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Fantasy football: Palmer, Kirk among must-start wide receivers for Week 12

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Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Joshua Palmer catches a touchdown pass against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif. Photo by Mike Goulding/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/6df84109af4298a204465e8ab8832cc3/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Joshua Palmer catches a touchdown pass against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif. Photo by Mike Goulding/UPI | License Photo

MIAMI, Nov. 22 (UPI) -- Joshua Palmer and Christian Kirk are among my must-start wide receivers for Week 12 of the 2022 fantasy football season.

Each of my must-start pass catchers ranks inside the top 42 of my rankings, which means they should be in lineups for leagues with at least 14 teams that can start up to three wide receivers.

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Stefon Diggs is the top player in my overall Top 50 wide receiver rankings for Week 12. A.J. Brown, Tyreek Hill, Tee Higgins and Kirk also are in my Top 5.

Justin Jefferson, DeAndre Hopkins, Keenan Allen, Mike Evans and Gabriel Davis are among my Top 10 options and should be in every starting lineup.

No teams are on a bye this week, which means you should start any key players who are healthy and were on bye in Week 11.

Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Christian Kirk is an elite WR1 in Week 12. File Photo by Joe Marino/UPI
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Christian Kirk

Kirk is the No. 9 wide receiver in fantasy football in terms of fantasy points per game over the last four weeks. The Jacksonville Jaguars pass catcher produced his best game of the season in Week 10, ahead of a Week 11 bye. Kirk went off for nine catches for 105 yards and a score in that loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

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Kirk also averaged 9.5 targets and 6.8 catches over his last four games. He scored four touchdowns over his last five games and totaled at least seven catches in three of his last four outings.

This week, Kirk will face the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens allowed the sixth-most receiving yards and seventh-most fantasy points per game to wide receivers through 11 weeks. Kirk is my No. 5 option. I expect at least eight catches for 100 yards and a score from the emerging talent.

Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Joshua Palmer (5) jumps to catch a pass against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif. Photo by Mike Goulding/UPI

Joshua Palmer

Palmer is my No. 21 option and can be plugged in as a WR2. The Los Angeles Chargers pass catcher totaled at least 10 targets in three of his last four games. He also just went off for eight catches, a season-high 106 yards and two scores in Week 11.

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Fellow Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen returned last week from an injury hiatus and will remain the top option for quarterback Justin Herbert. Wide receiver Mike Williams also returned last week, but aggravated an ankle injury and his status is in doubt for Week 12.

If Williams is ruled out, look for Palmer to secure eight or more targets this week against the Arizona Cardinals. Palmer averaged the 11th-most fantasy points per game among wide receivers over the past four weeks.

The Cardinals aren't terrible at defending opposing wide receivers, but they just allowed four passing scores to San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. Look for Herbert to throw for at least 300 yards and three scores in a Chargers victory. He should find Palmer on one of those touchdown tosses.

Allen Robinson

Robinson is my No. 31 option and can be plugged in as a low-end WR3. The Los Angeles Rams veteran wide receiver started the season slow, but picked up his production slightly over the past five weeks.

Robinson totaled 47 yards and scored his third touchdown of the season in Week 11. He also averaged about six targets per game over his last seven appearances.

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Look for Robinson's targets to increase more going forward due to fellow wide receiver Cooper Kupp's injury hiatus. This week, the Rams also will face the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Chiefs allowed the fourth-most fantasy points, fifth-most catches, seventh-most receiving yards and tied for allowing the most touchdown catches (1.4) per game to wide receivers through 11 weeks.

Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford is in the concussion protocol, which could impact the passing game in Week 12, but I still expect a ton of volume due to a Chiefs lead for most of this matchup.

Look for at least 10 targets for Robinson in this matchup. He could climb into WR2 territory if he scores.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling

Valdes-Scantling logged just one catch for 18 yards in Week 11 for the Chiefs, but continues to be an electric -- yet inconsistent -- option within one of the most-potent offenses in the game.

The Chiefs veteran totaled at least 60 receiving yards in four of his last seven games. He also scored his first touchdown of the season in Week 10. The Chiefs are dealing with multiple injuries at the wide receiver position. Look for Valdes-Scantling to reach the end zone again this week against the Rams.

