Fantasy football Week 12: Start 'em and Sit 'em


Fantasy football Week 12: Start 'em and Sit 'em

Well once again, Tony and Scott weren't able to gain any ground on Mark, who remained our leader after Week 11. Mark sat Bowe, which gave him a five-spot. Scott's move of starting Stephens-Howling paid off and Tony's choice of sitting Andre Johnson...well we won't go there.

With bye weeks over, you now have a full array of players to use each week. As the season winds down, the waiver-wire may be the best place to find a player to stash on your bench for the stretch run.

Just a reminder for those keeping score at home (though we'll do it for you), for players who each analyst starts, these are the points they will receive:

Start 'em:
5 points if a player scores 25 points
4: 20-24
3: 15-19
2: 10-14
1: 5-9
0: negative-4

Sit 'em:
5 points if a player scores negative points to 4 points
4: 5-9
3: 10-14
2: 15-19
1: 20-24
0: 25

Without further adieu, here are our picks for Week 12. Good luck!

Tony Andracki (Week 11: 9 points; Season total: 120) last week didn't go well for my startsit. Bush was awful, Smith was nothing special and Freeman was good again. And then there was Andre Johnson. He must have read what I said about him or something. That was arguably the best game of his career.

With three holiday games, check out my StartSit for Week 12's action. But, given my luck the past two weeks, might want to start the guys I tell you to sit and sit the guys I tell you to start.

Start 'em

Matthew Stafford, QB -- DET (vs. HOU)

Stafford is finally on the same page with Calvin Johnson, as the duo has combined for 479 and three scores over the last three weeks. That and the fact that Chad Henne -- yes, Chad Henne -- just tore up the Texans secondary means you should have no issues in starting Stafford tonight.

Jamaal Charles, RB -- KC (vs. DEN)

The Broncos have been really good against the run this season, with the only real blemish on their resume a horrible Week 5 against the Patriots, when they allowed 253 yards and two scores on the ground. But the Chiefs have been making Charles the focal point of their sad, struggling offense of late, and he has responded with back-to-back good games. It's a gut call, but I think Charles responds again Sunday.

Wes Welker, WR -- NE (@ NYJ)

With Rob Gronkowski hurt, Wes Welker should re-emerge as the focal point of the Patriots' offense. The game's best slot receiver hasn't topped 80 yards since Week 6, but he's been solid in PPR leagues and should have a big impact this week against the Jets, especially in the redzone.

Sit 'em

Philip Rivers, QB -- SD (vs. BAL)

The Ravens have given up plenty of passing yards this season, but have only allowed eight scores through the air in 10 games. Even with a banged up unit, Baltimore has only allowed a passing TD in half its games so far, and opposing quarterbacks have put up 20 or more points just once. That all doesn't bode well for Rivers. Sit him on the bench this holiday weekend.

Alfred Morris, RB -- WAS (@ DAL)

The worry with Morris was if he would stick as the main running back in the offense of the indecisive Mike Shanahan. He's been the workhorse (at least 13 carries every week this year), but hasn't performed of late. Morris hasn't scored since Week 6 and hasn't topped 76 yards the last three weeks. He also hasn't scored more than 17 fantasy points in a game since Week 1. All that adds up to a risky play this week. But knowing my luck, he'll have a Doug Martin-esque game.

Denarius Moore, WR -- OAK (@ CIN)

The Bengals have been pretty good against opposing WRs this season, limiting them to just 16.8 points per week combined. Moore had just one catch for nine yards last week against the horrendous Saints defense, but did put up four touchdowns in the previous five weeks. He may have an impact this week, but not much of one. Go with a better option if you have one.

Mark Strotman (Week 11: 16 points; Season total: 134)

I'm starting to open up a bit of a lead on Scott and Tony, so I'm going out on a limb with my starts this week. A couple of my starts didn't hit this week (thanks a lot, Nick Foles), but I'm going right back to a youthful tandem this week. I can barely see Scott and Tony down there, and with only five weeks left in the fantasy season these picks could put me over the top. Make sure they put you over the top, too.

