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Week 12 Passing Matchups

by Mark Wimer and Joe Bryant, Exclusive to Footballguys.com

Jump to Rushing Matchups

Great Matchups: [ATL] [BUF] [CIN] [DAL] [NYJ] [SF]
Good Matchups: [BAL] [CAR] [DEN] [GB] [IND] [JAX] [NYG] [TEN]
Neutral Matchups: [OAK] [SD] [SEA] [WAS]
Tough Matchups: [CHI] [DET] [HOU] [NE] [NO] [PHI] [PIT] [STL] [TB]
Bad Matchups: [ARI] [CLE] [KC] [MIA] [MIN]


PLEASE NOTE: This does NOT replace the Cheatsheet ranking. The Cheatsheet rankings are the final say on where we see a player for that week. The Matchup Breakdowns are simply one more tool in the box when it comes to helping choose your lineup.

Also note, just because a player has a "bad" matchup, it does NOT mean he's not a starter in your league. If Aaron Rodgers is playing the toughest pass defense in the league, that just means he's got a tough matchup that week. He's also your starter unless you're loaded at QB. In the same way, if the worst QB on your roster has a "great" matchup that week, it doesn't necessarily mean he's your starter. It means we think he'll fare better than normal that week.

Bottom line is that the cheatsheets are the final say.


Due to the Wednesday/Thursday games this week, some of the matchups were written using preliminary statistics compiled before the Monday Night Football game - some small discrepancies between the preliminary statistics quoted in the matchups and the final, corrected statistics may be found due to our compressed writing/editing schedule.


Atlanta Falcons Passing Offense at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

This is the first clash between the NFC South foes during 2012 - it should be a very entertaining game between two potent offenses. In Atlanta's case, the passing offense is the strongest suit for the Falcons.

Last week Matt Ryan had an unfortunate outing vs. Arizona, throwing five interceptions and zero TDs on the day (28/46 for 301 yards passing, with one sack taken for -5 yards). Julio Jones struggled to stay on the field due to his high ankle sprain, and he appeared to aggravate the injury in the fourth quarter last week - he may be iffy for this game. Harry Douglas would be the next man up (six targets for 5/48/0 receiving last week) if Jones can't go, and he's proven to have reliable hands this year (38 targets for 25/246/0 receiving so far this year). Roddy White posted his third 100+ yards-receiving effort in a row last week (his fifth this year) with 13 targets for 8/123/0 to his credit vs. Arizona. Tony Gonzalez disappointed fantasy owners last week with just 3/33/0 receiving (but he did have a healthy eight targets, he just didn't convert enough of them). We'll see if the league's most generous pass D can help put Ryan back on track in Tampa this week.

The Buccaneers' pass D averages 312.6 net yards allowed per game, and they've handed over a healthy 17 passing scores so far this year. They do have 15 interceptions (third-most in the NFL so far) and 17 sacks generated (tied for 25th in the league), so Ryan will have to do a better job taking care of the football against these ball-hawking defensive backs if he's to avoid a debacle similar to last week's. Cam Newton managed 16/29 for 234 net yards, one TD and zero interceptions vs. Tampa last week (the game extended into OT, by the way), while two weeks ago Philip Rivers tossed 29/37 for 323 net yards, three TDs and two interceptions at Tampa.

Ryan and company should bounce back in a big way vs. the soft Buccaneers' pass D.

Weather: Tampa expects beautiful weather on Sunday, with a high of 70 F forecast, and a 0% chance of rain.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Buffalo Bills Passing Offense at Indianapolis Colts Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Ryan Fitzpatrick had a 'boom' game at New England two weeks ago (27/40 for 337 yards passing, two TDs and one interception thrown), but then a 'bust' outing vs. Miami last week (17/27 for 168 yards passing, zero TDs and zero interceptions) - he hasn't consistently put up outstanding fantasy points this year. To date, the Bills' signal caller ranks 17th among all fantasy quarterbacks, with 202/323 for 2,179 yards passing, 17 TDs thrown vs. 10 interceptions, with 30/136/0 rushing to his credit so far. When he's on, Fitzpatrick can help win fantasy games for his owners - the question always is, when will the 'boom' Fitzpatrick show up?

This week, the Colts' 20th-ranked pass D awaits Fitzpatrick and company in Lucas Oil Stadium - they average 240.3 net passing yards allowed per game, with a hefty 18 pass TDs given out to date vs. only four interceptions (last in the NFL) and 21 sacks (19th in the NFL) generated so far. Tom Brady bombed this group for 24/35 yielding 331 net yards, three TDs and zero interceptions with zero sacks taken in week 11 - two weeks ago lowly Jacksonville managed 28/47 for 300 net yards passing, one TD and two interceptions, with four sacks taken for -30 yards. This isn't a good pass D, friends.

Advantage, Buffalo. The high-octane version of Buffalo's passing offense has a good chance of making an appearance during week 12.

Weather: Lucas Oil Stadium expects a high of 42 F on Sunday, with a 10% chance of rain, and winds in excess of 10 mph. In such blustery conditions, the retractable roof will probably be closed - weather conditions shouldn't impact either team in this game.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Cincinnati Bengals Passing Offense vs Oakland Raiders Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Andy Dalton accounted for three TDs at Kansas City last week (18/29 for 230 yards passing, two TDs and zero interceptions with two sacks taken for -10 yards, and then also 3/13/1 rushing on the day). He leaned on A.J. Green (12 targets for 6/91/1) and Jermaine Gresham (eight for 6/69/0) the most last week, with flares out to Brandon Tate (two for 1/24/0) and Mohamed Sanu (four for 2/22/1). It was Sanu's second week in a row with a TD grab - he seems to be coming on during the second half of the season. With two straight wins going for Cincinnati right now, it appears the offense is on a roll.

The Raiders have been blown out in two straight games, 93 points against vs. 37 for during the past two weeks. Ouch! Baltimore put up 21/34 for 341 net yards, three TDs and one interception vs. Oakland two weeks ago (zero sacks taken; New Orleans threw 21/28 for 229 net yards, three TDs and zero interceptions with zero sacks taken last week. The Raiders' secondary is in a state of utter collapse as of week 12, folks.

This is a great week to be invested in the Bengals' passing attack.

Weather: Paul Brown Stadium expects a high of 43 F on Sunday, with just a 10% chance of rain - the wind is expected to be pretty mild (10 mph or less). It'll be a cool, crisp afternoon to play some football.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Dallas Cowboys Passing Offense vs Washington Redskins Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Tony Romo was battered by the Browns last week (seven sacks taken for -56 yards, with 10 other hits absorbed as well), but he hung in there and delivered a 23-20 OT win. In the end he had put up 35/50 for 313 yards passing, one TD and zero interceptions (it was his second 300+ yards-passing game out of the last three contests played). Dez Bryant saw 15 targets for 12/145/1 receiving, followed by Miles Austin (12 for 6/58/0) and Jason Witten (eight for 7/51/0). The usual suspects have the Dallas passing attack going strong entering the final weeks of the 2012 season - and given how banged up Dallas' running backs are right now, Romo is going to be leaned on heavily in this game, too.

