The fantasy football prospects of New York Giants players took an interesting turn in Week 11. After Tommy DeVito posted three touchdowns and a host of big-time throws, perhaps there’s room to reevaluate both him and the Giants’ receivers. On the New England Patriots’ side of the football, things look very much like they did for the Giants just one week ago.
Here’s the fantasy outlook for Week 12 of the NFL season.
- Saquon Barkley: Barkley is a weekly start. His increased involvement in the passing game is excellent for PPR leagues, where he scored 30 points last week thanks to two touchdown receptions. Barkley may struggle on the ground in this game, but the Patriots rank 29th in defensive DVOA against running backs out of the backfield, boding well for his chances in PPR leagues once more.
- Giants’ D/ST: The Patriots appear slated to start one of Will Grier or Bailey Zappe. Regardless of whether it’s one of those two or Mac Jones, New England’s passing game has been stuck in reverse all season. They’re allowing the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing defenses. The Giants scored 27 points last week against Washington thanks to five Commanders turnovers, a defensive touchdown, and four sacks. The Patriots have the 10th-most turnovers in the NFL. The Giants’ defense is always risky, but this is a good matchup.
On the fence
- QB Tommy DeVito: The Patriots’ pass defense has been porous for most of the season, especially once they lost Matt Judon and Christian Gonzalez. Still, they're allowing the ninth-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks and also have the Bill Belichick effect on rookies. Then again, Sam Howell scored 18.70 points against New England’s defense just two weeks ago, so perhaps that mystique won’t necessarily prevent DeVito from putting up a quality performance. Over the last two weeks, DeVito has put up 14.54 and 22.54 points and thrown five touchdown passes against one interception. It’s not a safe start, but there’s potential.
- WR Demario Douglas: The good news is that Douglas is pretty clearly the Patriots’ No. 1 receiver since Kendrick Bourne went down. The bad news is that New England’s passing game has been among the league’s worst. Douglas’ appeal is really only in PPR leagues where volume can support him. He has scored 10 or more PPR points in three of his last four games. He’s probably a low-end FLEX option in deeper leagues.
- TE Hunter Henry: After beginning the season with back-to-back 16+ PPR point performances, Henry has scored over 10 points only once since. The Giants allow the ninth-fewest points to tight ends. Perhaps Henry can put up a decent performance, but he’s certainly not to be trusted.
- WRs Wan’Dale Robinson and Darius Slayton: Robinson hasn’t done much this season, but his matchup with Myles Bryant makes him a possible volume option. Slayton’s 18.20-point performance against Washington in Week 11 may be replicable against New England’s porous pass defense. I would bet on Slayton more than Robinson due to Slayton’s larger volume over the past two weeks (9 vs. 7 targets) and higher average depth of target (12.4 vs. 4.1).
- Patriots’ quarterback: Will Grier or Bailey Zappe or Mac Jones? Whoever it is, sit ‘em.
- Both kickers: The Giants may have a chance to score some points, but for the most part, these are two anemic offenses. I’d sit both kickers.
Around the NFL
- With Joe Burrow out for the season, it’s difficult to know how to treat Cincinnati’s other weapons. RB Joe Mixon should receive a larger rushing volume, making him a better start candidate. WR Ja’Marr Chase will likely still be a high-volume target, but his production will depend on how Jake Browning looks. Meanwhile, WR Tee Higgins has missed the past two games and missed practice on Wednesday as he continues to struggle with a hamstring injury. In Higgins’ place, WR Trenton Irwin put up 13-point performances in Weeks 5 and 10, but he put up just 6.60 last week against Baltimore. With Burrow and without Higgins, Irwin was an interesting FLEX play; err on the side of caution with Browning under center.
- In Pittsburgh’s backfield, RB Najee Harris has generally outpaced RB Jaylen Warren in snaps and touches. However, Warren has been the more efficient of the two and is also receiving far more targets. There have been several games this season when both were viable fantasy starters. With offensive coordinator Matt Canada gone, it remains to be seen how this offense may change. If you need to pick one, Warren seems to be the safer bet based on big-play ability and a bruising style.
- Don’t start anyone on the Jets’ offense if you can avoid it. Not even WR Garrett Wilson or RB Breece Hall. With long-time third-string quarterback Tim Boyle under center, a makeshift offensive line, one offensive touchdown in their last four games, and seven extra point attempts all season, this is not an offense you want to hang your hat on. Hall has struggled mightily on the ground over the last few weeks, salvaging his fantasy days via the air but still suffering from drop issues. Wilson, meanwhile, has had back-to-back fantasy duds, is managing an elbow issue, has a combined six drops and fumbles this season, and has no other viable target on the team to draw coverage away from him. These are two high-risk options.
- RB Rachaad White has become a solid PPR option. The Buccaneers’ back averages 4.4 targets, 4.1 receptions, and 35.4 receiving yards per game to go with his 14.1 rush attempts. Although he has just 3.3 yards per carry, his receiving volume makes him the sixth-ranked running back in PPR leagues. He has five consecutive games with at least 15 PPR points, including a 27.90-point outburst in Week 9.
- What to make of QB Trevor Lawrence? He broke out with four combined touchdowns and 32.18 fantasy points in Week 11, but he’s just the 16th-ranked quarterback and has scored over 17 points just three times this season. I would not be so quick to trust him as the fantasy playoffs draw closer, especially as there tend to be more appealing streaming options on a week-by-week basis.
- If you picked up TE Isaiah Likely on waivers now that Mark Andrews is out for the season, you might want to wait a week before inserting him into your starting lineup. Lamar Jackson could decide to target his receivers more often, especially since WR Zay Flowers has quieted down after a solid start. WR Odell Beckham Jr. has three consecutive games with 11+ PPR points, as well.
Possible starting/streaming options due to injury
- QB/TE Taysom Hill, NO: Hill might be back in the game with Michael Thomas going on injured reserve. He put up at least 16 PPR points from Weeks 7-9 before regressing to just 4.30 points in Week 10 before the Saints’ bye. With Derek Carr still in concussion protocol, it remains to be seen how Hill will be used if Jameis Winston starts. However, as the No. 2 threat in the offense without Thomas, Hill could still go back to his gaudy numbers.
- RB Zach Charbonnet, SEA: Kenneth Walker is doubtful to play Week 12.
- WR Romeo Doubs, GB: Aaron Jones was ruled out, while A.J. Dillon is questionable and Luke Musgrave was placed on injured reserve. Christian Watson has had a down season fantasy-wise even when healthy. Doubs is a solid option most weeks and could get more work with all the injuries. WR Jayden Reed is also an option.