Fantasy Football QB Start/Sit Rankings (Week 12)

*Rankings with detailed comments will be available Friday. Any additional updates that are necessary will be posted no later than Saturday in the final Week 12 (2009) rankings.
1. Aaron Rodgers (GB) – He managed to live up to his billing as our top ranked fantasy QB for week 12 with a stellar Turkey Day effort against Detroit. Rodgers threw for an impressive 348 yards with 3 TDs and no interceptions. He is a must start fantasy option each and every week.
2. Peyton Manning (IND) – While he was fairly unspectacular by Peyton Manning standards in his week 9 meeting with Houston, his overall track record against the Texans is exemplary. In addition, Manning rarely if ever puts up average numbers against a team twice in the same season. At the very least, this is a fail safe match up against a very average pass defense. Manning has been hampered by a glute injury this week, but he is expected to play and we seriously doubt a strained “butt” muscle will have much, if any, effect on his play. Check injury report: glute (probable, full practice Friday)
3. Tom Brady (NE) – It may not be an ideal match up for Brady in week 12 against a stingy Saints pass defense, but this game should turn into a shootout through the air and Brady tends to thrive in such match ups. New Orleans has yet to face a truly potent passing attack all season and they will face one of the best in the NFL in week 12. Start the red hot Brady with confidence as usual and expect no less than solid results.
4. Drew Brees (NO) – On paper, a week 12 match up against a very solid Patriots pass defense does not bode extremely well, but Brees is not your average signal caller and a similarly talented Peyton Manning torched the New England secondary just a couple of weeks ago. In addition, this game is likely to turn into a shootout through the air which typically translates into big fantasy points for QBs.
5. Brett Favre (MIN) – In 5 home games this season, Favre has been near flawless, averaging 283 yards per game with 13 TDs and just 1 interception. That bodes extremely well considering Favre’s week 12 match up against a mediocre Bears pass defense is at home. There are only 5 teams in the NFL that have given up more TDs via the passing game than Chicago and the Bears give up the 11th most fantasy points to opposing QBs. At the very least, expect solid production from Favre with this favorable match up at home.
6. Phillip Rivers (SD) – While Rivers can be inconsistent at times, the odds of him being off of his game in week 12 are slim to none. In his last 3 games against Kansas City, Rivers is averaging 310 passing yards per game with no less than 2 TDs in any of those contests. In a week 7 meeting with the Chiefs, Rivers threw for 268 yards with 3 TDs and 0 interceptions. The Chiefs rank just 28th in the NFL in pass defense and they have been very generous to opposing QBs all season. Logic and the numbers alike suggest a very promising week for the talented signal caller and Rivers is a must start fantasy option.

7. Kurt Warner (ARI) – He was having yet another stellar fantasy day in week 11 against St. Louis before getting his bell rung and having to pre-maturely leave the game. The good news is that Warner has been cleared to play in week 12 against Tennessee and based on his numbers of late, we expect him to play very well. While the Titans have shown considerable improvement against the pass over their last few games, they are still vulnerable and the potent Cardinals passing attack should prove to be more than they can handle. It is safe to insert Warner into week 12 fantasy line ups with confidence. Check injury report: head (very questionable)
8. Matt Schaub (HOU) – It has only been 3 weeks since he last faced the Colts. In that week 9 contest, Schaub threw 2 interceptions, but the good news is that he set a precedent for potential success against the Indy defense by throwing for 311 yards and a TD in that game. He has also set a solid precedent for success in general by averaging close to 300 yards and 2 TDs per game so far this season. The match up isn’t extremely favorable against a fairly solid Colts pass defense, but for obvious reasons, we like Schaub’s chances for a strong performance at home in week 12.
9. Carson Palmer (CIN) – He has had some very shaky performances throughout the season and it is safe to say that Palmer has underachieved from a fantasy standpoint. That said, you have to like his chances against the Browns in week 12. Cleveland ranks just 26th in the NFL against the pass and there are only 6 teams in the league that give up more fantasy points to opposing QBs on a weekly basis. In week 4, Palmer totaled 250 yards and threw for 2 TDs against them in Cleveland. It seems logical that he will fare even better against them this time around at home. Palmer should make for a solid starting option for week 12 fantasy line ups.
10. Ben Roethlisberger (PIT) – He was forced to leave his week 11 match up against Kansas City a bit earlier than he would have liked with a slight concussion, but Big Ben had already inflicted plenty of damage in his own right, throwing for close to 400 yards and 3 scores in that contest. The good news is that he has been cleared to play in week 12 and while the match up isn’t ideal, Roethlisberger should be solid against a mediocre Ravens secondary that ranks just 17th in the NFL in pass defense. UPDATE: The latest report is that Roethlisberger has been experiencing headaches related to the concussion he suffered in week 11 and therefore, he will not play in week 12 against Baltimore. Check injury report: concussion (out for week 12)
11. Matt Ryan (ATL) – The struggling second year signal caller returned to form in week 11 against the Giants and a week 12 match up against Tampa Bay holds promise to keep him on the right track. Only 3 teams in the NFL have given up more fantasy production to opposing QBs than the Buccaneers. Ryan qualifies as a low end QB1 or high end QB2 with this favorable match up.

