Josh Jacobs fought off an injury and produced the biggest fantasy performance of his career.
The Week 12 slate of games wasn’t the sexiest of the season (to say the least), but we still saw our share of great fantasy performances including one in the Big Apple (O.K., New Jersey). Jets fans might call it a White Out; I call it the end of the Zach Wilson era (that was quick, huh?). The good folks from Las Vegas and Seattle also treated us to a fantasy bonanza that was led by a certain Raiders running back.
Fantasy fans also saw the emergence of a “generational” quarterback talent, a huge performance from a veteran wide receiver in Cleveland and the return of a one-time fantasy superstar back to top-notch form. We also continued to see more no-names produce top-12 totals at tight end, some of whom were on no one’s fantasy radars.
With that being said, let’s start our fantasy football whip around Sunday’s action in Seattle, where Josh Jacobs went absolutely nuclear for fantasy managers.
Josh Jacobs fights off calf injury, goes off against Seattle. Jacobs, who came into the week questionable due to a bum calf, battled through the ailment to post six catches, 303 total yards, two touchdowns (including a game-winning, 86-yard score in overtime) and 48.3 fantasy points. That total is a new single-game, career high for Jacobs, whose previous fantasy best was 36.5 points against the Texans earlier this season. His statistical success should continue next week against the Chargers.
Christian McCaffrey trends in the wrong fantasy direction. I was excited about CMC’s potential after being traded to San Francisco. Little did I know he would end up in a backfield committee! The consensus No. 2 overall pick in drafts, McCaffrey had 11 carries, averaged 2.9 yards per rush and scored a mere 8.9 points against the Saints. That’s tied for his fifth-worst fantasy performance in his last 37 games. CMC continued to share the workload, as Elijah Mitchell had nine touches in the contest. Mitchell did leave the game with an injured knee, however, so McCaffrey could see a bigger role in Week 13. Still, this situation is a real fantasy concern.
Alvin Kamara posts another stinker for fantasy managers. Remember that time Kamara scored 42.8 fantasy points against the Raiders? Yeah, me neither. Since then, the former fantasy star has scored a combined 36.6 points in three games while seeing just 13 touches per game. He was bad against the Niners, scoring just seven points in a 13-0 loss. The good news is that Saints running backs have the easiest schedule in the fantasy postseason per PFF. The bad news? Kamara is killing your chances to get to the postseason. He has another tough matchup against the Buccaneers next.
Travis Etienne injures foot, doesn’t return against Ravens. Etienne has been a star for much of this season, but his status is now in question after he hurt his foot against the Ravens. Etienne, who missed last season with a Lisfranc sprain, saw just two carries before leaving the contest. JaMycal Hasty was solid in his absence, posting four catches, 94 total yards and one touchdown. If Etienne were forced to miss time, Hasty would likely be in a backfield committee with newly signed Darrell Henderson. Both backs could be worth a look off the waiver wire for Week 13.
Lamar Jackson finally breaks out of his statistical slide. Maybe I should have made Jackson my quarterback start of the week sooner? After ranking 15th in terms of fantasy points per game among quarterbacks since Week 4, the versatile Jackson went off for 22.6 points in a loss to the Jaguars. It was only the second time that he’s posted more than 20 points in his last eight games, so it was a nice stat line for the fantasy managers who kept the faith in him. Jackson faces the Broncos next week.
Trevor Lawrence is coming of age before our very eyes. One of the most highly touted quarterbacks coming out of college in the last two decades, Lawrence is now showing us why he was the No. 1 overall pick in 2021. He threw for 321 yards with three touchdowns and scored nearly 25 fantasy points in a win over the Ravens. He led the Jaguars offense on a late-game scoring drive, showing the poise of a 10-year veteran and capping it off with a strike to Zay Jones for a two-point conversion to win the contest. Lawrence has now scored 20-plus points in two straight games, and he’s hit that mark four times in his last nine games. He faces the Lions next.
