Who to Start And Sit In Week 12 Of The 2016 Fantasy Football Season
Is Christmas really better than Thanksgiving? Both involve big feasts and there’s a good argument to be made that Thanksgiving’s feast is better. There are no religious tie-ins to take time away from your day, thus making it a holiday for everyone. Finally there’s football on for 10 straight hours. What’s better than the tryptophan-induced nap that you’ll be taking during halftime (hopefully that well-timed) of the Cowboys game?
As for the football itself, we’re only a couple weeks away from the playoffs. To call it crunch time is an understatement. It’s more important than ever to look at matchups and usage when making your decisions. As always, we’re here to help.
Below is a list of guys I’m focused on for one reason or another this week. They’re especially important in daily fantasy sports (DFS) leagues like DraftKings. If you’re curious about guys you don’t see listed here, you can always find me on Twitter (@MrT_BroBible) to ask questions, but remember to mention league specifics like PPR. You can always ask about trades as well.
You Know Who You Should Start?
Colin Kaepernick (QB – San Francisco)
There aren’t many great streaming options at quarterback this week, so we’ll highlight Kaepernick. He’s posted 17 or more points in four of his five starts and seems to be an effective plug and play option for your fantasy team. The Dolphins are hit and miss at defending QB, but they did give up 23 points to Tyrod Taylor in Week 7, who has a similar skill set and surrounding cast to Kaepernick.
Thomas Rawls (RB – Seattle)
I told you last week to hold up on Rawls. He put up decent numbers, but the real boon for him was the injury to C.J. Prosise. Rawls took over the entire workload in the backfield last week and should continue in that roll going forward. The Bucs have given up 100+ yards rushing to running backs in three of the last four games and to compound that Seattle’s offense has been firing on all cylinders lately. Powerful offenses lead to goal line opportunities so Rawls should sniff the end zone at least once.
Rashad Jennings (RB – New York Giants)
They say fear is the greatest motivator and that appears the case with Jennings. The fear of losing his starting job to Paul Perkins has invigorated him into producing back-to-back positive games. He’ll look to keep it going this week against a defense that allows the second most points to fantasy RBs. The Browns have not allowed a rushing touchdown to a RB in two of 11 games, so Jennings has a very good chance of finding pay dirt as well.
Cameron Meredith (WR – Chicago)
Let me start by saying Matt Barkley is terrible. He showed that when he replaced Brian Hoyer in the Packers game a few weeks ago and will likely show that for the rest of the season. There are, however, many factors working in Meredith’s favor here. For starters Chicago will likely be trailing in this game, potentially by a lot, so the Bears should be throwing for a majority of the second half. Tennessee’s defensive backs are also rather terrible, so Meredith’s size and speed should take advantage of the situation. Jay Cutler clearly wasn’t big on targeting Meredith, so it can’t get worse target wise. The arrow is pointing up for Meredith right now.
Davante Parker (WR – Miami)
The light appears to be coming on for Parker as it did towards the end of last year. He’s produced greatly in the last two weeks with 79 or more yards and a touchdown in both games. He provides a big play element to the passing game that Jarvis Landry doesn’t and Ryan Tannehill is finding him. Tannehill will look for him again on Sunday against a 49ers bunch that struggles with bigger wide receivers and has given up at least two touchdowns to the position in seven of the last nine games.
Zach Ertz (TE – Philadelphia)
I’m not sure why the Eagles tend to go away from Ertz in the offense, but they do at times. It’s reminiscent to what happens in Kansas City with Travis Kelce and don’t forget that’s where Doug Pederson came from. That said Ertz has 6 or more catches in three games in a row and takes on a Packers team that’s beat up defensively. Those same Packers have allowed at least five catches a game to tight ends in the last four weeks, so the opportunity is there to be successful.
