Mon Nov 29 8:45am ET
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer
Mixon comes up big in Week 12
The scoring in Week 12 was way down. The quarterback position was especially down, having just a handful of players with three-touchdown games. And several top performers like Tom Brady and Jalen Hurts did next to nothing. It made for the teams that had one of the few top fantasy quarterbacks in Week 12 all the better. Hopefully, you had one of those players on your roster and were able to win your game this week.
Bears 16, Lions 14
Fantasy Stud: Darnell Mooney. Mooney had his second straight 100-yard game. He had five receptions for 123 yards on eight targets. Mooney has 17-plus fantasy points three straight games. He is becoming must start material for fantasy teams and a solid No. 2 fantasy receiver. He is gaining confidence every week and could just be scratching the surface of his ability.
Fantasy Dud: D’Andre Swift. Swift didn’t last long in this game, leaving early because of a shoulder injury. The good news is he seemed to avoid something too serious, but could still miss some time. The bad news is he had nine yards on six touches before the injury, leaving his fantasy teams with nearly a big goose egg in Week 12. Swift ran three times for no gain and caught three passes for nine yards before the injury.
Game Notes: Josh Reynolds had three receptions for 70 yards and a touchdown. He was heavily involved in the Lions passing game for a second straight week. Reynolds should continue to get plenty of playing time going forward.
Cole Kmet had a season-high eight receptions. He had eight catches for 65 yards on 11 targets. He has at least six receptions two of his last three games.
Raiders 36, Cowboys 33
Fantasy Stud: Hunter Renfrow. Renfrow got quite the workout in this one, finishing with eight receptions for 134 yards. Both totals were season highs for Renfrow. He continues to get a lot of work on a weekly basis, having at least seven receptions four of five games. He also has at least 17 fantasy points three of four games. He has been a consistent producer for fantasy teams.
Fantasy Dud: Darren Waller. Waller had another disappointing game and suffered an injury on top of it. He played a little over half the game before hurting his knee. Waller avoided serious injury, though, and might even be healthy enough to play in Week 13. He had just two receptions for 33 yards in this game. His down game was a killer for a lot of his fantasy owners.
Game Notes: Ezekiel Elliott continues to be slowed by a knee injury. He had just nine carries for the second straight game, running nine times for 25 yards. He also had six receptions for 24 yards. There is talk the Cowboys might shutdown Elliott for a few weeks to get him healthy for the stretch run. Stay tuned.
DeSean Jackson made his mark in the Raiders passing game for the first time. He had three receptions for 102 yards and a touchdown on four targets.
Bills 31, Saints 6
Fantasy Stud: Josh Allen. Allen had a big performance, missing on just five passes. He was 23-of-28 for 260 yards and four touchdowns with two interceptions. He also ran eight times for 43 yards. Allen topped 30 fantasy points in the game for the first time since Week 8. This was his third four-touchdown game of the season.
Fantasy Dud: Tony Jones. Jones got some play this week with Mark Ingram out, getting a chance to start for the Saints. He got plenty of carries but did little. Jones ran 16 times for 27 yards and didn’t catch a pass. This performance showed he is a hard player for fantasy teams to trust - even in a starting role.
Game Notes: Matt Breida continues to be more involved in the offense. Zack Moss was a healthy scratch, leaving Breida as the No. 2 back for the Bills. He ran nine times for 26 yards and caught two passes for 29 yards and a touchdown. So he had 55 total yards and a score.
Stefon Diggs found the end zone for the third straight game. He had seven receptions for 74 yards and a touchdown on nine targets. He has at least 14 fantasy points six straight games.
Dolphins 33, Panthers 10
Fantasy Stud: Jaylen Waddle. Waddle is making a run at top rookie receiver this year. He had another huge game, catching nine passes for 137 yards and a touchdown. This was his first 100-yard game of the year. He has at least eight receptions three of four games. He already has 77 catches on the year, posting consistent numbers for his fantasy owners.
