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Fantasy Football Week 12 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em

Eric MackFantasy Football Lead WriterNovember 23, 2013

Fantasy Football Week 12 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em

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    Eli Manning hasn't been much of a fantasy help, but he faces a favorable matchup Sunday against Dallas.
    Eli Manning hasn't been much of a fantasy help, but he faces a favorable matchup Sunday against Dallas.Al Bello/Getty Images

    It is fantasy crunch time, so you have to ride your studs, even if they face a tough matchup or some freezing and windy weather as the days get shorter here down the stretch. The good news is the Week 12 schedule has given us some favorable matchups for those players on the fantasy fringe.

    Do you sit a stud in the cold and wind for one of these fringe guys we list as a "start" this week? It depends on the situation. Our weekly Saturday Start 'Em, Sit 'Em staple at Bleacher Report analyzes the matchups, starts and sits, and also gives you the rankings by position to compare all of your options.

    You have made it this far in your fantasy season; you owe it to yourself to keep grinding. This six-position slideshow will help you.

Quarterbacks: Monday Night Matchup a Perfect Time for Colin Kaepernick to Erupt

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    Start 'Em

    Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers

    This is a Jobu game—gratuitous Major League reference (link not safe for work, or children or people who don't like four-letter words)—for Kaepernick's fantasy owners. "If you no help me now, I say (blank) you Jobu, I do it myself." The Redskins are fourth-worst in fantasy against quarterbacks and seventh-worst against the pass. This Monday Night Football matchup lines up perfectly for patient fantasy owners to finally get a hallmark game out of Kaepernick.

     

    Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys vs. Eli Manning, New York Giants

    While we are wary of the wind and cold in New Jersey and Foxborough, Mass., this Sunday, you should not let the weather scare you off the quarterbacks in these two huge rivalry games. No one is truly considering sitting Peyton Manning or Tom Brady, but he or she might be leaning against Romo or Eli Manning. Those latter two tend to engage in late-game shootouts. Manning is a less certain option here, but he faces the worst pass defense in the NFL and a team that is dead last in fantasy against quarterbacks.

     

    Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals

    He is coming off one of his best games as a Cardinal, and he draws the Colts at home in a potential shootout against Andrew Luck. This game is in far more favorable conditions in Arizona too. Palmer has developed a rapport with Michael Floyd downfield, and Larry Fitzgerald is still a star. Expect 350 yards and two-plus touchdowns, especially if Luck and the Colts offense come to play on the road.

     

    Case Keenum, Houston Texans

    You can be a bit worried about Keenum's third-quarter benching last week, but the Texans' playoff hopes went down when Arian Foster (back) did, and they have to give Keenum a full evaluation before the offseason. The matchup against the Jags—third-worst against fantasy quarterbacks—is a favorable enough one to consider Keenum even in standard formats.

     

    Sit 'Em

    Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers

    Rivers has cooled off after his scorching first half of the season, and now he has to head to one of the toughest places to play this season: Kansas City. The Chiefs are in the top 10 of fantasy against quarterbacks and in the NFL against the pass—not to mention coming off a loss. This does not bode well for Rivers or his fantasy owners.

     

    Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers

    Big Ben has posted some huge weeks of late, but this doesn't appear to be a great one to expect big numbers. The Browns defense, particularly their secondary, is a lot better than anyone will give it credit for being. The Browns have Joe Haden to neutralize if not shut down Antonio Brown, and they are No. 4 against the pass. We just don't trust Jerricho Cotchery or Emmanuel Sanders enough to rank Big Ben as a start in either 12- or 14-team leagues below.

     

    Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins

    No one should be considering Tannehill in standard leagues at this point—not with the frustrations of his supporting cast and absences along the offensive line—but this is a matchup you should consider sitting Tannehill even in two-quarterback formats. The Panthers are No. 1 in fantasy against the position and No. 5 against the pass.

     

    Matt McGloin, Oakland Raiders

    You can like McGloin's story—Penn State walk-on and undrafted rookie free agent—or his future as much as the Raiders do, but you cannot like him in a matchup against the Titans defense, even at home. The Raiders' No. 1 receiver, Denarius Moore (shoulder), has been ruled out, and the Titans are No. 4 in fantasy against quarterbacks and No. 7 in the NFL against the pass. This will be a real test for the upstart McGloin.

