Week 12 Fantasy QB Rankings: Must-starts, sleepers, potential busts at quarterback

Week 12 Fantasy QB Rankings: Must-starts, sleepers, potential busts at quarterback

Normally when there are no byes, our rankings are loaded, but that’s not necessarily the case with our Week 12 fantasy QB rankings. Sure, almost all of the the big names are there (save Drew Brees), but some tough matchups for other star quarterbacks (Kyler Murray, Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, Ben Roethlisberger, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers) could still cause plenty of start ’em, sit ’em headaches on Thursday and Sunday. 

Most, if not all, of the above QBs will still be started in most leagues, but borderline QBs Cam Newton (vs. Cardinals), Ryan Tannehill (@ Colts), and Jared Goff (vs. 49ers) are probably best suited for your benches. Roethlisberger (vs. Ravens) is also risky, but he’s established a high floor and had two TDs against the Ravens in their first meeting this year, so he’s not completely off-limits. However, you can probably find a QB with more upside.

Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker

Among those borderline starters who are elevated by their matchups, Carson Wentz (vs. Seahawks), Derek Carr (vs. Falcons), Matthew Stafford (vs. Texans), and Teddy Bridgewater (@ Vikings) all have high floors and ceilings (assuming they’re all healthy), and whoever starts between Tua Tagovailoa and Ryan Fitzpatrick (@ Jets) is also in play. Going a little deeper, Taysom Hill (@ Broncos), Baker Mayfield (@ Jaguars), Philip Rivers (vs. Titans), Alex Smith (@ Cowboys), and Daniel Jones (@ Bengals) are also considerations this week, but, again, with no byes, you’re likely not trusting them over any of the more consistent starters mentioned in the opening paragraph.

Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker

Hill is a special case because of his high rushing floor, but there are still reasons to worry about his passing and whether he’ll remain at quarterback all game. That would also be true of whoever starts for the Dolphins and Panthers. 


Ultimately, your decision on who to start at QB this week could come down to where you are in the standings and what the rest of your matchup looks like. You might have to take a chance with a potential big scorer if your projections are lacking at other positions, and if that’s the case, someone like Roethlisberger or even Rodgers (vs. Bears) or Jackson (@ Steelers) might not be the best play. We’re at the point in the season where you might have to take some chances in order to make the playoffs (or play it safe in order to hold your playoff positioning). 

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Note: Check back throughout the week, as we’ll continue to update our QB rankings up until kickoff based on the latest news and injury updates.

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Week 12 Fantasy QB Rankings

These rankings are for four-point passing TD leagues.

