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2023 Fantasy Football: Takeaways From Every Week 12 Game

Zach Charrbonnet carries the ball vs. 49ers
Nov 23, 2023; Seattle, Washington, USA; Seattle Seahawks running back Zach Charbonnet (26) breaks a tackle attempt by San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa (97) during the third quarter at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The article below details one need-to-know takeaway from each NFL Week 12 contest, aimed at providing readers with immediately actionable fantasy football information. 

Top 4 Takeaways

Commanders Field Fantasy-Friendly Matchups

The Washington Commanders allowed Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott to clear 300 yards passing for the fourth time in five games. His four touchdown passes are tied for his season-best showing. 

Washington’s defense is without its top two pass rushers and two starting secondary members, excluding edge rushers Chase Young and Montez Sweat, who were traded away before the NFL’s trade deadline. 

The unit allows 264.6 yards passing per game (second most) and 2.33 touchdowns passing per game (the most). Also, their high-paced offense (47.3 dropbacks per game) pushes opponents into a fantasy-friendly game script.

Be Patient With Charbonnet

Seattle Seahawks rookie RB Zach Charbonnet was given an elite workload with No. 1 RB Kenneth Walker (oblique strain) sidelined but totaled just 9.8 points per reception (PPR). 

Frustrated fantasy managers should remain patient, given the promising usage. Seattle’s quick Week 12 turnaround bodes poorly for Walker’s potential return; Seattle plays the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday night.

The table below reflects Charbonnet’s Week 12 usage data. His share of the backfield’s touches and snaps is shown in parentheses.

Seattle Seahawks - Week 12 RB Zach Charbonnet 
Rush Att. 14 (87.5%)
3rd/4th-&-Long Snaps4 (44.4%)
2-Min. Drill Snaps4 (100.0%)
Routes - Targets26 (86.7%)
Red Zone Snaps4 (100.0%)
Green Zone Snaps3 (100.0%)

Dallas’ stout defense prevents him from assuming a top-12 positional ranking but the usage keeps him in the high-end RB2 range.

Kyren Williams a Full-Go

The Los Angeles Rams’ backfield ran over the Arizona Cardinals’ defense en route to a 37-14 victory. No. 1 RB Kyren Williams (high-ankle sprain) played excellently in his return from injured reserve. The team smartly mixed in No. 2 RB Royce Freeman as a regular contributor from the second quarter on. 

The table below reflects Los Angeles’ Week 12 backfield usage and results. 

Los Angeles Rams - Week 12 RBsKyren WilliamsRoyce Freeman
Snaps By Quarter: 1 - 2 - 3 - 415 - 13 - 5 - 72 - 9 - 9 - 3
Rush Att. - Yards - TD - Fum.16 - 143 - 0 - 013 - 77 - 1 - 0
3rd/4th-&-Long Snaps72
2-Min. Drill Snaps70
Routes - Rec./Tgt. - Yards - TD - Fum.21 - 6/6 - 61 - 2 - 08 - 0/0 - 0 - 0 - 0
Red Zone Snaps115
Green Zone Snaps72

Williams is an elite RB1 moving forward. Freeman is a matchup-based flex option.

Browns Suffer Injuries

Cleveland Browns QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson (concussion), WR Amari Cooper (ribs, X-rays showed no fracture, but an MRI is required to rule out cartilage damage), and EDGE Myles Garrett (shoulder) suffered worrying Week 12 injuries. 

Pocket-passing backup QB P.J. Walker would start in place of Thompson-Robinson should the latter man be unable to play. Rookie WR Cedric Tillman would assume X-wide receiver duties if Cooper is sidelined. 

Garrett’s potential absence looms large with the Rams’ potent offense on deck in Week 13. Garrett’s 13.0 NFL sacks rank No. 1 among 112 NFL defensive linemen with at least 300 defensive snaps. His 17.9 percent pressure rate ranks No. 2.

Remaining Storylines

Green Bay Packers QB Jordan Love vs. the Detroit Lions
Green Bay Packers quarterback Jordan Love (10) looks to throw a pass as Detroit Lions defensive end Aidan Hutchinson (97) (left) and linebacker Alex Anzalone (34) collapse the pocket in the fourth quarter at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports

Love Lined Up for Potential Week 13 Shootout

Green Bay Packers coach Matt LaFleur allowed QB Jordan Love to operate as the offensive focal point. Love has increased his accuracy (62.5 percent completion rate in Weeks 10-12) and improved his pocket awareness (1.3 sacks per game in Weeks 10-12). 

