Week 12 fantasy football highs and lows: Chris Godwin's big day

Chris Godwin, coming off a career season, now will see what he can do with Tom Brady throwing to him. Jason Getz/USA TODAY Sports

Week 12 of the fantasy football season featured plenty of notable performances. What should we make of them? Matt Bowen and Tristan H. Cockcroft are here with analysis on the biggest performers -- and duds -- of the week.

Chris Godwin leads Tampa Bay's WR duo

Godwin's 37.4 PPR fantasy points were the second-most in his career, trailing only the 41.2 he scored in Week 4, as he was the Buccaneers wide receiver standout in a week where Mike Evans (8.0 points) was quiet. While it has been a bit hit-or-miss to predict which of the two might have the huge game on a weekly basis, both have been excellent on the whole in fantasy terms, concluding the 1 p.m. ET game block with the second- (233.9 points for Godwin) and third-most (210.3 for Evans) PPR fantasy points among wide receivers for the season, with Amari Cooper, DJ Chark Jr., Cooper Kupp and Julian Edelman the only wide receivers with later games with a realistic chance at catching up.

It puts both wide receivers on pace for 300-point seasons, which is quite the rarity in the NFL: Only the 1995 Lions (Herman Moore 371.6 PPR fantasy points, Brett Perriman 315.6) and 2014 Broncos (Demaryius Thomas 340.9, Emmanuel Sanders 301.8) can claim a pair of wideouts who both reached that plateau in a single year. -- Cockcroft

Sam Darnold, Robby Anderson dominate Oakland

If you watched Darnold's performance in the Jets' Monday Night Football game against the Patriots five short weeks ago, you might find it difficult to imagine him, in Week 12, setting a new personal best with 28.2 fantasy points. While it took some time for him to capitalize on his extremely favorable schedule, Darnold has now put forth two excellent point totals -- he had 25.4 in Week 11 against the Redskins -- which bodes well for him with two additional plus matchups ahead in the Bengals (Week 13) and Dolphins (Week 14).

Turnovers have been less of an issue for Darnold in the past three weeks, during which time he has one interception, although he did commit two fumbles that were recovered by the Jets during that time. Perhaps more notably, Darnold's recent turnaround has improved the fantasy stock of Robby Anderson, who scored 18.6 PPR fantasy points on Sunday and should directly benefit from the aforementioned schedule. Anderson will draw a good matchup against the Bengals' William Jackson, followed by a great matchup against Dolphins rookie Nik Needham, who has struggled when shadowing perimeter receivers. -- Cockcroft

Darnold got some time to throw Sunday versus a zone-heavy Raiders defense, completing 20-of-29 passes for 315 yards with two touchdowns. And he'll get an even better matchup in Week 13 against a Bengals secondary that can be exposed. More split-safety coverage for Darnold to target there. Plus, with Anderson jumping back into the fold on Sunday, catching four passes for 86 yards and a score, he gives fantasy managers a WR3 the next two weeks against both Cincinnati and Miami. There will be opportunities for Adam Gase to scheme up deep ball throws to Anderson in those matchups. -- Bowen

Big day for Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry

With six receptions for 84 yards and a score -- his first touchdown reception since Week 2 -- Beckham netted managers over 20 fantasy points in PPR formats for just the second time this season. And it should have been somewhat expected, right? That was a prime matchup for Beckham versus the Miami secondary, which is why he jumped up into the Week 12 WR1 ranks. But before Beckham hits that favorable stretch in Weeks 14-15 against Cincinnati and Arizona, he gets the Pittsburgh defense. Back in Week 11, the Steelers held Beckham to 60 yards receiving on 4-of-10 targets. Yes, Beckham has some real upside when the fantasy playoffs start, but he's going to slide down this week into the WR2 range. -- Bowen

Landry set a personal best with 36.8 PPR fantasy points, and he now has 53 targets in his past five games combined. Yes, he and the Browns draw the Steelers next (an unfavorable matchup almost all around), but Landry's matchup against slot cornerback Mike Hilton is one of their few individual player matchups that I do like. In a full-PPR league, Landry arguably warrants a better ranking than Beckham. -- Cockcroft

DJ Moore tops 100 yards again

With six receptions for 126 yards and two touchdowns versus the Saints, Moore is now up to 177.8 fantasy points this season, good for WR9. Sure, we want more touchdown production, as his two scoring grabs on Sunday pushed his season total to only three. But the volume is there -- Moore has seen at least eight targets in seven straight games -- the route running is really developing, and he continues to post numbers despite the up-and-down quarterback play from Kyle Allen. Moore has now topped the 100-yard receiving mark in three of his past four games, and the explosive plays are becoming more consistent. With matchup next week versus the Redskins, Moore should be expected to produce solid WR2 numbers. -- Bowen

Matt Ryan has (another) day to forget

Ryan's 7.6 fantasy points had to rank among the week's most disappointing performances, underscored by the fact that he was started in 72.5% of ESPN leagues, third-highest among quarterbacks. He's the first of 11 starting quarterbacks this season -- we'll exclude Taysom Hill from this, as he got a "start" in Week 5 due to the playcalling -- to fall short of double-digit fantasy points against the Buccaneers, the most favorable matchup for quarterbacks in 2019. Ryan's season has been rather up-and-down, and he hasn't had a 20-point game since Week 6. It's going to be difficult to justify starting him in 10-team leagues when he faces the Saints, Panthers and 49ers during the next three weeks. -- Cockcroft

