Fantasy Football Week 12 Start 'Em and Sit 'Em: Trust a Patriots' RB? Jamey Eisenberg is with his Start of the Week, Dion Lewis
Feeling thankful on Thanksgiving weekend, it's time to bank on Patriots running back Dion Lewis against the Dolphins as our start of the week.
More Week 12:— — — — — — —
There's no need for a fancy introduction this week. It's Week 12, and we're two weeks away from the Fantasy playoffs in the majority of leagues. You know what's at stake.
I do want to wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving. And thank you for reading all of our columns, watching all of our videos and listening to all of our podcasts here at CBS Sports this year.
We greatly appreciate it, and we don't say thank you enough for your loyalty. Hopefully, we've guided you to a Fantasy playoff berth, or you're on the verge of making the playoffs.
So enjoy this holiday with your family, and please travel safe. Eat plenty of good food, watch some exciting football and hopefully get a win in your Fantasy leagues.
Editor's Note: Projections are provided by CBS Sports and not Jamey Eisenberg.
Start of the Week
Dion Lewis appears to be the best Patriots running back -- for now. But knowing my luck with the Start of the Week this season, he will be replaced by Rex Burkhead, Mike Gillislee, James White or Brandon Bolden this week against the Dolphins.
It could happen, knowing how Bill Belichick operates with his running backs, but you have to trust in Lewis based on his recent production and the matchup against Miami. Lewis comes into this game with at least 14 touches four games in a row, and he's scored at least 11 Fantasy points in three of his past five outings.
In Week 11 at Oakland, in a game where Burkhead fumbled (although he didn't lose it), Lewis was finally involved in the passing game with four catches for 28 yards and a touchdown on four targets. All of those stats were season highs.
He also added 10 carries for 60 yards against the Raiders, and he's averaging 4.6 yards per carry in his past five games. And the Patriots have had a running back score against Miami in seven games in a row going back to 2013, including Lewis in 2015 when he had five carries for 19 yards and six catches for 93 yards and a touchdown.
The Dolphins leaky run defense stopped the Buccaneers and Doug Martin in Week 11, and it was the first time since Week 7 that Miami didn't allow a running back to score or rush for at least 100 yards. But the Patriots should have more success on the ground, especially in a game they are forecasted to win by more than two touchdowns, according to Las Vegas.
Lewis should be considered a high-end No. 2 Fantasy running back this week in the majority of leagues, and he will be New England's leader in the backfield. He also will deliver as the Start of the Week.
|23.1 projected points|
Ben Roethlisberger Pittsburgh Steelers QB
|The Roethlisberger we've been waiting for showed up in a big way in Week 11 against the Titans. He passed for 299 yards and four touchdowns for 36 Fantasy points, and it was the kind of home performance we're used to seeing for most of his career. Roethlisberger now has at least 20 Fantasy points in three of four home games, and he should stay hot against the Packers. While Green Bay has only allowed four quarterbacks to score at least 20 Fantasy points in a game this season, it's doubtful this defense will slow down Roethlisberger in Pittsburgh. I consider him a top-three Fantasy quarterback this week.|
|19.1 projected points|
Cam Newton Carolina Panthers QB
|I hope the bye week didn't slow down Newton, who is coming off his best game of the season in Week 10 against Miami with 43 Fantasy points. And Newton doesn't have the best track record off a bye with only one 20-point Fantasy game in six career games after a bye. But Newton was exceptional against the Dolphins with 254 passing yards and four touchdowns and 95 rushing yards, and he's now scored at least nine Fantasy points with his legs in three of his past five games. He is expected to get tight end Greg Olsen (foot) back for this game, and the Jets have allowed four of the past six opposing quarterbacks to score at least 20 Fantasy points. This should be the start of a strong finish for Newton to close the year.|
|20.7 projected points|
Kirk Cousins Washington Redskins QB
|Cousins is playing great as a Fantasy quarterback coming into this matchup with the Giants on Thanksgiving. He's scored at least 29 Fantasy points in two games in a row, and he should stay hot against the Giants. Cousins has scored at least 23 Fantasy points in two of his past three meetings with the Giants, and the Giants have allowed five of their past seven opposing quarterbacks to score at least 26 Fantasy points. The two who failed to play well over that stretch against the Giants were Trevor Siemian in Week 6 and Alex Smith last week. Cousins is more trustworthy than those two quarterbacks, and he should play well Thursday night.|
|19.8 projected points|
Marcus Mariota Tennessee Titans QB
|Mariota is due for a big game, and he should get it this week against the Colts. He only has one game with 20-plus Fantasy points this season, which was Week 3 against Seattle, but this will be the second time he reaches that mark. Mariota had 16 Fantasy points against the Colts in Week 6, but that was his first game back from a one-game absence due to a hamstring injury. In three previous games against the Colts, Mariota scored at least 23 Fantasy points, including 25 points in his lone trip to Indianapolis last year. The Colts are allowing an average of 20.6 Fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season, and Mariota should have a breakout performance this week.|
|19.6 projected points|
Andy Dalton Cincinnati Bengals QB
|Dalton was great in Week 11 at Denver with 154 passing yards and three touchdowns, and he now has five passing touchdowns in his past two games against the Titans and Broncos. Dalton went off at Cleveland in Week 4 for 35 Fantasy points, and he's dominated the Browns throughout his career. In his past five meetings with Cleveland, Dalton is averaging 245.6 passing yards with 14 total touchdowns and no interceptions, and he's scored at least 20 Fantasy points in every game over that span. The Browns have allowed six quarterbacks to score at least 20 Fantasy points against them this season, and opposing quarterbacks are averaging 20.8 Fantasy points against Cleveland on the season. I'm expecting another 20-point outing for Dalton this week.|
- Alex Smith (vs. BUF): Smith had a terrible game in Week 11 at the Giants with seven Fantasy points, and he's struggled at home this year with only one game with 20-plus points in four outings. But this should be a bounce-back week against the Bills. Buffalo has only allowed two quarterbacks to score 20 Fantasy points this season, but this isn't a defense to fear, especially playing consecutive games on the road. Smith is a low-end starter this week.
