Thursday Start 'Em or Sit 'Em: Week 12: Dak Prescott, Latavius Murray, Samaje Perine & More


by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
First of all Happy Thanksgiving!  It’s amazing to think that the season is already nearing completion, isn’t it?  As the fantasy playoffs near, every lineup decision becomes magnified even more and with a trio of Thursday games those decisions are that much more difficult.  Who should we be trusting today?  Who should we be benching?  Let’s break it down game-by-game:
Minnesota Vikings vs. Detroit Lions
Must Start

  • Stefon Diggs (WR, Min)
  • Golden Tate (WR, Det)
  • Adam Thielen (WR, Min)

Possible Start

  • Eric Ebron (TE, Det)
  • Marvin Jones (WR, Det) – He’s topped 85 yards in four of his past five games and has 8+ targets in five of his past six.  That means the opportunity may be there, though he’ll likely be behind Golden Tate on the depth chart.  That keeps him as more of a WR3 and not a must play, but in most cases we’d have him out there.
  • Jerrick McKinnon (RB, Min) – It’s been 4 games since he’s broken a run of more than 10 yards and his production trails that of Latavius Murray.  He’s a potential FLEX play in PPR formats (Detroit has allowed 60 receptions and 473 yards to opposing RB), but that’s it.
  • Latavius Murray (RB, Min) – Why does everyone continue to put McKinnon ahead of Murray?  Murray has been the better producer, including 3 TD over the past two games, and the Lions have allowed the second most rushing TD to opposing RB (10).  We’d fire Murray up in all formats.
  • Kyle Rudolph (TE, Min)
  • Matthew Stafford (QB, Det) – It’s not an easy matchup, but Stafford has 7 TD vs. 1 INT over his past three games.  That puts him as a borderline option, depending on your alternative.

Must Sit

  • Ameer Abdullah (RB, Det) – Maybe as a FLEX play, but Minnesota has allowed the second fewest points to opposing RB and Abdullah has averaged 2.5 yards/carry or less in three of his past four games.
  • Case Keenum (QB, Min) – He has been playing well and draws a favorable matchup, but a slow start could easily lead to a change to Teddy Bridgewater as they look for a spark and the overall upside is limited.  He’s a viable QB2, but nothing more.

Los Angeles Chargers vs. Dallas Cowboys
Must Start

  • Kennan Allen (WR, LAC)
  • Melvin Gordon (RB, LAC)
  • Alfred Morris (RB, Dal) – He’s coming off a big day (17 carries for 91 yards) and has a favorable matchup.  Fire him up in all formats.

Possible Start

  • Dez Bryant (WR, Dal) – It’s impossible to think you’ll sit him, though with Dak Prescott struggling it’s not unthinkable.  He has gone 4 straight weeks without a TD and has been over 75 yards just once all season (98 on October 1).  You have to at least consider sitting him, especially if you are stacked at the position.
  • Philip Rivers (QB, LAC) – The Dallas defense isn’t the same when Sean Lee is sidelined, and even without big yardage Rivers has been playing well of late.  He’s a borderline QB1, but it all depends on your alternatives.

Must Sit

  • Hunter Henry (TE, LAC)
  • Dak Prescott (QB, Dal) – Forget the matchup, Prescott has been downright awful of late (176 yards or fewer in three of his past four games, without a TD in any of those three).  The offensive line has also been poor, and it’s led to Prescott taking a beating.
  • Terrance Williams (WR, Dal)
  • Jason Witten (TE, Dal)

New York Giants vs. Washington Redskins
Must Start

  • Kirk Cousins (QB, Was)
  • Vernon Davis (TE, Was)
  • Evan Engram (TE, NYG)
  • Sterling Shepard (WR, NYG) – If he plays he’s going to be a must use option, so monitor the news to see his status.

Possible Start

  • Jamison Crowder (WR, Was) – Over the past three weeks he’s averaged 10.7 targets, delivering 6.7 receptions and 90.3 yards.  It’s hard to argue with the results, and even if the Giants defense is starting to find it’s footing there’s no way not to fire Crowder up in all formats.
  • Josh Doctson (WR, Was) – Sure he’s produced solid numbers, but he’s behind Crowder & Davis, plus Samaje Perine is going to get opportunities.  At best he’s a dart throw WR3, but there’s too much risk this early in the week.
  • Samaje Perine (RB, Was) – With the injuries piling up Perine got another opportunity and delivered in Week 11, with 23 carries for 117 yards and 1 TD.  With the Giants tied for the fifth most rushing yards allowed to opposing RB (1,073) it’s easy to slot him into your lineup as a RB2.

Must Sit

  • Eli Manning (QB, NYG)
  • Byron Marshall (RB, Was)

Sources – ESPN,
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Make sure to check out all of our Week 12 rankings:



  1. Happy Thanksgiving Professor
    ppr darkwa or ajayi
    ppr olson or graham
    ppr dion lewis, landry or darkwa
    ppr lewis, lativus murray or mckinnon
    ppr davante adams, devante parker or crabtree
    ppr jordan howard, perine or mckinnon
    ppr perine,mckinnon or murray
    ppr perine or lewis
    ppr fuchess or adams
    ppr flex freeman, rishard matthews or parker
    ppr darkwa or freeman
    ppr rishard matthews, diggs or fuchess

    • ppr darkwa or ajayi — Darkwa (but close)
      ppr olson or graham — Graham
      ppr dion lewis, landry or darkwa — Darkwa
      ppr lewis, lativus murray or mckinnon — Murray
      ppr davante adams, devante parker or crabtree — Adams
      ppr jordan howard, perine or mckinnon — Howard
      ppr perine,mckinnon or murray — Perine
      ppr perine or lewis — Perine
      ppr fuchess or adams – Funchess
      ppr flex freeman, rishard matthews or parker — Assuming Freeman out, Parker
      ppr darkwa or freeman — Darkwa
      ppr rishard matthews, diggs or fuchess — Diggs

  2. Good morning Prof and Happy Thanksgiving!
    I am very thankful for you and all the good advice you’ve given over the years in FF and FBB. Thank you!!!
    My question: Is it time to cut bait on David Johnson? Yesterday’s announcement had me pondering the question. I’m not pressed for the roster space as the byes are pretty much done and anyone I’d pick up on the waiver wire would be depth at this point, but it would seem foolish to waste a roster spot ROS.

  3. Professor:
    Happy turkey day
    In PPR, Watkins, Parker or Booker
    Also in standard, CJ Anderson, Powell or
    And in half point PPR, pick 2 – mckissic, Crowell Martin or Collins


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