A.J. Hoffman

NFL fantasy football rankings for Week 12

NFL fantasy football rankings for Week 12
Melvin Gordon (left) comes in at No. 2 this week at RB. Photo via Los Angeles Chargers/Facebook


  1. Drew Brees vs. ATL
  2. Andrew Luck vs. MIA
  3. Matt Ryan @ NO
  4. Cam Newton vs. SEA
  5. Aaron Rodgers @ MIN
  6. Russell Wilson @ CAR
  7. Kirk Cousins vs. GB
  8. Lamar Jackson vs. OAK
  9. Carson Wentz vs. NYG
  10. Jameis Winston vs. TEN
  11. Philip Rivers vs. ARI
  12. Tom Brady @ NYJ
  13. Deshaun Watson vs. TEN
  14. Baker Mayfield @ CIN
  15. Ben Roethlisberger @ DEN

RB (standard scoring)

  1. Ezekiel Elliott vs. WAS
  2. Melvin Gordon vs. ARI
  3. Alvin Kamara vs. ATL
  4. Saquon Barkley @ PHI
  5. Christian McCaffrey vs. SEA
  6. Nick Chubb @ CIN
  7. James Conner @ DEN
  8. David Johnson @ LAC
  9. Joe Mixon vs. CLE
  10. Mark Ingram vs. ATL
  11. Aaron Jones @ MIN
  12. Leonard Fournette @ BUF
  13. Marlon Mack vs. MIA
  14. James White @ NYJ
  15. Phillip Lindsay vs. PIT
  16. Dalvin Cook vs. GB
  17. Sony Michel @ NYJ
  18. Adrian Peterson @ DAL
  19. Matt Breida @ TB
  20. Tarik Cohen @ DET
  21. Gus Edwards vs. OAK
  22. Josh Adams vs. NYG
  23. Tevin Coleman @ NO
  24. Peyton Barber vs. SF
  25. Chris Carson @ CAR
  26. Lamar Miller vs. TEN
  27. Duke Johnson @ CIN
  28. Jordan Howard @ DET
  29. Jalen Richard @ BAL
  30. Dion Lewis @ HOU

WR (standard scoring)

  1. Michael Thomas vs. ATL
  2. Julio Jones @ NO
  3. Odell Beckham Jr. @ PHI
  4. Antonio Brown @ DEN
  5. DeAndre Hopkins vs. TEN
  6. Adam Thielen vs. GB
  7. Stefon Diggs vs. GB
  8. Davante Adams @ MIN
  9. TY Hilton vs. MIA
  10. Mike Evans vs. SF
  11. Keenan Allen vs. ARI
  12. Kenny Golladay vs. CHI
  13. JuJu Smith-Schuster @ DEN
  14. Josh Gordon @ NYJ
  15. AJ Green vs. CLE
  16. Julian Edelman @ NYJ
  17. Alshon Jeffery vs. NYG
  18. Emmanuel Sanders vs. PIT
  19. Tyler Boyd vs. CLE
  20. Calvin Ridley @ NO
  21. Doug Baldwin @ CAR
  22. Tyler Lockett @ CAR
  23. Jarvis Landry @ CIN
  24. Amari Cooper vs. WAS
  25. Allen Robinson @ DET
  26. Mohamed Sanu @ NO
  27. Tre’Quan Smith vs. ATL
  28. Larry Fitzgerald @ LAC
  29. Corey Davis @ HOU
  30. Courtland Sutton vs. PIT
  31. DJ Moore vs. SEA
  32. Golden Tate vs. NYG
  33. Sterling Shepard @ PHI
  34. Anthony Miller @ DET
  35. Marquez Valdes-Scantling @ MIN
  36. DeSean Jackson vs. SF
  37. Keke Coutee vs. TEN
  38. Chris Godwin vs. SF
  39. Christian Kirk @ LAC
  40. Devin Funchess vs. SEA

TE (standard scoring)

