Another wild week of Fantasy Football is in the books with some very interesting results. Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson came alive with Schaub passing for 527 yards and two touchdowns. Andre Johnson exceeded 90 yards receiving for only the third time this season but he went off for 273 and a score. In fact this week saw 67% of all touchdowns come from the pass. This just in, the NFL is a passing league. If you’re deciding between two flex guys, it’s time to put aside the notion that the RB is always the better start.
Week 12 is Thanksgiving weekend, that means three games on Thursday which could wreak havoc if you’re dealing with injuries as you may have to make that tough decision of starting Brandon Lloyd over Julio Jones simply because Jones isn’t practicing yet. Personally I take all factors into account but would always rather give myself a shot at 5-7 points rather than a goose egg. You’ll notice that in my analysis below and in my advice when you guys tweet for assistance.
Lastly, the games start at 12:30pm eastern on Thursday, NOT 1pm. Get your line ups set tonight or first thing tomorrow, you don’t want to have to deal with another possible outage by Yahoo!
Ok, enough of a lead-in, let’s get this party started…
Matchups to Exploit:
Andy Dalton has man’s real best friend, AJ Green. Green has been unstoppable this season and faces a Raiders team that has allowed the 2nd most passing touchdowns, 20, vs. only six interceptions. Green-Ellis punched one in from short yardage last week but Cincy also threw inside the five yard line proving they are not just a power run team at the goal line.
Andrew Luck had a down game last week, with three interceptions. Oh yeah, he also had 334 yards passing and two touchdowns, not bad for a ‘down game’. Luck has developed great rapport with his receivers and with TY Hilton stepping up; Luck has yet another weapon at his disposal. The Bills allow almost two touchdowns a game to opposing QBs, Luck will dink and dunk his way to a very nice fantasy day.
Matt Ryan had the worst game of his career last week throwing for five interceptions. Luckily the doctor ordered a perfect remedy, the league’s worst passing defense to cheer up Ryan’s spirits. Don’t get cute here; Ryan has been a stud all season and currently ranks 6th in QB scoring. The Bucs allow 323 yards a game to QBs, with or without Julio, Ryan will bounce back.
Peyton Manning just lost Willis McGahee for the season with a torn MCL. Enter Ronnie Hillman, a rookie out of San Diego State. This points to Denver passing the ball more and Manning has already been leaning on his receivers in the redzone, look for this to continue. Brandon Stokley is a sneaky play as Manning seems to be using him as a security blanket as of late.
Ryan Fitzpatrick had a pedestrian game last week as he allowed CJ Spiller to do most of the work. This week he’s going to have to keep up with Andrew Luck, the 7th best fantasy football quarterback. I could see the Bills getting behind in this game which is when Fitz tends to excel. The Colts have been generous to opposing passers allowing 18 touchdowns with only four takeaways.
Matchups to Avoid:
Joe Flacco was on the avoid list last week and he did not disappoint me. He threw for 164 yards with zero touchdowns. I mentioned it last week but I’ll say it again, Flacco plays great at home averaging almost 23 points a game. Away he doesn’t break the 10 point barrier. This week he plays AT San Diego. While I think he connects with Torrey Smith deep once for a score, I’m not sure he does much else.
Carson Palmer on the avoid list is almost like blasphemy for me yet I think Oakland will be able to run in Cincy. The Bengals rank 11th best vs. the pass allowing only 12 passing touchdowns through 10 games. However, the run defense ranks 22nd, look for Oakland to move the ball through Marcel Reece, not Palmer this week.
Josh Freeman has a similar situation to Palmer, the Falcons rank 10th best vs. QBs but 26th worst vs. RBs. Atlanta has allowed only 11 touchdowns through 10 games and opposing QBs average 13.7 points a game. Considering Tampa has a VERY capable running game with Doug Martin, look for them to pound this game out on the ground.
Below is the full line-up for week 12 matchups. The charts below read as follows: Defense Rank vs. Position (QB, RB, WR, TE) Team Name, Opponent, Team Studs, and Matchups to watch.
Defenses with a rank of 32 are the worst and give up the most points to the position. Defenses with 1 are the best and give up the fewest points to the position. I’ve mentioned it before but for you new readers, I’m not ranking Jason Campbell over RGIII or Stafford, it’s just that Campbell has better matchup due to the defense he’s facing.
