The purpose of reviewing each game allow owners to see each teams players’ fantasy stats in one place. This should help owners get a feel for where their players are in their teams offenses, as well as provide a feel for other players that could become fantasy-relevant in the near future. In the end, the fantasy spin lets you the owner evaluate players by where they should be in terms of setting positional rosters each and every week. It can also help you decide whether to go get a player off waivers, whether to try and make a trade, or whether to sit tight.
On to this week’s Fantasy Three-Sixty!
Thursday, December 1st
8:20 p.m. EST
EAGLES (4-8) 14 v. 31 SEAHAWKS (5-7)
Eagles: With this loss, the Eagles are officially out of the playoff hunt. With the exception of RB LeSean McCoy (133 APY, 2 TDs), who gutted out a painful toe injury, and WR Riley Cooper (94 yds.), the rest of the Eagles’ offense put forth some pretty ugly performances. It all begin with QB Vince Young (208 yds., 32 rush yds., 1 TD, 4 INTs), who couldn’t get the ball to his receiving options, but rather was tossing the ball into the hands of Seahawks’ defenders. As such, WR DeSean Jackson (39 APY), WR Jason Avant (10 yds.), and TE Brent Celek (21 yds.) posted some awful receiving statistics. The Eagles DST (3 sacks) just couldn’t stop the Seahawks’ offense, and particularly, Marshawn Lynch.
Fantasy Spin: As you know, when healthy, QB Michael Vick, RB LeSean McCoy, and WR Jeremy Maclin should be started weekly. This was an awful game for QB Vince Young, suggesting that he could be a shaky fantasy start going forward. The same can be said of WR DeSean Jackson, who looked like he couldn’t care less about the game. TE Brent Celek finally had an off game. Celek remains a solid TE2, match-up based play. The Eagles DST is only worth a match-up based play at this point in the season.
NEXT UP: at Dolphins
Seahawks: Wow. With this performance, RB Marshawn Lynch (148 yds., 2 TDs) is the hottest fantasy running back for the second half of the season. While QB Tarvaris Jackson (190 yds., 1 TD, 0 INTs) continues to struggle, he was able to play better because he did not toss any interceptions. Out of all the Seahawks’ receiving options, WR Golden Tate (55 APY, 1 TD) now has back-to-back TDs, while the other receivers didn’t do much of any significant fantasy relevance. The Seahawks DST (2 sacks, 4 INTs, 1 DTD) had yet another good game.
Fantasy Spin: RB Marshawn Lynch continues to play at a high level and is a weekly must-start. With WR Sidney Rice out for the rest of the season, it’s looking like WR Golden Tate could be the team’s next go-to guy. WR Doug Baldwin continues to be fantasy-relevant, but barely. The Fantasy Greek has to think you have better options at this point in the season. The Seahawks DST is playing at a high level, so consider the unit for a match-up based play.
NEXT UP: Rams
Sunday, December 4th
1:00 p.m. EST
RAIDERS (7-5) 14 v. 34 DOLPHINS (4-8)
Raiders: The Fantasy Greek expected the Raiders to struggle in this game for the various reasons given in the game preview. Indeed, while QB Carson Palmer (272 yds., 2 TDs, 1 INT) posted some decent stats in this game, it was all in “garbage time” with the game well out of reach. Likewise, the stats posted by WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (23 yds., 1 TD), WR Chaz Schillens (89 yds.), and WR T.J. Houshmanzadeh (40 yds., 1 TD) are also suspect. The biggest shocker was that the Dolphins shut down RB Michael Bush (45 APY). The Raiders DST (1 sack) was awful.
Fantasy Spin: Until RB Darren McFadden gets back to the gridiron, RB Michael Bush is the Raider to start in fantasy each and every week. This was another disappointing outing for QB Carson Palmer from a football perspective. Still, if he is on your fantasy team, you should hang on to him if you can. The Raiders still look like they are in a position to win games and they should be getting back the rest of their receiving options next week. The Raiders DST can be on rosters, but they are strictly a match-up based play.
NEXT UP: at Packers
Dolphins: The Dolphins have been an amazing team because even with a losing record, they are playing at a high-level. QB Matt Moore (162 pass yds., 22 rush yds., 1 pass TD, 1 rush TD, 0 INTs) may not be flashy, but he sure is steady. WR Brandon Marshall (60 yds.), WR Davone Bess (27 yds., 1 TD), and TE Anthony Fasano (66 yds.) were steady too, but this week, they were not great in the passing game. With this week’s performance, RB Reggie Bush (100 yds., 1 TD) has sealed himself as one of the best comeback players this season. Even RB Daniel Thomas (73 yds.) posted some solid numbers this week, but was likely on fantasy pines. The Dolphins DST (2 sacks, 1 INT, 1 DTD) was awesome!
