Who should you start and who should you sit in Week 12? The Lineup Cheat Sheet combines Fantasy analysis and game-flow predictions with a confidence scale to give you a definitive answer on your toughest lineup decisions.
It’s pretty simple: The scale runs from 1-10. The higher the number next to a player’s name, the more confident you should be to start him. The numbers are not a projection, just a confidence score to help you pick who to start. Every relevant player for Week 12 is here, so if a player isn’t listed, don’t start him.
To find a specific player, use your search function — CTRL-F on PCs and Command-F on Macs. If neither of those are options, or if you’re on a mobile device, you can scroll by game.
If you’re still unsure, just send a note on Twitter (@daverichard) and I’ll give it a look, time permitting. Ready to get off on the right foot? Here’s how to approach every play for Week 12 in PPR leagues — the non-PPR Cheat Sheet is right here.
More Week 12: Start ‘Em & Sit ‘Em | Starts and Sits, Sleepers and Bust | QB Preview | RB Preview | WR Preview | TE Preview | Matchup Notes | Start ‘Em & Sit ‘Em: QB | Start ‘Em & Sit ‘Em: RB | Star ‘Em & Sit ‘Em: WR | Rankings | Waiver Wire | Trade Values Chart | Cut List | Week 11 Winners and Losers | Believe It Or Not
All lines from William Hill Sportsbook.
The line wants us to believe: The Lions will keep it close at home. I’m not sure the Texans are good enough to be favored by this much, but the Lions have yet to lose a game by three or fewer points this season. Makes me think the oddsmakers could have stretched this line to minus-4 or 4.5. But ultimately I have zero faith in the Lions hanging with the Texans on the scoreboard, so give me the Texans.
The line wants us to believe: The Cowboys are back! No doubt, Dallas’ offensive line played better than expected in Week 11 as did Andy Dalton. But Dallas’ defense is still sloppy while Washington’s defense plays beyond expectations. That could keep the game close. Call me crazy but I think the Football Team will be competitive. I like getting points with them.
The line wants us to believe: Despite their issues this week, the Ravens can keep it competitive. This feels sucker-ish — the Ravens have dealt with a COVID-19 outbreak all week and will come into the matchup with a depleted squad. Meanwhile, all but two of the Steelers‘ wins have been by five-plus points. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Ravens defense play tough, but Lamar Jackson has struggled in two starts against Pittsburgh (three passing touchdowns, five interceptions). That’s where I think the undefeated home team has an edge.
The line wants us to believe: Everything about the Cardinals is fine. Taking a road favorite with a quarterback nursing a shoulder injury and a defense that’s struggled for much of the year doesn’t exactly seem enticing. It feels like the oddsmakers are playing off of the Patriots‘ loss at Houston last week. I can see them being competitive enough to win the game, much less cover a couple of points.
The line wants us to believe: The Vikings loss last week was a fluke. Getting exposed by the Cowboys isn’t a good look, but I still feel like Minnesota’s defense is strong up the middle. While I would expect some breakdowns, the Panthers defense shouldn’t definitely be taken seriously after manhandling a depleted Lions squad last week. That’s the real fluke. I’ll take the Vikings.
The line wants us to believe: Last week was a mirage for both teams. The Jets managed to wind up staying close with the Chargers while the Dolphins lost in convincing fashion to the Broncos. But the Jets are turning back to Sam Darnold at quarterback, and he’s lost every start he’s made this season by eight-plus points. All but one of Miami’s wins has been by at least eight points. If they wanted to sucker me into taking the Dolphins, they’ve done a good job.
The line wants us to believe: The Colts will keep finding ways to win. I’m curious to see how the Colts operate without DeForest Buckner in the middle of the defensive line. He might be a lynchpin for the whole Indy defense. Plus the Titans are one of those cagey teams that also find ways to win. After Indy ran away with a win two weeks ago in Nashville, my thought is the Titans return the favor thanks to the Colts’ depleted defense.
The line wants us to believe: The Jaguars can stay within one score. Cleveland should be able to take control of this matchup, even without its two best defensive players. If they control the clock and rack up enough points, making the Jaguars offense one-dimensional should ultimately result in some turnovers. I’m not sure either team can hit its implied team total (27.75 for Cleveland, 21.25 for Jacksonville), but I’m pretty sure the Browns can win by a touchdown.
The line wants us to believe: Cincinnati won’t morph into a football wasteland. I know it’s dangerous to give a team like the Giants six points against anyone, but the offense the Bengals will put on the field figures to be really rough. And it’s not like their defense will be better. Behind a good effort from Wayne Gallman, the Giants win their second in a row by double digits.
The line wants us to believe: The Bills will bounce-back just fine off the bye. If you don’t recall, the Bills lost their last game on a Hail Mary. They won three games before that, but it’s not like Buffalo’s defense has shown any signs of coming around. I suspect the public will be on the Bills, which makes the Chargers and those points all the more alluring.
The line wants us to believe: Even if it’s without Julio Jones, the Falcons can keep it close at home. All of Las Vegas’ wins have been by four-plus points, and they are 4-1 on the road. I think the oddsmakers could have had them lay even more than three points, so naturally, it feels like a sucker bet to take them. The Falcons should do a better job protecting Matt Ryan this week, and that could make all the difference. I’m going with the home dog.
The line wants us to believe: The 49ers won’t lose by as much as they have been. This one’s weird — San Francisco has lost by at least 10 points in three straight. They’re without several key components offensively and defensively. So why only 6.5 points? It could be because Kyle Shanahan not only plays the Rams tough, but he’s beaten them in three straight.
The line wants us to believe: Denver’s win last week means nothing. I think the oddsmakers had to give Denver six points just to draw some interest on their side. Denver’s offense was pretty good last week all things considered, but it seems unsustainable, especially against the Saints‘ vaunted unit. That being said, you can’t underestimate Vic Fangio’s defensive genius, either. This feels like a low-scoring win for New Orleans, but not by a touchdown.
The line wants us to believe: The Chiefs are the best team in football. Kansas City is probably the only team that can be a 3.5-point favorite at Tampa Bay. As great as the narrative about Tom Brady bouncing back from big losses is, don’t forget about who’s coaching the Chiefs defense: Steve Spagnuolo. He’s taken down Brady before in some pretty big games. Between that and the Buccaneers defense being forced to dial back on the aggressiveness so they don’t get burned deep, the Chiefs should find a way to win handily.
The line wants us to believe: Chicago’s defense is no match for the Packers. It definitely feels like public perception inflated this line. Why wouldn’t it? Green Bay is one of the league’s best teams and the Bears are having trouble finding a healthy quarterback. I think this line could have been minus-10, that’s how ugly the Bears offense is on paper. But it’s their defense that could make things tough on the Packers. Enough to keep them ahead by a score or less? Given the state of the Packers defense, I can’t rule it out.
The line wants us to believe: Seattle isn’t capable of a big blowout win. The line seems engineered for people to take Seattle — laying just five points seems irresistible given the state of the Eagles offense over the past two weeks. Thing is, Seattle’s defense is getting a little bit better, and the run game is becoming more to Pete Carroll’s liking. Seattle’s implied point total of 27.5 seems a lot more likely than Philly’s 22.5 total.
So who should you start and sit this week? And which surprising quarterback could lead you to victory? Visit SportsLine now to get Week 12 rankings for every position, plus see which QB is going to come out of nowhere to crack the top 10, all from the model that out-performed experts big-time last season.