Fantasy Football Advice for Week 12
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Every Tuesday during the NFL season, WhatIfSports.com will release its fantasy projections for the upcoming week. The statistical inputs to the thousands of NFL games simulated are based on rigorous analysis of each team's roster, depth chart and statistically-based player rankings. In addition to our computer forecasts, WhatIfSports.com will also offer a "creative" perspective at its fantasy football coverage in a weekly feature called "Fantasy Fever." Enjoy.
QB: Mark Sanchez, Jets. Sanchez has thrown for 950 yards and six touchdowns in his last three ballgames, and this week’s matchup against a depleted Cincinnati secondary should be opportunistic for the Jets QB. Sanchez’s recent success can be attributed to the affinity he’s developed with Santonio Holmes, who’s starting to show signs of grasping the New York offense.
RB: Mike Goodson, Panthers. In the absence of DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, Goodson has lit up the proverbial fantasy scoreboard, as the Texas A&M product has crossed the 100-yard plateau the past two weeks against Baltimore and Tampa Bay. With no timetable on the return of Stewart, Goodson is a smart play this Sunday against the Browns, who are surrendering 116.4 yards to opposing backs. In a related note, is there a more delightful sentiment than selecting a backup off the waiver wire who comes to prominence thanks to injuries to the regular starters? Not only do you solidify your depth, but another owner is now weaker thanks to your conniving tactics. Who said Machiavellianism couldn’t be applied to fantasy football?
WR: Dwayne Bowe, Chiefs. In the last two games Bowe has collected 295 yards on 19 catches, and has 10 touchdowns in the last six weeks. Kansas City has a run-first mantra, but a trip to Seattle could prove to be beneficial for the Chiefs’ aerial assault as the Seahawks are last in the NFC in pass defense (283.2 yards per game). Additionally, the ‘Hawks are tough at home (3-1 at Qwest Field), meaning Kansas City could find themselves down early and forced to attack from the air.
TE: Kevin Boss, Giants. Thanks to injuries to Steve Smith and Hakeem Nicks, the Giant WR corps is so destitute that Derek Hagan and Michael Clayton have been signed off the scrap heap. Boss should see some extended targets simply due to the lack of familiarity between Eli Manning and his new receivers. New York welcomes Jacksonville this Sunday, a team that’s conceded 20 touchdowns in the passing game this season, which should equate for numerous chances for Boss.
DEF: San Francisco 49ers. Despite their 3-7 record, San Francisco is right in the thick of the NFC West race. (Although it’s probably a stretch to call that division a “race” as “a war of attrition” is probably the better description.) And while the game is in Arizona, the Cardinals have lost five straight and the offense is a catastrophe. The 49ers are allowing just 17.8 points in their last five games, and the unit is yielding a relatively-low 106.8 yards a contest.
QB: Jon Kitna, Cowboys. Kitna time! The Cowboy QB has been rejuvenated under Jason Garrett, scoring seven touchdowns in the past two weeks in leading Dallas to consecutive victories. Unfortunately for Kitna, the Cowboys face New Orleans on Thanksgiving. The Saints are holding opposing signal callers to an NFC-low 186.3 yards a game, and have given up just seven touchdowns. View Kitna as that extra piece of turkey on Thanksgiving: it looks good, the last few pieces have been phenomenal, but it’s better left on the table.
RB: Cedric Benson, Bengals. Not much to like here. The Jets are confining opponents to 90.3 yards, and chances are the Bengals will abandon the run if they fall behind early (a very plausible scenario). Only start Benson in deeper leagues.
WR: DeSean Jackson, Eagles. Jackson has flourished when Vick is behind center for Philadelphia. However, a trip to the Windy City does not bode well for Jackson’s fantasy prospects in Week 12, as the Bears have picked off 15 passes and allowed just six touchdowns. Look for Philadelphia to attack on the ground rather than the air in Chicago this weekend.
