Week 11 Recap: Had a real good start with Pittsburgh, while my other three starts ended up being just mediocre plays, even though the other three gave up a combined 48 points between them. I had a much better week on the other side of the ball when you take a look at my sits, with my only questionable play being the Falcons. When I look towards week 12, the matchups for certain defenses seem to look easier than others, but it is Thanksgiving weekend; so that means turkey and unpredictable outcomes. Here are the team defense start sit for week 12.
Start ‘em: Week Twelve Team Defenses
New York Giants vs JAX: With their offense so depleted I am here to lean on the Giants strong point, which is their defense. The Giants defense has scored more than 10 points in 7 of their 10 games this year, and only once at home [Peyton and the Colts]. Jacksonville’s offense has been clicking on all cylinders in the past few weeks and has propelled them to first place in their division. My feeling for this matchup is the Giants will once again come out and flex their muscles; the second everyone jumps off their bandwagon in terms of being the best team in the NFC or their division, their defense will come out and hold up their offense till it can get healthy.
Cleveland Browns vs CAR: Whether it is Brian St. Pierre, Tony Pike or Jimmy Clausen, to be honest it does not matter. Carolina is averaging a little over 11 points a game and it will not get any easier for them this week. They are facing a very stingy run defense, and running the ball is pretty much the only strong point so far this season for Carolina in the emergence of Mike Goodson. Cleveland’s defense this week in my eyes is a very sneaky play and I think they will come out and prove why they are a much better team than in years past. The Browns defense has scored over 15 fantasy points 5 times this season and I see them notching another one on the board when they host the Panthers this Sunday.
Oakland Raiders vs MIA: Another very sneaky play for team defenses this weekend; with Tyler Thigpen still in line to start for the struggling Dolphins in Oakland on Sunday, I believe the Raiders have a tremendous opportunity to cause a bunch of turnovers and really put an end to a teetering Dolphins playoff dream. The Raiders came out last week and really put up a terrible performance against the Terrible Towel’s, and I think this is a great week for their defense to step up and remind us to why we were praising this team after their first 5-4 start in what seems like decades. Before putting up a dud last week versus Pittsburgh, the Raiders defense had posted three straight weeks of 23+ fantasy points.
Atlanta Falcons vs GB: The Green Bay Packers have looked amazing so far this season and it really is very curious to how this team is overcoming all of their injuries on both sides of the ball so well each and every week. My prediction in this matchup is the Falcons coming out and reminding the Packers that they have 9 players currently listed on IR and two safeties out this weekend in Atari Bigby and Anthony Smith. The Falcons defense has only surrendered 3 rushing touchdowns so far this season, and has only allowed one since week 2 and that was a wide receiver screen to DeSean Jackson, look for the Falcons to continue this rush defensive onslaught when they play Brandon Jackson on Sunday.
Sit ‘em: Week Twelve Team Defenses
Green Bay Packers @ ATL: On one side I am starting the Falcons defense, on the other I am also going to sit the Packers defense. With all of the injuries I mentioned in my Atlanta column, I am just not sure how they plan on stopping the home warrior Matt Ryan and the running game of Michael Turner in the Georgia Dome. The Packers defense has been absolutely dominating so far this year and really have not missed a beat with all the injuries on both sides of the ball; my opinion is really the fact that it cannot last week in and week out and I think this is a great situation for the Falcons to show the league what they have to offer when it comes playoff time in the Georgia Dome.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ BALT: I understand they shutout the San Francisco 49ers last week 21-0, but this Baltimore offense is simply not Troy Smith and the Niners offense and I think Tampa Bay will realize that a few minutes into this game. The Bucs defense has put up over 24 fantasy points in 3 of their last 4 games, but in those games they have played San Francisco, Carolina, Atlanta and Arizona [3 of 4 are at the bottom of the league in terms of a ton of offensive categories]. I buy Tampa’s defense to be talented, young and effective; but not in Baltimore and not against Joe Flacco and this talented offense.
Arizona Cardinals vs SF: Monday Night Football will not be enough for me to like what Arizona’s defense is selling this season, even if it is against a San Francisco team that has scored 10 points in their last 6 quarters. The most amazing thing about this game is the fact that this is a playoff type matchup because of how open the NFC West is at the moment: this will be a very tough, grind it out type game and I do not think Arizona will be able to match what Frank Gore is going to give them play in and play out for 4 quarters. The Cardinals defense has put up 12 total fantasy points in their last 2 games and I simply do not see their defense showing up on Monday Night Football when it counts the most.
Tennessee Titans @ HOU: Currently ranked 3rd in terms of fantasy defenses for week 12, the Tennessee Titans are projected to put up a ton of fantasy defense points for owners this weekend when they go to Houston to face the Texans. My problem with this projection is the fact that I think the Titans will unfortunately have to rely on Chris Johnson to take this game over if they want a chance to win with Rusty Smith as their quarterback for the second straight week, and if Houston can do anything [and that is ANYTHING] on defense it is stacking the box and attempting to halt the rushing game of the opposite team. Tennessee has put up double digit fantasy points in every game they have played so far this season, so I am not going to tell you that won’t continue, but what I am saying is I think after a couple of death defying losses, the Texans offense will be ready to rack up some points when they host the Titans on Sunday.