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Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Fantasy Football Week 12: Wide Receivers - Fades, Sleepers, Matchups, DFS Bargains

Brandin Cooks and the Texans have a plus matchup against the Jets' defense in Week 12.

Start ‘Em, Sit 'Em is the ultimate look at the best and worst matchups based on a PPR scoring system in fantasy football. This column will not cover the elite players in the NFL like Patrick Mahomes, Christian McCaffrey, Davante Adams, or Travis Kelce. Instead, I'll look at the players you have the most questions about to help you set the most effective starting lineup possible. For all of your final fantasy lineup decisions, be sure to check out my weekly player rankings which will be updated daily throughout the 2021 NFL season.

Byes: Cardinals, Chiefs


Week 12 Start ‘Em: Wide Receivers

Start of the Week

Tyler Lockett at Football Team (Mon. 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN): Lockett is one of the most frustrating wide receivers in fantasy football. He's been all or nothing in the stat sheets, but he's hard to bench in most cases. I'd keep the faith this week, as Lockett faces a great matchup against Washington. Their defense has allowed 13 touchdowns and the fourth-most fantasy points a game to wideouts, so Lockett should find success.


Start ‘Em

Brandin Cooks vs. Jets (1 p.m. ET, CBS): Cooks had a stinker last week, posting a mere 3.8 fantasy points on just three targets against the Titans. I'd forgive and forget, though, as he'll still be a viable flex option against the Jets. The Men in Green have given up the third-most fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers over the last four weeks, allowing an average of 206.5 receiving yards and five touchdowns.

D.J. Moore at Dolphins (1 p.m. ET, Fox): Moore came back to life with the return of Cam Newton, scoring a touchdown and 16 fantasy points in a loss to Washington. I’d stick with him this weekend, too, as the Panthers face off against a Dolphins defense that has allowed the second-most fantasy points per game to wide receivers. What’s more, Miami has given up the fifth-most points per game to receivers lined out wide.

Brandon Aiyuk vs. Vikings (4:25 p.m. ET, Fox): Aiyuk has awoken from his slumber, scoring 18-plus fantasy points in two of his last three games. He’ll be in the flex starter conversation this week, as the Niners host a Vikings team that has allowed the most fantasy points per game to wide receivers over the last four weeks. Minnesota has also allowed the seventh-most points per game to enemy receivers lined out wide in 2021.

49ers Brandon Aiyuk

Elijah Moore at Texans (1 p.m. ET, CBS): Moore has been hot in recent weeks, as he’s scored 27-plus points in two of his last three games while scoring at least 13 in each of his last four games. I’d continue to roll with the rookie this week, as the Jets face a Texans defense that’s allowed the most fantasy points per game to receivers lined out wide. That’s where Moore has run around 74 percent of his routes this season.

More Starts

  • Marquise Brown vs. Browns (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC)
  • Michael Pittman Jr. vs. Buccaneers (1 p.m. ET, Fox)
  • Jakobi Meyers vs. Titans (1 p.m. ET, CBS)
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DFS Bargains

  • Elijah Moore at Texans ($5,600)
  • Brandon Aiyuk vs. Vikings ($5,300)
  • Jakobi Meyers vs. Titans ($5,000)

Week 12 Sit ‘Em: Wide Receivers

Sit of the Week

Odell Beckham Jr. at Packers (4:25 p.m. ET, Fox): Beckham Jr. will play his first full game as a member of the Rams this week, making him a viable flex option in many fantasy leagues. But what kind of rapport has he gained with Matthew Stafford in such a short period? And while the Packers gave it up to Justin Jefferson and Adam Theilen last week, their defense has allowed the fourth-fewest points to road wideouts.

Sit ‘Em

Courtland Sutton vs. Chargers (4:05 p.m. ET, CBS): Sutton’s numbers have taken a tumble in recent weeks, as he’s failed to score more than six fantasy points in each of his last three games. Next is a tough matchup against the Chargers, who have given up just five touchdown catches and the second-fewest fantasy points per game to opposing wideouts. Unless you're desperate for a flex, I will sit Sutton this weekend.

Kenny Golladay vs. Eagles (1 p.m. ET, Fox): Golladay is the healthiest he’s been all season, but he’s still not producing in the stat sheets. He was held to one catch versus the Buccaneers last week, and his two targets left a lot to be desired. Next up is a date with the Eagles, who have allowed the fewest fantasy points per game to opposing receivers lined out wide. At this point, Golladay could be droppable in some leagues.

New York Giants Kenny Golladay

Jarvis Landry at Ravens (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC): Landry posted a solid 14.2 fantasy points in a win over the Lions, but it was his first good stat line since Week 1. In fact, he had been held to 10 or fewer points in each of his previous five games. The veteran is a tough sell this week, as the Browns face a Ravens defense that’s allowed just 4.3 catches per game and two touchdowns to receivers running routes out of the slot.

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Marquez Valdes-Scantling vs. Rams (4:25 p.m. ET, Fox): Valdes-Scantling put up a huge stat line last week, making him a popular add off the waiver wire in many leagues ahead of a game against the Rams. Unfortunately, starting MVS could be more about chasing the points instead of looking at the matchup. Los Angeles, coming off a bye week after two straight losses, has allowed just six touchdowns to opposing wideouts.

More Sits

  • Robby Anderson at Dolphins (1 p.m. ET, Fox)
  • Tyler Boyd vs. Steelers (1 p.m. ET, CBS)
  • T.Y. Hilton vs. Buccaneers (1 p.m. ET, Fox)

DFS Fades

  • Mike Williams at Broncos ($5,700)
  • Courtland Sutton vs. Chargers ($5,400)
  • Kenny Golladay vs. Eagles ($5,100)

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. Click here to read all his articles here on SI Fantasy. You can follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram for your late-breaking fantasy news and the best analysis in the business!

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