8 Fantasy Football Stars to Start or Sit for Sunday, Week 12

It might help to give your team a shot of Luck, but relying on Amendola is a recipe for a bad time.

Editor's Note: Some of the recommendations here have been posted on as well through a partnership between numberFire and Bleacher Report. Both parties have agreed to have this information posted in both places.

It's always tougher to know where to turn after a crazy week. As a smart fantasy owner, you know that seeing a repeat performance from Chad Henne or Julian Edelman likely isn't in the cards. That's not the problem.

The issue, however, is often with the players who had an off week. Is it the makings of a Chris Johnson-esque slump, or will my guy bounce back in a Matt Schaub way to put up crazy numbers? It's always impossible to project. Almost. Thankfully, you have help. This week, our numbers have strong opinions about some key players that may be right on the edge between your starting lineup and your bench. Want to find out who they are? Read on, my friend.

Fantasy Football Best Starts/Must Sits for Sunday, Week 12

Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts
Standard League Fantasy Points: 18.12 FP
numberFire Rank: No. 7 QB (No. 7 Overall)
Week 12 Opponent: vs. Buffalo Bills
Verdict: Start Him

Need some evidence that the Bills' secondary is weak? We took a look at the amount of Net Expected Points (NEP) that the Bills have given up this season—that is, the amount of points above or below an average team's performance given the same game situations.

And while Buffalo has only given up 27.46 NEP on the ground, it has given up a whopping 76.77 NEP through the air. That's more than a touchdown worse than an average NFL by passing alone. That figure ranks No. 26 among all NFL teams.

When coupled with the Colts' tendency to throw the ball, that can only spell success for the rookie. Indianapolis has thrown the ball on 60 percent of their offensive plays this season, and I don't see that changing this week.

Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals
Standard League Fantasy Points: 17.48 FP
numberFire Rank: No. 9 QB (No. 9 Overall)
Week 12 Opponent: vs. Oakland Raiders
Verdict: Start Him

Similar to Luck, Dalton faces a spectacular situation in the opposing Raiders defense this week. Oakland sits at one of those few teams less efficient than Buffalo in the secondary so far this season—its 97.86 NEP given up through the air is third-worst among all NFL teams. Surprisingly, that contrasts sharply with its 1.86 NEP gained on the ground defensively. Expect the Bengals to attack the air early and often.

And if our stats are any indication, it should lead to plenty of scores for Dalton. The Red Rocket has six combined passing TDs over his past two games, and his 1.95 projected passing TDs are the seventh-most among QBs we projected this week.

Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens
Standard League Fantasy Points: 13.28 FP
numberFire Rank: No. 23 QB (No. 36 Overall)
Week 12 Opponent: at San Diego Chargers
Verdict: Sit Him

While Flacco has managed to keep the Ravens on top with victories, the manner through which he's done it has been uglier than his facial hair. In his past six games, Flacco has registered three single-digit fantasy point days and only one game above 13 FP. And that one was against Oakland; head back a page to see why that might not be the best indicator.

The Norv Turners might be a hollow shell of a team, but much of that can be attributed to their No. 25 offense. The defense, meanwhile, ranks as numberFire's No. 11 team in terms of efficiency, only allowing 9.94 points above expectation total for the season.

Marcel Reece, Oakland Raiders
Standard League Fantasy Points: 11.51 FP
numberFire Rank: No. 11 RB (No. 51 Overall)
Week 12 Opponent: at Cincinnati Bengals
Verdict: Start Him

Editor's Note: This article was originally written under the assumption that both McFadden and Reece would split playing time, and numberFire's rankings were adjusted accordingly. With McFadden now out, Marcel Reece is a must start in all leagues. Have at it, boys.

Steve Johnson, Buffalo Bills
Standard League Fantasy Points: 9.74 FP
numberFire Rank: No. 18 WR (No. 63 Overall)
Week 12 Opponent: at Indianapolis Colts
Verdict: Start Him

A team-leading 33 percent of Ryan Fitzpatrick throws in Week 11. 57 percent more total targets than anybody else on the team. At least seven targets in seven of the Bills' past eight games. I think it's safe to say Steve Johnson's going to get his looks on any given week.

Although a 53 percent catch rate does not inspire much confidence, Johnson's matchup against the Indianapolis Colts should. The Colts have allowed 114.25 points more than expectation through the pass so far this season, the highest total of any NFL team.

Danny Amendola, St. Louis Rams
Standard League Fantasy Points: 8.70 FP
numberFire Rank: No. 29 WR (No. 82 Overall)
Week 12 Opponent: at Arizona Cardinals
Verdict: Sit Him

Unlike Jackson or Johnson, though, being the clear No. 1 target for a team can only take you so far. Danny Amendola owners are about to learn that lesson the hard way.

Amendola, who only has three double-digit games and one 12-plus FP game in seven total appearances, projects to have a high reception total but not a high yardage or TD total. That's not a mistake; Amendola has only topped the century mark in yards once this season and has only caught two total TDs (and none since Week 4).

Arizona, meanwhile, has risen to hold numberFire's No. 2 opponent-adjusted defense through its strong performances over the past couple weeks. On the season, the Cards have allowed 31.47 points less than expectation on the season.

Heath Miller, Pittsburgh Steelers
Standard League Fantasy Points: 7.68 FP
numberFire Rank: No. 7 TE (No. 95 Overall)
Week 12 Opponent: at Cleveland Browns
Verdict: Start Him

It's easy to become discouraged over a player than has 10 FP combined over the past three weeks. But even with the immortal Charlie Batch under center, Heath Miller should be a solid play this week if you give him the chance.

The Browns are an average defense—they're No. 15 in efficiency according to numberFire's standards—but they are much weaker against the pass than the run. So far this season, they have allowed 39.21 NEP over expectation against the pass, while allowing 15.26 points under expectation against the rush.

And of everybody on the Steelers, we expect Miller to be one of the most likely candidates to take advantage. Miller's projected 0.49 touchdowns ranks fourth among all tight ends this week, behind only Jimmy Graham, Owen Daniels and Vernon Davis. That wouldn't be an isolated case, as 35 percent of the Steelers' receiving touchdowns this season have gone Miller's way.

Brent Celek, Philadelphia Eagles
Standard League Fantasy Points: 5.09 FP
numberFire Rank: No. 16 TE (No. 139 Overall)
Week 12 Opponent: vs. Carolina Panthers
Verdict: Sit Him

You thought not reaching double digits was bad. Try not reaching in seven fantasy points in a single game since Week 2. Then you'd have Brent Celek.

The Eagles have a horribly inefficient offense, and Celek has certainly done his part to... contribute. His 61 percent catch rate sits below average for tight ends, and despite his 67 targets ranking second on the team, he has only been able to convert the looks into one touchdown.

While the looks are still there (Celek has tied for the team lead in targets in two of the past three games), the tight end simply does not have the big play potential he once had. In fact, Celek has not had a yards per catch average above 11 in a single game since Week 4 against the Giants.