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Fantasy Insider: Week 12

James Morris hails from Rio Rancho, NM and has been playing fantasy sports for just over 15 years. Not only does he write the Bengals fantasy section, but he also does the Jacksonville Jaguars fantasy section. Crossing over, Morris writes the fantasy sections for the Boston Celtics, Indiana Pacers and Minnesota Timberwolves in the NBA. Just send him an email and he will reply back the same day with your answer.

Week 12 brings us one week closer to the fantasy playoffs, and because of Thanksgiving we are already three games down. Green Bay rolled over Detroit as expected; Dallas overcame its QB and won by sheer luck; in the late game we saw the 49ers and Ravens defenses square off. Not much offense was played, so calling it a slow game is understating it.

Injuries have hit fantasy owners hard as we saw Fred Jackson land on IR with a broken bone in his leg, Michael Vick is still out with his broken ribs and then there is Adrian Peterson, who is dealing with a bum ankle that is going to keep him out a week or two at least.

Finally, this is the week we see Andre Johnson return and owners are chomping at the bit to stick him back in their fantasy lineups. I've gotten at least a few hundred emails (seriously, 150 at the VERY least) asking if Johnson should be started over the guys they have in their WR slots now. I'll tell you the same thing I told them: If you have a WR that is producing now and you have been getting by with Johnson sitting on your bench, leave him on the bench one more week. Let him prove he can produce points with Matt Leinart at the helm just as Larry Fitzgerald does with his rag-tag bunch of QBs the Cardinals keep throwing at him. I'd rather miss one good game from Johnson than stick him back in the lineup in place of a guy who has been providing solid stats in his absence.


Tim Tebow: I am not a huge fan of his when it comes to being an NFL QB, but the guy finds a way to win each week and is putting up good enough fantasy stats to warrant a starting gig for Week 12. The Chargers give up the ninth-most fantasy points to QBs this season at 20.3 PPG and I have as much faith in Tebow as he does in his own faith this week.

Matt Ryan: Ryan has the skills to be a QB1 each and every week and is currently sitting at the No. 10 spot for QBs in Yahoo standard scoring formats. However, his owners are starting him in roughly 70 percent of leagues, which is mind boggling when you consider that players like Ryan Fitzpatrick and Josh Freeman are still starting for teams. Ryan draws the Vikings and they are giving up the most fantasy points to opposing QBs this season at 23.2 PPG. Julio Jones might not play this week, but I still think Ryan can finish as a low-end QB1.

Rashard Mendenhall: Mendenhall has been in a yardage funk pretty much all season, breaking 100 yards just once this year. This week, however, he draws a Chiefs team that has allowed 1,178 yards on the ground to RBs this season, sixth-most in the NFL. If there was a week for him to break the 100-yard mark and score, it is Week 12.

Willis McGahee: "Whatchu Talk'n Bout" Willis looked horrible last week, but that was due to a rush back from a bad hammy on short rest due to the Thursday night game. I think you see a much improved McGahee this week against a Chargers defense that is 12th against the run in fantasy points allowed to RBs this season.

Antonio Brown: Yes, he is the No. 2 WR behind Mike Wallace for the Steelers, but that is also what makes him so dangerous. This kid could be a low-end WR1 if he was a team's go-to guy, and that means he has the ability to burn a team's No. 2 CB and produce solid WR2 stats for your fantasy team most weeks. Every WR has a bad game here and there, but Brown is someone you want to stick with down the stretch.

A.J. Green: Green missed last week's game, and that was a disappointment given Andy Dalton's amazing performance. This week Green should be back and the Bengals get a Browns defense that is actually allowing the fewest fantasy points to WRs at just 12.3 PPG. That being said, I think he has Hall Of Fame ability and he can do what others have failed to do if Dalton can put another game together like he did last week.

Kellen Winslow: Winslow set a season high in receptions and yards last week and this week he gets a Titans secondary that is giving up 9.9 PPG to TEs this year. There is nothing like getting the third-worst defense against the TE to make you a starter in fantasy leagues.