- Tyrod Taylor (at KC): Taylor will start this week at Kansas City after the questionable decision to bench him last week at the Chargers in favor of rookie Nathan Peterman. Despite being benched, Taylor still scored 19 Fantasy points after Peterman threw five interceptions. The Chiefs are allowing an average of 19.8 Fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, and Taylor should be considered a low-end starter this week -- unless he's surprisingly benched again for Peterman.
- Case Keenum (at DET): Keenum's on a nice roll coming into this game against the Lions on Thanksgiving Day. He's scored at least 19 Fantasy points in three games in a row, and he should have solidified his role as the starting quarterback in Minnesota for the foreseeable future. He only had eight Fantasy points against Detroit in Week 4, but he's worth trusting this week as a starter in deeper leagues -- and definitely in two-quarterback leagues. The Lions are allowing an average of 17 Fantasy points a game this year to opposing quarterbacks.
|18.0 projected points|
Derek Carr Oakland Raiders QB
|Carr is having a down season, and it's going to be hard to trust him against the Broncos this week. Even though Denver's defense has been leaky of late, with three quarterbacks in a row scoring at least 24 Fantasy points, Carr has a terrible track record in this matchup. In his past five meetings with the Broncos, Carr is averaging just 173.8 passing yards a game with five total touchdowns and two interceptions. His best outing against Denver over that span was 17 Fantasy points in 2015, and Carr only has one game with more than 17 Fantasy points in his past seven games this season. He's just a low-end No. 2 quarterback in the majority of leagues this week.|
|18.3 projected points|
Jared Goff Los Angeles Rams QB
|We're going to find out this week if Goff or the Saints defense is for real because last week wasn't good for either party. Goff finally faced a tough test in Week 11 at Minnesota after scoring at least 20 Fantasy points in three games in a row against the Cardinals, Giants and Texans, and he failed with just nine points and didn't throw a touchdown. The Saints also showed some flaws in their defense in Week 11 against Washington after holding six of their previous seven opposing quarterbacks to 14 Fantasy points or less, but Cousins had 31 points. I'm expecting Goff to struggle this week, especially with Robert Woods (shoulder) out, but New Orleans is also banged up on defense with defensive end Alex Okafor (Achilles) out, along with defensive backs Marshon Lattimore (ankle) and Kenny Vaccaro (groin) ailing. Still, Goff is only worth starting in two-quarterback leagues this week.|
|17.2 projected points|
Eli Manning New York Giants QB
|We hope Manning will get Sterling Shepard (migraines) back for this Thanksgiving showdown with the Redskins, but it seems likely he will miss his second game in a row. That leaves Manning with a mediocre receiving corps, and it will be hard to trust him in the majority of leagues. He's scored 20 Fantasy points just once in his past eight games, which was Week 10 at San Francisco, and I don't expect Manning to take advantage of this good matchup against the Redskins, who have allowed three quarterbacks in a row to score at least 25 Fantasy points. Manning has also scored 18 Fantasy points or less in three games in a row against Washington. He's only worth using in two-quarterback leagues.|
|14.9 projected points|
Josh McCown New York Jets QB
|McCown helped Fantasy owners plenty this season, including a three-game stretch from Week 6-8 when he scored at least 22 Fantasy points against New England, Miami and Atlanta. But he's averaging just 16 Fantasy points in his past two games against Buffalo and Tampa Bay, and this is a tough matchup against the Panthers. Carolina is allowing an average of just 14.6 Fantasy points a game to opposing quarterbacks, and Matt Ryan in Week 9 is the lone quarterback with 20 points in the past four games against the Panthers. If you dropped McCown prior to the Jets' bye in Week 11 you don't need to add him off the waiver wire for this matchup in most one-quarterback leagues.|
|17.5 projected points|
Ryan Fitzpatrick Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB
|Fitzpatrick was great in Week 11 at Miami starting again for the injured Jameis Winston (shoulder). He had 275 passing yards and two touchdowns, and he took advantage of a great matchup against the Dolphins. But this will be a tougher opponent against the Falcons, who are allowing an average of just 18.4 Fantasy points a game to opposing quarterbacks. The only quarterbacks with at least 20 Fantasy points against Atlanta were Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, McCown and Russell Wilson. Maybe Fitzpatrick has a McCown-like game, which is possible given his receiving corps, but most likely Fitzpatrick will have minimal Fantasy production. He's only worth using in two-quarterback leagues.|
