For fantasy owners scrambling to clinch a playoff berth or stay alive in contention, it's a pivotal time with the postseason approaching. Without any byes, Week 12 will have several fringe players available to help boost your flex position.
It's a good week to trust two rookie running backs on Thanksgiving, which means an early jump in a matchup. In one case, the ball-carrier should receive 20-plus carries.
The Dallas Cowboys defense, without linebacker Sean Lee, will likely yield ample rushing and receiving yards to opposing running backs. Which unheralded name made the start 'em list among the rookie rushers?
There's one first-year tailback in a crowded backfield, who should remain on your bench. When it comes to playing teams with losing records this late in the season, always check out the matchups.
We'll go through the traps and unveil some potential start 'em treasures for Week 12.
1. RB, Samaje Perine, Washington Redskins vs. New York Giants
2. RB, Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers at Dallas Cowboys
3. WR, Danny Amendola, New England Patriots vs. Miami Dolphins
4. WR, Sammy Watkins, Los Angeles Rams vs. New Orleans Saints
5. TE, Ben Watson, Baltimore Ravens vs. Houston Texans
1. RB, Ameer Abdullah, Detroit Lions vs. Minnesota Vikings
2. RB, Alex Collins, Baltimore Ravens vs. Houston Texans
3. WR, Robby Anderson, New York Jets vs. Carolina Panthers
4. WR, Marquise Goodwin, San Francisco 49ers vs. Seattle Seahawks
5. TE, Charles Clay, Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs
Start 'Em: RB, Samaje Perine, Washington Redskins vs. New York Giants
After a slow start, rookie running back Samaje Perine gouged the New Orleans Saints' improved defense for 117 yards on 23 carries on Sunday. He also scored his first NFL touchdown.
The Washington Redskins needed a presence in the backfield to complement quarterback Kirk Cousins in the pocket. The running back stable lost Robert Kelley and Chris Thompson for the season due to injury, which leaves Perine in the featured position with a large workload.
Washington will host the New York Giants on Thanksgiving. Despite holding Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt to 73 rushing yards without a score, it's unlikely Big Blue repeats such a dominant performance in a short week.
Expect the Redskins passing attack to lead the offense into the red zone where Perine finishes at least one drive in the end zone. The Giants rank 30th in run defense.
Sit 'Em: RB, Alex Collins, Baltimore Ravens at Houston Texans
The Houston Texans can't stop a nosebleed with their pass defense. They've allowed 22 touchdowns through the air. On the other hand, the front seven has held three of the last four opponents to fewer than 100 rushing yards. As a whole, the group has surrendered just three scores on the ground through 10 games.
After exploding against the Miami Dolphins on Thursday Night Football in Week 8, running back Alex Collins hasn't eclipsed 50 rushing yards as the lead ball-carrier since that outing. Javorius Allen, Danny Woodhead and possibly Terrance West, who listed as a healthy scratch in Week 11, cloud the rookie's production forecast.
For owners who rushed to claim Collins off the waiver wire, it's best to leave him on your bench. He's facing a tough matchup that likely ends in a low score, and there's a crowd in the Baltimore Ravens backfield.
Start 'Em: WR, Sammy Watkins, Los Angeles Rams vs. New Orleans Saints
New Orleans gave up 322 passing yards to Cousins in Week 11. We could see the Saints secondary regress a bit due to injury.
Cornerback Marshon Lattimore left the previous contest with an ankle injury, while safety Kenny Vaccaro has missed the last two games with a groin ailment.
For the second time during the season, quarterback Jared Goff finished without throwing a touchdown pass in his previous outing facing the Minnesota Vikings' top-five defense. Nonetheless, he should bounce back against the Saints secondary that may take the field at far less than 100 percent.
Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay expects wideout Robert Woods to miss a "couple weeks" with a shoulder injury, per the team's official website. As a result, Goff's rebound performance should benefit wide receiver Sammy Watkins, who has scored in two of the last three games.
Watkins has only caught six passes over the past three contests, but Woods' injury should boost his target volume in a productive offense. Look for a deep shot downfield for a touchdown against the Saints.