Fantasy Football Week 12 lineup decisions: Starts, Sits, Sleepers, Busts to know for every game this weekend

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Dave is on the move this week and spending time with the family so I’m here to take the lead on what I consider the bible for weekly Fantasy Football decisions. The good news for those already missing Dave’s expertise is that you can find his plays for the Thanksgiving slate here. You’ll also get a bonus play for the Titans-Bengals game below. Otherwise, I’ll do my best to find you the right sleepers, busts, FLEX plays and more.

Fantasy Football is all about the matchups. Even though you drafted your team with certain hopes and intentions, your weekly lineup decisions shouldn’t be determined by the order you picked your players in. You need to check who your players play and make sure you’ve got the right guys in — and the wrong guys out.

It’s too early to be absolutely sure on which matchups will be easy and which ones will be tough, but we can take some educated guesses based on healthy personnel, defensive schemes, track records and key details of offenses. The things we know can help us minimize the impact of the things we don’t know. This should lead to better decisions being made.

We’ll go through every Thanksgiving day game and highlight the players who aren’t obvious starts and sits (because you don’t need to be told to start Justin Jefferson). You should feel more comfortable starting or sitting players based on the information given, and feeling comfortable with your Fantasy lineup before the games start is the best feeling in the world.  

All lines from Caesars Sportsbook.

Start Him (Lineup Decisions)

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  • LAST GAME: Wilson totaled a 61% snap share on route to 52% of the team’s attempts. and led the way in attempts (52%) and route participation (53%). 
  • MORE USAGE: Wilson racked up 17 rushing attempts and five targets while operating as the team’s short-yardage back.
  • TEXANS: Houston has allowed at least 90 yards or more to a running back in each of its past eight games. They have also allowed eight rushing touchdowns to running backs in their last five games. They have allowed the most Fantasy points to opposing running backs on the season.

Sneaky Sleeper (Lineup Decisions)

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Dave’s Notebook:

  • LAST WEEK: Saw a target share north of 17% for only the second time this season, wielding eight targets into a 7-111-0 stat line (his first outing with more than 55 yards). It’s worth noting that 94 yards came on his first and last receptions, both deep targets, which means 17 yards were earned over his other five grabs. 
  • LAST WEEK: Burks was also noticeably absent on a lot of the Titans’ red-zone snaps. Of Ryan Tannehill’s 10 dropbacks inside the 20, Burks played four snaps. He did get a target and may have scored on the play had Tannehill thrown sooner. Burks also drew a double-team in the end-zone in the second half. 
  • FILM: While he didn’t quickly accelerate into top gear, Burks did show he can outrun the competition on those two aforementioned targets. Whether or not the Titans keep giving him those deep opportunities from game to game remains to be seen, but the short-area targets he saw were very similar to what he did at Arkansas, and that figures to be a staple in the Titans offense. It should set Burks up for an eight-point PPR floor moving forward. 
  • BENGALS: Are among the league leaders in catch rate allowed to wideouts (59% on the season) and they don’t miss many tackles (five in 2022). However, they’re slipping in terms of yards per catch (14.02 this season and 17.32 in their past three) and touchdowns (half of the six touchdowns have come in their past three) to WRs. It stems from Cincinnati becoming worse at defending throws of 16-plus Air Yards, especially in its past three games (bottom-five in catch rate, completions of 20-plus yards and overall receiving yards allowed). 
  • TITANS: Nearly 25% of their pass attempts of 16-plus yards this season (10 of 42) have come over their past two games and they’ve averaged a league-best 40.8 yards per catch on them. They’re trying to get better at those throws, and Burks was the primary benefactor last week. 

Sneaky Sleeper (Lineup Decisions)

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More Notes:

  • BOYD: 66% snap rate or better in every game, even when Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins were both healthy.
  • TITANS: Third-most Fantasy points per game allowed to WRs in non-PPR.

Sit Him (Lineup Decisions)

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More notes:

  • RAVENS: Only two QBs (Tua Tagovailoa, Josh Allen) have 20+ points vs BAL this yr, and none in last six; only one QB since Week 2 has thrown two TDs vs. BAL.
  • LAWRENCE: Just one game in last six with two pass TDs, 5:4 TD:INT ratio during that stretch after 8:2 TD:INT ratio in first four games.

Start Him in PPR (Lineup Decisions)

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More Notes:

  • CARTER: Team-best 21% target share in Mike White’s three games with at least 32 pass attempts last year, per Frank Stampfl
  • BEARS: 4.7 ypc to RB this yr, rush TD allowed to RB in all but three games.
  • CARTER: 16 of 34 targets on the season came in first three weeks without Zach Wilson.

