Week 12 is closing in, and so are the fantasy playoffs. Must win games are becoming more frequent. Let's see who's looking hot and who's not.
Peyton Manning: He's on the upswing, having 20+ points in his last three games, along with no turnovers in that stretch. This week he's facing a very weak secondary in the Chargers. Expect a big day from the entire Colts cast, especially Manning.
Projection: 274 Yards and 3 TDs for 22 Points
Jay Cutler: He tore up Oakland in week one for 20 points and I wouldn't expect much less. Don't forget, he didn't have Brandon Marshall in that game either. With Denver's diversity in their running game, don't be surprised if he throws up a couple of deep balls.
The Only thing that may keep him from having an epic day is a few interceptions. Remember, Oakland's strong point is in their secondary.
Projection: 309 Yards, 3 TDs and 2 Ints for 20 Points
Eli Manning: His moderate fantasy season has been credited to the success of the Giants running game. If the Cardinals can keep that in check, look for Eli to have to step up. And while Kurt Warner has Fitz and Boldin, Manning has Plaxico, Toomer, and Steve Smith.
Projection: 241 Yards, 3 TDs and 1 Int for 19 Points
Kyle Orton: He had a bad return start against Green Bay last week, but now he's got the Rams, a team that surrenders 31.7 points per game. Let's not forget though that he's not totally healthy and he's averaging just over one TD a game, so we can't get too excited for this one.
Projection: 300 Yards, 2 TDs and 1 Int for 18 Points
Jeff Garcia: Earnest Graham is officially on the IR, leaving Warrick Dunn with the load. I'd expect the Bucs to throw more. Plus, they're facing the Lions.
Projection: 254 Yards and 2 TDs for 18 Points
Matt Cassel & Chad Pennington: Last time the Pats and Dolphins faced off, it wasn't a good day for quarterbacks. They combined for 14 points and just one TD. I don't expect a day as bad for the two, but I don't expect one much better.
Projection (Cassel): 211 Yards, 2 TD and 2 Int for 12 Points
Projection (Pennington): 184 Yards, 1 TD and 1 Int for 9 Points
Kurt Warner: I probably just made some enemies by putting Warner here, but look at the facts. While he is the best fantasy QB to date, look who he's played: no one. The best defense he's seen was the Panthers.
Now he faces the Giants, a team that has no problem forcing turnovers. What might save him is some garbage time passes towards the end of the game.
Projection: 324 Yards, 1 TD and 3 Ints for 10 points
Phillip Rivers: Again, I'm not making any friends with this. Rivers has been an elite fantasy QB. But, the Colts offer one of the best pass defenses around. While the rest of the Colts defense can be brought into question. The one thing they can do is stop the pass.
Not to mention, Rivers was shut down by Pitt last week for two points. I look for LT to be more of a factor than Rivers here.
Projection: 211 Yards, 1 TD and 2 Ints for 8 Points
Matt Forte: Forte should have the game of his season...err his career. The Rams should allow everyone on the Bears to have a good game, especially Forte.
Projection: 23 Carries for 109 Yards and 2 TDs and 3 Receptions for 26 Yards and 1 TD for 30 Points
Marion Barber: It was good to see Barber bounce back from a few lackluster performances with a 20 point week against the Redskins. While the Skins may not have the best defense around, neither do the 49ers. They allowed Antonio Pittman to rush for 95 yards last week. The only thing Pittman didn't get to do was score...Barber should have no problem doing that.
Projection: 21 Carries for 141 Yards and 1 TD and 6 Receptions for 39 Yards and a TD for 29 Points
Frank Gore: Gore put up good numbers against the Rams, but that's not a surprise. Dallas obviously offers more than the Rams do, but not that much. They are pretty average against the run, and Gore handles average teams pretty well. As long as the Niners keep it close enough for Gore the get 20+ carries, expect a good game.
Projection: 24 Carries for 112 Yards and 2 TDs and 3 Receptions for 19 Yards for 24 Points
Adrian Peterson: Jacksonville has the 20th ranked run defense and Peterson's coming off of a poor performance by his standards last week. Look for him to have a good day.
Projection: 22 Carries for 126 Yards and 2 TDs and 2 Receptions for 8 Yards for 24 Points
LaDainian Tomlinson: I never thought I would see the day that LT wasn't an obvious point out. He's going against the Colts, who have allowed 10 rushing TDs in their last 5 games. In other words Tomlinson is a shoe in here.
Projection: 19 Carries for 96 Yards and 2 TDs and 4 Receptions for 29 Yards for 23 Points
Marshawn Lynch: Here is a match up you have to love. Lynch is facing KC, and their 31st ranked run defense. He'll see the ball, but he'll have to put it in the endzone.
19 Carries for 124 Yards and 1 TD and 4 Receptions for 24 Yards for 20 Points
DeAngelo Williams & Jonathan Stewart: They tore apart the Lions for a combined 43 points. The Falcons should see a similar fate.