The Redskins' pass D is among the league' worst, with an average of 289.2 net yards allowed per game (29th in the NFL) and 20 pass TDs given up (second-most in the NFL to date). They do have 12 interceptions (tied for sixth in the NFL) and 18 sacks (tied for 23rd) so far this year, but most of the time the Redskins' DBs roll out the red carpet for opposing passers. Rookie Nick Foles struggled in his first career NFL start last week (21/46 for 177 net yards, zero TDs and two interceptions), and Cam Newton tossed just 13/23 for 201 net yards, one TD and zero interceptions vs. Washington - neither of these teams have potent passing attacks, however.

Romo is hot, while the Redskins' pass D is suspect - advantage, Dallas.

Weather: Cowboys' Stadium expects a high of 75 F on Thanksgiving, with only a 20% chance of rain - if the skies don't get threatening, the retractable roof may be open for this game. However, if a storm approaches, the Stadium will be buttoned up tight - either way, weather conditions shouldn't impact either team much during this contest.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


New York Jets Passing Offense vs New England Patriots Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Mark Sanchez threw for more yards than Tom Brady back in week seven (328 vs. 259), notching 28/41 for 328 yards passing, one TD and one interception, but taking four sacks for -31 yards during the 26-29 OT loss to the Patriots. Jeremy Kerley (11 targets for 7/120/0 receiving) and Dustin Keller (seven for 7/93/1) were his main men that day, followed by Stephen Hill (seven for 4/55/0). Hill has struggled in recent weeks - missing most of practice last week due to illness, and also not managing a catch during weeks 10 or 11. 'Sometimes when you have rookie players, young players, and they miss the whole week of practice ... you have these kind of lapses,' head coach Rex Ryan commented on Monday, November 19. 'Has he lost some confidence? I'm not sure,' added Ryan. 'One thing I know for sure, we're going to keep throwing it to him. He can get separation from people. The fun part and the easy part of the job is catching the football.'

With a win in his column last week, Sanchez tossed 15/20 for 178 yards, one TD and zero interceptions (taking three sacks for -12 yards). Sanchez hasn't been over 200 yards passing in his last two games - from a fantasy perspective, the Jets' attack is not looking attractive entering this showdown with New England.

However, the Patriots' pass D has coughed up 27/50 for 329 net yards, two TDs and three interceptions to Andrew Luck and 27/40 for 319 net yards, two TDs and one interception to Ryan Fitzpatrick in the last two games, and to date New England averages 289.7 net passing yards allowed per game, with a league-worst 21 passing TDs surrendered, vs. 13 interceptions (fifth in the NFL) and 21 sacks (tied for 19th) generated.

Like many other quarterbacks this year, Sanchez took advantage of the poor Patriots pass D to rack up over 300 yards passing the last time he saw them, and nothing that the Patriots have done recently indicate that it can't happen again - advantage, New York.

Weather: MetLife Stadium expects a low of 34 F on Thursday night, with a 0% chance of rain forecast and almost no wind expected. Though the football will be hard and slick in the cool conditions, weather shouldn't play a huge role in the outcome of this contest. The placekickers' range for field goal attempts will be less than usual, though.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


San Francisco 49ers Passing Offense at New Orleans Saints Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

As of midweek, Alex Smith said that he's 'kinda in the middle of it' as regards the NFL-mandated concussion protocols, so it looks like hot-hand Colin Kaepernick (16/23 for 243 yards passing, two TDs and zero interceptions, with just one sack taken for -7 yards against the ferocious Bears' D last week, and 4/12/0 rushing for Kaepernick as well) will start again in week 12. Kaepernick showed good chemistry with Vernon Davis (eight for 6/82/1 receiving) in his first NFL start, and also hit Michael Crabtree for a TD (five targets for 3/31/1). Kyle Williams (two for 2/60/0) and Mario Manningham (two for 2/45/0) also moved the ball for Kaepernick last week - the 49ers' passing attack is humming right along entering week 12.

The Saints' pass D has been vulnerable all year long (ranking 31st in the NFL averaging 305.0 net passing yards allowed per game, with a league-worst 21 pass TDs allowed). The team has seven interceptions (tied for 22nd in the NFL) and 24 sacks to date (tied for 14th), so they aren't totally incompetent, but it isn't hard to move the football on this secondary. Most recently, Carson Palmer posted 22/40 for 284 net yards passing, two TDs and two interceptions thrown (with three sacks for -24 yards taken).

This is a great week for Kaepernick to get some more regular-season experience. Advantage, San Francisco.

Weather: Inside the Mercedes Benz Superdome, weather won't impact either team in this matchup.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Baltimore Ravens Passing Offense at San Diego Chargers Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Joe Flacco was fantastic vs. Oakland two weeks ago (21/33 for 341 yards passing, three TDs and one interception thrown during a 55-20 victory), but then he fell off the face of the planet at Pittsburgh during week 11 (20/32 for 164 yards passing, zero TDs and zero interceptions with two sacks taken for -11 yards). He's been pedestrian most weeks this year (15th-ranked fantasy quarterback, with 206/341 for 2,495 yards passing, 13 TDs and seven interceptions thrown and 17/30/2 rushing). As usual, Anquan Boldin (19 targets for 12/117/0 over the last two games) and Torrey Smith (13 for 3/74/2) have seen the most work of late, but Smith has not converted enough of his chances, leaving fantasy owners on the short end of the stick if they started Smith in the last two weeks. Ray Rice (10 for 9/86/0 in the last two games) and Dennis Pitta (six for 6/72/1) have been reliable receivers, but Pitta suffered a concussion early in the game vs. Pittsburgh and has to go through the NFL-mandated concussion protocols before he can return to the field of play. He's reportedly looked good early in the week, but he hasn't been cleared to return as of mid-week. Stay tuned to Footballguys.com's players in the news if Pitta is on your roster.

The Chargers average 236.0 net passing yards allowed per game (19th in the NFL) with a hefty 19 passing TDs given up to date vs. just nine interceptions (tied for 13th in the NFL) and 17 sacks (tied - 22nd) generated so far. Peyton Manning hit this group last week for 25/42 yielding 253 net yards, three TDs and one interception thrown, with three sacks taken for -17 yards; two weeks ago Josh Freeman pitched 14/20 for 205 net yards, two TDs and zero interceptions, with one sack taken for -5 yards. This is a middle-of-the-road pass D that gives up a large number of passing TDs per game.

Flacco has been up and down in recent weeks, while the Chargers have been very generous with passing TDs of late - this looks like a good matchup for Flacco and company.

