I just snuck out of a court ordered gambling rehab facility to write this post, so I’ll have to be brief. After I was arrested for stealing old ladies’ purses from the retirement home down the block to fund my string of Arizona Cardinals’ Super Bowl wagers (a 50:1 lock!), the judge sentenced me to 6 month’s of in-patient rehab. Since I’ll be releasing my weekly fantasy football rankings each Thursday morning (except Thanksgiving week!) for the duration of the season, I’ve decided to throw in some bonus bold Thursday Night Football predictions along with my expertly handicapped pick for the contest:

 Texans (-3) at Lions

Forecast: Thanksgiving wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without a crappy Lions team playing in the morning game and your drunk Uncle Arlo yelling about his all-time favorite Lions player, Whizzer White. This is a matchup of Belichick minions with Matt Patricia and Romeo Crennel facing off—think we know who has the advantage. In honor of the holiday, Patricia will dress up as a turkey. Little does the Lions’ coach know, Matthew Stafford has a debilitating fear of turkeys—meleagrisphobia, it’s a real thing. When Stafford sees the enormous bird gobbling away on his sideline, he’ll run for the locker-room and never look back. With Chase Daniel tagging in for their meleagrisphobic QB, Detroit won’t stand a chance against J.J. Watt and the hungry Texans. Texans 31, Lions 17

Wager:  Texans -3 (4 Units)

2020 Season: 2-9 (-4.65 Units) 

Anyway, here’s my fantasy football rankings for week 12 which will be frequently updated until Sunday kickoff:

*If you’d like more robotic weekly rankings with projections, check out Rudy’s Pigskinonator which is available on a free trial and then only $5.99 for the rest of the season.

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Happy Thanksgiving week, y’all. You might be thinking that this post came out a little earlier than usual and you would be correct. You’re so observant. With turkey day on Thursday, Donkey Teeth and I are putting out rankings out a little earlier this week for your convenience. I will also be putting out my start and sit for week 12 tomorrow afternoon. 

Quite frankly, Thursday’s slate is terrible. I was looking forward to Ravens-Steelers until, you know, the best room on the Ravens’ offense was ravaged with Covid. The Lions suck, the Texans almost suck, the Cowboys suck, and WFT sucks. But, at least it’s football. Here are my early rankings for week 12. 

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Frank Reich is a fine man. A good man, even. Sometimes, I sit around daydreaming, wondering what it would be like if he were my father. He would no-doubt instill many wholesome values in me, his son, and be a great fishing partner. He simply has that look about him — the one that comes with a Geppetto-eque twinkle in one’s eye — that exudes wisdom and level-headedness. Personally, I believe he’s a tremendous football coach, perhaps one of the most underrated in the entire league. The Indianapolis Colts are incredibly fortunate that Josh McDaniels spurned their head coaching offer back in the February of 2018 to remain with New England, leading to Reich landing the job as a sort of second choice candidate at the time. Since then, he’s done wonders with the team and carries many strengths as the man in charge, but he’s largely been a fantasy enemy to this point — especially as it relates to the running back position. That’s because he treats his backfield like a true father figure would: he believes in all of his backs, especially the young Jonathan Taylor, and is always willing to give dish out a second chance. The issue is… it’s hard to predict when those second chances are going to come. Heading into the week, Nyheim Hines was one of the highest risers up most rest-of-season rankings after receiving 12 carries in Week 10, rushing for 70 yards and one touchdown in addition to his typical receiving workload: five receptions for 45 yards and another touchdown. Jonathan Taylor saw just seven carries in that game, to which he translated to a mere 12 yards, which came on the heels of a Week 9 game in which Reich gave Taylor a measly six carries. Fast-forward to Week 11: Taylor rushed 22 times for 90 yards, also catching four passes (on four targets) for 24 yards. Those 22 carries equated to 68.8% of running back carries (22/32), as his 26 total touches were by far the highest amongst the Indy trio. Jordan Wilkins (four carries, 21 yards; one reception on one target, 15 yards) touched the ball just five times, while Hines (six carries, two yards; three receptions on four targets, 31 yards) registered nine touches. It’s certainly encouraging to see Taylor so involved in a crucial, competitive game that the Colts ultimately won in exciting fashion — but what can we expect from him moving into the home stretch of the 2020 fantasy football season?