Start 'em

Colin Kaepernick, QB -- SF (@ NO)

Jim Harbaugh and I talked earlier this week and decided the Niners' best option for success was with Colin Kaepernick. Harbaugh said he'd start him if I did, so it's only right that I hold up my end of the bargain. The second-year dual-threat QB looked calm in the pocket against a tough Chicago defense and has plenty of weapons to use, the best of which may be Frank Gore's legs. I like to ride the hot hand in Kaepernick, who should be a nice play as a back-end QB1.

Michael Crabtree, WR -- SF (@ NO)

Kapernick's arrival isn't the only reason I like Tom's long-lost brother this week. Michael has scored a touchdown in three straight games and will get plenty of targets from Kaepernick against a struggling New Orleans secondary.

James Starks, WR -- GB (@ NYG)

Alex Green's time in Green Bay is just about up, and that means more repetitions for James Starks, who looked fine last week against the Lions (25 carries for 74 yards). I think he could have another nice week against a good Giants defense, but one that is going to try and stop Aaron Rodgers and the Pack's wideouts. Starks is a sneaky play to find the end zone on Sunday night.

Sit 'em

Ryan Mathews, RB -- SD (vs BAL)

This fantasy experiment has to be over soon. Mathews began the year injured and, while he was a perfect buy low candidate, just hasn't gotten it done. In his last five games, Mathews has scored in between 7 and 9 points. He's consistent but you can find a better upside option to use, especially if you're desperate for a win to secure a playoff berth. I was an admitted Mathews fan in the preseason, and even after the injury thought he could turn it around, but I was wrong. Don't make the same mistake.

Danny Amendola, WR -- (@ ARI)

Amendola was great in his return two weeks ago, grabbing 11 passes for 102 yards. But last week he had just 41 yards on seven catches, and Sam Bradford will have his work cut out for him against a Cardinals' secondary that forced Matt Ryan into five interceptions. I'm looking elsewhere for a WR2 andor Flex, though Amendola is a nice stash since his targets are always high.

Shonn Greene, RB -- NYJ (vs. NE)

I've been a fan of Greene this year, who is in the midst of a nice fantasy rebound season, but Bilal Powell scored twice last week and looks to be a thorn in Greene's side. You might have to start Greene if you don't have any better options, but be very wary of Powell's ability to score around the goal line. If you have a better option, wait a week before seeing how this running back situation in New York will really pan out.

Scott Krinch (Week 11: 16 points; Season total: 129)

I had a decent week, but wasn't able to inch any closer to Mark's lead as we finished with the same total in Week 11. For an odd reason, I started Sam Bradford. Fail. I started Jordy Nelson. Another fail. My gut feeling pick of the week was LaRod Stephens-Howling and he blew up with a 19 point game in ESPN standard leagues. My sits were the area that helped me out last week. Let's see if I can find some consistency this weekend.

With three games on Thanksgiving, you can sit back enjoy your brunch and listen to my picks this week because I'm feeling a big week from my guys.

Start 'em

Andy Dalton, QB -- CIN (vs. OAK)

Dalton has got to be thrilled to have the opportunity to go up against an atrocious Raiders pass defense on Sunday. Oakland has allowed 67 fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks the last three weeks. And since the bye week, the red-headed gun slinger has thrown seven touchdowns to just one pic. He's an absolute must start going forward.

Matt Forte, RB -- CHI (vs. MIN)

It's been and up and down season for the former first-round fantasy running back. With the offensive line having problems protecting the quarterback, I see the Bears feeding Forte the rock all game. No. 22 is averaging 89.3 yards per game against the Vikings in his career. If he hits that mark and finds pay dirt, I'd say that's a productive 15 point fantasy day.

Cecil Shorts, WR -- JAC (vs. TEN)

Justin Blackmon is getting all the publicity in Jacksonville this week, but people are forgetting how good Mr. Shorts has been. Double-digit fantasy points in four out of his last five games. Tennessee, more than likely, will focus on shutting Blackmon down which will help Shorts' value. Also, it seems that Henne has quite the connection with the young wide receiver. If he's available in your league, pick him up now! And insert him in your starting lineup. You'll be smiling with a win this week if you do.

