Start or Sit? Complex Sports Fantasy Football Tips (Week 12)

Start or Sit? Complex Sports Fantasy Football Tips (Week 12)
Fantasy owners rejoice! Andre Johnson is returning...without his starting quarterback. More injuries to starting leaders have disrupted fantasy squads and put some teams in danger of holding their playoff positions. Now more than ever, it's important to make sure you carefully watch key matchups, keep track of injuries, and find those breakout replacements. Check out who we think could be helpful or detrimental to your team in Start or Sit? Complex Sports Fantasy Football Tips (Week 12).

Minnesota Vikings @ Atlanta Falcons (1:00 ET)
START: ATL Defense, QB Matt Ryan
SIT: RB Toby Gerhart

Toby Gerhart was one of this week’s popular waiver wire pickups. With Adrian Peterson officially out for today’s game against the Falcons, Gerhart should be in your lineup, right? Wrong. According to ESPN’s Matthew Berry, Atlanta’s defense has yet to give up 100 rushing yards to an opposing back. If AP were starting, that streak would probably have a good chance of coming to an end but with Gerhart, we just don’t know enough to whole-heartedly say that he is a must start.   


Cleveland Browns @ Cincinnati Bengals (1:00 ET)
START: RB Cedric Benson, WR A.J. Green, CIN Defense
SIT: RB Montario Hardesty or Chris Ogbonnaya

It’s official: A.J. Green is match-up proof. No matter who he’s playing against, Green should always be in your lineup. Now that we got that out of the way, let us say that neither of the Browns running backs should not be starting for your team this Sunday. Sure, Chris Ogbonnaya has had solid games for two consecutive weeks, but Cincy’s rush defense is one of the best in the league. Add to the fact that this is a home game for the Bengals, and it has all the makings of another frustrating game for Cleveland.


Carolina Panthers @ Indianapolis Colts (1:00 ET)
START: RB Jonathan Stewart, RB DeAngelo Williams
SIT: Anybody on the Colts

You may have a better chance at Russian Roulette than predicting which Carolina running back will show up any given Sunday. But if we had to pick one, it would be Jonathan Stewart, who looks like the safer choice since he is the one given the goal-line attempts. On the Colts side of the ball, is there anyone you would feel comfortable putting in your lineup at this point? We rest our case.


Arizona Cardinals @ St. Louis Rams (1:00 ET)
START: RB Beanie Wells, QB Sam Bradford, WR Brandon Lloyd
SIT: ARI Defense, STL Defense

This is an interesting match-up between one of the league’s worst pass defenses (Cardinals) and the league’s worst rush defense (Rams). If there were ever a game that you could feel comfortable starting Beanie Wells, this is it. As for the Rams offense, Sam Bradford and Brandon Lloyd look like the best start options against a team that cannot defend the pass. Since joining the Rams, Lloyd hasn’t had a total lower than 7 points. When you realize that he’s doing this on a team that scores a dismal 12 points per game, that kind of production is saying something.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Tennessee Titans (1:00 ET)
START: RB Chris Johnson, RB LeGarrette Blount
SIT: QB Josh Freeman

We hate ourselves for putting Chris Johnson in the start column for another week. But in an extremely favorable match-up against the poor Tampa Bay rush defense, CJ should be able to have a great game. We realize that this is the same old song and dance when it comes to the Tennessee running back, so we can’t knock you for keeping him out of your lineup. There’s only so much abuse one fantasy owner can take. 

 
Buffalo Bills @ New York Jets (1:00 ET)

START: C.J. Spiller, RB Shonn Greene
SIT: K Rian Lindell, RB Fred Jackson, RB LaDanian Tomlinson

As if things weren't bad enough for the Bills, news broke this week that Fred Jackson was headed for the IR. Stepping in to fill his monstrous shoes is Spiller. While he won't produce nearly as great of numbers as Jackson, he'll probably still be heavily involved in this offense. Even with the Bills' recent downward spiral, that justifies a Flex start. One of the main sources of the Bills’ recent woes is the atrocious defense (they’ve given up 106 points in the past three games). With Tomlinson completely out of the way, Greene should be able to put up a solid game.


