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Fantasy Football: Week 12 position by position rankings, plus top-150 overall and waiver wire targets

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There was a point where the Giants offense looked kind of interesting, I swear. I don’t think I was hallucinating, Daniel Jones actually looked pretty good early on in the season — he had a 400-yard game and was averaging 8.2 yards per pass attempt, and Sterling Shepard, Kadarius Toney, and Kenny Golladay all had 100-yard games! It happened! You can look it up yourself!

Of course, that feels like an awfully long time ago at this point. The Giants managed just 215 yards of total offense Monday against the Buccaneers despite having basically everyone back and healthy after a pretty terrible stretch of injuries. It just didn’t matter in Week 11, as they dropped to 3-7 with a 30-10 loss, and looking ahead to Week 12, I’m not sure there’s anyone on this offense you can trust at this point as a Fantasy starter outside of Saquon Barkley.

And it feels like there are an awful lot of teams like that right now, with just one or no players Fantasy players can feel good about: The Texans, obviously, but also the Titans with A.J. Brown dealing with a chest injury; The Jaguars qualify, as do the Saints, Jets, and Falcons. That’s an awful lot of teams you can mostly cross of for Fantasy purposes, and with the Cowboys likely missing both Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb, they’re probably not far off either.

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This has been a decidedly strange season of Fantasy football so far, and we entered Week 12 with a ton of questions, both of the injury and non-injury variety. That is, of course, an even bigger problem than usual this week with three games on Thanksgiving this Thursday. It’s going to be tough to put together a lineup you feel good about this week, but maybe you can find some help on the waiver wire.

So, it’ll be extra important to stay up to date on everything you need to know. Make sure you tune in to Fantasy Football Today on CBS Sports HQ at noon ET for updates on the latest injury news, and for help locking in your waiver-wire claims join Heath Cummings, Adam Aizer and I on the FFT YouTube stream tonight at 8 p.m., where we’ll be taking your questions live for an hour. If you have any questions before then, as always, you can email me at Chris.Towers@ViacomCBS.com with the subject line “#AskFFT” to be included this week — including in tomorrow’s trade mailbag. 

And here’s what we’ve got on tap today:

  • ➕Top Week 12 Waiver Wire Targets
  • 📈Week 12 Rankings📉

➕Top Week 12 Waiver Wire Targets


Douglas DeFelice / USA TODAY Sports

Hopefully, this week’s waiver options will be able to make an impact, and there are a few who certainly have the opportunity. You can find Jamey’s entire breakdown here. We’re gonna need the help: 