Stafford has been playing great coming into this Thanksgiving Day matchup with the Vikings, and it's hard to bench him in the majority of leagues. He has at least 21 Fantasy points in three games in a row, and he has either 400 passing yards or multiple touchdowns in six games in a row. But Stafford has been mediocre against the Vikings of late, with 19 Fantasy points or less in three games in a row, including 18 points against Minnesota on Thanksgiving last year. In Week 4, Stafford had 209 passing yards and no touchdowns for eight Fantasy points. The Vikings have only allowed two quarterbacks to score at least 20 Fantasy points this season, which were Roethlisberger in Week 2 and Cousins in Week 10. Otherwise, Minnesota is allowing an average of just 14.8 Fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this year. Stafford is only worth starting in deeper one-quarterback leagues this week.
|12.6 projected points|
Tevin Coleman Atlanta Falcons RB
|Coleman didn't have a great game in Week 11 at Seattle, but he did score 11 Fantasy points in a standard league with 20 carries for 43 yards and a touchdown and one catch for 15 yards. He now has six games this season with at least 10 touches, and he's scored at least nine Fantasy points in a standard league in five of those outings. And he did that in 7-of-11 games last season. Devonta Freeman (concussion) is expected to be out again this week, but keep an eye on his status. And Tampa Bay has allowed a running back to score or gain 100 total yards in five of its past seven games.|
|9.2 projected points|
Alfred Morris Dallas Cowboys RB
|Morris has been OK since replacing the suspended Ezekiel Elliott with 28 carries for 144 yards (5.1 yards per carry) in the past two games against Atlanta and Philadelphia, and he did that without left tackle Tyron Smith (groin), who is expected to return this week against the Chargers. That will improve the entire offense, especially for Dak Prescott and Dez Bryant, and Morris will benefit as well. He also has a great matchup this week against the Chargers on Thanksgiving Day, and this defense has allowed 11 running backs to score or gain 80 total yards this year. With Smith back, Morris should be in line for a strong stretch run over the next four games until Elliott is back.|
|9.2 projected points|
Samaje Perine Washington Redskins RB
|Perine has the Washington backfield basically to himself with Rob Kelley (knee) and Chris Thompson (broken leg) out, and he played great in Week 11 at New Orleans with 23 carries for 117 yards and a touchdown and one catch for 9 yards. He should have the chance for another heavy workload this week against the Giants, who have allowed 11 running backs to either score or gain 80 total yards this year. He's worth trusting as a No. 2 Fantasy running back this week in a game the Redskins should be able to win and use Perine to kill the clock in the fourth quarter.|
|6.8 projected points|
Latavius Murray Minnesota Vikings RB
|I've been skeptical of trusting Murray, but it's time to buy in, especially this week. His workload has been consistent with at least 15 carries in five games in a row. That's an important number because seven running backs have had at least 13 carries against the Lions this year, and six of them have scored double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league, including Dalvin Cook in Week 4, which was the game he suffered a torn ACL. Murray has scored a touchdown in three of the past four games, and he's worth using as a No. 2 Fantasy running back in all leagues on Thanksgiving Day. Jerick McKinnon is also still worth using as a No. 2 running back, and his value is higher in PPR leagues.|
|9.5 projected points|
Orleans Darkwa New York Giants RB
|Darkwa has been a solid second-tier Fantasy running back for most of the past two months, and he should have another quality outing this week on Thanksgiving. Despite the Giants falling apart, Darkwa has four games with double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league in his past seven outings, including three games in a row with at least 75 total yards. He has a great matchup this week against the Redskins, who have struggled to defend the run of late. In their past four games, Washington has allowed five touchdowns to running backs and four to score double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league. Darkwa should be considered a solid starter in all leagues in Week 12.|
- Alex Collins (vs. HOU): Collins is more of a starter than a sleeper, but I wanted someplace to write about him this week. He finally scored last week against Green Bay, and he should get another week with about 17 carries, which is what he's averaged for the past three games. He's also been more involved in the passing game of late with seven catches over that span. It's not an easy matchup against the Texans, but Collins should be considered a low-end No. 2 running back or flex this week.
