The Texans are the worst team in fantasy against QBs and TEs and they have spent weeks as the worst against WRs, sitting a mere third-worst there now. That secondary is just terrible, which should make it a field day for Vick and the receivers. Even Celek got in on the action last week and this matchup makes it likely he can impact fantasy teams again.
SIT Texans RB Derrick Ward, RB Steve Slaton, D/ST, WR Jacoby Jones
The Eagles aren't great against RBs and this is a short week after Foster was heavily used (30 carries), but you just cannot justify going with Ward. And you need your head examined if you would dare own, much less start, the Texans defense at Philly. The Eagles don't turn the ball over and they can move it on anyone.
Eagles D/ST, WR Jason Avant, RB Jerome Harrison
The Texans are one of the top 10 teams in fantasy vs. DSTs, because they run the ball, don't turn it over and have a dangerous passing game. We would find an alternative for the Eagles D/ST if there is one available. Avant was productive last Sunday in Chicago, but that likely was a function of preparing for the short week. It will be a night for Jackson and Maclin to star, not Avant.
INJURY WATCH Texans TE Owen Daniels (hamstring), WR Kevin Walter (calf), WR David Anderson (hamstring) -- Daniels is already ruled out, while these other two WRs are bad plays even if active.
Eagles DB Asante Samuel (knee) -- He looks like he will play, which could affect your decision with Schaub and the Texans' alternatives to Johnson.
The Browns are neither great nor poor against anything defensively. So, you are left to go with your gut on these plays. Figure the defense will be getting the error-prone QB at home and Browns will be run at. Only the Falcons have allowed fewer TDs to RBs, but Brown figures to be a workhorse this week in the game plan.
SIT Browns QB Jake Delhomme, TE Ben Watson, WR Josh Cribbs, RB Mike Bell, K Phil Dawson, D/ST, WR Mohamed Massaquoi, WR Brian Robiskie
The Dolphins are a top-10 team in fantasy against QBs, RBs, WRs and TEs. They are only semi-susceptible to Ks and D/STs. Regardless, sit all of your non-Hillis Browns like you have all season. Watson is the one most risky due to the matchup and his recent injury woes. The Dolphins have steadily soared to the elite against TEs, now ranking third-best in fantasy against them.
Dolphins RB Ricky Williams, QB Chad Henne, TE Anthony Fasano, WR Brian Hartline
It would be easier to start Henne if you knew the status of Brandon Marshall's hamstring, or you just didn't already have a much better QB at your disposal in what could be a crucial week for fantasy playoff positioning. Williams is more of a part-timer who needs to score to be useful.
INJURY WATCH Browns QB Colt McCoy (ankle) -- He is questionable to play and doubtful to be useful to you.
Dolphins WR Brandon Marshall (hamstring) -- He returned to practice Wednesday. Barring setbacks, he should play. If he plays, you use him with Henne back under center.
Here is the silver-lining of a short week and a trip to Lambeau Field: The Packers are so good, this is going to be blown up early and the 49ers will get some garbage-time numbers for their two primary receivers. Monday it was a day for the ground game. This Sunday will be a day for the passing game, if anything at all moves the needle offensively.
Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, WR Greg Jennings, D/ST, K Mason Crosby
You might find it a bit of a surprise we list so few Packers as starts. These are the guys who never sit, too. See below for the explanations on all the sits.
SIT 49ers RB Brian Westbrook, D/ST, QB Troy Smith, RB Anthony Dixon, WR Josh Morgan, WR Ted Ginn, K Shane Andrus, QB Alex Smith
Welcome to this week's "great pickup of the flavor of the week, now sit him." Westbrook is a nice sleeper down the stretch with Frank Gore (hip) out for the season, but his likely first start presents a very unfavorable matchup. The Packers have an elite run defense and that has bore out with their No. 4 ranking against RBs in fantasy. You shouldn't start any D/ST against the Packers and these other fringe options should be dually avoided.
