Amazingly, it's already Week 12. The fantasy football regular season is coming to a close in the next few weeks, and it's time to make one final push to the playoffs. The Buffalo Bills might be out of it, but most fantasy teams are still fighting for that championship. Congratulations to all those teams that have been good enough to clinch a playoff berth already. For the rest of you (us!), buckle up, the crazy roller coaster ride of fighting for playoff berths continues! Head on in after the jump for the individual players of note for this Sunday's Miami Dolphins visit to the Buffalo.
Chad Henne - Henne made his first NFL start the last time these teams met. He threw for just 115 yards and was sacked 6 times that day, but the Dolphins hardly needed him to do much. That trend has continued for much of the season, as Miami continues to rely heavily on the ground game. However, Henne has thrown 26 or more passes in five of his last six games. Many of those passes are of the short, underneath variety as Henne has averaged 6.4 yards per attempt or less in all but one of his starts. Expect that trend to continue, as well. He has done a nice job protecting the football, throwing just four interceptions and not losing a fumble over 218 pass attempts. On the other hand, he has just 6 touchdowns. Expect the Bills to force Henne into making plays, just don't expect him to make many big plays. He might not make many mistakes, though, either. Verdict: Sit 'Em
Ryan Fitzpatrick - Fitzpatrick looked much better against the Jaguars, although he was still amazingly erratic and inaccurate. The final numbers looked good (297 yards, 1 touchdown, 9.6 ypa) even if most of his passes didn't. Fitzpatrick continues to look downfield more than Trent Edwards ever dreamed of, and was finally able to get Terrell Owens involved. Lee Evans also caught a long touchdown that was negated by penalty. Expect those attempts to continue. I wouldn't expect 297 yards any time soon, or even 200 yards, but if he continues to throw it around, the big play potential is there. Fitzpatrick and the Bills get to face the 22nd ranked Dolphins' pass defense this week. With all that said, he still stinks as a starting quarterback and shouldn't even be a consideration for fantasy owners, especially those of you with playoff aspirations. Verdict: Sit 'Em
Ricky Williams - Is the holistic one the fantasy story of the year? Probably not, but he is one of the nice surprises for fantasy owners. With Ronnie Brown out for the season, Williams is going to be a huge part of the rest of the fantasy season. If you are lucky enough to have him for your playoff run, enjoy! Wiliams already has 10 touchdowns this year, has averaged 5.3 yards per carry and has even added 212 receiving yards. He also needs to average about 54 yards per game to have his first 1000 yard season since 2003. He's going to get that, barring injury, and is going to help a lot of fantasy teams win down the stretch. With the juicy Bills matchup, expect a big week out of him again this week. Even after holding Maurice Jones-Drew to just 66 yards on 25 carries this past week, don't expect that type of success for the Bills defense to continue. Williams had 85 yards and a touchdown in shared duty the first time around. Expect those numbers to go up this week. Verdict: Start 'Em
Marshawn Lynch - As of the time I'm writing this, it's unclear as to whether Lynch will play this Sunday. I'm going to say he is simply because we haven't heard of any major damage. Assuming he does give it a go, I wouldn't expect him to have big numbers again. In fact, I'd be willing to bet that Fred Jackson sees more carries anyhow. The Dolphins are 12th in the NFL in run defense giving up about 106 yards per game. Lynch has been a major fantasy disappointment this year. I'd expect it to get worse before it gets better. Keep him benched until we see some signs of life out of him. Verdict: Sit 'Em
Fred Jackson - Jackson continues to see roughly 10-12 touches a game on offense. I would guess that number goes up this week with a banged up Lynch being questionable. If Lynch were to miss the game, Jackson is probably a solid RB2 this week. Remember late last season when Lynch was out and Jackson ran wild? Well forget about that. Other than Lee Evans, every single other starting player on offense is different. Don't expect a similar close to the season for him this year. BUT you can expect solid numbers, especially if he gets the full workload. If Lynch plays this week, I'd still consider Jackson a flex option as he seems to be getting involved in the passing game more, while continuing his kick return duties. Verdict: Start 'Em as a flex, and a RB2 if Lynch sits
