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Week 12: Start and Bench Advice

Below is our Week 12 Start & Bench Advice for the 2012 fantasy football season.

This week, we have JRMRRT cranking out the Weekly Projections, I (Smitty) run down some sleepers entering Week 12, “_X_” has you covered with some awesome Week 12 topics and player evaluations, and of course, we have Mile_High_Man’s usual Weekly Line-Up Rankings, which are linked at the bottom, but keep in mind that they are usually not ready to go until Wednesday (so check back on his rankings!).

Let’s get to it!

Week 12 Fantasy Football Weekly Projections


* Based on a standard PPR scoring format


1. Robert Griffen III (@ Cowboys): 230/3 80/1 rush
2. Peyton Manning (@ Chiefs): 340/3
3. Tom Brady (@ Jets): 340/3
4. Aaron Rodgers (@ Giants): 300/3 4/30/0 rush
5. Drew Brees (vs. 49ers): 330/3
6. Matt Schaub (@ Lions): 300/3 1 INT
7. Josh Freeman (vs. Falcons): 280/3 4/20/0 rush 1 INT
8. Matt Ryan (@ Bucs): 290/3 1 INT
9. Andy Dalton (vs. Raiders): 260/3 1 NT
10. Matt Stafford (vs. Texans): 360/2 2 INTs
11. Cam Newton (@ Eagles): 250/2 7/50/0 1 INT
12. Russell Wilson (@ Dolphins): 240/2 6/40/0 1 INT
13. Andrew Luck (vs. Bills): 320/2 2/20/0 rush 2 INTs
14. Tony Romo (vs. Redskins): 300/2 2 INTs
15. Ryan Fitzpatrick (@ Colts): 290/2 3 INTs
16. Eli Manning (vs. Packers): 280/2 1 INT
17. Joe Flacco (@ Chargers): 270/2 1 INT
18. Phillip Rivers (vs. Ravens): 265/2 2 INTs
19. Sam Bradford (@ Cardinals): 240/2 2 INTs
20. Alex Smith/Colin Kaepernick (@ Saints): 220/2 1 INT

Running Backs

1. Arian Foster (@ Lions): 110/1 4/30/0
2. Ray Rice (@ Chargers): 100/1 5/25/0
3. Doug Martin (vs. Falcons): 110/1 3/25/0
4. CJ Spiller (@ Colts): 100/0 4/45/1
5. Chris Johnson (@ Jaguars): 120/1 1/10/0
6. Frank Gore (@ Saints): 90/1 3/20/0
7. Marshawn Lynch (@ Dolphins): 100/1 1/10/0
8. Jamaal Charles (vs. Broncos): 90/0 4/30/1
9. Adrian Peterson (@ Bears): 95/1 2/10/0
10. Matt Forte (vs. Vikings): 80/1 2/30/0
11. Lesean McCoy (vs. Panthers): 75/0 4/25/1 (if cleared)
12. Stevan Ridley (@ Jets): 90/1
13. Trent Richardson (vs. Steelers): 90/0 5/50/0
14. Ronnie Hillman (@ Chiefs): 100/1 1/10/0
15. Benjarvis Green-Ellis (vs. Redskins): 100/1
16. Steven Jackson (@ Cardinals): 70/0 2/20/0
17. Ahmad Bradshaw (vs. Packers): 65/0 2/15/0
18. Alfred Morris (@ Cowboys): 80/0
19. Mikel Leshoure (vs. Texans): 75/0
20. Demarco Murray/Felix Jones (vs. Redskins): 70/0

Receivers/Tight Ends

1. Calvin Johnson (vs. Texans): 9/120/1
2. AJ Green (vs. Raiders): 10/110/1
3. Andre Johnson (@ Lionss): 10/100/1
4. Vincent Jackson (vs. Falcons): 6/100/1
5. Reggie Wayne (vs. Bills): 8/100/1
6. Victor Cruz (vs. Packers): 9/90/1
7. Wes Welker (@ Jets): 9/90/1
8. Roddy White (@ Bucs): 8/100/1
9. Demaryius Thomas (@ Chiefs): 5/120/1
10. Brandon Marshall (vs. Vikings): 6/110/1
11. Dez Bryant (vs. Redskins): 5/100/1
12. Marques Colston (@ Raiders): 5/100/1
13. Jordy Nelson (@ Giants): 5/100/1
14. Jimmy Graham (vs. 49ers): 6/90/1
15. Hakeem Nicks (vs. Packers): 6/90/1
16. Randal Cobb (@ Giants): 5/75/1 1/10/0 rush
17. Julio Jones (@ Bucs): 7/75/1
18. Mike Wallace (@ Browns): 4/90/1
19. Eric Decker (vs. Chargers): 5/75/1
20. Jeremy Maclin (@ Redskins): 4/80/1
21. Larry Fitzgerald (vs. Rams): 6/65/1
22. Miles Austin (vs. Redskins): 5/65/1
23. Torrey Smith (@ Chargers): 4/65/1
24. Danny Amendola (@ Cardinals): 8/95/0
25. Mike Williams (vs. Falcons): 5/50/1
26. Denarious Moore (@ Bengals): 4/50/1
27. Dwayne Bowe (vs. Broncos): 7/80/0
28. Steve Johnson (@ Colts): 5/45/1
29. Anquon Boldin (@ Chargers): 5/65/0
30. Steve Smith (@ Eagles): 5/60/0