Fantasy Dud: Christian McCaffrey. McCaffrey tweaked his ankle and left the game early, but got plenty of work before leaving the lineup. He ran 10 times for just 35 yards and didn’t catch a pass. His injuries are becoming a real concern, missing a lot of time because of various ailments this year. This is becoming a trend. And he was seen in a boot after this game, which is a concern for his availability in the coming weeks.
Game Notes: Cam Newton was benched in this game. He had a game to forget, going 5-of-21 for 92 yards with two interceptions. He did run in a score, rushing three times for five yards and a score.
Myles Gaskin found the end zone twice, rushing 16 times for 49 yards and two touchdowns. Gaskin has 17-plus fantasy points three of four games.
Bengals 41, Steelers 10
Fantasy Stud: Joe Mixon. Mixon continues his late-season surge. He had 28 carries for 165 yards and two touchdowns, carrying the offense much of the game. He also had four receptions. Mixon has touchdowns eight straight games. He has 24-plus fantasy points four straight. He is having a huge season and been one of the best fantasy backs in the game all year.
Fantasy Dud: Najee Harris. Harris had a rare down game, getting just eight carries for 23 yards in the Steelers blowout loss. He caught three passes for 14 yards, giving him just 37 total yards. This was his first game all season with fewer than double-digit carries. He had 20-plus carries five of six games before this showing.
Game Notes: Tee Higgins had his first 100-yard game of the season. He had six receptions for 114 yards and a touchdown. He has 78 or more yard three of four games.
Diontae Johnson continues to be a huge bright spot for the Steelers passing game, catching nine passes for 95 yards. He has at least seven receptions three straight games.
Patriots 36, Titans 13
Fantasy Stud: Kendrick Bourne. Bourne had five receptions for 61 yards and two touchdowns. This was his first multiple touchdown game of the season. He has scores two of three games. Bourne has been a little inconsistent but has double-digit fantasy points four of seven games.
Fantasy Dud: Hunter Henry. Henry caught just two passes for 16 yards. Henry is becoming a touchdown dependent player. He has just four catches for 41 yards his last two games. He has fewer than 50 yards all but one game this year. Henry is a little hard for fantasy owners to trust because of his lack of catches and yards on a weekly basis.
Game Notes: The Titans had two 100-yard backs in this game. D’Onta Foreman led the team in carries, running 19 times for 109 yards. Dontrell Hilliard led the game in rushing with fewer carries, running 12 times for 131 yards and a touchdown.
Ryan Tannehill didn’t even pass for 100 yards, playing with a lot fewer options at receiver because of injury. He was 11-of-21 for 93 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
Giants 13, Eagles 7
Fantasy Stud: Giants defense/special teams. This unit was one of the few bright spots in this game for fantasy teams. New York got four turnovers - three interceptions and a fumble recovery. The Giants held the Eagles to just seven points and 332 total yards of offense. New York also had a sack in the game. The Giants fantasy defense has double-digit pints three of the last five games.
Fantasy Dud: Jalen Hurts. Hurts had one of his few poor showings this season. He was 14-of-31 for 129 yards with three interceptions. His only bright spot was on the ground, running eight times for 77 yards. He didn’t even score a touchdown, though, and turned the ball over three times. You still have to like his progress this year, but he still isn’t a finished product by any means.
Game Notes: Boston Scott had six more carries than Miles Sanders in this game. Scott ran 15 time for 64 yards and a touchdown but lost a fumble. Sanders ran nine times for 64 yards, averaging an impressive 7.1 yards per carry.
Daniel Jones had a good game, going 19-of-30 for 202 yards and a touchdown without a turnover. He also ran nine times for 30 yards.
Falcons 21, Jaguars 14
Fantasy Stud: Cordarrelle Patterson. Patterson had another one of his big performances. He did it mostly on the ground this time, though. He ran 16 times for 108 yards and two touchdowns. Patterson also had two catches for 27 yards, finishing with 135 total yards. He has at least 14 fantasy points all but two games this year. And Patterson was returning from an ankle injury this week, but that didn’t seem an issue at all after missing the previous game.
