Week 12 Quick Grades (2022 Fantasy Football Start or Sit Advice)
Welcome to Week 12, friends. As always, we’re here to provide you with some fantasy football Quick Grades (or Start/Sit Grades, if you prefer) for the week.
We tapped into our consensus projections and rankings and Derek Brown’s weekly Primer to generate this week’s Quick Grades. See below for the results and accompanying notes.
Week 12 QB Start/Sit Grades
|2||A||Patrick Mahomes II||KC||LAR|
|47||F||Gardner Minshew II||PHI||GB|
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 dropback, 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 dropback, 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.
Mike White: Last season, we got a four-game stretch of White under center. He was a below-league-average quarterback, and that’s probably being kind, but the Jets look at him as an upgrade over Zach Wilson. That should be telling. White was ranked 42nd in PFF passing grade, 18th in yards per attempt, and 15th in adjusted completion. He was a check-down artist ranking 43rd in aDOT. He was the QB2 and QB27 in fantasy in his two full starts. Luckily for White, the Bears’ defense has no claws. They are 24th in pressure rate and 28th in blitz rate, so White should have plenty of time in the pocket. Since Week 6, Chicago has allowed the fifth-highest success rate per dropback, second-highest EPA per dropback, and rank 28th in explosive pass rate. White is a viable QB2 option.
Marcus Mariota: Mariota is the QB17 in fantasy points per game, with four QB1 performances this year. Mariota has been dreadful as a passer, ranking 21st in PFF passing grade, 36th in adjusted completion rate, and eighth in turn-over worthy play rate (minimum 100 dropbacks). His fantasy value is tied to his legs, as he’s sixth in rushing yards, third in rushing touchdowns, and third in red zone carries. Mariota is a QB2 facing an improved Commanders’ secondary. Since Week 6, they are sixth in passing yards per game, fourth in EPA per dropback, and 14th in pass defense DVOA.
Taylor Heinicke: Heinicke is a QB2. In three of his five starts, he’s finished as the QB15 or higher (QB13, QB8, QB15). His floor has bottomed out over the last two games, as he’s failed to throw for a touchdown either week. Heinicke is duking it out with Mariota for the ugliest starting quarterback play in the NFL. Ok, maybe it’s not that bad, but it has been tough to watch. Heinicke is 37th in PFF passing grade, 33rd in adjusted completion rate, and first in turnover-worthy play rate (minimum 100 dropbacks). Luckily for Heinicke, the Falcons are still a horrible pass defense. Since Week 6, they are 30th in pass defense DVOA, ranking 27th in passing yards per game and 25th in EPA per dropback.
Russell Wilson: Wilson is a weekly QB2. Since Week 5, there’s been one game where he’s finished higher than QB20 (QB15). The falloff for Wilson has been tough to watch this season. He’s 27th in PFF passing grade, 27th in adjusted completion rate, and 26th in fantasy points per dropback. The hope candle for this offense was extinguished long ago. Since Week 6, Carolina has conceded the 12th-highest success rate per dropback. They are also 20th in passing yards per game and 14th in explosive pass rate allowed.
Sam Darnold: I can’t craft you any pro-Darnold narrative. Not against Denver. This secondary is suffocating. The Broncos have held quarterbacks to the third-fewest passing yards per game, the fourth-lowest EPA per drop back, and the tenth-lowest explosive pass rate. The Broncos have surrendered the second-fewest fantasy points per game to quarterbacks. The answer regarding Darnold is no. Just no.
If you want to dive deeper into fantasy football, check out our award-winning slate of Fantasy Football Tools as you navigate your season. From our Start/Sit Assistant – which provides your optimal lineup based on accurate consensus projections – to our Waiver Wire Assistant, which allows you to quickly see which available players will improve your team and how much – we’ve got you covered this fantasy football season.
