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Fantasy Football: Start/sit advice for Week 12

Who should and should not be in your lineup this weekend?

Cincinnati Bengals v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Hope your Thanksgiving went well and hope your fantasy week will be better. There were already three games this week and another two on a bye, so Sunday moves might be limited. So for that, we’ll have a slightly abbreviated edition of start/sit this week.

Running back

Start: Dion Lewis, Tennessee Titans

Dion Lewis is either going to get a not 100 percent Marcus Mariota or Blaine Gabbert at quarterback. Both options are likely to go heavy on the run game and check downs in the passing game. That lines up well for a high usage rate for Lewis. He only got two targets and one reception against Indianapolis last week even in a negative game script, but it’s more likely for Lewis to be heavily game planned in with a week of preparation for a limited quarterback.

[Sunday morning update: Marcus Mariota is expected to start for Tennessee, but this start recommendation still stands.]

Sit: Alex Collins, Baltimore Ravens

Collins has been the most meaningful back in Baltimore for most of the season, then Gus Edwards happened. Collins had just seven carries and no targets last week against Cincinnati, so it’s a complete crapshoot what the workload split is going to look like against the Raiders. It’s hard to trust anyone in that backfield for fantasy purposes and any of the backs could be high risk. The highest reward option is likely to be Edwards, but until there’s a rotation established, it’s hard to feel confident with any option. Unfortunately, an already frustrating fantasy season for Collins has added another layer.

[Sunday morning update: Alex Collins will be INACTIVE against the Raiders, so make sure he’s out of your lineup.]

Wide receiver

Start: John Brown, Baltimore Ravens

While the Baltimore running back rotation might be a mess, something we can assume for the Ravens is that they’ll throw more often than they did against the Bengals. It made sense to ease Jackson into the game plan with a run-heavy offense, especially after he missed practice on the Thursday before the game because of an illness. Cinncinati is about average in pass defense DVOA (18th) but the Raiders are the worst pass defense in the league. If there’s a team to let Jackson throw more against, it’s going to be the Raiders and that will mean Brown will get more involved. Jackson has an effortless deep ball and since Brown has the ninth-highest percentage of team air yards among all receivers, he should be the top target on Sunday.

Sit: Golden Tate, Philadelphia Eagles

It’s never a good sign when the offensive coordinator publicly states how hard it’s been to fit in a midseason acquisition into the offense, but that’s what happened with Mike Groh and Golden Tate. Tate got up to eight targets against the Saints last week, but that only resulted in five receptions for 48 yards and took a 48-7 deficit to happen. He’s likely to continue to get worked into the offense more, but that might not happen in a meaningful fantasy sense during a close game against the Giants.

Tight end

Start: Vance McDonald, Pittsburgh Steelers

Denver’s defense has been good this season, but one place they have struggled is against tight ends. The Broncos have allowed the seventh-most fantasy points per game this season and are tied for fifth-most touchdowns allowed to tight ends. McDonald also has a red zone touchdown in each of the past two games.

Sit: Evan Engram, New York Giants

Engram has fallen out of the Giants’ game plan until it’s the last drive and the Giants need a big play. While that’s great for win probability, it doesn’t make him an appealing fantasy option. It’s also a question how run-heavy the Giants are going to try to be this week. Against the Buccaneers — a secondary that has turned opposing offenses into the Rams — the Giants ran 27 times. The Giants should throw more this week, but who knows if that’s going to happen. The Eagles secondary has no one left, but they’ve still been able to hold up against tight ends and allow the fourth-fewest fantasy points per game to the position this season.