Heading into Week 12, fantasy owners have plenty of start/sit decisions. Injuries and bye weeks are still hanging around, making it tough for some owners to set a complete lineup. The waiver wire might be able to fill in some gaps, but at this point, fantasy owners need to take the data they have, the matchups they see, and any gut feeling they have. It’s not easy to make the right choices, and often a guy on your bench has more points than your starter, but that’s all part of the game. Try to put your best players out there and hope for the best.
Teams on bye: Arizona, Kansas City, Los Angeles Chargers, Minnesota
START These Quarterbacks
Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Bucs’ pass defense is one of the worst in the league. They allow the second-most fantasy points to quarterbacks. They have allowed 14 touchdown passes in the past four weeks (since their bye). Ryan is playing well and he’s looking for Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley. Austin Hooper is still out, but Ryan should still find success. He’s a QB1 for this matchup.
Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns vs. Miami Dolphins
The Browns face the Dolphins this week, and it may not be a pretty game, but there should be plenty of fantasy points for Mayfield. The Dolphins give up the fifth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks. They just surrendered three TD passes to Josh Allen last Sunday. Mayfield could use a strong performance so look for him to connect with Jarvis Landry for a touchdown and Odell Beckham Jr. for at least one big play. Mayfield is a high QB2 this week.
SIT These Quarterbacks
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers
Coming off the bye, the Packers will be on "Sunday Night Football" out on the West Coast to face the 49ers, who have been one of the toughest pass defenses in the league. When Rodgers has faced tough defenses this year, he hasn’t had his best games. However, he does usually do well in primetime. There is a possibility this game ends up being low-scoring, which will disappoint fantasy owners of the offensive players in these games. But those who own Rodgers have been warned. He's only a QB2 for this game.
Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills vs. Denver Broncos
Allen had a great game in Week 11, with 256 yards and three touchdowns. Unfortunately for Buffalo, their schedule gets tough, starting with Denver in Week 12 (Dallas, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, New England are the next four). While Kirk Cousins did well against the Broncos in Week 11, prior to that game, no quarterback had more than two touchdowns or more than 300 yards. Allen drops to a low QB2 this week.
START This Tight End
Ryan Griffin, New York Jets vs. Oakland Raiders
Following Week 1, in every game that Griffin has seen more than two targets, he’s done well. He's had four games in the past seven with more than two targets and in those, he has finished with either 50 yards or a touchdown (has a total of four in this span). The Raiders allow the third-most fantasy points to tight ends. Odds are the Jets know this and will get theirs the ball. Griffin is a borderline TE1 this week.
SIT This Tight End
Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Walker has been out since injuring his ankle in Week 7, but all signs point to him returning this week. While it seems like it may be time for Walker to take back his role and send Jonnu Smith to the bench, fantasy owners should proceed with caution. Neither tight end should be started in a tough matchup against the Jaguars, especially when it appears that both Walker and Smith will play. Walker may be rusty; he may be limited. Leave him on the bench this week.
START This Defense/Special Teams (DST)
Atlanta Falcons vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Falcons DST looked great in Week 11, shutting down the Panthers. They had five sacks and four interceptions of Kyle Allen. Allen has nine interceptions this year; Jameis Winston has double that, so the Falcons will get their chance at taking the ball from him this week. Winston has been a turnover machine with 11 fumbles (four lost) this season as well. At this point, any halfway decent DST facing him should be started as it’s almost a sure thing the unit will score some points.
SIT This Defense/Special Teams (DST)
Los Angeles Rams vs. Baltimore Ravens (Mon.)
The Rams DST is over 80 percent owned, but it will be a tough matchup for them against Baltimore this week. Lamar Jackson has proven to be matchup-proof and while the Rams may try to stop him, it’s going to be a tough task. This game is on Monday night, which sometimes creates higher-scoring contests as well. The Ravens don’t commit a lot of turnovers, so the Rams DST is not a recommended start this week.
— Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.