Whether you’re playing for a playoff berth, playoff seeding, or simply to stay out of last place so you don’t have to suffer an embarrassing punishment, all fantasy football owners are officially in “must-win mode.” With every lineup decision mattering more than ever, you’re likely looking for comprehensive Week 12 start ’em, sit ’em advice — and that’s exactly what we have for you right here (plus NFL DFS picks!).
The final week for byes is another bad one, with the Cardinals, Chargers, Chiefs and Vikings getting the week off. And once again, there are a host of key injuries to keep tabs on, including James Conner (shoulder), JuJu Smith-Schuster (head, knee), Will Fuller (hamstring), T.Y. Hilton (calf), Jordan Howard (shoulder), Brandin Cooks (head), Tyler Lockett (lower leg), Sterling Shepard (head), George Kittle (knee), Matt Breida (ankle), Devonta Freeman (foot), Delanie Walker (knee), Alshon Jeffery (ankle), Amari Cooper (knee), and Jordan Wilkins (ankle).
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Fantasy Football Week 12 Start ‘Em: Quarterbacks
Lamar Jackson, Ravens (at LAR), Deshaun Watson, Texans (vs. IND), Russell Wilson, Seahawks (at PHI), Drew Brees, Saints (vs. CAR), Dak Prescott, Cowboys (at NE)
Matt Ryan, Falcons (vs. TB). The Bucs defense is playing better, but it won’t have answers for Atlanta’s receivers all game.
Jameis Winston, Buccaneers (at ATL). The Falcons’ defense is playing much better, too — and there are bound to be more picks — but Winston will have more positive volume than last week.
Aaron Rodgers, Packers (at SF). The matchup is tough on paper, but Rodgers is coming off a bye and recent better quarterbacks (Russell Wilson, Kyler Murray) have proved they can get the job done in this matchup.
Jacoby Brissett, Colts (at HOU). The Colts are hurting a little in the running game, and the Texans’ weakness lies in their pass coverage.
Derek Carr, Raiders (at NYJ). He should come through with more than 250 yards and at least two touchdowns against this secondary.
Baker Mayfield, Browns (vs. MIA, $5,900 on DraftKings, $7,500 on FanDuel). The Browns can certainly win this one with their running game and defense, but Mayfield should make more than his share of plays, including two more scores.
Jeff Driskel, Lions (at WAS, $5,500 on DraftKings, $7,300 on FanDuel). The Redskins’ defense is pitiful and can’t cover any of his talented pass-catchers downfield. Plus, he can run more to provide extra value.
Sam Darnold, Jets (vs. OAK), Ryan Tannehill, Titans (vs. JAX)
Fantasy Football Week 12 Sit ‘Em: Quarterbacks
Tom Brady, Patriots (vs. DAL). Brady hasn’t look great with his receiving limitations, and the Cowboys aren’t exactly a slump-busting defense.
Carson Wentz, Eagles (vs. SEA). You can’t buy into someone struggling to put up 200 yards and multiple scores against an improving Seahawks pass rush.
Jimmy Garoppolo, 49ers (vs. GB). You beat the Packers by running and running some more — not testing their pass rush and secondary.
Josh Allen, Bills (vs. DEN). He can maybe salvage the day with his running, but the Broncos’ defense is still tough against the pass.
Jared Goff, Rams (vs. BAL). Even with his receivers back, you can’t trust Goff at home against a nasty secondary.
Nick Foles, Jaguars (at TEN). You can squeeze decent points out of him, but this could also turn very ugly.
Mason Rudolph, Steelers (at CIN), Daniel Jones, Giants (at CHI)
Fantasy Football Week 12 Start ‘Em: Running backs
Christian McCaffrey, Panthers (at NO), Saquon Barkley, Giants (at CHI), Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys (at NE), Aaron Jones, Packers (at SF), Derrick Henry, Titans (vs. JAX), Leonard Fournette, Jaguars (at TEN), Alvin Kamara, Saints (vs. CAR), Nick Chubb, Browns (vs. MIA), Le’Veon Bell, Jets (vs. OAK), Chris Carson, Seahawks (at PHI), Mark Ingram, Ravens (at LAR), Josh Jacobs, Raiders (at NYJ), Todd Gurley, Rams (vs. BAL)
Tevin Coleman, 49ers (vs. GB). He’s overdue to get this running game going again, and the Packers are made to wilt against his style.
Jaylen Samuels, Steelers (at CIN). He should be busy as a runner and receiver with James Conner (shoulder) likely down and Pittsburgh’s receiving corps suddenly thin.
Phillip Lindsay, Broncos (at BUF). It’s easier to roll with him in a decent matchup on the road than Royce Freeman.
David Montgomery and Tarik Cohen, Bears (vs. NYG). The Bears should keep things simple and feed their backs often in the running and passing games.
Sony Michel and James White, Patriots (vs. DAL). The Cowboys have been more giving to running backs of late in all facets, so here’s looking at Michel to get a TD and White to rack up catches.
