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Week 12 Fantasy Football Playoff Prep Tips, Waiver Targets and Lineup Picks

Fantasy Insider Scott Engel offers guidance as you prep for Week 12 of the fantasy season.


Scott Engel is in his ninth season of Fantasy Football coverage on Scott is a 20-plus year veteran of the Fantasy industry and an inaugural member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association's Hall of Fame. You can find more of his Fantasy analysis at and You can listen to Scott on weekend mornings and on demand on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio. Scott has also won his highly competitive Fantasy Football league with other experts and top players in each of the past three years.

The Seahawks are in the thick of the NFC playoff race again as the NFL playoffs start to creep closer. For Fantasy Football players, the postseason is approaching more quickly. In most leagues, the playoffs will begin in Week 14, so the next two matchups are crucial for those in the hunt. Here are some key recommendations to absorb and remember for the final two weeks of the Fantasy Football regular season.

  • The bye weeks are almost finished, and there are no teams that are off in Week 12. So by now, you have a good handle on which players will consistently be in your lineups every week. When you hit the waiver wire, you will be looking for quality depth in case of injuries or players missing time. You want to have guys who can step forward and start if needed. There will still be a few players worthy of "stashing", but by now, you have a strong grip on who should remain in your lineup consistently and who will continue to function as streamers.
  • One essential approach is to grab the top NFL backups to your prime starters. This is especially true at running back, where there is always a clear "Next Man Up" approach by most NFL teams. You don't want to have to scramble to the free agent list to battle for the top NFL backup to your projected starter when he is elevated to starting status. You always want to be able to simply activate him from your bench.
  • You may start to feel extra pressure here at the end of the Fantasy regular season, when each matchup becomes more magnified and the room for error seemingly runs out. That could lead to overthinking lineup decisions. Don't let the additional importance of the Week 12 and 13 matchups force you to second-guess yourself too much. As always, make the most informed decisions you can, then realize once you set your lineups, you cannot control what actually happens on the field.
  • Always go with your best players, regardless of the matchups. As we have already seen, Russell Wilson and DK Metcalf are usually matchup proof, and their performances will not necessarily be dictated by the defense they are facing. Defenses don't always win marquee matchups, and if you sit your superstars when you need them the most, you will often regret it.
  • Never make lineup decisions based on who your opponent has. You cannot control the output of the other team, you simply have to build the best lineup to outscore it. Starting a wide receiver from one NFL team because your opponent has the quarterback on that team does not cancel out the scoring from the other side. The Fantasy scoring is different at each position, and there are other players that the quarterback will throw to.
  • When games are affected by weather conditions by this point of the season, pay attention to wind more than anything else. Anything about 15 mph should raise concerns about the passing game, but do not overreact to rain and snow alone. In snowy games, the offense can actually have advantages, as the defense must react to what offensive players do, and that becomes tougher in such conditions.
  • The one position where you will certainly continue to exclusively stream lineup choices is on defense. Unless you have Pittsburgh on your roster, there is no singular "set it and forget it" weekly play. Focus less on points allowed, as only three teams average less than 20 points per game in today's high-scoring environment. Look for opponents that surrender a good amount of sacks and turn the ball over more than others. The Seahawks defense is coming off its best game of the year and has a friendly schedule in the next four weeks, so they will deserve strong consideration. The 'Hawks have picked up 13 sacks in the past three games, buoyed by the acquisition of Carlos Dunlap and the return of Jamal Adams, while employing a aggressive and successful pass rushing approach that has also featured Bobby Wagner.

Week 12 Waiver Targets

Players listed in order of preferred acquisition at each position.

Running Backs

J.K. Dobbins, RB Ravens (43.5 percent rostered in leagues): The rookie was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list early this week, but this is a forward-looking recommended move for the near future, as Dobbins could take over the lead RB role for the Ravens when he returns. He has looked potentially explosive every time he has touched the ball in recent weeks, and scored a season-high 18.5 Fantasy Points on Sunday. He logged 63 percent of the snaps with all Baltimore RBs available, and has much upside for the Fantasy playoff push. For this week, Gus Edwards should start on Thursday night vs. Pittsburgh and deserves flex consideration in larger leagues.

Wayne Gallman, RB Giants (40.5): Many Fantasy players make the mistake of cutting a quality Fantasy performer when he is on a bye week. Such is the case with Gallman, who has become a very productive Fantasy option while pressed into service as the lead RB for New York. He has scored 13-plus Fantasy points in his past four outings and could start for the Giants for at least their next two games while DeVonta Freeman is on injured reserve. Swoop in and grab him now for potential RB2 or flex consideration.