WEEK 12 FANTASY: Sleepers | Busts | Start ’em, sit ’em

Rank Player
1 Russell Wilson, SEA @ PHI
2 Josh Allen, BUF vs. LAC
3 Kyler Murray, ARI @ NE
4 Patrick Mahomes, KC @ TB
5 Deshaun Watson, HOU @ DET
6 Justin Herbert, LAC @ BUF
7 Matt Ryan, ATL vs. LV
8 Derek Carr, LV vs. ATL. Carr has been up and down this year, but Atlanta allows the second-most fantasy points per game (FPPG), so this feels like a high-floor game. As he showed last week, he can also have a high ceiling. 
9 Matthew Stafford, DET vs. HOU. Stafford was a massive disappointment against Carolina last week, but Houston has allowed 19 touchdown passes and just two INTs while recording a mediocre 21 sacks. Stafford will have more time to find open receivers against this burnable secondary, and if Kenny Golladay (hip) returns, he’ll have another big playmaker to throw to in the red zone. Remember, in Week 10, Stafford picked apart Washington’s top-ranked pass defense for 276 yards and three TDs, so he could easily have a bounce-back performance at home.
10 Tom Brady, TB vs. KC. The mere fact that Derek Carr has solved the Chiefs stellar pass defense twice this year (622 yards, six TDs) should give us confidence that Brady and his ultra-talented group of receivers can wreak some havoc against Kansas City, too. 
11 Aaron Rodgers, GB vs. CHI. Rodgers just sliced up Indy’s top-five pass defense for 311 yards and three TDs, so he can put up numbers against anyone (as Bears fans know all too well). Still, this is another brutal matchup, and as good as Rodgers has been this year, a 250-yard, two-TD, one-INT outing seems likely in the near future. This is the most likely matchup for that to happen, so while we’d still start Rodgers, we don’t feel quite as good about him as we do most weeks. 
12 Carson Wentz, PHI vs. SEA. We get it — Wentz is tough to watch — but even last week in a steady rain, he posted a decent-enough fantasy day (235 passing yards, two TDs, 10 rushing yards). Yes, that came with two turnovers, but Wentz has more often than not still put up respectable fantasy numbers this year (at least two TDs in all but two games). Seattle allows the most FPPG to QBs, so Wentz is in good position to post solid stats again — just don’t torture yourself by watching the game if you’re going to start Wentz.
13 Lamar Jackson, BAL @ PIT. It just hasn’t been the same for Jackson this year, who’s had more than two TDs in just two games and one TD in four games. The rushing numbers are still strong, but he’s thrown for more than 200 yards just four times. Pittsburgh entered Week 11 allowing the fifth-fewest FPPG to QBs, and even though Jackson had a decent fantasy day against them in Week 8 (208 passing yards, two TDs, 65 rushing yards, two INTs), but he completed just 46.4 percent of his passes. Jackson always has a decent floor because of his rushing ability, but it’s tough to imagine him having a really big day unless he has touchdown luck.  
14 Teddy Bridgewater, CAR @ MIN. Bridgewater missed last week because of a knee injury, but it looked like he was going to play right up until the official inactive list was announced. Either way, we’re expecting him back this week in a favorable matchup against a Vikings defense allowing the seventh-most passing yards. Bridgewater has a trio of solid wide receivers and good receiving backs, so he won’t have to do a lot to have solid stats. 
15 Ben Roethlisberger, PIT vs. BAL. Roethlisberger has established himself as a hig-floor, relatively low-ceiling QB this year, throwing for at least two touchdowns in all but one game this year. The Steelers offense has opened up more in the past three games, with Roethlisberger throwing for 906 yards and nine TDs, but favorable matchups against the Cowboys, Bengals, and Jaguars have helped. Baltimore limited Roethlisberger to 182 yards and two TDs in Week 8, and while it seems likely Roethlisberger will have more yards this week, a significantly better stat line seems unlikely. Roethlisberger is a “safe” starter, but if you think you’ll need a lot of points from your QB, Roethlisberger isn’t the choice.
16 Tua Tagovailoa, MIA @ NYJ. After getting benched for ineffective play last week, it’s fair to be worried about Tua this week, but the Jets get roasted by everyone. They entered Week 11 allowing the fifth-most FPPG to QBs, then proceeded to give up 366 yards and three TDs to Justin Herbert. Tua has a high floor here, but Miami hasn’t let him throw enough for him to have a really high ceiling. 
17 Taysom Hill, NO @ DEN. Hill turned in a classic “high-floor, low-ceiling” performance from a running QB in his first game. Even though he didn’t have huge passing numbers, it was nice to see him complete 18-of-23 passes (though he was facing the second-worst pass defense in the NFL). Denver has been below average against QBs this year, so Hill should have another solid day, but until he proves he can do more as a passer, it’s tough to trust him as a starter in single-QB leagues. 
18 Philip Rivers, IND vs. TEN. Rivers has a big game last week against Green Bay’s solid pass defense, and the week before against these same Titans, he threw for 308 yards and a score. In favorable matchups like this, Rivers is capable of solid fantasy days, and if he gets some TD luck like last week, he can play his way in the top 12. We still like the higher floors of the guys in front of him, but Rivers can work if you’re in a bind. 
19 Alex Smith, WAS @ DAL. Smith put up big passing numbers in Weeks 9 and 10, then took a step back last week while Washington ran all over Cincinnati. That could happen again on Thanksgiving in Dallas, but the Cowboys have been roasted by Ben Roethlisberger and Kirk Cousins the past two weeks (620 yards, six TDs), so the upside is there for a solid game. 
20 Kirk Cousins, MIN vs. CAR. Cousins has at least two TDs in five of the past six games, and he’s been especially good in the past two games (606 yards, five TDs) despite one tough matchup (@ Bears) and one favorable one (vs. Cowboys). The Panthers really struggled in Weeks 7-10 against some top-flight QBs (Drew Brees, Matt Ryan, Patrick Mahomes, Tom Brady) before shutting down Matthew Stafford in Week 11, but Cousins is likely to be closer to Carolina’s average yards allowed during that four-game stretch (320.3 yards), giving him a decent floor. However, there’s a legitimate worry that Dalvin Cook will run all over the Panthers and leave relatively few yards and touchdowns for Cousins. 
21 Cam Newton, NE vs. ARI
22 Baker Mayfield, CLE @ JAX
23 Daniel Jones, NYG @ CIN
24 Drew Lock, DEN vs. NO
25 Andy Dalton, DAL vs. WAS
26 Jared Goff, LAR vs. SF
27 Ryan Tannehill, TEN @ IND
28 Mike Glennon, JAX vs. CLE
29 Brandon Allen, CIN vs. NYG
30 Nick Foles, CHI @ GB
31 Nick Mullens, SF @ LAR
32 Joe Flacco, NYJ vs. MIA