Start 'Em Sit 'Em Week 12
Start/Sit Week 12
Start 'Em and Sit 'Em is the definitive weekly study of NFL Matchups and the effect they'll have on your fantasy football team. It will not focus on obvious players like Aaron Rodgers, Dalvin Cook, Davante Adams, or Travis Kelce. All player matchups are based on PPR formats. The column will leverage all of the stats, advanced metrics and other resources available at FantasyData. For your final starting lineup decisions, please review our weekly fantasy football rankings. You can also reach out to me on Twitter (@EricNMoody).
The 11th week of the 2019 NFL season was defined by a number of astonishing performances. Josh Allen finished as the QB1. He completed 21 of 33 passes for 256 yards and three touchdowns. Allen also had seven rushing attempts for 56 yards and a touchdown in the Bills' win over the Dolphins.
Christian McCaffrey finished as the RB1 in PPR formats. He finished with 70 yards on 14 rushing attempts and caught 11 of 14 targets for 121 yards in the Panthers loss to the Falcons. McCaffrey is matchup proof with his ability to threaten defenses as a rusher and a receiver out of the backfield. He has 2,592 rushing yard and 2,035 receiving yards in his career. McCaffrey joins Herschel Walker as the only players in NFL history 2,500 or more rushing and 2,000 or more receiving yards in their first three seasons according to NFL Research.
By the way, Christian McCaffrey (241) catches) has passed LaDainian Tomlinson (238) for the most receptions by a running back in his first 3 NFL seasons.— Bill Voth (@PanthersBill) November 17, 2019
John Brown finished as the WR1 in PPR formats. He caught nine of 14 targets for 137 yards and two touchdowns against the Dolphins. He's had 10 consecutive games with four receptions and 50 receiving yards.
John Brown has 56 receptions, 817 receiving yards, and 4 TDs so far in 2019. These numbers have already tied or surpassed the production of the Bills' receiving leaders from 2018. #FantasyFootball (Source: @FantasyDataNFL) pic.twitter.com/nRpjVIq8ej— Moody (@EricNMoody) November 18, 2019
Travis Kelce caught seven of 10 targets for 92 yards and one touchdown in the Chiefs win over the Chargers on Monday Night Football. He has scored a touchdown in three of the Chiefs' last four games. Kelce became the fastest tight end in NFL history to reach 450 receptions and 6,000 yards according to Pro Football Reference.
Are you staring at your fantasy football starting lineup this week wondering what happened? You put together an amazing team during the draft. Others in your league were envious of the players you had on your bench. There was only one problem. You left points on your bench. This shortcoming may have cost you a victory in Week 11. Are you aware of the old adage “start your studs”? If the answer is yes then it’s time to erase that phrase from your memory. It’s okay to take informed risks. These are risks in which the calculated potential payoff outweighs the calculated possible loss, given the knowledge someone has about the circumstances. You’re in the right place to accelerate that change. I will reference expected points (EP), fantasy points over expectation (FPOE), and breakaway runs. EP is based on the average fantasy point value of plays in similar down, distance, and field position instances. FPOE, on the other hand, takes a player’s actual fantasy points and subtracts out the expected points. EP measures volume while FPOE measures efficiency. Start Percentage shows the number of ESPN fantasy leagues a player is started in divided by the number of leagues he is eligible in. This helps indicate how the public views a player. Without further ado, here are my recommendations for Week 12.
Start Derek Carr (40% ST)
Carr completed 25 of 29 passes for 292 yards, one touchdown, and one interception in the Raiders win over the Bengals last week. He's averaged 30 pass attempts, 21.2 completions, 275.4 passing yards, 236 air yards, 1.8 touchdowns, 0.4 interceptions per game, and 21.47 fantasy points per game since coming out of Oakland's bye in Week 6. Carr has three top-12 finishes this season and could make it a fourth against the Jets defense in Week 12. New York's defense has allowed an average of 38 pass attempts, 24.4 completions, 267.6 passing yards, 2.6 passing touchdowns, 0.4 interceptions, and 25 fantasy points per game to top quarterback scorers over the last five games. Carr can be viewed as a QB1 streamer this week.