TE: Bo Scaife, Titans. On one hand, you could make the case that Rusty Smith will be checking down to Scaife early and often. I would counter with Rusty Smith will be the guy in charge of getting Scaife the ball. Exactly.
DEF: Tennessee Titans. The Titans have been a top-5 defense this year, but Arian Foster and the Houston offense are too explosive. Only start if no viable options exist.
Fantasy Flashback Performance: With the exodus of Brad Childress this week, let’s examine one of the fantasy highlights produced from the Childress regime: Adrian Peterson’s November 4, 2007 performance against the San Diego Chargers. In only the eighth game of his professional career, Peterson rushed for an NFL-record 296 yards and added three touchdowns in a 35-17 win against the Lighting Bolts. Peterson would finish the season with 1,341 yards and 12 touchdowns in earning Rookie of the Year honors.
Waiver Wire Watch: Seattle WR Ben Obomanu has posted two consecutive solid performances for the Seahawks, accumulating nine catches for 147 yards and a touchdown. Obomanu has taken the starting slot spot from Deon Butler, equating to more targets his way. Seattle doesn’t face the toughest of slates the remainder of the season, so Obomanu should be a pickup that proves dividends.
This Week in Kevin Walter: K-Walt’s explosion against Jacksonville (six receptions for 90 yards and a touchdown) proved to be an aberration rather than revival, as #83 reverted back to his 2010 form with two catches for 16 yards in a loss to the Jets. And for those of you who believe the Texas Tornado is not an integral part of the Texan game plan: In Houston’s first four games of 2010 (3-1 record), Walter had 242 yards and three touchdowns on 20 catches. In their last six contests (1-5 mark), Walter has only received 10 balls for 130 yards and a score. In fact, this theory is so close to law that it should be featured on those insurance commercials: "Could switching to GEICO really save you 15 percent or more on car insurance?...Is failing to get Houston Texans wide receiver Kevin Walter the ball a bad idea?”
Walter's 2010 stats:30 receptions, 372 yards, 4 touchdowns.
Walter's 2010 CBC (Cornerback Body Count) : 8
Rookie Review: Judging by his cameo appearance in Sunday’s loss to Washington (3-for-9, 69 yards, INT), the Rusty Smith Era might not be one to remember in Tennessee. However, Titans fans can take solace in A) Chris Johnson is still in the backfield B) Smith is probably more effective and reliable than Vince Young and C) Kerry Collins should be back in three weeks. In a related note, did you ever think the phrase, “Kerry Collins should be back in three weeks” would be met with delight by a fan base in 2010? And does this mean someone will be uttering, “Thank God, we get Kyle Orton back in three weeks!” in 2020?
Gatorade Shower Goes To: Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Bills QB continues to impress, throwing for 316 yards and four touchdowns in Buffalo’s come-from-behind victory over Cincinnati. Since taking over for the beleaguered Trent Edwards, Fitzpatrick has thrown for nearly 2,000 yards with 18 touchdowns and just nine picks. Which brings up an intriguing subplot: if Buffalo finds itself with the first pick in the draft, do the Bills have enough confidence in Fitzpatrick to pass over Andrew Luck? On one hand, Buffalo has a plethora of position concerns that ignoring Luck could be justified. On the other end of that spectrum, the Bills are in desperate need of a franchise player, and Luck seems to be the perfect player to act as a foundation. Whatever the case may be, the sentiment that Fitzpatrick’s play has caused this discussion is an amazement in itself.
Personal Foul On: Richard Seymour. Wait, who am I kidding: that punch was fantastic. A few perspectives on the Seymour smackdown: 1) The “punch” was really a slap. 2) I never understood why football players take swings at each other. They realize they’re wearing helmets, right? 3) I think the reason Seymour’s fine wasn’t as severe as initially thought is because, deep down, everyone in America has wanted to hit Ben Roethlisberger in the face.
Varsity Blues Quote of the Week:
Bud Kilmer: The hard work of so many, sacrificed by the disrespect of few.
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