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Looking for some lineup advice? You’ve come to the right place. First, go through every game on the schedule right here to find out who Dave is starting and sitting for all 30 teams on the schedule for Week 12.
(Thursday 12:30 p.m. ET, available on fuboTV).
The short week and Mitchell Trubisky’s shoulder injury screams of a larger workload for Howard and Cohen, but not much has made sense when it comes to the Bears run game. When these teams met two weeks ago, the Bears built a 26-0 first-half lead and still struggled to run the ball effectively or frequently. In fact, neither Cohen nor Howard have posted 10-plus Fantasy points in either of their last two games and are averaging under 3.1 yards per rush in Chicago’s last three games, all without top-blocking guard Kyle Long. Detroit’s allowed a touchdown to a running back in four of its last five (4.2 yards per run in that span), but the inconsistencies in how the Bears use their backs make their duo very dicey. So, even if you’re feeling better about what the Bears’ game plan might be with Chase Daniel starting, don’t count on huge stats from either player.
The whole world knows that Colt McCoy isn’t a gunslinger. He’s much more effective throwing short and mid-range passes, which works out great for Reed because he’s not running downfield very often. That will help Reed corral a good amount of targets, but that’s something he had been doing plenty of anyway. The Cowboys are among the best in football at slowing down tight ends — only Evan Engram and Zach Ertz have wound up with 10-plus Fantasy points against them on the season. The Cowboys have also done well versus Reed, holding him to 70 yards or less without a touchdown in 8 of 9 meetings. He’s safer in PPR but a no-go in non-PPR.
Last week I noted that Hooper’s numbers were strong when the Falcons’ run game was ineffective. Turns out that’s just part of the equation — despite a pass-heavy approach last week, Hooper couldn’t come up with more than 27 yards on four catches and eight targets. By all rights, he should have had a better game, but he had a drop and a couple of targets that weren’t catchable. Making matters worse is a Saints pass defense that has held every tight end they’ve faced to six non-PPR Fantasy points or less (Zach Ertz was a total non-factor last week). Furthermore, the Saints run defense has started to soften and the Falcons should revert to their run game after neglecting it last week in spite of Tevin Coleman’s 7.3 rushing average.
Ever since Nick Chubb rose to prominence in Cleveland, David Njoku’s role has been on the back burner. If it continues this week then you’ll know you can’t trust him anymore: The Bengals have allowed nearly every big-name tight end they’ve played to have an excellent game. Eric Ebron, Travis Kelce and O.J. Howard all did well; Jack Doyle and Vance McDonald totaled at least 60 yards without a score; even Mark Andrews and Logan Paulsen hit pay dirt. The only notable tight end to play the Bengals and not do well was Austin Hooper. Hopefully the Browns went back to the drawing board and found ways to utilize Njoku in the passing game after neglecting him. The matchup against the Bengals’ depleted linebackers and safeties will definitely help, if not provide all the incentive needed to get him more targets.
Nine of 11 quarterbacks to play the 49ers this season have had multiple touchdown passes and a minimum of 20 Fantasy points. That’s the starting point for Winston, who has at least 19 Fantasy points in each of his two games he’s played in full. He also had 18 Fantasy points in half of last week’s game. This feels like Winston’s last chance to show the Bucs he can be their quarterback in 2019, but it’s also the start of a potential six-game audition to show the rest of the league what he’s capable of. The Niners, who have picked off just two passes all year, are the perfect opponent for Winston to establish good play against. His upside (and a decent chance to go without multiple turnovers given the opponent) makes him Fantasy worthy as at least a bye-week replacement and at most a great streaming choice.
In effectively 14 games together, Jackson and Winston have hooked up for two touchdowns and seven pass plays of 20-plus yards. That’s on 86 targets, by the way. This connection just isn’t there, though they’ve tried over and over to consistently make it work. A couple weeks back in Cincinnati they hooked up on a long bomb but it’s just too hard to predict when they’ll do it again. The 49ers pass defense isn’t very good but they’ve modestly allowed 33 pass plays of 20-plus yards and only five pass plays of 40-plus yards on the year. Tack on Dirk Koetter being desperate to get his run game going to save his defense from playing too much and it makes for a tough situation to believe in D-Jax.
This game is the opposite of the Chiefs-Rams showdown from last Monday night. It’s expected to be a lot like their 10-3 playoff meeting in Jacksonville last January, filled with lots of conservative play calls and plenty of good defense. To that end, the Bills should be ready for the Jaguars offense coming off the bye at home. Each of the last five DSTs to play the Jaguars have posted at least 10 Fantasy points and Sean McDermott’s crew has found success against weak offenses like the Jets, Titans and … Texans and Vikings?! Jacksonville’s offensive line is a soft spot and the Bills secondary matches up very well with the Jaguars receivers.
If we’re reading between the lines, the Ravens are happy to have any one-cut, north-south runner to replace Alex Collins. Edwards is that — he’s a big, physical pile pusher who can squeeze into tight spaces and break tackles for gains. Perhaps the most telling sign that the coaches like him, however, is that the 17 carries he had last week was the third-most of any Ravens running back this year. Not bad for his fifth NFL game. Oakland’s run defense is particularly brutal, allowing 5.1 yards per carry to backs on the season with eight scores on the ground. A back has had at least 14 Fantasy points (non-PPR) against the Raiders in each of the last four games since their bye. Edwards belongs in lineups as a low-end No. 2 option with some serious upside.
