Week 12 NFL Recap: 5 Top Stories

Last Updated: Jan 9, 2021

Week 12 NFL Recap: Read our Week 12 NFL Recap for the four biggest NFL betting and fantasy football lessons we learned from Week 12.

Week 12 NFL Recap

1. 49ers on the outside looking in but won’t go down without a fight.

If the season ended today, a handful of teams that made the playoffs in 2019 would be out of the dance. San Francisco is one of those clubs.

However, the 49ers did not collapse because they are not for real. They have succumbed to the injury bug all season long.

Not only has QB Jimmy Garoppolo been in and out of the lineup — he missed two games earlier in the year with an ankle injury and has spent the past three games on the injured reserve list with a “whole new high-ankle sprain" — but all-world TE George Kittle is out as well. Not to mention DE Nick Bosa, RB Tevin Coleman, DE Dee Ford, WR Brandon Aiyuk, and a whole slew more.


Despite the injuries, the 49ers sit at 5-6 and on the postseason bubble following Sunday’s 23-20 Week 12 victory over the Rams, completing the season sweep. The 49ers covered the spread (+3) and the total (44.5) went Under with 96% of the money wagering the Over, per PointsBet.

Preceding the win, the 49ers got some help. CB Richard Sherman, WR Deebo Samuel, RB Raheem Mostert and RB Jeff Wilson were all activated from IR.

Mostert and Wilson both went for a team-high 43 rushing yards; Mostert added a touchdown. Samuel went for 134 receiving yards on 11-of-13 targets and Sherman went for a team-best seven tackles with one defended pass. The Sherman-led secondary managed to hold QB Jared Goff to 198 passing yards and two picks.

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For you fantasy football managers who gambled putting Samuel in your starting lineup in his first game back from injury, you are sitting pretty. Samuel finished with 24.5 PPR points and currently sits as a top 10 receiver for the week.

This was no slouch defense Kyle Shanahan’s offense exploited for 348 total yards with Nick Mullens under center either. Los Angeles’ defense is a top-five unit in fewest passing and rushing yards allowed per game.

Speaking of defense, if you wagered the 49ers or the Rams’ D/ST to score an anytime touchdown, you cashed at PointsBet. 49ers DT Javon Kinlaw took a Jared Goff interception back for a touchdown.


Meanwhile, Rams CB Troy Hill scored on an Aaron Donald forced fumble, which he took to the house. With (+500) odds, you had a terrific return wagering that Rams D/ST score.


While the 49ers looked dead in the water amidst their three-game losing stream prefacing Sunday’s win, they looked like a different team with some of their studs back in the starting lineup.

While it seems impossible, I don’t think the 49ers are out of the race to win the NFC West. The Seahawks (7-3) and the Rams (7-4) are both in front of San Francisco, but both teams have holes.

Currently, the 49ers have (+8000) odds to win the NFC West at PointsBet. I’ve wasted $50 on a lot less, and whatever those things were, didn’t potentially bring a $4000 return.

2. “Tompa Tom Brady" or “Turnover Tom?" You decide.

Sunday afternoon on the 4 p.m. slate, we saw a potential Super Bowl matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Tampa Bay.

While it was a marquee matchup featuring Patrick Mahomes versus Tom Brady, it was a must-win game for the Buccaneers, who had lost two of their past three games leading into Week 12.

However, the Chiefs dominated the football game. Despite the 27-24 final, Kansas City maintained control for the duration. Betting-wise, Tampa Bay covered the spread (+3.5) and the total (56) went Under while the vast majority of the public backed the Over.

Both quarterbacks dazzled. Mahomes went for 462 passing yards and three touchdowns with one turnover while Brady threw for 345 yards and three touchdowns. The difference? While Mahomes lost a fumble, Brady threw two more picks.


The Buccaneers are 1-3 in their past four games. Brady has thrown seven total interceptions in those three losses. In fact, Brady has thrown at least two interceptions in 4-of-5 Tampa Bay losses this season, totaling nine. Brady has three total turnovers in Tampa’s seven victories.


Scaling back to Mahomes and Brady’s six combined touchdowns, if you wagered the two signal caller’s to combine for five touchdown passes, which was a featured boosted-wager at PointsBet at (+115) odds, you cashed.

If you wanted the game and listened to the broadcast, you heard CBS’ Tony Romo suggest Brady told him he was not happy in Bruce Arians’ offense.


