Week 12’s Top Headline: Starr, Favre, and Rodgers Set to Reunite

Tomorrow, Thursday, November 25, 2015, the Green Bay Packers will unveil Brett Favre’s #4 retired name and number inside Lambeau Field at halftime of the team’s game against the Chicago Bears. Joined by the other two great Green Bay quarterbacks in Bart Starr and Aaron Rodgers, this ceremony for #4 will be one of the special moments in Packers history.

When Favre left the Packers, it may have represented another integral moment in Packers history: allowing Rodgers to take the reigns as the next great quarterback for Green Bay. Though it’s still rather undocumented, Favre’s mentorship of Rodgers cannot be overlooked when considering how great of a man Favre is and what their relationship truly means to Wisconsin.

Rodgers and Favre at the ESPYs this year. (Rob Demovsky/ESPN)

“I’m thankful for all the things that this job has given me and my family. But probably the thing that I am most proud of throughout my career is that, not only myself, but my family and the people around me have just been regular people, which we are.”

– Brett Favre

Now, on Thursday night, we will get to see the two great Packers quarterbacks of my short lifetime reunite with another great one in Starr, who has been battling health issues. Starr, now 81, has fought for months just for this moment, to be with both Favre and Rodgers on the field for this iconic moment.

Many of us will be watching the game with grandparents, parents, and others who remember watching Starr play. Some of us will speak for our love for #4, the southern boy who stole all of our hearts and broke them (but we still forgive him). And the rest of us, all here together, will reflect on how much Rodgers has already brought to the team, and how he may go down as the best ever. All three quarterbacks have brought happiness to the state of Wisconsin and Packers fans everywhere. Seeing them together will define the continued greatness of the Green & Gold through different generations, which fits in perfectly with one of the themes of Thanksgiving: FAMILY, FRIENDS, FOOD and FOOTBALL.

Click here for this week’s NFL power rankings.

Reflection on Week 11

Per usual, I will be evaluating my picks from the previous week utilizing completions (good advice), interceptions (wrong advice), and incompletions (irrelevant advice).

Week 1: 16-15-5
Week 2: 11-16-9
Week 3: 13-14-9
Week 4: 19-13-4
Week 5: 19-10-7
Week 6: 17-13-6
Week 7: 18-13-5
Week 8: 14-14-8
Week 9: 17-12-7
Week 10: 15-16-5
Week 11: 15-15-6

Total: 174-151-71 

Completions Interceptions Incompletions
Carson Palmer (START) Andy Dalton (BUST) Stevie Johnson (START)
Matthew Stafford (START) Charcandrick West (START) Brandon LaFell (SLEEPER)
Marcus Mariota (SLEEPER) LeGarrette Blount (START) Alshon Jeffery (BUST) – INACTIVE
Joe Flacco (SIT) Jeremy Hill (SIT) Mike Nugent (SIT)
Kirk Cousins (SIT) Eddie Lacy (SIT) Adam Vinatieri (SIT)
Ronnie Hillman (SLEEPER) Doug Martin (BUST) Falcons D/ST (SLEEPER)
Pierre Garcon (SIT) Sammy Watkins (START)
Jimmy Graham (SIT) John Brown (SIT)
Coby Fleener (SIT) Jason Witten (START)
Cairo Santos (START) Richard Rodgers (START)
Sebastian Janikowski (SLEEPER) Scott Chandler (SLEEPER)
Broncos D/ST (START) Tyler Eifert (BUST)
Bengals D/ST (SIT) Matt Bryant (START)
Vikings D/ST (SIT) Mason Crosby (BUST)
Bills D/ST (BUST) Jets D/ST (START)

Week 12 Start/Sit

Note: All fantasy point references come from ESPN Standard leagues.

Click here for this week’s fantasy football rankings.



Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys (vs. Carolina Panthers)

Am I riding Romo a little too much right now? Probably, but I truly believe the Cowboys will hand Carolina their first loss on Thursday. Quarterbacks have only thrown more than two touchdowns against Carolina once this year (Aaron Rodgers), but I think Romo and the Cowboys have an awesome crowd and pull it off with a three-touchdown performance from #9. By the way, Romo is 29-7 in November and 8-3 on Thursdays in his career. 

Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. San Diego Chargers)

San Diego has not won a game in ages, and I don’t expect that to change this week. Jacksonville should be able to take care of business at home, and Bortles will have a solid game in this one. Similar quarterbacks Jay Cutler (17 points) and Derek Carr (23 points) have each dominated San Diego in recent weeks.