    Week 12 Quarterbacks Rankings - Eric Mack
    RankQuarterbacksTeamOpponentECRvs. ECR
    1Drew BreesNOat Atl 2+1
    2Peyton ManningDenat NE1-1
    3Matthew StaffordDetvs. TB30
    4Tom BradyNEvs. Den40
    5Cam NewtonCarat Mia50
    6Tony RomoDalat NYG 60
    7Colin Kaepernick SFat Was8+1
    8Andrew LuckIndat Ari7-1
    9Robert GriffinWasvs. SF10+1
    10Eli ManningNYGvs. Dal12+2
    11Matt RyanAtlvs. NO14+3
    12Carson PalmerArivs. Ind19+7
    13Case Keenum Houvs. Jac 9-4
    14Alex SmithKCvs. SD15+1
    15Ben RoethlisbergerPitat Cle 11-4
    16Josh McCown Chiat StL 160
    17Philip RiversSDat KC18+1
    18Ryan FitzpatrickTenat Oak21+3
    19Scott Tolzien GBvs. Min17-2
    20Joe Flacco Balvs. NYJ 200
    21Mike Glennon TBat Det 13-8
    22Matt McGloin Oakvs. Ten24+2
    23Kellen ClemensStLvs. Chi27+4
    24Ryan Tannehill Miavs. Car25+1
    25Geno SmithNYJat Bal 28+3
    26Chad Henne Jacat Hou 260
    27Christian PonderMinat GB23-4
    28Jason CampbellClevs. Pit22-6
    Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR) from over 100 experts provided by FantasyPros

Running Backs: A Number of Favorable Matchups Line Up Our Options Nicely

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    Start 'Em

    Andre Brown, New York Giants

    Not only are freezing and windy conditions forecast for East Rutherford, N.J., on Sunday afternoon, but the Dallas defense is dead last in fantasy against running backs. The Cowboys have given up the fourth-most rushing yards too. Brown should have a busy and productive day in a must-win game for the Giants, even if Brandon Jacobs might steal some carries in short yardage.

     

    Zac Stacy, St. Louis Rams

    You can question the Rams offense because of Kellen Clemens, but you cannot question the viability of Stacy any longer. He has put together a strong six-game stretch since being officially let loose by the Rams, and now he draws the Bears run defense, which is 31st in the NFL. Stacy is a must-start in all leagues, particularly at home in this great matchup.

     

    Ben Tate, Houston Texans

    Tate is coming off 100-plus combined yards and has taken over as the Texans' feature back with Arian Foster (back) now out for the season. Tate is a bit banged up, but the matchup against the Jaguars is just too good to ignore, especially at home. The Jags are dead last against the run and eighth-worst against running backs in fantasy. Expect 100-plus yards and at least one touchdown here.

     

    Rashad Jennings, Oakland Raiders

    Jennings is on a roll that is potentially earning him playing time over Darren McFadden (hamstring), even when the contract-year veteran returns from injury. Jennings has topped 100 combined yards in three consecutive games and topped out with 150 yards and a touchdown last week. He shouldn't get much resistance from a Titans defense that is fifth-worst against fantasy running backs this season.

     

    DeAngelo Williams, Carolina Panthers

    We should probably add Jonathan Stewart and Mike Tolbert to the starts too. Yes, the Panthers running game is a three-headed monster—Williams starts and gets the majority of touches, while Tolbert gets the goal-line touchdowns—but the matchup against the Dolphins is favorable enough to consider all three. The Dolphins are fourth-worst against fantasy running backs and eighth-worst against the run.

     

    Sit 'Em

    Trent Richardson, Indianapolis Colts

    There are just too many reasons to be wary of Richardson in any lineups now. First, he has a calf injury that limited him in practice. Second, Donald Brown has stolen his thunder in the passing game and is making plays in the open field. Brown is the better play of the two, but neither is overly favorable in a matchup at Arizona. The Cardinals are No. 1 against fantasy running backs and No. 2 against the run.

