Week 12 Fantasy Insights

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - The Thanksgiving weekend games produced more "turkeys" than big games, unless you owned Beanie Wells, Tom Brady, Wes Welker, Chris Johnson or Aaron Rodgers. Through the first 14 games there were just five 300-yards passers, eight 100-yard rushers and eight 100-yard receivers.

Green Bay at Detroit

Matthew Stafford may put up solid fantasy statistics from week to week, but he's no Rodgers. For that matter neither is Philip Rivers or Ben Roethlisberger. Brady and Drew Brees are close.

Neither Ryan Grant nor James Starks has any starting fantasy value. Rodgers throws for most of the team's touchdowns and either Rodgers or John Kuhn steal short touchdown runs.

Jordy Nelson owners finally had to endure a bad week, Welcome to the world of Jermichael Finley owners.

Down goes another Lions running back. So much for all the hype following Kevin Smith's Week 11 effort. Jahvid Best was put on the IR early in the week and Smith suffered a "mild" ankle sprain. In the fantasy world we're back to journeyman Maurice Morris.

Miami at Dallas

For the first time in five weeks, Reggie Bush failed to reach double-digit fantasy points. Don't quit on him, he'll rebound.

Brandon Marshall continues to get his targets.

DeMarco Murray didn't get a 100 yards or a touchdown, fantasy failure. He still managed 128 yards from scrimmage so the week wasn't a total loss.

Miles who? Laurent Robinson has been every bit as good a fantasy value as Austin was when healthy. His seven catches for 79 yards and two touchdowns was his fifth consecutive week with at least one score.

San Francisco at Baltimore

The expected low-scoring battle materialized as planned and all the fantasy starters in the game suffered because of it.

Only one player, no including quarterbacks, accounted for more than 55 yards - ray Rice with 83 totals yards from scrimmage.

The only touchdown in the game was scored by Penis Pitta. If you started Pitta in your fantasy league, I need investment advice.

Minnesota at Atlanta

Matt Ryan threw for 151 yards and two touchdowns in the first half, but with a 17-0 lead and no Adrian Peterson on the other side of the ball, the Falcons quarterback didn't have to force the ball in the second half and finished with just 262 yards.

Julio Jones may have returned to the field, but Ryan shared most of the targets between Roddy White, Harry Douglas and Tony Gonzalez. Jones finished without a catch.

We all figured that Gerhart would struggle for yards against the No.2 run defense of the Falcons, but he did get into the endzone to produce double digit fantasy points.

Percy Harvin had 95 yards and a score receiving, 11 yards rushing and 104 yards on a kickoff return (didn't score on it).

Cleveland at Cincinnati

Cedric Benson couldn't score from the one-yard line on fourth and goal, but looked strong and fast on a 16-yard TD scamper. Benson had 90+ yards from scrimmage and a score in the first half, but turned his left ankle late in the second quarter. He did come back in the second half and finished with 106 yards rushing.

Despite being less than 100-percent and covered by Joe Haden for most of the day, A.J. Green managed to post another 100-yard day. He's become a must- start, no matter the matchup.

Greg Little will be a star as soon as he remembers to look ever ball into his hands. Sometimes he drops the easy one and that makes a quarterback wonder whether to throw it too him in key situations. On the other hand, he's the Browns most talented receiver.

The return of Peyton Hillis ended the dreams of Chris Ogbonnaya owners. the third string back finished with 16 yards on three carries, Barring another injury to Hillis and Montario Hardesty, Ogbonnaya's fantasy value is gone.

Carolina at Indianapolis

On third and two at the Colts 14-yard line, the Panthers called Newton's number on a draw, not DeAngelo Williams or Jonathan Stewart. And that's the reason neither running back is a consistently viable fantasy starter. Newton, scored on the play, robbing the running backs of another opportunity. Williams came on late and scored twice to satisfy his owners 18 fantasy points.

Donald Brown has been the Colts best running back for more than a month and should be starting whether Joseph Addai is healthy or not.

I think I saw an amber alert searching for Colts receivers Reggie Wayne and Pierre Garcon. At least we found one of them alive and well as Wayne scored from 56 yards out and cracked the 100-yard mark for the first time since Week 1.

Houston at Jacksonville

Matt Leinart-to-Joel Dreessen was his first touchdown pass in almost three years. The Texans used a short passing game and play action to keep Leinart from forcing anything and it worked...at least until he got hurt. Time to research the name T.J. Yates...hint, he played at North Carolina.

Down to their third quarterback, early reports have Leinart with a broken collarbone, the Texans relied on their defense to win the game. This is not good news for Andre Johnson owners.

Do you remember back in preseason when all the talk was about Maurice Jones- Drew's bad knee and having to "handcuff" Rashad Jennings? Funny thing, Jennings got hurt and MJD has gotten better and better as the season has progressed.

