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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

The Six Pack - Week 12
Paul Sandy
November 21, 2008
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Quarterback

  • Consider benching Donovan McNabb this week, not because of the controversy about the overtime rules will impact his game, but because the Ravens defense is deadly at home. Baltimore has allowed 12 passing scores this season but only three have come at home. Plus, opposing QBs have averaged only 154 yards passing while visiting Baltimore. Don’t count on anything more than 200 yards and a touchdown from McNabb.
  • Vikings QB Gus Frerotte rode a wave of success midway through the season but he faltered against the tough pass defenses of Green Bay and Tampa Bay. Despite sporting a 3:3 touchdown-to-interception ratio and not surpassing 200 yards passing over the last two weeks, Frerotte is worth a gamble against the Jaguars. The once proud Jacksonville defense has allowed 18 passing touchdowns in 2008—second most in the NFL. Frerotte has a good chance of posting 240 yards and a touchdown or two.
  • Chalk up Kyle Orton’s awful performance last week to rust and an unfavorable matchup. He’ll be better this Sunday against the Rams, who rank 24th in the NFL against the pass. Look for 240 yards and a touchdown or two. If he can regain his confidence, the upcoming schedule looks quite favorable with games against the Vikings, Jaguars and Saints.
  • Benching Phillip Rivers against the Colts likely isn’t an option, but fantasy owners have to acknowledge that the Chargers QB has come back down to earth. In his last two games, Rivers has recorded just two passing touchdowns compared with four interceptions. The Colts have surrendered just two passing scores so far this season and none over the last four games. Prepare yourself for the possibility that Rivers ends this week with less than 250 yards and only one touchdown.

This Week’s Sleepers: Gus Frerotte, Kyle Orton, Jeff Garcia and Eli Manning

Running Back

  • Consider activating Justin Fargas or Darren McFadden this week against the Broncos, who rank 26th in the NFL against the run. Fargas has exceeded 100 all-purpose yards in both of his last two meetings against Denver. He’s a decent option as a number two fantasy back for Week 12. Although McFadden has been a major disappointment this season, he’s worth a look as a flex player. The Broncos have allowed eight rushing scores in their last five games. Look for Fargas and McFadden to combine for 160 yards and a touchdown.
  • Lions rookie Kevin Smith has quietly emerged as a trustworthy fantasy RB. He’s recorded a touchdown or 100 yards in three straight. However, consider deactivating him this week against the Buccaneers. Tampa has only allowed one rushing score this season and they give up less than 100 rushing yards per game.
  • Another rookie RB who could struggle this week is Tennessee’s Chris Johnson. Johnson was one of the top fantasy producers over the first half of the season but he’s faltered over the last two games, failing to score a touchdown or exceed 90 all-purpose yards. A return to form this week against the Jets might not be in the cards for Johnson. New York ranks fourth in the NFL against the run. They haven’t ceded a rushing score to a RB since September.
  • Get Browns RB Jamal Lewis some work against the Texans. Houston has been abused by opposing RBs lately. Over the last three weeks, Adrian Peterson, Willis McGahee and Joseph Addai each surpassed 100 yards on the ground. Between them, they accounted for five touchdowns. It’d be a major letdown if Lewis didn’t put up 90 yards and a score.

This Week’s Sleepers: Justin Fargas, Darren McFadden, Warrick Dunn and Sammy Morris

