Week 12 Revelations
Matt Cassel: Doug Benc/Getty Images
Regarding Sunday's four conventional stars, did you happen to notice that Brown finished with only 47 yards and zero TDs? Or that Wes Welker pulled in eight catches for 120 yards? Or that Dolphins WR Greg Camarillo (a Welker clone) caught six balls for 75 yards and 1 TD? Hmmmm ... maybe that's due to Randy Moss's 8-catch, 125-yard, 3-TD day -- his second-best single-game performance with New England. This just in: Moss is good (don't you love sarcasm?) ... and I sincerely hope you didn't sit him on Sunday or plan to bench him come the fantasy playoffs. That'd be plain wrong.
Buffalo 54, Kansas City 31
In terms of the K.C. offense ... Tony Gonzalez (10 catches, 113 yards, 1 TD), Larry Johnson (105 total yards) and Dwayne Bowe (58 receiving yards, 1 TD) should be must-starts from this point on; and Tyler Thigpen (269 total yards, 3 TDs) continues to be lights-out for a franchise that, up until four weeks ago, was probably a lock to draft Georgia QB Matt Stafford at No. 1 or 2 overall in next April's draft (assuming Stafford left school early). But now, how can anyone deny that Thigpen doesn't deserve every chance to be the QB of the present and future ... unless people view him as the "Derek Anderson of 2008."
Houston 16, Cleveland 6
Regarding the Texans ... let's start with a question: Outside of Anquan Boldin-Larry Fitzgerald and Randy Moss-Wes Welker, is there a more fantasy-friendly WR tandem than Andre Johnson (10 catches, 116 yards vs. Cleveland) and Kevin Walter (7 catches, 93 yards, 1 TD)? They've combined for 1,732 receiving yards and 10 TDs this year, and their play hasn't suffered at all with backup QB Sage Rosenfels calling the shots. But ay, here's the rub: As someone who owns AJ and Walter in two leagues, I've only started them together twice all year ... operating under the (wrong) assumption there simply aren't enough touches for Johnson (11.5 targets per game), Walter, tight end Owen Daniels and running backs Steve Slaton and Ahman Green. But Houston continues to bring fantasy goodness to everyone ... even on 16-point days.
Oakland 31, Denver 10
Regarding the Broncos, I am officially done with Jay Cutler (204 yards, 0 TDs vs. Oakland) and Brandon Marshall (4 catches, 84 yards) as "must-have double-dippers" in fantasyland. Yes, Marshall should rank top-5 in Targets throughout his career, with Cutler as his partner. And yes, Mike Shanahan will always favor the pass to the running game (insert Tatum Bell joke here) -- all things being equal. But I have had enough with Cutler's disturbing inconsistency in home games ... and have grown weary of Marshall's prima donna ways when it comes to competing for catches in heavy traffic. Note to Petyon Hillis (96 total yards, 1 TD on Sunday): I must apologize for the one-hit-wonder crack in last week's Fantasy Clicks -- even though I'd still prefer having Detroit's Kevin Smith, Kansas City's Jamaal Charles or Steve Slation for the stretch run.
N.Y. Jets 34, Tennessee 13
Now for a quick word on the suddenly imperfect Titans: If your trade deadline still hasn't passed, and you own rookie RB Chris Johnson, you should sell, sell, sell him for a WR2 and a bag of Titelists -- ASAP! Yes, I love Johnson's blazing speed and power-running style; and yes, I still believe he'll be a top-7 pick in next year's fantasy drafts. But right here, right now, he has sprinted full-bore into the proverbial Rookie Wall and may be too sapped to finish the season strong (a common occurrence with rookies). That said, I have to think he can roll up 120 total yards and/or 1 TD against the CFL-like Lions on Turkey Day, right?
Terrell Owens: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
N.Y. Giants 37, Arizona 29
Washington 20, Seattle 17
Chicago 27, St. Louis 3
Adrian Peterson: Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
1. With the Lions sprinting out to a 17-0 lead after one quarter, the Bucs were forced to open up the passing game. As a result, Jeff Garcia registered two touchdowns for the first time all season.
2. Detroit may have set the single-player mark for worst receptions-to-targets ratio, courtesy of Calvin Johnson's 20-plus targets (or so it seemed) with just three catches (sadly, that fact can be confirmed). But at least CJ had a touchdown ... and, thankfully, the Lions' long, national nightmare is almost over.