Week 12 Late Slate Fantasy Recap

  • Final score: Chargers 25, Cardinals 24 (Cardinals covered +2.5, O 48.5)


    Postgame Stories

    Well, Kliff Kingsbury’s job security definitely didn’t get safer. Justin Herbert engineered a masterful two-minute drill that ended with a pylon-crashing touchdown pass to Austin Ekeler before Brandon Staley called for the bold two–point conversion to Gerald Everett that sealed the Cardinals’ fate. Prior to that game-winning drive, Herbert had a pretty pedestrian 226-2-0 line despite going up against a struggling Cardinals defense that had been bleeding points lately. Having said that, Arizona did do an admirable job bottling Ekeler up for just 20 yards on the ground, which he made up for with a game-high 11 catches for 60 yards receiving and a score. 


    The Cardinals welcomed both Marquise Brown and Kyler Murray back after a combined seven games missed due to injury, and Murray delivered for fantasy managers despite falling short in leading the real-life offense to just seven points in the final two quarters. Brown (6-48-0 receiving, eight targets, 7.6 total fantasy points) was thrown right in with a team-high eight targets thanks in part to Rondale Moore (groin) and Greg Dortch (wrist) both missing in action. Hollywood should continue to operate as the No. 2 receiving option for Murray down the stretch and be a high-floor WR2.


    Top Performers


    QB Kyler Murray

    After a two-game absence from a hamstring injury, fantasy managers could rejoice at Murray’s (191-2-1 passing, 7-56-1 rushing, 26.2 total fantasy points) return that included three total touchdowns. Even though his passing yards were below 200 for the second straight game, he also racked up 55-plus rushing yards for the third time in five games and ranks seventh among quarterbacks in rushing yards despite the missed games. It was the first time since Week 4 that Murray scored with his legs and has now had no fewer than six rushes in five straight contests. While the Cardinals’ playoff hopes look dashed, Murray should still maintain QB1 status for fantasy managers after the bye despite a couple of stout defenses in the Pats and Broncos awaiting him.


    RB James Conner

    I was wrong on Conner (25-120-0 rushing, 3-20-1 receiving, three targets, 19.5 total fantasy points) particularly in terms of workload, which I expected to dip back below 20 carries with the return of Murray (who had seven carries) and the Cardinals’ brass likely to want to give Keaontay Ingram a longer look before next season with their playoff hopes all but gone. Instead, the veteran back logged a season-high 25 carries for his first century mark in rushing yards over 24 career games as a Cardinal. If he can maintain that kind of volume coming out of the Week 13 bye, he’ll be a low-end RB1 option in the fantasy playoffs even with tough matchups with the Pats (least points allowed to running backs), Broncos (11th-fewest) and Bucs (3rd-fewest).


    Biggest Busts


    TE Gerald Everett

    It’s been tough sledding at the tight end position all season, but Week 12 just hit a little different with a new low. Despite going up against a Cardinals defense that had allowed the most fantasy points to tight ends leading up to this game, Everett (4-18-0 receiving, two-point conversion, 5.8 total fantasy points) had a pathetic 8.5% target share and was somewhat bailed out by the game-winning two-point conversion. This is all even with Mike Williams (ankle) sidelined and Keenan Allen (5-49-1 receiving, seven targets, 13.4 total fantasy points) not dominating looks with only a 14.8% share himself. In fact, it was Ekeler and deep threat DeAndre Carter (7-73-1 receiving, 10 targets, 16.8 total fantasy points) who combined to hog a staggering 53.1% of the targets. Tight end has unfortunately become a black hole heading into the fantasy playoffs, with Everett among those on the TE1 borderline who cannot be trusted.


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    Final score: Raiders 40, Seahawks 34 (Raiders covered +3.5, O 47.5)


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