NFL Fantasy Football Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: Week 12
Tua Tagovailoa celebrates with his teammates after scoring a rushing touchdown against the New England Patriots. Ethan Polak suggests that Tua Time has offically arrived and fantasy managers need jump on the Tua bandwagon immediately! Photo Courtesy of The Phinsider.
Happy Thanksgiving to all the sports fans around the world! Even with the pandemic, there will still be loads of food, turkey and most of all, football! This year, we are very thankful for the three games being played this Thursday as well as no teams on a bye week for the first time since week 4.
With so many players now available for this week, there will be a plethora of options for fantasy managers to pay attention to. Here are the key players to start and sit for Week 12 of the NFL season.
Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins. It is now Tua Time in Miami as he has now taken over the quarterback duties from Ryan Fitzpatrick. Flores's decision to start Tua early in the season looked bad at first, but his choice proved to be the exact opposite. In his first four games, Tua has a record of 3-1 after dropping his first game last week against the Broncos. In this game, Tua was benched in the fourth quarter after taking six sacks. Despite the major hiccup, Flores stated that Tua will still remain the starter for the Fins for the rest of the season. As for this week, the Dolphins should be able to hop back on track this week against the laughing stock of the league in the winless Jets, who have given up the 5th most yards per game in the league. Last time the two teams faced off, Fitzpatrick threw for three touchdowns and 200 yards, so expect Tua to be able to put up a similar stat line in another encouraging matchup.
Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings. Just when the Vikings looked like they were headed on an improbable run to the playoffs after going on a three-game winning streak, everything came crashing down in Dallas. The Andy Dalton led Cowboys were able to figure out how to play football again upset the supposive red hot Vikings. Even though the Vikings ruined their playoff hopes in one game, Cousins had himself a day throwing for 314 yards and 3 touchdowns. While Cousins has looked surprisingly good in the recent weeks, they are up against a Panthers defense that shutout the Lions offense last week. Fantasy managers would be smart to keep Cousins on the bench this week.
Chris Carson, Seattle Seahawks. Carson is back baby. After sitting out with a foot injury for four weeks, Carson should be ready to come back in a primetime game on Monday against the Eagles. The Eagles haven’t fared well against the run they have given up the 24th most rushing yards per game. While Carlos Hyde might still play a role in Seattle’s rushing offense, Carson has gotten 17 touches in three of the five games that he has played in this season. Carson is poised for an outstanding return in a very favorable matchup in the Eagles.
Melvin Gordon, Denver Broncos. The Broncos rushing offense has been revived. Gordon and Philip Lindsay have been unable to reach a combined 100 yards since Week 8, they found a way to get going against a Dolphins defense that has struggled against the run. Even though the Broncos offense has been looking like they are finally clicking, their hopes and dreams will have to come to a screeching halt. The Broncos are up against the Saints defense that has only let up 743 yards through 11 games which is the least in the entire league. Avoid moving Gordon into the starting lineup this week at all costs.
Nelson Agholor, Las Vegas Raiders. The Raider really could be a sleeper team to make the playoffs this year. With Derek Carr playing in his 2016 form, the Raiders have become legitimate contenders. For Agholor, this has turned out to be extremely well as in his last game against the Chiefs, he brought in 6 catches for 88 yards and a touchdown. Agholor will look to repeat those similar stats against a Falcons team that has given up the second most yards per game in the league. Now Agholor isn’t the most reliable wide receiver, but this week’s matchup is too great to miss out on.
DJ Chark, Jacksonville Jaguars. Another quarterback who has had to deal with three different quarterbacks is Chark although in his case it isn’t as bright as McLaurin. As the Jags number one wide receiver he has struggled to get targets in an offense that has become very run heavy with a new found gem in James Robinson. It also doesn’t help when their starting quarterback is Mike Glennon who in 2018 was benched for Mitchell Trubisky. Chark’s value as a reliable wide receiver has plummeted especially against a Browns defense that hasn’t given up 20 or more points since Week 8. Besides Robinson, no other player on the Jaguars should ever be in the starting lineup until proven otherwise.
Jordan Reed, San Francisco 49ers. Fresh off a bye, the 49ers are returning to another harsh matchup against the Rams offense that is coming off arguably their best win of the season against the Buccaneers. In this game the Rams didn’t even need Aaron Donald to record a single stat to win the game. Still, the 49ers should be able to make this a game as they have already beaten the Rams earlier this season. Also the 49ers are likely going to fall down early in the game, so they will be forced to throw the ball more, meaning Reed will get plenty of targets.
Jimmy Graham, Chicago Bears. If there is an example of awful in a dictionary, a picture of the Bears offense would most likely appear. The Bears have ranked 31st in yards per game so far this season and it doesn’t look like it will be changing in the future anytime soon. A team that at one point was 5-1 is now on a four game losing streak that looks like it will continue in a rivalry game against the Packers. For Graham it doesn’t get any better as the Packers rank 3rd against tight ends this season. Any fantasy manager with a brain cell would realize that starting Graham this week is a horrible decision.
Tyler Bass, Buffalo Bills. The sixth round pick in the 2020 draft has been having himself a season. In his last game alone, Bass drilled three field goals that were 50 yards or more. With the Bills beginning to click, they are going to be scoring especially against a Chargers defense that has given up the 23rd most points this season. Bass is a great start for fantasy managers in search of a reliable kicker.
Ryan Succop, Tampa Bay Buccaneers. When it comes to inconsistency, one team always comes to mind, and that team is the Buccaneers. The Bucs can go out and obliterate the Panthers one week and then the next get outplayed by the Rams. For Succop, this has not helped his value as he can put up 15 or more points in fantasy one week and then less than five the next. Until the Buccaneers are able to find a way to stay consistent on offense, Succop should stay out of all starting lineups.
New York Giants Defense. At first glance the 3-7 Giants have looked very depressing, but if someone takes a second look they would realize that their defense has given up the 11th least points this year. Their defense has put the entire Giants franchise on their backs as each week, the defense is forced to keep Daniel Jones’ atrocious offense in the game for as long as possible. Fortunately for the Giants, they will be up against a Bengals offense that just lost their star quarterback Joe Burrow to a torn ACL in the week prior. This means that the Bengals will be forced to start Brandon Allen. Any defense that is against a quarterback getting their first start of the season like Allen is a must start.
New England Patriots Defense. Imagine a team that has a Defensive Player of the Year and a defense that was considered the best in the league from last year. Some would believe that in the next season they would be able to repeat their reign over the league, but those who believe that are totally wrong. The team that is being described above is the 2019 Patriots defense, which is a complete 180 degrees from what the 2020 Patriots defense has looked like. For this week, the Patriots situation doesn’t get any better as they will face the Cardinals offense who are ranked first in yards per game in the league. The Patriots dynasty is now over as well as their ability to be worth being on any fantasy manager's lineups any week the rest of the season.