Soppe’s Week 12 Lineup Ranks: Get Smarter!
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Week 12 Quarterback Ranks
Andrew Luck: The Colts were embarrassed in prime time, dominated from start to finish; yet, Luck was still able to total 318 yards and two touchdowns. No defense in the league has allowed more pass plays of at least 20 yards and a worse touchdown-to-interception ratio than the Jaguars, making this a good spot for Luck to continue his historic run of Fantasy production.
Aaron Rodgers: The Vikings passed on Rodgers not once but twice in the 2005 NFL Draft (drafting Troy Williamson and Erasmus James instead), and given his success at Minnesota, that might have been a mistake. Since 2010, Rodgers is completing 75.4 percent of his passes for 13.1 yards per completion at Minnesota, tossing 13 scores and zero interceptions in the process.
Peyton Manning: You can’t rank him outside of the elite, but the fact that he has as many games over the last three weeks with multiple interceptions as Rodgers has total interceptions this season is reason enough to place him at the bottom of the video game number signal callers.
Drew Brees: Since 2008, the Brees-Sean Payton tandem has suffered through four multiple game losing streaks, with the quarterback completing 72.9 percent of his passes for an average of 321 yards and a 12:1 touchdown to interception ratio.
Jay Cutler: You’re only as good as your best teammate(s). Cutler proved that point valid in Week 11, as his terrific twosome of Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery accounted for more targets than two of the Top 5 scoring Fantasy quarterbacks threw last weekend.
Tom Brady: How has the future Hall of Famer slipped under the radar in terms of quarterbacks who thrive at home? Since 2012, he has tossed 5.1 touchdowns per interception in New England, 2.5 on the road.
Tony Romo: He has thrown at least one interception in six straight games against the Giants. But is that a bad thing? New York is allowing 13.1 yards per completion this season and Romo is averaging 11.3 percent more yards per completion in games in which he has thrown an interception this season. Odd coincidence? Maybe, but there is something to be said for a quarterback wanting to make plays down the field and for Fantasy purposes, that’s a great trait to have.
Matthew Stafford: Since a stretch in the middle of 2013 where he threw at least three touchdown passes in five of seven games, Stafford has failed to throw for at least three scores in 14 straight games.
Philip Rivers: Nobody doubts the accuracy, but is there enough upside to blindly consider him a weekly Fantasy starter? His yards per pass attempt have dropped in five straight weeks and he is averaging a mere 6.11 yards per attempt over the last month (for reference, Teddy Bridgewater ranks 29th in yards per pass attempt this season with a mark of 6.57).
Colin Kaepernick: In their last three road games, the Redskins have allowed the opposing quarterback to tally at least 250 passing yards and 16 Fantasy points. Combine that with the fact that Kaepernick is attempting 22.3 percent more passes per game this season than last and you’ve got reasonable upside to explore in Week 12.
Brian Hoyer: Surprising stat of the week: 22.1 percent of Cleveland’s completions this season have gone for at least 20 yards (for reference, the high-flying Colts currently sit at 20 percent). Not a bad trend for an offense that is welcoming back a receiver in Josh Gordon who had 20 percent more 20-plus yard receptions than any other WR last year despite missing the first two games of the season.
Matt Ryan: He is averaging 23.4 percent more yards per attempt at home than on the road since the beginning of last year. He’s averaging 4.40 touchdowns per interception at the Georgia Dome, a far cry from the 1.05 rate he owns on the road.
Mark Sanchez: He has completed 56.8 percent of his passes in his two starts this season, neither of which came against a great pass defense. He completed 56.7 percent of his passes in 2011, a season in which he produced good, not great, Fantasy numbers. The volume of attempts is going to be there in this offense, but let’s not get carried away here.
Robert Griffin III: Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson are two good receivers with very different skill sets, one of which fits RG3’s style of play, right? Well, Griffin owns just a 7.4 aDOT this season, a trend that hurts Jackson, but he has completed just four passes for 21 yards over the last two weeks to Garcon. If he can’t consistently find either one of these targets, where is the upside?
