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Fitz’s Week 12 Rankings, Tiers & Start/Sit Advice (2022 Fantasy Football)

Nov 23, 2022
Fitz’s Week 12 Rankings, Tiers & Start/Sit Advice (2022 Fantasy Football)

It’s Thanksgiving week, so let’s start with something far more important than my rankings and tiers for fantasy football — my rankings and tiers for Thanksgiving menu items.

I’m 100% certain these rankings will prompt no disagreement whatsoever.

Check out the rest of our weekly fantasy football advice >>

Fitz’s Thanksgiving Menu Items Rankings & Tiers

Tier 1

  • Stuffing
  • Gravy
  • Mac and cheese

What more can I say? These are the show-stoppers. Big shout-out to gravy, which makes everything better. My wife’s policy is that if it doesn’t go with gravy, it’s not worth eating on Thanksgiving Day.

Tier 2

  • Turkey
  • Brussels sprouts

A perfectly cooked turkey belongs on Tier 1, but let’s face it: Whoever’s cooking your turkey probably isn’t cooking it perfectly. And I will brook no dissent about the greatness of Brussels sprouts, a carb cleverly disguised as a vegetable. Prepare them with shallots, garlic and bacon bits, then drizzle balsamic vinegar over them. Heaven.

Tier 3

  • Sweet potato pie
  • Apple pie
  • Pumpkin pie
  • Pecan pie

It’s the pie tier. These are the only acceptable Thanksgiving pies. Well, maybe French silk, too, but we know it’s really not pie — it’s just chocolate mousse in a crust.

Tier 4

  • Mashed potatoes
  • Green bean casserole
  • Dinner rolls
  • Sweet potatoes

Solid fare here, but none of these items are exactly bursting with flavor.

Tier 5

  • Cranberry sauce
  • Salad
  • Squash

You know what you’re thinking when you encounter these items at Thanksgiving: “How little of this can I put on my plate without insulting the host?”

OK, let’s get to the Week 12 tiers …

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Fitz’s Fantasy Football Week 12 Rankings, Tiers & Start/Sit Advice

QUARTERBACKS

Check out Fitz’s quarterback rankings here >>

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Tier 5

Tier 6

As of this writing (Wednesday afternoon), we hadn’t received definitive word on the Week 12 status of Justin Fields (shoulder). If he plays, he’ll be a risky low-end QB1. Fields’ rushing has given him a high weekly fantasy floor, but that floor crumbles if Bears offensive coordinator Luke Getsy can no longer aggressively use Fields as a runner, forcing the young QB to get by solely with his arm against a fierce Jets pass defense.

In the four games since the 49ers traded for RB Christian McCaffrey, Jimmy Garoppolo has averaged 251.5 passing yards and 2.0 TD passes a game, making him the QB12 in fantasy points per game over that stretch. He’s a viable option against a Saints defense that has allowed the 11th-most fantasy points to QBs.

Kirk Cousins was sacked seven times in Minnesota’s 40-3 loss to Dallas last Sunday. The Cowboys lead the NFL in pressure rate. The No. 2 team in pressure rate? It’s the Vikings’ Week 12 opponent, the Patriots, who have given up the 12th-fewest fantasy points to QBs. Cousins investors should monitor the status of the Vikings’ best offensive lineman, Christian Darrisaw, who left the game against the Cowboys with a concussion. If Darrisaw is out, Cousins could have a long Thanksgiving night. (And I’m not even taking Cousins’ dismal career record in primetime games into account.)

We saw last week what the Cowboys’ defense is capable of. Fade Daniel Jones this week. Not only does Jones have to face that nasty Dallas pass defense, but he’ll have to do it without a bevy of injured offensive linemen and without WR Wan’Dale Robinson, who’s out for the season with a torn ACL.

The benching of Zach Wilson and Baker Mayfield might bode well for certain Jets and Panthers pass catchers, but the Jets’ and Panthers’ new starting quarterbacks, Mike White and Sam Darnold, are still at or near the bottom of this week’s QB rankings. They’re no more than desperation plays in superflex leagues.

RUNNING BACKS

Check out Fitz’s running back rankings here >>

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Tier 7

The Houston defense has given up a league-high 1,535 rushing yards and 13 TD runs to RBs this season. Opponents are averaging 29.1 RB rushing attempts this season against the Texans, who are giving up 5.3 yards per carry to running backs. Miami’s Jeff Wilson is a midrange RB1 with Raheem Mostert considered doubtful with a knee injury.

The Broncos surprised us this week by releasing Melvin Gordon. With Chase Edmonds and Mike Boone both on IR, Latavius Murray could have the Denver backfield mostly to himself this week, with occasional relief appearances by the newly signed Marlon Mack. Consider Murray a low-end RB2.