Fantasy Spin: As mentioned above, QB Matt Moore hasn’t been flashy, but he sure has been effective. Considering his fantasy playoff schedule, Moore is a solid QB2 and match-up based play. While we expected more from WR Brandon Marshall, he is still the most dangerous fantasy option on the team and should be considered for the start each week. RB Reggie Bush has now had six games in a row of good performances. He is this team’s go-to RB, even at the expense of RB Daniel Thomas, who is, at best, a low-end flex-play. Bush can be considered for an RB2 play but remains a solid flex option. At this point, Thomas is still worth a roster spot, on deep rosters. Continue treating Thomas as a potential flex-play. TE Anthony Fasano is still a part of the offense, but is, at best, a match-up based play. The Dolphins DST can be started in fantasy.
NEXT UP: Eagles
FALCONS (7-5) 10 v. 17 TEXANS (9-3)
Falcons: No one expected the Falcons would lose the game like they did but The Fantasy Greek. As expected, QB Matt Ryan (267 yds., 10 rush yds., 1 TD, 2 INTs) struggled against a tough Texans’ pass defense. Indeed, the best thing the Texans did was keep the Falcons out of the end zone. Still, WR Roddy White (51 yds., 1 TD), WR Julio Jones (68 yds.), and TE Tony Gonzalez (100 yds.) did fine for fantasy purposes, even though some fantasy footballers may have been looking for more from White and Jones. If you avoided RB Michael Turner (44 yds.) this week, you did the right thing. The Falcons DST (3 sacks, 1 DFR) was solid in the loss.
Fantasy Spin: Continue to consider starting the Falcons main playmakers like QB Matt Ryan, RB Michael Turner, WR Roddy White, and WR Julio Jones each and every week. TE Tony Gonzalez remains a weekly match-up based play, but you should be leaning towards starting him at this point in the season. The Falcons DST is worth starting in fantasy, with the way they have played, in the right match-up.
NEXT UP: at Panthers
Texans: This was a solid win for a Texans team with all of its injuries. While posting stats like a rookie quarterback, QB T.J. Yates (188 yds., 10 rush yds., 1 TD, 1 FMB) wasn’t hesitant to throw the ball when needed. Unfortunately, while it looked like Yates had developed chemistry with WR Andre Johnson (97 yds.), Johnson pulled up lame with another hamstring injury. Most of the offense, however, came from RB Arian Foster (152 APY, 1 TD). Besides TE Joel Dreesen (3 yds., 1 TD), the team’s other playmakers in this game included RB Ben Tate (41 yds.), and TE Owen Daniels (35 yds.). Still, this is far less than what fantasy footballers expect from them on a weekly basis. Regardless of who their quarterback was, the Texans DST (2 INTs) had another good game due to the low score.
Fantasy Spin: Just when the Texans’ offense looked like it was going to work well with QB T.J. Yates and WR Andre Johnson, Johnson injures his hamstring again. Fantasy footballers need to watch the injury reports because obviously, if Johnson misses anything more than a week or two, he will be worthless for fantasy purposes. As such, we will likely continue to see a run-heavy Texans’ offense featuring RB Arian Foster and RB Ben Tate. WIthout Johnson, TE Owen Daniels is the team’s best receiving option, regardless of what happened in this game. The Texans DST is a unit that can continue to be started in fantasy football.
NEXT UP: at Bengals
TITANS (7-5) 23 v. 17 BILLS (5-7)
Titans: This was a solid win for the Titans, but it came in the strangest of ways. This was a game where the Titans should have had a fair amount of passing, but QB Matt Hasselbeck (140 yds., 0 TDs, 0 INTs) couldn’t get the passing game going, which hurt WR Nate Washington (40 yds.), WR Damian Williams (62 yds.), and TE Jared Cook (0 yds.). Fortunately, for fantasy footballers who started RB Chris Johnson (157 APY, 2 TDs), Johnson rocked in this game and had another breakout performance! The Titans DST (1 sack, 2 DFRs) played well, even though the score may not reflect it.
Fantasy Spin: This was an awful performance for QB Matt Hasselbeck, which makes him tough to start in fantasy, because he should have had a better game than this, based on the match-up. This makes WR Damian Williams and WR Nate Washington difficult to play too because of their potential inconsistency. TE Jared Cook has been struggling and is at best a TE2, injury replacment. This is the kind of game we fantasy footballers continue to expect from RB Chris Johnson. He was supposed to play well in this game and he did. Johnson remains an RB2 with upside, match-up based play. The Titans DST has the potential to play well for the remainder of the season. Definitely, consider them a match-up based play going forward.
NEXT UP: Saints
Bills: The Bills were in this game, but didn’t give it a good push for the win until the end of the game. Regardless, QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (288 yds., 1 TD, 1 FMBL) was decent but not great. Still, it was nice to see WR Stevie Johnson (52 yds., 1 TD), WR Brad Smith (72 yds.), and TE Scott Chandler (48 yds.) continue to be part of the passing game. RB C.J. Spiller (102 APY, 1 TD) was solid in his second game as the featured back. The Bills DST (1 sack) continued to struggle.