Weather: Qualcomm Stadium expects a high of 68 F on Sunday, with a 0% chance of rain forecast - weather conditions shouldn't play a role in the outcome of this contest.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Carolina Panthers Passing Offense at Philadelphia Eagles Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Cam Newton ranks 12th among all fantasy QBs through 10 games played - he's posted 171/300 for 2,395 yards passing, 9 pass TDs vs. 10 interceptions thrown, and added 74/394/4 rushing (he's the team's leading rusher and top scorer of rushing TDs to date). As usual, Steve Smith is his leading receiver this season, with 44/710/1 to his credit (the one TD is what has depressed his fantasy value to 34th place in the PPR scoring paradigm). Brandon LaFell (29/489/3) and Greg Olsen (45/539/3) have both secured three passing scores, and those guys plus Jonathan Stewart (15/145/1 receiving this year) represent Newton's main weapons in this phase of the game.

The Eagles' pass D has allowed 18 passing scores this year (tied for fourth-most in the NFL), while averaging 222 net yards allowed per game (13th in the NFL). The team has generated seven interceptions (tied for 22nd) and just 16 sacks (tied for 29th in the NFL). That's some bad pass D, folks. Robert Griffin III just lit this group up for 14/15 yielding 192 net yards, four TDs and zero interceptions (with two sacks taken for -8 yards) during the Redskins' 31-6 laugher over Philadelphia last week. Enough said.

Newton hasn't found the end-zone often as a passer, but he's got a good shot at a solid game against the sorry Eagles this week.

Weather: On Monday night, Lincoln Financial Field expects a low of 37 F with a 10% chance for rain. In such cool conditions, the footballs will be hard and slick, making ball handling, and the passing/kicking games more tricky than usual. No extreme weather is expected at this time, but owners of Panthers and Eagles should check a shorter-term forecast before setting their lineups this week.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Denver Broncos Passing Offense at Kansas City Chiefs Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Peyton Manning has thrown seven TDs in his last three games, sandwiching three-TD games around a one-TD showing two weeks ago - last week, Manning tossed 25/42 for 270 yards passing, three TDs and one interception, with three sacks taken for -17 yards vs. San Diego. Eight different Broncos caught at least two passes during the game, led by Brandon Stokley (five targets for 4/55/1). Also scoring TDs last week were Demaryius Thomas (nine for 3/42/1) and Eric Decker (five for 2/23/1). Jacob Tamme (five for 4/53/0) and Joel Dreesen (six for 4/28/0) were also heavily involved last week. The Broncos' passing attack remains on a big time roll entering week 12.

The Chiefs' pass D averages 214.6 net passing yards allowed per week, but they have handed over a whopping 20 TDs (next-to-last in the NFL) vs. just six interceptions (tied for 26th in the NFL) and 17 sacks (tied for 25th) generated to date. Andy Dalton stuck close to the usual pace at K.C. last week, slinging 18/29 for 220 yards, two TDs and zero interceptions; the Steelers eked out 16/32 for 154 net yards, one TD and zero interceptions after losing Ben Roethlisberger midway through the game vs the Chiefs two weeks ago.

Manning remains one of the hottest quarterbacks in the NFL, while the Chiefs' pass D is mediocre-to-subpar (depending on the statistical category in question) right now. Advantage, Denver.

Weather: Arrowhead Stadium expects a relatively-toasty high of 54 F on Sunday, with winds around 10 mph - for Kansas City Missouri, that's about as good as it gets at this time of year. Owners of Chiefs and Broncos should have decent weather on tap for their fantasy players in this contest.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Green Bay Packers Passing Offense at New York Giants Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Aaron Rodgers threw 19/27 for 236 yards passing, two TDs and one interception at Detroit last week, and has thrown multiple TDs in each of his last three contests (55/92 for 640 yards passing, eight TDs and two interceptions thrown). Randall Cobb has emerged as a go-to guy while Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson (just six targets for 3/45/0 over the last three weeks, missing most of the time due to an ankle injury) have languished on the sidelines - Cobb has seen 28 targets for 17/139/4 receiving. James Jones (20 for 13/172/1), Jermichael Finley (11 for 6/96/1), and Donald Driver (five for 4/32/1) have also scored during the above time frame, while Tom Crabtree busted a long 72-yard TD vs. Arizona two games ago. Rodgers just keeps on posting solid fantasy numbers no matter who he is throwing at.

The Giants' pass D averages 257.8 net yards allowed per game (25th in the NFL), with 17 passing TDs given up so far, vs. 17 interceptions (second in the NFL) and 25 sacks (13th) generated to date. The Packers are 29th in the NFL with 32 sacks allowed this year, by the way - Rodgers will likely feel some pressure from the Giants' well-rested defensive front this week. However, Andy Dalton didn't get sacked two weeks ago (21/30 for 199 yards passing, with four TDs and zero interceptions) - Ben Roethlisberger took four sacks for -25 yards three weeks ago on the way to 21/30 for 191 net yards, two TDs and one interception. The Giants have tightened up on the yards allowed per game in recent weeks, but they have also given up six passing scores during that two game span.

Rodgers has a good matchup to work with this week.

Weather: MetLife Stadium expects a low of 30 F on Sunday night, and winds may approach 15 mph - in the cool conditions, gusty winds would make the kicking and passing games more tricky than usual (as will a cold, hard, slick football). Owners of Giants and Packers will want to check a shorter-term forecast before setting their lineups this week.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Indianapolis Colts Passing Offense vs Buffalo Bills Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Andrew Luck has been everything the hype suggested this year, but even he is subject to an occasional slump - with two TDs and four interceptions thrown over the last two weeks (46/76 for 563 yards passing during that span), he's in a mini-slump, even though he went over 300 yards passing at New England last week (27/50 for 334 yards passing, two TDs and three interceptions thrown). T.Y. Hilton snagged both TDs from Luck last week (nine targets for 6/100/2 receiving), followed by Reggie Wayne (18 targets for 7/72/0 receiving), Dwayne Allen (11 for 6/69/0) and LaVon Brazill (four for 2/46/0).

The Bills' pass D averages 234.1 net yards allowed per game (18th in the NFL), but has allowed 19 pass TDs this year (third-most in the league to date), vs. eight interceptions generated (tied-16th) and 23 sacks (tied-16th) to their credit. This is a mediocre-to-sub-par pass D from week to week - last week, the team held Miami to 14/28 for 124 net yards passing, one TD and two interceptions, with three sacks for -17 yards generated. However, Tom Brady threw 23/38 for 230 net yards, two TDs and zero interceptions vs. Buffalo two weeks ago (one sack for -7 yards taken).

The so-so Bills' pass D should provide Luck an opportunity to climb of his slump - advantage, Indianapolis.

Weather: Lucas Oil Stadium expects a high of 42 F on Sunday, with a 10% chance of rain, and winds in excess of 10 mph. In such blustery conditions, the retractable roof will probably be closed - weather conditions shouldn't impact either team in this game.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Jacksonville Jaguars Passing Offense vs Tennessee Titans Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Chad Henne blew up for four passing scores and 16/33 for 354 yards, and he didn't throw an interception during the explosion at Houston. He's been announced as the new starter in Jacksonville due to 'performance', according to head coach Mike Mularkey - which likely means that even if Blaine Gabbert gets over his injured elbow, Henne is now the guy for Jacksonville going forwards into the final weeks of 2012. Justin Blackmon appears simpatico with Henne (13 targets for 7/236/1 receiving at Houston, while Cecil Shorts (six targets for 3/81/1) appears to continue to hold fantasy value with Henne calling the shots. Marcedes Lewis flashed his ability at Houston, too (four targets for 3/40/2) - the Jaguars' offense may finally awake from it's Gabbert-induced sleepwalking to close out 2012.