Baldwin looked great last week, but the truth is that he’s ran smoothly for at least the last two games. The difference is that Russell Wilson was focused on finding him in the end zone against the Packers (they tried four times!). Wilson should be just as eager to connect with Baldwin again here as the Panthers will line up aged-like-AOL-not-like-wine cornerback Captain Munnerlyn in the slot. Baldwin should shine against him and keep up the 84 percent catch rate he’s notched in his last three. The Seahawks also should be figured to pass a little more than they’d like since the Panthers should put points up on the board, especially after two straight losses on the road.
The last time Moore surprised with a big game, he was a dud the following week. If the Panthers are wise, they won’t let it happen again. Moore, a sleeper pick for us in Week 11, is coming off of a career-best game and into a favorable home matchup. Since their bye, Seattle outside cornerbacks Tre Flowers and Shaquill Griffin have allowed a 66.7 percent completion rate and 18.5 yards per catch. It is a certainty that Cam Newton will target them both, and it would make sense to rely on the slippery, great-handed Moore (77 percent catch rate this year) to get the job done. After Devin Funchess dropped three passes including a touchdown last week and really has been a disappointment since mid-October, Moore could take his permanent place as the top dog in the passing game as soon as this week.
The Patriots couldn’t pick a better scenario for their rookie rusher. In Week 9 he came back and knocked some rust off in a game that went sideways fast for the Pats. Now that he’s taken a week off, Michel should thrive versus a Jets unit gashed for five rushing scores on the ground in their last four. In three of those four games, Gang Green got stomped for over 4.4 yards per carry. And New England’s lead running back has scored on the Jets in three straight. As long as Michel doesn’t miss any significant practice time, expect his touches to get ramped up in what should be a one-sided Patriots win. They do a lot of that coming off the bye.
The Eagles haven’t had one of their running backs get 10 or more carries in a game in four weeks. In those games, only one of their backs has averaged more than 3.0 yards per carry. That would be Adams, who’s sporting a delightful 6.6-yard average in those last four and was the team’s lone bright spot in Sunday’s humiliating loss. One way the Eagles can bounce back is to finally take some pressure off Carson Wentz and attack the weakness of the Giants defense. New York has seen opposing backs score on it in every game this year while yielding 5.3 yards per carry in three matchups since trading Damon Harrison. Adams is worth taking a leap of faith on.
It’s one thing to see Fitzgerald go off for big games against sluggish pass defenses like the 49ers and Raiders; it’s another to expect it when he takes on a talented unit like the one the Chargers have. Only three receivers have gone for over 100 yards on Los Angeles this year and only one wideout has scored on the Bolts in the last five games. Slot corner Desmond King has been playing great and should be assigned to Fitzgerald for plenty of the game. Fitz has yet to score or exceed 50 yards on the road this season. You might not feel good about starting him again until Week 14.
A few weeks back, Andrew Luck was short on viable targets and had to rely on Eric Ebron. If you saw last week’s game, you know that’s no longer the truth. The Colts no longer have a dearth of receiving talent and should be in good enough shape to mix-and-match their weapons against a Dolphins pass defense that typically keeps pass-catchers in front of them, eliminating big plays. Ebron plays a lot in the red zone but not as much elsewhere on the field. Until that changes, and until they’re in a game where they won’t play with a lead, Ebron is basically the most decorated touchdown-or-bust tight end this season.
How in the world can you get away from starting McDonald when the Broncos have let a tight end score on them in three straight and McDonald has found the end zone in two straight? Answer: You can’t. McDonald has become a regular in the Steelers offense, playing 80 percent of the snaps last week in a game they were chasing points in. Linebacker Josey Jewell and safety Justin Simmons have been liabilities in coverage for the Broncos over the last few games and figure to draw plenty of attention. Given how poor the tight end spot has become in Fantasy, someone like McDonald makes perfect sense to start.
Not only should Cousins benefit from the Packers’ defensive injuries, but his whole offensive line should too. Beefy defensive tackle Mike Daniels got hurt last week and will make the Packers’ front that much less threatening. The Packers’ secondary is also running on backups with cornerbacks Kevin King and Bashaud Breeland sidelined as well as safety Kentrell Brice. Though there is a chance Dalvin Cook takes over and gashes the Packers over 20-plus carries, the reality is that Cousins has taken over the identity of the offense and is in a good spot to bounce back from a tough loss last week. Mind you, Cousins found 20 Fantasy points in that game — he should find more here.
Miller’s a risky play no matter the circumstances. The good: He’s had at least 18 carries in three of his last four games and averaged at least 4.3 yards per carry in those three with a pair of touchdowns. More good: The Titans defense is on the road for the second week in a row after getting annihilated by the Colts, partially because the Tennessee offense put them in some bad spots. That could happen again. The bad: Tennessee’s run defense is pretty good despite last week’s results and should make things tough on a Texans offensive line that’s playing decent ball but dealing with some injuries. Because the matchup suggests a long night for the Titans offense, the Texans can continue to play conservatively. That’s ultimately good news for Miller since he’ll get a bunch of carries. Hopefully he can come up with double-digit Fantasy points again — he’s done it in three of his last four.