WATCH: WEEK 12 MATCHUPS BREAKDOWN


After a 3-game Thanksgiving slate, we have 12 games on Sunday. Let’s jump right into it, and, as always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.

Game Notes

Highest Scoring Game

Arizona Cardinals vs. Atlanta Falcons

Projected Point Total – 50 Points

Carson Palmer is looking at his lowest salary of the season at $5,300, just $300 shy of the minimum on DraftKings. Palmer has been wildly inconsistent this season, averaging 17.8 FPPG which drops slightly to 16.7 on the road. This could be another tough week for Palmer, as Larry Fitzgerald could end up seeing either Brian Poole or be shadowed by Desmond Trufant. David Johnson has been taking care of the majority of the work with passes out of the backfield. The Falcons are allowing an 82% completion rate in these situations for 634 yards and three touchdowns. However, it’s worth nothing that Johnson is the most expensive player on this slate at $8,900.

For the Falcons, Julio Jones, should see plenty of Patrick Peterson in this game. Last week, Peterson faced off against Stefon Diggs, who caught 6/7 targets for only 37 yards. Jones has proved to be virtually matchup proof, as his 29.9 fantasy point performance against the Seahawks earlier this season proved. Nonetheless, this game will certainly be a test for the Falcons, but given the projected point total we can realistically expect some fantasy goodness.

Lowest Scoring Game

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos

Projected Point Total – 39.5 points

In the lowest total I’ve seen this entire season, the Chiefs and Broncos are only tabbed for 39.5 points. This is a very tough spot for Alex Smith, as he’s averaging just 230 passing yards per game this season, and that’s without a Broncos matchup under his belt. Also, Smith is only averaging 200 passing yards on the road. Heading into this matchup, the Broncos are allowing just 210 passing yards per game to opposing quarterbacks with just nine passing touchdowns allowed. With the Broncos not exactly lighting the fantasy football world on fire with Trevor Siemian under center, neither team really has much upside aside from, as always, the Broncos defense.


DvP Matchups

Quarterback

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Worst QB Matchups

1. Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos – Per usual, the Broncos are the number one ranked team against the quarterback heading into Week 12. Holding them to just nine passing touchdowns and an average of 210 passing yards per game, this is a very tough spot for Alex Smith.

2. Cleveland Browns vs. New York Giants – You may not realize it, but the Giants are tied with the Broncos with just nine passing touchdowns allowed. With that being said, they are allowing a decent amount of passing yards at 272 per game.

3. Atlanta Falcons vs. Arizona Cardinals – The Cardinals are certainly giving up points as of late, but it’s not necessarily coming from the quarterback position. Entering Week 12, they’ve allowed seven passing touchdowns and an average of 207 passing yards per game, both the lowest totals in the league.

Best QB Matchups

1. Arizona Cardinals vs. Atlanta Falcons – On the other side of the ball, the Cardinals have the best matchup on this slate for Carson Palmer. The Falcons have allowed 23 passing touchdowns and an average of just under 300 passing yards per game.

2. New York Giants vs Cleveland Browns – I think the better question is, what haven’t opposing quarterbacks been able to do to the Browns? With an average of 302 passing yards per game given up, the Browns have allowed a league-leading 25 passing touchdowns.

3. Miami Dolphins vs San Francisco 49ers –  Ryan Tannehill once again has an opportunity to capitalize on a good matchup, something he’s seemingly failed to do all season. While the 49ers have allowed plenty of passing touchdowns at 23, they’re only averaging 258 passing yards per game.


Running Back

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Worst RB Matchups

1. Cincinnati Bengals vs. Baltimore Ravens – Baltimore has been a force against opposing running backs, putting Jeremy Hill in a bad spot this week. With just three rushing touchdowns allowed, they’re also only letting up just 3.3 yards per carry (YPC).

2. Atlanta Falcons vs. Arizona Cardinals – The Cardinals have allowed plenty of rushing touchdowns this season with seven, but besides that, they aren’t giving up much. Opposing running backs are gaining just 3.2 YPC and averaging 97 yards per game.

3. Oakland Raiders vs. Carolina Panthers – Much has been said about how poorly the Panthers defense has been compared to last year, but their run defense has been on point. Entering Week 12, they’ve allowed just three rushing touchdowns and 3.5 YPC.

Best RB Matchups

1. Miami Dolphins vs. San Francisco 49ers – Tied for a league-leading 13 rushing touchdowns allowed, the 49ers are giving up a massive 5.3 YPC on the second most attempts in the league at 295.

2. New York Giants vs Cleveland Browns – The Browns haven’t been much better than the 49ers, as they are the second team to have allowed 13 rushing touchdowns. They’ve been run on more than any other team in the league with 311 attempts, and opposing running backs are gaining 4.6 YPC.

3. L.A. Rams vs. New Orleans Saints – Fresh off scoring his first rushing touchdown since Week 5, Todd Gurley has a fantastic matchup ahead against the Saints. This is a defense that’s allowed 12 rushing touchdowns and 4 YPC.


Wide Receiver

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Worst WR Matchups

1. Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos – This is a surprise to no one, as the Broncos continue to suffocate opposing wide receivers. With only five touchdowns allowed, they’re only letting up an average of 110 receiving yards per game.

