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2011 Fantasy Football: NFL Week 12 Start’em Sit’em

Start ‘em Sit ‘em is our weekly look at favorable and unfavorable match-ups and how they might affect lineup decisions for your fantasy football team. Other than a few elite players, no one should be classified as a must start every week, and analyzing match-ups can go a long way to giving your team a weekly edge. If you have any start’em sit’em questions feel free to post them in our Fantasy Football Forum.

Running Backs

Kevin Smith DET vs. GB | Sit’em

Kevin Smith came out of nowhere last week (well sort of, we were saying all week in the forums be careful about starting Morris due to him – but no one saw that day coming)  to have a huge fantasy day. He was certainly the top waiver pick-up for your league and if you got him, nicely done. Before starting him know that Carolina gives up the most fantasy points to running backs (mainly due to giving up so many touchdown runs to back) hence why so many forums members asked about starting Morris last week. Thanksgiving the Lions are going to have a much bigger test in the Packers. Just by looking at total numbers the Packers defense is not that scary but that is a little off since they spend most of the second half of games in prevent defense. Now the Packers don’t have the best defense in the league but good enough that if you are expecting a repeat performance or even close to it – you will be sad as you are eating your turkey.

Chris Johnson TEN @ TB | Start’em

Something that no one has been thankful for is drafting Johnson in the first round of their drafts this season. After crushing the Carolina defense he took a huge step backwards again last week putting up terrible numbers against the Falcons. The Falcons are a solid run defense so that did not come as a huge shock to me as they are 3rd in the league in yards allowed on the ground. This week CJ goes up against a Bucs team that has been killed by the run ever since their best defensive player McCoy went down for the year. Since then they have not stopped anyone on the ground since this injury this week I like CJ much like I liked him against Carolina in week 10. So start him this week again and watch him produce his second best day of the year.

Cedric Benson CIN vs. CLE | Start’em

I always have a tough time suggesting Benson as a start but not this week. Cincy needs a win and they way you attack the Browns is on the ground. Furthermore last time Benson faced the Browns this season he went off for a buck 25 with a touch (that is 125 yards and a touchdown – which is pretty good). If you needed one more reason the Browns are ranked 29th vs the run so all the numbers say Benson is a must start this week. (which probably means he will do terrible but I say you got to get him in your line-up)

Wide Receivers

Andre Johnson HOU @ JAC | Start’em

The Texans could have brought Johnson back in week 10, before their bye, but wanted to give him the extra rest. According to the local papers he is looking like the Andre of old and practicing at full speed. So the planned worked great except for one small thing – Matt Leinart is throwing him the ball. That is certainly a dagger to all the Andre owners that waited him out so long but if you did I think you still have to start him this week. He is still Andre and if you are concerned about the fact a back-up is throwing him the ball just look at how well Larry Fitzgerald has done as of late.

Damian Williams TEN vs. TB | Pick-up and Play

If you grabbed Dustin’s boy after his breakout game and started him I am sure you were disappointed but I am saying not to give up on him so fast. Last week he got 11 targets with 3 of those targets coming in the endzone so, they were certainly looking for him. Next if you are concerned about the fact Locker might get the start, don’t worry too much as two of those endzone targets came from him. I don’t see Williams as a must play but I still like him as an upside WR3 this week.

Mario Manningham NYG @ NO | Sit’em

I am finally 100% throwing in the towel on Manningham this year. Cruz has taken over as the number two and maybe even the number one fantasy option in terms of wideouts on that team. Last week both Nicks and Cruz had close to double digit targets while Manningham had only two. There has been a changing of the guard for a while out in New York but after last week I cannot see Manningham having much value this week or any week really going forward.


Tony Romo DAL vs. MIA | Start’em

Romo has been playing maybe the best football of his career and I am sure he is going to be up for a Thanksgiving day game with the entire world watching him. It also helps he is playing the Fins who are ranked 25th against the pass. I know, the Fins have won a few games in a row but the defense’s calling card is the run stopping ability not the pass defense. I do believe Romo’s success has been due to them finding a running game but it is the threat of the run that is only needed to set-up his play action passes down the field. I feel Romo will continue to produce and continue to be a top five QB for this week and the rest of the year.

Phillip Rivers SD vs. DEN | Start’em

Over the last few weeks Rivers has not been the best real life quarterback but his fantasy numbers have not be terrible, which is why I am so surprised he is getting hated on by so many other sites. In his last three starts he has averaged over 300 yards and a little over 2 touchdowns a game (with yes, a few picks thrown in). Now those numbers are not setting the world on fire but he has been pretty good. Too many people are wanting to bench him for guys like Andy Dalton because of real football sport shows saying how bad he is playing. This is fantasy and in fantasy he is doing good enough to be considered a start vs. a middle of the road pass defense.

Ben Roethlisberger PIT vs. KC | Start’em

He might have a broken thumb and I am sure that is going to scare a bunch of owners but Big Ben has played with worse and the Steelers are a pass first team now. Wallace is a stud and Brown is the best wideout no one ever talks about. The thumb might bump him down a little bit but don’t do anything cute like benching him for an average quarterback as he is playing a pass defense that just got lite up by Brady on Monday Night.

Tight End

Jermichael Finley GB @ DET | Start’em

Even with all the success of the Packers Finley has not been a huge fantasy asset. One could even argue (especially if you own him) he has been a huge fantasy bust. The main reason he has not produce is simply because Rodgers spreads the ball so much and have hit so many wideouts for big plays he has not been able to utilize his big Tight End in the red zone too much. I think on Thanksgiving the Lions will try to outscore the Packers and therefore go with the bend don’t break defense mentality against them. Doing this will in turn leave the middle of the field softer and I believe Finley will capitalize on that.


Washington Redskins WAS @ SEA | Pick-up and Play Defense

For as bad as the Skins have been over the last seven weeks it is really quite impressive how solid their defense has been. They are ranked 10th in terms of points allowed and 14th in terms of total yards allowed. This week they do have to travel a long way to Seattle but I still like them as a pick up and play. Seattle needs their running game to be working to put up points on the board as Jackson is a play action quarterback. The Redskins are solid enough up front and especially with their linebacking core that I don’t see them over committing to the run and therefore having another good defense day.

If you have any start’em sit’em questions feel free to post them in our Fantasy Football Forum.


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