Happy Week 12!
Eleven weeks of football are in the books. Madness. We get a break from bye weeks due to Thanksgiving, but injuries have unfortunately continued to take a toll on offenses around the league. Focusing on the long-term view is usually the right move in most walks of life, but it’s also important in fantasy football land to not be afraid to attack each week as its own mini one-game season.
What follows are my Week 12 QB rankings. Note that these are not season-long lists or projections; I’m purely ranking based on who I believe will score more fantasy points this week with a focus on 1) What the QB has achieved in recent weeks, 2) Injuries or workload changes that could impact their production, and 3) This week’s matchup.
1. ARIZONA CARDINALS QB KYLER MURRAY AT NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (ARI -2.5, 49.5)
Murray threw for 269 yards and a pair of scores in the Cardinals’ Week 11 loss to the Seahawks, but the electric second-year QB set or tied season-low marks in rush attempts (5), rush yards (15) and rushing scores (0) alike.
Don’t expect this issue to be too prevalent moving forward; we have more than enough evidence at this point that Murray is an elite talent with the ball in his hands.
Kyler Murray is pretty, pretty, pretty fast pic.twitter.com/tNSAI8I4Um
— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) November 23, 2020
Overall, only Murray (121.9 fantasy points), Josh Jacobs (129.5), Derrick Henry (161.9) and Dalvin Cook (184.9) have more than 115 fantasy points from purely rushing production through 11 weeks of action.
We’ve seen the likes of Josh Allen (5-26-1, 7-43-0, 10-23-1 in last three matchups), Deshaun Watson (6-36-1 in Week 11) and Lamar Jackson (16-61-2, 13-51-0 in last two matchups) find plenty of success on the ground against this Patriots defense in recent history. Don’t expect Murray to be any different; he remains locked in as fantasy’s overall QB1.
2. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS QB PATRICK MAHOMES AT TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (KC -3, 53)
Mahomes hasn’t exactly ever looked mortal; his “down” performances would largely be considered great games for most other QBs. The reigning Super Bowl champion has truly been playing as good as ever thus far in 2020:
- 2018: 92.8 PFF Passing Grade, 8.5 YPA, 77.5 adjusted cmp rate, 110.3 QB Rating
- 2019: 82.3 PFF Passing Grade, 8 YPA, 73.5% adjusted cmp rate, 96.5 QB Rating
- 2020: 90.5 PFF Passing Grade, 8 YPA, 74.7% adjusted cmp rate, 108.9 QB Rating
Overall, Mahomes is averaging 26.01 fantasy points per game in 2020 after going for 26.07 back in 2018. The largest concern facing this offense more weeks than not is whether Mahomes will be needed to keep his foot on the gas, something that shouldn’t be an issue against Tom Brady and company.
Don’t get it twisted: Tampa Bay has anyone’s idea of an excellent defense, ranking fourth and fifth in pressure rate and explosive pass-play rate allowed, respectively (pre-MNF). Still, I’m not confident there’s a defense in the universe, let alone on this planet, that can handle Mahomes and company when they’re firing on all cylinders. The only thing keeping him from the top overall spot is Murray’s absurd rushing volume.