Tate versus the Vikings? Witten versus Washington? Murray versus Carolina? What will you need to feast on for this Thanksgiving weekend slate of games? It's week-12 and you'll want to save some room to gobble up Kevin Luss, Jr.'s Start 'Em/ Sit 'Em. Pass the stuffing, let's get going...
Start ‘Em Sit ‘Em: Week 11
by Kevin Luss, Jr.
Welcome to the weekly Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em article. A quick disclaimer on how to view this article: The players in the “start” category are generally not going to be star players. We all know you should start Aaron Rodgers and Antonio Brown! In the “sit” section, these are guys who you should consider sitting if you have a viable replacement. This is not a warning to bench them for a nobody on the waiver wire. Sleepers are guys to consider if you’re willing to take a chance on player at a position where you don’t like your current options. With that, enjoy this week’s read…
Eli Manning, QB, NYG
Ever the game manager, Eli has put together three straight multi-touchdown games. This is due largely in part to the Giants lack of a running attack. This week Manning draws the destitute Browns whose secondary has been bad all year. Eli shouldn’t struggle to find holes in the defense all day and post a couple touchdowns as well.
Devontae Booker, RB, DEN
Booker has struggled to find running room in the Denver backfield since becoming a full-time starter, but he remains the clear-cut top option for the Broncos. Kansas City is in the top half of the league against the run as well. Booker does see a couple of targets in the passing game every week and will continue to see enough touches to remain in the RB2 tier.
Allen Robinson, WR, JAC
Robinson has been one of the biggest fantasy disappointments of the season. Blake Bortles has taken a big step back this season and that has had a direct impact on the rest of the offense. Robinson does continue to rack up targets, though, and the Buffalo secondary has been beatable, especially on big plays. Robinson should be able to pull in enough of his targets to be a WR2 this week.
Golden Tate, WR, DET
Tate had an absolutely awful game in Week 11 with only 3 receptions for 27 yards, but also pulled in 11 of 12 targets in his first game against Minnesota this season. On a short week of rest, the Vikings will not have as much time to prepare for the Thanksgiving Day matchup and Tate will see enough passes thrown his way to rebound from last week’s efforts.
Jason Witten, TE, DAL
Witten has seen a resurgence over the past three weeks, with at least 7 targets and 5 receptions in each game over that span. This week he draws a matchup with a Washington defense that is weak against tight ends and gave up 3 receptions for 51 yards to Witten in Week 2. A home matchup on Thanksgiving provides a good opportunity for Witten to keep his hot streak alive.
Marcus Mariota, QB, TEN
Mariota has been on fire lately with seven consecutive multi-touchdown performances through the air. Chicago has only a middling secondary, but this game is being played in Chicago. Their field is always a source of concern and the weather starts to get questionable this late into the season. The Titans could be looking to win this week on the ground with DeMarco Murray and perhaps a bigger dose of Derrick Henry.
Isaiah Crowell, RB, CLE
The Browns are simply a mess on both sides of the ball. Crowell is stuck running behind a struggling offensive line that has failed to create running lanes for him. The Giants defense, while not overpowering, should be good enough to bottle up the Cleveland offense and prevent Crowell from producing much in the way of fantasy numbers.
Latavius Murray, RB, OAK
Murray has only rushed for 100 yards once this season, while Oakland’s offense has been difficult to read. Murray’s rushing attempts have varied week-to-week and he was hobbled this week by an ankle injury. Pairing all of this with a matchup against a stout Carolina run defense, Murray is a big gamble for Week 12.
Willie Snead, WR, NO
Snead always has the upside of playing in the New Orleans offense and has Drew Brees leading his offense, but his role in the offense appears to be waning and his only 100 yard game was back in Week 1. With Brandin Cooks as the top receiving threat and Michael Thomas quickly developing, Snead finds himself the third option in the passing game and will not be worth a start unless he can find the end zone.
Antonio Gates, TE, SD
Gates has been able to produce good receiving numbers over the last few weeks, but has not been able to catch a high percentage of his targets. That’s an issue which could be more problematic this week as the Houston defense will not give Gates many chances to get open. Look for the veteran tight end to have a down week in Week 12.
Colin Kaepernick, QB, SF
Kaepernick has been a target of criticism for most of the season, but has played well in terms of fantasy numbers the last couple of weeks. The Miami secondary is good enough to limit Kaepernick’s total passing yardage, but his ability to make plays with his feet gives him the potential to post worthwhile numbers.
Adam Thielen, WR, MIN
Thielen has caught a touchdown in consecutive weeks now and has caught the majority of his targets in every game this season. Stefon Diggs is currently dealing with a knee issue, which could limit his impact this week. Detroit has a very vulnerable defense and Thielen has the opportunity to benefit from this.
New Orleans DEF/ST
New Orleans is not a team you think of for defenses in fantasy. This week, however, New Orleans faces off against the Los Angeles Rams and their struggling offense. Todd Gurley has been largely ineffective and Jared Goff is making only his second career NFL start. This is a perfect opportunity for the Saints to produce as a starting fantasy defense.