Week 12 WR Start/Sit Grades
|7||A||Amon-Ra St. Brown||DET||BUF|
|23||B||Michael Pittman Jr.||IND||PIT|
|56||D+||Allen Robinson II||LAR||KC|
|64||D||Terrace Marshall Jr.||CAR||DEN|
|65||D-||Marvin Jones Jr.||JAC||BAL|
|78||F||D.J. Chark Jr.||DET||BUF|
|80||F||Laviska Shenault Jr.||CAR||DEN|
|90||F||Richie James Jr.||NYG||DAL|
|94||F||Equanimeous St. Brown||CHI||NYJ|
|104||F||Keelan Cole Sr.||LV||SEA|
|108||F||Phillip Dorsett II||HOU||MIA|
|111||F||James Proche II||BAL||JAC|
|119||F||Steven Sims Jr.||PIT||IND|
|133||F||Cedrick Wilson Jr.||MIA||HOU|
|144||F||Michael Woods II||CLE||TB|
|152||F||Velus Jones Jr.||CHI||NYJ|
|153||F||Stanley Berryhill III||DET||BUF|
|164||F||Stanley Morgan Jr.||CIN||TEN|
Courtland Sutton: Sutton is the WR35 in fantasy points per game. He hasn’t finished a week higher than WR26 since Week 4. With Jeudy out the last two games, he’s averaged nine targets (26.9% target share), 5.5 receptions, and 73 scoreless receiving yards. His 2.35 yards per route run last week was his highest single-game mark since Week 3. Sutton is eighth in deep targets and 22nd in red zone targets (one touchdown). Sutton is a WR3 that will run about 86% of his routes against Jaycee Horn (51.7% catch rate, 31.3 passer rating) and C.J. Henderson (72.7% catch rate, 106.6 passer rating). Horn hasn’t shadowed all season. Sutton has some hope, but he has to make the most of his targets against Henderson.
Demarcus Robinson: Before anyone gets carried away with Robinson’s Week 11 performance realize that’s only the second time this season he’s eclipsed 60 receiving yards or WR4 status. He’s finished outside the top 80 wide receivers in fantasy five times. Robinson is 44th in PFF receiving grade, 56th in yards per route run, and 54th in targets per route run. Robinson is a WR5/6 that will run about 92% of his routes against Tyson Campbell (58.8% catch rate, 80.5 passer rating) and Darious Williams (58.8% catch rate, 87.5 passer rating).
Devin Duvernay: Duvernay is a similar crapshoot as Robinson. He’s the WR53 in fantasy points per game with only three games as a WR3 or better. He’s finished outside the top 60 fantasy wideouts in four of his last five games. Duvernay has a 12.8% target share and a 15.3% target per route run rate (88th). He’s a deep league dart throw flex at best that will run about 69% of his routes against Campbell and Williams.
Christian Kirk: Kirk is the WR12 in fantasy sporting a 24.6% target share (23rd), 27.7% target per route run rate (14th), and a 28.1% air yard share (29th). Kirk is fourth in deep targets while also seeing ten downfield (28th) targets. Kirk is 21st in PFF receiving grade and 26th in yards per route run (minimum 25 targets). The Ravens have split slot coverage over the last few weeks between Marlon Humphrey (72.7% catch rate, 52.8 passer rating) and Kyle Hamilton (71.4% catch rate, 80.7 passer rating). Kirk is a WR2.
Allen Robinson: Last week, Robinson secured a touchdown to finish as the WR18 for the week. Robinson still hasn’t logged a game of at least 70 receiving yards all season. He has a 15.2% target share and ranks fourth among wide receivers in red zone targets (only three touchdowns). Robinson is on his last leg, ranking 109th in yards after the catch and 87th in yards per route run. Robinson is a WR5 that will run about 72% of his routes against Trent McDuffie (61.5% catch rate, 77.4 passer rating) and Joshua Williams (68.2% catch rate, 130.7 passer rating).
Van Jefferson: Last week, Jefferson saw a 91% route run rate declaring himself a full-time player in the offense. Since Week 9, he has had a 14.4% target share, 33.3% end zone target share, and 1.13 yards per route run. Jefferson has only one red zone look over his last three games. Jefferson is a deep league flex who will run about half his routes against McDuffie and Williams.
