Week 12 Streaming QBs and DSTs: Two of the biggest positions for streaming in fantasy are quarterback and defense. Here in this article, we will break down the best options at quarterback and defense. We hope to steer fantasy managers into decisions that create wins. This article will focus mostly on players less than 50-percent rostered.
Week 12 Streaming QBs
Cam Newton (@MIA)
We love to see rushing quarterbacks in fantasy football and Cam Newton continues to prove why.
In his first two starts for Carolina, Newton has five total touchdowns, two of which are on the ground. Miami’s defense has improved over the course of 2021, but they are still allowing 19.3-FPPG to opposing quarterbacks.
While Miami has allowed the most passing yards in the NFL with 3199 yards, I don’t expect Newton to go crazy through the air unless his YAC kings (Christian McCaffrey and D.J. Moore) go nuclear. But I do expect Newton to facilitate all touchdowns, either on the ground or through the air. A CMC ceiling game is likely the only thing to derail Newton.
The other reason that Newton can be streamed, and rostered going forward, is because he does have league-winning potential as a mobile quarterback. Even further, he possesses electric passing weapons that do damage after the catch, which is beneficial since Newton is not a deep-ball specialist.
Newton is available in nearly 60-percent of ESPN leagues heading into Week 12.
Kirk Cousins (@SF)
Fresh off of a 27-fantasy point effort, and quietly the QB-8 overall on the season, is Kirk Cousins.
This game sticks out from a fantasy perspective when looking at all of the Week 12 games. With a 48.5 over-under and a tight +3 spread for Minnesota, this game has the makings of a fantasy shootout, much as we saw Minnesota get into with Green Bay.
Cousins will be facing off against the 49ers who have allowed an average of 19-FPPG to opposing quarterbacks. Additionally, Cousins has maintained a 21-FPPG average throughout the season, with a ceiling as high as 30-fantasy points.
Cousins is not widely available, but he is on waivers for 37-percent of ESPN leagues heading into Week 12.
Tyrod Taylor (vs NYJ)
Taylor is never the sexiest player to pull off of waivers, but going against a bad New York Jets team could be enough to garner a stream.
Taylor has battled health this season and finally returned in Week 9. After facing Miami, Houston went on BYE which likely allowed Taylor to heal up even further.
In his second game since returning from injury, Taylor traveled to face the Titans and secured 19-fantasy points in that contest. Taylor finished the day leading Houston to an upset over the Titans and even found the end zone on two occasions.
With the Jets traveling to Houston, Taylor will be squaring off against the 25th-best defense against opposing quarterbacks. Since Week 5, the Jets have surrendered 20-plus fantasy points to quarterbacks in all but one single game. Taylor is also a mobile quarterback and that could get you some extra bonus points if he gets loose against New York.
Taylor is available in 95-percent of ESPN leagues.
Week 12 Streaming DSTs
Chicago Bears D/ST (@DET) – Thanksgiving Afternoon Game
With Jared Goff potentially missing this divisional game against the Bears, the Chicago D/ST looks to be in a solid position to help fantasy managers in Week 12.
The Bears are a defense that is able to get pressure on the quarterback, even without Khalil Mack. The Bears are tied for the NFL lead in sacks with 31, while the Lions have allowed 27 sacks, 8th-most.
On average, the Lions allow D/ST opponents to score 8.2-FPPG, this is three points higher than the NFL average of 5-FPPG allowed.
The Bears should be fine in this spot no matter what. If Goff does miss, this play could be week-winning and is the top addition. Unfortunately, Goff is trending towards being a game-time decision so you will likely need to snag Chicago’s D/ST before finding out if Goff will play. If Goff does play, I still have no issues playing Chicago.
The Bears are available in 87-percent of ESPN leagues.
Philadelphia Eagles D/ST (@NYG)
Coming in as another great option as a streaming defense is the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles get a solid match-up in Week 12 against the Giants, but the week after that they get to also face the New York Jets. This allows managers to freely stream the Eagles for two consecutive weeks.
Focusing on the Giants, New York is a team that is no stranger to allowing points to opposing D/STs. In the last five weeks, the Giants have allowed an average of 9.17-FPPG. That is four points higher than the league average in terms of points allowed to opposing D/STs, which remains at 5-FPPG.
New York’s quarterback Daniel Jones remains to be a blunder machine. In Week 11 against Tampa Bay, Jones wound up throwing two interceptions. In his last five games, he has tossed six interceptions and lost two fumbles for a total of eight turnovers.
The Eagles remain a solid option in Week 12 and 13. They are available in 87-percent of ESPN leagues.
Houston Texans D/ST (vs NYJ)
While this game feels like a toilet bowl game on paper, Houston’s D/ST could easily come away with solid fantasy production.
Surprisingly enough, the Texans are tied for the fourth-most takeaways in the NFL with 19. In Week 12 on the road against a banged-up Tennessee team, this Texans’ defense secured four interceptions, sacked the quarterback twice and recovered one fumble. While it was not surprising to see the Titans struggle, it was very surprising to see them give the ball away five times.
On the other side of the ball are the Jets, who lead the league in turnovers with 23. Most of these turnovers occurred when Zach Wilson was under center and with his potential return in Week 12, it could be a rough outing for the rookie coming off of injury.
Admittedly, I am not as interested in the Texans’ D/ST if Joe Flacco starts at quarterback. If Flacco does start then Houston becomes more of an “honorable mention” streamer, rather than a core-play D/ST streamer.
The Texans are available in 99-percent of ESPN leagues heading into Week 12.