Fantasy Football Takeaways: Week 12


Week 12 is in the books outside of tonight’s matchup between Indianapolis and Pittsburgh. 


We saw some dramatic finishes and impressive fantasy performances. So which of these performances are here to stay? Let’s find out. 

Mike White unleashes the offense. 

In his first start after being named the starter over Zach Wilson, Mike White came in and lit it up against a soft Bears defense, passing for 315 yards and three touchdowns. He finished the week as a top-5 option (thus far) in fantasy scoring with 24.8 points – the highest finish of any Jets QB thus far. We also saw the pass-catchers get unlocked and produce huge fantasy days in PPR scoring. Garrett Wilson led the way, as he caught 5-of-8 targets for 95 yards and two scores (26.4 PPR points) and a WR5 finish. 

We also saw an Elijah Moore sighting after being irrelevant all season. Moore only saw two targets but caught both of them and produced 64 yards and a score (14 PPR points). This resulted in a WR27 finish – his highest finish this year. We also saw the run game produce 158 yards on the ground via a committee, but rookie Zonovan Knight led the way with 69 yards. Knight also added 34 yards through the air and was heavily involved following the Michael Carter injury – he could be a top waiver add this week. Ultimately, with White under center, it appears the pass-catchers will become relevant once more – mainly Garrett Wilson

James Conner is back 

For most of the season, James Conner has struggled, whether it was his health or just flat out poor production, but he is back and in full form. This week he led the Cardinals ground game taking his 25 carries for 120 yards but sadly was unable to find the end zone. However, he also led the running backs through the air, as he caught all three of his targets for 20 yards and a touchdown. He finished the day with 21 PPR points and is currently RB3 on the week. 

Additionally, his 28 touches led all Cardinals playmakers and were over three times more than the next-closest player (Marquise Brown). With only rookie Keaontay Ingram and journeyman Corey Clement behind him, it’s fair to expect this type of workload going forward. We have seen Conner with a similar workload last season when he posted 13 straight top-36 finishes which included six top-12 finishes and 10 top-24 finishes – so Conner will be a safe weekly start going forward.


Is Dameon Pierce wearing down?

Coming into the season, Dameon Pierce was one of the most polarizing rookies throughout draft circles. After a slow start, he came on strong in Weeks 3-5 and posted three straight top-12 finishes. During this span, he rushed for 310 yards and three touchdowns and added 11 catches for 43 yards for 64.3 PPR points – leaving many to believe he was here to stay. However, since the Texans’ Week 6 bye, Pierce has yet to produce a top-12 finish in PPR scoring and only posted one game over 15 PPR points (Week 7). 

It has become even worse the last few weeks, as Pierce has seen fewer carries each week, climaxing this week with only five attempts. He has only produced 20.5 PPR points over the last three weeks – and a majority of these came in Week 10 (12.2). With less than 20 scrimmage yards in back-to-back games, it seems fair to say Pierce is starting to wear down a bit. This was a concern, as he never carried the ball more than 105 times in a year in college, and he has already seen 180 carries and 27 receptions this year. With a reeling Texans offense and back-to-back terrible performances, Pierce may be unstartable going forward until we see a shift back to greener pastures.  

DJ Moore may be back…again. 

DJ Moore has had a roller coaster season thus far, but this week we saw him post a top-12 finish for the third time this year. The main difference this week was the change at quarterback. With Sam Darnold under center, Moore caught 4-of-6 targets for 103 yards and a score (20.3 PPR points). This was only his second 100-yard receiving game this year – both came without Baker Mayfield under center. The Panthers have a bye this week, but I expect Darnold to be at the helm going forward which is great news for Moore. 

The Panthers face a great schedule when it comes to wide receiver matchups against Seattle, Pittsburgh, Detroit and Tampa Bay down the stretch. Moore will likely be fantasy-relevant on a weekly basis.

Treylon Burks has arrived 

Treylon Burks saw over six targets for the third straight week and has now seen 20 targets in that span. He’s posted two straight 70-plus yard performances, including one 100-plus yard performance. He has created 205 yards over the last three weeks but frustratingly has yet to find the end zone through the air. This week he recovered a Derrick Henry fumble for the dreaded “other touchdown score”– so depending on your scoring format, it could have helped/hurt you. 

Regardless, Burks took his four receptions for 70 yards and the fumble recovery touchdown for 17 PPR points. It was good enough for a top-30 finish thus far, and if it holds up it will be his second top-30 finish in a row. Most importantly, Burks’ six targets were tied for a team lead, which only helps cement that Burks is becoming flex viable. 

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