Wide Receiver

  • Panthers wideout Muhsin Muhammad is worth more than a cursory glance for Week 12 against the Falcons. Muhammad has posted 100+ yards in three of his last four outings against the Dirty Birds. This includes a 147-yard, 1-TD effort earlier this season—Muhammad’s best fantasy performance of 2008. Atlanta ranks 22nd in the NFL against the pass.
  • Greg Jennings is a no-brainer play this week against the Saints, but also confirm that Donald Driver is in your lineup. New Orleans has allowed multiple passing touchdowns in each of their last four games. Although Driver hasn’t been delivering consistent yardage, he remains an active part of the offense. He’s caught at least four passes in each of Green Bay’s last five games. Look for him to approach 100 yards on Monday night.
  • Number one wideouts rarely have much luck when playing Oakland. Recent WRs shut down by cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha include Ted Ginn Jr. (4-51-0), Steve Smith (1-9-0), Roddy White (5-54-0), Derrick Mason (1-3-0), and Laveranues Coles (4-51-0). Brandon Marshall owners should temper their expectations this week. On the other hand, Eddie Royal could be in line for a good game as Jay Cutler throws away from Asomugha.
  • The Packers secondary has been one of the best, if not the best, in football in November. Over their last four games, Green Bay has allowed just one passing touchdown—and it came from just three yards out. The team will have its work cut out for it against the Saints this week. However, given the inconsistency of Marques Colston and the recent shut-down performances of Charles Woodson and company, benching Colston is certainly an option. The Six-Pack doesn’t anticipate him posting more than 60 yards on Monday.

This Week’s Sleepers: Muhsin Muhammad, Donald Driver, Eddie Royal, Brandon Lloyd and Roy Williams

Tight End

  • Consider Colts TE Dallas Clark a must-start this week against the Chargers, who continue to get scorched by opposing tight ends. Even lesser known TEs like Matt Spaeth, Billy Miller and Robert Royal have exceeded 50 yards receiving against San Diego. Bank on at least one touchdown from Clark.
  • Browns TE Kellen Winslow was held to just 40 yards receiving on Monday night. Look for a bounce-back performance this week against the Texans. Houston has allowed three touchdowns to TEs over their last three games. They’ve allowed the seventh most fantasy points to opposing TEs.

This Week’s Sleepers: Bo Scaife, Dustin Keller and Visanthe Shiancoe

Kicker

  • Get Robbie Gould some work against the Rams, who have allowed 34 or more points in their last three games. During that three game stretch, opposing kickers have averaged 10.7 points per game against St. Louis. Gould should hit double digits this week.
  • In road games, the Vikings have ceded an average of 10.4 points per game to kickers. If you don’t like the matchup for your regular kicker this week, give Jacksonville’s Josh Scobee a look.  

This Week’s Sleepers: Robbie Gould, Matt Bryant and Josh Scobee

Team Defense

  • In recent weeks, no fantasy defense and special teams has been more disappointing than that of the Chicago Bears. Chicago has recorded just one sack, two turnovers and no touchdowns in their last two outings. To make matters worse, return specialist Devin Hester hasn’t been producing. I expect a major turnaround over the next two games. Chicago should fare well against the lethargic Rams and the error-prone Vikings. Start the Bears this week and look for a spike in fantasy production.
  • Jets QB Brett Favre has gone two games without throwing an interception. That’s almost certain to change this week when New York faces the Tennessee Titans on Sunday. The Titans rank second in the NFL in interceptions. Play their defense with confidence because it wouldn’t be surprising to see the version of Brett Favre that tries to do too much and ends up making costly mistakes. The Six-Pack predicts at least two interceptions for the Titans with one returned for a touchdown.

This Week’s Sleepers: Denver Broncos and Cleveland Browns

The Six-Pack

This Week's Six-Pack: Landshark Lager

Price: $8.29

Origin: Margaritaville, FL

Appearance: Landshark comes in a 12 oz. clear bottle with a clear label. With its golden color, clear body and thin soapy head, there’s nothing unexpected about the look of the beer itself.  

Smell: It smells faintly like corn with a slight waft of sulfur. No other aromas worth mentioning.

Taste: This beer is weak and watery. The only detectable flavors resemble corn flake cereal with hints of sourness.

Drinkability: Landshark goes down fast and that’s appropriate because there’s nothing about this beer worth pausing to savor. Over carbonation induces many not-so-pleasant belches.
 
Last Call: Nothing special here. It’s not the worst beer I’ve had, but if you’re looking for a beer that will give you an island feel, Red Stripe is a better choice. Heck, even Corona, a beer I denounced a couple seasons ago would be a smarter choice based on the price point. One star out of five.

Next Week's Six-Pack: The Bitter End (Illinois)

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