Fantasy Spin: QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, while fantasy-relevant, remains a QB2 to back-up your starter. Fantasy footballers with WR Steve Johnson can continue to look at him for the weekly start. As for RB C.J. Spiller, this was a good outing which built a lot of good will among fantasy footballers. With Spiller performing well, he has entered RB2 territory and at a minimum is a solid flex-play. Now that we are at the tail end of the season, WR David Nelson and TE Scott Chandler’s roles in fantasy are strictly as match-up based plays. If you have made it this far, it’s not because of these players. The Bills DST aren’t worth starting at this point.
NEXT UP: at Chargers
CHIEFS (5-7) 10 v. 3 BEARS (7-5)
Chiefs: The Chiefs are the “Little Engine That Could,” winning games when no one thinks they should, yet posing no foreboding threat to teams otherwise. Indeed, the low score reflects the loack of production of the Chiefs’ offensive playmakers. QB Tyler Palko (157 yds., 1 TD) continues to struggle, but the TD certainly was something. As a result, besides WR Dexter McCluster (107 APY, 1 TD), the rest of the Chiefs struggled, including WR Dwayne Bowe (49 yds.), WR Steve Breaston (41 yds.), RB Jackie Battle (15 yds.), and RB Thomas Jones (36 yds.). The Chiefs DST (7 sacks, 3 INTs) had an outstanding game!
Fantasy Spin: With QB Tyler Palko under center, the Chiefs can be expected to struggle against good defensive teams. The Chiefs won this game because of their defense, not their offense. Fantasy footballers will have to consider this when setting their line-ups as to whether to play or bench WR Dwayne Bowe or WR Steve Breaston. Bowe is the Chiefs’ player fantasy footballers should keep looking to in fantasy. Notably, QB Kyle Orton got into the game but was hurt. The Fantasy Greek expects him to play as soon as he is healthy. If you have the roster room, Orton is worth adding now because the Chiefs’ fantasy playoff schedule is favorable. As to the Chiefs rushing game, the Chiefs’ commitment to the run has been lacking and remains inconsistent. Avoid RB Jackie Battle. Unless WR Dexter McCluster can have a good game like this again, avoid him too. The Chiefs DST is still a tough defense to read because of their inconsistency. Still, they can be considered for a match-up based play.
NEXT UP: at Jets
Bears: This was another tough loss for the Bears. Their defensive unit shut down the Chiefs’ passing and rushing game. Their offensive unit kept them in the game, but could not score. What’s worse, RB Matt Forte (12 yds.) left the game with a severe knee injury. QB Caleb Hanie (133 yds., 3 rush yds., 0 TDs, 0 INTs) couldn’t pass on the Chiefs as he was under constant pressure. As such, the best performances were by WR Johnny Knox (53 yds.) and RB Marion Barber (44 yds.). Again, the Bears DST (2 sacks, 1 DFR) may not have posted the kind of fantasy stats fantasy footballers may have wanted, but this was still a solid outing.
Fantasy Spin: When healthy, RB Matt Forte is the Bears’ player to play each and every week. However, fantasy footballers with Forte on their rosters have to be concerned that he could be done for the season. That said, RB Marion Barber will become a must-add off waivers for Forte owners and owners needing help or depth at the position. Otherwise, QB Caleb Hanie did not play well in this game and is officially off fantasy radars at this point in the season. If you have WR Earl Bennett on your roster, continue to hold on to him if you can. Right now, because of his continued involvement in the offense, WR Johnny Knox remains on fantasy radars, but barely. The Bears DST remains a must-start fantasy unit worth fantasy consideration because of its potential to cause turnovers and make the big plays.
NEXT UP: at Broncos
JETS (7-5) 34 v. 19 REDSKINS (4-8)
Jets: The way this game started, it looked like the Jets were going to lose. However, the Redskins couldn’t stop the Jets’ rush offense as RB Shonn Greene (114 APY, 3 TDs) blew it up! Unfortunately, QB Mark Sanchez (165 yds., 1 TD, 0 INT) continued to struggle and besides WR Santonio Holmes (58 yds., 1 TD), the other Jets receiving options like WR Plaxico Burress (33 yds.) and TE Dustin Keller (12 yds.) didn’t do much in the game. The Jets DST (2 sacks, 1 INT, 1 DFR) did a good job limiting the Redskins when it counted.
Fantasy Spin: QB Mark Sanchez is still difficult to start at this point in the season. Continue starting WR Santonio Holmes because of his chances of getting a majority of the pass yards on this team, as well as the prospects of the periodic touchdown just like he did in this game. WR Plaxico Burress has had a couple of decent games, mostly because of touchdowns, but otherwise can be ineffective. Burress remains a WR3 consideration however. As for TE Dustin Keller, he remains a match-up based play, and can make for a good start. Continue giving RB Shonn Greene the start as an RB2 because he continues to be the team’s primary running back. For those fantasy footballers that did not lose faith, they were rewarded in this game. The Jets DST remains a weekly starting option.
NEXT UP: Chiefs
Redskins: For part of this game, the Redskins were in the thick of it. However, QB Rex Grossman (221 yds., 0 TDs, 1 INT, 1 FMBL) couldn’t get an effective passing game going even though TE Fred Davis (99 yds.) had a good outing and WR Santana Moss (42 yds.) posted some decent, not great, yards in his second week back from injury. RB Roy Helu (142 APY, 1 TD, 1 FMBL) tore up the gridiron again and bowled over the Jets’ rush defense. The Redskins DST (1 DFR) played better than its stats reflect.
