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Monday Morning Hangover: Week Twelve


We’re with you every Sunday to provide the Sunday Six Pack, an article featuring six of the biggest story lines heading into each and every week of the season. Keeping tabs on these events will keep you prepared and informed throughout the season – just don’t drive within six hours of reading this.

Can #1)  Southern Comfort

It’s safe to say there appears to be a spark in Florida.  Jacksonville’s Chad Henne led the Jaguars to their second win of the season, ultimately prevailing 24-19 against the Tennessee Titans.  On the day, Henne went 17-of-26 for 261 yards and two touchdowns, while throwing just a single interception.  The 27-year old is certain to now finish the year under center and, if he can perform well through the balance of the season, may actually give Jacksonville the flexibility to look beyond the quarterback position in the first round of the 2013 rookie draft.  We still look for the Jags to target one of the top slingers in the draft, but they have many needs on the offensive side of the ball other than quarterback.

Can #2)  Desert Disaster

If it’s possible for a team to release all their quarterbacks in a single week, Arizona may just be the team to try it.  Ryan Lindley did pass for 312 yards, but with no touchdowns and four interceptions.  As has been my criticism with Lindley from his days at San Diego State, he shows very little touch on his passes and often seems lost on intermediate and long routes.  And for the second game in a row, Larry Fitzgerald all but disappeared as a weapon, facing bracket coverage most of the day.  If Kevin Kolb is ready to play in week thirteen, expect the Lindley experiment to come to a close, at least for 2013.  As far as Fitzgerald goes, he’s not startable as anything other than as your last flex position should Lindley remain under center.

Can #3)  49ers Strike Gold?

The worst kept secret during week twelve was that San Francisco’s Colin Kaepernick was to start ahead of Alex Smith in a tilt against the New Orleans Saints.   While he didn’t look elite in the start, Kaepernick did show command of the pocket, nice touch on all range of passes and fleet feet when the situation called for it.  On the day, he completed 16-of-25 passes for 231 yards, one touchdown and one interception.  He also added a second touchdown on a well-executed seven yard scamper in the first quarter.  For his part, Kaepernick did leave yardage on the field on several passes, but the Niners offense showed nice balance and the ability to move the ball.  Unless the wheels fall off over the next three games, look for him to carry the load for the remainder of the season and for the Alex Smith era to end at the conclusion of the 2012 campaign.

Can #4)  DX Factor

There’s no telling when the music will stop for Danario Alexander, but fantasy owners continue to reap the benefit.   Alexander didn’t score in week twelve, but did lead the Chargers once again hauling in five receptions for 74 yards on a team-high eight targets.  Fantasy owners would like to see DX continue to get into the end zone, but every week of good numbers draws more defensive pressure.  With Robert Meachem and Antonio Gates quickly fading into the background, look for DX to continue to be targeted early and often by Philip Rivers.  Now with a pair (including Malcom Floyd) of 6’5″ receivers, one has to wonder if slot receiver Vincent Brown will be able to gobble up yards in a Wes Welker type role when he returns from injury.  As for Alexander, keep playing him until the wheels (knees) fall off … again.

Can #5)  What you worried about Willis?

As Gomer Pyle once said,  “Surprise, surprise, surprise!.”  Out of nowhere came the news early Sunday morning that none other than fourth string back Knowshon Moreno would get the start over both Ronnie Hillman and Lance Ball.  Perhaps even more surprising was the fact that Ball received zero touches on the day while Hillman tallied just three carries for nine yards.  To his credit, Moreno rose to the occasion and rushed for 85 yards on 20 carries and also hauled in four receptions for 26 yards –   that’s over 15 PPR fantasy points for you scoring at home.  Many fantasy coaches risked a Hillman play on Sunday and certainly paid the price.  Next up for the Broncos are the Buccaneers of Tampa Bay, who themselves have a highly ranked run defense.  With Peyton Manning leading the aerial attack and the Bucs unable to stack the box, look for Moreno to get a material number of touches again.  He’ll be the pickup of the week and could play an important role as we head into the fantasy playoffs.

Can #6)  The Book of Eli

The book of Eli (Manning) in week twelve contained a chapter unlike others seen this year, or at least recently.  The Manning-led G-Men shocked the Packers by a score of 38-10 and it wasn’t even that close.  On the night, Manning threw for 249 yards, three touchdowns and never turned the ball over.  He also found three different receivers (Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz and Rueben Randle) for touchdowns, proving the old Eli is still in the building.  Manning is still best suited as a QB2 in fantasy with QB1 tendencies on occasion.  He’s a great asset to have behind your core starter.  Better yet, Manning’s upcoming trio of games finds the Redskins, Saints and the Falcons – all of which should have trouble defending a dynamic passing attack like that which the Giants possess when chemistry is present.  Welcome back Eli – those with Giant receivers are very happy to see you again.

