NFL Fantasy Matchups - Week 12

Bring on NFL Fantasy Football Week 12! Check here each Thursday for game-by-game fantasy analysis. We give fantasy owners the edge heading into each week of the NFL fantasy season.

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Green Bay Packers (9-1) @ Detroit Lions (6-4) 12:30 Thanksgiving Day FOX
HAPPY THANKSGIVING! The Packers take their 9-1 record to Ford Fieldhouse in an annual Thanksgiving Day tradition...and the Detroit Lions should give them quite the test (and provide the Lion fans with more Turkey Day hope than they've had in years). As always, play Brett Favre this week and expect him to perform well against the Detroit secondary. But it's anybody's guess as to who will be Favre's targets. TE Donald Lee, WRs Greg Jennings / Donald Driver / James Jones / and even Ruvell Martin have been stars of the game in the Green Bay offense...and only Favre seems to know his primary target of any given week (causing fantasy owners to pull their hair out with the predicament). The Green Bay running game started out in much the same way with a turnstyle backfield, but it has fortunately settled down of late with Ryan Grant getting the carries and yards with solid production each week (however...Grant is banged up, so check his status closely prior to starting him this week). The Green Bay defense is for real, but the Lions have plenty of weapons on offense. I like WRs Roy Williams and Calvin Johnson this week to catch the bulk of the passes (ahead of Shaun McDonald) from QB Jon Kitna in a game that should have plenty of passing for the Lions. Williams and Johnson have begun practicing fade routes and may try to use their utilize their size more within the red zone. RB Kevin Jones may do okay this week, but Jones doesn't have the best matchup against a solid Packer run defense. Much will depend if Jones can get things going as a receiver out of the Lion backfield. The Lions could easily surprise and win this game if their offense can groove (expect plenty of points in this one).

New York Jets (2-8) @ Dallas Cowboys (9-1) 4:15 Thanksgiving Day CBS

The New York Jets shocked Pittsburgh and the rest of the NFL last week with a 19-16 win. Nonetheless, don't count on it again this week. RB Thomas Jones had his best week this season (117 rushing yards) and anything is possible this week, but don't expect a whole lot against the Cowboys. For Dallas on offense, I think you go with all of your stars here: QB Tony Romo, WR Terrell Owens, and TE Jason Witten. RBs Marion Barber and Julius Jones split time and steal carries/numbers from each other, but there may be enough Dallas offense this week for both to put up some decent stats in this lopsided matchup. If the Pack is able to get by Detroit in the earlier game, expect a huge battle of 10-1 teams (Green Bay vs. Dallas) in week 13 on Thursday Night Football!


Indianapolis Colts (8-2) @ Atlanta Falcons (3-7) 8:15 Thanksgiving Day NFLN
As you digest your second round of Thanksgiving Day turkey, watch the Colts dominate this game (that is, of course, if you can get the NFL Network). Play QB Peyton Manning with WR Reggie Wayne and TE Dallas Clark. RB Joseph Addai will shred this defense and is good for well over 100 combined yards and at least one TD. The Colts should get Antonio Gonzalez back this week while Marvin Harrison rides the pine to continue resting his ailing knee...AGAIN. Joey Harrington will go at QB for the Falcons this week...although not a recommended fantasy starter. TE Alge Crumpler may do something here, but don't count on it. The Colts have a stout defense and have not given up more than 24 points this season (and that was against New England). Even with Dwight Freeny on IR, the Colts should have no trouble shutting down the Atlanta offense.

Tennessee Titans (6-4) @ Cincinnati Bengals (3-7) 1:00 CBS
Just when we all thought we had Tennessee figured out...the Titans go out and allow 34 against them in week 11 and Vince Young actually puts up some really nice fantasy stats in a loss. So what do you do here?...go with Young's previous half-dozen weeks of virtually zero in fantasy numbers or look at last week's 300+ passing day with 74 rushing yards and a couple of scores? Cincinnati's defense has been as porous as any in the NFL and will give Young every opportunity to run or pass against them (making him an above average fantasy start this week despite his earlier trend). At running back for the Titans, LenDale White had a tough week 11 against the Broncos and is feeling footsteps from a healthy Chris Brown and rookie Chris Henry in the Titan backfield...although White has a great matchup this week. For the Bengals on offense, I believe you stick with the Cincy passing game. QB Carson Palmer with WRs T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Chad Johnson, and Chris Henry will try to get it done through the air against Tennessee at home.