Packers RB Brandon Jackson, WR Donald Driver, WR James Jones, WR Jordy Nelson, RB John Kuhn, TE Donald Lee, TE Andrew Quarless
Poor Jackson. He gets the starting RB job after a serious injury ahead of him on the depth chart, and then he runs the gamut of top rush defenses for most of the season. It is the reason he is averaging less than 4.0 yards per carry and has just four TDs through 164 touches. You should sit him against the 49ers front seven. The WRs are a mess, too, but not because of tough matchups or lack of talent. They just negate each other. Like most of the elite passing offenses in the NFL, it is a question of who gets the targets week to week. Will it be Driver? Jones? Nelson, like last Sunday? No one can be sure. Use them at your own risk.
INJURY WATCH 49ers K Joe Nedney (knee), WR Kyle Williams (finger) -- They can be ignored.
Packers RB Dmitri Nance (concussion) -- Ignore him.
This is a real important game for struggling head coach Josh McDaniels against a coaching staff that knows him very well from his days in New England. Expect an aerial show as he tries to show he belongs among the game's top offensive minds. The Chiefs are a matchup to exploit, too. They are around a bottom 10 team against QBs (11th) and WRs (ninth), making Orton, Lloyd and even a rejuvenated and healthier Royal solid plays. Moreno faces a Chiefs team in the top half of fantasy against RBs, but he, too, is healthier and more productive of late, posting a TD last Sunday.
Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles, RB Thomas Jones, WR Dwayne Bowe, QB Matt Cassel
Cassel should be able to have a productive day in a game that looks like it could lead to a lot of points and yards. The Broncos are bad against QBs (fifth-worst), RBs (second-worst) and TEs (third-worst). They are just a fraction better against WRs (13th), but don't dare sit a breakthrough player of the year in Bowe. Thank that New England passing/coaching tree, by the way.
SIT Broncos D/ST, TE Daniel Graham, RB Correll Buckhalter, Laurence Maroney, WR Jabar Gaffney, K Matt Prater
The Broncos defense is brutal and the Chiefs are third-best in fantasy vs. D/ST. But you likely are all aware of not starting them or the rest of these guys now or going forward.
Chiefs K Ryan Succop, D/ST, WR Chris Chambers
The Chiefs defense could be in for a long day, even they win this one at home. Succop could be a sleeper to score some points, but you likely already have a better kicker on your roster. What is hard to figure is how Bowe is so darn good with absolutely no one -- Chambers, seriously? -- there to draw coverage away from him.
INJURY WATCH Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas (ankle) -- He is already ruled out.
Chiefs TE Tony Moeaki (concussion), WR/RB Dexter McCluster (ankle) -- They will play, but they could be limited. Moeaki caught just one pass last Sunday, albeit for a TD.
Johnson is the story of the week because of his drops, including, of course, the one that looked like the OT-winner. But, the real story should be how Jackson was able to have a huge game against the Steelers. Well, the Vikings are sixth-best, just four spots lower than Pittsburgh, against RBs but Jackson's production makes him a solid start this week, too. Leave Johnson in your lineup. If anything, he is motivated.
Vikings RB Toby Gerhart, WR Percy Harvin, K Ryan Longwell, D/ST, QB Brett Favre, TE Visanthe Shiancoe
Gerhart is the play here, regardless of Adrian Peterson's status. The Vikings are a running and defense team now more than ever with their new coach and the Bills are the fourth-worst team in fantasy against RBs. If Peterson plays, you should expect limited numbers. The Vikings should be able to grind out the clock from the start and Gerhart will at least get garbage-time numbers and TDs. With Shiancoe alive again and the WRs getting healthier, Favre is a nice sleeper -- as is the disappointing D/ST.
SIT Bills WR Lee Evans, QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, TE David Martin, K Rian Lindell, D/ST
Fitzpatrick has some good totals, but he is still outside the realm of a regular fantasy starter, especially in Minnesota, where the Vikings still have some payback to levy. Evans laid an egg last week, posting a negative, so he is a tough WR to trust.
Vikings WR Sidney Rice, WR Greg Camarillo, WR Greg Lewis
Rice is the only one that is a surprise here. He is still trying to get his legs back after returning from hip surgery. This looks like another game that could prove quiet for the potential receiving star. Let him prove healthy and productive before you use him.
INJURY WATCH Bills RB C.J. Spiller (hamstring) -- Even if he was healthy and playing up to his preseason potential, you wouldn't dare use him against one of the top rush defenses in the NFL.