Rachaad White looks great without Leonard Fournette. A changing of the guard seems complete in Tampa Bay’s backfield, as White got his second straight start and thrived in a loss to the Browns. He averaged 4.6 yards per rush on 14 carries, but he made a bigger impact as a receiver with nine catches and 45 yards. White got the start before the bye when Fournette was active against the Seahawks in Munich, so the top spot on the depth chart is now his to lose. And based on how he’s looked in his last two games, White isn’t losing that No. 1 gig anytime soon.
Chris Godwin looks a lot more like … Chris Godwin. The veteran had a slow start to the season, averaging just 11.8 fantasy points in his first seven games. He has been much better in his last two contests, however, scoring a combined 48.1 points including a 29-point effort in a loss to the Browns. This could have to do with his return from an ACL reconstruction, as he’s just now starting to feel like himself out on the gridiron. Tampa Bay wide receivers have the sixth-easiest schedule in the fantasy postseason per PFF, so Godwin should be a must-start in all leagues.
Has Dameon Pierce hit the dreaded rookie runner’s wall? Pierce was a huge disappointment against the Dolphins, rushing five times for eight yards in a 30-15 loss. He has now rushed for 16 yards on his last 15 carries, which equates to a dismal 1.1 yards per rush average. The Texans have been crushed in both of those games, however, leaving them to abandon the run due to negative game scripts. That could be a problem for Pierce the next three weeks, as the Texans face the Browns (Deshaun Watson), Cowboys and Chiefs in their next three contests.
Say goodbye, Zach Wilson; Mike White throws three TDs: The Wilson Era might already be over in New York, as White looked like the second coming of Joe Willie Namath in a win over the Bears. He completed 22 of 28 passes for 315 yards with three scores, finishing with 24.8 fantasy points. That’s more points than Wilson has ever scored in a single game. White’s presence under center was also great news for Garrett Wilson (26.4 points) and Elijah Moore (14 points), who both put up solid totals. The Jets have the second-easiest quarterback schedule per PFF data, so White will be added in plenty of leagues. The Jets face the Vikings in Week 13.
- Justin Herbert is back to his old, elite fantasy form, much to the delight of his fantasy fans. He led all quarterbacks in points on Sunday, scoring 28.8 on the strength of his 274 passing yards and three touchdowns. He’s now scored 19-plus points in two straight games after hitting that mark just once in his previous six contests. Herbert gets a tasty matchup in Las Vegas up next.
- This is a bit of a broken record, but it remains shocking how bad Russell Wilson has been in Denver. Since scoring 27.5 points against the Raiders in Week 4, he has averaged 11.7 points including an 8.5 stinker in a loss to the Panthers. In all, he has just eight touchdown passes this season (he had nine in his first four games of 2021 and nine in his first two games of 2020). Going into Week 13, Wilson should be waiver wire fodder in traditional leagues.
- Michael Carter was considered a solid option this week with James Robinson inactive, but he had just 21 rushing yards before leaving with an injured ankle. In his absence, the Jets used a mix of Zonovan Knight and Ty Johnson in a blowout win over the Bears. Robinson might be thrust into a bigger role if Carter is forced to miss time, but it’s unknown why coach Robert Saleh made him a healthy scratch. If he’s in the doghouse next week, Johnson and Knight will be waiver options. Fantasy managers should keep tabs on this situation.
- Jeff Wilson Jr. was expected to post a huge stat line against an awful Texans run defense, but it didn’t happen. He did find the end zone, which saved his fantasy day, but Wilson averaged a mere three yards per rush against a team that had allowed 5.3 yards per tote to backs coming into the week. One has to wonder if the Dolphins mix in Raheem Mostert more often when he returns.
- Tight end has been a disaster this season, and it’s become almost impossible to predict the top players on a week-to-week basis. Case in point, the top 12 players at the position this week heading into the Sunday night game include Josh Oliver, Jordan Akins, John Bates, MyCole Pruitt and Jake Ferguson. None of those players is even rostered in Yahoo! leagues (all 0% owned).
More fantasy & NFL coverage:
Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on Sports Illustrated and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. Click here to read all his articles here on SI Fantasy. You can follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram for your late breaking fantasy news and the best analysis in the business to help you win a fantasy championship!