We had another great week of games in Week 11, but unfortunately, the games are being overshadowed by the big names that keep succumbing to injuries. The injuries started on Thursday night with Mark Andrews and Joe Burrow suffering season-ending injuries, and then it carried into Sunday with Cooper Kupp, Aaron Jones, De’Von Achane, and Kenneth Walker all exiting early. Luckily, it seems like Kupp (ankle sprain), Jones (knee sprain), Achane (knee bruise), and Walker (abdomen) will only miss a game or two at this point. The tough break came for the Andrews and Burrow managers, who now must find replacements for two of the best at their positions for the rest of the season. Now that Week 11 is in the books, we can turn the page to Week 12 and look at who to start and sit this week.
Week 12 might be my favorite week of the football regular season as we have Thanksgiving football all day on Thursday. I absolutely love spending time with family, eating great food, and watching NFL football all day. It has become my favorite holiday as I get older. So, keep in mind to set your lineups early on Thursday as the games kick off at 12:30 p.m. EST. We also have the first-ever Black Friday game on the Friday after Thanksgiving, and that game kicks off at 3:00 p.m. EST, so we should have an exciting holiday of NFL football.
Just a friendly reminder that we do not have any teams that have a bye this week, but look out for next week as six teams have their bye week in Week 13.
The season can be a grind at times, from doing waiver claims to looking at rankings and then finally deciding who to start. It can seem difficult, but that is where the staff at DrRoto.com comes in to help you. We have everything you need to make the tough decisions here in one place. I will be writing this start/sit article each week to help you make the tough lineup decisions. You can also join our members-only Discord channel and ask us personalized questions anytime you want on there.
Keep in mind before I get into my starts and sits this week that certain players should always be in your starting lineup. Please don’t try to get cute and sit the likes of Justin Jefferson, Christian McCaffrey or Patrick Mahomes. They are in your lineup regardless of matchups. The decisions I am here to help you with are for the players drafted in the middle to late rounds of your draft or added from waivers who you aren’t sure whether to trust.
Week 12 Quarterback Starts
Jared Goff, Detroit Lions vs. Green Bay Packers (Thursday 12:30 p.m.)
I will start Jared Goff every time at home. He has the offensive weapons to be a top-10 fantasy quarterback every week, especially when playing at home. Goff ranks as the QB12 so far this year, and the Green Bay Packers’ defense is ranked 14th in total yards allowed so far this season. I believe this will be another big week for Goff and the Lions’ offense.
Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Commanders (Thursday 4:30 p.m.)
Dak Prescott has a great matchup this week with a struggling Washington Commanders defense. Prescott is currently QB6 this season, and he should be able to put up excellent numbers this week as the Commanders’ defense is 31st in passing yards allowed and 32nd in total yards allowed this season. I think Prescott will throw for 300+ yards and three touchdowns this week.
For more help setting your lineups, check out our Weekly Fantasy Football Rankings, updated daily by Chris Kennedy, one of FantasyPros’ Top 15 Football Rankers!
Week 12 Quarterback Sits
Sam Howell, Washington Commanders at Dallas Cowboys (Thursday 4:30 p.m.)
Sam Howell is coming off a poor performance against a struggling New York Giants defense, and now he has to face a tough Dallas Cowboys defense on a short week. That sounds like a recipe for disaster on Thanksgiving day. Howell is the QB5 so far this season, but the Cowboys’ defense comes into the week ranked second in passing yards and total yards allowed this season. I expect Howell to struggle this week, but hopefully, better weeks are ahead for the young signal caller.
Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals
Kenny Pickett has been struggling for most of this season. However, head Coach Mike Tomlin has finally made the switch at Offensive Coordinator that we have wanted all season, so hopefully that will kick-start the Steelers’ offense and Pickett. I am curious to see if the problem was Offensive Coordinator Matt Canada or if Pickett just isn’t that good. Pickett currently ranks as the QB28 on the season, and he gets to face the Cincinnati Bengals defense that comes in ranked 28th in total yards allowed and 24th in passing yards allowed so far this season. Still, I would sit Pickett this week, as I want to see how the new Offensive Coordinator Mike Sullivan calls the plays and if his style of offense matches better with Pickett’s skill set.