Jamey Eisenberg’s top targets

  1. Elijah Moore, WR, NYJ (51%) — Moore is the obvious top option on waivers this week. He’s got pedigree as a early-round rookie, and the breakout many anticipated back in the summer looks like it’s actually happening. The only question coming off his eight-catch, 141-yard torching of Miami is whether Zach Wilson (expected to come back from his knee injury this week) can play well enough to sustain Moore’s breakout. It’s kind of wild that we’re asking that question of a No. 2 overall pick when Moore just dazzled with Joe Flacco at QB, so hopefully that question turns out to have been as silly as it seems. 
  2. Ty Johnson, RB, NYJ (20%) — With Michael Carter likely to miss multiple weeks with an ankle injury, Johnson could be in line for a big enough role to make him a viable starting Fantasy option. He’s shown promise as a PPR option over the past five games, with 19 catches fo 220 yards as Carter’s backup, so hopefully, he’ll see an even bigger role with Carter out. Tevin Coleman also figures to see an increased role, but Johnson’s pass catching makes him the bigger priority. 
  3. Dontrell Hilliard, RB, TEN (0%) — It was surprising to see Hilliard step up in such a big way in Jeremy McNichols‘ absence in Week 11, as he played 63% of the snaps and caught eight of the 10 passes thrown his way. Partially, that was a game script thing, as the Titans found themselves throwing the ball 50-plus times, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they found themselves in a similar spot against the Patriots, given their injury issues at wide receiver. 
  4. Kadarius Toney, WR, Giants (55%) — Toney didn’t do much with them, but we can’t ignore a team-high 12 targets Monday against the Buccaneers. With Kenny Golladay and Saquon Barkley both active, Toney remained a focal point, and that’s a good sign even with the Giants offense as a whole continuing to look pretty mediocre. Toney has a ton of potential, and if they’re going to feature him down the stretch, he could be a difference-maker right there with Moore. I’ve got more faith in Moore, but Toney is a nice player to have around for a potential breakout, too. 
  5. Evan Engram, TE, NYG (39%) — Evan Engram is persona non grata to most Fantasy players, but you might want to get over it for Week 12 because he’s facing the Eagles. I usually don’t put much credence in “Fantasy points vs. position” stats, especially for tight end, because so much is dependent on schedule and other factors that the defense doesn’t really control, but there really might be something to the Eagles’ struggles against tight ends. They’ve given up the most Fantasy points per game to tight ends, and we’re not talking about just the studs. They’ve given up double-digit PPR points to Adam Trautman, Noah Fant, Albert Okwuegbunam, Stephen Anderson, and Donald Parham, and that’s just over the past three weeks. If Engram was ever not going to let you down, it’s against this matchup. There’s no question about it, I am ready to get hurt again

A few other options … 

  • A 2-QB league streamer: Andy Dalton, CHI (1%) — Look, I’m not any more excited about it than you, but Dalton’s got an incredible matchup on a short week against the Lions, and he’s got Darnell Mooney, who looks to be making a big leap. My expectations aren’t terribly high for Dalton, but if you’re in a 2QB league, he’s worth adding, and I very well may start him in at least one such league. 
  • A boom-or-bust WR target: Marquez Valdes-Scantling, GB (11%) — MVS may be on your personal “never again” list because we’ve been here before with him. But he is coming off a season-high 81% snap share in Week 11 after catching four passes for 123 yards and a touchdown. He’s been a frustrating player throughout his career — Aaron Rodgers has shared your frustrations — but with WR looking like kind of a mess right now, maybe you can use the upside. 
  • The highest-upside TE: Logan Thomas, WAS (52%) — I’ve had Thomas here two weeks in a row, ever since he was designated for return from IR. However, he is finally making his return to practice this week, which means he has a real chance of returning in Week 12. Hopefully he’s ready to hit the ground running and can re-emerge as the reliable No. 2 option to Terry McLaurin that this offense desperately needs. 

📈Week 12 Rankings📉


Reinhold Matay / USA TODAY Sports

Here’s where things stand for me in my first run through of the Week 12 rankings for PPR leagues. You can find Jamey, Dave, and Heath’s rankings right here:

Quarterback rankings

Something strange is going on with passing games around the NFL. Surely, you’ve sensed it, too. You saw the likes of Patrick Mahomes, Russell Wilson, and Dak Prescott all fail to score even 10 points in six-point-per-pass-TD leagues, with Derek Carr, Ryan Tannehill, Joe Burrow, and Matt Ryan all putting up poor performances as well. This was not a one-week thing, either.

In fact, we’ve seen a dip in QB play for a month straight, maybe more. In Week 5, NFL quarterbacks collectively posted a passer rating of 96.1, with 8.0 yards per target; they haven’t hit either of those marks since. In fact, that hasn’t come close: The highest league-wide passer rating since Week 5 is just 92.8, while the highest Y/A is an abysmal 7.13, both in Week 7. 

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Over the past four weeks, quarterbacks have been above 7.0 yards per attempt just once; for context, the league average in 2020 was 7.2, and 22 of 35 qualified QBs were above 7.0. League-wide, touchdown rates are down to 4.2% since Week 6, compared to 4.9% through the first five games; interception rates are similarly up from 2.1% through five games to 2.5% since. 

