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With the fantasy playoffs right around the corner, every win is amplified as many teams playoffs hopes are hanging by a thread. Now with the Thanksgiving games in the rear view mirror, a lot of fantasy owners are starting their Sunday in a big hole. Here are my players to start and sit this week to keep your playoff hopes alive.
Coming into week 12 Tennessee finds themselves 2nd in the NFL in scoring defense and many fantasy experts are saying to bench Watson this week, but I am not one of them. As effective as the Titans have been at keeping points off the board, they still rank near the bottom of the league in team sacks and interceptions. Back in week 2, on the road, Watson threw for 310 yards and 2 TD and plays this same defense at home in a primetime matchup where stars like to show up. I expect the Titans to exploit the Hopkins-Butler matchup, who is responsible for over half of the teams TD’s allowed this season, and come out with a W.
Last week, in a win against Cincinnati, Lamar Jackson rushed 26 times for 119 yards and now gets to face-off against a Raiders team that has given up the 5th most fantasy points to QB’s and ranks 31st in the NFL against the run. With Oakland having to make a 3,000-mile trip east and being extremely thin at WR, expect the Ravens to dominate the time of possession and a big game from Lamar Jackson. Gus Edwards is also a must-start.
Marlon Mack has been a godsend for fantasy owners since returning in week 6 and now gets a favorable matchup against the Miami Dolphins who give up the 4th most fantasy points to RB’s. Since the start of the year, Miami has allowed a rushing TD in all but one game this season and have allowed 11 different RB’s to either score or surpass 100 total yards. With the Dolphins having to worry about slowing down Andrew Luck and TY Hilton I expect Marlon Mack to follow the trend. He’s must-start RB1 this week.
In the 4 games since Carlos Hyde was traded, Nick Chubb has handled 79% of the Browns rushing attempts and compiled 406 yards and 3 TD. Now coming off the bye, the Browns are facing a Bengals team that ranks dead last in rushing yards allowed. With AJ Green and Cordy Glenn both expected to be out the Bengals offense should continue to struggle giving Chubb plenty of opportunities to continue his streak of 18+ carries.
After starting the season strong, Jeffery has struggled the past 3 games, failing to reach 50 receiving in each contest, but I expect Alshon to bounce back in a big way this week against the Giants. In week 6, Jeffery had 8 catches, 74 yards and 2 TD against the Giants and they no longer have Damon Harrison or Eli Apple on the defensive unit. Carson Wentz is 4-1 against the G-Men since being drafted in 2016 and I see that record improving to 5-1 after Sunday.
Landry flopped last week in a favorable matchup against Atlanta, finishing with 2 catches for 22 yards, and has 50 yards or less in 4 of his last 5 games, but now gets a banged up Bengals team who has been torched in the secondary. Cincinnati is ranked 31st in the NFL in passing yards allowed per game (296) and will now be without Dre Kirkpatrick. Start Landry with confidence this week, especially in PPR leagues. Baker Mayfield is also a must-start.
OJ Howard was placed on IR this week ending his season which opens up a big opportunity for Cameron Brate. Going back to last year, when starting, Brate has been a top 5 TE and a huge red zone threat. Tampa Bay currently ranks #1 in the NFL in total passing yards and with Reuben Foster getting arrested on Saturday that should open up the middle of the field for Brate.
Big Ben has known to struggle on the road in his career, but in his last 4 road games has produced 24+ fantasy points. The Steelers are now heading to Denver where Roethlisberger has struggled mightily with a 2-4 career record at Mile High and has yet to beat them there since drafting Von Miller. To make things worse, Marcus Gilbert is Out and will be replaced by Matt Feiler. I expect Von Miller to feast on this matchup all game long and make Ben’s life a nightmare in the pocket.
Kenyan Drake has been a boom or bust option this year and has had Frank Gore stealing playing time from him, getting double-digit touches in 7 straight weeks. Drake is now dealing with a shoulder injury and was wearing a no-contact jersey in practice on Tuesday which means his snaps could be limited. With that being said, Frank Gore is also playing his former team this week which could lead to Gase giving Gore the bulk of the work this Sunday.
Marcus Mariota was knocked out of last weeks game but was able to practice in full on Friday and Saturday. With that being said, the Titans face a tough matchup on the road against a division rival that gives up the 5th fewest fantasy points to WR’s and the least amount of TD to WR’s in the NFL. In week 2 against the Texans, Corey Davis had 5 catches for 55 yards and has gone five games this season scoring 5 or fewer fantasy points.
Since coming back from injury, Greg Olsen has scored a TD in 4 of his last 5 games and it looks like the ankle issues are a thing of the past. This week however, is a tough matchup against Seattle who has held opposing TE’s to 30 yards or less in 5 of their last 6 games and give up the 9th fewest fantasy points to the position. Bobby Wagner has played his way into the Defensive Player of the Year discussion and will be covering Olsen most of the game.