Start Baker Mayfield (18% ST)
Mayfield completed 17 of 32 passes for 193 yards and two touchdowns in the Browns' win over the Steelers. He's only completing 59 percent of his passes for the season with a quarterback rating of 77. Mayfield's averaging 239.4 passing yards, 1.1 touchdowns, and 1.2 interceptions per game. He only has two top-12 finishes in 2019. Mayfield is on the streaming radar in Week 12 against the Dolphins. Miami's defense has allowed an average of 34.6 pass attempts, 20.4 completions, 234.6 passing yards, 1.8 passing touchdowns, one interception, and 20.3 fantasy points per game to top quarterback scorers over the last five games. Mayfield has a QB2 floor and low-end QB1 ceiling against the Dolphins this week.
Start Daniel Jones
Jones completed 26 of 40 passes for 308 yards and four touchdowns against the Jets back in Week 10 before the Giants bye week. This was his second game with four touchdowns over the last three. Jones has had ups and downs this season like any other rookie quarterback. He's averaging 20 fantasy points per game. The matchup against the Bears may appear difficult on the surface. Chicago's defense has allowed an average of 34 passing attempts, 21.2 completions, 232.6 passing yards, one passing touchdown, 0.6 interceptions, and 16 fantasy points per game to top quarterback scorers over the last five games. Teddy Bridgewater (22.7), Jeff Driskel (20.7), and Carson Wentz (17.4) had the three most productive games against the Bears over this time frame. Jones' rushing ability is another asset that he can leverage. He's another quarterback with a QB2 floor and a QB1 ceiling in Week 12.
- Sam Darnold (5.5% ST) has a favorable matchup against the Raiders' defense in Week 12. Oakland's defense has allowed an average of 26 fantasy points per game to top quarterback scorers over the last five games. Darnold can be viewed as a high-end QB2.
- Jeff Driskel (3.2% ST) has averaged 25.1 fantasy points per game over the last two weeks. His rushing ability provides him a higher ceiling than most quarterbacks. Driskel can be viewed as an upside QB2.
Sit Dak Prescott (75.5% ST)
Prescott completed 29 of 46 passes for 444 yards and three touchdowns in the Cowboys win over the Lions in Week 11. He's thrown for three or more touchdowns in three consecutive starts. The only quarterback to score more than 20 fantasy points against the Patriots defense over their last five games has been Lamar Jackson (30.25). The other four top quarterback scorers have averaged 8.24 fantasy points per game. Prescott has the ability, like Jackson, to create fantasy points with his rushing ability. It's highly unlikely that the Patriots defense will be exploited that way again.
Start Kareem Hunt (35% ST)
Hunt caught six of eight targets for 46 yards in the Browns' win over the Steelers. He also rushed six times for 12 yards. Did you know Hunt has accumulated 17 targets in two games? Jarvis Landry is tied with him for the second-most targets on the Browns behind Odell Beckham (22). Hunt has a favorable matchup against the Dolphins in Week 12. Miami's defense has allowed an average of 19.8 touches and 99.6 total yards per game to top running back scorers over it's last five. This includes a game the Dolphins gave up eight receptions and 55 receiving yards to Le'Veon Bell. Hunt can be viewed as an RB3 with upside in Week 12.
Start Miles Sanders (27% ST)
Sanders finished with 38 yards on 11 rushing attempts and caught two of four targets for nine yards in the Eagles loss to the Patriots. He played 85 percent of the offensive snaps while running 43 routes on 48 of Carson Wentz's dropbacks. The usage was encouraging considering the Eagles offense abandoned the running game in favor of the passing in the second half. This was surprising considering Philadelphia was down by seven points. Sanders leads all rookie running backs with 314 receiving yards. He has a plus matchup against the Seahawks in Week 12. Seattle's defense has allowed an average of 24 PPR fantasy points per game to opposing running backs over the last five games. This includes a monster game from Devonta Freeman a few weeks ago which included eight receptions for 63 receiving yards. Despite the crowded backfield that includes Jordan Howard and Jay Ajayi, Sanders is still the running back to bet on from a fantasy perspective. He can be viewed as an RB3 against the Seahawks this week.
