Week 12 Fantasy Starts & Sits
Hope you all had an excellent Thanksgiving. Now that you’re upgraded from slacks to sweatpants, lets get down to business.:
What to watch for this weekend…
1. The return of the NFP/FanDuel Salary Cap Challenge: Cash, prizes, bragging rights and my leftovers from Thanksgiving are on the line in the Week 12 Salary Cap Challenge. Right now, the odds of winning are certainly in your favor.
2. We steered you in the right direction with the Baltimore Ravens last weekend, so now we’re going to press our luck and advise that you take the Boise State Broncos (-14.5) at Nevada Friday night. Hawaii laid down the blueprint back in October for how to slow down Wolfpack quarterback Colin Kaepernick and the high-powered Nevada rushing attack. Look for Boise to roll, especially after Alabama takes down Auburn and opens up a spot in the BCS Championship game.
3. The San Diego Chargers look to keep their three-game winning streak alive Sunday night in Indianapolis. The Colts are currently 3-point favorites, but keep in mind that Indy has lost four of their last five games against San Diego, including the last two at home.
4. Our very own Diana Klochkova has the rundown from last week’s action in the 2010 BFL Fantasy League. Click HERE to check out the story, which is titled, “Girl-on-Girl Fantasy Action.” Excited yet?
5. After Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez laid an egg on Thursday at Detroit, the rest of the NFP fantasy squad needs to come through in a big way. CLICK HERE to check out this week’s matchups in the 2010 NFP Fantasy Expert’s League.
And now, your motivational moment of the day…
START ‘EM UP
Sam Bradford, QB, St. Louis Rams: The rookie from Oklahoma has thrown at least two touchdown passes in three of his last four games and has a very favorable matchup Sunday afternoon against a Denver defense that is giving up an average of 22.1 fantasy points per week to opposing quarterbacks (fifth-most in NFL). Keep in mind that the Broncos rank 20th in the NFL in pass defense (232.1 yds/gm) and 30th in scoring defense (28.7 pts/gm). Bradford could be in line for a big day.
Mike Tolbert, RB, San Diego Chargers: With rookie Ryan Mathews out of action due to an ankle injury, the big bruiser from Coastal Carolina shredded the Denver defense last Monday night for 153 total yards and a touchdown on 27 touches. San Diego heads to Indianapolis this Sunday night where they’ll meet a Colts run defense that is surrendering 21.7 fantasy points per week to opposing running backs (fifth-most in NFL) and ranks 30th in the league in run defense (136.7 yds/gm). The best way to slow down Peyton Manning is to keep him off the field and the best way to keep him off the field is to run the football.
ICONHarvin has a great opportunity to shred the Redskins defense this Sunday.
Percy Harvin, WR, Minnesota Vikings: 2010 has been a disastrous season for Harvin and the Vikings, who sit 3-7 and are currently in a fight with the lowly Lions for last place in the NFC North. However, I’m willing to bet this team turns it around a bit now that head coach Brad Childress has been fired. Week 12 offers an excellent opportunity to get the passing game back on track as Minnesota heads to Washington to face the NFL’s 29th ranked pass defense (280.1 yds/gm). The Redskins are giving up an average of 27.8 fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers (third-most in NFL), so owners should look for Harvin to rebound after a two-week stretch that has produced just six receptions for 76 yards.
Ronnie Brown, RB, Miami Dolphins: With third-stringer Tyler Thigpen at quarterback in Week 11 against the Chicago Bears, the Dolphins decided to call a grand total of 13 running plays (season low). Nobody could figure out why, but I’m betting that the Fish go back to the ground this Sunday at Oakland against a Raiders team that is giving up an average of 21.6 fantasy points per week to opposing running backs (sixth-most in NFL) and ranks 25th in the league in run defense (128.5 yds/gm). Remember, Pro Bowl wide receiver Brandon Marshall is likely out for Week 12 due to a hamstring injury, giving the Dolphins all the more reason to get Ronnie Brown involved in the offense.
Mario Manningham, WR, New York Giants: The former Michigan Wolverine had found the end zone in three of his previous four games before posting a disappointing 3-24-0 stat line at Philadelphia last Sunday night. Now that wide receiver Hakeem Nicks (leg) has joined Steve Smith on the shelf, Manningham becomes the top target for quarterback Eli Manning. Expect some serious production in Week 12 when Big Blue plays host to a Jacksonville Jaguars team that is currently surrendering 28.1 fantasy points per week to opposing wide receivers (tied for second-most in NFL) and ranks 28th in the league in pass defense (264.6 yds/gm). In addition, the Jaguars have already given up 20 touchdown passes this season (tied for fourth-most in NFL).
Heath Miller, TE, Pittsburgh Steelers: Miller has caught three or more passes in a game just four times in his last nine outings, so I understand the hesitation in starting him this Sunday. However, owners in need of some help at the TE position should be looking long and hard at Miller in Week 12 because he has a very favorable matchup against a Buffalo Bills defense that is giving up an average of 11.4 fantasy points per week to opposing tight ends. The only team getting shredded worse by the tight end position would be the Houston Texans (11.8 fantasy pts/gm), which makes Tennessee tight end Bo Scaife an interesting play for Week 12 as well.
