- Despite dealing with an injury-depleted receiving corps, Eli Manning remains an attractive fantasy option this week against the Jaguars. Jacksonville has allowed the fourth most fantasy points to QBs this season. Opposing passers have put up useful fantasy stats in every game this year against the Jags except one. Look for Manning to find a way to net 250 yards and a pair of scores.
- Since he took over for Tony Romo, Jon Kitna has been a solid contributor for fantasy owners. He’s recorded 11 touchdowns in five games. Based on what we’ve seen so far, he’s a playable option any week. However, know that Week 12 will pose his most difficult challenge yet. New Orleans has allowed the fewest fantasy points to QBs in 2010. They’ve held quality passers like Ben Roethlisberger and Matt Ryan in check. Kitna may find a way to post 230 yards and a couple scores but expecting much more would be folly.
- Chiefs QB Matt Cassel started the season slowly but is making a push for consideration as a top 10 fantasy QB. Cassel has rolled off multi-TD performances in five of his last six games. A dream matchup this week against the Seahawks is an opportunity to exploit for Cassel owners. Seattle has allowed 10 passing touchdowns in their last four games.
- A matchup versus the Ravens shouldn’t keep you up at night if you’ve been relying on Tampa QB Josh Freeman. Baltimore has yielded good passing numbers to good QBs this year. Matt Ryan, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Kyle Orton recently recorded multi-TD performances. Freeman won’t take over this game and put up 300 yards and three touchdowns. But another steady 220 yard, 2-TD performance is doable.
This Week’s Sleepers: Brett Favre and Sam Bradford
- San Francisco’s Frank Gore should be money this week against the Cardinals. Gore has piled up 11 touchdowns in his last eight games against Arizona. Plus the Cards have allowed the second most fantasy points to RBs this season. They’ve given up multiple RB scores in four straight games. Look for a heavy dose of Gore on Monday night. When all is said and done, the boxscore should read 150 yards and two scores for Gore.
- Exhaust your other options before trusting Brandon Jackson this week. The Green Bay starter will have a tough time finding openings against a stout Falcons run defense. Atlanta hasn’t allowed a single RB score in their last five games. Nor have they given up 100 yards rushing to any RB over that stretch. Jackson will be fortunate to escape this game with 75 total yards.
- New England’s BenJarvus Green-Ellis is a no brainer this week against the Lions. Detroit has allowed the third most fantasy points to RBs. In addition, see if you can get Danny Woodhead in your lineup, especially in PPR leagues. The Lions have given up 27 receptions and two receiving touchdowns to RBs in their last four games. Look for the versatile Woodhead to chip in 85 all-purpose yards and a score.
- Look for Raiders RB Darren McFadden to bounce back nicely against the Dolphins. Miami has allowed three straight runners to put up over 100 all-purpose yards. In four home games this season, Run DMC has averaged 132.7 total yards per game. He should go for 150 yards and a score here.
This Week’s Sleepers: Danny Woodhead, Brandon Jacobs, Ricky Williams, Willis McGahee and Mike Tolbert
- Get your Packer wideouts some game-day action Sunday against the Falcons. You know you’re going to start Greg Jennings but James Jones should also get plenty of looks in a game that has shootout potential. Atlanta allows the sixth most completions per game and sixth most fantasy points to wideouts. In their last five contests, they’ve yielded 11 WR scores. Bank on three touchdowns between Jennings and Jones.
- I was expecting Miami’s Brandon Marshall to re-emerge during the second half of 2010. It doesn’t look like that’s going to happen. Marshall tweaked his hamstring last week. The injury coupled with question marks at QB and a tough matchup versus Oakland dictate that owners should put Marshall on the pine. Even if he plays, he’ll struggle to post more than 50 yards. Heck, you might even want to consider dropping Marshall outright depending on what else is available.
- This Sunday against the Colts, San Diego wideout Vincent Jackson will take the field for the first time this season. It’s not a great matchup but Jackson should be in your lineup anyway. The Bolts are still short on pass catchers because of various injuries. Jackson figures to get at least 5-7 targets in this game. Indianapolis has allowed just one WR touchdown in each of their last four games — but most of those scores went to the opponent’s top WR. That bodes well for VJax.