Houston Texans @ Jacksonville Jaguars (1:00 ET)

START: WR Andre Johnson
SIT: QB Matt Schaub, QB Matt Leinart

Sit Schaub because he’s on the injured reserve. Sit Leinart because we have no idea how that scenario is going to play out. We highly doubt it’ll be a “man, Leinart was awesome and is sitting on my bench!” situation. What we do know is that the Texans are expected to have their star back. Johnson might be a little rusty, but will once again immediately become the No. 1 target on the team.


Chicago Bears @ Oakland Raiders (4:05 ET)
START: RB Michael Bush, WR Darrius Heyward-Bey
SIT: QB Jay Cutler, QB Caleb Hanie, QB Carson Palmer, RB Darren McFadden, WR Jacoby Ford, WR Denarius Moore

If you’re seriously considering starting Hanie, we’re pretty sorry for you and your squad. In any normal eight-team league, there should be better options. Once again, McFadden is out, so make sure you have Bush in your lineup. Though the Bears were devastated by the loss of Cutler, that just means their already stingy defense is going to have to play that much harder. Add that to Bush’s success getting in the endzone and the Raiders’ banged up receivers, and we don’t see a good game for Palmer.


Washington Redskins @ Seattle Seahawks (4:05 ET)
START: WR Sidney Rice, RB Marshawn Lynch, WR Santana Moss
SIT: Donte’ Stallworth

Rice is easily Tarvaris Jackson’s best target, so even on a weak team, he’s worth a shot at a flex start. Hopefully, you weren’t considering Stallworth as a legitimate option, even after he had over 50 yards and a touchdown last game. Moss is back after missing four games with a broken hand, and that immediately takes away a large chunk of opportunities for all other receivers for the ‘Skins.


New England Patriots @ Philadelphia Eagles (4:15 ET)
START: QB Vince Young (Deep Leagues),
SIT: WR Riley Cooper

Vick is likely going to sit again, so if you’re desperate for a QB, you could probably do much worse than Young. Playing the Pats usually means lots of scoring, so the Eagles should get plenty of opportunities. Though Maclin is doutbful, we’re still not so high on Cooper. His five catches last week were his first of the season, so we haven’t seen enough to be convinced that he deserves a roster spot. Find somebody else.


Denver Broncos @ San Diego Chargers (4:15 ET)
START: QB Tim Tebow
SIT: RB Ryan Mathews, WR Malcom Floyd

Tebow is putting up solid fantasy numbers, and that’s all that matters to his owners. He will continue that trend against a Chargers team that is looking to avoid its sixth straight loss. After sitting out earlier in the week, Mathews fully participated in practice and is listed as probable. We don’t really think that matters, though. Mathews has been highly ineffective over the past four weeks (he’s only had 45 carries), and we can’t imagine that’s drastically going to change.


Pittsburgh Steelers @ Kansas City Chiefs (8:20 ET)
START: WR Antonio Brown
SIT: QB Tyler Palko, QB Kyle Orton, KC Defense

Palko is starting, and Orton is sitting. Neither is worthy of any consideration for the moment being. Like always, Roethlisberger was on the injury report the entire week, but there’s no reason to worry. He’ll be starting.


New York Giants @ New Orleans Saints (MON, 8:30 ET)
START: RB Brandon Jacobs
SIT: RB Ahmad Bradshaw, WR Mario Manningham

It appears that the Giants are headed straight for another disastrous ending to their season as they come off two consecutive losses to face the Saints in New Orleans. We think Jacobs will still be able to bounce back against a mediocre Saints defense, especially if there are a lot of points on the board per usual in New Orleans. Manningham put his fantasy owners in a bit of an awkward spot this week. He said he’d play earlier but missed practice later. Plan your roster like he’ll be out for this one.
Tags: start-or-sit, fantasy-football-tips
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