Whether you win by one point or 20 points, a win is a win. This is a crucial part of the season as the weeks are dwindling to gain ground in the postseason chase. Most trade deadlines have come and gone by now as well, so you really need to rely on the waiver wire and strong match-ups to win these next couple weeks.

Keep reading this article and you should be prepared for week 12 to stomp your opponent and emerge from your fantasy football battle victorious.

Fantasy Football Week 12 Starts, Sits, And Sleepers

Quarterbacks

Start – Matt Ryan vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneer

Who knows what happened after the bye week, but the Falcons are now one of the hottest teams in the league with an outside chance to make the playoffs. Coming into another divisional game, the Falcons will look to put up big numbers again and continue their winning streak.

Ryan will be at the forefront for their offensive output as they might be without Devonta Freeman for another week. In these two games after the bye week, Ryan has looked okay but he put a lot on his shoulders with the limited output from the running back position. Expect this game to be won through the air, as Ryan will need to lead this team to victory with the likes of Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley.

The Tampa Bay defense has not been stopping anyone as of late, especially through the air. In back to back games, the Buccaneers have allowed Kyler Murray and Drew Brees to shred them for three passing scores each. Ryan should have no trouble continuing that trend and should be a must-start this week. 

Another option to consider: Josh Allen vs. Denver Broncos

Sit – Jameis Winston vs. Atlanta Falcons

Quite the opposite of Ryan, Winston is on a downward trend the past couple weeks. In the past four weeks, Winston has thrown seven touchdowns to eight interceptions. Not only has Winston been on a slide, but the Atlanta defense has also really turned things up in recent weeks. They’ve only allowed 12 points total in the past two weeks and Winston should have trouble getting a rhythm going against them.

The Buccaneers do have Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, but they won’t be effective if Winston is not able to get passes off to them. The Falcons defense is generating a good pass rush lately, sacking the quarterback 11 times in the past two weeks. While there may be a chance for Winston to get garbage points, most likely the Falcons should contain him and his overall day will be poor. Keep Winston on your bench and roll with another option.

Another option to consider: Carson Wentz vs. Seattle Seahawks

*Sleeper Start* – Jeff Driskel vs. Washington Redskins

Yes, Driskel is listed in this article. If Matthew Stafford was playing in this game, he would have been a sure-fire starter. With Driskel, he is more of a sleeper play because of this match-up with the hapless Redskins. Driskel is coming off a stellar performance against the Dallas Cowboys. He was able to rack up 209 passing yards and three total touchdowns. It was a bit surprising, especially coming against a premier defense as the Cowboys have.

Now in a game on the road against the Redskins, Driskel should be brimming with confidence. The Redskins defense is middle of the road but they are also allowing the highest completion percentage in the league. Expect Driskel to come out ahead and lead his team to another victory and make it two victories in a row. 

Another option to consider: Mason Rudolph vs. Cincinnati Bengals

Running Backs

Start – Tevin Coleman vs. Green Bay Packers

No Matt Breida this week means we should see a heavy dose of Coleman against the Packers. While Coleman has not had a solid game since his outburst against the Panthers, this is a game where Coleman might be relied on more to get the offense going. Green Bay currently has allowed the ninth-most rushing yards total and eighth-most rushing yards per game. Expect Kyle Shanahan to utilize the running game to defeat the Packers and this means that Coleman should be featured in all fantasy starting rosters. Don’t be wary of his three weeks of average opponents, as Coleman will get going and turn in a solid game in primetime.

Another option to consider: Mark Ingram vs. Los Angeles Rams

Sit – Ezekiel Elliott vs. New England Patriots

It’s no secret that the Patriots have arguably the best defense in the league this season. With a team that has a well-balanced offense, like the Cowboys, this may seem like a match between an unstoppable force and an immovable object. To coin a common fantasy cliché, you always want to start your fantasy horses. In this case, you may want to keep this particular horse back in its stable.