Fantasy Spin: QB Rex Grossman remains difficult to start in fantasy. If you insist on playing Grossman, be ready to potentially take the bad with the good. At this time, it looks like RB Roy Helu will remain this team’s workhorse. If the Redskins don’t play any more games with their running backs, Helu should have RB2 value for the remainder of the playoffs. Unfortunately, TE Fred Davis is facing season-ending suspension due to violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Unfortunately, fantasy footballers will have to look elsewhere. WR Santana Moss is a receiver to roster now that he is back from injury. The Redskins DST can be considered only in a good match-up.
NEXT UP: Patriots
BENGALS (7-5) 7 v. 35 STEELERS (9-3)
Bengals: As expected, this was a difficult game for the Bengals. Indeed, besides WR A.J. Greene (102 APY, 1 TD), the remaining Bengals struggled in the loss, including playmakers QB Andy Dalton (135 yds., 6 rush yds., 1 TD, 0 INTs), RB Cedric Benson (52 yds.), and TE Jermaine Gresham (37 yds.). The Bengals DST (3 sacks) had no answer for the Steelers’ offense.
Fantasy Spin: Both RB Cedric Benson and WR A.J. Green continue to be the best fantasy options on the Bengals. As for QB Andy Dalton, he is worth consideration for a fantasy start based on the match-up. The concern is Dalton can be inconsistent. WR A.J. Green is definitely worth a WR2 start going forward. The Bengals DST is one of the best defensive units out there. They can be played in fantasy.
NEXT UP: Texans
Steelers: Believe it or not, this was another tough game for the Steelers to win. But for two touchdown passes, QB Ben Roethlisberger (176 yds., 2 TDs, 0 INTs) wasn’t particularly impressive, even though zero interceptions helped. Obviously, if you played Big Ben, you aren’t necessarily unhappy. That said, WR Mike Wallace (32 yds., 2 TDs) had a good game because of the touchdowns, as did RB Rashard Mendenhall (60 yds., 2 TDs). WR Antonio Brown (76 APY) was solid in the outing. Unfortunately, but expected, TE Heath Miller (12 yds.) did not contribute to the offense for a second week in a row. The Steelers DST (3 sacks, 1 INT, 1 KRTD) was outstanding!
Fantasy Spin: QB Ben Roethlisberger, RB Rashard Mendenhall, and WR Mike Wallace are regular fantasy starters. Both WR Antonio Brown and TE Heath Miller have been contributing and their roles continue to look permanent. WR Antonio Brown should be started as a WR3 for the remainder of the season. The Steelers DST hasn’t been the greatest, but it’s games like this which make them worthy of consideration for a fantasy start on a weekly basis.
NEXT UP: Browns (Thursday Night Game)
PANTHERS (4-8) 38 v. 19 BUCCANEERS (4-8)
Panthers: The Panthers won their second road game in a row, and it was a definitive win. QB Cam Newton (204 yds., 54 rush yds., 1 pass TD, 3 rush TDs, 0 INTs) was the rock star in this game! Indeed, after Newton, the only other player that did anything of fantasy significance was RB Jonathan Stewart (99 APY, 1 TD). As opposed to their previous games, even though a favorable match-up, RB DeAngelo Williams (29 yds.) disappointed again, and WR Steve Smith (32 yds.) played well below fantasy footballers’ expectations. The Panthers DST (2 sacks, 1 INT) played well again, compared to previous games.
Fantasy Spin: QB Cam Newton should continue to be started unless one of the other higher ranked QBs happens to be on your team and has a better match-up. Regardless of what happened in this game, WR Steve Smith continues to remain a weekly fantasy start. Unfortunately, in a game where RB DeAngelo Williams was supposed to play well, he didn’t, making him a tough play in this, the most important part of the season. RB Jonathan Stewart should still get low RB2, or flex-play consideration. The Panthers DST is still difficult to start in fantasy.
NEXT UP: Falcons
Buccaneers: Just when it looked like the Buccaneers were starting to get their game back, the Bucs take another step back in their offensive production. With QB Josh Freeman out due to injury, QB Josh Johnson (229 yds., 45 rush yds., 1 TD, 1 INT) had a decent fantasy game but otherwise performed below what would be expected given the match-up. WR Mike Williams (93 yds.) had another solid outing, while TE Kellen Winslow (41 yds.) struggled compared to his recent games, considering the match-up. Worse yet, RB LaGarrette Blount (19 yds.) was awful in a game against the worst rush defense in the NFL. The Bucs DST (2 sacks) didn’t have an answer for Cam Newton.
