Week 12 Fantasy Football Matchups

Editor's note: Dave Richard breaks down every game from a Fantasy perspective each week with the help of CBSSports.com NFL Insider Pat Kirwan, who will provide his unique take to assist owners in their lineup management.

Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Raymond James Stadium
Atlanta Falcons
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Matt Ryan Tricky: Bucs have allowed 250+ yards to 9 of 10 opposing QBs but Ryan has never had a 20-point Fantasy game at Tampa. Does have three 2 TD games at the Ship but two came with two INTs.
RB Michael Turner Bucs have allowed just four RBs to total 90+ yards but has allowed a TD to RB in 7 of last 9. Only hope is that Turner scores, which he's done in 3 of last 4 vs. TB.
RB Jacquizz Rodgers Falcons can exploit Bucs with heavy dose of Rodgers on screens. Bucs have allowed 223 receiving yards to RBs over the last three weeks!
WR Roddy White You'll start him at the Bucs and their weak pass defense (WRs averaging 202.3 yards per game in last three against TB with 1+ TD in each) but White hasn't scored in four outdoor games this season.
WR Julio Jones Had 10 catches for 191 yards and two scores in two games vs. TB last year but has an ankle injury that limits his upside this year.
TE Tony Gonzalez Bucs have yielded three TDs to TEs in the last three weeks. Gonzalez will be vital if the Falcons go without Julio Jones.
DST Falcons Bucs have scored 27+ points in each of last six, totaled 400+ yards in five of six. Not a great week to trust the Falcons defense.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Josh Freeman Only two QBs have thrown multiple scores on Atlanta this year but Freeman has thrown 2+ TDs in six straight!
RB Doug Martin Falcons allowing 128.3 total yards per game to running backs in their last four with four TDs given up. Martin should lock into a big game.
WR Vincent Jackson Only three receivers in the Falcons' last five have posted 9+ Fantasy points. That's tough, but Jackson has 16+ Fantasy points in three of his last four at home.
WR Mike Williams Falcons have allowed 128.3 yards per game to WRs over their last four. Williams has had under 70 yards in five straight with two TDs.
TE Dallas Clark Has scored in two straight and 3 of last 5. Will get involved if this turns into a shootout, which is possible given the opponent.
DST Buccaneers   Falcons have yielded 10+ Fantasy points to a DST just three times. Unless Matt Ryan has another meltdown, the Bucs DST won't be great.

When you look at their offensive production over the last six games -- averaging 34 points a game -- you'll realize the Bucs have a solid chance to win this game. Josh Freeman is red hot, and if LaRod Stephens-Howling can rush for 127 yards against Atlanta then Doug Martin can deliver an even a bigger day. Freeman has 16 touchdown passes and just three interceptions in his last six games but he has struggled against Atlanta in the past with interceptions. But he didn't have Vincent Jackson or Doug Martin then. Tampa Bay looks at this game like a playoff game. Matt Ryan may be 6-2 vs. Tampa Bay but he only has eight touchdown passes to nine interceptions and two fumbles in those games. The 2012 Bucs will beat Atlanta if they get those kinds of turnovers. -- Pat Kirwan

Buffalo Bills at Indianapolis Colts -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Lucas Oil Stadium
Buffalo Bills
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick Brady was first QB in four games to throw multiple TDs on Colts. Fitzpatrick has zero TDs in 4 of last 6 games (three of them on the road).
RB C.J. Spiller Colts cleaning up vs. run (99.3 total yards to RBs over last three) but Bills duo have run well vs. tough defenses. Spiller has 10+ Fantasy points in 4 of last 5.
RB Fred Jackson Should be back on the field after missing a week. IND has given up three rushing touchdowns over their last three games. Two last week came from inside the 5.
WR Steve Johnson Ten WRs have had 8+ Fantasy points vs. IND in their last seven games. Colts have allowed a 10+ point Fantasy WR in each of last six.
WR Donald Jones   Six non-No. 1 WRs have scored 6+ Fantasy points vs. IND over last five games. Jones is OK if you're desperate.
TE Scott Chandler Rob Gronkowski was first tight end to upend the Colts for over 10 Fantasy points. Not sure Chandler (three games with 10+ Fantasy points) can repeat the feat.
DST Bills   Pats jhad three touchdowns last week to rock Colts. They were the first three TDs scored by a DST vs. IND. They would have been limited otherwise.
Indianapolis Colts
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Andrew Luck Bills haven't given up 300+ yards in each of last five but have allowed 2+ pass TDs in 2 of last 3. Luck has 2+ touchdowns in each home game this season.
RB Vick Ballard Decent sleeper. Bills have allowed RBs to score 8 TDs (7 rush) & average 171.5 total yards per game over last four. Ballard had 16 carries at NE last week.
RB Donald Brown   Multiple running backs have 10+ Fantasy points in two of the Bills' last four games but Brown's role in offense looks like it's slowing down.
WR Reggie Wayne You'll start him but Bills' secondary starting to play well -- after allowing 11 TDs to WRs in first six games, they've yielded two in their last four.
WR T.Y. Hilton Still a good sleeper even with Donnie Avery healthy. Has 100 yards and at least one TD in 3 of 4 games with 4+ catches.
TE Dwayne Allen Deep sleeper. Bills have allowed three TDs to tight ends over their last three games.
DST Colts Risky sleeper. DSTs vs. BUF have scored 10+ Fantasy points in five of last seven. Colts have 10+ Fantasy points in just three games in 2012.

