Fantasy Football Week 12 Winners, Losers, and Takeaways
Hopefully, folks had time for family and friends during the holiday weekend. With Kansas City and Arizona having their bye week, we enjoyed a full slate of games on Thursday and Sunday. Unfortunately, many fantasy-relevant players suffered injuries, some of which could mean they'll miss a week or two during the stretch run towards the playoffs. With every relevant injury, I noted a player to pick up if applicable. We'll review the injuries then discuss the Week 12 highlights, wonders, and disappointments through the Sunday night games.
Injuries To Monitor:
- D'Andre Swift left Thursday's game with a shoulder injury. It didn't look great, and Swift went to the locker room right away. That's a big hit to fantasy squads since Swift performed like an RB1. Jamaal Williams would take on most of the work, but don't forget about Jermar Jefferson as a deep-league pickup. Williams finished with 20 opportunities (15 rushes, five receptions) for 83 total yards.
- Update: According to head coach Dan Campbell, the team diagnosed Swift with a shoulder sprain. In past weeks, Swift had a shoulder issue on the practice reports.
- Darren Waller (knee) got banged up on Thursday against the Raiders. Waller finished with two receptions for 33 receiving yards. We rarely have backup tight ends that slide right in, but that's the case with Foster Moreau since the Raiders prioritize the position. In Week 7 against a friendly matchup in the Eagles, Moreau hauled in all six targets for 60 receiving yards and one touchdown.
- Josh Jacobs left towards the end of the third quarter of the Raiders and Cowboys game. He returned shortly after leaving. Jacobs finished with a heavy workload of 22 rushing attempts, 87 rushing yards, and one touchdown. He also chipped in two receptions for 25 receiving yards.
- The Bills made Zack Moss a healthy scratch on Thursday, possibly because Moss doesn't play on special teams. That led to a backfield of Matt Breida and Devin Singletary. Outside of Breida's receiving touchdown, neither back looked effective.
- Mark Ingram didn't play on Thursday, with Alvin Kamara already ruled out, so Tony Jones Jr. led the Saints backfield. Unfortunately, Jones struggled on the ground with 27 rushing yards on 16 attempts. Ty Montgomery rushed six times, yet only 14 rushing yards. However, Montgomery added five receptions for 31 receiving yards while Jones didn't garner a single target. Heading into Week 12, the Bills allowed the 8th-fewest rushing yards to backs, so we shouldn't have expected a big rushing game. Montgomery edged Jones in snaps, which likely means Montgomery factors more in the two-minute drills when they play from behind.
Saints final HB snap count #BUFvsNO— Nathan Jahnke (@PFF_NateJahnke) November 26, 2021
Ty Montgomery 29
Tony Jones Jr. 21
Out of 57 plays
- As expected, CeeDee Lamb (concussion) missed Week 12 with the quick turnaround on Thursday. With Amari Cooper ruled out, Michael Gallup and Cedrick Wilson led the Cowboys in a high-scoring game totaling 69 total points in overtime. Gallup and Wilson surpassed the 100-yard mark, with Wilson edging Gallup in targets (10-8). Fantasy managers with either receiver reaped the rewards on Thursday. Lamb put in a full practice on Sunday but as an unofficial practice.
- Christian McCaffrey (ankle) hurt his ankle on Sunday. After the game, reporters noted that McCaffrey wore a walking boot. Hopefully, McCaffrey doesn't miss much time, but Chuba Hubbard should return as a top-15 running back if he misses time.
- Teddy Bridgewater (lower leg) left early in Sunday's game. Bridgewater scored a rushing touchdown, but Drew Lock took over and didn't do much in the passing game. Lock finished with 26 passing yards on seven attempts with 3.7 YPA and one interception. They relied on the running game and their defense. If Lock starts, downgrade the Broncos pass-catchers.
- Trey Sermon (ankle) left Sunday with an ankle injury. With Elijah Mitchell active and Jeff Wilson healthy, Sermon isn't even fantasy relevant.
- Pat Freiermuth (concussion) hauled in a touchdown on Sunday before leaving for a concussion. The Steelers struggled against the Bengals, but Freiermuth caught all four targets for 40 receiving yards. He's the Steelers' third-best pass catcher behind Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool.
- Deebo Samuel (groin) left in the fourth quarter with a groin issue. In their win against the Vikings, Samuel boosted his day as a rusher with six carries for 66 rushing yards and two scores. Samuel hauled in one reception for 12 receiving yards. Hopefully, Samuel remains healthy and plays because he's been a league winner in 2021. Samuel will undergo an MRI on Monday.