Cincinnati Bengals Defense: The Bengals are one of the top fantasy defenses this season, and the rich get richer with the Bengals feasting on the sluggish Browns offense this week. Colt McCoy isn't going to win any MVP awards, Montario Hardesty is being handed the starting job again in his first week back and the Browns WRs are not going to make anyone nervous. This should be an easy call, but some of you doubt your gut instincts.


Rex Grossman: With Vick and Matt Schaub out, owners are scrounging the waiver wire to pick up a QB to plug-and-play down the stretch. Grossman is a gunslinger, which means he will have some highs and some lows, but more lows than highs since he forces the ball into coverage to try and make plays. The Seahawks are a terrible team, but they are allowing the ninth-fewest fantasy points to QBs this season at 17.7 PPG and that means Grossman isn't someone to gamble on in Week 12.

Matt Leinart: Believe it or not, I've gotten more than just a few emails from owners asking if they should start Leinart since he has Arian Foster and Andre Johnson at his disposal. Look, I could have been on the court with Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman, and you still wouldn't want any part of me in fantasy leagues! Leinart's skills (or lack thereof) are still the same as when he couldn't beat out anyone for the QB job. Let him be someone else's headache.

Chris Ogbonnaya: Even though Ogbonnaya has racked up 205 yards on a 5.1 YPC average over the last two weeks, coach Pat Shurmur said Montario Hardesty will start Sunday's game if he is available. Obi-Wan is more suited for a third-down back role and you will want to adjust your lineups accordingly.

C.J. Spiller: While I think he is worth an add from the waiver wire, this isn't the week to play him as he faces the Jets. The Jets have allowed just 17.9 PPG to RBs this season and that is good enough for 15th place. Add to that the sputtering Bills offense and you have a recipe for a disappointment this week.

Denarius Moore: Moore rose to stardom after he posted 123 receiving yards and a couple of TDs in Week 10, but followed that up with a single catch for 14 yards last week. On Wednesday he was spotted wearing a protective boot on his right foot, and if you couple that with the Bears Cover 2 zone this week, Moore should be starting for your fantasy team no more.

Andre Johnson: Johnson is back and should be close to 100 percent, but the same can't be said for the Texans passing game without Matt Schaub. As I said before, I'd err on the side of caution when it comes to playing Johnson going forward since Leinart has been nothing but a bust since being drafted by the Cardinals. I have as much faith in him to produce as I do a guy like Sidney Rice in Seattle; little to no confidence until he proves me wrong.

Greg Olsen: TE is the textbook definition of a boom-or-bust position in fantasy football. Olsen has topped 70-plus yards just twice this season, but he has racked up four touchdowns and that ties him for 5th in the NFL this season. That being said, this week the Panthers draw the dreadfully bad Colts who look to be rocketing towards Andrew Luck in the coming draft. But, as bad as they are, they are actually the 7th-best team at stopping the fantasy TE, allowing just 6.4 PPG. If he is all you have, then you have to play him, but I'd try and find someone else to play if at all possible.

New York Giants Defense: The G-Men are not the defense they once were. Entering the season they were projected as the nO. 6 defense in Yahoo projections, but are currently sitting in the 10th spot and will only drop further this week when they face the high-powered Saints offense. Drew Brees has as many weapons at WR as he ever has, plus now he has a giant TE target and a RB that is what Reggie Bush was supposed to be. Sit them down and find someone else to play this weekend.


Q: I follow your fantasy insider every week. I have Philip Rivers in two of my three leagues. What do I do with him? Is it time to bench him or send out trade requests? If not should I scour the waiver wire (slim pickens in both leagues) or continue to stick with him?

A: There is nothing on the waiver wire in Week 12 worth having I am sure, but every league is different. If the best FA option is someone like Carson Palmer, Jake Locker or Vince Young, then you might as well just play Rivers every week. I would certainly see what I could get for him, but his value is rock bottom right now unless you have a Chargers fan in your league. The best you can hope for in a trade is Eli Manning or Tony Romo, and then you might as well just stick with Rivers. There is always a village idiot, you just have to find him!

A lot of you have been asking for my Twitter and Facebook links, so here you are. I give daily news and updates via both, but Facebook is the better place to get a hold of me.

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