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AFC West Player Analysis
Joshua Simmons,, Staff Writer

Denver Broncos (vs Miami Dolphins)

QB Peyton Manning: Miami is a tough fantasy matchup, on seven occasions limiting the opposing quarterback to one touchdown or less. Add to that Peyton's banged up supporting cast, and fantasy owners are feeling less confident this week. ( 292 yds pass with 3 TDs and 1 Int )

QB Brock Osweiler: ( 8 yds pass )

RB C.J. Anderson: Not many carries last week, but he did compile nearly seven yards per touch in a game that didn't go Denver's way by any stretch of the imagination. This team has little choice but to rely on C.J. going forward, good news from a volume standpoint. ( 67 yds rush and 1 TD; 5 catches for 49 yds )

RB Juwan Thompson: With his backfield teammates dropping like flies, Thompson has marginal fantasy value if only because he's bound to get a few touches each week. ( 25 yds rush; 1 catch for 8 yds )

RB Jeremy Stewart: ( 4 yds rush; 1 catch for 1 yd )

RB Montee Ball: Aggravated his groin injury against St. Louis and will miss several more games.

RB Ronnie Hillman: Won't be returning to live action anytime soon.

WR Demaryius Thomas: Three huge factors that bolster Demaryius' fantasy upside: seven-game streak of at least seven catches and 100+ yards, Peyton Manning, and less marquee receiving options alongside Thomas due to injuries. ( 8 catches for 110 yds and 1 TD )

WR Emmanuel Sanders: Cleared the league's concussion protocol and will play this weekend. Miami's defense is no joke, therefore Emmanuel resuming his integral role is very good news for Broncos fans. ( 2 yds rush; 6 catches for 79 yds and 1 TD )

WR Wes Welker: His reception totals of three or four each game figure to increase (perhaps significantly) in the event Emmanuel Sanders is inactive. Update: Welker slips back down to third on the depth chart now, and out of contention as a fantasy play in most formats. ( 6 catches for 49 yds )

WR Andre Caldwell: [Outlook goes here] ( 1 catch for 8 yds )

WR Cody Latimer: ( 1 catch for 1 yd )

TE Julius Thomas: Evidently 'day to day' after his ankle injury was thoroughly assessed. Even if Julius plays, the Dolphins defense is among the worst of fantasy matchups. Update: his status has converted over to the dreaded gametime decision. Consider yourself forewarned.

TE Jacob Tamme: Targeted 10 times last week -- he caught four of them -- in a game wherein Julius Thomas was sidelined. As always, Tamme carries some fantasy value whenever pressed into more playing time. ( 4 catches for 37 yds and 1 TD )

TE Virgil Green: ( 1 catch for 5 yds )

PK Brandon McManus: Only once in his last five games has McManus kicked at least one field goal. So no, this isn't where you go mining for a handful of fantasy points. ( 4 XPs, 1 FG )

Def Denver Broncos: The Broncos have intercepted a lot of balls, which helps, but on the whole this defense has seldom benefited those who drafted and/or plucked it off the waiver wire. There isn't much to get excited about with regard to their remaining schedule, either. ( 3 sacks, 1 INT )

Kansas City Chiefs (vs Oakland Raiders)

QB Alex Smith: Let us not overthink this: K.C. is winning games by leaning on its ground game while expecting less of its quarterback. ( 209 yds pass with 2 TDs; 21 yds rush )

QB Chase Daniel: ( 5 yds pass )

RB Jamaal Charles: Oakland gives up some serious rushing yards to the opposition, affording fantasy owners even more confidence in Charles than usual. Enjoy the day. ( 112 yds rush and 1 TD; 4 catches for 36 yds )

RB Knile Davis: Excellent week to plug Davis into your fantasy lineup if you feel like gambling, given the favorable matchup and increased likelihood that this game gets out of hand. ( 39 yds rush and 1 TD; 1 catch for 9 yds )

RB De'Anthony Thomas: Continues to benefit from a few touches here and there, although not relevant for fantasy in most leagues. ( 8 yds rush; 1 catch for 7 yds )

WR Dwayne Bowe: Down to just two receptions last week, a painful reminder of why though isn't a reliable fantasy option. Bowe has yet to catch a touchdown pass, folks. ( 6 catches for 61 yds )

WR A.J. Jenkins: Was sorta looking like the next receiver up, if there is such a thing on this team. Then last week ... nothing.

