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Fantasy Forecast: Week 12

James Morris hails from Rio Rancho, NM and has been playing fantasy sports for well over a decade. Not only does he write the Bengals fantasy section, but he also does the Jacksonville Jaguars and San Diego Chargers fantasy sections, as well as the Indiana Pacers, Minnesota Timberwolves and Utah Jazz fantasy basketball sections in the NBA. Last season James finished with an 82 percent accuracy rating for fantasy predictions and will be here to answer any questions you may have about your specific team. Just send him an email and he will reply back the same day with your answer.

Should you have fantasy ethics?

Did you know there are some fantasy playoffs going on as early as Week 12 of the season? Most standard leagues start their playoffs in Week 14 of the season, so that is the format I am going to use with the articles. Just make sure you have your lineups set before the Thursday games and you take note of all injury status updates.


Carson Palmer: Palmer and the Bengals face off against the helpless Browns this week and they need to win to prove to people that they can handle success, as well as adversity. Because of how bad the Browns secondary is, I wouldn't be shocked to see Palmer finish the week as a top 10 QB.

Matt Hasselbeck: Hasselbeck is usually far too erratic to pick as a starter, but the Rams defense has a way of making QB2s look like QB1s. I've picked Hasselbeck before and he burned me but I think this could be the week where he finally steps up and looks like a QB1.

Jason Snelling: Word is that Michael Turner practiced on Wednesday on a limited basis, but Coach Mike Smith said there is no timetable for his return. The Bucs defense isn't good at stopping the run (in fact they are dead last in the league), and Snelling should finish the game as the Falcons leading rusher with a score or two.

Justin Forsett: Forsett is filling in for Julius Jones and if there was ever a week for the Seahawks offense to click, it would be this week against the Rams. Last week Forsett had 89 total yards and a TD and this week could be more of the same. I don't think you will see RB1 type numbers, but I think Forsett could be a solid RB2.

Sidney Rice: Rice has become Favre's new man-crush in the passing game, and this week they will face up against a weak Bears secondary. The Bears are aging and even though they are ranked eighth against the pass, I think the Vikings will find a way to have Rice and Favre hook up.

Mike Sims-Walker: MSW has turned into a household name this season and the Jaguars need him. Maurice Jones-Drew can only do so much by himself and Garrard seems to have found his go-to guy in Sims-Walker, so I'm going to give him a WR2 start this week.

Vernon Davis: I don't like using the same player in back-to-back weeks, but Davis is just about all the Niners have in the passing game and the Jaguars secondary can be beat. TE is an all or nothing position, but I think Davis will be a winner this weekend.

Miami Dolphins Defense: This week the Dolphins match up against a struggling Buffalo offense. Sure, Terrell Owens had a huge game last week, but lightning doesn't strike twice in the same spot and I don't see the Bills and Owens filling up the stats sheet. I look for them to be a lower end DEF1 this weekend.


Jay Cutler: The Bears offense has more problems than a stud QB could fix and Cutler is proving that this season. Chicago is ranked 14th in the NFL in passing offense and there is that little 15-18 TD-INT ratio looming over their heads right now too.

Eli Manning: This breaks down to Denver's passing defense being ranked third in the NFL. Forget that the Giants offense is hot and cold and the passing game seems to be more cold than hot, the Broncos defense is still ranked third in the NFL against the pass.

Rock Cartwright: Well, Clinton Portis got his bell rung and is seeing double still; Ladell Betts tore both his ACL and MCL ligaments, so he is out; that leaves fullback Rock Cartwright to carry the load and I want no part of it against this Eagles defense. Don't fall into the waiver wire trap I see so many others getting into here.

Knowshon Moreno: Moreno got a lot of publicity heading into the season, but he has yet to hit the century mark for rushing yards and he has just three total touchdowns this season. The Broncos schedule was misleading because they had an easy early schedule that started off with a fluke win over the Bengals. Walk away if you can. See if someone will trade for him.

Terrell Owens: T.O. sat on 99 percent of people's benches last week and he finally had a good game. Thus, this week owners are falling over themselves to stick him in their lineups and they are making the wrong decision. I think he will finish as a WR3 at best this weekend.

Steve Smith (CAR): OK, I am officially done with Steve Smith and the Panthers offense. Sure, Smith has had back-to-back games where he has scored, but he isn't getting the catches or the yards most weeks and I wouldn't trust him against the Jets defense this week.

Kevin Boss: I've seen far too many Week 12 rankings with Boss as a TE1 and why? Before last weekend, his best game was in Week 8 where he had a whopping 3 catches for 70 yards and a score. Yes, he has had three straight weeks with a touchdown, but he isn't the new Shockey.

New Orleans Saints Defense: The Saints have probably the most surprising fantasy player on their team this season, and it is their defense. The problem this week is that they run into the New England Patriots offense and we all know they can put up stats in bunches. I'd find another defense to play if you could.


Q: Here's a tough one for you. I am in second place in my 12-team league. This is our last week, with the top 6 teams in three weeks of playoffs. I am pretty much locked in as the No. 2 seed, earning a bye in round one. The tiebreaker is total points scored. I can tank this week and eliminate the league's No. 2 point scorer- he misses the playoffs at 6-6 (we would end with one team at 9-3, five at 7-5, one of those teams being the one I would lose to). I have no advantage from winning the week. Should I tank?
--Phil Tackett in Charleston, SC

A: I play to win every single week, so my initial call would be to play to win. But, if the No. 2 guy in points scored is on the fringe of making the playoffs and you are the deciding game, you have to look at that because he could get hot at the right time (now) and dominate down the stretch. I think if it were MY team and MY league I'd choose the best strategy for me to win it all. And, it would seem that the guy can put up points in bunches; he just doesn't seem to be able to pick the right plays from week-to-week.

I'd tank this week and eliminate the No. 2 points leader. Take out your best competition and give yourself the best possible chance to win.

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