     

    Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas, Miami Dolphins

    Ignore the struggles and timeshare of these backs; the Dolphins offensive line is a mess right now. Walkoffs, suspensions and injury have decimated it. Also, Thomas has been getting more carries than Miller of late. Topping all the issues off is a matchup against the Panthers defense, which is No. 3 in the NFL against the run and No. 7 against fantasy backs. Yuck!

     

    Rashard Mendenhall, Arizona Cardinals

    Andre Ellington justifiably gets all the love among the Cards backs, but Mendenhall has been getting enough fantasy points because of touchdowns to be a fringe starter in leagues too. The matchup against the Colts seems favorable because they are fifth-worst against the run, allowing 126.1 yards per game, but Indy is still hovering around the top 10 of fantasy against running backs. This is not quite a matchup good enough to like Mendenhall to reach the end zone.

     

    Bernard Pierce, Baltimore Ravens

    Not only was Pierce ineffective against the Bears last week, but Ray Rice took off—finally—and a matchup against the No. 1 run defense in the NFL looms this week versus the Jets. You can push the dirt over Pierce's fantasy value right now and don't bother owning him, much less consider starting him against the No. 2 team in fantasy against backs.

     

    Ryan Mathews, San Diego Chargers

    This is a fringe sit because you might not be able to afford sitting a back who has been solid for over a month, rushing for 100-plus yards in three of five games and scoring a touchdown in another. Mathews is just outside of our top 25 fantasy options this week against a Chiefs defense that has been fifth-best against fantasy backs. Only the Bucs (two), Bengals (two) and Ravens (one) have allowed fewer rushing touchdowns than the Chiefs (three) to running backs.

    Week 12 Running Backs Rankings - Eric Mack
    RankRunning BacksTeamOpponentECRvs. ECR
    1Matt ForteChiat StL 10
    2Jamaal CharlesKCvs. SD20
    3Adrian PetersonMinat GB30
    4 Zac StacyStLvs. Chi40
    5 Knowshon MorenoDenat NE9+4
    6Eddie LacyGBvs. Min60
    7Andre BrownNYGvs. Dal70
    8Frank GoreSFat Was5-3
    9Reggie BushDetvs. TB10+1
    10Chris JohnsonTenat Oak13+3
    11DeMarco MurrayDalat NYG 16+5
    12 Le'Veon BellPitat Cle 14+2
    13Alfred MorrisWasvs. SF11-2
    14Ray RiceBalvs. NYJ 21+7
    15Ben TateHouvs. Jac 8-7
    16 Rashad JenningsOakvs. Ten12-4
    17Maurice Jones-DrewJacat Hou 18+1
    18Steven JacksonAtlvs. NO26+8
    19Stevan RidleyNEvs. Den17-2
    20Shane Vereen NEvs. Den200
    21Bobby Rainey TBat Det 19-2
    22Pierre ThomasNOat Atl 15-7
    23Andre EllingtonArivs. Ind25+2
    24Chris IvoryNYJat Bal 23-1
    25Danny Woodhead SDat KC24-1
    26Ryan MathewsSDat KC22-4
    27Darren SprolesNOat Atl 38+11
    28Donald BrownIndat Ari280
    29DeAngelo WilliamsCarat Mia290
    30Montee BallDenat NE36+6
    31Lamar MillerMiavs. Car33+2
    32Rashard MendenhallArivs. Ind30-2
    33Chris Ogbonnaya Clevs. Pit27-6
    34Jonathan StewartCarat Mia35+1
    35Mike Tolbert Carat Mia39+4
    36 Jacquizz RodgersAtlvs. NO40+4
    37Mark IngramNOat Atl 31-6
    38Trent RichardsonIndat Ari34-4
    39 Joique BellDetvs. TB32-7
    40Kendall HunterSFat Was49+9
    41Daniel ThomasMiavs. Car410
    42James StarksGBvs. Min51+9
    43Michael BushChiat StL 63+20
    44Dennis JohnsonHouvs. Jac 55+11
    45Brian LeonardTBat Det 37-8
    46 Fozzy WhittakerClevs. Pit52+6
    47 Bilal PowellNYJat Bal 43-4
    48Willis McGaheeClevs. Pit45-3
    49 Shonn GreeneTenat Oak42-7
    50Roy Helu Wasvs. SF47-3
    51Bernard PierceBalvs. NYJ 48-3
    52Daryl RichardsonStLvs. Chi59+7
    53Peyton Hillis NYGvs. Dal56+3
    54Brandon JacobsNYGvs. Dal44-10
    55 Denard RobinsonJacat Hou 85+30
    56Anthony DixonSFat Was88+32
    57Jason Snelling Atlvs. NO73+16
    58Ronnie BrownSDat KC77+19
    59Jonathan Dwyer Pitat Cle 64+5
    60 LeGarrette Blount NEvs. Den54-6
    61Toby Gerhart Minat GB53-8
    62 Knile DavisKCvs. SD65+3
    63Joseph RandleDalat NYG 72+9
    64 LaMichael JamesSFat Was68+4
    65Benny CunninghamStLvs. Chi62-3
    66Felix JonesPitat Cle 70+4
    Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR) from over 100 experts provided by FantasyPros

