Week 12 Wrap: Tyreek Hill joins fantasy football history
Kansas City Chiefs @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tyreek Hill was the story of Week 12 when he scored the seventh-most PPR points in a game in the history of fantasy football. He finished with a 15-13-269-3 line, becoming the first receiver to surpass 200 receiving yards in a game this year, and he did it by the end of the first quarter, as the Bucs inexplicably continued to play man-to-man with no safety help. Hill was the first WR to record 200 yards in a quarter since Lee Evans in 2006 and had the most first-half receiving yards since 1991. He’s racked up a whopping 47 targets over the last three games, helping to make Hill now the No. 1 fantasy WR on the year by a significant margin.
This was a favorable matchup on paper with Tampa Bay tough against the run yet highly vulnerable versus the pass lately, but Patrick Mahomes still exceeded expectations while throwing for the most first-half yards (359) since 2004. He finished with 462 passing yards and sports a 32:2 TD:TO ratio on the year, making him the heavy favorite to win another MVP award. Since 2018, Mahomes has three games with 300 yards passing before halftime, which is more than the rest of the NFL combined (two). And to think — he missed Mecole Hardman for a sure 90-yard touchdown Sunday as well.
The Chiefs committed their first red-zone giveaway in 17 games, while Clyde Edwards-Helaire has an excuse for his quiet performance while facing a defense allowing an NFL-low 53.0 rushing yards per game to running backs (but it remains curious how little he’s used as a receiver given his college production) … Ronald Jones continues to impress whenever he has the ball in his hands.
Tom Brady has already thrown a career-high in interceptions at home this season, but he and the rest of Tampa Bay’s offense looked better during the second half. Mike Evans has 11 TD catches on 48 receptions this year, while just three of Brady’s 41 pass attempts Sunday went Antonio Brown’s way (which should make for an awkward situation at home). This game wasn’t as close as the final score indicates, and Kansas City deserves to be the clear Super Bowl favorite.
Las Vegas Raiders @ Atlanta Falcons
Playing indoors against an Atlanta defense that entered allowing the most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season, Derek Carr committed four turnovers without scoring in a miserable performance. Josh Jacobs wasn’t much better (albeit in a much more difficult matchup for running backs), also losing a fumble and leaving injured. Devontae Booker would be well worth a flex start in Week 13 against the Jets should Jacobs miss time … Matt Ryan also struggled, getting just 4.7 YPA as his splits continue to be drastic with and without Julio Jones (and a dropped touchdown by Olamide Zaccheaus didn’t help) … Brian Hill lost a goal-line TD and most of the targets to Judge Ito Smith, while Calvin Ridley and Hayden Hurst underwhelmed in smash spots … Younghoe Koo made all nine attempts (five field goals) in a dominant kicking performance.
Arizona Cardinals @ New England Patriots
Kyler Murray disappointed against a New England defense that entered allowing an NFL-high 8.7 YPA and ranked last in DVOA, failing to record a touchdown after having at least two in every other game this season (Bill Belichick versus young QBs is still a thing). Kenyan Drake nearly had a third rushing score but was stuffed at the inch line on the last play before halftime. His usage is very encouraging moving forward … Damien Harris played a lot better than his box score indicates, while James White got negative receiving yards but scored two goal-line touchdowns, just as everyone expected … Cam Newton got 4.7 YPA while completing just nine passes with no TDs and two picks, yet the Patriots won anyway (Arizona’s record would look a lot different if Zane Gonzalez didn’t have three late misses inside 50 yards this season).
New York Giants @ Cincinnati Bengals
Brandon Allen was predictably a problem, sapping all fantasy value from Cincinnati, while the concern is now Colt McCoy (3.1 YPA) does the same for New York with Daniel Jones going down. It’s especially unfortunate timing with such a favorable matchup against the Seahawks up next in Week 13 … Wayne Gallman Jr. has six rushing touchdowns over the last five games when he’s seen his carries increase in each contest, but a move to McCoy and an upcoming game against a tough Seahawks run defense isn’t ideal … The 4-7 Giants have a -39 point differential yet are the #4 seed in the NFC.
Cleveland Browns @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Kareem Hunt got 6.2 YPC but was completely overshadowed by Nick Chubb, who totaled 176 yards from scrimmage with a score on 22 touches. Jarvis Landry erupted out of nowhere as well versus a Jacksonville defense that seemingly put everyone on IR last week … While Keelan Cole and Laviska Shenault both looked like sleepers this week, it was Collin Johnson who took advantage of all the team’s injuries, as Mike Glennon proved a sizable upgrade at QB and validated the team’s decision to go Luton-free … James Robinson is the #4 fantasy PPR back, which is pretty remarkable for an undrafted rookie on a 1-10 team that’s cycled three bad quarterbacks.
Carolina Panthers @ Minnesota Vikings
It took a season-high in pass attempts, but Kirk Cousins came through with a nice fantasy game despite missing Adam Thielen and Irv Smith, and he’s now up to 17 TD passes over six home games this season. Teddy Bridgewater left injured late, and his status would affect the rest of the Panthers moving forward … DJ Moore also left with an injury, which would be big news for Robby Anderson and Curtis Samuel if it’s serious. Carolina’s Week 13 bye appears much needed … Justin Jefferson’s insane efficiency dropped some, but fantasy managers will forgive him thanks to two touchdown catches … Rookie Jeremy Chinn remarkably recovered fumbles for touchdowns on back-to-back plays, which becomes even more improbable considering it happened for the losing team ... Dalvin Cook looked lost for the season when helped off the field by teammates at one point, but he miraculously returned, so while he no doubt disappointed DFS players Sunday, season-long managers should breathe a huge sigh of relief.
