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Weekly Matchups: Strong Plays, Weak Plays Week 12

Kyle Fisher

Kyle Fisher writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire.


Sam Bradford vs. DEN

Bradford continues his solid rookie season as he has seven touchdowns in his last four games while throwing for at least 233 yards in his last two games. Bradford has the matchup to make it three strong games in a row this week against a Broncos secondary that is coming off a short week and ranks 28th in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks. Furthermore, the Broncos have given up eight touchdown passes in their last two games. Look for Bradford to put up starter quality numbers and to be thankful for this matchup.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis vs. DET

Green-Ellis is coming off consecutive solid performances and should have a good Thanksgiving as the Lions run defense makes all running backs thankful. The Lions rank 30th in fantasy points allowed to running backs and are giving up 4.6 yards per rush. In what could be a high scoring affair to kick off turkey day, Green-Ellis should make it three straight weeks where having him in your lineup will be a good move.

Steve Johnson vs. PIT

Johnson has become what fantasy owners in the beginning of the year had hoped for in drafting Lee Evans: the top receiver on a team that would probably have to throw the ball a lot late in games. Johnson has at least a touchdown or 100-yard performance in seven of his last eight games and has been an early Christmas present for anyone who picked him off waivers this season. Johnson has a solid matchup against a Steelers secondary that has given up at least 200 yards to receivers in three of the last four weeks and ranks just 22nd in yards allowed through the air. Look for Johnson to put another quality performance together and make his owners happy over the holiday weekend.

Nate Burleson vs. NE

Burleson has quietly become a solid No. 2 receiver in Detroit as he has at least seven catches or a touchdown in six of his last seven games. That streak should continue on Thanksgiving as the Lions face a Patriots secondary ranked 25th in fantasy points allowed to wide receivers. New England has also given up six touchdown passes in the last two weeks. Look for Burleson to be a nice flex option or No. 3 receiver this week.

Cleveland Def vs. CAR

Perhaps no matchup will make fantasy owners happier than having the defense that faces the Panthers offense. The Panthers are in the bottom four in scoring offense, sacks allowed, fumbles lost and interception percentage. Meanwhile the Browns are coming off an outstanding fantasy defensive performance against the Jaguars. Look for the Browns to have another great game and be a must start this week.


Jon Kitna vs. NO

Kitna has been one of the hotter quarterbacks in the league, throwing for six touchdowns in his last two games. But that hot streak should be put on ice this week against a Saints pass defense that, while coming off its worst performance of the season, still ranks third in fewest fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks and has allowed just seven touchdown passes all season. Look for Kitna to play more like Jon Kitna instead of John Elway this week.

Fred Jackson vs. PIT

It is hard to imagine why Jackson didn't get more carries earlier in the season as he has consecutive 100-yard games and has a touchdown in three consecutive contests. But Jackson could look like he ate some bad pumpkin pie this week as he faces the Steelers run defense. The Steelers have given up the fewest fantasy points to running backs this season and only allow 63 yards rushing per game on 2.9 yards per carry. Look for Jackson to struggle and be thankful when the holiday weekend is over.

Michael Turner vs. GB

While Turner has not had the season that many had expected, he has begun to heat up as he has had outstanding games in three of his last four starts. However, this week Turner faces a Packers run defense ranked third in fewest fantasy points allowed to running backs. While the Packers rank 18th in rushing yards allowed, only 78 yards per game comes from the running back position, and they have allowed a Steeler-like 63.3 yards per game in their last three games. Turner is too good to bench, unless you are deep at running back, but Thanksgiving probably won't be his favorite holiday.

Terrell Owens vs. NYJ

Owens has been tremendous this season, catching touchdowns in six of his last seven games. This week, Owens has a tough matchup with "the average corner" Darrelle Revis. Revis has handled Owens well in the past and is coming off a game where he held Andre Johnson to just 32 yards on four catches. Don't be surprised if the Bengals move the ball in the air, but Owens will be on vacation this week courtesy of Revis Island.

Tampa Def vs. BAL

The Buccaneers are coming off a shutout win of the 49ers but now go on the road to face a Ravens offense that has been clicking. Baltimore is averaging 28 points a game in its last three games and almost 30 a game at home. While the Ravens do give up a few sacks, the Buccaneers have just 14 sacks on the season, with six coming last week. The Buccaneers have struggled defensively against the Falcons, Saints and Steelers, and we see trouble for Tampa this week.