I have now won three straight in the BTSC fantasy league and have an ever-so-slight chance of making the playoffs. However, a matchup against one of our members, tHe FinGeR, will not be easy. Jeremy, on the other hand, will be facing 6-5 MalkinCrosby, who needs another win to make his playoff outlook less cloudy.
Back to the business you are interested in. Do you need help determining who to start and sit in your fantasy lineup this week? If so, you have come to the right place.
Each week during the NFL season, Jeremy Betz and myself will co-author a Steelers ‘start and sit’ article. It will include only players from the Steelers and from the team the Steelers are facing that week. This week, I will be breaking down the starts and sits and running back, tight end, and defense, while Jeremy covers the quarterbacks, wide receivers, and kickers.
If you have thoughts on who should be starts or sits in the Steelers vs. Bengals, let us know in the comment section below. But without further adieu, here are your Steelers and Bengals starts and sits for Week 12!
Note: Obvious starts such as Najee Harris and Ja’Marr Chase will not be listed in this article.
WR: Diontae Johnson, PIT
Jeremy: DJ is not quite a must-start in some leagues, but he’s close. His target volume is as elite as ever and if he can more routinely produce like he did last week (7-101-1 & 23.1 PPR pts), he may hit that tier. But for now, he’s a volume-based WR1 facing a secondary that hasn’t been quite as stout recently as it was early in the season. And seeing how the Steelers will approach this AFC North showdown as a must-win game, start this playmaker confidently as a WR1 in Week 12!
WR: Chase Claypool, PIT
Jeremy: Is Mapletron back? 5 catches for 93 yds says yes, but his single receiving TD on the year says it’s gonna stay a bumpy ride. To give you an idea of his potential though, let’s compare Claypool’s per-game stats with a guy we’ll call “Receiver X.” Claypool: 7.6 tgts, 4.8 ctch, 58.3 yds, PPR WR44 on the season. “Receiver X”: 6.8 tgts, 3.8 ctch, 54.4 yds/gm, PPR WR23 on the season. All the stats look better for Claypool, right? So what’s causing the scoring difference? Well, Receiver X is (drum roll please) also Chase Claypool, but 2020 Chase Claypool who scored 11 total TDs. All that to say this: If Claypool can find the end-zone a few more times in the coming weeks, you’ve got a top-25 WR ready to pop. This week, start him in your flex and cross your fingers that it begins.
TE: Pat Freiermuth, PIT
Andrew: The Bengals are in the middle of the pack when it comes to defending the tight end, but after surrendering over 100 yards to Darren Waller last week, the Steelers may try to get their young tight end involved early. Despite recording only 11 receiving yards against the Chargers, he was targeted 7 times, and with the Eric Ebron injury news on Tuesday, you can expect Freiermuth’s involvement with the passing offense to only increase as he builds a rapport with Ben Roethlisberger. In a year like this one, temper your expectations for any tight end unless it is Travis Kelce or George Kittle, but considering the weakness of the position this year, I would play him if you do not have an elite option.
Andrew: I hate to do this, but there are just too many players coming back from injury on this unit. T.J. Watt missed last week’s game, Devin Bush still looks hampered by his knee injury he sustained last season, and Joe Haden is also dealing with injuries. Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase have become one of the best quarterback/receiver combos in football, and if the Steelers are not 100% healthy in the secondary, it could be a long day.
If you haven’t listened already, make sure you check out Jeremy’s weekly podcast, The Steelers Fantasy Football Fix, which is available each and every Wednesday. You can listen to his latest episode in the player below.
Which players in the Steelers vs. Bengals matchup do you think are safe plays? Are Joe Burrow and Ben Roethlisberger worth starting? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section down below!