- The Vikings carted off Dalvin Cook (shoulder) with a shoulder issue. He'll undergo an MRI on Monday. Although Cook wasn't effective as a rusher with ten carries for 39 rushing yards, he feasted in the receiving game with six receptions on seven targets for 64 receiving yards. Alexander Mattison will increase in value if Cook misses time as one of the top backups. Scoop up Kene Nwangwu too in deeper leagues as he flashed with a 99-yard kickoff return on Sunday. The fourth-round rookie in Nwangwu possessed intriguing workout metrics with a 4.37 (99th-percentile) 40-yard dash, 115.2 (96th-percentile) Speed Score, 127.1 (86th-percentile) Burst Score, and 11.08 (85th-percentile) Agility Score.
With the Dalvin Cook injury, watch the fourth-round rookie in Kene Nwangwu with intriguing workout metrics.— Corbin (@corbin_young21) November 29, 2021
💨4.37 (99th-percentile) 40-yard dash
🚀115.2 (96th-percentile) Speed Score
👀127.1 (86th-percentile) Burst Score
👊11.08 (85th-percentile) Agility Score pic.twitter.com/ymQwXwiSkZ
Week 12 Highlights
Four 100-Yard Receivers In Cowboys-Raiders Game
In a game that went into overtime with a point total of 69, the Raiders and Cowboys each had two receivers with 100-yard games. Three of which seemed more likely than the fourth in DeSean Jackson, who caught three of four targets for 102 yards and a score. With Darren Waller injured during the game, Hunter Renfrow performed efficiently with eight receptions on nine targets (23.1%) to lead the team with 134 receiving yards. On Thanksgiving, Renfrow finished with a career-high in receiving yards with a former career-best of 107 in Week 15 of 2019. Renfrow outproduced his receiving total over the past three games of 125 receiving yards.
Waiver wire pickup Cedrick Wilson garnered a team-high ten targets (21.3%) - three more than his career-high in 2021.— Corbin (@corbin_young21) November 26, 2021
Given the career-high in targets, Wilson also set a career-best in receptions (7) and receiving yards (104). pic.twitter.com/2C3ZgUo1ui
For the Cowboys, Gallup assumed the team's WR1 role with no Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb. Gallup hadn't tallied 100 receiving yards since Week 16 in 2020. On the other hand, waiver wire pickup Cedrick Wilson garnered a team-high ten targets (21.3%) - three more than his career-high in 2021. Given the career-high in targets, Wilson also set a career-best in receptions and receiving yards. Tony Pollard also flashed that game-breaking ability with a 100-yard kickoff return in the third quarter. Pollard also almost scored another touchdown but ruled down near the goal-line, then Ezekiel Elliott punched it in.
League-Winner Cordarrelle Patterson Returned
Before Week 12, Cordarrelle Patterson averaged 17.6 (No. 10) fantasy points per game, coming off a season-low 4.9 (No. 48) fantasy points in Week 10 against Dallas. Patterson suffered an injury that caused him to miss Week 11, but the Falcons and fantasy managers welcomed him back, with 16 carries for 108 rushing yards and two touchdowns. He also caught two of three targets for 27 receiving yards. Patterson accounted for 40.7% of the team's total yards and remained the focal point of the Falcons offense.
Future Hall of Famer Cordarrelle Patterson with the TD— Nathan Jahnke (@PFF_NateJahnke) November 28, 2021
Joe Mixon Dominates
The Bengals came out hot with a 31-3 lead in the first half. That said, Joe Burrow passed efficiently with 24 pass attempts, 190 passing yards, 7.9 YPA, and one touchdown and one interception. Meanwhile, Joe Mixon dominated with 165 rushing yards on 28 carries for two rushing touchdowns. Mixon hauled in all four receptions for -2 receiving yards, but the Bengals didn't need him the passing game. Heading into Week 12, Mixon garnered 148.8 (No. 10) Weighted Opportunities with 4.7 (No. 37) yards per touch and +7.6 (No. 10) Production Premium. Although Mixon has struggled with efficiency, he creates yards on his own with a 30.2% (No. 23) Juke Rate and 2.57 (No. 37) yards created per touch with a poor 36.9 (No. 32) Run-Blocking Efficiency.
Jarvis Landry With Season-Best Game
For the first time in 2021, Jarvis Landry surpassed the 100-yard receiving mark. The highest receiving total before Week 12 came in Week 1 with 71 receiving yards. It's the first time Landry touched the century mark since Week 12 in the 2020 season. Landry led the Browns with ten targets, and he hauled in six for 111 receiving yards against the Ravens.
