Be wary of relying on Eli Manning this week in fantasy football.
He is one of Week 12's tough starts with bust potential because the New York Giants are not only in a slump, but the Green Bay Packers come by for a visit on Sunday night.
And the Packers enter on a five-game winning streak with a better defense than at first glance.
Plus, this late in the fantasy season taking risks must only occur if you desperately need a win. It's not so much about playing safer as it is utilizing the most consistent players.
Here, we check out those facing rough matchups that can be costly throughout Thanksgiving weekend.
For one, the Giants welcome the Packers amidst a two-game losing streak.
Secondly, Manning has tossed one measly touchdown to six interceptions over Big Blue's previous four contests. In addition, that span only displays a 55.3 completion percentage.
As for Green Bay, the Packers have recorded 33 sacks with 12 interceptions this season.
Even more impressive, though, is Green Bay allowing only a 55.8 completion percentage to opposing quarterbacks. Manning's pass protection hasn't been as reliably consistent in 2012, and New York is actually better running the rock.
Not to mention that approach will also shorten the game and keep Aaron Rodgers off the field.
With reason, it's easy to be concerned about the Atlanta Falcons passing game.
After all, Matt Ryan did throw five interceptions to the Arizona Cardinals in Week 11. Nonetheless, defending the pass is one of the few strengths Arizona possesses.
Playing at Tampa in Week 12, though, Atlanta sees the NFL's worst pass defense—albeit an opportunistic one. The Bucs allow 312.6 passing yards per game and a 65.2 completion percentage; however, Tampa has also recorded 17 interceptions and gives on 3.4 yards per rush.
The Falcons are a one-dimension team on both sides of the line. Atlanta averages just 3.7 yards per rush, and its defense allows five yards per carry. Therefore, expect Tampa to slam on the ground with Doug Martin and limit the Falcons' offensive possessions.
In turn, receiver Julio Jones sees fewer targets/receptions as has been the case in recent weeks.
Jimmy Graham may lead the New Orleans Saints in receiving touchdowns, but the San Francisco 49ers defense is one tough matchup.
The Niners have found a stride of confidence as of recent much like New Orleans; however, San Francisco can apply quarterback pressure from all over. Aldon Smith alone is capable of beating one-on-one or double-team situations.
Also, Patrick Willis and the rest of the linebackers can run with Graham in man coverage. Include the 49ers offense controlling the game tempo versus a suspect Saints defense and Drew Brees will get limited possessions.
If anything, expect more production from Lance Moore and Marques Colston, because isolating Graham is the key to minimizing NOLA's offense.
All the Minnesota Vikings have to do against the Chicago Bears is double coverage Brandon Marshall.
The end result is man coverage everywhere else and the front seven controlling the line of scrimmage.
As was revealed on Monday, the Bears lack any sort of pass protection which reduces the time for plays to develop. Well, the Vikings present premier pass-rusher Jared Allen, and Minnesota has logged 26 sacks this season.
For Chicago to win, the rest of its receiving corps must step up because totally eliminating Marshall is Minnesota's best bet defensively. Factor in Adrian Peterson, who is capable of bowling 100-plus against the Bears defense, and the Windy City's offense won't be offered too many offensive opportunities.
Jamaal Charles is the only legit offensive weapon for the Kansas City Chiefs.
And although K.C.'s main No. 1 back has averaged 4.8 yards per carry, the Denver Broncos will be the best defense the Chiefs have seen in 2012.
Von Miller and Co. gives up just 93.8 rushing yards per week on the ground and only 3.5 per carry.
Then there's the Chiefs lack of a passing game and pass protection. Denver has collected 35 sacks thus far, and Jack Del Rio's front seven will stifle anything at the line. Kansas City also turns the ball over far too much and Denver's offense pushes the pace to make the Chiefs one-dimensional.
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