Davone Bess - Bess leads the Dolphins with 46 receptions for 397 yards. When your leading receiver averages 8.6 yards per catch, it's safe to say none of these guys are startable. I actually really like Bess as a slot receiver in real life, but he's not a fantasy option and neither are his fellow Dolphin receivers. Bess does have 16 catches for 191 yards in his last three games, so he does have some PPR value. If you are stuck and need a guy to get you 6-8 points in your PPR league, Bess could be your guy. Other than that, don't start him or Ted Ginn, Brian Hartline and Greg Camarillo. Verdict: Sit 'Em
Lee Evans - Poor Evans. He lost out an amazing 53 yard touchdown catch last week because Jonathan Scott couldn't avoid the Three Stooges penalty. He finished with just one catch for 15 yards. Many people wanted to start Evans after his nice game the previous week against Tennessee and his solid production with Fitzpatrick under center before. Pity you folks. If there's one fantasy football mantra to follow, it's never start Lee Evans, ever! He will burn you. He has routinely hurt the Dolphins in the past, but again, don't. start. Lee. Evans. If he puts up big numbers on your bench, so be it. That means the Bills offense did something good and you didn't have to worry about whether he'd actually do anything in your starting lineup. Verdict: Sit 'Em
Terrell Owens - Welcome to the 2009 NFL season T.O.! You were missed. I really don't know what to make of his performance against Jacksonville. Is it a sign of things to come down the stretch, or is it just a blip on an otherwise quiet radar? Did the promotion of Perry Fewell to head coach mean anything for Owens? There are too many questions and too many useless performances from Owens this year to consider moving him back into your starting lineup. He is, however, back in the discussion. If Fewell's gameplans are to get Owens involved early and often, he could be one of the playoff heroes in fantasy football this year. It wouldn't surprise me if Owens were to have a nice finish to the season, I just want to see how he's used this week before recommending him again. Verdict: Sit 'Em
Joey Haynos and Anthony Fasano - Both barely have 100 yards receiving on the season. They are barely a part of the Dolphins' passing game, they shouldn't be a part of yours. I'd rather start a Bills Tight End. Verdict: Sit 'Em
Shawn Nelson - Nelson made a beautiful catch over the top of the defender against Jacksonville, but again wasn't much of a factor overall. That should continue, although it'd be nice to try utilizing him more in the passing game. He's not even worth considering here. I'd rather start a Dolphins Tight End. Verdict: Sit 'Em
Dan Carpenter - Carpenter has been rather good for Miami this year, connecting on 16 of his 17 field goal attempts. Against the Bills, he might be worth a spot start. As always, I'd be looking at a guy on a team with a better offense. Verdict: Sit 'Em
Rian Lindell - Lindell has also been quite good for Buffalo, hitting 17 of his 19 field goal attempts. Just like Carpenter, I'd be looking at a guy with a better offense. Verdict: Sit 'Em
Miami D/ST - This unit had four sacks and an interception last week against Carolina. Going against the sieve that is the Bills' OL and Ryan Fitzpatrick, those numbers look likely again. I wouldn't start them, though. Verdict: Sit 'Em
Buffalo D/ST - They sacked Henne six times in the first matchup, but don't go expecting that again. Expect a sack or two and maybe an interception. Injuries have ravaged this unit that was only mediocre to begin with. Verdict: Sit 'Em
None. Really, I don't see a surprise performance out of anyone in this game. It'll probably be a boring field goal contest with Ricky Williams running wild.
The Thanksgiving games have come and gone, so your Week 12 matchup is likely well under way. This Sunday will make or break a lot of fantasy seasons. Good luck and enjoy the games!