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Week 12 Starts/Sits

]Unfortunately, I was only able to get 48% of my starts and sits from week 11 correct. However, that is only the third week out of 11 that my hit rate dipped below 50%. So, I think you can still trust me. PLEASE BELIEVE ME!

We are finally beyond the majority of the byes. Unfortunately, the two teams that have their bye week in week 12 are two of the highest scoring teams in the league in the Los Angeles Rams and the Kansas City Chiefs. Regardless, we enter Thanksgiving week with the most games in a while. Speaking of Thanksgiving, keep in my mind there are three games on Thursday.

Now, here are you your week 12, Thanksgiving starts and sits!

Quarterback

Start

Lamar Jackson vs. Oakland Raiders

In Jackson’s first NFL start, he demonstrated how dynamic of a playmaker he is. Jackson ran for 117 yards on 27 carries and threw for another 150 yards, leading the Ravens to a win against the Cincinnati Bengals. With Flacco still nursing a hip injury, Jackson is in line to start again in week 12. He faces another poor defense in the Oakland Raiders.

While the Raiders have actually been relatively OK against quarterbacks fantasy-wise, allowing the 15th-most fantasy points to quarterbacks, they rank last in DVOA against the pass. More importantly, the Raiders have not faced a quarterback nearly as dynamic as Jackson. The Raiders defense has also allowed the third-most points per game.

With a high rushing floor and facing a bad defense, Jackson should be started with confidence.

Baker Mayfield @ Cincinnati Bengals

Mayfield has four straight with two or more touchdowns. This includes the Browns last game before their bye week when Mayfield threw for three touchdowns against the Atlanta Falcons. Coming off of their bye week, the Browns have had some time to help install new offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens’ offense. This will hopefully help the Browns offense become more prolific moving forward.

Mayfield faces a hapless Bengals defense in week 12. The Bengals have allowed the most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks in the 2018 season. In three of their last four games, the Bengals have allowed over 30 fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks.

Coming off of a bye week and facing a bad defense, Mayfield is a good start in week 12.

Eli Manning @ Philadelphia Eagles

This one is gross. Eli has looked terrible at times this season. He definitely has fallen off from his super bowl days. However, in his last four games and five of the last six, Eli has eclipsed 19.5 fantasy points. While not stellar, these numbers will not hurt you any given week.

Eli can have a repeat performance against the Philadelphia Eagles in week 12. In their first matchup, Eli only produced 14.1 fantasy points, throwing for zero touchdowns and an interception. That was several injuries ago. The Eagles secondary is in shambles, forcing them to play guys who were not on the roster three weeks ago. Due to these injuries, the Eagles have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks over the last five weeks.

While Eli has not been great this season, he has been reliable over the last few weeks. Facing a bad defense, he should be reliable again in week 12.

Sit

Matthew Stafford vs. Chicago Bears

Stafford has been very disappointing this season. He currently ranks as the QB18 in fantasy. In two of the last three games, Stafford has failed to eclipse 16 fantasy points. Now, Stafford does not have his top running back and his second-best wide receiver for week 12.

Stafford also faces a Bears defense that is arguably the best in the league. In terms of DVOA, the Bears rank third against the pass and first against the run. Fantasy-wise, the Bears have allowed only one fantasy game of over 30 points. The Bears have seven interceptions in the last three games as well. They have also allowed the fourth-fewest points per game in 2018.

With depleted pass-catchers and facing a good defense, sit Stafford.

Case Keenum vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

The Case Keenum of 2018 is no the same as the Case Keenum of 2017. Keenum finished 2017 as the QB15, throwing 22 touchdowns versus seven interceptions. Keenum has 11 touchdowns to 10 interceptions in 2018. In the Broncos last two games, Keenum has thrown for only one touchdown total and less than 300 yards in both. In three of the last four, he has produced less than 20 fantasy points.

The Steelers defense has been great after starting the season of precariously. The Steelers have not allowed an opposing quarterback to surpass 20 fantasy points since week 4. Over the past five weeks, the Steelers have allowed the fewest fantasy points per game to quarterbacks. They have not allowed a 300-yard passer in the same time frame. In three of their last four games, they have held opposing quarterbacks to under 200 yards passing.

Having a mediocre season and facing a good defense, sit Keenum in week 12.

Philip Rivers vs. Arizona Cardinals

Rivers is actually having a very good season. He is having the best fantasy season of his career but only ranks as the QB14 in points per game. Rivers has 23 touchdowns and only six interceptions to go along with over 2,800 yards passing. This usually would be good for a top 10 fantasy season. However, scoring is up across the league and therefore quarterback fantasy production is up. With his lowest fantasy output being 18.4 points, Rivers is startable almost every week, just not this one.