WR Junior Hemingway: With a total of three receptions in the five games following te Chiefs bye, Hemingway offers no fantasy value. ( 2 catches for 23 yds )

WR Frankie Hammond: ( 1 catch for 11 yds )

WR Albert Wilson: ( 1 catch for 3 yds )

WR Donnie Avery: His status remains very much in question, despite practicing with the team in recent weeks.

TE Travis Kelce: Same old story. Kelce seems easily the pass catcher on this team with highest fantasy upside, but isn't thrown to often enough to compile many stats. ( 3 catches for 42 yds )

TE Anthony Fasano: After missing last week's game with a knee injury, Fasano is questionable for the Thursday night tilt against Oakland. Reportedly a limited participant in practice thus far, for whatever it's worth. ( 2 catches for 19 yds )

PK Cairo Santos: While not a particularly intriguing fantasy kicker, Santos has gotten the job done for this team. Nice matchup, in this case. ( 3 XPs, 1 FG )

Def Kansas City Chiefs: While not quite the dominant defense fantasy owners relished a year ago, K.C. has been adequate on that side of the ball and posted good numbers on occasion. Derek Carr and the turnover-prone Raiders have been lit up this past month. ( 3 sacks, 1 Fumble )

Oakland Raiders (vs Kansas City Chiefs)

QB Derek Carr: With the Chiefs coming to town and given his meager passing yards of late, Carr is definitely a quarterback you want no part of in Week 12. ( 176 yds pass with 1 TD and 1 Int; 11 yds rush )

QB Matt Schaub: Would get the nod if their coaching staff decided to hold Derek Carr out (quad injury), short week in mind. ( 26 yds pass; 1 yd rush )

QB Matt McGloin: ( 15 yds pass )

RB Darren McFadden: His workload is being scaled back, not surprisingly, after several games of ineffective running. Being utilized less as a pass catcher as well. ( 45 yds rush; 3 catches for 21 yds )

RB Maurice Jones-Drew: There is no apparent rise in how this team intends to use MJD, even now that Darren McFadden is getting less touches. ( 17 yds rush; 2 catches for 13 yds )

RB Latavius Murray: More involved in the gameplan last week and he responded well, running the football with power and urgency. Weirder things have happened, but we like to think Oakland's coaching staff will stick with Murray. ( 5 yds rush; 1 catch for 7 yds )

RB Marcel Reece: On the field often but doesn't break into the box score except for a catch or two, typically. ( 4 yds rush; 2 catches for 16 yds )

WR James Jones: Following his eight-catch performance of Week 10, Jones grabbed two against the Chargers and to a larger point, seldom does much to generate any fantasy buzz. ( 5 catches for 52 yds )

WR Andre Holmes: Although targeted seven times last week, Andre finished with less than 35 receiving yards for the fourth time in five weeks. It's high time that you look elsewhere for fantasy production. ( 3 catches for 38 yds )

WR Kenbrell Thompkins: His 47 receiving yards, sadly, represent the biggest impact any of Oakland's pass catchers were able to make in Week 11. In extremely deep leagues, perhaps you give Thompkins a whirl in looking for a few points, but that's a risky endeavor. ( 1 yd rush; 3 catches for 33 yds )

WR Denarius Moore: With one reception over the past three weeks, it has become abundantly clear that Denarius no longer has a foothold in this offense. ( 2 catches for 23 yds )

WR Vincent Brown: ( 1 catch for 10 yds )

