December 02, 2009
Gaze upon the face of victory itself, gamers! Its lips puckered, its eyes ablaze, its chins aquiver. Let its strength become yours! Be not afraid!
JUST WIN! WEEK 13 IS AT HAND! SOUND THE HORN OF BATTLE!
So, um...yeah. Big week. Deadly serious. Playoffs at stake.
For whatever reason, there are no Raiders in my preliminary ranks. Not sure how that happened. It seems like a mistake. People are looking into it. The engineering team is re-running all the simulations.
Arizona's Kurt Warner(notes) continues to experience concussion-related vision issues, so he's hardly a lock to face Minnesota. He hasn't been ruled out, but don't put yourself in a position where you need him to start; the Cards and Vikes play on Sunday night. In 56 pass attempts this season, Matt Leinart(notes) has thrown one pick and no touchdowns. He was effective if unspectacular in the second half against Tennessee (13-for-16, 137 yards); a team can't really hide its quarterback and expect to beat Minnesota. … Matt Ryan(notes)'s toe injury will definitely sideline him for the Philadelphia game, and perhaps longer. Chris Redman(notes) will start for Atlanta. Redman was useful in Week 12 against the Bucs (23-for-41, 243 yards, two TDs), but the Eagles obviously present a greater challenge. Philly's defense ranks third in the NFL in interceptions (18) and sixth in sacks (31.0).
Ben Roethlisberger(notes) (concussion) is expected to face Oakland in Week 13, but we also expected him to face Baltimore last week. Make sure to have a Plan B in place. … Carson Palmer(notes) and Philip Rivers(notes) both have fantastic matchups, yet there's an obvious risk that the Bengals and Chargers will go almost exclusively to the ground after building first-half leads. Palmer only put the ball in the air 24 times against Cleveland in Week 12, while Rivers has attempted 30 passes just once in his last five games. … Jake Delhomme(notes) has a broken finger on his throwing hand. Sure hope that doesn't impact his accuracy. Matt Moore(notes) seems likely to start in Delhomme's place against Tampa, in a run-heavy game.
Steven Jackson earns his highest ranking of the year in Week 13, as he faces a Bears defense that might be without its
best only tacklers, Lance Briggs(notes) (knee) and Charles Tillman(notes) (concussion). Start S-Jax with full confidence. He dealt with back spasms last week, yet still exceeded 20 touches for the tenth straight game. Jackson has found the end zone in each of his last four games. … Cedric Benson(notes) should return this week to a workload that he insists is his alone. His quarterback agrees:
“Cedric’s the guy,” [Carson] Palmer said. “That’s not going to change, and Larry knew that coming in. Cedric is our running back.”
Bernard Scott(notes) reportedly suffered a turf toe injury in the Cleveland game, which will likely limit his usefulness. … Julius Jones(notes) officially remains Seattle's starting running back, but he's reportedly still experiencing symptoms related to the lung-bruising. According to Jim Mora, Jones was "still feeling tenderness to the touch" last week. Meanwhile, Justin Forsett(notes) has been the second highest-scoring running back in fantasy leagues over the last three weeks.
Knowshon Moreno(notes) suffered a left wrist injury of unknown severity late in Denver's mauling of the Giants on Thanksgiving. He returned to the game, however, so he's ranked above as if he'll get a full workload in an excellent matchup (at KC). … The Falcons have stubbornly refused to rule out Michael Turner(notes) this week, but according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, receiver Roddy White(notes) "suggested that [Jerious] Norwood would probably start at running back in Turner's place on Sunday against Philadelphia." It's not an ideal matchup and Norwood has never received more than 14 carries in any game, so let's not assume that Jerious will deliver Burner-like numbers. It's worth noting Atlanta has an excellent end-of-year setup, with Buffalo and Tampa on the schedule in Weeks 16 and 17.
WIDE RECEIVERS and TIGHT ENDS
DeSean Jackson(notes) is unranked and unlikely to play after getting concussed in Week 12. Jason Avant(notes) gets a bump in value; he has 17 receptions for 276 yards and one TD over the past three weeks. … Kenny Britt(notes) isn't yet heavily owned (21 percent), but he's coming off an outstanding game (7-128-1) and looking suspiciously like a No. 1 receiver. … Percy Harvin(notes) has crossed the goal line in three of his last four games and he topped 100 yards for the first time in his pro career in Week 12. Here's some excellent Mic'd Up propaganda via Brett Favre(notes). … Terrell Owens(notes) likely draws Jets corner Darrelle Revis(notes) on Thursday night, and that hasn't gone well for many receivers this year. … Washington's defense could get both Albert Haynesworth(notes) (ankle) and DeAngelo Hall(notes) (knee) back in Week 13, but I think maybe I'll just go ahead and start my Saints anyway. (I'm too low on Robert Meachem(notes); that rank will be corrected in the final draft. He's caught five touchdowns over his last four games and he looks uncoverable at times). … TJ Houshmandzadeh(notes) is a diceroll, no doubt, but so are most of the receivers on the board. Housh is still ninth among all receivers in both targets (97) and receptions (56); this week's opponent ranks 28th in the NFL against the pass.
Tony Gonzalez(notes) faces a Philly defense that hasn't shut down a tight end all year. The Eagles have allowed the most fantasy points to TEs thus far; there's no reason to expect them to clamp down this week. … Atlanta actually allows the second-most fantasy points to tight ends, but Brent Celek(notes) reportedly has a sprained thumb. The injury was likely a contributing factor in his four-drop performance in Week 12.
Photos via US Presswire