StrategyNovember 25, 2009

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D-Day: Week 12

By Eli Ricke

I owe an apology to those of you who took a chance with my predictions last week. I had no idea (and I’m sure most others didn’t either) that Cleveland would almost double their offensive production for the season in terms of touchdowns in a single game. Then again, they were playing the Lions. I was also surprised at how effective Miami’s offense was without their go to guy, Ronnie Brown. Ricky Williams took the lead role and ran with it (pun intended), but what impressed me most was the play of QB Chad Henne and that they won convincingly without running much of the wildcat. The only pick from last week’s article that performed about as expected was Jacksonville. Hopefully I’ll do much better this time.

Plug and play picks for week 12:

Cincinnati (79% owned in Yahoo!): At 79% owned they’re probably not available, but if they are I suggest you grab them. I detailed the offensive woes of the Browns last week and came up with Detroit as my top plug and play pick. That pick turned out to be a lemon, but I have to believe that the offensive production by Cleveland was a result of playing against an equally bad defensive unit and not attributable to any sudden revelation by the Browns offense. This week the Browns are on the road to face a Cincinnati team that was just embarrassed by the Raiders in week 11. The Bengals are for real, and so is their defense. Last week was a wake-up call and that they will not take this game lightly. Projection: 3 points allowed, 4 sacks, 3 INT, 1 forced fumble, TD

Atlanta (31%): It’s no secret that I base my picks mostly on the matchups, and this week’s matchup for Atlanta is pretty good. The Falcons host the Bucs this week. Tampa’s offense has shown some signs of improvement, but they are still a long, long way from being a major threat to opponents. The only way I see Tampa putting up a decent amount of points is if Matt Ryan continues to struggle and turns over the ball in his own territory, a completely possible happening. Projection: 10 points allowed, 2 sacks, 2 INT, 1 forced fumble.

Miami (52%): Last week I picked against them, but this week I’m jumping to the other side of the fence. Miami travels to Buffalo this week to face one of the lower ranked offenses in the league. This is the NFL, and although it’s impossible to predict with 100% certainty the outcome of any given game, playing the trends will yield correct results more often than not. To put it another way, Buffalo’s offense isn’t exactly in the same class as that of the Saints or Colts, so this game favors a decent fantasy output by the Dolphins defensive unit. Projection: 13 points allowed, 3 sacks, 2 INT, 1 Forced Fumble.

IDP Update:

I griped about this some in my last article, but it just seems as if defensive players are getting injured at an alarming rate. There was another round of injuries in week 11 that will have significant effects on IDP leagues. Green Bay lost two of their star players for the rest of the season with Aaron Kampman and Al Harris both suffering knee injuries in the same game. Landon Johnson, who was filling in for Thomas Davis, injured his knee in Thurdsay’s contest against the Dolphins. Texans safety Eugene Wilson will miss week 12 with a toe injury. Eagle’s CB Asante Samuel suffered a stinger and is likely out for week 12. Oakland DE Richard Seymour suffered a strain in his back and is questionable for week 12. Brian Dawkins owners might want to check his status before kickoff on Thursday as he left the game against the Chargers with a neck injury. If you suddenly find yourself with an injured player and need to fill a roster spot, I’ve listed some potential replacements below:


David Hawthorne (20% owned in Yahoo!) : I’ve plugged him a few times already, including last week when I mentioned that in one league I’m in he was second in average points per game only to Patrick Willis. He passed Willis in week 11 when he posted 11 solo tackles and 4 assists. This guy is a legitimate stud.

Brian Cushing (53%): The Texans’ rookie has been impressive all season and got to showcase his stuff on Monday night posting 10 total tackles. He now has 88 total tackles through 10 games and should be a lock for 100+ as long as he doesn’t get injured.


Tanard Jackson (9%): Yeah, I have him on this list almost every week but I can’t help it, he’s just that good. He probably had his worst game of the season in week 11 when he posted only 6 solo tackles but this week he gets to face Matt Ryan who has been suffering a sophomore slump.

Bernard Pollard (5%): Another Houston player that got some national attention on Monday, Pollard is playing at a high level right now. He has 31 total tackles in his past 4 games.


Johnathan Joseph (14%): I continue to be impressed by the Bengals CB. He added another INT this past week and now has 5 on the season. He won’t get you a ton of tackles, but he gets into position to make plays as evidenced by the fact that he has 5 picks and 15 passes defensed in 10 games.

Terrell Thomas (4%): He’s not a gamebreaker, but he’s been solid so far and has even picked his game up a notch in his past 2 starts posting 16 tackles, 1 INT and 2 passes defensed in that span.

Defensive Linemen:

Will Smith (30%): The Saints DE has been on a tear, posting at least 1 sack in his last 4 games with 6 total in that time frame. He now has 8.5 sacks on the season.

Jonathan Babineaux (7%): The Falcons DT has 30 tackles and 4 sacks through 10 games. For an interior lineman, that’s outstanding.

Eli Ricke knows absolutely nothing about Fantasy Football that everyone else doesn’t already know. All of his success in Fantasy Football can be attributed entirely to dumb luck. He has been playing Fantasy Football since 1999 and is a habitual liar. You will occasionally run across him in the café forums under the name 204BC, a name that has no particular meaning whatsoever. He just made it up, the same thing he does with most of the advice he gives.
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