Patrick Daugherty

Goal Line Stand

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Week 12 Rankings

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Updated 11/26 at 12:00 PM ET. Added Matt Forte. Moved Bilal Powell down. Upon final thought, ticked Corey Davis and Martavis Bryant up. 

Tied for fourth in yardage (786), Brandin Cooks has quietly shed his “boom/bust” label. He’s posted at least five catches in five of his past six games. The last time he tallied fewer than four was Week 4. He has scored twice over his past four appearances, and is averaging what would be a career-best 17.5 yards per grab.

The Raiders — whom Cooks dropped 6/149/1 on last Sunday — were about as good as it gets for a matchup, but Week 12 opponent Miami isn’t far behind. The Dolphins are allowing enemy quarterbacks to convert 67.6 percent of their throws, and post 7.5 yards per attempt. For every interception, they are surrendering six touchdowns (a shameful 18:3 through 10 games). Among Miami’s “top three” corners is Xavien Howard, who is Pro Football Focus’ lowest-rated defensive back. Per Rich Hribar’s incomparable Worksheet, the Dolphins have allowed four touchdowns of 30-plus yards, tied for second worst in the league. Mixing floor and ceiling heading into an A+ matchup, Cooks is a top-five WR1 Week 12.   

Week 12 Quarterbacks

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Tom Brady vs. MIA -
2 Russell Wilson at SF -
3 Kirk Cousins vs. NYG -
4 Carson Wentz vs. CHI -
5 Cam Newton at NYJ -
6 Alex Smith vs. BUF -
7 Matt Ryan vs. TB -
8 Ben Roethlisberger vs. GB -
9 Marcus Mariota at IND -
10 Drew Brees at LAR -
11 Dak Prescott vs. LAC -
12 Jared Goff vs. NO -
13 Matthew Stafford vs. MIN Questionable (ankle)
14 Philip Rivers at DAL -
15 Andy Dalton vs. CLE -
16 Jacoby Brissett vs. TEN -
17 Tyrod Taylor at KC -
18 Case Keenum at DET -
19 Ryan Fitzpatrick at ATL -
20 Derek Carr vs. DEN -
21 Matt Moore at NE -
22 Josh McCown vs. CAR -
23 Paxton Lynch at OAK -
24 Blake Bortles at ARZ -
25 Joe Flacco vs. HOU -
26 Eli Manning at WAS -
27 C.J. Beathard vs. SEA -
28 Blaine Gabbert vs. JAC -
29 Mitchell Trubisky at PHI -
30 DeShone Kizer at CIN -
31 Tom Savage at BAL -
32 Brett Hundley at PIT -

QB Notes: After facing zero Week 11 resistance from the Raiders, Tom Brady would be hard pressed to find an easier matchup. The Dolphins will at least offer to hold the Raiders’ beer. Adam Gase’s squad has allowed 18 passing touchdowns while picking off just three passes. They have 17 sacks. Pathetic. … Even as his protection has remained shaky, Russell Wilson has tallied multiple scores in five straight starts. Although they had Wilson running for his life in Week 2, the 49ers are a breather matchup. Only three teams have permitted more quarterback fantasy points. … Kirk Cousins played arguably the best game of his career in Week 11 against the Saints. Although the Giants finally showed some pride against the Chiefs, they will offer Cousins ample opportunity to get a hot streak going. On average, the G-Men are surrendering two passing scores. Even with Chris Thompson (leg) done for the season, Cousins has plenty of weapons at his disposal. … Carson Wentz has had multi-score days in 8-of-10 starts. The Bears are one of the tougher foes for quarterbacks, but with the Eagles all but certain to dominate time of possession, Wentz should get his numbers.

