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Fantasy football start/sit advice, Week 12

Bye weeks are almost over, and the playoffs start soon. We break down the fantasy implications.

This is the last week fantasy owners will have to deal with bye weeks, so there's already one positive to take away from the weekend. Some leagues start their playoffs as early as Week 14, so these last few matchups are the most important.

We're still finding a few fantasy gems this late in the year. Bobby Rainey broke out against Atlanta, and Donald Brown might be pushing Trent Richardson aside. If you weren't able to grab any of the free agents you wanted, though, take a look at these matchups for Week 12 and see where you can take advantage.



Eli Manning (vs. Cowboys): The Cowboys are giving up the most fantasy points to passers this season. Manning has been consistently mediocre throughout 2013. However, his best game of the year came against Dallas, when he threw four touchdowns in Week 1.

Case Keenum (vs. Jaguars): Keenum should not have been benched in Week 11, and Gary Kubiak will likely rethink the next time he pulls that trick, based on the reaction of some of the Texans with Matt Schaub in the game. The Jaguars just gave up 419 yards passing to the Cardinals.

Scott Tolzien (vs. Vikings): When you're playing the No. 31 defense in the league in term of points given up to opposing quarterbacks, you don't have to be Aaron Rodgers to put up decent numbers. Tolzien posted over 300 yards last week, and he should be able to find the end zone this time around with another week starting under his belt. He's a deeper league play.

Running back

Andre Brown (vs. Cowboys): Dallas was mauled for 244 yards and three touchdowns by the Saints running backs in Week 11. Brown is in sole possession of the Giants backfield, and he should see around 20 touches again the week. Expect solid production from him against the Cowboys.

Frank Gore (at Redskins): His dropped pass should scare owners off. The 49ers need to install the running game as the focal point, and that shouldn't be difficult against a Redskins defense that has allowed 13 touchdowns to opposing backs this season. Gore gets back on track in Week 12.

Rashad Jennings (vs. Titans): Tennessee's passing defense? A legit worry for fantasy owners. Tennessee's run defense? A fantasy owner's best friend. The Titans have given up two touchdowns to opposing running backs in each of the last five games. Jennings remains the start in Oakland after another impressive display. Roll with him.

Wide receiver

Jarrett Boykin (vs. Vikings): In two games with Tolzien under center, Boykin has posted 14 receptions and 203 yards. Now he faces a Vikings defense that is No. 29 in the league in yards allowed. Boykin is working well alongside Jordy Nelson in fantasy production.

Rueben Randle (vs. Cowboys): He may be boom-or-bust based on his ability to find the end zone, but that hasn't hindered Randle's production lately. He's scored in five of the last six games. Randle caught five passes for 101 yards in his team's Week 1 matchup with the Cowboys, so expect another sold outing the second time around.

Kendall Wright (at Raiders): If you're a PPR owner, you need to have Wright in your lineup. He's coming off a nine-catch, 80-yard performance. The Raiders rank No. 27 overall in fantasy points allowed to opposing receivers, which should lead to another impressive performance.

Tight end

Coby Fleener (at Cardinals): Arizona is unbelievably bad against tight ends. Fleener posted a season-high eight catches for 107 yards in Week 11, and he should easily continue his success against a defense that has allowed 10 touchdowns to his position.

Jason Witten (at Giants): Despite his hit-or-miss nature in 2013, Witten should be able to make owners happy in Week 12. His first meeting with New York produced eight catches, 70 yards and two touchdowns. Look for the veteran to make an impact once again.

Delanie Walker (at Raiders): Don't look now, but Walker has found the end zone in three of his last four games. His breakout party in Week 11 should lead into another prominent role against the Raiders, who just let Garrett Graham explode.



Ryan Tannehill (vs. Panthers): Carolina hasn't allowed more than one passing touchdown in any game throughout the 2013 season. Are you really going to feel confident about starting Tannehill this week? His offensive line has fallen apart. Avoid this situation against one of the best defenses in the league.

Matt McGloin (vs. Titans): The three touchdowns in Week 11 looked like a nice start. However, the Titans have given up ONE passing score in the past SIX games. That deserves to be typed in caps. Don't look to McGloin to carry any team this week.

Cam Newton (at Dolphins): Miami ranks fifth overall in points allowed to opposing quarterbacks. After a signature win, Cam might be riding the coattails, but he won't but putting up three touchdowns against a defense that has allowed three touchdowns total in six weeks.

Running back

Chris Ivory (at Ravens): Baltimore has allowed one rushing touchdown to a running back all year. That mark is almost unbelievable. Ivory owners should take notice immediately. He's not a pass catcher, so don't look for him to build a solid game with his receiving skills like Matt Forte did last week.

Trent Richardson (at Cardinals): After practicing in full on Wednesday, Richardson was limited with a calf injury on Thursday. He continues to be outplayed be Donald Brown. He's facing the No. 5 run defense in fantasy points allowed to running backs. Why would you start him?

Lamar Miller (vs. Panthers): The touchdown to Stevan Ridley was the first the Panthers had allowed to a running back since Week 5. Miller has rushed for 19 yards in the past two weeks. Do yourself a favor and stay away from him while you're making one final playoff push.

Wide receiver

Mike Wallace (vs. Panthers): Copy whatever we normally write about Wallace, paste here. Back-to-back weeks of four receptions and under 40 yards should leave fantasy owners wondering why they're still starting him. He's now facing the No. 2 defense in terms of fantasy points allowed at his position. You can do better.

Cecil Shorts (at Texans): Another frustrating receiver throughout 2013, Shorts has back-to-back weeks of two receptions. He's been vocal about his lack of targets, but will that really make a difference? We've heard it before. The Texans rank No. 4 in fewest points allowed to wideouts.

Steve Smith (at Dolphins): He sure likes to talk, but that doesn't exactly correlate to solid fantasy production. Even with all the hype surrounding his battle with Aqib Talib in Week 11, Smith still finished with just four receptions for 62 yards. He hasn't scored in four games, and the Dolphins have allowed one touchdown to opposing wideouts all year.

Tight end

Antonio Gates (at Chiefs): Julius Thomas was the first tight end to score against the Chiefs in 2013. Only one tight end (Jordan Cameron) has broken 50 yards against this defense. Gates ended his scoring drought last week against Miami in a good matchup, but it will be tough to repeat that effort against Kansas City.

Martellus Bennett (at Rams): St. Louis is stout against tight ends. Bennett hasn't done much since the Bears came off their bye week, and he only managed two receptions in his last game.

Jordan Cameron (vs. Steelers): The Campbell-to-Cameron connection is not working out. Cameron caught six passes in Week 11, but those went for a total of 29 yards. Until we see better production from this duo, it's hard to warrant starting Cameron in this crucial part of the year.

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