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Fantasy QB tips: Falcons' Ryan remains a good play

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By PFW staff

In PFW's Week 12 fantasy tips, our editors say it's not time to turn away from Falcons QB Matt Ryan and Texans QB Matt Schaub should keep producing vs. the Lions.

Owners may be concerned about Matt Ryan coming off his five-interception Week 11 game, but the Falcons’ quarterback is still worth a start Sunday at Tampa Bay. Historically, he has not had his best games against the Bucs — Ryan has a TD-INT ratio of 8-9 in eight career games vs. Tampa Bay. No team has allowed more yards passing than the Bucs, though. Ryan has the potential to shred the Bucs’ porous secondary.

This could be the week Panthers QB Cam Newton makes up for some of his performances this season that have left fantasy owners feeling a bit disappointed. He gets a crack at an Eagles defense that has not put up much of a fight lately. However, Newton had a very favorable matchup against the Bucs’ 32nd-ranked pass defense last week and was held to 252 yards passing and a TD — it was not overly impressive production. Newton should be considered a low-end No. 1 QB option in most formats.

If Niners head coach Jim Harbaugh is going to ride the hot hand, why should Matt Schaub owners be any different? On the heels of the second-most prolific passing day in NFL history, Schaub has a tasty Thanksgiving Day matchup against a Lions defense that has surrendered 16 TDs through the air.

Back at the friendly confines of Lucas Oil Stadium Sunday, Colts rookie QB Andrew Luck can be plugged back into starting lineups. Luck has been a terror for opposing defenses at home, where he is averaging 303.6 passing yards and over two total TDs (passing and rushing combined). More importantly, he has turned the ball over only three times at home — he has turned it over 14 times on the road. The Colts host the Bills, who rank 18th against the pass.

Ravens QB Joe Flacco, who faces the Chargers in San Diego in Week 12, has three TD passes in five road starts this season. Overall, he has completed 91-of-168 passes for 883 yards away from Baltimore. The Chargers are nothing special vs. the pass (19th in yards per game allowed), making Flacco a decent matchup play if you can set aside his lack of road production.

Steelers QB Charlie Batch will get the start for Pittsburgh in Week 12 at Cleveland. How long he holds the starting job depends upon the health of Ben Roethlisberger (ribs, shoulder) and Byron Leftwich (ribs). Batch only has fantasy value in the biggest of leagues. Roethlisberger owners have to keep sitting tight.

While Lions QB Matthew Stafford has only 12 TD passes in 10 games, the Lions lead the NFL in passing yards per game (301.8). The Texans' pass defense has been above average but struggled last week vs. Jacksonville, and top CB Johnathan Joseph is banged-up.

Not that it matters unless you’re desperately in search of a fantasy QB, but all signs point toward rookie Ryan Lindley starting over John Skelton for the Cardinals this Sunday, although at this writing that is hardly a given. Team sources tell us it appears head coach Ken Whisenhunt has pretty much lost his patience with Skelton, who has just missed too many wide-open targets, which was the case with the errant throw to a wide-open Larry Fitzgerald in the endzone last Sunday that led to Skelton’s benching in the loss to the Falcons. One positive for the Cardinals’ passing offense is that it will be facing a Rams secondary that has really struggled in the last month. But a more significant fantasy QB note on the Cardinals is the likely return of Kevin Kolb (ribs/chest) to the starting lineup for the Week 13 game against the Jets.

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