Wide Receivers: No Shortage of Solid Fantasy Options Due to Matchups Here Either

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    Start 'Em

    Jordy Nelson, James Jones and Jarrett Boykin, Green Bay Packers

    You can stress about the prospect of Scott Tolzien getting another start for the Packers in place of Aaron Rodgers (shoulder), but you can relieve some of that with the quality of matchup these receivers are facing this week. The Vikings are fourth-worst against the pass and sixth-worst in fantasy against wide receivers. With a Thanksgiving Day game looming, expect the Packers to save the running game at least a little and work on lower-impact touches in the passing game against the woeful Vikings defense.

     

    Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    After a couple of lean weeks against good secondaries, Jackson went off for season highs 10 catches and 165 yards against the Falcons in Week 11. His matchup this week is even more favorable against the Lions, who have been second-worst in fantasy against wide receivers and third-worst against the pass. Jackson is a must-start here.

     

    Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks and Rueben Randle, New York Giants

    We cannot seem to get away from advising you to use this trio in fantasy despite Eli Manning's lack of consistent pass protection or production. The Cowboys are dead last in the NFL against the pass and eighth-worst in fantasy against wide receivers. You should be a bit worried about the windy forecast, but each of these receivers can reach the end zone in a must-win home game for the Giants.

     

    Kendall Wright, Tennessee Titans

    There is no longer any question as to who the Titans view as their No. 1 wide receiver, regardless who is taking snaps from under center. Wright has just one touchdown reception and no 100-yard games, but he has been a high-volume receiver in terms of targets every week of the season. He has averaged six catches for 66 yards a game this season, and the Raiders are fifth-worst in fantasy against wide receivers. We say Wright cracks 10 catches for 100 yards and a touchdown finally.

     

    Anquan Boldin, San Francisco 49ers

    The 33-year-old vet has been consistent this season, and Colin Kaepernick has struggled, but Boldin is coming off a solid week against a good Saints secondary. His matchup this week against the Redskins on Monday night is arguably his most favorable one of the season now too. Washington is seventh-worst against the pass and against fantasy wide receivers.

     

    Sit 'Em

    Rishard Matthews, Mike Wallace and Brian Hartline, Miami Dolphins

    Not only has Wallace failed to distinguish himself with Ryan Tannehill in a struggling Dolphins offense getting no help from its patchwork offensive line, but these three have proven to be interchangeable parts week to week. They are bad options in fantasy against the Panthers defense that is No. 5 against the pass and No. 2 against fantasy wideouts.

     

    Cecil Shorts, Jacksonville Jaguars

    He was supposed to take off when Justin Blackmon was suspended indefinitely by the NFL (at least for the rest of the season). Instead, Shorts is making headlines only because he is complaining about his lack of involvement in the offense. Don't expect him to get healthy against the Texans this week, no matter how much they have struggled this season. The Texans are still No. 1 in the NFL against the pass, believe it or not, and fifth-best against fantasy wideouts.