Week 12 Running Back Starts
Zach Charbonnet, Seattle Seahawks vs. San Fransico 49ers (Thursday 8:20 p.m.)
With Kenneth Walker getting hurt last week, this will be rookie Zach Charbonnet’s first chance to be a starting running back in the NFL. Charbonnet does not get the best matchup in his first start, but I liked the rookie coming out of the draft this year and he will get the majority of the touches in a run-first offense this week. Unfortunately, he gets a tough matchup this week against the San Fransico 49ers’ defense, which is ranked fifth in total yards allowed on the season. Still, I am expecting a nice game from Charbonnet this week because of the workload he is going to get in this game as the lead back.
A.J. Dillon, Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions (Thursday 12:30 p.m.)
A.J. Dillon is the only semi-healthy running back on the Green Bay Packers’ active roster right now. So, he will get the opportunity on Thanksgiving to be the lead running back in a game where the Packers will want to control the ball and the clock to keep the Lions’ offense off the field. Unfortunately, Dillion has a minor groin injury, but as of now he is slated to start and be the lead back for the Packers on Thursday. He is currently ranked as RB38 in PPR scoring so far this season. The Detroit Lions’ defense is ranked ninth in total yards allowed on the season, so it will not be an easy matchup for Dillon, but I like any running back who is going to get 80% or more of the touches in a given week. I am not expecting a huge week from Dillon, but a 100-yard week with a touchdown is certainly in play.
Week 12 Running Back Sits
Javonte Williams, Denver Broncos vs. Cleveland Browns
I have Javonte Williams as a sit this week primarily because he is facing the number-one defense in the NFL right now and he is still sharing a majority of the workload with Samaje Perine and Jaleel McLaughlin. The Cleveland Browns’ defense ranks first in total yards allowed on the season. I expect the Broncos to continue to mix in all three running backs this week and for Williams to be under 100 total yards in a tough matchup.
James Cook, Buffalo Bills at Philadelphia Eagles
James Cook looked explosive and fast last week, but for some reason the Buffalo Bills do not like to run the football. When they do run the football, they mix in Latavius Murray and Ty Johnson to go along with Cook. I am not a fan of the three-man committee at running back, and in the next week or two Leonard Fournette will be active from the practice squad, and that will add another obstacle preventing Cook from getting touches on a weekly basis. Cook is currently the RB14 in PPR scoring, but he faces a tough Philadelphia Eagles defense in Week 12. The Eagles’ defense has allowed the least rushing yards in the league so far this season, so expect Cook to struggle in this game.
Week 12 Wide Receiver Starts
Jayden Reed, Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions (Thursday 12:30 p.m.)
I know the Packers like to spread the ball around to a bunch of different receivers every game, but I think they are finally starting to see how good Jayden Reed is right now. Reed can hurt a defense in multiple ways with his rushing ability and his receiving ability. He is fast and runs great routes. He is currently ranked as the WR35 in PPR scoring, and he gets to face a Lions defense that is ranked 13th in passing yards allowed on the season. I expect Reed to see a lot of targets this week, and it is possible that he could go over 100 receiving yards with a touchdown in Week 12.
Puka Nacua, Los Angeles Rams at Arizona Cardinals
Puka Nacua is one of Matthew Stafford’s favorite targets this year, and I expect him to have a big game this week as Cooper Kupp is unlikely to play due to an ankle injury. I can easily see Nacua getting 10+ targets this week. The Arizona Cardinals’ defense is ranked 27th in total yards allowed on the season, so I believe Nacua could turn those targets into 10 receptions for 100 yards and a touchdown this week.
Week 12 Wide Receiver Sits
Drake London, Atlanta Falcons vs. New Orleans Saints
Drake London has a lot of talent, but Head Coach Arthur Smith just cannot settle on a starting quarterback and has trouble scheming London open. This week, the Falcons are going back to Desmond Ridder at quarterback, so we will see if he can find a way to get London more targets. London is currently ranked as the WR43 in PPR scoring and he gets a tough matchup this week against a New Orleans Saints defense that is ranked eighth in passing yards allowed and eighth in total yards allowed on the season. I expect the Falcons’ offense to struggle as a whole this week, so if you have a solid option on your bench or waiver wire then I would sit London.