- Joe Mixon (vs. CLE): The Browns run defense was great for most of this season, but it has allowed a running back to score double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league in three games in a row. Mixon only had three Fantasy points at Cleveland in Week 4 despite 17 carries and four catches, but he had just 48 total yards. Mixon does have at least eight Fantasy points in three of his past four games, and he should be in that range this week, making him a low-end starter in the majority of leagues.
- Devontae Booker (at OAK): Booker had his best game of the season in Week 11 against Cincinnati with 14 carries for 44 yards and five catches for 54 yards on six targets, and it might be time for the Broncos to start using him more than C.J. Anderson and Jamaal Charles. There's nothing to suggest that will happen aside from last week's workload, so only consider Booker a flex option this week. This is a good matchup since the Raiders have allowed a running back to score or gain 100 total yards in eight games in a row.
- Derrick Henry (at IND): I still expect DeMarco Murray to lead the Titans backfield in touches, but Henry should be considered a flex option this week in standard leagues. The last time he faced the Colts in Week 6, he had 19 carries for 131 yards and a touchdown and one catch for 14 yards, and the Titans leaned on him to kill the clock in the fourth quarter. It would be nice to see the Titans give Henry more work this week with Murray struggling, and if that happens then his value would dramatically rise.
- J.D. McKissic (at SF): We have to see what the status is for Mike Davis (groin), and if he's out that will once again shake up the Seattle backfield with Eddie Lacy and Thomas Rawls, who was a healthy scratch in Week 11 against Atlanta. But McKissic should get more touches this week against the 49ers, and it's a great matchup since San Francisco allows the second-most Fantasy points to opposing running backs. I like McKissic as a potential flex option in all leagues, especially PPR since he has nine catches on 11 targets in his past two games.
|7.4 projected points|
Ameer Abdullah Detroit Lions RB
|Abdullah has scored a touchdown in three games in a row, but his scoring streak should end this week. The Vikings come into this game with the fewest Fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs, and Minnesota has allowed just four touchdowns to running backs this year. Now, Abdullah scored one of those in Week 4 when he rushed for 94 yards on 20 carries to go with three catches for 15 yards, and his 16 Fantasy points in a standard league that week remains a season high. But based on the matchup, I expect Adbullah to struggle, and he should only be considered a flex option at best on Thanksgiving Day.|
|8.5 projected points|
Bilal Powell New York Jets RB
|Matt Forte (knee) could be out again this week against the Panthers, and Powell will likely share touches with Elijah McGuire. But this is a tough matchup against the Panthers, who are top three in fewest Fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs. Kenyan Drake is the lone running back to score double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league against the Panthers even though they have allowed five total touchdowns. And Powell only has one game this season with double digits in Fantasy points, which was Week 4 against Jacksonville. He's just a flex option this week in the majority of leagues.|
|8.4 projected points|
Isaiah Crowell Cleveland Browns RB
|Crowell has mixed success against the Bengals in his past five meetings. He has two games against Cincinnati with at least 11 Fantasy points in a standard league, and three games with six points or less. One of those down games was Week 4 in Cleveland when he rushed seven times for 20 yards and had one catch for 7 yards. It's just hard to trust Crowell, who has two games this season with double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league, and he was limited to one point last week against Jacksonville. He's also gone back to being a non-factor in the passing game with one catch for 5 yards in his past two outings.|
|7.0 projected points|
Kenyan Drake Miami Dolphins RB
|Drake took a backseat to Damien Williams in Week 11 against Tampa Bay, and it will be hard to trust him in the majority of leagues this week. He played well in the first two games after Jay Ajayi was traded to Philadelphia with at least nine Fantasy points in a standard league against Oakland and Carolina, but he was limited to one point in Week 11 against Tampa Bay. He only had seven carries for 4 yards and one catch for 10 yards on three targets, while Williams had 10 carries for 78 yards and one catch for 24 yards on one target. The two will continue to split playing time, but neither is worth starting in Week 12 at New England. If you had to pick one, it's Williams, and Drake will start from the bottom in trying to revive his Fantasy value for the rest of this year.|
|9.5 projected points|
Doug Martin Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB
|I had high expectations for Martin in Week 11 at Miami, but he failed to deliver with 19 carries for 38 yards and two catches for 6 yards on three targets. He's now gone five games in a row without a touchdown and has combined for eight Fantasy points in a standard league in his past three games. You can't say he's not getting the work with 41 touches over the past two weeks against the Jets and Dolphins, and it's hard to trust him in Week 12 at Atlanta. The Falcons have only allowed one running back to score on the ground since Week 2, and it will likely take Martin finding the end zone to make him a relevant Fantasy option this week. He's barely a flex option in the majority of leagues.|
The days of calling Peterson a must-start Fantasy running back are likely over, and it will be hard to trust him this week against the Jaguars. Jacksonville's run defense has been exceptional since adding defensive lineman Marcell Dareus in a trade from Buffalo prior to Week 9, and the Jaguars have held Mixon, Melvin Gordon and Crowell to 30 carries for 76 yards (2.5 yards per carry) and a touchdown in the past three games. Peterson has been terrible the past two weeks against Seattle and Houston with 35 carries for 55 yards (1.5 yards per carry) and no touchdowns and two catches for 26 yards. This should be another tough week for him, and he should be avoided in the majority of leagues.
