Josh McCown— Bears at Rams
McCown is not a starting NFL quarterback. He thrives for a couple of weeks here and there coming off the bench, but he will never be a starting fantasy quarterback consistently. This late in the fantasy season you have to play the match-ups and McCown has a favorable one this week. He will get the start for the Bears on the road against the Rams on Sunday. He has played well, including last week’s awkward delayed game against the solid pass defense of the Ravens. He threw for 215 yards, a touchdown, no interceptions, and completed the big pass to Martellus Bennett to set up the game-winning field goal. He has thrown for five touchdowns and no interceptions with a passer rating of 100.0 in his appearances. The Rams shut down the Colts two weeks ago, but generally they do not play the pass well, allowing 237 yards per game and a 65-percent completion rate. With the fact that McCown played winning football in terrible weather last week, he should pile up the fantasy stats in the comfort of a dome this Sunday.
Zac Stacy— Rams vs. Bears
We saw it last week first-hand: the Bears are not able to stop the run. In his last three contests, Stacy has averaged 29 combined touches and 125 combined yards per game. The Bears are ranked 31st against the run, allowing 133 yards a game. They have given up 11 scores on the ground. This is an easy match-up for Stacy.
Knowshon Moreno— Broncos at Patriots
Moreno has averaged 25 touches in the last two games, and by Week Twelve, that is all you can ask for in fantasy football. Peyton Manning has always checked to the run more when facing Tom Brady. He wants to slow the pace and keep Brady on the sidelines. The Patriots are allowing 125 yards per game on the ground. This strategy along with New England’s weakness should translate into a solid fantasy game for Moreno.
Cecil Shorts— Jaguars at Texans
The statistics say Houston is the top-rated pass defense in football as they allow just 167 yards per game through the air. Keep in mind however that they have allowed 18 touchdown passes and have just four interceptions. Shorts has just one touchdown this season; but while this might not appear to be a favorable match-up, it is. In Week Eleven last year, Houston beat the Jaguars 43-37 in OT. Quarterback Chad Henne threw for 354 yards and four touchdowns as Shorts had 81 yards receiving and a touchdown.
All of the factors included should only mean one thing—Shorts has the chance to be a star on Sunday.
Rob Housler— Cardinals vs. Colts
Housler is developing into the first solid Tight End the Cardinal franchise has had since they released Hall-of-Famer Jackie Smith after the 1977 season. (Right after they released head coach Don Coryell back when they were in St. Louis.)
Housler has 10 receptions for 127 yards and a score his last two games. The Colts allowed Delanie Walker of the Titans 10 receptions, 91 yards and a touchdown last Thursday evening. They have allowed an average of seven receptions to the tight end in their last three games. Carson Palmer is spreading the ball around and getting all of his receivers involved. With coverage having to favor Larry Fitzgerald, Housler will see plenty of man coverage from linebackers. This is an incredibly favorable match-up for him.
Charles Clay— Dolphins vs. Panthers
Clay appears to be more of a fullback type, but he can sure catch the ball. If you are going to be a receiver in Miami, it is favorable to be wearing the number 42—the same worn by Dolphins Hall of Fame Wide Receiver Paul Warfield. The biggest surprise here is the fact that they have not retired his number.
Clay has scored a touchdown in four of his last seven games and has averaged four receptions a game in his last four contests. The match-up is in Clay’s favor because Ryan Tannehill relies on him and the Panthers have allowed a touchdown to the tight end in three of their last four games.