Sit and start is relative and league dependent, so consider some of these suggestions more “fliers” and “fades” (note that some are targeted for DFS).
Good luck with your Week 12 lineups.
Miami Dolphins @ Cleveland Browns
Sit: Kalen Ballage
Start: Kareem Hunt
Ballage has volume going for him, but he’s averaged just 1.9 YPC while turning 22 targets into only 50 yards. He ranks last among 46 qualified backs in elusive rating and will likely face a poor game script Sunday, so Ballage is the rare feature back who deserves benching.
It’s completely fine to pay up for Nick Chubb in DFS this week, but (the cheaper) Hunt has seen 17 targets over his first two games with Cleveland, and he gets a highly favorable setup as double-digit home favorites against an awful Dolphins defense.
Denver Broncos @ Buffalo Bills
Start: Noah Fant
Sit: Devin Singletary
Fant followed up his breakout game (when he had 115 yards and a score) with 10 targets last week (third in air yards among tight ends), so the talented rookie should be considered a TE1 down the stretch. The Broncos will focus on running this week, but with Tre’Davious White locked onto Courtland Sutton, Fant should be busy again.
Singletary has a bright future and continues to get more work, but Buffalo enters with a major disadvantage up front and against a stingy Denver rush defense. The over/under in this game is the lowest of the week (37.5 points).
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cincinnati Bengals
Start: James Washington
Sit: Joe Mixon
With JuJu Smith-Schuster and James Conner unlikely to play (and Diontae Johnson coming off a scary concussion), Washington is set for increased looks against a Bengals secondary that’s been gashed for an NFL-high 9.1 YPA. Vance McDonald’s value also gets a boost as a result, and Jaylen Samuels should be treated as a top-10 RB this week. Moreover, Benny Snell has returned to practice and should overtake Trey Edmunds, making him a deep sleeper.
Mixon is coming off his two best games of the season, but Cincinnati’s offensive line is going to be overmatched in this game. The Steelers have been the league’s toughest defense versus fantasy backs over the last five weeks.
Dallas Cowboys @ New England Patriots
Sit: Dak Prescott
Start: Tom Brady
Prescott has had an MVP caliber season but travels outdoors to face a New England defense that’s allowed a league-low 5.3 YPA with a 4:19 TD:INT ratio. He shouldn’t be considered a top-15 QB this week, and expectations should also be lowered for a compromised Amari Cooper, who will be shadowed by DPOY candidate, Stephon Gilmore.
Brady has shown clear signs of decline this season but still owns an 8.0 YPA mark with nine touchdowns over four homes games, and he enters fired up coming off a game not played up to his standards. Dallas has a middling defense, and NE gets its left tackle (Isaiah Wynn) back, so consider Brady a top-10 QB this week (and pay up for Julian Edelman in DFS ($20) as well).
New York Giants @ Chicago Bears
Sit: Darius Slayton
Start: Taylor Gabriel
Slayton is coming off a monster game and has four touchdowns over the last three weeks, but he’ll lose volume with Sterling Shepard due back, and the Bears have ceded the third-fewest fantasy points to his primary side this season.
Gabriel’s volume can be erratic, so this is more of a deep flier, but he saw 14 targets last game, scored the week before and gets a favorable setup Sunday against a New York secondary that’s yielded the most fantasy points to his primary side over the last month (and this season), so he's a sleeper.
Oakland Raiders @ New York Jets
Start: Hunter Renfrow
Start in DFS: Jamison Crowder ($18)
Renfrow has somewhat quietly emerged as Oakland’s No. 1 receiver over the last month, and he faces a Jets secondary that’s been second only to the Bucs when it comes to recently helping wide receivers rack up fantasy points.
Sam Darnold targeted Crowder 17 times during their first game together back in Week 1, and the two have connected for scores each of the last three games, so he remains underpriced in DFS. Crowder is a top-15 wide receiver on my board this week.
Carolina Panthers @ New Orleans Saints
Start: Greg Olsen
Start in DFS: Alvin Kamara ($32)
Olsen hasn’t scored when not facing the Cardinals this season, but he’s seen a healthy 21 targets over the last three weeks, and Carolina figures to be passing frequently while playing catch up as near double-digit underdogs.