  1. Zach Ertz vs. NYG
  2. George Kittle @ TB
  3. Rob Gronkowski @ NYJ
  4. Greg Olsen vs. SEA
  5. Trey Burton @ DET
  6. Cameron Brate vs. SF
  7. Austin Hooper @ NO
  8. David Njoku @ CIN
  9. Jordan Reed @ DAL
  10. Jack Doyle vs. MIA
  11. Eric Ebron vs. MIA
  12. Evan Engram @ PHI
  13. Vance McDonald @ DEN
  14. Jared Cook @ BAL
  15. Benjamin Watson vs. ATL


  1. Ravens vs. OAK
  2. Bears @ DET
  3. Texans vs. TEN
  4. Jaguars @ BUF
  5. Bills vs. JAX
  6. Chargers vs. ARI
  7. Cowboys vs. WAS
  8. Patriots @ NYJ
  9. Colts vs. MIA
  10. Steelers @ DEN
  11. Panthers vs. SEA
  12. Titans @ HOU
  13. Redskins @ DAL
  14. Lions vs. CHI
  15. Vikings vs. GB

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The Texans will have to shuffle the o-line once again. Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images.

“Another one!”- DJ Khaled

That's the first thing that came to mind when I heard the news of Tytus Howard being shut down for the season because of a knee injury. They've had more injuries on the offensive line this season than Nick Cannon has Father's Day cards. Almost every member of the offensive line has spent time on the injury report. Howard went down in the same game in which Juice Scruggs was finally on the active roster. He missed the first 10 games due to a hamstring injury. The irony of next man up has never been so in your face.

The other thing that came to mind was the soap opera As the World Turns.

Howard had just signed an extension this offseason. So did Laremy Tunsil and Shaq Mason. They drafted Juice Scruggs, and signed a few guys too. Those moves, along with other holdovers, were expected to fill out the depth chart. Then a rash of injuries struck. At one point, only one of the original five guys expected to start was playing! In fact, they beat the Steelers 30-6 with that backup offensive line!

One can't have the expectation of backups to perform as good as the starters. They're professionals and are on an NFL roster for a reason. However, the talent gap is evident. One thing coaching, technique, and preparation can't cover is lack of ability or talent. The Texans have done a good job of navigating the injury minefield this season. While the Howard injury will hurt, I have faith in the guys there still.

As of this writing, the Texans are in the eighth spot in the AFC playoff picture. The Steelers, Browns, and Colts are all in front of them at the fifth through seventh spots respectfully. They've beaten the Steelers already. They play the Browns on Christmas Eve and their starting quarterback is out for the season. The Colts are relying on the ghost of Gardner Minshew to steer their ship into the last game of the season vs. the Texans with a possible playoff trip on the line. The Broncos and Bills are the two teams immediately behind them. They play the Broncos this weekend. Even though they're on a hot streak, this is the same team that got 70 put on them by the Dolphins. The Bills are the old veteran boxer who still has some skill, but is now a stepping stone for up & comers.

To say this team should still make the playoffs would be an understatement in my opinion. I believe in them and what they have going on more than I believe in the teams I listed above. That includes teams around them in the playoff race that aren't on their schedule. The one thing that scares me a little moving forward is the sustainability of this line. When guys get up in age as athletes, it becomes harder to come back from injuries. The injuries also tend to occur more frequently when it's a knee, foot, ankle, shoulder, elbow, or another body part critical to blocking for C.J. Stroud.

I know they just re-signed three of those guys and drafted one they believe can be a starter, but depth and contingency plans are a way of life in the NFL. We see how important depth was this season. Why not plan ahead? Don't be surprised if the Texans spend valuable draft capital on the offensive line. By valuable, I'm talking about first through third or fourth rounders. Those are prime spots to draft quality offensive lineman. Whether day one starters or quality depth, those are the sweet spots. The only guy on the two deep depth chart for this offensive line that wasn't drafted in one of those rounds was George Fant, who was an undrafted rookie free agent. While I highly doubt they spend any significant free agency dollars on the group, I'm not totally ruling it out.

The bottom line is, this team will be okay on the line for the remainder of this season. The only way that doesn't happen, more injuries. Stroud is clearly the franchise guy. Protecting that investment is a top priority. I don't care about a number one receiver, or a stud stable or singular running back if the quarterback won't have time to get them the ball. If the pilot can't fly the plane, you know what happens. So making sure he's happy, healthy, and has a great crew is of the utmost importance.

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