Welcome to Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em for Week 12 of the NFL season. In this week’s quarterback edition, we feature two former first overall draft picks, each of which are trending in separate directions.
* Reminder: Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em is intended to present you with the non-obvious choices for your fantasy lineup. We dig deep into player matchups, scoring trends, and other factors to best help you with your fantasy decisions. Superstars such as Patrick Mahomes will not be found in this column. If you’re looking for players of his caliber check out our weekly fantasy football quarterback rankings.
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QB: Start ‘Em
Start of the Week: Baker Mayfield vs. MIA
Lost in the madness of last Thursday night’s brawl is the fact that Mayfield has improved by leaps and bounds after a more than shaky start to the season. The former Heisman Trophy winner has been the QB10 over the past two weeks with an impressive 19.7 points per game while tossing two touchdowns in each of the two contests. He’s now scored 17.12+ points in four of his last five games. The Miami Dolphins allow an average of 2.6 touchdowns per game to opposing quarterbacks. They’re also fresh off a game where they allowed Buffalo Bills QB to rack up nearly 34 fantasy points and finish as the QB1 for the week.
Matt Ryan vs. TB
Ryan has been underwhelming since returning from injury two weeks ago. A matchup with the horrendous Tampa Bay secondary will surely rejuvenate his fantasy dominance. The Buccaneers allow the second-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season. Since their Week 7 bye, the Bucs have allowed an eye-popping 26.88 fantasy points to starting QBs.
Sam Darnold vs. OAK
Don’t let the media’s perception of Darnold deter you from plugging him into your lineups this week. The former USC Trojan has averaged 24+ fantasy points over the last two weeks, ranking as the fifth-highest scorer at his position over that span. Eliminate a matchup with the Ryan Finley-led Bengals offense a week ago, and Oakland has allowed an average of 32.45 fantasy points in three of their last five games and at least two touchdown passes to opposing signal-callers.
Sleeper: Jeff Driskel at WAS
Don’t look now, but Driskel is the seventh-highest scoring quarterback in fantasy since taking over for an injured Matthew Stafford. Washington is coming off a game where they allowed Sam Darnold to torch them for nearly 300 yards passing, four touchdowns, and 26+ fantasy points. Driskel’s added value in the run game (88 yards in two games) is always a plus from a fantasy perspective.
QB: Sit ‘Em
Sit of the Week: Daniel Jones at CHI
Jones has scored 28.18 fantasy points or more in two of his last three games. However, it’s unlikely he’ll come close to that total in Week 12. Chicago allows the seventh-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks this year, including just 6.22 points to Jared Goff a week ago. Over the last three weeks, QBs to face off against the Bears have accumulated a total of just three touchdown passes to three interceptions.
Jimmy Garoppolo vs. GB
Jimmy G has Arizona’s number. That’s become evidently clear, as he’s averaged 30.27 fantasy points against the Cardinals. However, he’s scored just 13.3 points per game over his other eight contests this year. The Packers have held quarterbacks to an average of just 13.12 fantasy points over their last two games.
Jared Goff vs. BAL
I hope for your fantasy team’s sake that you’ve stayed clear of Goff over the last six weeks or so. The quarterback has scored just 6.22 fantasy points or fewer in three of his past five games. The Ravens have held their last two opponents from the QB positon to below double-digit fantasy points, combining for an average of 7.42 points.
Buyers Beware: Tom Brady vs. DAL
For all we know, a ticked off Brady could go out and light up the scoreboard vs. Dallas. However, since Week 6, the future shoo-in Hall of Famer has been essentially non-startable, ranking as the 24th-highest scoring QB over that time frame. Dallas allows the fifth-fewest fantasy points to opposing QBs this year. They’ve also held five of the last eight QBs they’ve faced to an average of just 9.37 points.
READ NEXT: Fantasy: Quarterback Rankings Week 12