     

    Rod Streater, Jacoby Ford and Brice Butler, Oakland Raiders

    Don't fall in love with Matt McGloin just yet. Even though McGloin is coming off an eye-opening debut, his second game will come with Denarius Moore (shoulder) ruled out. This would seemingly make Streater, a fantasy gem a week ago, a potential start this week, right? Nope. The Titans are No. 1 in fantasy against wide receivers and No. 7 against the pass. All of the Raiders receivers are too difficult to trust this week, even with Moore out.

     

    Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers

    Although we list Brown as the No. 16 wide receiver this week, there is some justification to sit this every-week fantasy play. The Browns' shutdown cornerback, Joe Haden, is on the schedule this week. Cleveland is fourth-best against the pass and sixth-best against fantasy wideouts—mostly because of Haden's one-on-one skills.

    Haden held A.J. Green to two catches for seven yards last week and previously shut down Calvin Johnson (three catches for 25 yards) and Stevie Johnson (two catches for 19). Sit Brown if you have a viable alternative in a more favorable matchup.

     

    Keenan Allen, San Diego Chargers

    Not only has Allen's production waned in the past two games—seven catches for 86 yards combined—but the Chiefs are next up on the schedule. They boast a top-10 pass defense, and Philip Rivers has other options to go to if Allen draws the attention of the Chiefs defense like we would expect. You likely have a better alternative to start in a crucial week such as this one.

    Week 12 Wide Receivers Rankings - Eric Mack
    RankWide ReceiversTeamOpponentECRvs. ECR
    1Calvin JohnsonDetvs. TB10
    2Andre JohnsonHouvs. Jac 20
    3Dez BryantDalat NYG 5+2
    4Brandon MarshallChiat StL 6+2
    5Demaryius ThomasDenat NE4-1
    6Wes WelkerDenat NE9+3
    7Vincent JacksonTBat Det 3-4
    8Victor CruzNYGvs. Dal7-1
    9 Jordy NelsonGBvs. Min8-1
    10Larry FitzgeraldArivs. Ind17+7
    11Eric DeckerDenat NE15+4
    12 Alshon JefferyChiat StL 11-1
    13Josh GordonClevs. Pit10-3
    14T.Y. HiltonIndat Ari16+2
    15Pierre GarconWasvs. SF12-3
    16Antonio BrownPitat Cle 14-2
    17Roddy WhiteAtlvs. NO31+14
    18Marques ColstonNOat Atl 180
    19Torrey SmithBalvs. NYJ 13-6
    20James JonesGBvs. Min33+13
    21Hakeem NicksNYGvs. Dal23+2
    22Steve SmithCarat Mia28+6
    23Kendall WrightTenat Oak20-3
    24Danny Amendola NEvs. Den19-5
    25Anquan BoldinSFat Was26+1
    26Jarrett Boykin GBvs. Min22-4
    27Michael FloydArivs. Ind24-3
    28Keenan AllenSDat KC21-7
    29 Rueben RandleNYGvs. Dal32+3
    30Aaron Dobson NEvs. Den27-3
    31Dwayne BoweKCvs. SD30-1
    32 DeAndre HopkinsHouvs. Jac 37+5
    33Emmanuel SandersPitat Cle 35+2
    34Cecil ShortsJacat Hou 29-5
    35Harry DouglasAtlvs. NO25-10
    36Tavon AustinStLvs. Chi51+15
    37 Rishard MatthewsMiavs. Car42+5
    38Mike WallaceMiavs. Car34-4
    39Rod Streater Oakvs. Ten44+5
    40Greg JenningsMinat GB50+10
    41Jerricho CotcheryPitat Cle 43+2
    42Miles AustinDalat NYG 49+7
    43Dexter McCluster KCvs. SD57+14
    44Kenny StillsNOat Atl 41-3
    45Brandon LaFell Carat Mia39-6
    46Santonio HolmesNYJat Bal 40-6
    47Brian HartlineMiavs. Car38-9
    48Marlon BrownBalvs. NYJ 46-2
    49Ted GinnCarat Mia64+15
    50Mario Manningham SFat Was62+12
    51Donnie AveryKCvs. SD58+7
    52Kris DurhamDetvs. TB45-7
    53Terrance WilliamsDalat NYG 36-17
    54Nate WashingtonTenat Oak540
    55Chris GivensStLvs. Chi53-2
    56Eddie RoyalSDat KC60+4
    57Jacoby JonesBalvs. NYJ 72+15
    58Lance MooreNOat Atl 52-6
    59 Darrius Heyward-BeyIndat Ari77+18
    60Greg LittleClevs. Pit68+8
    61Julian Edelman NEvs. Den610
    62Andre RobertsArivs. Ind76+14
    63David NelsonNYJat Bal 74+11
    64 Cordarrelle PattersonMinat GB55-9
    65 Davone BessClevs. Pit75+10
    66 Tiquan UnderwoodTBat Det 56-10
    67Mike BrownJacat Hou 670
    68Vincent BrownSDat KC70+2
    69Stephen HillNYJat Bal 80+11
    70Justin HunterTenat Oak59-11
    71Markus Wheaton Pitat Cle 91+20
    72Austin Pettis StLvs. Chi71-1
    73Jerome SimpsonMinat GB83+10
    74 Jarius WrightMinat GB63-11
    75Ace SandersJacat Hou 65-10
    76 Lavon Brazill Indat Ari85+9
    77Santana MossWasvs. SF79+2
    78Robert MeachemNOat Atl 69-9
    79Earl BennettChiat StL 101+22
    80Cole BeasleyDalat NYG 92+12
    81Brian QuickStLvs. Chi96+15
    82Jacoby FordOakvs. Ten105+23
    Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR) from over 100 experts provided by FantasyPros

