With Thanksgiving on Thursday, we are now headed into the homestretch of the NFL season. There are a few running backs, quarterbacks and receivers that are not locks for Week 12. Hopefully, you survived Week 11 and were blessed with one of the many monster performances from the likes of Andre Johnson, Justin Blackmon, Matt Schaub, Robert Griffin III, or Chad Henne (no, that is not a typo).
Take a dive with me this week before you celebrating Thanksgiving and begin the Black Friday rush.
QB Colin Kaepernick
Gut call. If you heard coach Jim Harbaugh's post-game interview, he will be going with the "hot hand" for Sunday's game against the New Orleans Saints. Alex Smith has been solid this year. However, rookie quarterback Kaepernick just shredded the Chicago Bears, one of the top defenses in the league. Grab Kaepernick off of waivers and consider him a spot starter if you have a struggling quarterback. If he plays this weekend against New Orleans, he should provide a generous amount of points for owners that take a chance on him.
Week 12 Forecast: 225 passing yards, 40 rushing yards, 2 TD
RB Ronnie Hillman
Hillman has exhibited sparks in a limited fashion backing up Willis McGahee. After McGahee's season-ending injury, opportunity will be knocking for Hillman. The rookie will receive the bulk of carries, while he will also be involved in the passing game against a weak Kansas City defense that has allowed opposing backs a minimum of 104 yards on the ground in six of the last seven games. Denver may be "pass first," but Hillman should have a solid outing and hit paydirt.
Week 12 Forecast: 90 total yards, TD
WR Andre Johnson (Editor's note: This was submitted prior to Thursday's game)
It certainly does not seem long ago when Johnson was considered a first-round draft pick. After a slew of injuries, inconsistent production, and a run-focused offense led by Arian Foster, Johnson's status as "must start" was iffy this season. Despite consistent targeting from Matt Schaub, Johnson's production has been an absolute rollercoaster ride with three games of more than 100 receiving yards including Sunday's 273-yard goliath performance with 19 targets, but also three starts with 35 yards or less. He should be started Thursday against the Detroit Lions, who have allowed more than 100 yards to opposing wide receivers in every week except for one.
Week 12 Forecast: 100 yards, TD
TE Owen Daniels (Editor's note: This was submitted prior to Thursday's game)
Over the years, Daniels has shown signs of elite. However, injuries have hindered his name from being included in this tier. In his return from a hip injury last weekend, he earned a respectable 57 yards off of six passes and totaled nine targets. With that being said, he split time with fellow tight end Garrett Graham, who had a two touchdowns and 82 receiving yards. Daniels should see the bulk of work this weekend as he battles the Lions who have allowed scores to tight ends in three of the last four weeks.
Week 12 Forecast: 80 yards, 1 TD
D/ST New England Patriots (Editor's note: This was submitted prior to Thursday's game)
The New England Patriots will likely not be celebrating Thanksgiving with their families on Thursday. Fortunately, their defense will be able to feast on the New York Jets' weak offense. The Jets give up the sixth-most posts to opposing defenses and have scored in single digits in two of the last three games. New England's defense has been subpar this year, but will be a great spot start to start Week 12.
Week 12 Forecast: 12 points
Week 11 Results
QB Carson Palmer
Week 11 Forecast: 275 yards, 2 TD
Week 11 Results: 312 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT (good call)
RB Daniel Thomas
Week 11 Forecast: 75 total yards, TD
Week 11 Results: 33 total yards (bad call)
WR Darrius Heyward-Bey
Week 11 Forecast: 80 yards, TD
Week 11 Results: 69 yards (OK call)
TE Antonio Gates
Week 11 Forecast: 80 yards, TD
Week 11 Results: 11 yards (bad call)
D/ST: Tampa Bay
Week 11 Forecast: 12 points
Week 11 Results: 5 points in most leagues (OK call)
Good luck in Week 12. Have a great Thanksgiving!