Fantasy Spin: We expect more from the Buccaneers in fantasy football, but just aren’t getting it. QB Josh Freeman is difficult to play at this point in the season. Let’s hope that this game was a bump in the road for RB LaGarrette Blount, as he is a good running back on a team that needs to establish a running game. Blount remains a likely candidate for a low RB2 start or flex-play. As for the Bucs receiving options, WR Mike Williams and TE Kellen Winslow look like they can continue to be considered with your other options. Regardless of this outing, the Bucs DST is still difficult to start in fantasy.
NEXT UP: at Jaguars
COLTS (0-12) 24 v. 31 PATRIOTS (9-3)
Colts: The final score made this look like a close game, but obviously, it wasn’t as the Patriots established an early lead and controlled the game till the end. Still, QB Dan Orlovsky (353 yds., 2 TDs, 1 INT) did a good job statistically speaking in this favorable fantasy match-up. WR Pierre Garcon (150 yds., 2 TDs) was outstanding! Besides Garcon, WR Reggie Wayne (55 yds.), WR Austin Collie (70 yds.), and TE Jacob Tamme (49 yds.) all posted some decent stats. If you gave RB Donald Brown (66 APY, 1 TD) the start, he did a good job. The Colts DST (1 sack) continued to struggle.
Fantasy Spin: QB Dan Orlovsky turned heads in this game, because he played well when he was supposed to play well. At this juncture in the season, it is still tough to play Colts’ players with an expectation that they will do something meaningful on a week-to-week basis. So, continue to treat Colts players as weekly options, along with your other players. Consider playing them, especially WR Pierre Garcon, TE Jacob Tamme, and WR Reggie Wayne when the match-up seems right and you have no other better options. The Colts’ running game is a mixed bag of risk and reward, and RB DeLone Carter, RB Donald Brown, and RB Joseph Addai should be avoided if possible. But, out of the three, Brown remains the most consistent on a week-to-week basis. Consider starting any defense that plays the Colts.
NEXT UP: at Ravens
Patriots: The Patriots dominated yet another one of their opponents. QB Tom Brady (289 yds., 7 rush yds., 2 TDs, 0 INTs) probably should have had a beter game. In any case, WR Wes Welker (110 yds., 2 TDs) and TE Rob Gronkowski (64 yds., 3 TDs) both had outstanding games, while WR Deion Branch (37 yds.) and TE Aaron Hernandez (43 yds.) performed well short of expectations. Thankfully, RB Ben Jarvus Green-Ellis (14 yds., 1 TD) posted a touchdown, because fantasy footballers would have been extremely disappointed given how well Green-Ellis has played lately, and because of the favorable match-up. The Patriots DST (2 sacks, 1 INT, 1 DFR) probably disappointed fantasy footballers who started it in what should have been a choice match-up where they dominated.
Fantasy Spin: QB Tom Brady and WR Wes Welker are weekly must-starts, as is TE Rob Gronkowski and TE Aaron Hernandez (as a low TE1). WR Deion Branch remains a decent WR3. RB Ben Jarvus Green-Ellis is still a bit of a head-scratcher with his on-again, off-again involvement in the offense. Yet, if it seems there is a good chance the Patriots will run away with a game, the Patriots will likely turn to the running game to eat out the clock. As such, Green-Ellis is still worth consideration as an RB2, but more so as a flex-play, especially with how thin the group of running backs have become in fantasy. The Patriots DST is worth a match-up based play.
NEXT UP: at Redskins
BRONCOS (7-5) 35 v. 32 (OT) VIKINGS (2-10)
Broncos: The Broncos are just shocking their nay-sayers and disbelievers. With their scrappy, unorthodox offense, and an inspired defense, the Broncos remain one of the toughest teams to beat in the league. QB Tim Tebow (202 yds., 13 rush yds., 2 TDs, 1 FMBL) continues to play well and this week, got the Broncos passing game going. While we would have thought WR Eric Decker (25 yds.) would have been the main beneficiary of the passing game, it was WR Demarius Thomas (144 yds., 2 TDs) who did, and is likely on fantasy waiver wires as we speak. RB Willis McGahee (111 yds., 1 TD, 1 FMBL) had another solid performance but also got into the end-zone. The Broncos DST (3 sacks, 2 INTs, 1 DFR, 1 DTD) continues to impress.
Fantasy Spin: QB Tim Tebow continues to get the job done, even though it’s not very pretty. Tebow remains fantasy-relevant and is startable as a borderline QB1. Regardless of this week’s performance, WR Eric Decker continues to be the Broncos’ receiver to own and start. As for WR Demarius Thomas, he still seems hit or miss even though, owners with roster room should consider Thomas for a bench spot. For owners of RB Willis McGahee, he plays like a solid RB2. The Broncos DST has been playing really well over the last several weeks with Tebow under center. They should be started in fantasy.
NEXT UP: Bears
Vikings: Can’t speak for the rest of the fantasy football world, but QB Christian Ponder (381 yds., 12 rush yds., 3 TDs, 2 INTs) made The Fantasy Greek more than a believer with this outstanding performance. Indeed, WR Percy Harvin (175 APY, 2 TDs) had one of the best games of his career, while RB Toby Gerhart (133 APY) continues to get the job done with Adrian Peterson still sidelined due to injury. TE Visanthe Shiancoe (36 yds.) didn’t do much in this game. The Vikings DST (2 sacks, 2 DFRs, 1 SFTY) didn’t have an answer for the Broncos offense.
