The Week 12 NFL main slate kicks off on Sunday, Nov. 29, at 1 p.m. ET.
In this piece, I highlight quarterbacks who stand out in our large suite of analytical fantasy tools, most specifically our FantasyLabs Models. While the Models are built for daily contests, this is an all-purpose fantasy article with actionable information for all formats.
As news breaks throughout the week and we adjust our projections, where players rate in our Models will change. For updates, visit the Models directly.
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Top Quarterbacks in the FantasyLabs Models
There are six quarterbacks atop the individual Pro Models that Jonathan Bales, Peter Jennings (CSURAM88), Sean Koerner, Chris Raybon, Kevin McClelland (SportsGeek), Ryan Hodge and I have constructed.
Here’s where they place within our Week 12 fantasy football rankings (as of Tuesday evening).
- Josh Allen: No. 1
- Kyler Murray: No. 3
- Patrick Mahomes: No. 4
- Justin Herbert: No. 7
- Matt Ryan: No. 16
- Daniel Jones: No. 17
Of these six, the two who stand out most to me are Allen and Herbert. The other guys I will highlight as needed in the section on players with week-winning upside.
FantasyLabs Positional Breakdowns
Check in throughout the week as I publish the rest of the positional breakdowns.
For more in-depth NFL analysis, check out The Action Network.
Josh Allen: Buffalo Bills (-5.5) vs. Los Angeles Chargers (53.5 Over/Under)
Through the first month of the season, Allen was the No. 2 fantasy quarterback with 34.7 points per game, scoring no fewer than three total touchdowns in each week.
- Week 1 (vs. NYJ): 28.2 fantasy points | 312-2-0 passing | 14-57-1 rushing
- Week 2 (at MIA): 34.5 fantasy points | 415-4-0 passing | 4-19-0 rushing
- Week 3 (vs. LAR): 31.2 fantasy points | 311-4-0 passing | 4-8-1 rushing
- Week 4 (at LV): 25.4 fantasy points | 288-2-0 passing | 3-minus 1-1 rushing
But in the season’s second month, Allen had a sub-Daniel Jones 17.7 fantasy points per game
- Week 5 (at TEN): 16.3 fantasy points | 263-2-2 passing | 4-18-0 rushing
- Week 6 (vs. KC): 15.1 fantasy points | 122-2-1 passing | 8-42-0 rushing
- Week 7 (at NYJ): 16.4 fantasy points | 307-0-0 passing | 11-61-rushing
- Week 8 (vs. NE): 12.5 fantasy points | 154-0-1 passing | 10-23-1 rushing
In Weeks 1-4, he had an elite 10.3 AY/A. Weeks 5-8, a 5.8 AY/A.
In Weeks 9-10, though, Allen returned to form with 699-5-2 passing and 14-52-1 rushing against the Seahawks and Cardinals.
Coming out of the Week 11 bye, Allen is No. 2 at the position with 24.3 expected fantasy points per game, trailing only the small-sampled Dak Prescott (per RotoViz NFL Player Statistical Summary).
While we shouldn’t expect 300-ish yards passing and multiple touchdowns from Allen each week, the reality is that for most of the season he has been a top-tier quarterback, and even when he has been average at best throughout his career he has usually been a strong fantasy producer.
As a rookie, Allen was the No. 2 fantasy quarterback with 26.6 points per game for the final six weeks of the season after returning to action from an elbow injury.
In his second season, Allen had only one game in which he finished as anything less than a fantasy QB2 (excluding his partial Week 17, per RotoViz NFL Stat Explorer).
Even when he’s not good, Allen still tends to be good enough.
And this year he has been better than good.
What makes Allen so investable is his Konami Code rushing ability and specifically his goal-line usage (per game, per Player Profiler).
- 2019 (16 games): 6.8 carries (No. 2) | 1.4 red-zone carries (No. 2)
- 2020 (nine games): 7.2 carries (No. 4) | 1.6 red-zone carries (No. 5)
With his rushing production, Allen has a nearly unrivaled floor/ceiling combination. No quarterback comes close to him with his 22 rushing touchdowns since 2018. (Lamar Jackson is No. 2, with 15.)