Vikings RB Adrian Peterson (ankle), WR Bernard Berrian (groin) -- They are game-time decisions. You don't need to read this to know you start A.P. and sit Berrian, if they play.
The Lions have been one of the most abused teams in fantasy this season, ranking low against QBs, RBs and WRs. Forte faces the third-worst team in fantasy vs. RBs and Cutler is going to be needed in a game that could become a shootout. We still like the Bears D/ST in lineups, though. The Lions might be able to move the ball, but they are still in the bottom half in fantasy points allowed to D/STs.
Lions WR Calvin Johnson
The Bears didn't quite stop the Eagles last Sunday, but they did a good enough job for you to be wary of what they can do against the Lions. You won't sit Megatron, but the Bears are a top 10 team against QBs (third-best), RBs (seventh-best), WRs (fifth-best) and TEs (eighth-best) in fantasy.
SIT Bears TE Greg Olsen, WR Johnny Knox, WR Devin Hester, WR Earl Bennett, WR Devin Aromashodu, RB Chester Taylor
You can criticize us for calling Cutler a start and every single one of his targets a sit right now. The issue here is there is just too many guys the ball is spread around to, making the whole greater than the sum of the parts. Sure, Bennett caught two TDs, and Knox and Olsen one apiece, last Sunday, but you cannot guarantee which one will be the primary target of the week or in the red zone. We are semi-sure Olsen is a choice in the end zone, but slowing TEs is the one thing the Lions actually do well. They are seventh-best against TEs, in fantasy.
Lions RB Maurice Morris, RB Aaron Brown, E Brandon Pettigrew, WR Nate Burleson, QB Shaun Hill, K John Hanson, D/ST, WR Bryant Johnson
You can like Morris and Brown in the running game all you want, but the Bears just as easily could blow this game out and take them out of the game all together. Pettigrew is a solid TE starter in fantasy, too, but you should expect mediocre numbers from his as well. Julius Peppers and the defense could make it a long day on Hill and company.
INJURY WATCH Bears None.
Lions RB Jahvid Best (toe), TE Tony Scheffler (ribs) -- They could play but they figure to be too limited to be useful in lineups. Sit them. They might not be useful the rest of the season.
Lewis is the surprise here. He was shut out last Sunday against the Giants, but the Titans are eighth-worst in fantasy against TEs, so this lines up as a nice week for a rebound. Lewis has been a productive option at a thin position for most of this season. MJD's running puts the Jags offense in FG position for Scobee.
Titans RB Chris Johnson, WR Randy Moss, K Rob Bironas, D/ST
You likely cannot figure how the Titans use C.J. for so few carries last Sunday when they needed offense with a bad rookie QB under center, especially after they ran him ragged in the final minutes of a Monday night blowout in Jacksonville earlier this season. Johnson will rebound nicely -- as will the frustratingly quiet Moss -- with a real QB expected to take snaps this week. The Jaguars are fourth-worst in fantasy vs. QBs and WRs. That should make Bironas good for 10 fantasy points, too. The Titans are a top 10, if not five, fantasy D/ST and the Jaguars are in the bottom 10 in fantasy against D/STs. Start 'em.
SIT Jaguars WR Mike Thomas, D/ST, RB Rashad Jennings
Thomas has been the leading WR for the Jags this season, but the Titans are sixth-best in fantasy against WRs, making it tough to trust him as a fringe option. The Titans should put up a much better offensive showing this week than last with the veteran QB running the show.
Titans WR Nate Washington, Kerry Collins, QB Rusty Smith, RB Javon Ringer, WR Justin Gage
Collins might not be 100 percent, but he is likely good enough to play and lead a Titans rally this week. What Collins isn't good enough to do is to make these fringe guys fantasy options in what is likely a pivotal Week 13 for you.
INJURY WATCH Jaguars QB David Garrard (wrist), WR Mike Sims-Walker (ankle) -- They should play, but the ailments are a deal-breaker on using them unless you play in a real deep league and don't have alternatives.
Titans WR Kenny Britt (hamstring), TE Bo Scaife (head) -- They are likely out. Avoid them.
Moss and Cooley are good enough to trust in most weeks, despite the potential of the Giants defense. Williams is the surprise here. With Clinton Portis (groin) out for the season, he is the primary rusher now. The Giants were gashed on the ground for the most of last week, although, that is a much better rushing attack the Jags have.
