Kendall Hunter (Owned in 20% of Yahoo Leagues)
Frank Gore entered Sunday’s game with an ankle issue, but left after a knee injury. In Gore’s absence, Hunter carried the load for 40 yards and a score. Gore says he could have returned to action if the Niners had needed him. Turns out they didn’t. It feels strange to write this, but the 49ers have the easiest path to the post-season in the entire NFL, so there’s no sense rushing Gore back.
The Texans similarly are close to a lock to win their division, which explains there abundance of caution with Andre Johnson. Thus, it wouldn’t surprise me if the 49ers hold Gore out for a game, or if they limit his snapcount, in which case Hunter would be a great start against the Cardinals.
Damian Williams (6%)
Williams caught 5 balls for 107 yards and a score. Don’t look now, but Williams is shaping out as the Titans’ number one receiver. Matt Hasselbeck is playing at a consistently solid level, so there might be some serious value here.
Vincent Brown (7%)
In Malcolm Floyd’s absence, the rookie went off for 5 catches, 97 yards, and a score. He would have had one more score but-for a strange penalty call. I love Brown’s talent, and there should be some targets with all the defensive attention paid to Gates and V-Jax. But the likely return of Floyd in the near future makes me unexcited about breaking the FAAB bank on Brown.
Earl Bennett (34%)
Much has been said about the “chemistry” between best-buddies, Earl Bennett and Jay Cutler. Since Bennett’s return to the lineup, he’s been the only serviceable Bear’s receiver, and he’s the only one worth owing going forward. In this blowout against the Lions, Bennett caught 6 balls or 81 yards, and that’s a line I expect to see more of in the future.
Vince Young (2%)
We talked about Vince Young as a “super-sleeper” in August, and now he’s looking like he could live up to that billing. Mike Vick is dealing with two broken ribs so Young could potentially show off his rushing and passing skills against the Giants on Sunday Night Football. Monitor Vick’s health and Maclin’s health because whether or not he’ll have his top target will effect Young’s startability. Young is a wildcard, but if Vick misses time, Young’s upside makes him the top QB add this week.
Lance Ball (8%)
The Broncos just run, run, and run some more. And it’s been working. So with Knowshon Moreno done for the year, and McGahee potentially banged up, Ball will get plenty of opportunities. Ball carried the ball 30 times for 96 yards against the Chiefs. The Broncos play the Jets on Thursday Night Football. The good news is it’s a short week, so McGahee may not be ready in time. The bad news is Ball’s start would be against a tough defense. A must-add for McGahee-owners, Ball could be worth a lot depending on the health of his teammate.
D.J. Ware (4%)
Ware showed off his receiving skills against the 49ers with 5 catches for 34 yards to go with 34 yards on the ground. Ware could put up another 7 point game when the G-Men are trailing, but I don’t know how much they’ll be playing from behind in future weeks. While Ahmad Bradshaw is out, Ware is worth a desperation add.
Ed Dickson (13%)
Dickson has occasionally been a target-monster this season, but hasn’t had a lot to show for it until Sunday’s game against the Seahawks. Dickson caught 10 balls for 79 yards and 2 TDs. He’s clearly leaped ahead of Dennis Pitta so he’s worth a speculative add to see if Dickson can keep this up.
Jacob Tamme (2%)
Tamme was a hot add last year when Dallas Clark went down, but no one would expect a repeat this year. Yet Tamme managed 6 catches for 75 yards. I still don’t want to own a single Colt at this point, but Tamme may be worth an add in deep leagues to see if somehow he keeps up this nice chemistry with Curtis Painter.
John Skelton (2%)
Believe it or not, Skelton was Sunday’s top fantasy QB! He managed 315 yards and 3 TDs against the “dreaded” Philly secondary. He did throw 2 picks though, and I’d have a hard time starting him against the 49ers this weekend. His skill is great news for Larry Fitzgerald-owners, but I’m not super excited about starting Skelton.
Matt Leinart (3%)
Matt Leinart will be the starting QB for the division-leading Texans for the rest of the year! I’m putting Leinart at the bottom of the list this week for 2 reasons: Leinart is not so good at the football, and the Houston run-game is too good to slow down. Expect Arian Foster and Ben Tate to keep putting up great numbers while Leinart tries to utilize Andre Johnson only a few times per game.
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