These are pretty significant changes to have occurred in the middle of the season, and it’s hard to come up with one good explanation for why, though I do think there is one possible answer. Along with those drops in overall production, we’ve also seen intended air yards per target fall from 8.2 through five weeks to 7.5 since. Now, we’ve seen teams like the Bills and Chiefs be periodically flummoxed by teams looking to take away the deep ball, and it’s fair to wonder if that might not be happening more and more around the league. If opposing defenses are more willing to play soft coverage and allow teams to try to move the chains with short passes and runs rather than in chunks, that could have a pretty profound effect on the way the position plays moving forward, potentially in favor of rushing quarterbacks even more. 

Or maybe it’s just a weird fluke. Smarter folks than me will have to figure that one out. All I know is, right now, the QB position isn’t what it used to be, and with Dak Prescott likely playing without his top two options and Kyler Murray and Mahomes on a bye, that may not change in Week 12, either. 

  1. Lamar Jackson vs. CLE
  2. Tom Brady @IND
  3. Jalen Hurts @NYG
  4. Josh Allen @NO
  5. Justin Herbert @DEN
  6. Matthew Stafford @GB
  7. Aaron Rodgers vs. LAR
  8. Dak Prescott vs. LV
  9. Tua Tagovailoa vs. CAR
  10. Cam Newton @MIA
  11. Kirk Cousins @SF
  12. Joe Burrow vs. PIT
  13. Russell Wilson @WAS
  14. Carson Wentz vs. TB
  15. Tyrod Taylor vs. NYJ
  16. Teddy Bridgewater vs. LAC
  17. Taylor Heinicke vs. SEA
  18. Ben Roethlisberger @CIN
  19. Derek Carr @DAL
  20. Matt Ryan @JAX
  21. Daniel Jones vs. PHI
  22. Mac Jones vs. TEN
  23. Ryan Tannehill @NE
  24. Jimmy Garoppolo vs. MIN

Running back rankings

Week 11 saw the return of three big-name running backs from injury, and while it was nice to see Saquon Barkley, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, and Miles Sanders back on the field, I’m not sure we saw enough from any of the three to feel great about starting them in your Fantasy Football lineups in Week 12.

Well, you definitely won’t be starting Edwards-Helaire this week with the Chiefs on a bye, so that’s one decision made for you. But Barkley returned Monday to a Giants offense that looked as hapless as ever, and he finished with just 25 rushing yards on six carries; six catches for 31 yards salvaged his game to a certain extent, and that’s probably enough to make him worth starting for Week 12 against the Eagles in PPR leagues. But it’s hard to feel too confident in him.

And it’s even harder to feel confident in Miles Sanders. Sanders did lead the team with 94 yards on 16 carries, but he was targeted just once and was actually out-carried by Jordan Howard in the first half, 9-8. Howard is likely to miss Sunday’s game against the Giants with a sprained MCL, which should lock Sanders into enough of a rule to be worth starting in a good matchup, but it’s another situation where you wish you felt better about him after awaiting his return. In Sanders’ case, more so because of role questions than anything else.

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We could see the returns of Alvin Kamara, Cordarrelle Patterson and Kareem Hunt this week, so that’ll be one thing to watch out for this week. Additionally, it looks like Michael Carter will miss at least a few weeks with a high-ankle sprain, so add the Jets to the list of teams with uncertainty in the backfield — a list that also features the Patriots, Bills, Titans, Texans, Ravens, and Falcons, at least. 

There are a lot of question marks at RB this week, but here’s my first crack at the rankings. 