Jarvis Landry surpassed the 100-yard mark for the first time in 2021. It's the first time Landry hit the century mark since Week 12 of the 2020 season. Nice to see Landry make some explosive plays on Sunday night. pic.twitter.com/UFR5eWI1sB— Corbin (@corbin_young21) November 29, 2021
Week 12 Wonders
Titans Run Game Against the Patriots
Dontrell Hilliard and D'Onta Foreman rushed for over 100 yards in a losing effort to the Patriots. Hilliard broke a long 68-yard touchdown and finished with 12 carries for 131. Foreman led the team with 19 carries for 109 rushing yards. With the negative game script, one would expect the Titans to pass a bunch. However, Ryan Tannehill finished the 36-13 loss with only 21 pass attempts. Hilliard and Foreman each reeled in one catch for five total yards combined.
With Jeremy McNichols out and Adrian Peterson cut, the Titans used their backs as they would have with Derrick Henry healthy. Heading into Week 12, the Patriots allowed the 8th-fewest fantasy points to the position. Hang onto Hilliard and Foreman in case the usage splits between two backs since Week 12 gave us a glimpse into the upside for them.
Leonard Fournette Scored Four Touchdowns
In the highest-scoring game of the early slate totaling 69 points, Leonard Fournette led the Buccaneers to a 38-31 win. Fournette rushed for 100 yards on 17 carries with three rushing touchdowns. He finished second with eight targets (23.5%) with seven receptions, 31 receiving yards, and one touchdown. Although Fournette doesn't look that explosive with 5.1 (No. 24) yards per touch and a 21.7% (No. 40) Juke Rate, he earns the volume with 158.0 (No. 6) Weighted Opportunities heading into Week 12. The veteran in Fournette should help fantasy managers down the stretch.
Odell Beckham Jr. & Van Jefferson Come To Life
In a losing effort against the Packers, Odell Beckham Jr. and Van Jefferson came to life. Cooper Kupp led the Rams with 96 receiving yards on seven receptions with ten targets, but Beckham (10) and Jefferson (9) matched Kupp. It's positive to see Beckham haul in five receptions for 81 receiving yards and one touchdown. Meanwhile, a Week 12 sleeper in Van Jefferson reeled in three receptions for 93 receiving yards and a score. Jefferson almost scored a second touchdown, but one foot went out of bounds on a Kupp pass. Stock up for Beckham and Jefferson, and both should serve as WR3s with upside.
Week 12 Disappointments
Cam Newton's Dud Game
Against the Dolphins, the Panthers' offense sputtered with 198 total yards and just over 22 minutes of possession. Cam Newton scored the first touchdown for the Panthers with a rushing score, but he looked brutal in the passing game. Newton finished with 92 passing yards on 21 attempts for 4.4 yards per attempt and two picks. With the negative game script and lack of offensive rhythm, Newton only rushed for five yards. The only Panthers player to do anything fruitful included D.J. Moore, as he hauled in four of ten targets for 103 receiving yards, with 64 of those yards coming on one play. Don't panic with Newton, but that's the rollercoaster ride we observed last season too.
Jalen Hurts The Fantasy Team
Like Cam Newton, Jalen Hurts looked brutal in the passing game. Hurts saved his fantasy day with 77 rushing yards to lead the team. However, 129 passing yards on 31 attempts for 4.2 YPA and three picks negated the rushing production. With ten out of 11 QB1 performances, not including Week 12, fantasy managers shouldn't worry about Hurts for the rest of the season. Look for Hurts to bounce back in Week 13 against the Jets, then finish the season strong after their Week 14 bye week.
The Streak Ended With Evan Engram
Over the past several weeks, the Eagles kept giving up fantasy production to the tight end position. In the past five games, the Eagles allowed 7.6 targets, 6.6 receptions, and 78.2 receiving yards per game. That's the reason we liked Evan Engram as a Week 12 sleeper, but that ended in Week 12 with three receptions on six targets for 37 receiving yards. Technically, a Giants tight end scored in Chris Myarick, who hauled in a touchdown on two catches for 11 receiving yards.
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Corbin is passionate about fantasy baseball and football. He loves diving into and learning about advanced metrics. Corbin is a Mariners and Seahawks fan living in the Pacific Northwest. Corbin's other hobbies are lifting weights, cooking, and listening to fantasy sports podcasts.