Perhaps, Romo is on to something. Carson Palmer, Andrew Luck, and Jameis Winson — shocker — all threw career-high interception totals under Arians and his deep-ball happy passing attack. Brady is also on track to throw a career-high in picks as well, which sits at 14 (2002, 2004, 2005).


Entering Week 12, Brady was the No. 1 quarterback in deep ball attempts (56) but only completed 32.8% of them, good for 27th-best amongst qualifying signal-callers.

Let’s not walk away from this game without giving Tyreek Hill some props. If you had him on your fantasy team, you’re probably winning your week. Hill caught 13-of-15 targets for 269 yards and three touchdowns.

He torched CB Carlton Davis all afternoon. Hill will finish the week as the unquestioned WR1 with 57.9 PPR points.


Speaking of Hill props, he smashed them too.


If Tampa is going to get back on track and go on a run, its secondary must get back on track. With the Saints playing outstanding football without Drew Brees, the Buccaneers can’t afford another loss.


3. The New York Giants win and lose on the same afternoon.

The New York Giants beat the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday 19-17, taking over first place in the NFC East. However, they failed to cover the 6 points while the total (45) went Under.


While things are looking up in New York, they were probably the only team to both win and lose on Sunday.

The loss? Daniel Jones. The second-year signal-caller exited Week 12 with a hamstring injury.


And while Jones did return briefly, the G-Men pulled him back out of the game shortly thereafter, which started the Colt McCoy show. Although there was initial optimism from head coach Joe Judge that Jones could play in Week 13 against the Seahawks, the latest reports are not promising.

Per Giants beat reporter Jordan Raanan, Jones could “miss some time" with his hamstring.


While McCoy has similar mobility to Jones, there is a reason why he is a career backup. McCoy ended the game completing 6-of-10 passes for 31 yards, adding another seven yards on five carries in roughly a quarter and a half of play.

If the Giants are going to continue to win and maintain control of the NFC East, they must lean on their improving defense and the running game, led by the Wayne Train.

With McCoy under center, expect Wayne Gallman to be busy. Gallman is one of the hottest running backs in the NFL and in fantasy football. Gallman has now scored a touchdown in five straight games, six total in that time period.


What’s more, Gallman has also logged back-to-back games with 19 touches, both season-highs. In Sunday’s win, Gallman saw his largest workload and production totals of 2019.

He finished with 18.1 PPR points on 27 touches (three receptions) for 91 total yards and a score. He also set new career-bests in touches and total yards.


Once again, Gallman dominated running back opportunities in the Giants’ backfield.


It wasn’t close. Gallman could be a rest-of-season league-winner with an upcoming schedule that includes the Seahawks, Cardinals, Browns, Ravens, and Cowboys.

4. Quarterback controversy brewing with the Miami Dolphins?

Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa was ruled out of Sunday’s matchup at the Jets with a thumb injury. As a result, Ryan Fitzpatrick drew the start and ultimately got the anticipated win.

Miami crushed the Jets 20-3. Not only did the Dolphins pick up the victory, but they completed the season sweep of the Jets while holding them to three points combined in those two contests. The Dolphins covered the seven-point spread while the total (45) went Under.


With a defense as smothering as Miami’s, Tagovailoa’s absence did not matter on the field, but it could matter off of it.

When Fitzpatrick was benched in favor of Tagovailoa earlier this season, the veteran signal-caller was openly upset about the decision. On the season, including Sunday’s win, Fitzpatrick is 4-3 as a starter while Tagovailoa is 3-1.

However, Miami’s season didn’t begin to turn around Week 5 when their defense really began to click. I’m not sure how much of those early losses were on Fitzpatrick.

Fitzpatrick has also played better than the rookie. In fact, if you go back to last week, Tagovailoa struggled against the Denver defense in a shocking loss and he was eventually pulled in favor of Fitzpatrick.

Yes, the Broncos’ defense is better than the team’s record suggests, but it says a lot to turn back to your veteran journeyman quarterback. Why wouldn’t you want your rookie to learn from his unpleasant experience if you were indeed sold?

Fitzpatrick has completed 36-of-56 passes for 374 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception since replacing Tagovailoa in the second half of last week’s loss to Denver. In eight games played this season, Fitzpatrick has thrown for 1,909 yards, 12 touchdowns, and eight interceptions while adding another 151 yards and two scores as a rusher.