Chris Olave: Olave got back on track last week with 102 receiving yards as the WR7. Olave remains a rookie sensation deserving of all the hype. He’s 18th in target share (25.8%), 12th in target per route run rate (28.3%), and fourth in air yard share (40.2%). He also leads the NFL in deep targets while ranking 11th in yards per route run. Olave can toast this secondary that’s 31st in DVOA against deep passing giving up the 11th-highest deep completion rate. Olave will run about 71% of his routes against Deommodore Lenoir (77.3% catch rate, 101.5 passer rating) and Charvarius Ward (59.6% catch rate, 82.3 passer rating). Olave is a WR2.
Brandon Aiyuk: Aiyuk is up to WR20 in fantasy points per game, as he’s having a fantastic season. Aiyuk has a 22.5% target share and 28.5% air yard share with nine red zone targets (22nd). He’s been a top-20 wide receiver with at least 80 receiving yards in four of his last five games. He’s 13th in PFF receiving grade and 27th in yards per route run (minimum 25 targets). Aiyuk is a WR2.
Diontae Johnson: Over the last two games without Chase Claypool, Johnson has seen his target share dip to 15.6%, with a 25% end zone target share, 16.5% air yard share, and 1.05 yards per route run. Johnson has been a floor play all season as the WR45 in fantasy points per game, but the floor has fallen out now. He hasn’t finished as a WR3 or better since Week 5. The Steelers have force-fed him 11 red zone targets since Week 5, and Johnson still doesn’t have a touchdown this season. Johnson is a WR4 that will run about 89% of his routes against Stephon Gilmore (59.3% catch rate, 75.6 passer rating) and Brandon Facyson (72.7% catch rate, 110.0 passer rating).
George Pickens: Since Week 10, Pickens has a 15.6% target share averaging 57.5 receiving yards with 1.53 yards per route run. He was the WR26 and WR11 over the last two weeks. Pickens only has two red zone looks over his last four games, and it hasn’t mattered as he’s scored twice in that period. Pickens is a WR3 that will run about 87% of his routes against Gilmore and Facyson. Pickens has outproduced Johnson since taking off in Week 4 with four WR2 or better weeks.
Michael Pittman: With Ryan back under center, Pittman has a 26.7% target share, 33.1% air yard share, and 2.17 yards per route run. The problem for Pittman all season is that it’s all hollow volume. Pittman has only one deep target and six red zone targets all season. Pittman has been targeted once inside the 20-yard line since Week 4. That’s egregious. Pittman is a WR3 that will run about 73% of his routes against Cameron Sutton (57.5% catch rate, 83.7 passer rating) and Levi Wallace (57.1% catch rate, 76.0 passer rating).
Drake London: With Kyle Pitts sidelined, London could vacuum up targets in this run-first offense. London has had no issues demanding work this year, ranking 13th in target share (27.1%) and 11th in target per route run rate (11th). The problem has been the raw passing volume (5.9 targets per game), but that could be curtailed moving forward as Atlanta has a depth chart of water boys running routes behind Pitts. London is 17th in PFF receiving grade and 50th in yards per route run (minimum 25 targets). He’s been Mariota’s go-to near the goal line ranking ninth in red zone targets. London is a WR4 that will run about 55% of his routes against Kendall Fuller (61.8% catch rate, 103.2 passer rating).
Terry McLaurin: With Heinicke under center, McLaurin has a 31.6% target share, 25% end zone target share, and 54.9% air yard share. Since Week 7, McLaurin has been fifth in PFF receiving grade and eighth in yards per route run (minimum 15 targets). Last week’s WR43 finish was his lowest (WR11, WR17, WR26, WR10), with Heinicke chucking him passes. McLaurin is a WR2 that will run about 68% of his routes against A.J. Terrell (67.5% catch rate, 130.6 passer rating) and Darren Hall (70.8% catch rate, 112.0 passer rating).
