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Well, it looks like Chad Johnson won't be getting that raise he lobbied for in the offseason. You see, the Bengals and Ocho Cinco reportedly agreed before the season that if he made it through incident-free, he would get a pay raise in 2009. This affects your fantasy team because now Ocho Cinco has missed numero uno due to attitude problems and more could follow as the season ends if he doesn't straighten up and fly right.
The offense didn't look good at all last night outside of the initial drive and the final drive before the interception. Ben Utecht only caught three passes for 36 yards, but that ranks as his best overall game so far this season. T.J. Houshmandzadeh hauled in another four catches, to bring his total to 77 on the season and keep him in the league lead for the time being.
Sage Rosenfels: I would feel comfortable starting Rosenfels as a QB1 this week and so should you. He has Andre Johnson, Owen Daniels and Kevin Walter to throw to and Steve Slaton and Ahman Green to run the ball. It also doesn't hurt that Cleveland is ranked 19th for pass defense either.
Jeff Garcia: I wouldn't want to start him on MY team, but I see the logic in it. Detroit is just THAT bad. The Lions are ranked 23rd in the NFL for pass defense and they have given up 16 passing TDs, bad enough for fifth worst in the NFL.
Ryan Grant: Many owners had him rotting on their benches last week when he finally exploded for a good fantasy game (145 rushing yards and a TD). I wouldn't let him waste this week as he faces the New Orleans Saints and they are ranked 19th for run defense. Being lower here isn't a good thing. Grant is a low end RB1.
Warrick Dunn: Dunn is a high end RB2 against the Lions last-ranked run defense. The Lions give up 171.5 YPG on the ground and Dunn is the feature back in Tampa Bay now. Earnest Graham is on the IR and Cadillac Williams isn't in game shape just yet.
Lee Evans: Evans was held without a catch in Week 11, so many owners may be thinking about sitting him this week. When a player of Evans' caliber gets shutout, you can count on the team making it a point to go to him early and often. Kansas City is also 27 out of 32 for pass defense.
Antonio Bryant: Now, if you are going to start Garcia, you might as well go to his favorite target at WR as well. Joey Galloway is back, but he has been less involved in the offense than fantasy GMs would like to see. Bryant is stable enough with Garcia and the Bucs offense to use here as a solid WR2.
Greg Olsen: My buddy Chris will love this one and I hate it. Anyone not named Matt Forte is a risk to start in the Bears offense, but when you play the Rams, all things are possible. Tight end is the riskiest play as fantasy players go because it is all or nothing with them most of the time. But, I'd give Olsen a solid top 10 ranking for TEs this week.
Denver Broncos Defense: The Broncos match up with their division rivals, the Oakland Raiders. The Broncos defense has given up the 28th most points in the NFL, but Oakland's offense is offensive.
Brett Favre: He plays the Titans, need I say more? If you play Favre this week, you sure are a brave one.
Matt Hasselbeck: This isn't the week to start the Seahawks missile thrower. The Redskins are ranked 10th for passing defense and Hasselbeck doesn't have a good enough running game to set up the passing game. The Seattle offense isn't clicking and I wouldn't start any of them with the fantasy playoffs nearing.
Maurice Jones-Drew: While MJD is the feature back in Jacksonville these days, the Vikings are ranked No. 2 for run defense in the NFL. When your offense is 12th in running and the defense you face is second best, I think I'd rather give you a seat this week.
Tim Hightower: Hightower has fallen from fantasy stud to RB3 status. The Giants are ranked eighth in rushing defense and the Cardinals are passing the ball much more often than they are running.
Laveranues Coles: Coles is dealing with thigh problems and he has been limited in practice this week. Coles has eclipsed the 100-yard mark just once this season and hasn't had more than 64 yards since then. One TD in six weeks is killing fantasy owners.
Kevin Curtis: Curtis is back to being McNabb's No. 1 WR, but he really isn't much more than a WR3 these days. This week he faces the Ravens and their eighth-ranked passing defense, so sit him this week unless you have no better options.
Jeremy Shockey: Shockey is being shunned in the high-powered passing attack of the Saints. He did catch six passes last week, but he only managed 39 yards and has yet to haul in a TD thus far.
San Diego Chargers Defense: The Chargers play the Colts and Peyton Manning. I hope you haven't been playing the Chargers D very often anyway, but I certainly wouldn't do it this week. Many are ranking Manning No. 1 for QBs this week, but I like Jay Cutler better against Oakland. Either way, bench the Chargers defense this week.
Q: Who should I start in Week 12? WR (start 3) Chad Johnson, Dwayne Bowe, Lee Evans, Hines Ward, Lance Moore. Running backs (start 2) Marion Barber, DeAngelo Williams, Ryan Grant, Steve Slaton. Tight end (start 1) Jason Witten or pick up one off waivers.**
A:** Bowe plays against Buffalo and their 13th-ranked passing defense. Evans will want to come back strong and he faces KC's 27th-ranked passing defense.
RBs: I view Barber as a solid top-tier RB and Williams as a good tier 2 RB. San Fran gives up 106 YPG on the ground with 10 rushing TDs so far this season. Atlanta gives up 119 YPG with 11 TDs. New Orleans has only given up five rushing TDs this season and Grant hasn't exactly been a monster on the ground. The Texans are resting Slaton up more for a playoff push because he is tiring out with the NFL grind. Cleveland is one of the worst rushing defenders in the league, but I have a feeling Ahman Green is going to steal the fantasy points from Slaton.
Bengals: Ryan Fitzpatrick runs into the NFL's best pass defense this week (169.2 YPG) and that is not a good thing. I won't lie. Don't let Fitzpatrick within 10 feet of your computer terminal this week. To go even further, the Steelers are also No. 1 in run defense (68.9 YPG), so plan on sitting Cedric Benson as well.
I am sure T.J. Houshmandzadeh will haul in a few balls for all you points-per-reception leaguers, but I would bet there are better options out at WR. Chad Ocho Cinco is going to be inactive for tonights game for an undisclosed team violation, so make sure he is out of your lineup. I hate to say it, but I wouldn't start any Bengals player on offense or defense this week.
Steelers: I have Ben Roethlisberger ranked outside the top 15 QBs this week, meaning he is a solid QB2. The passing attack is taking a backseat to the ground game these days. Willie Parker is back and is a viable top 10 play at RB this week. Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes fall victim to the same plight that hits Big Ben, so I rank them in the 20-30 range for WRs this week. Ward makes a low-end WR2 play and Holmes is more of a WR3/Flex play.
Heath Miller practiced fully on Tuesday and is almost a lock to play this week, but he has a season high of 63 yards with just one touchdown. I'd bet there is a better TE play on the waiver wire, not to mention your roster. I'd give the Steelers defense a top 3 billing this week though.
From a fantasy standpoint you can feel solid playing Parker and Ward in a 3-WR league. But, know that Roethlisberger isn't getting as many throws with Parker back, so understand his yardage might not be the greatest. I'd just bypass the Bengals this week against a stellar Steelers defense.
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