2. San Diego Chargers vs. Houston Texans – The Texans continue to be extremely effective against opposing wide receivers. With just six touchdowns allowed and an average of 131 receiving yards per game, Philip Rivers and company will have their work cut out for them.

3. Atlanta Falcons vs. Arizona Cardinals – The Cardinals are giving up the yards to wide receivers, but they’ve done a great job at keeping them out of the end zone. The 160 receiving yards per game allowed is high, but the seven touchdowns allowed is down near the bottom of the league.

Best WR Matchups

1. Miami Dolphins vs. San Francisco 49ers – If there was a matchup this season for Tannehill to connect with his wide receivers, this would be the one. The 49ers have allowed a league-leading 18 touchdowns and an average of 166 receiving yards per game to wide outs.

2. Cincinnati Bengals vs. Baltimore Ravens – The Bengals offense may be in a state of disarray with the loss of A.J. Green and Gio Bernand, but they’re in a great spot against the Ravens with their remaining wide receivers. The Ravens are tied with the 49ers with 18 touchdowns allowed and an average of 159 receiving yards.

3. Seattle Seahawks vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – It’s not a matchup many talk about exploiting, but the Bucs have had their issues against opposing wide receivers. With 14 touchdowns allowed and an average of 168 receiving yards, it’s a great spot for Doug Baldwin and company.


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Tight End

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Worst TE Matchups

1. Atlanta Falcons vs. Arizona Cardinals – The Cardinals have been the best against tight ends this year. They’re one of two teams that have yet to allow a touchdown to one, and opposing TEs average just 25 receiving yards per game.

2. Cincinnati Bengals vs. Baltimore Ravens – The Ravens are the other team that has yet to allow a touchdown to am opposing tight end, and they’re gaining just 35 yards on average per game.

3. Denver Broncos vs. Kansas City Chiefs – The Broncos rarely utilize their tight end position, accounting for just 13% of their receptions, but it’s worth noting how good the Chiefs have been against them. With just one touchdown allowed, they’re also only averaging 40 yards given up per game.

Best TE Matchups

1. New York Giants vs. Cleveland Browns – Facing the Browns, the Giants can look forward to a defense that’s allowing a league-leading nine touchdowns and an average of 77 receiving yards per game to tight ends.

2. Oakland Raiders vs. Carolina Panthers – With seven touchdowns allowed and an average of 60 receiving yards per game, the Panthers are the second worst team on this slate at defending against opposing tight ends.

3. Baltimore Ravens vs Cincinnati Bengals – Averaging 7.1 targets per game, Dennis Pitta is in a nice spot against the Bengals this week. This is a defense that’s allowed six touchdowns and an average of 71 receiving yards per game to TEs.


Target Report

Last Week’s Leaders

NameTeamLast Week’s OPPTargets
Julian EdelmanNESF17
Rishard MatthewsTENIND13
Mike EvansTBKC13
Corey ColemanCLEPIT12
Sterling ShepardNYGCHI11
Mike WallaceBALDAL10
Terrelle PryorCLEPIT10
DeVante ParkerMIALA10
Steve SmithBALDAL9
Brandon LaFellCINBUF9

Last Three Week Leaders

NameTeamLast 3 WeeksAvg. Targets
Mike EvansTB3511.7
Allen RobinsonJAX3110.3
Odell BeckhamNYG289.3
Rishard MatthewsTEN289.3
Julio JonesATL2713.5
Julian EdelmanNE2613
Terrelle PryorCLE268.7
Delanie WalkerTEN268.7
Larry FitzgeraldARZ2512.5
Jason WittenDAL258.3


Lineup Quick Hits

QB To Build Lineups Around…

Derek Carr ($6,100) – Carr is very reasonably priced for this fantastic matchup he has in Week 12. Facing a Panthers defense that’s allowed 19 passing touchdowns and an average of 290 passing yards per game, his $6,100 price tag is more than favorable. Carr is throwing on average 38 times per game with a 66% completion rate in 10 games this season. He shouldn’t have a problem reaching value this week, and I’m considering him in all formats.

WR To Pair Him With…

Michael Crabtree ($6,500) – I really like this bounce back spot for Crabtree. Looking at his game log, his past two weeks have been abysmal, posting a combined 8.2 DraftKings fantasy points. One of those games did come against the Broncos, so we can certainly give him a pass on that. Taking those games out of the equation, Crabtree was averaging 18.4 DraftKings points per game with 9.3 targets. With that being said, both Crabtree and Amari Cooper should be in line for plenty of looks this week.

The Top RB Will Be…

Melvin Gordon ($7,000) – Once upon a time, Melvin Gordon was thought to be touchdown dependent and nothing more. Since Week 6, Gordon hasn’t seen less than 22 touches in a game and hasn’t rushed less than 70 yards during that span. Averaging 25 DraftKings fantasy points during that stretch, that’s only come with three touchdowns, compared to the eight he had before this run. Gordon is evolving into a threat without needing to reach the end zone and is in a great spot this week against the Texans. Jay Ajayi, who is also in a great matchup against the 49ers, is only $300 more than Gordon, which could also help in depressing Gordon’s ownership this week.

 


I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Steveazors) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.