Start or Sit These Players on Sunday to Win Week 12 Fantasy

Welcome everyone to Week 12 of the 2021 fantasy football schedule. This week when putting together your winning lineups, in addition to navigating injuries, you will have to do without fantasy assets from the Kansas City Chiefs and the Arizona Cardinals. The good news is there are only two teams off this week; the bad is they are both loaded with viable fantasy assets.

I am here to do what I can to help you find viable starters with my start/sit recommendations for the Sunday match-ups. The goal is to aid you in setting the best roster possible and to assist you with your tough decisions each week. Often the recommendations here will be weekly flex plays.

Each and every week this season, I will give you my “Start of the Week” along with two “Start” recommendations and two “Sit” recommendations at each skilled player position. So without further ado, let’s take the first step towards your Week 12 victory.

1. Start of the Week

Start or Sit These Players on Sunday to Win Week 12 Fantasy
Start or Sit These Players on Sunday to Win Week 12 Fantasy

Evan Engram – New York Giants
Sully’s Rank: TE7

Anyone who has rostered New York Giants TE Evan Engram knows the frustration that comes along with it. Engram finished his rookie season as TE7 and is the only rookie TE other than Rob Gronkowski to post a top-12 season since 2010.

Since that 2017 season, Engram has battled injuries, drops, and being a member of a terrible offense. For those of you who have followed my work here at RotoHeat, know that I have a love/hate relationship. Basically, I hate myself for loving him.

Well, Week 12 is the start of a run for TE Evan Engram that will restore faith in this once highly touted TE. Engram faces the Philadelphia Eagles this week. As I wrote earlier this week, Philadelphia is the free space on the TE streaming bingo card. They are the worst of the league’s 32 teams against the TE position. They have given up the most receptions (81), yards (811), and touchdowns (9) to the TE this year, and give up on average 19.6 PPR points a game.

In the past three weeks alone, the Eagles have given up a combined 87 yards to Jared Cook and Donald Parham, 5 catches and 59 yards to Noah Fant, and 5 catches, 58 yards and a TD to Adam Trautman. I am starting my multiple shares of Evan Engram with confidence this week.

2. Quarterback

Start or Sit These Players on Sunday to Win Week 12 Fantasy
Start or Sit These Players on Sunday to Win Week 12 Fantasy


Kirk Cousins
Sully’s Rank: QB9

Entering Week 12, Kirk Cousins is the only QB in the NFL to rank in the top 10 in all of the following categories: Completion %: 68.2% (6th), Passing yards: 2,775 (7th), Passing TDs: 21 (t-5th), INTs: 2 (t-1st), and Passer rating: 106.3 (3rd). You like that?

In Week 12, the Vikings travel to California to match up with the San Francisco 49ers. The Niners are a decent matchup for Cousins, as they rank 19th in the league against the QB position. In 10 games this season, San Francisco is giving up on average 18.9 points per game to the enemy QB. San Francisco has been much better on defense recently, and no quarterback has scored more than 17 fantasy points in the past three games against Arizona, the Rams and Jacksonville.

The reality is that Kirk Cousins has been good this season regardless of the matchup. He’s scored at least 18 fantasy points in each of his past three outings against Baltimore, the Chargers and Green Bay, with two of those games being on the road. On the road he is even better this season, averaging 22.97 points per game and has failed to score 21+ points only once. The strong play should continue this week against the 49ers. I’m trusting Cousins to deliver another top-12 outing with a ceiling in the top-5.

Cam Newton – Carolina Panthers
Sully’s Rank: QB10

I had Cam as my QB13 last week and it turns out that I was too low. Cam, in his first start since his return to Carolina, finished with 26.16 points good for a QB4 finish.

Cam passed for 189 yards and two touchdowns and added 46 rushing yards and a touchdown. Newton rushed for 12 TDs last season with the Patriots and he has shown in his return that he’s capable of scoring on the ground on a weekly basis.

The Dolphins have allowed three quarterbacks to rush for at least 33 yards in a game this season, including Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson in two of the past four games. And for the season, Miami allows an average of 20.5 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks, 6th worst in the league. Newton has top-10 upside this week.


Ryan Tannehill – Tennessee Titans
Sully’s Rank: QB20

Ryan Tannehill was a preseason top-12 QB, and in most redraft formats he was drafted as such. Entering Week 12, Tannehill sits at QB10, averaging 17.31 points per game. Since the Titans lost RB Derrick Henry to start Week 9, Tannehill has seen his average slide to 15.62 points a game.