|8.4 projected points|
Tyreek Hill Kansas City Chiefs WR
| Hill struggled in Week 11 at the Giants with just seven catches for 68 yards on seven targets, but more was expected given the matchup. He should rebound this week even though his production at home has been suspect. In four home games this year against Philadelphia, Washington, Pittsburgh and Denver, Hill has scored a combined 11 Fantasy points in a standard league. Compare that to his production on the road where he has at least 12 Fantasy points in four of six games. But this is such a great matchup against the Bills that it's impossible not to like Hill, even at home. Buffalo has allowed the past six opposing No. 1 receivers to score at least eight Fantasy points in a standard league, with five of them scoring double digits in points. Hill should have his best game at home this season against the Bills. |
|7.6 projected points|
Devin Funchess Carolina Panthers WR
| Funchess has thrived since taking over as the No. 1 receiver for the Panthers following Kelvin Benjamin 's trade to Buffalo, and we hope Olsen's return doesn't slow him down. In two games without Benjamin, Funchess has 10 catches for 178 yards and two touchdowns on 13 targets against Atlanta and Miami. He should stay hot this week against the Jets, who have allowed the 10th-most Fantasy points to opposing receivers this year. There have been 11 receivers to either score or gain 80 receiving yards against the Jets this season, and Funchess should add to that total. He's a solid No. 2 Fantasy receiver in all leagues this week. |
|7.7 projected points|
T.Y. Hilton Indianapolis Colts WR
| It's been kind of easy to figure out when to trust Hilton this season, as he's delivered in most of his good matchups. The one good matchup where he let us down was Week 6 at Tennessee when he had just one catch for 19 yards on four targets. That game tied for his fewest targets of the season, and it was season lows in catches and yards. Don't expect that to happen again this week. Prior to that game, Hilton had at least nine Fantasy points in a standard league in three of his past four meetings with the Titans. And Tennessee comes into this game with the opposing No. 1 receiver scoring at least nine Fantasy points in a standard league in three games in a row. Hilton has struggled this season without Andrew Luck (shoulder), but Jacoby Brissett should help Hilton have a big game this week at home. |
|5.9 projected points|
Jamison Crowder Washington Redskins WR
| The only thing missing for Crowder over the past three games from being a dominant Fantasy receiver are the touchdowns. Otherwise, he's been very productive Fantasy option, especially in PPR. In his past three outings, Crowder has 32 targets for 20 catches and 271 yards. He could see an uptick in targets and catches with Thompson out for the Redskins, and this is a great matchup against the Giants, who have allowed a receiver to score double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league six times in the past five games. I also like Josh Doctson (8.0 projected points) as a sleeper this week, but Crowder should be considered a solid No. 2 Fantasy receiver in all leagues. |
|8.0 Projected points|
Jarvis Landry Miami Dolphins WR
|Landry doesn't get the credit he deserves this season since he's been an exceptional Fantasy receiver in all formats and not just PPR. He's scored in three games in a row, and he has a career-best six touchdowns on the year. He's also scored at least nine Fantasy points in a standard league in six of his past seven games, and he has a great track record against the Patriots. In his past five meetings with New England, Landry has either a touchdown or 99 receiving yards in three outings, and he has at least six catches for 71 yards in every game against the Patriots over that span. Landry should have another outstanding game this week in all leagues.|
- Kenny Stills (at NE): Matt Moore is expected to start for the injured Jay Cutler (concussion) this week, and he loves throwing to Stills. In the three games where Moore has appeared this year against the Jets, Ravens and Buccaneers, Stills has 13 catches for 330 yards and three touchdowns on 27 targets. With the Dolphins likely chasing points, Stills has a good chance for plenty of production this week.
