Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison: Harry How/Getty Images
Speaking of Johnson, I'm starting to get a little worried about his rapport (or lack thereof) with backup Texans QB Sage Rosenfels. Oh sure, Sage favors AJ (4 catches, 55 yards) on quick slants as much as Matt Schaub did; but with Schaub sidelined until at least Week 14 (my own personal guess), Rosenfels is consistently forgetting about Johnson in the red zone, often locking-in on his primary read (usually Kevin Walter) while ignoring No. 80's penchant for flogging defenders down the field. And let's not forget about Steve Slaton (156 yards, 1 TD) and Ahman Green (24 total yards, 2 TDs): I know Green/Slaton mean well, but they're slowly but surely diminishing Johnson's once-unimpeachable standing as fantasyland's No. 1 pass-catcher.
New Orleans 30, Kansas City 20
As for the Chiefs ... I just love how fantasy pundits everywhere are now hailing Tyler Thigpen's coming-of-age play, as if he had been preordained for fantasy greatness wayyyyyy back in September. OK, now that I've gotten that mini-rant out of the way, at what point do the so-called experts start deifying Dwayne Bowe (7 catches, 53 yards, 2 TDs) as perhaps the AFC West's best fantasy pass-catcher (eclipsing Brandon Marshall, Antonio Gates, Tony Gonzalez and Chaz Schillens -- sic)? Last but not least, how about Larry Johnson's 87-yard comeback game? It's better than I expected, yardage-wise ... but I pegged LJ as a lock for the end zone against the Saints (which never happened). I'm going to stay consistent on this issue: Johnson, when in the right frame of mind, can be the difference-maker in your quest for a fantasy title this year. Go get him!
Green Bay 37, Chicago 3
Regarding the Bears ... there's nothing to say about any player not named Forte (104 total yards vs. Green Bay). In standard-scoring leagues, Forte has the trade value of Brian Westbrook or Joseph Addai. And in PPR leagues, I'd covet Forte over LaDainian Tomlinson, Bush (due to his injury) and Steven Jackson (walking wounded), just a notch below of Clinton Portis, Adrian Peterson and Frank Gore. No matter how you slice it, that's some elite company.
Pittsburgh 11, San Diego 10
Regarding the rest of the action ... LT (97 total yards, 1 TD) would make an excellent addition to your team during the playoffs -- but only as an RB2; thank god Philip Rivers (159 passing yards, 2 INTs) plays in a warm-weather city; Vincent Jackson (2 catches, 25 yards) is persona non grata in the Clemons household this week; Willie Parker (129 total yards in his debut) is a must-start for all owners in Week 12; Hines Ward (11 catches, 124 yards) should never be doubted again -- even if he's playing with one arm and no digits ... and what good is Ben Roethlisberger (308 yards passing) in fantasyland if he's not throwing TDs?
Jonathan Stewart: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Tampa Bay 19, Minnesota 13
Tennessee 24, Jacksonville 14
Denver 24, Atlanta 20
Miami 17, Oakland 15
Now ... before I proceed any further, I'm obviously kidding about everything in the above graph. I don't know Brown's agent; and even if I did, he certainly wouldn't field any self-serving, fantasy-fueled, ultimatum-spewing phone calls, either. Truth be told, I'm just stalling a little bit, trying to find a delicate way to say: Only a fantasy dolt would start a Raider right now (including Darren McFadden), unless you're tanking this season to get next year's No. 1 pick.
Moving on ...
Frank Gore: AP
Twenty-three years later ... I finally understand the line.