The Titans' pass D averages 266.2 net passing yards allowed per game (26th in the NFL), while giving up 20 pass TDs to date (second-most in the NFL). They have nine interceptions to date (13th in the NFL), and just 16 sacks (tied for 29th in the NFL) - this is not a good pass D in any measurable way. Two weeks ago, Ryan Tannehill struggled vs. Tennessee (23/39 for 201 net yards, zero TDs and three interceptions), while Jay Cutler ripped them for 19/26 yielding 205 net yards passing, with three TDs thrown vs. zero interception thrown.

Henne is hot, while the Titans' defenders are suspect - this looks like a good matchup for the new Jacksonville starter.

Weather: EverBank Field expects a high of 65 F, with a 0% chance of rain and winds under 5 mph on Sunday - it should be a great day to play (and watch) a pro football game.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


New York Giants Passing Offense vs Green Bay Packers Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Eli Manning addressed concerns that his throwing arm has been dead in recent weeks, commenting earlier in the week that 'I think it definitely had a little bit more pop to it [Monday, after the bye week - MW],' Manning said. 'That's something, you take a week off and you definitely get a little bit more fire. It was coming out good.' We'll see if he can improve on the 29/46 for 215 yards passing, zero TDs and two interceptions thrown at Cincinnati two weeks ago - fantasy owners of Hakeem Nicks (14 for 9/75/0 at Cincinnati), Martellus Bennett (nine for 4/37/0) and Victor Cruz (four for 3/26/0) certainly hope Manning can get back to top form.

The Packers' pass D averages 244.4 (21st in the NFL), with 14 pass TDs given up vs. 12 interceptions (sixth in the NFL) and 33 sacks (second) generated to date. Last week, Matthew Stafford managed 17/39 for 252 net yards passing, one TD and two interceptions thrown, with five sacks taken for -14 yards, while Arizona's John Skelton threw 23/46 for 286 net yards, one TD and one interception at Green Bay, with two sacks taken for -20 yards two games ago.

Manning has been in a long slump, but he's got a good shot at bouncing back vs. the suspect Packers' secondary (but he'll need to take good care of the football given the Packers' ball-hawking ways).

Weather: MetLife Stadium expects a low of 30 F on Sunday night, and winds may approach 15 mph - in the cool conditions, gusty winds would make the kicking and passing games more tricky than usual (as will a cold, hard, slick football). Owners of Giants and Packers will want to check a shorter-term forecast before setting their lineups this week.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Tennessee Titans Passing Offense at Jacksonville Jaguars Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Jake Locker got back in the saddle at Miami two weeks ago (9/21 for 122 yards passing, two TDs and zero interceptions), and did well enough to pull off a 37-3 victory despite only nine completions. His twice-dislocated shoulder didn't suffer a setback, but Locker did reportedly spend extra time at the team facility during the bye week working through soreness after playing his first game in six weeks prior to the off week. Kenny Britt was Locker's top target in week 10, with six for 2/36/0, while Jared Cook saw three targets for 1/26/1. Kendall Wright had three chances at catches with 1/9/1 to his credit. We'll see if Locker can build on his rapport with the receivers now that he'll have more weeks of first team reps under his belt.

The Jaguars' pass D ranks 28th in the league averaging 276.9 net passing yards allowed per game, with 14 passing TDs given up per game, with seven interceptions generated to date (). However, they were blown apart by Matt Schaub last week (43/55 for 504 net yards, five TDs and two interceptions) - Jacksonville's pass D is tottering entering week 12.

Locker needs to get back in rhythm - against the soft Jaguars' defense, he's got a good shot at a decent showing, but the rushing matchup for Chris Johnson is outstanding so it wouldn't be surprising to see Locker throw relatively few passes in this game.

Weather: EverBank Field expects a high of 65 F, with a 0% chance of rain and winds under 5 mph on Sunday - it should be a great day to play (and watch) a pro football game.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Oakland Raiders Passing Offense at Cincinnati Bengals Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Carson Palmer has thrown 90/146 for 1,094 yards passing, eight TDs and six interceptions over the past three games played, and he hasn't notched a single win during that time span. Wow, talk about a defensive collapse - the Raiders have enjoyed all the above and lost by a total of 69 points for - 135 points against during the above three game span. Brandon Myers has led the team in targets (30), receptions (19) and TDs (3) during the three game frame (30 for 19/171/3), followed by Denarius Moore (24 for 9/161/1), Marcel Reece (23 for 19/241/1), Darrius Heyward-Bey (19 for 14/225/1), and Rod Streater (17 for 7/91/1). The Raiders' passing attack is going for broke entering the final 1/3 of the season, but their defensive counterparts are breaking down.

The Bengals' pass D allowed zero TDs to the Chiefs' quarterbacks last week (17/30 for 171 net yards, zero TDs or interceptions, with three sacks taken for -17 yards), while limiting Eli Manning to 29/46 for 189 net yards, zero TDs and two interceptions, with four sacks taken for -26 yards two weeks ago. To date, the Bengals are third in the NFL with 30 sacks to their credit, while averaging 228.3 net yards allowed per game (15th in the NFL), with 12 passing scores given up vs. seven interceptions generated (22nd in the NFL). Oakland is currently tied for 11th in the NFL with 20 sacks allowed to date.

Palmer is on fire entering week 12, but the Bengals have been wet blankets of late - on balance, this looks like a neutral matchup with neither team holding a clear edge over the other.

Weather: Paul Brown Stadium expects a high of 43 F on Sunday, with just a 10% chance of rain - the wind is expected to be pretty mild (10 mph or less). It'll be a cool, crisp afternoon to play some football.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


San Diego Chargers Passing Offense vs Baltimore Ravens Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Philip Rivers has been doing his part for the Chargers, with multiple TD passes in each of his last three games (71/97 for 814 yards passing, seven TDs and five interceptions during that time span), but he's also thrown five interceptions, with two thrown per game in each of the last two San Diego losses. Five players have seen double-digit targets over the past three games - Danario Alexander (21 for 15/291/3); Malcom Floyd (17 for 14/178/2); Ryan Mathews (14 for 11/63/0); Antonio Gates (12 for 9/117/2) and Ronnie Brown (11 for 10/46/0). There are fantasy points to be had here, if you can select the guy who'll pull in the six-pointers in any given game.