After sinking to RB30 overall in my rankings last week, Taylor is back up into RB2 territory thanks in large part to an incredibly easy schedule from here on out. The only truly difficult matchup remaining for Taylor will come in Week 16 against the Steelers, which isn’t ideal as it’s when most fantasy championships will occur, but until then he’ll go up against the Titans, Texans, Raiders and Texans, again. There are certainly RB2 options with safer floors, but Taylor is once again trending up and represents a much more attractive Flex play than he did one week ago.

There’s a lot more to dive into this week, so before getting to the rankings, let’s take a quick trip around the league.

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The week 12 waiver wire is about the same as the last few weeks. Most difference makers are already rostered and no major injuries opened up new featured starters. There is no slam dunk FAAB add, however Michael Pittman comes close.

I group the adds by position and then within the position, rank them in order of preference. The sherpa will only advise players who are rostered in less than 50% of ESPN leagues.

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If you’re only into ground and pound games then read no further. There were a total of 79 rushing yards between both the Rams and Bucs on Monday night. There was even less runs than the time I stopped eating Chipotle for an entire year. But what this game lacked in rushing was made up for in the passing department as the teams combine for a total of 99 passing attempts. The Rams’ air attack ended up being the headline as Jared Goff went 39/51 for 376 yards, 3 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Cooper Kupp hauled in 11 of those passes for 145 yards, while Robert Woods snatched another 12 of them for 130 yards and his 7th touchdown. Both of these pass catchers are rock solid WR2 options, and Goff remains a nice streamer with a friendly playoff schedule on the horizon. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday for fantasy football:

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Oompa Loompa doompadee doo. My buddy and I looked at these silly looking dwarves singing and making candy. Then we looked at each other. Then we looked at the dwarves. Shrugging our shoulders, we went back to stuffing ourselves with the sugary delictables yearning to be eaten. We were in heaven. But then….BAM! BOOM! POW! CRASH! The Loopmas scurried away as the house of heaven came crashing down to earth. After the dust had settled, and we were rudely brought back to reality from our sugar high, it hit us. No more candy. No more heaven. Only pain. That is what happened to Bengals and Joe Burrow fans on Sunday, as he suffered a brutal knee injury, ending his season. Sigh. Now, it’s Ryan Finley time. siiiiiiigggghhhhhh. What can we expect?

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When Taysom Hill was a senior in high school he received all kinds of offers from big name college football programs, eventually committing to play for John Harbaugh at Stanford One night God came to Hill in a dream, “Taysom!” called God, “I can not permit you to play for that khaki wearing loser, John Harbaugh. Your calling is much higher. You’re needed for a two-year Mormon mission in Australia. But in exchange for your service, one day I will crack 11 of Drew Brees’s ribs giving you the chance to start in the NFL. Also, make sure you wash your hands and take your vitamins when 2020 rolls around.” And so Taysom, as a loyal servant to the lord, went to Australia to spread the good word. 12 years later God made good on his promise by crushing almost half of the ribs in Brees’s body. Hill took full advantage of the gift from above, going 18/23 for 233 yards passing while also taking 10 carries for 51 yards, 2 rushing touchdowns and a fumble lost. I know there’s a lot of hatred out in the fantasy world for Taysom Hill, but you’ll find me lining up on the other side of the debate. What can I say, I love mobile quarterbacks. Hill’s in a fantastic offense with a great coach as well as an elite wide receiver and running back which will make life a nightmare for opposing defenses. He should be rostered by someone (maybe not you) in all leagues for the immediate future, and I’d be buying Hill aggressively in dynasty leagues. He’s obviously the QB of the future in New Orleans. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday for fantasy football:

