The Rundown: Week 12

Nov 25, 2020
The Rundown: Week 12

The idea of Thanksgiving is taking on special meaning this year. The challenges that we have faced are unprecedented and are reflected in every aspect of life, including sports. The idea that the NFL season has made it this far is a testament to consistent testing, flexibility in scheduling and rosters, and a determination to find a new normal. For each of us, I hope we can all remain safe and healthy this holiday season and do our best to look out for one another. Except in fantasy leagues. Be merciless there.

Neither of my quarterbacks trending up from last week played, with Jameis Winston losing out to Taysom Hill and Teddy Bridgewater’s questionable status turning into a late scratch. Some good performances from Robert Tonyan and Jordan Akins have me cautiously optimistic while injuries to Joe Burrow and JuJu Smith-Schuster have me wondering how those teams respond to losing key players. I also hope to see more strong performances from Michael Pittman Jr., who is looking like more than just a complementary option for the Colts.

This article leverages the wide array of 4for4’s data library including snaps, touches, targets, fantasy scoring, and red zone information. Lucky for you, this article will put everything in one place in time for those weekly matchup decisions.

Quarterbacks Trending Up

Taysom Hill, New Orleans Saints

Credit to Hill who did more than simply run the football. At times, he looked like a true successor in New Orleans to Drew Brees and showed that he can support Michael Thomas as a receiver. Granted, the rushing was also there with two touchdowns on the ground, and it helped him finish as the QB3 last week. The Broncos represent a sterner test than the Falcons did with top 10 rankings in pass defense, per drive efficiency, and the second-best rate of holding opponents in the red zone without a touchdown (48%). If Hill can put another strong performance in, there should be no looking back.

Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers

No one needs me to tell them that Herbert has been a revelation as a rookie. However, the consistency has been unbelievable with seven straight weeks inside the top 10 and only one game as a starter outside the top 13, which also is his only game under 20 fantasy points. Only Aaron Rodgers has outscored him at quarterback over the past four weeks and he is the QB5 in points per game during that time. The Bills defense, coming off a bye week, should give Herbert a fair test as they rank in the top 10 in passing touchdowns allowed this season.

Quarterbacks Trending Down

Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals

I hate placing injured players on this list, especially as a trending down, but this is more a recognition of the tumble the Bengals offense is likely to take. Rather than list them individually, it’s easier to point to Burrow to highlight the change. A torn ACL ends a good rookie season where he was a strong QB2 in fantasy despite a myriad of injuries to his offensive weapons. It also highlights a real need for the Bengals to invest in the offensive line after Burrow was on pace for 50-plus sacks, a number no quarterback hit in 2019.

Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions

Stafford has seen a very uneven season with more finishes outside the top-20 (four) than inside the top-12 (three) in 2020. Part of the blame can go to injuries with Kenny Golladay among those missing multiple games on offense this year. It has led to his lowest completion rate since 2014 and is on pace to be his second-lowest yards per game in a full season ever. Perhaps the Thanksgiving Day game against the Texans helps as their defense has forced the fewest turnovers (five) this year and allow the most total yards as well.

Running Backs Trending Up

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