Start Derrius Guice (8.4% ST)
Guice rushed seven times for 24 yards and scored a touchdown on an electrifying 45-yard reception in the Redskins loss to the Jets. He only played 20 offensive snaps in his first game back. Guice's snaps and touches should increase each week. It's important for the Redskins front office to see what they have with the second year running back considering the contract situation of Adrian Peterson and Chris Thompson. Guice faces a Lions defense that has allowed an average of 21.2 touches, 104 total yards, and 1.6 touchdowns per game to top running back scorers over their last five. He can be viewed as an RB3 with upside against Detroit in Week 12.
Sit Joe Mixon (76.7% ST)
Mixon rushed 15 times for 86 yards and a touchdown in the Bengals loss to the Raiders. He caught one of three targets for 17 yards. Mixon's rushing touchdown was the first by any of the Bengals running backs all season. Cincinnati has leaned heavily on him since Ryan Finley has been the team's starter coming out of the bye week. Over the last two weeks, Mixon has averaged 25.5 opportunities per game. The volume will continue to be there, but the Week 12 matchup against the Steelers is less than ideal. Pittsburgh's defense is allowing an average of 14 PPR fantasy points per game to running backs with negative fantasy points over expectation over their last five.
Start Jarvis Landry (54.5% ST)
Landry caught four of seven targets for 43 yards and a touchdown in the Browns win over the Steelers. He has scored a touchdown in three consecutive games. Landry's averaged 8.4 targets, 4.9 receptions, 69.5 receiving yards, 72.8 air yards, and 0.3 touchdowns per game. He and the Browns face a Dolphins defense this week that can be exploited. Miami's defense has allowed an average of 8.4 targets, 5.8 receptions, 87.4 receiving yards, one touchdown, and 20.54 PPR fantasy points per game to top wide receiver scorers over the last five. This includes a productive game against slot receiver Jamison Crowder a few weeks ago. Landry can be viewed as a WR3 with upside.
Start Tyrell Williams (38.3% ST)
Williams caught all four of his targets for 82 yards in the Raiders win over the Bengals. He's averaging 5.4 targets, 3.8 receptions, 58 receiving yards, 80.5 air yards, and 0.6 touchdowns per game this season. The low target volume makes Williams' productive volatile on a week to week basis. He and the Raiders have a plus matchup against the Jets defense in Week 12. New York has allowed an average of 46.4 PPR fantasy points to wide receivers of its last five games. Williams will have an opportunity to attack the Jets defense vertically and as a result can be viewed as a high-end WR3.
Start Allen Robinson (54.8% ST)
Robinson caught four of six targets for 15 yards against the Rams while being shadowed by cornerback Jalen Ramsey. He is averaging 8.5 targets per game and should bounce back against the Giants this week. New York has allowed an average of eight targets, 5.6 receptions, 85.2 receiving yards, 0.8 touchdowns, and 19 PPR fantasy points per game to top wide receiver scorers over their last five. Robinson can be viewed as a WR2 whether it's Mitch Trubisky or Chase Daniel.
Start D.K. Metcalf
The last time we saw Metcalf he caught six of 10 targets for 70 yards in the Seahawk win over the 49ers back in Week 10. He's seen a minimum of nine targets in three of Seattle's last four games. Metcalf and the Seahawks face an Eagles secondary that has allowed 19.43 PPR fantasy points per game to top wide receiver scorers. He's tied with Kenny Golladay for the second-most end zone targets (13) among wide receivers. Metcalf can continue to be deployed into lineups as a WR3 with upside.
