Start Em Sit Em Week 12: Early Advice for Your Fantasy Football Rosters
It's Week 12 of the NFL season, which brings with it the annual tradition of Thanksgiving games featuring the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys, as well as a vitally important week for fantasy squads trying to make their way into the playoffs.
With three games on Thursday this week, fantasy owners have less time than normal to make many important lineup decisions. So in order to help you get a head start, here's some early start/sit advice for the upcoming week's action.
Start Tony Romo and Other Quarterback Advice
Start Him: Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys (vs. WAS)
It's been an up and down season for Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, but the 10th year pro has never lost on Thanksgiving, has thrown 14 touchdown passes versus only four interceptions on turkey day and faces a Washington Redskins defense allowing the third-most fantasy points to quarterbacks.
Sit Him: Robert Griffin, Washington Redskins (at DAL)
Given how well rookie quarterback Robert Griffin has played this season he's almost impossible to actually bench, but it's worth noting that the Cowboys usually play very well on Thanksgiving and have been stingy to opposing fantasy quarterbacks this season.
Sleeper: Chad Henne, Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. TEN)
With starter Blaine Gabbert on injured reserve, it's Chad Henne under center the rest of the way in Jacksonville. Coming off passing for over 350 yards and four touchdowns against the Houston Texans, the fifth-year pro gets a top-10 fantasy matchup with the Tennessee Titans.
Start BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Other Running Back Advice
Start Him: BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Cincinnati Bengals (vs. OAK)
Green-Ellis had one of his best games of the season in rushing for 101 yards with a touchdown last week, and the fifth-year pro should keep rolling in a top-five fantasy matchup with the Oakland Raiders.
Sit Him: Steven Jackson, St. Louis Rams (at ARI)
The fantasy production of St. Louis Rams running back Steven Jackson has been pretty hit-or-miss this year, and this week Jackson draws an Arizona Cardinals defense allowing the fourth-fewest fantasy points to running backs.
Sleeper: Jalen Parmele, Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. TEN)
The third-year pro took over for an ineffective Rashad Jennings last week and played well. This week Parmele faces a Tennessee Titans club that has been very generous to opposing running backs in 2012.
Start Michael Crabtree and Other Wide Receiver Advice
Start Him: Michael Crabtree, San Francisco 49ers (at NO)
The fourth-year pro has now found the end zone in three straight contests, and this week Crabtree faces a New Orleans Saints defense that has redefined the term porous this year.
Sit Him: Brian Hartline, Miami Dolphins (vs. SEA)
Hartline has been Ryan Tannehill's favorite target this season in South Beach, but the 25-year-old has a very unfavorable fantasy matchup this week with the Seattle Seahawks' physical cornerbacks.
Sleeper: Donald Jones, Buffalo Bills (at IND)
Jones pulled a disappearing act last week but had 12 receptions for 139 yards and a touchdown in the two preceding games. Jones should be in for a solid outing against the Indianapolis Colts, who have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to wide receivers this year.
Start Jermaine Gresham and Other Tight End Advice
Start Him: Jermaine Gresham, Cincinnati Bengals (vs. OAK)
Gresham has either caught at least six passes or scored a touchdown in each of past three games, and the third-year pro should keep that hot streak going this week in a favorable fantasy matchup with the Raiders.
Sit Him: Heath Miller, Pittsburgh Steelers (at CLE)
With Ben Roethlisberger hurt, Miller's production nosedived last week. There's no reason to think that will change with Charlie Batch under center this week against a Cleveland Browns club allowing the third-fewest fantasy points to tight ends this season.
Sleeper: Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings (at CHI)
The Chicago Bears have had a soft spot in the middle of their Tampa-2 defense for years, and it shows in the fact that the Bears have allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to the position in 2012.
Start St. Louis Rams and Other Team Defense Advice
Start Them: St. Louis Rams (at ARI)
Sure, the St. Louis Rams haven't exactly lit it up from a fantasy perspective this year defensively, but it's hard not to like a matchup with an Arizona Cardinals squad allowing the most sacks and third-most fantasy points to team defenses this year.
Sit Them: Atlanta Falcons (at TB)
The Atlanta Falcons are a great example of how fickle fantasy defenses can be, as they go from one of the best matchups last week (the Cardinals) to one of the worst Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Sleeper: Carolina Panthers (at PHI)
The Carolina Panthers haven't had a whole lot go right for them this season, but this week their defense gets a dream fantasy matchup with a Philadelphia Eagles team surrendering the most fantasy points to team defenses in 2012.