Early Position Ranks, Week 12


You'll find our deadly accurate Week 12 ranks below, in the traditional Arcade spreadsheet colors (black, gray, mouthwash blue). Most serious fantasy matchups will be decided on Monday night when New England visits New Orleans. All other games are merely appetizers.

Thursday's menu features a big pile of ick (GB at DET, OAK at DAL, NYG at DEN), but it's obviously not without fantasy merit. Let's rank, then discuss…



Matthew Stafford(notes) would have been a player of interest this week, facing a Green Bay defense that's without Aaron Kampman(notes) and Al Harris(notes) (ACLs). Unfortunately, Stafford is not expected to play on Thursday after injuring his non-throwing shoulder in the win over Cleveland. … Kurt Warner(notes) and Ben Roethlisberger(notes) are both expected to start on Sunday, despite the "concussion-like" and "concussion-oriented" injuries they sustained in Week 11. … Using our proprietary Brady Quinn(notes)-to-Aaron Rodgers(notes) conversion method, we forecast precisely 794 passing yards and eight touchdowns for A-Rod. … If you're looking for Alex Smith propaganda, please visit our video library. … Vince Young(notes) ran for 73 yards on 11 carries against Houston on Monday night. He's averaged just 21 pass attempts per game since reclaiming the starting QB role in Tennessee, but he's only turned the ball over twice in four games.

Running Backs

As of this writing, we don't yet know Cedric Benson(notes)'s status for Week 12. He's obviously ranked as if he'll start. His hip injury "remains something of a day-to-day thing" according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. If Benson is ultimately ruled out against the Browns, then bump Bernard Scott(notes) into the 15-20 range and slot Brian Leonard(notes) in the high-30s. Cleveland allows 154.9 rushing yards per game and 4.6 per carry. ... Julius Jones(notes) (rib, lung) is expected to return to practice this week, at least as a limited participant. But given the nature of his injuries and the impressive performance of Justin Forsett(notes), we're not quite ready to return him to the ranks. ... Marshawn Lynch(notes) could force his way into the final Week 12 ranks as well if the news regarding his shoulder injury remains positive. On Monday, Buffalo's interim head coach Perry Fewell said Lynch was "feeling much better." Beast Mode was carted to the locker room in Week 11, so the shoulder issue seemed fairly serious at the time. ... The Arizona backfield situation remains a job-share, as it's been since Week 5. Tim Hightower(notes) gets an edge over Beanie Wells(notes) in the ranks whenever a matchup lends itself to a 45-pass/20-run mix.

Update, 4:20 pm ET: Ahmad Bradshaw(notes) sprained his left ankle in Week 11. He's currently in a boot. (Or two. Bradshaw's right ankle and foot have been multi-week issues). According to the New York Daily News, "this latest injury puts his status very much in doubt for the Broncos." Danny Ware(notes) will likely take Bradshaw's place in the final RB ranks.


Wide Receivers

Calvin Johnson(notes) (hand, knee) did not participate in Tuesday's practice. When asked about Megatron's status for the Thanksgiving pageant, Lions head coach Jim Schwartz simply said, "We'll see." No one's going to have any trouble adjusting a fantasy lineup at noon on Thursday, right? Great. ... Pierre Garcon(notes) has had at least 50 receiving yards in each of his last four games, and he finally hit triple-digits against Baltimore. ... Carolina's Steve Smith should draw Jets corner Darrelle Revis(notes) this week. That's never a good thing. Randy Moss(notes) didn't exactly dominate his matchup with Revis in Week 11; he finished with just 34 receiving yards and five catches on 11 targets. A short-yardage touchdown saved Moss' fantasy day. ... Marc Bulger(notes) could be sidelined for the remainder of the season due to "a hairline fracture of the upper part of the shin bone." He'll be replaced by Kyle Boller(notes). Daniel Fells(notes) is the only person excited by this news. Brandon Gibson(notes) doesn't crack the top 50 yet, despite the absurd target total against Arizona (17). Gibson somehow managed to catch only five balls in Week 11. He also dropped a touchdown. That's LVP material, no doubt.


Photo via AP Images