By Ted Rossman
In this section, we examine five surprising performances from the previous week and determine whether these players are likely to remain hot.
1. Antrel Rolle (CB, ARZ): Rolle intercepted Cincinnati's Carson Palmer three times Sunday and returned two of the picks for touchdowns, tying an NFL record. Incredibly, he did all of this in part-time duty as Arizona's nickel back. Rolle could challenge Roderick Hood (CB) for a starting role in Week 12, but remember that Rolle totaled only two interceptions in his last 30 games before Sunday's explosion. Don't rush to the waiver wire to pick him up.
2. Patrick Kerney (DE, SEA): He recorded three sacks and forced a fumble in Sunday's win over the Bears. Kerney has at least one sack in three of his last four games and is a good bet for more solid numbers as Seattle chases a playoff berth down the stretch.
3. David Harris (LB, NYJ): Harris racked up 11 more tackles (seven solo) and a sack in Sunday's upset victory over the Steelers. He has amassed a staggering 52 tackles (37 solo) and two sacks in three games since entering the Jets' starting lineup. If Harris is still available in your league, grab him immediately.
4. Corey Williams (DT, GB): He made two sacks in the Packers' Week 11 victory over Carolina and has four sacks in his last three games. However, he has been held without a sack in six of his last eight contests. Worse yet, he has been held to two or fewer tackles in seven of Green Bay's 10 games. Williams is not a reliable IDP.
5. Jason Allen (S, MIA): Allen did his best to avoid the Dolphins' 10th consecutive loss to open the season, as he snared two interceptions in Miami's Week 11 loss at Philadelphia. He was elevated to a starting role in Week 8 and has 14 tackles (all solo) in three games since then, but his track record is spotty. Plus, his breakout Week 11 performance came against a beleaguered Philadelphia passing attack.
Here we look at trends and matchups savvy owners can exploit in the upcoming week.
- Many quarterback situations are stabilizing across the league, either because injured players have returned or young quarterbacks have improved. A few teams are still dealing with quarterback injuries, such as the Eagles (at New England), Bears (vs. Denver) and 49ers (at Arizona). The Panthers (vs. New Orleans), Chiefs (vs. Oakland), Raiders (at Kansas City), Dolphins (at Pittsburgh) and Vikings (at N.Y. Giants) are managing inconsistent and/or desperate quarterback arrangements. All of these opposing defenses warrant an upgrade in Week 12.
- The league's worst offenses (in terms of points per game) are San Francisco, Atlanta and Kansas City. Those teams, respectively, visit Arizona, play host to Indianapolis and play host to Oakland in Week 12.
- All season we have written about how teams often fare better following a bye week. Now that bye weeks have concluded for the season, it's time to point out teams that have unusually short weeks. Thanksgiving means very short practice weeks for the Packers, Lions, Jets, Cowboys, Colts and Falcons, who could all struggle to find a rhythm on just three days' rest.
- Looking for sacks in Week 12? Try the Packers (at Detroit, which allows a league-high 4.3 sacks per game), Seahawks (at St. Louis, which allows 3.5 sacks per game) and Cardinals (vs. San Francisco, which allows 3.4 sacks per contest). Teams to avoid are Carolina (vs. New Orleans, the toughest team to sack), Philadelphia (at New England, the second-toughest) and Atlanta (vs. Indianapolis, the third-toughest).
- Wondering who is toughest to intercept? Tampa Bay (vs. Washington) has only been intercepted four times, while New England (vs. Philadelphia) and Jacksonville (vs. Buffalo) have thrown five picks apiece. The easiest teams to pick off? Chicago (vs. Denver) and St. Louis (vs. Seattle).
Whither the weather
Because bad weather usually means fewer points and more turnovers, you need to know where IDPs should benefit from the elements. Here are some sites where the weather could be a significant factor. Keep in mind that the forecasts can change leading up to game day.
As the calendar turns to late November, snow and bitterly cold temperatures are drawing ever closer in many NFL cities. This week, however, the biggest challenge will be rain showers projected to affect the Dolphins-Steelers, Bills-Jaguars, Redskins-Buccaneers and Saints-Panthers games. Four games (Packers-Lions, Colts-Falcons, Seahawks-Rams and 49ers-Cardinals) will be played in climate-controlled venues.