Fantasy Football Projections: Early Look at Top Matchup Plays
It's Week 12 of the 2012 fantasy football season, and for many teams this is it, as those teams face must-win scenarios if they're going to keep their postseason dreams alive.
For those teams it's absolutely critical that they milk every possible point from their starting lineups, and that means that when choosing between comparable options or swinging for the fences with a sneaky play, knowing which players have favorable matchups is essential.
So, with that in mind here's a look at some of Week 12's top less-than-obvious matchup fantasy plays.
Tony Romo, QB, Dallas Cowboys (vs. WAS)
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Granted, it's been something of a rocky season for quarterback Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys, as the tenth-year veteran has already thrown more interceptions than he did in all of 2011 and ranks a pedestrian 15th among fantasy quarterbacks.
However, a Thanksgiving day tilt with the Washington Redskins may be just what the doctor ordered.
Romo is a perfect 5-0 on Turkey Day with 14 touchdown passes and only four interceptions in his career, and only one team in the NFL has allowed more fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks this year than the Redskins.
Other quarterbacks with favorable matchups: Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals (vs. OAK), Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts (vs. BUF), Chad Henne, Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. TEN)
Jalen Parmele, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. TEN)
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OK, so I know what you're wondering.
Who the heck is Jalen Parmele?
Jalen Parmele is the third-year pro that rushed for 80 yards on 24 carries after taking over for the ineffective Rashad Jennings as the lead running back for the Jacksonville Jaguars last week.
Jalen Parmele is also the running back facing the Tennessee Titans this week, who allow the second-most fantasy points to opposing ball-carriers in 2012.
Any more questions?
Other running backs with favorable matchups: Vick Ballard, Indianapolis Colts (vs. BUF), BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Cincinnati Bengals (vs. OAK), Bryce Brown, Philadelphia Eagles (vs. CAR)
Michael Crabtree, WR, San Francisco 49ers (at NO)
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After a fairly quiet start to the 2012 season, San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree has been on something of a hot streak of late, as the fourth-year pro has tallied 10 receptions for 142 yards and three touchdowns over his past two games entering Monday night's Week 11 matchup with the Chicago Bears.
Crabtree has an excellent shot at keeping that momentum going Sunday against the New Orleans Saints, as not only do the Saints often force teams to throw more than they usually might, but they've also surrendered the third-most fantasy points per game this year to wide receivers.
Other wide receivers with favorable matchups: Donald Jones, Buffalo Bills (at IND), Sidney Rice, Seattle Seahawks (at MIA), Jeremy Kerley, New York Jets (vs. NE)
Dustin Keller, TE, New York Jets (vs. NE)
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Things haven't exactly gone as planned for the New York Jets or tight end Dustin Keller this season, as the fifth-year pro has played in only six games, amassing a meager 21 catches for 236 yards and a single touchdown.
Starting a player coming off a two-catch, 16-yard effort such as Keller's last week against the St. Louis Rams isn't for the faint of heart, but fantasy owners can at least take solace in the fact that the New England Patriots have been the third-friendliest fantasy matchup for tight ends this season.
Other tight ends with favorable matchups: Marcedes Lewis, Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. TEN), Brandon Myers, Oakland Raiders (at CIN), Dallas Clark, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. ATL)
Denver Broncos Defense/Special Teams (at KC)
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In fantasy football, team defenses are all about matchups and this week it doesn't get much better than the one the Denver Broncos face.
Defensive end Elvis Dumervil and linebacker Von Miller anchor a pass rush that has propelled the Broncos to the top five among fantasy defenses in most scoring systems.
That pass rush should tee off this week against a hapless Kansas City Chiefs team allowing the second-most fantasy points to team defenses this season.
Other defenses with favorable matchups: St. Louis Rams (at AZ), New England Patriots (at NYJ), Carolina Panthers (at PHI)