Last week we accurately picked Brett Favre to go big against Chicago, but a number of other quarterbacks jumped off the stat sheet with huge performances. Perhaps the most impressive Week 12 giant was Vince Young, who has been an amazing resurrection in Tennessee.
For many teams, like Chicago, the season is now unofficially over. For others, like Tennessee, it's only getting interesting. But there are still lots of questions for teams that are in the clear, Indianapolis, that are climbing into the race, like Tennessee, or are playing out the schedule, like Chicago.
This week's games could provide a lot of drama for fantasy owners.
Most leagues have Weeks 14-16 designated for playoffs as well. This is the week that owners really need to evaluate their options, and the playoff schedule moving forward. Now is the time to effectively position your waiver claims to help in the playoffs as much as address potential help in Week 13. We'll rank the QBs for Week 13, but be ready for a comprehensive playoff ranking coming this weekend.
Week 13 Rankings
1. Philip Rivers, SD @ CLE - by this point in the season, if you don't start looking for matchups like this you're losing. Rivers is putting up great numbers, and plays a terrible team. Look out below, Cleveland!
2. Carson Palmer, CIN vs DET - see everything I said about Rivers.
3. Drew Brees, NO @ WAS - just in case you didn't see him OWN New England, Brees is an MVP front runner. Watch him put 300 and at least two touchdowns on the Skins.
4. Matt Schaub, HOU @ JAX - look up at everything I said about Palmer and Rivers.
5. Peyton Manning, IND vs TEN - it won't be Brees-Brady, but this could be a fun, high-scoring match up in a divisional rivalry reborn. Manning could have a huge week against a banged up secondary.
6. Vince Young, TEN @ IND - he isn't managing the game right now. Young's running well, and throwing well, and he's going to have to put points on the board to beat Peyton Manning. Yes, Chris Johnson will have a big game. But teams like the Colts (ie good ones) game plan to eliminate the other team's best player; that means the Colts are going to force Young to beat them. He might, too.
7. Brett Favre, MIN @ ARI - again, great quarterback against a questionable secondary. This might end as Favre's best season.
8. Aaron Rodgers, GB vs BAL - Denis Dixon looked pretty good against the Ravens last week. Rodgers is better in every aspect of the game than Dixon, who was starting for the first time. This might be a trap game for the Ravens, and the Packers are fighting for their playoff lives.
9. Joe Flacco, BAL @ GB - he put 289 yards on Pittsburgh last week. Yes, Pittsburgh doesn't have a shut down corner like Charles Woodson, but Flacco's been getting a lot of cheap yards by finding Ray Rice out of the backfield.
10. Jay Cutler, CHI vs STL - the rumor mill is buzzing in Chicago that Lovie Smith and Jerry Angelo should/will be fired. The Bears come home after getting destroyed in Minnesota to an unhappy fan base with the perfect remedy: the Rams. Everything in logic says Cutler should be up near Palmer and Rivers, but it's going to be around freezing in Chicago on Sunday and Cutler hasn't played well even against losers like Cleveland. I wouldn't drop Cutler until Monday (unless you can grab Young off waivers still).
On the fence! My jury's still out on these guys this week:
CAR: Jake Delhomme is not good. Yes, he's got Tampa this week, but he made high school mistakes last week. Delhomme's history indicates he bounces back from awful performances well, but I'm not sure he's got it any more.
PHI: Donovan McNabb won't have DeSean Jackson or Brian Westbrook in Atlanta this week. My issue isn't with McNabb as much as I wonder who he'll throw the ball to for your points.
NYJ: Mark Sanchez is falling apart, but the Bills have given up some yards through the air this year. The weather won't be a factor because they're playing in Toronto's dome, but how Sanchez approaches a division rival that picked him off five times earlier this year makes him intriguing to me.
DAL/NYG: the weather in New York might be miserable for a game that could, because of injuries to their runnings games, see a need for lots of throwing. I'm not sure how Tony Romo's back or Eli Manning's legs will hold up if it's freezing in the Meadowlands.
Injuries! Check back later this weekend for updates on the following situations as they develop:
DEN: Kyle Orton's ankle might continue to be an issue for the Broncos. Check back closer to game time for info on their plans.
ATL: Matt Ryan's already been ruled out for the Falcons' game against Philadelphia. Chris Redman wasn't bad in relief, but Philly isn't an easy win.
PIT: Big Ben has locker room drama to deal with on top of getting his head right after a concussion. He was a late scratch last week, and the Steelers have Oakland (Dixon might be good enough).
ARI: Kurt Warner had a headache last weekend and didn't play, and Matt Leinart was mediocre (as always). Keep an eye out for who's starting here, and whether or not Warner can make it a full game against Jared Allen and Company.
Bench! Leave these guys on your bench or, more appropriately, send them to the waiver wire:
MIA: Chad Henne gets the honor of playing New England after they got their doors blown off by Drew Brees. Good luck, kid.
CLE, DET, OAK, STL: You can't play Jimmy Clausen, Colt McCoy or Sam Bradford this week, so don't sweat anyone on any of these rosters *(except maybe Calvin Johnson).
Check out all our Rankings, in our usual start sit fashion.