Allen has a good matchup against the Chargers, who are without three defenders they were counting on in the offseason to make the secondary one of the league’s best units.
- All-Pro safety Derwin James: Knee, IR — has been out the whole year
- All-Pro cornerback Chris Harris Jr.: Foot, IR — has been out since Week 4
- All-Pro safety/cornerback Desmond King II: Traded — last played for Chargers in Week 7
The Chargers still have cornerback Casey Hayward Jr., but the rest of the secondary is in shambles around him.
There are few players comparable to Allen and almost none comparable to Patrick Mahomes — but Mahomes is the only dual-threat quarterback to face the Chargers this year and the one most similar to Allen. Against the Chargers in Week 2, Mahomes scored 27.5 fantasy points.
And on the year, opposing quarterbacks are No. 7 against the Chargers with 20.1 fantasy points per game on 2,384-20-5 passing and 38-158-3 rushing.
It’s just an added bonus that Allen is on the positive side of his significant career-long favorite/underdog splits (per our FantasyLabs Trends Tool).
- Favorite (16 games): 24.0 FanDuel points | 81.3% Consistency Rating
- Underdog (21 games): 18.4 FanDuel points | 61.9% Consistency Rating
The Bills have a slate-high 29.5-point implied Vegas total. There’s really nothing not to like about Allen this week: He leads all quarterbacks in our Models with his +4.56 and +6.16 Projected Plus/Minus values on DraftKings and FanDuel.
Allen is a top-three QB1 in season-long leagues and the No. 1 quarterback in the CSURAM88, Raybon and Freedman Models for FanDuel, where he has position-high median and floor projections.
Justin Herbert: Los Angeles Chargers (+5.5) at Buffalo Bills (53.5 O/U)
How well is Herbert’s season going? He’s -900 at FanDuel to win Offensive Rookie of the Year, so, you know, it’s going well.
Herbert is having a rookie campaign for the ages. In each of his nine starts, he has either 300 yards passing or three total touchdowns. That’s the type of consistent production you’d expect from someone like Mahomes.
In only two games — his first two — has Herbert not been a fantasy QB1.
The Bills have a good defense by reputation, and in reality they’re not bad, but they’re also not to be feared. This year, they are a middling No. 14 with a 7.3% pass-defense DVOA (per Football Outsiders).
Opposing quarterbacks are No. 5 against the Bills with 20.5 fantasy points per game, and really the Bills have been worse than that number suggests because they have played against the subpar Sam Darnold and the Jets twice — and every quarterback other than Darnold has gone off.
- Ryan Fitzpatrick (Week 2): 24.3 fantasy points | 328-2-0 passing | 3-12-0 rushing
- Jared Goff (Week 3): 27.2 fantasy points | 321-2-1 passing | 2-4-1 rushing
- Derek Carr (Week 4): 20.4 fantasy points | 311-2-0 passing | 4-20-0 rushing
- Ryan Tannehill (Week 5): 30.0 fantasy points | 195-3-0 passing | 4-42-1 rushing
- Patrick Mahomes (Week 6): 20.6 fantasy points | 225-2-0 passing | 10-36-0 rushing
- Cam Newton (Week 8): 18.4 fantasy points | 174-0-0 passing | 9-54-1 rushing
- Russell Wilson (Week 9): 22.1 fantasy points | 390-2-2 passing | 2-5-1 rushing
- Kyler Murray (Week 10): 29.9 fantasy points | 245-1-1 passing | 11-61-2 rushing
Unless Herbert’s legal name is actually “Sam Darnold,” or unless he’s covertly being “mentored” by Jets head coach Adam Gase, he should be able to handle the Bills’ pass defense.
Herbert is a mid-tier QB1 in season-long leagues and the No. 1 quarterback in the Hodge Model for FanDuel.
