Fantasy Football Week 12 Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em: Wide Receiver Edition
Fantasy Football Week 12 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: Wide Receiver Edition
Week 12. The second-to-last week in the fantasy football regular season. To make fantasy owners happy, it's also the final week with teams on a bye. This week, it's the Philadelphia Eagles, Seattle Seahawks, Cincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills. All four of these teams have top-tier fantasy starters. DeSean Jackson, Marshawn Lynch, A.J. Green and Fred Jackson are just a few.
There are five top-25 receivers on bye — Jackson, Green, Marvin Jones, Golden Tate and Riley Cooper. As far as the injury report is concerned, there won't be many receivers missing Week 12. Denarius Moore has already been ruled out for the Oakland Raiders. Eddie Royal and Hakeem Nicks are questionable.
Most of the fantasy playoff picture is set. Teams with at least eight wins have most likely clinched a playoff spot. The fringe teams sitting at 7-4 or 6-5 need a good game to earn a final spot. In order to do that, those owners need to make smart lineup decisions. If you're one of those owners, then pay close attention. You do not need to be cute and make risky decisions. If there was a set rule book for fantasy football, I believe the no. 1 rule would be "Do not sit your studs." Which means starting players like Dez Bryant, Wes Welker or Andre Johnson despite the matchup.
The second tip is to play the matchups for the non-superstar players. Here are three wide receivers to start as a WR2 or flex, and three to leave on your bench for Week 12.
Start: Dwayne Bowe
Dwayne Bowe can be considered somewhat of a fantasy bust this season. He had two touchdowns in the first nine games of the season. In those games, Bowe failed to total more than 67 receiving yards. To make the case even better, he scored zero points on two occasions.
Despite all that, Bowe is top-20 wide receiver this week. The Kansas City Chiefs are coming off their first loss of the season and play the San Diego Chargers. The Chargers allow the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers. The inconsistency makes Bowe a little hard to trust, but with 26 targets in the last two games, things are looking up. I mean, who else is Alex Smith going to throw to?
Sit: Keenan Allen
What was a nice stretch of games has turned into nothing more than WR5 numbers. From Week 5 to Week 9, Keenan Allen had 417 yards and three touchdowns. In the two games since, he has just seven receptions, 86 yards and no scores.
Allen suffered a right knee injury in the fourth quarter of last week's game. However, he was able to put in a full week of practice and will play on Sunday. The injury, plus the lack of production and the strong play of the Kansas City Chiefs' defense makes Allen hard to start in Week 12.
Start: Anquan Boldin
Colin Kaepernick has struggled over the last couple of weeks, hindering Anquan Boldin's production. Boldin went five games without scoring a touchdown before Week 11. He had nine targets against the New Orleans Saints, the most since Week 1.
The San Francisco 49ers welcomed back Mario Manningham and could see Michael Crabtree in the next couple of weeks. In addition, Vernon Davis is always a threat to opponents. All of this increases the value of Boldin in the 49ers' passing game. He's a must-start this week against the one of the worst passing defenses in the league, the Washington Redskins.
Sit: Jerricho Cotchery
If you own and started, Jerricho Cotchery in the last three weeks, then you've enjoyed very nice production from a player who wasn't drafted in most leagues. He has five touchdowns in the last three weeks. Roethlisberger continues to find Cotchery in the red zone with eight targets for six scores.
Despite the scoring from Cotchery, there just isn't enough usage on a weekly basis to justify starting him. the Pittsburgh Steelers take on the Cleveland Browns this week. With Joe Haden most likely on Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders will see a lot of targets. Unless you're in a 16-team league, Cotchery is bench fodder.
Start: Danny Amendola
This might be a given, but Danny Amendola is a nice play this week. A game between Peyton Manning and Tom Brady will more often then not become a high-scoring game. I'm dubbing this one the "Sunday Night Shootout." There could be a total of 800 passing yards when the game is over, increasing the values of every pass catcher.
Besides Rob Gronkowski, Amendola is the only other reliable receiver on the Patriots. Kenbrell Thompkins and Aaron Dobson are not targeted enough to be weekly starters. Shane Vereen is the No. 3 option for Brady. The Broncos' pass defense has allowed 10 touchdowns and an average of 23 fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers. Amendola will have a big game on Sunday night.
Sit: James Jones
Since returning in Week 9, James Jones has a total of 10 fantasy points. While low point totals are expected from a receiver just returning, many thought he would come back as good as he was when he left. Current quarterback Scott Tolzien doesn't seem to be looking Jones' way. In those three games, he has seven receptions.
It's also been reported that Jones is still dealing with the knee injury that kept him out for multiple games. With Randall Cobb out for another few weeks, the Packers needed Jones to return. But did they bring him back too soon? Despite the Minnesota Vikings allowing a wide receiver to score in every game this season, Jones won't be the one to continue the streak.