QB - Peyton Manning – Manning struggled for the second consecutive week completing just 16-32 passes for 163 yards 0 TD’s, and 1 interception. One poor game from Manning is understandable, but two in a row is unheard of, even without Marvin Harrison. Harrison will most likely be absent again this week, which won’t help, but Manning’s issues appear bigger than simply playing without his star wide out. While he should rebound against Atlanta, it is hard to be fully confident in his abilities at this time. If you have him on your roster, you almost have to start him, but until the slump ends, keep expectations lower than usual.
RB – Joseph Addai – He faces a Falcons defense that ranks 25th against the run, and as an added bonus, both of the Falcons starting DT’s will miss the game with injuries. Addai should be able to inflict some serious damage under those circumstances, and is considered one of the strongest fantasy backs for week 12. He should be in your starting line up without question, and you can almost certainly expect a big game from him.
RB – Kenton Keith – He has seen his workload and production decrease dramatically in recent weeks, and is really not worth consideration in week 12. He may have some value if the Colts blow the Falcons out early and Addai gets pulled, but he is not worth taking that chance on. Sit him.
WR – Reggie Wayne – A 4 catch 75 yard game would be more than adequate for most WR’s, but by Reggie Wayne standards, that is a bad game. He should bounce back nicely this week against the Falcons. Marvin Harrison is expected to miss yet another game, and Wayne will once again be the beneficiary. He is a must start.
WR – Marvin Harrison – While he is listed as questionable for Thursday’s game against Atlanta, it is doubtful that he will step foot on the field. According to the Colts team doctor, Harrison still has a considerable amount of inflammation in his knee. It would be a stretch to consider him healthy enough to be effective even if he does play. Unless something dramatic happens in the next 48 hours, consider Harrison a scratch, and do not start him. (Check injury report: knee)
WR – Anthony Gonzalez – It appears quite likely that Gonzalez will be starting this week opposite Reggie Wayne. Gonzalez, who has been out for the last few weeks with a thumb injury, has had a less than stellar rookie campaign, but the opportunity to start this week could turn things around for him. He has not achieved enough this season to be considered a strong start this week, but he could make for a nice emergency replacement in your line up. Keep expectations to a minimum, but a solid game is not out of the realm of possibilities under these circumstances.
TE – Dallas Clark – While Clark has had very little in the form of production since week 7; he remains a valuable commodity in the Colts passing game. In his defense, he did miss week 10 with a concussion, and Peyton Manning has struggled in recent weeks. The passing game should get back on track this week against Atlanta’s banged up defense, and Clark will likely be a big part of that. He is a slight liability for your starting line up, but the Falcons have trouble defending TE’s, and we like his chances. The only way you sit him is if you truly believe you have a better option.
Colts Defense – This defense took a big hit with the loss of pass rush specialist Dwight Freeney, but they are still a very solid unit. They didn’t skip a beat last week without Freeney, holding the Chiefs to a mere 10 points, granted the lack luster Kansas City offense does not pose a big threat. They match up against another struggling offense this week when they travel to Atlanta to face the Falcons. Despite missing their all pro DE, the Indy defense should be formidable, and make for a great start in week 12.
QB – Joey Harrington – He has officially been named as the Falcons starting QB against the Colts on Thanksgiving. Harrington has been very efficient in his last 2 games completing an impressive 76% of his passes with not a single interception. Unfortunately, efficiency does not translate well into the fantasy world. In the same 2 games, he failed to reach the 200 yard passing mark and only threw 1 TD per contest. There can be no argument that Harrington has played well the last 2 weeks, but he is still unreliable especially against the Colts 2nd ranked pass defense. He is not highly recommended for your starting lineup.
RB – Warrick Dunn – After 2 potent fantasy outings in a row, Dunn fell back into obscurity with a poor 32 yard rushing performance against Tampa. While he did catch 8 passes for 40 yards, his ineffectiveness in the running game shows a lack of reliability. Dunn will face a middle of the road rush defense in the Colts on Thanksgiving, but with Norwood back on the scene, keep expectations low. He had a great 2 week run, but it looks like the show is over. It may be time to put Dunn back on the shelf, as he is not highly regarded for week 12.
RB – Jerious Norwood – Norwood has minimal value as a fantasy RB for week 12. He only received 2 carries last week, and while he may contribute something in the return game, and has the potential to break a long run, Norwood is not worth the risk in week 12.
WR – Roddy White – White has had a couple of top flight fantasy performances this season, but otherwise, he has only been slightly above par. He has a chance any week Harrington is under center, but his lack of consistency, and ability to score, limits his potential in week 12 against a tough Colts secondary. White is no better than a #3 WR or flex play against Indy. If you like to gamble, White has proven to have high pay offs, but more often than not; he supplies average numbers.
WR – Michael Jenkins – He had a solid week 11 catching 9 passes for 73 yards. He also had a huge fantasy outing back in week 4. Otherwise, Jenkins has produced little to nothing. He would be a huge liability in your starting line up against the Colts. Jenkins is capable, but far from being worth the risk. Do not start him.
TE – Alge Crumpler – He was limited in practice on Tuesday, and is listed as questionable for Thursday’s game against Indianapolis with a foot injury. Crumpler has been hampered by injuries all season, and even when healthy, he has played well below his standards. If he plays, Crumpler is capable of a solid game, but with this offense in its current state and his foot being an issue; he is not a safe play. (Check injury report: foot)
Falcons Defense – The Colts offense may not be playing well of late, but neither has the Atlanta D. The Falcons lost both starting DT’s for the season, and were blown out by the Bucs last week, giving up 31 points. This defense could be in for another long game against Indy, and we suggest that you keep them far away from your starting roster in week 12.
Thanksgiving Day Fantasy Outlook (IND @ ATL)