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Week 12 Start 'Em and Sit 'Em

Senior Fantasy Writer
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Disclaimer ... Before you start reading, understand that we are not in the business of stating the obvious and wasting your time (or ours), so you won't be reading here why you need to start Aaron Rodgers, Arian Foster, Calvin Johnson or any other top-tier players. We're here to help you evaluate players you might be on the fence about.

Cedric Benson finds himself in a good position heading into Week 12. He is coming off a great game and he has a favorable matchup, making him a must-start Fantasy running back.

I'm starting Benson over ...
Chris Johnson, TEN vs. TB
LeGarrette Blount, TB at TEN
Beanie Wells, ARI at STL
Ryan Mathews, SD vs. DEN
Shonn Greene, NYJ vs. BUF

The Bengals play host to the Browns in Cincinnati, and Benson has a good history in this matchup. He had 25 carries for 121 yards and a touchdown at Cleveland in Week 1, and in his last game against the Browns at home in 2010, he had 31 carries for 150 yards and a touchdown. He has three games with at least 15 Fantasy points in his past five meetings with Cleveland.

The Browns have struggled in run defense for most of this season. They have allowed seven touchdowns to opposing running backs and nine have reached double digits in Fantasy points.

Every starting running back to face the Browns this season had either 100 total yards or a touchdown except Week 7 against Seattle, but that was the game Marshawn Lynch was out just before kickoff with a back injury. In the past four weeks, Frank Gore, Arian Foster, Ben Tate, Steven Jackson and Maurice Jones Drew have combined for 588 rushing yards and four touchdowns against Cleveland.

Benson, who was started in 53 percent of leagues on CBSSports.com in Week 11, just had 15 carries for 41 yards and two touchdowns at Baltimore, and he should be excited to face the Browns. He should have another week with double digits in Fantasy points and is a great starting option in all leagues in Week 12.

Full Disclosure from Week 11
Start of the Week
Player Fantasy Points (projected) Fantasy Points (actual) Start percentage Rank at position
Carson Palmer, QB, OAK 21 18 66 No. 13
Recommended starts that made us look good
Player Fantasy Points (projected) Fantasy Points (actual) Start percentage Rank at position
Matthew Stafford, QB, DET 22 39 83 No. 1
Jay Cutler, QB, CHI 19 28 44 No. 4
Marshawn Lynch, RB, SEA 15 14 88 No. 8
Reggie Bush, RB, MIA 11 12 85 No. 10
Brandon Lloyd, WR, STL 13 12 92 No. 13
Vernon Davis, TE, SF 7 12 76 No. 4
Laurent Robinson, WR, DAL 11 9 87 No. 23
James Starks, RB, GB 9 8 61 No. 17
Recommended starts that made us look bad
Player Fantasy Points (projected) Fantasy Points (actual) Start percentage Rank at position
Eli Manning, QB, NYG 21 12 80 No. 20
Mark Sanchez, QB, NYJ 20 8 47 No. 22
Brandon Jacobs, RB, NYG 13 3 77 No. 29
Greg Olsen, TE, CAR 9 3 54 No. 23
Denarius Moore, WR, OAK 10 1 85 No. 66
Mario Manningham, WR, NYG 8 0 75 No. 82
Recommended sits that made us look good
Player Fantasy Points (projected) Fantasy Points (actual) Start percentage Rank at position
Andy Dalton, QB, CIN 16 17 16 No. 16
Tim Tebow, QB, DEN 17 16 30 No. 18
Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, BUF 16 5 41 No. 26
Dustin Keller, TE, NYJ 5 4 40 No. 18
Jermaine Gresham, TE, CIN 4 4 21 No. 19
Roy Helu, RB, WAS 4 3 30 No. 36
Chris Johnson, RB, TEN 9 2 93 No. 39
Beanie Wells, RB, STL 5 1 48 No. 53
Steve Johnson, WR, BUF 4 1 52 No. 81
Eric Decker, WR, DEN 5 0 39 No. 83
Recommended sits that made us look bad
Player Fantasy Points (projected) Fantasy Points (actual) Start percentage Rank at position
Nate Washington, WR, TEN 2 23 31 No. 2
Josh Freeman, QB, TB 17 21 30 No. 10
Joe Flacco, QB, BAL 17 20 39 No. 11
Chris Ogbonnaya, RB, CLE 5 18 35 No. 3
Jabar Gaffney, WR, WAS 3 17 22 No. 6
Cedric Benson, RB, CIN 5 16 53 No. 6
LeGarrette Blount, RB, TB 6 16 58 No. 7
Mike Williams, WR, TB 2 14 42 No. 11
Brandon Pettigrew, TE, DET 5 9 49 No. 7