Quarterbacks With Week-Winning Upside
In this section, I highlight some quarterbacks I think will outperform expectations and whom I especially like as upside season-long and DFS tournament plays.
Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals (-2) at New England Patriots (49.5 O/U): The Patriots are No. 31 with a 29.5% pass-defense DVOA, so the matchup is not one to avoid. Murray leads all quarterbacks with 0.74 fantasy points per dropback (per Pro Football Focus). Even though he is No. 32 in the league with 92 carries, Murray is No. 11 with 619 yards and No. 2 with 10 touchdowns rushing.
Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs (-3.5) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (56 O/U): The Bucs are No. 2 with a -11.6% pass-defense DVOA, but Mahomes is in MVP form with his league-best 3,035-27-2 passing production. Since HC Andy Reid joined the franchise in 2013, the Chiefs have been the league’s most profitable road team, going 39-20-1 against the spread (ATS), good for an A-graded 30% return on investment (ROI, per our Bet Labs database).
Mahomes is the MVP frontrunner with -125 odds at DraftKings.
Taysom Hill, New Orleans Saints (-5.5) at Denver Broncos (43.5 O/U): Last week, Hill was the No. 3 fantasy quarterback with 24.4 fantasy points on 233-0-0 passing and 10-51-2 rushing in his first NFL start at the position. Dude is about to Tebow at Mile High.
Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons (+3) vs. Las Vegas Raiders (55.5 O/U): If No. 1 wide receiver Julio Jones (hamstring) is unable to play, I’ll be hesitant with Ryan based on his splits (per RotoViz Game Splits App).
But if Jones is active, Ryan will be in consideration: The Raiders are No. 26 with a 46.5 PFF coverage grade, and since last year Ryan leads all quarterbacks in 300-yard passing games, with 14.
Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders (-3) at Atlanta Falcons (55.5 O/U): Opposing quarterbacks are No. 1 in the league against the Falcons with 25.9 fantasy points per game on 3,136-22-7 passing and 40-232-4 rushing.
What they’ve allowed quarterbacks to do to them qualifies as “Not Safe For Work.”
- Russell Wilson (Week 1): 31.8 fantasy points | 322-4-0 passing | 3-29-0 rushing
- Dak Prescott (Week 2): 39.8 fantasy points | 450-1-0 passing | 5-18-3 rushing
- Nick Foles & Mitchell Trubisky (Week 3): 28.8 fantasy points | 316-4-2 passing | 4-42-0 rushing
- Aaron Rodgers (Week 4): 29.6 fantasy points | 327-4-0 passing | 1-5-0 rushing
- Teddy Bridgewater (Week 5): 20.8 fantasy points | 313-2-0 passing | 3-3-0 rushing
- Kirk Cousins (Week 6): 23.7 fantasy points | 343-3-3 passing | 0-0-0 rushing
- Matthew Stafford (Week 7): 18.4 fantasy points | 340-1-0 passing | 1-8-0 rushing
- Teddy Bridgewater (Week 8): 12.0 fantasy points | 176-1-1 passing | 5-30-0 rushing
- Drew Lock (Week 9): 29.2 fantasy points | 313-2-1 passing | 7-47-1 rushing
- Taysom Hill (Week 10): 24.4 fantasy points | 233-0-0 passing | 10-51-0 rushing
Carr is pacing for the best season of his career with his 2,431-19-3 passing line and 8.5 adjusted yards per attempt.
Daniel Jones, New York Giants (-5.5) at Cincinnati Bengals (42.5 O/U): As bad as Jones has been this year, he’s starting to improve. He has been a fantasy QB1 in two of his past four games, and before entering the bye he hit season-high marks in Week 10 with a 75% completion rate and nine carries.
The Bengals are No. 28 with a 22.6% pass-defense DVOA.
The Editor-in-Chief of FantasyLabs, Freedman is commonly called the Oracle & the Labyrinthian.
Pictured above: Bills QB Josh Allen
Photo credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images