Tennessee Titans @ Indianapolis Colts
The Colts really missed DeForest Buckner, as Derrick Henry ran wild, entering halftime with 17 carries for 140 yards and three touchdowns, which would’ve been the 10th best RB fantasy game this season (and that’s with Ryan Tannehill stealing a 1-yard TD run as well). Henry hasn’t developed as a receiver with Dion Lewis gone as hoped, but in a season filled with fantasy busts, The Big Dog is now the #2 fantasy back on the year — even in PPR leagues. Over the second half of seasons since 2018, Henry has now scored 26 touchdowns over 18 games … A.J. Brown had a 69-yard TD catch and also returned an onside kick attempt to the house, and the star wideout is somehow up to 16 career touchdowns despite seeing fewer than 150 targets … Jacoby Brissett has become a TD vulture, although Nyheim Hines still produced in PPR leagues. T.Y. Hilton scored for the first time this season, while Michael Pittman disappointed despite seeing nine targets.
Los Angeles Chargers @ Buffalo Bills
The Bills emerged from their bye with a more productive rushing attack, and Josh Allen’s quieter games have all come this season with John Brown unavailable. Allen could be dealing with a swollen ankle this week, when he’s scheduled for a Monday night game played on a rare neutral field (the Bills will likely have to return to the scene of the “Hail Murray”) … Justin Herbert entered leading the NFL in Passer Rating when under pressure but mostly struggled, although the rookie still managed 300+ passing yards even while disappointing … Austin Ekeler managed just 3.1 YPC but looked great during his return (LAC is arguably the worst run-blocking team in football), racking up a whopping 16 targets, meaning Keenan Allen’s value takes a small hit, while Ekeler can safely be treated as a top-five fantasy back moving forward … As someone who made a friendly wager on this outcome, the end sequence wasn’t ideal, and it’s starting to look like Anthony Lynn may no longer be the favorite for Coach of the Year.
Tricky tricky. 😈
📺 #LACvsBUF on CBS pic.twitter.com/yOyYymbvLi
— Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills) November 29, 2020
Miami Dolphins @ New York Jets
Ryan Fitzpatrick is a big upgrade for DeVante Parker’s fantasy value (and helps Mike Gesicki too), and Myles Gaskin could be a fantasy difference-maker down the stretch with Miami scheduled for three straight home games … Frank Gore entered with more yards after contact this season than Jonathan Taylor and Alvin Kamara and finished with a season-high in rushing yards, because 2020 … Jason Sanders is a perfect 8-for-8 on field-goal attempts from 50+ yards this season … Sam Darnold entered with the NFL’s worst Passer Rating when not under pressure and getting an NFL-low 5.0 YPA on plays that weren’t play action, and he answered with two picks and zero TDs during his return. Denzel Mims (who returned after leaving banged up early Sunday) is the real deal and is already this offseason’s biggest fantasy winner, going from Joe Flacco/Sam Darnold and Adam Gase to Trevor Lawrence and literally anybody else.
New Orleans Saints @ Denver Broncos
Forced to start wide receiver Kendall Hinton at quarterback, the Broncos should consider it a win they weren’t shut out (the line had the Saints as 17-point favorites with an over/under of 36.5 points). Hinton became the first QB since Ryan Leaf in 1998 to finish a game with more interceptions than completions, and it’s not easy to be a full-time quarterback who’s WR eligible yet not valuable in fantasy leagues … Jerry Jeudy entered fourth in air yards this season (and was lapping the field over the last month) but saw one target Sunday … Taysom Hill benefitted from game script and helped fantasy managers with his fourth rushing score over the last two weeks, and he’ll be a must-start again in Week 13 with another Atlanta matchup on deck … Alvin Kamara has one catch for -2 yards over two games with Hill under center, and he’s also lost four rushing scores to his new mobile QB. If that wasn’t enough, Kamara also lost two rushing TDs and was out-carried by Latavius Murray during Sunday’s route. Week 13 Kamara gets a Falcons defense that’s been by far the stingiest against fantasy backs over the last six weeks, so his once enormous fantasy value continues to take hits.
San Francisco 49ers @ Los Angeles Rams
After averaging 344.3 passing yards over his previous three games, ugly Jared Goff returned Sunday, highlighted by a pick-six from rookie defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw. San Francisco got some reinforcements back on defense (including Richard Sherman), but the Rams lost at home for the first time this season despite recording a defensive touchdown of their own while entering as 7.5-point favorites. In fact, this was already the third win of the season for the 49ers when they entered as underdogs … Deebo Samuel had the most yards after contact by a wide receiver in a game this season during his return against a Rams defense that entered allowing the fewest yards per play. Brandon Aiyuk and Samuel would theoretically cut into each other’s targets, but that would require the unlikely event of them both being healthy at the same time … Cam Akers has emerged as the Rams’ preferred back, and while he won’t be consistent in a committee, the rookie has good fantasy upside given his offense and schedule down the stretch.
Chicago Bears @ Green Bay Packers
Aaron Rodgers tossed an easy four touchdowns against a Bears defense that entered having allowed the second-fewest passing TDs on the year, and his protection remained elite while taking zero hits Sunday night … A quiet game by Davante Adams’ standards still resulted in a trip to the end zone (entering Week 12, Michael Thomas, Cooper Kupp, Terry McLaurin, Jerry Jeudy, A.J. Green, and DJ Moore had caught zero of their 23 combined end-zone targets this season; Adams had pulled down 6-of-8 looks in the end zone), while Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams continued to split work evenly … While most of the production came in what some might call garbage time, Allen Robinson and David Montgomery nevertheless both had their best fantasy games of the season during the blowout loss, so at least Mitch Trubisky has that going for him.
Follow Dalton Del Don on Twitter