Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston

Vincent Charchietta/USA Today Sports

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

Jameis Winston has a quality matchup, while Philip Rivers could have trouble on the horizon.

Jack Thomason
November 21, 2018 - 12:49 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.

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 who you normally wouldn't consider shying away from regardless of matchup.


START – Jameis Winston, Buccaneers (vs. 49ers) Believe it or not, Buccaneers quarterbacks rank second to only Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes in fantasy production. Winston gets the starting nod this week, facing a 49ers defense that ranks 21st in Football Outsiders' DVOA and 23rd in 4for4's schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed (aFPA) to quarterbacks. Tampa Bay's team total of 30.5 points is the highest on the Sunday slate as well. We know Winston is prone to turnovers, but he gets a great matchup at home with a full complement of weapons. Fire him up. 

SIT – Philip Rivers, Chargers (vs. Cardinals) Rivers will be tough to bench, considering he has a great floor in having thrown at least two touchdowns in every game this year, but with the Chargers being 11.5-point home favorites, there's pause for concern on his volume. The Chargers' team total of 27.5 points would have you thinking to go with Rivers, but the Cardinals' weakness is their run defense. They rank fifth in pass DVOA and second in aFPA to quarterbacks, so this could end up being a huge Melvin Gordon spot with Rivers having a modest day.

Running back

START – Nick Chubb, Browns (at Bengals) Chubb is coming off of his best game as a pro, shredding the Falcons for 209 total yards and two touchdowns. Now he'll square off against a Bengals defense that ranks dead last in rush DVOA and 30th in aFPA to running backs. We just watched the Bengals surrender 265 rushing yards to the Ravens. Don't let the 21.5-point team total or the road underdog label for the Browns deter you -- Chubb will get his. 

SIT – Dion Lewis, Titans (at Texans) We're still awaiting word on quarterback Marcus Mariota's availability for Sunday, and the Titans' offense hasn't fared well when he has been injured. I Dion Lewis, but this matchup in Houston will be a difficult one. The Texans rank second in run DVOA, 10th in aFPA and first in pass DVOA to running backs, making Lewis' path to fantasy points a challenging one. I'm fading Lewis this week.


START – Marquise Goodwin, 49ers (at Buccaneers) Nick Mullens has played well since taking over as the starting quarterback in San Francisco, and that bodes well for Goodwin's production. Traveling to Tampa, they'll do battle with the league's worst defense in multiple categories. The 49ers' passing attack and specifically Goodwin will benefit from the Bucs' 28th-ranked defense in pass DVOA to No. 1 receivers. Tampa Bay also ranks 30th in overall pass DVOA and 25th in aFPA to receivers. While the 49ers are 3.5-point road underdogs, they still carry a 24.5-point team total. 

SIT – Allen Robinson, Bears (at Lions) At this moment, we're unsure on whether Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky will suit up Thursday. Beyond the fact that Robinson has been up and down all season, that's going to make him a risky play. His matchup against Lions cornerback Darius Slay will be a difficult one, and Detroit ranks 12th in aFPA to receivers as well. 

Tight end

START – Cameron Brate, Buccaneers (vs. 49ers) O.J. Howard has landed on injured reserve due to an ankle injury, which leaves Brate as the top tight end in Tampa. We know he and Winston have synergy, and the 49ers rank 22nd in pass DVOA to the position. Brate has been a favorite target of Winston's in the red zone and with the Bucs sporting a 30.5-point team total, I'd expect Brate to have his chances and, furthermore, be a TE1 for the remainder of the season.

SIT – Evan Engram, Giants (at Eagles) The Eagles are a tough matchup for tight ends. They rank second in pass DVOA to the position and fourth in aFPA. The best way to attack the Eagles is via the outside receivers, meaning Odell Beckham Jr. should be set up for success. Engram has topped 46 yards just twice in seven games and has only two touchdowns. It's a far cry from his productive 2017 season, when Beckham and Sterling Shepard dealt with injuries.

Other starts: Nick Mullens (at Buccaneers), Matt Breida (at Buccaneers), Keke Coutee (vs. Titans) and Jack Doyle (vs. Dolphins).

Other sits: Matt Stafford (vs. Bears), Jordan Howard (at Lions), Golden Tate (vs. Giants) and Eric Ebron (vs. Dolphins).

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