Sleeper: Brian Hoyer, Houston Texans (vs. New Orleans Saints)

Hoyer has been surprisingly one of the most productive fantasy quarterbacks when healthy this season. He’ll get to take on the worst fantasy defense against quarterbacks (28 touchdowns and 4 interceptions against!), and Hoyer could be worth a start if you’re worried about injuries or tough matchups.


Teddy Bridgewater, Minnesota Vikings (@ Atlanta Falcons)

Bridgewater has not been a productive fantasy quarterback, and I think Sunday’s game with Atlanta will be relatively low-scoring. Even if the Falcons were outplayed by the ageless Matt Hasselbeck, their pass defense should match up well against Bridgewater’s bunch.

Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins (@ New York Jets)

The Jets’ pass defense has been surprisingly bad lately, but I look for them to finally play better this week against the weak Dolphins. Tannehill had 11 fantasy points in Week 4 in Miami, and I don’t think he will top a maximum of 15 this week.

Bust Alert: Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills (@ Kansas City Chiefs)

The Chiefs haven’t given up double-digit points to an opposing quarterback since Week 5, which is very impressive. Taylor is not 100% healthy, and I think the Bills will be running the ball a ton.

Running Backs


Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@ Indianapolis Colts)

Martin went for over 200 yards last week, and he should continue to go over 100 this week against the Colts. Even though Indy has played better against the run recently (still ranked 9th worst in the NFL against fantasy running backs), they haven’t faced off against a solid running back (Devonta Freeman got hurt last week) since Week 8.

T.J. Yeldon, Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. San Diego Chargers)

Yeldon may finally be healthy heading into this matchup against San Diego. The Chargers just gave up a lot of yards and two touchdowns to Kansas City’s Spencer Ware (who?), and they still rank last in the NFL in fantasy points allowed to running backs. Yeldon is a must-start this week.

Sleeper: James White, New England Patriots (@ Denver Broncos)

White found the end zone twice against Buffalo on Monday night on limited touches. Look for White to get even more involved Sunday night with Danny Amendola and Aaron Dobson’s health in question and Tom Brady looking for options on his injured offense. This is the type of game Brady likes to dump passes off to his quick receivers.


Lamar Miller, Miami Dolphins (@ New York Jets)

Teams are running the ball a lot against the Jets recently, but I don’t think Miller matches up well against the quick New York defensive line. Jay Ajayi has also been emerging in the Miami backfield, which only hurts Miller against the Jets this week.

Ronnie Hillman, Denver Broncos (vs. New England Patriots)

The Patriots are surprisingly good against the run this year, as they’re top 10 in rushing yards against this season. LeSean McCoy had some running room on Monday night, but his talent level compared to Hillman and C.J. Anderson is not comparable. Denver will also have to throw the ball a good amount, which means less touches in the backfield.

Bust Alert: Latavius Murray, Oakland Raiders (@ Tennessee Titans)

The Titans have only given up two rushing touchdowns to running backs since their bye week in Week 4, and Murray has struggled to get yardage (and touches) the last two weeks. I’m not sure if benching Murray is an option, but don’t be shocked if Tennessee plays well against the Raiders’ rushing attack.

Wide Receivers


Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers (vs. Chicago Bears)

After giving up seven touchdowns to opposing receivers in Weeks 1 and 2, the Bears’ secondary has given up seven total since then. Still, they have struggled against opposing quarterbacks, and Cobb will definitely be involved with Rodgers and the Packers back in sync.

Emmanuel Sanders, Denver Broncos (vs. New England Patriots)

Malcolm Butler will be matched up against Demaryius Thomas all night, and he’s been phenomenal the past two weeks on Odell Beckham, Jr. and Sammy Watkins. But, can Logan Ryan or another Patriots cornerback handle Sanders if he plays? I say no, so I would start him if he’s healthy even without Peyton Manning playing.

Sleeper: Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@ Indianapolis Colts)

After returning to injury last week, VJax found the end zone, and Jameis Winston loves his vertical threats downfield. Hardly a sleeper, Jackson should be poised for a second straight strong performance against a Colts team that has given up a touchdown to an opposing receiver every week but Week 7 against the Saints.


Donte Moncrief, Indianapolis Colts (vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

Moncrief has become less and less involved in the offense, and he’s not worth starting in any format right now. The Buccaneers do give up a lot of touchdowns to opposing receivers, but I still don’t trust Moncrief.