32 – Saints vs. 49ers —> Kaepernick (+)
31 – Vikings vs. Bears —> Campbell
30 – Raiders vs. Bengals —> Dalton (+)
29 – Bills vs. Colts —> Luck (+)
28 – Buccaneers vs. Falcons —> Ryan (+)
27 – Titans vs. Jaguars —> Henne
26 – Redskins vs. Cowboys —> Romo
25 – Jaguars vs. Titans —> Locker
24 – Chiefs vs. Broncos —> Manning (+)
23 – Patriots vs. Jets —> Sanchez
22 – Browns vs. Steelers —> Batch
21 – Colts vs. Bills —> Fitzpatrick (+)
20 – Eagles vs. Panthers —> Newton
19 – Rams vs. Cardinals —> Lindley (-)
18 – Giants vs. Packers —> Rodgers
17 – Chargers vs. Ravens —> Flacco
16 – Dolphins vs. Seahawks —> Wilson
15 – Lions vs. Texans —> Schaub
14 – Packers vs. Giants —> Eli
13 – Panthers vs. Eagles —> Foles (-)
12 – Broncos vs. Chiefs —> Quinn
11 – Bengals vs. Raiders —> Palmer
10 – Falcons vs. Buccaneers —> Freeman
9 – Texans vs. Lions —> Stafford
8 – Jets vs. Patriots —> Brady
7 – Cowboys vs. Redskins —> RGIII
6 – Ravens vs. Chargers —> Rivers
5 – Cardinals vs. Rams —> Bradford (-)
4 – 49ers vs. Saints —> Brees
3 – Steelers vs. Browns —> Weeden
2 – Seahawks vs. Dolphins —> Tannehill (-)
1 – Bears vs. Vikings —> Ponder (-)
Matchups to Exploit:
Frank Gore faces the RB friendly Saints that rank 31st vs. the run allowing 192 yards a game and 5.1 yards per attempt. Kaepernick has just been named the starter, so Gore should see plenty of check downs as the Saints have allowed a league high 566 yards receiving to RBs.
Chris Johnson squares off against the Jaguars that rank 28th in defending the run. They allow 162 yards a game and 12 touchdowns through 10 games. Over the last four weeks CJ1k has 561 yards and 4 touchdowns, he should turn in another nice game this Sunday.
Doug Martin runs into the Falcons this week that rank 26th vs. the run. Opposing RB’s average 20.8 points per game and Martin is not your typical runner. Atlanta has only held two runners below 100 yards while Martin has eclipsed that mark three of the last four weeks.
CJ Spiller has been completely dominant in the game’s he started this season and even when sharing time with Fred Jackson, he’s produced. Chan Gailey has already named him the starter for Sunday vs. the Colts that give up 19.6 points per week to opposing RBs. Spiller has reached the century mark five games in a row through running and receiving, he’s a special talent.
Marcel Reece is on fire. He faces a Bengals team that gives up one touchdown a game to RBs and nearly 50 yards a game receiving. Reece has reached at least 95 yards from scrimmage three games in a row and last week went for 193 yards. He’s just too hot to be on your bench this week.
Matchups to Avoid:
Jamaal Charles is a simple formula, give him the ball and he produces. However this week KC faces the Broncos that rank 10th best in defending the run and only allow 121 yards a game. Add in that Denver can score at will and should get out in front and this game has all the writing of Jamaal getting Crennel’ed and only seeing 8-10 touches as the Chiefs play from behind. Oh, did I mention Quinn is starting over Cassel, this should not turn out well for KC.
James Starks has played his way into the starting role, or perhaps it’s more that Green played his way out of it. Starks is up against the Giants that have only given up four touchdowns to RB’s. The Giants give up 29 yards a game receiving to RBs and Starks will likely be used out of the backfield as a receiver more than a true power tailback which doesn’t bode well for this fantasy day.
Mikel Leshoure plays the 2nd best run defense in the land on Thanksgiving when he faces the Texans. Houston has yet to give up a rushing touchdown on the season and has only allowed ONE receiving touchdown. This should be a shootout through the air, not on the ground.
