Fantasy Football: Week 12 kicker and defense rankings

By Alex Butler  |  Nov. 24, 2017 at 4:59 PM
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Nov. 24 (UPI) -- After Thursday's Thanksgiving slate of football action, there are still plenty of games left in Week 12.

My top fantasy football defenses this week included the Pittsburgh Steelers, Cincinnati Bengals, Jacksonville Jaguars, Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots.

My top kickers are Harrison Butker, Justin Tucker, Stephen Gostkowski, Greg Zuerlein and Will Lutz.

For more of my favorite players this week and my top free agents to add to your team, check out my add/drops article for Week 12.

Read Full Rankings Below

TOP SHELF

The Pittsburgh Steelers are my top defense for Week 12. Pittsburgh ranks No. 4 in total defense this season and is allowing the third-fewest passing yards per game. The Steelers are also allowing the second-fewest points per game. This week the Steelers host a Green Bay Packers squad minus Aaron Rodgers. The Steelers haven't allowed more than 17 points in a game since Week 5, while the Packers haven't scored more than 23 points in a game since Week 5. Start the Steelers with confidence as one of the best defenses in the NFL.

The Cincinnati Bengals haven't been quite as consistent defensively as the Steelers this season, but they have a great matchup in Week 12 against the Cleveland Browns. The Bengals are my No. 2 defense this week, facing a Browns team that has scored more than 24 points just once this season.

Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker is my No. 1 kicker for Week 12. I expect the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs to have a back-and-forth game, and some of those drives to result in Butker field goal tries.

New England Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski is always one of the best fantasy football kickers. He is my No. 3 kicker for Week 12 in a great matchup against the Miami Dolphins. It would be absolutely shocking if the Patriots didn't score multiple times in this game, leading to Gostkowski extra points. He should also get in a few field goal attempts here. He has multiple field goal attempts in four consecutive games and should be started for the rest of the season.

SNEAKY PLAYS

The New England Patriots had an awful start to the 2017 season, but have looked improved as of late. During their current six-game winning streak, the Patriots have not allowed more than 17 points to a single opponent. This week the Patriots are hosting the Miami Dolphins, a defense that has scored more than 24 points in a game only once this season. The Patriots are a stream-worthy option in Week 12.

The Atlanta Flacons are another great option for Week 12, going up against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. While Tampa Bay is coming off of a 30-point performance in Week 11, I expect Ryan Fitzpatrick to throw some interceptions here and the Falcons to get out to a big lead. Before Week 11's win against the Miami Dolphins, the Buccaneers averaged just 9.3 points per game in their previous three contests. The Falcons are my No. 8 defense this week.

Week 12 Defense/Special Teams Rankings

Matt Bryant will benefit from the Atlanta Falcons' offensive turnaround again in Week 12. Bryant has back-to-back double-digit fantasy point performances. This week he heads into an NFC South clash against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This should be an ugly game for Tampa Bay and Bryant will get plenty of action.

Pittsburgh Steelers kicker Chris Boswell is my No. 7 option for Week 12. In Week 11, Boswell drilled all four of his field goal attempts and four extra point attempts. He'll follow that monster performance against the Green Bay Packers in another game that I expect to be a blowout.

LONGSHOTS

The Carolina Panthers are my No. 10 option for Week 12, with a matchup against the New York Jets. The Jets posted just 10 points in Week 10 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Panthers have allowed an average of 14.5 points per game in their last four contests.

The Houston Texans are my No. 12 defense for Week 12. Houston travels to face the Baltimore Ravens, a team averaging 26 points per game on the road this year. Although the Texans haven't been as good as last year defensively, I expect Week 12 to be a solid week for this unit in a low-scoring game. Both teams will look to establish a running game, benefiting both defenses for fantasy football purposes.

Week 12 Kicker Rankings

Jacksonville Jaguars kicker Josh Lambo is my No. 12 option for Week 12. Lambo has made multiple field goals in four consecutive games and is facing the Arizona Cardinals in what should be a defensive grinder of a game. I expect Lambo to play a key role in a Jaguars win, maybe with a crucial late field goal try.

Green Bay Packers kicker Mason Crosby is a dart throw at the position and is my No. 14 option with a matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers. I think the Packers will find it nearly impossible to score against this unit. When the Packers struggle, Crosby will step in to get some points on the board.

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