You have lineup questions, we have lineup answers -- at least we hope so. Start 'Em, Sit 'Em is here to help fantasy managers make difficult roster decisions. And you know what is a good move? Starting Christian McCaffrey. But that's too obvious, so you won't see such simple analysis here. Instead, we're exploring more debatable situations. And if you can't find a player you are looking for, please check out the latest NFL Fantasy lineup rankings.
Tagovailoa was a sit last week and finished with fewer than eight fantasy points -- outscoring Tim Boyle by just half a point. After a hot start to the season, Tua has slowed down as of late, averaging just 13.98 fantasy PPG since Week 7. But a get-right game could be on tap in Week 12, as he goes up against the Commanders, who have allowed the second-most passing yards and most passing touchdowns this season. They’ve also allowed the most yards and touchdowns on deep passes (20-plus air yards), while Miami leads the NFL in offense on deep passes. Tagovailoa is a must-start in this matchup.
Even in a tough matchup against the Cowboys last week, Howell was able to top 17 fantasy points without even throwing a touchdown. He threw for 300 yards and ran for a score, which helped saved his fantasy day. He has a rushing touchdown in two straight games. Howell just finds new ways to put up fantasy points each week and is getting the job done as a result. He has topped 17 fantasy points in five straight and eight of his last nine games. That is ridiculous consistency and makes him a must-start fantasy option -- especially in what could be a high-scoring matchup against the Dolphins, with Howell likely in catch-up mode. That’s when he cooks.
It’s always darkest before the dawn. An applicable proverb whether you’re looking to inspire Gotham City, shaking it out with Florence + The Machine or pondering Trevor Lawrence's fantasy returns. After scoring a season-low 2.1 fantasy points against the 49ers in Week 10, Lawrence has exploded for 32.2 and 24.6 in his last two games. Those numbers are propped up by three rushing touchdowns, but he also threw for a season-high 364 yards last week. He can stay hot this week against the Bengals, who have allowed the seventh-most passing yards since Week 8. Keep riding the hot hand.
This game feels a whole lot like the fight between Thanos and the assembled Avengers at the end of Endgame. And as good as the Eagles are, their weakness this season has been the secondary. Philly has allowed the fourth-most passing yards in the league. They’ve given up the second-most passing touchdowns. Purdy didn’t have to do a whole bunch last week, but in each of the three prior games, he topped 295 passing yards and 18 fantasy points. Trust me: He’s going to have to put up points this week. Purdy is very much in play in what should be a high-scoring battle.
IF YOU NEED A STREAMER ...
Streaming options are crucial this week with six teams on bye. Fortunately, Love has been playing much better recently. He has multiple passing touchdowns in three straight games and has scored 20 or more fantasy points in each of his last two. He can add points with his legs, as well. The matchup is tough, so the floor might not be the safest. But the upside is high, especially if Green Bay has to throw to keep up with Patrick Mahomes.
If you miss out on Love, Baker Mayfield remains one of the top streaming options in fantasy football this season. He didn’t come through with a big game last week, but he gets another chance this week against the Panthers. Mayfield is a streaming option with a safe floor. Russell Wilson faces the Texans, who have allowed the fourth-most passing yards since Week 8. He ran the ball 11 times and scored a touchdown last week. The Broncos will need to move the ball to keep up with C.J. Stroud and Co. Plus, Wilson has an amazing schedule the rest of the way, so he’s more than a one-week rental (shoutout to colleague Matt Okada for initially pointing that out). Derek Carr is another streaming option, as he has topped 300 passing yards in four of his last six games. The Lions have allowed a lot of production to QBs lately, and we know the Saints will need to put up points to keep up with Detroit's offense. Gardner Minshew is a deep-league streaming option this week, as well.
For the second time in the last month, Smith threw for fewer than 200 yards with no touchdowns. Those games came against the Ravens and 49ers -- both teams that generate pressure and sacks, while limiting production through the air. But no one generates pressure at a higher rate than the Cowboys, and only one other team (Cleveland) has a higher sack rate. Smith ranks 20th in yards, 18th in TDs, 23th in EPA per drop back and 30th in yards per attempt among QBs when under pressure. The Cowboys have also given up the second-fewest passing yards in the league. Even with six teams on bye, sit Geno.
Stafford exploded last week for his best game of the season by far. Four passing touchdowns and 23.36 fantasy points looks great and may have you considering a stream this week with six teams on bye. Not so fast. It was just Stafford’s second game of the season with multiple TD passes. It was his first time scoring 17 or more fantasy points. He was still held to fewer than 240 passing yards for a sixth straight game. Now he goes from a fantastic matchup against the Cardinals to a terrible one against the Browns. Cleveland has allowed by far the fewest passing yards this season -- and the fewest passing touchdowns, as well. Sit Stafford in this tough matchup.
With a new play caller in Pittsburgh, Pickett threw for a season-high 278 yards. That, paired with a strong matchup, may have you considering him as a stream this week. But despite the yardage, Pickett failed to throw a touchdown pass last week and scored just 11.6 fantasy points. He has one touchdown pass in his last six games combined. The Cardinals have struggled mightily against the run, which happens to be Pittsburgh’s strength on offense. There’s no guarantee of volume here and the floor is just far too low, with little upside. Stream elsewhere.
Remember that four-touchdown debut from Levis? That feels like a huge mirage at this point. Since that breakout game that saw the second-round pick rack up 26 fantasy points, Levis has thrown just two touchdowns in four games, matching his two interceptions in that span. He has been held to fewer than 200 passing yards in three straight. He has not reached 13 fantasy points in a game since that dazzling debut and has been stuck in single digits in three of four. I know this is a deeper consideration, but with six teams on bye and the injuries affecting the position, some of us are desperate. Even so, if you need to stream, there are plenty of better options than Levis. Just read the start section above.