32 – Bills vs. Colts —> Ballard, Brown
31 – Saints vs. 49ers —> Gore (+)
30 – Raiders vs. Bengals —> BJGE
29 – Titans vs. Jaguars —> Parmele
28 – Jaguars vs. Titans —> CJ1k (+)
27 – Chiefs vs. Broncos —> Hillman (+)
26 – Falcons vs. Buccaneers —> Martin (+)
25 – Colts vs. Bills —> Spiller (+)
24 – Ravens vs. Chargers —> Mathews
23 – Panthers vs. Eagles —> Brown
22 – Bengals vs. Raiders —> Reece (+)
21 – Browns vs. Steelers —> Redman
20 – Jets vs. Patriots —> Ridley (-)
19 – Rams vs. Cardinals —> LSH
18 – Cowboys vs. Redskins —> Morris
17 – Buccaneers vs. Falcons —> Turner
16 – Eagles vs. Panthers —> JStew
15 – Packers vs. Giants —> Bradshaw
14 – Chargers vs. Ravens —> Rice
13 – Vikings vs. Bears —> Forte (-)
12 – Cardinals vs. Rams —> Jackson, Richardson
11 – Patriots vs. Jets —> Greene
10 – Broncos vs. Chiefs —> Charles (-)
9 – Redskins vs. Cowboys —> Jones
8 – Steelers vs. Browns —> Richardson
7 – Dolphins vs. Seahawks —> Lynch
6 – Giants vs. Packers —> Starks (-)
5 – Lions vs. Texans —> Foster
4 – Seahawks vs. Dolphins —> Bush, Thomas
3 – Bears vs. Vikings —> Peterson
2 – Texans vs. Lions —> Leshoure (-)
1 – 49ers vs. Saints —> Thomas, Ingram (-)
Matchups to Exploit:
Michael Crabtree has scored four times the last three games and this week plays the Saints that allow 206 yards a game to wide receivers. New Orleans is tied for last by allowing 15 touchdowns to wide outs this season. Even if the Saints get up early in this game, which is very possible, Crabtree should excel.
Roddy White should be shouldering the load again as Julio Jones looks doubtful for Sunday’s game. The Bucs allow 225 yards a game to wide receivers and 10 touchdowns to wide outs on the season. Over the last three weeks, White ranks 3rd in targets and 11th in scoring averaging 11.8 points a game, White will be just fine.
Randall Cobb should be involved in a high scoring affair against the New York Giants and their 26thranked defense against wide receivers. The Giants have allowed 15 touchdowns to WR’s on the season and have a yards per attempt of 15.7 meaning Cobb could get deep. Cobb has given Rodgers lots of reasons to trust him, of his targets, he catches a league high 76% of them. By comparison Reggie Wayne only grabs 58% and Megatron only 61%.
Victor Cruz should get things going again vs. the Packers. They allow 188 yards and 24.2 points a game to wide outs. Cruz is 5th in targets on the season with 104 and ranks 8th on the season in points. Look for him to get back on track in a game where Vegas has the over/under set at 52.5 points.
Sidney Rice is fresh off a bye and facing a Miami defense that ranks 7th vs. the run. However the Fins ranks 22nd vs. wide receivers so look for Seattle to air it out while Marshawn struggles on the ground. Rice has been red hot lately scoring four times in the three games prior to his bye. Rice should continue to be a solid flex play.
Matchups to Avoid:
Larry Fitzgerald has not reached 100 yards receiving since week three. This week he draws the Rams defense that only allows 147 yards a game to wide receivers. The Rams have given up 9 touchdowns this season to receivers and their pressure on new quarterback Ryan Lindley should continue to have Fitz owners frustrated.
DeSean Jackson has a new quarterback in Nick Foles and let’s just say, be careful what you ask for. The Philadelphia faithful got their wish when Foles started last week however he only mustered 204 yards passing and gave up two interceptions with zero touchdowns. Jackson was held to 2 catches for 5 yards while Maclin didn’t have a single catch. This week Jackson faces the Panthers that only give up 149 yards a game and have a low 12.4 yards per attempt so it’s not likely they get beat deep. This team seems to have given up on the rest of their season and I suggest you do the same for this week.
Dwayne Bowe is battling a neck injury but that won’t matter come Sunday. Head coach Romeo Crennel has named Brady Quinn the starter, that’s not good news for Bowe owners. The last game Quinn started he went 22 for 38 with 180 yards passing and zero touchdowns. In that game Bowe had three catches for 21 yards. The Broncos have only given up 8 touchdowns to wide outs and have 12 interceptions. Don’t expect a big game from Bowe this week.