Russell Wilson: Forget location … Fantasy quarterbacking these days is all about volume, volume, volume. The Super Bowl champion is averaging just 185 passing yards at home this season. Wilson’s Fantasy numbers were even worse at home against divisional opponents last season, as he averaged just 11.3 completions, 141 yards, and one touchdown in three such games. He’s a very good quarterback that wins games, but not one that carries your Fantasy squad on a consistent basis.
Eli Manning: Name all the quarterbacks that have thrown more interceptions and passed for fewer yards per pass attempt. Well done, not a one. Manning is currently sandwiched between Jake Locker and Matt McGloin in yards per attempt this season, not ideal when trying to calculate upside in an offense that wants to establish the run and relies on relatively unproven pass catchers in the pass game.
Joe Flacco: Number of attempts isn’t generally a concern associated with Flacco, but he has eclipsed 31 pass attempts just four times this season and has thrown 30.5 percent of his passes in just 20 percent of his games (opponents are actually throwing less against New Orleans than the majority of teams in the league).
Josh McCown: Wide receivers not named Mike Evans or Vincent Jackson have exactly one catch over the last two weeks. This may be an issue against a strong pass defense that can take away an offense’s first two options … but not the Bears.
Ryan Tannehill: In games not played in Florida this season, Tannehill is completing 70.7 percent of his passes, a nice combination when you consider that Denver has allowed quarterbacks to completed 67.5 percent of their passes in the last two home games.
Alex Smith: Why is he not ranked higher despite a favorable matchup? Well, the Thursday night window certainly doesn’t help, but nor does the unwillingness to count on him on a short week. In nine games played on short rest since 2009, Smith is averaging just 176 passing yards while tossing a mere four touchdowns and nine interceptions (averaging 2.71 touchdowns per interception on normal or extended rest over that span).
Kyle Orton: In the two games since blowing out these Jets, Orton is averaging a mere 5.20 yards per pass attempt, a 35 percent decline from his rate in his first four starts.
Andy Dalton: You may need a silver lining if you’re pressed into starting the Red Rifle and I’m here for you. Dalton threw for 646 yards and five touchdowns in the two games in which he followed a road game with another road game.
Teddy Bridgewater: Did you know that Johnny Manziel and Bridgewater have the exact same number of professional games with multiple touchdowns? The difference is that Manziel has 277 fewer attempts (pass attempts plus rushing attempts) in his rookie campaign.
Mike Vick: The Jets lost by 20 in Week 8, Vick threw 36 passes. They played better and lost by 14 in Week 9, Vick threw 28 passes. New York put together their best performance of the season in a seven point win in Week 10, Vick threw 18 passes. See a trend developing?
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Week 12 Flex Ranks
Jamaal Charles: Think the winless Raiders will continue to lose? Well, Charles has totaled 2,197 yards and 25 touchdowns in the Chiefs 17 victories since the beginning of last season.
DeMarco Murray: He is averaging 6.4 yards per rush for his career when playing at the Giants.
Calvin Johnson: On a week in which he was “locked down” by Patrick Peterson, Megatron still led the Lions in receiving yards and was targeted six times, as many times as their second leading game receiver (Golden Tate).
Demaryius Thomas: Like betting on Peyton Manning? Thomas has accounted for 38.8 percent of Manning’s yards over the last seven weeks (in all of which he reached triple-digits), a percentage that isn’t likely to decline with Emmanuel Sanders and Julius Thomas nicked up.
Matt Forte: In addition to being on pace to catch 108 passes, Forte has averaged 4.55 yards per carry over his last five games (17 percent improvement over his first five games of the season).
Julio Jones: The Browns have given up a top notch wide receiver performance in six straight games since their bye week, allowing an average of 4.7 catches for 92 yards and five touchdowns. Look for the Falcons to get back to what got them off to a 2-1 start (three of Matt Ryan’s seven touchdowns went to Jones) as opposed to the scoring attack in their 2-5 stretch since (zero of Ryan’s 10 touchdown tosses have gone to Jones).