Fantasy Dud: Kyle Pitts. Pitts continues his erratic production. He had just two receptions for 26 yards. Pitts has fewer than six fantasy points two straight games and less than double-digit fantasy points four of five. He has been all over the map this year but more bad than good most weeks.
Game Notes: Russell Gage had six receptions for 62 yards and a touchdown. Gage has 11 receptions his last two games.
James Robinson topped 100 total yards. He ran 17 times for 86 yards and caught three passes for 29 yards. Robinson had 115 total yards.
Jets 21, Texans 14
Fantasy Stud: Brandin Cooks. This was not much good offense in this game, but Cooks played well. He had three receptions for 45 yards and a touchdown. This was his third touchdown of the season but second in the last four games. Cooks has been one of the few consistent fantasy players in the Texans offense. He has double-digit fantasy points seven games.
Fantasy Dud: Jamison Crowder. Crowder had just a catch for five yards. He is taking a backseat to rookie Elijah Moore these days. Crowder is slumping in recent weeks since a decent start to his season. He has fewer than 50 yards four straight games. Crowder has less than double-digit fantasy points three of four games.
Game Notes: Tevin Coleman led the way in the Jets backfield, rushing 16 times for 67 yards. Little-known Austin Walter was the big surprise, running nine times for 38 yards and a touchdown. Walter did not have a carry all season before this game.
Rookie Zach Wilson returned to the starting lineup and led his team to a win. He was 14-of-24 for 145 yards with an interception. He did run in a score, running two times for thee yards and a touchdown.
Bucs 38, Colts 31
Fantasy Stud: Leonard Fournette. Fournette was the back in the NFL that scored four touchdowns this week. He ran 17 times for 100 yards and three touchdowns. He also had seven receptions for 31 yards and another touchdowns. Fournette had one of the best fantasy games for any back this year, scoring 44.1 fantasy points. Fournette has double-digit fantasy points all but two games this year.
Fantasy Dud: Chris Godwin. Godwin was surprisingly quiet this week. He had four receptions for just 24 yards. He had a season-low 6.7 fantasy points. Godwin had at least 12 fantasy points four straight games before this showing. He’ll be just fine going forward but this showing likely hurt many of his fantasy owners.
Game Notes: Jonathan Taylor started slow but got going once again, rushing 16 times for 83 yards and a touchdown. He also had four receptions for 14 yards. Taylor has found the end zone 10 straight games.
Rob Gronkowski had his first 100-yard game of the season, finishing with seven receptions for 123 yards. He has 13 receptions for 194 yards his first two games back from injury.
Broncos 28, Chargers 13
Fantasy Stud: Javonte Williams. Williams had one of his better games of the season. He had 14 carries for 54 yards and a touchdown. He also had three receptions for 57 yards, giving him 111 total yards and a score in the game. He had a season high 20.1 fantasy points. Williams has been erratic this year but shown his big-time potential his rookie year. He could be a monster in the seasons to come once he is the guy in this Broncos’ offense.
Fantasy Dud: Mike Williams. Williams had one of his down games in Week 12. He had four receptions for 39 yards. Williams now has fewer than eight fantasy points five of six games. He has more than 20 fantasy points five games, though. He has been all over the map for fantasy teams.
Game Notes: Austin Ekeler scored a touchdown for the third straight game. He ran 12 times for 31 yards, and caught six passes for 68 yards and a touchdown.
Teddy Bridgewater was banged up in the game but was able to return later. He was 11-of-18 for 129 yards and a touchdown without a turnover. Drew Lock played in relief and was 4-of-7 for 26 yards with an interception while Bridgewater was out.
Justin Herbert hit the 300-yard mark for the third time in four games. He was 28-of-44 for 303 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions.
49ers 34, Vikings 26
Fantasy Stud: Adam Thielen. Thielen just keeps finding the end zone on almost a weekly basis. He caught five passes for 62 yards and two touchdowns. Thielen has touchdowns two straight and five of six games. He has 10 total scores for the season. Thielen has seven games with 15-plus fantasy points.
