NFL

Fantasy Football Week 12 starts, sits: James White could feast vs. Cowboys

Fantasy Football Week 12 starts, sits: James White could feast vs. Cowboys

The fantasy football playoffs are drawing closer, and the stakes are getting higher. So, it's up to you to raise your game.

Should you stick with your workhorse running back despite a subpar matchup? Should you take a chance on a boom-or-bust wide receiver with tantalizing upside?

There are a lot of tough calls this week, but you don't have to make them alone. Here are five players to start and five players to sit for Week 12 of NFL action.

START

Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons: Ryan hasn't topped 20 fantasy points in standard-scoring leagues since Week 6. So, why should you start him Sunday? Because the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' atrocious defense has allowed the second-most fantasy points to opposing QBs, that's why.

James White, RB, New England Patriots: Patriots wide receivers Mohamed Sanu and Phillip Dorsett both are dealing with injuries, which could mean more targets for White, who ranks second on the team in targets. Oh, and the Dallas Cowboys have allowed the fifth most receiving yards to opposing running backs this season. All signs point to a "James White Game."

Tevin Coleman, RB, San Francisco 49ers: Coleman has struggled to get anything going over the last three weeks, but that was in part due to some tough matchups. The Green Bay Packers are allowing 4.8 yards per carry this season and Coleman has still been involved in the passing game, so expect a bounce-back game here.

Jamison Crowder, WR, New York Jets: Guess who likes catching passes from Sam Darnold? Crowder, who's had four or more receptions in all but one game since Darnold returned in Week 6. Crowder also has scored a touchdown in three consecutive games, so he's a strong PPR play versus the Oakland Raiders.

DK Metcalf, WR, Seattle Seahawks: Metcalf has amassed at least nine targets in three of his last four games, making him a strong high-floor play against a Philadelphia Eagles defense that's been generous to opposing wideouts this season.

SIT

Jared Goff, QB, Los Angeles Rams: Maybe Goff will step up his game on "Monday Night Football." But you just can't trust a QB with zero touchdowns and three interceptions in his last two games against the Baltimore Ravens' elite defense.

Tarik Cohen, RB, Chicago Bears: Cohen has generated some fantasy buzz with nine catches over the last two weeks. His increased use was in part due to David Montgomery's injury, though, and we'd expect Montgomery to cut into Cohen's touches this week against the New York Giants.

Devin Singletary, RB, Buffalo Bills: Singletary fumbled twice last week, and the Bills have a trusted veteran option in Frank Gore. Singletary still should get touches, but don't expect the exciting rookie to be a bell cow this Sunday.

Brandin Cooks, WR, Los Angeles Rams: If you can't trust Goff, you can't trust a wideout who's third on Goff's pecking order behind Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods. Cooks is a touchdown-dependent boom-or-bust play.

Tyler Boyd, WR, Cincinnati Bengals: It's saying something about the Bengals' offense that their top wide receiver isn't even start-worthy. Boyd has just one touchdown this season and doesn't produce enough volume to warrant a PPR play.

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Fantasy football Week 16 waiver wire: Breshad Perriman can be a league-winner

Fantasy football Week 16 waiver wire: Breshad Perriman can be a league-winner

It's not about how you start the fantasy football season. It's how you finish.

If you're reading this, chances are your squad is loaded enough to roll through your league's playoffs to the championship round.

But there's always room for improvement, and the Week 16 waiver wire includes a couple players who should be legitimate starters in any fantasy lineup, regardless of depth.

Want to win the whole thing? Start by doing your due diligence on the waiver wire. Here are our top free-agent pickups at each position entering Week 16.

QUARTERBACK

Ryan Fitzpatrick, Miami Dolphins (owned in 25 percent of Yahoo! leagues): We hope you have a better QB1 option than Fitzpatrick if you've reached your league's championship. But if you're in a two-QB league, the ageless, bearded wonder is a fine pickup: He's attempted 37 or more passes in five consecutive games and gets a beatable Cincinnati Bengals defense.