Sit 'em

Eli Manning, QB -- NYG (vs. GB)

It's been over a month since Eli has thrown a touchdown. Yes that may change this week, but I don't see him having a spectacular fantasy performance against Green Bay's defense, who just shut down Matt Stafford and the Lions. You've got to have a better option on your bunch or go ahead and pickup somebody off the waiver wire this week. For example: Chad Henne.

Chris Johnson, RB --  TEN (@ JAC)

CJ2K is back and what better than a game against the lowly Jaguars. One problem. Somehow the Jaguars were able to shut down arguably the best running back in the league in Arian Foster. Who says they can't do the same against Johnson this week? I don't know why, but I just have hunch that both quarterbacks are going to air it out on Sunday, diminishing Johnson's value. For my sake, let's hope I'm right.

Reggie Wayne, WR -- IND (vs. BUF)

The elder-statesmen on the Colts' roster hasn't been as productive in fantasy terms as of late with only one touchdown in his last six games. Luck's go-to-guy lately has been rookie T.Y. Hilton. I don't know why, but I just don't see Wayne having a big game on Sunday against an improving Buffalo defense.

Fire trade up in draft, select Hermann Trophy winner Jon Bakero


Fire trade up in draft, select Hermann Trophy winner Jon Bakero

After trading down in each of the past two drafts, the roles were reversed for the Fire and general manager Nelson Rodriguez.

The Fire traded up to the No. 5 spot, sending $75,000 of General Allocation Money, $100,000 of Targeted Allocation Money, the Fire’s natural first round pick at No. 15 and a player to be named later to Minnesota. With that pick the Fire took Jon Bakero, an attacking player who won the MAC Hermann Trophy, college’s soccer version of the Heisman Trophy, this fall.

Bakero comes in with a heck of a resume and a background. The Wake Forest forward scored 37 goals and had 26 assists in four years. As a senior he had 16 goals and 14 assists in 23 games.

On top of his college accomplishments, Bakero is the son of Jose Mari Bakero, who played for Barcelona for a decade and played in the 1990 and 1994 World Cups. The Spanish-born player will count as an international on the Fire’s roster, but offseason moves have cleared out international slots. The Fire are up to six internationals on the roster.

Bakero is noted for his technical ability on the ball and his ability to create chances for himself and his teammates. He played as a striker in college, but in coach Veljko Paunovic’s system he could be used as the underneath attacker that Michael de Leeuw played in 2017 before getting hurt. With de Leeuw and Djordje Mihailovic expected to miss at least a few months of the 2018 season, Bakero should have a chance to start right away based on the current roster.

Bakero was named MVP of the combine leading into the draft. Last year the Fire took Daniel Johnson in the first round after Johnson caught some eyes by standing out at the combine.

The player to be named in the trade will be announced after the team reaches out to the player to notify him of the trade.

Meet the Prospects: Evan Skoug

Meet the Prospects: Evan Skoug

The White Sox rebuild is in full swing. While it might still be a year or two before the big league team is expected to start competing for championships, the minor leagues are stocked with highly touted talent fans will be eagerly following in 2018. With that in mind, it's time to Meet the Prospects and get to know the future of the South Side.

Evan Skoug

Skoug, the 22-year-old catcher, was a seventh-round pick of the White Sox in last summer's draft.

A Libertyville native, Skoug played his college ball at TCU, where he and the Horned Frogs made three consecutive College World Series appearances in the last three years. During his final season at TCU, Skoug slashed .272/.378/.544 with a whopping 20 homers and 71 RBIs.

After joining the White Sox organization, Skoug played 21 games with Class A Kannpolis, only picking up 10 hits — but two homers and two triples — in his 76 plate appearances.

As of their most recent rankings, MLB Pipeline had Skoug rated as the No. 24 prospect in the White Sox organization.

Get to know Skoug in the video above.