Quarterback

Start 'Em

Week 12 sleeper QBs
Josh Freeman, TB at TEN
Vince Young, PHI vs. NE
Matt Leinart, HOU at JAC

Ben Roethlisberger (at KC): We'll find out if Roethlisberger has any problems with his broken thumb, but he expects to be fine and we agree. He has at least 18 Fantasy points in four of his past six starts, and he has a favorable matchup this week against the Chiefs. Kansas City has allowed multiple touchdowns in each of the past three games against Matt Moore, Tim Tebow and Tom Brady, and we expect Roethlisberger to follow suit. In two career meetings with the Chiefs, Roethlisberger has 636 passing yards, five touchdowns and two interceptions. (Started in 77 percent of leagues in Week 10)
Matt Ryan (vs. MIN): Ryan is coming off his best three-game stretch of the season with a combined 69 Fantasy points against Indianapolis, New Orleans and Tennessee. He should continue to play at a high level against the Vikings at home, and Ryan has at least 18 Fantasy points in four of five home games this year. The Vikings have allowed multiple touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks in each of the past five games against Jay Cutler, Aaron Rodgers twice, Cam Newton and Carson Palmer last week. Look for Ryan to stay hot, and he's a solid starting option this week. (Started in 77 percent of leagues in Week 11)
Tim Tebow (at SD): Tebow's first big performance this season came in Week 5 against the Chargers when he replaced Kyle Orton at halftime and had 18 Fantasy points in the second half. Since then, Tebow has gone 4-1 to get Denver into playoff contention in the AFC West, and Orton was released Tuesday. This week, Tebow has the chance for another quality performance against the Chargers -- but over a full game. And San Diego's defense has fallen apart of late with multiple touchdowns allowed against Mark Sanchez, Rodgers, Palmer and Cutler in four of the past five games. This is a big game for the Broncos, and Tebow should once again lead the way. (Started in 30 percent of leagues in Week 11)
Carson Palmer (vs. CHI): Palmer is playing well of late and he has at least 18 Fantasy points in all three of his starts. He should play well again this week. Chicago has allowed multiple touchdown passes in three of four road starts this season. Palmer only had to throw 23 times at Minnesota last week, but he should have to pass more, which will lead to more production. He has one game with more than 25 pass attempts, which was Week 9 against Denver, and he finished with his best performance of the season with 25 Fantasy points. Look for Palmer to be around 20 points this week, and he remains a quality starting option in all leagues. (Started in 66 percent of leagues in Week 11)
Mark Sanchez (vs. BUF): I'm not confident in telling you to start Sanchez, so I can understand your reluctance to use him. He looked awful in Week 11 at Denver with just eight Fantasy points, and he really stumbled into 21 Fantasy points in Week 10 against New England. He also had just 11 Fantasy points in his first meeting with the Bills in Week 9. But based on the injuries at quarterback (Matt Schaub, Vince Young and Cutler) and the matchup for Sanchez, he could be worth the risk. Buffalo has allowed six touchdown passes the past two games against Tony Romo and Moore, and Sanchez has been good at home with at least 20 Fantasy points in four of five games, including three in a row. We're hopeful Sanchez can rebound with a strong performance and take advantage of Buffalo's recent misery this week. (Started in 47 percent of leagues in Week 11)

