Skip to main content

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

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

It’s Thanksgiving Week, a time to set aside the petty grievances in our lives and be grateful for the good stuff.

We all have those petty grievances: neighbors who don’t rake their leaves, which then blow into your yard; drivers who don’t use turn signals; endless junk mail; unnecessary paperwork; unfriendly cashiers; long lines at the drive-thru; people who get surly when you give them bad advice on a start/sit decision. (OK, that last one is a personal grievance, but you catch my drift.)

It’s a week to let the joys of life outweigh the problems. A time to appreciate family, friends, good food, cozy homes — everything that brings us happiness.

And, of course, football.

I’ll spare you a long list of the things that make me thankful, but I do want to take this opportunity to express gratitude to all of the people who make FantasyPros a great place to work.

Our company owners have created a great business model and have fostered a fun, vibrant company culture. My colleagues on the content team are all wonderful, amazing people, and I’m lucky that it’s my job to interact with them. Our developers and customer service people are our unsung heroes, working behind the scenes to make our website an endlessly fascinating rabbit hole and to give you the tools you need to conquer the fantasy football world. And, of course, there are the business and HR folks who work tirelessly to keep the lights on. All of these people are awesome. It seems impossible that every single person in a decent-sized company would be nice, but somehow we’re batting 1.000 at FantasyPros.

Last but not least, I’m grateful to everyone who consumes FantasyPros content. Many of you reach out with questions, comments, praise, constructive criticism or even just funny GIFs. Sure, a very small handful of people can be grouchy and unpleasant at times. But 99.9% of the people who reach out are extremely nice. Interacting with smart, funny, interesting people is big part of what makes this such a rewarding job.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

Now let’s talk fantasy football.

As always, feel free to use these tiered rankings as a tiebreaker for your difficult lineup decisions. Beneath the tiers, I’ll offer a few brief thoughts on some of the borderline start/sit guys and some other interesting cases.

Check out the rest of our fantasy football content partner-arrow

Fitz’s Fantasy Football Week 12 Tiers & Rankings

QUARTERBACKS

Tier 1

Tier 2

Tier 3

Tier 4

Tier 5

Tier 6

Welcome back to the circle of trust, Kyler Murray. In his first two games back from a knee injury, Murray has averaged 20.5 fantasy points despite throwing only one touchdown pass. What’s most reassuring to Murray stakeholders is how well he’s been running on his surgically repaired knee. Over the last two weeks, Murray has 13 carries for 84 yards and two touchdowns. Start him with confidence this week against the Rams, who have given up four TD runs to opposing quarterbacks, tied for most in the league.

Generally, I consider Tua Tagovailoa to be part of the “set it and forget it” class of quarterbacks. But with no byes and Tua facing a tricky matchup against the Jets, a pivot to a different QB might be warranted. The Jets have played six games this season against top-drawer quarterbacks: Josh Allen (twice), Jalen Hurts, Patrick Mahomes, Dak Prescott and Justin Herbert. Those QBs have collectively averaged 230.8 passing yards, 1.3 touchdown passes and 1.5 interceptions vs. the Jets.

If you’re in need of a streaming option this week (I’m looking at you, Joe Burrow investors), you could do worse than Gardner Minshew. The mustachioed Minshew has been held under 200 passing yards in each of his last two starts, but he’s averaging 232.5 passing yards over six 2023 starts, and he’ll be facing a Buccaneers defense that’s giving up 20.0 fantasy points per game to opposing QBs. The Colts continue to run their offense at a brisk pace, averaging 26.19 seconds between plays — the second-fastest pace in the league. A faster pace means more plays, and more plays means more opportunities to score fantasy points.

RUNNING BACKS

Tier 1

Tier 2

Tier 3

Tier 4

Tier 5

Tier 6

Tier 7

Joe Mixon investors have good reason to be concerned about how Joe Burrow‘s season-ending wrist injury will affect Mixon’s productivity. I don’t think there’s any way to spin this into a positive for Mixon stakeholders. Mixon is averaging 15.3 carries and 3.8 targets a game, and maybe those numbers get a slight boost since the Burrow injury might incentive the Bengals to lean even harder on their heavy-duty RB. But Mixon’s weekly touchdown prospects are greatly diminished with Burrow’s injury taking the helium out of the Cincinnati offense, and opponents might feel emboldened to have their safeties play closer to the line of scrimmage if they’re not worried about Browning making them pay with the deep ball. I’m actually above consensus on Mixon this week at RB16, and I think he should be started in nearly every league. But let’s face it: Mixon’s ceiling has been lowered considerably.

