2020 Season: Week 12 Start/Flex/Bench


 Charles Herrmann (@HermsNFL)
The Lateral Chief Editor

Malcolm McMillan (@McLateralFF)
The Lateral Writer

For as rough a week this was regarding the waiver wire, I feel like it slipped everyone's mind that there are no teams on bye this week. That is right, we get a full slate of football this week! Of course, the Thursday games are on everyone's mind as Thanksgiving is the best football day of the year until the Super Bowl. However, there are some fun games later on in the week, including the classic rivalry game between the Bears and the Packers on Sunday night. We cannot wait to get started, so we decided to drop this on Wednesday to get the ball rolling and give you the advice you need to secure that playoff spot!

Week 12 Start/Flex/Bench

Houston Texans at Detroit Lions (Thursday 12:30 pm)

HOU: Start QB Deshaun Watson/WRs Will Fuller V and Brandin Cooks, flex RB Duke Johnson Jr., bench the TEs. WR Randall Cobb could be in the low-end WR3 discussion but I'm not confident. [EDITOR'S NOTE: Totally forgot Cobb is hurt. Definitely do not start an injured player. It'll be a bad time.]
DET: Start RB D'Andre Swift if he is back from his concussion (seems likely), but if not then start WR Marvin Jones Jr. with WR Kenny Golladay likely out. If Swift is healthy shift Jones Jr. to the flex spot, but if not then you can probably flex RB Adrian Peterson in a really good matchup despite last week's letdown. Leave QB Matthew Stafford on the bench.

Washington Football Team at Dallas Cowboys (Thursday 4:30 pm)

WFT: Start WR Terry McLaurin, flex RB Antonio Gibson, stream QB Alex Smith if you are desperate, and bench the DST despite this seeming like a good matchup. TE Logan Thomas is also a solid streaming candidate.
DAL: Start RB Ezekiel Elliot, flex WR Amari Cooper, stream QB Andy Dalton if you are desperate, and bench WR Michael Gallup. TE Dalton Schultz is definitely the streaming TE to target this week.

Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers (Sunday TBD)

BAL: Honestly, I'd need to know who all is going to be available. If both RBs Mark Ingram II and J.K. Dobbins were asymptomatic COVID-19 cases and test negative twice before Saturday, both could play and turn RB Gus Edwards into a bench rather than a stream/flex. It's kind of messy right now and I don't feel like it's a good idea to go deep into this. Basically just start TE Mark Andrews and keep up with the NFL news.
PIT: Per usual, start all of the key Steelers offensive weapons/the defense. K Chris Boswell is also a good play.

Los Angeles Chargers at Buffalo Bills (Sunday 1 pm)

LAC: Start QB Justin Herbert/RB Kalen Ballage/WR Keenan Allen/TE Hunter Henry, flex WR Mike Williams, bench K Michael Badgley I guess? He's not the best.

BUF: Start QB Josh Allen and WRs Stefon Diggs and Cole Beasley, flex WR Gabriel Davis assuming WR John Brown does not play, bench the RBs.

Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts (Sunday 1 pm)

TEN: Start RB Derrick Henry/WR A.J. Brown, stream QB Ryan Tannehill, flex WR Corey Davis, bench TE Jonnu Smith.

IND: Start no one per the terms of this exercise, flex RB Jonathan Taylor/WR Michael Pittman Jr., bench QB Philip Rivers. Do whatever the hell you want with RB Nyheim Hines because there's a good shot you're wrong either way.


Carolina Panthers at Minnesota Vikings (Sunday 1 pm)

CAR: Start RB Mike Davis, flex WR Robby Anderson for the safe target floor, and bench the DST since the risk of Minnesota torching them is real.
MIN: Start RB Dalvin Cook, flex WR Justin Jefferson, stream QB Kirk Cousins, and bench the DST even if Panthers QB P.J. Walker starts.

Cleveland Browns at Jacksonville Jaguars (Sunday 1 pm)


CLE: Start the RBs/TE Austin Hooper, flex WR Jarvis Landry, bench QB Baker Mayfield and any other Browns WR.

