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NFL Week 12 Fantasy Football Rankings

Cam Newton is back as a fantasy QB1, the New England Patriots are back atop the AFC East after a one-year hiatus, and New York Jets/Houston Texans running backs rank are the crowned jewels on the Week 12 waiver wire. Go figure.

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All jokes aside, it’s crazy how the season has already approached Thanksgiving. The NFL grind has kept me frantically tweaking my fantasy football player rankings based on new information and trends. Understanding that running backs who run a high percentage of routes in their offenses, such as Christian McCaffrey, Jonathan Taylor and Austin Ekeler, offer a fantasy ceiling that can’t be matched. 

With plenty of PFF premium stats available to adjust rankings based on a player’s high-value opportunities, expected fantasy point output and route participation, it will be easy to highlight the best waiver-wire pickups, optimal starts/sits and under-the-radar trade targets/DFS plays.

Those key data points — along with PFF player grades, implied team totals, PFF fantasy projections and strength of schedule — are all factored in to my position-by-position Week 12 fantasy football rankings, which are accompanied by some actionable trade advice with trade deadlines quickly approaching in the majority of fantasy football leagues. 


Name Team Rank Tier
Lamar Jackson BAL 1 1
Tom Brady TB 2 1
Jalen Hurts PHI 3 1
Josh Allen BUF 4 1
Dak Prescott DAL 5 1
Matthew Stafford LAR 6 2
Aaron Rodgers GB 7 2
Russell Wilson SEA 8 2
Joe Burrow CIN 9 2
Justin Herbert LAC 10 2
Cam Newton CAR 11 2
Kirk Cousins MIN 12 2
Taylor Heinicke WAS 13 3
Tyrod Taylor HOU 14 3
Matt Ryan ATL 15 3
Carson Wentz IND 16 3
Jimmy Garoppolo SF 17 3
Andy Dalton CHI 18 3
Daniel Jones NYG 19 4
Derek Carr LV 20 4
Tua Tagovailoa MIA 21 4
Mac Jones NE 22 4
Ryan Tannehill TEN 23 4
Ben Roethlisberger PIT 24 4
Joe Flacco NYJ 25 4
Teddy Bridgewater DEN 26 4
Baker Mayfield CLE 27 4
Trevor Lawrence JAC 28 4
Trevor Siemian NO 29 4
Tim Boyle DET 30 4
Taysom Hill NO 31 5
Trey Lance SF 32 5

Hurts has started 13 games in his NFL career where he played all four quarters, and he has finished as a top-12 fantasy QB in every single one. Continue to fire him up as a top-five option this week versus the New York Giants.


Welcome to “Shredsville.” The Bills quarterback should have a field day against a New Orleans Saints defense that ranks seventh in passing yards allowed per game (280) and fifth in deep-ball rate faced (14%).  

The Saints predominately run Cover 1 and Cover 4, setting up Allen to hit his high-end fantasy ceiling and breeze past his 275.5 passing yards prop. When facing those particular coverages this season, Allen is PFF’s fourth-highest graded quarterback (84.6) while ranking third in yards per attempt (9.1). 

PFF’s fantasy projections have Allen forecasted for 283 passing yards, so the numbers also back the Bills passing attack and its sixth-ranked pass-play rate. 

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The Washington Football Team bleeds fantasy points to quarterbacks, as it has given up the most per game to opposing signal-callers in 2021. Wilson has been abysmal in his two starts since returning from injury — dead last in PFF passing grade — but the matchup warrants putting the Seahawks quarterback back into starting lineups. 

No quarterback has performed under expectation more (-29.6) than Wilson over the past two weeks — a tell-tale sign that a return to form is imminent. 


Newton made his first start for the Panthers since 2019 and looked the part of a mobile fantasy quarterback, finishing with 10 carries for 46 rushing yards and a touchdown to go along with 189 passing yards and two more scores. 

If he is still on waivers, Newton is the No. 1 quarterback to add ahead of a plus-matchup versus the Miami Dolphins, who rank 30th in passing yards allowed per game (291) and 28th in fantasy points per game allowed to quarterbacks this season. 

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