  1. Christian McCaffrey @MIA
  2. Jonathan Taylor vs. TB
  3. Najee Harris @CIN
  4. Austin Ekeler @DEN
  5. D’Andre Swift vs. CHI
  6. Dalvin Cook @SF
  7. Joe Mixon vs. PIT
  8. AJ Dillon vs. LAR
  9. Leonard Fournette @IND
  10. Cordarrelle Patterson @JAX
  11. David Montgomery @DET
  12. Ezekiel Elliott vs. LV
  13. Darrell Henderson @GB
  14. Saquon Barkley vs. PHI
  15. James Robinson vs. ATL
  16. Mark Ingram vs. BUF
  17. Nick Chubb @BAL
  18. Myles Gaskin vs. CAR
  19. Kareem Hunt @BAL
  20. Antonio Gibson vs. SEA
  21. Josh Jacobs @DAL
  22. Miles Sanders @NYG
  23. Jeff Wilson vs. MIN
  24. Tony Pollard vs. LV
  25. Ty Johnson @HOU
  26. Melvin Gordon vs. LAC
  27. Javonte Williams vs. LAC
  28. Zack Moss @NO
  29. Alex Collins @WAS
  30. David Johnson vs. NYJ
  31. Devonta Freeman vs. CLE
  32. D’Onta Foreman @NE
  33. Rhamondre Stevenson vs. TEN
  34. Damien Harris vs. TEN
  35. Dontrell Hilliard @NE
  36. Kenyan Drake @DAL
  37. Latavius Murray vs. CLE
  38. Devin Singletary @NO
  39. J.D. McKissic vs. SEA
  40. Jamaal Williams vs. CHI
  41. Nyheim Hines vs. TB
  42. Tevin Coleman @HOU
  43. Trey Sermon vs. MIN
  44. Devontae Booker vs. PHI
  45. Alexander Mattison @SF
  46. Rex Burkhead vs. NYJ
  47. Adrian Peterson @NE
  48. Brandon Bolden vs. TEN

Wide receiver rankings

All that issues at the QB position of late? It should come as no surprise that they’ve also harmed the wide receiver position. I saw someone tweet Monday that Tre’Quan Smith was WR18 from Weeks 8 through 11, and while I knew he had played four games while many other WR had played just three in that span, I still expected to see Smith had put up surprisingly good numbers. That wasn’t the case — 48.5 yards per game on 3.8 catches, with two touchdowns. That’s aggressively mediocre, and yet it was still good for WR30 in points per game, too!

And it’s really the middle class at wide receiver that has been affected. There are 17 wide receivers averaging at least 15 PPR points over the past four weeks, compared to 20 who did that during the 2020 season; not one for one, but not far off. However, there are just 28 who have averaged at least 12, compared to 41 in 2020. That is a pretty massive difference. 

I’m not sure what the explanation is. Injuries are part of it, but not enough to explain that big of a difference. The drop in overall passing production is obviously a big part of it, but it’s curious that it hasn’t hit the elite tier at the position quite as hard. 

Whatever the explanation, it’s created a Fantasy landscape where I really don’t feel great about the WR3 range, which is surprising since this was supposed to be the deepest position in Fantasy. However, once I get to the Darnell Mooney/HunterRenfrow/Odell Beckham range of the rankings, I really don’t feel all that comfortable with them. There’s upside there, but also a lot of weekly risk. It’s a surprising place to find ourselves in Week 12, and the likely absence of both CeeDee Lamb and Amari Cooper Thursday isn’t going to help. 

