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Week 12 First Impressions
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Most of the big fantasy production took place on Thanksgiving Day, but there were still a few players who warranted our attention. Heading into the final two games of Week 12, here are our initial thoughts of this Sunday's action.

Minnesota at Chicago

Not a good day for Matt Forte owners. The running back fumbled on his first carry as the ball was inadvertently knocked loose by fullback Evan Rodriguez, Michael Bush scored two short touchdowns and Forte left with an injury to the same ankle he sprained earlier this season.

Obviously Minnesota is not San Francisco from a defensive standpoint but the difference was night-and-day from Jason Campbell-to-Jay Cutler.

More proof Adrian Peterson is the best back in the game: rushing for 100 yards against the Bears' defense on a day when Minnesota fell behind 25-3.

Oakland at Cincinnati

The deficits the Raiders have faced in the last four games: 28-10, 34-10, 35-10, 24-0; Cincinnati's pass rush didn't let Carson Palmer put up his typical garbage time stats in this one though.

Facing Kansas City and Oakland helps. BenJarvus Green-Ellis has 230 yards and two touchdowns in his last two games. He ran for 537 and three in his first nine contests.

Andy Dalton has provided fantasy owners with 10 touchdowns and zero turnovers in his last three games. He had at least one turnover in each of his first eight games. Again, facing Kansas City and Oakland helps.

Pittsburgh at Cleveland

Rashard Mendenhall, Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer each lost a fumble in the first half, so Mike Tomlin turned to Chris Rainey to punch in a one-yard touchdown with one second left in the second quarter.

We also got a reminder as to why ancient Charlie Batch was behind Byron Leftwich on the depth chart.

Mike Wallace caught zero passes on six targets. Wallace owners will spend the next week feverishly checking the injury report for Ben Roethlisberger updates.

Cleveland's defense turned in one sack, three picks and five fumble recoveries in a 20-14 win. One of Pittsburgh's touchdowns was scored by its defense.

Buffalo at Indianapolis

That's 59 straight games with at least three receptions for Reggie Wayne (8-102), passing Cris Carter for most all-time.

T.Y. Hilton is emerging as a playmaker for the Colts. He returned a punt for a touchdown and after a concussion scare returned to catch another score.

What a quiet 1,000-yard season this would be for Stevie Johnson if he gets there. His first 100-yard game of the season came Sunday against the Colts, and he has just one touchdown in his last eight games.

Tennessee at Jacksonville

Jake Locker moved the ball well, but couldn't put it into the end zone more than once costing Titans fans and fantasy owners.

On the other hand, place-kicker Rob Bironas was a busy guy with five field goal attempts, converting four of them into points.

Following four consecutive games of averaging over four yards per carry, Chris Johnson couldn't put much together against the Jacksonville defense. He had one 31-yard run, but his other 20 carries totaled just 49 yards.

Locker spread the ball evenly among his receivers which unfortunately meant that none scored more than eight fantasy points.

Chad Henne couldn't repeat last weekend's 354-yard passing game, but he still posted respectable numbers with 261 passing yards and two touchdowns.

Cecil Shorts continues to display big-play ability with a 59-yards touchdown catch and 21 fantasy points.

Denver at Kansas City

Now we know why Knowshon Moreno was still in the NFL. With his rookie-averse coach, John Fox, not willing to start Ronnie Hillman in place of injured Willis McGahee, Moreno was used as the primary back and totaled 111 yards from scrimmage. He'll be everyone's favorite waiver claim this week.

Manning struggled early on, but the touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas was as perfect a ball as a quarterback can throw and he eventually dissected the Chiefs' defense for 285 yards and two scores.

Jamaal Charles didn't find the end zone and didn't catch a pass, but still managed to get fantasy owners double digit points.

Brady Quinn as a starting quarterback reduces all Kansas City receivers to bench status.

Seattle at Miami

Both Seahawks' touchdowns were pretty much useless to fantasy owners of as Russell Wilson threw to Michael Robinson and Anthony McCoy.

The Miami run defense got the better of Marshawn Lynch, holding him to 46 yards on 19 carries.

There was a rare Reggie Bush sighting after many weeks of invisibility. He rushed for 87 yards and a touchdown.

Seattle held Brian Hartline to just 17 yards receiving, but Davone Bess earned his second consecutive game of double-digit production with seven catches for 129 yards.

Atlanta at Tampa Bay

Atlanta was a much more balanced offense and it showed in Matt Ryan's numbers. The Falcons' QB missed just six of his 32 passing attempts and totaled 353 yards.

Both Michael Turner and Jacquizz Rodgers scored on short touchdown runs which earlier in the season would have been passes to Tony Gonzalez or Julio Jones.

Speaking of Jones, he was questionable the entire week with an ankle injury, but exploded for 147 yards and a touchdown to reward fantasy owners who did their last-minute homework.

Doug Martin didn't run for many yards, but he's becoming automatic inside the 5-yard line and his two touchdown runs made up for his yardage shortcomings.

Baltimore at San Diego

After 59 passing yards and zero points in the first half, Joe Flacco finished with 356 yards through the air following a big second half and overtime. He earned 18 fantasy points - not great, but a lot better than what it looked like he was going to produce after the ugly first half.

Torrey Smith was Flacco's favorite target and earned the 100-yard bonus with seven receptions for 144 yards.

Philip Rivers was sacked four times in the first half, yet still produced with 148 yards passing and a score to Malcom Floyd. He was sacked two more times in the second half and passed for just 80 yards, but didn't make any errors and finished turnover-free for just the third time this season.

With all the injuries to their offensive line, it has become apparent that the Chargers will need to use their tight end to help block. Antonio Gates won't be as big a receiving factor as fantasy owners had hoped down the stretch.

St. Louis at Arizona

Listed as doubtful, Danny Amendola played, but with a noticeable limp. Chris Givens picked up the slack with 115 yards and a touchdown.

Steven Jackson cracked the 100-yard mark for the second time in three weeks. He hadn't done that since Week 10 of 2011.

Those who waited patiently for Beanie Wells to return from the PUP list were rewarded with 34 yards and a touchdown on the very first drive. He scored his second touchdown of the game, and season midway, through the second quarter and finished with 16 fantasy points.

Ryan Lindley looked total unprepared last weekend, but it was a different No. 14 this Sunday ... in the first half. Although he did throw an interception for a touchdown in the second quarter he was 17-of-24 for 181 yards and led his team to 17 points. In the second half he reverted to the ugly form of last weekend, scoring zero points and offering up a second "pick six" among three more interceptions. He's another Arizona quarterback with no fantasy value.

San Francisco at New Orleans

Reality set in for San Francisco QB Colin Kaepernick. After being almost perfect in Week 11, he struggled against what has been a vulnerable Saints' defense scoring just seven first-half points. He finished with one rushing TD and one passing TD, but he wasn't any better than Alex Smith.

The 49ers' defense may not have produced as many touchdowns as the Bears' defense this season, but they are just as tough. Against Drew Brees, they returned two interceptions for scores.

Brandon Jacobs was credited with his first carry of the season with two minutes remaining in the game. He went for one yard,

Five consecutive games with under 300-yards passing is not what fantasy owners expect from Drew Brees. On the other hand, he tossed three touchdown passes for the third consecutive game.

Saints' tight end Jimmy Graham, who caught four balls for 33 yards, was a non- factor.




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

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