Hits & Misses – Week 12: Happy Thanksgiving!

awesome turkey graphicHere are our “Hits” and “Misses” for week twelve, listing players you want to make sure are in your lineup, as well as those you might consider shelving for the week (or at least lowering your expectations!) With Turkey Day right around the corner and a record three games being played tomorrow, we needed to post the hits and misses ASAP this week. As usual, I left off a few obvious picks from the list, including Ricky Williams running over the Bills, Larry Fitzgerald smoking the Titans secondary and Greg Jennings beating up on the Lions, but there is still plenty of picks to go around. Hopefully everyone has a great holiday weekend, filled with lots of fantasy football points!

Quarterback
Hits
Misses
Brett Favre, Vikings vs CHI – When he’s not throwing multiple touchdowns, he’s throwing for over 300 yards. Either way he’ll get you solid fantasy numbers against an overrated Bears defense that has recently given up five-touchdown performances to Kurt Warner and Carson Palmer. Eli Manning, Giants @ DEN – Even in their losing streak the Broncos haven’t allowed a 300 yard passer all year. Last week they held Philip Rivers to just 145 yards through the air and this week I expect the same against Rivers’ NFL draft-mate, Eli Manning.
Aaron Rodgers, Packers @ DET – Coming off a huge 344 yard, two score performance against the 49ers, Aaron Rodgers should be ready to go against arguably the worst pass defense in the NFL. Joe Flacco, Ravens vs PIT – Flacco started off the season with a bang, but recently he’s been less-than-mediocre (just ask me, I have him in my two biggest leagues!) Even though the Steelers let up two touchdowns to Matt Cassel last week, they hadn’t allowed a passing score in the three games prior to that (although that may have had something to do with Troy Polamalu being in the line-up.) Joe Flacco has been relegated to “game manager” these days and is not startable in fantasy leagues.
Josh Freeman, TB @ ATL – Call me crazy, but I have a good feeling about the rookie this week. The Falcons have given up 13 passing scores over the past six weeks and are coming off a pretty big beat down by Eli Manning, who put up 384 yards and three touchdowns. Freeman played poorly against the Saints last week, but if there was a team to turn it around against, the Falcons might be it. Matt Cassel, Chiefs @ SD – Just in case you were thinking of playing Cassel after this solid performance against the Steelers last week, don’t. The last time the the Chiefs and Chargers played, San Diego limited Matt Cassel to just 97 yards passing (1 TD, 3 INT) and that was IN Kansas City.
Running Back
Hits
Misses
Thomas Jones, Jets vs CAR – In the past two weeks, the Panthers have been burned by Michael Turner (111 yards) and Ricky Williams (119 yards, 2 TD.) T-Jones should hand out a third straight beating this Sunday. Matt Forte, Bears @ MIN – Let me just put out a few numbers here…Matt Forte over past three games: 33, 41, 34 yards rushing. Vikings against the run over the past three games: 38, 65, 9 (!!!) yards allowed. Doesn’t look good for one of the most disappointing players of the 2009 season.
Marion Barber, Cowboys vs OAK – Barber almost broke the century mark last week against a tough Redskins defense and gets to play the Raiders on Thanksgiving…a Raiders team that has been absolutely horrid against the run this year. LeSean McCoy, Eagles vs WAS – Last time the Eagles and Redskins played, Washington shut down Philly’s running game…and that was with Brian Westbrook in the line-up (at least temporarily.) McCoy should struggle again this week and there are probably better options for your team as you make a final push for a playoff spot.
All the waiver wire guys from last week – Jason Snelling, Falcons (vs TB); Justin Forsett, Seahawks (@ STL); Bernard Scott, Bengals vs (CLE.) If they all start, they make very appealing plays. Kevin Smith, Lions vs GB – Smith got lucky with a 63 yard reception last week. Otherwise, he’s been very mediocre most of the year. The Packers on the other hand have been one of the best teams in the league against the run these past few weeks and that shouldn’t change against the Lions tomorrow.
Wide Receiver
Hits
Misses
Vincent Jackson, Chargers vs KC – V-Jax hasn’t done a whole lot these past two weeks, but the last time he played the Chiefs, he had his best game (in terms of yardage) of the season (142 yards, TD.) He’ll return to being one of the top wide receivers in the league this week and needs to be in your line-up. Steve Smith, Panthers @ NYJ – Darrelle Revis is that good. He’s shutdown Randy Moss two times (along with a slew of other receivers) and Steve Smith should be his next victim.
Mike Sims-Walker, Jaguars @ SF – After a week on the “Misses” list, Sims-Walker makes his glorious return to the left side of the list with a match-up against the 49ers. San Francisco was recently abused by Greg Jennings and should have a tough time with Sims-Walker (who has a touchdown in three straight weeks) as well. Braylon Edwards, Jets vs CAR – The Panthers were one of the better teams in the league already against wide receivers and now they also have game tape of the Patriots last week, where they limited Edwards to just one catch for 10 yards. Carolina will be looking to do the same.
Michael Crabtree, 49ers vs JAX – The Jags are the second worst team in the league against wide receivers (in terms of fantasy points) and are coming off a humbling performance where they allowed T.O. to play like the T.O. of old (and make the Team of the Week!) They’ve given up at least one touchdown to an opposing wide receiver in every game this year and this week that trend should continue…hopefully with Crabtree finding the endzone. Mohamed Massaquoi, Browns @ CIN – Remember the last time Massaquoi blew up and was the top waiver pick-up of the week? If not, let me remind you of his numbers the following week: one catch for 16 yards. The Browns passing game is WAY too inconsistent for you to be starting any of their receivers, even if his first big game of the year was against this same Bengals team.
Tight End
Hits
Misses
Jermichael Finley, Packers @ DET – In his first game back from injury, Finley racked up seven catches for 54 yards. While the yardage wasn’t overwhelming, the fact that he caught seven passes means Aaron Rodgers was looking his way often. Playing on the main stage on Turkey Day, I expect a big game from Jermichael, similar to his week four performance against the Vikings. Kevin Boss, Giants @ DEN – The Broncos have been one of the best teams in the league against the tight end this season, giving up over 50 yards just twice (along with only two touchdowns.) They shut down Antonio Gates last week and should be able to contain the top TE waiver wire pick-up of week on Thanksgiving.