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  1. Davante Adams vs. LAR
  2. Cooper Kupp @GB
  3. Justin Jefferson @SF
  4. Keenan Allen @DEN
  5. Deebo Samuel vs. MIN
  6. Stefon Diggs @NO
  7. Chris Godwin @IND
  8. Diontae Johnson @CIN
  9. Terry McLaurin vs. SEA
  10. Mike Evans @IND
  11. Ja’Marr Chase vs. PIT
  12. D.K. Metcalf @WAS
  13. Tyler Lockett @WAS
  14. Marquise Brown vs. CLE
  15. D.J. Moore @MIA
  16. A.J. Brown @NE
  17. Brandin Cooks vs. NYJ
  18. Jaylen Waddle vs. CAR
  19. Elijah Moore @HOU
  20. Jerry Jeudy vs. LAC
  21. Michael Pittman vs. TB
  22. Adam Thielen @SF
  23. Chase Claypool @CIN
  24. Tee Higgins vs. PIT
  25. Darnell Mooney @DET
  26. Hunter Renfrow @DAL
  27. Odell Beckham  @GB
  28. DeVonta Smith @NYG
  29. Mike Williams @DEN
  30. Brandon Aiyuk vs. MIN
  31. Jakobi Meyers vs. TEN
  32. Kadarius Toney vs. PHI
  33. Jarvis Landry @BAL
  34. Jamison Crowder @HOU
  35. Cole Beasley @NO
  36. Michael Gallup vs. LV
  37. Rashod Bateman vs. CLE
  38. Corey Davis @HOU
  39. Marvin Jones vs. ATL
  40. Laviska Shenault  vs. ATL
  41. Courtland Sutton vs. LAC
  42. Marquez Valdes-Scantling vs. LAR
  43. Tyler Boyd vs. PIT
  44. Amon-Ra St. Brown vs. CHI
  45. Emmanuel Sanders @NO
  46. Kenny Golladay vs. PHI
  47. Van Jefferson @GB
  48. Russell Gage @JAX

Tight end rankings

There’s an important distinction to be made when talking about the current state of the tight end position, and it’s one I fear I may not have been drawing clearly enough lately. There are more viable Fantasy tight ends right now than we’re used to seeing, by which I mean, there are quite a few players with solid roles in their offense. 

By my count, there are 16 tight ends with a target share of at least 15% right now, and that doesn’t include the likes of Rob Gronkowski, Dawson Knox, Pat Freiermuth, or Hunter Henry. It also doesn’t include Logan Thomas, who could make his return from the IR this week as he is set to return to practice. 15% isn’t a massive number, but historically, it puts you in the starting tight end discussion.

The problem is … well, as you can see from week to week, there still aren’t that many players you can actually trust. Everyone’s threshold for trust is different, but it’s fair to ask whether Kyle Pitts has done enough to meet it lately. The same is true for T.J. Hockenson, Mike Gesicki, and Dalton Schultz. I mean, I feel like I can trust those guys, and I do think they represent the sort of second tier at tight end, the guys I wouldn’t be able to bring myself to sit.

Of course, I would have said the same of Dan Arnold last week, and he didn’t even have a target. There’s potential here, but weekly studs remain rare at tight end than anywhere else. 

  1. Darren Waller @DAL
  2. Mark Andrews vs. CLE
  3. George Kittle vs. MIN
  4. Rob Gronkowski @IND
  5. T.J. Hockenson vs. CHI
  6. Kyle Pitts @JAX
  7. Dalton Schultz vs. LV
  8. Mike Gesicki vs. CAR
  9. Dallas Goedert @NYG
  10. Dan Arnold vs. ATL
  11. Tyler Higbee @GB
  12. Noah Fant vs. LAC
  13. Dawson Knox @NO
  14. Tyler Conklin @SF
  15. Pat Freiermuth @CIN
  16. Jared Cook @DEN
  17. Cole Kmet @DET
  18. Hunter Henry vs. TEN
  19. Evan Engram vs. PHI
  20. Austin Hooper @BAL
  21. O.J. Howard @IND
  22. Juwan Johnson vs. BUF
  23. David Njoku @BAL
  24. Foster Moreau @DAL