Buffalo Bills (5-5) @ Jacksonville Jaguars (7-3) 1:00 CBS
The Buffalo Bills are licking their wounds after a demoralizing home thrashing by the Patriots (56-10) on SNF. Regardless, the Bills aren't a bad team...but are again without top running back Marshawn Lynch while facing another solid defense (Anthony Thomas will go in his absence). J.P. Losman keeps his job at quarterback and will try to lock on WR Lee Evans as much as possible. The Jags will again start QB David Garrard and look to pound the ball with RBs Maurice Jones-Drew and Fred Taylor...but don't expect Jacksonville to have the same offensive success as did New England. This game should be relatively low scoring with several punts and little fantasy interest (unless you own either the Bills or Jax D/ST).

Oakland Raiders (2-8) @ Kansas City Chiefs (4-6) 1:00 CBS
Oakland is rebuilding and Kansas City is in search of a running back. Daunte Culpepper will get the nod again for the Raiders, but rookie JaMarcus Russell is waiting for this year's opportunity (and he should get it before the season is over). C-pepp may surprise with a few strikes here and there to Ronald Curry and Jerry Porter, but don't get too excited about Oakland fantasy prospects against an above average KC defense. Although the Chiefs began the week with a roster containing two of the best running backs to play in this decade, Larry Johnson is likely done for the season (although nothing official yet) and Priest Holmes announced just yesterday of a permanent retirement...meaning that Kolby Smith becomes the primary RB for KC (and a top waiver get for fantasy owners). Brodie Croyle will continue as the Chiefs QB and have reasonable success with TE Tony Gonzalez and rookie WR Dwayne Bowe (who is extremely talented and the future of the KC receiving corps). Keeper league owners need to make a note of Bowe and lock him up via trade if possible.

Seattle Seahawks (6-4) @ St. Louis Rams (2-8) 1:00 FOX
Both of these teams have offenses capable of putting up plenty of points, but Seattle is the only team capable of making the postseason. I like QB Matt Hasselbeck with WRs Deion Branch and D.J. Hackett to shred the St. Louis secondary all game. RB Maurice Morris will get another start in the backfield for the Seahawks and will be good for at least 100 yards and a score. For the Rams, Steven Jackson is healthy and ready for 25-30 touches this week (meaning plenty of fantasy points for his owners). QB Marc Bulger will look to WR Torry Holt as a dual threat for St. Louis in a game that could turn into a shootout in the dome.

The Skins can't seem to figure out whether they're a good team or not this season. QB Jason Campbell has shown some signs of success, but certainly not consistent. Campbell is facing a tough defense this week and will have a tough go of it as he tries to find WR Santana Moss downfield. TE Chris Cooley may be the best bet this week for Washington in the passing game. RB Clinton Portis will pound away against the Buccaneer line, but don't expect anything spectacular. For the Bucs on offense, it will be more of the same as Jeff Garcia looks for WR Joey Galloway (who should have a decent game this week). RB Earnest Graham has played well of late, but Michael Pittman has come on the scene and is pulling away from some of Graham's touches...and crowding Tampa's backfield a little much for the tastes of fantasy football owners.

Houston Texans (5-5) @ Cleveland Browns (6-4) 1:00 CBS
The Texans finally got QB Matt Schaub and WR Andre Johnson back in their starting lineup last week...and both produced nicely (Schaub passed for 293 yards and connected for 120 yards and a TD to Johnson against the Saints). Both will be nice fantasy plays this week along with veteran RB Ron Dayne against the porous Cleveland defense. Houston shut down the Saints offense, but they won't shut down Derek Anderson and the Browns. Anderson has been a surprising phenominan this season and will do it again this week with WR Braylon Edwards and TE Kellen Winslow. All are quality fantasy starts in week 12.