Tavon Austin, St. Louis Rams (@ Cincinnati Bengals)

The Rams’ offense is absolutely stagnant outside of Todd Gurley and Austin. I would avoid Austin right now considering the matchup and his inconsistent play all season.

Bust Alert: Martavis Bryant, Pittsburgh Steelers (@ Seattle Seahawks)

Who will Richard Sherman line up against? I’m thinking Bryant, since the Steelers like to move Antonio Brown all over and Sherman likes to stay on his side of the field. Still, I would only bench Bryant if you have better options out there.

Tight Ends 


Jimmy Graham, Seattle Seahawks (vs. Pittsburgh Steelers)

Opposing teams have 93 tight end targets against Pittsburgh, and Seattle needs Graham this week to come out victorious.

Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans (vs. Oakland Raiders)

The Raiders have given up a touchdown to an opposing tight end in every game but two this season.


Sleeper: Richard Rodgers, Green Bay Packers (vs. Chicago Bears)

Rodgers to Rodgers is going to be called this week, I can feel it.


Charles Clay, Buffalo Bills (@ Kansas City Chiefs)

The Chiefs have given up two touchdowns all year to opposing tight ends, and Tyrod Taylor is banged up.

Eric Ebron, Detroit Lions (vs. Philadelphia Eagles)

The Eagles have also only given up two touchdowns to opposing tight ends, and Ebron is not a reliable play now that all teams are done with bye weeks.

Bust Alert: Benjamin Watson, New Orleans Saints (@ Houston Texans)

The Texans have been really solid lately on defense, and they get the Saints at home.



Dan Bailey, Dallas Cowboys (vs. Carolina Panthers)

Sebastian Janikowski, Oakland Raiders (@ Tennessee Titans)

Sleeper: Josh Lambo, San Diego Chargers (@ Jacksonville Jaguars)


Kai Forbath, New Orleans Saints (@ Houston Texans)

Greg Zuerlein, St. Louis Rams (@ Cincinnati Bengals)

Bust Alert: Robbie Gould, Chicago Bears (@ Green Bay Packers)

Defenses/Special Teams


Arizona Cardinals D/ST (@ San Francisco 49ers)

New York Jets D/ST (vs. Miami Dolphins)

Sleeper: Pittsburgh Steelers D/ST (@ Seattle Seahawks)


Philadelphia Eagles D/ST (@ Detroit Lions)

New York Giants D/ST (@ Washington Redskins)

Bust Alert: St. Louis Rams D/ST (@ Cincinnati Bengals)

Week 12 Predictions

Another week is upon us with several entertaining games, starting on Thanksgiving with Dallas hosting the undefeated Carolina Panthers and the Packers-Bears rivalry on Thursday night. Bills-Chiefs, Seahawks-Steelers, and Patriots-Broncos all have huge implications, and should be close games. The worst game of the week? Monday Night Football: Ravens at Browns. Woof.

Week 1: 10-6
Week 2: 7-9
Week 3: 10-6
Week 4: 8-7
Week 5: 7-7
Week 6: 10-4
Week 7: 9-5
Week 8: 8-6
Week 9: 5-8
Week 10: 6-8
Week 11: 8-6

Overall: 88-72 (55%)

Week 12 Score Predictions

Philadelphia Eagles 17, Detroit Lions 20 (Lions +1)
Carolina Panthers 24, Dallas Cowboys 27 (Cowboys +1)
Chicago Bears 20, Green Bay Packers 30 (Packers -9)
New Orleans Saints 24, Houston Texans 17 (Saints +3)
St. Louis Rams 13, Cincinnati Bengals 24 (Bengals -10)
Minnesota Vikings 17, Atlanta Falcons 14 (Vikings +1)
New York Giants 30, Washington Redskins 23 (Giants -2.5)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 14, Indianapolis Colts 23 (Colts -3)
Buffalo Bills 17, Kansas City Chiefs 20 (EVEN)
Oakland Raiders 28, Tennessee Titans 16 (Raiders -1)
San Diego Chargers 17, Jacksonville Jaguars 20 (Jaguars -4)
Miami Dolphins 15, New York Jets 18 (Jets -3.5)
Arizona Cardinals 38, San Francisco 49ers 20 (Cardinals -11.5)
Pittsburgh Steelers 20, Seattle Seahawks 21 (Seahawks -4)
New England Patriots 23, Denver Broncos 17 (Patriots -3)
Baltimore Ravens 10, Cleveland Browns 13 (Browns -2.5)

Sources: Yahoo! Fantasy, ESPN Fantasy, Rotowire

Image: Romo