Top-150 Flex Rankings

  1. Christian McCaffrey @MIA
  2. Jonathan Taylor vs. TB
  3. Najee Harris @CIN
  4. Austin Ekeler @DEN
  5. D’Andre Swift vs. CHI
  6. Davante Adams vs. LAR
  7. Dalvin Cook @SF
  8. Cooper Kupp @GB
  9. Joe Mixon vs. PIT
  10. Justin Jefferson @SF
  11. Keenan Allen @DEN
  12. Deebo Samuel vs. MIN
  13. Stefon Diggs @NO
  14. AJ Dillon vs. LAR
  15. Chris Godwin @IND
  16. Leonard Fournette @IND
  17. Ezekiel Elliott vs. LV
  18. Cordarrelle Patterson @JAX
  19. Diontae Johnson @CIN
  20. David Montgomery @DET
  21. Darrell Henderson @GB
  22. Saquon Barkley vs. PHI
  23. James Robinson vs. ATL
  24. Terry McLaurin vs. SEA
  25. Darren Waller @DAL
  26. Mark Andrews vs. CLE
  27. Mark Ingram vs. BUF
  28. Mike Evans @IND
  29. Nick Chubb @BAL
  30. Ja’Marr Chase vs. PIT
  31. D.K. Metcalf @WAS
  32. Tyler Lockett @WAS
  33. Marquise Brown vs. CLE
  34. Myles Gaskin vs. CAR
  35. D.J. Moore @MIA
  36. A.J. Brown @NE
  37. Brandin Cooks vs. NYJ
  38. Kareem Hunt @BAL
  39. Jaylen Waddle vs. CAR
  40. Elijah Moore @HOU
  41. Antonio Gibson vs. SEA
  42. Jerry Jeudy vs. LAC
  43. Michael Pittman vs. TB
  44. Adam Thielen @SF
  45. Josh Jacobs @DAL
  46. Chase Claypool @CIN
  47. George Kittle vs. MIN
  48. Tee Higgins vs. PIT
  49. Miles Sanders @NYG
  50. Rob Gronkowski @IND
  51. T.J. Hockenson vs. CHI
  52. Darnell Mooney @DET
  53. Kyle Pitts @JAX
  54. Dalton Schultz vs. LV
  55. Jeff Wilson vs. MIN
  56. Mike Gesicki vs. CAR
  57. Hunter Renfrow @DAL
  58. Odell Beckham  @GB
  59. Tony Pollard vs. LV
  60. DeVonta Smith @NYG
  61. Mike Williams @DEN
  62. Jakobi Meyers vs. TEN
  63. Ty Johnson @HOU
  64. Melvin Gordon vs. LAC
  65. Brandon Aiyuk vs. MIN
  66. Kadarius Toney vs. PHI
  67. Jarvis Landry @BAL
  68. Jamison Crowder @HOU
  69. Cole Beasley @NO
  70. Michael Gallup vs. LV
  71. Javonte Williams vs. LAC
  72. Rashod Bateman vs. CLE
  73. Corey Davis @HOU
  74. Dallas Goedert @NYG
  75. Dan Arnold vs. ATL
  76. Zack Moss @NO
  77. Alex Collins @WAS
  78. Marvin Jones vs. ATL
  79. Laviska Shenault  vs. ATL
  80. David Johnson vs. NYJ
  81. Devonta Freeman vs. CLE
  82. Courtland Sutton vs. LAC
  83. D’Onta Foreman @NE
  84. Rhamondre Stevenson vs. TEN
  85. Marquez Valdes-Scantling vs. LAR
  86. Tyler Higbee @GB
  87. Tyler Boyd vs. PIT
  88. Amon-Ra St. Brown vs. CHI
  89. Damien Harris vs. TEN
  90. Noah Fant vs. LAC
  91. Dontrell Hilliard @NE
  92. Dawson Knox @NO
  93. Kenyan Drake @DAL
  94. Latavius Murray vs. CLE
  95. Emmanuel Sanders @NO
  96. Devin Singletary @NO
  97. Tyler Conklin @SF
  98. Kenny Golladay vs. PHI
  99. Pat Freiermuth @CIN
  100. Jared Cook @DEN
  101. J.D. McKissic vs. SEA
  102. Cole Kmet @DET
  103. Van Jefferson @GB
  104. Jamaal Williams vs. CHI
  105. Russell Gage @JAX
  106. Nyheim Hines vs. TB
  107. T.Y. Hilton vs. TB
  108. Marquez Callaway vs. BUF
  109. Hunter Henry vs. TEN
  110. Tevin Coleman @HOU
  111. Tim Patrick vs. LAC
  112. Trey Sermon vs. MIN
  113. Laquon Treadwell vs. ATL
  114. Evan Engram vs. PHI
  115. Devontae Booker vs. PHI
  116. Nelson Agholor vs. TEN
  117. Austin Hooper @BAL
  118. O.J. Howard @IND
  119. Alexander Mattison @SF
  120. Deonte Harris vs. BUF
  121. Sammy Watkins vs. CLE
  122. Juwan Johnson vs. BUF
  123. Rex Burkhead vs. NYJ
  124. Adrian Peterson @NE
  125. Kendrick Bourne vs. TEN
  126. Zach Pascal vs. TB
  127. Bryan Edwards @DAL
  128. Nick Westbrook-Ikhine @NE
  129. David Njoku @BAL
  130. Randall Cobb vs. LAR
  131. Donovan Peoples-Jones @BAL
  132. Brandon Bolden vs. TEN
  133. Patrick Taylor vs. LAR
  134. Nico Collins vs. NYJ
  135. K.J. Osborn @SF
  136. Sony Michel @GB
  137. Foster Moreau @DAL
  138. Robby Anderson @MIA
  139. Gerald Everett @WAS
  140. Logan Thomas vs. SEA
  141. Samaje Perine vs. PIT
  142. Danny Amendola vs. NYJ
  143. Deejay Dallas @WAS
  144. C.J. Uzomah vs. PIT
  145. Tajae Sharpe @JAX
  146. Allen Lazard vs. LAR
  147. Mike Davis @JAX
  148. Khalil Herbert @DET
  149. Olamide Zaccheaus @JAX
  150. Preston Williams vs. CAR





