The fantasy football playoffs typically kick off in Week 14, meaning many fantasy players are in need of a win now. With that in mind, we've analyzed the upcoming NFL schedule and identified several players to start and others to avoid for Week 12.



— Andy Dalton, Cincinnati vs. Cleveland

Dalton has thrown 13 TDs and no interceptions in his last five games against the Browns, as well as seven TDs and no interceptions in his last four games overall.

—Mathew Stafford, Detroit vs. Minnesota

In five Thanksgiving Day games since 2012, Stafford has averaged 346 passing yards per game, and thrown a total of 13 TDs and just two INTs.

Running back

— Jerrick McKinnon, Minnesota at Detroit

The Lions have given up 4.4 rushing yards per carry (YPC). They've also surrendered the fifth most fantasy points per game (FPPG) and fifth most receptions to RBs. McKinnon has averaged 4.11 YPC and just over 17 FPPG over his last six games.

— Alfred Morris, Dallas vs. Los Angeles Chargers

Alfred Morris has led Cowboys RBs in carries over the past two weeks, and faces a Chargers team that has surrendered the third most FPPG to RBs and 4.74 YPC over their past four games. Left tackle Tyron Smith is trending toward playing this week, which would be a huge boost for the Cowboys' offensive line and run game.

Wide receiver

— Rishard Matthews, Tennessee at Indianapolis

Matthews has scored double digit fantasy points in four of his last five games in point-per-reception (PPR) leagues, and has scored TDs in two of the last three weeks. The Colts have surrendered the third most receiving yards to WRs, and allowed the seventh most FPPG to the position.

— Jeremy Maclin, Baltimore vs. Houston

The Texans have given up the most receptions, receiving yards and TDs. Predictably, they've allowed the most FPPG to WRs over the past month. Maclin has provided owners with double digit scoring in PPR leagues in three of his last four games.

Tight end

— Vernon Davis, Washington vs. NY Giants

In the three most recent games that Davis has started in place of Jordan Reed, he's averaged nine targets, and five catches for 72 yards. The Giants give up the most FPPG to TEs. Keep an eye on the injury report as game time approaches. If Reed is forced to miss another game, Davis should have a productive day.

—Jared Cook, Oakland vs. Denver

We recommended you sit Cook last week and he had just two catches for 36 yards. This week's matchup against the Broncos is much more favorable. They've allowed the second most FPPG and seven TDs to TEs in 10 games.



— Josh McCown, NY Jets vs. Carolina

McCown's fantasy scores have gone down in each of his last three games (18.3, 16.9, 12.5). He's been a nice streaming option for much of this season, and has favorable matchups in Weeks 13 and 14, but for this week, he should be faded. The Panthers have allowed just 10.3 FPPG to QBs in their last four games.

— Alex Smith, Kansas City vs. Buffalo

Smith's fantasy production has declined as of late. In his first seven games he averaged 22.5 FPPG. In Smith's last three games, he's averaging 13.3 FPPG. Overall, the Bills have allowed the seventh fewest FPPG to QBs and the second fewest passing TDs (9) on the season.

Running back

— Doug Martin, Tampa Bay at Atlanta

Martin hasn't scored a TD in his last five games and has averaged 2.5 YPC and just 43 rushing yards per game. He hasn't rushed for 100 yards in a game since 2015. He'll likely continue his efforts in futility against the Falcons, who've allowed just one TD and the fourth fewest FPPG to RBs over the past month.

— Joe Mixon, Cincinnati vs. Cleveland

Mixon has had a hard time running behind the Bengals' weak offensive line. He's been the Bengals primary back since Week 3, and he hasn't come close to producing a 100 yard rushing game. Mixon has an overall 2.9 YPC average and it won't get any easier for him this week against the Browns, who continue to lead the NFL in lowest YPC allowed (3.1).

Wide receiver

— Jordy Nelson, Green Bay at Pittsburgh

You may have invested a first or second round pick on Nelson way back on draft day, but at this time of the year you need to put the best players in your lineups. Nelson has averaged just two catches and 23 receiving yards over his past four games. He's got a tough matchup against the Steelers who've given up the fourth fewest FPPG to WRs.

— Nelson Agholor, Eagles vs. Chicago

Agholor's been slumping. He's failed to score a TD in his last three games and is averaging two catches for 20 yards during that time frame. The Bears have given up the fourth fewest passing TDs this season (11) and have been especially tough on slot receivers.

Tight end

— Jesse James, Pittsburgh vs. Green Bay

The Packers have given up the fewest FPPG to TEs and zero TDs to the position this season.


This column was provided to The Associated Press by the Fantasy Sports Network,