Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 12: Sticking with the stars pays off

Here's who you should start this week

James Rapien
November 21, 2019 - 1:00 am
Sep 29, 2019; Baltimore, MD, USA; Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham (13) runs with the ball in the forth quarter in a football game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitchell Layton-USA TODAY Sports

Mitchell Layton-USA TODAY Sports


CLEVELAND, OH – The fantasy playoffs are just a few weeks away, which means every matchup is pivotal for the rest of the season. The Chiefs, Cardinals, Chargers and Vikings have a bye this week.

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Here are the players you should start in Week 12:

Start 'Em

Odell Beckham Jr. – Beckham has been a disappointment for most of the season. He’s only topped 75 yards three times and has one touchdown on the year. The Browns’ offense has been just as disappointing, but they’ve shown signs of life and are going up against a weak Dolphins’ secondary. Beckham has 22 targets in the past two games, which means this could be the week he blows up and delivers after a season of disappointment.

Baker Mayfield – Mayfield has been an even bigger disappointment than Beckham. He’s finished with 20 or more fantasy points just twice this season. He has an easier schedule down the stretch and is a nice bye week fill-in for Patrick Mahomes owners. The Dolphins are allowing the 5th most points to opposing quarterbacks this season. Mayfield is a QB1 this week.

Tyrell Williams – Williams caught all four of his targets for 82 yards last week and has an amazing matchup against an awful Jets defense in Week 12. New York has given up the 2nd most fantasy points to wide receivers this season. Williams is a WR2 with upside. Teammate Hunter Renfrow is worth a look in deeper PPR leagues.

Matt Ryan – Much like Drew Brees last week, Ryan is poised for a big game against Tampa Bay. He hasn’t topped 20 fantasy points since Week 6, but the Bucs’ awful secondary should help Ryan get back on track. Tampa Bay has allowed the 2nd most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season. Ryan is a QB1 in all formats.

Sit 'Em

Amari Cooper – It’s hard to sit Cooper in season long leagues, but this is a rough matchup for the Cowboys’ star wide receiver. He’s battled knee and ankle injuries. Cooper will also have to deal with Patriots’ corner Stephon Gilmore, who’s arguably the best defensive back in the NFL. Only two receivers have scored double digits (standard leagues) against New England this season. Cooper is more of a WR3 this week and should be avoided in daily leagues.

Brian Hill – Tampa Bay may struggle against the pass, but they’re equally as good at stopping the run. The Bucs haven’t allowed a rushing touchdown to a running back since Week 6. Even if Hill starts again in place of Devonta Freeman, he shouldn’t be trusted. He’s a flex option at best this week.

Cooper Kupp and Brandin Cooks – The Rams’ offense has struggled in recent weeks and it won’t get any easier with a matchup against the Ravens. Kupp has been a disappointment with Cooks out with a concussion. The Rams’ speedster will return this week, but that doesn’t mean you should expect either player to have a big game. Baltimore has allowed just two touchdowns to wide receivers in their last five games. Cooks hasn’t scored a touchdown since Week 2. It’s hard to sit Kupp, but temper your expectations if you have to start him or Cooks this week.

Mohamed Sanu – Sanu didn’t practice on Wednesday after suffering an ankle injury in the Patriots’ win over the Eagles. Even if the veteran is able to suit up this week, his upside is limited against a Cowboys’ defense that has allowed only one 100-yard game to a wide receiver this season.


Jaylen Samuels – Samuels has RB1 potential this week against the Bengals if James Conner (shoulder) is unable to play. He finished 83 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown in the Steelers’ first matchup with Cincinnati. The Bengals have allowed a running back to score or gain at least 120 total yards in all 10 of their games. Samuels should be owned in all leagues and is a plug-and-play RB1 if Conner is out.

Kareem Hunt – Hunt is a great RB3 in PPR leagues this week. Nick Chubb is obviously the bell-cow back in Cleveland and a must-start in all formats, but the Browns have used Hunt enough to warrant lineup consideration. He has 13 receptions (17 targets) in two games with Cleveland. Hunt is a playmaker that should thrive against a Dolphins defense that has allowed the 8th most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season.

James Washington – The second-year wide receiver should have a big role for Pittsburgh this week with JuJu Smith-Schuster likely out and Diontae Johnson questionable. Washington has a good rapport with Mason Rudolph going back to his college days. He’s a sneaky flex option in all leagues and worth a look in daily games.

Derrius Guice – Guice flashed his potential last week with a 45-yard touchdown reception. He’ll get a chance to build on that performance against one of the leagues worst defenses at stopping the run. The Lions have allowed the most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season. Guice is an RB3 with upside. Adrian Peterson is also worth a look in deeper leagues.