IDP Start em, Sit em – Week 12 (2021 Fantasy Football)
Week 12 is here. Turkey Day football gave us some exciting and some not-so-exciting action. While many fantasy managers walked away from Thursday’s contests disappointed, especially given the injuries to D’Andre Swift and Darren Waller, among others, the absences of top fantasy options like CeeDee Lamb, Amari Cooper, Alvin Kamara, and Mark Ingram, and the healthy scratch of Zack Moss, there was still plenty of IDP production to appease their frustrations. Players to have big games include Jayron Kearse, Keanu Neal, Micah Parsons, Demario Davis, Robert Quinn, Bradley Roby, Johnathan Abram, and Mario Addison. Players that disappointed include Roquan Smith, Maxx Crosby, Denzel Perryman, and Greg Rousseau. Let’s take a look at some other players who can help fantasy teams this week and a few others who may do more harm than good.
Devin Bush (LB – PIT)
Devin Bush has been one of the more disappointing IDP options this season but is in line for a big game in Week 12 against the Cincinnati Bengals. Cincinnati has allowed the most fantasy points per game to the linebacker position, making Bush an LB2 option for the divisional matchup. While he has yet to have an LB1 performance this season, he has knocked on the door a couple of times and should have the tackle opportunities to realize his upside this Sunday.
Jayon Brown (LB – TEN)
Jayon Brown has shined over the last few weeks, notching at least six solos in each of his last three contests. He has soaked up the tackle opportunities with David Long and Rashaan Evans dealing with injuries and has rounded back into his 2020 form. He is back in the LB1 conversation for Week 12 but is better deployed as an elite LB2 option with obvious LB1 upside. Brown should not want for tackle opportunities in Week 12 thanks to a date with what is expected to be a ground heavy and short pass heavy attack from the New England Patriots.
Shaq Thompson (LB – CAR)
Shaq Thompson was a massive disappointment in Week 11 but should get back on track in Week 12. He had been one of the hottest linebackers in the league prior to his dud against Washington and is a strong LB2 option with LB1 upside for a plus matchup against Miami. The Dolphins have surrendered the 17th most fantasy points per game to the linebacker position, giving Thompson a solid floor. Start him where possible.
Kyle Dugger (S/LB – NE)
After a slow start to the season, Kyle Dugger has solidified himself as a weekly DB1 option. Since Week 4, he is the DB5 in total fantasy points and the DB12 in fantasy points per game. He has a plus matchup in Week 12 against the Tennessee Titans and should put his DB1 wares on full display in what should be an interesting matchup. Dugger is a big-bodied hybrid safety/linebacker who excels against both the run and the pass. The Titans should give him more than enough tackle opportunities to allow him to push for a top-10 finish. Start him as an LB1 with confidence, the days of timidly counting him as a DB2 are over.
Brandon Jones (S – MIA)
Brandon Jones has stepped it up in recent weeks and is the DB14 overall since Week 8. He looks like a DB2 option for Week 12, thanks to a plus matchup against Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers should offer plenty of tackle opportunities, and Brandon Jones will be on sack watch for the second straight week. He was able to make good on his sack potential in Week 11 against the Jets and should see a handful of blitz opportunities against Cam. He may be hard for some to trust as more than a DB3, but his recent play and a matchup against an even more ground attack centric Carolina Panthers offense is enough to bump him up to a DB2 option for at least one week. Roll with Jones for Week 12.
Adrian Amos (S – GB)
Amos has slowed down considerably after a hot start to the season. He has failed to record more than three solos in each of his last four contests and has been a dud on the peripherals outside of Week 10 against Seattle. He is still a fine IDP option for those in deeper leagues and can be deployed as a DB3 option but should no longer be trusted as a DB2 option. He is hard to fade in Week 12 due to an excellent matchup against a Los Angeles Rams team surrendering the most fantasy points per game to the safety position, but the suggestion here is to play the player and not the matchup. Keep Amos benched if you are looking for a DB2 or better despite the plus matchup.
Andrew Wingard (S – JAC)
Wingard has seen his fantasy production drop after a strong start to the season. He looked like a solid DB2 option for the first six weeks of the season but has dropped back to the DB3/4 range that most had him pegged for entering the season. Despite playing an every snap role, Wingard has totaled just eight combined tackles over the last four games. He has an elite Week 12 matchup against the Atlanta Falcons but still should not be trusted as more than a desperation DB3 option. Keep Wingrad benched until he starts showing some much-needed consistency.
Patrick Queen (LB – BAL)
Queen seems to have turned a corner in terms of snaps but is still not producing at anything close to the level fantasy managers had hoped coming into the season. He is getting enough playing time to flash but has yet to earn back his starter role and has just one strong fantasy outing since Week 3. The Patrick Queen LB1 dreams and even the LB2 hopes appear to be over, at least for 2021. He has a great matchup against the Cleveland Browns in Week 12, but don’t be tempted. Keep Queen benched if you are looking for an LB2 or better for Week 12.
Damien Wilson (LB – JAC)
Damien Wilson was excellent in Week 12, tallying four solos, four assists, one sack, and two tackles for loss. His outburst may be a sign of good things to come. He has had a couple of strong outings this season, but trusting him against Atlanta is not recommended. The Falcons have surrendered the second-fewest fantasy points per game to the linebacker position, keeping Wilson as a risky LB3 option for Week 12. Keep him benched unless you find yourself in an extreme deep league pinch.
Kenny Young (LB – DEN)
Kenny Young has yet to get it going since joining the Denver Broncos. He saw a near every snap role in Week 10 and has been playing heavy snaps since joining them but has yet to see his playing time translate into appreciable production. His highest solo tackle count as a member of the Broncos was the meager three he posted in Week 10, and he has yet to provide any peripheral stats at all. It should go without saying that Young needs to be glued to benches regardless of format if you are looking for anything more than an LB4. If there are higher floor options on your wire, feel free to move on from Young if you find yourself in a pinch.
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