Week 12 RB Start/Sit Grades
|3||A||Kenneth Walker III||SEA||LV|
|8||A||Travis Etienne Jr.||JAC||BAL|
|9||A||Jeff Wilson Jr.||MIA||HOU|
|32||C||Brian Robinson Jr.||WAS||ATL|
|80||F||Mark Ingram II||NO||SF|
|84||F||Benny Snell Jr.||PIT||IND|
|95||F||Darrell Henderson Jr.||JAC||BAL|
|96||F||Duke Johnson Jr.||BUF||DET|
|97||F||Ronald Jones II||KC||LAR|
|115||F||Patrick Taylor Jr.||GB||PHI|
|116||F||Pierre Strong Jr.||NE||MIN|
Latavius Murray: Well, we finally have an undisputed workhorse in Denver. Time to rejoice, right? Not exactly. With Melvin Gordon gone and Chase Edmonds on the IR, Murray slides into a nearly every down role. This could not be any grosser. Among 69 running backs with at least 25 carries, Murray ranks 67th in yards after contact per attempt and 50th in PFF’s elusive rating. Murray has zero breakaway runs with his 74 carries. Last week he churned out 72 total yards with his 21 touches. He’s purely a gross volume play as an RB3 who likely outplays that ranking if he scores. Carolina has not been good at attempting to stop the run. Since Week 6, they are 24th in rushing yards per game, 22nd in EPA per rush, and 27th in explosive run rate allowed.
D’Onta Foreman: If the Panthers can keep this game close, they will ride Foreman. Foreman has eclipsed 25 carries with at least 115 rushing yards in two of his last four games. In the other two games where Carolina lost, he averaged nine touches and 22.5 total yards. Foreman can be crushed by game script in any week. He’s been an effective early-down hammer when Carolina can lean on him. Foreman ranks 30th in yards after contact per attempt, 23rd in breakaway rate, and 34th in PFF’s elusive rating (minimum 25 carries). Denver has toughened up against the run, ranking tenth in rushing yards per game, 15th in EPA per rush, and 11th in explosive run rate allowed since Week 6.
James Conner: Conner has been reinstalled as Arizona’s bell cow. He played 96% of the snaps in Week 10. Last week, his snap count and usage were noisy because the team pulled their starters late as they were getting truck sticked by San Francisco. Conner has played at least 71% of the snaps over the last three games averaging 17.3 touches and 68 total yards. Conner is 26th in juke rate, 28th in evaded tackles, and 27th in yards created per touch. Since Week 6, the Chargers remain one of the worst run defenses in the NFL. They rank 31st in rushing yards per game, 28th in EPA per rush, and have allowed the third-most fantasy points per game to running backs. Conner is a borderline RB1.
Josh Jacobs: Jacobs is averaging 21.7 touches and 118.1 total yards as the RB4 in fantasy. He’s second in opportunity share, fifth in weighted opportunities, and 21st in red zone touches. His pass-game involvement has helped pad his floor and ceiling. He’s 11th in target share, with the eighth-most receiving yards and ninth-most receptions among running backs. Jacobs will need the added points from grabs through the air. Seattle has also strengthened their run defense. Since Week 6, they are ninth in rushing yards per game, fourth in EPA per rush, and 13th in explosive run rate allowed. Over that period, they have given up the eighth-fewest fantasy points per game to running backs. Jacobs is a volume-based RB1.
Kenneth Walker: Since Walker took over starting duties, he has averaged 22 touches and 106 total yards. He’s only once finished outside the top 24 running backs (RB25) and has posted three RB1 weeks. He’s ranked 27th in yards after contact per attempt, third in breakaway rate, and 19th in PFF’s elusive rating (minimum 25 carries). Something magical happened in Week 10. Walker commanded a 23.5% target share while rocking a 61% route run rate. But wait, this can’t be. I was told that Walker couldn’t catch passes during the NFL draft process. (Whispers…he can) over his last two games, he’s seen a 48.1% route run rate. Seattle expanding this part of his game will make him matchup-proof. Walker will gash the Raiders this week. Since Week 6, Las Vegas is 29th in rushing yards per game, 17th in EPA per rush, and 15th in explosive run rate. Walker can also crush the Raiders through the air. Las Vegas is 32nd in DVOA against pass-catching backs allowing the most receiving yards and eighth-highest yards per reception. Walker is a stud RB1.
Cam Akers: Last week, Akers played the early down grinder role seeing 14 carries, matching his season-high 61 rushing yards, and playing 39% of the snaps. Akers has shown some life over the last two weeks with 3.07 and 3.67 yards after contact per attempt marks, but his season-long numbers are still dreadful. Akers ranks 52nd in yards after contact per attempt, and he hasn’t recorded a breakaway run this season. Kansas City is a defense that can be run on. Since Week 6, they are fifth in yards per carry (5.0), 20th in EPA per rush, and 24th in rushing success rate allowed. Akers is a low-ceiling RB3/4.