- Sammy Watkins (vs. NO): With Lattimore banged up for the Saints, and with Woods out, this is a great spot for Watkins to finally get plenty of targets from Goff. He only has one game this season with more than five targets, and it was his best game of the season with 22 Fantasy points in Week 3 at San Francisco. Watkins is worth using as a low-end No. 2 receiver this week in the majority of leagues.
- Corey Coleman (at CIN): Coleman came back from a seven-game absence because of a hand injury in Week 11 against Jacksonville and had six catches for 80 yards on 11 targets. That's impressive given the opponent and long layoff, and he should be heavily involved again this week against the Bengals. Coleman is worth using as a No. 3 Fantasy receiver in this matchup. Cincinnati has allowed the opposing No. 1 receiver to score in two of the past three games against Jacksonville (Marqise Lee) and Denver (Demaryius Thomas).
- Mike Wallace (vs. HOU): The Texans have been awful with big-play receivers of late, which should give Wallace the chance to make a couple of plays down the field. In Houston's past four games, five receivers have gone over 90 receiving yards, with eight touchdowns scored over that span. Wallace has scored in consecutive games for the Ravens, and Jeremy Maclin should also be considered a sleeper this week.
- Deonte Thompson (at KC): Thompson and Zay Jones are worth using as No. 3 receivers this week in deeper leagues with the matchup against the Chiefs and Kelvin Benjamin (knee) banged up. Kansas City allows the most Fantasy points to opposing receivers, and Thompson and Jones both scored in the last game they played before Benjamin joined the Bills, which was Week 9 at the Jets. I like Thompson better than Jones, but both have plenty of upside if Benjamin is out as expected.
- Corey Davis (at IND): Davis could be in a big spot this week with Rishard Matthews (hamstring) hurt, and Davis might be the No. 1 receiver for the Titans against the Colts. He's been featured a lot of late with 17 targets in his past two games against the Bengals and Steelers, but he only has seven catches for 75 yards over that span. He also has yet to score this year. But Mariota might lean on him a little more this week if Matthews is out, and it's a good matchup against the Colts, who have allowed a receiver to score or gain 100 receiving yards in six games in a row. Davis should be considered a No. 3 Fantasy receiver with upside if Matthews can't play.
|7.7 projected points|
Amari Cooper Oakland Raiders WR
| Cooper scored in Week 11 against New England, but he managed just three catches for 28 yards on seven targets. He now has two games on the season with double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league and only one since Week 1. This is a tough matchup for him against the Broncos even though the Denver secondary has struggled of late. In his past five meetings with the Broncos, Cooper has 16 catches for 151 yards and a touchdown. He has no games with double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league over that span. Michael Crabtree (8.2 projected points) is also a risky Fantasy option this week, but I like him better than Cooper, who should only be started in deeper leagues in Week 12.|
|6.5 projected points|
Marvin Jones Detroit Lions WR
| I was wrong about Jones in Week 11 at Chicago, and he had four catches for 85 yards and a touchdown on seven targets. He has now scored at least 12 Fantasy points in a standard league in four of his past five games, but he should struggle this week against the Vikings. He will most likely match up with Minnesota standout cornerback Xavier Rhodes, and Jones was held to two catches for 42 yards on five targets in Week 4 against the Vikings. In three games with the Lions against Minnesota, Jones has seven catches for 101 yards and no touchdowns. He's just a No. 3 Fantasy receiver this week on Thanksgiving Day.|
|7.8 projected points|
DeVante Parker Miami Dolphins WR
| Parker will fall to third in the pecking order at receiver for the Dolphins if Moore plays since he tends to favor Stills, and clearly Jarvis Landry will be heavily involved. Parker has just one game this season with double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league, and he's scored 15 Fantasy points combined in his past three games against Oakland, Carolina and Tampa Bay despite 26 targets over that span. Parker hasn't had the third-year breakout season that I was hoping for, and he's just a low-end No. 3 Fantasy receiver at best in this matchup with the Patriots. |
|7.8 projected points|
Marqise Lee Jacksonville Jaguars WR
| Lee has been great this season, and he's scored at least nine Fantasy points in a standard league in three of his past five games. He also has at least nine targets in four of those outings, and Blake Bortles continues to lean on him as the No. 1 receiver for the Jaguars. But he should see plenty of attention from Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson this week, which should be a daunting task. And as well as Lee has played, he only has two touchdowns on the season. He's just a No. 3 Fantasy receiver in this road game at Arizona.|
|5.3 projected points|
Jordy Nelson Green Bay Packers WR
| For some reason, Nelson is still being started in more than 30 percent of leagues on CBS Sports. I'm not sure why given his production since Aaron Rodgers (collarbone) got hurt. In his past four games with Brett Hundley under center, Nelson has combined for eight Fantasy points, and he hasn't topped 35 receiving yards since Week 6 when Rodgers got hurt at Minnesota. Davante Adams has stepped up as the No. 1 Packers receiver since then, and he's worth using as a No. 3 Fantasy receiver against the Steelers. Even Randall Cobb has been better than Nelson. Until Rodgers returns, which might not happen this season, you can't trust Nelson in the majority of leagues.|
I hope Fitzgerald never retires. At least while he's playing like this because despite his age (34) and lack of a good quarterback with Carson Palmer (broken arm) out he continues to post quality production. In the past three games without Palmer, Fitzgerald has 24 catches for 274 yards and one touchdown on 33 targets. But this game against Jacksonville could be a struggle given the matchup with Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye. The Jaguars have allowed the fewest Fantasy points to opposing receivers this year, and only DeAndre Hopkins in Week 1 has scored a touchdown against this secondary. It's hard to bench Fitzgerald in the majority of leagues, but this is the week to do it given the opponent.
