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NFL Week 12: "Ask the Docs" Replies

Friday, November 23, 2012

Week 12 is here, and we've got fantasy teams scrambling for a win to squeak into their playoffs. Injuries are piling up, critical decisions need to be made with "who to start" on marginal players, and trade offers are on the table. No worries! The Docs are here to help you sort it all out and carefully get you through this fantasy minefield. Lot of great questions this week, so let's get to 'em!

"Hey guys, I've got to start one between McFadden, Starks, and Mendenhall... who do you think I should go with?"
--Robert, Houston, TX

Docs: Robert, you're in a tough spot. We've got none of those backs listed in our top 25 RB Rankings this week, but let's do some digging and see what we can do to help. Mendenhall is part of a three-headed monster in Pittsburgh with Dwyer and Redman. Dwyer had the hot hand last week, but that doesn't mean it will carry over to this week. Of course Redman popped the big game in week 9. However, of the three, we trust Mendenhall the most. He has fresh legs and used last week to start working his way back up to full speed. He will lose significant touches to Dwyer and Redman, but he should at least show-up for your team with a so-so performance. If you get lucky, he squeaks a TD. As for Starks, he is in the doghouse with his coaching staff after turning in a very bad performance last week. Rather than establishing himself as the go-to RB in Green Bay, he left the coaches wishing they would have given the ball to Alex Green more. Not good, and not the direction we would like to see him pointing, so we give the edge to Mendenhall over Starks. Last, there is McFadden, who is a walking injury waiting to happen. This one is easy, as the Raiders have already declared him out for Week 12. No contest between McFadden and Mendenhall, so of the three, we go with Mendenhall this week.


"I'm down to starting either Jeremy Maclin or Darrius Heyward-Bey and need the win like something bad. If I can get it, I get into my fantasy playoffs. Come on Docs, needing a miracle and a little help. Maclin burned me bad last week, but DHB is hurt. Whatcha think?"
--Jack, Ogden, UT

Docs: Jack, we would go with Heyward-Bey. While both Maclin and DHB have their issues heading into this week, we feel much more comfortable with Carson Palmer tossing the rock to our fantasy wideout than Nick Foles, who will get his second straight start due to Michael Vick still recovering from a concussion. Sure, anything can happen, but you don't want to have to subject yourself to the misery of watching Foles miss wide open receivers with terrible pass protection. At least Palmer understands how to get the ball to his receivers. Both Maclin and DHB have explosive capability, so you don't really lose that by going with one over the other. So all things considered, we would go with Heyward-Bey. Hope this helps and good luck!


"Docs, short and sweet: Fred Jackson or C.J. Spiller?"
--Ty, Pittsburgh, PA

Docs: C.J. Spiller.


"Sweating bullets here Docs. I feel like I need to make a trade to have any shot at making some noise to finish the season. I've been offered Robert Griffin III and Ryan Mathews for Ray Rice. My QB situation is awful, but Ray Rice was my first round pick. Neither of the guys offered to me were taken that early. Thoughts?"
--Jason, Charlotte, NC

Docs: Ric, make the deal. What happened in August does not apply in November, so we wouldn't put much stock in when and where you drafted a player. Griffin is the real deal, and he is a fantasy difference maker. Yes, we understand it is hard to give up an elite player like Rice, but Mathews is not exactly leaving your RB stables dry, and there is still hope he could kick it up a notch to finish the year. So Griffin and Mathews for Rice is a good trade for your team, and we would do it, particularly since you are weak at your QB position.


Thanks to all for the great questions! That's a wrap for this week. We tried to address some of the more common questions with more detailed answers to try to not only help the specific person asking the question, but the masses as well. Enjoy watching football this week and good luck to your fantasy teams!

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