 receiving yards in the first half alone. After having a few down games against elite cornerbacks like Patrick Peterson and Jalen Ramsey, Metcalf bounced back in a big way against Darius Slay. Tyler Lockett was mediocre, only putting up three catches for 23 yards on four targets. Still, Lockett’s upside far outweighs his potential for a dud performance.

As it has been all season, Metcalf and Lockett are the only Seahawks wideouts you can start with confidence. David Moore was the only other wideout targeted in this matchup and ended the night with negative receiving yards and a score. I was looking forward to seeing if Will Dissily or Jacob Hollister could step up as a tight end streamer in Greg Olsen’s absence, but unfortunately, neither did anything of note.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Chris Godwin 9 25 8.33 60 7.50 ⬆️
Mike Evans 9 29 9.67 81 6.75 ⬆️
Rob Gronkowski 7 16 5.33 62 5.17 ⬆️
Cameron Brate 6 12 4.00 24 2.00 ⬆️
Antonio Brown 3 24 8.00 29 7.25 ⬆️
Leonard Fournette 3 10 3.33 37 3.70 ⬆️

The box score will look more impressive than the Buccaneers’ actual offensive performance today, but for fantasy football, that is all that matters. Multiple Buccaneers pass-catchers had viable fantasy days, including Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Rob Gronkowski. Gronkowski was the Bucs’ leading receiver on the day, accumulating 106 yards on six catches. Godwin was the team’s leader in receptions, nabbing eight balls for 97 yards, while Evans was the red-zone threat with two touchdowns on just three catches. Antonio Brown was the only disappointing Bucs’ starter, seeing just three targets and logging two receptions for 11 yards.

The Buccaneers enter their bye next week, so you’ll have to make your playoff push without any Tampa Bay players in your lineup. Still, if you can make it to the postseason, you should feel confident starting all Bucs’ pass-catchers. You will never know exactly which receiver will see the most work, but at least three of the four will likely have a viable fantasy game. I will happily take those odds, given the upside each player presents.

Tennessee Titans

A.J. Brown 6 17 5.67 65 7.22 ⬆️
Derrick Henry 4 8 2.67 26 2.36 ⬆️
Corey Davis 3 16 5.33 58 6.44 ⬆️
Geoff Swaim 3 4 1.33 8 0.73 ⬆️
Anthony Firkser 1 9 3.00 40 3.64 ⬆️
Jeremy McNichols 1 3 1.00 10 0.91 ⬆️

The Tennessee Titans were unstoppable in their Week 12 rematch with the Indianapolis Colts. While most of their damage was done through the run game, Ryan Tannehill’s passing offense was still quite productive. A.J. Brown once again proved how dominant he could be as the team’s No. 1 wideout, catching four of his six targets for 98 yards and a score. He also returned an onside kick for a touchdown, which was a nice capper to his already impressive fantasy performance. Corey Davis was only targeted three times, but he was reeled in all three of his opportunities for 70 yards. No other pass-catcher did much work in the receiving game. Brown and Davis were the only wideouts to accumulate more than 30 receiving yards.

A.J. Brown has been an auto-start all season, and he continues to impress as the alpha receiving option in Tennessee. It’s clear that rumors of his expected regression in 2020 were clearly exaggerated. Davis remains a mediocre FLEX-option, as the Titans offense will always run through Derrick Henry and the ground game. With a soft schedule upcoming for Derrick Henry, I don’t expect any pass-catcher outside of A.J. Brown to be a consistent fantasy producer for the remainder of the regular season.

Washington Football Team

Terry McLaurin 9 25 8.33 102 9.27 ⬆️
Antonio Gibson 7 13 4.33 39 3.55 ⬆️
Logan Thomas 4 15 5.00 61 5.55 ⬆️
J.D. McKissic 2 21 7.00 68 6.18 ⬆️
Steven Sims Jr. 1 10 3.33 19 1.73 ⬆️
Dontrelle Inman 1 1 0.33 28 2.55 ⬆️

After 12 weeks of NFL football, we were finally able to bear witness to the Antonio Gibson breakout game. The rookie running back not only ran the ball 20 times for 115 yards and three touchdowns, but he was second on the team in targets with seven opportunities. All five of his catches came in the first 20 minutes of game action, as he really wasn’t needed through the air after half-time. Terry McLaurin was once again dominant, seeing nine targets and catching seven balls for 92 yards.

Aside from the running backs, McLaurin is the only pass-catcher you can trust in Washington. Logan Thomas is a touchdown-dependent tight end streamer, as I wouldn’t expect him to continue to throw passes as he did on Thanksgiving Day. McKissic is still a decent floor play as an RB3; he was simply game-scripted out as Gibson went wild on the ground. It’s a bit concerning that McKissic only saw two targets compared to Gibson’s seven. Still, I am willing to give McKissic another week if I am desperate at the running back position.

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Dan Ambrosino is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Dan, check out his archive and follow him @AmbrosinoNFL.

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