Value Plays - Week 12
by Jeff Tefertiller
November 21st, 2012

This article will take a weekly look at players who could provide value in a given week. The basis for this value will be the difference between the Top 250 forward, a look at the top 250 players with the whole season in mind, and the weekly rankings. Both of these are from the Footballguys.com subscriber content. An emphasis will be on the players with the largest differences between the season outlook and this week only. Also, a preference will be given to differences for the higher ranked players. Some of these differences will be due to injury, matchup of the week, or short-term situation. Now, let's take a look at this week's value players.

Quarterback

Andy Dalton

  • Top 200 ranking: 10
  • Weekly ranking: 5
  • Difference: +5
  • Andy Dalton has been on fire of late with his big games against lesser defenses. This week should be more of the same as the Bengals are hosting Oakland, and the sieve of the Raiders defense. While he rarely tops the 300-yard mark, Dalton is still a very solid fantasy QB1 this week against a struggling defense. We expect this game to be high scoring, with plenty of fantasy production from both teams.

    Colin Kaepernick

  • Top 200 ranking: 29
  • Weekly ranking: 8
  • Difference: +21
  • Few predicted the breakout game for Kaepernick against the Bears on Monday night. He was accurate and mobile, and the Chicago defense had no answer. We do not expect the Saints to have one, either, as San Francisco travels to New Orleans. Big props have to be given to coach Harbaugh for putting his quarterbacks in situations to succeed. Another big game this week and Alex Smith may be on the outside looking in.

    Running Back

    Jalen Parmele

  • Top 200 ranking: 36
  • Weekly ranking: 15
  • Difference: +21
  • Parmele has an opportunity to shine as the lead back until Maurice Jones-Drew comes back from his foot injury. He ran well against the stiff Houston Texans defense last week and gets the creampuff Tennessee Titans rush defense this week. The Titans have given up some big games to opposing running backs so Parmele could be a viable fantasy RB2 in a week where many starting backs are hindered by injury or situation.

    Marcel Reece

  • Top 200 ranking: 20
  • Weekly ranking: 7
  • Difference: +13
  • Reece rewarded the high ranking last week with a monster performance. This week, against the Bengals, he has another golden opportunity for a big outing. Reece's upside especially in PPR leagues will increase if Cincinnati is able to grab an early lead, forcing Carson Palmer to pass often. The big back could top the 100-yard receiving mark in the game again this week. He almost had 200 total yards against the Saints last Sunday.

    Vick Ballard

  • Top 200 ranking: 27
  • Weekly ranking: 20
  • Difference: +7
  • Ballard has seized the starting job away from Donald Brown the past few weeks. He ran hard and played very well against the Patriots last Sunday afternoon. With a premium matchup against the Bills this week, we expect Ballard to see an ample number of carries, and moderate production, good for a solid fantasy RB2. You could do much worse than the bruising rookie tailback in a great matchup.

    Wide Receiver

    Andre Johnson

  • Top 200 ranking: 11
  • Weekly ranking: 3
  • Difference: +8
  • Johnson is another player we highlighted last week who had a big game. The Houston Texans are playing very well right now and have a great matchup against the soft Detroit Lions pass defense on Thanksgiving. We expect this contest to be high scoring with both pass offenses able to move the ball and put up big numbers. The veteran receiver looks to top the 100-yard mark once again against one of the worst secondaries in football.

    Mike Williams

  • Top 200 ranking: 34
  • Weekly ranking: 14
  • Difference: +20
  • Oh, has quarterback Josh Freeman's confidence grown over the past few weeks. He is throwing the ball deep for Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams to go get it. This week's game against the Atlanta Falcons should provide a decent starting opportunity for Williams' fantasy owners given that Atlanta yields much less production to fantasy WR1 than to the WR2 position. With each team expected to score often, Williams has a great chance to score a touchdown and rack up some yardage.

    Wes Welker

  • Top 200 ranking: 12
  • Weekly ranking: 4
  • Difference: +8
  • We have Welker ranked high against this week with the injury to tight end Rob Gronkowski freeing up pass targets. While Aaron Hernandez might be back for the game, he is unlikely to be at full strength. New England plays the New York Jets on Thanksgiving night and the game should be closer than most think. The Jets usually play the Patriots tough and this game will give the New York players plenty of motivation to knock off the high-flying division rivals.

    Tight End

    Scott Chandler

  • Top 200 ranking: 16
  • Weekly ranking: 8
  • Difference: +8
  • Chandler looks to get in to the endzone this week against the Indianapolis Colts. He is a big target for quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and will haul in several balls this weekend. This is a great matchup for a tight end off the fantasy radar. Chandler makes a decent spot play for Gronkowski owners needing a tight end this week.

    Dennis Pitta

  • Top 200 ranking: 20
  • Weekly ranking: 13
  • Difference: +7
  • Pitta left the Sunday night game against Pittsburgh early with a concussion but looks to be playing in a sweet matchup against the San Diego Chargers. The Chargers defense is improved, but has given up big numbers to opposing tight ends. Even last week against the Denver Broncos, the Broncos two tight ends Jacob Tamme and Joel Dreessen caught eight Manning passes.

    Kicker

    Matt Prater

  • Top 200 ranking: 16
  • Weekly ranking: 4
  • Difference: +12
  • The Broncos travel to Kansas City this week and look to whoop up on the lowly Chiefs. This game should provide the Broncos kicker with ample scoring opportunities. Additionally,the injury to Willis McGahee should lead to fewer touchdowns, and possibly more field goals. We like Prater as a spot starter this weekend.

    Adam Vinatieri

  • Top 200 ranking: 14
  • Weekly ranking: 3
  • Difference: +11
  • The Colts offense has played well this season with rookie quarterback Andrew Luck under center. This week, the young teams hosts the Bills in a matchup of playoff implications. Vinatieri kicks well at home in the dome and we like his chances to kick three or more field goals as the Buffalo defense gives up yardage by the boat load.

    Defense

    Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Top 200 ranking: 20
  • Weekly ranking: 1
  • Difference: +19
  • The Steelers are ranked low in the Top 200, but have a plus matchup as the team travels to Cleveland to meet the Browns and rookie passer Brandon Weeden. The Pittsburgh defense was able to slow down Ray Rice last week, putting the onus on quarterback Joe Flacco. Expect the same outcome as the Steelers look to slow Trent Richardson, making Weeden beat them through the air.

    St. Louis Rams

  • Top 200 ranking: 16
  • Weekly ranking: 8
  • Difference: +8
  • The Rams travel to Arizona to meet the Cardinals and rookie passer Ryan Lindley making his first start. For a underrated defense like St. Louis, this is a great matchup, possibly the best for the season. Finnegan will look to take Fitzgerald out of the game, and the matchup of the Rams pass rush against the injury-plagued Cardinals offensive line is more of a mismatch.

    Please feel free to email me at tefertiller@footballguys.com with any questions or comments. Also, I am on Twitter, so feel free to ask me questions there.

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