Last week in a plus matchup, Tannehill was a disaster, throwing four interceptions. There is no way I am rolling him out there against the Patriots in Week 12. The Titans enter this one down Henry, Julio Jones, Marcus Johnson, and possibly A.J. Brown.

Adding to all of this is the matchup, and it’s a brutal one. New England is No. 2 in fewest fantasy points allowed to opposing quarterbacks (13.4 points a game), and the past five quarterbacks against the Patriots have scored 12 fantasy points or less.

Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh Steelers
Sully’s Rank: QB22

I have to admit that my personal fantasy QB piñata performed pretty well last week against the Chargers. Big Ben finished with a season best 22.92 points and as QB8.

This week, however, I don’t see Ben and the Steelers having to chase points like they did the fourth quarter a week ago. Pittsburgh was down three key defensive starters in T.J. Watt, Joe Haden, and Minkah Fitzpatrick. This week it is possible they get them all back, and that should slow the Bengals attack and increase the workload for rookie RB Najee Harris.

Historically, Roethlisberger has a bad time in Cincinnati with one game with multiple touchdown passes in his past five trips there going back to 2015. The Bengals also allow an average of just 17.6 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks this year. Ben is a viable QB2 in your two-quarterback and Superflex leagues, but in single QB he should be on your bench.

3. Running Backs

Start or Sit These Players on Sunday to Win Week 12 Fantasy
Start or Sit These Players on Sunday to Win Week 12 Fantasy


A.J. Dillon – Green Bay Packers
Sully’s Rank: RB12

A.J. Dillon was my start of the week last week, and that didn’t work out as planned, but he was still a solid start finishing at RB13 with 15.7 PPR points.

The Minnesota Vikings were surprisingly solid against the run in Week 11, holding Dillion to just 53 yards. Where Dillon showed value was in the passing game. Dillon was not seen as a pass catching back, but he is quickly changing minds. In his first game as the Packers starter, he caught six passes and he had a 40% share of the touches.

This week’s game against the Rams doesn’t appear to be great, but the Rams have allowed big games this season to D’Andre Swift, James Conner and David Montgomery. With the pass catching in his arsenal I see Dillon as a must start and a top-12 RB this week.

Melvin Gordon – Denver Broncos
Sully’s Rank: RB19

You know me; I am all about a revenge game! I would have to think that both Gordon and the Broncos should be motivated to get Gordon into the end zone at least once this week. The Chargers are also a plus matchup for Gordon. Their defense has allowed the ninth-most fantasy points per game to opposing backs, including eight who have scored 14 or more points. Gordon and Javonte Williams (RB22), who will also benefit from the matchup, should be in the flex starter conversation this week.


Myles Gaskin – Miami Dolphins
Sully’s Rank: RB33

It would appear that Myles Gaskin, although frustrating, is quite predictable. Gaskin is good one week, and not the next. Since Gaskin had a good Week 11, it would be wise to bet on him having a down week this week. What can I tell you? It’s science.

Gaskin has failed to score more than 8.6 fantasy points in any even-numbered week. Stick with this theme and sit him in Week 12. In addition to the strange yo-yo season he is having, Gaskin also faces a matchup against a Panthers defense that has allowed the second-fewest fantasy points per game to running backs in 2021. Gaskin is a desperation flex and nothing else this week.

Mike Davis – Atlanta Falcons
Sully’s Rank: RB46

It wasn’t long ago that I was championing Mike Davis as a solid RB3/flex play each week. Davis opened the season with double digits in 6 of his first 7 games. After 8 weeks (7 games), Davis was sitting at RB33 averaging 10 points a week. Since Week 9, he has scored a total of 9.7 points and is the RB60.

It has gotten so bad for Davis that he was out-touched by Qadree Ollison last week. What made this even stranger is the fact the Falcons were without RB/WR Cordarelle Patterson. CP may be back this week, and he might not, but regardless of Patterson’s status this week, Davis needs to be on your bench, and if you need the roster spot, don’t hesitate to drop him. The Falcons face Jacksonville this week, and the Jaguars defense has allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs since Week 8.

4. Wide Receiver

Start or Sit These Players on Sunday to Win Week 12 Fantasy
Start or Sit These Players on Sunday to Win Week 12 Fantasy


Brandin Cooks – Houston Texans
Sully’s Rank: WR19

Houston Texans WR Brandin Cooks continues to fly under the radar. He enters the week as WR22, averaging 13.7 points per game. The most impressive part of that for me is he has done the majority of his damage with Davis Mills at QB.

Cooks and the Texans get the New York Jets this week. The Jets, season to date, are the 14th worst pass defense in fantasy. The Men in Green have given up the third-most fantasy points per game to the WR position. In the last four weeks, however, the Jets have been especially bad, allowing an average of 206.5 receiving yards and five touchdowns.

Brandin Cooks is a solid WR2 this week, and I am happy to start him should he be on my roster.

Brandon Aiyuk – San Francisco 49ers
Sully’s Rank: WR23

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk may finally have worked himself out of coach Kyle Shanahan’s dog house. Last week versus the Jacksonville Jaguars, Aiyuk posted a season high in receptions (7) and fantasy points, (21.5). In the last four weeks, Aiyuk is averaging 14.08 PPR points a game and is the WR13. From Week 1 through 7, Aiyuk was averaging 4.28 points a week and was sitting at WR94.

He is in the flex starter conversation this week, as the Niners host a Vikings team that has allowed the most fantasy points per game to wide receivers over the last four weeks. Minnesota has also allowed the seventh-most points per game to enemy receivers lined out wide in 2021. Start Brandon Aiyuk this week, because if not now, when?


Jarvis Landry – Cleveland Browns
Sully’s Rank: WR39

Jarvis Landry posted 14.2 fantasy points in a win over the Lions, his first good stat line since Week 1. Jarvis had been held to 10 or fewer points in each of his previous five games.

I am out on my fantasy BFF this week. The Browns face the Baltimore Ravens, and their defense has allowed just 4.3 catches per game and two touchdowns to slot receivers this season. Add to this the fact that the Browns are starting a beaten up Baker Mayfield, who when healthy is at best an average NFL QB. I love Jarvis Landry, but this week “Juice” belongs on your bench.

Kenny Golladay -New York Giants
Sully’s Rank: WR48

I had Kenny Golladay as a sit last week and I was right. Golladay posted 2.20 PPR points against the Bucs. In two games since retuning from injury, Kenny Golladay has a total of 7 points. Season to date, Kenny G has 52.2 PPR points.

Entering Week 12, he is the healthiest he’s been all season, but he’s still not producing. This week the Giants face the Eagles, who have allowed the fewest fantasy points per game to wide receivers lined up out wide this season. Not only do I have Kenny Golladay on my bench, I would suggest dropping him if in need of a roster spot.

5. Tight End

Start or Sit These Players on Sunday to Win Week 12 Fantasy
Start or Sit These Players on Sunday to Win Week 12 Fantasy


Kyle Pitts – Atlanta Falcons
Sully’s Rank: TE4

Everyone who knows me, knows that I am a fan of Kyle Pitts. The reality, however, is that Pitts has been a disappointment recently. He has failing to score more than 9.2 fantasy points in three of his last four games. Now, he is still a rookie TE, and he is sitting at TE8 on the season, so don’t be too upset.

This week, the matchup against the Jaguars is a good one. Their defense has allowed five touchdown catches to tight ends and a total of six players at the position have scored 10-plus fantasy points against them. If Matt Ryan can remain upright, and someone else on the Falcons can step up, Pitts will have his best week of the season. I am betting on this happening, and as a result he is my 4th ranked TE this week.

Rob Gronkowski – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Sully’s Rank: TE12

Rob Gronkowski returned to action this past Monday night, and he looked great in a win over the Giants. Gronk had eight targets, hauled in six passes, and scored 13.1 fantasy points in the game. He should be in starting lineups this week, too, as the Buccaneers face a Colts defense that has allowed six touchdowns and the sixth-most points per game to tight ends.


Tyler Conklin – Minnesota Vikings
Sully’s Rank: TE17

Tyler Conklin has been a popular add off the waiver wire in recent weeks, as he had scored 10-plus points in three of his last four games going into last week. Last week, however, he was held to 6.5 points by the Packers, and this week’s matchup against the 49ers makes him a fade. Their defense has allowed just two touchdowns and 9.3 fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends this season.

C.J. Uzomah – Cincinnati Bengals
Sully’s Rank: TE21

C.J. Uzomah’s stock has sunk lately, as he has failed to score more than 7.3 fantasy points in three straight games. He is playing a full complement of snaps, but his target share leaves much to be desired. He should be on fantasy benches against the Steelers who have allowed one score to the position. Also, just three tight ends have scored more than 8.8 points against them this season.

Thank you for reading Start or Sit These Players on Sunday to Win Week 12 Fantasy

For all your start/sit questions be sure to reach out to me on Twitter @RotoHeatSully.

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