James White, RB, Patriots (37.7): He showed he can still be a significant part of the New England offense in Week 11, and his role may expand now with Rex Burkhead out. White caught six passes for 64 yards vs. Houston and also carried five times. Game flow may continue to dictate that White will catch a good amount of passes, and he can re-emerge as a quality flex option.

Rashaad Penny, RB, Seahawks (0.9): In his Friday Takeaways from Pete Carroll’s press conference, Jordan Duncan of included the head coach's latest update on Penny, which indicated he could be returning very soon. We have already seen Chris Carson (Week 4) and DeeJay Dallas (Week 8) finish in the Top 5 at RB in certain weeks this season, and Carlos Hyde finished seventh in Week 11. All potential contributors at RB for the 'Hawks should be on your radar for possible usage at any time. When we last saw Penny in 2019, he rushed for 203 yards and scored three TDs from scrimmage in a two-game span.

Wide Receivers

Michael Pittman Jr., WR, Colts (7.9): This rookie further confirmed he is deserving of a Fantasy starting spot with a 45-yard catch-and-run for a TD on Sunday. We have mentioned Pittman previously in this space, and now you have extra proof he is for real and can help you during the most important stretch of the Fantasy season.

Nelson Agholor, WR, Raiders (14.3): The preferred big-play artist for Derek Carr, Agholor caught his sixth TD pass of the season vs. Kansas City on Sunday night. He is clearly Las Vegas' top wideout right now, and Agholor certainly deserves streaming consideration as a Fantasy WR3.

Corey Davis, WR Titans (55.1): He is still widely available in some leagues as Davis continues to show real signs of blossoming in his fourth pro season. He has two 100-yard games in his past three and has registered 15-plus Fantasy points in three of his past five. Davis has pushed himself into the Fantasy WR3 streaming conversation this season.

Tim Patrick, WR, Broncos (6.7): Patrick is underrated and overlooked. He registered his third 100-yard game of the season in Week 11 and has scored in double figure Fantasy points in three of his past four. Patrick is an ideal depth player for the Fantasy playoff push, and is certainly worth lineup consideration.

Tight Ends

Jordan Reed, TE, 49ers (28.3): He should be San Francisco's starting TE until further notice. Reed caught five passes for 62 yards before the Niners' Week 9 bye, and he had a two-TD game in Week 2 when he had to step up for San Francisco. If you have persistent problems at TE, Reed can solve them.

Jacob Hollister, TE, Seahawks (0.1): We have seen Hollister contribute respectable Fantasy numbers before, and he did score 11 points in Week 9. While Greg Olsen is on injured reserve, Hollister could be worthy of a roster spot as a Fantasy TE2.


Taysom Hill, QB, Saints (34.2): The versatile and exciting starter in place of Drew Brees, Hill rushed for two TDs and threw for another in his NFL debut as a No. 1 QB in Week 11. His 24.4 points were the third most at QB. Running quarterbacks are always regarded as upside performers in Fantasy Football. Hill showed he can produce well enough as both a runner and passer to warrant further Fantasy QB1 consideration.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, Dolphins (6.8): He could regain the starting job in Miami at some point soon. From Weeks 2 through 5. Fitzpatrick scored 21-plus Fantasy points as the No. 1 QB for the Dolphins.

Week 12 Fantasy Lineup Considerations

Expect Todd Gurley to find the end zone vs. the Raiders, who have allowed an AFC-high 12 rushing scores. … The Chargers are 23rd in Fantasy Points Per Game allowed to RBs, so you should see a quality outing from Zack Moss. … Mike Davis will be a quality RB2 play vs. Minnesota. …. Antonio Gibson is a must-start in a big game for Washington vs. Dallas. … Agholor is a strong bet to score again vs. Atlanta. … Darius Slayton has upside vs. Cincinnati. … DeVante Parker should find the end zone vs. the Jets. … D.J. Chark should be a good WR3 play vs. Cleveland. …. Derek Carr is a strong streamer vs. Atlanta. … if you need to dig deep at QB, consider Alex Smith vs. Dallas. … Hunter Henry may score again vs. Buffalo. … Philadelphia is 26th vs. TEs, so consider Hollister in deeper leagues.

Week 12 Defensive Streamers

The Seahawks are a good start vs. the Eagles, who have allowed opponents to generate the fourth-most FFPG against them. … The Saints are a rock-solid start vs. Denver. … The Giants are a good play vs. the depleted Bengals. … Washington is a quality choice vs. Dallas.

For more analysis and updated weekly lineup rankings from Scott Engel, plus comprehensive Fantasy Football coverage and tools, get the RotoBaller Season Pass. Enter promo code "Seahawks" at checkout for an additional discount. Weekly options are now available for your Fantasy playoff push.

Fantasy Insider Scott Engel identifies players to target on the waiver wire in the lead up to Week 12. Read more:

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