|11.25.12 at 8:13 am ET|
Welcome to the Week 12 starts and sits. With so many games having already been played, I’m offering fewer players here than usual. If I fail to cover the player or players that you want feedback on, please feel free to stop by our chat Sunday morning at 11 a.m. We also offer full Week 12 positional rankings at Rotobahn.com.
Colin Kaepernick, 49ers at Saints
If you need a quarterback and Kaepernick’s available, I love the move. You might need to be ready to make a switch, and there are limited options due to the late start. That being said, I think he’ll start over Alex Smith. Harbaugh wants to win, and San Francisco has more Super Bowl potential with Kaepernick at the helm. If he starts, I expect good fantasy numbers.
Chad Henne, Jaguars vs. Titans
He’s locked in with no competition, and this is a very good matchup. Henne’s also shown a solid rapport with all of his receivers. If you need a quarterback for Week 12, Henne will work in any format.
Joe Flacco, Ravens at Chargers
He’s just not trustworthy on the road and I’d much rather go with Henne, just to give you a baseline for comparison. Flacco has upside, and he can always have a good day, but you are pressing your luck when you play him on the road against decent competition.
Ronnie Hillman, Broncos at Chiefs
With Willis McGahee out for the year, Hillman should end up being the most valuable back in Denver for fantasy purposes. He is viable in any league and is a legit RB2 option in 12-team leagues.
Fred Jackson, Bills at Colts
With C.J. Spiller now starting, the first instinct might be to sit Jackson, but we’d play him this week in 12-team leagues. The matchup is good and they will still get Jackson the ball enough to be viable, and he is likely to get goal–line touches as he always has. He’s viable this week.
|11.25.12 at 8:07 am ET|
|11.23.12 at 5:59 pm ET|
The Patriots were able to get an important offensive option back in the fold Thursday night when Aaron Hernandez returned to the lineup for the first time in a month. The tight end, who has been hobbled by injury since going down with an ankle issue in a Week 2 loss to the Cardinals, did come back for a couple of games last month, but appeared to suffer a setback and was shelved again until Thursday night.
According to Pro Football Focus, Hernandez played 57 of the Patriots’ 70 offensive snaps on Thursday, and finished the game with two catches for 36 yards.
‘It was certainly good to have Aaron back, and I was pleased with the amount of snaps he was able to play,’ said Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels on a conference call with reporters Friday. ‘I thought what was interesting was that for being off for such an extended period, I thought he hung in there and tried to fight through it and give us everything he could give us.
‘It’s great to have a guy like that back. It’s a guy who can do a lot of things with the ball. He made some key plays for us last night and hopefully we can build on that as we go down the stretch here with Aaron as he plays more and more each week. I thought that was good.’
With Rob Gronkowski expected to be sidelined for the next month or so with a broken arm, all of the tight ends will see an uptick in playing time. That includes veteran Daniel Fells, who has been on and off the field over the course of the last month or so. Against the Jets, he also played 57 of the Patriots’ 70 offensive snaps. And while he didn’t show up all that much in the box score (one catch on two targets for 24 yards), McDaniels also lauded Fells’ performance.
‘Daniel definitely did a nice job of his role in the game plan,’ McDaniels said. ‘We asked a lot of different things of Daniel last night. Asked him to do some different things in the running game. Asked him to pass protect at times and made a big catch there for a big chunk gain there in the third quarter, I believe.
‘We have a lot of tight ends that are capable of doing different things. The way we played them last night, we had two of them on the field, predominantly, most of the game. I thought those guys gave us some protection and allowed us to play the game we wanted to play.’
Here are a few other highlights from McDaniels Q&A with the media on Friday:
|11.23.12 at 5:41 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Patriots coach Bill Belichick knew this week would be a challenge. A late afternoon game on Sunday against the upstart Colts and Andrew Luck followed by a night game four days later against their AFC East rival that pushed them to OT in October.
Well, 108 points later, the Patriots went from 6-3 to 8-3 and in complete control of the AFC East, all but assuring their 10th division title in 12 seasons. In the afterglow of Thursday’s 49-19 feast on the Jets at MetLife Stadium, Belichick gave credit to his players for their work on a tight schedule.
“As we talked about [Thursday] night, I think after going through the film that it was really apparent that the preparation that our players put into this game certainly helped us with our overall execution,” Belichick said in a Friday afternoon conference call. ” I thought we had a real good three days, four days of preparation for the game ‘ a lot of concentration, focus, attentiveness, attention to detail and all those things came out in different aspects of the game. So, I’ll give credit to the players, the way they prepared and performed. I thought we had good energy last night.
