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The Primer: Week 12 Edition (2022 Fantasy Football)

by Derek Brown | @dbro_ffb | Featured Writer
Nov 24, 2022
The Primer: Week 12 Edition (2022 Fantasy Football)

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Thanksgiving. The beautiful marriage of food, football, and family time. Yes, even seeing that awkward uncle is nice (we all have one) when you have the other elements as a buffer. By 5 pm. Thursday, I plan to be on my fourth plate of food with my second dad nap of the day to follow.

This season has been a blessing. Writing this weekly article is something I cherish. Without your support, I have no clue what I would be doing these days as the daily 9-5. I hope everyone has a wonderful day to recoup, rest, and really enjoy the time with those they love.

Onto Week 12 and the Primer.

With most fantasy football trade deadlines quickly approaching, now is the best time to check out Trade Central to make finding and executing trades dead simple. See your league-mates’ top positional needs, and find trades that are the most likely to get accepted.

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TB vs. CLE | CIN vs. TEN | HOU vs. MIA | CHI vs. NYJ | ATL vs. WAS | DEN vs. CAR | BAL vs. JAC | LAC vs. ARI | LV vs. SEA | LAR vs. KC | NO vs. SF | GB vs. PHI | PIT vs. IND | BUF vs. DET | NYG vs. DAL | NE vs. MIN

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Cleveland Browns

Pace and playcalling notes

  • The Buccaneers continue to do wise things from a pace and offensive system perspective despite disappointing us for most of the year. They are second in neutral pace and third in passing rate in close games.
  • Cleveland is 19th in neutral pace while ranking 11th in neutral rushing rate.

Quarterbacks

Tom Brady: Brady is the QB22 in fantasy points per game, with only two QB1 weeks on his 2022 resume. The Buccaneers’ offense has been unable to fire on all cylinders this season. I don’t blame Brady for tossing his hands up weekly because his level of play isn’t the problem. Brady is eighth in PFF passing grade, ninth in big-time throw rate, and 17th in adjusted completion rate (minimum 100 dropbacks). Brady has had to contend with the third-most drops and his receivers ranking 58th in yards after the catch per target. The Browns offer another matchup that could lead to this offense finding its rhythm. Since Week 5, Cleveland has been 19th in passing yards per game, 27th in EPA per drop back, and 24th in explosive pass rate allowed. Brady is at the QB1 borderline.

Jacoby Brissett: Brissett has been playing out of his mind over the last three weeks with two top-ten fantasy weeks (QB10, QB4). Since Week 7, he’s seventh in PFF passing grade, fifth in yards per attempt and sixth in adjusted completion rate (minimum 50 dropbacks). Since Week 5, the Bucs are 13th in success rate per dropback, 17th in EPA per drop back, and 14th in explosive pass rate allowed. They are a difficult matchup for Brissett, but they have fallen from their elite perch. The biggest worry for Brissett is against the Tampa Bay pass rush, which is sixth in pressure rate and seventh in blitz rate. Brissett has been extremely good against pressure this year, though. He ranks 11th in PFF pressured passing grade, third in pressured yards per attempt, and tenth in pressure-adjusted completion rate (minimum 20 pressured dropbacks). Brissett is a QB2 with QB1 upside.

Running Backs

Leonard Fournette: Fournette has been listed as doubtful, so get him out of your fantasy lineups. He likely misses Week 12.

Rachaad White: The last time we saw White was in Week 10, where he rolled up 22 carries for 105 rushing yards in relief of Fournette. White should lead the backfield this week, as Ke’Shawn Vaughn only accounted for three touches and 13 total yards in Week 10. As discussed in previous Primers, White’s efficiency metrics have been an eyesore, but diving deeper into the massive struggle he saw was more isolated to the first five games of his NFL career. White was legitimately the least efficient running back in the NFL from Weeks 1-5, but his numbers since have at least been decent. White is due for 20-plus touches this week against one of the league’s bottom-dwelling run defenses. Since Week 6, the Browns are 20th in rushing yards per game, 31st in EPA per rush, and 29th in explosive run rate allowed. White is an RB2 with RB1 upside this week.

Nick Chubb: Chubb has averaged 19 touches and 105.9 total yards as the RB5 in fantasy. Last week was his first game of the season finishing outside the top 24 backs in fantasy (RB25). Chubb is still trucking along with the eighth-best yards after contact per attempt, second-most missed tackles, and 11th-highest breakaway rate (minimum 25 carries). Over the last two games, he’s eaten into the passing game more, with a 9.3% target share (3.5 targets per game) and 33 receiving yards per game. In that small sample, he’s run more routes per game (14) than Hunt (12.5). Hunt will remain involved, but this backfield could be tilting more in Chubb’s favor. The Buccaneers remain a defense that you can run on. Since Week 7, they are 15th in rushing yards per game, 22nd in EPA per rush, and 27th in explosive run rate allowed. Chubb is a weekly RB1.