Tight Ends: If You Don't Have Rob Gronkowski, We Have Some Sleepers for You

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    Start 'Em

    Coby Fleener, Indianapolis Colts

    Fleener is coming off his best game yet (eight catches for 107 yards), and he has emerged as Andrew Luck's go-to receiver in Pep Hamilton's offense. Perhaps the best reason to consider Fleener among the must-start fantasy options this week is the Cardinals are dead last in fantasy against tight ends, allowing nine touchdowns this season. If Luck gets the ball into the end zone against the Cardinals, expect it to be with Fleener on the other end of it.

     

    Garrett Graham, Houston Texans

    Graham led the position in Week 11 with 136 yards and has finally looked like a sure-fire fantasy option we thought he would be with Owen Daniels (leg) out. The best news for his fantasy owners is a tasty matchup looming with the Jaguars, who have allowed the second-most points in fantasy to tight ends. Graham is a viable start in all leagues this week.

     

    Rob Housler, Arizona Cardinals

    Housler is also coming off a season-high in receiving yards, and he has given a rising Carson Palmer a third option down the seam with Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd working the outside. The Colts are a top-10 team in fantasy against tight ends, allowing just two touchdowns to them all season, but they are coming off a game against the Titans that made Delanie Walker look like Vernon Davis. Housler is a nice sleeper play.

     

    Sit 'Em

    Jordan Reed, Washington Redskins

    He has not passed his concussion test, according to ESPN's John Keim, which will put his Monday night status in severe doubt—if he is not ruled out before Sunday's lineup deadlines. You should find a replacement for him now. Don't make it Fred Davis, though. The 49ers are fourth-best in fantasy against tight ends.

     

    Martellus Bennett, Chicago Bears

    He has been far less of a sure thing with Josh McCown under center for the Bears, so we leave him out of the starters in standard 10- and 12-team leagues. It also does not help that the Bears are facing a Rams defense that has been third-best in fantasy against tight ends.

     

    Tim Wright, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    Not only has his upstart rookie season dwindled in the past two games—two catches for 32 yards combined—but the Bucs also face a Lions defense that has allowed just one touchdown reception to a tight end this season (Tyler Eifert in Week 7). There might be some catches and yards for Wright, but he is out of the group we rank as viable starts in standard leagues below.

