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Fantasy Football Rankings Week 12, 2020: Model that beat experts says start Wayne Gallman, sit Michael Thomas

CBS Sports logo CBS Sports 11/29/2020 CBS Sports Staff
a person wearing a uniform and helmet holding a baseball bat: Dec 23, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) passes the ball in the second quarter against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium. © Provided by CBS Sports

Dec 23, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) passes the ball in the second quarter against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium.

The New Orleans Saints surprised many when they elected to start Taysom Hill over Jameis Winston with Drew Brees (ribs) sidelined. However, the gamble appeared to pay off last week, as Hill went 18-for-23 for 233 yards through the air while adding 51 on the ground and a pair of rushing touchdowns. How high should he be in the Week 12 Fantasy football rankings against a Broncos team whose three quarterbacks were all ruled ineligible due to COVID-19 contact tracing?

Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas had just 10 catches for 95 yards entering Week 11, but he proved to be a reliable outlet for Hill against Atlanta and caught nine passes for 104 yards. Is Thomas worth targeting with your Week 12 Fantasy football picks with Hill starting once again, or should you continue to wait and see with the former All-Pro? Before locking in your Fantasy football lineups, be sure to check out the latest Week 12 Fantasy football rankings from the proven computer model at SportsLine.

When it comes to ranking players, their model beat human experts in Fantasy football last season when there were big differences in ranking. Over the course of a season, that could literally be the difference between winning your league or going home empty-handed.

Last week, the model was extremely high on Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins, saying he'd finish as a top-10 player at his position. The result: Cousins completed 22-of-30 pass attempts for 314 yards and three touchdowns. Anybody who had him in their lineup was well on their way to a huge week.

Now, the model, which simulates every NFL game 10,000 times, has revealed its Fantasy football rankings for Week 12 of the 2020 NFL season. Head to SportsLine now to see them

Top Fantasy football picks for Week 12

One player the model is extremely high on this week: Giants running back Wayne Gallman. After Saquon Barkley tore his ACL in Week 2, the Giants cycled through running backs looking for productivity. Gallman finally emerged as the top option with Devonta Freeman nursing an ankle injury.

Gallman has 62 touches in the last five games and turned seven carries from inside the 10-yard line into five touchdowns during that span. Plus, game script should work in his favor again on Sunday. The Giants are 5.5-point favorites with Joe Burrow out for the season in Cincinnati. That should lead to double-digit touches and goal-line carries again for Gallman in a game where New York should have multiple scoring chances.

And a massive shocker: Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas, who hauled in nine passes for 104 yards last week against the Falcons, stumbles big-time and doesn't even crack the top 30 at his position. After setting an NFL record with 149 receptions in 2019, Thomas missed six games between Weeks 2 and 8 of this season due to ankle and hamstring injuries.

Despite missing time, he seemed to quickly build a solid rapport with new quarterback Taysom Hill last Sunday. However, Thomas and the Saints now face a stiff test on the road against the Denver Broncos

Denver features a top-10 passing defense, giving up just 224.8 passing yards per game. In addition, the Broncos have allowed just one receiver to eclipse 60 receiving yards over the last two games, and they've given up only one touchdown reception during that span. With such a tough matchup on Sunday, Thomas is a player to consider putting on the bench in Week 12.

How to set your Week 12 Fantasy football rankings

The model is also calling for a surprising quarterback you aren't even thinking about to finish in the top 10 of its Fantasy football rankings. This pick could be the difference between winning big and going home with nothing. You can see who it is here.

So who should you start and sit this week? And which surprising quarterback could lead you to victory? Visit SportsLine now to get Week 12 Fantasy football rankings for every position, plus see which QB is going to come out of nowhere to crack the top 10, all from the model that out-performed experts big-time last season.


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