Sit 'Em

Ryan Fitzpatrick (at NYJ): The Bills would love to get a refund on Fitzpatrick after giving him a hefty paycheck following a hot start. While his recent troubles aren't all his fault -- his receiving corps and offensive line are falling apart -- he has become an unreliable Fantasy quarterback. He has a combined 12 Fantasy points in his past two games against the Cowboys and Dolphins, and he had 11 points in Week 9 against the Jets. He has 11 interceptions in his past six games, and even worse he has just seven passing touchdowns over that span. The Bills might not be able to cut Fitzpatrick this season, but he's become too risky to start even in deep two-quarterback leagues. (Started in 41 percent of leagues in Week 11)
Alex Smith (at BAL): Smith hasn't been a great Fantasy quarterback this season with just three games with more than 20 Fantasy points, but his consistent play has been a big reason for San Francisco's 9-1 start. He played well in Week 11 against Arizona with 21 Fantasy points, but he should struggle this week at the Ravens. Baltimore allowed 373 passing yards against Andy Dalton last week, but the Ravens still had three interceptions with just one touchdown allowed. Baltimore has yet to allow multiple touchdowns to a quarterback this season, including two games against Roethlisberger and one against Schaub. Smith is unlikely to be the first quarterback on that list, so avoid him this week. (Started in 33 percent of leagues in Week 11)
Matt Moore (at DAL): Moore is worth a look in deeper leagues because he has been a big reason for Miami's three-game winning streak. He has two games over that span with three touchdowns, but keep in mind who he has faced in Kansas City and Buffalo. Every time Moore has been forced to throw -- and he has four games with at least 26 passes -- he has combined for one touchdown and four interceptions. We expect him to be throwing a lot against the Cowboys, and Dallas has done a good job in defense at home. Matthew Stafford in Week 4 is the only quarterback to throw for multiple touchdowns in Dallas in five games. (Started in 8 percent of leagues in Week 11)
Andy Dalton (vs. CLE): Dalton is having a solid rookie season. With 15 touchdown passes through 10 games he's tied with Dan Marino and Peyton Manning for the most touchdown passes all-time in any quarterback's first 10 games. That's impressive company, but Dalton has a long way to go to be on Marino and Manning's level. He also has a tough matchup this week since the Browns have only allowed Matt Hasselbeck in Week 4 to score multiple touchdowns against them this season. Dalton only has three games with more than 20 Fantasy points, and Benson should be able to carry Cincinnati's offense this week. (Started in 16 percent of leagues in Week 11)
Christian Ponder (at ATL): Ponder had the best Fantasy game of his young career with 21 points against Oakland in Week 11, and he will try to build off that performance this week against the Falcons. But Ponder has struggled on the road in two starts with a combined 21 Fantasy points at Carolina and Green Bay, and playing away from Minnesota could be a struggle for the rookie quarterback. The Falcons have also been hit or miss against opposing quarterbacks this season with big games from Cutler, Michael Vick, Tarvaris Jackson, Rodgers and Drew Brees, who all had more than 20 Fantasy points. But they have also shut down Josh Freeman, Newton and Stafford, who all had 13 Fantasy points or less. Ponder will likely be in the latter group, and we would not start him in the majority of leagues in Week 12. (Started in 10 percent of leagues in Week 11)

Bust alert: Joe Flacco (vs. SF): Flacco had his best game since Week 2 when he had 20 Fantasy points in Week 11 against Cincinnati. We'll find out if he can repeat that performance in Week 12 against San Francisco, but it still remains hard to trust him as a starting Fantasy option in the majority of leagues. He has an interception in each of his past four home games, and the 49ers have only allowed one quarterback to throw multiple touchdowns in the past four games, which was Eli Manning in Week 10. We can understand the need to use Flacco given the injuries at quarterback, but this matchup with the 49ers and Ravens has the makings of a low-scoring game with plenty of field goals. (Started in 39 percent of leagues in Week 11)

Running back

Start 'Em

Week 12 sleeper RBs
Ben Tate, HOU at JAC
Montario Hardesty, CLE at CIN
Joe McKnight, NYJ vs. BUF
Willis McGahee, DEN at SD
Donald Brown, IND vs. CAR

Beanie Wells (at STL): We've been here before with Wells against the Rams. In Week 9, Wells was the Start of the Week against St. Louis, but he struggled with just three Fantasy points. That game started a downward spiral, and he has just 10 Fantasy points in his past three outings. But the Cardinals believe his injured knee is showing improvement, and the Rams are still dreadful against the run. After stopping Wells, St. Louis then gave up double digits in Fantasy points against Chris Ogbonnaya and Marshawn Lynch, and we've decided to give Wells another chance this week as a No. 2 Fantasy running back in all leagues. (Started in 48 percent of leagues in Week 11)
Kevin Smith (vs. GB): We're going to back Smith after his big game in Week 11 when he had 16 carries for 140 yards and two touchdowns and four catches for 61 yards and a touchdown against Carolina. He has a matchup where he can succeed against Green Bay on Thanksgiving Day. The Packers have allowed either a touchdown or 100 total yards to a running back in each of their past seven games. Smith will not perform against Green Bay like he did against Carolina, but with enough touches he can continue to abuse this Packers run defense, especially if they keep giving defensive tackle B.J. Raji plays off to rest. (Started in 1 percent of leagues in Week 11)
LeGarrette Blount (at TEN): We saw the Blount of 2010 in Week 11 at Green Bay when he had 18 carries for 107 yards and a touchdown, and hopefully that performance carries over to Week 12 against the Titans. Blount needs carries to be successful, and we expect him to be heavily involved in this matchup. He has at least seven Fantasy points in the five games he's had at least 13 carries, including three games with at least 16 Fantasy points over that span. The Titans have allowed eight touchdowns to opposing running backs and seven to reach double digits in Fantasy points. In the past five games, Tennessee has allowed over 700 total yards and five touchdowns to running backs from Houston, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Carolina and Atlanta. (Started in 58 percent of leagues in Week 11)
Shonn Greene (vs. BUF): We tend to stay away from players started in more than 80 percent of leagues in their previous game, but we'll make an exception for Greene this week. He left Week 11 at Denver with injured ribs, but he's expected to play in Week 12 against Buffalo. With LaDainian Tomlinson (knee) still out, Greene should rebound with a strong performance. He hasn't scored in his past four full games, but he has at least seven Fantasy points in each of those outings. He has the chance to score this week since the Bills have allowed 12 touchdowns to opposing running backs and eight to reach double digits in Fantasy points. Buffalo has allowed four rushing touchdowns in their past three games, and the Jets should rely on Greene in this matchup to take pressure off Sanchez. (Started in 84 percent of leagues in Week 11)
Jonathan Stewart (at IND): Stewart and DeAngelo Williams both have the chance for quality Fantasy production this week against the Colts. Indianapolis has allowed 11 touchdowns to opposing running backs and 10 have reached double digits in Fantasy points. The Colts have allowed either 100 total yards or a touchdown to an opposing running back in each of their past seven games, and Stewart and Williams each had double digits in Fantasy points in Week 11 at Detroit. But Stewart is the safer option of the two since he has three games with double digits in Fantasy points in his past five outings, including two touchdowns, and he is more likely to work at the goal line than Williams. (Started in 43 percent of leagues in Week 11)

