We’re fresh off Thanksgiving weekend, I hope you got some time to relax, some time with family and some time to reflect on what you’re grateful for as this year draws to a close. Some of that gratitude might have been for great performances seen in Week 12 as your team enters the stretch drive toward the fantasy playoffs. Others might have had to look elsewhere to find solace after some bad beats. And others might be hoping for some miracles tonight! Hey, in a weekend where the Michigan Wolverines beat the Ohio State Buckeyes, anything can happen. We’ll look at all of tonight’s action in a minute, but first let’s consider what we learned in the rest of Week 12.
The AFC East Race is Going to be Wild
With a win on Thanksgiving, the Buffalo Bills moved to 7-4, getting back on track and moving into a first-place tie with the Patriots. With a win on Sunday, the Patriots moved to 8-4, a half game out in front in the AFC East and tying for the most wins in the AFC with eight. The Bills and Patriots play in Week 13, and twice in the month of December. Those matchups will likely decide what’s suddenly become one of the tightest division races in the NFL.
The AFC West Race is Going to be Wild
If you think the AFC East is fun, can I interest you in a trip out West? The Chiefs are on a bye, sitting atop the division at 7-4. The other three teams—the Broncos, Raiders and Chargers—are all 6-5. With each team having at least three divisional matchups on tap in the final six weeks of the season there is going to be plenty of movement in the division, where every team is above .500 and within a game of each other.
The 49ers are Major Players in the Playoff Race
Don’t look know but the 49ers have won three straight games, moving to 6-5 and starting to get their offense really humming. The 49ers are now just one game back of the Los Angeles Rams, who they beat earlier this season. That gives them a chance to get into the Wild Card race. While the division race sees them sitting three games back and having been swept by the Arizona Cardinals, the 49ers seem to have momentum at the right time to make the Wild Card field.
Now, on to any possible miracles.
Monday Night Preview
The Seattle Seahawks are sitting at 3-7 and watching the season slipping away. The Washington Football Team is 4-6 and not in much better shape. Both teams were in the playoffs in 2020 and both entered 2021 with playoff aspirations, but it hasn’t happened. Both have struggled with injuries and seen their defenses struggle. So, what to expect on Monday night. Honestly, I’m not expecting much.
In the past, Russell Wilson has been solid gold for fantasy. Since returning from a finger injury that cost him several games, Wilson has been dreadful. It’s not a bad matchup, but I don’t have faith in him right now, which makes me cautious about D.K. Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, and Gerald Everett, too, while Alex Collins has been unspectacular in leading the Seahawks’ ground game.
For Washington, it looks like Ryan Fitzpatrick won’t be back, so this become Taylor Heinicke’s chance to show he should be the guy in 2022. He hasn’t looked bad and there could be a case made that he’s earned that chance. A strong finish will go a long way toward cementing that, which means potentially good things for Terry McLaurin while receiver Curtis Samuel and tight end Logan Thomas are also expected to be back. In the backfield I still like Antonio Gibson as an RB2, while J.D. McKissic continues to have some flex value.
Washington’s defense has been better of late and I think they get it done Monday night.
Matthew Fox is a graduate of the Radio, Television and Film program at Biola University, and a giant nerd. He spends his free time watching movies, TV, and obsessing about football. He is a member of the FSWA. You can find him @knighthawk7734 on Twitter and as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast.