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Fantasy football advice, Week 12: Who to start/sit for Chiefs vs. Raiders on Thursday Night Football

Both these teams started 0-2, which seems really funny, looking back at it now.

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When the sun set on NFL Week 2, there was a two-way tie for last place in the AFC West. Both the Kansas City Chiefs and the Oakland Raiders were 0-2, and both looked to be a bit of a mess. Since then, of course, the Raiders have continued their losing ways, and now sit at 0-10. The Chiefs, meanwhile, turned everything around. They have gone 7-1 since Week 2, have won five straight, and are now tied with Denver atop the division at 7-3. Thursday night, the two teams face off.

The Chiefs come into the game largely healthy from a fantasy perspective, Tight end Travis Kelce has appeared on the week's injury report with a rib issue, though it's not expected to hinder him Thursday. Fellow tight end Anthony Fasano could miss his second straight game with a knee injury. Fasano himself isn't much of a fantasy factor, but his presence or absence could change the situation for Kelce. The Raiders come in with few concerns as well, as quarterback Derek Carr (quad) is the only fantasy-relevant player on the injury report, and he'll definitely play Thursday.

Thursday night's game will be in Oakland at 8:25 p.m. ET. Let's look at the fantasy contributors of note:


Start 'em: There really aren't any downsides to Jamaal Charles' game. In the preseason, the top group of running backs was Charles, Adrian Peterson and LeSean McCoy, and Charles is the only one still there. ... Travis Kelce's usage has been frustrating, but he's the team's best TE/WR option, and with so many tight ends disappointing, he's still a must-start. ... The Chiefs' defense gets to face a really bad Raiders' offense. Use them.

Start 'em?: We haven't had a lot of good games from Cairo Santos, but the Chiefs should be in a lot of scoring situations Thursday, which could help the kicker's value.

Sit 'em: The Chiefs went tremendously run-heavy in Week 11 against Seattle; the team isn't going to throw as few as 15 passes often. Still, while Alex Smith will improve upon last week's four fantasy points, his upside is so limited that he's not a strong fantasy option. ... Knile Davis has scored enough random touchdowns that he's justifiable as a super-desperate play, but in general you need to avoid him. ... Dwayne Bowe, still no touchdowns.


Start 'em?: The Raiders appeared to finally make the change last week to lean on Latavius Murray at running back. Odds are against him being super useful, but in a really desperate situation, he's at least interesting. ... Mychal Rivera has had a fairly productive month, but that comes on the heels of a long unproductive stretch that ran pretty much his whole career. ... Sebastian Janikowski has had five reasonably helpful games in a row, so he has potential as a deep-dive kicker.

Sit 'em: Take out his 25-point Week 6, and Derek Carr hasn't even averaged 10 fantasy points a game this season. Young guy's struggling. ... Murray's rise renders Darren McFadden fantasy useless, and Maurice Jones-Drew even more useless than he already had been. ... After occasionally interesting weeks and performances, James Jones and Andre Holmes are off the radar now. ... The Raiders' defense is really bad.


Start in every league: Jamaal Charles, Travis Kelce, Kansas City defense
Start if you're desperate: Cairo Santos, Latavius Murray, Mychal Rivera, Sebastian Janikowski
Bench: Alex Smith, Knile Davis, Dwayne Bowe, Derek Carr, Darren McFadden, Maurice Jones-Drew, James Jones, Andre Holmes, Oakland defense