While Elliott is one of the elite fantasy running backs in the league today, the Patriots run defense has been elite in its own right. They’re one of only 10 defenses that have allowed less than 100 yards rushing per game and they’re one of only eight that allowed less than 1,000 yards rushing total to this point in the season. Those are impressive numbers, to say the least. So while Elliott may be an RB1 in most cases, this match-up may be the exception to the rule. See if there are other options you can use this week and you could end up seeing better numbers as well.

Another option to consider: Aaron Jones vs. San Francisco 49ers

*Sleeper Start* – Kareem Hunt vs. Miami Dolphins

This one is purely on the fact that Hunt will find the endzone. Hunt has been good with the number of touches he’s been getting in his first two games of the 2019 season. With a matchup against the Dolphins though, he should get a lot more usage as head coach, Freddie Kitchens, may opt to see what sort of other packages he can use Hunt in. Also, there is the likelihood that the Browns put this game out of reach early. This could mean some garbage time for Hunt and that’s a great time to rack up some fantasy points. Both Nick Chubb and Hunt should do some damage against the Dolphins and this could be the perfect time as Cleveland tries to make a final push for a postseason spot in the AFC.

Another option to consider: Derrius Guice vs. Detroit Lions

Wide Receivers

Start – Jamison Crowder vs. Oakland Raiders

Crowder is getting into a groove as of late with Sam Darnold back in the lineup. In his past three games, Crowder totaled at least five receptions, 75 receiving yards, and one touchdown. This also led to him averaging 20 fantasy points per game in that same stretch. Coming into this game against the Oakland Raiders, expect Crowder to continue that trend and put up another solid game. Now the Raiders defense has started playing better and is playing with some swagger, but that has come against inferior opponents. While the Jets are not the definition of elite this year, the passing offense will do its job. Expect Darnold and Crowder to hook up a few times against Oakland and make for a good fantasy afternoon for all Crowder owners.

Another option to consider: Jarvis Landry vs. Miami Dolphins

Sit – John Brown vs. Denver Broncos

This seems a little counter-intuitive to start Josh Allen this week but sit Brown. The reason Brown has a poor week compared to Allen is the reason that Allen can get points on the ground and through the air. The Denver defense is currently ranked fourth-best in the league and this should eliminate any hope that Brown has a good game. Most likely Denver will be shadowing Brown with Chris Harris Jr. who can shut-down the best receivers in the game. So while Allen may be able to spread the ball to the other receivers, Brown may not be able to break out a big game and his chance of finding paydirt will be difficult. Keep Brown on the bench this week and maybe roll with his counterpart, Cole Beasley, instead.

Another option to consider: Michael Gallup vs. New England Patriots

*Sleeper Start* – Allen Robinson vs. New York Giants

The New York Giants are allowing the ninth-most passing yards this season. While the Chicago Bears have been struggling this year to put up points at all, expect this game to be a good bounce-back game for all Bears offensive players. Robinson has been one of the most targeted players in the league. The Bears know who will move the chains for their offense. Plus, they have no other options that are reliable at this time, like Robinson. Whether Mitchell Trubisky plays or whether they need to play Chase Daniel, the Bears should rely on Robinson in this offensive attack. If there is something the Giants are actually good at, it is stopping the run. They may not be the best at stopping the run, but this is a situation that the Bears may realize it would be better to beat them through the air. Expect Robinson to get a huge amount of targets and he should be started for the reasoning of volume.

Another option to consider: Deebo Samuel vs. Green Bay Packers

Tight Ends

Start – Ryan Griffin vs. Oakland Raiders

Chris Herndon may not play again this entire season. This may not be what a lot of fantasy owners wanted to hear, but this is great news for those that picked up Griffin. Griffin has steadily been a good option for Darnold and the passing offense. Last week against the Washington Redskins, Griffin went over the century mark in yards and also found the endzone once. Griffin is also one of Darnold’s safety nets and has helped the Jets offense in crucial situations. Playing against the Raiders, they have allowed the third-most points against all tight ends. This should be a great matchup for Griffin to continue racking up numbers. Great streaming option in the final bye week of the season. Also, with a weak position group, Griffin should finish as a top-five option this week.

