Published: Nov. 22, 2017 at 10:20 a.m.
Updated: Nov. 24, 2017 at 08:12 p.m.

Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 12: Quarterbacks


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 Le'Veon Bell and Antonio Brown will not be featured. NFL researcher Careen Falcone and former #2 FF World Player Rank and NFFC Platinum and Ultimate Champion Derek Pierson have contributed to the column. For your final lineup decisions, check our lineup rankings.

Start 'Em

Start of the Week - Matt Ryan vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Ryan has had a disappointing season in the stat sheets overall, but I'd still start him this week's based on a nice matchup against the Buccaneers. Their defense has allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks on the road, and Ryan has roasted Tampa Bay for 20-plus points in each of their last four meetings in Atlanta.

Alex Smith vs. Buffalo Bills

Smith hasn't been a world beater over his last three games, scoring just three touchdowns with four giveaways. Still, I like him to improve against a Buffalo defense that has surrendered 17 or more fantasy points to two of their last three opposing quarterbacks. In what could be a high scorer, Smith is an attractive bounce-back candidate.

Marcus Mariota vs. Indianapolis Colts

Mariota has been a disappointment for fantasy fans overall this season, but I do like him ahead of this week's contest in Indianapolis. The Colts have surrendered the sixth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks at home, and the position has ranked in the top 10 in four of their last seven games overall. Mariota is in a favorable spot.

Ben Roethlisberger vs. Green Bay Packers

Roethlisberger is back! Well, at least he was last week when he whacked the Titans for 29 fantasy points. He's at Heinz Field again this week against the Packers, who have allowed a top-11 quarterback in three of their last six games. The other three were against Joe Flacco (in a blowout), Case Keenum and Trubisky.

Jacoby Brissett vs. Tennessee Titans

One of the best streaming options of the week, Brissett has a great matchup at home against the Titans. All three of his rushing touchdowns have come at Lucas Oil Stadium, and Tennessee's pass defense is one of the most vulnerable in the league. Those stats alone make Brissett a nice candidate for two-plus total touchdowns.

Start 'Em: Cam Newton at Jets, Tyrod Taylor at Chiefs
Sleepers: Andy Dalton vs. Browns, Joe Flacco vs. Texans (Mon.)

Sit 'Em

Sit of the Week - Drew Brees vs. Los Angeles Rams

This one might be bold, but hear me out. Brees has thrown for one or fewer touchdowns in three of his last five games, and the Saints will continue to lean on the run with Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara. Also, the Rams have held quarterbacks to three combined touchdowns at home (including Russell Wilson and Kirk Cousins).

Derek Carr vs. Denver Broncos

The Broncos have struggled against quarterbacks in recent weeks, but can you trust Carr at this point? He's thrown for just one touchdown pass in six of his last seven games, and his highest fantasy output against the Broncos in a game is 13 points ... in 2015. While a turnaround is possible, Carr is no lock to reverse his fortunes.

Jared Goff vs. New Orleans Saints

Goff is back home in Los Angeles this week, but I'm not into his matchup against the Saints. New Orleans has been tough against quarterbacks on the road, as just one has finished better than 19th against them (and that was back in Week 1). Overall, their defense has allowed just four touchdown passes to home quarterbacks.

Josh McCown vs. Carolina Panthers

McCown was one of the hotter fantasy quarterbacks in the NFL before New York's bye week, but I have doubts about his prospects against the Panthers. Their defense has allowed four touchdown passes and the second-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks on the road, so McCown could leave fantasy owners in a (statistical) tryptophan coma.

Blaine Gabbert vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

Is this a layup, or is this a layup? No brainer, right? Yup it is, but Gabbert was a top-10 fantasy quarterback last week and some fantasy footballers out there might think about starting him in two-quarterback or super-flex leagues. Revenge, right? Good luck with that narrative in a brutal matchup against the inpenetrable Jaguars.

Sit 'Em: Brett Hundley at Steelers, Deshone Kizer at Bengals
Busts: Ryan Fitzpatrick at Falcons, Blake Bortles at Cardinals

Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on and NFL Network and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. Do you want the most up-to-date fantasy football news, updates and analysis? You can follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!


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