Sit 'Em

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Toby Gerhart (at ATL): As we told you last week with Chris Johnson, the Falcons run defense has been among the best in the NFL, especially lately. The Falcons have only allowed one touchdown to a running back in their past six games against Green Bay, Carolina, Detroit, Indianapolis, New Orleans and Tennessee. While those rushing attacks aren't exactly dominating, Atlanta has yet to allow a 100-yard rusher all season with just five touchdowns allowed to opposing running backs. You would obviously start Adrian Peterson in this matchup, but since he's out with an ankle injury, Gerhart will go in his place. Don't expect much, and he's not going to play at Peterson's level. (Not started in the majority of leagues in Week 11)
C.J. Spiller (at NYJ): Spiller will start with Fred Jackson (calf) out, but we would not use him as a starter in the majority of leagues. He could be a flex option in point-per-reception leagues, but Buffalo's offensive line woes and Spiller's limited production so far in his career shouldn't have you very excited against the Jets. Jackson hasn't scored in his past three games, and Spiller failed to reach the end zone when Buffalo gave him a goal-line opportunity in Week 11 at Miami. The Jets also have not allowed a running back to score in their past three games against Buffalo, New England and Denver. (Started in 3 percent of leagues in Week 11)
Jackie Battle (vs. PIT): Battle's stint as a decent Fantasy running back appears to be over since he has struggled in his past three games with a combined 13 Fantasy points against Miami, Denver and New England. He has just 17 carries in his past two games, and the Chiefs are back to using a backfield by committee with Thomas Jones and Dexter McCluster. Along with that, Battle faces the Steelers in Week 12, and Pittsburgh's defense should be rested coming off a bye. Things could get ugly for the Chiefs this week, and Battle will likely have his third came in a row with fewer than 10 carries and his fourth consecutive outing with single digits in Fantasy points. (Started in 39 percent of leagues in Week 11)
Roy Helu (at SEA): The revolving door at running back continues for the Redskins with Tashard Choice now out and Evan Royster in. It's hard to say what that means for Helu, but coach Mike Shanahan is not giving him much of a chance to succeed. He has just 14 carries in his past two games with only eight Fantasy points over that span against Miami and Dallas. This is also a tough matchup since the Seahawks have allowed just four touchdowns to opposing running backs and five to reach double digits in Fantasy points. Seattle has not allowed a running back to score since Week 4, and Helu has not scored a touchdown yet this season. (Started in 30 percent of leagues in Week 11)
Kendall Hunter (at BAL): We're not going to see Hunter play at a high level until the 49ers commit to resting Frank Gore, which is at least a few weeks off. Hunter had just 11 carries for 27 yards in Week 11 against Arizona with Gore getting 24 carries for 88 yards. Look for Gore to remain the workhorse in Week 12 at Baltimore, and Hunter will only see limited touches again. He is worth stashing in the majority of leagues, but don't plan on starting Hunter in most formats this week. (Started in 39 percent of leagues in Week 11)

Bust alert: BenJarvus Green-Ellis (at PHI): Green-Ellis returned to form in Week 11 against Kansas City with 20 carries for 81 yards and one catch for 25 yards. He took advantage of the Patriots building a huge lead against the Chiefs and running out the clock. The bad thing about Green-Ellis in that game was he failed to score, and he has now gone five games in a row without a touchdown. The Eagles have improved in their run defense of late with Wells and Brandon Jacobs combining for 35 carries for 83 yards the past two games, and they have only allowed one rushing touchdown since Week 5. You can still start Green-Ellis if you're stuck this week with the hope he gets the majority of touches, but prior to facing Kansas City he had just 12 Fantasy points in his previous four games. (Started in 51 percent of leagues in Week 11)

