Fantasy Football Week 12 Start Em, Sit Em Lineup Advice, Projections, and Roster Q&A

It’s go time.

The playoffs are dead ahead.  Now, more than ever, it is vital that you start the right guys.

We already advised you on the waiver wire. We’ve already outlined who you should start and sit on Thanksgiving. We’ve also told you about a fun Thanksgiving-only fantasy challenge.

Heck, we’ve even outlined the complete history of Thanksgiving Day football for you.

Now it’s time to look at the rest of Week 12.


Quick Piece of Advice

There is no room left for excuses.  At this point in the season, we have ALL dealt with injuries.  We have ALL battled through our bye weeks.  We have ALL left points on the table.

If I could give you one piece of advice before the stretch run, it would be something I have emphasized all year.  Listen to expert advice…but trust your gut first.

Again, none of us have the time to really study fantasy football full time.  It is impossible (well, for those of us who have real jobs) to completely keep track of every single player, every matchup, every injury, and every game.  If you don’t have a good read on a player or a matchup, you should definitely consult “the experts.”

However, so much of fantasy football comes back to gut feelings.

If you have a gut feeling that Danny Woodhead is going to run all over Philadelphia this week, and that gut is based on some stats or game play that you have actually seen, go for it!  Even if the expert disagrees, I would rather go down on my own terms.  Believe me, you will hate yourself if Woodhead goes off and you started Chris Johnson just because that’s what the expert said.

If you are ambivalent and have no opinion, seek counsel…but don’t be afraid to trust your gut on the tough calls.

If you haven’t read Jerod’s post focusing on fantasy players in tomorrow’s Thanksgiving Day games, you must.  Use both articles for a little more detailed information in week 12.

Last Week’s Picks: 17 for 22 (80 %)

  • Hits: Tim Tebow, Matt Moore, Matt Stafford, Mark Sanchez, Joe Flacco, Marshawn Lynch, Reggie Bush, Beanie Wells, KC Running Backs, Laurent Robinson, Mike Williams, Eric Decker, Dwayne Bowe, Jermichael Finley, Jax defense, Cle defense, SD defense.
  • Misses:  Cam Newton, Kendall Hunter, Michael Bush, Mario Manningham, Greg Olsen

Once again, “Start Em” guys are QBs/TEs outside of the Top 12 and RBs/WRs outside of the Top 25. “Sit Em Guys” include QBs/TEs that are in the Top 12 and RBs/WRs that are in the Top 25.

Fantasy Football Start Em, Sit Em Picks for Week 12: QB

Start Em QB: Josh Freeman

I know everyone is heartbroken that I’m not talking about Tebow this week.  I’m sure you will have a hard time finding a single article on him now…

If you DON’T start Matt Moore (whom I and Jerod both like this week), look closely at Bill Simmons’ ex-boyfriend, Josh Freeman.


He’s had a very “disappointing” season this year…and is still ranked 15th overall among fantasy QB’s.  He has a pretty nice matchup against Tennessee this week, who is in the bottom half of the league in every single passing category defensively.  Also, he and Mike Williams appeared to finally get on the same page last week.

Don’t be surprised to see Josh Freeman have a big week for the Bucs.

Josh Freeman Fantasy Projections for Week 12: 290 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT

Other start ‘em QBs for Week Twelve:

  • Matt Moore – Great matchup against a Dallas secondary that is overrated AND banged up.
  • Both QB’s in the Detroit/GB game – For obvious reasons.
  • Cam Newton – Against the Colts…Yikes.

Sit Em QB: Tim Tebow

I still think he’s a winner, and I think he has a real shot to succeed in the league for a long time.  However, I don’t really like the matchup this week.

As good as Denver’s defense has been, it only takes two shots from Rivers for San Diego to get a lead.  If Denver does indeed have to play from behind, and Tebow is forced to become a drop back, pocket passer, that will be bad news for Denver and Tebow owners.

The good news about Tebow is that I actually think he’s a pretty low risk prospect from week to week.  Provided he doesn’t throw any interceptions (which he’s been great at so far in his career), he is a lock for at least 50 rushing yards and a TD.  You will probably get at least 10-15 points from him every week – including this week.

Unfortunately for him and his owners, I think there are a lot of QB’s with favorable matchups in Week 12, making Tebow a guy you should consider sitting.

Tim Tebow Week 12 Fantasy Projection: 130 passing yards, 1 TD and 1 INT; 60 rushing yards and 1 TD.

