Fantasy mailbag: Schaub should thrive in Week 12

Which quarterback should I start in Week 12: Jeff Garcia or Matt Schaub? -- P. Winn, Salt Lake City, Utah

Michael Fabiano: With two touchdown passes, Garcia was solid in last week's win over Atlanta, but I love Schaub's matchup in Cleveland. The Browns rank 31st in the league against the pass, and no team has allowed more passing touchdowns (23) this season. Schaub was impressive in a win over New Orleans, and the fact that he has Andre Johnson back in the mix is huge for his value down the stretch.

Julius Jones and Laurence Maroney have killed me this season. Should I release one of them and add Ron Dayne or Ricky Williams? -- C. Barron, Clovis, Calif.

M.F.: First off, I wouldn't release Jones or Maroney unless you have backfield depth. Instead, release a third quarterback or a second kicker or defense. There have been reports out of Houston that Ahman Green might be placed on injured reserve and miss the rest of the season due to his problematic knee, so I would add Dayne without question. I'm not sure about Williams, though, based on the fact that he hasn't been in an NFL contest since 2005. The controversial back must also return to playing shape and jump over several backs on the depth chart to make an impact. Jesse Chatman hasn't been a slouch in the absence of Ronnie Brown, so I wouldn't expect Williams to see a prominent role soon.

I lost Adrian Peterson last week, and now Brandon Jacobs is hurt. I now have Chester Taylor, Selvin Young and Kenny Watson, but Justin Fargas and Priest Holmes are free agents. Who should I start? Also, should I start Drew Brees or Carson Palmer? -- P. Nicholls, United Kingdom

M.F.: Taylor has a tough matchup in New York against the Giants, but I'd still start him ahead of Young and Watson. I would also add and start Kolby Smith, who will start for the Chiefs after the retirement of Priest Holmes. He faces an Oakland defense that ranks 31st against the run and has surrendered a league-high 16 rushing touchdowns. As a result, the rookie could make a real fantasy impact.

Which running back should I start in Week 12: Ryan Grant, Edgerrin James or Clinton Portis? -- T. Byrnes, Australia

M.F.: Grant has a nice matchup against Detroit, but I'd side with Portis. While he did struggle in last week's loss in Dallas, the veteran runner should bounce back in Tampa Bay against a Buccaneers defense that ranks in the middle of the road at 18th in the league against the run. It was evident that the Skins wanted to attack the Cowboys' defensive backfield in that contest, so Portis saw far fewer carries. With a postseason berth on the line -- the Skins would be in trouble with a loss to the Buccaneers -- look for them to return to a focused ground attack with Portis as the focal point.

I have been offered Ben Roethlisberger, Brian Westbrook and Terrell Owens for Tom Brady, DeShaun Foster and Andre Johnson. I'm weak at running back, but I'm still 9-2 on the season and in first place. Should I make this move? -- G. Ellison, Ann Arbor, Mich.

M.F.: That is an incredible offer, but how can you trade Brady in the midst of what is the greatest fantasy football season of all time? Brady has almost 100 more fantasy points than the second-rated player, Tony Romo, and he is on pace for over 60 total touchdowns. Westbrook is a serious improvement over Foster, but the combination of Brady and Foster actually has more fantasy points than Roethlisberger and Westbrook on NFL.com. I also like Johnson to be a top-five fantasy wideout the rest of the season, so you would be wise to hold onto to him. Again, it's a nice offer, but I'd be inclined to pass.

What is the status of Javon Walker for Week 12? Also, should I start Eli Manning or Vince Young? -- M. Gonzalez, El Paso, Texas.

M.F.: Reports out of Denver indicate Walker expects to participate in practice all week. If that happens, he'll no doubt return to action against Chicago. Be sure to check NFL.com's Fantasy injury report all week for updates. Manning has a nice matchup against a porous Minnesota pass defense, but I'd still side with Young. He seems to have turned his statistical fortunes around over the past two weeks, and he faces a Cincinnati defense that ranks 26th against the pass and has allowed 22 passing touchdowns.

I'm loaded at wide receiver and need to start three from Dwayne Bowe, Marques Colston, Santonio Holmes, Torry Holt and Chad Johnson? Who should I choose? -- F. Nelson, Dover, N.H.

M.F.: Holmes sustained a high ankle sprain in last week's loss to the New York Jets, and it appears he'll miss Week 12. As a result, the decision boils down to Bowe, Colston, Holt and Johnson. Out of those four, I'd sit Bowe against an Oakland defense that ranks 6th against the pass. Johnson has been a disappointment overall, but it's still hard to reserve a wideout of his caliber against a Tennessee pass defense that has struggled in recent weeks.

I am desperate at running back due to injuries. Which two backs should I start from Jesse Chatman, Warrick Dunn, Earnest Graham and Anthony Thomas? -- L. Kingston, Pensacola, Fla.

M.F.: Graham has been far too hot to reserve. He rushed for 102 yards and one touchdown in a win over Atlanta and now has a combined 510 all-purpose yards and two scores in his last four starts. It's clear that he'll retain the top spot on the Tampa Bay depth chart even with Michael Pittman back in the mix, so Graham is a nice fantasy runner in most formats. Based on the matchups, I would also go with Dunn over Chatman and Thomas.

I have Marc Bulger and Matt Hasselbeck. I know Hasselbeck has been better this season, but Bulger is valuable at home and has had a lot of success against the Seahawks. Do I roll the dice and start Bulger? Also, should I start Deion Branch or Santana Moss? -- D. Krueger, Jackson, Miss.

M.F.: Bulger is a viable fantasy starter in leagues with 12-plus teams this week, but there's no way I start him ahead of Hasselbeck. One of the most underrated field generals in fantasy football, Hasselbeck has thrown for at least two scores in each of his past five starts and in six of his past seven. He has also thrown for a combined 1,022 yards and eight touchdowns in his past five starts against the Rams, so Hasselbeck should be active. He does has some injured ribs, however, so be sure to keep tabs of his status on NFL.com all week. As far as the receivers, I would start Branch ahead of Moss, who broke out last week but faces CB Ronde Barber and a tough Tampa Bay defense in Week 12.

I have been offered Willie Parker and Wes Welker for Justin Fargas and Randy Moss in a standard league. I could use the upgrade at running back, but do I dare deal Moss? -- K. Cooke, Canada

M.F.: Much like the aforementioned question about Brady, it's hard to trade someone like Moss when he's in the middle of an incredible season. I might consider the deal a little more if you were rewarded points for catches, but I still think I'd pass on the offer. The bottom line is that Moss is far too valuable to deal, even for two solid players like Parker and Welker.

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