Fantasy football start 'em, sit 'em: Week 12

Fantasy football start 'em, sit 'em: Week 12

Fantasy Football Lineup Management

Fantasy football start 'em, sit 'em: Week 12

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Thanksgiving has come and gone, which means we were able to stuff our faces with food and show gratitude as we tilt our faces off with three games to begin the week. There’s no other way fantasy football managers would want it in Week 12.

Though no teams are on a bye, this week is a bit unique with the three games being played Thursday. Now, fantasy managers have the tough decisions to make with the remaining games left in Week 12.

Doing start/sit articles can be a little challenging. The players featured on the list below should not be taken as “must starts” or “must sits.” Instead, these are more suggestions on what we believe managers should do with fringe players heading into the weekend. The choice is ultimately up to the manager.

Just because a player is listed as a “start” doesn’t mean he should be put in the lineup over the secure, bona fide studs. Vice versa for the “sits.” If there’s no better option on the waiver wire or the bench, a manager shouldn’t automatically sit the player. That’s why these can be tricky waters to navigate.

You also can check out our start and sit bench list for Week 12:

Sit: TE Cole Kmet, Chicago Bears

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The last month has been very kind to Kmet and those brave enough to start him. Over the last four weeks, he has finished as a TE1 three times and was the TE16 last week. Some of that luck may be running out in Week 12, though, and managers may want to look another way. Taking on the New York Jets, their defense has been much better than expected. They are 22nd against tight ends in PPR points per game allowed over the last five weeks. It’s nothing extremely scary, but Kmet and the Bears may find it difficult to throw the ball, especially with Fields potentially being limited to the pocket considering his injuries. It’s probably best to leave Kmet on the bench or the waiver wire this week.

Start: TE Gerald Everett, Los Angeles Chargers

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This, of course, remains on the stipulation that Everett will play this week. Managers have had to find replacements for him during the last two weeks as a groin injury has sidelined Everett. However, he’s a smash start if he’s active. Starting a tight end against the Arizona Cardinals is one of the best moves to make. Over the last five weeks, they’ve allowed 21.3 PPR points per game to the position. That’s by far the most. With Mike Williams potentially missing this game after aggravating his ankle injury, the targets over the middle could be up for grabs, and the Chargers can exploit this matchup.

Sit: WR Brandin Cooks, Houston Texans

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Some managers may have to start Cooks, but this week will be a tough one for the veteran receiver. Maybe the fact that Kyle Allen is starting over Davis Mills will light a spark for Cooks’ fantasy prospects. But the Texans are taking on an improving Miami Dolphins defense that has allowed the 12th-fewest PPR points per game (29.8) to the position over the last five weeks. The Texans offense isn’t good enough to consistently have faith in, so even if you’re forced to start Cooks, temper expectations in a big way.

Start: WR Demarcus Robinson, Baltimore Ravens

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Since Rashod Bateman reinjured his foot in Week 8, Robinson has recorded target shares of 24%, 19% and 28% during the last three games, respectively. That last game showed he can be the true WR1 (by default) when he caught nine receptions on nine targets for 128 yards. Even though Devin Duvernay runs as the WR1, it’s Robinson who has been seeing more production. In Week 12, the Ravens take on the Jacksonville Jaguars, who have allowed the ninth-most PPR points per game (37.2) to the position over the last five weeks. That includes six touchdowns in four games. Robinson is a flex play but certainly has the upside to finish as a WR2 or better.

Sit: WR Drake London, Atlanta Falcons

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It will be interesting to see how the Kyle Pitts injury impacts London’s targets. This take could very well be wrong by the end of the week if it leads to a more dominant target share. However, there isn’t much confidence coming out of the Falcons passing game even with London’s talent leading the room. Over his last eight games, London has yet to finish as a WR2. On top of that, the New York Jets have allowed the second-fewest PPR points per game (23.9) over the last five weeks. In what could be a low-scoring affair, London doesn’t present a whole lot of upside.

Start: WR Chris Olave, New Orleans Saints

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While the Saints offense hasn’t been all that inspiring this season, Olave has taken advantage of his starter’s workload this season. Over his last eight games, the rookie has finished as a WR2 in all but two of those games. He bounced back in a big way last week going over 100 yards and a touchdown. Though the San Francisco 49ers have a solid defense, they’ve been susceptible against wide receivers, allowing the most PPR points per game (44.7) to the position over the last five weeks. Olave has a safe floor as a WR2 but presents plenty of upside in a very favorable matchup.

Sit: RB Samaje Perine, Cincinnati Bengals

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Perine will be a big pickup off the waiver wire this week because of the absence of Joe Mixon, who has been ruled out with a concussion. Coming off a three-touchdown performance, there will be some excitement for fantasy managers to plug Perine right into the lineup. While he does provide some solid RB3/flex value, we may need to temper expectations. The Tennessee Titans have been one of the stingiest defenses against running backs this season. Over the last five weeks, they’ve allowed the sixth-fewest PPR points per game (19.4) to the position. Managers can start Perine because he will have value as a receiver, which is where he’ll make the majority of his plays. But he’s by no means a must-start option if you have the depth.

Start: RB Rachaad White, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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Featured as one of our sleepers this week, White could be a sneaky start in Week 12. It seems Leonard Fournette will be a game-time decision due to a hip injury he suffered two weeks ago before their bye. Even if Fournette is active, White could still have a very usable game. The injury alone could force the Bucs to lean more into giving the rookie back more work, but also because he looks more explosive as a runner. He proved he could handle a workload without Fournette, going over 100 yards for the first time in his career in Week 10. The Cleveland Browns also present a fantastic matchup, allowing the second-most PPR points per game (31.8) to the position over the last five weeks. White has flex value but plenty of upside if the timeshare shifts more into his favor.

Sit: QB Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

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Rodgers has seemingly played better in recent weeks, but it still hasn’t been to the elite level that fantasy managers expect of him. He has finished as a QB1 just twice this season, and his highest finish is QB10. The breakout of rookie wide receiver Christian Watson has been fun, but the matchup in Week 12 against the Philadelphia Eagles could lead to another poor outing for Rodgers. Over the last five weeks, the Eagles have allowed the fewest fantasy points per game (8.3) to the position. Yes, that number is correct … 8.3 points per game. There are better options than Rodgers, who hasn’t proven to be a must-start this season.

Start: QB Geno Smith, Seattle Seahawks

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As the Seahawks come off the bye week, Smith finds himself in a strong situation to provide fantasy points. Over his last eight games, he’s finished as a top-15 quarterback seven times. In five of those games, Smith has finished as a QB1. Now, he gets to take on the Las Vegas Raiders at home, which is one of the best matchups for fantasy quarterback. The Raiders have allowed the 11th-most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks over the last five weeks (17.1) while permitting the fifth-most passing yards (1,235) during that stretch. They’ve also allowed seven QB1 finishes this season.

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