When you talk about who will put up big numbers in this game, you'll start with Reggie Wayne who has been targeted 130 times already this year with 76 receptions. The Bills have already given up 19 touchdown passes this season so figure Wayne for 13 targets, eight receptions and at least one touchdown. Indianapolis couldn't get pressure on Tom Brady last week and that should mean Ryan Fitzpatrick will get time to connect with Steve Johnson. Look for Johnson to be targeted 10 times with six receptions and a touchdown against a Colts secondary that is questionable due to injuries. -- Pat Kirwan

Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Arrowhead Stadium
Denver Broncos
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Peyton Manning Chiefs have allowed 2+ passing scores in 8 of 10 games. With run game a question mark, Peyton should throw a bunch.
RB Ronnie Hillman Saw the most work of Broncos RBs last week after McGahee got hurt. Was a total yardage dynamo in college but won't hog snaps vs. KC, who is allowing 156.0 total yards per game to RBs over its last four.
WR Demaryius Thomas Chiefs have allowed nine TDs to WRs in their last five. Thomas finally found the end zone last week, snapping a two-game skid.
WR Eric Decker Kansas City has given up touchdowns to wideouts, not yardage (115.3 yards per game to WRs over its last three). Decker's a must but might not have big yardage.
WR Brandon Stokley Has a TD in 4 of 6 games, 40+ yards in 4 of 5 games. Peyton's looking for him, which never hurts.
TE Joel Dreessen   Still has playing time and target edge over Jacob Tamme, but only two TEs have had 7+ Fantasy points in Chiefs' last eight.
DST Broncos A must. Every DST vs. KC has posted at least 11 Fantasy points, 6 of last 7 have had 15+ Fantasy points.
Kansas City Chiefs
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Brady Quinn   You shouldn't start any Chiefs QB unless desperate even though Broncos have allowed four of the last five QBs they've faced to get 2 passing TDs.
RB Jamaal Charles Broncos have allowed one rush TD 107.2 total yards per game to RBs in last five. Charles about the only Chief you can start but he might struggle to do more than total 100 yards.
RB Dwayne Bowe Brady Quinn is under center and left tackle Branden Albert is out. This doesn't bode well for the Chiefs' passing game.
TE Tony Moeaki Deep sleeper. Chiefs receiving corps is banged up, Broncos' track record vs. tight ends isn't as sharp as the rest of the team's numbers.
DST Chiefs   Against Peyton Manning? You have to be nuts.

Peyton Manning wants a balanced offense because he loves the play-action pass and needs the run game to be productive. After 10 games the Broncos are averaging 27 runs and 39 pass plays a game. I don't think that ratio will change and I expect Ronnie Hillman to get the majority of the run attempts as well as four or five targets in the passing game if he's healthy enough for all that work. Against the Chiefs, who already have given up 20 touchdown passes, I could see a fast start for Denver before sitting on the lead with the run game. That's where a lot of stats could be made. -- Pat Kirwan

Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Soldier Field
Minnesota Vikings
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Christian Ponder Bears allowed first QB to throw multiple TDs on them last week. Don't think Ponder is a safe bet to be the second.
RB Adrian Peterson Chicago will key in on AP but reality is that Bears have allowed two 100-yard rushers and two total TDs to RBs over last three games. AP's obvious.
WR Jarius Wright Massive sleeper with Percy Harvin out. Wright has excellent speed and should be on the team throwing a bunch in the second half.
TE Kyle Rudolph Some optimism for Rudolph after Vernon Davis had breakout game vs. Bears last week, but who knows how much blocking he'll have to do.
DST Vikings DSTs vs. the Bears have posted 13+ Fantasy points in four of their past five. Vikings had seven sacks vs. CHI in Week 17 last year.
Chicago Bears
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Jason Campbell   Three straight quarterbacks have thrown three TDs on the Vikings, two have had 250+ yards. Doubt Campbell could put up those kinds of numbers.
RB Matt Forte Vikes have allowed 176.3 total yards per game over last four with five total TDs to RBs. Forte's getting opportunities, just needs a good matchup.
WR Brandon Marshall Vikings have done well vs. No. 1 WRs but Marshall playing like the monster we hoped for (TD in 5 of last 7).
DST Bears Four of the last five DSTs to play Vikings have had 13+ Fantasy points. Bears should rebound.