Arian Foster: Prior to last week, the Bengals’ defense was being rushed on more often and with more success than the Browns’. The Texans gave the ball to Alfred Blue 36 times and totaled 54 rushes against Cleveland last week.
Alshon Jeffery: Let’s do some simple math. Jeffery is averaging nine targets per game this season, while the Bucs are allowing opponents to complete 68.35 percent of their passes. Furthermore, opponents are averaging 11.1 yards per completion and Jeffery is averaging 13.8 yards per reception. That would put us at 6.2 receptions for 77.5 yards as a floor. When you consider that he has 100 yards or a touchdown in six of his last eight games, the high-end reward with the low-end risk is appealing.
A.J. Green: He has totaled at least 100 yards or a touchdown (minimum one target) in 14 of his last 15 non-Cleveland games and the Texans rank 31st in terms of passing yards allowed per game.
Marshawn Lynch: The Cardinals defense is among the best in the game, but they have allowed RB1s to average over 4.5 yards per carry over their last three games (Lynch averaging 22 carries per game over his last three, a 38.7 percent increase over his first seven games this season).
Jordy Nelson: Has a reception of at least 50 yards and a touchdown in three of his last four games, something he did only twice all of last season.
Dez Bryant: He has caught at least nine passes or a touchdown in 14 of his last 16 games, a streak that started with a nine catch (16 targets) performance in New York against the Giants on November 24th last season.
Brandon Marshall: His production has been on the uptick of late, but much like last season, the passing game is trending a bit in favor of Alshon Jeffery. Since their bye week, the Bears are targeting Jeffery more (47.4 percent more targets) and making him the focus of the downfield passing attack (40.5 percent greater aDOT).
Mike Evans: Does he belong in this tier? You tell me. Brandin Cooks has had a nice rookie season, right? He has 2.8 fewer standard Fantasy points this season than Evans has over the last three weeks.
[caption id="attachment_84990" align="alignright" width="300"] He’s baaaaaack! Photo: Merson [/caption]
Josh Gordon: Check the Hoyer stat. There is downfield potential in this seemingly run-first offense and Gordon holds every tool you could ask for on the football season (common sense off the field is not a requirement).
Justin Forsett: He burst onto the Fantasy scene as a pass catcher, but he is averaging 19 carries in the Ravens last three victories (10.7 in their last three losses).
Eddie Lacy: At the peak of his powers in 2013, Lacy was a dual threat that could hurt defenses both as a downhill runner and a pass-catcher. In addition to averaging 4.8 yards per carry over the last three weeks, the second year back has caught 14 passes (had caught 13 in his first seven games this season) for 236 yards (including three receptions of at least 30 yards). Look for that to continue against a Vikings defense that is allowing running backs to catch 89.6 percent of passes thrown their way.
Jordan Matthews: The big play upside is there (a 20-plus yard reception in five straight), but I’m more buying his team-low (minimum 15 targets) aDOT of 9.8 yards over that stretch when it comes to sustainable weekly Fantasy value with Mark Sanchez under center.
Randall Cobb: He has totaled 100 yards or a touchdown in 21 of his last 27 games.
Mark Ingram: Even if the Ravens continue to limit opposing running backs to just 3.93 yards per touch, Ingram’s 29 touch average over the last month should be enough to put him in double figure Fantasy points, and that is without accounting for a score.
Julian Edelman: Even in a game in which the Patriots got anything and everything that they wanted on the ground, Edelman managed to gain at least 80 yards on seven-plus touches for the second consecutive week (responsible for 26.7 percent of Brady’s Week 11 targets).
Vincent Jackson: Over his last two start, Josh McCown’s average yards per pass attempt is 15.8 percent higher than the season average of Mike Glennon, thus raising the ceiling of a player in Jackson, who is on pace to play the highest percentage of snaps in his Buccaneer career.