Playing the devil’s advocate, perhaps Tagovailoa’s thumb injury is worse than initially expected — or it’s a good opportunity to keep rolling with Fitz, and this is Brian Flores‘ way of sitting Tagovailoa without damaging his psyche.


From a fantasy football perspective, Fitzpatrick is the quarterback you want under center for the Dolphins if you are a DeVante Parker or Mike Gesicki manager.

Gesicki isn’t killing it with either quarterback, but he did manage to score his first touchdown on Sunday since Week 3, ending a seven-game drought. Oh, by the way, Gesicki scored his last one with Fitzpatrick too.


Fitzpatrick is also a terrific fantasy quarterback, especially in DFS considering his usual price points. Fitzpatrick ended Week 12 with 19.2 fantasy points. He will likely finish as a QB1 for the third time this season. It is also the fifth time he’s finished with 19+ fantasy points out of six starts, including four games with 21+.

5. Green Bay Packers roll in primetime.

Let’s face it. When you see the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers on the schedule, you immediately think it will be a low-scoring affair. However, that was not the case on Sunday night.

In stunning fashion, Green Bay crushed Chicago 41-25 in a game that was not as close as the final score.

When you can hang 41 on one of the league’s best defenses, you know you’re dangerous, for real. The Packers covered the 7.5-point spread while the total (44.5) went Over. In fact, Green Bay nearly hit the Over by themselves.


Whether it is Mitchell Trubisky or Nick Foles under center for the Bears, the outcome was not any different. The Bears lost their fifth straight game after opening the season 5-1.


That is not the case, however, for the Packers. Led by Aaron Rodgers, the Packers have a stranglehold over first place in the NFC North at 8-3.


Rodgers finished the night with 229 yards and four touchdowns on 21-of-29 attempts. If you took the featured super booster wager at PointsBet of Rodgers throwing 3+ scores and the Packers win (+110), you easily hit.

The first part of the wager hit on this play.


From a fantasy football perspective, there were points to be had everywhere on Sunday night. However, while the usual suspects all showed-up — Davante Adams (18.1), Rodgers (25.6), Robert Tonyan (17.7), and Allen Robinson (27.4) — we saw two fantasy assets play well for the first time in a long time. Surprisingly, both are Bears.

Trubisky finished the game with 20.8 fantasy points on 242 passing yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions on 26-of-46 attempts. It was a longshot if you started him anywhere outside of DFS and Superflex leagues, but perhaps Trubisky could be employed moving forward assuming he will remain the Chicago QB1.

Two of those touchdowns went to Robinson, included in his 8/74/2 line on 13 targets.


At least he was able to move the offense and score the football on an upside defense. Something Foles was unable to do. Foles managed to lead the Bears to fewer than 23 points in seven straight games since Week 4, six of those games, they scored fewer than 1.

In fact, the only other time the Bears scored more than 23 points outside of Sunday night was back in Week 2 where they finished with 26. Trubisky was the starter for that game as well. Sad.

The other Bears player to blow up was David Montgomery. Montgomery’s 25.3 PPR points were his most this season. He will likely finish as an RB1 once the week wraps up. Montgomery only finished with 20+ PPR points and as an RB1 one other time this season, back in that aforementioned Week 2 outing.

With a favorable upcoming schedule against the Lions, Texans, Vikings, Jaguars, and the Packers, you must pay attention to Bears fantasy assets moving forward. Despite their erratic track record, they do have some offensive momentum and the schedule to finish the year strong in fantasy.

Prepare your Week 13 betting tips and plan


Anthony Cervino

Anthony Cervino is an NFL Writer and Betting Analyst for The Game Day. He is also a lifelong NFL savant and self-proclaimed league historian. In the industry, Anthony has excelled in both the fantasy football and sports betting space with fantasy his proverbial bread and butter. Anthony has made appearances on SiriusXM, amongst other publications. He is also the co-creator of the FF Faceoff (Faceoff Sports Network) and the FF Faceoff Mental Health Podathon partnered with the Hayden Hurst Foundation. Industry Clout: 15th most accurate ranker in the FantasyPros ECR for both draft and in-season accuracy (2019) | 8th most accurate ranker in the FantasyPros ECR for sleepers (2020) | 13th most accurate ranker in the FantasyPros ECR for in-season accuracy, including 2nd at quarterback and 3rd at tight end (2021).

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