New Orleans Saints (4-6) @ Carolina Panthers (4-6) 1:00 FOX
So which New Orleans team will show up this week? The Saints have talent, but need to put it in motion...and get a chance in week 12 against a very beatable Carolina D. Start QB Drew Brees with WR Marques Colston as the Saints try to get things back on track in their offense. RB Reggie Bush also has a nice matchup this week and should do well. For the Panthers, they have been decimated with injuries at the quarterback postion and are missing top WR Steve Smith. RB DeShaun Foster has done better than expected this season, but most owners are just waiting until Foster gets injured and/or yields to DeAngelo Williams (which most thought would have happened by week 3).

Minnesota Vikings (4-6) @ New York Giants (7-3) 1:00 FOX
SuperRookie Adrian Peterson is doing some light practicing, but that doesn't mean he'll be ready for Sunday. The good news, of course, is that Peterson may be back on the field sooner rather than later. Check AD's status closer to gametime first, but for now plan on starting Chester Taylor in another big game for the Viking running back. On the other side of the ball, it will be Eli Manning trying to get the passing game going against a weak Minnesota pass defense. WR Plaxico Burress is really starting to show some on-field effects of his lingering ankle injury...and should be started with caution in fantasy circles. TE Jeremy Shockey will continue to move up the tight end rankings with another nice showing this week. The Viking run defense is tip-top...meaning a tough day for the Giant running backs (and at this point, there is still uncertainty as to who will get the bulk of the touches out of the NYG backfield).

San Francisco 49ers (2-8) @ Arizona Cardinals (5-5) 4:05 FOX
San Francisco is horrible despite many preseason analysts (and don't count me in that group) who thought this team would win the NFC West. Former top draft pick QB Alex Smith has bombed and is now complaining of a lingering injury (he'll be sidelined this week), wide receiver pickup Darrell Jackson has done nothing for SF, and highly heralded RB Frank Gore has tanked this season. TE Vernon Davis bragged openly in preseason about his future 2007 accomplishments, but has done little this season (while being often sidelined with injuries). Expect more of the same in week 12 as the Cardinal defense handles the Niner offense with ease. For Arizona on offense, I like QB Kurt Warner to connect early and often to talented WRs Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald (all should have big days). I also like RB Edgerrin James to have a 100+ yard game with at least one score as the Cardinals win easily at home.

Baltimore Ravens (4-6) @ San Diego Chargers (5-5) 4:15 CBS
So, who would have thought that neither of the NFL's top two AFC playoff seeds from 2006 would be above .500 heading into week 12? Okay, maybe the Ravens with their lack of offense...but the Chargers are dumbfounding (and really should be 4-6 if Indy's Vinatieri hits just one of his missed short field goals in week 10). Fantasywise for this game, I don't like the Raven offense. Kyle Boller will get the nod at QB, but isn't on too many fantasy rosters. BTW, I still can't get over the Devard Darling performance last week!?! RB Willis McGahee is the best fantasy bet and the primary hope for the Ravens to generate some offense in this matchup. Todd Heap is a quality tight end, but his injuries have made him too unreliable to count upon. For San Diego, LaDainian Tomlinson doesn't get a particularly strong matchup against a solid Raven run D...but always play LT regardless. Philip Rivers will need to go to the air, but he's no better than an average fantasy play considering some of his below average performances recently. TE Antonio Gates will do well this week and WR Chris Chambers should be able to repeat last week's numbers against Jax (93 yards).

Denver Broncos (5-5) @ Chicago Bears (4-6) 4:15 CBS
Both of these teams have been a disappointment this season. The Bears show no signs of the 2006 defense that took them to the superbowl and the Broncos have disappeared without warning. Fortunately, however, Denver made an appearance in week 11 against a formidable Tennessee defense and was able to score a surprising 34 points on MNF. Jay Cutler threw for 2 TDs in a nice performance. Cutler will face a similar Bears D, but he'll get top wide receiver Javon Walker back in the offense...meaning a decent fantasy play for both players. Denver RB Selvin Young was injured last week, but should be healthy enough to go against the Bears (although check his status first) in a less than favorable matchup. For Chicago, Rex Grossman will again get the nod at quarterback (although Grossman is not a recommended fantasy start in any situation). Grossman does, however, mean a boost for WR Bernard Berrian since he is the key target when Grossman is under center. RB Cedric Benson looked solid last week in the loss to the Seahawks and is an average play this week against the Broncos.

