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Start/Bench – Week 12

With the bye weeks finished and the fantasy playoffs looming this is a wonderful time of the year, eh? It truly is a week to give thanks (see what I did there? It’s also Thanksgiving week). Well, it would be if Week 11 hadn’t thrown so many brutal injuries fantasy owners’ way.

Joe Flacco and Justin Forsett are done for the year while we have to wait and see if Devonta Freeman and Charcandrick West will be ready to roll in time for critical Week 12 games. Oh, yeah…Marshawn Lynch could also be done for the regular season.

Working the waiver wire or trying to swing last second trades will dominate this week until it’s time to put on the stretchy pants and have some turkey! Face it. These are the reasons that we love this game. So settle in and enjoy this week’s Start/Bench selections. Then have that turkey.




Tom Brady
Aaron Rodgers
Andy Dalton
Cam Newton
Carson Palmer
Drew Brees
Eli Manning

Take a Seat

Matt Ryan, ATLANTA: “Matty Ice” has been anything but lately, turning the ball over seven times in the last four games. He now has 15 touchdowns against 13 turnovers for the season. Those are not ‘stud’ numbers.

Philip Rivers, SAN DIEGO: Rivers simply does not have the receiving options available to warrant being a weekly must-start any longer.



Matthew Stafford, DETROIT vs. Philadelphia: In the last three games, the Eagles have allowed 10 passing touchdowns (including five by rookie Jameis Winston last week) while picking off a single pass. Stafford feasts on Thanksgiving against this horrible defense.


Brian Hoyer, HOUSTON vs. New Orleans: One week is not enough time to undo the nightmare pass defense that Rob Ryan has left the Saints with. We chase the 14 passing scores that New Orleans has allowed in their last three games. They have no answer for DeAndre Hopkins on their roster.


Blake Bortles, JACKSONVILLE vs. San Diego: If Bortles doesn’t light up this porous secondary then there is something wrong with him. The Chargers have allowed at least 17 fantasy points to a quarterback six times this year. This defense is circling the drain.


Ben Roethlisberger, PITTSBURGH at Seattle: The Seahawks will stifle the running game putting the game in Big Ben’s hands. He has the receiving weapons to match the three-touchdown performance that Carson Palmer hung on Seattle two weeks ago.


Jameis Winston, TAMPA BAY at Indianapolis: The Colts may be without Vontae Davis and Mike Adams (or both will be playing through hamstring and ankle issues, respectively) in the secondary. Winston’s twin towers of Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson are going to tear the Colts up. Ride the hot hand here and start the rookie.



Ryan Tannehill, MIAMI at New York Jets: Back in week four, Tannehill completed only 43% of his passes against the Jets while tossing a pair of picks. He did throw two touchdowns but failed to top 200 yards passing. No thanks.


Mark Sanchez or Sam Bradford, PHILDELPHIA at Detroit: It’s a twofer! The Lions have held Aaron Rodgers and Derek Carr to a combined two passing touchdowns in the last two games. Sanchez is…well Sanchez. There was a reason he was backing up Sam Bradford. If Bradford starts he belongs on the bench as well.


Philip Rivers, SAN DIEGO at Jacksonville: As mentioned above, Rivers simply has no running game and a depleted set of receiving options. The offensive line is also struggling and he was sacked three times last week while failing to throw a touchdown. There are too many better options available.


Matt Ryan, ATLANTA vs. Minnesota: The Vikings are a tough matchup for quarterbacks and Ryan is trending in the wrong direction. In his last four games, Ryan has seven touchdowns and seven turnovers. It’s time to sit him.


Tony Romo, DALLAS vs. Carolina: The Panthers defense has been on fire over the last four games with 13 sacks and six interceptions. Romo will be under constant pressure and Josh Norman will be shadowing Dez Bryant. This is not a favorable matchup to roll Romo out for.

About Wally Spurlin

Wally Spurlin is a Fantasy Football Staff Writer at Fantasy Sharks and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writer Association (FSWA). Spurlin’s work has appeared in print publications, including the FSWA award winning 2014 USA Today Fantasy Football magazine as well as the 2015 edition. Wally is also a weekly co-host on the Fantasy Football Feeding Frenzy pod cast on Fantasy Sharks Radio at Blog Talk Radio.Follow him on Twitter @WaltonSpurlin