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Fantasy Fast Forward: NFL Week 12


So for those of you who had too much turkey and fell asleep for your annual Thanksgiving Day nap before you remembered to set your fantasy lineup for the week, I’m here to save the day. Ain’t that tryptophan a bitch sometimes!?!

It’s Week 12, and while six teams have already put their games in the books, we still have 13 games to sink our teeth into between Sunday and Monday night.

Before we get rolling with my aces and jokers for Week 12, we’ll briefly run through what was overall a pretty solid performance from yours truly last week.

My Week 11 QB Aces (Palmer, Sanchez, Freeman)

You have to like the multiple touchdowns from all three of these signal-callers, but only the “Sanchize” was able to top 300 yards.

My Week 11 QB Jokers (Flacco, Young, Orton)

Flacco and Orton had just one TD pass each last week, while VY was held without a score before bowing out early with an owwie. Needless to say, I pretty much nailed my QB picks last week.

My Week 11 RB Aces (F. Jackson, F. Jones, Charles)

Buffalo’s Fred Jackson found the end zone twice last Sunday, to go with his 116 yards on the ground, but Jones and Charles were held without a score, despite racking up some solid yardage.

My Week 11 RB Jokers (McFadden, Foster, Blount)

Ok, I struck out here with Arian Foster, I’ll admit that. Foster had a pair of TDs against the Jets, along with 84 rushing yards. But the other two didn’t do squat, so I’m still considering this trio of picks a victory.

My Week 11 WR Aces (Fitzgerald, Jennings, Colston)

All three of my aces found the end zone at least once in Week 11, with Fitzy scoring once, Colston twice, and Jennings three times. All three had at least 90 receiving yards also… not too shabby.

My Week 11 WR Jokers (M. Williams – SEA, S. Smith – CAR, Boldin)

None of these guys scored in Week 11, helping me look like a genius! Only Seattle’s Mike Williams had a decent day otherwise, racking up 109 yards on six catches, but the other two couldn’t get going at all.

My Week 11 TE Ace (Boss)

Kevin Boss wasn’t in charge of anything in Week 11, catching just two passes for a measly 22 yards. WTF, Boss Man?

My Week 11 TE Joker (R. Gronkowski)

After lighting the world on fire with 3 TDs in Week 10, Gronk laid an egg in Week 11, catching just one 25-yard pass against the Colts. Hey, the Pats won the game, that’s all that matters, right?

My Week 11 Wackies

13 quarterbacks threw for more than 300 yards in Week 10, by far more than any other week this season (the previous high was seven, in Weeks 3 and 7). In Week 11, I see even more than 13 QBs topping 300 yards.

Didn’t happen. Eight QBs made it to the 300-yard mark in Week 11… not 13. Sorry, my bad.

Only 11 touchdowns were scored by tight ends across the league in Week 10. In Week 11, that number will at least double.

Also didn’t happen. Not even close on this one, as only seven TDs were scored by tight ends in Week 11, less than the 11 scored in Week 10. Sorry again, my bad.

And to keep with the offense-heavy predictions, I’m predicting that no team will score single-digit points this week… all 32 will have 10 or more.

Really didn’t happen. Four teams scored in single digits, and for two of those teams, that single digit was a zero. Miami and San Fran were shutout victims in Week 10, with the Vikings and Raiders only putting up three points in their games. What can I say, sorry again.

Ok, without further ado, let’s march on with some aces and jokers for what’s left of Week 12…

Week 12 QB Aces

Matt Cassel, KC (@SEA)

In his last seven games, Cassel has a 14-to-1 TD-to-INT ratio. That’s darn good. This week, he goes up against the league’s 30th ranked pass defense in Seattle. That’s darn good news too.

Matt Schaub, HOU (vs. TEN)

Schaub was just plain nasty in his two meetings against the Titans last season. He threw for six TDs and no interceptions, and averaged a ridiculous 331 passing yards in the two games. There’s no reason why he can’t light up the scoreboard against the Titans again this time around.

Matt Ryan, ATL (vs. GB)

I’m taking a trio of Matts at the quarterback spot, and I don’t care what you have to say about it. Ryan’s Falcons are undefeated at home this season, and Ryan is a crazy 18-1 at the Georgia Dome all-time. Sure, Green Bay is a solid defense, but Matt Ryan and the Falcons seem to be unstoppable at home. I’m in Ryan’s corner, until proven otherwise.

Week 12 QB Jokers

Jay Cutler, CHI (vs. PHI)

While I do think this is going to be a really great game to watch, it’s not going to be because of Cutler at all. Cutler’s looked good the past few weeks… against Buffalo, Minnesota, and Miami. Now, he faces a legit defense, the Philadelphia Eagles. Sure, Asante Samuel won’t be there, but the Eagles have enough firepower on defense to rattle Cutler. I’m predicting at least three picks for J.C.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, BUF (vs. PIT)

Harvard’s Ryan Fitzpatrick has been one of those fantasy darlings this season, coming out of nowhere to help fantasy teams everywhere. This week, he’ll hurt you more than he’ll help you. He goes up against a Steeler defense that shut down Oakland last week, and currently ranks seventh in fantasy points allowed by opposing QBs.

