The fantasy playoffs are just around the corner. That means there is a lot riding on the outcome of these last few regular-season games, and you likely cannot afford to have a down week.
Whether you are battling for your postseason life or just trying to improve your seeding and score a bye, it would be wise to make the right lineup calls and avoid any busts that fail to live up to expectations.
Here’s a look at some of the smartest start and sit decisions you can make in Week 12.
Start ‘Em: Mike Glennon, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at Detroit Lions)
It’s no longer worth considering Glennon to be just a rookie capable of putting up decent numbers; he’s now a solid quarterback commanding a hot offense and should be expected to contribute on a weekly basis.
The Bucs signal-caller hasn’t been throwing as much over the past few weeks—he’s attempted just 67 total passes over the past three games, compared to 130 during his first three starts—but he has been making his throws count.
He connected on 20 of his 23 pass attempts for 231 yards and two scores with zero interceptions against the Atlanta Falcons this past week and is in line for a big day against the Lions in Week 12.
Sit ‘Em: Josh McCown, Chicago Bears (at St. Louis Rams)
McCown has been a solid QB2 in most formats since taking over for Jay Cutler, but he should be avoided this Sunday.
The veteran runs into a tough St. Louis defense that has only conceded more than 204 yards passing to an opposing quarterback once in the past four games. The Rams are also capable of intercepting the ball; they've already generated 11 takeaways this season by doing exactly that.
Don’t be surprised if McCown is held to a low yardage total and commits a turnover or two that keep his fantasy numbers down in Week 12.
Start ‘Em: Ben Tate, Houston Texans (vs. Jacksonville Jaguars)
Tate has a dream matchup against a lowly AFC South opponent. The Jags have allowed seven rushers to reach double digits in points against them this season and concede nearly 140 yards per game on the ground—the worst mark in the league.
As long as the Texans' starting back gets a proper amount of touches, he should have no issues producing.
Sit ‘Em: Lamar Miller, Miami Dolphins (vs. Carolina Panthers)
It’s simply too hard to trust Miller in 2013, and that won't change in Week 12. The ‘Phins back has compiled a mere three points last week and zero in Week 10, making him an absolute desperation play this Sunday.
The Panthers defense is set to tee off on the Miami offensive, line and Miller’s production will be limited at best. Expect 20 total yards and zero scores from this maddeningly inconsistent talent.
Start ‘Em: Jarrett Boykin, Green Bay Packers (vs. Minnesota Vikings)
Boykin has earned his role as a regular receiver inside this Green Bay offense. The former backup was promoted due to a rash of injuries and has answered the call over his past five starts, compiling 410 yards and a score on 28 receptions in that span.
He’ll continue to see plenty of targets in Week 12, even with Scott Tolzien remaining under center. The Vikings have allowed opposing receivers to score 11 touchdowns and conceded an average of over 280 yards per game to quarterbacks in 2013.
Sit ‘Em: Steve Smith, Carolina Panthers (at Miami Dolphins)
While Smith may be a steady veteran presence that helps the ongoing development of quarterback Cam Newton, the receiver has been anything but reliable for fantasy purposes.
He’s scored 10 or more fantasy points on just two occasions this season and holds a single-game high of just 69 yards. Considering he’s not a touchdown machine either, Smith should be avoided and replaced with a more consistent, higher-upside option.
Start ‘Em: Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans (at Oakland Raiders)
Walker is excelling in spite of Jake Locker’s absence, as the Titans tight end has totaled up 27 fantasy points over the past two weeks. While two touchdowns in that span have definitely helped the cause, the 29-year-old did haul in all 10 of the passes that came his way in Week 11.
He’s clearly a favorite target of Ryan Fitzpatrick and should continue to get looks not only in the red zone, but also all over the field.
Sit ‘Em: Jordan Cameron, Cleveland Browns (vs. Pittsburgh Steelers)
Will you start or sit Cameron in Week 12?
Cameron is no longer a worthwhile fantasy tight end with Jason Campbell under center. Unlike Walker’s situation—in which he seemingly got better with a backup throwing to him—this breakout star has cooled off significantly compared to his production when Brian Hoyer and Brandon Weeden were slinging the rock.
Cameron has generated just 16 targets and a total of 10 fantasy points since Campbell was named the starter three games ago. It’s worthwhile to avoid him and leave him on the bench until the two find a rapport.