    Week 12 Tight Ends Rankings - Eric Mack
    RankTight EndsTeamOpponentECRvs. ECR
    1Jimmy GrahamNOat Atl 2+1
    2Rob GronkowskiNEvs. Den1-1
    3Jason WittenDalat NYG 5+2
    4Vernon DavisSFat Was3-1
    5 Coby Fleener Indat Ari6+1
    6Julius ThomasDenat NE4-2
    7Greg OlsenCarat Mia9+2
    8Antonio GatesSDat KC7-1
    9Tony GonzalezAtlvs. NO8-1
    10Jordan CameronClevs. Pit12+2
    11Garrett GrahamHouvs. Jac 110
    12 Delanie WalkerTenat Oak10-2
    13Rob Housler Arivs. Ind18+5
    14Jordan ReedWasvs. SF13-1
    15 Martellus BennettChiat StL 150
    16Heath MillerPitat Cle 14-2
    17Charles ClayMiavs. Car16-1
    18John CarlsonMinat GB17-1
    19Tim WrightTBat Det 190
    20Jared CookStLvs. Chi200
    21Brandon MyersNYGvs. Dal29+8
    22Anthony FasanoKCvs. SD32+10
    23Kellen WinslowNYJat Bal 34+11
    24Brandon Pettigrew Detvs. TB26+2
    25 Marcedes LewisJacat Hou 31+6
    26Joseph Fauria Detvs. TB36+10
    27Jeff CumberlandNYJat Bal 24-3
    28Dallas ClarkBalvs. NYJ 21-7
    29Lance KendricksStLvs. Chi35+6
    30Andrew Quarless GBvs. Min28-2
    Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR) from over 100 experts provided by FantasyPros

Defense/Special Teams: Push the Carolina Panthers Up to the Top of the Heap

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    Start 'Em

    Carolina Panthers

    This is a pretty obvious one with the way the Panthers have been playing and how much the Dolphins offensive line is in disarray. We feel obligated to list the Panthers as the No. 1 unit on the board this week.

     

    Baltimore Ravens

    The Jets looked like trash last week in Buffalo, and they go on the road to a much tougher place to play, Baltimore. The Ravens play good enough defense to exploit the third-worst team in fantasy against defense/special teams.

     

    Houston Texans

    A miserable season sent the Texans kicker to the waiver wire in most leagues, but a home matchup against the Jags gives them one final shot at fantasy viability. Expect J.J. Watt and Co. to finally put a full game together against the fourth-worst team in fantasy against opposing defenses.

     

    Green Bay Packers

    The Packers defense shouldn't excite anyone as much as the prospect of facing the error-prone Christian Ponder in the great outdoors. The Packers are going to play a lot closer to the vest this week, which should put their defense in less compromising positions. The Vikings are sixth-worst in fantasy against defenses too.

     

    Sit 'Em

    New England Patriots

    Coming off a short week after Monday night's road loss in Carolina, the Pats have the daunting task of facing Peyton Manning. Even if the Pats are at home and potentially playing in freezing and windy conditions, the Pats defense is too far down the fantasy pecking order to consider keeping active here.

     

    New York Giants

    They have played much better in their four-game winning streak, if only because Eli Manning hasn't been throwing out pick-sixes like Halloween candy. The Cowboys are also the No. 1 team in fantasy against defenses, so avoid the Giants unit in all leagues this week.

     

    San Diego Chargers

    They were a sleeper unit because of defensive and special teams touchdowns last season, but those haven't come as easily this year. Also, a matchup in Kansas City might be the worst in fantasy. The Chiefs are third-best against fantasy units to date. Don't bother owning the Chargers, much less starting them.

    Week 12 Defenses and Special Teams Rankings - Eric Mack
    RankDefenses and Special TeamsTeamOpponentECRvs. ECR
    1Carolina PanthersCarat Mia10
    2Kansas City ChiefsKCvs. SD3+1
    3Baltimore RavensBalvs. NYJ 2-1
    4San Francisco 49ersSFat Was5+1
    5Houston TexansHouvs. Jac 4-1
    6St. Louis RamsStLvs. Chi15+9
    7Detroit LionsDetvs. TB16+9
    8Dallas CowboysDalat NYG 13+5
    9Green Bay PackersGBvs. Min12+3
    10Tennessee TitansTenat Oak6-4
    11New Orleans SaintsNOat Atl 7-4
    12Pittsburgh SteelersPitat Cle 18+6
    13Chicago BearsChiat StL 10-3
    14Denver BroncosDenat NE17+3
    15Indianapolis ColtsIndat Ari11-4
    16Cleveland BrownsClevs. Pit8-8
    17Miami DolphinsMiavs. Car19+2
    18New York JetsNYJat Bal 14-4
    19Arizona CardinalsArivs. Ind9-10
    20Washington RedskinsWasvs. SF21+1
    Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR) from over 100 experts provided by FantasyPros