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The Rams tied for allowing the sixth-most touchdown catches (1) and ninth-most fantasy points per game to wide receivers. Valdes-Scantling is my No. 33 option for Week 12. He can be used as a boom-or-bust WR3.

Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Demarcus Robinson signals a first down during a game against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. Photo by David Tulis/UPI

Demarcus Robinson

Robinson is my No. 39 option and a decent WR3 option for Week 12. The Baltimore Ravens wide receiver erupted for a season-high 128 yards and caught each of his nine targets in a win over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday in Baltimore.

He earned at least eight targets and totaled at least 64 receiving yards in two of his last three games. This week, the Ravens will face the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Jaguars tied for allowing the second-most touchdown catches and surrendered the eighth-most fantasy points per game to wide receivers through 11 weeks. Look for Robinson to total at least eight targets from quarterback Lamar Jackson. He should turn those looks into at least 80 yards. Robinson could provide WR2 production of his scores or eclipses 100 yards.

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs (14) is my top fantasy football play at the position in Week 12. File Photo by David Tulis/UPI
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Week 12 fantasy football wide receiver rankings

1. Stefon Diggs, Buffalo Bills at DET

2. A.J. Brown, Philadelphia Eagles vs. GB

3. Tyreek Hill, Miami Dolphins vs. HOU

4. Tee Higgins, Cincinnati Bengals at TEN

5. Christian Kirk, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. BAL

6. Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings vs. NE

7. DeAndre Hopkins, Arizona Cardinals vs. LAC

8. Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers at ARI

9. Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers at CLE

10. Gabriel Davis, Buffalo Bills at DET

11. Davante Adams, Las Vegas Raiders at SEA

12. Terry McLaurin, Washington Commanders vs. ATL

13. Deebo Samuel, San Francisco 49ers vs. NO

14. Jaylen Waddle, Miami Dolphins vs. HOU

15. Tyler Boyd, Cincinnati Bengals at TEN

16. DK Metcalf, Seattle Seahawks vs. LV

17. Amari Cooper, Cleveland Browns vs. TB

18. Amon-Ra St. Brown, Detroit Lions vs. BUF

19. CeeDee Lamb, Dallas Cowboys vs. NYG

20. Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers at CLE

21. Joshua Palmer, Los Angeles Chargers at ARI

22. Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks vs. LV

23. Courtland Sutton, Denver Broncos at CAR

24. Chris Olave, New Orleans Saints at SF

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25. DeVonta Smith, Philadelphia Eagles vs. GB

26. Christian Watson, Green Bay Packers at PHI

27. Darius Slayton, New York Giants at DAL

28. Brandon Aiyuk, San Francisco 49ers vs. NO

29. Parris Campbell, Indianapolis Colts vs. PIT

30. Curtis Samuel, Washington Commanders vs. ATL

31. Allen Robinson, Los Angeles Rams at KC

32. Garrett Wilson, New York Jets vs. CHI

33. Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Kansas City Chiefs vs. LAR

34. Diontae Johnson, Pittsburgh Steelers at IND

35. Michael Pittman Jr., Indianapolis Colts vs. PIT

36. George Pickens, Pittsburgh Steelers at IND

37. Skyy Moore, Kansas City Chiefs vs. LAR

38. Donovan Peoples-Jones, Cleveland Browns vs. TB

39. Demarcus Robinson, Baltimore Ravens at JAX

40. Jacobi Meyers, New England Patriots at MIN

41. Allen Lazard, Green Bay Packers at PHI

42. Nico Collins, Houston Texans at MIA

45. Greg Dortch, Arizona Cardinals vs. LAC

46. Garrett Wilson, New York Jets vs. CHI

47. Darnell Mooney, Chicago Bears at NYJ

48. Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings vs. NE

49. Van Jefferson, Los Angeles Rams at KC

50. Treylon Burks, Tennessee Titans vs. CIN

This week in the National Football League

Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce sheds Los Angeles Chargers safety Derwin James Jr. and gets to the end zone for the winning touchdown during the second half at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif., on Sunday. The Chiefs beat the Chargers 30-27. Photo by Mike Goulding/UPI | License Photo

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