Fantasy picks: Week 12

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In Week 12 of the Home Team Challenge, the free fantasy football game with great prizes on HoustonTexans.com, the winning player will take home a mini-helmet autographed by Texans quarterback Matt Schaub.

Here's my weekly fantasy advice, with a few players I like and a few players I don't.

PRICE IS RIGHT

WR Greg Jennings, GB, 38 (@ NO): Jennings ranks fourth in the NFL with 865 receiving yards. Last week, he posted 64 yards and a touchdown against Chicago. If he got that kind of production against one of the better defenses in the league, think what he can do against New Orleans' 26th-ranked pass defense this week. The Saints are giving up 235.2 passing yards per game to opposing offenses, so Jennings is primed for a big outing on Monday Night Football.

VALUE PICK

QB Matt Cassel, NE, 42 (@ MIA):Cassel has done well this season since taking over for injured All-World quarterback Tom Brady, displaying why the Patriots kept him as their backup quarterback despite the fact that he never started a game in college at USC. Cassel threw for 400 yards and three touchdowns in the Patriots' loss to the Jets last week. New England lost the game, but Cassel's stats still helped many a fantasy team. This week, Cassel goes up against Miami's 21st-ranked pass defense. Another 400-yard outing might be too much to ask, but he still should put up good stats.

TE Dustin Keller, NYJ, 17 (@ TEN):I just have a hunch on this one. In his last two games, Keller has 14 receptions for 194 yards and a touchdown. He has a difficult matchup this week with Tennessee's defense playing as well as any in the league, but Keller is becoming a reliable target for quarterback Brett Favre.

NOT WORTH IT

RB Thomas Jones, NYJ, 48 (@ TEN):I hope Jones has been running directly into brick walls this week in practice, because that's what running into Tennessee's "Chain Gang" defensive line is going to feel like. Three of the Titans' four defensive linemen are in the running to make the Pro Bowl. They are surrendering only 95.1 yards per game to opposing rushers, and I don't see that changing much this week. Jones has played well this season, running for 854 yards and nine touchdowns, but don't count on him against the formidable Titans defense.

SLEEPER SPECIAL

QB Tyler Thigpen, KC, 37 (vs. BUF):Thigpen has been a sweet surprise the last couple of weeks for fantasy football players. In his last two games, he has thrown for 501 yards and five touchdowns with only one interception. Buffalo's defense isn't bad, ranking 13th in the league in pass defense, but I see Thigpen continuing his good play this week.

TEXANS FANTASY STARTER OF THE WEEK

RB Steve Slaton, HOU, 38 (@ CLE):Slaton had a monster game last week, leading the league in Week 11 with 156 rushing yards and a touchdown. This week, he might find even more running lanes going up against the Browns' 28th-ranked run defense, which is giving up an average of 149.3 yards per game on the ground.

I'll leave you with this quote from Browns head coach Romeo Crennel when asked this week about Cleveland's run defense:

"The lack of? Yeah, we haven't been very good at stopping the run on a consistent basis. We can't do it on a consistent basis. We generally seem to let guys get started on us. We come out early and do a good job early but then we let guys get started on us and we cannot seem to stop them. We can't seem to coil it down at all. Missed tackles have to do with that, poor angles have to do with that, and sometimes, just not being aware of the options that the ball carrier has."

*To register for the Home Team Challenge, click here. Make sure to set your lineups by Thu., Nov. 20, at 4:15 pm. *

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