Philadelphia Eagles (5-5) @ New England Patriots (10-0) SNF 8:15 NBC
Every fantasy owner with Patriots on their team are likely leading their league as the New England offensive explosion continues...and this week will be no exception. Play QB Tom Brady, WRs Randy Moss / Wes Welker / Donte Stallworth, and TE Benjamin Watson in the passing offense. RB Laurence Maroney has the skills and surrounding weapons to be a top NFL fantasy RB, but coach Bill Belichick has leaned heavily upon the pass this season and seems to be resting Maroney at every opportunity (which may grant him very fresh legs for the NFL playoffs). Maroney was pulled after just 6 carries, 19 yards, and a TD last week...and presumably without injury according to the New England running back (making him a risky fantasy play each week). For Philly, Donovan McNabb has played better of late...but suffered an injury last week and may head toward this game still a bit banged up. Regardless of health, the Patriot D will hold McNabb and the Eagle receivers in check. The only strong fantasy play for the Eagles in this situation may be Brian Westbrook (who seems to go off without concern for the opponent or situation).

Miami Dolphins (0-10) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (7-3) MNF 8:30 ESPN
Mark it down...Miami moves to 0-11 and Pittsburgh moves to 8-3 in a game that has fans turning the channel by the 2nd quarter. The NFL has done a nice job in employing an adjustment of the SNF games to allow for games of primary interest late in the season...but too bad we have to continue to watch lousy matchups on MNF. The return of Ricky Williams will be the lead-in story, but the Steelers will dismantle the Fins in short order and put this game away early. Miami has no fantasy options until/unless Williams has something left in the tank (and we'll find out this week). For Pittsburgh, play QB Ben Roethlisberger, WRs Hines Ward / Nate Washington (playing for injured Santonio Holmes), TE Heath Miller, RB Willie Parker, the Steelers D/ST, and K Jeff Reed.

BYE WEEKS - None

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Green Bay Packers (9-1) @ Detroit Lions (6-4) 12:30 Thanksgiving Day FOX
HAPPY THANKSGIVING! The Packers take their 9-1 record to Ford Fieldhouse in an annual Thanksgiving Day tradition...and the Detroit Lions should give them quite the test (and provide the Lion fans with more Turkey Day hope than they've had in years). As always, play Brett Favre this week and expect him to perform well against the Detroit secondary. But it's anybody's guess as to who will be Favre's targets. TE Donald Lee, WRs Greg Jennings / Donald Driver / James Jones / and even Ruvell Martin have been stars of the game in the Green Bay offense...and only Favre seems to know his primary target of any given week (causing fantasy owners to pull their hair out with the predicament). The Green Bay running game started out in much the same way with a turnstyle backfield, but it has fortunately settled down of late with Ryan Grant getting the carries and yards with solid production each week (however...Grant is banged up, so check his status closely prior to starting him this week). The Green Bay defense is for real, but the Lions have plenty of weapons on offense. I like WRs Roy Williams and Calvin Johnson this week to catch the bulk of the passes (ahead of Shaun McDonald) from QB Jon Kitna in a game that should have plenty of passing for the Lions. Williams and Johnson have begun practicing fade routes and may try to use their utilize their size more within the red zone. RB Kevin Jones may do okay this week, but Jones doesn't have the best matchup against a solid Packer run defense. Much will depend if Jones can get things going as a receiver out of the Lion backfield. The Lions could easily surprise and win this game if their offense can groove (expect plenty of points in this one).
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New York Jets (2-8) @ Dallas Cowboys (9-1) 4:15 Thanksgiving Day CBS
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The New York Jets shocked Pittsburgh and the rest of the NFL last week with a 19-16 win. Nonetheless, don't count on it again this week. RB Thomas Jones had his best week this season (117 rushing yards) and anything is possible this week, but don't expect a whole lot against the Cowboys. For Dallas on offense, I think you go with all of your stars here: QB Tony Romo, WR Terrell Owens, and TE Jason Witten. RBs Marion Barber and Julius Jones split time and steal carries/numbers from each other, but there may be enough Dallas offense this week for both to put up some decent stats in this lopsided matchup. If the Pack is able to get by Detroit in the earlier game, expect a huge battle of 10-1 teams (Green Bay vs. Dallas) in week 13 on Thursday Night Football!