Denard Robinson: He is averaging 5.4 yards per carry over the last month, not a bad trend to take into a game against a Colts’ defense that was man-handled in Week 11. In fact, only one defense (Giants) has allowed more rushing touchdowns and a higher yard per carry average than Indianapolis.
LeSean McCoy: Only six backs have more carries than Shady over the last six weeks and the Titans have allowed opposing running backs to total 557 yards and five touchdowns on 100 carries over their last three games.
Sammy Watkins: The rookie has three games this season with at least 100 yards and a touchdown, all of which have come against defenses that excel at shutting down the run and grade out as a Top 10 run defense. The Jets are the number one run defense and own a pitiful 8.33 touchdown-to-interception ratio on defense.
T.Y. Hilton: No defense has allowed more 20-plus yard passes and a higher touchdown-to-interception ratio than the Jaguars this season. I’ll take my chances with a receiver who is averaging 118.7 yards and 20.9 PPR points in weeks in which he hauls in a pass of at least 20 yards.
DeAndre Hopkins: We worried about his deep ball style (23.2 percent of his targets have come at least 20 yards down the field) with the quarterback change, but his aDOT increased 34.6 percent in the first game of the Ryan Mallet era.
Alfred Morris: His rushing total has increased in five consecutive games and he has managed at least a 10-yard reception in four of those games (had five such games in his career prior to this stretch).
Cecil Shorts: He has been targeted on 22.1 percent of the routes he has run this season (for reference, T.Y. Hilton is being targeted on 20.4 percent of his routes run this year) and should benefit from the combination of no Allen Robinson and a bye week.
Jerick McKinnon: Love the talent, but hard to get excited about a player with limited scoring potential. McKinnon has yet to score on his 122 touches this season and the Packers have allowed just two rushing touchdowns (176 carries) over their last seven games (four rushing touchdowns allowed in their first three games).
Jeremy Maclin: Don’t get me wrong, I believe he is a strong NFL talent, but the deep ball made him an elite option in the early going this season, so the fact that his aDOT has been shrunk from 17.3 in Weeks 1-9 to 8.3 in Weeks 10-11 hints that the Eagles are looking to limit the risks taken by Mark Sanchez.
Andre Ellington: He rattled off a 17-yard carry last week against the Lions. His other 38 carries over the last two weeks (both home games) have gone for a total 48 yards, not a positive trend as he leads the Cardinals into Seattle this weekend.
Roddy White: The Browns haven’t allowed a wide receiver to score in back-to-back weeks after allowing eight in the previous five weeks, a dangerous trend to bet against as White has scored in just two of his last 15 regular season home games.
Golden Tate: The snap percentage and targets have remained stable, for the most part, when Calvin Johnson is healthy, but he has yet to find the end zone when Megatron’s health is not a concern.
Larry Fitzgerald: An MCL sprain is less than ideal, but I’m more worried about his aDOT dropping for a third consecutive season and the impact of a deep ball oriented Drew Stanton under center.
Steve Smith Sr.: Only Demaryius Thomas has a higher catcher percentage and higher target percentage when it comes to passes thrown at least 20 yards down the field, a trend I’ll take to the bank against a Saints’ defense that allows 17.7 percent of completions to go for at least 20 yards (not to mention that no defense allows more yards per pass attempt and has a worse touchdown-to-interception rate).
Jeremy Hill: The more time he gets the more comfortable and impressive he is. His yards after contact average of 3.6 yards last week was Adrian Peterson-esque. Giovani Bernard is optimistic that he will return this weekend, but don’t assume that Hill’s downhill running style is sent to the bench, as the Bengals look to bring Bernard back from his laundry list of injuries.
Rueben Randle: Exactly zero wide receivers have more targets and a higher aDOT than Randle since Week 3.
Joique Bell: I mentioned Hill getting used to his role? Try this on for size. In terms of yards per carry allowed, the Lions have faced the 19th best defense, followed by the 14th, 7th, and 5th. Normally that would indicate a decline in production, but Bell’s yards per carry have gone from 2.7 to 2.8 to 4.4 to 6.1. He is the unquestioned between the tackles runner on this team, a role he is beginning to fully embrace.