Kickers: Nick Folk, Dan Bailey and Ryan Succop Should Be Regular Fantasy Starts

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    The Jets' Nick Folk is coming off a bad week, but we expect him to rebound in Baltimore on Sunday.
    The Jets' Nick Folk is coming off a bad week, but we expect him to rebound in Baltimore on Sunday.Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

    Start 'Em

    Nick Folk, New York Jets

    He came off his bye and didn't muster much in Buffalo, but the Ravens have allowed the most field-goal attempts and the third-most points in fantasy against kickers. Folk is back among the top-12 options here.

     

    Dan Bailey, Dallas Cowboys

    He has been a bit inconsistent, but he is off his bye and facing a Giants team that has given up 25.6 points per game. Regardless of the weather conditions in New Jersey on Sunday, you have to expect a lot of points on the board between the Cowboys and Giants. Consider Bailey a set-it-and-forget-it option among fantasy kickers the rest of the way.

     

    Ryan Succop, Kansas City Chiefs

    You have to like the Chiefs returning home, coming off a loss and facing the Chargers in a division game. This should be enough to keep Succop among the must-start kickers in fantasy.

     

    Sit 'Em

    Kai Forbath, Washington Redskins

    We understand the allure of having a Monday night kicker to root for some late fantasy points, but the prospect of Forbath facing the 49ers is not favorable. San Francisco has given up the fewest points to fantasy kickers this season.

     

    Nick Novak, San Diego Chargers

    He had his moments early in the season, but Philip Rivers and the Chargers offense have cooled off. Don't dare trust the Chargers at Kansas City, especially with the Chiefs coming off a loss. Kansas City has been the second-toughest matchup for fantasy kickers this season too.

     

    Caleb Sturgis, Miami Dolphins

    We have to change our tune on this rookie kicker. Despite a strong leg, he has had some struggles, and the Dolphins are a mess right now. A home matchup facing a team on a short week usually sets up nicely, but not when that opponent is the steamrolling Carolina Panthers. Sturgis is no longer among the must-have fantasy kickers, much less a viable starting option.

    Week 12 Kickers Rankings - Eric Mack
    RankKickersTeamOpponentECRvs. ECR
    1Stephen GostkowskiNEvs. Den2+1
    2Matt PraterDenat NE3+1
    3Garrett HartleyNOat Atl 1-2
    4Mason CrosbyGBvs. Min7+3
    5Justin TuckerBalvs. NYJ 50
    6Ryan Succop KCvs. SD9+3
    7Dan BaileyDalat NYG 4-3
    8Phil DawsonSFat Was11+3
    9Nick FolkNYJat Bal 16+7
    10David AkersDetvs. TB6-4
    11Blair WalshMinat GB23+12
    12Matt BryantAtlvs. NO10-2
    13Nick Novak SDat KC19+6
    14Greg Zuerlein StLvs. Chi21+7
    15Adam VinatieriIndat Ari8-7
    16Shaun Suisham Pitat Cle 17+1
    17Jay FeelyArivs. Ind20+3
    18Josh BrownNYGvs. Dal14-4
    19Caleb Sturgis Miavs. Car28+9
    20Kai Forbath Wasvs. SF15-5
    Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR) from over 100 experts provided by FantasyPros

     

     

    Eric Mack, one of the giants among fantasy writers, is the Fantasy Football Lead Writer for Bleacher Report this season. Follow him on Twitter, where you can ask him endless questions about your team, rip him for his content and even challenge him to a head-to-head fantasy game. You can also listen to him on his podcast that he deprecatingly dubbed the Fantasy FatCast.

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