The fantasy football value of multiple big-name WRs has changed drastically with a multitude of injuries at the QB position across the NFL, which has managers having to adjust expectations for players like Ja’Marr Chase, Justin Jefferson, and Amari Cooper. Let’s take a closer look at some of my start/sit candidates at the WR position for Week 12 of NFL action.
Which WRs Should You Start in Fantasy This Week?
Adam Thielen, Carolina Panthers
After a pair of lackluster fantasy outings, Carolina Panthers WR Adam Thielen got back on track against the Dallas Cowboys with eight receptions for 74 yards on 11 targets to produce his seventh 15+ fantasy performance in PPR formats this season.
The veteran WR may not be able to separate like his glory days in Minnesota, but the savvy wideout still has enough tricks in the bag to take advantage of a Tennessee Titans secondary that just got torched by the Jacksonville Jaguars’ struggling passing game.
Puka Nacua, Los Angeles Rams
One big development worth keeping an eye on this week is the health of Los Angeles Rams WR Cooper Kupp, who exited the game in the first half against the Seattle Seahawks with an ankle injury and did not return.
If Kupp is to miss any time in the coming weeks, rookie WR Puka Nacua is a must-start for your fantasy team. His four games of production to start the season without Kupp in the lineup were quite literally historic. Through those games, Nacua led the league in both targets (52) and receptions (39) and trailed only Justin Jefferson in receiving yards prior to Kupp’s return.
If Kupp is unavailable, Nacua is a top-10 play in Week 12.
Zay Flowers, Baltimore Ravens
If you listen closely, you can still hear the echo from the fantasy managers of Ravens WR Zay Flowers after a phantom holding call eliminated a gorgeous 68-yard catch-and-run for a score, which drastically changed Flowers’ fantasy outing against the Bengals on Thursday Night Football.
Baltimore just lost QB Lamar Jackson’s favorite security blanket, with TE Mark Andrews sustaining a significant ankle injury for potentially the rest of the 2023 season. However, that bodes very well for Flowers’ fantasy outlook moving forward.
This week, the Ravens will face a Chargers defense that gives up more yards through the air — an average of 291 yards per game, to be exact — than any other team in the league this season. Start Flowers with confidence in Week 12.
Which WRs Should You Sit in Fantasy This Week?
Diontae Johnson, Pittsburgh Steelers
Fantasy managers may not need to hit the panic button on Diontae Johnson quite yet, but the red flags are certainly there in back-to-back rough outings. Johnson followed up his one-catch, 17-yard performance against the Green Bay Packers in Week 10 with two receptions for 16 yards against the Browns.
The Steelers may be playing winning football, but the concerns are certainly there with regard to the production of QB Kenny Pickett, who has failed to top 170 yards through the air in three straight games. Johnson is a fine talent, but the struggles of this passing offense have me wanting to go in a different direction in Week 12.
Garrett Wilson, New York Jets
Garrett Wilson fantasy managers have likely been clamoring for any quarterback not named Zach Wilson to try throwing him the football this season. Well, after Zach threw for 81 yards and an interception with no scores against the Buffalo Bills, New York decided to make the move to backup QB Tim Boyle … who didn’t fair any better.
His 33 yards and an interception on 14 passing attempts tell us that Garrett Wilson’s fantasy ceiling is likely going to remain the same until Aaron Rodgers potentially gets back under center … which is far from a guarantee at this point.
Trending Searches for WR Start/Sit
Did you know that we have a Start/Sit Optimizer here at Pro Football Network?! It’s completely free to use, and it allows you to enter up to six players to find the best option to plug into your starting lineup!
It also allows us to see the most popular trending searches, and we’ve jotted some of them down here to help provide some clarity on!
Should You Start Diontae Johnson or Drake London?
Atlanta Falcons WR Drake London can’t seem to escape catching passes from QB Desmond Ridder in 2023, as his first game with Taylor Heinicke under center got cut short when Heinicke suffered a hamstring injury against the Arizona Cardinals back in Week 10.
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Whether it’s Heinicke or Ridder under center for Atlanta against the New Orleans Saints this week, London feels like a low-end WR2 option against a tough secondary. While Johnson has certainly been disappointing the last two weeks, his ceiling feels a bit higher than London in Week 12.
Should You Start Puka Nacua or Michael Pittman Jr.?
Indianapolis Colts WR Michael Pittman Jr. has a favorable fantasy matchup against the leaky Tampa Bay Buccaneers secondary in Week 12, which should make him a rock-solid WR2 option this Sunday.
However, if Kupp is out of the lineup this week, Nacua will have a comparable floor with a much higher fantasy ceiling this Sunday. However, if Kupp is active, I would go with Pittman over Nacua against this Tampa Bay defense.
Looking to make a trade in your fantasy league? Having trouble deciding who to start and who to sit? Setting DFS lineups? Check out PFN’s Free Fantasy Football Trade Analyzer, Start/Sit Optimizer, and DFS Lineup Optimizer to help you make the right decision!
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