Other quarterbacks to target: Jacoby Brissett (IND), Mitchell Trubisky (CHI), Gardner Minshew (JAX)

RUNNING BACK

Alexander Mattison, Minnesota Vikings (39 percent owned): It's still unclear if Dalvin Cook will play in Week 16 after suffering a shoulder injury Sunday. If he doesn't, that's a massive opportunity for either Mattison or Mike Boone, who found the end zone twice in Week 15 with Cook and Mattison both sidelined. If Mattison is healthy, he should be your top waiver wire priority against the Green Bay Packers' Swiss cheese run defense.

Other running backs to target: Mike Boone (MIN), Chris Thompson (WAS), Wes Hills (DET)

WIDE RECEIVER

Breshad Perriman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (13 percent owned): This one's a no-brainer. Perriman had produced double-digit fantasy points in two consecutive weeks before going off for three touchdowns last Sunday in Mike Evans' absence. With Chris Godwin also on the shelf, Perriman suddenly is the No. 1 wideout for Jameis Winston and the pass-happy Bucs.

Other wide receivers to target: Anthony Miller (CHI), Chris Conley (JAX), James Washington (PIT)

TIGHT END

O.J. Howard, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (41 percent owned): Perriman isn't the only Bucs pass-catcher who should benefit from Evans and Godwin being out. Howard has at least four catches in three consecutive games, and the Houston Texans have allowed six touchdowns to tight ends over their last seven contests.

Other tight ends to target: Jonnu Smith (TEN), Darren Fells (HOU)

DEFENSE

Denver Broncos (25 percent owned): David Blough's stats through three games as the Detroit Lions' starting quarterback -- five interceptions, one fumble, nine sacks -- are all the evidence you need to pick up the Broncos ahead of this matchup in Denver.

Other defenses to target: Indianapolis (vs. CAR), Atlanta (vs. JAX)

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Fantasy football Week 15 waiver wire: Can A.J. Brown deliver in playoffs?

Fantasy football Week 15 waiver wire: Can A.J. Brown deliver in playoffs?

You didn't come this far just to come this far.

Week 15 of the NFL season means it's the semifinal round of the fantasy football playoffs in most leagues.

If you're reading this, congrats on still being alive. But you're not interested in a runner-up trophy, and we're not interested in providing runner-up advice.

Below are the top players at each position who are widely available on fantasy football waiver wires and are worth adding for Week 15 as you seek fantasy glory.

QUARTERBACK

Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans (owned in 48 percent of Yahoo! leagues): We'll continue to put Tannehill on this list until he's owned in more than half of leagues. The Titans gunslinger was the sixth-best quarterback in fantasy last week and faces a Houston Texans defense that just allowed 309 passing yards and three touchdowns to Drew Lock. He's your guy again this week.

Other quarterbacks to target: Ryan Fitzpatrick (MIA), Jacoby Brissett (IND), Kyle Allen (CAR)

RUNNING BACK

Adrian Peterson, Washington Redskins (40 percent owned): News that Derrius Guice has a sprained MCL means Peterson is the clear-cut workhorse on a team that loves to run the ball. The ageless veteran has touchdowns in back-to-back weeks and should see north of 20 touches against the Philadelphia Eagles, making him the safest waiver wire pickup among running backs.

Other running backs to target: DeAndre Washington (OAK), Patrick Laird (MIA), Boston Scott (PHI)

WIDE RECEIVER

A.J. Brown, Tennessee Titans (27 percent owned): The rookie wide receiver has become Tannehill's go-to deep threat, with 333 receiving yards over his last three games. Brown's low catch total makes him a bit of a boom-or-bust play, but it's the playoffs. Gotta take shots to make shots.

Other wide receivers to target: Zach Pascal (IND), Darius Slayton (NYG), Justin Watson (TB)

TIGHT END

David Njoku, Cleveland Browns (37 percent owned): Njoku caught just one pass for four yards in his first game since Week 2, but has a dream matchup against an Arizona Cardinals defense that's given up the most fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season. He's a high-risk breakout candidate.

Other tight ends to target: Gerald Everett (LAR), Darren Fells (HOU)

DEFENSE

Kansas City Chiefs (32 percent owned): Is the Chiefs defense ... good? Kansas City has held each of its last opponents (including the New England Patriots) to 16 points or fewer. The Denver Broncos are riding high after upsetting the Texans, but we're sensing a turnover-filled letdown game in KC.

Other defenses to target: Oakland (vs. JAX), Seattle (at CAR)

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