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Kamil Krzaczynski/Associated Press
In fantasy football, the flex position is an interesting one. For some managers, it’s a place to sneak in that third high-end RB or WR they managed to snag on draft day. For others, it’s a spot where scrambling to find a start-worthy player becomes a weekly affair.
Regardless of which category you fall into, the flex position demands decision-making. Whether you’re sorting through top options or scraping off the waiver wire, you’re always looking for the best possible play.
Heading into the bulk of Week 12, we’re here to dig into the top players at each flex-eligible position—running back, wide receiver and tight end—as well as the latest matchup advice, injury information and waiver-wire options.
All rankings are based on point-per-reception (PPR) scoring.
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Ron Schwane/Associated Press
1. Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings
2. Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints
3. Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns
4. Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers
5. Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans
6. Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders
7. James Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars
8. Mike Davis, Carolina Panthers
9. Miles Sanders, Philadelphia Eagles
10. Kareem Hunt, Cleveland Browns
11. James Conner, Pittsburgh Steelers
12. Nyheim Hines, Indianapolis Colts
13. Chris Carson, Seattle Seahawks
14. Wayne Gallman, New York Giants
15. Kenyan Drake, Arizona Cardinals
16. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Kansas City Chiefs
17. Kalen Ballage, Los Angeles Chargers
18. David Montgomery, Chicago Bears
19. Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals
20. Ronald Jones II, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Dalvin Cook and Alvin Kamara are always high-end options because of their roles and PPR upside. Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb could enter the elite tier this week thanks to a favorable matchup with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
In his two games since returning from injury, Chubb has rushed for 240 yards and a touchdown. He’ll face a Jaguars defense ranked 24th against the run.
Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey is generally in the elite tier when healthy, but he won’t be available for the Week 12 matchup with the Minnesota Vikings.
“I’m pessimistic that he’ll play,” Panthers coach Matt Rhule said Friday, per Bill Voth of the team’s official website.
McCaffrey was downgraded to out Saturday. With Carolina on bye in Week 13, McCaffrey should be back in Week 14 at the earliest.
When it comes to late waiver-wire additions, Baltimore Ravens back Gus Edwards is probably the best remaining option. He’s rostered in 52 percent of Yahoo leagues and ESPN leagues.
The Ravens’ game against the Pittsburgh Steelers has been moved to Tuesday, but with Mark Ingram II and J.K. Dobbins both testing positive for COVID-19, Edwards is likely to be the Ravens’ starter this week.
Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor has also landed on the reserve/COVID-19 list, so be sure to bump up the values of Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins.
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Brett Duke/Associated Press
1. Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers
2. Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers
3. DK Metcalf, Seattle Seahawks
4. Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs
5. DeAndre Hopkins, Arizona Cardinals
6. Stefon Diggs, Buffalo Bills
7. Calvin Ridley, Atlanta Falcons
8. Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks
9. Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams
10. Robert Woods, Los Angeles Rams
11. Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings
12. Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints
13. Allen Robinson II, Chicago Bears
14. Diontae Johnson, Pittsburgh Steelers
15. A.J. Brown, Tennessee Titans
16. D.J. Moore, Carolina Panthers
17. Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
18. Chase Claypool, Pittsburgh Steelers
19. DeVante Parker, Miami Dolphins
20. Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
While it’s a bit too early to proclaim that New Orleans Saints wideout Michael Thomas is back to being the elite fantasy option he has been in years past, it’s worth noting his expanded role with Taysom Hill at quarterback.
Hill got the start for an injured Drew Brees in Week 11, and Thomas became his safety valve. He was targeted a season-high 12 times and caught nine passes for 104 yards. Thomas should see a similar target share this week, though his yardage may be limited against the Denver Broncos’ ninth-ranked pass defense.
The Atlanta Falcons have ruled out running back Todd Gurley, and wideout Julio Jones remains questionable. He didn’t practice Friday, so managers need to monitor his status before committing to him on game day.
The value of fellow Falcons wideout Calvin Ridley, meanwhile, should be raised ahead of a matchup with the Las Vegas Raiders. The Raiders rank 28th in pass defense and 26th in points allowed.
For a late-week waiver-wire target, consider New York Giants receiver Sterling Shepard. He’s coming off a six-catch, 47-yard performance and should have plenty of PPR upside against a Cincinnati Bengals defense ranked 22nd against the pass.
Shepard is rostered in 61 percent of ESPN leagues but just 49 percent of Yahoo leagues.
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Isaac Brekken/Associated Press
1. Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs
2. Darren Waller, Las Vegas Raiders
3. Hunter Henry, Los Angeles Chargers
4. Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens
5. Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles
6. Noah Fant, Denver Broncos
7. Hayden Hurst, Atlanta Falcons
8. Evan Engram, New York Giants
9. Rob Gronkowski, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
10. Eric Ebron, Pittsburgh Steelers
Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce is generally the cream of the tight end crop, but don’t be surprised if he’s outproduced by Darren Waller this week. The Raiders tight end is the focal point of Las Vegas’ passing attack and is coming off a strong performance against the Chiefs.
In Week 11, Waller caught seven passes for 88 yards and a touchdown. He’ll face a Falcons defense ranked 31st against the pass and 25th in points allowed.
There are no new major tight end injuries to speak of in Week 12, though San Francisco 49ers star George Kittle remains sidelined for the foreseeable future. He is on injured reserve with a foot fracture, though San Francisco hasn’t completely ruled him out for the season.
“All those guys, whether it’s Jimmy [Garoppolo], whether it’s Kittle, Ben Garland, I’d probably put just a little bit ahead of them, if I had to say, but all those guys have a chance to come back and help us,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said, per Kyle Madson of Niners Wire.
If the playoffs in your fantasy league run late into the season, don’t be afraid to hang onto Kittle with the hope that he’ll return. Just know that he’ll likely be back only in the final weeks and if San Francisco is in playoff contention.
For a late waiver-wire target, consider Philadelphia Eagles tight end Richard Rodgers. Over his past two weeks, he has caught six passes on seven targets for 108 yards and a touchdown. He has a matchup with the Seattle Seahawks and their 32nd-ranked pass defense.
Rodgers is rostered in just 3 percent of Yahoo leagues and 5 percent of ESPN leagues.
*Yahoo and ESPN roster percentages from FantasyPros. Advanced statistics from Pro Football Reference.
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