NFL fantasy football: Week 12 fantasy matchups

It's the penultimate Sunday of the fantasy football regular season. This is the week that could make or break the postseason hopes of more than a few fantasy football owners. Are you sure you're starting the right lineup? Probably not...otherwise, why would you be here? Enough jibber-jabber. On to the matchups!

Analysis:Christian Ponder's fantasy fortunes have changed (and cooled) like the seasons. He likely won't fare well against a wounded Bears defense -- especially without Percy Harvin. If the Bears can protect Jay Cutler (a big "if"), he should have a very productive day. Regardless, look for Cutler to connect with Brandon Marshall several times this week. Looking for a sleeper at tight end? Think Kellen Davis.

Analysis: Once again, Marcel Reece will be a fantasy find, both as a rusher and a pass-catcher. Brandon Myers will continue to be a solid TE play and could approach 80 receiving yards this week. Expect depressed numbers from the Raiders' receivers. Look for BenJarvus Green-Ellis to post back-to-back quality rushing weeks, while Jermaine Gresham should provide decent production. Mike Nugent has good fantasy potential this week from the kicker position.

Analysis:Josh Gordon remains a feast or famine option, but after Thanksgiving, feast seems a likely option. Gordon will likely complement Trent Richardson, who should post close to 100 yards and a score. With Charlie Batch likely starting, the Steelers will rely heavily on the run game. While the backfield is a mess, Jonathan Dwyer is the guy to target.

Analysis: This could be one of the week's fantasy bonanzas. Expect C.J. Spiller to continue his track record of success -- even with Fred Jackson back in action. Stevie Johnson is a solid WR2 while Donald Jones deserves a look at a flex spot. Andrew Luck's success at home will translate to good things for Reggie Wayne and T.Y. Hilton. Vick Ballard should also earn strong RB2/RB3 consideration.

Analysis: I've doubted Chris Johnson most of this season, but not this week. He should run wild against the Jaguars defense. Jake Locker should also get into the act, throwing at least one touchdown pass. Chad Henne won't be as prolific as he was in Week 11, but he'll be good once again. The same goes for Justin Blackmon, Cecil Shorts and Marcedes Lewis -- the latter should be a solid red zone threat.

Analysis:Peyton Manning and his receiving corps will have their way with the Chiefs defense. Ronnie Hillman should benefit as well as he touches 100 yards and a score. The red-hot Denver defense will wreak havoc, forcing several turnovers. If Kansas City is forced to once again play catch-up, Jamaal Charles could become a non-factor. Dwayne Bowe's ability to score garbage-time points makes him worth considering as a flex.

Analysis: Looking for a WR sleeper this week? Look no further than Golden Tate. Stop laughing. He's been a playmaker and could find the end zone against a so-so Dolphins' secondary. Even though the matchup doesn't favor Marshawn Lynch, he needs to be in your lineup. Beware of starting any Dolphins on offense. Reggie Bush is a flex option this week...at best.

Analysis: After a poor showing last week, Matt Ryan should get back on track against the Bucs. Look for both Roddy White and Julio Jones to perform at a high level, however it could be a tough week for Michael Turner. Josh Freeman has had the hot hand, which makes it hard to sit him. But temper your expectations this week -- the same goes for Vincent Jackson. Doug Martin? Start him as you normally would. He should be fine.

Analysis: With Joe Flacco playing on the road, San Diego's defense has sleeper potential. However, Torrey Smith could finally break out of his funk while the Ravens defense should force multiple turnovers. Look for Danario Alexander to stay hot. The big receiver could have at least one touchdown this week. Nick Novak deserves a look as well.

Analysis: Don't expect big fantasy numbers to come out of this one. Offensively, Brandon Gibson could put up numbers worthy of a flex spot. But the only other Rams worth starting are on the defensive side of the ball. With Ryan Lindley starting at QB, you're forgiven if you consider sitting Larry Fitzgerald this week. LaRod Stephens-Howling will have decent production, though Beanie Wells could certainly cut into that.

Analysis: It appears that Colin Kaepernick will be San Francisco's starter ... and against the Saints, that gives him significant fantasy value. Frank Gore is poised for big things -- look for him to go over 100 yards with at least one score. Michael Crabtree should also excel this week. You're not sitting Drew Brees, but it could be tough sledding for some of his receivers. Don't expect much from the gaggle of Saints running backs that could rotate in as well.

Analysis:Aaron Rodgers, Randall Cobb, James Jones and Jordy Nelson should all be started. They may not post monster stats, but they should have quality performances regardless. Eli Manning should begin to shake off his recent doldrums, but don't expect an offensive explosion. Victor Cruz is a great option -- especially in PPR leagues. Look for Hakeem Nicks to chip in offensively as well.

Analysis: With one turnover-prone quarterback and another that is unproven, both defenses have some fantasy value in this one. There is some offensive value to be mined. Steve Smith and Brandon LaFell could produce for the Panthers while rookie Bryce Brown has sleeper potential filling in for the injured LeSean McCoy.

Follow Marcas Grant on Twitter @MarcasG

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