12. Matt Hasselbeck (SEA) – He has seen a steady decline in fantasy production over the last 4 weeks, but Hasselbeck should get back on track with a favorable week 12 match up against a shaky St. Louis pass defense. The Rams rank just 24th in the NFL in pass defense and rank in the top 5 in the league in terms of fantasy points allowed to opposing QBs.
13. Alex Smith (SF) – There are safer fantasy options at the QB position for week 12, but we really like Smith’s chances against a road weary Jacksonville defense in this match up. The Jaguars have one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL and Smith has plenty of weapons to pick them apart.

14. Donovan McNabb (PHI) – McNabb is certainly capable of torching any defense he faces, but his track record against Washington over the last couple of seasons is fairly poor and the Skins currently rank 1st in the NFL in pass defense.
15. Tony Romo (DAL) – He was finally able to break out of a 3 game slump by torching a fairly solid Raiders pass defense on Thanksgiving Day. He threw for 309 yards with 2 TDs and no interceptions. While this was an encouraging performance, Romo will have his work cut out for him with tough match ups over the next few weeks.
16. Eli Manning (NYG) – He appeared to be back on track following a big week 11 performance against Atlanta, but it was not meant to be in week 12 as Manning struggled badly against a stout Denver defense on Turkey Day. He threw for 230 yards, but failed to throw a single TD pass while being picked off once and sacked 3 times. Manning’s fantasy value took a significant blow with this sub par performance.
17. Jay Cutler (CHI) – There is potential for success against a suspect Vikings secondary in week 12. Unfortunately, the potential for disaster is equally prevalent any time Cutler steps under center these days.
18. Vince Young (TEN) – He isn’t going to torch anyone, but the match up against Arizona at home is somewhat favorable and Young has four consecutive double digit fantasy performances to his credit.
19. David Garrard (JAC) – The week 12 match up against the 49ers has its favorable qualities, but Garrard’s performances in road games so far this season can best be described as lousy and he has been especially lousy in long distance road games.
20. Kyle Orton (DEN) – He was far from amazing on Thursday night against the Giants, but all things considered, Orton had a decent performance throwing for 245 yards, 1TD and 1 interception. At the very least, it was an encouraging effort heading into a promising week 13 match up against Kansas City.
21. Joe Flacco (BAL) – He is the kind of QB that can put up big numbers when you least expect it, but he hasn’t thrown a single TD pass since week 8 and a week 12 match up against Pittsburgh is less than favorable.
22. Ryan Fitzpatrick (BUF) – While Fitzpatrick is far from being a trustworthy fantasy option, there is some sleeper value here. Fitzpatrick finally got on the same page with Terrell Owens last week and if they can maintain that chemistry against a fairly generous Miami pass defense in week 12, it could be a productive afternoon for both players. That said, don’t bet the farm on it.
23. Matt Cassel (KC) – He has some strong fantasy performances to his credit this season, but week 7 against San Diego is far from being one of them. Cassel should fare better against the Chargers this time around, but your week 12 fantasy roster will likely be better off with him on the bench.
24. Josh Freeman (TB) – There is some potential for success against a suspect Falcons secondary in week 12, but the rookie signal caller is still a shaky fantasy play and a long shot to do any real damage.
25. Jason Campbell (WAS) –You may be surprised to know that Campbell had his 2nd best fantasy effort of the season against a solid Eagles pass defense back in week 7. Unfortunately, we can not envision a repeat of that success in the week 12 rematch being played in Philadelphia.
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