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It is my favorite week of the football season! We are getting close to the fantasy playoffs, the standings are painting a clearer picture in our leagues, and it’s Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving week means vacation from real life responsibilities for me. Not here at Razzball, but my actual 9-5. Which is actually 5-3:30. Early mornings, yuck. All that I plan on doing this week is proposing trades, eating, writing, and finally watching Yellowstone. Everyone watches this damn show so I have to find out what is behind all of the buzz. Is this Kevin Costner’s best performance since Draft Day? I will be sure to let you know as soon as I do. 

Weirdly enough, we are looking at much better weather this week for fantasy and real life scoring. There isn’t going to be a violent wind storm in Cleveland for the first time in what seems like ever. Green Bay is playing indoors. Can Aaron Rodgers crack the code of Indy’s tough defense? My betting card is full of underdogs this week, which is always anxiety inducing, but we’ll see what happens. Below will be the updated rankings and injury report. After taking a look at that, hit up the comment section for all of your fantasy lineup needs.

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The fantasy playoffs are so close you can smell them. Wait, no that’s just me. Haven’t taken my weekly shower yet. Anywho, you’re hopefully preparing to lock up a seat at the fantasy league championship table. Get your lucky jersey out. Stop shaving that beard. Find a rabbit to depaw. Whatever you need to do to win. You could also peek under the hood with these blurbs. 

  • We’re picking up right where we left off with Nick Chubb and the Browns backfield split. He got roughly half of the snaps and half of the carries. He was hyper-efficient with 126 yards, one actual TD and one almost TD after stopping shirt of the goalline to ice the game. It looks like his path to fantasy success will remain doing extraordinary things with ordinary opportunity. 
  • Justin Jefferson is quickly making a case for consideration as a top WR in the league, not just a top rookie. Fueling his breakout is a ridiculous 6.9 average yards after the catch. That’s second to Terry McLaurin’s 7.2 for WRs with 50 targets. Dude is ridiculous with in space. That’s a perfect fit for the Vikings and could hold up. 
  • Please, blog, may I have some more?

 

Shadow Coverage Tracker
WR Finish Total
1 13
2 7
3 7
4+ 25
Grand Total 52

 

Team: Houston Texans

Opponent: New England Patriots

WR1: Will Fuller

Shadow Coverage Matchup:  Stephon Gilmore

 

Will Fuller vs. Shadow Coverage
Opponent Games Rec Yards TDs PPG
All Other Opponents 23 4.8 70.5 0.5 12.6
Vs. Shadow Coverage 4 3 45 0.3 7.5

Historical Production vs. Shadow Coverage

As we discussed in prior articles Will Fuller hasn’t seen much shadow coverage in his career due to DeAndre Hopkins. However, when he has seen it over the past two and a half seasons there is a notable dip. This includes a 1-8 performance vs. the Patriots just last season. In 2020 Will Fuller has shined in his new role, and was able to find the end zone in his lone shadow coverage matchup securing 3-35-1 vs. Jaire Alexander in week 7

Week 11 Recommendation – WR3/Flex

With Stephon Gilmore nursing a bump knee it is fair to question of effective he will be slowing down Will Fuller. This season Gilmore has only shadowed one elite WR all season which was D.K. Metcalf in week 2. Metcalf did get loose for a long TD finishing with 4-92-1 on the day. I do believe Gilmore will be able to slow down Fuller, but playing at home with no David Johnson, Watson will be expect to throw a lot in week 11.

DFS Recommendation – Price FD $7,100 / DK $6,900

On both sites Will Fuller is priced as a WR1 and will cost you well over 10% of your budget. This makes him a DFS fade as his best performance to date in shadow coverage was 11 points which won’t get it done in DFS. Players I would pivot to include Kenny Golladay vs. CAR and Diontae Johnson vs. JAX

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