DAN REFLECTS ON A WACKY WEEK AROUND THE NFL IN THIS EDITION OF START HIM! SIT HIM!
Remember when you drafted your team and you started looking at each player’s schedule to figure out whom you may be playing in the final weeks of the regular season as you were fighting for playoff positioning?
You were probably saying things to yourself like, “Jamaal Charles has tough matchups against Pittsburgh, Chicago and the Jets in Weeks 12-14, but I should be fine!” Or, “Michael Vick may put up 50 fantasy points against New England in Week 12! You guys are all suckers!”
Well, how’s that working out for you?
With just one week to go before the start of most fantasy playoff schedules, I was looking at a list of the top performers from last week. I left out some of the usual suspects like Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees when compiling the following list, but here are some of the top 30 fantasy scorers from Week 12:
#3 WR Victor Cruz – 27 points
#5 QB Ryan Fitzpatrick – 25 points
#6 K Sebastian Janikowski (A KICKER!) – 23 points
#9 QB Vince Young – 22 points
#11 QB Mark Sanchez – 21 points
#11 RB Roy Helu – 21 points
#14 WR Johnny Knox – 20 points
#17 WR Laurent Robinson – 19 points
#17 QB Cam Newton – 19 points
#17 DEF Titans – 19 points
#24 TE Dustin Keller – 18 points
#24 WR Lance Moore – 18 points
#27 WR Jason Avant – 17 points
#27 QB Caleb Hanie – 17 points
#30 QB Rex Grossman – 16 points
Not exactly a “who’s who” list on draft day, was it?
Out of the fifteen players listed above, is there a single one that you would have taken before the last two rounds of your draft? I wouldn’t have, and since I can’t see any of your reactions, I’m just going to assume that you wouldn’t have either.
And that’s the thing with fantasy football: We all convince ourselves that we know what we’re talking about, but in the end, what do we really know?
At least, that’s what I was telling myself when I realized that I’m probably going to miss the playoffs in the league I have put the most time and energy into this season.
I wanted to keep the introduction brief this week, but before we review how I did in Week 12 START HIM! SIT HIM! below, I wanted to show a video featuring Chargers' kicker Nick Novak that I think perfectly summarizes my 2012 fantasy football season.
Now for the Week 12 review:
QB Matt Hasselbeck – Projected * 256 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT (16 Points)
Acutal * 160 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT (6 Points)
Chris Johnson showing his first signs of life all season against a depleted Bucs’ rush defense really cut into Hasselbeck’s yardage in this game, but his overall numbers weren’t pretty and certainly warrant a fantasy “L” for me.
RB Toby Gerhart – Projected * 64 yards, 1 TD (12 Points)
Actual * 44 rushing yards, 19 receiving yards, 1 TD (11 Points)
Gerhart played well in place of an injured Adrian Peterson in Week 12, and depending on AP’s health for Week 13, Minnesota’s backup may make for another nice flex play against Denver.
WR Percy Harvin – 87 total yards, 1 TD (14 Points)
Actual * 106 total yards, 1 TD (16 Points)
As long as Peterson is out, Harvin remains a must-start in fantasy. Minnesota has ignored the talented young receiver all season, but without their star tailback, they have to get creative in how they use Harvin; something they were able to do on Sunday.
TE Kellen Winslow – Projected * I just think he’ll score (6+ Points)
Actual * 52 yards, 0 TD (5 Points)
Just eight more yards, Kellen. Just eight more yards…
Redskins’ Defense – Projected * 17 points allowed, 3 sacks, 3 turnovers (11 Points)
Actual * 17 points allowed, 2 sacks, 1 turnover (7 Points)
I was hoping the defenses would outscore the offenses when Washington and Seattle linked up in the Greater Northwest on Sunday, but it wasn’t meant to be. However, the ‘Skins 7 points ranked them in the top-10 for defenses in Week 12, thus handing me the fantasy dubya.
What, would you have preferred I recommend the Giants’ defense (-12 Points)?
Oh, and just as a heads up to the New York media: You can’t spell “victory” without the letters V-I-C-T-O-R either. Just letting everybody know in case the Giants win another game this season and Cruz plays well.
QB Joe Flacco – Projected * 189 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT (9 Points)
Actual * 161 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT (10 Points)
Points were predictably at a premium in the Harbaugh Bowl on Thanksgiving night, as Flacco was only able to throw for one score. He did, however, manage to lead them to victory, but due to his lackluster fantasy performance, he helps move me to 4-2 so far for the week.
RB Reggie Bush – Projected * 74 total yards, 0 TD (7 Points)
Acutal * 96 total yards, 0 TD (9 Points)
What I wrote last week:
“As a flex-option, maybe; but he’s getting RB1 consideration this week and that’s simply not right. Dallas has a strong rush-defense, and Bush isn’t big enough to wear them down over the course of the game. His value is tied to whether or not he will score, and because I’m betting Miami will be down for the majority of the game, I think Bush’s touches will be limited. If you have to start him–go for it, but temper your expectations.”
C’mon, everything I said was accurate. So what if he had two extra points? He was tied for being the 23rd highest-scoring RB in Week 12 with Marcel Reece. WIN!
WR A.J. Green – Projected * 43 yards, 0 TD (4 Points)
Actual * 110 yards, 0 TD (11 Points)
Green had two catches for 59 yards before reeling in a spectacular 51-yard catch that set up the game-winning field goal for Cincy with 38 seconds left.
That little tidbit doesn’t make this a win or anything, but it at least makes me feel slightly better about telling you to sit a guy who had 110 receiving yards. Still, LOSS!
