Bye Weeks: N/A
Grab a Helmet
Alexander v. BAL: I watch an unhealthy amount of football,
both college and pro, so it’s pretty unusual for me to have
never seen someone play, especially if he hails from a BCS conference
and has been in the NFL for several years. Imagine my surprise
last Sunday, then, when I realized I’d never actually seen
Alexander in action. Here are the thoughts that went through my
mind, in order: 1) He’s huge!; 2) He’s good!; 3) What
were the Rams thinking?; 4) He’s GIGANTIC! I don’t
know why I thought the former Mizzou Tiger was a cookie-cutter
receiver (6’0”, 180 pounds, decent speed), but I’m
kind of glad it took me so long to be disabused of that notion
because I’d probably have fallen for him much earlier. Here’s
all you need to know even if, like me, you weren’t aware
he’s a freakishly large and gifted receiver: Philip Rivers
loves him (21 targets in his first three games of significant
action). Go get Alexander and plug him into your lineup posthaste!
Crabtree @ NO: I donít like Alex Smith or Colin Kaepernick this
week but not because they wonít put up numbers. To the contrary,
one of them will probably exceed expectations. I just donít know
which one and neither do you unless your name is Jim Harbaugh. Hereís
what we probably do know: Whoever gets the nod is probably going
to be looking in Mike Crabtreeís direction a bunch. The Saints offer
very little resistance to opposing offenses but are capable of posting
explosive totals when they have the football. Thus, whether they
want to or not, the Niners are probably going to be forced into
more of a shootout-type contest than theyíre probably used to. Crabtree
has been excellent his last three outings (173 total yards and four
scores) so he could be in line for a special stat line if that type
of game does indeed materialize this coming Sunday in the Big Easy.
Ignore your temptation to sit the usually pedestrian Niners wideout
in Week 12.
Nicks v. GB: Itís been a pretty disappointing campaign for the
guy formerly known as Eli Manningís favorite target. That mantle
has been passed along to Victor Cruz this season (and most of last)
but Nicks did manage to capture some of his old magic in the Week
10 loss at Cincinnati. He was targeted a whopping 14 times and managed
to haul in 9 of those passes for 75 yards. It ended up being his
second most productive outing of the season and Ė Iím sure the Giants
are hoping Ė a potential harbinger for things to come down the stretch.
If heís finally, truly healthy, he could be a devilishly good option
as we head toward the fantasy playoffs. Donít forget what heís done
to the Pack the last two times he faced them: 14 receptions, 253
yards, and four touchdowns. Gulp.
Is Hakeem Nicks finally healthy?
Grab Some Wood
Wallace v. BAL: I led off the Wood-Grabbers portion in Week
11 with Mr. Wallace and I donít see any reason why that wonít
work again in Week 12. The quarterback throwing him footballs
isnít named Byron Leftwich anymore (now THERE is something to
be thankful for), but he isnít named Ben Roethlisberger either.
Instead, Wallace plays catch with Charlie Batch this Sunday, the
quarterback whoís seemingly been in the league since leather helmets
were in vogue. OK, so maybe heís not that old. He is, however,
just three years my junior and I still subscribe to the following
rule when it comes to NFL field generals: If we could theoretically
have been teammates in high school, I donít want you on my fantasy
team. I donít want any of your receivers, for that matter, either.
Wallace, an elite speed merchant, needs to be paired up with a
strong-armed slinger who can buy time in the pocket, qualities
Batch conspicuously lacks at this stage of his career. Sit the
former Rebel down again in Week 12.
Lloyd @ NYJ: I was a little less sanguine about Lloydís prospects
this season than most, unable to shake the image of Chad Ochocinco
wandering regularly and aimlessly downfield, a square peg in New
Englandís round hole of an offense. Though it turns out Lloyd
is a significantly better fit in the Patsí complicated scheme
than his predecessor, he certainly hasnít set the world on fire
this season. Tom Terrific and Co. scored 59 points last Sunday
and Lloyd, despite plenty of snaps, was a virtual non-factor (four
catches, 45 yards, and no scores). More troubling, his targets
seem to be tailing off as we get deeper in to the season (33 in
his first three games but only 17 in his most recent three). The
injury to Gronk gives me pause (might Lloyd reemerge as a consistent
threat?) but I think heís too risky to trust at this critical
stage of the season. If youíre in need of some more convincing,
go take a look at his performance in the first matchup with Rex
Fitzgerald v. STL: You gotta feel sorry for Arizona’s
exceptional wideout. Yes, he’s rich beyond his wildest dreams.
Yes, he’s the greatest receiver the franchise has ever known
(that includes the St. Louis days). No, it isn’t close.
Yet, here he is, right smack dab in the middle of his prime, and
he’s got Ryan Lindley throwing him the football. Ugh. When
you’re pining for John Skelton to return from injury, you
know things have taken a serious turn for the worse. Fitzgerald
garnered plenty of targets in the Week 11 loss to Atlanta (7)
but he only caught one ball for 11 yards. That’s not exactly
what you’re looking for in Week 12, the official start of
the fantasy stretch run in most leagues. Unless you think Lindley
is likely to make huge strides in his first official start, you
might wanna consider the once inconceivable: sitting Fitzgerald
on your bench when it matters most.
Good luck, folks, and Happy Thanksgiving!