With week 12 of the NFL season in the books, you probably have a good idea if you are in or out of the fantasy playoffs. A lot of teams were devastated early on with key injuries to players like Jamaal Charles, Jahvid Best or Andre Johnson. But with the waiver wire ability some of you were still able to make into the playoff picture despite the injuries. Even now, we are still dealing with injuries in week 12 to guys like Michael Vick, Kevin Kolb, Adrian Peterson, etc. I think Mike Tyson said it best when he said, "Everybody has a plan, until they get hit."
That is the beauty of fantasy sports; having a plan, getting hit, and coming up with an all new plan with unwanted players from the waiver wire.
Ryan Fitzpatrick: As much as I dislike Fitzpatrick as a QB, game recognizes game and Fitzpatrick put up a good fantasy game this weekend. He lit up a highly-touted Jets secondary for 264 yards in the air, 34 yards on the ground and he found the endzone 3 times. He is going to have good games now and then, but his problem is that he is a streaky QB that can't be trusted down the stretch.
Matt Ryan: Just as I predicted, Ryan had a huge game against a weak Vikings defense and finished as a top-5 fantasy QB this week. He finished the game with 262 yards, but it was the 3 TDs that he threw that catapulted him up the rankings this week. I saw the writing on the wall this week with Ryan, but did you have enough faith to start him over highly-ranked guys on those other sites?
Beanie Wells: Wells finally had another game worthy of his high praise after the week 4 game in which he rushed for 138 yards and 3 TDs. This week Wells man'd up and posted 228 rushing yards and a TD. This won't happen again, but it was a nice game to see from a guy that has been a disappointment thus far in his career.
Roy Helu: Helu is without a doubt the starter for the Redskins after he was about to put up 108 yards and a TD via the ground game, and he added another 54 yards on 7 receptions just to help those in PPR leagues. The guy is only owned in roughly half the fantasy leagues out there because his production is erratic with a below-average Redskins offense. If you need an RB, he is out there and you probably have someone on the bench worth dropping for him.
Victor Cruz: Cruz was on the receiving end of a huge game from Eli Manning and he was able to haul in 9 passes for 157 yards and 2 TDs. Another thing that helped Cruz was that Mario Manningham was inactive, but Cruz is obviously a go-to guy for Manning at this point and he can be used as a WR2 to finish the season.
Johnny Knox: Knox overcame the lack of a quality QB this weekend and managed to gain 145 yards and a TD on just 4 catches. This won't happen very often with Caleb Hanie under center, so enjoy it while it lasts, Bears fan.
Dustin Keller: Keller is owned in right around 70 percent of leagues and started in just 30 percent of those leagues. This weekend he made 70 percent of people hate themselves for not starting him after he caught 4 passes for 61 yards and 2 TDs. Keller is in a run-first offense with the Jets, so take this with a grain of salt since this is unlikely to happen again this season.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense: This was a game that featured more turnovers than a southern bakery. The Bucs were on the receiving end of four of them, and they added a TD and 2 sacks while allowing 23 points on the day. Despite the points allowed, the fumbles, INTs, TD and sacks propelled them to a top ranking for fantasy defenses this week.
Philip Rivers:Rivers and the Chargers are on a steep decline this season, and that is horrible news for people who drafted Rivers as their QB1 before the season started. This week he managed to stop playing pitch-n-catch with the defense, but in doing so he ended up with just 188 passing yards and a single TD. Those numbers put him right around the #20-23 range for QBs in week 12.
Joe Flacco: And another QB I made a prediction about lived up to my expectations, but that is not a good thing for Flacco. This week he managed just 161 yards in the air and a lone TD. The Ravens are a running team and a QB like Flacco is more of a game manager than he is a play maker, so hopefully he isn't your QB1.
Kevin Smith: Smith is the typical fantasy RB, boom to bust in a matter of just a week. Last week he rumbled his way to 140 yards on the ground, 61 yards receiving and 3 TDs, but this week he suffered a high ankle sprain and finished with 57 total yards and no TD dances. The good news is that he was sporting a 5.1 YPC average before the injury.
Rashard Mendenhall: As quickly as the QBs made me look like a genius, the RBs taketh it away. Mendenhall managed to scoot across the field for 57 yards rushing and 10 yards receiving. The Steelers are a boom-or-bust offense, and this weekend they were certainly a bust playing against an awful Chiefs defense.
Mike Wallace: Wallace was the victim of a poor game by his QB and finished with a measly 17 yards on 2 receptions. This is one of the things you have to understand when drafting a WR that plays with a QB like Ben Roethlisberger: there will be really high highs and really low lows, and this was certainly a low.
Vincent Jackson: V-Jax is another player that is killing owners because he is too big of a name to bench, but his QB is just playing awful this season. This weekend Jackson managed to rack up 25 yards on 2 catches, numbers hardly worth starting.
Jason Witten: Witten has been a disappointment this season due to a lack of yardage, and that was a problem this weekend as well as he finished with 43 yards and no endzone visits. He is basically a TD-or-bust play this year, but that too can be true for any TE.
San Francisco 49ers defense: The 49ers defense is the top defense in the NFL this season, and the same goes for fantasy defenses. However, this weekend they couldn't get a single defensive stat to help their fantasy owners and allowed 16 points. All that combined, they got their owners 2 points based solely on the points.