It’s been a rollercoaster year, but Cam Newton enters Thanksgiving as the QB5 by total points. He’s the worst possible matchup for a Jets defense silver plattering for the third most QB rushing yards (204). Greg Olsen’s (foot) return is the cherry on top of an attackable matchup. … Has Alex Smith gone full Alex Smith? He has three touchdowns over his past three starts, a span in which the Chiefs have been forced to settle for nine field goals. Smith could not have face planted in more spectacular fashion against the Giants. The dash is littered with warning lights. With the embarrassing Bills — they’ve allowed 135 points over their past three games — in town for Week 12, Smith gets one more week of benefit of the doubt. He’s still the QB7 by average points. … Matt Ryan has strung together four straight two-touchdown starts. After seeming to stiffen against the Jets in Week 10, the Bucs were torched for 365 passing yards by the Dolphins last Sunday. Ryan is set up for home success for the getting-on-track Falcons.

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Coming off his best game of the season, Ben Roethlisberger will have had 10 days to prepare for the Packers. Although the Pack stymied Joe Flacco and Mitchell Trubisky the past two weeks, they got ripped to shreds by the last real quarterback they faced, Matthew Stafford. Big Ben will be comfortable at home. … Marcus Mariota doubled his previous career worst interception total in Week 11. He also had his best fantasy effort of the year. So is life on the fake football gridiron. For Week 12, he’ll be rematching with a Colts defense he stung for a season-high 306 passing yards in Week 6. That performance came on one leg. Mariota has since resumed running. … Even as the Saints’ running game has taken over, Drew Brees has remained the QB9 by total points. More often than not, he’s going to get fantasy owners two touchdowns. … After a two-month stretch of the best football of his career, Dak Prescott is coming off a two-week stretch of the worst football of his career. The (mega) slump coincided with LT Tyron Smith’s absence from the lineup. As of Wednesday afternoon, Smith is expected to return to the lineup on Thanksgiving, giving Prescott a major boost.

Jared Goff once again proved to be matchup dependent in Week 11, getting dominated by the Vikings’ stout pass defense. For Week 12, his matchup is unclear in a Saints unit that’s improved, but still isn’t stay-away. There’s also the matter of No. 1 CB Marshon Lattimore’s (ankle) health. Even with Robert Woods (shoulder) sidelined, Goff belongs on the QB1/2 borderline. … Matthew Stafford has had two scoreless starts this season. One of them came in Week 4 against the Vikings. That game was on the road, while this week’s will be at home on national television on Thanksgiving. Stafford probably isn’t going to put up another doughnut. His ceiling odds are simply too low to place him in the top 12. … With zero three-touchdown or 300-yard performances over his past five starts, Philip Rivers hasn’t established much of a ceiling to accompany his floor. The Cowboys do plenty of bending against the pass, but have mostly avoided breaks. … Provided Myles Garrett doesn’t single-handedly wreck the Bengals’ offensive line — a non-zero probability — Andy Dalton seems likely to have his fifth multi-score day in six starts. The Browns are tied for 29th in passing touchdowns allowed (20).

Playing solid football for weeks now, Jacoby Brissett is coming off bye — and concussion — against a Titans D that isn’t imposing at any level. … Granted the production came in garbage time, but Tyrod Taylor finished as Week 11’s QB10 in one half of play. Reinstalled under center after Nathan Peterman’s nightmare performance, Taylor could barely ask for a better matchup than the Chiefs’ collapsed defense. … Supposedly under center for good now, Case Keenum is rematching with a Lions defense that held him scoreless in Week 4. Keenum has thrown for zero or one touchdowns in 6-of-9 appearances. … We’ve seen enough to know the Patriots’ D has genuinely improved. Working in Matt Moore’s streamer favor is that the Pats still don’t have a pass rush, and game flow will undoubtedly dictate that Moore is passing from the opening whistle to the last. … Playing genuinely bad football right now, Derek Carr probably won’t slump bust vs. Denver. … There’s little reason to believe Paxton Lynch is good, but they don’t make matchups better than the Raiders, who have zero interceptions and a league-low 14 sacks. Having Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders doesn’t hurt.

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Patrick Daugherty is a football and baseball writer for He can be found on Twitter .
Email :Patrick Daugherty

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