Nov 20, 2012
Week 11 of the 2012 NFL season was, by far, the most upside down week of football we have witnessed so far. Sure, a couple things went down as per usual, like Peyton Manning throwing three touchdowns… again! But Sunday was dominated by the likes of Chad Henne, Garrett Graham (not to be confused with Jimmy Graham), T.Y. Hilton and something called Bilal Powell, who came from out nowhere to shred the fantasy football scene and force fantasy pundits to dive deeper into their drunken stupors.
For the second time this season, we witnessed a quarterback eclipse 500 yards passing in a game. Also in that game, we watched two wideouts break 200 yards receiving. This game also gave the NFL its’ first-ever overtime game where both teams kicked field goals before the game was decided. Hopefully by now everyone knows we’re talking about the Jacksonville Jaguars-Houston Texans game.
Did any of the aforementioned names put up big enough days to make this week’s article? There’s only one way to find out and that’s to keep reading. Happy Thanksgiving!
Matt Schaub, QB, Houston Texans
What Matt Schaub did on Sunday earned him a spot in the record books alongside one of the NFL’s greats. His 527 passing yards tied him with Warren Moon for second place all-time for a single game. He also added five touchdowns, including a game-winning 48-yard touchdown to Andre Johnson in overtime to cap off an amazing performance and a big win for the Houston Texans.
The irony of his performance is that he was on the bench of most fantasy owners; he was started in only 27 percent of ESPN leagues. All those points flushed down the toilet—such a shame.
Owners can’t fault themselves if they were starting the Peyton Manning’s or the Tom Brady’s of the world. You just have to shake your head, laugh and chalk it up to the craziness that is fantasy football.
Schaub had a big week, and wners are going to frantically waiver back and forth whether or not to play Schaub on Thanksgiving Day when the Texans head to the Motor City to take on the Detroit Lions, but there’s no need for freaking out. In 10 games this year he’s thrown 18 touchdowns, but nine of those TD’s have come in two games. Take away those two games and he’s averaging just over a TD pass per game. The Lions are also giving up an average of 15.2 fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, so there’s reason to believe that he’ll be coming back down to earth on Turkey Day.
Justin Blackmon, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars
It’s been a bit of a struggle and quite the learning experience this year for Justin Blackmon, but the rookie finally made his mark on the NFL by recording his first 100-yard game—which was actually a 200-yard game. He finished the day with 236 yards on seven receptions and also recorded the second touchdown of his young career.
It only took him 10 games to record his first 200-yard game. Here’s an idea what a feat this actually is: It took Jerry Rice 13 games, Randy Moss 26, Terrell Ownens 73, Calvin Johnson 74 and Andre Johnson 83 games to reach that mark—he got there faster than any of these guys and did it with Chad Henne at quarterback.
This week the Jacksonville Jaguars host the Tennessee Titans and Henne will be starting, which could mean good things again for Blackmon. The Titans sport the league’s 26th-ranked pass defense and are allowing opposing receivers to average 21.3 fantasy points per game, making him a worthy flex option with low-end WR2 upside.
Robert Griffin III, QB, Washington Redskins
Robert Griffin III had been in a bit of a slump over the past couple of weeks, with emphasis on the word “had.” He only passed for one touchdown in the previous two games and had not run one in either. Well he snapped out of that funk in a big way against the divisional rival Philadelphia Eagles with four touchdowns and 200 yards on 14-15 passing. He also added 84 yards on the ground for good measure.
This performance has him currently in second overall with 214 fantasy points, just one behind Drew Brees.
This week RG3 and the Washington Redskins head to “Big D” for a Thanksgiving Day showdown with the division rival Dallas Cowboys. That Dallas defense is only giving up 12.1 points per game to the quarterback position, but they also haven’t faced anyone like RG3. Owners should start him with confidence and expect a big game from him.
Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots
If you’re going out you might as well go out with a bang, and that’s exactly what Rob Gronkowski did on Sunday. He caught seven receptions for 137 yards and two touchdowns before breaking his forearm and being forced to sit out what looks like a four-to-week timetable.
Although his big afternoon helped owners tremendously, his loss could prove devastating since the trading deadline has passed in a lot of leagues. Lucky owners could see Gronk back in time for their fantasy championship games, but scouring the waiver wire for guys like Scott Chandler and Marcedes Lewis for immediate help is a must for those who want to stay in the thick of their respective playoff races.
Andre Johnson, WR, Houston Texans
The major beneficiary of Matt Schaub’s monster day was Andre Johnson who caught 14 balls for 273 yards and a touchdown. There was nothing the Jacksonville Jaguars could do to stop him as he shredded that secondary from start to finish.
This comes at a perfect time for Johnson owners who are looking for a spark as they gear up for the playoffs. His remaining matchups are against the Detroit Lions, Tennessee Titans, New England Patriots, Indianapolis Colts, Minnesota Vikings and the Colts again—all teams that are giving up at least 19.1 fantasy points per game to the receiver position.