JAC: I trust RB James Robinson as a start and that's about it.
New York Giants at Cincinnati Bengals (Sunday 1 pm)

NYG: Start/stream the DST against Bengals QB Brandon Allen struggling behind his awful offensive line. This is the play of the week. Flex WR Sterling Shepard and bench K Graham Gano in case the Giants steamroll the Bengals and he never kicks a field goal.

CIN: I'd give this team the week off in fantasy if you can. WR Tyler Boyd is more of a flex than a confident start and RB Giovani Bernard is probably a start given the running back landscape.

Arizona Cardinals at New England Patriots (Sunday 1 pm)

ARI: Start QB Kyler Murray if he is healthy (seems likely) and RB Kenyan Drake if QB Chris Streveler has to start. Otherwise, flex Drake in a matchup that should favor him over RB Chase Edmonds. The Cardinals TEs have dabbled with relevancy in recent weeks, but you should leave them on the bench.
NE: Start WR Jakobi Meyers, stream QB Cam Newton, flex RB Damien Harris, bench but please roster RB James White.


Miami Dolphins at New York Jets (Sunday 1 pm)

MIA: Start whoever is healthy. They're playing the Jets for goodness sake.

NYJ: Pass? RB Frank Gore is a decent flex option if need be. If QB Sam Darnold plays, WR Jameson Crowder is in the WR3 discussion. You should roster WR Denzel Mims but keep him on your bench for now.

Las Vegas Raiders at Atlanta Falcons (Sunday 1 pm)

LV: Start QB Derek Carr/RB Josh Jacobs/WR Nelson Agholor/TE Darren Waller, flex WR Henry Ruggs III based on the matchup and hold your nose, bench the DST.
ATL: Start WR Calvin Ridley, flex RB Todd Gurley II, who is guaranteed to fall into the end zone, and bench WR Russell Gage, who cannot be trusted.

New Orleans Saints at Denver Broncos (Sunday 4:05 pm)

NO: Start QB Taysom Hill until he slips up (which admittedly should not be against Denver), flex WR Michael Thomas, and bench WR Emmanuel Sanders despite his flirtation with relevancy in Week 11.

DEN: TE Noah Fant is the only start just based on his position, you could try and flex RB Melvin Gordon III and one of either WR Jerry Jeudy or Tim Patrick but it wouldn't be great, bench RB Phillip Lindsay. QB Drew Lock shouldn't be rostered outside of superflex/2 QB leagues.

San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams (Sunday 4:25 pm) 

SF: Start/stream TE Jordan Reed, flex WR Brandon Aiyuk or Deebo Samuel if either is healthy, otherwise stay away from this matchup and leave the RB group on the bench.
LAR: Keep starting WRs Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp and flex WR Josh Reynolds, who maintained a healthy number of targets despite a poor performance in Week 11. Leave the TEs and RBs on the bench.

Kansas City Chiefs at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Sunday 4:25 pm)

KC: It's the Chiefs. Do what you always do. Not sure RB Le'Veon Bell is more than a handcuff at this point though. He's a clear bench to me. 

TB: Start WR Mike Evans due to the higher likelihood that he scores a TD of anyone in the WR corps. Flex RB Leonard Fournette in what should be a decent matchup against the Chiefs, and leave RB Ronald Jones II on the bench and watch me be totally wrong about which RB to play. I lean Fournette's direction because it seems evident to me Bruce Arians considers him the more versatile back.

Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears (Sunday 8:20 pm)

GB: Start matchup-proof WR Davante Adams, flex RB Aaron Jones, stream TE Robert Tonyan, and bench WR Marquez Valdez-Scantling.

CHI: Start WR Allen Robinson, who will need to been leaned upon by whoever is the Bears QB this week. Flex RB David Montgomery, and bench whoever is the Bears QB.

Seattle Seahawks at Philadelphia Eagles (Monday 8:15 pm)

SEA: Start QB Russell Wilson, flex RB Chris Carson if he is back (and RB Carlos Hyde if he is not), and bench the TEs Jacob Hollister and Will Dissly. Seattle's TE is not a viable play with the talent they have at WR.

PHI: Start RB Miles Sanders, flex WR Travis Fulgham, and stream whichever TEs among Dallas Goedert, Zach Ertz, and Richard Rodgers are healthy (unless all three are healthy, in which case avoid Rodgers). Leave WR Alshon Jeffery on the bench.

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