It will be interesting to see how the Buccaneers divide work between Rachaad White and Leonard Forunette this Sunday in Cleveland. Longtime Buccaneers beat writer Greg Auman of The Athletic wrote that he’d be “very surprised” if White didn’t have more snaps, touches and yards than Fournette this week. The Bucs didn’t have a running play go for more than 17 yards in any of their first nine games. White had two runs of more than 17 yards when we last saw the Bucs in Week 10. Fournette, who picked up a hip pointer in Week 10 but is tentatively expected to play on Sunday, is averaging 3.4 yards per carry this year, and he’s averaged 2.9 yards per carry since Week 2. I have White ranked a tier ahead of Fournette.

The Jets’ benching of QB Zach Wilson lifts Michael Carter into high-end RB3 territory. Mike White takes over as the Jets’ starting quarterback. As noted by J.J. Zachariason (@LateRoundQB) on Twitter, in the three games last year in which White threw at least 30 passes, Jets RBs had target shares of 39%, 41% and 37%. James Robinson gets a slight bump, too, but he’s still just a low-end RB4.

D’Onta Foreman‘s path to fantasy success in Week 12 is narrow. Foreman is a nonfactor as a pass catcher. Nearly all of his fantasy value is generated in the running game. Last week, Foreman actually played one fewer snap than Chuba Hubbard. It was 23 snaps for Hubbard, 22 for Foreman, and 11 for Raheem Blackshear, who’s also been involved. If the Panthers fall behind this week — and they’re slight home underdogs against the Broncos — it’s bad for Foreman. He’s had three 100-yard rushing games this season. Two of them came in Carolina Panthers wins, and the other came in a Panthers overtime loss to the Falcons.

James Cook looked terrific in Week 11, rushing 11 times for 86 yards. But Cook has played 10 to 16 snaps in each of the Bills’ last six games. He had no more than five carries in any other game during that stretch, and he’s had double-digit carries in only one other game this season. Cook investors probably enjoyed seeing Cook get a rushing attempt on 11 of his 16 snaps last week, but that high touch percentage isn’t likely to repeat.

As of now, I’m ranking the Bengals’ RBs as if Joe Mixon will return from the concussion he sustained last week. In case you’re wondering, I would have Perine ranked as a low-end RB2 (in the RB20-RB24 range) if Mixon were scratched. The Bengals face an ornery Titans run defense, but Perine would be a good bet for 16+ touches if he had to handle the RB workload mostly by himself.

Before you spend too much time parsing the Rams’ backfield in the wake of Darrell Henderson‘s release, realize that yardage is going to be hard to come by for the Rams this week with Bryce Perkins starting at quarterback in place of the concussed Matthew Stafford. Kyren Williams out-snapped Cam Akers 35-25 last week, but Akers had a team-high 14 carries and out-touched Williams 14-8. It seems likely that Akers will get more of the early down work, while Williams handles passing-down duty. I’ve got them ranked side by side as midrange RB4s.

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WIDE RECEIVERS

Check out Fitz’s wide receiver rankings here >>

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Tier 7

It’s safe to start Keenan Allen again. The 10-year veteran played 44 snaps Sunday night against the Chiefs in his return from a hamstring injury and had 5-94-0, including a spectacular 46-yard catch where he had to fully lay out to haul in a deep ball down the right sideline. The Cardinals have occasionally been using hybrid safety/linebacker/cornerback Isaiah Simmons to cover slot receivers. Simmons weighs almost 240 pounds. He’s a unique talent, but I doubt Simmons can successfully cover a route-running artiste like Allen. Simmons has allowed an 87% catch rate on throws into his coverage this season.

Speaking of Chargers receivers, Josh Palmer is an interesting case this week. He’s coming off a watershed 8-106-2 performance against the Chiefs, and the Chargers could be without Mike Williams, who aggravated his high-ankle sprain Sunday night. In two games without Allen and Williams in the lineup, Palmer went for 8-106-0 and 3-43-0. In the seven games he’s played with just Allen out of the lineup, Palmer had one 100-yard game and one TD, and he finished with under 60 yards in five of those seven games. As inconsistent as he’s been, Palmer probably shouldn’t be an auto-start for most fantasy teams, but he’ll be at least a decent option if Williams is out, likely running a good number of his routes against flammable Cardinals CB Marco Wilson.

D.J. Moore has a tough matchup against the Broncos this week, but the QB change from Baker Mayfield to Sam Darnold keeps Moore in low-end WR3 territory. In the nine games Moore and Darnold played together last season, Moore had 53-677-3 — a 100-catch, 1,279-yard pace over a full 17-game season.