Rookie T.J. Ward and the Browns should do some work vs. Carolina in Week 12.
Cleveland Browns, D/ST: The Browns rank 15th in scoring among fantasy defenses this season, so they haven’t exactly been the most reliable option on the board. However, Week 12 offers a very favorable matchup against a banged-up Carolina Panthers team that is surrendering 14.0 fantasy points per week to opposing D/STs (tied for most in NFL). Keep in mind that the Panthers currently rank dead last in the NFL in total offense (252.5 yds/gm), scoring offense (11.7 pts/gm) and second in turnovers committed (28).
SIT ‘EM DOWN
Joe Flacco, QB, Baltimore Ravens: In six road contests this season, the third-year quarterback out of Delaware has failed to throw more than one touchdown pass in a game four times. As surprising as this sounds, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers currently rank sixth in the league in pass defense (200.8 yds/gm) and are giving up just 15.7 fantasy points per week to opposing quarterbacks (fifth-fewest in NFL). Flacco isn’t a terrible option for Week 12, but you’ve better off going with another signal-caller if you have that option.
ICONJackson's been hot, but he's got a tough challenge ahead of him with Pittsburgh coming to town.
Fred Jackson, RB, Buffalo Bills: The suddenly red-hot Jackson has racked up 294 total yards and four touchdowns on 55 touches over the past two weeks. That’s some serious fantasy production from a guy that was expected to lose his job to rookie C.J. Spiller in 2010. Sadly, Jackson’s little hot streak is about to come to a screeching halt as the Bills welcome in a Pittsburgh Steelers team that is surrendering just 10.9 fantasy points per week to opposing running backs (fewest in NFL) and ranks first in the league in run defense (63.0 yds/gm). Remember, this is the same unit that held Oakland running back Darren McFadden to just 14 yards on ten carries last Sunday.
Pierre Garcon, WR, Indianapolis Colts: With wide receivers dropping like flies in Indianapolis this season, you would think that a healthy pass-catcher like Garcon would be producing at a higher level. Wrong. The 24-year old wideout has caught just 19 passes for 192 yards with no touchdowns over HIS LAST FOUR GAMES! Don’t expect this guy to show up Sunday night against the NFL’s top-ranked pass defense in the San Diego Chargers (183.9 yds/gm). Ron Rivera’s defense is currently giving up an average of just 13.5 fantasy points per week to opposing wide receivers (second-fewest in NFL) and the Bolts look to be hitting their late-season stride.
Keiland Williams, RB, Washington Redskins: Williams has put together an impressive three-game stretch in which the 24-year old has averaged 16.3 fantasy points per game. Not bad for a guy most of you never heard of until both Clinton Portis and Ryan Torain hit the shelf with injuries. However, owners are advised to keep the Redskins starting running back on the bench in Week 12 when a Vikings team that ranks seventh against the run (99.1 yds/gm) invades FedEx Field. Despite the crappy record, Minnesota is surrendering just 15.9 fantasy points per game to opposing to running backs (eighth-fewest in NFL). Now that Brad Childress has been fired, don’t be surprised if the Vikings show some signs of life in the coming weeks.
Stevie Johnson, WR, Buffalo Bills: It’s hard to find another wideout that has been more productive over the last eight weeks than Johnson. Hell, the guy currently ranks third in the NFL in touchdown receptions (9) among receivers, so we don’t expect many owners to leave the Buffalo wide receiver on the bench in Week 12. Just be advised that Sunday will be one of Johnson’s stiffer tests of the season as he looks to produce against a Pittsburgh Steelers defense that is giving up an average of just 20.2 fantasy points per week to opposing wide receivers (tenth-fewest in NFL). Remember, this is the same Steelers unit that ranks third in the league in scoring defense (16.5 pts/gm) and has surrendered just 11 touchdown passes on the year (fifth-fewest in NFL).
ICONWinslow has only found the end zone one time in 2010.
Kellen Winslow, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Winslow may rank sixth in receptions (43) among NFL tight ends this season, but owners are advised to go with another option in Week 12. This guy has only found the end zone one lousy time this year and takes on a Baltimore Ravens defense Sunday that is giving up fewer fantasy points to opposing tight ends (4.1 fantasy pts/gm) than any other team in the league. Winslow may have some value down the stretch, but he’s not a viable option in Week 12.
San Diego Chargers, D/ST: The Bolts currently rank tenth in scoring among fantasy defenses, but this Sunday presents a matchup in which owners are advised to go in a different direction. San Diego heads to Indianapolis in Week 12 to take on a Colts team that ranks fourth in the league in both scoring offense (26.8 pts/gm) and total offense (388.1 yds/gm). In addition, Indianapolis is a rock-solid 4-0 and averaging 27.5 points per game at Lucas Oil Field in 2010. As if that wasn’t enough to turn you off, be advised that the Colts are giving up an average of just 5.0 fantasy points per game to opposing D/STs (second-fewest in NFL).
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