We made it to Week 12 of your Fantasy Football Season. These are must win games as you prepare to make the playoffs. I want to help push you that direction.
Start: Geno Smith vs Raiders
Geno continues to get it done for fantasy and this week should be no different. He is averaging 18 points per game and is the No. 8 QB on the season. He has scored more than 20 points 7 times this season. Facing a Raiders defense that has been generous to QBs, allowing 21.3 points per game. I think you can count on at least an 18-point performance from Geno this week.
Start: Matt Ryan vs Steelers
Yes, Ryan laid an 8-point dud last week vs the Eagles but that defense is the best in the league vs the QB, only allowing 10.6 points and why Ryan was on my sit list. This week it is a different story. He is facing a Steelers defense that allows 20.6 points per game to QBs. Ryan has put up more than 22 points per game in 2 of his last 4 and I think this is a positive points matchup if you need a QB.
Sleepers: Taylor Heinicke vs Falcons, Derek Carr @ Seahawks, Trevor Lawrence vs Ravens
Sit: Tom Brady @ Browns
Brady has struggled all season to put up consistent fantasy numbers. He has only scored more than 15 points in half his games and only more than 20 points in 3. This week he faces a Browns defense that may not be able to stop the run, but they can hold down QBs. The Browns have held Justin Herbert, Joe Burrow, Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson to fewer than 15 points in games this season. QBs are only averaging 15.9 points per game against them. Not a good week to start Tampa Tom.
Sit: Aaron Rodgers @ Eagles
Same narrative as last week, Eagles give up only 10 points per game and Rodgers and the Packers have struggled all season to find an identity. Even though Rodgers has had some positive number the last few weeks, he has also had some tasty matchups. I wouldn’t trust Rodgers to put up more than 15 points this week.
Start: Jeff Wilson Jr. @ Texans
Ok so last week I told you to start Brian Robinson against the Texans, didn’t work out so well. Gibson got most all of the passing work and they split the carries. This week I am using the red-hot Jeff Wilson against the terrible Texans run defense. In two games with Miami (against Bears and Browns) Wilson has put up 18 and 26 points. This week he gets the Texans who are allowing 28.9 points per game. This is a must start for Wilson. Oh, and by the way, the RB who has passed on the depth chart, Raheem Mostert hasn’t practiced all week with a knee injury.
Start: James Connor vs Chargers
Last week against one of the best defenses against the RB (49ers) I told you to sit Connor, and that worked out. You can’t sit him this week. He is facing a Chargers defense that cannot stop the run, allowing 25.9 points per game. It also doesn’t hurt that Connor is the lone RB in that backfield and he gets his starting QB (Murray) back.
Sleeper: Rachaad White @ Browns, Michael Carter vs Bears, Latavious Murray vs Panthers
Sit: Cordarrelle Patterson @ Commanders
Since coming back from injury, he is only averaging about 40% of the snap share and no more than 13 carries. This isn’t last season Patterson or even the Patterson from the beginning of this season. Now he faces a tough Commanders defense that continues to get better week after week and is only allowing 17 points to the position. So, if Patterson isn’t getting the full workload, then he isn’t getting all of those 17 points.
Sit: Dameon Pierce vs Dolphins
Pierce has been a workhorse back most of the season and this week he gets a beatable matchup as the Dolphins are middle of the road versus the RB position allowing 19.2 points per game. This week though the Texans benched their starting QB (Mills) for journeyman backup Kyle Allen. I look for the Dolphins to stack the box and take away Pierce and force all Allen to beat them throwing the ball. Lower your expectations for Dameon Pierce this week.
Start: Michael Pittman vs Steelers
If I am going to tell you to start Matt Ryan against the Steelers, I might as well tell you to start his No. 1 pass target in Michael Pittman. The Steelers give up a whopping 35.4 points per game to the position. Pittman is out there on every snap and since Ryan came back his fantasy points have only gone up each week.
Start: Terry McLaurin vs Falcons
This is a Terry McLaurin bounce back week against a Falcon defense that can’t stop WRs, especially perimeter ones. The Falcons are giving up 34.4 points per game. Terry is the No. 14 WR on the season and he averages 13 points per game. I’d expect at least 15 points this week.
Sleeper: DJ Moore vs Broncos; Christian Kirk vs Ravens; Courtland Sutton @ Panthers
Sit: George Pickens @ Colts
Pickens has been involved in this offense, and he is Kenny Pickett’s favorite target, but I expect the Colts defense to smother Pickett and this Steelers defense. Pickens is only averaging 9 fantasy points per game, and he faces a Colts defense only allowing 20.1 per game to the position. Spread out that 20 points over all the Steelers receivers and that doesn’t leave much for Pickens.
Sit: Allen Lazard vs Eagles
I wanted the Lazard thing to work out this season as much as the next person and it just hasn’t. He has had moments and flashes and he’s been usable as a WR3/Flex with 13 points per game but with the emergence of Christian Watson, Lazard is starting to fall out of favor. Also since I told you to sit Aaron Rodgers, I am also telling you to sit Lazard against the Eagles defense only allowing 24.1 points to the opposing WRs.
Start: Foster Moreau vs Seahawks
Moreau hasn’t exactly stepped right in as Waller replacement this season and he’s only averaging 6 points per game, but he is facing a Seahawks team like we said before, has been one of the most giving of TE points over last two years. This year isn’t any different as they are allowing 15.9 points per game to the position. Carr and the Raiders know that and should look to exploit it.
Sleeper: Trey McBride vs Chargers, Mike Gesicki vs Texans, Logan Thomas vs Falcons
Sit: Greg Dulcich vs Panthers
Not a good week to start Greg Dulcich. The Panthers only give up 8.5 points per game to the TE position; they are good against QBs also. I don’t see a bunch of Broncos passing this week. I’d leave Dulcich on the bench if you can.
Thank you for reading my Start/Sit Column. Good luck in Week 12. You can find this and the rest of my work over at FantasyHolics on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/FantasyHolics
An Air Force veteran, Jeremiah Orcutt is from Hillsboro. You can find the rest of his work year round on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/FantasyHolics.