San Francisco was able to get sacks on Jason Campbell with a three-man rush and the Vikings are looking at that game tape right now, grinning from ear to ear. Jared Allen and Brian Robison are going to notice that containment is not an issue with Campbell, which will give both defensive ends a 'two-way go' on the offensive tackles to put pressure on Campbell. Allen has 13 sacks in eight games against the Bears and this may be his best chance for a big day. Chicago's protection problems aren't all about Jason Campbell at quarterback because Bears passers have been sacked 34 times this season, or once every 9.7 pass plays. Could make for another long day at the office for Brandon Marshall. -- Pat Kirwan

Oakland Raiders at Cincinnati Bengals -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Paul Brown Stadium
Oakland Raiders
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Carson Palmer Coming back to Cincinnati to take on his old team. That alone is enough to start him, but four straight with 2+ TDs & three straight with 300+ yards doesn't hurt either.
RB Marcel Reece So long as McFadden is out, Reece is in. Cincy allowing 131.7 total yards per game to rushers in last three. Reece averaging 130.7 total yards per game over his last three.
WR Denarius Moore Bengals' pass defense has been all right (6 TDs allowed, zero 100+ yard games but four with 90+ yards). Moore has done well in tough matchups.
WR Darrius Heyward-Bey Cincy hasn't allowed 10+ Fantasy points to multiple receivers in the same game this year. DHB has at least 60 yards in four of last five.
TE Brandon Myers Bengals have been good vs. tight ends in their last two but Myers has three TDs in his last three. Too hot to ignore.
DST Raiders   DSTs vs. the red-hot Bengals have totaled six Fantasy points over the last two weeks. Raiders shouldn't be expected to do much.
Cincinnati Bengals
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Andy Dalton Dalton has seven TDs in his last two games and will see a Raiders defense than has allowed QBs to toss 3 TDs in back-to-back games. Feel good about Dalton this week.
RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis Raiders allowing 5.9 yards per carry to RBs over last three with at least one rush TD per game. After a nice game last week, Green-Ellis should shine again.
WR A.J. Green Raiders could bring back Michael Haynes and Lester Hayes and Green would still rock 'em. Must start receiver.
WR Mohamed Sanu Great sleeper. Raiders have allowed 158.0 yards per game with 6 TDs to WRs over their last three games.
TE Jermaine Gresham Tight ends have rocked the Raiders in two straight games. Gresham is in the swing of the Bengals offense and is worth a start.
DST Bengals DST touchdowns have buoyed the Raiders' last two opponents. Cincy's racking up sacks but they'll contend with an offense putting up 24.2 points per game over its last five.

Carson Palmer will be booed in his return to Cincinnati but it will not impact how he plays. He needs Marcel Reece to establish a solid run game so he has a play-action pass game. Look for Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer to disguise coverages trying to confuse the young receivers and quarterback in hopes of getting a few interceptions. Palmer has called 153 pass plays in his last three games (51 per game) with good stats as a result. I expect much of the same in this game. -- Pat Kirwan

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Cleveland Browns Stadium
Pittsburgh Steelers
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Charlie Batch   Browns have allowed two pass TDs over last four, held Tony Romo to one score last week. Batch had 3 TD game at TB in 2010, no TDs in two starts since.
RB Jonathan Dwyer Still scoreless this year but has 15+ touches in each of last four games. He's the best Steelers rusher right now. Browns allowing 111.0 rush yards per game to RBs over their last four.
RB Rashard Mendenhall Expect a lot of carries for both Steelers RBs. Browns have allowed three rushing TDs to RBs over their last two games.
WR Mike Wallace Browns have allowed a TD to top opposing WRs in each of last two games but Wallace's quarterback limits him. Joe Haden might blanket him.
WR Antonio Brown Even if he plays, expectations aren't high. Has one touchdown on the year and four games with over 75 yards, and that's with Ben Roethlisberger.
TE Heath Miller Miller's on a cold skid: Has under 50 yards in each of last three games. Only three TE s have posted 6+ Fantasy points on the Browns.
DST Steelers Browns haven't allowed a DST to post over 11 Fantasy points over last six games. Steelers should change that with lots of pressure packages on Brandon Weeden.
Cleveland Browns
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Brandon Weeden   Steelers pass defense has held each of last six QBs to 1 TD or less. Weeden will have tough time in this matchup.
RB Trent Richardson We've been waiting (fearing?) this matchup since April. Steelers have allowed 106.7 total yards per game to RBs over last three with two TDs. Richardson has 13+ Fantasy points each of his last three.
WR Josh Gordon No receivers have had 100+ yards vs. PIT since Week 1, only three have scored on Steelers in last five. Pass on Gordon.
TE Benjamin Watson   Had 2 TDs last week but TEs have gone scoreless vs. Steelers over their last seven. Only one tight end has double-digit Fantasy points vs. PIT this season.
DST Browns Ravens DST pummeled Steelers last week thanks to kick return. Not sure the Browns have the chops to do the same, even with Charlie Batch under center.

After watching them go toe-to-toe with the Cowboys, the Browns have a chance to win this week against a depleted Steelers team. The Browns finally have their best defensive linemen healthy and it showed up last week when they had seven sacks and 10 hits on Tony Romo. The Browns will get after Charlie Batch. As for the Browns coaching staff, this is their Super Bowl. New owner Jimmy Haslam was part-owner of the Steelers and recognizes how serious this rivalry is. A Browns win at home over Pittsburgh could go pretty far in saving their jobs. Pittsburgh is going to try and run it 40 times against a Browns defense giving up 125 yards a game on the ground. Cleveland is 1-9 in their last 10 games against Pittsburgh averaging eight points a game. This is their biggest chance to gain some respect and confidence for a team full of young players. -- Pat Kirwan