|8.8 projected points|
Vernon Davis Washington Redskins TE
| Jordan Reed (hamstring) is out again in Week 12 against the Giants, which opens the door for Davis to start in a dream matchup. The Giants have allowed a tight end to score or gain 100 receiving yards in every game this season, and Davis has at least 60 receiving yards in all four games Reed has been out this year. I like Davis as a top-three Fantasy tight end this week given the matchup.|
|6.6 projected points|
Tyler Kroft Cincinnati Bengals TE
| After Davis, the next amazing matchup belongs to Kroft against the Browns. Cleveland has allowed a tight end to score in each of the past three games, and seven tight ends have scored at least eight Fantasy points in a standard league against the Browns this year. Kroft was one of them in Week 4 when he had six catches for 68 yards and two touchdowns on seven targets, and he just scored in Week 11 at Denver for his fourth touchdown on the year. Kroft has top-five tight end potential this week.|
|5.5 projected points|
Jared Cook Oakland Raiders TE
| Another tight end with a favorable matchup this week is Cook since the Broncos have allowed the second-most Fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season. Denver has allowed a tight end to score in four games in a row, and nine tight ends have scored at least seven Fantasy points in a standard league against the Broncos this year. Cook only had three catches for 46 yards on eight targets against Denver in Week 4, but he has at least 10 Fantasy points in a standard league in two of his past four games. He's worth starting this week given the matchup with the Broncos.|
- Jack Doyle (vs. TEN): Doyle is more of a starter than a sleeper this week, but I wanted some place to write about him. He played well the last time he faced the Titans in Week 6 with seven catches for 50 yards and a touchdown on 11 targets, and he has at least six catches in four of his past five games. Tennessee has allowed a tight end to score in two of its past five games as well.
- Charles Clay (at KC): Clay could be in line for a big game this week with Benjamin out and Taylor back under center. He nearly had a big game in Week 11 at the Chargers, but he had a touchdown called back by a penalty and dropped another one right in his hands. This isn't an easy matchup against the Chiefs, but Clay's rapport with Taylor is worth buying into, especially since he's healthy again after being out for three games with a knee injury.
- Greg Olsen (at NYJ): Olsen falls into this category because there's always the concern of a player coming back from a long layoff, and Olsen missed the past eight games with a foot injury. But he's expected to play against the Jets, who have allowed five tight ends to score at least eight Fantasy points in a standard league this year. It's a good matchup, and we hope Olsen is ready to play a hefty amount of snaps. He should be considered a low-end starting option this week.
|5.0 projected points|
Jason Witten Dallas Cowboys TE
| This isn't the week to trust Witten even though Tyron Smith expected to be back at left tackle is a great thing for the offense. Witten hasn't scored a touchdown in four games in a row and has just one touchdown since Week 2. He also has two games in his past three outings with just one catch. The Chargers also allow the second-fewest Fantasy points to opposing tight ends, and only one tight end has scored against the Chargers this season.|
|5.2 projected points|
Hunter Henry Los Angeles Chargers TE
| Henry continues to struggle, and he's not worth trusting this week on Thanksgiving Day. He had five targets in Week 11 against Buffalo, but he managed just two catches for 25 yards. He has now gone five games in a row without a touchdown, and he's been held under 30 yards for three consecutive games. The Cowboys have also allowed just three touchdowns to opposing tight ends this year. We hope better days are ahead for Henry, but it's difficult to consider him a starting option in the majority of leagues.|
|4.9 projected points|
Cameron Brate Tampa Bay Buccaneers TE
| There doesn't appear to be a strong Harvard connection between Fitzpatrick and Brate, who both went to the esteemed Ivy League school. Since Fitzpatrick took over for the injured Winston, Brate's production has suffered. He has three catches for 31 yards in his past three games on just 10 targets, and he hasn't scored a touchdown in five games in a row. O.J. Howard, meanwhile, has three touchdowns over that span, although both tight ends aren't worth using this week against the Falcons. It's time to consider dropping Brate in the majority of leagues.|
Seferian-Jenkins has been a quality Fantasy tight end in PPR leagues, but he remains a risky starter in standard formats this week against the Panthers. In his past three games prior to the Jets' bye in Week 11, Seferian-Jenkins had 13 catches for 115 yards on 16 targets against Atlanta, Buffalo and Tampa Bay. He also has five games this season with at least five catches in the eight games he's been eligible to play. But he hasn't scored a touchdown in three games in a row, and this is a tough matchup against the Panthers. Carolina has only allowed three tight ends to score this year, and this defense should be able to keep Seferian-Jenkins in check. He's worth using as a low-end starter in PPR, but I would look for another option in standard leagues.
