NFL Week 12: Fantasy Football Start/Sit List
It's Week 12 in the NFL and that means there are only two or three weeks left (depending on how your league works) before the playoffs start. It's crunch time and even the smallest move can make or break your entire fantasy football season.
Here are five players you should start and five players you should sit this week.
Share your thoughts below.
Start: Mike Goodson, RB Carolina Panthers
Goodson is coming off back-to-back 100-yard rushing games, first against Tampa Bay and then last week against Baltimore. That is something no other Panthers running back has done this season even once.
This week he faces the Cleveland Browns, 22nd in the NFL in rushing defense at 116.4 yards/game.
Jonathan Stewart should be back from injury this week to give Carolina a tandem of backs, but Goodson should get most of the carries. Another 100-yard performance is possible.
Sit: Fred Jackson, RB Buffalo Bills
Jackson is coming off two consecutive 100-yard performance, including 116 yards and a TD last week in a stomping against the Cincinnati Bengals. But this week he goes against the Pittsburgh Steelers and their No. 1 ranked rushing defense in the NFL.
The Steelers haven't given up 100 yards rushing to a team, let alone a player, all season. They only surrender 63 yards/game and it's a safe bet that the Bills are not going to be the team that breaks the trend.
Sit Jackson this week and then bring him back for next week against Minnesota.
Start: Matt Cassel, QB Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs play the abysmal Seattle passing defense this week (30th in the NFL—283.2 yards/game), and that's good news for Cassel.
Drew Brees unloaded for 382 yards against the Seahawks last week, and Cassel is a good bet to approach that figure. He had 469 yards against Denver a couple of weeks ago and is clicking with wide receiver Dwayne Bowe.
A couple of touchdowns and 300 yards passing would not be in the least surprising.
Sit: Jay Cutler, QB Chicago Bears
Cutler is a good quarterback when he has time to make smart decisions. His last three opponents (Buffalo, Minnesota and Miami) are all teams that didn't pressure the pocket and gave Cutler enough time to get rid of the ball. But the Philadelphia Eagles are not one of those tams.
The Eagles have one of the top ranked defenses in the league, 14th in pass defense and eighth in rush defense. They also have someone named Asante Samuel who feasts on indecisive quarterbacks.
Do yourself a favor and don't touch Cutler this week. No need to have those interceptions on your conscience.
Start: Mike Thomas, WR Jacksonville Jaguars
Michael Sims-Walker may still be injured and that means Thomas is No. 1 on the depth chart.
He has a touchdown in each of the past three games and is quarterback David Garrard's only legitimate target at this point.
The Jaguars play the New York Giants this week, who have a terrific passing defense (second in the NFL). But whatever throws Garrard does get off, the majority of them will be heading in Thomas' direction.
Sit: Brandon Marshall, WR Miami Dolphins
Marshall is doubtful for Miami's game against the Raiders because of a hamstring injury. But even if he did play, he wouldn't accumulate too many points.
Dolphins QB Tyler Thigpen has been atrocious and Chad Henne may not be much better if he returns this week.
Marshall, meanwhile, hasn't topped 100 yards receiving since Week 6. He'd have to go against Raiders stud cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, so no chance Marshall turns things around this week.
Start: Joel Dreessen, TE Houston Texans
Dreessen has filled in admirably for injured Texans tight end Owen Daniels, including tallying 106 yards and a score last week against the Jets. Even if Daniels is back, Dreessen should get some looks against the Tennessee Titans this week.
The Titans have given up over 100 yards receiving and a touchdown to opposing tight ends two weeks in a row, and Houston QB Matt Schaub will try to continue that trend.
Sit: Kellen Winslow, TE Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Winslow (436 yards, 1 touchdown) has done very little for the Bucs in 2010, and that's not likely to change this week against the Baltimore Ravens.
The Ravens have the 10th ranked passing defense in the NFL (210.0 yards/game) and are known for locking down opposing tight ends. Not a good sign if you're Winslow and need a boost to get going.
Don't let him go just yet, though. Tampa Bay has games coming up against Washington, Detroit and Seattle, all teams that struggle defensively against the pass. Sit Winslow now and save him for your playoff run.
Start: Defense, Oakland Raiders
Miami wasn't a strong offensive team even when Chad Henne and Brandon Marshall were healthy. They were shut out last week by the Chicago Bears and haven't topped 30 points all season. With both players possibly out on Sunday, odds point to Oakland's defense having a big day.
The Raiders are among the league leaders in sacks and Asomugha will be back, providing a further boost to a pass defense that already ranks third in the NFL.
Sit: Defense, Chicago Bears
The Bears have one of the best defenses in the NFL and have surrendered more than 20 points only once this season. But they've yet to play a team as offensively potent as the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Eagles are eighth in passing and third in rushing, despite playing without quarterback Mike Vick for three weeks earlier in the season.
Vick is back and so are all of his toys, including DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Jason Avant, LeSean McCoy and Brent Celek. The Eagles have scored 112 points in their last three games and are poised to punish the Bears defense. Stay away from Chicago this week.