- Byron Leftwich is due back from his sprained knee this week. In most situations, it’d be advisable to keep him on your bench for a week to give him some time to knock off the rust. However, a match-up against the Vikings may be too good to pass up. Minnesota has given up nine touchdowns in their last three games. Assuming Leftwich plays, he should be good for 240 yards and two touchdowns.
- Broncos QB Jake Plummer is making a late-season push for the Pro Bowl. Plummer has seven touchdowns in his last three games and can seemingly do no wrong. He’s led his team to blowout victories in the last five weeks. He’s a must-play this week against a Raiders team that has allowed 20 passing touchdowns this season, the bulk of them coming on the road. Plummer is good bet to end the day with 280 yards and two scores.
- Steve McNair has been a let-down for owners who drafted him. But I like the reigning Co-MVP’s chances in Week 12. He’ll line-up against the Houston Texans, a team that ranks dead last in touchdowns allowed (24). Count on 220 yards and two touchdowns from McNair this week.
- This week’s Monday night match-up has the makings of a shoot-out. While Brett Favre hasn’t had much luck against the Rams lately, including seven INTs in their last two meetings, both of those games were on the road, in a dome, where Favre rarely performs well. On MNF, he’ll take the field on the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field. Don’t let the ghosts of past games against the Rams spook you. Start Favre against a St. Louis defense that has yielded two or more TD passes in six of their last seven games. Count on 275 yards and three touchdowns from the three-time MVP.
This Week’s Sleepers: Steve McNair, Byron Leftwich and A.J. Feeley
- Browns RB William Green posted 115 yards and a touchdown back in Week 6 against the Bengals. With Lee Suggs dealing with a toe injury, Green should factor into Sunday’s rematch against Cincinnati. The Bengals allow 143.6 yards per game on the ground, worst in the AFC. Green could cross the century mark in this game.
- Another week, another soft match-up for Reuben Droughns. Oakland is very vulnerable against the run, allowing better than 125 yards per game on the ground. And don’t forget, Droughns gouged the Raiders for 176 yards and a touchdown just five weeks ago. Look for another 160 yards and two touchdowns this week from the newest Bronco stud RB.
- Monday night’s game between the Rams and Packers brings high risk for owners of any portion of Green Bay’s backfield. St. Louis is awful against the run, which makes whichever RB the Packers start a good bet to post outstanding numbers. The word out of Green Bay is Ahman Green will try to practice Friday. If he does, assume he’ll suit up. If not, it’ll likely be Najeh Davenport, who’s nursing a hamstring injury and is said to be 75-85 percent healthy, or Tony Fisher. If you’re out of playoff contention, it’s probably worth a gamble to take a guess and start one of the RBs. I’d lean toward Fisher, who is the healthiest. The Rams are that bad. If you’re still on the playoff bubble, you might want to consider looking elsewhere.
- The Jets are one of four NFL teams that Emmitt Smith hasn’t scored a touchdown against in his career. While Smith should see more carries this week with Troy Hambrick out for the season, he probably won’t find paydirt in Week 12. The Jets have only allowed just five rushing touchdowns all year. I expect around 75-85 yards for Smith with no touchdowns.
- Michael Pittman is making a believer out of anyone who doubted him a few weeks ago. Pittman cruised for 106 yards and two touchdowns last week and is poised for another strong performance Sunday. Tampa is on the road versus a Panthers defense that ranks 27 th against the run and has allowed a league-worst 15 rushing touchdowns. I expect 135 all-purpose yards and a touchdown.
This Week’s Sleepers: William Green, T. J. Duckett and Sammy Morris
- Randy Moss owners who have been stung by their top receiver’s hamstring injury should get a big boost this week when Moss returns to action. Start Moss against an average Jaguars defense. Even though Jacksonville has only allowed six touchdowns this season, Moss is a threat to score every time he’s on the field. I’d expect somewhere in the neighborhood of 75 yards and a touchdown.
- As tough as it is to stomach, fantasy owners should consider starting Peerless Price this week. Price committed the Cardinal sin last week, posting zero receptions last week for zero yards and zero fantasy points. But he should redeem himself Sunday against the Saints – a team that rates worst in the NFL in passing yards allowed. Price should be good for 80 yards and a touchdown.
- Dolphins wideout Chris Chambers was flirting with being stuck with the “bust” label, but he has come on strong over the past couple weeks. Chambers has racked up 16 receptions for 207 yards and a pair of touchdowns in his last two games. He may not even have to break a sweat to post another 100 yards and a score against a miserable 49ers defense.
