Here's our look at who to start and who to bench on your fantasy football team during the Jets/Cowboys game.
QB – Kellen Clemens – Clemens was anything but spectacular in the Jets win over Pittsburgh on Sunday. While he did throw a TD, Clemens completed less than 50% of his passes for 162 yards, and he also threw a pick. Since replacing Chad Pennington as the starter, Clemens has thrown 5 interceptions compared to only 3 TD’s. He may be worth consideration in future seasons, but he should not be in your starting line up against a dangerous Cowboys defense in week 12.
RB – Thomas Jones – He surprised everyone Sunday by rushing for over 100 yards against the Steelers, who arguably have the best run defense in the NFL. Jones is a talented running back, but consistency is far from his strong suit. While he has shown the ability to produce in the yardage department from time to time, Jones has yet to find the end zone even once this season. He is best suited for the bench against the Dallas 4th ranked run D.
WR – Laveranues Coles – He suffered a high ankle sprain on the second play of Sunday’s game after hauling in a 56 yard reception off of a flea flicker. Coles did not return to the game. He did practice on a very limited basis on Tuesday, but he is not expected to play on Thanksgiving against Dallas. Coles would definitely be worth putting in your starting line up if healthy, but that does not appear to be the case. (Check injury report: ankle)
WR – Jerricho Cotchery – He is coming off of his worst game of the season posting only 1 catch for 5 yards. While he has shown promise throughout the season, Cotchery lacks consistency and the ability to find the end zone (only 1 TD this season). He should be the go to guy if Coles does not play, but Cotchery has actually posted better numbers with Coles in the line up. The Cowboys secondary is shaky, but their pass rush is fierce. In the unlikely case that Clemens has plenty of time to get the ball to him, Cotchery could have a solid day, but do not count on it. He only has moderate fantasy value for week 12.
WR – Brad Smith – He will likely get the start this week if Coles is out with injury. Smith should see some passes come his way, but he has little in the way of fantasy value, and should only be considered if you are in desperation mode.
TE – Chris Baker – He played a major role in last week’s upset of Pittsburgh, pulling in his 3rd TD catch of the season. Baker hauled in 4 catches total for 34 yards and the 1 TD grab for the game. There are no guarantees of him finding the end zone again this week, but he has increased his role in the offense again. While he is not considered an elite fantasy prospect at TE against the Cowboys, Baker could be a nice fill in replacement. Keep expectations low, but it would not be surprising if he had a solid game.
Jets Defense – While the Jets defense played solid against a pretty good Pittsburgh offense last week, they are far from a safe play in week 12. This defense ranks near the bottom in almost every defensive category (29th in total defense, 29th against the run, 21st against the pass, and 26th in scoring defense). Do not start the Jets defense against an explosive Cowboys attack on Thursday.
QB – Tony Romo – In his last 3 contests, Romo has completed 73% of his passes for 864 yards and 11 TD’s. He should be able to slice and dice a very mediocre Jets secondary, and ranks only behind Tom Brady as this week’s top fantasy QB. Turkey, dressing, and the Romo to T.O. show will be the order of the day this Thanksgiving. He is a must start in any league.
RB – Marion Barber – He has really struggled in recent weeks scoring only 2 TD’s in his last 7 contests. In that same span, Barber is averaging a lousy 51 yards rushing per game. The match up against the Jets 29th ranked run defense is the best he has had in weeks, so this could be the week he breaks the slump, however the Jets run D broke out of a season long slump last week themselves, shutting down Willie Parker. Barber is a high risk-high reward player for week 12. He is probably worth the risk given the match up, unless you have what you believe to be a better option.
RB – Julius Jones – While this week’s match up against the Jets holds promise, Jones simply does not get enough carries to have much in the way of fantasy value. You are better off sitting him unless you are in desperate need of a starting RB.
WR – Terrell Owens – With the exception of Randy Moss, no fantasy WR has been more productive than T.O... He will be shooting for a 6th straight game with at least 1 TD, and a 5th straight with at least 6 receptions and 100 yards receiving. Owens is as close to a lock as you will get in week 12 as far as receivers go. You should start him with the utmost confidence against a shaky Jets secondary.
WR – Patrick Crayton – He has promise any given week, but Crayton is very inconsistent, and you gamble any time you put him in your starting line up. He has a favorable match up this week against the Jets, but he may not be able to make the start with a bum ankle on a short week of rest. He did not practice on Tuesday, and is listed as questionable for Thursday’s game. Even if he plays, Crayton will likely be limited and probably is not worth the risk. (Check injury report: ankle)
WR – Sam Hurd – He has done little, if anything, as far as fantasy production since week 1, but with Crayton likely out for Thursday’s game against the Jets, Hurd’s role in the offense should increase considerably. If that is the case, he may be worth considering picking up if you are in dire need of a receiver. Hurd has the tools to do some damage if he starts, but do not rely on it. Also, make sure Crayton is a definite scratch before considering Hurd for your starting line up.
TE – Jason Witten – He has matched his longest stretch of the season going 2 consecutive games without a TD catch. Witten has a good chance to end that streak against a pretty bad Jets defense in week 12. At the very least, he should provide solid numbers in the reception and yardage categories. Unless you are blessed with a better option, Witten is a no brainer for your starting line up.
Cowboys Defense – They should have little trouble containing the Jets offense this week. The Dallas secondary is shaky, but so is the Jets passing attack. The Cowboys front seven should be able to apply a ton of pressure all game, so sacks and turnovers are likely. They are one of the better defenses to have for week 12, and one you will likely be giving thanks for on Turkey Day.
* Players featured in Thursday games will not be included in weekly rankings, these are start/sit assesments for those players.