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Indianapolis Colts (8-2) @ Atlanta Falcons (3-7) 8:15 \r\n Thanksgiving Day NFLN
As you digest your second round of Thanksgiving Day turkey, watch the Colts dominate this game (that is, of course, if you can get the NFL Network). Play QB Peyton Manning with WR Reggie Wayne and TE Dallas Clark. RB Joseph Addai will shred this defense and is good for well over 100 combined yards and at least one TD. The Colts should get Antonio Gonzalez back this week while Marvin Harrison rides the pine to continue resting his ailing knee...AGAIN. Joey Harrington will go at QB for the Falcons this week...although not a recommended fantasy starter. TE Alge Crumpler may do something here, but don't count on it. The Colts have a stout defense and have not given up more than 24 points this season (and that was against New England). Even with Dwight Freeny on IR, the Colts should have no trouble shutting down the Atlanta offense.

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Tennessee Titans (6-4) @ Cincinnati Bengals (3-7) 1:00 \r\n CBS
Just when we all thought we had Tennessee figured out...the Titans go out and allow 34 against them in week 11 and Vince Young actually puts up some really nice fantasy stats in a loss. So what do you do here?...go with Young's previous half-dozen weeks of virtually zero in fantasy numbers or look at last week's 300+ passing day with 74 rushing yards and a couple of scores? Cincinnati's defense has been as porous as any in the NFL and will give Young every opportunity to run or pass against them (making him an above average fantasy start this week despite his earlier trend). At running back for the Titans, LenDale White had a tough week 11 against the Broncos and is feeling footsteps from a healthy Chris Brown and rookie Chris Henry in the Titan backfield...although White has a great matchup this week. For the Bengals on offense, I believe you stick with the Cincy passing game. QB Carson Palmer with WRs T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Chad Johnson, and Chris Henry will try to get it done through the air against Tennessee at home.
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Buffalo Bills (5-5) @ Jacksonville Jaguars (7-3) 1:00 CBS
The Buffalo Bills are licking their wounds after a demoralizing home thrashing by the Patriots (56-10) on SNF. Regardless, the Bills aren't a bad team...but are again without top running back Marshawn Lynch while facing another solid defense (Anthony Thomas will go in his absence). J.P. Losman keeps his job at quarterback and will try to lock on WR Lee Evans as much as possible. The Jags will again start QB David Garrard and look to pound the ball with RBs Maurice Jones-Drew and Fred Taylor...but don't expect Jacksonville to have the same offensive success as did New England. This game should be relatively low scoring with several punts and little fantasy interest (unless you own either the Bills or Jax D/ST).

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Oakland Raiders (2-8) @ Kansas City Chiefs (4-6) 1:00 CBS
Oakland is rebuilding and Kansas City is in search of a running back. Daunte Culpepper will get the nod again for the Raiders, but rookie JaMarcus Russell is waiting for this year's opportunity (and he should get it before the season is over). C-pepp may surprise with a few strikes here and there to Ronald Curry and Jerry Porter, but don't get too excited about Oakland fantasy prospects against an above average KC defense. Although the Chiefs began the week with a roster containing two of the best running backs to play in this decade, Larry Johnson is likely done for the season (although nothing official yet) and Priest Holmes announced just yesterday of a permanent retirement...meaning that Kolby Smith becomes the primary RB for KC (and a top waiver get for fantasy owners). Brodie Croyle will continue as the Chiefs QB and have reasonable success with TE Tony Gonzalez and rookie WR Dwayne Bowe (who is extremely talented and the future of the KC receiving corps). Keeper league owners need to make a note of Bowe and lock him up via trade if possible.
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Seattle Seahawks (6-4) @ St. Louis Rams (2-8) 1:00 \r\n FOX
Both of these teams have offenses capable of putting up plenty of points, but Seattle is the only team capable of making the postseason. I like QB Matt Hasselbeck with WRs Deion Branch and D.J. Hackett to shred the St. Louis secondary all game. RB Maurice Morris will get another start in the backfield for the Seahawks and will be good for at least 100 yards and a score. For the Rams, Steven Jackson is healthy and ready for 25-30 touches this week (meaning plenty of fantasy points for his owners). QB Marc Bulger will look to WR Torry Holt as a dual threat for St. Louis in a game that could turn into a shootout in the dome.

