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Start ‘Em & Sit ‘Em is the ultimate weekly look at NFL matchups and how they’ll affect your fantasy football team. Fantasy superstars such as Todd Gurley and Antonio Brown will not be featured. All player matchups are based on PPR scoring system. NFL researchers Matt Frederick and Michael Florio have contributed to the column. For your final starting lineup decisions, check our weekly fantasy football lineup rankings.



Byes: Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Rams

Start ‘Em

Start of the Week – Carson Wentz vs. New York Giants

Wentz was a massive bust last week, but I’m doubling down on him because of an upcoming matchup against the Giants. The last time he faced off against this NFC East rival, the second-year quarterback threw for three touchdowns and scored a season-high 23.64 fantasy points. Forget last week and start Wentz once again.

Matt Ryan vs. New Orleans Saints

Ryan is coming off a bit of a stinker, scoring just 13.7 fantasy points in a loss to the Cowboys, but you have to like him to rebound on Thanksgiving against the Saints. Their defense did hold Wentz to next to nothing a week ago, but overall it’s allowed over 20 fantasy points per game to the position at home this season.

Russell Wilson vs. Carolina Panthers

Wilson has scored at least 18.6 fantasy points in each of his last six games, and an upcoming matchup in Carolina makes him a solid option. The Panthers defense has surrendered an average of 22.7 fantasy points and a 100.8 passer rating to enemy quarterbacks over the last four weeks, so Wilson should produce a nice line.

Jameis Winston vs. San Francisco 49ers

Winston will start for the Buccaneers (again) this week, which makes him a legitimate No. 1 fantasy option when the 49ers come to town. Their defense has allowed an average of 297 passing yards to enemy field generals on the road, not to mention 23 fantasy points per game. Winston is a free agent in a lot of leagues, too.

Mitchell Trubisky vs. Detroit Lions

Trubisky has been a holiday treat for fantasy owners, scoring more than 21 points in five of his last seven games. One of those games came against this week’s opponent, the Lions, as the UNC product put 36 points on his NFC North rival. Look for Trubisky to stuff the stat sheet again as the Bears put up a nice line in Detroit.

Start ‘Em: Ben Roethlisberger at Denver Broncos, Kirk Cousins vs. Green Bay Packers
Sleepers: Baker Mayfield at Cincinnati Bengals, Lamar Jackson vs. Oakland Raiders

Sit ‘Em

Sit of the Week – Matthew Stafford vs. Chicago Bears

Stafford’s value has taken a massive hit in recent weeks, as he’s scored fewer than 18 fantasy points in his last six games. That trend seems likely to continue on Thanksgiving Day, as he faces a Bears defense that held him to just 15.9 points two weeks ago. Even in two-quarterback leagues, Stafford is tough to trust.

Philip Rivers vs. Arizona Cardinals

Instead of a surefire sit ’em, consider this a simple warning when it comes to Rivers’ matchup against the Cardinals. Their defense has held quarterbacks to just 14.7 fantasy points a game this season, and only Patrick Mahomes (13th) has finished better than 18th against them at the position over their last five contests.

Derek Carr vs. Baltimore Ravens

Carr threw for two touchdowns and had a 100.5 passer rating in last week’s win over the Cardinals, but he still finished with a modest 15.6 fantasy points. That might be his ceiling in a matchup in Baltimore, as the Raiders are down several of their top receivers and have averaged just 13 points on the road this season.

Case Keenum vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Keenum has faded in the stat sheets in recent weeks, scoring no more than 15.6 fantasy points in each of his last four games. He’ll be hard-pressed to improve when the Steelers come to town, as their defense has allowed a mere 173.8 passing yards and an average of 10.6 fantasy points per game to enemy quarterbacks since Week 8.

Blake Bortles vs. Buffalo Bills

Bortles had a massive stinker in a loss to the Steelers, scoring 3.9 fantasy points. He did keep his job, at least for now, but a matchup against the Bills makes him a fade in most leagues. Buffalo’s defense has allowed just four touchdown passes and an average of 12 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks at home.

Sit ‘Em: Eli Manning at Philadelphia Eagles, Josh Rosen at Los Angeles Chargers
Busts: Marcus Mariota at Houston Texans (Mon.), Andy Dalton vs. Cleveland Browns


Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on NFL.com and NFL Network and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. You can follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram for all of the latest fantasy football news, notes and in-depth analysis!

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