32 – Saints vs. 49ers —> Crabtree, Manningham (+)
31 – Buccaneers vs. Falcons —> White, Jones
30 – Redskins vs. Cowboys —> Bryant, Austin
29 – Patriots vs. Jets —> Kerley
28 – Colts vs. Bills —> Johnson
27 – Browns vs. Steelers —> Wallace, Brown
26 – Giants vs. Packers —> Nelson, Cobb, Jones (+)
25 – Jaguars vs. Titans —> Britt, Washington
24 – Packers vs. Giants —> Nicks, Cruz (+)
23 – Bills vs. Colts —> Wayne, Avery
22 – Dolphins vs. Seahawks —> Tate, Rice
21 – Chargers vs. Ravens —> Smith, Boldin
20 – Raiders vs. Bengals —> AJ Green, Hawkins (+)
19 – Titans vs. Jaguars —> Blackmon, Shorts (+)
18 – Eagles vs. Panthers —> Smith, Lafell
17 – Lions vs. Texans —> Johnson
16 – Chiefs vs. Broncos —> Thomas, Decker
15 – Cardinals vs. Rams —> Amendola, Gibson, Givens
14 – Texans vs. Lions —> Johnson, Young, Broyles
13 – Ravens vs. Chargers —> Floyd, Alexander
12 – Vikings vs. Bears —> Marshall, Hester (-)
11 – Rams vs. Cardinals —> Fitzgerald, Roberts
10 – Cowboys vs. Redskins —> Moss, Morgan
9 – Bears vs. Vikings —> Harvin (-)
8 – Panthers vs. Eagles —> Jackson, Maclin
7 – Broncos vs. Chiefs —> Bowe (-)
6 – Bengals vs. Raiders —> Moore, DHB
5 – Jets vs. Patriots —> Welker, Llyod
4 – 49ers vs. Saints —> Colston, Moore (-)
3 – Falcons vs. Buccaneers —> Jackson, Williams
2 – Steelers vs. Browns —> Little, Gordon
1 – Seahawks vs. Dolphins —> Hartline, Bess
Matchups to Exploit:
Tony Moeaki makes for an interesting play this week especially for those that just lost Gronkowski. The Broncos allow 68 yards a game to tight ends and this game should get out of hand early. Moeaki has eclipsed 65 yards receiving his last two games. With Bowe on the mend and Quinn at the helm, there should be plenty of short routes for Moeaki to fill and more than enough junk time to make him an effective fill in.
Brandon Myers has 30 targets and four touchdowns over the last three weeks. Myers is 7th on the season in scoring and will continue to be involved heavily when facing the Bengals that give up 61 yards a game and five touchdowns on the season to tight ends.
Matchups to Avoid:
Logan Paulsen is matched up vs. the Cowboys that only give up 40 yards a game to tight ends. That’s tied for 3rd best defending the TE position however they have surrendered 5 touchdowns which puts their overall rank at 14th. Paulsen only had one target for one catch last week though it went for a score. Look elsewhere, I don’t like having a TE that is touchdown dependent.
32 – Broncos vs. Chiefs —> Moeaki (+)
31 – Titans vs. Jaguars —> Lewis
30 – Redskins vs. Cowboys —> Witten (+)
29 – Patriots vs. Jets —> Keller
28 – Bengals vs. Raiders —> Myers (+)
27 – Jets vs. Patriots —> Hernandez
26 – Lions vs. Texans —> Daniels
25 – Raiders vs. Bengals —> Gresham
24 – Saints vs. 49ers —> Davis
23 – Panthers vs. Eagles —> Celek
22 – Falcons vs. Buccaneers —> Clark
21 – Bills vs. Colts —> Allen (+)
20 – Vikings vs. Bears —> Davis
19 – Buccaneers vs. Falcons —> Gonzalez
18 – Texans vs. Lions —> Pettigrew
17 – Rams vs. Cardinals —> King
16 – Giants vs. Packers —> Finley
15 – Jaguars vs. Titans —> Cook
14 – Cowboys vs. Redskins —> Paulsen (-)
13 – Dolphins vs. Seahawks —> Miller
12 – Chiefs vs. Broncos —> Dreesen
11 – Seahawks vs. Dolphins —> Fasano
10 – Ravens vs. Chargers —> Gates
9 – Bears vs. Vikings —> Rudolph
8 – Packers vs. Giants —> Bennett
7 – Colts vs. Bills —> Chandler
6 – Eagles vs. Panthers —> Olsen
5 – Chargers vs. Ravens —> Pitta (-)
4 – Cardinals vs. Rams —> Kendricks
3 – Steelers vs. Browns —> Watson
2 – 49ers vs. Saints —> Graham
1 – Browns vs. Steelers —> Miller (-)
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