- Saints wideout Robert Meachem scored twice last week against the Seahawks and draws another favorable matchup. He’ll go up against a Cowboys defense that has ceded 11 WR touchdowns in the last five games. They’ve allowed the fifth most fantasy points to receivers this season. Get Meachem into your lineup as a No. 3 WR or flex option and look for more success.
This Week’s Sleepers: James Jones, Sidney Rice, Derek Hagan, Hines Ward and Blair White
- Browns QB Seneca Wallace is expected to start this weekend against the Panthers. That’s good news for TE Ben Watson. In the four games Wallace started this season, Watson posted 20 receptions, an average of five per game. Wallace should look to his TE early and often on Sunday. The Panthers have allowed the third most fantasy points to TEs this year.
- Texans TE Joel Dreessen is a solid matchup-based option this week against the Titans. Tennessee has been bloodied by opposing TEs of late. In their last three games, they’ve allowed two 100-yard, 1-TD performances and one 90-yard performance to TEs. When you consider the 2010 season in its entirety, the Titans have surrendered the sixth most fantasy points to the tight end position.
This Week’s Sleepers: Ben Watson, Joel Dreessen and Travis Beckum
- For a three week stretch in October, no kicker in the NFL was generating more fantasy points than Miami’s Dan Carpenter. But since that impressive run, inconsistency at the QB position has made Carpenter too unpredictable to trust. In their most recent game, the Dolphins had trouble even crossing the 50-yard line. The Six-Pack doesn’t like Carpenter’s chances this week in Oakland. The Raiders have allowed the fourth fewest fantasy points to kickers this season. Look elsewhere for your kicker until Miami proves it can muster some offense.
- Denver kicker Matt Prater was a huge disappointment in Week 11 but show some faith in him. The Broncos offense should be able to move the ball more effectively against St. Louis than they were against San Diego. The Rams have allowed 11 field goals in their last four games and the fourth most total kicker points this year.
This Week’s Sleepers: Matt Prater and Phil Dawson
Team Defense / Special Teams
- Lower your expectations for the Green Bay Packers DST this week against the Falcons. Atlanta QB Matt Ryan has been playing smart, disciplined football lately. He hasn’t thrown an interception and has been sacked just twice in his last three games. Clay Matthews, Charles Woodson and company provide enough playmaking ability that you’ll want to keep the Packers in your lineup. Just don’t bet on a big performance.
- Give the Cleveland Browns defense a rare spot start this week against the Panthers. Carolina is coming off a game in which they gave up two defensive touchdowns to the Ravens. Now they’ll go on the road to the Dawg Pound to face a Cleveland defense that is playing inspired football. The Browns have scored three defensive touchdowns in their last four games. Considering the state of Carolina’s offense, and their QB situation in particular, the Browns have an excellent shot to cross the stripe again.
This Week’s Sleepers: Cleveland Browns and Oakland Raiders
This Week's Six-Pack: Magic Hat #9
Brewed by: Magic Hat Brewing Company, S. Burlington, Vermont
Appearance: Magic Hat #9 is presented in a brown longneck with an orange label featuring a swirly design. The label bills this beer as a “not quite pale ale”. The inside of the bottle cap had a message that read, “What’s the link between what you drink and think?” The beer is cloudy and orange with a robust head.
Smell: Strong apricot aroma. Light hops.
Taste: Again with the apricots. That’s the first thing you taste and it’s prevalent in the aftertaste, as well. Sandwiched in between I picked up some malts and bready flavors. It’s crisp and refreshing but there’s nothing really here to hold your attention. I would add that the carbonation seemed overdone and was a little distracting from the flavor.
Drinkability: All in all, this is a smooth easy drinking beer. It certainly would be a better choice in the summer.
Last Call: I’m not a fan of fruity beers in general so this wasn’t a good match from the start. That said, if you enjoy a beer like, say, Blue Moon, you might go for Magic Hat #9. Two stars out of five.
Next Week's Six-Pack: Back in Black IPA, 21st Amendment Brewery, San Francisco
Past Beer Reviews