It’s officially the last push before the important dynasty fantasy football playoffs. As the matchups get more critical the pressure builds up on us as dynasty managers to ensure we are starting our best lineups weekly. The good news for you is that it seems we are getting hot at the right time, with over 60% accuracy in three consecutive weeks. Last week we came in at 76.9% accuracy, which was our third-highest percentage this season. The season total is 62.3%, and we look to build on that when it matters most, the closing weeks of the regular season. Let’s not waste any more time and look into what Week 12 has in store for us.
Check out the teams putting together the start/sit columns this season. Follow us, friend us, and tweet us. We look forward to hearing from you!
- Changing the Call (QB): Jayson Snyder (@Spydes78)
- The Cutback (RB): Jake Oliver (@DarthDbacks)
- Slant Pattern (WR): Tristan Cook (@THEtristancook)
- 12 Formation (TE): Ethan Wyatt (@ethanAwyatt)
- Flex on ‘Em (FLEX): Evan Brown (@FFEvanlution)
- IDP Start/Sit (IDP): Jon Glosser (@Glosser13)
NOTE: Rankings are based on a 12-team PPR league. So, saying WR2 means top 24, or TE1 means top 12, etc., and are pulled from Fantasy Pros consensus expert rankings.
Denver Broncos @ Carolina Panthers
Start – Alex Singleton LB, DEN
Let’s get this started with one of my favorite IDP linebackers. It appears that the Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero finally smartened up and took Jonas Griffith out of the rotation. Since the team’s bye in Week 9, the Broncos have played Singleton with Josey Jewell, which they should have been doing all year long. The combination of Josey Jewell and Alex Singleton playing together is a dream from IDP managers, who were rewarded as both players turned in an 11-tackle performance last week.
Singleton leads the Broncos’ defense in tackles (82) and has been consistently performing as a high-volume tackler. He’s the perfect type of player for contending dynasty teams. He’s very cheap and continues to produce on par with some of the best IDPs at the LB position. Don’t fear firing up Singleton in your lineups down the stretch as you look to make the playoffs.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Cleveland Browns
Start – Martin Emerson DB, CLE
As we’ve done all year during the ‘Man Coverage’ series showing the cornerbacks some love is necessary. In this week 12 matchup, I love Emerson as a sneaky start. As a rookie, he has been forced into a more significant role with the Cleveland Browns secondary. Playing the CB opposite of Denzel Ward is no easy task, and the rookie has benefited from that from a fantasy scoring perspective.
Emerson has averaged 15 fantasy points per game over his last five games, and his only performance under double-digit points was a game he only played 38 snaps in. The former Mississippi State product ranks tied for twelfth in targets (57) and tenth in receptions allowed (10). He should be in for a busy day with Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay offense fresh off a bye week.
Baltimore Ravens @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Sit – Travon Walker DL, JAX
The Jacksonville Jaguars defense is looking to close out their most brutal stretch of the season. They played the Kansas City Chiefs before the bye and hosted Lamar Jackson and the dynamic Ravens offense this week. The team’s top two rookies on defense have been struggling as of late, as both Walker and Devin Lloyd have seen a decrease in their snaps over the past few weeks.
Walker has seen fewer snaps in each game over the past five weeks as the Jaguars are looking to rotate more along their defensive front. The Baltimore Ravens are tied for the seventh-fewest in the NFL regarding allowing sacks. I would not be starting the Jaguars’ rookie pass rusher until he finds some consistency in snaps and production.
Houston Texans @ Miami Dolphins
Start- Christian Harris LB, HOU
At this point, you all might feel like this is a copy and paste for Harris every week. I can promise you it’s not the case, but you’ve gotten the hint now of how much I like the young LB. The former Alabama defender has averaged 13.25 fantasy points per game over his first four NFL starts and has such a high ceiling. He can bring major IDP relevance back to the Houston Texans’ defense.
The Miami Dolphins will likely be playing a good amount of offensive snaps in this game, giving the Houston defenders more opportunity to score points. The Dolphins have allowed at least seven tackles to an LB in eight of their ten games this season. I would expect a fifth straight double-digit week from Harris in week 12.
Chicago Bears @ New York Jets
Start – DeAndre Houston-Carson DB, CHI
The Chicago Bears star rookie IDP Jaquan Brisker will miss week 12 after suffering a concussion in week 11 after an eleven-tackle performance. His replacement is seven-year pro DeAndre Houston-Carson, who has been a reserve safety for most of his career. As we are all aware, when you lose a consistently high-scoring player in fantasy, it’s not always as simple that the next man up will fill that role. In the case of Houston-Carson, he’s been a decent backup throughout his career.
The Chicago Bears DB has played over 40 snaps just four times in his career. Those all came during a four-game stretch last season. In those games, the former William and Mary product averaged 7.5 tackles per game and 19.6 fantasy points per game. If you’re looking for a solid spot start at the DB position, you’ve found a good one for this weekend’s matchup.