Start Hunter Renfrow (2.8% ST)
Renfrow caught five of six targets for 66 yards in the Raiders win over the Bengals. The rookie slot receiver continues to develop as an NFL receiver before our eyes. Renfrow has averaged 5.5 targets, 4.8 receptions, and 62.5 receiving yards per game over the Raiders' last four games. He leads Oakland in all of these statistical categories over that time frame. Renfrow can be deployed as a low-end WR3 in deeper formats in a plus matchup against the Jets defense.
Start Jamison Crowder (41% ST)
It is surprising to see Crowder's start percentage so low. He caught five of eight targets for 76 yards and one touchdown in the Jets' win over the Redskins. Crowder ranks sixth in true catch rate (91.4%) among wide receivers. This metric divides total receptions by total catchable targets. Crowder has become one of Darnold's favorite targets, he's accumulated at least 76 yards and a touchdown in each of his last three games. He faces a Raiders defense that has allowed an average of 8.6 targets, 6.6 receptions, 98.4 receiving yards, 0.4 touchdowns, and 19.2 PPR fantasy points per game to top wide receiver scorers over the last five games. Crowder is a high-end WR3.
Sit Amari Cooper (90.4% ST)
Cooper is "still fighting through" his knee injury according to Dallas Morning News' Michael Gehlken. He caught three of eight targets for 38 yards while playing 55 percent of the offensive snaps in the Cowboys win over the Lions. Cooper also dealt with cornerback Darrius Slay. Less than 100 percent going toe to toe against Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore is not an ideal scenario for fantasy gold. You should treat Cooper as low-end WR2 in Week 12.
Start Ryan Griffin (0.6% ST)
Griffin caught all five of his targets for 109 yards and one touchdown in the Jets win over the Redskins. His receiving yards were a career-high and it was the first 100-yard game by a Jets tight end since Dustin Keller in 2011 according to Pro Football Reference. Griffin faces a Raiders defense this week that has allowed an average of 5.6 targets, four receptions, 46 receiving yards, and 0.8 touchdowns, 13.4 PPR fantasy points per game over their last five to top tight end scorers. He can be viewed as a TE1.
Start David Njoku (5.2% ST)
The Browns designated Njoku for return from the injured reserve. He had four receptions for 37 receiving yards and a touchdown the last time we saw him against the Titans back in Week 1. Njoku faces a Dolphins defense that has allowed productive games from Jack Doyle and Griffin over the last few weeks. He can be viewed as a TE1 in Week 12.
Start Jacob Hollister (2.7% ST)
The last time Hollister was on the field he caught eight of 10 targets for 62 yards and a touchdown in the Seahawks win over the 49ers before the bye week. He's accounted for 12 receptions, 99 receiving yards and three touchdowns over Seattle's last three games filling in for Will Dissly. Did you know that 33 percent of Russell Wilson's touchdowns since 2017 have been caught by tight ends according to Pro Football Reference? I noticed that Randal Kennedy also tweeted that stat out as well. Hollister can be viewed as a TE1 in Week 12 against the Eagles defense.
Bringing It All Together
Making lineup decisions in fantasy football whether it's redraft, dynasty, or DFS is mind-numbing. It's important not to second guess yourself or make ungrounded last-minute changes. One good best practice is to set your lineup the night before your matchup begins. Breaking news should be the only thing that prompts you to make changes.
If you have additional questions please refer to our fantasy football rankings or better yet reach out to me on Twitter for an immediate response (@EricNMoody).
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Eric Moody is a member of the FSWA (Fantasy Sports Writers Association). His writing has been featured at FantasyPros, Gridiron Experts, RotoViz, and TwoQBs. He has a lifelong passion for the game and even played at the collegiate level as an offensive lineman. Eric also participated in Dan Hatman's Scouting Academy in order to learn the process of player evaluation at an NFL level. When Eric provides advice, he uses game film, analytics, and statistics to help you understand his perspective. He enjoys time with his family, Netflix, music, bass guitar, and coffee