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Value Plays: Week 12

A comparison of the weekly positional rankings and the Top 200, this is an output of the players who could have unexpected big fantasy weeks.

This article will take a weekly look at players who could provide value in a given week. The basis for this value will be the difference between the Top 200 forward, a look at the top 200 players with the whole season in mind, and the weekly rankings. Both are from the Insider content. An emphasis will be on the players with the largest differences between the season outlook and this week only. Also, a preference will be given to differences for the higher ranked players. Some of these differences will be due to injury, the matchup of the week, or short-term situation. Now, let's look at this week's value players.


Marcus Mariota

  • Top 200 ranking: 20
  • Weekly ranking: 13
  • Difference: +7

The Tennessee quarterback has played exceptionally well in year two as a professional.  The game against the battered Bears should allow Mariota to have another solid performance.  Chicago has endured a litany of injuries and is unlikely to put up a fight.  The Titans are looking for a convincing victory to push for the division title. 

Ben Roethlisberger

  • Top 200 ranking: 10
  • Weekly ranking: 2
  • Difference: +8

Roethlisberger and the Steelers travel to Indianapolis to face the Colts on Thanksgiving.  The Pittsburgh passer has lit up the Indianapolis defense in their last two meetings and looks to do so again.  Vontae Dais was not up to full speed against the Titans last week.  The Colts are the second-worst defense in holding opposing quarterbacks in check. 

Running Back

Rashad Jennings

  • Top 200 ranking: 22
  • Weekly ranking: 9
  • Difference: +13

The Giants travel to Cleveland to face the Browns this week.  We expect New York to run Jennings often to pound the Browns offense early and often.  Cleveland is the fifth-best fantasy matchup for opposing running backs.  The Browns yield an average of 28.17 PPR fantasy points to opposing tailbacks.  It is a great matchup for the veteran ball carrier.  He will be used to bludgeon the poor Cleveland defense for most of the second half.

DeMarco Murray

  • Top 200 ranking: 12
  • Weekly ranking: 6
  • Difference: +6

As with Mariota above, Murray will get opportunities to score against a Bears team missing many starters.  With all of the injuries to the Chicago, Tennessee will look to dominate the game with a strong ground attack.  This game could be lopsided enough that the Titans control the ball with an effective running game, and Mariota is allowed to mix in play-action passes.  In addition, Murray will see scoring chances and should top 100 yards.

Rob Kelley

  • Top 200 ranking: 24
  • Weekly ranking:  10
  • Difference: +14

Kelley has emerged to be the bell cow ball carrier for Washington.  The game against the Cowboys on Thanksgiving, in Dallas, should see the powerful runner get ample carries.  His three-touchdown game last week is encouraging for Kelley’s upside.  He makes a great fantasy RB1/2 option this week for fantasy owners.  Dallas’ opponents have run the ball effectively the past few weeks. The Cowboys have given up 56.90 PPR fantasy points to opposing rushing attacks the past two weeks.  With Kelley currently garnering most of the touches, his upside is sky high for the turkey day contest. 

Wide Receiver

Jordy Nelson

  • Top 200 ranking: 14
  • Weekly ranking: 5
  • Difference: +9

Nelson looks to be finally back to his play-making self.  He gets a lacking Eagles secondary this week.  Philadelphia has suffered injuries to the secondary.  In a game that should be high scoring, we like most of the Packers pass catchers.  The lack of a Green Bay running game should translate into even more attempted passes for Rodgers and targets for Nelson.

Kenny Britt

  • Top 200 ranking: 38
  • Weekly ranking: 18
  • Difference: +20

Britt has rebounded to have a big season in his free agent walk year.  He should land in the Top 24 receivers at the end of the season, placing him as a fantasy WR2.  While the game against the Saints in New Orleans may be lower scoring than the home team might prefer, the Saints defense has yielded big games to opposing wideouts.  We also expect rookie quarterback Jared Goff to improve in game two of his professional tenure. 

Jordan Matthews

  • Top 200 ranking: 21
  • Weekly ranking: 10
  • Difference: +11

Matthews has been the leading receiver on a bad Eagles receiving corps.  In a game against Green Bay that looks to be high scoring, Matthews could have a monster game (at least by Matthews’ standards).  The Packers have an injury-riddled secondary which will give up big plays.  Green Bay yields the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing wide receiving corps.  The Packers give up an average of 40.33 PPR fantasy points per game.  We like Matthews’ chances of topping 100 receiving yards and finding the end zone in the contest. 

Tight End

Kyle Rudolph

  • Top 200 ranking: 14
  • Weekly ranking: 11
  • Difference: +3

Rudolph lands on this list like many tight end opponents of the Detroit Lions.  With several injuries plaguing the Minnesota offense, Rudolph could see an increase in pass targets, especially with the poor fashion the Lions defend the tight end position. 

Delanie Walker

  • Top 200 ranking: 9
  • Weekly ranking: 5
  • Difference: +4

Like his teammates above, Walker should benefit from the numerous injuries to the Chicago Bears, on both sides of the ball.  In a week where many top tight ends have tough matchups, Walker makes a safe and solid TE1 fantasy option. 

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