It's Week 12 of the 2012 NFL season, and for any number of fantasy owners, this is it. One more loss and there won't be any playoffs this season, so it's incredibly important that they attempt to drain every last potential point from their rosters.
That means getting solid production from the quarterback position, and for those fantasy owners that weren't a beneficiary of one of the big performances on Thanksgiving, here are a trio of signal-callers that should be set to follow suit in Week 12.
Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers (at NO)
When the San Francisco 49ers went to backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick for last week's game against the Chicago Bears, the team was just hoping for a solid fill-in start, but after the second-year pro carved up the Bears, the 49ers have a burgeoning quarterback controversy on their hands as Kaepernick prepares to start again.
According to Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com, safety Donte Whitner told The Dan Patrick Show that Kaepernick will get the nod against the New Orleans Saints over incumbent Alex Smith, who hasn't practiced with the first team and has yet to be cleared for contact while recovering from a concussion.
Kaepernick passed for 243 yards and two touchdowns on Monday night, and given that, it's not unreasonable to expect even bigger things this week against the NFL's worst defense. Kaepernick represents a very strong (albeit risky) quarterback spot start for fantasy teams hurting at the position.
Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals (vs. OAK)
The Cincinnati Bengals have climbed back into the AFC playoff picture after consecutive victories due in large part to the strong play of second-year quarterback Andy Dalton, who hasn't been piling up the yardage but has been finding the end zone with regularity.
Over the past two games, Dalton has accounted for seven total touchdowns with no turnovers, and offensive coordinator Jay Gruden told The Associated Press via Fox News that he thinks a lot of that success is simply the result of Dalton's continuing maturation as a quarterback.
"He's done a lot more this year than he had last year," offensive coordinator Jay Gruden said. "We're giving him a lot more options at the line of scrimmage to make those changes. In the plays we don't change, he's done a good job of executing and not forcing the ball into the coverage."
Dalton's hot streak has an excellent chance at continuing that hot streak on Sunday against the Oakland Raiders, who rank 24th in the NFL against the pass and have allowed the third-most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks in 2012.
Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts (vs. BUF)
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck had something of a rough go of last week against the New England Patriots, as although Luck topped the 300-yard mark, he threw two interceptions that were returned for backbreaking touchdowns.
With that said Luck has still been a top-12 fantasy option in most scoring systems this season, and Luck is eager to rebound this week when the Colts host the Buffalo Bills according to Cliff Brunt of The Associated Press via The Louisville Courier-Journal.
“If you look at all the losses, turnovers have killed us, especially on my end with fumbles or interceptions,” Luck said. “I realize I’ve got to cut down on those if we want to have a chance to win.”
"Luck"-ily for his fantasy owners, Luck draws just the sort of matchup this week that portends a rebound, as the Bills have surrendered the eighth-most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks this year.
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