Giants RB Brandon Jacobs, RB Ahmad Bradshaw, QB Eli Manning, WR Mario Manningham, TE Kevin Boss, D/ST, K Lawrence Tynes
The Redskins are third-worst in fantasy against QBs, which makes Manning a viable start despite the dearth of weapons right now. The running game has improved of late, namely Jacobs, and Manningham and Boss are the go-to targets right now. The defense should feast on a Redskins team that is seventh-worst in fantasy vs. D/STs, too.
SIT Redskins QB Donovan McNabb, TE Fred Davis, D/ST, WR Anthony Armstrong, WR Joey Galloway, K Graham Gono, RB Chad Simpson
McNabb owns the Giants with an 11-4 career record, including the postseason, but that was more a function of the Eagles team around him. There is far less of a supporting cast in Washington.
Giants WR Derek Hagan, WR Duke Calhoun, WR Michael Clayton, TE Travis Beckum, RB Danny Ware, WR Devin Thomas
You have to be surprised most of these guys are even in the NFL still. Well, they are the fill-ins for the banged-up Giants now. That doesn't mean they will be productive enough to help in fantasy, though. Beckum and Ware are the best of this bunch, but they are also the ones most blocked by healthy regulars.
INJURY WATCH Redskins RB Ryan Torain (hamstring) -- He might play but the Giants are too good against the run -- and too bitter after what the Jags did to them on the ground -- to use Torain.
Giants WR Hakeem Nicks (leg), WR Steve Smith (pectoral) -- They are both hoping to be back next week. Avoid them. Even if Smith plays, he will be limited to a decoy.
Ivory is affected by potential returns of the stud RBs and the continuing time-share, but you likely should envision some garbage-time numbers for him. The Saints D/ST is a nice sleeper for you against a Bengals team that is second-worst in fantasy against D/STs, mostly because of mistake-prone QB play. And don't worry about how bad December weather is in Cincy if you own Brees. He remains a no-brainer.
Bengals Terrell Owens, WR Chad Ochocinco, RB Cedric Benson
Benson is the key to this one for the Bengals. The Saints have that machine-gun offense rolling again and the way to beat Brees is to simply deny him possessions. This has to be a ground-control game with Benson leading the way. You shouldn't sit the diva WRs unless you have real good alternatives. It seems likely the Bengals will have to play catch-up in this one.
If you're like most, you have grown tired of trying to guess which Saints will get the targets week to week. As soon as you go with Meachem, they flip it back to Henderson or Moore. Any one of these guys could surprise with two TDs, but good luck playing Saints roulette in fantasy crunch time. You need sure things if you're fighting for a playoff spot in Week 13.
Bengals QB Carson Palmer, D/ST, TE Jermaine Gresham, K Aaron Pettrey, RB Bernard Scott
While we said the Bengals will have to play catch-up, likely throwing their way to keep pace later in the game, it is not a good week to use the struggling Palmer. The Saints are quietly the No. 1 team in fantasy vs. QBs and WRs. It is not like Palmer or the Bengals offense has instilled any confidence in it anyway.
INJURY WATCH Saints RB Pierre Thomas (ankle), RB Reggie Bush (leg), TE Jeremy Shockey, RB Ladell Betts (head) -- They could all play, but you likely shouldn't trust them right now. The Saints, if they use them at all, will limit them to save their for the more important games down the stretch. You should, too.
Gates and Floyd returned last week to disappointing results, but you likely have to stick with them and Rivers whenever they are in the starting lineup. Tolbert remains the lead back and Kaeding finally came to life. It is tough to advise sitting any Charger you own this week, if only because all of their other options are healing right now.
SIT Raiders RB Darren McFadden, K Sabastian Janikowski, RB Michael Bush, WR Louis Murphy, D/ST, QB Jason Campbell
Yeah, we don't like a soul against the Chargers underrated defense this week. That Raiders D/ST could have been an option to exploit the Chargers STs, which have given up the fourth-most points in fantasy, but after the Raiders were shredded by that previously stagnant Dolphins offense, there is no way you should be trusting the Raiders defense against Rivers' attack.
