Starts and Sits: Week 12
By Joe Goodwin
After 3 pretty entertaining games on Thursday, we have a full slate of games still come.
No teams are on bye, so let’s get to it.
Atlanta Falcons at Washington Commanders (1:00pm)
Start: Antonio Gibson, Terry McLaurin, Cordarelle Patterson, Marcus Mariota, Drake London
Sit: Taylor Heinicke, Brian Robinson, Jahan Dotson, Tyler Allgeier
Atlanta’s offense is a conundrum. It is evident they want to run the ball. And somehow, in the most Atlanta way, they have a 3 way backfield with Allgeier, Patterson, and Mariota all getting double-digit rushing attempts.. Last week, London saw 3 targets, 1 catch for 2 yards; it just happened to be a touchdown. He has got to get more targets. I’m hoping Arthur Smith reads my column and takes my advice: GET DRAKE THE BALL!
At this moment, it appears that Antonio Gibson and Brian Robinson are in a timeshare; which is bad news for fantasy players everywhere. Since Gibson is also active in the pass game, I give the nod to him to produce for you this week. I love how Brian Robinson “falls forward,” but if he is only running the ball, he is touchdown dependent. I don’t love those odds. Washington’s pass game is nothing special. Each week, another player gets their ticket punched to be fantasy relevant. Atlanta’s pass defense is one of the worst in the league, so I will endorse the most talented receiver in McLaurin and be happy with WR3 numbers.
Baltimore Ravens at Jacksonville Jaguars (1:00pm)
Start: Lamar Jackson, Marc Andrews, Travis Etienne, Christian Kirk
Sit: Kenyan Drake, Gus Edwards, Isiah Likely, Trevor Lawrence
Baltimore is seemingly getting healthier in the backfield, while at the same time, getting more “banged up” with their receivers. Lamar Jackson should win this game with his legs. And with Andrews back in the fold, he returns as the #1, #2, and #3 options for Lamar. The Ravens want to run the ball, but will Drake or Edwards be fantasy relevant? I side with neither at this point. Once that backfield starts to reveal itself, we can make a more astute call on the guy to go with. If I was forced to pick one, I would go with Drake. The Jaguars are built similarly to the Ravens in that they want to run the ball first. I see Etienne getting a lot of work; both on the ground and with screens in the flat. I also envision Chrisitan Kirk catching a few on crossing routes and using those legs to make plays. At some point, Trevor Lawrence may be in Superflex play, but not right now. His propensity to throw interceptions in the red zone has to stop.
Chicago Bears at New York Jets (1:00pm)
Start: David Montgomery, Mike White, Michael Carter, Garrett Wilson
Sit: Justin Fields, Darnell Mooney, James Robinson
All week we have heard Justin Fields is nursing a shoulder injury. STAY AWAY! Most QB’s, as soon as you hear “shoulder”, you immediately search for the backup. The Bears hardly use Fields to throw the ball anyway (lol), but it's going to be one hard tackle, and they sit him. I just don’t like those odds. Instead, I will ride with David Montgomery as a workhorse this week. The Jets made a change at QB after Zach Wilson can’t look his teammates in the eyes and say, “Sorry.” Well, in the NFL, the guys in the locker room are all you have. I think Mike White is a SuperFlex play this week. He likes to be mobile and he may see $$ signs with this opportunity. I like the Jets rallying behind White this week and I see the offense humming. The Bears defense just doesn’t seem to have anything going since they traded away their best defensive players in Quinn and Smith.
Cincinnati Bengals at Tennessee Titans (1:00pm)
Start: Semaje Perine, Ja’Marr Chase, Joe Burrow, Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd, Derrick Henry
Sit: Joe Mixon (injury), Hayden Hurst, Ryan Tannehill, Treylon Burks
Joe Mixon has been ruled out for this game. Last week, Perine took advantage of the opportunity and scored 3 touchdowns. I don’t expect that type of output, but he will have plenty of touches. With Tennessee, they have been susceptible to giving up a lot of yards in the air. That is music to Joe Burrow’s ears. He will throw a lot in this game. I don’t want to pick between receivers, so I am rolling with all three. With that many mouths to feed, I'm going to sit Hayden Hurst this week to see how the targets pan out. If Chase does not start this week, Hurst could be a deep start for those that need one.
I’ve seen a lot of hype for Treylon Burks this week. I am not buying it. The Titans only go when Derrick Henry goes. Right now, he is who you start with the Titans. And move on.
Denver Broncos at Carolina Panthers (1:00pm)
Start: Latavius Murray, Cortland Sutton,
Sit: Chase Edmonds, Russell Wilson, Baker Mayfield, DJ Moore, D’Onta Foreman
The Broncos offense has been slow and inconsistent. Latavius Murray is getting the touches in the backfield (bye, bye Melvin Gordon). I can see the Broncos trying to get Chase Edmonds more involved, but I would not start him till we know more. Courtland Sutton is the go-to guy in the air and will continue this week.
After looking over last week’s boxscore, it appears that ZERO players on the Carolina offense are worth starting in fantasy. And I don’t see any reason to think this offense will be able to correct that inefficiency. Stay away.