Seattle Seahawks at Miami Dolphins -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Sun Life Stadium
Seattle Seahawks
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Russell Wilson Dolphins have allowed 2 TDs to 2 of last 3 QBs they've faced. Wilson has at least 19 Fantasy points in four of last five. Really not a bad sleeper.
RB Marshawn Lynch Should dominate Dolphins, especially coming off bye. Dolphins have allowed 100+ total yards to 3 of last 4 RBs with one score.
WR Sidney Rice Miami has allowed 168.0 yards per game to WRs over its last four with four touchdowns. Rice has scored in three straight games.
WR Golden Tate Tate has four total TDs (three receiving, one passing) in last two games. Not a cinch to score but should play a lot and have some opportunities.
DST Seahawks DSTs vs. MIA have posted 10+ Fantasy points in six of the last eight weeks. Even on the road, Seahawks DST looks great.
Miami Dolphins
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Ryan Tannehill Only two QBs have thrown multiple TDs vs. Seahawks. Tannehill has one game with two passing scores. Stay away.
RB Daniel Thomas In time, Thomas should start seeing even more work. Already playing more snaps than Reggie Bush.
RB Reggie Bush Can't trust him. Losing playing time and touches to Daniel Thomas, plus the Seahawks' run defense is pretty stout.
WR Brian Hartline Still worth starting in PPR formats: Has 4+ catches in 6 of last 7, averaging 14.7 yards per catch in that span. Only two of 12 WRs with 4+ catches vs. SEA have had 100+ yards.
WR Davone Bess   Scored last week, has 26 grabs in his last five games but just the one score. Tough matchup vs. Seahawks strong cornerbacks.
DST Dolphins   Dolphins' run defense has been falling apart, pass defense has struggled of late too. Tough to love vs. Seahawks.

Russell Wilson has struggled on the road with just four touchdown passes in five games but he has come alive over the past five games with 11 touchdown passes. A healthy Sidney Rice and Golden Tate have become real weapons, accounting for seven of the 11 touchdowns the Seahawks have scored. It's a long trip across the country but the Dolphin run defense is struggling right now after a great start. In the last five games they are giving up 132 yards on the ground which Seattle will take advantage of. In turn that will set Wilson up for a good game as a passer. It'll look strange but he's worth putting in your lineup. -- Pat Kirwan

Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, EverBank Field
Tennessee Titans
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Jake Locker Jags pass defense better at home (2 TDs to five QBs) but Matt Schaub just lit them up. Locker shaky but does have 2 TDs in each of last two full games.
RB Chris Johnson Johnson hasn't scored on Jags in three straight but Jacksonville has allowed 5 total TDs and 160.3 total yards per game to running backs over its last three.
WR Nate Washington Has only eight catches from Locker, but two early-season TDs. Not sure if he's the No. 1 WR for Titans but No. 1 WRs have done very well vs. Jaguars over last five.
WR Kendall Wright Has 6+ Fantasy points in two of four games with Locker. Five WRs have scored 6+ Fantasy points vs. Jags over their last three.
WR Kenny Britt Coaches say they're working on getting Britt more involved but also say he's not at 100 percent. Chemistry with Locker an issue? Britt has nine catches (19 targets) for 96 yards in three games with Locker.
TE Jared Cook   Jaguars were decimated by Texans tight ends last week (139 total yards, 2 TDs). Cook had 169 yards & a TD in last game vs. JAC. Tough to expect even a third of that production.
DST Titans What was a juicy matchup vs. hamstrung Jaguars offense can no longer be trusted with Chad Henne under center.
Jacksonville Jaguars
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Chad Henne High risk, high reward. Titans have allowed 19+ Fantasy points to 8 of 10 QBs and Henne will sling it, but he's also turnover prone. Matchup might be too juicy to ignore.
RB Jalen Parmele Another risky Jaguar. Made first career start last week and needed 24 carries over four-plus quarters to get 80 yards. Titans suspect vs. run but Parmele needs a lot of touches to be good.
WR Cecil Shorts Has 11+ Fantasy points in 4 of last 5 overall. Titans have allowed 6 TDs to WRs in last five weeks with 5 WRs getting 9+ Fantasy points in that span.
WR Justin Blackmon Made some ridiculous plays with Henne under center last week. Targets will be there vs. pass defense that's allowed 306 yards & 3 TDs to WRs over last two games.
TE Marcedes Lewis Titans have improved vs. tight ends, allowing 67 yards or less to them in five consecutive games. Wish he had more than four targets from Henne.
DST Jaguars   Four of last five DSTs vs. TEN had single-digit Fantasy points. Jags have two games with 10 Fantasy points, eight with less.

Chad Henne is more experienced and better than Blaine Gabbert in the short term, which is why he's going to start for the Jaguars the rest of the way. He knows this is his chance for a solid contract even though he's on a two-year deal in Jacksonville that paid him a $3 million signing bonus and another $2.5 million in bonuses. He got Justin Blackmon to come alive and in one game almost topped his whole season in production. He gives the Jags the best chance to beat the Titans, and he's familiar with their scheme. Henne is 1-1 vs. Tennessee, completing 65 percent of his passes for almost 600 yards. -- Pat Kirwan