Wide receiver

Start 'Em

Week 12 sleeper WRs
Early Doucet, ARI at STL
Damian Williams, TEN vs. TB
Plaxico Burress, NYJ vs. BUF
Santana Moss, WAS at SEA
Riley Cooper, PHI vs. NE

Andre Johnson (at JAC): You've been waiting for this moment since Week 4 when Johnson hurt his hamstring against Pittsburgh, and he's going to return against the Jaguars. Fantasy owners are concerned, to a certain extent, about Johnson with the potential of rust due to the six-game layoff and the quarterback change from the injured Schaub to Matt Leinart. Well, don't have any worries about getting Johnson back in your lineup. If he plays, you start him, and Leinart should be able to get him quality production. The Jaguars are without cornerback Rashean Mathis (knee), and Johnson has three touchdowns in his past four games against Jacksonville. (Out since Week 4)
Antonio Brown (at KC): Brown should remain hot for the Steelers coming off the bye week with this matchup against the Chiefs. He has at least eight Fantasy points in his past four games with 40 targets over that span. Kansas City has struggled in pass defense with six passing touchdowns allowed the past three games, and six receivers have reached double digits in Fantasy points for the year. Don't be concerned about Roethlisberger's thumb in this matchup because if he plays he will target Brown and Mike Wallace a lot. (Started in 72 percent of leagues in Week 10)
Percy Harvin (at ATL): Harvin had his best game of the season in Week 11 against Oakland with six catches for 73 yards and a touchdown. He has six catches in each of his past two games with 17 targets over that span, and he could be more involved this week. With Peterson out, the Vikings plan to give Harvin some carries out of the backfield, and he scored as a running back in Week 8 against Carolina. The Falcons have allowed 11 touchdowns to opposing receivers and eight have reached double digits in Fantasy points, and Harvin has the chance to stay hot in this matchup. (Started in 54 percent of leagues in Week 11)
Eric Decker (at SD): You have to throw out Week 11 for Decker when he had zero Fantasy points. He was facing the Jets and Darrelle Revis, and Decker is not going to win that battle. But this week he is facing the Chargers, who have allowed the most Fantasy points to opposing receivers over the past five weeks. San Diego has allowed 10 touchdowns to opposing receivers over that span with six reaching double digits in Fantasy points. Decker had three games in a row with a touchdown prior to Week 11, and he should have the chance to score again in Week 12 based on the matchup. (Started in 39 percent of leagues in Week 11)
DeSean Jackson (vs. NE): Jackson responded from his one-week benching in Week 10 against Arizona with a solid performance in Week 11 at the Giants with six catches for 88 yards. He cost himself a huge game when a taunting penalty negated another five Fantasy points, but he should have another solid outing this week against the Patriots. New England has struggled in pass defense all year, and the Patriots have allowed 10 touchdowns to opposing receivers and eight to reach double digits in Fantasy points. Jackson should be fine following a foot injury, and he also will do well working with Young over Vick (ribs). He should continue to see plenty of targets – he had eight against the Giants – with Jeremy Maclin (hamstring) not expected to play. (Started in 78 percent of leagues in Week 11)

Sit 'Em

A.J. Green (vs. CLE): Green is expected to play this week after sitting out Week 11 with a knee injury, but he should be considered a risky starting option in the majority of leagues. While he has scored a touchdown in six of the nine games he has played, he will likely see plenty of attention from Browns cornerback Joe Haden. Now, Green did score against Cleveland in Week 1, but that came on broken coverage. The Browns have only allowed four touchdowns to opposing receivers this year and only three have reached double digits in Fantasy points. If Green suffers a setback prior to Sunday and is out, then look for Jerome Simpson to get Haden, which would make him a sit candidate as well. (Started in 83 percent of leagues in Week 10)
Steve Johnson (at NYJ): Johnson's Fantasy value continues to plummet, and he has been miserable in his past two games against Dallas and Miami with a combined one Fantasy point. He hasn't scored since Week 6, and this week he's facing Revis. He actually played well against Revis in Week 9 with three catches for 84 yards, but the Bills should have trouble moving the ball this week, including Johnson based on his difficult matchup. Johnson also has been dealing with a nagging shoulder injury, which could be a reason for his poor performances of late. (Started in 52 percent of leagues in Week 11)
Earl Bennett (at OAK): I don't expect Bennett to disappear now that Cutler is out and Caleb Hanie is in, but you have to be concerned with the quarterback change. Cutler and Bennett had a tremendous rapport, and now Bennett has to establish that with Hanie. The Bears have also said they will run the ball more, and Bennett hasn't scored in his past two games against Detroit and San Diego. The Raiders have allowed 11 touchdowns to opposing receivers and eight to reach double digits in Fantasy points, but you should only start Bennett if needed. He might have a good game, but there is plenty of risk now that Cutler is out. (Started in 49 percent of leagues in Week 11)
Reggie Wayne (vs. CAR): Maybe the Colts used their bye week to get Wayne more involved. That could be the case. But you're not going to trust Wayne at this point in the season since he hasn't scored since Week 1 and has just four Fantasy points in his past two games. Pierre Garcon is also a risky Fantasy option, and the Colts are not sold on their quarterback situation with Curtis Painter and Dan Orlovsky. Carolina also has allowed just seven touchdowns to opposing receivers with six reaching double digits in Fantasy points, and this is a good week for the Colts to focus on running the ball since that has been the Panthers biggest weakness on defense. (Started in 36 percent of leagues in Week 10)
Mike Williams (at TEN): It was great to see Williams score in Week 11 and have his best performance of the year with 14 Fantasy points at Green Bay, but it's hard to trust that he can do that again this week. His body of work this season suggests otherwise since he has five games with four Fantasy points or less. The Titans also have done a good job in pass defense this year with only six touchdowns allowed to opposing receivers and four reaching double digits in Fantasy points. The Bucs have an opportunity to rely on Blount in this matchup, and Williams might not see the 11 targets he had against the Packers in a comeback effort. If you plan on starting Williams this week then use him as a No. 3 receiver in the majority of leagues. (Started in 42 percent of leagues in Week 11)

