Before we turn the page to the exciting slate of games on tap for Week 12, let’s take a look back at how we did in Week 11. There were a few calls that didn’t work out, like Deshaun Watson, Devin Singletary and Brian Hill, but we saw solid returns from D.J. Moore, Dalvin Cook, Josh Jacobs and Jared Cook. Deebo Samuel continued his breakout season with a WR8 finish. Michael Thomas, Mark Andrews and Lamar Jackson were all strong plays as top-five finishers at their positions. This week, we present 12 more lock-button players who are primed for success. These players should be in your lineups based on usage, opportunity, matchups, advanced stats and metrics. Let’s assume PPR scoring with four points per passing touchdown.
Matt Ryan, QB, Falcons
The Falcons and Buccaneers are projected to combine for the most points of any game on this week’s slate, and Matt Ryan may be the greatest beneficiary in terms of fantasy production. Ryan is seventh in pass attempts, eighth in passing touchdowns and fourth in Air Yards. That’s all despite missing a start in Week 8 due to an ankle injury. He owns a 108.3 (No. 4 among qualified quarterbacks) True Passer Rating, and his Supporting Cast ranks seventh.
Check out Matt Ryan on PlayerProfiler’s Updated Weekly Rankings and Projections:
The Buccaneers have allowed the second-most passing yards, passing touchdowns and Fantasy Points Per Game to quarterbacks. Conversely, they are a top-three defense against the run and the Falcons offense struggles on the ground. With that in mind, it is a safe bet to assume Ryan reaches at least 40 pass attempts. Lock him in as the top quarterback play of the week.
Alvin Kamara, RB, Saints
Alvin Kamara has finished as the RB11 and RB3 in the two games since returning from an ankle injury, large in part due to his heavy involvement in the passing game. He saw 10 targets in both of those contests, converting 18 of them for receptions. There was some concern that Latavius Murray would eat into his workload, but Kamara saw 23 touches in Week 11 and looked like his usual self. He is top-10 in both Snap Share and Opportunity Share. Kamara is seventh in Evaded Tackles and ninth in Yards Created, and leads all running backs with a 40.3-percent Juke Rate.
The Panthers, who have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points per game to running backs, represent a favorable matchup for Kamara. At $1,200 cheaper than Christian McCaffrey on FanDuel, and $1,300 less on DraftKings, he is a great play if you need that extra salary.
Derrick Henry, RB, Titans
It is officially Derrick Henry season. He has finished as the RB4 and the RB1 in his last two games. We all remember what he did in the final five weeks of 2018. That stretch included a 238-yard, four-touchdown performance against the Jaguars in Week 13. He sees the Jaguars again this week, a struggling defense that has allowed back-to-back 200-plus yard rushing performances by the Texans and Colts. Henry nearly had his own 200-yard outing prior to the bye, gashing the Chiefs for 188 yards and two touchdowns.
Henry is now ninth among running backs in rushing yards and eighth in Fantasy Points Per Game. He is top-five in Evaded Tackles, Juke Rate, Yards Created Per Carry and total touchdowns. Henry is ranked in the top-five in PlayerProfiler’s Week 12 running back rankings, but is priced as just the RB11 at $6,900 on DraftKings. Lock him in as one of the best plays on the slate.
Calvin Ridley, WR, Falcons
Julio Jones may be the chalk play at wide receiver, but his teammate Calvin Ridley is the better play when we factor in cost and ownership. Ridley saw a season-high 25-percent Target Share in Week 11, finishing as the WR3 with 143 yards and a touchdown on eight receptions. The Buccaneers defense is strong against the run but struggles in the secondary, so we know there is a high probability that Matt Ryan will attempt north of 40 passes for the fifth time this season. Tampa Bay has allowed the most receiving yards, receiving touchdowns and Fantasy Points Per Game to wide receivers. As if we needed any more reason to play Ridley, this game has the highest over/under on the slate.
DeVante Parker, WR, Dolphins
It seems like the whole fantasy community is in denial of the DeVante Parker post-hype breakout season that is unfolding right before our eyes. He is among the top-24 wide receivers in targets, receiving yards, Completed Air Yards, yards per reception and touchdowns. Parker has finished as the WR31 or better in seven straight games, and is the WR17 since Week 4. He has done it in both favorable and unfavorable matchups.
In Week 11, Parker saw shadow coverage from Bills cornerback Tre’Davious White, who ranks sixth in PlayerProfiler’s cornerback rankings. He caught seven of his 10 targets for 135 yards and finished as the WR10, proving he is matchup-proof. While he may be considered more of a contrarian play than a lock-button, Parker’s price of just $5,200 (WR38) on DraftKings and $6,000 (WR38) on Fanduel makes him a great play however you want to categorize it.
Zach Ertz, TE, Eagles
Travis Kelce and Hunter Henry are on bye in Week 12. Austin Hooper, George Kittle and Evan Engram are injured. Mark Andrews is not on the main slate. That leaves Zach Ertz and Darren Waller as reliable options at tight end. Between the two, Ertz is the best play this week. He has 11 targets and eight receptions in each of the last two games, finishing as the TE1 and TE3. With DeSean Jackson out, Alshon Jeffery still working his way back and Nelson Agholor popping up on the injury report, Ertz’s 28-percent Target Share over the last two games should continue to hold up.
Russell Wilson, QB, Seahawks at Eagles: The Seahawks may struggle to run the ball against the Eagles stout run defense, leading to more dropbacks for Wilson. He averages 0.59 (No. 2) fantasy points per dropback, finishing as a top-five QB in 60-percent of games where he attempted 30-plus passes.
Nick Chubb, RB, Browns vs Dolphins: The Browns are 11-point favorites at home and the Dolphins allow 28 Fantasy Points Per Game to running backs.
Leonard Fournette, RB Jaguars at Titans: His price has been held down due to his lack of touchdowns, but he has delivered in every other statistical category. The scores will come.
Julio Jones, WR, Falcons vs Buccaneers: The Bucs have allowed the most Fantasy Points Per Game to wide receivers and Julio Jones will take full advantage.
Odell Beckham Jr., WR, Browns vs Dolphins: The get-right game for OBJ we have waited for. He has seen cornerback matchups of Stephon Gilmore, Chris Harris Jr., Tre’Davious White and Joe Haden over the last four weeks, but now draws a favorable matchup against the Dolphins. The Target Share numbers have been there, this is the game he finally puts up the production to match.
Jamison Crowder, WR, Jets vs Raiders: Crowder has been the WR1 over the last three weeks with 18 receptions for 240 yards and three touchdowns. The Raiders have allowed 39.3 Fantasy Points Per Game to wide receivers.