Week #12: The Inside Slant
John Holler - 11/19/2019

Week 12 of the NFL season is going to have a lot of impact – both in the real NFL and in the fantasy world from start to finish.

The week opens with a battle for the top spot in the AFC when the Colts (6-4) travels to play Houston (6-4). The Sunday early games feature the Bills (7-3) looking to solidify its bid for a playoff spot when they host Denver, the Saints (8-2) looking to put a dagger in the 5-5 Panthers, the Raiders looking to improve to 7-4 if they can go on the road and beat the Jets and the Seahawks looking to put away the 5-5 Eagles. There are only two late games – the 5-5 Titans hosting the 4-6 Jaguars and Dallas going on the road to try to hand New England (9-1) its second loss of the season.

The week ends with a pair of games that could have huge implications. The Packers (8-2) got flexed into prime time, coming off their bye to travel to play the 9-1 49ers. The week ends with the Ravens (8-2) looking to cripple the playoff hopes of the Rams (6-4).

By the time the week ends, the playoff picture will be much clearer as Week 12 proves to be a vital one for most teams that are playing.






Indianapolis WR T.Y. Hilton – The Texans defense has been allowing primary receivers from opposing teams to have big games against them all season, , including Michael Thomas (10-123), D.J. Chark (7-55-1), Keenan Allen (13-183-2), Christian McCaffrey (10-86), Calvin Ridley (5-88-1), Tyreek Hill (5-80-2), Tyrell Williams (3-91-1), Hunter Renfrow (4-88-1) and Mark Andrews (4-75-1). In their first meeting this season, Hilton caught six passes for 74 yards and a touchdown and Zach Pascal caught six passes for 102 yards and two touchdowns. Hilton has been sidelined, so his availability is in question, but given how the Colts ripped the Texans in their first meeting, this matchup bears watching.


Houston RB Carlos Hyde – The Jaguars ran just nine times while passing 49 times last week, which was a surprise because the Colts have been hit hard on the ground all season by running backs, including Austin Ekeler (12-58-1 rushing, 6-96-2 receiving), Derrick Henry (15-81-1), Devonta Freeman (16-88), Josh Jacobs (17-79), the combo of Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman (26-99-1) and Trey Edmunds (12-73). Hyde and Duke Johnson combined to rush 19 times for 69 yards in their first meeting and more is expected this time around.






Carolina RB Christian McCaffrey – The Saints defense has been good at slowing down the run all season, including Todd Gurley (16-63-1), Chris Carson (15-52), Ezekiel Elliott (18-35-1), Leonard Fournette (20-72), the combination of David Montgomery and Tarik Cohen (5-16), Chase Edmonds (7-8), Brian Hill (20-61) and the combination of Ronald Jones and Peyton Barber (21-80-1 combined in two games). McCaffrey has been tearing up everyone this season, but the Saints won’t be giving it up early.


New Orleans RB Alvin Kamara – The Panthers have had their struggles stopping the run all season and have given up far too many yards on the ground, including Todd Gurley (14-97), Malcolm Brown (11-53-2), the Arizona run game (22-121), Houston’s running attack (20-136-1), Leonard Fournette (23-108-1), the Tampa Bay running backs (13-39-2), the three-headed 49ers backfield (31-200-4), Derrick Henry (13-63-1) and the combination of Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams (25-159-3). Kamara and Latavius Murray are capable of dominating games and the Panthers give up too many yards to ignore.




Denver QB Brandon Allen – The Bills have done a great job of limiting QBs all season, including Sam Darnold (175-1), Eli Manning (250-1), Andy Dalton (249-1), Tom Brady (150-0), Marcus Mariota (183-0), Carson Wentz (172-1), Dwayne Haskins (144-0), Baker Mayfield (238-2) and Ryan Fitzpatrick (598-1 in two games). Nobody is expecting Allen to light up the town, but the Bills have put themselves in playoff position because of an elite pass defense that makes life difficult on opposing quarterbacks.


Buffalo RB Devin Singletary – The Broncos committed their defense to shutting down Dalvin Cook last week, but it came at the expense of the pass defense. Denver has struggled to prevent big games on the ground all season, including Josh Jacobs (23-85-1), David Montgomery (18-62-1), the combination of Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams (22-78-2), Leonard Fournette (29-225), LeSean McCoy (12-64) and Marlon Mack (19-76-1). Singletary has supplanted Frank Gore as the go-to running back in the Buffalo offense and he could be ready for a big game like fellow rookies Jacobs and Montgomery have.