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The Mets Continue To Celebrate Their Elite Duo

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(Photo by Christopher Pasatieri/Getty Images)

 

The New York Mets and their fans should consider themselves lucky.

We have said it many times in this space, but the fact they were able to pair Max Scherzer with Jacob deGrom in the same rotation is incredibly impressive, and should be celebrated.

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The two pitchers have five Cy Young awards between them, and lots and lots of pitching knowledge and expertise to share.

When they are both healthy, there is little doubt they are the best one-two punch in MLB.

They have both been hurt a lot in 2022, particularly deGrom, but they are both healthy now and ready to make sure the Mets can return to the postseason.

New York is one of the best organizations in MLB, with a 73-39 record that only the Los Angeles Dodgers have been able to surpass.

 

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The Mets Aces Are Healthy And Dominating

Now that both Scherzer and deGrom are healthy and in a groove, they are in a position to challenge the Dodgers for the “best team in MLB” unofficial crown.

In fact, both teams are extremely likely to face each other in the playoffs, perhaps even the National League Championship Series.

Having deGrom and Scherzer pitch in three or four of those games would be huge.

The Mets posted a cool picture of the two aces having a chat.

They look like they are enjoying their conversation.

Hopefully, both can stay healthy for the remainder of the season and gift fans some of the most impressive stretch run and playoff performance we have seen in recent memory.

Mets fans are in for a real treat watching those two guys starting consecutive postseason games.

They hope they can deliver their first World Series title since 1986.

The post The Mets Continue To Celebrate Their Elite Duo appeared first on The Cold Wire.

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Steelers defense focused on getting back to team’s ‘standard’ after disappointing season

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The Pittsburgh Steelers are known for having exceptional defenses. Players like Troy Polamalu, James Harrison, Joe Greene and more have been shaking up offenses throughout the franchise’s history.

