Thomason: Start 'Em, Sit 'Em For Week 12

Baker Mayfield and Derrius Guice have favorable matchups this week.

Jack Thomason
November 21, 2019 - 2:57 pm

(670 The Score) "Sit ‘Em, Start ‘Em" is a breakdown of some of the best and worst fantasy football matchups to help you navigate setting your lineups for the week.

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My goal with this article is to provide you with a player to start who may not be the most obvious of starts and to share a player to sit whom you normally wouldn't consider shying away from regardless of matchup. 

Let's get to it for Week 12.


START – Baker Mayfield, Browns (vs. Dolphins) The Browns’ schedule has softened considerably over the last few weeks, and they have one of the easiest schedules down the stretch too. They get the lowly Dolphins at home this week, which sets up nicely for the entire offense to have a big day. They’re rounding into form with Kareem Hunt back in the lineup and possibly having David Njoku return as well. Baker has topped 17 fantasy points in his last three games after doing so just once in the previous six. The Browns are tied for the highest Vegas implied team total at 27.75 points this week, and the Dolphins’ defense ranks 32nd in Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric and 27th in 4for4’s schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed (aFPA) to quarterbacks.

SIT – Jared Goff, Rams (at Ravens) It’s been an abysmal season for Goff coming off the Super Bowl loss, and now the Rams have refocused on the running game to hide his struggles. Heading to Baltimore isn’t going to solve anything for him either. While Brandin Cooks is expected to return, Robert Woods is still dealing with a personal issue and Gerald Everett played a season-low 25 percent of the snaps due to a wrist injury last Sunday. So look for the Rams to once again lean on the run if they have a chance in this one. The Ravens’ defense is ranked sixth in DVOA and third in aFPA to opposing quarterbacks. The Rams have an implied team total of 21.5 points while on the road.

Running back

START – Derrius Guice, Redskins (vs. Lions) Guice didn't see the lion's share of the workload or the snap share, but that was to be expected when he has barely played pro football in two years due to knee injuries (ACL and meniscus). However, Guice made the most of his eight touches last week, totaling 69 yards and a score. He ran with power and explosion and showed it on his 45-yard catch-and-run for his first NFL touchdown. Guice should continue to see an increased workload, as he’s the future at the position for Washington and the team attempts to protect rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins. The Lions are allowing the second-most points to opposing running backs per aFPA, and Adrian Peterson is nursing a toe injury.

SIT – Sony Michel, Patriots (vs. Cowboys) After the Patriots rode him to a Super Bowl last year, Michel has been nowhere to be found outside of a couple games with multiple touchdowns. You just can’t trust him in your lineup right now. He’s been pretty much touchdown-or-bust all season. He also looks slow, and the offensive line isn’t opening holes as consistently. Even though the Patriots are 6.5-point home favorites with an implied team total of 26.25 points, such scenarios to date haven't been predictive of Michel’s workload or fantasy success. Unless you’re in desperation mode, you can't start Michel and feel comfortable even with the Cowboys ranking in the middle of the pack in run DVOA and aFPA.


START – Allen Robinson, Bears (vs. Giants) Robinson has had two tough outings in the last three weeks but gets a juicy matchup against the hapless Giants on Sunday. It won’t matter if Mitchell Trubisky or Chase Daniel starts at quarterback for the Bears, as Robinson has been heavily targeted when either have played.The Giants are 20th in aFPA to receivers and 27th in pass defense DVOA, and the Bears are 6.5-point home favorites with a team total of 23.25 points. Look for a bounce-back from Robinson, who won't be shadowed by Jalen Ramsey this week.

SIT – Marquise Brown, Ravens (vs. Rams) Brown has been hobbled by an ankle injury after starting the year on fire. Even two weeks ago when Brown had 80 yards and a score, he only played on 40 percent of the snaps and ran a minimal number of routes. This injury squandered another great matchup against the Texas last week, and now he’ll face off against the aforementioned Ramsey, who just shut down one of the better receivers in the NFL last week. If you’re starting Brown, you’re praying for that one long play and nothing more. I’d avoid that Hail Mary this week.

Tight end

START – Ryan Griffin, Jets (vs. Raiders) While everyone was focused on Chris Herndon this season, Griffin has quietly made the absolute best of his situation. Since Week 5, he’s the TE7 overall in half-point PPR leagues. He gets another great matchup this week. Oakland is giving up the third-most points to tight ends, according to aFPA, and Griffin has performed well in every plus matchup this season (Cowboys, Dolphins, Redskins). He has four touchdowns in the last seven weeks and with another tough bye week, Griffin is a top-10 option.

SIT – Jason Witten, Cowboys (at Patriots) Dallas is sitting on a team total of just 19.25 points heading to New England, and Witten has topped double-digit points in PPR leagues just twice since Week 3. He has seen a solid number of targets but he lacks any sort of juice to gain yards after the catch. If you’re hoping for five to eight points due to a bye, then Witten should be fine based upon his reception totals, but otherwise I’m looking elsewhere for a streaming option this week.

Other starts: Sam Darnold (vs. Raiders), Jaylen Samuels (at Bengals), Jarvis Landry (vs. Dolphins) and Jacob Hollister (at Eagles).

Other sits: Jimmy Garoppolo (vs.Packers), Brian Hill (vs. Buccaneers), Terry McLaurin (vs. Lions) and Noah Fant (at Bills).

Jack Thomason is 670 The Score’s fantasy football expert. Follow him on Twitter @jthomason77 and feel free to ask fantasy questions.​