Fantasy Dud: George Kittle. Kittle had just a catch for 13 yards. The 49ers moved the ball offensively, but Kittle just wasn’t involved. Kittle had touchdowns three straight games before this showing. He is still having a fine season but his numbers haven’t been off the charts this year.
Game Notes: Deebo Samuel left the game early because of a groin injury. He did some damage before getting hurt, though. He ran six times for 66 yards and two touchdowns. He also had a catch for 12 yards.
Dalvin Cook suffered a shoulder injury and was carted off the field. He has a dislocated shoulder and will undergo an MRI to determine the severity of the injury. He had 10 carries for 39 yards and six receptions for 64 yards before getting hurt.
Packers 36, Rams 28
Fantasy Stud: Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers is playing with a toe injury but it isn’t slowing him down much. He was 28-of-45 for 307 yard and two touchdowns without a turnover. He also ran in a score, giving him three total scores. Rodgers had 29-plus points two straight games. He is heating up for his fantasy owners down the stretch and has next week to get healthy, having a bye in Week 13.
Fantasy Dud: Aaron Jones. Jones returned from his knee injury and had 10 carries. But he ran for just 23 yards and didn’t catch a pass. The Packers eased him into action a little, giving A.J. Dillon more work at running back. Dillon ran 20 times for 69 yards and had five receptions for 21 yards and a touchdown. Jones will likely get more work his next time out but the emergence of Dillon is a bit of a concern for his fantasy owners.
Game Notes: Davante Adams reached the 100-yard mark for the second consecutive game. He had eight receptions for 104 yards. He has at least six catches three straight games.
Odell Beckham got his most work as a Ram, catching five passes for 81 yards and a touchdown. He was targeted 10 times, which might be the most encouraging stat for Beckham this week.
Ravens 16, Browns 10
Fantasy Stud: Mark Andrews. Andrews was one of the few bright spots in a poor offensive game. He had four receptions for 65 yards and a touchdown. Andrews is having a big season season, scoring 15-plus fantasy points three straight games. He has been targeted double-digit times three of four games. He is getting a big amount of volume each week and producing with all his chances.
Fantasy Dud: Nick Chubb. There were a lot of duds in this game but Chubb wins the prize. He had a really tough game, rushing eight times for 16 yards. He had more yards receiving, catching two passes for 23 yards. He had two straight 100-yard games coming into this one and this was his first game all year with fewer than double-digit carries. His matchup was tough but you still expect much better from Chubb. This game was not a good one for his fantasy owners.
Game Notes: Lamar Jackson had his struggles throwing the ball, going 20-of-32 for 165 yards and a touchdown with four interceptions. This was his fourth game with multiple interceptions. He did run 17 times for 68 yards, though.
Jarvis Landry had his first 100-yard game of the season. He had six receptions for 111 yards on 10 targets. He has 12-plus fantasy points three of five games.
Jeff Paur is a two-time finalist for FSWA Fantasy Football Writer of the Year and won the FSWA award for Best Fantasy Football Article on the Web in 2011. He also was the most accurate expert in 2012, winning the FSTA Fantasy Football Accuracy Award. If you have any questions for Jeff, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffpaur.
On Thursday, the Chicago Bears hired former Colts Defensive Coordinator Matt Eberflus to be their head coach. Eberflus took a Colts defense that was ranked 26th and 27th in total defense before he arrived and made them a top-10 unit. The Colts never featured tremendous pass rush rates and blitzed at one of the lowest rates in the league, but the Bears defensive scheme only blitzed 2.4% more and both teams ran a variation of a 4-3 base defense, so it's possible there won't be much change in philosophy. However, the biggest question will be who Eberflus hires as offensive coordinator and what that means for Justin Fields. Since Eberflus spent four years coaching under former NFL quarterback Frank Reich, it wouldn't be a stretch to assume that he soaked up some knowledge in that relationship and will use it to make a hire that's in the best interest of his quarterback's development.