Detroit QB Matthew Stafford or QB Jeff Driskel – The Redskins pass defense has been allowing big yardage all season, including Carson Wentz (313-3), Dak Prescott (269-3), Mitchell Trubisky (231-3), Tom Brady (348-3), Kirk Cousins (285-0) and Sam Darnold (293-4). Stafford has been out the last two weeks due to injury, so Jeff Driskel could again be an option, but Washington has been allowing big numbers to just about everyone they’ve faced over the last two months and Detroit could be the next in line.


Washington WR Terry McLaurin – The Lions have been hammered by receivers all season, including Larry Fitzgerald (8-113-1), Keenan Allen (8-98-1), Mike Williams (3-83), Nelson Agholor (8-50-2), Travis Kelce (7-85), Allen Lazard (4-65-1), Stefon Diggs (7-142), Darius Slayton (4-50-2), Golden Tate (8-85), Allen Robinson (6-86), Michael Gallup (9-148) and Randall Cobb (4-115-1). The Redskins have struggled to establish a pass game with Dwayne Haskins taking over, but there is reason to believe that there will be yardage and scoring potential to be had against a suspect Lions defense.




Miami RB Kalen Ballage – The Browns limited the Steelers to just 62 yards on 15 carries last Thursday, but have had their share of struggles stopping the run, including the Ravens diverse run offense (29-173), the combination of Matt Breida and Tevin Coleman (27-221-2), Chris Carson (24-124-1), Sony Michel (21-74), Phillip Lindsay (9-91-1) and the Buffalo run game (20-84-2). Miami’s offense is spotty at best, but this is an area capable of being exploited.


Cleveland RB Nick Chubb – Miami’s defense has been hit hard in every aspect of the game, but teams have ran at will against them, including Mark Ingram (14-107-2), Sony Michel (21-85-1), Ezekiel Elliott (19-125), Tony Pollard (13-103-1), Austin Ekeler (18-60-1 rushing, 5-62-1 receiving), Adrian Peterson (23-118), James Conner (23-145-1), the Jets running backs (19-82), the Colts RBs (25-108) and Buffalo’s run game (57-285-1 in two games). The Browns are trying to save their season and will be attacking Miami, but Chubb may be the primary beneficiary.




New York RB Saquon Barkley – For the last month and a half, the Bears run defense has been consistently gashed by backs, including Josh Jacobs (26-123-2), Latavius Murray (27-119-2), the combination of Jordan Howard and Miles Sanders (29-124-1), an injury-depleted Lions run game (27-98) and the combination of Todd Gurley and Malcolm Brown (30-112-2). Barkley is due for a big game and the Bears have been allowing to many rushers to have the chance to consistently gain big yardage.


Chicago WR Allen Robinson – The Giants have one of the worst secondaries in the league and have been pounded by receivers often during the season, including Michael Gallup (7-158), Randall Cobb (4-69-1), John Brown (7-72), Cole Beasley (4-83), Mike Evans (8-190-3), O.J. Howard (3-66), Adam Thielen (7-130-2), Julian Edelman (9-113), Kenny Golladay (6-123-2), Danny Amendola (8-95), Amari Cooper (4-80-1) and Jamison Crowder (5-81-1). The Bears pass offense is struggling to generate much offense, but the Giants are so bad Robinson could be in line for some significant numbers.




Oakland QB Derek Carr – In the first month-plus of the season, the Jets pass defense was holding up well, but, over the last month New York has been hammered through the air by pedestrian quarterbacks, including Gardner Minshew (279-3), Ryan Fitzpatrick (288-3), Daniel Jones (308-4) and Dwayne Haskins (214-2). Carr is suddenly in the thick of a playoff run and he will have to come up big to keep their run on track.


New York QB Sam Darnold – The Raiders shut down the hapless Cincinnati pass offense last week, but who hasn’t? Otherwise, their pass defense has been a liability against opposing quarterback and have surrendered big numbers consistently, including Jacoby Brissett (265-3), Chase Daniel (231-2), Aaron Rodgers (429-5), Deshaun Watson (279-3), Matthew Stafford (406-3) and Philip Rivers (207-2). Darnold is coming off a huge week and has the potential to back it up with another big week.