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Washington Redskins (5-5) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-4) \r\n 1:00 FOX
The Skins can't seem to figure out whether they're a good team or not this season. QB Jason Campbell has shown some signs of success, but certainly not consistent. Campbell is facing a tough defense this week and will have a tough go of it as he tries to find WR Santana Moss downfield. TE Chris Cooley may be the best bet this week for Washington in the passing game. RB Clinton Portis will pound away against the Buccaneer line, but don't expect anything spectacular. For the Bucs on offense, it will be more of the same as Jeff Garcia looks for WR Joey Galloway (who should have a decent game this week). RB Earnest Graham has played well of late, but Michael Pittman has come on the scene and is pulling away from some of Graham's touches...and crowding Tampa's backfield a little much for the tastes of fantasy football owners.

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Houston Texans (5-5) @ Cleveland Browns (6-4) 1:00 \r\n CBS
The Texans finally got QB Matt Schaub and WR Andre Johnson back in their starting lineup last week...and both produced nicely (Schaub passed for 293 yards and connected for 120 yards and a TD to Johnson against the Saints). Both will be nice fantasy plays this week along with veteran RB Ron Dayne against the porous Cleveland defense. Houston shut down the Saints offense, but they won't shut down Derek Anderson and the Browns. Anderson has been a surprising phenominan this season and will do it again this week with WR Braylon Edwards and TE Kellen Winslow. All are quality fantasy starts in week 12.

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New Orleans Saints (4-6) @ Carolina Panthers (4-6) 1:00 FOX
So which New Orleans team will show up this week? The Saints have talent, but need to put it in motion...and get a chance in week 12 against a very beatable Carolina D. Start QB Drew Brees with WR Marques Colston as the Saints try to get things back on track in their offense. RB Reggie Bush also has a nice matchup this week and should do well. For the Panthers, they have been decimated with injuries at the quarterback postion and are missing top WR Steve Smith. RB DeShaun Foster has done better than expected this season, but most owners are just waiting until Foster gets injured and/or yields to DeAngelo Williams (which most thought would have happened by week 3).

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Minnesota Vikings (4-6) @ New York Giants (7-3) 1:00 FOX
SuperRookie Adrian Peterson is doing some light practicing, but that doesn't mean he'll be ready for Sunday. The good news, of course, is that Peterson may be back on the field sooner rather than later. Check AD's status closer to gametime first, but for now plan on starting Chester Taylor in another big game for the Viking running back. On the other side of the ball, it will be Eli Manning trying to get the passing game going against a weak Minnesota pass defense. WR Plaxico Burress is really starting to show some on-field effects of his lingering ankle injury...and should be started with caution in fantasy circles. TE Jeremy Shockey will continue to move up the tight end rankings with another nice showing this week. The Viking run defense is tip-top...meaning a tough day for the Giant running backs (and at this point, there is still uncertainty as to who will get the bulk of the touches out of the NYG backfield).

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San Francisco 49ers (2-8) @ Arizona Cardinals (5-5) 4:05 FOX
San Francisco is horrible despite many preseason analysts (and don't count me in that group) who thought this team would win the NFC West. Former top draft pick QB Alex Smith has bombed and is now complaining of a lingering injury (he'll be sidelined this week), wide receiver pickup Darrell Jackson has done nothing for SF, and highly heralded RB Frank Gore has tanked this season. TE Vernon Davis bragged openly in preseason about his future 2007 accomplishments, but has done little this season (while being often sidelined with injuries). Expect more of the same in week 12 as the Cardinal defense handles the Niner offense with ease. For Arizona on offense, I like QB Kurt Warner to connect early and often to talented WRs Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald (all should have big days). I also like RB Edgerrin James to have a 100+ yard game with at least one score as the Cardinals win easily at home.