Kareem Hunt: Hunt’s snaps have dipped in the last two games, as he’s played 34% and 39% of the snaps. Those are the only two games this season that his snaps have dipped below 41%. Over the last two games, he has averaged seven touches and 36.5 total yards. Hunt has only two red zone opportunities since Week 8 (Chubb six). Hunt is quickly descending from RB3 territory into handcuff-only status. Since Week 7, he’s 34th in yards after contact per attempt and 32nd in PFF’s elusive rating (minimum 15 carries).

Wide Receivers

Mike Evans: Evans is the WR15 rocking a 20.4% target share (8.4 targets per game) and 33.8% air yard share (18th). Evans has been Brady’s downfield bae with the fifth-most deep targets and a 12.8 aDOT (18th). Evans also has ten red zone looks (16th). If Brady torches Cleveland deep which is possible, look for Evans to be a big part of it. The Browns are fifth in deep completion rate and fourth in deep passing yards. Evans is 31st in PFF receiving grade and 25th in yards per route run (minimum 25 targets). Since Week 9, the Browns have deployed all of their corners in zone coverage on at least 60% of their snaps. Evans has seen 57% of his target volume against zone, ranking 15th in yards per route run against zone (minimum ten zone targets). Evans is a WR1 that will run about 71% of his routes against Denzel Ward (65.6% catch rate, 98.8 passer rating) and Greedy Williams (83.3% catch rate, 158.3 passer rating).

Chris Godwin: Since Week 6, Godwin has a 25.9% target share (11 targets per game), a 23.4% air yard share, and a tiny 6.0 aDOT. In his last five games, Godwin is ranked 46th in PFF receiving grade, 51st in yards per route run, and 40th in YAC per reception (minimum ten targets). He’s getting fed a truckload of volume, but sadly he’s not doing much with it, especially after the catch. A plus for Godwin is that the Browns rank eighth in missed tackles, so they could allow him some opportunities to break a few short passes for big gains. Godwin is a WR2 that will run about 73% of his routes against A.J. Green (71.4% catch rate, 90.8 passer rating).

Julio Jones: Since Week 8, Jones has been targeted on 23% of his routes which is good, but he’s only logged a 45.2% route run rate. That’s too low to consider for your lineups in fantasy, especially when we also factor in he’s only seen an 11.1% target share (4.7 targets per game).

Amari Cooper: Cooper continues with a possibly career-best season. He’s the WR13 in fantasy with a 25.8% target share (8.1 targets per game) and 36.9% air yard share (11th). He’s finished as a WR1 in 50% of his games this season. Cooper’s high-value usage has been outstanding, as he’s 18th in deep targets and ninth in red zone targets. The Buccaneers have utilized their corners in zone coverage on 61-69% of their snaps. Since Week 4, Cooper has seen only 32% of his target volume against zone, ranking 37th in PFF receiving grade and 34th in yards per route run against the coverage. Cooper is a WR2 that will run about 73% of his routes against Carlton Davis (60.3% catch rate, 94.3 passer rating) and Jamel Dean (51.1% catch rate, 57.3 passer rating).

Donovan Peoples-Jones: Since Week 4, Peoples-Jones has a 20% target share and a 29.5% air yard share (averaging 72.4 receiving yards per game) as the WR30 in fantasy points per game. Over his last seven games, he’s ranked 26th in PFF receiving grade and yards per route run (minimum ten targets). Peoples-Jones has a red zone target in four of his last five games. Peoples-Jones is a WR3 that will run about 72% of his routes against Davis and Dean. Since Week 4, he’s been excellent against zone coverage (40% of his targets), ranking 14th in PFF receiving grade and yards per route run (minimum ten zone targets).

Tight Ends

Cameron Brate: Brate and Cade Otton split the Bucs’ tight end role in the last game, with neither player eclipsing a 43.3% route run rate. That low route volume for each player makes it not worth chasing a streaming option against a defense that’s allowed the fourth-lowest catch rate and fourth-fewest fantasy points per game to tight ends.

David Njoku: Njoku wasn’t a full-time player in his first game back. He’s only logged a 42.2% route run rate, as Harrison Bryant led the way with 57.8% of the routes. The tight-end work for Cleveland was split, with Pharaoh Brown also getting into the mix (8.9% route run rate). Njoku’s 7.3% target share and 16% target per route run rate last week make it difficult to trust him as anything more than a TE2. Njoku remains ninth among tight ends in deep targets and seventh in red zone targets, so it’s possible he takes one to the house or gets a short porch touchdown. Tampa Bay has given up the seventh-most fantasy points per game, the ninth-most receiving yards per game, and the seventh-highest catch rate to tight ends.

TB vs. CLE | CIN vs. TEN | HOU vs. MIA | CHI vs. NYJ | ATL vs. WAS | DEN vs. CAR | BAL vs. JAC | LAC vs. ARI | LV vs. SEA | LAR vs. KC | NO vs. SF | GB vs. PHI | PIT vs. IND | BUF vs. DET | NYG vs. DAL | NE vs. MIN

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