Fantasy Football: Five Week 12 matchups to exploit

By Jeff Hicks, 4for4

Special to Yahoo Sports

Schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed, or aFPA, is 4for4’s answer to biased statistics. By removing bias, we can level the playing field and compare matchups in an "apples-to-apples" manner. As the season moves along, the data will change. Regardless, aFPA is arguably the best tool available to gain an edge when using waivers and building lineups.

Another point to make: I could offer players such as Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes pretty much every week, especially when they face awful units according to aFPA. That does everyone a disservice, so I will do my best to avoid players rostered in the majority of fantasy leagues.

Here are the best plays for Week 12.

Geno Smith vs. Las Vegas Raiders

Oh baby! One of the frontrunners for Comeback Player of the Year gets an opportunity to build on an already strong case for the award. The Raiders' pass defense is offensive, ranking 31st in aFPA. Blame games against the Chargers and Chiefs (seven pass TDs in two games), sure, but multi-TD games to Andy Dalton and Davis Mills are embarrassing in the year 2022. Not to add salt to the wound, but Matt Ryan has a rushing TD against the Raiders (and 38 rushing yards). Smith is arguably the third-best QB Vegas will have faced this season.

Jeff Wilson Jr. vs. Houston Texans

With zero teams on bye, there will be a lot of players at your disposal in season-long leagues. It is also realistic to assume this is the last or second-to-last week of your regular season. Thankfully, Wilson has made a statement since being acquired by the Dolphins and gets a juicy matchup at home against the Texans. Only the Browns allow more schedule-adjusted fantasy points to running backs, and the Dolphins' offense should get out to a sizable lead against Houston, leading to Wilson getting close to 20 carries in an attempt to run out the clock. Raheem Mostert is still hanging around, but Wilson has a 26-17 carry advantage the past two games. He also has one more catch on two more targets than Mostert. Even if Mostert gets decent run, it is/was because Wilson got his, including red zone work.

Tyler Boyd at Tennessee Titans

Boyd should already be in your starting lineup, but if he ends up being a flex option and you need a tiebreaker, I got you. Boyd will likely see Roger McCreary, Pro Football Focus' 59th-ranked cornerback. Tee Higgins may get moved around to get better matchups, cool! Boyd may see Kristian Fulton, the 49th-ranked CB on PFF. Slot work? Elijah Molden is playing in his second game after starting the season on injured reserve. He’s barely out of training camp mode. The Titans rank 31st in wide receiver aFPA. On top of that, Tennessee is a pass funnel defense, meaning Boyd and Co. are in an advantageous spot to be pass-happy.

Editor's note: Joe Burrow expects Ja'Marr Chase (hip) to play, so keep in mind his presence could impact Boyd's bottom line — it's a situation to monitor.

Bengals WR Tyler Boyd should be in a favorable fantasy matchup no matter where he lines up against the Titans on Sunday.
Bengals WR Tyler Boyd should be in a favorable fantasy matchup no matter where he lines up against the Titans on Sunday. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

Foster Moreau at Seattle Seahawks

The Raiders' season has been a bunch of “what-could-have-beens” with a lot of strong individual performances on offense. With Darren Waller on IR, Moreau has been the TE1 for the Raiders. He gets the best matchup for tight ends in Week 12 against the Seahawks. Tight ends are averaging 14.90 yards per catch against Seattle, but the Buccaneers sucked out loud at the TE position against the Seahawks. Even with every team playing in Week 12, the TE position is a cesspool for fantasy. Lock in Moreau if you have him.

Pittsburgh Steelers defense at Indianapolis Colts

Fantasy players may sour on the Steelers' DST after Week 11’s flop, but the Colts' offense is still #NotGood. The Colts allow 11.4 schedule-adjusted fantasy points to opposing defenses. T.J. Watt is on the field again, and Matt Ryan is a statue. Shut down Jonathan Taylor, and the Colts' offense is in trouble. Get back on the Steelers DST horse for Monday Night Football.

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Jeff has played fantasy sports since 2001. He has covered fantasy and traditional sports at the pro, semi-pro, and amateur levels for the better part of a decade. Born in Illinois and currently living where James Robinson made a name for himself in college, Jeff enjoys running (establish it), followed by doing absolutely nothing.

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