Love’s development signals a high-score affair against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 13. His 21.4 fantasy points per game over the last three weeks rank No. 3 at the position. 

Boyle Flops, Jets Should Start Siemian

New York Jets coach Robert Saleh demoted QB Zach Wilson to the No. 3 spot and elevated Tim Boyle to the starting role in Week 12. Boyle averaged just 4.7 yards per passing attempt, and WR Garrett Wilson led all New York pass catchers with just 44 yards receiving. 

No. 2 QB Trevor Siemian gives New York the best chance of winning games, but Saleh is unwilling to start him. 

Saints’ Passing Game Devastated By Injuries

The New Orleans Saints will rely on RB Alvin Kamara, TE Taysom Hill and backup wide receivers in Week 13. No. 1 WR Chris Olave (concussion), No. 3 WR Rashid Shaheed (thigh) and TE Juwan Johnson (concussion) left Week 12. 

Wide receivers average 1.4 weeks missed due to concussion, and tight ends average 2.6, per Doctor of Physical Therapy Adam Hutchison’s injury report.

Browning Is Good Enough to Keep Chase a WR1

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ pass rush constantly harassed Cincinnati Bengals backup QB Jake Browning, generating a 34.4 percent quarterback pressure rate while tallying four sacks. 

Browning completed 60 percent of his passes under pressure and finished top three in yards per passing attempt rate, 8.7 yards on his 32 total dropbacks. Browning’s promising starting debut bodes well for WR Ja’Marr Chase’s odds of retaining rest-of-season PPR WR1 viability. A soft coverage-defense slate aids their cause.

Ridley Repeats Elite WR1 Finish

The Jacksonville Jaguars have recommitted to WR Calvin Ridley in the last two weeks, resulting in consecutive high-end WR1 finishes. 

His 26.5 PPR points per game in Weeks 11-12 rank No. 3 among wide receivers, and his four red zone targets are tied for fourth. 

Pittman Jr., Downs Set Up Well vs. Titans

Indianapolis Colts coach Shane Steichen smartly funneled the offense through WRs Michael Pittman Jr. and Josh Downs following the team’s Week 11 bye. 

Both players totaled 13 targets, tying for No. 1 among Week 12 wide receivers. That bodes well for their upcoming matchup against the Tennessee Titans’ underwhelming coverage unit.

Patriots’ Passing Game Approaches Fantasy Irrelevancy

New England Patriots backup QB Bailey Zappe replaced QB Mac Jones at halftime. Neither player cleared 100 yards passing. 

Additionally, WR Demario Douglas, the team’s only fantasy-relevant pass catcher, suffered a worrying head and neck injury, potentially jeopardizing his Week 13 availability. 

Thielen Tumbles to Flex Status

Defenses have caught up to the Carolina Panthers’ dependence on WR Adam Thielen, most recently evidenced by his one-catch, two-yards-receiving Week 12 performance. Thielen’s 10 PPR points per game average following Carolina’s Week 7 bye ranks No. 42 among NFL wide receivers. He’s a matchup-based flex player moving forward.

Chiefs Rookie Rice Breaks Out 

Kansas City Chiefs WR Rashee Rice led the team in targets (19), receptions (eight) and yards receiving (107) while adding one touchdown receiving with WR Kadarius Toney (ankle/hip), WR Mecole Hardman (thumb) and pass-catching RB Jerick McKinnon (groin) sidelined. Rice’s breakout game fortuitously comes in the run-up to Kansas City’s Weeks 13 and 14 games against the Green Bay Packers and Buffalo Bills’ high-flying offenses. Kansas City (8-3) precariously retains rights to the AFC’s No. 1 playoff seed. 

Eagles’ Defense Remains QB-Friendly

Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen totaled 339 yards passing, two touchdowns passing, one interception, 81 yards rushing and two touchdowns rushing. The Philadelphia Eagles defense ranks bottom-five in fantasy points allowed via passing per game (17.3), yards passing allowed per game (255.8) and touchdowns passing per game (2.1). The unit faces San Francisco 49ers QB Brock Purdy in Week 13. His 112.3 NFL passer rating ranks No. 1 among NFL quarterbacks.

Likely Plays Well In Slot Role

Baltimore Ravens’ fill-in TE Isaiah Likely 62.0 percent Week 12 pre-snap alignment slot rate trails ranks No. 3 at the position. Likely delivered moderate results, catching four-of-six targets for 40 yards receiving, and elite post-catch efficiency. Among 15 Week 12 tight ends with at least five targets, Likely’s 10.75 yards after the catch per reception rank No. 2.