In this week’s tiers article, I’m trying to avoid writing about players in Thursday games, simply because this article is being posted just a few hours before kickoff of Packers-Lions. But I’m making an exception for Zach Charbonnet, who’s an interesting case. With Kenneth Walker dealing with an oblique injury, Charbonnet will serve as the Seahawks’ lead back for their Thanksgiving-night tilt against the 49ers. Walker was dealing with other injuries in recent weeks, which is why Charbonnet has played more than 50% of the offensive snaps in each of Seattle’s last four games. But while Walker got a touch on 44.8% of his offensive snaps in Weeks 7-9, Charbonnet got a touch on only 21.4% of his snaps during that stretch. Not that I think Charbonnet will lack for touch volume this week, but he might not be a slam dunk for 20-25 touches. And while the 49ers aren’t as bad a matchup for RBs as they used to be, San Francisco has allowed the eighth-fewest fantasy points to RBs. I’ve seen Charbonnet ranked as high as RB10 this week by rankers I respect. I’m taking a more conservative approach with the talented rookie, slotting him at RB24. But if you have Charbonnet on your roster, you’re probably starting him regardless.

Speaking of conservative rankings, I have Kyren Williams at RB28 in his first game back from an ankle injury. That might seem like a mincing, fraidy-cat ranking for a player who was averaging 18.3 touches a game before he went down. Williams also gets a favorable matchup against an Arizona defense that has allowed the third-most fantasy points to RBs. But the Rams probably aren’t giving Williams 25 touches in his first game back from an IR stint. I think we’ll see some of Royce Freeman, too. But I’ll be starting Williams myself in two leagues, so it’s not as if I think he’s unplayable.

Ty Chandler continues to look better and much more explosive than Alexander Mattison, but Mattison continues to get more work. In Week 10, Mattison out-snapped Chandler 48-23 and out-touched him 19-14. But it’s fair to wonder whether Mattison might get a reduction in snaps after he lost a crucial fumble late in the third quarter of Minnesota’s 21-20 loss to Denver last week with the Vikings leading 17-9 and in field goal range. I have Mattison ranked RB33, Chandler RB38.

The Keaton Mitchell party bus got a flat tire last week, with the speedy rookie producing 8-33-0 rushing and 1-8-0 receiving against the Bengals. Mitchell has become more heavily involved in the Baltimore offense over the last three weeks, but he still hasn’t gotten more than 10 touches in any game. He did, however, play a season-high 24 snaps against Cincinnati (a 36% snap share), and it’s encouraging that Mitchell seems to have leapfrogged Justice Hill on the depth chart. (Hill played 17 snaps last week.) I have Mitchell ranked RB35 this week. He’s playable, but his boom-or-bust profile might be more appealing next week, when there will be six teams on bye.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Tier 1

Tier 2

Tier 3

Tier 4

Tier 5

Tier 6

Tier 7

Jaylen Waddle has only three weekly finishes better than WR30 this season, and he has a brutal Week 12 matchup against a Jets defense that routinely smothers wide receivers. The Jets have allowed 1,066 receiving yards and two TD catches to WRs — both league lows. In his two games against the Jets last season, Waddle had 8-67-0 on nine targets. Waddle is undeniably talented, but Tyreek Hill is clearly the alpha receiver in Miami, and Waddle has not been able to replicate the outrageous efficiency of his 2022 season. Waddle averaged a league-leading 18.1 yards per catch last season. This year, he’s averaging 13.1 yards per catch. Last season, Waddle averaged 11.6 yards per target, which is absolutely insane. This year, he’s at 8.6 yards per target. I have Waddle ranked WR23 this week, and even that modest ranking seems too optimistic, honestly.

It’s painful to put a receiver as talented as Garrett Wilson on Tier 4, but I’m worried about his outlook with the Jets benching Zach Wilson for Tim Boyle. Granted, Zach Wilson has been terrible, and it’s not as if Boyle is incapable of throwing a spiral. But in 120 career pass attempts, Boyle has thrown three TD passes and nine interceptions, averaging just 5.1 yards per attempt. Yeesh. It’s hard to fathom benching Garrett Wilson, but if you’re deep enough at wide receiver, giving Wilson a week off might not be a bad idea.

Zay Flowers hasn’t seen more than seven targets in a game since mid-October, but with TE Mark Andrews almost surely out for the rest of the regular season with a leg injury, Flowers has a reasonable chance to earn 10 or more targets this week against the Chargers, who have given up the second-most fantasy points to wide receivers. Start Flowers this week.

