Underdog Battle Royale Week 12 Rankings
Quarterback is tough this week because the drop-off is clear and massive. At the top, we have three elite studs in Allen, Hurts, and Mahomes. All have massive ceilings and their match-ups are all favorable as well. Easily could see any of these three crack 30 points this week.
Next, we have Stroud and Lawrence, who don’t have the consistency of the top tier, but they have shown the ceiling. They are also playing each other in a game that could be a shoot-out. You are conceding some QB scoring by waiting on these two, but in the right game, you could be okay.
The problem is 6 people are drafting, and after these 5 QBs, it really falls off a cliff. Kyler Murray has a rushing TD in each game, but if that doesn’t materialize he’s not likely to come close to 20 points, much less the 30 you might need.
Stafford has been a big disappointment and hasn’t had the 300 and 3+ TD games we all expected. Guys like Mayfield, Minshew, and Jones (if he’s starting) have had 1 pretty good game, but odds are you are lucky if they crack 17 points.
This to me is not a week where you can wait on QB. Maybe you get lucky and draft a near-perfect roster and then find that 6 QB who gets in the low-mid 20’s. Odds are though you are going to be well behind at the position and it will cost you.
- Travis Etienne Jr.
- Alvin Kamara
- Saquon Barkley
- Jonathan Taylor
- Bijan Robinson
- Derrick Henry
- Kyren Williams
- Isiah Pacheco
- D’Andre Swift
- Rachaad White
- Devin Singletary
- Joe Mixon
Top-to-bottom, running back is the strongest group there is this week. While you will need the TD variance to go your way for some teams to have it pay off, the role/match-up/talent is still present in this group.
At the top Etienne, Kamara, and Barkley should all see major run and pass work in their games. Could have combined yardage totals north of 150 yards, with 2 TD upside. We saw Bijan have his highest usage right before the bye, so it’s possible he could join this group.
I also like the case for Taylor and Henry, but it’s just a little thinner with less passing work, and you need the right game script to play out. It is the same situation for some of the lower ones like Pacheco and Swift, They will get 60-80 combined yards easy, but will the TDs be there? Will a couple extra catches?
A couple of RBs I do like targeting are Kyren Williams, Joe Mixon, and Jerome Ford. Williams is back from injury, and with Kupp back on the sideline (editors note: Kupp now IN), this could be similar to the first couple of weeks when he was one of the top RBs in fantasy.
With no Burrow, I do worry about the Bengals’ ability to move the football, but I think they will need to rely on Mixon even more. It’s a tougher defensive match-up, but he can rack up some catches and should have all goalline work. Ford also gets a favorable match-up this week, and we’ve seen him have a nice expanding role for Cleveland.
- Stefon Diggs
- A.J. Brown
- Puka Nacua
- Tank Dell
- Michael Pittman Jr.
- Mike Evans
- Calvin Ridley
- DeVonta Smith
- Davante Adams
- Adam Thielen
- Nico Collins
- Christian Kirk
- Chris Olave
- Ja’Marr Chase
- DeAndre Hopkins
- Josh Downs
- George Pickens
- Rashee Rice
Wide receiver breaks down into a decent group, especially for the “starters”. It gets thinner for Flex plays and trying to be different. If you pick the right one though it could pay-off in a big way because I think some of these lower guys will be well under-owned.
Diggs and Brown are the clear-cut, 1-2 options, both in a game that has a high total and two questionable secondaries. I think from a volume and match-up perspective Nacua and Pittman Jr. are in great situations as well. (editors note: Kupp now IN). The only downside is the questionable QB play. Dell and Ridley are another pair of receivers from the same game that could go off.
Some other standout receivers I like in that next range are going to DeVonta Smith off Brown, with no Goedert his targets are going to be going up. Adam Thielen vs a terrible Titans secondary. Collins and Kirk as the 2nd WRs who have big play upside themselves. Finally, for George Pickens, I think we see the Steelers offense have a little life this week. Pickens could have almost zero ownership, and he could go off for 100+ and a TD.
Tight end is simple this week as it’s broken down into three tiers. Travis Kelce and Dalton Kincaid. McBride and Schultz are in the middle, and then you can wait for everyone else in the third tier.
Kelce and Kincaid come from top-end offenses and have good match-ups that could lead to 17-22 point type of games. Kelce we know has the upside to get to more like 28-32 points, which is why he is going 1.1 or 1.2 in a lot of drafts.
McBride and Schultz are part of good offenses in decent match-ups and should get enough targets. If they find their way into the end zone they could come close to matching the lower end of the top tier.
Beyond that though the drop-off is real. Njoku and Engram will be out there and have some talent, but they just haven’t seen a lot of RZ work. Also, for Njoku, it’s tough to get excited with a young rookie QB, and they might only throw the ball 30 times in the game.
Anyone below is legitimately a similar dart throw. If you missed out on the top TEs this can be a way to get unique. Mayer has seen more usage lately. Freiermuth may see a boost with a new offensive coordinator. It’s thin though.