Troy Smith, SF (@ARI)

Smith will start Monday night against the Cardinals, but there’s no guarantee he’ll finish. Head coach Mike Singletary has already said that despite the 2-1 record the Niners have in Troy Smith’s starts, if his QB struggles, he won’t hesitate to yank him in favor of someone else. Add to that the fact that Smith hasn’t thrown for more than a single TD in any of his starts, and that makes the former Buckeye not even worth a thought in fantasy land.

Week 12 RB Aces

Rashard Mendenhall, PIT (@BUF)

There is no running back I’d start over Mendenhall this week… no one. He faces the league’s worst rush defense, by far. Buffalo is allowing 163 yards on the ground per contest, and there’s no doubt in my mind that Mendenhall will reach that number on his own this Sunday.

Mike Tolbert, SD (@IND)

I love Tolbert this week against a weak Indy rush defense. Without Ryan Mathews there to siphen away carries, I see Tolbert putting up a very solid stat line when this game is over and done with. Six different guys have rushed for over 95 yards against the Colts this week… make that seven after Sunday night’s game.

Peyton Hillis, CLE (vs. CAR)

What isn’t there to like about Cleveland’s Peyton Hillis? By the end of this season, he’s going to be a top-10 fantasy running back, maybe even top-5. How crazy is that? Anyway, his matchup this week is a very favorable one, as he and the Browns take on the lowly Panthers, who are the league’s biggest mess of a team. ‘Nuff said.

Week 12 RB Jokers

Brandon Jackson, GB (@ATL)

There’s not too much to like about the prospects of Brandon Jackson having a big game in Atlanta on Sunday against the Falcons. Atlanta boasts the league’s sixth-best rush defense. They haven’t allowed a TD from a running back since Week 5, and haven’t allowed a rushing TD from an opposing back since Week 2. Look for B-Jack to struggle this week.

Fred Jackson, BUF (vs. PIT)

He’s coming off two 100-yard games, with four TDs in his past three games, but that hot streak will definitely cool off this week against the league’s best run defense. Pittsburgh hasn’t allowed a team to run for 100 yards this season, nevermind an individual player. Good luck, Freddie… you’ll need it.

Maurice Jones-Drew, JAC (@NYG)

I wouldn’t have liked MJD this week even if he was healthy, and now that he’s not, I’m especially down on him. If he plays, which it looks like he will, he’ll have a hard time having much success against a very tough Giants defense, a group that has allowed only two backs to reach the 100-yard mark this season.

Week 12 WR Aces

Vincent Jackson, SD (@IND)

Why wait? You’ve had him stashed away on your bench all season long… he’s back, he’s fresh and healthy, and he’ll have the league’s most prolific passer this season in Phillip Rivers throwing to him Sunday night in Indy. If you were smart enough to hold onto V-Jax all this time, start him with confidence this week and let your patience finally pay off.

Sidney Rice, MIN (@WAS)

Here’s another guy you’ve had to play the waiting game for, but if you’ve got him, you start him this week against the ‘Skins. Rice led the team last week with 10 targets in their loss to the Packers, so look for Favre to continue to look his way this week. Yes, Rice is listed as questionable with his hip injury, but he’s going to play, and he should play well.

Mike Wallace, PIT (@BUF)

Three straight 100-yard receiving games from Wallace, and if he has any say in it, he’ll post up a fourth one this Sunday in Buffalo. He’s Big Ben’s favorite deep threat, and I expect them to hook up for at least a few highlight reel type catches against a lousy Bills team.

Week 12 WR Jokers

Blair White, IND (vs. SD)

No Austin Collie this week, which means the Colts will lean on the rookie White as their third receiver Sunday night against the Chargers, the league’s top pass defense. White had his best game as a pro last week against the Pats, catching five balls and scoring twice, but it won’t come that easy this week against San Diego.

Anquan Boldin, BAL (vs. TB)

I made Boldin one of my WR jokers last week, and I’m putting him there again this week. He has just 10 catches for 107 yards in his last three games, and this week he’ll face a Bucs team that ranks sixth in the league in pass defense, and has already held Roddy White, Michael Crabtree, and Carolina’s Steve Smith in check this season.

Eddie Royal, DEN (vs. STL)

Remember this guy? He hasn’t done diddly squat this year, catching just a pair of touchdowns this season. Sure, he faces a less-than-good Rams team this week, but until he proves that he’s not one of the season’s biggest busts, I can’t recommend starting this guy, or any other Bronco receiver, this week.

Week 12 TE Ace

Joel Dreessen, HOU (vs. TEN)

If Owen Daniels plays, insert him in here instead of Dreessen. Bottom line, start your favorite Texans tight end this week. They play Tennessee, who has given up 100-yard days to the last two opposing tight ends. Dreessen had over 100 and a TD himself last week, and I see him having the same success this week against a weak Titan defense.

Week 12 TE Joker

Kellen Winslow, TB (@BAL)

Winslow has been terrible lately, and this week he faces the Ravens, who rank as the toughest defense against opposing tight ends. Only Ben Watson has scored against the Ravens as a tight end this season, and only New England’s Aaron Hernandez has topped 50 yards against Baltimore this year. Winslow will suck this week, plain and simple.

Week 12 Wackies

(These are admittedly low-odds predictions, that only I have the stones to profess…)

  • Neither Manning will throw more than one TD pass this week.
  • Eight running backs had 100-yard days in Week 11. Less than half that number will have 100-yard days in Week 12.
  • And finally, my first “Wacky” prediction involving kickers. Last week, no extra points were missed. In Week 12, we’ll see at least three misses.

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