Fantasy Football Week 12: Start 'Em, Sit 'Em

Ja'Marr Chase
Ja'Marr Chase / Andy Lyons/GettyImages

Welcome to The Big Lead's weekly start 'em, sit 'em column. We are here to dig into the toughest decisions you may be facing for your fantasy matchup in Week 12 of NFL action and give you answers. Some of those answers may even be right!

Presenting our Week 12 start 'em, sit 'em calls.

Ja'Marr Chase, WR, Cincinnati Bengals

Chase's stock has been directly tied to Joe Burrow's health this season. Both got off to a slow start, then really hit their stride in the middle weeks of the season. Chase got banged up himself after the team's bye but still managed a few solid stat lines. Now, though, he'll be catching passes from Jake Browning after Burrow went down for the year. Is there any hope for his fantasy stock with the backup in the lineup? There may be-- the smartest backups in the NFL know to spam the "throw the ball to the best receiver" play and Browning could get wise to that quickly. But going up against the Steelers' defense will make life extremely difficult. It doesn't matter if Browning wants to throw it to Chase. He won't have any time to do it. Gotta look elsewhere for this week and hope a few easy matchups down the road will provide fantasy value. SIT 'EM

Puka Nacua, WR, Los Angeles Rams

With the return of Cooper Kupp and subsequent injury to Matthew Stafford, there was a lot of worrying going on around Nacua's fantasy production after his early-season breakout. The two games the Rams had before the bye seemed to confirm there was reason for worry. Nacua managed only six catches against the Packers and Cowboys. But Kupp got banged up again on Sunday against the Seahawks so Stafford turned back to Nacua, who took advantage and racked up double-digit fantasy points with five catches for 70 yards and a TD. It's likely Stafford will continue to look his way this week against the Cardinals, who have struggled to defend opposing pass-catchers this year, so have no fear and stick with Nacua.

Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans

King Henry has not been so regal in fantasy this year and things have completely cratered over the last two weeks. The Titans RB racked up fewer than 10 fantasy points total against the Bucs and Jaguars. The most alarming part? He only received 21 carries over the two games. Henry is not only ineffective, he's not getting the quantity of touches required to make a fantasy impact even if he was being productive. There could be several reasons why that is-- facing more stacked boxes with Will Levis under center instead of Ryan Tannehill, an organizational dedication to giving young guys like Tyjae Spears touches-- but the reality is that Henry's stock might be dead in the water for this fantasy season and you should not rely on him this week. SIT 'EM

Austin Ekeler, RB, Los Angeles Chargers

Man. Ekeler looks slow out there, doesn't he? The production has been okay since returning from injury but nothing like we expected out of him considering his status as a top-five fantasy RB. He was particularly bad against Green Bay on Sunday, getting only 10 carries (his lowest mark of the year) and fumbling inside the five-yard line to shoot down any hope of a decent fantasy week. However, the Chargers do not have any better options and by now know that putting up points in bunches is their only chance to win. Ekeler will get plenty more touches against the Ravens this week and while Baltimore's defense is good across the board they're only above-average defending the run so there's reason for optimism. This time. START 'EM

Najee Harris, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers

Jaylen Warren finally had his breakout game which means Harris is probably done. He'll still get snaps and touches, but the real draw for Harris as a fantasy prospect this season was volume. The Steelers' offense isn't good enough to consistently get into the red zone and give Harris touchdown opportunities, so he has to record double-digit carries to have a prayer of a decent fantasy week. That will likely no longer happen with Warren's success now undeniably in the face of Pittsburgh's coaches, and there's not even a snowball's chance in hell that the team's offense will suddenly start scoring a lot of points. Harris has a favorable matchup against a Cincinnati defense that gave up 20 points to Gus Edwards last week so not all is lost, maybe, but for our money it's time to move on. SIT 'EM