Fantasy Spin: QB Christian Ponder is a fantasy-worthy quarterback in the right match-up. RB Toby Gerhart is also fantasy-worthy, so long as RB Adrian Peterson is side-lined. With this performance, WR Percy Harvin has become a must-start as a WR2.
NEXT UP: at Lions
Sunday, December 4th
4:05 p.m. EST
RAVENS (9-3) 24 v. 10 BROWNS (4-8)
Ravens: While the Browns were no push over, this was a game the Ravens were supposed to win. Still, we hoped for more from QB Joe Flacco (158 yds., 0 TDs, 1 FMBL). Nonetheless, with the Browns defending the pass tough, WR Anquan Boldin (32 yds.) and WR Torrey Smith (32 yds.) struggled. On the other hand, RB Ray Rice (250 APY, 1 TD) had what was likely his best game of the season! Neither TE Ed Dickson (47 yds.) nor TE Dennis Pitta (26 yds.) did much in this game. The Ravens DST (3 sacks, 1 INT, 1 KRTD) continued to dominate.
Fantasy Spin: If QB Joe Flacco is on your roster, he is likely your QB2. Flacco remains a match-up based play but it’s games like this that make fantasy footballers just shake their heads. RB Ray Rice and WR Anquan Boldin remain weekly must-starts, even though this was a week to avoid Boldin given how tough the Browns defend the pass. As for WR Torrey Smith, he is still a WR3 consideration so long as WR Lee Evans does not start to eat into his production. Smith’s big-play ability should likely keep him in the Ravens line-up for the foreseeable future. TE Ed Dickson is a TE2 at best. As for the Ravens DST, keep starting them.
NEXT UP: Colts
Browns: This was another tough loss for the Browns against a divisional opponent. QB Colt McCoy (192 yds., 12 rush yds., 1 TD, 1 INT) posted some familiar stats which were not fantasy-worthy. Still, they were pretty good against a tough Ravens defense. The best aspect of the Browns game was the fact that RB Peyton Hillis (97 yds.) was the focus of the Browns’ rush offense again, and even got involved in the passing game. As for the Browns’ receivers, both WR Greg Little (18 APY) and TE Ben Watson (34 yds.) failed to post any meaningful fantasy stats yet once more. The Browns DST (1 sack, 1 DFR) played well but couldn’t stop Ray Rice.
Fantasy Spin: With this game, it appears that RB Peyton Hillis is the team’s primary running back once again. With yet another disappointing performance, TE Ben Watson continues to be difficult to play in fantasy. WR Greg Little is difficult to play in fantasy because of his inconsistency. The Browns DST is still a mach-up based play.
NEXT UP: at Steelers (Thursday Night Game)
COWBOYS (7-5) 13 v. 19 CARDINALS (5-7)
Cowboys: Fantasy footballers expected more from the Cowboys in this game. Even though QB Tony Romo (299 yds., 1 TD, 0 INT) didn’t turn the ball over, he was able to connect with WR Dez Bryant (86 yds., 1 TD) for the game’s sole passing touchdown. Unfortunately, TE Jason Witten (47 yds.) and WR Laurent Robinson (72 yds.) were stymied by the Cardinals’ pass defense. Worse yet, both RB DeMarco Murray (38 yds.) and RB Felix Jones (43 APY) were shut down in this game. The Cowboys DST (4 sacks) continued to play well but couldn’t stop the Cardinals from winning the game.
Fantasy Spin: QB Tony Romo, WR Miles Austin (when healthy), WR Dez Bryant, and TE Jason Witten are worth a fantasy start each and every week. With Miles Austin out, WR Laurent Robinson continues to be worth the fantasy start. It will be interesting to see what the Cowboys do with Robinson once Austin returns. Right now, The Fantasy Greek expects that Robinson will continue to have a role in the offense. What should is cause for concern for fantasy footballers is the fact that RB DeMarco Murray and RB Felix Jones split time in this game. However, The Fantasy Greek feels this could simply be a function of the Cowboys not being able to get their running game going as opposed to some shift in offensive philosophy. Hopefully, we will learn more about what happened directly from the Cowboys this week. In The Fantasy Greek’s estimation, Murray is still the better play. The Cowboys DST is still worth starting in fantasy, especially in a good match-up.
NEXT UP: Giants
Cardinals: The Cardinals DST (5 sacks) showed up to play the Cowboys this week and did a great job limiting the Cowboys offense. QB Kevin Kolb (247 yds., 20 yds., 1 TD, 0 INTs) still didn’t look very good after missing the last several games due to injury. What’s worse, out of the passing yardage Kolb could generate, WR Larry Fitzgerald (55 yds.) got only a portion of them while WR Andre Roberts (111 yds.) got a majority of them. RB Beanie Wells (73 APY, 1 TD) was helped by the TD against a Cowboys’ rush defense that is pretty good.