Rashad Jennings: The Giants didn’t appear to be concerned with Jennings getting in “football shape,” as the running back was responsible for 85.7 percent of his team’s carries last week against the Niners. The Cowboys defense is better than we thought, but it isn’t San Francisco.
Michael Crabtree: Three of his four games with a touchdown this season have come against an opponent than ranks in the bottom half of the league in yards per attempt allowed. Three of his four games with a touchdown have also come against a defense that ranks in the bottom half of the league in 20-plus yard pass plays allowed. The Redskins fulfill both of those criteria.
Shane Vereen: Players come and go, but Vereen continues to produce. Despite every type of game you could imagine (a run heavy game, a pair of games that were never competitive, and a game with a pass heavy game plan), the shifty running back is averaging 16.3 PPR points over his last four.
Marques Colston: No defense in the league has allowed wide receivers to catch more passes this season than the Ravens, a positive trend for the possession style of Colston with Brandin Cooks (thumb) out of action.
Andre Johnson: Wide receivers on teams that don’t have a tight end as their top pass-catching threat are averaging just less than 20 Standard Fantasy points against the Bengals this season, a positive trend for the league leader in yards per route run.
Lamar Miller: Don’t let the Broncos’ elite run defense stop you from considering Miller this weekend, as the ‘Fins back is averaging 5.6 yards per carry in four games against defenses that are allowing less than 4.0 yards per carry this season.
Tre Mason: Mark Ingram is the only running back in the NFL with more carries and targets in the pass game over the last three weeks than the Rams’ ultra-talented rookie.
Pierre Garcon: RG3 recorded the lowest single week aDOT of the season by a quarterback that attempted at least 30 passes (3.8), a game plan that figures to result in Garcon recovering some of the Fantasy greatness that he experienced last season against the third-best defense in terms of yards allowed per pass attempt.
Trent Richardson: Only four defenses have seen running backs get more looks (rushing attempts plus targets in the passing game) than the Jags. With Ahmad Bradshaw (ankle) out of the lineup, it stands to reason that Richardson will get the majority of the 29 touches than Colt RBs are averaging this season.
Odell Beckham Jr.: The rookie has accounted for a higher percentage of Eli Manning’s targets and completions over the last three weeks than Demaryius Thomas has from Peyton Manning over the last three weeks.
C.J. Anderson: No running back in the league has caught more passes than Anderson over the last three weeks, a positive trend when you consider that in PPR leagues, the Dolphins have allowed running backs to score 18.6 percent more Fantasy points via the reception than the rush.
Anquan Boldin: Week 2 was the last time Boldin recorded fewer than 10 PPR points and his consistent involvement (at least five catches in five straight) is encouraging against a defense that is allowing receivers to catch a touchdown at the fifth-highest rate per reception.
Torrey Smith: He has scored in his last four games (minimum one target) and faces a defense that is allowing the fourth-most yards per pass attempt in the league.
Ryan Mathews: The Rams are allowing running backs to average just 3.58 yards per carry while the Chargers’ offensive line is creating just enough space for their backs to average just 3.1 yards per carry. Mathews is the lead back in San Diego, but he recorded just half the carries last week, indicating that he may struggle to get the volume of carries it takes to succeed in this offense.
Isaiah Crowell: Atlanta very quietly has an average run defense and Crowell ranks 50th of 51 qualified running backs in elusiveness (yards gained beyond what is blocked for).
Jonas Gray: His massive Week 11 is all well and good, but the Patriots still have an average offense line and the Lions still own one of the best front sevens in football. Don’t chase last week’s production, it’s not coming again.
Percy Harvin: The percentage of his plays in which he has been asked to run a pass route has declined in each game in New York. Look for the Jets to target him with regularity after a bye week, but keep in mind that he has not found the end zone via a reception since October of 2012.
Kenny Stills: His level of involvement should be increased with the absence of Cooks, but the fact that 35.8 percent of his Standard Fantasy points this season have come on three receptions is a bit concerning for owners seeking consistent production.