Bust alert: Dwayne Bowe (vs. PIT): Bowe got good news Wednesday with the Chiefs adding Orton off waivers. That should help for the rest of the season with Matt Cassel (hand) out. But Bowe could struggle in Week 12 against the Steelers, especially if Tyler Palko remains the starting quarterback. Bowe hasn't scored a touchdown since Week 5, and he has just one touchdown at home this year. The Steelers will likely put Ike Taylor on Bowe, and the pass rush on Palko will make it difficult for him to look down the field. Pittsburgh has also allowed just three receivers to reach double digits in Fantasy points, which Bowe hasn't done in his past five games. It's hard to bench Bowe in the majority of leagues, but just lower your expectations if you start him this week against the Steelers. (Started in 87 percent of leagues in Week 11)

Tight end

Start 'Em

Week 12 sleeper TEs
Kellen Winslow, TB at TEN
Heath Miller, PIT at KC
Jacob Tamme, IND vs. CAR

Brandon Pettigrew (vs. GB): Pettigrew might be losing targets and touchdowns to Tony Scheffler of late, but he proved in Week 11 against Carolina that both can score. And Pettigrew is a good bet to score again in Week 12 against Green Bay since the Packers have struggled against tight ends all season. Green Bay has allowed five touchdowns to opposing tight ends and six to reach at least eight Fantasy points. Last week, the Packers gave up nine catches and 132 yards to Kellen Winslow, and Pettigrew has been solid at home. He has three touchdowns in his past four home games, and he has 14 targets over his past two games. The Lions will likely be chasing points in this matchup, so Pettigrew could be heavily targeted again. In deeper leagues, Scheffler is also a solid starter. (Started in 49 percent of leagues in Week 11)
Jermaine Gresham (vs. CLE): Gresham should have had a touchdown against the Ravens in Week 11, but the play was ruled incomplete. He should rebound in Week 12 against Cleveland. Gresham scored against the Browns in Week 1, and Cleveland has allowed five touchdowns to tight ends on the season. Even Marcedes Lewis had seven catches for 64 yards against the Browns in Week 11, which should bode well for Gresham. With Green or Simpson likely on lockdown from Haden, Gresham should see a healthy amount of targets from Dalton this week. (Started in 21 percent of leagues in Week 11)
Fred Davis (at SEA): The Seahawks have given up some big games of late with Jason Witten and Ed Dickson combining for 14 catches, 150 yards and three touchdowns in two of the past three games. We hope Davis can take advantage of this matchup, and maybe he gets some extra motivation with his former college coach at USC on the other sideline in Pete Carroll. Davis has been in a slump of late with no touchdowns since Week 7 and just eight Fantasy points in his past three games against San Francisco, Miami and Dallas. But he has at least seven targets in each of his past three outings, and we're giving him a chance to succeed here based on the matchup. (Started in 60 percent of leagues in Week 11)