The Ravens' pass D ranks 23rd in the NFL in terms of average net yards allowed per game (250.1), but they have given up just eight passing TDs this year, vs. 11 interceptions (ninth in the NFL) and 19 sacks (22nd) generated to date. The Ravens breathed a sigh of relief when FS Ed Reed had his one game suspension overturned and replaced with a $50,000.00 fine instead. He'll be in the lineup for this game. Last week, the Ravens gave up just 177 net yards passing to Byron Leftwich and the Steelers (18/39 for 177 net yards, zero TDs and one interception thrown, with three sacks taken for -24 yards). Two weeks ago Carson Palmer and company racked up 29/46 for 350 net yards passing, two TDs and one interception with three sacks taken for -18 yards. As you can see, the so-so Ravens' pass D has bounced around from solid to suspect over the past two games.

Rivers has been productive of late, and he should be able to make a decent showing against the middlin' Ravens' pass D. Neither team has a clear edge over the other team in this one.

Weather: Qualcomm Stadium expects a high of 68 F on Sunday, with a 0% chance of rain forecast - weather conditions shouldn't play a role in the outcome of this contest.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Seattle Seahawks Passing Offense at Miami Dolphins Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Russell Wilson has thrown seven TDs over his last three games, with 53/78 for 591 yards passing, and just one interception thrown during that time span. He's leaned on Sidney Rice (19 for 12/163/4), Golden Tate (15 for 13/137/3), and Zach Miller (14 for 9/106/1) to catch most of his passes during the hot streak - those four guys are the ones to be starting from this passing attack during the closing weeks of the season.

The Dolphins' pass D has been sorry most of the year, currently ranking 27th in the NFL averaging 266.3 net yards allowed per game, with 12 passing scores given up vs eight interceptions (tied for 16th in the NFL) and 27 sacks (tied for eighth) generated to date. Ryan Fitzpatrick was frustrated by the Dolphins last week, though, with 17/27 for 161 net yards, zero TDs and zero interceptions thrown; and Jake Locker managed just 9/22 for 116 net yards, two TDs and zero interceptions at Miami two weeks ago. However, Locker was back after many weeks out due to a shoulder injury: he was still working on his timing with the other Titans. However, the Dolphins have definitely improved in this phase of the game as the year has gone along.

Wilson is hot, but the Dolphins are getting stronger as a defense in this phase of the game. On balance, this looks like a neutral matchup to us.

Weather: Sun Life Stadium expects a high of 76 F on Sunday, with a 0% chance of rain forecast - it should be near-perfect football weather in South Florida.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Washington Redskins Passing Offense at Dallas Cowboys Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Robert Griffin III comes into this game off a career day in which he pitched four TDs, and only threw one incompletion, to torture Philadelphia 31-6 last week (14/15 for 200 yards passing, four TDs and zero interceptions, with 12/84/0 rushing to lead the team in that category, too). Santana Moss made his one target count, with 1/61/1 receiving, followed by Aldrick Robinson (one for 1/49/1), and Leonard Hankerson (two for 2/30/0). Logan Paulsen (one for 1/17/1) and fullback Darrel Young (one for 1/6/1) also snagged TDs during the rout. It's all good for the Redskins coming into this Thanksgiving Day game. Well, almost all good - Pierre Garcon (injured foot) didn't practice on Tuesday and coach Mike Shanahan sounds reluctant to play him on Dallas' turf, noting it's much harder than a natural surface. Garcon is a dreaded game-time decision for Thanksgiving Day after a quiet three targets for 3/5/0 receiving vs. Philadelphia last week.

The Cowboys' pass D averages 211.4 net yards allowed per game (sixth in the NFL), but have given out 11 passing TDs this year vs. just four interceptions generated (dead last in the NFL). The team has 20 sacks this year (21st in the NFL), while the Redskins have given up 23 sacks to date (19th in the NFL). Brandon Weeden posted 20/35 for 192 net yards, two TDs and zero interceptions at Dallas last week - Nick Foles and Mike Vick combined for 28/41 yielding 278 net yards, two TDs and one interception vs. Dallas two weeks ago.

Griffin threw four TDs last week, while the Cowboys have allowed two passing scores per game over their last two contests, but tend to limit passing yards in most games. On balance, this looks like a neutral matchup for the visiting Redskins (but Griffin is red hot right now so he's likely still your starter for week 12).

Weather: Cowboys' Stadium expects a high of 75 F on Thanksgiving, with only a 20% chance of rain - if the skies don't get threatening, the retractable roof may be open for this game. However, if a storm approaches, the Stadium will be buttoned up tight - either way, weather conditions shouldn't impact either team much during this contest.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Chicago Bears Passing Offense vs Minnesota Vikings Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Can Jay Cutler play during week 12? As of mid-week, Cutler is reportedly still going through the process of the NFL concussion protocols, and 'still has a few hoops to jump through.'. Given the horror of Jason Campbell's first start at San Francisco (14/22 for 107 yards passing, one TD and two interceptions thrown, with six sacks for -49 yards taken plus 11 other hits absorbed by Campbell during a relentless evening of pass pressure on the 49ers' part) behind the makeshift Chicago offensive line, fantasy owners invested in the Chicago offense really hope that Cutler can go on Sunday. Stay tuned to Footballguys.com's players in the news for the practice reports later this week. If Campbell has to start again (or if Josh McCown goes), look for other options at your skill positions as the Chicago offense faltered in both phases of the game without Cutler under center.

The Vikings' pass D took last week off on a bye, after defeating the Lions 34-24 two weeks ago. As usual, Matthew Stafford made a late charge in that game, with two fourth-quarter TDs, to notch 28/42 for 308 net yards, three TDs and one interception (with two sacks taken for -21 yards) at the Metrodome. Russell Wilson (17/25 for 190 net yards, three TDs and zero interceptions) also had three TD passes vs. the Vikings' secondary back in week nine - to date, Minnesota has allowed 17 passing scores (on the high end of the current NFL range between 8-21 passing scores allowed by the various teams) with just five interceptions (next to last in the league) to go with their 26 sacks (11th in the NFL).

If Cutler can play, rate this a good matchup. If not, knock it down to tough.

Weather: Solider Field expects a cloudy, chilly day on Sunday with a high of 42 F and a 10% chance of rain - winds are forecast to be around 10 mph on Sunday. As long as a storm cell doesn't form, it should be a chilly but decent afternoon to play football in the Windy City.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Detroit Lions Passing Offense vs Houston Texans Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Matthew Stafford had another strong fourth-quarter effort fall short at Minnesota two weeks ago (28/42 for 329 yards passing, three TDs and one interception thrown), and also waited until the second half to throw his lone TD vs. Green Bay last week (17/39 for 266 yards passing, one TD and two interceptions thrown). Stafford was sacked five times for -14 yards by the Packers last week as his team slid to 4-6 on the season. Over the past two weeks, Titus Young (13 targets for 5/59/1 receiving) has been benched for lining up improperly and looks like he may be inactive in week 12, which should open up an opportunity for Ryan Broyles (three targets for 3/41/0 over the past two games). As usual, Calvin Johnson has piled up 17/350/2 out of 24 targets over the last two games as the top option for Stafford, and Brandon Pettigrew has snagged 7/54/1 out of 16 chances. Johnson and Pettigrew are the mainstays of this passing attack entering the Holiday weekend.