With each new generation of Steelers players, they strive to reach the level of those before them. Now it is guys like T.J. Watt, Minkah Fitzpatrick, Terrell Edmunds and Cameron Heyward who hope to be feared by offenses around the league.

Last season, the Steelers were 20th in points allowed and surrendered the most rushing yards in the league. For the first time since 2017, the Steelers were not in the top six for yards allowed, finding themselves in the 24th spot.

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It was not exactly the year the defense wanted to have, and this year the unit is focused on getting back to being a classic Steelers defense.

Defending Defensive Player of the Year Watt spoke about the expectations in Pittsburgh. 

“As a Pittsburgh Steeler defender, it’s just that much more important for us to take pride in everyone that came before us and uphold the fact that the standard is the standard. At the end of the day, when the back is against the wall, when it’s a two-minute drill, when the game is on the line, we want to be on the field,” Watt said (via NFL.com). “That’s the mentality we have to have to be a hard-nosed defense, and that’s why we’re here to build that type of tradition, that type of standard for the season.”

The defense last year was not where they wanted it to be, with Watt commenting on the “unacceptable” number of 100-yard rushers they allowed in 2021.

With such legends coming before them, there could be pressure on the players that could backfire. Heyward says he does not look at it as pressure, but what the team standard is.

“When you come to the Pittsburgh Steelers, you’re known for your defense. That wasn’t the case last year, so going forward it’s put up or shut up. If we’re going to win these games, it’s got to come down to us,” he said. “But that comes with the standard we are charged with upholding. It’s not pressure. It’s what’s expected.”

The Steelers are “based on defense,” new senior defensive assistant/linebackers coach Brian Flores said. 

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“Its roots and foundation is defense,” Flores said. “It’s stopping the run and rushing the passer and keeping the score down. Any outsider can look at that and, if you peel back the layers, that’s who the Steelers are and that’s who we want to be and what we want to be. But there’s a process to doing that.”

Teryl Austin, who was promoted coordinator after three seasons serving as senior defensive assistant/secondary coach, said he appreciates Flores giving an outsiders view as someone just getting to Pittsburgh.

The Steelers’ season was cut short after a loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in the wild-card round.



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Stat Proves What The White Sox Offense Is Lacking

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(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)

 

The Chicago White Sox, against all odds, are playing .500 ball at the time.

They are 56-56, which is highly disappointing since they were widely expected to comfortably take the AL Central division like they did last year.

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Of course, unexpected circumstances have gotten in the way: injuries, slumps, demotions, a lack of action at the deadline, and other scenarios have undoubtedly affected the Sox.

The most interesting part is that they are still very much alive in the playoff race.

Before Friday, they are 3.5 games behind the division leaders, the Cleveland Guardians.

That is definitely not an insurmountable difference.

They will need to show some thump with the bat, though.

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“705 of the White Sox’s first 1,000 hits this year were singles. Most recent teams to finish a season with at least 70% of their hits being singles: 2018 Marlins (63-98), 2016 Marlins (79-82), 2015 Marlins (71-91), 2015 Braves (67-95). The Tigers also are on pace to join this list,” stats guru Jeremy Frank tweeted on Friday.

 

The White Sox Lineup Lacks Punch

As you can see, hitting mostly singles doesn’t exactly correlate with a lot of wins: all of the aforementioned teams were under .500.

The White Sox are currently at .500, but they won’t make the playoffs if they can’t show some slug.

At the moment, they rank 18th in MLB in slugging percentage, with a disappointing .386.

The almighty Sox, lauded as one of the best lineups of the last few years, are 25th in homers with just 98 so far.

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That’s definitely something they will need to change if they want to repeat as AL Central champs.

The Guardians and the Minnesota Twins, Chicago’s main competitors for a place in the postseason, are prepared to fight until the very end to be in October.

The post Stat Proves What The White Sox Offense Is Lacking appeared first on The Cold Wire.





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