NFL Week 12: Previewing the AFC East
New England Patriots at New York Jets
While everyone is with their families enjoying Thanksgiving, two division rivals will face off in a matchup for AFC East bragging rights. Football fans everywhere will get to enjoy turkey and football as Tom Brady and the Patriots travel to face Mark Sanchez and the media darling Jets.
The Pats are coming off an impressive victory over the Indianapolis Colts and the Jets are coming off a much needed win over the St. Louis Rams. With the win the Jets managed to keep their tumultuous season alive for one more week. This week they face a much tougher challenge. New England touts the AFC’s top offense and a loss would put the Jet’s record at 4-7 all but eliminating them from playoff contention.
New England will be without the services of Pro Bowler Rob Gronkowski. He suffered a broken forearm in last week’s victory over the Colts. Despite Gronk’s absence the Pat’s stable of offensive weapons is impressive. The Jets will have their hands full with or without Gronkowski.
Tom Brady is a must start in all formats. With Gronkowski out it should allow for more opportunities for other players including Wes Welker. Last time these two teams met Welker had six catches for 66 yards. Look for him to have at least that and probably more.
Buffalo Bills at Indianapolis Colts
Andrew Luck and the Colts were brought back to reality after a surprising 6-4 start. The New England Patriots completely out matched the Colts. This week the Colts will try to rebound against Buffalo. The Bills are coming off an impressive defensive performance versus the Miami Dolphins. The Bills must continue their momentum if they want to keep their playoff chances alive.
Like the rest of the teams in the AFC East except the Patriots, the Bills must win this week if they are to have any chance at making the playoffs. A loss would put them at 4-7 and all but eliminate them from the playoffs. The Colts have a little more room to work with. Last week they suffered a defeat at the hands of Tom Brady but still remain in the drivers seat for the NFL post season.
The Bills will have an important test this week. They will face a very potent and capable offense led by star in the making Andrew Luck. The Buffalo defense will need to have another performance like they did against the Dolphins. If the defense can contain Luck and the Colts passing game the Bills have a descent shot at coming out with a victory. Look for Buffalo to try to keep Luck off the field by deploying C.J. Spiller and their effective ground attack.
With Fred Jackson questionable look for C.J. Spiller to get 20-plus carries and over the 80 yard mark. For the Colts, wide receiver Reggie Wayne is quietly having an excellent fantasy season. He has not had less than 70 yards in any game this season. He is a must start every week.
Seattle Seahawks at Miami Dolphins
This Week 12 matchup, will feature two teams geographically located in complete opposite corners of the county. Seattle must make the long cross-country flight to face the Dolphins. The Seahawks are coming off a bye week and the Dolphins are coming off a Thursday game, so both teams will be well rested.
The ‘Hawks are sitting at 6-4 and right in the middle of the playoff race. The Dolphins on the other hand have lost three straight games and have had trouble scoring points lately. Miami must get their offense in gear this week because they face a tremendous Seattle defense.
This match up also features two rookie quarterbacks that have surprised most people with their above average play. Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson will face off against Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Both players have exceeded fan expectations. This contest may come down to which rookie quarterback has a better game. Look for a low scoring game as both teams rely on a solid defense.
When two good defenses meet two mediocre offenses, fantasy owners suffer. That is the case in this game. There will not be a lot of fantasy points scored in this match up. Be cautious starting anybody other than the kickers.