Each week Studs & Duds will take a look at the best and worst match-ups from around the NFL and choose 4 players that could mean the difference between fantasy success or failure.
Based on the scoring system established by Yahoo!'s Flames and Lames, Studs and Duds finally got back on the right track in week 11. After going 6-2 in last week's picks, S&D's season record now stands at 43-45. Do you have some of your own Studs and Duds in mind? If so, put your picks and predictions (no explanation for picks necessary) in the comment section below and see if you can beat us at our own game.
Carson Palmer / QB / Cincinnati Bengals - (vs. Browns) Palmer hasn't been the most consistent QB this year, but week 12 will see him put up solid numbers against a very weak Cleveland defense. With starting RB Cedric Benson still nursing an injury, it's likely the Bengals will let Palmer air it out quite a bit. Considering that he'll be letting loose against the 26th ranked pass D, it's probably safe to assume he'll be good for multiple scores. With the agility he showcased last week against the Raiders when he ran for two TDs, it wouldn't be surprising to see him get one on the ground as well.
Prediction: 31-48, 321 passing yards, 3 total touchdowns, 1 interception, 16 rushing yards
Terrell Owens / WR / Buffalo Bills - (vs. Dolphins) The Bills are still a team in flux, and like S&D said last week that's just what T.O. needs. He had a monster game against the Jaguars and you can expect him to continue his success in week 12 against the Dolphins. This pick is based more on Owens being back to his old form, than it is based on Miami having a bad pass D. T.O. will continue to have balls thrown his way, and he should continue to put up the numbers we're used to seeing from him for the remainder of the season.
Prediction: 7 receptions, 111 receiving yards, 1 touchdown
Justin Forsett / RB / Seattle Seahawks - (vs. Rams) This is a risky pick considering that Julius Jones has been limited at practice for the Seahawks all week and would return to the role of starting RB if he did return. However, the risk is definitely worth the reward if you're willing to gamble. Forsett will face a Rams rush D that allows close to 150 yards a game to opposing teams. Add in Forsett's excellent skills as a receiver and you've got a recipe for a huge fantasy day. He'll have the ball in his hands for 50% of the offensive snaps, and against such a bad defense that can only mean good things.
Prediction: 23 carries, 87 rushing yards, 6 receptions, 49 receiving yards, 2 touchdowns
Antonio Gates / TE / San Diego Chargers - (vs. Chiefs) Gates is one of those guys that has been a huge fantasy bust for most of his owners. As one of the first TEs taken in most leagues, his owners expected him to have more than one week with a touchdown. Unfortunately for them, both of his season scores came in week four. However, this week will see him finally break out as he will definitely find pay dirt. He'll do that because he's facing the Chiefs and their 28th ranked pass D. Considering that the Chiefs don't have a great pass rush either, he shouldn't have to block as much which means he'll be open down field on more passing plays. With the size and skill he brings to table he should be able to eat the Kansas City defense up.
Prediction: 9 receptions, 87 yards, 1 touchdown
Donovan McNabb / QB / Philadelphia Eagles - (vs. Redskins) McNabb has been pretty solid all year, but he'll run into trouble in week 12. He's facing the Redskins who are coming off a tough loss to Dallas, and you can be sure they'll be pumped up for this divisional game. Washington has been tough against the pass all year, and currently have the top ranked pass D in the league. McNabb also posted a dud-worthy game when the teams met up earlier in the year. That's bad news for McNabb who won't have the help of his top RB Brian Westbrook who's out with concussion like symptoms. With an unproven run game backing him up and plenty of other factors working against him, it's hard to imagine McNabb putting up very good numbers come Sunday.
Prediction: 21-43, 214 passing yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception, 17 rushing yards
Jericho Cotchery / WR / New York Jets - (vs. Panthers) Cotchery has two straight weeks with a score, but that streak won't continue this week against the Panthers. Carolina still has one of the top pass Ds, and it's unlikely that rookie QB Mark Sanchez will have any success against them. This will likely be a run heavy game for the Jets, which means Cotchery won't have as many opportunities. If you have any other options at WR you should use them. Basically, Cotchery just can't do anything if his quarterback doesn't play well, and that's likely to be the case this week.
Prediction: 4 receptions, 31 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns
Matt Forte / RB / Chicago Bears - (vs. Vikings) Forte went from a top five RB last year, to a guy who's really only useful in PPR leagues in '09. He's struggled all year, which is surprising considering he has a better QB and healthier O-line this year. Anyway, he's not going to fair much better in week 12 as he'll face off against the extremely tough Vikings rush D. They've only allowed three rushing scores on the year and only allow around 85 ypg on the ground. If you own him, believe S&D and sit him because this is definitely not the week he turns things around.
Prediction: 13 carries, 34 rushing yards, 4 receptions, 42 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns
Jeremy Shockey / TE / New Orleans Saints - (vs. Patriots) Shockey was a dud last week, and he'll be a dud again this week. The Saints are going to have a lot of trouble staying perfect on the year against the Pats, as this game will be a fight to the finish. Shockey is likely to be used as a blocker for much of the game in order to help ease the pressure off of Brees. When he does go out for passes he'll likely be overlooked in favor of the Saints' talented receivers. That's because New England is vulnerable in the secondary and the Saints will need big plays in order to win this one, not the short yardage pickups that Shockey would provide.
Prediction: 3 reception, 34 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns