The NFL is gearing up for the final stretch of the 2020 season, which means fantasy football owners must begin looking ahead to the postseason — if you are one of the lucky ones, of course. With only a few weeks left in the fantasy football regular season, plenty of owners out there are fighting for a spot in the playoffs. Because these next several weeks could very well determine the eventual outcomes of fantasy football leagues, it is imperative that owners make all the right decisions — especially at the quarterback position.
Quarterbacks to start in Week 12
Philip Rivers, Indianapolis Colts
The Indianapolis Colts and veteran quarterback Philip Rivers are just two weeks removed from defeating the rival Tennessee Titans. The rematch is already on deck for the Colts and Titans in Week 12, with this AFC South clash more or less slated to decide the division.
The last time around, Rivers and company got off to a slow start down in Nashville before a massive second half comeback ultimately propelled the Colts to victory. With Indianapolis scoring 34 points on the Titans on the road, there is a pretty good chance that Rivers can repeat such a performance at home in Week 12. Tennessee’s defense has only become more depleted over the course of the last several weeks.
In particular, the Titans have not been able to rush the passer all season long, and superstar defensive end Jadeveon Clowney is currently on injured reserve. Not only that, but the Titans’ secondary is supremely hampered, giving an experienced quarterback like Rivers the opportunity to take full advantage in the biggest game of the season.
Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
The Baltimore Ravens are faltering and faltering fast as the once-dominant AFC North franchise has fallen off in a big way over the course of the last two weeks. While the Pittsburgh Steelers have already defeated the rival Ravens once this season, Baltimore has since lost to both the New England Patriots and Tennessee Titans in consecutive weeks to put themselves in quite the hole in the AFC playoff picture.
As the Steelers and Ravens get set for a second round on Thanksgiving, Pittsburgh remains undefeated and Baltimore is trending down. With these two slated to go head-to-head on primetime despite the fact the Ravens are currently battling a COVID-19 outbreak, one can expect that red-hot Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will come to play in Week 12.
As Big Ben continues to shine alongside a slew of talented wide receivers, the Steelers as a whole will simply be too much for the slumping Ravens to handle, which will bode extremely well for Roethlisberger.
Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
After this past week’s showing against Los Angeles Rams, it appears as though the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are as vulnerable as it gets heading into Week 12. Looking to rebound in a big way after a major flop against the aforementioned Rams, the Buccaneers may have a hard time bouncing back against the most dangerous team in the entire NFL: the Kansas City Chiefs.
Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes put on quite the performance against the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 11, and the reigning Super Bowl MVP helped Kansas City avenge its only loss in the last 12 months. As the Chiefs continue to stay hot while sitting only one game behind the undefeated Steelers, Mahomes will no doubt come to play in Week 12, which is not something that the Buccaneers need right now.
Nonetheless, with Tom Brady on the opposing sideline despite his recent struggles, Mahomes will certainly be looking to up the ante even further this time around.
Quarterbacks to sit in Week 12
Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins
Even though the New York Jets have yet to win a game this season, the lowly AFC East franchise has been more competitive as of late. With divisional games in the NFL always seeming to enhance the competitiveness of even the worst teams, the Jets could give the Miami Dolphins a tough time in Week 12.
With the Dolphins encountering an odd performance against the Denver Broncos in Week 11, one that saw rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa get benched in favor of veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick, it remains to be seen as to how Miami responds against New York. Because Tagovailoa’s confidence might be shaken after being benched in a losing effort just a week ago, in addition to the fact that the team’s playoff hopes continue to hang in the balance, it is not worth the risk of betting on the first-year quarterback this week even against a team like the Jets.
Fantasy football owners simply cannot put the fate of their respective seasons in the hands of Tagovailoa.
Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tom Brady just isn’t playing well right now. After having absolutely no control of the football in Week 11 against the Los Angeles Rams, Brady only added to his list of questionable performances throughout this campaign.
Even though the Kansas City Chiefs don’t have the most reliable defense, the Buccaneers are going to need to score a lot of points in order to keep up with quarterback Patrick Mahomes. With a ton of pressure already on Brady as he looks to rebound from last week’s debacle, which was capped off by a game-ending interception, the aging superstar may not have what it takes to put on the performance required at this point in his NFL playing career.
This is not the time to gamble on Brady if you are a fantasy football owner with postseason aspirations.
Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings
The Minnesota Vikings have continued to serve as one of the more mysterious and confusing teams to follow throughout this season. Even with loads of talent on both sides of the line of scrimmage, it is nearly impossible to predict which Vikings team will show up on a week-to-week basis.
Most recently, the Vikings lost to the reeling Dallas Cowboys in Week 11, which was a game that Minnesota absolutely had to have in order to continue the team’s push toward a possible postseason berth. At 4-6 on the season, it will be intriguing to see which Vikings team shows up in Week 12 against the Carolina Panthers, who did the exact opposite of Minnesota in Week 11.
The Panthers showed up in a big way against the lowly Detroit Lions and even managed to shut their opponent out. With the Panthers without a slew of the team’s most talented players on offense, one thing remained true: Carolina’s defense was ready to make up for any shortcomings on the other side of the field.
With the Panthers’ defense on a tear and slated to enter the team’s Week 12 matchup against the unpredictable Vikings with some serious confidence, it is even more unsafe than usual to bank on Minnesota’s offense. With veteran wideout Adam Thielen’s status in question due to COVID-19, Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins might have even less to work with this time around.
If the Vikings are going to win this game to keep the team’s season alive, it is going to be the ground game and surging running back Dalvin Cook that is going to do it — not Cousins and the passing attack.