Cincinnati Bengals @ Tennessee Titans
Start – Bud Dupree DL, TEN
Dupree has been dealing with injuries for most of the season, forcing him to only play in six games. He has logged full practices this week and looks to be a go on Sunday in a huge conference matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals. The former Pittsburgh Steelers EDGE rusher has plenty of experience against the Bengals. His career averages are 2.6 tackles and 0.6 sacks per game. The Titans’ pass rusher has had a sack in four straight games against the Bengals, including one in last year’s postseason. The Cincinnati offensive line allows the fourth most sacks this season; this is a perfect matchup for Dupree in his return to action.
Atlanta Falcons @ Washington Commanders
Start – Jamin Davis LB, WAS
The keys to the defense have officially been handed over to second-year pro Davis. The Commanders’ veteran LB Cole Holcomb has missed the past four games with a nagging foot injury and will now be out another month after heading to IR. The former first-round pick has performed admirably in his absence, with double-digit performances in four of his last five games.
The run-heavy Atlanta Falcons offense will look to stop the Commanders’ recent winning streak with QB Taylor Heinicke under center. Davis should have a big week; the Falcons’ offense has allowed an LB to record nine tackles or more in each of their past six games.
Los Angeles Chargers @ Arizona Cardinals
Start – Khalil Mack DL, LAC
It’s always a good feeling when you can justify starting one of those players who can show flashes of pure dominance while they are on the back end of their careers. Mack has never been as reliable for fantasy football as he has been for real football, but he can surely take over a game. Mack has produced double-digit points in 60% of his games this season and continues to be a force even without running mate Joey Bosa.
The former 2016 AP Defensive Player of the Year has a plus matchup this week with the Arizona Cardinals. Mack has only played two games against the Cardinals in his career but has averaged eight tackles and a sack per game. This season, the Cardinals allow the seventh most sacks (30) in the NFL. I expect Mack to have a big week against the struggling Arizona offense.
Las Vegas Raiders @ Seattle Seahawks
Sit – Cody Barton LB, SEA
This one I’m not totally in love with this one, honestly. This recommendation is to some bias against Barton because of the preseason hype. He’s been average this season and is strictly a productive LB when he plays a large number of snaps. I’m sure that’s the case for a good amount of linebackers in IDP fantasy football, but he seems more replaceable than others.
The former Utah defender has seen so much inconsistency in snaps that Seattle seems to be using him as a matchup-based player. That’s a red flag for dynasty managers, as it should be. If there were a guarantee Barton would play over 50 snaps, I’d be starting him, but I’m concerned about his usage, with him playing over 50 snaps just twice since week five.
Los Angeles Rams @ Kansas City Chiefs
Start – Taylor Rapp DB, LAR
I’ve been a fan of what I’ve seen from Rapp since the team’s bye week. The former Washington Huskie has averaged 6.5 tackles per game while scoring just under 11 fantasy points per contest. He’s averaging under 60 snaps per game this season and has been solid for IDP managers.
The Kansas City Chiefs have been an offensive machine this season, and they look poised for another Super Bowl run. The Rams’ secondary will have their hands full trying to stop Travis Kelce, among others, in this one. I expect the Rams’ safety to be able to turn in another high tackle game to remain a key contributor in dynasty leagues.
New Orleans Saints @ San Francisco 49ers
Start – Kaden Ellis LB, NOS
The loss of Pete Werner was a killer for IDP managers. However, the next-man-up mentality has been very beneficial for managers who acquired Ellis. The Saints LB has collected 18 tackles, and 2.5 sacks in his two starts this season. The benefit of playing alongside Demario Davis can’t be understated, but it doesn’t take anything away from Ellis as a player. The product of Idaho has been delivering results, and I see no reason, at least until Werner returns, for him not to be in your lineup.
Green Bay Packers @ Philadelphia Eagles
Start – C.J. Gardner-Johnson DB, PHI
There might not be a hotter player in IDP fantasy football right now than Gardner-Johnson right now. The Eagles’ safety has averaged 24.9 fantasy points per game over the past month. On the season, only Derwin James has more fantasy points than Gardner-Johnson. He has been an IDP superstar this season and should continue to produce at a high level. He has finished with 24 fantasy points or more in five of his last six games. The Philadelphia Eagles DB is matchup-proof and should continue to be a plug-and-play starter.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Indianapolis Colts
Start – Grover Stewart DL, IND
The time has come to pay the defensive tackles their respect. The Indianapolis Colts DT Stewart had his first single-digit performance since week five. There’s no need to panic, as he draws a much easier matchup this week with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Colts’ defensive tackle played a season-high 52 snaps in Week 11 but managed just one tackle and one fumble recovery. I expect a bounce-back week as the much improved Colts look to win a primetime game under interim head coach Jeff Saturday.
That’s it for this week, IDP nerds. I’m looking forward to seeing how the season ends up and how the fantasy season shakes out. I appreciate you all on this journey with us and holding all of the staff at dynasty nerds accountable for our weekly recommendations. I hope you all continue strengthening those dynasty rosters for a championship run. Enjoy the games this weekend, Nerds, and we’ll be back again next week.
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