Houston's pass D got surprised by Jacksonville last week - they allowed a whopping 18/35 for 372 net yards, four TDs and zero interceptions to Chad Henne and company en route to a very narrow 43-37 OT win over the Jaguars. Two weeks ago Chicago only managed 18/33 for 134 net yards passing, zero TDs and two interceptions thrown (zero sacks taken) - the Texans' pass D has been wildly inconsistent during November in this phase of the game. To date, Houston ranks seventh in the NFL averaging 213.6 net passing yards allowed per game, with 17 pass TDs given up vs. a healthy 11 interceptions (tied for ninth in the NFL) and 27 sacks generated (tied for eighth), but they've only put up two sacks for -6 yards over their last two contests.

Stafford hasn't gotten the job done of late, but he's still putting up the ball a lot - the Texas stumbled against humble Jacksonville last week but should be stronger in week 12. This looks like a tough matchup for the home-team Lions.

Weather: Inside Ford Field, weather won't impact either team.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Houston Texans Passing Offense at Detroit Lions Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Matt Schaub found himself in an OT duel with Chad Henne last week, and responded with 43/55 for a career-best 527 yards passing, five TDs and two interceptions when the dust settled on the 43-37 OT victory. WOW. Andre Johnson trashed opposing fantasy owners with a humungous 14/273/1 receiving out of 19 targets, while Garrett Graham had nine targets for 8/82/2 during the shootout. Owen Daniels was third on the team with nine targets for 6/57/0 receiving. Also scoring last week were James Casey (three for 3/20/1) and Keshawn Martin (one for 1/9/1). Obviously, Schaub has the potential for truly explosive outings as we hit the stretch run into the playoffs.

The Lions average 214.0 net passing yards per game (eighth in the NFL), with 16 passing TDs given up vs. six interceptions (26th in the NFL) and 23 sacks (tied for 16th) generated to date. Aaron Rodgers threw 19/27 for 219 net yards passing, with two TDs and one interception, with three sacks for -17 yards taken at Detroit last week; Christian Ponder put up 24/32 for 207 yards passing, two TDs and zero interceptions (with two sacks for -14 yards taken) vs Detroit two weeks ago.

Schaub is nuclear hot coming into this game, but he's got a tougher-than-usual challenge ahead in Detroit.

Weather: Inside Ford Field, weather won't impact either team.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


New England Patriots Passing Offense at New York Jets Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Tom Brady threw 26/42 for 259 yards passing, two TDs and zero interceptions, with one sack taken for -9 yards the last time he played the Jets - a week seven OT victory for the Patriots 29-26. Since that win, he's pitched 70/108 for 872 yards passing, nine TDs and zero interceptions during weeks 8-11. Not too shabby. However, there is a bump in the road coming as his by-far favorite red zone target, Rob Gronkowski, is out for four-to-six weeks thanks to a surgically-repaired broken forearm. The Patriots do hope that Aaron Hernandez can step back into the lineup this week despite his ongoing issues with a sore/injured ankle - if Hernandez is near 100% healthy, he'll likely inherit much of the targets that have been flowing to Gronkowski (24 targets for 18/314/5 from weeks 8-11)

As the Patriots have rolled on, Brady has leaned on other players besides Gronkowski - Wes Welker leads the team in targets since week eight, with 31 for 19/202/0 receiving; Brandon Lloyd has seen 17 for 11/118/2; and Danny Woodhead has handled 13 for 9/102/1 during that time span.

The Jets average 200.1 yards passing allowed per game (fourth in the NFL), with 14 pass TDs given up vs. eight interceptions (tied for 16th in the NFL) and only 17 sacks (tied for 25th) generated to date. Sam Bradford threw 23/44 for 167 net yards, two TDs and one interception vs. New York last week; Russell Wilson of Seattle had 13/20 for 189 net yards, three TDs and zero interceptions thrown two weeks ago.

Brady will do without Gronkowski in this tough divisional matchup - advantage, New York.

Weather: MetLife Stadium expects a low of 34 F on Thursday night, with a 0% chance of rain forecast and almost no wind expected. Though the football will be hard and slick in the cool conditions, weather shouldn't play a huge role in the outcome of this contest. The placekickers' range for field goal attempts will be less than usual, though.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


New Orleans Saints Passing Offense vs San Francisco 49ers Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Drew Brees - number one fantasy quarterback through 10 weeks, with 250/401 for 3,066 yards passing, 28 TDs and just nine interceptions thrown. Did we mention he gets one of his favorite targets, Darren Sproles, back in the fold for this game? You know you should start Brees and his favorite targets (Jimmy Graham, Marques Colston, Sproles), right? Right.

The 49ers field the league's second-ranked pass D, averaging 182.9 net yards allowed per game, with nine passing TDs given up vs. eight interceptions (tied-16th in the NFL) and 23 sacks generated (16th in the NFL). They crushed Chicago backup Jason Campbell last week (14/22 for 58 net yards, one TD and two interceptions, with six sacks taken for -49 yards), but watched Sam Bradford and company compile 28/41 for 299 net yards, two TDs and zero interceptions two weeks ago.

Brees is no Jason Campbell - and that's a good thing. Though this is a tough matchup, Brees is still your fantasy starter unless you are loaded at quarterback this year.

Weather: Inside the Mercedes Benz Superdome, weather won't impact either team in this matchup.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Philadelphia Eagles Passing Offense vs Carolina Panthers Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Nick Foles didn't follow through from his adequate showing in relief of Mike Vick two weeks ago - Foles flopped at Washington last week in his first NFL start, with 21/46 for 204 yards passing, zero TDs and two interceptions, with four sacks taken for -27 yards, en route to a 6-31 loss. The Eagles are holding out hope that Vick may be able to return from his concussion/post-concussion woes for this Monday Night Football game - the picture for the Eagles' offense this week is very cloudy at midweek with LeSean McCoy going through the NFL concussion protocols right now, too. Stay tuned to Footballguys.com's players in the news this week to see which Eagles are able to practice and for the word on who is expected to start.

Josh Freeman bombed the Panthers for 25/46 yielding 236 net yards, three TDs and two interceptions last week, while Peyton Manning threw 27/38 for 295 net yards, one TD and zero interceptions at Carolina two weeks ago. To date, the Panthers are ranked 17th in the NFL averaging 232.3 net passing yards allowed per game, with 13 pass TDs given up vs. eight interceptions (tied-16th in the NFL) and 26 sacks (tied-11th) generated to date. This is a so-so, middle-of-the-road pass D entering the final 1/3 of the season.

The Eagles' offense has been wracked by injury of late - this looks like a tough matchup for Foles, but call it neutral if Vick manages to get back in action on Monday night.

