Wide receivers have been the primary beneficiary of the NFL shifting to a more quarterback-friendly, pass-heavy league. As a result, they are now consistently outproducing running backs in fantasy football. In Week 12, two of the top wide receivers in the league will be on bye weeks, and another elite wide receiver will be returning from his 10-game suspension. Here is a look at five wide receivers with favorable fantasy matchups in Week 12.
All statistics are courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.
1. Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos
Demaryius Thomas has been arguably the best wide receiver in the NFL in 2014, and he should again see double-digit targets in Week 12 against the Miami Dolphins. The Broncos may be without both Julius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders against the Dolphins, meaning Denver quarterback Peyton Manning will be relying heavily on Demaryius to pick up the slack. He remains the type of player who is a mismatch for any defense he faces, and this week will be no different. Expect to see the All-Pro out of Georgia Tech extend his streak of 100-yard receiving games to eight against the Dolphins in Week 12.
2. A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals
Green is quite possibly the top vertical threat at wide receiver in the NFL, and the Bengals play the Houston Texans, who have one of the worst pass defenses in the league, in Week 12. The Texans are giving up an average of 25 completions, 278 yards through the air, and two touchdown passes per game in 2014. Green is coming off a huge game in Week 11 and is starting to look like he is fully recovered from a nagging toe injury. Expect to see Green go over 100 receiving yards in Week 12.
3. Josh Gordon, Cleveland Browns
Gordon will be making his first appearance of the 2014 season this week against the Atlanta Falcons. Fortunately for Gordon and the Browns, the Falcons have had one of the worst passing defenses in the NFL this season. They are giving up an average of 22 completions, 281 passing yards, and 1.4 touchdown passes per game in 2014. While he may show a few signs of rust in Week 12, Gordon is an elite wide receiver and should have a very productive fantasy week in his first game of the season.
4. Brandon Marshall, Chicago Bears
Marshall and the Bears will be taking on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 12. The Bucs have had one of the worst passing defenses in the NFL for the 2014 season. They are giving up an average of 25 completions, 266 yards, and two touchdowns through the air this season. Marshall remains one of the most physically gifted wide receivers in the league and is coming off a two-touchdown catch performance in Week 11 against the Minnesota Vikings. The Buccaneers simply do not have a player in their secondary who can match up with Marshall; expect big fantasy production out of the five-time Pro Bowler in Week 12.
5. Mike Evans, Tampa Bay
Evans has been a first-year phenom in Tampa Bay and will be looking to build off his impressive 200-yard performance in Week 11 this week against the Chicago Bears. Tampa Bay quarterback Josh McCown is clearly comfortable with Evans as his top target, and this matchup projects very favorably for the Bucs’ passing attack. The Bears have been giving up a per-game average of 22 completions, 256 yards, and 2.4 touchdowns through the air in 2014, making this an excellent matchup for Evans and the Buccaneers.