Sit 'Em

Scott Chandler (at NYJ): Chandler had his best game of the season in terms of receiving yards in Week 11 at Miami with 71 on five catches. That could be something to build on going forward since he has been mostly a red-zone threat this season with six touchdowns. But he hasn't scored in his past three games, and he had just three catches for 24 yards in Week 9 against the Jets, who have only allowed three touchdowns to tight ends this season (Rob Gronkowski twice and Antonio Gates). Now that the bye weeks are over it's hard to consider Chandler a starter in the majority of leagues. (Started in 26 percent of leagues in Week 11)
Jake Ballard (at NO): This is a fairly good matchup for Ballard since the Saints have struggled with tight ends all season, allowing six touchdowns and six to reach at least seven Fantasy points. But Ballard looked off in Week 11 against Philadelphia, and his injured elbow could be playing a factor. He had seven targets against the Eagles but finished with just one catch for 13 yards, including a few key drops. He also has just four catches for 48 yards in his past two games and one touchdown in his past five outings, so maybe he's starting to slow down a bit. Like Chandler, you might be able to move on from Ballard now that the bye weeks are over. (Started in 53 percent of leagues in Week 11)
Ed Dickson (vs. SF): Dickson went from stud in Week 10 with 19 Fantasy points at Seattle to dud in Week 11 with two points against Cincinnati. He will likely struggle again in Week 12 against the 49ers, who have been solid against tight ends all season. San Francisco has allowed just two touchdowns to tight ends and three to reach double digits in Fantasy points. Since Dickson has five games this season with two Fantasy points or less and only two games with touchdowns, you have to figure his boom or bust potential is too risky in this matchup. (Started in 39 percent of leagues in Week 11)

Bust alert: Vernon Davis (at BAL): Davis definitely has the potential to play well this week. He has shined the past two games against the Giants and Arizona with eight catches for 107 yards and two touchdowns, and he has 14 targets over that span. But just as we told you last week that Davis would play well against the Cardinals based on the matchup, we have to warn you this week that he could struggle since the Ravens are the only team this season yet to allow a touchdown to an opposing tight end. Heath Miller has the best performance against Baltimore this year with five catches for 73 yards, and the Ravens have held Owen Daniels, Dustin Keller and Gresham to a combined six Fantasy points. While Davis is likely the best tight end they have faced all year, just lower your expectations for him this week if you still consider him a starting option. (Started in 76 percent of leagues in Week 11)

Defense/Special teams

Start 'Em

Week 12 sleeper DSTs
Seahawks vs. WAS
Falcons vs. MIN
Raiders vs. CHI

Bengals (vs. CLE): The Bengals DST has slowed down of late with a combined 20 Fantasy points in a standard league in their past three games against Tennessee, Pittsburgh and Baltimore. But they have a chance to rebound against the Browns, who haven't scored more than 14 points in their past five games and have just one game with more than 20 points on the season. The Bengals DST has double digits in Fantasy points in five games this year, including Week 1 against the Browns when they had 10. Look for the Bengals DST to have another quality outing in this game, and Cincinnati should bounce back after two tough losses to the Steelers and Ravens. (Started in 41 percent of leagues in Week 11)

Sit 'Em

Giants (at NO): The Giants DST played OK in Week 11 against Philadelphia with three interceptions, but this is a tougher matchup at the Saints. The Giants need to improve their pass rush, which has struggled of late with only five sacks in their past three games. The Giants DST had just six Fantasy points in their last road game at San Francisco in Week 10, and the Saints should be rested and ready coming off a bye. If you can, pass on the Giants DST for the next two games with matchups at the Saints and home against Green Bay in Week 13. (Started in 71 percent of leagues in Week 11)

Kicker

Start 'Em

Week 12 sleeper Ks
Mike Nugent, CIN vs. CLE
Steven Hauschka, SEA vs. WAS
Olindo Mare, CAR at IND

Nick Novak (vs. DEN): The last time Novak faced the Broncos in Week 5 he had 19 Fantasy points in a standard league with five field goals and two extra points. He only has two games with double digits in Fantasy points in his five games since then, but we like him to have a solid performance in the rematch. It is better to kick in Denver then against the Broncos on the road, but Novak is 8 of 9 on field goals with 11 extra points in four home games this year. Denver also has allowed five kickers to make multiple field goals, and Novak has an excellent chance to reach double digits in Fantasy points in this matchup. (Started in 66 percent of leagues in Week 11)

Sit 'Em

Alex Henery (vs. NE): Henery has been quiet of late with only three field goals in his past three games. He has just one game with double digits in Fantasy points in his past six outings, and his production has been minimal with Philadelphia struggling on offense. Even last week at the Giants when the Eagles won they scored just 17 points, and Henery finished with five Fantasy points. The Patriots also enter this game among the league leaders with just 15 field goal attempts allowed, so Henery might not have the chance for a big outing. (Started in 41 percent of leagues in Week 11)

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter @CBSFantasyFB . You can also follow Jamey at @JameyEisenberg and on Facebook .

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Player News
Lance Dunbar ready for offseason workouts
by Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer
(11:05 am ET) Cowboys running Lance Dunbar (knee) is expected to participate in the offseason program, which starts Monday, reports ESPN.