Chris Godwin is WR39 in fantasy scoring this season. Godwin has hit double digits in half-point PPR fantasy scoring only three times this season. He’s scored only one touchdown and has produced only one 100-yard game. Godwin is getting fewer slot snaps this year (only 30.1% of his snaps have come in the slot, per PlayerProfiler.com), and being an outside receiver doesn’t seem to suit him. I have Godwin ranked in WR4 range this week against the Colts. It’s not a bad matchup in the surface, but Godwin might see a lot of Kenny Moore, Indy’s best cover man.

With Michael Thomas sidelined by a knee injury, expect an uptick in targets for Rashid Shaheed, and explosive playmaker who’s averaged 17.2 yards per catch and an outrageous 12.1 yards per target since coming into the league last year. Shaheed is a high-end WR4 this week and a very playable fantasy option against the Falcons. Shaheed will probably run a lot of his routes against Dee Alford, the weak link among Atlanta’s top three cornerbacks.

The emergence of Khalil Shakir in the Buffalo offense has turned Gabe Davis into a ghost. In his last three games, Davis has 2-56-0. He’s been targeted only eight times on 174 snaps over that stretch. Even though Davis will be facing a Philadelphia defense that has given up more fantasy points to wide receivers than any other, Davis should probably be left on your bench this week.

FantasyPros Mobile Apps: Dominate your NFL, MLB and NBA fantasy leagues from anywhere

TIGHT ENDS

Tier 1

Tier 2

Tier 3

Tier 4

Tier 5

Tier 6

It seems as if this is the most bountiful the TE position has been in quite a while. Rookies Dalton Kincaid and Sam LaPorta are living up to (if not exceeding) their billing, and TE Trey McBride is enjoying an impressive second-year breakout. Even with Mark Andrews expected to miss the rest of the regular season, there are 11 very solid options at the position this week. You’re feeling very comfortable at the TE position if you’re starting anyone from Tiers 1 or 2, and you’re reasonably content with starting any of the four tight ends from Tier 3.

Speaking of Mark Andrews, his absence opens the door for Isaiah Likely to become fantasy-viable. In the two games Andrews missed last season, Likely had 9-127-1 on 18 targets. Likely gets an appealing Week 12 matchup against the Chargers, who have given up the sixth-most fantasy points to tight ends.

You’re not going to feel comfortable starting any Cleveland pass catcher with rookie fifth-rounder Dorian Thompson-Robinson starting at quarterback for the Browns, but David Njoku has been Thompson-Robinson’s security blanket. In DTR’s two starts, 22 of his 79 passes have been directed toward Njoku, who’s produced 13-102-0 on those targets. That’s not exactly Grade A efficiency, but you can start Njoku in a pinch.

Pat Freiermuth is a very good tight end, but as sickly as the Pittsburgh passing game has been, I have no interest in starting “Muth” until we see signs of life. Maybe we’ll see improvement in the Steelers’ aerial attack now that the team has thrown offensive coordinator Matt Canada overboard. But Freiermuth had 1-7-0 last week in his return from a hamstring injury, and he hasn’t seen more than four targets in any of his five games this season. Even though Freiermuth has an enticing matchup against a Cincinnati defense that’s been damaged by tight ends this season, he’s not an attractive option.

SubscribeApple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | SoundCloud | iHeartRadio

More Articles

FantasyPros Dynasty Football Podcast: 2024 NFL Draft Special – 10 Key Questions on the Most Polarizing Prospects

FantasyPros Dynasty Football Podcast: 2024 NFL Draft Special – 10 Key Questions on the Most Polarizing Prospects

fp-headshot by FantasyPros Staff | 2 min read
2024 NFL Draft Prospects: Undervalued Tight Ends (2024 Fantasy Football)

2024 NFL Draft Prospects: Undervalued Tight Ends (2024 Fantasy Football)

fp-headshot by Jordan Woodson | 3 min read
6 Dynasty Veterans to Trade Away (2024 Fantasy Football)

6 Dynasty Veterans to Trade Away (2024 Fantasy Football)

fp-headshot by Andrew Hall | 4 min read
3 Undervalued Dynasty Rookie Draft Picks to Target (2024 Fantasy Football)

3 Undervalued Dynasty Rookie Draft Picks to Target (2024 Fantasy Football)

fp-headshot by Jordan Woodson | 3 min read

About Author

Current Article

7 min read

FantasyPros Dynasty Football Podcast: 2024 NFL Draft Special – 10 Key Questions on the Most Polarizing Prospects

Next Up - FantasyPros Dynasty Football Podcast: 2024 NFL Draft Special – 10 Key Questions on the Most Polarizing Prospects

Next Article   arrow-image