Buffalo at New York Jets

Despite facing Darrelle Revis for much of the day, Steve Johnson had his best- ever game against the Jets (8-75-1). Of course, that's not saying much since he averaged just 41 ypg in five starts before today. he did however, drop what looked to be a sure touchdown catch in the final minute of a 28-24 loss.

Note to Johnson - self promotion and poor sportsmanship that hurts your team is such an ugly sight - please don't turn into another "diva" receiver.

That's the first solid game from Ryan Fitzpatrick in four weeks (26-for-39 for 264 yards, 3 TDs, no interceptions.

Mark Sanchez was pretty good too, throw four touchdown passes against just one interception.

Thirteen carries for Shonn Greene may be enough for the Jets to win, but not Greene fantasy owners...very disappointing.

Arizona at St. Louis

Sometimes it pays to make the decision to play against the defense, no matter the offensive player. Wells hasn't done much of late (no touchdowns since Week 8, last 100-yard day in Week 4, bad knee), but against the Rams he figured to post a healthy yardage total and he did not disappoint, rushing for 118 yards in the first half and finishing with 228 yards and a score.

In case you haven't been paying attention - always play a starting running back against St. Louis

John Skelton had a nice game against the Eagles a few weeks back, but he's not the answer for fantasy owners on Cardinals fans.

How can Larry Fitzgerald go a whole half without catching a pass?

Brandon Lloyd is still the only Rams receiver to have on your roster. My question is how he continues to get open given that he's the only guy Sam Bradford looks to?

Tampa Bay at Tennessee

A second straight week where Mike Williams caught a touchdown, maybe he's finally reappeared after taking the first 10 weeks off.

In a close back-and-forth game, LaGerrette Blount got his 20+ touches and rewarded his fantasy owners with 100+ yards rushing. Surprise, he was even involved in the passing game, catching three balls for 56 yards.

If the Titans are going to throw to Javon Ringer out of the backfield and not Chris Johnson, fantasy owners are going to be disappointed again. "CJ" was always a huge threat to take a screen pass 90 yards for a score, Ringer is not. Johnson ran for 190 yards, but caught just one ball for three yards and didn't get into the endzone.

Chicago at Oakland

With Caleb Hanie in "control" of the offense, the Bears turned it over three times in the first half - all Hanie interceptions. They should have taken my strategy advice - Matt Forte left, Forte right, Forte up the middle and Forte on the screen pass. Hanie improved in the second half, throwing two touchdown passes.

It appears that Johnny Knox (4-145-1) is Hanie's favorite target, get in line if he's available in your league.

Six Sebastian Janikowski field goals were too much for the Bears to overcome.

Washington at Seattle

Santana Moss returned to the Redskins lineup, but wasn't a factor as Rex Grossman looked for Fred Davis, Jabar Gaffney and Roy Helu.

It was Helu's turn to be featured in the Washington backfield and he had a solid day. He totaled 100 yards from scrimmage in the first half and ended the game with 162 combined yards. He also scored the first rushing touchdown against Seattle since Week 4. Too bad fantasy owners couldn't start him after earlier in the week (Tuesday) Head Coach Mike Shanahan said he "wasn't ready to commit to Helu as a full-time back." Typical Shanahan mumbo-jumbo.

Marshawn Lynch has become one of the most consistent fantasy backs in the league. He's scored a touchdown in seven straight games and earned the 100- yard rushing bonus in three of the last four contests.

New England at Philadelphia

DeSean Jackson was wide open on a number of plays that didn't connect. Most because of inaccurate passes from Young, but at least one in the endzone because of a case of alligator arms. He finished with four catches for 73 yards.

Jason Avant was huge in garbage time, racking up eight catches for 110 yards and a score. Claiming him on waivers and using him, however, is completely dependent upon the return of Jeremy Maclin.

Vince Young threw for a lot of yards (400), but Tom Brady's 361 yards accounted for 38 points against just 20 for the Eagles.

BenJarvis Green-Ellis (14-44-2) is the only one of Bill Belichick's stable of backs worth having.

Wes Welker had his first big game in a month, scoring twice and catching eight balls for 115 yards and two touchdowns. Deion Branch also cracked the 100-yard receiving mark and Rob Gronkowski scored a touchdown as the Patriots marched to five touchdowns on the day.

Denver at San Diego

The Chargers apparently felt that 20 points would be enough to win the game and went conservative in the first half. Leading 10-0 after 30 minutes, Rivers had thrown for just 63 yards and attempted 14 passes. They were right about the point total, but they couldn't get there in their ultra-conservative offense.

The strategy did, however, turn Ryan Mathews into a solid fantasy value has he cracked the 100-yard mark for the second time in his career.

Vincent Jackson pulled a disappearing act again, the second time in three weeks.

Even with the additional overtime, Tebow threw just 18 times. Only Eric Decker (3-65-1) is a viable receiving in the Broncos offense.

The overtime was a huge bonus for Willis McGahee owners as he used the extra carries to reach the 100-yard mark.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.

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