Dunbar injured his knee during the Thanksgiving Day game last year against Oakland. Dunbar will compete with Joseph Randle for the No. 2 running back job in Dallas this year behind DeMarco Murray.


Tony Romo ready for offseason workouts
by Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer
(11:01 am ET) Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo is expected to participate in the offseason program which starts Monday, reports ESPN.

Romo missed the final game of the 2013 season to undergo back surgery and is on target in his rehab program. Romo's availability is expected in most if not all of those activities.

Last summer, he missed several days of the offseason program as he recovered from surgery to remove a cyst from his back. But last December, Romo underwent a discectomy to repair a herniated disc after injuring his back in a Week 16 game at Washington.

Romo finished the 2013 season throwing for 3,828 yards with 31 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.


Chris Johnson says Jets will have QB competition
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(10:28 am ET) Newly signed running back Chris Johnson said last week that there will be a competition for the Jets' starting quarterback job between Michael Vick and Geno Smith in training camp this summer. According to Johnson, the battle will begin on even ground. 

"They didn't give me no indication," Johnson said when asked by ESPN Radio who had the inside track. "They said those two will battle it out in camp and may the best man win."

Vick is in his first season with the Jets after bottoming out with the Eagles last year. Smith is entering his second NFL season after starting 16 games for the Jets last year, throwing 12 touchdowns and 21 interceptions.


Cam Newton still in a boot after surgery
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(10:25 am ET) Panthers quarterback Cam Newton is still recovering from offseason ankle surgery a month after the procedure was announced. Newton remains in a walking boot but the team is still hopeful he'll be at 100 percent for the start of training camp, ProFootballTalk.com reports.

Newton is expected to miss all of the team's offseason workouts. He'll also have to play catch-up in connecting with his new receiving corps after the Panthers lost their top four wideouts this spring. 


Has the deadline for Terrelle Pryor arrived?
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(10:22 am ET) The Raiders are expected to release quarterback Terrelle Pryor on Monday if they can't work out a trade for him, FOX Sports reports.

Pryor started nine games for the Raiders, racking up 1,798 yards on 57.4 percent passing with seven touchdowns and 11 interceptions while also rushing for 576 yards and two touchdowns.


Morris Claiborne starting camp with second team?
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(10:12 am ET) Orlando Scandrick figures to have a starting job at cornerback ahead of Morris Claiborne when the Cowboys open training camp this summer, ESPN believes. Claiborne was benched in favor of Scandrick last season, proving that Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett isn't afraid to make a big roster decision. The Cowboys want Claiborne to prove his worth in camp this summer. 

Fisher: Bradford 'realistically' ahead of schedule
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(9:44 am ET) Rams coach Jeff Fisher figures quarterback Sam Bradford will at least throw during OTAs this spring, he told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Bradford is working his way back from a torn ACL. According to Fisher, saying Bradford is ahead of schedule isn't just lip service. 

"You're not gonna hear a head coach say he has a player on his team that's not ahead of schedule coming off an ACL. Everybody says they're all ahead of schedule. But he is realistically way ahead of schedule. He's working hard," Fisher said. 

Fisher predicts Bradford will be ready to go for the start of the season and even progress to the next step of his career, but the Rams are still sniffing around quarterbacks. The Post-Dispatch says "signs point" to the team drafting a quarterback in May, if only for precautionary reasons since Bradford has two years left on his current deal. 


Marcus Lattimore eager to start pro career
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(4/20/2014) 49ers running back Marcus Lattimore is ready to start his proffesional career. After blowing out his knee in a gruesome injury in October of 2012 at South Carolina, Lattimore told The State on Sunday that his knee rehab is complete and that he's "ready to play."

Lattimore, who will attend the first day of the team's offseason workouts, will enter a crowded backfield with Kendall Hunter and LaMichael James already backing up current starter Frank Gore. However, James has expressed his desire for a bigger role and could be dealt, opening the door for the No. 3 spot in the backfield.

"If that happens, it does put me in that No. 3 spot," Lattimore said. "But I've just got to go in there and work hard. I can pass-protect and run the ball. I've got to show that."


Raiders bring back Kaelin Burnett
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) The Raiders have inked exclusive-rights free agent Kaelin Burnett to a one-year deal. He's expected to compete for a roster spot in training camp. 

Dekoda Watson moving to strong-side LB
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) In the wake of the release of veteran linebacker Russell Allen, the Jaguars are expected to make Dekoda Watson their new starting strong-side linebacker, ESPN reports. He'll also play as a pass rusher and potentially line up as a defensive end on third downs. 

Watson had 42 total tackles, two sacks, an interception, a pass defensed, a forced fumble and a blocked punt with the Bucs last year. 


 
 
 
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