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Baltimore Ravens (4-6) @ San Diego Chargers (5-5) 4:15 \r\n CBS
So, who would have thought that neither of the NFL's top two AFC playoff seeds from 2006 would be above .500 heading into week 12? Okay, maybe the Ravens with their lack of offense...but the Chargers are dumbfounding (and really should be 4-6 if Indy's Vinatieri hits just one of his missed short field goals in week 10). Fantasywise for this game, I don't like the Raven offense. Kyle Boller will get the nod at QB, but isn't on too many fantasy rosters. BTW, I still can't get over the Devard Darling performance last week!?! RB Willis McGahee is the best fantasy bet and the primary hope for the Ravens to generate some offense in this matchup. Todd Heap is a quality tight end, but his injuries have made him too unreliable to count upon. For San Diego, LaDainian Tomlinson doesn't get a particularly strong matchup against a solid Raven run D...but always play LT regardless. Philip Rivers will need to go to the air, but he's no better than an average fantasy play considering some of his below average performances recently. TE Antonio Gates will do well this week and WR Chris Chambers should be able to repeat last week's numbers against Jax (93 yards).

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Denver Broncos (5-5) @ Chicago Bears (4-6) 4:15 \r\n CBS
Both of these teams have been a disappointment this season. The Bears show no signs of the 2006 defense that took them to the superbowl and the Broncos have disappeared without warning. Fortunately, however, Denver made an appearance in week 11 against a formidable Tennessee defense and was able to score a surprising 34 points on MNF. Jay Cutler threw for 2 TDs in a nice performance. Cutler will face a similar Bears D, but he'll get top wide receiver Javon Walker back in the offense...meaning a decent fantasy play for both players. Denver RB Selvin Young was injured last week, but should be healthy enough to go against the Bears (although check his status first) in a less than favorable matchup. For Chicago, Rex Grossman will again get the nod at quarterback (although Grossman is not a recommended fantasy start in any situation). Grossman does, however, mean a boost for WR Bernard Berrian since he is the key target when Grossman is under center. RB Cedric Benson looked solid last week in the loss to the Seahawks and is an average play this week against the Broncos.

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Philadelphia Eagles (5-5) @ New England Patriots (10-0) SNF 8:15 NBC
Every fantasy owner with Patriots on their team are likely leading their league as the New England offensive explosion continues...and this week will be no exception. Play QB Tom Brady, WRs Randy Moss / Wes Welker / Donte Stallworth, and TE Benjamin Watson in the passing offense. RB Laurence Maroney has the skills and surrounding weapons to be a top NFL fantasy RB, but coach Bill Belichick has leaned heavily upon the pass this season and seems to be resting Maroney at every opportunity (which may grant him very fresh legs for the NFL playoffs). Maroney was pulled after just 6 carries, 19 yards, and a TD last week...and presumably without injury according to the New England running back (making him a risky fantasy play each week). For Philly, Donovan McNabb has played better of late...but suffered an injury last week and may head toward this game still a bit banged up. Regardless of health, the Patriot D will hold McNabb and the Eagle receivers in check. The only strong fantasy play for the Eagles in this situation may be Brian Westbrook (who seems to go off without concern for the opponent or situation).

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Miami Dolphins (0-10) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (7-3) MNF 8:30 ESPN
Mark it down...Miami moves to 0-11 and Pittsburgh moves to 8-3 in a game that has fans turning the channel by the 2nd quarter. The NFL has done a nice job in employing an adjustment of the SNF games to allow for games of primary interest late in the season...but too bad we have to continue to watch lousy matchups on MNF. The return of Ricky Williams will be the lead-in story, but the Steelers will dismantle the Fins in short order and put this game away early. Miami has no fantasy options until/unless Williams has something left in the tank (and we'll find out this week). For Pittsburgh, play QB Ben Roethlisberger, WRs Hines Ward / Nate Washington (playing for injured Santonio Holmes), TE Heath Miller, RB Willie Parker, the Steelers D/ST, and K Jeff Reed.
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BYE WEEKS - None

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send your fantasy questions to: scoutfantasyfreak@yahoo.com \r\n

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