Joe Mixon, Bengals (vs. PIT). The matchup is not very good, but the volume will be maintained for him to produce again.
Bo Scarbrough, Lions (vs. WAS). You can’t trust their backfield too much anymore, but Scarbrough looked good in a power role and the Redskins are starting to look awful against the run, too.
Kareem Hunt, Browns (vs. MIA). He will be worked in well again and should do plenty of receiving damage.
Derrius Guice, Redskins (vs. Lions, $4,700 on DraftKings, $5,400 on FanDuel). He scored when down big last week with an explosive receiving play. He should earn more early-down work against a bad all-around defense and juice up his day with more passing game pop.
Latavius Murray, Saints (vs. Panthers, $6,100 on DraftKings, $5,400 on FanDuel). The Saints want to get the power running game going, but it was tough sledding against the Bucs last week. It should be no problem here as they should play with a big lead and Murray can rip off some chunk runs and have a good shot at a TD.
Fantasy Football Week 12 Sit ‘Em: Running backs
Jonathan Williams, Colts (at HOU). Williams feels good on paper in place of Marlon Mack (hand), but there’s a chance Jordan Wilkins (ankle) returns and the game script might end up calling for more of receiving Nyheim Hines.
Devin Singletary, Bills (vs. DEN). The Broncos shut down Dalvin Cook last week, so you can’t feel too comfortable about deploying him.
Miles Sanders, Eagles (vs. SEA). The Seahawks stop the run much better than the pass, so you can’t look here or a banged-up Jordan Howard (shoulder).
Jamaal Williams, Packers (at SF). Aaron Jones doesn’t come out of your lineup, but as a complementary piece against a tough defense, Williams certainly can.
Ronald Jones, Buccaneers (at ATL). Here we go again with more increased, random usage for Peyton Barber and Dare Ogunbowale, and the game script might not be favorable.
Carlos Hyde, Texans (vs. IND). The Colts have tightened up against the run. Just ask Leonard Fournette.
Adrian Peterson, Redskins (vs. DET). There’s every reason for Washington to fade him with Guice back and looking good.
Brian Hill, Falcons (vs. TB). We’re not falling for this trap again against a stingy run defense with other players involved.
Fantasy Football Week 12 Start ‘Em: Wide receivers
Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley, Falcons (vs. TB), DeAndre Hopkins, Colts (vs. IND), Michael Thomas, Saints (vs. CAR), Davante Adams, Packers (at SF), Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, Buccaneers (vs. NO), Tyler Lockett, Seahawks (if he plays, at PHI), Kenny Golladay, Lions (at WAS), Amari Cooper, Cowboys (at NE), Odell Beckham Jr., Browns (vs. MIA), Cooper Kupp, Rams (vs. BAL), Allen Robinson, Bears (vs. NYG), D.J. Moore, Panthers (at NO), Julian Edelman, Patriots (vs. DAL), D.J. Chark, Jaguars (at TEN), Courtland Sutton, Broncos (at BUF), T.Y. Hilton, Colts (if he returns, at HOU)
John Brown, Bills (vs. DEN). The matchup could be tough with Chris Harris Jr., but he’s been great and Stefon Diggs was fine last week.
Michael Gallup, Cowboys (at NE). The Patriots’ secondary is tough, but at this point Gallup is essential to Dak and Dallas’ downfield passing game.
Marvin Jones, Lions (at WAS). He scored twice last week, and the Redskins have no one who can cover him and Kenny Golladay.
Tyrell Williams, Raiders (vs. NYJ). He should roast this secondary in what could be a higher-scoring game.
Jarvis Landry, Browns (vs. MIA). A revenge game against the Dolphins will add up to a third straight WR2 week.
Jamison Crowder, Jets (vs. OAK). Speaking of a little slot dude, the other Landry type will feast on the Raiders’ secondary.
DK Metcalf, Seahawks (vs. PHI). Whether or not Tylyer Lockett plays, Metcalf can rip through Philly’s secondary on the outside.
Deebo Samuel and Emmanuel Sanders, 49ers (vs. GB). They should serve as the top targets again, and the potential return of George Kittle (knee) doesn’t change that up too much.
Allen Lazard, Packers (at SF). He should be working as Green Bay’s No. 2 wideout after the bye, and in a game with good volume for Rodgers, Lazard is a lot more viable than you think.
James Washington, Steelers (at CIN, $5,000 on DraftKings, $6,100 on FanDuel). The Steelers may need him to be their No. 1 wideout by default, and this is a pretty good time to emerge as the go-to guy for his college QB against a Bengals’ defense that can be burned for a long scoring play off play-action.
Taylor Gabriel, Bears (vs. NYG, $4,200 on DraftKings, $5,600 on FanDuel). Gabriel tends to destroy bad second corners outside, and he’s had a strong PPR floor in recent weeks. Here, he can put together something like a six-catch, 80-yard, one-TD line.