X’s Week 12 Start/Bench Thoughts


Matt Schaub is coming off a 527-yard, 5TD performance against the Jags in week 11. Having a game like that usually means it is highly unlikely you’ll see a repeat performance, but in this case I like Schaub’s chances. Detroit is no cake walk, having just held Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense in check, but this is a Thanksgiving Day game and spotlight games generally brings out the best in players. I won’t go so far as calling for a 500-yard day, but I like Schaub to go over the 300-yard mark and throw a pair of scores in a high scoring affair.

Running Back

A matchup with Jacksonville means Chris Johnson is in for another big performance. As it stands, Johnson has racked up some pretty nice numbers over his last five games, going over 100 total yards in all of them and scoring four times in that span. The Jags won’t present much of a problem, so I’m expecting 150 total yards and a touchdown. For the Jags, the Rashad Jennings experiment looks to be over, and with Maurice Jones-Drew likely to miss another game, Jalen Parmele is a nice plug-in as a one (or maybe two) week fill. Probably won’t give you more than 70 yards and maybe a score, but hard to do worse on the wire at this point in the season.

Wide Receiver

The Patriots lost Rob Gronkowski for at least a month, so the logical choice for increased looks has to be their old standby, Wes Welker, and I’m expecting a nice game against the rival Jets in the late game on Thanksgiving. In their last meeting in week 7, Welker had a pedestrian 6-for-66 day, but with Gronk out I’m expecting a game more along the lines of 10-for-120 and a score – even against the Jets stout pass defense. Rookie Justin Blackmon finally showed why he was such a highly touted rookie, all it took was for Blaine Gabbert not to be throwing him the ball. This week we’ll find out if he can keep it going against a lesser pass defense in the Titans. My guess is he will and I’m expecting him to go over 100 yards and find the end zone.

Tight End

Visanthe Shiancoe figures to play a larger role in the Patriots offense this week with Rob Gronkowski out, assuming we don’t see Aaron Hernandez return to action. Even if Hernandez does return, my guess is he won’t be nearly 100%, so Shiancoe should be Tom Brady’s main weapon at TE. He won’t have Gronk numbers, but he’s worth a play if you need a 6-50 type guy to step into your lineup.

Week 12 Observations & Notes

What a week last week! You had Andre Johnson pulling 14 balls for 273 yards and a score… of course, Matt Schaub tossed for 527 and 5TDs, and I hate to even ask how many fantasy owners benched the passer last week. Well, I don’t think he will do that again, and Schaub isn’t cracking any of my line-ups because of that outlier. I mean, if he is your starter, use him, but unless you’re in a larger league, I doubt you’ve been rolling with Schaub all year long. Then, we had Colin Kaepernick looking like a five-year veteran on Monday night. Will he continue? I think so, the kid is ultra-talented, but he needs to get the nod again, so let’s not jump ahead. San Fran would be crazy to bench him, though. Grab the passer in dynasty leagues if for whatever reason he is sitting on waivers.

Well, the past is the past, and everyone wants to know who the surprises are for the upcoming week. So, who is likely to turn heads in Week 12?

With Rob Grownkowski (broken left forearm) out until Week 14 or 15, it’s time to dial up good old Aaron Hernandez. Say what you want about his Weeks 1-11, he is Gronko when he’s in that role. Well, assuming he plays this week, and I do (for the moment, stay on the news!), I think he will play that role right out of the gate. From here until Week 14 or 15, I think Hernandez can play like a top 2-3 fantasy TE, and I think he will throw down at least 1-2 multiple TD games in that timespan. I just hope Gronko taught him how to do that insanely-awesome touchdown dance!

