Welcome to “Start ‘Em/Sit ‘Em” for Week 12! Hopefully you all had a great Thanksgiving on Thursday! We got a nice little sampler platter on Thursday with the 3 games but the rest of them are coming on Sunday and Monday! Without further adieu..
QB Lamar Jackson, BAL vs. OAK
In Lamar Jackson’s debut, he totaled 119 rushing yards and 150 passing yards and an interception, good for a QB13 finish. Not bad for somebody without a touchdown. Slated to get another start against a moribund Oakland defense, Lamar Jackson should continue to thrive. Jackson stated he wanted to pass more, so I’m expected the rushing yards to come down, the passing yards to come up a bit, add in a touchdown or two, and you’re possibly looking at a QB6 or higher finish. All aboard!
RB Marlon Mack, IND vs. MIA
Marlon Mack had two stellar games in Week 7 and 8 but followed them up with a couple of duds against a couple of stout defenses (IND/JAX, both at home). This week, he faces a Miami defense that has allowed a running back touchdown in every game but one this season. Aaron Jones gashed this run defense in Week 10 for 15-145-2 and while that baseline is incredibly difficult to forecast, Mack is a good, solid RB2 to project this week.
RB Matt Breida, SF vs. TB
Off of a stellar game at home versus the hapless Giants run defense, Matt Breida “had a day”. With two touchdowns and 131 yards from scrimmage in a losing effort vs. the Giants, Breida shakes off the ankle injury after a week of rest to take on a decrepit Buccaneers defense. With some of the best upside of any running back this week, treat Breida as an RB1 this week, as he should have a monster game if all goes right.
WR Doug Baldwin, SEA @ CAR
Doug Baldwin caught his first touchdown last week in Thursday’s win over the Packers and looks to build off of that against Carolina, where they have been routinely gashed by slot receivers. Baldwin should continue to find his form in previous seasons as he’s ceded so much of the fanfare and touchdowns to Tyler Lockett. A regression to the mean is in order for Baldwin. Consider him a strong WR3/low-end WR2 for this competitive matchup.
WR Emmanuel Sanders, DEN vs. PIT
Revenge game? Emmanuel Sanders should be ready to go this week at home vs. a Pittsburgh defense that in a possible negative game script, should bode well for Sanders as the primary receiving target for Case Keenum. Sanders has been a solid WR2 all season and can be trust to play over that baseline in this matchup.
TE Cameron Brate, TB @ SF
With the unfortunate injury to fellow TE O.J. Howard, the position now runs through Cameron Brate, and Brate should take that job and not skip a beat. Brate has a rapport with both Jameis Winston and Ryan Fitzpatrick, whoever is starting for the Bucs this week, and with the lack of depth at the TE position in fantasy, should be right around the TE1 radar.
QB Andy Dalton, CIN vs. CLE
Clearly he misses A.J. Green, because over the last two contests without Green, Andy Dalton is completing just over 55% of his passes and averaging 6.5 yards per pass attempt. Against a defense that has funneled teams to the run, Dalton’s Week 12 prospects are bleak. In the streaming arena for QB’s, Dalton is at the bottom-end and is tough to trust this week.
RB LeSean McCoy, BUF vs. JAX
The Jaguars in recent weeks have looked like their former selves on the defense side of the ball, which does not bode well for the best playmaker on the Buffalo offense, LeSean McCoy. He looked like his vintage self last week with his best stats of the season, totaling 113 yards on the ground and two touchdowns in a blowout win vs. the Jets. Temper those expectations this week, as McCoy should be lucky to fall into the end zone this week. McCoy is a borderline flex option considering the game script and the return to form by the Jacksonville defense.
RB Dion Lewis, TEN vs. HOU
Dion Lewis was on my Start ‘Em list the last 2 weeks and he burned me as the Titans offense has gone down with the Marcus Mariota injury. He hasn’t received the pass-catching share he’s normally accustomed to, only receiving four targets the last two games. Against a solid Houston defense, if he’s without Mariota, he can’t be trusted. Even with a hampered Mariota, he’s very difficult to trust. I’m fading Lewis for this week.
WR John Brown, BAL vs. OAK
Even with Lamar Jackson wanting to pass more after last week’s game where Jackson and Gus Edwards ran all over the Bengals, the wide receivers and tight ends for Baltimore have become tricky to prognosticate, especially the outside receivers like John Brown. Certainly anything can happen, but unless Brown gets loose on a deep shot, the volume won’t be there like it was with Joe Flacco. Brown is a risky flex this week at home vs. Oakland.
WR Golden Tate, PHI vs. NYG
Golden Tate’s snap count raised from 29% his first game to 71% last week, so he’s getting up to speed in the Philadelphia offense. However, his competition for targets is all-world TE Zach Ertz over the middle. Unless something drastically changes and the Eagles hit their stride, I’m worried about Tate going forward this season. Tate is at best the 3rd target in the Eagles passing game, and while he led the team in targets and receiving last week (5-48 on 8 targets), the ceiling is very limited. Tough to trust as anything but a solid flex, obviously not where you drafted Tate in August/September.
Stay tuned on Sunday morning starting at 11AM/10AM CST as I’ll be answering your lineup questions, trade advice, and roster decisions on Twitter, @ktompkinsii right up until kickoff! Good luck this week and as always, stay up to date with my latest PPR rankings through the week!