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Week 12 fantasy football start ’em or sit ’em for IDP leagues

Oct 25, 2020; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Maxx Crosby (98) in the first half against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Allegiant Stadium. The Buccaneers defeated the Raiders 45-20. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The week of Thanksgiving is fairly significant for fantasy football purposes, as it marks the passing of most trade deadlines and, even more importantly, the home stretch before the playoffs.

The decisions we make over these last two weeks of the regular season are largely going to determine who makes the playoffs, so why not let us help you with some in-depth research on the not-so-obvious starts and sits in IDP leagues.

DEFENSIVE LINE

START — Carl Lawson, DE, Cincinnati Bengals (vs. NYG)

With longtime Bengals Carlos Dunlap and Geno Atkins out of the conversation as starters for the team, a newer and younger group has emerged, which includes Sam Hubbard and Carl Lawson, one of this week’s top starts. Lawson has been in the mix all season long but has been fairly quiet for most of it. Now coming off his highest-graded game of the season ahead of a juicy matchup against the Giants, he is in line for another strong performance in Week 12.

Not only do the Giants have the worst team pass-blocking grade (47.2) in the NFL, but starting rookie left tackle Andrew Thomas has allowed more total pressures (44) than any other offensive lineman in the league, leading to a poor 52.4 pass-blocking grade. Thomas has also given up six sacks this season, the second-most sacks by an offensive lineman. Quite frankly, this couldn’t be a better matchup for Lawson.

Lawson already has five sacks on the season, matching his total from 2019, and he has done it on fewer snaps. There isn’t a whole lot to be excited about for this game in general, but this particular matchup should at least give us something to root for.

SIT — Yannick Ngakoue, ED, Baltimore Ravens (vs. PIT)

Yannick Ngakoue is coming off his highest-graded pass-rushing game of the season (91.9) in Week 11 against the Titans. He managed three total pressures and a sack on just 31% of the team's snaps. Ngakoue is the definition of a situational pass-rusher in the NFL, as he hardly sees the field on early downs and obvious running downs. And without that high snap volume, he has always been extremely sack-dependant with a low fantasy floor.

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