Other guys you should start: Russell Wilson (QB – Seattle), Dak Prescott (QB – Dallas), Kirk Cousins (QB – Washington), Carson Palmer (QB – Arizona), Lamar Miller (RB – Houston), Frank Gore (RB – Indianapolis), Spencer Ware (RB – Kansas City), Jonathan Stewart (RB – Oakland), Wendell Smallwood (RB – Philadelphia), Demaryius Thomas (WR – Denver), Jordan Matthews (WR – PHI), Rishard Matthews (WR – Tennessee), Michael Thomas (WR – New Orleans), Jamison Crowder (WR – Washington), Tyler Boyd (WR – Cincinnati), Desean Jackson (WR – Washington), Cole Beasley (WR – Dallas), Pierre Garcon (WR – Washington), Eric Ebron (TE – Detroit), Jason Witten (TE – Dallas), Gary Barnidge (TE – Cleveland)
You Know Who You Should Sit?
Matthew Stafford (QB – Detroit)
I’m not exactly sure what’s going on with Stafford, but he’s definitely tapered off. After starting the season with 17+ points in five of his first seven games, he’s decreased his output to the 11-14 point range in his last three games. Three weeks ago he faced the same Minnesota defense he takes on Thursday and he produced 14 fantasy points. Minnesota’s defense is healthier now than it was then, so they figure to put more pressure on Stafford in the second matchup. Stafford isn’t the worst option, but there are certainly better alternatives.
Jeremy Hill (RB – Cincinnati)
Hill owners may be getting excited with the injury to Gio Bernard, but let’s evaluate all the facts here. For starters the Cincinnati has an average run-blocking offensive line according to Football Outsiders this season after having the best run-blocking line in the league last year. Additionally the Bengals will likely mix in Rex Burkhead in passing downs because he’s a better pass-catcher than Hill. Now throw in that the Ravens are the best team at limiting RBs in fantasy having given up only four total touchdowns to the position this year and only three games of over 100 yards. I’ll pass.
Latavius Murray (RB – Oakland)
Murray continues to share work in the backfield with his fellow Raiders RBs despite putting up a monster effort before the bye. That Broncos game was also a situation of the Raiders game-planning to take advantage of a weakness and this week’s weakness for the Panthers is their pass defense. Expect Murray to get 12 touches or less in this one, which won’t necessarily yield positive results against the third best defense against fantasy RBs.
Tyrell Williams (WR – Houston)
This is a bold call given how well Williams has played in recent weeks. The Texans, however, have done a really good job preventing fantasy WRs from being productive, as we saw again on Monday night when Michael Crabtree posted three catches for five yards and Amari Cooper was generally quiet until he broke a long touchdown. Houston’s offense isn’t explosive enough to turn this into a shootout, so with limited usage Williams will be held in check.
Brandon Marshall (WR – New York Jets)
Word out of New York was that the Jets players were going to revolt if the organization started Bryce Petty over Ryan Fitzpatrick. Do the players realize the season is over? Marshall is one of the strongest voices in the locker room, but Fitzpatrick hasn’t exactly provided Marshall with adequate service this year. Marshall has only produced two games of over 100 receiving yards this season and hasn’t scored a touchdown since Week 5. With Patriots having a strong pass defense on the perimeter with Malcom Butler and the sensibility to shut down the other team’s best offensive weapon, it doesn’t matter who’s playing QB for Marshall. He’s not going to produce.
Antonio Gates (TE – San Diego)
The old man continues to produce because he keeps getting targets from Philip Rivers. He’ll likely be peppered again this week, but Rivers would be best suited to look elsewhere. Houston has only allowed two touchdowns to tight ends so far to TEs while also only allowing over 100 receiving yards once to the position. With a few good streaming options at TE this week, you should stream rather than go with the old dude.
Other guys you should sit: Jameis Winston (QB – Tampa Bay), Tyrod Taylor (QB – Buffalo), LeGarrette Blount (RB – New England), Jordan Howard (RB – Chicago), Tim Hightower (RB – New Orleans), Isaiah Crowell (RB – Cleveland), Terrelle Pryor (WR – Cleveland), Donte Moncrief (WR – Indianapolis), Kelvin Benjamin (WR – Carolina), Mike Wallace (WR – Baltimore), Jared Cook (TE – Green Bay), Austin Hooper (TE – Atlanta), Coby Fleener (TE – New Orleans)