Baltimore Ravens at San Diego Chargers -- Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET, Qualcomm Stadium
Baltimore Ravens
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Joe Flacco Chargers have given up 2+ TDs to QBs in 6 of last 8 games. Matchup is great but you know how Flacco is away from Baltimore. He had 226 yards with two TDs & two INTs in San Diego last year.
RB Ray Rice Chargers have allowed 143.3 total yards per game to rushers over last four but with just two TDs. Rice had 112 total yards at SD last year.
WR Torrey Smith Broncos receivers totaled three touchdowns vs. Bolts last week. Smith had 77 yards & a TD at Chargers last year.
WR Anquan Boldin Anquan hasn't scored since Week 1 but has had 4+ catches in 7 of last 8 games. Nine of 15 WRs with 4+ catches vs. SD in '12 have had 7+ Fantasy points.
DST Ravens Five of the last six DSTs vs. SD have posted 11+ Fantasy points. With Ed Reed playing, the Ravens are OK to start.
San Diego Chargers
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Philip Rivers Three of last five QBs vs. BAL have thrown for 250+ yards & 2+ TDs. Rivers should hit those marks, albeit with some turnovers.
RB Ryan Mathews Seven RBs have posted 9+ Fantasy points in the Ravens' last seven games. We'd love it if Mathews could get 9+ Fantasy points.
WR Danario Alexander Has 15 catches for 291 yards & 3 TDs in last three. Not bad for a guy who was out of the league a month ago! Ravens have allowed three WRs to 80+ yards in last two games.
WR Malcom Floyd Could start to see lesser coverage with Alexander exploding. Had 96 yards & a TD vs. Baltimore last year.
TE Antonio Gates Ravens held Gates to 31 yards in meeting last year. Ravens have allowed one TD and two 10+ Fantasy point games to tight ends all season.
DST Chargers DSTs have posted 10+ Fantasy points on BAL twice -- when they held them to 13 points or less. That won't happen here.

Ed Reed sets the secondary calls and he would have been missed if his suspension was upheld. All the motions, shifts and revolving personnel groups would have caused problems for Baltimore without Reed in there. Now Reed can focus on setting things right and keeping an eye on tight end Antonio Gates, especially in the red zone. Ed still likes to play the deep middle and jump routes. Look for the strong safety to funnel Gates to the middle where Ed can go for the pick. In four meetings Gates has scored in one career game against the Ravens. -- Pat Kirwan

San Francisco 49ers at New Orleans Saints -- Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, Mercedes-Benz Superdome
San Francisco 49ers
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Colin Kaepernick Kaep's a sleeper. Six of last seven QBs vs. NO have topped 300 yards, all six also had 2+ TDs. Kaepernick coming off great first start against a much better defense.
RB Frank Gore Saints have allowed all but one opponent to have at least one 10+ Fantasy RB. Matchup is great for Gore.
WR Michael Crabtree Finally living up to his potential. Saints have allowed 210.4 yards per game and 7 TDs to WRs over last five.
TE Vernon Davis Saints' defense vs. tight ends deteriorating as they've allowed 3 TDs to TEs over the last two weeks. I like Davis if Kaepernick is in there.
DST 49ers Last seven DSTs to play the Saints have posted single-digit Fantasy points but the 49ers' unit is pretty special. Hard to sit them.
New Orleans Saints
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Drew Brees You'll start him but Niners pass defense has been good. Only two QBs have thrown 250+ yards and 2 TDs against them.
RB Darren Sproles Should return to a receiving role. Niners allowing 8.3 yards per catch to running backs over their last four.
RB Mark Ingram Appears to be the Saints' top running downs back but will split his duties. Niners have allowed 120+ total rush yards to three of their last five opponents.
RB Chris Ivory He'll play but it seems like Fantasy owners need a long run to get any good production out of him. Might not chance him against this defense.
WR Marques Colston Despite allowing three touchdowns to WRs over their last two games, the Niners have not allowed a receiver to over 10 Fantasy points in their last four.
WR Lance Moore Has three or fewer catches in three of last four games yet has 6+ Fantasy points in three of them. Has only scored vs. weak pass defenses, which the Niners are not.
TE Jimmy Graham Niners haven't allowed a tight end to even 5 Fantasy points over their last seven games, but they haven't played anyone tough. They don't come tougher than Graham.
DST Saints Eight of 10 DSTs Niners have faced have scored 10 Fantasy points or less. The Saints' defense is improving but they can't be trusted.

Saints defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo has gotten off to slow starts with his teams before and it looks like the same thing is happening now. But once he get going, watch out. 'Spags' coached a defense in New York that allowed some embarrassing scores. Then a goal line stand took place in Washington and the rest was history -- they went on to win the Super Bowl. The Saints defense is finally getting pressure on quarterbacks and it's going a long way. In this 5-1 stretch of games New Orleans has generated 18 sacks and forced eight turnovers. The Niners will pound the run from the multiple tight end sets they like so much and when New Orleans overplays the run, they will go up top. If Colin Kapernick is under center then the running quarterback will be an issue. Spagnulo will have to earn his paycheck this week, but he's starting to get this defense turned around. -- Pat Kirwan