Kyren Williams: If choosing a back from this backfield, it should be Williams. Last week he played 55% of the snaps with eight touches and 44 total yards while operating as the passing down back. His 3.63 yards after contact per attempt is encouraging, but take it with a grain of salt, as it’s only with an eight carry sample size. Kansas City is 27th in DVOA against receiving backs allowing the second-most receptions and third-most receiving yards. Williams is a viable PPR flex/RB4.
Week 12 TE Start/Sit Grades
Juwan Johnson: Johnson is the TE13 in fantasy with top ten tight end weeks in four of his last five games (TE2, TE8, TE4, TE6). This could be another top-ten week against a tough defense against tight ends. Johnson has a 13.3% target share and ranks 23rd in yards per route run. His high-value usage has been nice, with five deep targets (ninth) and seven red zone looks (11th). The 49ers are ninth in DVOA against tight ends, but Johnson’s hybrid role precludes him from usual tight end analysis. Johnson will run nearly half his routes (48%) from the slot where he’ll meet Jimmie Ward. Ward has been dreadful at defending the slot allowing all 23 targets in his coverage to be secured with a 113.2 passer rating. Johnson is a TE1.
George Kittle: Last week Kittle crushed the ultimate matchup for tight ends, but this week won’t be like that. Kittle will need every bit of his 19.4% target share (eighth) and 15.8% air yard share (eighth) to turn in a solid day. Kittle is seventh in yards per route run and sixth in YAC. The Saints are first in DVOA against tight ends, holding them to the lowest catch rate, eighth-lowest yards per reception, and only one receiving touchdown. Kittle is a TE1, but don’t expect smash numbers this week.
Pat Freiermuth: Since the departure of Claypool, Freiermuth has been a volume hog with a 29.7% target share (9.5 targets per game), 25% end zone target share, and 32% air yard share. Freiermuth’s breakout has quietly been happening all season. He’s sixth in PFF receiving grade and tenth in yards per route run (minimum 15 targets). Freiermuth is the TE7 with the second-most deep targets among tight ends. Indy is 27th in DVOA against tight ends allowing the third-highest catch rate to the position. Freiermuth is a top-five tight end.
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.
Hayden Hurst: Hurst is the TE15 in fantasy with a 13.9% target share and seven red zone targets (11th). Hurst is 17th in PFF receiving grade and 30th in yards per route run (minimum 25 targets). Hurst is a TE2 with a mixed-bag matchup. Tennessee is seventh in DVOA against tight ends, holding them to the fifth-lowest catch rate but also surrendering the sixth-most receiving yards per game and fifth-highest yards per reception.
Mike Gesicki: Gesicki has turned back into a pumpkin after a few weeks of his production rebounding. Since Week 8, he has had a 9.4% target share (three targets per game) with a 56.2% route run rate. He’s a touchdown-or-bust TE2 who has still seen two red zone targets over his last three games. Houston is 20th in DVOA against tight ends giving up the 12th-most receiving yards per game and ninth-highest yards per reception.
Week 12 D/ST Start/Sit Grades
|4||A-||New England Patriots||NE||MIN|
|5||A-||New York Jets||NYJ||CHI|
|6||B+||Kansas City Chiefs||KC||LAR|
|8||B||San Francisco 49ers||SF||NO|
|11||B||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||TB||CLE|
|19||D+||New York Giants||NYG||DAL|
|23||D-||Los Angeles Chargers||LAC||ARI|
|24||F||New Orleans Saints||NO||SF|
|25||F||Green Bay Packers||GB||PHI|
|26||F||Los Angeles Rams||LAR||KC|
|28||F||Las Vegas Raiders||LV||SEA|
Week 12 K Start/Sit Grades
If you want to dive deeper into fantasy football, be sure to check out our award-winning slate of Fantasy Football Tools as you navigate your season. From our Start/Sit Assistant – which provides your optimal lineup, based on accurate consensus projections – to our Waiver Wire Assistant – that allows you to quickly see which available players will improve your team and by how much – we’ve got you covered this fantasy football season.