“Obviously the big plays in the game really tilted the game strongly in our favor so that was important. We’ll try to take the next day or so to kind of get caught up and get re-organized. We never even had a chance to spend much time at all on the Indianapolis game so we’ll need to catch up a little bit on that and of course the Jet game from last night, as quickly as possible and put that behind us and turn the page onto Miami. It’s good to get a couple wins over the Jets and certainly it was good to get the bonus points from the turnovers on defense and the kicking game, not only turnovers but to end up with significant points on the board. Those plays are always especially good to see because it’s hard to count on them. When you get them, it really shifts the game quickly.”
Belichick’s sign of gratitude was to give the players three days off, in essence giving them a second bye weekend in four weeks. The players don’t have to report to Foxboro until midday Monday to get ready for the Dolphins in South Florida on Dec. 2.
“It was good to see us respond very positively to the challenge of going down and playing the Jets on Thanksgiving night. But there’s a new challenge every week,” he said. “Hopefully we’ll be able to respond to future challenges in the same positive way, by using the same methods: working hard, being attentive, putting extra things into it; doing extra things at this time of year can really pay off and make a difference.
“I hope that we can all see the benefit of doing that, in terms of what the results were and hopefully going forward we can build on this and get that same type of preparation and attention to the little things that will make a difference for us. I hope this will be a good’¦we always talk about it, it isn’t like we don’t ever do it, I just thought this was doing everything [with] the timeframe and all that we were working with, that it was a very good effort by the players to respond. Hopefully we’ll be able to do it again.”
Here is the remainder of Belichick’s Q and A with reporters on Friday afternoon: Read the rest of this entry »
|11.23.12 at 4:59 pm ET|
FOXBORO — If the Patriots had designs on clearing Greg Salas through waivers and adding him back to their roster on Friday, they will be disappointed.
The Philadelphia Eagles announced on Friday they had claimed the 24-year-old receiver off waivers Friday and added him to their roster. Salas takes the spot of Mardy Gilyard, who was released on Friday. The Jets also made a claim on Salas but the Eagles were awarded the receiver based on their 3-7 record. The Jets are now 4-7. The Patriots released Salas on Thursday, just hours before their game with the Jets to make room for activating offensive lineman Markus Zusevics off the non-football injury list and adding him to the 53-man roster.
Salas was signed by the Patriots to the 53-man roster from the practice squad on Nov. 17 and played as a reserve last Sunday vs. Indianapolis. He was originally acquired by New England in a trade with St. Louis on Sept. 1, 2012, in exchange for an undisclosed future draft choice.
Salas dressed for the 2012 season-opener at Tennessee but did not play and was inactive vs. Arizona in the home-opener. Salas was released on Sept. 19 and signed to the practice squad on Sept. 20. Salas was originally drafted by St. Louis in the fourth round (112th overall) of the 2011 NFL Draft out of Hawaii. The 6-foot-1, 209-pounder played in six games for the Rams last season and finished with 27 receptions for 269 yards. His season was limited to six games due to a leg injury.
|11.23.12 at 2:49 am ET|
|11.23.12 at 2:39 am ET|
EAST RUTHERFORD — Mark it down, Steve Gregory AFC defensive player of the week.
If Darius Butler earned his for two picks and a fumble recovery, then Gregory is almost certainly going to get the nod for what he turned in Thursday night during a 49-19 win over the Jets.
When the game was actually still in doubt, he intercepted Mark Sanchez over the middle as he was spying the Jets’ quarterback. That pick ended New York’s second drive of the game deep in Patriots territory and set the tone for five turnovers forced by the Patriots defense.
“It’s growing every week,” Gregory said of the secondary’s confidence level. “We go to work every day in practice to get better and we study up on film. We’re really trying to dial in and focus on getting better as a unit and we saw some of those results tonight.”
Then, he recovered a fumble on a Shonn Greene failed attempt to pick up a yard on fourth-and-1. The next play resulted in Tom Brady finding Shane Vereen for 83 yards and a touchdown, giving New England a 14-0 lead.
Moments later, Sanchez ran into the backside of his offensive lineman and fumbled. Guess who was there to pick it up and scamper 32 yards for the score?
“It was a good one for me today,” Gregory said in a tone that could describe a morsel off the Thanksgiving dinner table. “Some of that stuff is just the ball popping out and being in the right place at the right time, so you know it was a team effort. The guys did a great job up front getting pressure on the quarterback and we were just really crisp tonight.”
“That was a lot of points in a short period of time. I thought that really set the momentum for the game,” Gregory said. “It really turned things into a lopsided feel there. They’re a good football team, but I think we’re a little better this year. We’re excited about what we did today.”
Latest from Bleacher Report
- Pros, Cons of Patriots' Offensive Line Shuffling
- What's the Secret to Lewis' Sudden Stardom?
- Blount and Lewis Are Perfect 1-2 Punch in Pats Backfield
- Adjustments Patriots Must Make After Bye Week
- Where Does Brady's Hot Start Rank?
- Report: Bears Trade LB Bostic to Pats
- Taking Stock of Pats Ahead of Week 4 Bye