2022 Fantasy Football Week 12 Trends and Storylines

by Daniel Johnson
2022 Fantasy Football Trends and Storylines

Thanksgiving is nearly upon us, so I suppose it's only fitting that we approach our 2022 Fantasy Football Week 12 Trends and Storylines with a hearty heaping of gratitude.

Indeed, in this week's column, I'm dismissing the Discouraging section of trends. This is, of course, in the interest of leveraging stats and developments we should be excited about and grateful for. Call it a theme, if you want.

We're at the point in the season, anyways, where our lineups and benches should be fairly solidified heading into the final weeks of the Fantasy regular season. Perhaps the best this column can hope to do for all of us, going forward, is help us inform in-house lineup decisions.

My sincerest wishes for a wonderful, restorative holiday to you and yours.

Now let's get to it.

2022 Fantasy Football Week 12 Trends and Storylines

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Rhamondre "The Wrecking Ball" Stevenson

Maybe one of the greatest storylines as the 2021 season cooled into winter last year was the emergence of Rhamondre Stevenson in the Patriots backfield. He brought bang, panache, and life to the Pats offense last year. And he hasn't lost it yet. Check out that run above.

Stevenson has largely kept his complementary and, at times, lead-back role throughout the 2022 season. He's currently the RB10 through the first eleven weeks of the season. Crazy to think about for a committee backfield, even when you consider Harris's multi-week absence. Especially when you consider how middling the Patriots offense has been all year.

Perhaps what's most encouraging: his rising target share. In the last four weeks, Stevenson has cleared at least a 20% target percentage from Mac Jones. Damien Harris is back and healthy; he also looks good. It hasn't mattered.

In fact, all it's done is made him a more valuable PPR asset. Lock him in the rest of the year, as if that wasn't obvious already.

The Return of Darius Slayton

One thing for which no fan of the NFL should be grateful: Wan'Dale Robinson's season is officially over after he tore his ACL yesterday. A promising young rookie who came into the year recovering from a knee injury now exits far too soon with another.

And to be clear: our subsequent excitement here about Darius Slayton isn't because we're parading Robinson's head around on stick. Slayton had already re-emerged as a legitimate option for Daniel Jones over the past six weeks. During that time, he's averaged—like Stevenson above—over a 20% target share. Yesterday, against the Lions, he claimed a 25% share.

You can see in the film above how good he is at creating separation, and just how much Daniel Jones trusts him. It's not quite reminiscent of the home-run connection they had a few years ago, but it still warrants legitimate Fantasy interest.

Go get Slayton off waivers, if you can. Here's to old flames rekindling.

James Cook Hath Arrived

I'd be smiling too, if I were James Cook. In what was an important get-right game for the Bills—one that was, at points, decently contested—Cook saw a 26% snap share. That matched his season-high from back in Week 2.

His running style really does remind me of his brother's. It's sharp and aggressive. He hits holes hard, seizes the edges once they've been set, and isn't afraid to take contact.

Hopefully you stashed him on your bench, because this kid's on the rise, and might warrant flex consideration going forward.

Two Guys Whose Usage is Thankfully, Mercifully on the Rise

Now there's the Jonathan Taylor we were talking about when we said he should go 1.01. Of course, two weeks of decent production under Jeff Saturday does not retroactively make him worth that price. But the Colts are definitely using him more, and Taylor seems a bit reinvigorated since the coaching change.

Maybe it's just that he's gotten healthy. Maybe it's deeper than that. But, over the past two weeks, he's totaled 40.7 Fantasy points. It's his best two-week stretch of the season so far, and I think—health aside—we need not worry so much about him anymore going forward.

Speaking of studs who have seen a welcome increase in usage, I present to you: Terry McLaurin.

Thank you, Taylor Heinicke, for doubling McLaurin's target share. For recognizing what a stud this kid is. And while it didn't necessarily translate to a gaudy stat line yesterday, McLaurin's been posting WR2 numbers in the weeks prior to that. That's right where we drafted him.

Let's hope that trend continues.

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