Weather: On Monday night, Lincoln Financial Field expects a low of 37 F with a 10% chance for rain. In such cool conditions, the footballs will be hard and slick, making ball handling, and the passing/kicking games more tricky than usual. No extreme weather is expected at this time, but owners of Panthers and Eagles should check a shorter-term forecast before setting their lineups this week.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Pittsburgh Steelers Passing Offense at Cleveland Browns Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

With Ben Roethlisberger and Byron Leftwich out for week 12, and Antonio Brown (ankle, questionable at midweek) and Jerricho Cotchery (multiple rib fractures, out indefinitely) also injured, the Steelers are going back to the future. They've signed Plaxico Burress this week to bolster the battered receiving corps, and will turn to long-time backup/third quarterback Charlie Batch to run their offense. The running back's stable is also banged up (Rashard Mendenhall has a sore Achilles, and Isaac Redman suffered a concussion last week vs. Baltimore), so Batch will have to make some throws in this game if the Steelers are going to be competitive. Batch's best spot start in terms of passing yards over the last two seasons came in week 16 of 2011 (against St. Louis), when he tossed 15/22 for 208 yards, zero TDs and one interception - he last threw TDs in week three of 2010 (against Tampa Bay), with 12/17 for 186 yards, three TDs and two interceptions. We'll see how much chemistry Batch can whip up with Mike Wallace, Emmanuel Sanders and Burress (and perhaps Brown) during practices this week.

The Browns' pass D ranks 22nd in the NFL averaging 248.8 net yards passing allowed per game, with 17 pass TDs given up vs. 10 interceptions (12th in the league) and 27 sacks (tied for eighth) generated so far this year. Pittsburgh is in the middle of the NFL range with 22 sacks given away this season - Leftwich suffered three sacks for -24 yards and five other hits absorbed vs. Baltimore last week. Tony Romo was sacked seven times for -57 yards by the Browns last week on the way to 35/50 for 257 net yards, one TD and zero interceptions. Batch will likely see a lot of pass pressure on Sunday.

Given the beat-up roster and thin receiving corps, and their long-in-the-tooth starter Batch, we think this looks like a tough matchup for Pittsburgh, on the road at their divisional rival.

Weather: Cleveland Browns' Stadium expects a high of 37 F on Sunday, with a 20% chance of precipitation, and winds in excess of 10 mph. In such cool, blustery conditions the football will be hard and slick, while swirling winds may make the passing and kicking games more difficult than usual. Owners of Steelers and Browns will want to check a shorter-term forecast before setting their lineups this week.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


St. Louis Rams Passing Offense at Arizona Cardinals Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Sam Bradford tossed two TDs vs. one interception during the Rams' 17-3 win over Arizona back on Thursday, October 4 - he only managed 7/21 for 141 yards, though, while taking one sack for -10 yards. Since early October, Bradford has bounced around as a passer, having some solid games (26/39, for 275 yards passing, 2 TDs and zero interceptions during the 24-24 tie at San Francisco two weeks ago) while mainly sticking close to 200ish yards passing and a TD or two in two of his last three games - for the past three games, his totals are 71/113 for 650 yards passing, five TDs and two interceptions thrown - respectable numbers, but nothing earth-shaking in fantasy terms. Five players have double-digit targets to their credit over the past three weeks - Danny Amendola (23 for 18/143/0); Austin Pettis (15 for 8/76/1); Brandon Gibson (14 for 9/102/2); Lance Kendricks (12 for 9/94/0) and Chris Givens (11 for 7/82/1). Bradford has been spreading the ball around liberally of late, as you can see.

The Cardinals' pass D gave up 28/46 for 296 net yards to Matt Ryan last week, but he was picked off five times vs. zero TDs thrown. Two games ago (for Arizona), Aaron Rodgers tossed 14/30 for 208 yards, four TDs and one interception thrown - the Cardinals have been a mixed bag as pass defenders in recent weeks, as you can see. To date, the Cardinals rank fifth in the NFL averaging 204.7 net yards allowed per game, with 13 passing TDs given up vs. 14 interceptions (fourth in the NFL) and 28 sacks (tied for fifth) generated so far this year.

Bradford posted lackluster numbers the last time the Cardinals were his opponents - we expect to see them make him work hard for each yard in this game too. Advantage, Arizona.

Weather: University of Phoenix Stadium expects a high of 80 F on Sunday, with a 0% chance of rain - in such nice conditions, the retractable roof will probably be open. Weather conditions shouldn't impact either team in this contest.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers Passing Offense vs Atlanta Falcons Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Josh Freeman has thrown 13 TDs and two interceptions in his last five outings, and posted 25/46 for 248 yards passing, three TDs and two interceptions during the OT win at Carolina last week. Vincent Jackson and Dallas Clark have two TDs apiece over the past three games, while Mike Williams and Tiquan Underwood have one apiece for that time span - Start them if you've got them, the Buccaneers' passing attack is white hot entering week 12.

The Falcons held off Arizona 23-19 despite five interceptions thrown by Matt Ryan - they accomplished the 'W' by holding the Cardinals to 41 net passing yards, with zero TDs or interceptions thrown (three sacks for -29 yards taken). Two weeks ago, Atlanta was at the other end of the spectrum, with 21/32 for 292 net yards, and three TDs given away to Drew Brees and company (they did have one interception and a sack of Brees during the contest). To date, the Falcons are 10th in the NFL averaging 216.3 net yards allowed per game, with 11 passing TDs given up balanced by 11 interceptions (tied for ninth in the NFL) and 24 sacks (tied for 14th in the NFL) generated.

Freeman and company are on a big-time roll, but they've got some tough customers arriving in Tampa on Sunday. With a vulnerable Atlanta rush D also in this picture, it would be no surprise to see the Buccaneers' game plan slanted towards handing off the football to Doug Martin, which would limit the passes Freeman puts up somewhat.

Weather: Tampa expects beautiful weather on Sunday, with a high of 70 F forecast, and a 0% chance of rain.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Arizona Cardinals Passing Offense vs St. Louis Rams Passing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Back in week five, the Rams defeated Arizona 17-3. That day Kevin Kolb was still under center (he's not expected back for this game) so looking back doesn't tell us a whole lot about Ryan Lindley's (or John Skelton's, if he gets another crack at starting) chances in week 12. As of midweek, the coaching staff is being coy about which quarterback will start - fantasy owners invested in the Arizona passing attack will want to monitor the practice participation of Lindley and Skelton later this week.

The sorry state of the Cardinals' pass blocking back in week five (Kolb was sacked nine times for -52 yards, and took 11 other hits on the quarterback) and during the course of the season so far (44 sacks allowed, by far the worst in the league) paints a pretty grim picture for whoever is the Cardinals' quarterback in this game. Skelton was 2/7 for six yards passing at Atlanta last week before being benched; Lindley threw 9/20 for 64 yards and took three sacks for -29 yards. It was the second-lowest net passing yards total in Arizona team history (41 net yards). Yuck.