Jeff Haverlack
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david
9 years ago

in what world is manning a QB2? he’s at worst a low-end QB1, he’s had some bad games but is still a top-10 dynasty QB and it would be a luxury to have him as your backup..

Cyrus Miller
Reply to  david
9 years ago

He might be a top 10 dynasty QB, but I wouldn’t want to start him most weeks.

Every league that I have him in, I targeted young QB’s to upgrade the position. For example, I drafted Luck and traded for Stafford in two different leagues. Stafford and Eli are both inconsistent, but I can kind of figure out who will have a better week.

Admin
9 years ago

I think you’re basically saying the same thing there. Manning has those bad games and is surely a top 10 or 12 dynasty quarterback in most formats. However, he’s not one of those elite, “plug and play” no-brainer types of quarterbacks who you put in your lineup every week, regardless of matchup.

Sure, he’s fine as your QB1 and it would be a luxury to have him as a backup. I think what Jeff is saying is that having him as your QB1 leaves you vulnerable to some ups and downs and he’s simply better suited as a second option if you can swing it.

Admin
Reply to  Jeff Haverlack
9 years ago

Yeah, that’s about right. I would expect he finishes a bit higher, but that’s no surprise. Eli has long been a better real quarterback than fantasy one.

seahawks506
Reply to  Ken Kelly
9 years ago

Although he was the QB6 last year, a very solid starter. Unless your team was completely stacked, I could see how he came into this year as a bit of a luxury to own. Manning owners probably also view him as significantly more valuable than his recent scoring output. I mean, Stafford is the QB10 but good luck trying to give up low-end QB1 value for him. Both Manning and Stafford have been inconsistent but still are very valuable assets at QB.

Cyrus Miller
Reply to  seahawks506
9 years ago

I have had him for a couple years, and I knew last year was a fluke. I expect him to be a low end QB1, but I don’t think he will ever end up QB6 or higher again.

For me, I want advantages at each position. That means I want a top 6 QB as my starter. Eli is a stopgap to keep you competitive when the rest of your team is studly, but he isn’t an advantage. I drafted Luck despite having Eli, as I think Luck will be much better.

Alan Bauerle
9 years ago

When the packers were 2-3 everyone panicked n thought rodgers would have an off season. Eli has 3 bad games and he’s a qb2? Not in a 12 team league. I think every qb has 2-3 off games per year, and Eli just happened to have them in a row. With Ruben Randle and Martellus Bennett in the mix I feel Eli will continue to generate qb1 numbers. And if u have Eli on the bench as your qb2 then enjoy that luxury.

Cyrus Miller
Reply to  Jeff Haverlack
9 years ago

Inconsistency will kill. That said, Eli has a good schedule and healthy receivers.

In three leagues, I will choose week to week to start him over Stafford, Luck or Freeman. But a QB1 is someone that you just plug into your lineup each week and don’t worry about it.

VoiceofUnreason
Reply to  Alan Bauerle
9 years ago

He had a horrible month before this last game, playing so bad to almost lose you games single-handed. Definitely not a #

4 bad games in a row, all so bad to almost lose you the games single-handedly, is a bit more than a typical rough stretch.

Alan Bauerle
9 years ago

Also don’t forget those 3 games were against the cowboys, steelers, and bengals. All 3 teams have great pass defences and the steelers have the #1 pass d at the time.

Sensei John Kreese
Reply to  Alan Bauerle
9 years ago

This serves to illustrate the madness that is fantasy football. Eli was elite last year, top 5. He is still capable of performing at that level, but I want no part of guessing which week he will decide to do it in. Matt Ryan has been giving me fits the last 2 weeks, has me very worried about the playoffs.

Draho
9 years ago

Fun with numbers & sample size. At some point in any season, you can always claim that a certain stud is not QB1/WR1/RB1 worthy because he does not fall into the top 12 in the position over a given period. I can’t pull up the numbers, but I’d guess that after a certain number of weeks this year, Megatron was not WR1 material by those standards, just as one example of many.

Eli is a QB1. No question. Can you name 12 quarterbacks would you rather have? I think that’s how to determine if someone is a QB1.

Cyrus Miller
Reply to  Draho
9 years ago

If you go back to before his slump, Eli was #8 in average– but if you are going to remove 3 weeks of bad numbers, you also have to remove the outlier that is Week 2 as well. Then he dips back down to #16 in average points.

As for 12 better QB’s, these are guys I like more:
Old Guys: Brees/Brady/Peyton
Studs: Rodgers
Almost-Studs: Matt Ryan
Young Studs: RG3/Luck/Stafford/Newton

I would group Eli in with these guys:
Eli/Big Ben/Freeman/Romo/Rivers/Flacco/Dalton

as guys who are average QB’s who can be plugged into a lineup without hurting your team.

Some of them are coming on, like Freeman, Dalton and Romo, while others are as inconsistent as Eli.

For the next three weeks, I expect Eli to produce like a QB1. But that doesn’t mean he is a QB1.

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