Other sit ’em QBs for Week Twelve:

  • Carson Palmer – The Bears’ defense is good…and they will be playing with extra fire this week while trying to lift up their Cutler-less team.
  • Ryan Fitzpatrick – He’s slumping…and an angry Jets’ defense is not really your ideal opponent to try and get out of a slump against.

fantasy-football-start-em-sit-em-week-12-jerodJerod’s thoughts:

I can’t quibble here. I also like Josh Freeman this week and am starting him over Ryan Fitzpatrick in a league where I have both. (Fitzpatrick, by the way, is pretty close to droppable now. Amazing how quickly things can change huh?)

Another I guy I like, for some unknown reason, is Sam Bradford. I know, I know…I’m being way too stubborn about him this year. But the guy still has talent, he finally has a receiver to make plays for him (Brandon Lloyd), and the Rams face a Cardinals secondary that simply is not very good. If he can’t produce solid numbers this week, I’ll give up on him. But until then…

I do, however, like Carson Palmer. While I agree that the Bears’ D will be fired up, the way you attack them is through the air, and Palmer has one of the highest yard per attempt averages in the league since taking over.

Oh, and anyone who doesn’t play Cam Newton this week is a damn fool.

Fantasy Football Start Em, Sit Em Picks for Week 12: RBs

Start Em RB: DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart

Something must have been in the water this summer for all of the running backs that signed huge contract extensions (minus Adrian Peterson of course…that guy is just a machine).  However, Williams has definitely shown a burst as of late, and an awful Indianapolis defense should be fantastic for him and his owners.


As for Jonathan Stewart, don’t be scared about the fact that he will be splitting carries with Williams.  The Panthers have two very distinct roles for both players.  Stewart has turned into Newton’s go-to threat out of the backfield.  I expect both players to put up double-digit points in Week 12.

Combined Stats for Williams and Stewart in Week 12: 180 rushing yards, 1 TD; 140 receiving yards, 1 TD

Other start ‘em RBs for Week Twelve:

  • Roy Helu – I hate Mike Shanahan too…but I think Helu will have a good week against Seattle
  • Chris Johnson – I have a weird feeling he’s finally going to have a big play or two this week.

Sit Em RB: Mike Tolbert

The best way to beat Denver’s defense is NOT on the ground.  Just ask Shonn Greene owners.

I think the Chargers will have a lot of success in the air though in week 12, and while Tolbert remains a constant threat to punch one into the end zone, if he doesn’t come through with a TD, you will be looking at a very poor day for the Human Bowling Ball.

Mike Tolbert Week 12 Projection: 30 yards rushing

Other sit ’em RBs for Week Twelve:

  • Brandon Jacobs – He’s washed up.
  • Kansas City Running Backs – No passing game whatsoever…and they are playing Pittsburgh.  Ugh.

fantasy-football-start-em-sit-em-week-12-jerodJerod’s thoughts:

I think it’s safe to say that all players going up against the Colts are solid plays every week. So I agree on the frustrating DAW and JStew.

I cannot, however, agree on Helu. Not only is the diabolical Mike Shanahan his coach, but Washington faces Seattle in Seattle, and the Seahawks have quietly built one of the league’s best defenses, especially against the run.

Chris Johnson? Good luck with that. He may well go off this week, but he’ll be doing it from my bench; and I won’t feel the least bit regretful about it. He deserves to ride the pine, and until he gives me reason to trust him I am not entrusting one of two valuable starting RB slots on his worthlessness.

Fantasy Football Start em, Sit em Picks for Week 12: WRs

Start Em WR: Mario Manningham

Manningham was nowhere to be found on Sunday night…and the Giants paid for it.

Look for Eli to target the speedster from Michigan much more than twice this week against New Orleans.  Super Mario has been very hit or miss this year, but I think he responds to the goose egg he put up last week by putting up some of his best numbers of the year.

Mario Manningham fantasy football Week 12 projection: 7 receptions, 120 yards, 1 TD

Other start ‘em WRs for Week Twelve:

  • Laurent Robinson – It seems like Romo picks a new random dude every year to become his go-to guy halfway through the season. As long as Miles Austin is out, expect Robinson to put up some good numbers. (Yes, I copied this from last week…I still feel the same way.)
  • Percy Harvin – The dude is just really good…we forget about him because his QB play the last two years has been atrocious.  However, he’s always a threat on special teams, and he has a pretty favorable matchup against a soft Atlanta secondary in Week 12.
  • Pierre Garcon – Carolina is terrible…surely SOMEBODY from Indy has to have a good week…right?  No?  They Don’t?  Let’s just move on…

Sit Em WR: Anquan Boldin

I will allow Jerod to briefly tell us about how awesome San Francisco’s defense is…

Anquan Boldin fantasy football Week 12 projection: 3 catches for 45 yards

Other Sit ‘em WRs for Week Twelve:

  • Bears’ Wide Receivers – While Devin Hester should ALWAYS at least be considered, I don’t like anyone else on Chicago this week.  Cutler has been making magic out of nothing for four weeks now…I just don’t think Caleb Hannie will be able to replicate what he has done at all.

fantasy-football-start-em-sit-em-week-12-jerodJerod’s thoughts:

You know, after finishing my Thanksgiving start/sit rundown, I thought about going back and adding Anquan Boldin to the sit list. He only has three catches over the last two weeks, and you’re right: San Francisco’s defense is punishing. I do like Torrey Smith, as he’s become the #1 guy in their passing game, but I think it’s perfectly find to sit Boldin, even though I do think he gets 4-5 catches this week. (Because you can’t – can’t – run on the Niners.)