The Cardinals, for all of there woes, have been good on defense. Specifically, they have been good against the pass. The Cardinals rank fifth in DVOA against the pass. They have allowed the second-fewest fantasy points per game to quarterbacks on the season as well. The Cardinals are much more vulnerable to the run, allowing the seventh-most fantasy points.

The Chargers will likely need to rely on the Melvin Gordon in this game. Sit Philip Rivers in week 12.

Running Back

Start

Nick Chubb @ Cincinnati Bengals

Now given his chance after the Carlos Hyde trade, Chubb has excelled. Since the trade Chubb has been given 18 or more carries and ran for 65 or more yards. He has added three rushing touchdowns as well. Chubb has also caught the bell, catching six of his nine targets for 48 yards and one touchdown. In the Browns final game before their bye week, Chubb exploded for 210 total yards and two touchdowns against the Atlanta Falcons.

The Bengals defense has been terrible this season. They rank 26th overall in defensive DVOA, 18th against the pass, and 30th against the run. They have allowed the third-most fantasy points to running backs on the season and the most over the past five weeks. This includes a 115 yard, one touchdown day to Gus Edwards.

Chubb has a chance to be the RB1 on the week. Start him in week 12.

Gus Edwards vs. Oakland Raiders

Speaking of Gus Edwards, what is a Gus Edwards? Last week, the Ravens faced the Bengals. Many, including me, thought this was going to be an Alex Collins game. Instead, Edwards was the running back to start. With Lamar Jackson at quarterback, there were large holes to run through and Edwards took advantage.

Edwards and the Ravens face another bad run defense in the Raiders. The Raiders rank 25th in DVOA against the run. On the season, they have allowed the eighth-most fantasy points per game to running backs and the seventh-most over the last five weeks.

The Raiders are a dumpster fire and Gus Edwards, Lamar Jackson, and the Ravens are going to run wild.

Matt Breida @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Breida might be one of the toughest players in the game. He has suffered and played through so many injuries this season, yet he is still the RB19 on the season. Now healthy coming off of the San Francisco 49ers bye week, Breidia should hopefully be productive for the rest of the season.

The Buccaneers defense has been atrocious this season. They rank 31st overall in defensive DVOA, 30th against the pass, and 27th against the run. The Bucs have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to running backs on the season.

Breida is involved in both the pass and run game. He is very startable in week 12.

Sit

Lamar Miller vs. Tennessee Titans

Miller has been basically everything that anyone could have expected. He is uninspiring but productive. Miller is currently the RB24 on the season. He has been inconsistent, with four games of single-digit fantasy points and five games of double-digit fantasy points. He is unreliable. In the previous game with the Titans, Miller only tallied nine fantasy points.

Week 12 will likely be one of Miller’s down games. The Titans have been one of the best defenses against running backs. They have allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to running backs on the season. They rank the ninth in DVOA against the run.

Miller is an OK running back. The Titans run defense is good. Sit Miller.

LeSean McCoy vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

McCoy is really the only startable offensive player for the Buffalo Bills currently. In the last game before the Bills bye week, McCoy produced 24.8 fantasy points with 113 yards rushing and two touchdowns. On the season, McCoy has five double-digit fantasy days. He still only ranks as the RB35 on the season.

The Jaguars are not as much of an automatic sit as they used to be. They are still a very good defense. The Jags rank seventh in DVOA against the pass and eighth against the run. They have allowed the second-fewest fantasy points per game to running backs this season and the fewest over the last five weeks.

The Bills offense is bad. McCoy is the only good thing about it. The Jaguars will be able to take him out of the game easily. Sit Shady.

Jordan Howard @ Detroit Lions

What a disappointing season for Howard. After finishing as RB14 and RB10 in 2017 and 2016 respectively, Howard is currently the RB27 on the 2018 season. Howard has yet to eclipse 100 yards rushing this season. Since starting off the season active in the passing game, Howard has zero or one target in every game since week 3. He just has not been nearly as effective on the ground this season.

The Lions started off the season horribly against the run. In three of their first four games, the Lions allowed 100-yard rushing games to three running backs. Since, they have only allowed one and have not allowed one in their last three games. Over the last five weeks, the Lions have allowed the eighth-fewest fantasy points per game to running backs. This largely coincides with the Lions trading for arguably the best run-stopping defensive tackle in the league in Damon Harrison.

With quarterback Mitchell Trubisky doubtful, the Lions will likely be able to stack the box to stop the run and make backup Chase Daniel beat them through the air. Howard is not a good start in week 12.

Wide Receiver

Start

Sterling Shepard @ Philadelphia Eagles

See: Manning, Eli. The Eagles secondary is very injured and very vulnerable. On the season, they have allowed the second-most fantasy points to wide receivers. Over the last five weeks, they have allowed the most.