After earlier reports that Byron Leftwich was set to be the next head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars, reports surfaced early on Wednesday that the negotiations were held up because Leftwich wanted Jacksonville to get rid of General Manager Trent Baalke to hire Adrian Wilson, who is Vice President of Pro Scouting for the Arizona Cardinals. Not long after that, Adam Schefter reported that the Jaguars interviewed former Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio for their head coaching position. While we don't know where this will end up, Fangio has been a far more run-heavy coach in his career than we'd expect Leftwich to be since Leftwich has learned under Bruce Arians. It's possible that if Fangio were to be hired in Jacksonville, we could see a running back committee of Travis Etienne and James Robinson in the same way Denver deployed Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon this year. It would also potentially sap the upside of Trevor Lawrence, Laviska Shenault Jr., and D.J. Chark, so let's hope Jacksonville does the right thing here.
Dallas Cowboys Defensive Coordinator Dan Quinn has told teams that he will remain with the Cowboys next year and not pursue any more head coaching positions. Six teams had requested interviews with Quinn, but he decided to return in pursuit of a Super Bowl. The Dallas defense under Quinn this year finished as the number one fantasy defense thanks to their propensity for turnovers., so Quinn's return should be good news for the Cowboys DST next year as well. Also, fantasy managers in IDP leagues don't have to worry about new schemes for studs like Micah Parsons and Trevon Diggs
Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger announced his retirement Thursday, Jan. 27.
Fantasy Spin: Big Ben will be remembered for this size, athletic ability and big arm. He was different and will surely be a first-ballot Hall of Famer. The Steelers will pivot to Mason Rudolph, for now, but there will be a number of options in free agency. Rudolph will be a QB2 in fantasy if he's the starter.
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (knee) popped up on the injury report with a knee issue. Despite showing up on the latest injury report, the 25-year-old was a full participant in Wednesday's practice. He is expected to be all systems go for the AFC Championship Game against the Kansas City Chiefs. The former No.1 overall pick completed 28-of-37 passes for 348 yards, no touchdowns, and one interception in Saturday's 19-16 Divisional-Round win over the Tennessee Titans. He's been on absolute fire recently, throwing for 1,563 yards, 10 touchdowns, and one pick over his last four games. Burrow is an excellent QB option with a $7,500 price on FanDuel for Sunday's main DFS slate.
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins (thumb) popped up on the injury report with a thumb issue. He was a full participant in Wednesday's practice despite showing up on the latest injury report. In last week's Divisional-Round win over the Tennessee Titans, the 23-year-old hauled in seven receptions on nine targets for 96 yards. He is expected to be all systems go for the AFC Championship Game against the Kansas City Chiefs. Higgins caught three passes for 62 yards in the Week 17 win over the Chiefs and is an excellent mid-tier option at his $6,400 price tag on FanDuel for Sunday's main DFS slate.
Kansas City Chiefs running back Darrel Williams (toe) participated fully in Wednesday's practice. Last week, the 26-year-old was limited with a toe injury and was inactive for the Divisional -Round game against the Buffalo Bills. He is expected to be available for Sunday's AFC Championship Game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Williams will split touches out of Kansas City's backfield with Clyde-Edwards Helaire and Jerick McKinnon. Due to the uncertainty of his role, Williams is more of a GPP option in Sunday's main DFS slate.
Green Bay Packers PK Mason Crosby is likely to be released during the offseason as a cap casualty, according to The Green Bay Press-Gazette's Pete Dougherty.
Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers indicated he should have made a decision about his future by late February during an appearance on The Pat McAfee Show, which coincides with when the Packers would potentially utilize the franchise tag on WR Davante Adams, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent.