- Kansas City receivers used to only be playable on weeks where you had a hole in your roster because of a bye week or an injury. But low and behold, Johnnie Morton and Eddie Kennison have become pretty solid fantasy wideouts. Kennison just logged a 99-yard, two-touchdown game and Morton has at least one touchdown or 100-yards in his last three games. Start both players this week against a Chargers defense that ranks 27 th against the pass.
This Week’s Sleepers: Antwaan Randle El, Johnnie Morton, Eddie Kennison and Drew Bennett
- The Chargers have surrendered a touchdown to a tight end in four of their last five games. Count on Tony Gonzalez exploiting this weakness in San Diego’s defense this week. Gonzalez is a good bet for 80 yards and a touchdown.
- Owners who are desperate for tight end help this week might want to consider rolling the dice with Cleveland’s Aaron Shea. Shea has scored on two consecutive weeks and posted a touchdown in a meeting against the Bengals earlier this year.
- Plug in Bubba Franks this week against the Rams. St. Louis just allowed three touchdowns to Buffalo’s Mark Campbell last Sunday. The Rams have now surrendered tight ends scores in four of the last six weeks. Franks hasn’t been a big of factor in Green Bay’s offense all year, but he has posted a nice stat line in three of the last four games.
This Week’s Sleepers: Aaron Shea and Bubba Franks
- Many fantasy owners had high hopes for Atlanta kicker Jay Feely this season, but he’s been a big letdown. Even so, I wouldn’t hesitate to start him in Week 12. The Falcons face the Saints, a team that has given up two or more field goals in six of their last seven games.
- If you need a sleeper kicker this week, look to Buffalo’s Rian Lindell. The emergence of Willis McGahee and the Bills offense has made Lindell a viable play on some weeks. He’s registered multiple field goals in two of his last three games. This week he travels to Seattle to face a Seahawks team that has allowed six field goals in the last three weeks. Lindell is a good bet to finish Sunday with two field goals and two extra points.
This Week’s Sleepers: Rian Lindell and Gary Anderson
- The Pittsburgh Steelers defense has been red hot lately. They’ve scored a defensive touchdown in three of their last four games. They’re starting to remind me of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of a couple seasons ago. Look for them to continue their dominance this week against the Redskins, who can’t seem to move the ball no matter who’s under center. Three sacks, three turnovers and another touchdown are not out of the question.
- If you’ve been eliminated from playoff contention and you’re playing the role of spoiler, consider starting either the New York Jets or the Arizona Cardinals this week. The Jets should fare well against recently crowned starter Shaun King. In his first outing last week, King tossed three interceptions and was sacked four times. Look for continued erratic play from King. As for the Cardinals defense, they play very well at home. In their last three games in Sun Devil Stadium, Arizona’s defense has registered 8 sacks, and 1 interception, 2 fumble recoveries 1 safety and 1 touchdown. They will continue to rack up points at home this week against Quincy Carter.
This Week’s Sleepers: New York Jets and Arizona Cardinals
Last Week's 6-Pack: Sierra Nevada Porter
Price Paid: $6.99
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is one of my favorites, so I was brimming with excitement in anticipation of getting my first taste of Sierra Nevada Porter. This beer didn’t disappoint. In the bottle, Sierra Nevada Porter offers some interesting smells. If your nose is adept, you can pick up a smoky, chocolate aroma. The pour is nothing short of spectacular. The color resembles that of Coca-Cola – dark, dark brown with just the slighted transparency. What I like most about the appearance was that the beer offers a thick frothy head with super retention. It lasted for the duration of my sampling and may be the best I’ve seen (save nitrogen infused beers like Guinness). When I finally got my first taste of Sierra Nevada Porter, it was a kiss of perfection. The beer is quite complex weaving together a slight citric flavor with caramel and a toasted nut flavor. It’s robust, complex and all together excellent. This porter isn’t overly carbonated, so it goes down quite smoothly for such a dark beer. I highly recommend stocking your fridge with a six-pack for those upcoming winter days that require a beer with some substance.
This Week's 6-Pack : Carlsberg Elephant
This week, we’ll head to Denmark for another beer that I’ve never had the pleasure of tasting. Grab a six-pack of Carlsberg Elephant. You can’t miss it. It’ll be the one in the green bottle with a foil wrapper and a big picture of an elephant.