St. Louis Rams at Arizona Cardinals -- Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, University of Phoenix Stadium
St. Louis Rams
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Sam Bradford Cards have allowed 7 pass TDs over their last three games but just manhandled Matt Ryan. Still can't trust Bradford unless it's as a No. 2 quarterback.
RB Steven Jackson Only one RB has touched 10 Fantasy points vs. ARI in their last three games (Michael Turner last week). Jackson has 7 Fantasy points in each of last two vs. Cardinals.
RB Daryl Richardson Has eight or fewer carries in four straight, under 60 total yards in three straight. Can't trust him.
DST Rams Nine of 10 DSTs vs. ARI have posted 10 or more Fantasy points. Cards have allowed 3+ sacks in 7 of last 8 games. And rookie Ryan Lindley is starting.
Arizona Cardinals
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Ryan Lindley   Can't trust him. Completed 9 of 20 passes last week, found Larry Fitzgerald one time. Rams allowed one pass TD in each of last two games.
RB Beanie Wells Should cut into LSH's workload in return from IR. Rams have allowed 435 rush yards & 5 TDs to running backs in last four games.
RB LaRod Stephens-Howling Has a touchdown along with 50+ total yards in three of last four. Also has 24+ touches in three of last four. Matchup's fine but Beanie's back.
WR Larry Fitzgerald Expectations have to be reeled in with Lindley under center. Too bad -- Rams have allowed 7 TDs to WRs over their last four games.
WR Andre Roberts Tough to trust after some mediocre performances and an inexperienced rookie under center. Helps that Rams are giving up 146.0 yards to WRs over their last four.
DST Cardinals Rams have topped 21 points just once in their last eight games, only five games all year with over 300 total yards of offense. Cards are a sleeper.

I talked to Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt about his running game last week and he said Beanie Wells looks great and is ready to go. That tells me it is going to be a 20-carry type of game for him against the Rams, a team he absolutely throttled last year. The Cardinals struggle to pass block and the quarterbacks are all unable to win with the passing game so it only makes sense for the team to lean on the backs. The run game is going to be an inside power game between the tackles, which suits Wells better than LaRod Stephens-Howling. Arizona is 8-4 when Wells gets 16 or more carries. -- Pat Kirwan

Green Bay Packers at New York Giants -- Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET, MetLife Stadium
Green Bay Packers
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Aaron Rodgers Three of last four QBs vs. NYG have posted 2+ TDs with Andy Dalton slinging four last week. Rodgers has two sub-20 point Fantasy games in his last three but is too valuable to sit.
RB Alex Green   Will split reps with Starks, short-circuiting any Fantasy value. Giants' run defense has been sloppy at home but Green too risky to use.
RB James Starks   Couldn't get going when given the chance to run last week. Can't count on him for more than 10 carries.
WR Randall Cobb Giants have allowed seven touchdowns to WRs over their last four games. Cobb has a touchdown in five of his last six.
WR Jordy Nelson Had only five targets last week after having 6 or more in five of his first seven games. Can't expect him to stay under-utilized.
WR James Jones Had second-worst game of his season last week, usually a lock for around four catches per game. One TD in his last four games makes him risky.
TE Jermichael Finley After being strong vs. tight ends all year, Giants have allowed two TDs to TEs over their last three games. But only one TE has 10+ Fantasy points vs. the Giants. Low expectations for Jermichael.
DST Packers Giants' skid has left last two DSTs with 14+ Fantasy points against Big Blue. Eli is typically hot coming out of the bye, however, so keep expectations in check.
New York Giants
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Eli Manning Has been a monster coming out of the bye and has been a monster in two games last year vs. GB (677 yards, 6 TDs & 2 INTs). Packers haven't allowed multiple passing scores in five straight but have allowed four straight passers to top 250 yards.
RB Andre Brown With a TD and 20+ total yards in each of his last four, Brown productivity seems easy to trust. With Bradshaw banged up, he could be the primary rusher.
RB Ahmad Bradshaw Last five starting RBs vs. GB have totaled 100 yards and/or totaled 10+ Fantasy points. Bradshaw's banged up & has lost touches in three straight games.
WR Victor Cruz Packers have allowed 214.5 yards per game to WRs over their last four with three TDs. Cruz didn't score but totaled 193 yards in two games against GB in '11.
WR Hakeem Nicks Says he's as healthy as ever, had nine grabs in last game. He also had 2 TDs in both matchups vs. Packers last year. Time's right to trust him again.
TE Martellus Bennett Packers haven't allowed 10+ Fantasy points to a tight end since Week 1. Bennett's done nothing to earn Fantasy owners' trust.
DST Giants The last seven DSTs to play the Packers have scored 10 Fantasy points or less. It would take a huge game for the Giants to be effective.

The Giants go as Eli Manning goes. His 12 touchdown passes isn't impressive when compared to Aaron Rodgers' 27 touchdowns. Neither team is going to win this game with their running attack so consequently it will come down to pass rush. Aaron Rodgers will be under more pressure than Eli Manning. Rodgers has been sacked 32 times, hit 55 times and tackled 36 times. That's a lot. The Giants had a players-only meeting this week and one subject discussed was their pass rush, which didn't have a sack in their last loss to Cincinnati. I could see the defensive line bringing a storm against the Giants. -- Pat Kirwan