Fantasy Spin: WR Larry Fitzgerald remains a must-start in fantasy, as does RB Beanie Wells. The Cardinals DST is a match-up based play.
NEXT UP: Forty-Niners
Sunday, December 4th
4:15 p.m. EST
PACKERS (12-0) 38 v. 35 GIANTS (6-6)
Packers: This was a hard-fought game on the field where the Packers were fortunate enough to pull this one out in the end. QB Aaron Rodgers (369 yds., 32 rush yds., 4 TDs, 1 INT) continued to drive the Packers’ offense with WR Greg Jennings (94 yds., 1 TD), WR Jordy Nelson (94 yds.), TE Jermichael Finley (87 yds., 1 TD), and WR Donald Driver (34 yds., 2 TDs) all getting some significant action. WR James Jones was held statless. Unfortunately, the Packers look like they lost RB James Starks (5 yds.) to another ankle injury. Both RB Ryan Grant (46 APY) and RB Brandon Saine (45 APY) split the workload. The Packers DST (1 sack, 1 INT, 1 DFR, 1 DTD) was helped by the defensive touchdown.
Fantasy Spin: QB Aaron Rodgers, WR Greg Jennings, WR Jordy Nelson, and TE Jermichael Finley should continue to be started on a weekly basis. WR James Jones continues to be a worthwhile play as a low end WR3, except you have to be willing to accept the fact that Jones may not post good receiving numbers on a weekly basis. RB James Starks is the better play over RB Ryan Grant. Monitor Starks’ injury status. If he misses anytime, RB Brandon Saine, who had a significant role in this game and looked good, would become fantasy-relevant. Keep starting the Packers DST.
NEXT UP: Raiders
Giants: This was a tough loss for the Giants, who needed the win to keep up with the Cowboys. From a fantasy perspective, you couldn’t ask for anything more from QB Eli Manning (347 yds., 3 TDs, 1 INT, 1 FMBL), who connected with both WR Victor Cruz (119 yds.) and more so, WR Hakeem Nicks (88 yds., 2 TDs). Unfortunately, WR Mario Manningham was inactive and TE Jake Ballard (47 yds.) was a fantasy non-factor yet again, even though he had his chances in the game. RB Ahmad Bradshaw (47 APY) did alright in his first game back from injury, but RB Brandon Jacobs (59 yds., 1 TD) was able to salvage a decent game yet again with a rushing touchdown. The Giants DST (2 sacks, 1 INT) did its best to keep up with this explosive offense.
Fantasy Spin: This week, QB Eli Manning continued to show why fantasy footballers have to start him — to catch him when he is HOT! With the way the Giants’ passing game has come alive, you have to consider Manning for the weekly start, as well as WR Hakeem Nicks, WR Victor Cruz, and a healthy WR Mario Manningham. All of the Giants’ passing threats can be on fantasy gridirons on a weekly basis. Also, when healthy, RB Ahmad Bradshaw and RB Brandon Jacobs remain an RB2 and an RB3/flex-play, respectively. TE Jake Ballard continues to be a factor in the offense and worth a start if your other starter pulls a difficult match-up. The Giants DST can continue to be started in fantasy in the right match-up.
NEXT UP: at Cowboys
RAMS (2-10) 0 v. 26 FORTY-NINERS (10-2)
Rams: With QB Sam Bradford out due to injury, QB A.J. Feely (156 yds., 0 TDs, 1 INT, 1 FMBL) couldn’t do anything against a team whose pass defense hasn’t been very good. Without a good passing game, not to mention double or triple coverage, WR Brandon Lloyd (34 yds.) struggled. With the Forty-Niners boasting the No. 1 rush defense, it was no surprise RB Steven Jackson (30 APY) didn’t have a good game here. The Rams DST (4 sacks) started the game strong but then allowed the Forty-Niners’ offense to take control of the game.
Fantasy Spin: Even though WR Brandon Lloyd struggled in this game, Lloyd and RB Steven Jackson are the Rams’ players to consider playing in fantasy football on a weekly basis. The Rams DST can play well, but are at best a match-up based play for fantasy footballers searching for a defense to start.
NEXT UP: at Seahawks
Forty-Niners: With this win, the Forty-Niners clinched the division championship. QB Alex Smith (274 yds., 10 rush yds., 2 TDs) had one of his best games of the season. Unfortunately, neither TE Vernon Davis (32 yds.) nor RB Frank Gore (73 yds.) did much in this game. Gore’s performance was much of a surprise, given that the Rams rushing offense has been pretty bad this season. With the passing game going, WR Michael Crabtree (96 yds., 1 TD) had his best game of the season. Indeed, WR Ted Ginn (72 yds.) got in on the action too. The Forty-Niners DST was outstanding in the shutout.
Fantasy Spin: It goes without saying that you should continue starting RB Frank Gore and TE Vernon Davis in fantasy, even though Davis may be more sensitive to the match-up. WR Michael Crabtree can be considered for a WR3 going forward. QB Alex Smith remains a viable QB2, or match-up based play. The Forty-Niners DST remains a must-start fantasy DST week in, week out.
