Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 12: Smart Sleepers to Exploit and Lineup Advice

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IINovember 23, 2021

Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 12: Smart Sleepers to Exploit and Lineup Advice

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    With Thanksgiving this week, there will be six NFL teams in action on Thursday. With triple the number of players from a usual Thursday taking the field, the schedule will have a greater impact on your fantasy football lineups.

    Typically, there are only two teams in action to start the week, and there's a chance none of those players are even on your fantasy roster. But in Week 12, most managers will at least have a player or two taking part in a Thanksgiving matchup.

    So that means some lineup decisions will need to be made earlier this week. Are you thinking about whether you should start a player from one of those three games? Then you'll have to make sure they're in your lineup before Thursday's kickoffs. And you may not know whether you made the right choices until Sunday or Monday.

    Here's some early start/sit advice to help with those decisions for Week 12 matchups.

Start 'Em: Mac Jones, QB, New England Patriots

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    Brynn Anderson/Associated Press

    Mac Jones has led the Patriots to a five-game winning streak that has them in first place in the AFC East. And while he isn't putting up the flashiest numbers while doing so, he's a safe, high-floor fantasy option during weeks in which he has a favorable matchup.

    In Week 12, Jones and the Pats are hosting the Tennessee Titans, who are allowing the third-most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks, per Jones has only one multi-touchdown game over the past four weeks, but he could be in line for another against Tennessee.

    Jones is clearly getting more comfortable in New England's offense, as the rookie has completed more than 80 percent of his passes in each of the past two games. Expect another solid performance this week, one that will make him among the top QB streaming options to consider.

Sit 'Em: Myles Gaskin, RB, Miami Dolphins

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    Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

    It's been impossible to rely on Myles Gaskin as a fantasy starter every week in 2021. He's been too inconsistent, even as his workload has increased in recent weeks. He's had at least 15 touches in each of Miami's past five games after he reached that number only twice in its first six contests.

    Still, Gaskin has been held to 36 rushing yards or less three times over the past five games, and he's scored only three touchdowns (two of which have been receiving scores) during that span. He's worthy of starting when the Dolphins have a good matchup, but that isn't the case in Week 12.

    On Sunday, Miami is hosting the Carolina Panthers, who are allowing the third-fewest fantasy points per game to running backs, per Because of that, it's best for fantasy managers to bench Gaskin, who will likely have one of his quieter performances this week.

Start 'Em: Javonte Williams, RB, Denver Broncos

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Javonte Williams has flashed his potential throughout the 2021 season, but the rookie running back hasn't had a ton of big fantasy performances. He's scored only two touchdowns, and he's had more than 100 total yards in a game only once (Week 10 against the Dallas Cowboys).

    A major reason why Williams' fantasy numbers are down is because he splits the work out of Denver's backfield with Melvin Gordon III. But in Week 12, there's likely going to be enough touches to go around for both of them to be worthy of starting consideration for fantasy managers.

    The Broncos are hosting the Los Angeles Chargers, who are allowing an NFL-high 145.1 rushing yards per game. Plus, it could be a high-scoring affair. So Williams should be started this week, as he has a good chance to rack up some yards and potentially score his first touchdown since Week 7.

Sit 'Em: A.J. Brown, WR, Tennessee Titans

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    Wade Payne/Associated Press

    Since losing running back Derrick Henry to a broken foot, the Titans' offense has not been as dangerous. And even though Henry mostly contributed in the running game, Tennessee's passing attack has struggled amid his absence.

    It's greatly affected top wide receiver A.J. Brown, who has had 48 yards or less in each of the Titans' past three games and hasn't scored any touchdowns over that span. He can be one of the league's top receivers when Tennessee's offense is clicking, but that hasn't been the case of late.

    In Week 12, the Titans are going on the road to face the Patriots, who have one of the top defenses in the league. New England ranks sixth in the NFL in passing yards allowed per game (211.5), so it might be best to put Brown on your bench this week if you have other worthwhile options at wide receiver.