FANTASY FOCUS: Week 12
By Chris Timoney
Here's a few Do's and Don'ts of week 12 in the NFL for all you fantasy football players
A-Ha! I knew that Kevin Jones would prove serviceable for your fantasy team.
100 yards rushing, I'll take that. What I couldn't predict was that Aaron Brooks
would have me running for Chooch of The Year. The Saints need a lot more of
the 377 yards passing Brooks put up Sunday. Another miss-call like that and
I'll be eating crow sandwiches on Turkey Day.
Before I start thinking too much about food, here's "A Very Special Fantasy Fare" in honor of Thanksgiving and all the fantasy implications it brings. That and a ton of side dishes. More sweet po-ta-toes please.
Under The Radar
QB - Not that Jake Plummer is an unknown or anything, but in the 2004 version of the NFL if you're not Manning or McNabb your not being plastered all over every magazine. Drew Breese is getting all the comeback player talk and Roethlisberger and Eli get all the rookie talk. And Tom Brady is, well, Tom Brady. Lost in this shuffle of hype has been the Denver QB. The Broncos are 7-3 and Plummer threw for 499 yards against the Falcons D. Plummer's QB rating falls in the top 33 percentile at a respectable 91.5, just behind future Hall 0f Famer Brett Favre. Denver welcomes the 3-7 Raiders to Mile High this week. Although Plummer has 11 interceptions the Raiders have only made 4 all year. Play Jake. Try the plum pie.
RB - Since Houston's week 7 bye Domanick Davis has recaptured the yards he
racked up at the start of the season. Davis has been doing it rushing and receiving.
Over the last 4 weeks Domanick has been averaging 23 rushes and 5 catches per
game, so he's getting the ball and picking up yards. Houston has to play with
pride this weekend after Monday night's crushing loss to the Packers. Rock Domanick
and you'll be cooking like Anne B. Davis.
WR - OK, so the Giants sport one of the better pass defenses in the league giving up just 174 yards per game in the air. In the season opener in Philly D-Nabb torched the Giants secondary for over 300 yards and 4 TD's. Since that time T.O. has only gotten better, D-Nabb has become more lethal and now Brian Westbrook is back in the fold. What does all this mean for Philly's trip to the Meadowlands this weekend? It means #2 man Todd Pinkston is poised for a big day. Aside from the Steelers game (which Pats fans can relate to) the Eagles have been rolling. Obviously the Giants secondary will focus on slowing down T.O. but they'll also have to defend the dump to Westbrook and tight end Chad Lewis, making Pinkston an interesting option for McNabb on Sunday. Pinkston is no joke. After a few weeks with not much action, Pinkston rebounded last Sunday with 5 catches for 106 yards. McNabb's going to need Pinkston this week and you could use him also as a solid #2 or #3 receiver for your team.
Don't Do It
QB - Enjoy some drinks, get down on a second or even third helping at the Thanksgiving table and feel free to hit on your sister's friend from college who's joining your family for the holiday but please by no means start anyone taking snaps in Dallas on Thursday. Basically you're dealing with a guy who's been fielding grounders for 3 years and a guy who in 5 games has yet to throw for over 200 yards. Even Kyle Boller's been doing that. Dallas can't get anything going and Drew Henson won't be NFL legit 'til next season. Craig Krenzel is very turnover prone as he's registered 6 INTs and 6 lost fumbles in only 5 games. OUCH. Stay away from these QB's like you'd stay away from the casserole surprise.
RB - I realize everyone's tied up with the holidays so here's a no brainer. Don't play Derrick Blaylock versus the #1 rushing D in the league. The Chargers will most likely walk all over the Chiefs this weekend and the home crowd won't have much to celebrate in KC. Blaylock looks like a runner who can have a big day every now and then but as shown Monday night against the Patriots a good defense can slow him down. No 186 yard day this Sunday for Derrick, he'll be lucky if he gets 86.
WR - I'm going out on a limb here by recommending you don't play Seattle's Darrell Jackson this weekend. I realize Seattle plays host to the Bills but Matt Hasselbeck's inconsistent play of late concerns me against a Buffalo team barely giving up 180 yards passing per game. If the offense had pulled its weight Buffalo would be much better than 4-6. The return of Lawyer Milloy to the secondary has ignited an extra spark in the Bills. This could be a trap game for Seattle and with Koren Robinson finally suspended by the league that leaves Jackson as the main guy with Bobby Engram and Jeremy Stevens forced to pick up the slack. Itula Mili may have to be an integral part of the passing game. Jackson's going to be guarded like a hip-hop star, very heavily.
QB - Comeback player of the year Drew Brees plays in KC this week and will be a major factor in the pounding the Chiefs will take, as I alluded to earlier. Breese hasn't thrown a pick in 4 games and only has 3 on the season. I don't have to mention how poor the Chief's D is, so do the math. Brees + a healthy Tomlinson + a rejuvenated Keenan McCardell + Antonio Gates = a monster day for the comeback player of the year. It's a Brees, play Drew and have all the pumpkin pie you like.
RB - Whether you're going over the river or through the woods to get to Grandma's house for Thanksgiving please take The BUS. Jerome Bettis is a must this weekend like having 2 helpings of my grandma's eggplant parmesan and that's a no brainer. Although it looks like Duce Staley will make his return to the line-up Bill Cowher will most likely err on the side of caution and ease Duce back into play against a Redskins team with a good run defense. That being said, the Steelers are way to hot to let anyone in a Redskins uniform stop them this weekend. Bettis has been carrying the load very nicely since Staley got hurt and even with Duce taking carries away from him he'll still be the man on the goal line. I envision Pittsburgh moving the ball very well at home against the going nowhere Redskins. Take The BUS and pace yourself through dessert.
WR - Peyton Manning gets all the hype in Indy regarding the passing game, but how about some love for the guys catching the balls. YOU'VE GOTTA play any one of Manning's top 3 targets this Thursday in Detroit. Harrisson, Wayne & Stokely will embarrass the Lions D like Artest, Stephen Jackson and Jermaine O'Neal embarrassed themselves in Detroit last week. I'll even go as far as saying that Dallas Clark will have a huge day. Thursday should be another low moment in Detroit sports history. Play Manning's receivers and bring out the egg nog.
Well that's that. Take my advice or leave it on the web page. Either way, when it comes to playing fantasy football, aren't we all winners in the end.
Good Luck and I'll talk to you next week.
Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy the LONG weekend!
Chris Timoney provides is a site contributor for the Patriots Insider. You can find him in the forums under the name: jakbrown. You can also find archives of his columns on the Insiders by using the search feature on this site.
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