Shutdown Corner - NFL

Sunday’s five most valuable players, Week 12

See Sunday's five least valuable players here.

Beanie Wells(notes), Running Back, Arizona Cardinals. Many pivotal fantasy matchups turned Sunday on the performance of Chris Wells, likely meaning that a lot of bad fantasy teams (since, you know, they're starting Beanie Wells) beat a lot of good ones. It's only the third game of his career when he's been over 100 yards, and all the sudden, Beanie's going for 228? This may pad his stats to the point where his fantasy draft status is upped for 2012. Don't get sucked into that trap, though. This was against the Rams. I believe Adrian Murrell also had nine carries for 153 yards Sunday.

Tom Brady(notes), Quarterback, New England Patriots. New life was shot into the Brady-to-Welker connection on Sunday as Wes Welker(notes) caught eight balls for 115 yards and two touchdowns. Since the back-to-back losses to the Steelers and Giants, the Pats have reeled off three straight. It's still not a good defense (Vince Young(notes) threw for 400 yards), but every week, it seems like some team's going to have to choose to get killed by Brady-to-Welker or Brady-to-Gronkowski.

[Related: NFL's Week 12 Winners and Losers]

Connor Barwin(notes), Outside Linebacker, Houston Texans. Despite being down to their third-string quarterback for most of the game, the Texans still won Sunday, largely courtesy of their defense. Linebacker Connor Barwin was the beast of the bunch, facilitating meetings between Blaine Gabbert(notes) and the turf on four different occasions. He had six other tackles, too, for a total of 10 on the day. He's got sacks in his last three games.

Sebastian Janikowski(notes), Kicker, Oakland Raiders. SeaBass is turning himself into a Shutdown Corner legend. He's one of the few kickers to ever make the weekly list of MVPs, and to my knowledge, he's also the only player in the league ever to have (allegedly) made out with a participant in our Monday night live chats (the rumors about Isaac and Nick Mangold(notes) are not true). Janikowski kicked the Bears in the dupa, making six field goals, four of them longer than 40 yards. That's how you beat the Bears scoring just one touchdown.

A.J. Green(notes), Wide Receiver, Cincinnati Bengals. Green had just three catches on Sunday, but they were big and they were impressive. The guy's got monster hands and impeccable body control, and both were on display on this 51-yard reception that put the Bengals in position for a game-winning field goal. Before his career is over, A.J. Green's going to have amassed a highlight reel that lasts for days.

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