Sneaky Sleeper in PPR (Lineup Decisions)

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More notes:

  • USAGE: Moore played 69% of the slot snaps for the Jets in Week 11.
  • HISTORY: White’s top target at Western Kentucky in 2017 was Nacarius Fant — his slot receiver.
  • MORE HISTORY: While playing mostly on the outside, Moore racked up a Elijah 12.2% target share with nine receptions, 116 yards and a touchdown playing with White in 2021.

Sit Him (Lineup Decisions)

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More notes:

  • SAMUEL: Set season low in snap rate each of last two weeks with Jahan Dotson back, including trailing Dotson in snap rate last week, and only had three targets in those two games.
  • FALCONS: Second-most Fantasy points per game (non-PPR) allowed to WRs, meaning WAS can lean more on traditional passing game over generating touches for Samuel.

Possible Bust (Lineup Decisions)

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More notes:

  • PANTHERS: Annihilated by Mixon in Week 9, better vs ATL (22 carries by RBs for 95 yards) & BAL (18 for 80) in Weeks 10-11.
  • MURRAY: Held under 3 yards per cary in each of last two games, just 3.3 yards per carry with DEN.
  • BRONCOS: Just 90.4 rush yards per game at home vs. 114.8 on road.

Sit Him (Lineup Decisions)

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More notes:

  • MOORE: 17-game pace of 100 receptions, 1,279 yards, six TDs on 166 targets in Sam Darnold’s first nine starts last year, per Heath Cummings.
  • BRONCOS: Second-fewest Fantasy points allowed per game to WRs in non-PPR, less than 180 pass yards surrendered in 6 of 10 games.
  • LAST TWO WEEKS: DEN allowed four TDs to WRs after surrendering just one in the first eight weeks.

Possible Bust (Lineup Decisions)

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More Notes:

  • BRADY: Just two games with multiple passing TDs all year despite averaging a career-high 42.7 pass attempts per game.
  • BROWNS: Held 7 of 10 QBs faced (including Josh Allen in Week 11) to less than 20 Fantasy points.
  • WEATHER: Winds could top 20 mph and rain possible, which could limit passing effectiveness.

Start Him in Non-PPR (Lineup Decisions)

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More notes:

  • CHARGERS: Los Angeles presents an excellent matchup for Conner having allowed the third-most Fantasy points to opposing running backs and at least 10 points in non-PPR scoring in eight of their last nine games
  • USAGE: Despite the hyper-negative game script in Week 11, Conner finished with a 78% snap rate — good for the fourth-highest among all running backs.

Start Him (Lineup Decisions)

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More Notes:

  • PALMER: 10 targets per game the last four weeks, including last week with Keenan Allen and Mike Williams back.
  • CARDINALS: 30+ points allowed in 4 of last 5, with nine pass TDs surrendered during that stretch.
  • MIKE WILLIAMS: Just six snaps last week before reinjuring ankle, putting status for this game in doubt.

Start Him (Lineup Decisions)

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More Notes:

  • RAIDERS: 20+ points allowed in eight of 10 games this year, with Trevor Lawrence and Russell Wilson being the exceptions.
  • SMITH: 76.9% completion rate (best in NFL), 8.1 yards per attempt (fifth in NFL) when not pressured; LV has worst sack rate per pass attempt in NFL.
  • RAIDERS: Allowed rush TDs to Kyler Murray, Ryan Tannehill, Russell Wilson and Matt Ryan; only two teams (Bears, Lions) with more rush TDs allowed to QBs.

Sit Him (Lineup Decisions)

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More Notes:

  • SAINTS: New Orleans has allowed 19 or fewer Fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks in all but three games this season.
  • ODDS: The 49ers are 9.5-point favorites, which should lead to a run-heavy game script.

Sneaky Sleeper in PPR (Lineup Decisions)

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More Notes:

  • WILLIAMS: Played season-high 55% of snaps last week, with Cam Akers at 39% of snaps, and averaged 5.5 yards per touch on seven carries and one reception.
  • DARRELL HENDERSON: Waived this week after playing at least 50% of snaps in seven of Rams’ first nine games.
  • CHIEFS: Have allowed second most receptions to RBs in NFL, averaging 7.1 receptions surrendered per game.
  • AKERS: Targeted only six times all year, with three coming in Week 2 against Atlanta.

Start Him in Non-PPR (Lineup Decisions)

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More Notes:

  • TARGETS: Smith commanded a 39% target share in his first game without Goedert in the lineup.
  • MORE VOLUME: Smith has racked up at least eight targets in three of his last four games.

Sit Him (Lineup Decisions)

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More Notes:

  • COLTS: Allowing fewest points per game to WRs in non-PPR leagues, just two WR TDs allowed in last five weeks.
  • JOHNSON: Last touchdown scored was in Week 16 last year.
  • JOHNSON: Only five targets each of last two weeks, had just two games of five targets or less in previous 17 appearances dating back to last year.