Eagles (vs. CHI) – 12.8 projected points
The Eagles DST has been exceptional of late and should keep it rolling in Week 12 against the Bears. In the past three games, the Eagles DST has scored at least 13 Fantasy points, including two games with at least 24 points. Philadelphia has held the past three opponents in San Francisco, Denver and Dallas to 42 combined points with two touchdowns, seven interceptions and 11 sacks. The Bears are allowing an average of 12.1 Fantasy points a game to opposing DSTs, and six of the past seven DSTs against Chicago have scored at least 10 points. This should be another great performance for the Eagles DST at home.
- Bengals (vs. CLE): The Bengals DST scored 14 Fantasy points against the Browns in Week 4, and opposing DSTs are averaging 15.4 Fantasy points against Cleveland this year. The Bengals DST has two games with at least 11 Fantasy points in its past four games and should have another successful performance this week.
- Panthers (at NYJ): The Panthers DST has struggled for the past two games with a combined 12 Fantasy points against Atlanta and Miami but should rebound coming off their bye in Week 12 against the Jets. The Jets have allowed at least three sacks in six of seven games, including six sacks in Week 10 against Tampa Bay.
- Patriots (vs. MIA): The Patriots DST has played well of late with at least 11 Fantasy points in three games in a row against the Chargers, Broncos and Raiders. And the Dolphins are allowing an average of 13 Fantasy points a game to opposing DSTs. The last time Matt Moore started for the Dolphins in Week 8 at Baltimore, the Ravens DST scored 33 Fantasy points with two interceptions, three sacks and two touchdowns during a shutout. This is a great week to trust the Patriots DST.
Rams (vs. NO) – 8.8 projected points
The Rams DST was a great Fantasy option for the past five weeks prior to Week 11 when it faced the Vikings and scored just two points. Prior to that, the Rams DST scored at least 12 Fantasy points in every game, including three games with at least 19 points over that span. The Vikings, however, didn't allow a sack or turnover, and this could be another tough game for the Rams DST against the Saints. New Orleans has only allowed two DSTs to score at least 10 Fantasy points this season, and Drew Brees has just five interceptions and has been sacked only 10 times. Even on the road, the Saints should make things tough on the Rams DST this week.
Succop destroyed the Colts in Week 6 during the first meeting between these teams with five field goals and three extra points for 18 Fantasy points. It's one of five games for Succop this year with at least 12 Fantasy points, and he has three games in his past five outings against Indianapolis with multiple field goals. The Colts are allowing the second-most Fantasy points to opposing kickers, and six kickers have made multiple field goals against Indianapolis this year.
- Graham Gano (at NYJ): Gano hasn't scored double digits in Fantasy points in four games in a row, so he's due for a big performance. And the Jets have allowed two of the past three opposing kickers to make at least three field goals with Matt Bryant in Week 8 and Patrick Murray in Week 10.
- Nick Rose (vs. NYG): In two home games for Washington, Rose has five field goals and four extra points for 21 Fantasy points against Dallas and Minnesota. The Giants have allowed two of the past three opposing kickers to make three field goals with Greg Zuerlein in Week 9 and Harrison Butker in Week 11.
- Brandon McManus (at OAK): The Raiders come into this game allowing the most Fantasy points to opposing kickers, and McManus had 10 Fantasy points against them in Week 4 with three field goals and one extra point. Eight kickers have made multiple field goals against Oakland this year.
Hauschka has combined for just 15 Fantasy points in his past three games against the Jets, Saints and Chargers, and he should struggle again this week at the Chiefs. Even though Taylor is starting for the Bills, opposing kickers have not fared well against Kansas City this year. No kicker has scored double digits in Fantasy points against the Chiefs, and the past six opposing kickers have scored seven points or less in each outing. You should be able to find a better starting option in Week 12.
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