Donovan Peoples-Jones just barely cracks the top 40 this week. I’m warming to him … but slowly. DPJ has had at least four catches and 50 yards in seven straight games, so he provides a sturdy floor. But he scored his first TD of the season last week, David Njoku is back to poach some targets, and I don’t love Peoples-Jones’ matchup this week against the Buccaneers and the outside CB duo of Carlton Davis and Jamel Dean.

Over the last four weeks, Parris Campbell has been the WR36 in fantasy points per game (half-PPR) among receivers who’ve played at least two games. Since Week 6, he’s been the WR18 in FPPG. Campbell hasn’t produced more than 76 receiving yards in any game this season, and he’s had only four games with more than 43 yards. But he has a juicy matchup against Steelers slot corner Arthur Maulet, who’s giving up 1.59 yards per route into his coverage.

Allen Robinson may ostensibly be the Rams’ No. 1 receiver with Cooper Kupp on IR, but Robinson hasn’t seen more than seven targets or had more than 63 receiving yards in any game this season, there’s very little TD potential for the Rams’ offense with a backup QB operating behind a bad offensive line, and it’s possible that Ben Skowronek, Van Jefferson, Tyler Higbee or one of the RBs could lead the Rams in targets in any given week. Err on the side of benching Robinson this week.

If you’re in a pinch, Skyy Moore and Justin Watson could be viable desperation flex options. Moore played 27 snaps against the Chargers on Sunday night and ran 16 routes. He had six targets, so he was targeted on 37.5% of his routes, and he had a season-high catches for 63 yards. Mecole Hardman is out. Kadarius Toney (hamstring) will most likely be out. JuJu Smith-Schuster may or may not come back from a concussion. Moore has been playing fewer snaps than Watson, but at worst Moore and Watson figure to be the Chiefs’ No. 3 and No. 4 receivers (in whichever order) vs. the Rams, and it’s possible they’re No. 2 and No. 3, catching passes from the red-hot Patrick Mahomes.

I’m not quite ready to trust Jarvis Landry again. He had a touchdown last week, but it was the first positive thing he’s done in fantasy since Week 1, when he had 7-114-0. He’s played five games since then. His yardage totals in those games: 25, 22, 7, 37, 33. Chris Olave is the alpha receiver in New Orleans now, the Saints rotate a bunch of other receivers in and out, TE Juwan Johnson gets some targets, and now there’s talk of Taysom Hill getting more snaps at QB, which isn’t good for Saints pass catchers.

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TIGHT ENDS

Check out Fitz’s tight end rankings here >>

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Tier 5

After scoring nine touchdowns in 2021, Dawson Knox has found the end zone only twice this season. The Knox trends are encouraging nevertheless. He’s played at least 80% of Buffalo’s offensive snaps in five consecutive games. Over the last two weeks, he has 11-127-0 receiving on 13 targets. In Week 11, he has a route participation rate of 83.3%. And of course, Knox benefits from playing with one of the best quarterbacks in the league, Josh Allen. I like Knox as a low-end TE1 this week against a Detroit defense that has given up seven TD catches and the fourth-most fantasy points to TEs.

David Njoku returned from a high-ankle sprain last week and had a quiet 2-17-0 performance against the Bills. He played only 23 of Cleveland’s 75 offensive snaps — possibly because the Browns fell hopelessly behind in the second half. Njoku is a top-10 TE option this week against a Buccaneers defense that has yielded the seventh-most fantasy points to TEs.

Foster Moreau had one catch for 33 yards against the Broncos in Week 11, but he still lands in lower-end TE1 range this week against the Seahawks, who have been gored by TEs this season. Seattle has given up 47 receptions, 678 yards and five touchdowns to tight ends, which works out to a league-high 13.4 fantasy points per game (half-PPR).

Ah yes … the weekly Taysom Hill dilemma. Hill has been boom/bust for fantasy managers all season. In the Saints’ Week 11 win over the Rams, Hill played a season-high 24 snaps, had 9-52-0 rushing, caught an 8-yard pass and completed 1-of-3 pass attempts for 14 yards. Fantasy analysts differ greatly on Hill’s fantasy value, and I tend to come down on the pro-Hill side. I’m willing to live with the bad games when the upside is so appealing. I’ll take that over the low-ceiling outlook of, say, Tyler Conklin every time.

Juwan Johnson has scored a touchdown in three consecutive games and has found the end zone five times in his last five contests. Still, I only rank him as a midrange TE2 this week against the 49ers, who have given up a league-low 332 receiving yards and two touchdowns to TEs. Johnson’s 47 receiving yards last week were a season high. Basically, it’s touchdown or bust for him.

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