The Rams bring the league's fourth-highest total of defensive sacks generated (29), having piled up 20 total hits (nine sacks and 11 other hits) on Arizona's Kolb in just one game earlier this year. Last week, the Rams gave up 16/21 for 165 net yards, one TD and zero interceptions to the Jets (three sacks for -12 yards), while two weeks ago San Francisco was held to 18/25 for 158 net yards, one TD an zero interceptions with five sacks taken for -31 yards. The Rams have consistently held opposing passers well under 200 yards during November, friends.

This looks like a pretty awful matchup for the struggling Cardinals - advantage, Rams.

Weather: University of Phoenix Stadium expects a high of 80 F on Sunday, with a 0% chance of rain - in such nice conditions, the retractable roof will probably be open. Weather conditions shouldn't impact either team in this contest.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Cleveland Browns Passing Offense vs Pittsburgh Steelers Passing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Brandon Weeden bounced back from his poor showing vs. Baltimore (20/37 for 176 yards passing, zero TDs and two interceptions thrown) to post 20/35 for 210 yards passing, two TDs and zero interceptions at Dallas last week. Josh Gordon led the team in receiving with seven targets for 5/53/0, followed by Greg Little (four for 3/53/0), Trent Richardson (eight for 6/49/0), and Ben Watson (eight for 4/47/2). We'll see how the inconsistent Weeden fares against divisional-rival Pittsburgh here in week 12.

The Steelers average 169.3 net yards passing allowed per game (first in the NFL), with 11 pass TDs allowed vs. five interceptions generated (next-to-last in the NFL) and 18 sacks generated (tied for 23rd in the NFL to date). Joe Flacco eked out 20/32 for 153 net yards, zero TDs or interceptions, with two sacks taken for -11 yards last week - Matt Cassel posted 11/26 for 148 net yards, zero TDs and one interception with two sacks for -6 yards taken at Pittsburgh two weeks ago. This group makes life miserable for most quarterbacks.

Weeden has been up and down in recent weeks, and looks over-matched in this game - advantage, Pittsburgh.

Weather: Cleveland Browns' Stadium expects a high of 37 F on Sunday, with a 20% chance of precipitation, and winds in excess of 10 mph. In such cool, blustery conditions the football will be hard and slick, while swirling winds may make the passing and kicking games more difficult than usual. Owners of Steelers and Browns will want to check a shorter-term forecast before setting their lineups this week.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Kansas City Chiefs Passing Offense vs Denver Broncos Passing Defense (Bad Matchup)

The Kansas City quarterback situation is a mess. Matt Cassel acknowledged earlier this week that he's likely lost the starting job to Brady Quinn, but frankly neither guy is getting the job done here for the 1-9 Chiefs. The two essentially split snaps last week vs. Cincinnati - Quinn threw 9/14 for 95 yards, with zero TDs or interceptions, and took two sacks for -16 yards. Cassel tossed 8/16 for 93 yards, zero TDs or interceptions, with one sack taken for -1 yard. Take your pick - either guy looks like fantasy poison to us. Fantasy owners should look outside of this moribund passing attack for their starters.

The Broncos rank 12th in the NFL averaging 219.0 net passing yards allowed per game, with 18 pass TDs given out this year but also 12 interceptions (tied for sixth in the NFL) and 35 sacks (first in the NFL) generated - K.C. ranks 15th in the NFL with 22 sacks allowed to date. Last week, Philip Rivers threw 24/40 for 224 net yards passing, two TDs and two interceptions, with four sacks taken for -24 yards while visiting Denver.

This is a bad matchup for the anemic Chiefs' passing attack.

Weather: Arrowhead Stadium expects a relatively-toasty high of 54 F on Sunday, with winds around 10 mph - for Kansas City Missouri, that's about as good as it gets at this time of year. Owners of Chiefs and Broncos should have decent weather on tap for their fantasy players in this contest.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Miami Dolphins Passing Offense vs Seattle Seahawks Passing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Miami's offense is in decline, with practically no rushing attack at soft Buffalo last week, and little in the way of passing attack (14/28 for 141 yards passing, one TD and two interceptions for Ryan Tannehill last week). Over the past three games, Tannehill has tossed 59/105 for 648 yards, two TDs and five interceptions. There simply isn't much going on here for fantasy owners, folks.

The Seahawks are ranked third in the NFL averaging 196.2 net passing yards allowed per game, with only nine passing TDs given up vs. nine interceptions generated to date. Seattle also has 28 sacks this year (tied for fifth in the NFL), while the Dolphins have given up 21 sacks this year (tied for 13th in the NFL). Two weeks ago the Jets eked out 12/25 for 101 net passing yards, zero TDs and one inteception, with three sacks for -31 yards taken at Seattle.

This looks like an ugly matchup for the struggling Dolphins.

Weather: Sun Life Stadium expects a high of 76 F on Sunday, with a 0% chance of rain forecast - it should be near-perfect football weather in South Florida.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Minnesota Vikings Passing Offense at Chicago Bears Passing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Christian Ponder has swung between double-digit passing totals (8/17 for 58 yards, one TD and two interceptions vs. Arizona four games ago; 11/22 for 63 yards, zero TDs and one interception at Seattle two games ago) and respectable games (19/35 for 251 yards passing, one TD and one interception vs. Tampa Bay three games ago; 24/32 for 221 yards passing, two TDs and zero interceptions vs. Detroit most recently) over his last four contests prior to the bye week. Ponder is the picture of inconsistency of late, friends.

Unfortunately for the Vikings and Ponder, Percy Harvin's severely sprained ankle is still tender and sore (Harvin described it as sprained in three places after the injury occurred) - 'Most of the swelling is gone. It's just sore and pretty tender right now. So, we'll see how he feels when we come back on Wednesday.' head coach Leslie Frazier commented on Monday, November 19. '[Harvin] Just hasn't made enough progress to put him out there yet.' Mike Jenkins is also fighting through a sore foot entering week 12 (he missed practice on Monday as well), so the Vikings' receiving corps is pretty banged up coming into this divisional game. Stay tuned to Footballguys.com's players in the news later this week to see if Harvin and Jenkins can practice with Ponder this week (or not).

The Bears' pass D fell apart at San Francisco, allowing 16/23 for 232 net yards, two TDs and zero interceptions to Colin Kaepernick in his first NFL start. Matt Schaub was limited to 14/26 for 88 net yards, one TD and two interceptions two weeks ago, though - the entire Bears' defense was thrown off-kilter in San Francisco with their leader on offense, Jay Cutler, out due to a concussion. So far this year, Chicago ranks 11th in the NFL averaging 216.7 net passing yards allowed per game, with 10 pass TDs allowed vs. a league-best 19 interceptions generated, and 28 sacks to their credit (tied for fifth in the NFL). One off game does not a season make - the Bears' D is still a feared unit entering week 12.

The inconsistent Ponder and his banged up squad have a bad matchup ahead.

Weather: Solider Field expects a cloudy, chilly day on Sunday with a high of 42 F and a 10% chance of rain - winds are forecast to be around 10 mph on Sunday. As long as a storm cell doesn't form, it should be a chilly but decent afternoon to play football in the Windy City.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.