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NFL Week 12 fantasy football start ’em, sit ’em

2T8D1TA USA. 19th Nov, 2023. November 19, 2023: Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) throws a pass during a game between the Arizona Cardinals and the Houston Texans in Houston, TX. Trask Smith/CSM/Sipa USA (Credit Image: © Trask Smith/Cal Sport Media/Sipa USA) Credit: Sipa US/Alamy Live News

• Start Kyler Murray: The Arizona Cardinals quarterback has scored plenty of fantasy points these past two weeks and has a favorable matchup this week.

• Sit James Cook: Cook’s playing time has declined in the past two weeks, and he faces one of the most difficult matchups this week.

• Start Zay Flowers: Mark Andrews‘ injury will lead Flowers to be Lamar Jackson’s favorite target for the Baltimore Ravens going forward.

Estimated Reading Time: 16 minutes

Deciding who to start or sit can be as easy as looking at the PFF rankings and starting the player ranked higher. This start’em, sit’em column digs a step deeper, looking into why someone you might typically start might not have a good week, or why someone overlooked might have a good week. In many cases, it’s the usual starters who should star, but we want to explore the borderline players, too.

WR:CB Matchup Chart



Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals
  • Murray returned to the Cardinals in Week 10 and has scored 41.0 fantasy points in two games. That is the sixth-most points among quarterbacks in the span.
  • He has been more involved as a runner than many expected. His 6.5 attempts per game is the second-best mark of his career, and his 6.5 yards per carry is his best mark.
  • He has also scored two rushing touchdowns.
  • Some of Murray's passing numbers have also been better than in recent seasons, with 231 yards per game beating his total from last year and his 7.5 yards per attempt ranking second in his career.
  • He accomplished most of this last week when two of his four best wide receivers were out with injuries.
  • The Cardinals have the best matchup for quarterbacks this week against the Los Angeles Rams, according to PFF's strength of schedule tool.
  • They have allowed an above-average amount of fantasy points to quarterbacks despite not facing the strongest level of competition so far this season.
  • Other dual-threat quarterbacks, such as Jalen Hurts and Anthony Richardson, have accomplished top-five finishes against this Rams defense.
  • Murray has played better against zone defenses than man over the past two seasons, earning a 66.9 PFF passing grade against zone and a 51.8 mark against man.
  • The Rams are deploying zone at the sixth-highest rate in the NFL this season.

Justin Fields, Chicago Bears
  • Fields was off to a slow start this season, but he completely dominated in Weeks 4 and 5 from a fantasy perspective, throwing for four touchdowns in each game.
  • He suffered a thumb injury in Week 6 and didn’t return until last week, when he achieved his first 100-yard rushing performance of the season.
  • Fields is facing a Minnesota Vikings team that has allowed at least 250 passing yards and one passing touchdown in each of the past five weeks.
  • The Vikings are favorites on Monday Night Football, which should leave Chicago either passing the ball or running with Fields for most of the game.
  • Fields was drafted to be a fantasy starter and has played well enough in his recent starts to be a fantasy starter. The Vikings matchup is average, but it should be good enough for Fields to be in fantasy starting lineups.


Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins
  • Tagovailoa has scored the 11th-most fantasy points among quarterbacks this season. He has three weeks as a top-three fantasy quarterback but also five games outside of the top 12.
  • Since Week 7, he has averaged 16.3 fantasy points per game, which ranks 18th among quarterbacks.
  • His 89.6 PFF passing grade this season ranks first at the position, but Miami doesn’t pass as much as other teams with how good their run game has been and how much they’ve been winning.
  • The Dolphins this week play the New York Jets, who have a 92.4 team coverage grade — the top mark in the NFL.
  • Quarterbacks have averaged 6.1 yards per attempt against them, which is the third-lowest rate among defenses.
  • The Jets have also allowed 137.6 rushing yards per game, which is the most in the NFL. They have a relatively good run defense, but teams tend to run the ball against New York so they don’t have to pass as much. That’s likely what Miami will do.
  • The Dolphins are also heavy favorites after New York switched to Tim Boyle at quarterback, giving Miami even more reason to focus on the run game.
  • Tagovailoa likely won’t have the passing volume or efficiency to be a fantasy starter.
Sam Howell, Washington Commanders
  • Howell is throwing the ball a lot more than any other quarterback this season. His 442 passing attempts lead the position by 60.
  • That has helped him become a top-five fantasy quarterback despite having a below-average PFF passing grade.
  • He’s thrown the ball at least 40 times each of the past five games, but his fantasy value has largely depended on passing touchdowns.
  • Howell has finished as a top-10 fantasy quarterback in six of his past seven games, but they’ve mostly come against teams that have allowed a lot of fantasy points to quarterbacks.
  • The Commanders have the third-worst matchup for quarterbacks this week against the Dallas Cowboys, according to PFF's strength of schedule tool.
  • They have allowed 4.3 adjusted net yards per attempt, which ranks third among defenses.
  • The Cowboys have allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks this season.
  • Howell’s only other game of facing a top-eight defense was against the Buffalo Bills in Week 3, when he managed 4.6 fantasy points.



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