It is not necessarily because the Raiders are that vulnerable. They are actually pretty capable against WRs. Rivers turns water into wine in that regard, though.
INJURY WATCH Raiders TE Zach Miller (foot), QB Bruce Gradkowski (shoulder), WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (hamstring), WR Chaz Schilens (knee) -- Miller is the disappointing news here. He had been a pretty productive TE and could have exploited a matchup that seemed favorable with the Chargers' struggles against TEs. He is too risky to use and these are others are too terrible to own.
Chargers WR Vincent Jackson (calf), WR Patrick Crayton (wrist), WR Ryan Mathews (ankle), Legedu Naanee (hamstring) -- It didn't take long for Jackson to walk through the Chargers' always-revolving door to the infirmary. He is out now, along with Crayton and Mathews. Naanee will likely play but he is not trustworthy.
The Bucs are a decent team against the pass, so expect a lot of Turner in an important divisional game. Ryan remains good enough to start as well, along with his favorite targets and a Falcons defense that swarms the run. If the Falcons can slow Aaron Rodgers and company, the Bucs offense shouldn't pose much of a threat.
Buccaneers TE Kellen Winslow, WR Mike Williams
The Falcons are a team that clearly knows how its bread is buttered. It is not with any of these guys, although some of the receivers have had circumstantial weeks when White and Gonzalez were a bit banged up. They aren't now and this important game is time to roll with the playmakers, not these guys.
Buccaneers RB LeGarrette Blount, QB Josh Freeman, D/ST, WR Michael Spurlock, WR Arrelious Benn, K Conner Barth, RB Earnest Graham, WR Sammie Stroughter
The Falcons are second to only the Steelers and Jets against RBs. That is some pretty good company and not something you should mess with if you're a Blount owner. Freeman could be a sleeper for garbage-time totals against a Falcons team that tends to lead a lot and are ninth-worst in fantasy against QBs, but Freeman just isn't in the top 15 QBs this week, or any. Ignore these others, too; this Bucs team could get shut out at home.
INJURY WATCH Falcons RB Jason Snelling (hamstring) -- He hasn't been useful in months.
Buccaneers RB Cadillac Williams (ribs) -- He might play, but he won't play well or enough to do any damage
Somehow the Panthers offense finally found success on the ground against a pretty good Browns run defense. The Seahawks are going the opposite direction against the run, too, falling to fifth-worst in fantasy against RBs. It looks like an opportunity to finally take advantage of Stewart. Goodson should still be the primary factor in the passing game out of the backfield like he was last Sunday.
Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch, RB Justin Forsett
The Panthers are vulnerable to the ground game, evidenced by their seventh-worst ranking in fantasy against RBs. Lynch and Forsett have been quiet in recent weeks, but this is an opportunity to get healthy in a favorable matchup and get the Seahawks back in the thick of the NFC West race, surprisingly.
SIT Panthers WR Steve Smith, WR David Gettis, QB Jimmy Claussen, D/ST, K John Kasay, TE Dante Rosario, WR David Clowney, WR Brandon LaFell
The Panthers are actually real good against the pass, perhaps because so many teams are running out of the clock for the end of the game as soon as it starts. Only two teams are better against WRs and only six are better against QBs. This one could be an ugly blowout early, too, leaving it to Lynch and Forsett on the ground. Avoid these guys.
INJURY WATCH Panthers None.
Seahawks WR Mike Williams (foot) -- He is questionable and they likely won't overuse him this week even if he plays. Sit him.
For the second consecutive week, Jackson gets to take aim at the worst team in fantasy against RBs. The Cardinals take that honor from the Broncos after allowing the left-for-retirement Brian Westbrook to slash this all over the place. There is very little the Cardinals stop offensively, performing in the bottom half against QBs (14th), WRs (eighth) and TEs (11th). Use any Rams player you want and come back here for sleepers if you have a hole.
Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald
There is just nothing to like about this Cardinals team right now as Anderson laughs all the way to the unemployment line. Yeah, Derek, we're laughing, too ... at you. Avoid these laughable losers.
INJURY WATCH Rams TE Michael Hoomanawanui -- A holiday Who-ba-what-ee? Uh, ignore him like the Grinch.