Jerry Jeudy, Denver Broncos vs. Cleveland Browns
Jerry Jeudy is too up and down from week to week to be counted on as an every-week starter in your lineup. It appears that Courtland Sutton has emerged as Russell Wilson’s number-one target, leaving Jeudy as an afterthought in the offense most weeks. He is currently ranked as the WR52 in PPR scoring, and he gets a tough matchup this week against the aforementioned league-best Cleveland Browns defense. I would put Jeudy on my bench this week.
Week 12 Tight End Starts
Dalton Kincaid, Buffalo Bills at Philadelphia Eagles
Dalton Kincaid is having a great second half of his rookie season. He has become a go-to guy for Josh Allen over the last four weeks. Kincaid is ranked as the TE8 in PPR scoring and that is just going to continue to rise if he keeps making plays like he has the last four weeks. The Philadelphia Eagles defense that he will match up with this week is ranked 25th in passing yards allowed and 12th in total yards allowed on the season. I expect Kincaid to get seven receptions for 85 yards and a touchdown this week.
David Njoku, Cleveland Browns at Denver Broncos
David Njoku has the best tight-end matchup of the week, in my opinion. The Denver Broncos are one of the worst defenses in the NFL at covering the tight end. The Broncos’ defense is also ranked 22nd in passing yards allowed and 30th in total yards allowed so far this season. It was also apparent that the Browns’ new starting quarterback, rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson, is comfortable throwing to Njoku, as he had 15 targets last week. I believe Njoku will be a top-10 tight end in PPR scoring leagues this week, and he has the potential to be in the top five.
Week 12 Tight End Sits
Pat Freiermuth, Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals
It hurts me to have to put Pat Freiermuth on the sit list, as he is one of my favorite players at the tight end position. Freiermuth ranks as the TE47 in PPR scoring, but he has only played in five games so far this season. The Steelers’ offense will hopefully get kick-started this week with a new offensive Coordinator calling the plays and hopefully getting the tight ends more involved in the passing attack. However, Freiermuth is facing a tough matchup with a Bengals defense that is ranked 24th in passing yards allowed on the season. I would sit Freiermuth this week if you can find a better option.
Hunter Henry, New England Patriots at New York Giants
Hunter Henry started off the season hot with Mac Jones at quarterback, but the entire Patriots’ offense has struggled over the last four weeks and now Jones may be benched this week. So now we may have to see what kind of rapport Bailey Zappe has with Henry. Henry is currently ranked as just the TE19, and he gets a tough matchup against a Giants defense that is ranked 10th in covering the tight end position this season. I would sit Henry this week until we see what Zappe can do in this offense.
Week 12 Defense Starts
Pittsburgh Steelers Defense at Cincinnati Bengals
The Pittsburgh Steelers have been a good fantasy defense this season, and they get to face backup quarterback Jake Browning and the banged-up Bengals’ offense this week. I am expecting the Steelers to get at least five sacks and three turnovers in this game. They will put pressure on Browning all day long. Start the Steelers’ defense in every league you can this week.
New York Giants Defense vs. New England Patriots
The New York Giants’ defense has not been as strong this year as it has in the past couple of seasons, but this will be a great matchup for them against the New England Patriots. The Patriots’ offense has been very inconsistent this season. I believe either Bailey Zappe or Mac Jones will allow plenty of sacks and a few turnovers for the Giants’ defense. I would pick them up this week and start them.
Week 12 Defense Sits
Washington Commanders Defense at Dallas Cowboys
The Washington Commanders have been playing some bad football, especially on defense. I do not think Head Coach Ron Rivera will be back next year unless the Commanders finish the season strong. Unfortunately, I do not believe this game will be the start of the turnaround to the season. This game will get out of hand early as the Dallas Cowboys second-ranked offense can score at any time. I would like to find another defense to start this week if possible.
Buffalo Bills Defense at Philadelphia Eagles
I know the Buffalo Bills defense was a popular streaming option last week and they have been one of the better fantasy options all season long. However, this week the Bills get a tough matchup against Jalen Hurts and the fifth-ranked Eagles offense. I would sit the Bills defense if you can this week.
Good luck in Week 12, everyone!