Shepard is the WR27 on the season. With Manning as his quarterback and a lot of talented pass catchers around him, Shepard has a limited ceiling. However, he has produced three 20 point fantasy games and five double-digit fantasy games.

The Eagles secondary is not good right now and Shepard should be able to take advantage.

Tre’Quan Smith vs. Atlanta Falcons

People may think this is a reaction to his week 11 game against the Eagles. Smith went off for 10 receptions on 13 targets for 157 yards and one touchdown. After the touchdown, Brees told Smith that he trusts him. This is not the first game that Smith has showed up. He helped Brees break the record for career passing yardage in week 5 with 111 yards and two touchdowns. Smith has the talent and he has shown it.

The Falcons defense, much like the Eagles, has been devastated by injury. They have lost their star middle linebacker in Deion Jones and both of their starting safeties in Keanu Neal and Ricardo Allen. This has resulted in being poor against the run and the pass. The Falcons rank last in overall defensive DVOA, 29th against the pass, and 31st against the run. Against wide receivers, the Falcons allow the seventh-most fantasy points on the season.

With Drew Brees as his quarterback and facing a bad passing defense, Smith is primed for another big game in week 12.

Marquise Goodwin @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Goodwin has had a disappointing season thus far. Marred by injuries and quarterback changes, Goodwin is only the WR62 on the season. There is hope, however. Goodwin has four double-digit fantasy games this season. This includes week 10 when Goodwin and quarterback Nick Mullens hooked up for four receptions for 69 yards.

Goodwin has a great matchup in week 12. The Buccaneers secondary has been awful. They rank 30th in DVOA against the pass. Against wide receivers in coverage, they rank 28th in DVOA against WR1s and 31st against WR2s. In terms of fantasy, the Bucs have allowed the third-most fantasy points to wide receivers.

The over/under for this game is 55, which is the second highest of the week. These are two bad defenses that will allow a lot of scoring. Start Goodwin.

Sit

John Brown vs. Oakland Raiders

After a promising start to the season, “Smokey” Brown has fallen off of a cliff. It seems as if defenses have figured out that the Ravens best weapon is the deep pass and taken it away. Brown started the season with four straight double-digit fantasy days, including 116 yards and one touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers in week 4. Since then, Brown only has one double-digit fantasy day. To cap it all off, last week with Lamar Jackson, Brown only received one target for 23 yards. Jackson ran the ball 27 times.

The Raiders have actually not been awful against wide receivers.  They rank fifth in DVOA against WR1s and 15th against WR2s. On the season, the Raiders have allowed the 14th-fewest fantasy points per game to wide receivers. Over the last five weeks, they have allowed the sixth-fewest.

With the Raiders defense vulnerable to the run and Lamar Jackson as the help, it is best to sit Brown week 12.

Courtland Sutton vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

See: Keenum, Case. Sutton is also hindered a bit by his quarterback. Sutton has been involved in all of the Broncos games with three or more targets in every game. In the last three, he has been more involved with 57 or more yards in each. With the Trade of Demaryius Thomas to the Texans, Sutton’s prospects for the remainder of the season are looking up, just not against the Steelers.

The Steelers have allowed the second-fewest fantasy points per game to wide receivers over the last five weeks. With a mediocre quarterback and a tough matchup, Sutton is a sit for week 12.

DeVante Parker @ Indianapolis Colts

This one is somewhat obvious. Parker has one good game this season in week 8. But the Dolphins wide receivers have also suffered injuries and Parker is one of the last men standing. Parker does get starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill back, for whatever that is worth.

The Colts defense has gotten better as the season has progressed. The last five weeks the Colts have held wide receivers to the fifth-fewest fantasy points per game.

The Dolphins offense is bad. The Colts defense is getting better. Pretty easy sit.

Tight End

Start

Jonnu Smith @ Houston Texans

Smith is a risky start this week with Mariota being affected by a stinger and the possibility of Blaine Gabbert starting. Regardless, Smith has been surging after a disappointing start to the season. When Delanie Walker went down with a broken ankle, many started Smith to step into the role of Mariota’s favorite pass-catcher. In Smith’s first five games played this season, he only accumulated 32 yards receiving on four receptions. In the last three weeks, Smith has 12 receptions for 122 yards and three touchdowns.

The Texans defense is good. They rank 10th in DVOA against the pass and second against the run. If the Texans defense has a weakness, it is against tight ends. The Texans rank 28th in DVOA against tight ends in coverage. This season, the Texans have allowed the night-most fantasy points per games to tight ends as well.

With the Titans in need of a reliable pass-catcher, Smith has stepped up. He is a risky start against the Texans but can be a TE1 in week 12.