Another option to consider: Ross Dwelley vs. Green Bay Packers

Sit – Jared Cook vs. Carolina Panthers

In a matchup against the Carolina Panthers, the New Orleans Saints may rely more on the running game instead of the air attack. The Panthers are currently allowing the seventh-most rushing yards in the NFL. Cook made an amazing touchdown grab against the Buccaneers last week. If he didn’t reel in that catch though, then Cook would have had a dud of a game.

While Cook is a good option in the passing offense, expect the run game to be the feature of this offense this week. Also, Michael Thomas is on pace to break the single-season reception record and this means fewer targets for Cook. This is not a week to start Cook, even with the tight end position being as weak as it is. If you can start someone else this week, please do. Cook will not be cooking anything this week.

Another option to consider: Jimmy Graham vs. San Francisco 49ers 

*Sleeper Start* – Noah Fant vs. Buffalo Bills

With the trade of Emmanuel Sanders and the loss of Joe Flacco, the passing offense was supposed to take a hit. Then Fant gets drawn into the picture. Brandon Allen has found his new favorite target in the passing offense. Fant has 14 targets in the two games that Allen has played in. This also led to him grabbing seven of those targets for 175 receiving yards and one score. Fant was a highly touted prospect coming out of the University of Iowa and he is finally coming into his own. This offense is jumping to another level now that they have a weapon on the outside still (Courtland Sutton) and Fant to take snaps at tight end. Fant should be a sneaky option this week, based on pure volume alone.

Another option to consider: Jacob Hollister vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Defense/Special Teams

Start – Cleveland Browns vs. Miami Dolphins

Yes, we all saw what happened between Myles Garrett and Mason Rudolph last week on Thursday night. What went under the radar is the fact that the Browns defense was able to stifle the Steelers and had a very good defensive performance. Now they play the Dolphins this week and all that momentum should carry over against the lowly Miami offense. Let’s not overcomplicate things or fall victims of analysis paralysis. Start the Browns, reap the points, gain another step closer to the fantasy playoffs.

Another option to consider: Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cincinnati Bengals

Sit – Dallas Cowboys vs. New England Patriots

This game should be low scoring, keyword should. With the Patriots though, you never can tell what will happen though. New England’s defense and special teams have been keeping them in games and in a few cases, winning them games. Even in a potentially low-scoring affair, expect the Patriots to be ready and prepared to attack the Cowboys defense. This means that there should be no turnovers generated and the offensive line will be blocking their butts off to give Tom Brady enough time to overcome the Dallas secondary.

If that doesn’t work, then New England will use a good rotation at running back to tire out the front seven, which will lead to Brady shredding the tired defense. In a game that is crucial for the Cowboys to stay ahead in the NFC East, they may need to rely more on their offense than their defense to shut down the Patriots. Stream another defense this week if you want to get more points at that position.

Another option to consider: Green Bay Packers vs. San Francisco 49ers

*Sleeper Start* – Atlanta Falcons vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

We kind of talked about this already in the quarterbacks to start or sit section, but this Atlanta defense is playing well since the bye week. In two weeks after that bye, they have registered 11 total sacks and four total interceptions. Also, they have allowed a combined 12 points and scored a total of 32 fantasy points in that same two weeks. This defense is showing real signs of life and the Buccaneers are not going to be stopping them this week. This should be a one-sided duel and the Falcons will be able to generate more pressure and force Winston to make mistakes. Mistakes that the Atlanta offense will take advantage of and really put this game away early. Snatch up the Falcons defense this week and you should be in for another fine performance from their unit.

Another option to consider: Seattle Seahawks vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Buffalo Bills Quarterback Josh Allen. Photo Credit: Erik Drost | Under Creative Commons License

Buffalo Bills Quarterback Josh Allen. Photo Credit: Erik Drost | Under Creative Commons License

Amar Desai

Author Amar Desai

Have been a sports fan my whole life and football has been my sport of choice. Growing up in the Bay Area (San Jose), I have been a San Francisco 49ers since day one. Avid fantasy football player and just love learning, reading, and talking about football.

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