Fantasy Spin: If Rodgers and Adams return to Green Bay in 2022, or reunite elsewhere, both would be No. 1 options at their respective positions. Rodgers' decision as to whether he'll play in 2022 figures to be the first domino to fall.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (thumb) practiced fully on Wednesday. The 49ers have removed his sprained shoulder from the injury report, but his sprained right thumb remains. The 30-year-old has somehow led the 49ers to the NFC Championship despite throwing for 303 yards, no touchdowns, and two interceptions over both playoff games. He threw for 316 yards, one touchdown, and two picks in the Week 18 win over the Rams. Garoppolo should be all systems go against the Los Angeles Rams and is the only value option at quarterback for Sunday's main DFS slate with a $6,200 price tag on FanDuel.
San Francisco 49ers running back Jeff Wilson Jr. (knee) did not participate in Wednesday's practice. Teammate Elijah Mitchell also missed Wednesday's session with an ongoing knee issue. Wilson suffered a low-ankle sprain during the first quarter of Saturday's Divisional-Round game over the Green Packers and did not return. According to head coach Kyle Shanahan, he could play in the NFC Championship Game against the Los Angeles Rams. The 26-year-old has two more chances to practice in some capacity and will most likely be questionable for Sunday's game. If active, Wilson could have an expanded role if Mitchell (knee) cannot suit up. Stay tuned.
Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Van Jefferson (knee) did not practice on Wednesday due to a knee injury. The 25-year-old did not participate in the Rams walkthrough session and was listed as a non-participant. He's considered day-to-day, and it's unclear if Van Jefferson will miss the NFC Championship Game against the San Francisco 49ers. He caught two passes for 31 yards in the Week 18 loss to the 49ers. Fantasy managers should continue to monitor his status throughout the week. If active, Van Jefferson provides salary relief with his $5,200 price tag and is a solid option against the 49ers in Sunday's main DFS slate. Stay tuned.
San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle isn't listed on the injury report ahead of Sunday's NFC Championship Game against the Los Angeles Rams. He was seen limping at the end of the Divisional-Round win over the Green Bay Packers but is expected to be all systems go for Sunday. The 28-year-old logged a full practice Wednesday and was removed from the injury report. He caught five of seven targets for 10 yards in his previous contest against the Rams. Despite the dud against Los Angeles in Week 18, Kittle provides excellent value at his $5,800 price tag on FanDuel for Sunday's main DFS slate.
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel (knee) isn't listed on Wednesday's injury report ahead of the NFC Championship Game against the Los Angeles Rams. The 26-year-old said he was sore after taking a helmet to the knee in last Saturday's Divisional Round win over the Green Bay Packers. On Wednesday, he logged a full practice and was removed from the injury report. Samuel caught four passes for 95 yards and rushed for 45 yards on eight carries and a score in his previous game against the Rams. Deebo will have a vital role in the NFC Championship Game and is a strong option with his $8,400 price tag on FanDuel for Sunday's DFS slate.
San Francisco 49ers DE Nick Bosa (non-injury), C Alex Mack (non-injury), RB Elijah Mitchell (knee), OT Trent Williams (ankle) and RB Jeff Wilson Jr. (ankle) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Jan. 26. CB Ambry Thomas (knee) was limited during practice, while QB Jimmy Garoppolo (thumb) fully participated in practice.
Atlanta Falcons TE Lee Smith announced his retirement from professional football Tuesday, Jan. 25.
Free-agent WR Josh Gordon was signed to the Kansas City Chiefs practice squad Wednesday, Jan. 26.
Kansas City Chiefs S Tyrann Mathieu (concussion) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Jan. 26. RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire (shoulder), CB Rashad Fenton (back), WR Mecole Hardman (hip), WR Tyreek Hill (heel), LB Anthony Hitchens (back), DT Chris D. Jones (groin), CB L'Jarius Sneed (knee), CB Charvarius Ward (neck), RB Darrel Williams (toe) and OG Andrew Wylie (elbow) fully participated in practice.
Buffalo Bills OG Ike Boettger (Achilles) and CB Tre'Davious White (knee) are on schedule in their recoveries, according to head coach Sean McDermott.