This game figures to be a shootout like most Cowboys games all season. After facing the No. 1 team in fantasy vs. WRs and seeing Williams and Bryant get shut out, the Cowboys should have an easier time getting the ball to the outside. The troublesome play here is Witten, who is facing the No. 1 team in fantasy vs. TEs. It is as tough to figure why that is the case as it is to sit Witten off a 10-catch performance. Keep him active.
Colts QB Peyton Manning, WR Reggie Wayne, K Adam Vinatieri, TE Jacob Tamme, WR Blair White, WR Pierre Garcon
There couldn't be much that would scare you off a Colts player against the Dallas defense, but let's go the other way and talk you into playing fringe WRs White and Garcon. The Cowboys are second-worst in fantasy against WRs and Tamme is just a monster.
SIT Cowboys D/ST, K David Buehler, RB Tashard Choice
Choice is a sleeper for goal-line TDs, so use him if you're desperate. If you're desperate in Week 13, though, you likely stopped caring about your fantasy team a long time ago.
Colts RB Donald Brown, D/ST, RB Javarris James
You cannot be sure about the health of Addai, so Brown is a bit of a risk to trust. The Colts defense is a sleeper play, because the Cowboys are in the bottom-10 against D/STs in fantasy, but this could be a shootout, so avoid it.
INJURY WATCH Cowboys QB Tony Romo (shoulder), RB Marion Barber (calf) -- Stick a fork in them -- actually, don't; that's just sick and twisted -- they are done.
Colts RB Joseph Addai (neck), WR Austin Collie (concussion), RB Mike Hart (ankle) -- They appear capable of practicing and playing this week. Monitor their status closely to your roster deadline. You might consider playing Addai and Collie if they are active. Hart likely not.
The Ravens are a top five team in fantasy against RBs, as usual, but it has to be hard sitting Mendenhall against anyone. This figures to be a slug-fest on the ground and played very close to the vest. Ride the horse like the Steelers figure to. Ward is a physical receiver that won't be intimated by the Ravens, so start him if you need five catches for 65 yards and no scores.
Ravens RB Ray Rice, WR Anquan Boldin, K Billy Cundiff, D/ST, TE Todd Heap
Big Ben is likely one of two QBs for you, because he was your backup for the first five weeks of the season. This is the one time to sit him against the Ravens, who are No. 4 in fantasy against QBs. They might even be better than that with safety Ed Reed off the PUP list. Avoid as many Steelers as possible in this old-timey, 3-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust game.
Ravens QB Joe Flacco, RB Willis McGahee, WR Derrick Mason, WR T.J. Houshmanzadeh, WR Donte' Stallworth
Flacco is barely in the top 12 QBs in fantasy scoring this season, so figure a matchup against the Steelers that could wind up in single digits on each side isn't a good time to use a fringe option. Ignore as many Ravens as you can afford to.
INJURY WATCH Steelers None.
Ravens RB LeRon McClain (ankle) -- Bring the Pain McClain is In Pain McClain. Uh, Steelers? Um, nah.
Everybody. Start everybody. The Patriots are in the bottom 10 against everybody: QBs (second-worst) 7910, RBs (seventh), WRs (ninth) and TEs (10th). That is partially due to what the Jets and Sanchez did against them in the second half of their earlier meeting. All these guys could potentially have decent weeks, even the relatively quiet L.T., who the Jets seemed to be saving for something. The postseason? Perhaps. But getting this game helps them host the playoffs and get to the Super Bowl. Expect L.T. to be a feature performer again.
Patriots QB Tom Brady, WR Wes Welker
No, it is not a promotion of the Jets as the likely winners of this game by saying start all your Jets and sit everyone on the Pats except Brady to Welker. It is just you cannot be sure what the Patriots will cook up with those extra days to prepare. The ball could go anywhere and to anyone. You are pretty safe trusting these two will be involved, that's it.
SIT Jets WR Brad Smith
The Jets have retaken No. 1 in fantasy against RBs and the Patriots figure to rotate them so often, no one them will really impact fantasy this week. The Pats have strength in numbers but these guys shouldn't be trusted against that Jets defense.
INJURY WATCH Jets WR Jerricho Cotchery (groin) -- He is expected to play; don't expect it to matter.
Patriots None. It is all hands on deck for the game that could define each team's season.
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