Houston Texans at Miami Dolphins (1:00pm)
Start: Dameon Pierce, Nico Collins, Tua Tagovailoa, Raheem Mostert, Jaylen Waddle, Tyreek Hill
Sit: Kyle Allen, Brandin Cooks
After last week, I seriously considered Dameon Pierce as a sit. However, after Houston decided to sit Davis Mills, who else do they have??? They will lean on Pierce, so I love the volume. And for some reason, I got a feeling Nico Collins is going to get some chances this week. Game flow will not be in Pierce’s favor, but he is the safest play. Miami is a FULL SEND on all things offense. Let’s hope Houston can score enough to make the 2nd half fantasy viable for the Miami offense.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Cleveland Browns (1:00pm)
Start: Rachaad White, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Jacoby Brissett, Nick Chubb, Amari Cooper
Sit: Leonard Fournette, Kareem Hunt
Think this backfield will get more interesting when Fournette is healthy. Until then, there is little drama about starting Rachaad White. The dude is talented. The passing game is getting better each week. Roll with both Evans and Godwin this week. I can see both getting TD’s this week. Somehow, Nick Chubb was bottled up last week. I don’t see that happening two weeks in a row. The passing game, at times, looks really good. I endorse Brissett and Cooper this week. I think this game goes for a lot of points.
LA Charges at Arizona Cardinals (4:05pm)
Start: Austin Ekeler, Justin Herbert, Keenan Allen, James Conner, DeAndre Hopkins
Sit: Mike Williams, Josh Palmer, Kyler Murray, Trey McBride,
There might not be a happier QB in the league right now than Justin Herbert. He is getting back his favorite targets. I can see Ekeler getting his normal touches and being effective in this game. The Cardinals defense isn’t scary and Ekeler is the perfect type of player to take advantage. Kyler Murray is rumored to be returning to the field this week. I hate to see mobile quarterbacks with hamstring problems. I would hold off starting Murray if you can. He is most effective when he is scrambling and with a sore hamstring, that takes away his best asset. James Conner continues to find ways into the endzone. Until he gets lost and can't’ find it, keep starting him and roll with those numbers.
Las Vegas Raiders at Seattle Seahawks (4:05pm)
Start: DaVante Adams, Geno Smith, DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett
Sit: Josh Jacbos, Derek Carr, Mack Hollins
Seeing Josh Jacbos pop up on a late week injury report scares me away. I don’t want any running back starting if he’s not 100%. Avoid. The passing game looked better last week. However, I’m not sold. I believe Adams will get his opportunities, but I would stay away from Moreau, Hollins, and company.
Kenneth Walker has been as good as advertised. Walker was the clear #2 behind Breece Hall in rookie drafts, but at the end of the season, I don’t believe it's that clear. Both have been THAT good. The Geno Smith revival tour will continue this week. Roll with both DK and Tyler and enjoy this game. I see this game with a lot of points.
LA Rams at Kansas City Chiefs (4:25pm)
Start: Allen Robinson, Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce
Sit: Cam Akers, Van Jefferson, Isaiah Pacheco
Not sure how much worse it could get for the Rams. The Super Bowl champs have fallen as far as any previous winner can fall. Not a whole lot to get excited about their offense and would look elsewhere for fantasy production. Kansas City begins and ends with Mahomes to Kelce. JuJu is apparently returning this week. I can see starting him if you need him. Otherwise, let him get back into the groove and start him next week.
New Orleans at San Francisco (4:25pm)
Start: Alvin Kamara, CMC, Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, Jimmy G
Sit: Andy Dalton, Elijah Mitchell
Andy Dalton looked inspired last week against the Rams. I don’t see that continuing against the 49ers. Alvin Kamara is the fantasy player to start this week. With his work on the ground and in the air, he’s worth the start. Chris Olave has been good. I’m not sure if he's a surefire start this week, he is a definitely a low floor/high ceiling start. San Francisco can be scary on offense. They have a lot of weapons. Does Jimmy G have what it takes to utilize all those weapons? New Orleans will give up yards this week and I see them mainly in the air. Elijah Mitchell is too TD dependent to start with confidence. However, he may benefit from game script if they get out to a big lead.
Green Bay Packers at Philadelphia Eagles (8:20pm)
Start: Aaron Jones, AJ Dillon, Devonta Smith, Jalen Hurts
Sit: Aaron Rodgers, Christian Watson, Miles Sanders
Green Bay is going to have to control the ball this week to win. I see a heavy dose of Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon. Start both and hope for a slow, methodical game that uses the ground. I don’t like Rodgers and the passing game in this one. I told you here last week to stay away from the tight ends, and that was sound advice. The Eagles looked uninspired last week. I hope they get more dynamic this week and get those receivers open in space. As long as Jalen Hurts is running the ball, he deserves to start.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Indianapolis Colts (Monday Night Football)
Start: Najee Harris, Pat Friermuth, Jonathan Taylor, Michael Pittman, Matt Ryan
Sit: Kenny Pickett, Diontae Johnson
This is a Pittsburgh offense that has not had a lot of bright spots. I am projecting a game flow that sees a lot of run plays; from both sides. Start the running backs. In the end, I see the Colts being able to throw a little and I will ride Pittman and Ryan. The Steelers have not gotten any consistency with the passing game. Does that change this week? I see no indications of that being the case. Pat Friermuth will get enough production to warrant a start, but the receivers have had a hard time getting going.
Full time teacher, full time fantasy sports enthusiast. I love to explore and find new, and exciting fantasy football options including: dynasty, IDP, and Devy. See me on Twitter @JGoody77
Always willing to give advice, reach out via Twitter