Kamara looked like his old healthy self last week when he got 5.8 YPC against arguably the league’s best run defense in Tampa Bay, and he’s secured 18-of-20 targets over two games since returning from his ankle injury. The Panthers sport the No. 7 pass defense and last-ranked run defense in DVOA, so Kamara is primed to go off Sunday.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Atlanta Falcons
Sit: Ronald Jones
Start: Russell Gage
Jones hasn’t seen many carries since losing a fumble in Week 10, and he gets an Atlanta defense that’s performed about as well as any in the league over the last two weeks.
Gage has emerged as Atlanta’s third wide receiver (even seeing a target inside the five-yard line last week), and he’s set up in a highly favorable situation during Sunday’s game, which has the highest over/under of the week (51.5 points). Austin Hooper is out again, Julio Jones has missed practice this week with a foot injury that’s caused a noticeable limp, and the team struggles running with Brian Hill remaining the lead back, so the rookie wideout should be busy. Moreover, Tampa Bay’s defense ranks first against the run and 30th versus the pass in DVOA, while also allowing the most fantasy points to wide receivers (and the slot) this season. Gage is a strong DFS ($15) option this week at his price.
Detroit Lions @ Washington Redskins
Start: Marvin Jones
Sit: All Redskins
Jeff Driskel has proven competent enough, and Jones enters with seven touchdown catches over his last five games. Most importantly, he’s scheduled to be lined up across from Josh Norman quite a bit Sunday, and that’s about as favorable of a matchup as it gets these days even before you account for the big speed discrepancy.
A Redskins upset wouldn’t surprise, but fantasy managers could still be frustrated, as Terry McLaurin should be shadowed by Darius Slay, and Washington’s ground game will now be spread throughout three players in Adrian Peterson, Derrius Guice and the returning Chris Thompson. This projects to also be one of the slowest paced games of the week, so it’s not a recipe for a ton of fantasy success despite the plus matchup.
Seattle Seahawks @ Philadelphia Eagles
Start: DK Metcalf, Carson Wentz
The Eagles’ secondary has played better of late, but they remain far easier to throw on than run against, and Metcalf should be lined up frequently across from Ronald Darby, who’s among the league’s worst in fantasy points allowed per route and among the league’s highest percentage of routes in which he’s targeted.
Wentz’s 6.6 YPA makes you forget he was once an MVP candidate, but he has an 8:0 TD:INT ratio at home this season, should get some reinforcements back on offense and enters with a major advantage at the line of scrimmage. Only three teams have allowed more passing yards per game than the Seahawks this season, so Wentz is a strong start this week.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Tennessee Titans
Start: Dede Westbrook
Start in DFS: Derrick Henry ($30)
Westbrook had a quiet game last week, but Nick Foles has a history of heavily targeting his receiver in the slot, where the Titans have been gashed for the third-most fantasy points over the last month.
More targets would be nice, but Henry is up to 10 touchdowns over 10 games this year, has averaged 102.6 rushing yards with 5.3 YPC at home and gets a Jaguars run defense that ranks 30th in DVOA, so he’s worth paying up for in DFS.
Green Bay Packers @ San Francisco 49ers
Sit: Aaron Rodgers
Start: Deebo Samuel
Rodgers has gotten just 6.9 YPA while taking 15 sacks over four games on the road this season, and he’s up against a San Francisco defense that’s allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks. Rodgers is admittedly tough to sit, but now would be the week to consider alternatives if you have them.
Samuel has averaged 10.5-8-123 over the last two weeks and the fourth-most yards after the catch (6.95) in the NFL this season. Emmanuel Sanders and George Kittle will play hobbled at best Sunday night, so Samuel — who is dealing with his own shoulder injury — should once again be featured heavily against a Green Bay secondary that’s allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to his primary side this season.
Baltimore Ravens @ Los Angeles Rams
Start: Marquise Brown, Jared Goff
The Rams are tough against the run, so Baltimore should throw more than usual Monday night in what could easily turn into a high-scoring game.
The Ravens’ defense is playing better, but the Rams should get back both Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods and finally have a full complement of weapons. Goff has the most fumbles in football since entering the league in 2016 (Carson Wentz is just one behind), and the Rams are in some trouble with him accounting for the league’s biggest cap hit next year, but he’s still gotten 8.4 YPA at home this season and will be throwing it a ton trying to keep up with Baltimore’s elite offense Monday night.