Chris Herndon vs. New England Patriots

Herndon has been one of the more consistent tight ends of late. Maybe it is because New York Jets pass-catchers have been in an out of the lineup. Regardless, Herndon has put up double-digit fantasy games in three of his last five and caught three touchdowns.

The Patriots defense has been fairly mediocre this season, ranking 20th in DVOA against the pass and 11th against the run. They have allowed the seventh-most fantasy points per game to tight ends this season, the sixth-most over the last five weeks.

With the Jets searching for reliable pass-catchers, Herndon seems to have taken on the role. Against the Patriots, the Jets will have to throw to keep up and Herndon should see a decent amount of volume.

Nick Vannett @ Carolina Panthers

This is a guessing game. Who is going to be the relevant Seattle Seahawks tight end this week? My money is on Vannett. Vannett has had an up and down season. He has been involved in every game this season. After fellow tight end, Will Dissly, went down, Vannett was targeted more often, leading to better fantasy days. In two of the last three games, Vannett has caught a touchdown. In week 9, he produced 17.2 fantasy points.

Vannett faces a Panthers defense that has been vulnerable to tight ends. The Panthers rank 30th in DVOA against tight ends. They have allowed the most fantasy points to tight ends this season. They have also allowed the most touchdowns to tight ends this season.

The Seahawks do not throw a lot, but Vannett has a chance to score against the Panthers. That is really all it takes to be TE1 these days.

Sit

Austin Hooper @ New Orleans Saints

This might be a bit controversial. Hooper is the TE7 on the season. However, he has only four double-digit fantasy games this season. He has been involved, but Hooper is boom or bust. I expect this is a bust game.

While the Saints can be thrown on, it is not to the tight ends. The Saints rank fourth in DVOA against tight ends. They have allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to tight ends this season. That includes week 11 when they allowed only 3.5 fantasy points to the TE1 Zach Ertz. The Saints also have yet to surrender a double-digit fantasy game to a tight end. O, and the most receiving yards they have surrendered to an individual tight end was 54 in week 1.

This will likely be a high scoring game, The over/under is 59.5. The Falcons will have to throw to keep up with the high powered Saints. I just would not expect Hooper to be too involved.

Evan Engram @ Philadelphia Eagles

See: Manning, Eli. Engram has been hindered by Manning, Shepard, and injuries this season. Engram is TE20 on the season. He only has two double-digit games as well as two touchdowns. Unfortunately, Engram is at best the third receiving option and really the fourth options for the Giants.

Also unfortunate is his opponent in week 12. Engram faces an Eagles defense that is vulnerable through the air but not to tight ends. The Eagles rank second in DVOA against tight ends. They have allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends on the season.

The Giants will be able to throw on the Eagles. Do not expect Engram to have a good game, however.

Kyle Rudolph vs. Green Bay Packers

Rudolph might be one of the biggest disappointments in the 2018 season. He currently ranks as the TE13 on the season. This does not seem like a big disappointment, but many expected him to be a top-five tight end with Kirk Cousins. He actually started off the season well with three double-digit fantasy games in the first four. But, since week 5, he has yet to eclipse double-digits and has a maximum of 41 receiving yards.

The Packers have not been overly great on defense. They rank 15th in DVOA against the pass and 24th against the run. However, they have been good against tight ends. The Packers allow the fifth-fewest fantasy points to tight ends. Since week four, they have not allowed a double-digit fantasy game to a tight end. They also have allowed 40 yards receiving or less in the same time frame.

Rudolph is not a huge part of the offense with wide receivers Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs. Facing the Packers does not remedy the situation. Sit Rudolph in week 12.

 

As always, I hope you found this article helpful. I also hope all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and that this article helps make it better. Until next week.

 

Football Outsiders DVOA

FFToday Fantasy Points Allowed

Bleacher Report Over/Under

ESPN Team/Player Stats

Thank you for reading. You can follow me on Twitter @FFStompy. Enjoy more redraft articles from The Fantasy Authority here., dynasty articles here, and DFS here. Enjoy and subscribe to the four podcasts hosted by The Fantasy Authority found here. Also, follow The Fantasy Authority (@FF_Authority), the Dynasty Life Podcast (@DynastyLifePod), the Redshirts Fantasy Football Podcast (@RedshirtFFPod), and the DFS DegeNation Podcast (@DegeNationPod) on Twitter.

Raised in Colorado, I am an avid Broncos fan. I have been playing fantasy football since I started with my dad around 15 years ago. My current home, redraft league is 10 years old. I started playing dynasty a few years ago and became addicted. I have since joined double-digit leagues, become a fantasy football writer, and have appeared on several podcasts.

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