Fantasy Football Week 12: Saturday's Start/Sit and Injury Updates
Now that one or more NFL games go off each Thursday, the rosters in your fantasy league probably lock then. Lineups can always be tinkered with, though, and the winning team on Sunday in these late-season fantasy match-ups is usually the one with better knowledge when filling out the lineup on Saturday.
Who's hurt? Who will have a big game this weekend? Who should you stash away because of a bad match-up? It is a big weekend, as fantasy owners prepare for the playoffs.
Don't be the guy in your league who left Hakeem Nicks or Antonio Gates in your lineup this week. Read on for the latest updates from around the league.
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Start Him: Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
Ryan is not as elite a fantasy passer as he is a real-life quarterback, but he and Roddy White could combine for some video-game numbers against a Packers defense that will play without key cog Atari Bigby yet again, and that has a wounded leader in cornerback Charles Woodson (hampered by a toe injury but expected to play).
The bitter cold that will grip most of the country throughout the weekend won't reach Atlanta, and it certainly will not reach inside the Georgia Dome, so Ryan should have no trouble from Mother Nature.
Sit Him: Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens
Flacco has had a great stretch since the Ravens' bye week, with 882 yards and six touchdowns against only one interception in three games.
This week, though, the Ravens take on the sixth-best pass defense in football (Tampa Bay) at home, in the cold of Baltimore. The conditions and circumstance do not seem to add up to a good day for Flacco.
Injury Update: Brett Favre, Minnesota Vikings
If the ankle, toe and shoulder injuries were not enough, Favre had plenty of headaches over the off-field turmoil through which he slogged for over half the season. Now, perhaps, he is gaining a bit of health back, and he participated fully in practice Friday.
He seems unlikely to really light up the Redskins, but he may have his best game of the year so far, for what that is worth.
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Start Him: Ray Rice, Baltimore Ravens
As good as Tampa Bay is against the pass, they are as bad against the run. Rice could have a field day if Flacco can manage to force the safeties back off the line of scrimmage at all, and the opportunistic Ravens defense should get the ball back into Baltimore possession quick and often enough to maximize Rice's chances.
Sit Him: LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles take on the Bears on Sunday, and the combination of Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs would just love to bruise McCoy early and often. Chicago allows the third-fewest yards per carry and the second-fewest per game, so even Michael Vick may not be able to get his wheels moving against that unit. McCoy could have a sputtering game.
Injury Update: Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville Jaguars
Jones-Drew hardly has a cherry match-up this week to begin with, as the Giants give up strikingly little in the running game.
He also has a rather enigmatic abdomen injury that is not considered serious or likely to hold him out of action, but that could well affect his production. Keep an eye on him until kickoff if you have an acceptable substitute.
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Start Him: Randy Moss, Tennessee Titans
There are two ways to look at the Randy Moss situation:
1. He's useless, over-the-hill, and has no quarterback passing to him.
2. That quarterback can choose between a whole lot of nothing else, and throwing the ball up to No. 84 against one of the worst secondaries of the past five years. He'll probably go for the latter.
If No. 2 comes to fruition, you heard it here first: Skills don't die that fast, and Moss could still light up the very weak Texans.
Sit Him: Blair White, Indianapolis Colts
The secret weapon effect can only work its charm for so long; White will not have the same kind of week he had against New England this Sunday against San Diego.
The Chargers have others to worry about, but (with Austin Collie, Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark hurt) nothing daunting that will leave White all alone. He is rated way too highly in fantasy circles right now.
Injury Update: Brandon Marshall, Miami Dolphins
That Marshall's hamstring did not heal enough for him to practice Friday would be discouragement enough under normal circumstances, but he actually had three extra days this time around.
It does not look like Marshall will fly to Oakland with the Dolphins, so replace him in your lineups if possible.
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Start Him: Kevin Boss, New York Giants
The Jaguars, whom the Giants play this Sunday in New York, do not have the chops to stop the pass consistently across the middle, and Boss will team with Eli Manning to exploit that weakness. Steve Smith and Hakeem Nicks are both on the shelf, which means more targets for the big man.
Sit Him: Benjamin Watson, Cleveland Browns
Tight ends do not get much more favorable match-ups than the Panthers, against whom the Browns play on Sunday. Watson got shut out during a Week 11 game against Jacksonville, though, a contest he missed parts of with an ankle injury. He may be getting past his prime faster than anyone thought he would.
Injury Update: Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers
Gates has not played since Week 8, which is a shame because he had been having his best year as a pro. He is known as a warrior, but he seems unlikely to play Sunday after admitting to startling and frustrating soreness in his foot after trying to practice in a limited capacity Thursday.