TE Heath Miller – Projected * I just don’t think he’ll score (Sub-6 Points)
Actual * 20 yards, 0 TD (2 Points)
I will take 1-1 in Tight End Roulette every week, no questions asked.
Titans’ Defense – Projected * 27 points allowed, 2 sacks, 1 turnover, (6 Points)
Actual * 17 points allowed, 2 sacks, 5 turnovers, 1 TD (19 Points)
Tampa’s four-fumble performance was bad enough, but Tommie Campbell’s 84-yard kickoff return for a TD on a nifty reverse in the first quarter made this pill especially hard to swallow. I’ll never understand why more teams don’t try trick plays on special teams, though.
Be sure to tune in next week to see which pick I sheepishly round up to a win to make my weekly record 6-4. This week’s winner: Reggie Bush! Congrats, Reg!
But seriously, everything I said was right, and in the end he really was only a flex-play. Just humor me.
On to Week 13!
QB Vince Young – Projected * 271 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT (16 Points)
If you had told me that I’d recommend Vince Young as a start the week before the majority of fantasy playoffs start, I would have had one thought:
That means I was right about Michael Vick! (Just ignore the rest of the QBs I was wrong about on that page, please.)
But the way I see it, if there are eleven must-start QBs this week. After Rodgers, Brady, Brees, Stafford, Romo, Eli, Newton, Tebow, Roethlisberger, Rivers and Hasselbeck (against Buffalo) your options are Ryan Fitzpatrick, Carson Palmer, Josh Freeman, Alex Smith and Vince Young.
Why not go with the guy who just threw for 400 yards and is trying to prove to someone out there that he can be a starting QB in the NFL next season?
I wouldn’t fault you for picking one of the other options I listed, but if I’m looking for 15+ fantasy points, I’ll lean towards Young and hope he can pick up some cheap rushing yards too.
QB Matt Ryan – Projected * 256 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT (10 Points)
Ryan has come on strong of late, stringing together four consecutive solid fantasy performances. However, in all four games he had the enviable task of facing Indianapolis, New Orleans, Tennessee and Minnesota. Not exactly a Murderer’s Row of defenses.
This week, however, Atlanta travels to Houston to take on the Texans and their surprisingly good defense. Houston hasn’t allowed double-digit fantasy points to any opposing QB in any of their last five games, and even if Matty Ice eclipses that barrier this weekend, it probably won’t be by much.
RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis – Projected * 68 yards, 1 TD (12 Points)
The Patriots open up as approximately 143-point favorites at home this week against the hapless Colts. New England figures to be up by a big number for most of the game, so I’m betting that at some point they let off the throttle and run the ball a little bit. Even if he doesn’t get a ton of action, he should still score one of New England’s 29 touchdowns in the game.
As a bonus START HIM!–in case you think that one was too easy and were planning on starting The Law firm anyway–how about C.J. Spiller against Tennessee? He received 19 carries in place of the injured Fred Jackson last week and could see a similar number this week.
RB Roy Helu – Projected * 53 yards, 0 TD (5 Points)
Listen–someone is going to see the big number projected on ESPN.com for Helu (16 points at last check) and throw him in their fantasy lineup this week, but I’m telling you, there are better options.
Helu is coming off of a 23-carry game where he ran for 108 yards and a score–I know all of that–but this Jets’ rush-defense is much improved.
They haven’t allowed a rushing TD since Week 7 and the highest total of rushing yards they have surrendered in one game is 87. I know it’s tempting, but this just isn’t a good matchup.
WR Eric Decker – Projected * 46 yards, 1 TD (10 Points)
Starting a Tim Tebow receiver? Sure. But only because he has scored a TD in four of his last five games. The only one he didn’t score in was because he had Darrelle Revis draped all over him, which is something we shouldn’t hold against him.
WR DeSean Jackson – Projected * 46 yards, 0 TD (4 Points)
I don’t care where you drafted him or how much you spent on him–the object is to win, right?
Jackson has only two TDs this season and has the same number as you and I combined since Week 5. He’s also been held without a double-digit fantasy point day since that juicy matchup against a pitiful Bills’ secondary in Week 5, and he belongs on your bench this week in Seattle.
TE Jake Ballard – Projected * I just think he’ll score (6+ Points)
Did you know that most lipstick contains fish scales?
TE Dallas Clark – Projected * I just don’t think he’ll score (Sub-6 Points)
Did you know that there are more female millionaires in the U.S. than males?
Broncos’ Defense – Projected * 17 points allowed, 4 sacks, 2 turnovers (10 Points)
They haven’t allowed more than 13 points in any of their last three games and face (most likely) an Adrian Peterson-less Vikings' team this week.
They have also scored four defensive/special teams touchdowns on the season, so their upside is about as high as anyone other than the Bears and Ravens.
Raiders’ Defense – Projected * 27 points allowed, 2 sacks, 1 turnover (5 Points)
Matt Moore, ladies and gentlemen!
He’s thrown only two interceptions in his last six games compared to eight touchdowns. Miami has also been running the ball extremely well and they figure to put up solid numbers against an Oakland defense allowing over 135 yards per game on the ground this season.
Good luck to everyone this week, and that goes double for any non-Indy fans out there who are hoping their team still has a shot in the “Suck for Luck” sweepstakes.
START HIM! SIT HIM! Season Record: 67-53
Follow me @Dan_LaLonde where I wonder aloud what the Colts’ pregame defensive pep talk is going to sound like this Sunday in New England, just six short weeks after surrendering 62 points to the Saints.