Wes Welker: He played a season high percentage of snaps played last week, resulting from the array of offensive injuries in Denver. The increased playing time is nice, but he still hasn’t caught more than four passes since October 5th.
Charles Sims: The Buccaneers will be looking to see what they have in their young players, and with Sims’ snap percentage increasing from 33.8 to 63.5 last week, they appear ready to feature him sooner rather than later.
Reggie Wayne: Consistent targets is a plus, but the fact that he has only caught half the passes thrown his way over the last five weeks is not. Treat him as a slightly less valuable version of Anquan Boldin, an unspectacular option that is safe if you’re comfortable with the rest of your roster.
Fred Jackson: He has said that he would have played last week if the game had been played on Sunday, so health isn’t a major concern. But the matchup with the Jets is a poor one, not to mention that the Bills have thrown the ball at least 38 times in five of their last six games (Bryce Brown is the better pass-catching back).
Chris Ivory: He has averaged 3.6 yards per carry or less in four of his last five games (3.6 yards per carry over that stretch), but there is still Fantasy value here, as he has 4.4 times as many red zone carries as Chris Johnson.
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Week 12 Tight End Ranks
Rob Gronkowski: For his career, Gronk is averaging one touchdown every 5.3 catches at home. The Lions have allowed 19 TE receptions in four road games.
Jimmy Graham: We know about his big play upside, but no tight end ranked in the Fantasy Top 10 is catching a higher percentage of passes than Graham (79 percent).
Julius Thomas: After giving up four touchdowns to tight ends in their first five games, the Dolphins have not allowed a tight end to find the end zone in four straight weeks. Thomas is great, but he ranks 15th in receiving yardage at tight end, potentially making him a drastic disappointment this weekend. If he were to sit out (the ankle injury has been deemed minor, but that doesn’t mean Denver will send him out there), Jacob Tamme would be my seventh ranked tight end.
Coby Fleener: He has a reception of at least 20 yards in six of his last eight games. Tight ends are being targeted 8.4 times per game this season against a Jags defense that has allowed 40 pass plays of at least 20 yards.
Larry Donnell: No defense has seen tight ends targeted more often this season than the Dallas Cowboys.
Martellus Bennett: He is averaging less than four catches for 40 yards in his last five games without a touchdown, a bad omen considering that the Bucs have allowed just two tight end scores all season (zero in their last six games).
Delanie Walker: Among the 10 most targeted tight ends, Walker ranks seventh in catch percentage. His recovery from a Week 10 concussion also should not be assumed.
Travis Kelce: He has been on the field as often as ever, yet he has been targeted with just six passes on his 91 snaps played.
Eric Ebron: The Patriots have given up the most receiving yards to tight ends this season (13.7 yards per catch).
Jason Witten: For the first time in more than a year, Witten has hauled in at least five passes in back-to-back-to-back contests. I’ll take my chances on a veteran who is a consistent route runner that has been on the field for 99.6 percent of snaps this season.
Mychal Rivera: Believe it or not, he leads the tight end position in targets over the last month … by 14.3 percent.
Vernon Davis: He has been asked to block on 48.6 percent of his snaps played over the last three weeks.
Scott Chandler: Despite being targeted on a higher percentage of pass routes run than WR2 Robert Woods since Kyle Orton took over, Chandler has managed just 96 yards in the Bills five victories this season (they will be favored when hosting the Jets this weekend).
Owen Daniels: Has very quietly seen his snap percentage increase in three straight games and has been targeted on 26.2 percent of his routes run in those three games.
Clay Harbor: Even with his snap percentage trending downward, his season snap percentage (85.9 percent) is greater than Dwayne Allen has had in any one game this season and puts him in a favorable spot with Allen Robinson out for the remainder of the season.
Kyle Rudolph: He has recorded 55 or fewer receiving yards in 18 of his last 19 games. I’m not banking on a touchdown dependent option in an iffy passing game if I can avoid it.
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