Welcome back to our Start ‘Em Sit ‘Em series for 2020, we are about to enter Week 12! This is the week that many playoff positions will be confirmed, so it’s crucial that you get the right players in your lineup. Now is the time to bring all of that work together. The draft prep, the waiver wire additions, the trades. It all hinges on this week and next.
This week, and from here on out we don’t have any teams on bye. That leaves us an entire league of options, which is nice. If you have a particular start/ sit question then you can always check out our weekly rankings page, or reach out to us on any of our social media channels. You can find us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. I answered all of you that reached out last week, I will always try to get to every single one of you.
Slam dunk starts (the likes of Patrick Mahomes) and sits (pretty much anyone in New York) aren’t going to be included. You should always be starting or avoiding those guys. These are players that I have seen on social media being considered with some mixed answers.
Derek Carr @ATL
Carr is a fine start this week at the helm of the Raiders offense. When you look at his stats, Carr is putting together a fine season, it’s just not making headlines. This season he is on pace to have a similar season to his impressive 2016 MVP run. This week he faces the Atlanta Falcons, a team that is the worst in the league at defending the position. An automatic start,
Taysom Hill @DEN
The QB that (still) hasn’t thrown a single TD pass in the NFL performed well against Atlanta. At this point, it’s difficult to know if that was due to the matchup, or Hill being a true NFL talent. This week we are likely to find out (to some extent). Denver’s defense is better than Atlanta’s, but is still not a tough matchup. With the weapons that the Saints have on offense, and their defense now looking like it has teeth, Hill is a strong start this week.
Matt Ryan v LV
I know, Ryan was awful last week. Trust me, I felt it in quite a few leagues. However, this match is one where he can get back on track. The Raiders defense have been hot and cold, but generally have struggled against QBs this season. Ryan is a decent start candidate.
Philip Rivers v TEN
The Colts offense is really getting into it’s stride. They have an effective ground game, and now seem to be giving Rivers the chance to throw the ball. Against the Packers tough defense, he threw for 288 yards with 3 TDs and a single INT. Even against the Titans in Week 10, his current week opponent, he threw for 308 yards and a single TD. You might not need him, with no teams on bye, but Rivers is an effective start.
Kareem Hunt @JAX
The Browns haven’t passed the ball that often this season, because they haven’t needed to. The team has managed to move the ball effectively on the ground with Nick Chubb and Hunt. Against Jacksonville, who have struggled against RBs all season, there is enough for both players to be effective.
David Montgomery @GB
The Packers defense continues to struggle on the ground. This week, Chicago come into town with a clear lead-back. Montgomery should be back from his concussion injury, and ready to take on the workload as lead back. Even as part of a low-scoring offense, he should get enough yards to be fantasy relevant.
Zack Moss v LAC
Moss is a borderline RB2 for me this week, after seeming to take the role as lead back in the Buffalo offense. In recent weeks, he has been on the field more often than Devin Singletary, and has had more touches. This Chargers defense has struggled in recent weeks to defend the position, and now gives up an average of 19.1 points to the position.
Todd Gurley v LV
Gurley, at this point of his career, isn’t the dynamic runner that he was with the Rams. He is far more of a matchup-dependent option. Last week he matched up against a tough New Orleans defense. This week, he matches up against a Raiders defense that has allowed 22.6 points on average to the position. More crucially, they have conceded 12 TDs to the position, beaten only by the Detroit Lions unit that has conceded 14.
Update: Gurley has been declared out with a knee injury. I’d be happy starting Brian Hill as a result. Should get the majority of the touches out of the backfield.
Wayne Gallman @CIN
Gallman was given the reigns of the backfield through injury, but he has managed to be effective. Gallman is part of a Giants offense that isn’t massively dynamic, but has established a workload for their running back. He has now scored 5 TDs in his past four games, and now matches up against the Bengals. The team has given up an average of 19.4 points to the position this season.
Michael Pittman v TEN
I was really high on Pittman during the offseason. Luckily, that has panned out as he has now stepped up as the lead receiver for the Colts. This week he faces the Titans that gives up plenty through the air, and was the first game where he broke out just two weeks ago.
Nelson Agholor @ATL
As I mentioned for Derek Carr, this offense is having a solid season. Agholor is the lead receiver for the team, and they now matchup against Atlanta. The Falcons defense struggles to stop production through that air, making Agholor a decent option if you need a solid starter in a deep league.
Mike Williams @BUF
It might be Keenan Allen that is grabbing the headlines in the Chargers offense, but that doesn’t mean he is the only effective option. Williams has been used as a big-bodied deep threat by the Chargers this season. The matchup isn’t ideal, but the sheer volume of the passing attack should mean that Williams and Allen both have good games.