WR Brice Butler: Continues to log playing time and finish each game with a catch or two, but that matters little for your fantasy team. ( 1 catch for 13 yds )

TE Mychal Rivera: Fell back to earth against San Diego, but you have to like Rivera from a volume of targets standpoint. The Chiefs defense has struggled at times against above average pass catchers who play tight end. ( 4 catches for 36 yds )

TE Brian Leonhardt: ( 1 catch for 4 yds )

PK Sebastian Janikowski: So few scoring opportunities, so few reasons to roll with Janikowski. ( 2 XPs, 1 FG )

Def Oakland Raiders: Has been a fantasy defense you want no part of, and against Jamaal Charles and Alex Smith? No thanks. ( 1 sack, 1 INT )

San Diego Chargers (vs Saint Louis Rams)

QB Philip Rivers: The Rams defense has steadily improved versus the pass. Rivers -- and by extension, this team's offensive efficiency -- hasn't been the same lately. The new reality concerning who's playing well and who isn't would suggest that fantasy owners temper expectations for Rivers this week. It wouldn't surprise us if he racked up quality passing numbers against St. Louis, but to bank on this scenario would be to ignore how these teams are trending. Tread with caution. ( 240 yds pass with 2 TDs and 1 Int; 5 yds rush )

QB Kellen Clemens: ( 24 yds pass; 1 yd rush )

RB Ryan Mathews: Propelled this team's ground game to its best performance since Week 7, in his return from the knee injury suffered in early September. Not a favorable matchup here, as few running backs have consistently found success against the Rams defense. ( 62 yds rush; 2 catches for 16 yds )

RB Branden Oliver: Defenses have been finding ways to expose Oliver's flaws, but this team's coaching staff appears committed to a timeshare that affords the rookie plenty of touches. As such, you could do worse in a flex play (deeper leagues mostly), even pitted against the resurgent Rams. ( 45 yds rush; 3 catches for 18 yds )

RB Donald Brown: Just two touches last week, probably the new normal now that Ryan Mathews is back. ( 21 yds rush; 2 catches for 13 yds )

RB Ronnie Brown: ( 3 yds rush; 1 catch for 5 yds )

WR Keenan Allen: St. Louis has struggled mightily versus opposing wideouts, meanwhile Allen has been targeted 8.7 times per game and looks the part of a bounceback candidate for Week 12. ( 7 catches for 76 yds )

WR Malcom Floyd: Consistently the second- or third-most targeted player in this offense, depending on game script. In PPR formats Floyd is a low-floor fantasy WR3 (if that) who entices you with the occasional long touchdown. ( 5 catches for 69 yds )

WR Eddie Royal: Relegated to shorter routes and fewer targets, Week 6 marking the last time he contributed meaningful receiving numbers. ( 2 yds rush; 4 catches for 48 yds and 1 TD )

WR Seyi Ajirotutu: ( 1 catch for 2 yds )

TE Antonio Gates: Tough matchup here and he's totaled just six receptions for 60 yards over his last two games, but Gates is a touchdown machine who could potentially set a career mark in that regard. We rank him high this week due to that propensity for scoring. He remains a must-start asset while healthy. ( 4 catches for 51 yds and 1 TD )

TE Ladarius Green: Two receptions over his last four games, so it isn't as if his role appears to be expanding. ( 1 catch for 22 yds )

TE John Phillips: ( 1 catch for 3 yds )

PK Nick Novak: His two field goals versus Oakland marked just the second occasion since Week 4 that Novak was able to convert multiple field goals. Coincidence? After playing in San Diego's first two, starting running back Ryan Mathews missed every game until last week. Quirky, but a promising sign of things to come. ( 2 XPs, 2 FGs )

Def San Diego Chargers: A measly pair of turnovers from this crew over their last five games, but unless you feel Shaun Hill is poised to give St. Louis above average quarterback play down the stretch, you're liking this matchup. ( 2 sacks )

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