Pittsburgh RB James Conner – The Bengals have been gutted on the ground in almost every game this season, including Chris Carson (15-46-1 rushing, 6-34-1 receiving), Raheem Mostert (13-83 rushing, 3-68-1 receiving), Matt Breida (12-121), Frank Gore (14-76-1), James Conner (10-42 rushing, 8-83-1 receiving), David Johnson (17-91 rushing, 3-65 receiving), the multi-faceted Ravens rushing attack (43-267-2), Leonard Fournette (29-131), the combination of Todd Gurley Darrell Henderson (21-93-1), two dominant run performance by the Ravens (66-403-4 in two games) and Josh Jacobs (23-112). In his first meeting, Conner rushed 10 times for 42 yards, caught eight passes for 83 yards and scored a touchdown. His availability for Sunday is still up in the air, but, if he can go, he could be in line for big numbers.


Cincinnati QB Ryan Finley – The Steelers have been known for their defense, but have consistently allowed big QB fantasy points this season, including Tom Brady (341-3), Russell Wilson (300-3), Jimmy Garoppolo (277-1), Philip Rivers (320-2), the combination of Jacoby Brissett and Brian Hoyer (227-3) and Baker Mayfield (193-2). Nobody is going to likely play Finley, but he has the potential to put up good numbers.




Seattle QB Russell Wilson – The Eagles did a decent job of containing Tom Brady, but have struggled against veteran quarterbacks this season, including Case Keenum (380-3), Matt Ryan (320-3), Aaron Rodgers (422-2) and Kirk Cousins (333-4). Wilson is returning from his bye week and will be rested and prepared to do some damage this week.


Philadelphia RBs Miles Sanders and Jordan Howard – The Seahawks have struggled to stop the run on a consistent basis and have had teams run often on them, including James Conner (11-33-1), Alvin Kamara (16-69-1), Todd Gurley (15-51-2), Nick Chubb (20-122-2), QB Lamar Jackson (16-116-1), the Falcons run game (17-69-1), the combination of Ronald Jones and Peyton Barber (22-82-1) and the combination of Tevin Coleman and Raheem Mostert (15-68). The Eagles are trying to save their season and need to run the ball and, if Howard can return this week, the two of them could pile up a lot of carries.




Tampa Bay WRs Mike Evans and Chris Godwin – The Falcons have been shredded by big days from receivers all season, including Adam Thielen (4-43-1), Nelson Agholor (8-107-1), T.Y. Hilton (8-65-1), A.J. Brown (3-94-2), Chris Davis (5-91-1), Will Fuller (14-217-3), DeAndre Hopkins (7-88), Keke Coutee (3-72), David Johnson (6-68-1), Robert Woods (5-80), Tyler Lockett (6-100), Michael Thomas (13-152), Christian McCaffrey (11-121) and D.J. Moore (8-95). The Buccaneers dynamic duo has been big all season and this looks like a matchup made in heaven.


Atlanta RB Brian Hill – The Bucs have a questionable defense, but has done a nice job of not allowing running backs to post gigantic numbers against them, including Christian McCaffrey (38-68-1 rushing, 6-42-1 receiving), the combination of Matt Breida and Raheem Mostert (24-79), the Giants run game after losing Saquon Barkley (19-72-2), Todd Gurley (5-16-2), Derrick Henry (16-75) and Alvin Kamara (30-142 in two games). The Falcons running game has been thinned out with injuries to Devonta Freeman and Ito Smith, so Hill is the next man up. But, expecting miracles may be asking too much.






Dallas RB Ezekiel Elliott – The Patriots have done a strong job of containing run games all season, including James Conner (10-21), the Miami running backs (14-36), Adrian Peterson (7-18), the Giants running backs (13-46), Le’Veon Bell (33-105 in two games) and Eagles running backs (18-64). Elliott is a dominant back, but has been bottled up the last couple of games and the Patriots don’t look like a team that he can explode against.