Hunter Renfrow, Raiders (at NYJ), Josh Gordon, Seahawks (at PHI), Robby Anderson, Jets (vs. OAK)
Fantasy Football Week 12 Sit ‘Em: Wide receivers
Robert Woods and Brandin Cooks, Rams (vs. BAL). Cooks is expected to return from his concussion, and we assume Woods (personal) comes back from his late scratch against the Bears, too. But between former Ram Marcus Peters and Jimmy Smith, plus Marlon Humphrey working on Cooper Kupp in the slot, it’s a team that can really match up with L.A. all over the field.
Curtis Samuel, Panthers (at NO). Moore will probably draw Marshon Lattimore (hamstring) if the Saints cornerback is healthy, but they can move him around on short-to-intermediate routes easier than Samuel on the outside with Kyle Allen not having time to connect with him deep.
Marquise Brown, Ravens (at LAR). Hollywood goes to L.A. to get an earful from Jalen Ramsey in shutdown mode.
Terry McLaurin, Redskins (vs. DET). Darius Slay looked like himself on Amari Cooper last week, and McLaurin won’t be able to get past him too many times with his shaky QB.
Mohamed Sanu, Patriots (vs. NE). The Cowboys’ coverage can be tough on everything away from Julian Edelman even without Anthony Brown.
Golden Tate and Darius Slayton, Giants (at CHI). The Bears’ secondary and pass rush are still dangerous enough to think Daniel Jones won’t have much success getting the ball to his wideouts in good spots. File Sterling Shepard here, too, should he return from his concussion.
DeVante Parker, Dolphins (at CLE). The Browns’ young corners are starting to play up to their capacity.
Will Fuller, Texans (vs. IND). The Colts have not allowed much to complementary wide receivers of late, so be wary if he makes his return.
Tyler Boyd, Bengals (vs. PIT). He’ll get the Minkah Fitzpatrick treatment in the middle of the field. Forget trusting any of their pass-catchers here.
Fantasy Football Week 12 Start ‘Em: Tight ends
George Kittle, 49ers (if he returns vs. GB), Darren Waller, Raiders (at NYJ), Zach Ertz, Eagles (vs. SEA), Mark Andrews, Ravens (at LAR), Austin Hooper (if somehow he can play, vs. TB), Jared Cook, Saints (vs. CAR).
Ryan Griffin, Jets (vs. OAK). RG1 came through in Washington, and this matchup is pretty darn good, too, as Griffin’s posted now three solid games in the past four games.
Dallas Goedert, Eagles (vs. SEA). The Seahawks have been better against the tight end of late, but he should be busy with Zach Ertz with Philly’s wideouts hurting.
Vance McDonald, Steelers (at CIN). They need him to be busier to help out a struggling Mason Rudolph with some key wideouts set to miss the game.
Cameron Brate, Buccaneers (at ATL). O.J. Howard got himself doghoused again and Brate, who looked great vs. the Saints, has a nice matchup here with good trust from Jameis Winston.
Gerald Everett, Rams (vs. BAL). Sean McVay will recognize his wideouts won’t get open well and should use Everett’s athleticism well against Earl Thomas.
Tyler Eifert, Bengals (vs. PIT). He has a good chance at a red-zone TD in garbage time or otherwise.
Benjamin Watson, Patriots (vs. DAL, $3,100 on DraftKings, $5,300 on FanDuel). He was more involved to help stretch the field last week, and he can deliver decent return against the Cowboys, who still can’t cover the position well.
Fantasy Football Week 12 Sit ‘Em: Tight ends
Greg Olsen, Panthers (at NO). The front end with Kyle Allen isn’t strong, and The Saints tend to handle this position rather well.
Eric Ebron and Jack Doyle, Colts (at HOU). You can’t go to this meh split when the Texans’ weakness is really at cornerback.
Jacob Hollister, Seahawks (at PHI). The Eagles are too giving at cornerback for Russell Wilson to need to feed Hollister much.
Noah Fant, Broncos (at BUF). The Bills have been very good at covering the positon.
T.J. Hockenson, Lions (vs. WAS). The rookie has disappointed too many times since Week 1 to like in this decent spot.
Jimmy Graham, Packers (at SF). The wideouts will be more the thing for Rodgers, as the 49ers don’t allow much to the position.
Fantasy Football Week 12 Start ‘Em: Defenses
Steelers (at CIN), Bills (vs. DEN), Falcons (vs. TB), Bears (vs. NYG), Ravens (at LAR), Titans (vs. JAX), Broncos (at BUF), Texans (vs. IND)
Lions (at WAS, $3,100 on DraftKings but $5,000 on FanDuel), Browns (vs. MIA, $4,500 on FanDuel but $3,800 on DraftKings)
Fantasy Football Week 12 Sit ‘Em: Defenses
Patriots (vs. DAL), 49ers (vs. GB), Rams (vs. BAL), Jaguars (at TEN), Seahawks (at PHI), Raiders (at NYJ), Giants (vs. CHI), Colts (at HOU)