Fantasy Football Today - fantasy football rankings, cheatsheets, and information
A Fantasy Football Community!

Create An Account  |  Advertise  |  Contact      

Joseph Hutchins | Archive | Email
Staff Writer

The Shot Caller's Report - Quarterbacks
Your Weekly Guide To Fantasy Lineups: Week 12
Positions: QBs | RBs | WRs

Nobody needs to be told starting Aaron Rodgers, Arian Foster, or Calvin Johnson is a good idea. Duh, right? You can’t have studs at every position, though, unless you’re in the shallowest of leagues. This is where the Shot Caller comes in. Need help deciding which bargain basement QB to use and which to ignore on Rodgers’ bye week? Let’s talk. Looking for solutions at running back because Foster is a game-time decision? Look no further. Need to know which of your unproven targets to start and which to sit since you ignored Megatron and went RB-QB-Gronkowski in your first three rounds? I’m your huckleberry. Past results may not guarantee future success, but I believe ignoring them entirely can ruin your Sundays in a hurry. Read on for a little history and, hopefully, a little sage advice.

Note: Fantasy points based on FF Today’s default scoring system.

Bye Weeks: N/A

Grab a Helmet

Andy Dalton

Dalton: Better than pumpkin pie?

Andy Dalton v. OAK: In one of those tasty NFL ironies, Cincinnati’s present gunslinger squares off against Cincinnati’s past gunslinger in the Queen City this Sunday having scored the exact same number of fantasy points through 11 weeks. And when I say “exact,” I mean to the tenth (228.8)! You already know how I feel about Palmer (ridiculously underrated) so it stands to reason you should be equally excited about a guy who’s statistically indistinguishable from the former Bengal. This is especially the case when that guy is facing Palmer’s new Raider teammates, a group that’s surrendered the fifth most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks (23.6). I’ve done my best to rescue Palmer from the ranks of the unsung, but now it’s time to salvage his successor in Cincy, the red-headed stepchild, so to speak, of top 10 QBs. Dalton is one of your very best options this Thanksgiving weekend…right up there with the pumpkin pie.

Russell Wilson @ MIA: Pete Carroll shocked everyone back in late August by tagging Wilson as the starter over big money free agent acquisition, Matt Flynn. Then, he immediately slapped some training wheels on the kid, preferring to ride hard-nosed Marshawn Lynch and a salty defense to grind-it-out Ws. That didn’t do much for Wilson’s fantasy value, of course, but this certainly has: Carroll’s willingness to put more and more of the offense in the former Badger’s hands as the season has progressed. He averaged 13.5 points through his first four games, 18.1 in Q2, and is currently averaging just over 22 points per game halfway through the third quarter of the season. You may find the quarterly splits metric arbitrary (fair enough), but the trend line is undeniable: Russell Wilson is getting more valuable with each passing week. Give him a look this Sunday as the Hawks might struggle to run the ball against Miami’s rugged front seven.

Cam Newton @ PHI: Occasionally, when I pop open the ESPN ScoreCenter app on my phone, the following “Did You Know?” blurb is posted on the splash page: “Since the start of 2011, Cam Newton is 2-11 against teams above .500.” I certainly didn’t know that, ESPN, but I can’t say I’m terribly surprised. Newton lacks great mechanics. He continues to make poor decisions. He often can’t hit the broad side of a barn (ranked 29th in the league at 57.0%). In other words, he’s suffering through one of the more publicized and painful (not to mention predictable) sophomore slumps in recent memory. Nevertheless, for all his troubles this season, the former Heisman winner is still right on the cusp of top 10 status at the QB position. Though I still think he ends up on the outside looking in come season’s end, this matchup against the well below .500 Eagles is a good one. Start Newton with confidence this coming Monday night.

Grab a Clipboard

Matthew Stafford v. HOU: There was no more surprising performance last weekend than Chad Henne’s 354-yard, four-TD explosion in relief of the injured Blaine Gabbert. He’d done this before (see Week 1 of last season) but not against a defense as good as Houston’s. Naturally, we can expect the much more talented Stafford to light up the Texans’ suddenly vulnerable secondary on Thanksgiving Day, right? If only it were that simple. Houston was in a pretty flat spot last Sunday, coming off a huge primetime win against Chicago and facing a one-win team they have routinely dominated. To compound this, they knocked an ineffective Gabbert out of the game and ended up facing a QB they hadn’t game-planned for. The results, although stunning, were at least somewhat understandable. Regardless, Stafford will be facing a very different group this afternoon, a talented and embarrassed bunch that will want to make immediate amends on national TV. The last time they were in this situation – after getting lit up by Aaron Rodgers in Week 6 – they held Joe Flacco to 12.1 points. Be careful with Stafford.

Ryan Tannehill v. SEA: Unlike the aforementioned Russell Wilson, Miami’s rookie signal caller appears to be trending southward. His quarterly splits read like this as we head into Week 12:

1Q: 17.0 PPG
2Q: 15.5 PPG (I didn’t include his significantly shortened Week 8 appearance)
3Q: 11.3 PPG (through two games)

It’s pretty typical for rookies to hit a wall, of course, but what concerns me most about Tannehill’s regression is that he’s been faltering just as his competition is getting theoretically more friendly. He faced Houston, the NJ Jets, and Arizona in three of his first four outings, teams that field top 10 pass defenses. His last three opponents – Indianapolis, Tennessee, and Buffalo – rank in the bottom half of the league, however. Are teams figuring out the Fish’s new franchise QB? If so, he could be in for a long day against Seattle’s elite unit. Stay away from Miami’s half of the rookie quarterback showdown at Sun Life Stadium this Sunday.

Alex Smith or Colin Kaepernick @ NO: There aren’t many occasions when you’d want to sit down a QB facing New Orleans’ highly suspect secondary (305 yds/game and 8.5 yds/pass, 31st and 32nd in the league, respectively). The Saints have been ranked at or near the bottom all year long and seem bent on trying to score their way into playoff contention. Moreover, either Smith (still not medically cleared) or Kaepernick (fresh off a wildly successful debut start) appear more than capable of putting up satisfying stats this weekend. Both of them, though? Jim Harbaugh indicated the two may switch off as matchups dictate from game to game. In other words, he hasn’t named a starter yet. Fine. He also didn’t rule out the possibility of rotating the two within the game, however. Yeah, that’s not gonna work for us. Unless you get further clarity from Coach Harbaugh between now and Sunday, you’re better off steering clear of San Fran’s budding QB committee in Week 12.

Running Backs