Week 12: Enjoy Thanksgiving Rashad Jennings, er, turkey
It’s Thanksgiving Day, the one time we’re actually OK with Thursday games. If you’re one of the Fantasy Football owners who took a chance and drafted Vikings RB Adrian Peterson in the first or second round, Denver QB Peyton Manning in the third or fourth round, Colts WR Reggie Wayne in the middle rounds or Redskins QB Robert Griffin III in the mid to late rounds, you no doubt are really, really thankful. If you drafted Raiders RB Darren McFadden or Giants QB Eli Manning or Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald, you had your fill of turkey long before today.
What I learned last week:
Blaine Gabbert equals: short passes to Laurent Robinson and rare looks toward Justin Blackmon. Chad Henne equals: forget Laurent Robinson, I’m going deep to Blackmon. Of course, Henne and Blackmon aren’t going to put up last week’s numbers every week, but I know who Blackmon owners should be hoping starts at QB in Jacksonville the rest of the year.
Play the man:
All of your Bengals: QB Andy Dalton; RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis; WR A.J. Green; and TE Jermaine Gresham. You’d play Green no matter what; and this week there’s no need to hesitate to play the others against Oakland, which has allowed 135 points in the past three games.
Put him on the pine:
Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe. He has an injured neck, plays for the worst offense in the league, has no one to throw to him and faces Denver’s defense. He’s not likely to have another no-catch game, but it wouldn’t surprise me this week.
What I’m thankful for:
• Peyton Manning’s return to health and greatness. I don’t have Manning, but I do have Denver WR Demaryius Thomas, who is benefitting nicely from playing with an elite QB.
• Raiders’ QB Carson Palmer. He’s allowed me to sit the Ravens’ Joe Flacco, who aside from the previous week’s monster game, has been awful of late, exhibited once again Sunday night against the Steelers. Yes, I played Flacco the week before, but otherwise I’ve been leaning on Palmer for the past month and benefitting from his steady-if-not-spectacular production.
• Lawrence Tynes. I was the last owner in the 12-team league I play in to draft a kicker, and my reaction was (read with heavy sarcasm), “Oh boy, Lawrence Tynes.” Well, Tynes’ tendency to score double digits has been the best production I’ve ever gotten from a kicker.
• I’m glad I didn’t waste a mid-late-round pick on a defense, especially after the lame production that has come from Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Detroit, teams that my colleagues were drafting when they should have been adding running-back depth, such as Detroit’s Mikel Leshoure, who’s rounding into a regular flex play for me.
What I’m not so thankful for:
• Robert Griffin III. Yeah, I faced the Washington QB last week. Dang it.
• Philly RB LeSean McCoy’s concussion. If he’s out, my team is hurting. If you’re high enough in the waiver order to grab his backup, Bryce Brown, do it. And be thankful for that.
• The inconsistency of Patriots RB Stevan Ridley. He’s had some great weeks, but when he stinks, it costs me games.
• Atlanta WR Julio Jones’s injury. Of course, he was limited during the week when Giants WR Victor Cruz was on a bye. Plus, I have Antonio Brown, and he’s out. So much for the wide receiver depth I thought I had.
• The inconsistency of Victor Cruz. Actually, he’s been fairly consistent of late, three bad games in a row that don’t add up to his worst point total in the four games before that.
• Jacksonville RB Rashad Jennings. I wasted a waiver pick on him, and all he’s done is cost me dearly. Now, it appears the Jaguars are as tired of his lack of production as I am. This turkey won’t be on my Thanksgiving Day roster.
How many yards and TDs does Peyton Manning get at Kansas City this weekend?
Tim: The Chiefs actually play good defense from time to time. They slow down Peyton slightly: 277 yards, 2 TDs.
Ben: AFC West rivals are never a cakewalk, even for Peyton Manning. 293 yards 3 TDs.
Does Cincy’s A.J. Green make it 10 games in a row with a TD catch Sunday?
Tim: At home against that thing Oakland pretends is a defense. Absolutely, Green gets No. 10.
Ben: Yes-amundo! Green may get No. 11, 12 and 13 against Da Raiders.
San Diego WR Danario Alexander had another good week. Are you finally buying into him being legit?
Tim: I tepidly say yes. God, I can’t believe I’m thinking any Chargers WR can be consistent.
Ben: Nope. Philip Rivers is far too inconsistent as are the Chargers.
Is it time to bench Miami RB Reggie Bush?
Tim: Yes, but I say that only for this week against Seattle. After that, all but his game at San Francisco are favorable matchups.
Ben: I’m glad I don’t have him. If I did, he’d be in a serious time out.
Which WR do you like more going forward: the Cowboys’ Dez Bryant or Houston’s Andre Johnson?
Tim: Johnson. Aside from being limited at Chicago two games ago, Johnson’s past month of work suggests he’s resumed being a vital cog in the Texans’ offense. Just don’t expect 270 yards again.
Ben: No question I’m going with Johnson simply because Tony Romo and the Cowboys have zero consistency.
If Norm Van Brocklin’s record of 554 passing yards in a game falls before this season ends, who will be the QB to do it?
Tim: Drew Brees. New Orleans could be in a few high-scoring shootouts that require him to throw and throw and throw, then throw some more in order for the Saints to win or lose 48-45.
Ben: Drew Brees or Tom Brady clearly have the weapons to make this happen.