New England QB Tom Brady – The Cowboys have consistently prevented quarterbacks from posting huge games, , including Eli Manning (306-1), Case Keenum (221-2), Josh Rosen (200-0), Teddy Bridgewater (193-0), Aaron Rodgers (238-0), Carson Wentz (191-1), Daniel Jones (210-1), Kirk Cousins (220-2) and Jeff Driskel (209-2). Brady hasn’t been posting big numbers and the Cowboys will be a strong test as to whether that will turn a corner and change.




Jacksonville TE Nick O’Leary – Who? The Jaguars have had several injuries at tight end that have landed James O’Schaughnessy and Geoff Swaim on injured reserve and sidelined Seth DeValve. O’Leary was signed this week and could find himself immediately in the mix because tight ends have ripped Tennessee like few other teams, including David Njoku (4-37-1), Eric Ebron (3-25-1), James O’Schaughnessy (2-18-1), Austin Hooper (9-130), Hunter Henry (6-97) and Travis Kelce (7-75-1). He’s new to the system, but the word is out that the Jags can get hit hard by tight ends and they will likely find a role for O’Leary immediately.


Tennessee RB Derrick Henry – The Jaguars have been consistently carved up by running backs all season, , including LeSean McCoy (10-81), the combination of Phillip Lindsay Royce Freeman (15-69), Christian McCaffrey (19-176-2 rushing, 6-61-1 receiving), the Saints mixed rushing attack (26-101), Carlos Hyde (39-250 in two games), Jonathan Williams (13-116) and Marlon Mack (14-109-1). In their first meeting, Henry gained just 44 yards on 17 carries, but scored a touchdown and bigger points are expected this week.






Green Bay RB Aaron Jones – The 49ers have one of the league’s best defenses, but have been hurt by running backs over the last month, including Adrian Peterson (20-81), Christian McCaffrey (14-117-1), Kenyan Drake (31-177-1 in two games) and Chris Carson (25-89-1). Jones remains in a time share situation with Jamaal Williams, but he has been a prolific scorer and suddenly there appear to be some weaknesses in the 49ers run defense.


San Francisco running backs – The Packers have been flying high, but have struggled all season against teams that run the ball and backs with skills, including Dalvin Cook (20-154-1), the two-headed Broncos backfield (36-144-2), Philly combo of Jordan Howard and Miles Sanders (26-159-2), Ezekiel Elliott (12-62-1), Josh Jacobs (21-124), the three-man Chiefs running attack (18-80-1), the combination of Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler (32-150-2) and Christian McCaffrey (20-108-1). The 49ers have multiple options in Tevin Coleman, Matt Breida and Raheem Mostert, so big things are possible for the league’s most voluminous run offense.






Baltimore TE Mark Andrews – The Rams pass defense limited the Bears pass offense (everybody has in recent weeks), but have allowed receivers to have too many big games, including Christian McCaffrey (10-81), D.J. Moore (7-76), Michael Thomas (10-89), Chris Godwin (12-172-2), Mike Evans (4-89-1), George Kittle (8-103), Julio Jones (6-93), Alex Erickson (6-97) and James Washington (6-90-1). Andrews has emerged as big-play receiver and, while there are other options in the pass game, but Andrews has become a red zone threat and a threat down the deep seam, where players like Kittle exploited them.


Los Angeles WR Cooper Kupp – The Ravens have a good defense, but have allowed too many big plays to receivers, including DeVante Parker (3-75), Christian Kirk (6-114), Larry Fitzgerald (5-104-1) Travis Kelce (7-89), Mecole Hardman (2-97-1), Jarvis Landry (8-167), Ricky Seals-Jones (3-82-1), JuJu Smith-Schuster (7-75-1), Auden Tate (5-91), Tyler Lockett (5-61-1), Julien Edelman (10-89), Mohamed Sanu (10-81-1) and DeAndre Hopkins (7-80). The Rams have struggled in the passing game much of the season, but Kupp has been consistent and this could be his chance to have a breakout game.



Back to top of page
FFMastermind Logo

The Definitive Fantasy Information Service

Mastermind Moment

FFMastermind.com Wins Another $1,500!
Sunday, January 7th, 2024

Many patrons ask Why should they subscribe to FFMastermind.com Premium Services when they are other cheaper services? Well, FFMastermind.com's Michael Nazarek did it again!

Read the Full Mastermind Moment