Projection (Williams): 16 Carries for 88 Yards and 1 TD and 1 Reception for 9 Yards for 14 Points
Projection (Stewart): 10 Carries for 41 Yards and 2 TDs for 16 Points
Warrick Dunn: We could be witnessing the rise of Dunn with Graham out. However, there is talk of Carnell Williams coming back to ease the load, plus B.J Askew has the potential to steal some TDs on the line. Still, against the Lions, Dunn is a good look.
Projection: 20 Carries for 114 Yards and 1 TD and 2 Receptions for 20 Yards, for 19 Points
Willie Parker: He had a good week against the Chargers, he just failed to reach the endzone. I don't see that happening again. The only thing that will keep him from having a really good week is Big Ben throwing for a few TDs.
Projection: 22 Carries for 129 Yards and 1 TD for 18 Points
Jamal Lewis: He's got the 24th ranked Texans defense standing in his way. However, he's yet to even reach 90 rushing yards in a game. I see the Browns trying to pass a lot to keep up with Houston. Still, he's reached double digit points in four of his last seven games. Coincidentally, he scored a touchdown in those four games. If he scores, he's a good play.
Projection: 18 Carries for 94 Yards and 1 TD for 15 points
Michael Turner: He has only 4 games where he didn't reach double digit points. One of them was against Carolina. While I don't expect him to have a total let down, I don't expect him to have a good game by his standards.
Projection: 19 Carries for 89 Yards and 1 TD for 14 Points
Ronnie Brown: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. We all know Brown had a career performance against the Pats in week three. But, can we expect that twice? Bill Belichick won't let his team be fooled by the Phins twice, which means a let down for Brown owners.
Projection: 16 Carries for 64 Yards and 4 Receptions for 19 Yards for 7 Points
Kevin Smith: He salvaged a 10 point game against the Bears three week ago, which has allowed Smith to continue on with three double digit point games in a row. Against the Bucs, Smith should be kept to moderate numbers. I think he'll keep his streak alive, but barely...and only if he reaches the endzone.
Projection: 16 Carries for 53 Yards and 1 TD and 2 Receptions for 9 Yards for 11 Points
Tim Hightower: He's in the middle of a slide right now, and the Giants aren't the team to bust out of a cold streak against. If he reaches the endzone, he could do okay, but I don't expect that.
Projection: 12 Carries for 34 Yards and 3 Receptions for 12 Yards, for 4 Points
Thomas Jones: Jones is averaging 19 points in his last six games. However, the Titans should put a stop to that.
Projection17 Carries for 69 Yards for 6 Points
Greg Jennings: He scored his first TD in four games last week. I see that fate and then some this week. He disappeared off the radar for a while, but a game in a dome against a mild Saints pass defense should give him a good day.
Projection: 7 Receptions for 112 Yards and 2 TDs for 23 Points
Reggie Wayne: A good day for Peyton means a good day for Reggie Wayne.
Projection: 6 Receptions for 86 Yards and 2 TDs for 20 Points
Kevin Walter: It was hard for me to put Walter up here instead of Andre Johnson, but teams keep locking Johnson up. Walter should see a deep ball or two for some good points.
Projection: 4 Receptions for 89 Yards and 1 TD for 14 Points
Randy Moss: Cassel threw for 400 yards last week. Even though I don't see this game being an areal assault for either team, I see Moss pulling in at least one good one.
Projection: 3 Receptions for 76 Yards and 1 TD for 15 Points
Terrell Owens: Tony Romo is back. And against the 49ers, a good day should be in store. Just hope they don't blow them out and end up running out the second half.
Projection: 6 Receptions for 76 Yards and 1 TD for 13 Points
Calvin Johnson: The odds remain against him, especially now that he's against one of the best passing defenses in the Bucs. But, he'll continue to find ways to succeed.
Projection: 2 Receptions for 81 Yards and 1 TD for 14 Points
Plaxico Burress: No team has allowed more passing touchdowns than the Cardinals, and who has the best chance of reeling one in?
Projection: 5 Receptions for 81 Yards and 1 TD for 14 Points
T.J. Houshmanzadeh: He's hit or miss this season. He either reaches 20 points, or doesn't surpass 6. If you are in a PPR league, he's a lot more valuable. But against Pitt, I'd still consider sitting him.
Projection: 6 Receptions for 39 Yards for 3 Points
Lance Moore: If you ask me, he's all hype. He's had three good weeks in a row, but all against weak teams (SD, Atl, and KC). Against GB, I think Drew Brees will spread the ball among his receivers a little more.
Projection: 4 Receptions for 60 Yards for 6 Points
Wes Welker: Again, if you're in a PPR league, Welker is almost a must start. Otherwise, don't.
Projection: 8 Receptions for 71 Yards for 7 Points
That's my Hot or Not for the week. Good luck in your week 12 matches.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!