Carolina Panthers at Philadelphia Eagles -- Monday, 8:30 p.m. ET, Lincoln Financial Field
Carolina Panthers
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Cam Newton Matchup is awesome. Seven of last eight QBs to play PHI have 2+ TDs against them. Philly's pass rush and deep-ball defense is a mess.
RB Jonathan Stewart Eagles allowing 107.3 rush yards per game to running backs over last three. Stewart always a grab bag but he could produce in two straitght (has at least 5 points in each of last four).
RB DeAngelo Williams   Desperation option if you're real thin on running backs. Looks like Stewart is back in the saddle as the Panthers' primary rusher.
WR Steve Smith Eight WRs have 9+ Fantasy points against the Eagles in their last five. Smith has the matchup in his favor -- can he connect otherwise?
WR Brandon LaFell Sleeper. Has 8+ Fantasy points in 3 of his last 4 with 2 TDs in that span & 80+ yards in 2 of his last 3. 27 targets too.
TE Greg Olsen The good: Philly has allowed a TD to a TE in 2 of its last 3. The bad: Olsen couldn't get anything going with a great matchup last week. He's OK to start but it's a risk.
DST Panthers Eagles have allowed 20+ Fantasy points to three straight DSTs. Consider the Panthers a sleeper vs. an Eagles team without Vick & LeSean.
Philadelphia Eagles
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Nick Foles Was a nightmare to watch last week vs. bad pass defense. Panthers have held 5 of last 6 QBs to one passing score, so the matchup is even worse.
RB Bryce Brown Brown set to start, see majority of reps. Currently has 7.1 rush avg. Panthers allowing 134.3 total yards per game over last three to RBs.
RB Dion Lewis   Not worth a start but is worth watching. Might play passing downs behind Brown.
WR DeSean Jackson Panthers have allowed just 4 TDs to WRs in last seven overall but have allowed 90+ yards to No. 1 WRs in 4 of last 5.
WR Jeremy Maclin How bad has it been for non-No. 1 WRs vs. CAR? Brandon Stokley was the first to get over 50 yards this season!
TE Brent Celek   Carolina just allowed its first double-digit tight end in seven games last week (Dallas Clark). Celek just can't be trusted with Foles in there.
DST Eagles Panthers have yielded 10+ Fantasy points to 4 of last 6 DSTs they've faced.

Teams playing the Panthers have been using a lot of 'mush' rushes, closing off escape lanes for Cam Newton and forcing him to win from the pocket. Last week in the loss to Tampa Bay Newton was pretty good but it was the defense that couldn't hold up their end of the bargain late in the game. In the last four games the Eagles have given up 11 touchdown passes and have zero interceptions. And in their six-game losing streak the Eagles run defense is giving up 136 yards a game. I'm pretty sure the Eagles' problems weren't tied to Juan Castillo. Newton should be fine. -- Pat Kirwan

Houston Texans at Detroit Lions -- Thursday, 12:30 p.m. ET, Ford Field
Houston Texans
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Matt Schaub Lions have allowed 2 pass TDs in 7 of last 9 games but less than 250 yards in four straight. Schaub is safe, not sensational.
RB Arian Foster 5 of 7 stud RBs have posted 10-plus Fantasy points vs. Lions this season.
WR Andre Johnson Lions have allowed 5 TDs to WRs over last four but no 100-yard games given up since Week 6.
TE Owen Daniels Lions have allowed 3 TDs to TEs over last four. Daniels has 4+ catches in 5 of last 6.
DST Texans Lions averaging just over 400 yards per game & 23 points per game on the season. Could be rocky week for the Texans.
Detroit Lions
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Matthew Stafford After Jags went bombs away vs. Texans you can expect Stafford to do the same. Has rebounded with big numbers after each of his last four with under 20 Fantasy points and is coming off such a game.
RB Mikel Leshoure HOU hasn't allowed a rush TD all year, only have allowed three 100-total-yard RBs. Matchup might result in limited work for Leshoure, who has under 10 receiving yards in each of last four.
RB Kevin Smith Decent flier in deep PPR leagues. Texans have seen three RBs get 5+ catches over their last four games.
WR Calvin Johnson Texans have allowed back-to-back 100-yard WRs with Justin Blackmon go off for 236 yards last week. Of course you're starting Calvin (24 targets last two games).
WR Ryan Broyles The good: has caught 100 percent of his targets over last three weeks. The bad: Has had nine targets over those three. Should play a lot, decent sleeper with Titus Young out.
TE Brandon Pettigrew Has 7+ targets in three of last four games but TEs vs. HOU with 7+ targets have done zilch. Only one No. 1 TE (Marcedes Lewis last week) has scored on Houston.
DST Lions   Matt Schaub has thrown two INTs in each of last two games with two-plus sacks in four of last five. Lions would be hard pressed to post big numbers.

I talked with Jim Schwartz about the benching of Titus Young and he is determined to get the youngster to understand "team over individual." That could mean a few weeks of work, not just one game. In the meantime look for newly acquired Mike Thomas to get more play time as well as rookie Ryan Broyles. Thomas has the chance to be as good as Young has been recently and Broyles should see a lot of action because the Lions could use the three-receiver set a bunch. -- Pat Kirwan

Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys -- Thursday, 4:15 p.m. ET, Cowboys Stadium
Washington Redskins
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Robert Griffin III Don't look now but Dallas has allowed 2 pass TDs in each of last two games. Expect RG3 to fire off some deep balls and test the Cowboys secondary.
RB Alfred Morris Dallas has allowed 100 total yards to three straight RBs and Morris is doing more work on third downs. He should do well.
WR Santana Moss Moss' last six games are unreal: 25 targets, 15 catches, 277 yards, five TDs. Has 7+ Fantasy points in each of last four vs. Dallas.
WR Pierre Garcon   Two of his catches last week went for negative yardage and he's clearly not 100 percent. Only five WRs have scored 10+ Fantasy points vs. DAL this season.
TE Logan Paulsen If the Browns exposed the Cowboys secondary for a couple of TE scores last week, the Redskins can too. Paulsen has 6+ targets in three of last four.
DST Redskins Four of the last six DSTs to play the Cowboys have scored under 10 Fantasy points. Don't expect a big week from the Skins.
Dallas Cowboys
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Tony Romo With running backs a question mark Romo might have to throw a ton. Washington has allowed 21+ Fantasy points to 7 of 10 QBs they've faced, allowed 250+ yards to Romo in each of last four meetings (just 5 TDs).
RB Lance Dunbar   Undrafted rookie averaging 3.4 yards per carry this year, might not get a ton of work. Skins have allowed one rush TD over last three games.
WR Dez Bryant WRs have scored at least one TD in 8 of 10 games vs. WAS this season (just one in last three). Dez has scored in two straight, has 10+ Fantasy points in three of his last four and has a TD in 7 of 11 career November games.
WR Miles Austin Seems Dez is the No. 1 guy for Dallas. Austin has under 80 yards in 7 of 10 games. Redskins have allowed two 80-yard WRs in last four.
TE Jason Witten Washington has given up seven TDs to TEs & 6+ Fantasy points to eight TEs in 10 games. Witten has scored in 2 of last 3 vs. WAS.
DST Cowboys Only three DSTs have topped 10 Fantasy points vs. WAS all year. Cowboys have posted 10+ Fantasy points just four times. Can't trust them.

Robert Griffin III is 2-3 on the road with six touchdown passes. That might not be impressive to you but this might: He hasn't thrown a pick in his last 101 passes. RG3 is not going to single out a defensive back to go after because he's a distribution passer who threw at nine different players last week. But down in the red zone he may go after Morris Claiborne, who has given up four touchdown passes, and a veteran like Santana Moss knows how to beat the Dallas man coverage. -- Pat Kirwan

New England Patriots at New York Jets -- Thursday, 8:20 p.m. ET, MetLife Stadium
New England Patriots
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Tom Brady What great Jets pass defense? Gang Green rocked for 2+ pass TDs in three of last four including Brady going for 259 yards with the scores. Brady has 6 TDs in last 3 vs. NYJ.
RB Stevan Ridley Jets allowing 116.0 rush yards per game over last three with 2 rush TDs. Ridley has scored in three straight, was held to 65 yards (no TDs) vs. Jets in Week 7.
WR Wes Welker New York has allowed five touchdowns to wideouts over its last two games. Welker's targets could head North with Gronkowski out.
WR Julian Edelman Big time sleeper. Had seven targets last week when Gronk was healthy. Should continue to see some playing time. Jets allowing 135.5 yards per game to receivers over their last two.
WR Brandon Lloyd Had eight targets in Week 7 meeting vs. Jets. Hasn't had that many since and has had under 50 yards in four straight games.
TE Aaron Hernandez Jets kept him under wraps last year (97 total yards, no TDs in 2 games) but he's too explosive a player to keep on the sideline (unless he's inactive of course).
DST Patriots Three of the last four DSTs vs. NYJ have scored 18+ Fantasy points (Rams got smashed up last week). Jets have allowed 3+ sacks and at least one forced fumble each of last four games.
New York Jets
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Mark Sanchez Pats have allowed 2+ pass TDs in 6 of last 8 with six QBs getting 300+ yards in that span. But Sanchez had 328 yards & one TD in Week 7 meeting.
RB Shonn Greene New England likely to key in on run game, though that didn't stop Greene before (88 total yards & TD at NE in Week 7). Pats have allowed 3 TDs to RBs in their last two.
RB Bilal Powell Played mostly in passing situations last week but scored on third-down red-zone carries. Has two career games with 10+ carries so not a guy to trust.
WR Jeremy Kerley Hasn't scored in seven games, under 60 yards in five of those seven. You can do better than this, even in a positive matchup.
TE Dustin Keller Pats have allowed 60+ yards to three of last four starting TEs they've face with 2 TDs.
DST Jets No DST has posted more than 10 Fantasy points vs. NE this year with the last three totaling one whole point. Can't use the Jets.

Aaron Hernandez was held out last week because the Thanksgiving game was four days away and they weren't sure he would recover in time. Hernandez and Visanthe Shiancoe will get the Gronkowski package but usually when there are injuries, Brady doubles up the Wes Welker targets. That was the case when Hernandez first got hurt. In his last 13 games against the Jets, Welker has averaged around nine targets, six or seven receptions and four first downs a game. Look for Welker to top his average in all these categories. -- Pat Kirwan

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter @CBSFantasyFB . You can also follow Dave at @daverichard and on Facebook .

Senior Fantasy Writer

Dave Richard has spent nearly his entire career covering the National Football League. Beginning with NFL.com at the boom of the Internet, Richard was that site's first Fantasy Football writer before transitioning... Full Bio

Show Comments Hide Comments
Our Latest Stories
    CBS Sports Shop