I love all Giants receivers against New Orleans, and you’re right about Harvin. He’s underrated, but Christian Ponder is proving his intelligence by making sure Harvin gets the ball. With AD out this week, look for that to happen ever more.

Fantasy Football Start em, Sit em Picks for Week 12: TEs

Start Em TE: Kellen Winslow

Again, Tennessee is very mediocre against the pass, and Winslow should benefit from their soft secondary.  Look for a healthy Winslow to have at least 6 catches and a TD.

Kellen Winslow fantasy football Week 10 projection: 7 receptions, 80 yards, 1 TD

Sit Em TE: Jermichael Finley

I expect him to drop back into pass protection more this week in order to help out against Suh and co.  Even if he doesn’t, he’s way too inconsistent for my liking.

Be careful with starting Finley against Detroit on Thanksgiving Day

Jermichael Finley fantasy football Week 10 projection: 1 reception, 10 yards, 0 TD

fantasy-football-start-em-sit-em-week-12-jerodJerod’s Thoughts:

Can’t quibble here either. I like Winslow this week, and I already made my feelings known about Finley. He always has two-TD potential because he’s loaded with talent, but neither the targets nor the consistency has been there.

Another guy who is sliding down a bit is Fred Davis. He has not been able to maintain his early season production and probably isn’t a must-start anymore. See if Greg Olsen is out there on your waiver wires. I’ve picked him up in a number of leagues over the last couple of weeks, and that Colts matchup sure is inviting.

Fantasy Football Start em, Sit em Picks for Week 12: D/ST

Start Em Defense: Chicago

An angry Bears defense ready to show the world they can survive without Jay Cutler for a few weeks matched up against Carson Palmer.  Just think about it.

Sit Em Defense: Denver

I have been very impressed by them in recent weeks.  However, they also have played against Mark Sanchez, Matt Cassel, and Carson Palmer.  Be wary with them against a division rival that knows them well.

fantasy-football-start-em-sit-em-week-12-jerodJerod’s Thoughts:

Chicago’s D is a great choice, and they always provide the special teams upside that is nice. As for Denver, I don’t mind them either. Tim Tebow doesn’t turn the ball over to give opposing offenses short fields or easy scoring chances, and even if Denver does give up some points they get sacks with Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil.

Other defenses to keep your eyes on this week: Atlanta, which faces Christian Ponder, Toby Gerhart, and the Vikings at home; the Jets, which gets to face the now-bumbling Bills at home; and Seattle, which faces Sexy Rexy and this guy…whatever the hell he does on the sidelines.


The Week 12 Start/Sit picks are in the books. But of course, this is only the beginning. Now the real fun begins in the comment section, so load it up with lineup-specific questions and we’ll get to them throughout the week, culminating with our marathon Sunday morning start/sit live chat (bookmark this link, which will be updated Sunday morning), which will go off at 11:00 ET and run all the way up until kickoff.

And don’t forget about our friends at Daily Joust. They are hosting a Thanksgiving Day Turkey Shootout that uses only players playing on Thanksgiving Day in the player pool, has a $5 entry free, and $300 guaranteed prize pool. Plus, not only is it a Super Joust Qualifier, but you can submit multiple entries.


Good luck in Week 12 everybody! We’ll see you in the comments.

About the Author

Jon Washburn

Jon Washburn grew up in Indianapolis, IN and as such, is a diehard Pacers, Colts, and Cubs fans. When it comes to college, he cheers for Notre Dame football fan and Purdue basketball. Yes, this sounds shady, but since he grew up without cable, he learned to love Notre Dame - the only team on TV. Glenn "The Big Dog" Robinson was at Purdue when Jon was in his formative years, so he latched onto them as well. Did that make him a fair-weather fan at the time? Sure. Give him a break...he was 8...and he has stayed with those teams ever since. Currently, he lives in Charleston, SC with his wife who grew up in Cleveland. Although he is no longer physically in the Midwest, his heart will always be there. Jon goes by the name "Twitch" because he has Tourette's Syndrome. Hit him up on his twitter @jwtwitch.