At the running back position, I still have CJ Spiller pegged as the most likely boom or bust candidate, with boom potential ranging in that top 1-5 overall running back range. The bust potential is always there due to Buffalo’s offensive decision-making. Keep an eye on Ronnie Hillman, as he replaces the injured Willis McGahee, and I think Hillman could be a very sneaky low-end RB2 down the stretch. He is no lock for that kind of production, but just know the upside for that kind of play is there. Also, keep an eye on the LeSean McCoy (concussion) news this week, as he could sit (stay on top of the situation!), which would mean that Bryce Brown will have a shot to do his thing. Could he have a mediocre outing even if he gets a chance to start? Sure, but the Eagles should be able to score against the Panthers in Week 12, and at 4.4 a pop, I can imagine Brown having 100 total yards and a score. The kid is good.

At wide receiver, it’s hard not to like what we’re seeing out of Cecil Shorts (averaging 88/.6TDs per game over 5 games) as of late, and Justin Blackmon (236/1TD in Week 11) for that matter. I’d temper my expectations regarding Blackmon (for this year, but he looks good long-term), however, Shorts has been consistent for a while now and it’s time to consider him an every week starter at your WR3 spot. And how about my boy T.Y. Hilton? I’ve warned dynasty worlds about this guy for weeks now, and in Week 11 he caught six passes for 100 yards and two touchdowns. It’s not too late to trade for him in dynasty formats, just let him have a mediocre week or so before you take a stab; He could be a real good receiver in this league, and it’s nice to know he will mature and grow along with Andrew Luck, which could really solidify his role in the offense in 2013 and beyond.

Looking For Week 12-Only Rankings?

By Mile_High_Man

View these Weekly Line-Up Rankings here (week 12 only, and we have both PPR and Non-PPR).

Note: These rankings could be updated as early as Tuesday afternoons, but could be ready as late as Wednesday evenings at 6pm EST. These Weekly Rankings are maintained by Mile_High_Man.


  1. Which 2 of the 3 do you like best this week James Starks, Torrey Smith or Steve Johnson?

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  2. would you trade Marshall for Jalen Parmele and J. Charles? I own McCoy, MJD, and BJGE… Other wrs are decker and julio. I think charles has an easy schedule and have a feeling that Marshall might have a tough time the second half of the season. Thanks

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    • depending on start req, fighting for a playoff spot or are u ready in?redraft or dyansty makes a difference as well/ ppr? i take this over to forum for more disscusion.

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  3. 10 team ppr league. this is my team:

    qb rg3/romo
    rb foster/morris/mcgahee/j.parmele/tate
    wr cruz/g.jennings/r.white/amendola/mwilliams(tb)
    te t.gonzalez
    k tucker/s.graham
    d/st sea/den

    for my rb2 do i start morris vs dal or parmele vs tenn?

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    • Smitty wants the ranking by Monday night so I start them on Sunday and even as early as Saturday sometimes. I sent it in after the McGahee injury. I think Hillman and McGahee are interchangeable though. GL.

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  4. Love what i’m reading boys, keep it up boys.

    Also I’m surprised to not see anything up on Danario Alexander. He’s the 5th highest scoring WR since he’s been active.

    Any thoughts??

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    • Not really sure I trust him enough yet to put him on the rankings. Id like to see him string together more than 2 nice weeks before I start telling people to start him with confidence when they might have safer options. Plus his knees are glass and rubber-bands.

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      • Thanks for the reply, I get what you’re saying with the knees, if he can fill even 80% of V-Jax role, I’m smiling.

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        • I’m smiling as well but I want to see more than 2 weeks before I’m all in on him. Im definitely adding him to my team just not sure if Im trusting him to start yet.

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  5. Do I start Mikel Leshoure tomorrow, or wait until later in the week and choose between Julio Jones/Sproles/Bryce Brown?

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  6. Smitty,

    Huuuuuge game with playoff implications this week….long story short…

    The underachieving Steve Smith under the bright lights of Monday Night Football orrrrr the man who just set the world on fire with Chad Henne throwin’ him the rock last week?!? Right now I have Smith in the lineup…but man…I feel like Blackmon might cut someone this week! lol

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  7. not sure about the ppr or non… i play on yahoo fantsay sports in a public league

    need 3 of the 6.. yea i do realise i have alot of WR’s

    V Cruz, D Alexander, C Shorts, D Bowe, J Blackman and B Hartline

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  8. not sure about the ppr or non… i play on yahoo fantsay sports in a public league

    need 3 of the 6.. yea i do realise i have alot of WR’s

    V Cruz, D Alexander, C Shorts, D Bowe, J Blackman and B Hartline

    need 2

    T Richardson, M Reese and J Stewart

    i think im good every where else

    Tom Brady all ready did great this week
    D/SP Denver
    TE Jimmy Graham
    K D Akers

    im tied for first in the league with my matchup this week so i wanna give ‘em a whoopin

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