Fantasy Football Start Em, Sit Em Week 12: Wide Receivers – Sleepers, Fades, Matchups, DFS Bargains – Sports Illustrated

Week 12 Start ‘Em: Wide Receivers

Byes: None

Start of the Week

Justin Jefferson vs. Panthers (1 p.m. ET, FOX): Jefferson has been on absolute fire in recent weeks, and this week’s matchup against the Panthers isn’t as bad as it might look on paper. While Carolina has allowed the eighth-fewest fantasy points to wideouts overall, home receivers have averaged the ninth-most points against them. What’s more, home receivers lined out wide have scored the sixth-most points against the Panthers. Keep Jefferson active as a No. 2 wideout.

Week 12 Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em

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Start ‘Em

Chase Claypool vs. Ravens (Thurs. 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC): Claypool’s matchup against the Ravens doesn’t look great on paper, but he’s emerged into a virtual must start in the Steelers pass-laden offense. He’s scored at least 13 fantasy points in four straight games and six of his last seven, including 13.2 points versus the Ravens in Week 8. Their defense has also given up 14-plus fantasy points to eight receivers this season, so I’d feel confident with Claypool in all lineups.

Robby Anderson at Vikings (1 p.m. ET, FOX): Anderson has fallen behind D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel in terms of point production in recent weeks, but I’d keep the faith and start him against the Vikings. He still leads all Panthers wideouts with a 26.5 percent target share, and Minnesota has allowed 17 touchdowns and the fourth-most fantasy points to the position. I can make an argument for starting all three of Moore, Anderson, and Samuel this week.

Brandin Cooks at Lions (Thurs. 12:30 p.m. ET, CBS): Cooks continues to be a reliable source of points for fantasy managers, posting double digits in five of his last six games. He should continue that trend on Thanksgiving Day, as Cooks will go up against a Lions defense that’s allowed nearly 40 fantasy points per game to wideouts. The Texans have lost Randall Cobb and Kenny Stills to injuries too, so Cook will receive a healthy target share in what could be a shootout in Detroit.

DeVante Parker at Jets (1 p.m. ET, CBS): Parker’s numbers looked good last week in Denver, as he posted a touchdown and 18.1 fantasy points. I’d keep him in starting lineups this week too, as Miami travels to the Big Apple to face the Jets. Their defense has been brutal against wide receivers, allowing an average of more than 200 receiving yards and the sixth-most fantasy points to the position. Even with Tua Tagovailoa under center, Parker figures to be a flex option.

More Starts

  • D.J. Chark vs. Browns (1 p.m. ET, CBS)
  • Antonio Brown vs. Chiefs (4:25 p.m. ET, CBS)
  • Sterling Shepard at Bengals (1 p.m. ET, FOX)

DFS Bargains

  • Curtis Samuel at Vikings (DraftKings: $5,100)
  • Michael Pittman Jr. vs. Titans (DraftKings: $5,000)
  • Nelson Agholor at Falcons (DraftKings: $4,900)

Week 12 Sit ‘Em: Wide Receivers

Sit of the Week

Tee Higgins vs. Giants (1 p.m. ET, CBS): Higgins has been a tremendous asset for fantasy managers this season, but I fear the loss of Joe Burrow is going to be the end of his run of consistent production. The Broncos are going with Brandon Allen this week, which is better than starting Ryan Finley but it’s still a huge downgrade. So while this week’s matchup against the Giants isn’t bad on paper, Higgins is a pretty tough sell as a fantasy starter with Allen at the helm.

Sit ‘Em

Marquise Brown at Steelers (Thurs. 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC): Many fantasy fans out there had high hopes for Brown this season, but those hopes have been dashed in what’s been a disappointing Ravens passing game. He’s averaged fewer than five targets over his last four games, and the Titans held Brown without a single catch last week. He’ll be on a short week against a Steelers defense that held him to just three receiving yards in Week 8. At this point, Brown is barely even rosterable.

Deebo Samuel at Rams (4:05 p.m. ET, FOX): There are questions about who will be active at wide receiver for the Niners, as Samuel (hamstring) and Brandon Aiyuk (COVID-19) are questionable at best this week. Regardless, I’d be fading their No. 1 wideout in a matchup against the Rams and CB Jalen Ramsey. The position has found the end zone just six times and has averaged a mere 29.3 fantasy points against Los Angeles. That’s the third-fewest points in the league.

Corey Davis at Colts (1 p.m. ET, CBS): Davis has quietly been reliable for most fantasy managers this season, scoring double-digit points in all but one game. Still, his matchup against the Colts this week makes Davis a risk-reward proposition. Their defense has allowed just nine touchdowns and the seventh-fewest fantasy points to wideouts, and it held Davis to fewer than 12 points in Week 10. With no teams on a bye this holiday week, it’ll be easier to fade Davis.

Mike Williams at Bills (1 p.m. ET, CBS): Williams put up a touchdown and over 17 fantasy points last week, but I wouldn’t chase the points against a far more formidable Bills defense. Wide receivers have scored just nine touchdowns versus Buffalo this season, and the position overall has averaged the 10th-fewest fantasy points. Williams, who is mostly touchdown-dependent from a fantasy perspective, should be viewed as a low-ceiling No. 3 wideout or flex starter.

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More Sits

  • Travis Fulgham vs. Seahawks (MNF 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN)
  • Jerry Jeudy vs. Saints (4:25 p.m. ET, FOX)
  • Christian Kirk at Patriots (1 p.m. ET, FOX)

DFS Fades

  • Christian Kirk at Patriots (DraftKings: $5,800)
  • Jamison Crowder vs. Dolphins (DraftKings: $5,400)
  • Jakobi Meyers vs. Cardinals (DraftKings: $5,300)

Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on Sports Illustrated and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. You can follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram for all of the latest breaking fantasy football news and the best analysis in the business!

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