Michael Thomas continues to dominate

Thomas' 26.1 PPR fantasy points pushed his season total to 263.3, the eighth-most by any wide receiver in history through his team's first 11 games of a season. He also joined Jerry Rice (1995), Davante Adams (2018) and Antonio Brown (2018) as the only wide receivers since at least 1950 to score at least 15 PPR fantasy points in each of his team's first 11 games of the season. Thomas' 104 receptions, too, are the most by any player in history through 11 games, and he's on pace for a record-setting 151 catches. -- Cockcroft

Thomas is almost automatic at this point. He's topped the 100-yard receiving mark in five straight games, and he's caught three touchdowns during that stretch. Plus, does any coach in the league scheme up open-window throws and matchups like Sean Payton does with Thomas? This is clinic stuff in the New Orleans passing game, and it allows Thomas to take over with his upper-level route running. -- Bowen

Leonard Fournette has career day

Fournette's 36.9 PPR fantasy points set a new career high and were welcomed by his fantasy managers, considering they came in a game his team lost by 22 points and trailed by multiple touchdowns for more than 40 minutes. He had 24 carries -- his most since Week 7 -- which is an indication that Jaguars coach Doug Marrone has been true to his word that he would get Fournette the football more often moving forward. That game flow wasn't remotely an issue for the third-year running back is great news for his rest-of-season value, as he has RB1 appeal for the season's final five weeks in their entirety. It's "in their entirety," though, because Fournette should have a tough time finding much running room against the Buccaneers in Week 13, meaning he'll be a borderline member of that tier. -- Cockcroft

Amari Cooper gets shut out

Sunday marked the fourth time in Cooper's career that he was shut out on the fantasy scorecard, but his 80% rate of Cowboys offensive snaps played was his highest in those four games. In Week 14 of 2015, he played 79% of the Raiders' offensive snaps and drew eight targets but was held without a catch. The common bond in those games: an elite cover corner. Aqib Talib and Chris Harris Jr. caused headaches for Cooper four years ago, while Stephon Gilmore did so Sunday. That's a problem, considering Tre'Davious White and the Bills are next on Cooper's schedule. Cooper's stinker probably sunk a good number of fantasy matchups: He was started in 87.2% of ESPN leagues, fifth highest among wide receivers. -- Cockcroft


Christian McCaffrey: Another week, another 30-point PPR fantasy performance by McCaffrey, who now has six of them through 11 Panthers games. That brings his seasonal totals to 302.6 PPR and 243.6 non-PPR fantasy points, the third- and 14th-most by any player through his team's first 11 games of any season since at least 1950. Only Priest Holmes (359.0, in 2006) and LaDainian Tomlinson (359.0, in 2006) scored more PPR fantasy points through that stage of any season. -- Cockcroft

Jets defense/special teams: The Jets D/ST scored 17 points, second-most among defenses through Sunday's 1 p.m. ET games. They've now scored a combined 46 fantasy points the past three weeks, most in the NFL (although the Ravens and 49ers have a chance to pass them), they play the Bengals and Dolphins the next two weeks and they're available in roughly 75% of ESPN leagues. -- Cockcroft

Benny Snell: Given the injuries to James Conner this year, Snell is worth the roster add. Snell rushed for 98 yards on 21 carries, and grabbed one pass for five yards in the Week 12 win over Cincinnati. The rookie out of Kentucky has some size as a downhill runner, and the footwork is there to work through the wash. Think volume here if Conner misses more time in an offense that should lean on the run game due to the quarterback situation. -- Bowen

Carson Wentz: I'm not going to put everything on Wentz here, since the Eagles are really banged-up at wide receiver and this could be the slowest offense in the league. But Wentz hasn't topped the 300-yard passing mark since Week 6, and he turned the ball over four times in Sunday's loss to the Seahawks. Even with a very favorable Week 13 matchup against Miami, Wentz isn't going to make the cut as a QB1. -- Bowen

Ryan Tannehill: Something to keep tucked away for those going the streaming route at quarterback or playing in 2QB leagues is that Tannehill has a trio of great matchups during the fantasy playoffs, facing the Raiders in Week 14 and Texans in Weeks 15 and 17. He has been far better than expected since taking over as the Titans' starter, posting at least 18 fantasy points in each of five starts, including a career-best 32.4 on Sunday. -- Cockcroft

Derrick Henry: Henry is on the verge of putting together a monster run to close out the fantasy season for the second straight year. Over the past two weeks (wins over the Chiefs and Jags), Henry has ripped off 357 yards rushing with four touchdowns. And the guy is a freight train when he gets up to top speed. Yes, Henry will see a much tougher matchup in Week 13 against the Colts' defense. But with 45 carries in his past two outings for a rising Titans offense, the volume keeps Henry in the lower-tier RB1 discussion. -- Bowen