Darius Slayton/ Sterling Shepard @CIN
This really comes down to what you need from your lineup. If you need a floor play, then Shepard would be your option. He has seen a consistent number of targets in the offense, but it’s not production that is going to light up on film. Slayton is the opposite. His role isn’t consistent, but operates as the deep option for the team. The Bengals give are one of the worst units in the league against the positon, so there should be enough production for both to be considered.
Evan Engram @CIN
Engram struggled against the Eagles, but had been putting together a string of performances before that. The Bengals have given up an average of 9.9 points on average to the position.
Hunter Henry @BUF
Henry might be touchdown-dependent, but what TE isn’t!? The Chargers offense is extremely pass-heavy, and Buffalo have struggled to stop production at the position.
Dallas Goedert v SEA
Goedert is one of those TE’s that is really used more as a receiver than anything else. At the point of writing, it’s unknown if Zach Ertz will be playing this week. Regardless, Carson Wentz is going to target his TEs often. Should be a safe selection this week.
Rodrigo Blankenship v TEN
Blankenship should be an auto-start at this point of the season. The Colts offense has been able move the ball well, but have stalled at times. Blankenship has shown that he has range and accuracy, which is something that you want in your kicker. Oh, and he has had back-to-back double-digit games, including against the Titans.
Younghoe Koo v LV
Koo is part of an offense that needs to score points. Tick. That team has sometimes struggled to convert drives into TDs, meaning FG attempts. Tick. The game is being played in a dome. Tick. That’s simply too many ticks to leave him on the sidelines.
Miami Dolphins @NYJ
The Dolphins defense has been getting stronger as the season has gone on. The Jets offense is one to target, we know that. The Dolphins won’t be available in your league, as that waiver claim went in long ago. But really do double-check, as a floor they are looking at near double-digit scoring, but could pop off and score big.
Cleveland Browns @JAX
The Browns defense is strong, even when Myles Garrett misses time. They have found a way to get to the QB this season, which has meant they have been able to clock up sacks and turnovers. This week this unit matchup against Mike Glennon and the Jaguars. There’s no reason to second-guess it. If they are available in your league, start them.
EDIT: I want to quickly mention New Orleans too. Given that Denver don’t have a QB in place at the moment, the Saints should be able to put that offense under pressure consistently.
Ryan Tannehill @IND
Tannehill struggled against the Colts defense in Week 10, ending with just 147 passing yards and a single TD. This Colts defense is one of the most effective in the league, and is definitely one to avoid.
Tua Tagovailoa @NYJ
Tagovailoa got benched last time out, after struggling to get the offense moving. Brian Flores took him out for Ryan Fitzpatrick, but announced that the rookie would be the starter in this game. On paper, this is an easy matchup. However, with a full number of options this week, I’m worried we see the offense stall again.
Update: Tagovailoa has been declared doubtful with injury, so Fitzpatrick is going to start. I’d be happier starting Fitzpatrick in this matchup than Tagovailoa, but I’m not huge on him. Borderline QB2 with all the options this week.
Baker Mayfield @JAX
Another young QB in a matchup that is on paper a great one to target. Jacksonville has given up the third-highest total on average to the position. However, Cleveland just don’t have enough passing volume to make Mayfield fantasy relevant. In his last three games, he has thrown the ball 67 times for 458 yards. That just isn’t going to get it done for you.
Melvin Gordon v NO
The Saints defense is the best unit in the league at defending the RB position. Given the fact that this backfield has recently become more of a timeshare about it. That makes Gordon a clear avoid for me.
Update: Denver currently don’t have a starting QB. This doesn’t change the outlook for me, he is still a sit.
All of the 49ers @LAR
I don’t know who will be the lead back this week- especially with rumours that Raheem Mostert is nearing a return to the field. To navigate the backfield is hard enough, but this defense is a tough one against the position. So even if you chose the right option, there isn’t a lot of (likely) production to be had.
All of the Rams v SF
I’ll stay in the same game, with the same statement. This Rams backfield is one that is equally difficult to navigate. In the past two weeks there isn’t a single player out of the backfield that has had more than 10 touches. If I was forced to start one, I’d opt for Akers for the TD upside, but I would look elsewhere for options.
A.J. Brown @BAL
A.J. Brown is a player that I’m nervous to include, because he has that ability to just break off any reception for a large gain. However, I can’t feel too confident in starting him against the Colts this week. When the teams met in Week 10, he was limited to a single reception for 21 yards. I’m not saying he repeats that statline, but I don’t think he w