NEXT UP: at Cardinals
Sunday, December 4th
8:20 p.m. EST
LIONS (7-5) 17 v. 31 SAINTS (9-3)
Lions: QB Matt Stafford (408 yds., 1 TD, 1 INT) had a decent fantasy game, but otherwise struggled because he couldn’t get the ball into the end-zone. Indeed, the Saints did a good job limiting WR Calvin Johnson (69 yds.), while WR Nate Burleson (93 yds.) and WR Titus Young (71 APY) had a larger role in the offense than they usually do. Unfortunately, TE Brandon Pettigrew (13 yds.) was out-performed by TE Tony Scheffler (41 yds.). At least, RB Kevin Smith (80 APY, 1 TD) was able to post some solid stats before he left the game when he re-aggravated his previous ankle sprain. In relief, RB Maurice Morris (75 APY, 1 TD) did a great job, even though he may have been on fantasy pines once Smith was announced the starter. The Lions DST (2 sacks) couldn’t stop the Saints’ high-octane offense.
Fantasy Spin: QB Matt Stafford, WR Calvin Johnson, RB Kevin Smith (when healthy), and the Lions DST remain must-starts each and every week. As for WR Nate Burleson, he is still hit or miss. So long as Smith is out, RB Maurice Morris remains a decent flex-play, with upside. TE Brandon Pettigrew has struggled in three of the last four games. Fantasy footballers will likely need to consider their other tight-end option when looking at Pettigrew for a start.
NEXT UP: Vikings
Saints: The Saints continued to dominate even a team like the Lions, who boast one of the better defenses in the league. QB Drew Brees (342 yds., 3 TDs, 0 INTs) just picked the Lions apart. Brees primarily connected with WR Robert Meachem (127 APY, 1 TD), even though TE Jimmy Graham (89 yds.), WR Lance Moore (23 yds., 1 TD), and WR Marques Colston (54 yds.) all contributed. The Saints’ rushing game continued to thrive with RB-KR Darren Sproles (74 APY, 1 TD) and RB Mark Ingram (54 yds., 1 TD) doing most of the damage. Unfortunately, RB Pierre Thomas (21 APY) had a more limited role in this game. The Saints DST (2 sacks, 1 INT) played well, keeping the Lions out of the end zone.
Fantasy Spin: You hear this each and every week. QB Drew Brees, TE Jimmy Graham, and WR Marques Colston should be started each and every week in fantasy football. Otherwise, regardless of what happened in this game, the Saints’ receiving situation is still difficult to figure out from a fantasy perspective. It’s a guessing game who among WR Robert Meachem, WR Devery Henderson, and WR Lance Moore will be the main contributor to the offense on a weekly basis. With RB Mark Ingram looking to be back fully from injury, he is worth flex-play consideration especially as the Saints could always work RB Pierre Thomas back into the mix. Still, Ingram is likely still the best bet of two to do something. RB Darren Sproles remains a solid RB2 going forward. The Saints DST will continue to have some good days, and some bad days, but you can keep considering them for a start along with your other options.
NEXT UP: at Titans
Monday, December 5th
8:30 p.m. EST
CHARGERS (5-7) 38 v. 14 JAGUARS (3-9)
Chargers: The Chargers really needed the definitive win they got in this game which ended a six game losing streak. Finally, QB Philip Rivers (293 yds., 3 TDs, 0 INTs) had a great game and was error-free. As a result, Rivers connected with all of his receiving options this week, including TE Antonio Gates (70 yds.), WR Vincent Jackson (72 yds., 1 TD), WR Vincent Brown (22 yds., 1 TD), and most notably, WR Malcolm Floyd (108 yds., 1 TD) who in his first game back from injury, blew up the gridiron! It was also good to see RB Ryan Mathews (114 APY, 1 TD) have another great game and to see RB Mike Tolbert (24 yds., 1 TD) get into the end zone. The Chargers DST (2 sacks, 1 INT) was a good start, especially because they limited the Jaguars to two TDs.
Fantasy Spin: QB Philip Rivers looks to be back in business. Rivers remains effective for fantasy football purposes, as does WR Vincent Jackson and TE Antonio Gates. They should continue to be started weekly as this team’s playmakers. Now that WR Malcolm Floyd is back, he can be owned and considered for a start as a WR3 or flex-play. With the running game going, RB Ryan Mathews and RB Mike Tolbert remain a solid RB2 and weekly flex-play, respectively. The Chargers DST should continue to be considered for a fantasy start.
NEXT UP: Bills
Jaguars: This week, the underrated Jaguars DST was awful, posting no meaningful defensive stats in the game for fantasy purposes. Besides RB Maurice Jones-Drew (188 APY, 1 TD), no other Jaguars playmaker did anything of significance in this game.
Fantasy Spin: RB Maurice Jones-Drew is the only Jaguars player worth fantasy consideration on a weekly basis, especially now in the final weeks of fantasy football. Fantasy footballers should avoid the other Jaguars playmakers. The Jaguars DST struggled this week. So long as it plays well, it can be used in fantasy.
NEXT UP: Buccaneers
Good luck this week!