Week 12 is upon us and so are the holidays. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone and I hope that your stats get as full as your belly. This week there are three Thursday games. The matchups are the Texans at Lions, Redskins at Cowboys and Patriots at Jets. I know we've had Thursday night games all season so it shouldn't come as a surprise but with three games early this week some might forget to manage their lineups.
Another thing you have to decide with the short week, is who to pick up off waivers. Maybe you're thinking of picking up Bilal Powell over Mark Ingram but aren't sure how the Jets plan to split carries or if Darren Sproles will be back in the line-up which would limit Ingram's touches.
With all the holiday travel, family get together and Black Friday shopping, it can be easy to overlook you normal fantasy preparations.
The Golden Mug Award
Awarded to the fantasy players who came through for their team.
Andre Johnson- 14 receptions for 273 yards and 1. Johnson showed he's still a talent in this league and for owners who were able to draft him as a WR2 or pick him up in a trade buying low, the reward was great this week. Johnson finally got into the end zone after going scoreless the last six games. Hopefully he will be used more down the stretch of the season.
Justin Blackmon- 7 receptions for 236 and 1. If you had him in your lineup, you either was very thin at wide receiver or just got lucky. Blackmon enter the game with just one touchdown all season and the 236 yards nearly matched his entire season output of 250 yards. Maybe with Chad Henne in the lineup Blackmon could have some good starts.
Matt Schaub- 43-of-55 passes for 527 yards, 5 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions. It was a career game for Schaub who hit Andre Johnson on 14 of those 43. It was also Schaub's best fantasy performance since Week 2 of the 2010 season when he put up 32 points on the Redskins.
The Urinal Cake Award
Awarded to the fantasy players who you would like to, well you know.
Torrey Smith- 1 reception for 7 yards. If you are in a PPR league then you at least got 1 point, but for those in other types of leagues he came up three yards short of a point. It's disappointing after he had two scores the week before. The Ravens said he was facing double teams. The team needs to move him all over the field then to get him the ball.
Denarius Moore- 1 reception for 9 yards. Just like Torrey Smith, Moore came up 1-yard shy of producing a point with receiving yards. I own Moore and Smith in my money league and recieved zero points but still won my game. That's fantasy for you.
Larry Fitzgerald- 1 reception for 11 yards. This seams to be the theme of Week 11, receivers getting just one catch. At least he caught his pass for a first down. This is the second time this season that Fitzgerald was held to one catch.
Good quarterback matchups this week:
Andy Dalton against the Raiders. Dalton's fantasy points per game since the bye week have improved by three points per week. He's got a good chance this week to increase it another week. He'll face a Raiders team that is allowing 26.4 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks which would be three more for Dalton than he had in Week 11. The Raiders are 24th in the NFL allowing 253.2 passing yards a game and has given up 20 touchdowns on the season. I expect this to be a high scoring game.
Jake Locker at Jacksonville. I don't expect Locker to put up 527 like Schaub did last week but you have to like the matchup for him coming off a bye week. He should be healthy enough to post some good numbers against a Jaguars team that has allowed 276.9 passing yard per game (28th in the NFL) with 14 touchdowns. They are giving up 22.5 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks.
Sleeper Pick of the Week: Colin Kaepernick against the Saints. If Kaepernick can take advantage of this matchup, we could see the end of Alex Smith as a starter in San Francisco. Kaepernick will be facing a Saints team that is 30th in the NFL allowing 305.0 passing yards per game and are tied with the Patriots for most touchdowns with 21 allowed. The Saints are giving up 26.3 fantasy points to quarterbacks. Kaepernick has the ability to rack up points rushing as he has three scores this season on the ground.
Good running back matchups this week:
Doug Martin against the Falcons. You have to consider Martin the top back this week. This is the first of two meetings against the Falcons who can be run on. The Falcons are 24th in the NFL with 127.5 yards per game with eight touchdowns allowed. They were run on by lesser backs such as LaRod Stephens-Howling with 127 yards and a score last week and Chris Ivory's 72 yards and a score in Week 10. The are giving up 16.8 fantasy points to starting running backs and have allowed four scores on the ground over the past five games.
Marcel Reece at the Bengals. Reece is the hot hand in Oakland right now and he will get another week without Darren McFadden in the lineup. Reece is averaging 22.3 fantasy points over the past three games. He has been great as a receiver out of the backfield. He faces the Bengals who have given up good fantasy days to running backs such as Montario Hardesty, Andre Brown and Jonathan Dwyer. The Bengals are giving up 14.3 fantasy points per game to running backs and have allowed nine touchdowns on the season.
Sleeper Pick of the Week: Jalen Parmele against the Titans. Parmele could be just a one week wonder but Rashad Jennings has been mediocre since taking over for Maurice Jones-Drew and Parmele made the most of 24 carries against the Texans. The Titans are 30th in the NFL with 141.6 rushing yards per game and nine touchdowns allowed. They are giving up 15.2 fantasy points per game to running backs.
Bad quarterback matchups this week:
Brandon Weeden against the Steelers. The Steelers may have issues at the quarterback position but their defense does not. The Steelers defense is #1 in the NFL allowing just 169.2 passing yards per game with 11 touchdowns. Weeden had a decent game against the Cowboys but will struggle this week. The Steelers are have held six of the last seven quarterbacks they have faced to under 200 yards and have not allowed a passing touchdown in three straight games.
Philip Rivers against the Ravens. The reversal of the NFL suspension to Ed Reed is not good news for Rivers. Rivers has been a turnover machine this season and has five interceptions and a fumble in the last three games. The Ravens defense has allowed just eight passing touchdowns this season, the lowest in the league. They are giving up 15.9 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks.
Bad running back matchups this week:
Alfred Morris at the Cowboys. If you haven't noticed, Morris is averaging just nine fantasy points over the past three games. He also hasn't scored since Week 6. Dallas has allowed just one running back over 100 yards since Week 2. They are 15th in the NFL allowing 107 yards per game with seven touchdowns given up on the season.
Michael Turner at the Buccaneers. Turner saved his stats with a score but has been awful the past two games rushing for just 61 yards combined in those two games. He'll have a tough time this week against the #1 ranked rushing defense that is allowing 77.2 rushing yards per game. I expect Turner to have half those yards and finish around 38 yards.
Mikel Leshoure against the Texans. The Texans gave up a ton of yards to the Jaguars but still remain as the only team to not allow a rushing touchdown. The Texans are allowing 81.9 rushing yards per game (2nd in the NFL). Fantasy running backs have been held to just 10.9 fantasy points against this defense.
Week 12: Happy Thanksgiving to everyone and enjoy the games!