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Amendola set to return in Week 10
Carson Palmer, Raiders
Yesterday’s fantasy conquest (414 yards, four touchdowns, albeit with three interceptions) is fresh in everyone’s mind, yet Palmer’s figure of 294.4 yards per game is fourth-best in the AFC. Given that Oakland’s upcoming schedule features exploitable pass defenses in Baltimore, New Orleans, Cincinnati, Kansas City and Carolina, Palmer’s availability in 63.2 percent of FOXSports.com fantasy football formats is a gift from the gridiron gods. Throw in the lack of efficiency of the Raiders rushing attack (more on this in a moment) and it’s easy to envision the Silver and Black continuing their assault from the air, correlating to box score bonanzas for Palmer proprietors.
Andrew Luck, Colts
In August, we mentioned that Luck would be a solid play in two-QB leagues or as a bye-week replacement. More than halfway through the 2012 campaign, the Stanford product has proven he belongs in the upper echelon of rotisserie producers, evidenced by his standing as the sixth-ranked signal caller in standard leagues.
Subtract his struggles in his professional debut against the Bears (who have made many a quarterback look susceptible this season) and the No. 1 overall pick has been a consistent top-10 performer at his position. Luck’s rookie record of 433 passing yards versus the Dolphins on Sunday marked the fifth time in the last six games the Colts field general tossed for at least 280 yards through the sky. Moreover, aside from two dates with Houston in Weeks 15 and 17, the Indianapolis slate is one of the more advantageous in the conference, with the next three games against porous pass resistances in Jacksonville, New England and Buffalo.
Mikel Leshoure, Lions
We told you to keep the faith in Leshoure, and that fidelity proved fruitful in Week 9, making three excursions to the end zone versus the Jaguars in a 31-14 victory. Owners still might be fretful on his long-term value, as change-of-pace back Joique Bell amassed 73 yards and a score for the Lions, but Leshoure saw the majority of snaps for Detroit, and his dexterity in the passing and blocking games makes the second-year rusher a sure-fire bet for first-string duties the rest of the season.
Doug Martin, Buccaneers
Fantasy managers are thankful for Martin’s 486 total yards and six touchdowns the past two weeks. Personally, I’m grateful for Martin’s moniker of “Muscle Hamster,” as it seems like the first time in eons an athlete has a non-abbreviated name handle (yes, we are looking at you, RG3).
Martin’s recent brilliance puts to rest any fears that LeGarrette Blount will siphon meaningful touches away from the rookie back. More importantly, any worries that a season-ending injury to Carl Nicks would damage Martin’s worth should be alleviated.
Danny Amendola, Rams
Amendola reiterated that he will be ready to roll in Week 10 after missing the last three games with a clavicle ailment. Before his injury against Arizona on October 4, the Rams wideout had racked up 31 receptions, 351 yards and two touchdowns in the team’s first four contests. There might be a little rust, yet Amendola was this close to suiting up two weeks ago, so the assimilation process might be further along than believed. Amendola is available in nearly 70 percent of FOXSports.com leagues, astonishing for an entity with the potential of a No. 1 WR.
Michael Floyd, Cardinals
Through the first seven weeks of the season, Floyd had a whooping eight receptions, which is probably not the production imagined when the team selected the receiver with the 13th pick in last April’s draft. Yet Floyd has shown signs of life as of late, hauling in 10 catches the past two games. Arizona’s quarterback and line woes continue to equate to anemic offensive output, but with the running game stuck in neutral, look for the Cards to air it out at an amplified rate in the second half of the calendar, making Floyd worthy of a roster stash in deeper formats.
Dwayne Allen, Colts
Coby Fleener garnered the preseason love, but fellow rookie Allen has taken the reins as Indianapolis’ tight end. The third-round selection from Clemson contributed six catches for 75 yards in victory for the Colts, giving Allen his second commendable outing in as many weeks. With Fleener likely to be sidelined for two more weeks, Allen merits a glance as a backup end in most formats, and even acquires starter status in leagues with 14-plus teams.
After surviving an offensively-arduous three-game stretch (New England, San Francisco, Detroit), the ‘Hawks are licking their lips at an itinerary featuring the Jets, Dolphins, Cardinals and Bills in the next six weeks.
Christian Ponder, Vikings
Remember the bum rush to the waiver wire to acquire Ponder after the Minnesota quarterback logged three trips to pay dirt against the Niners in Week 3? Going out on a limb and saying the return on investment since that juncture has not been as profitable as visualized.
Ponder’s latest subpar performance (11-for-22, 63 yards, interception) translated into the lowest point production from the position on Sunday, and drops his standing to No. 22 in season output among fantasy arms. Not helping matters is two imminent engagements with the top-ranked Chicago defense in the next month, or that Adrian Peterson’s return to full health reverts the team’s focus to the terrain. Even in two-quarterback formats, with a bye coming in Week 11, hard to justify a roster spot for Ponder.
Eli Manning, Giants
Easy there, cowboy. Do not confuse inclusion in this list as indictment on Manning, as the two-time Super Bowl MVP endures as a top-12 rotisserie quarterback. This is merely a statement that a multitude of Manning owners are down on his forecast after failing to hit 200 yards in three of his past four games. What this means is you, the astute owner, can have Manning at a discounted price at this current interval, and it’s a move you should make, as the G-Men’s schedule is littered with vulnerable secondaries in Cincinnati, Green Bay, Washington and New Orleans. Granted, the past month has been slightly disconcerting, yet October adversaries San Fran, Dallas and Pittsburgh are universally recognized for their stout pass protection. A bet on a Manning revival is one you can take to the bank.
Rashad Jennings, Jaguars
Maurice Jones-Drew’s return is still in the air, but wouldn’t be surprised if the All-Pro back remains on the sidelines until Thanksgiving, bestowing two more starts to Jennings. Alas, this is far from an endorsement of the backup back, who has yet to capitalize on his opportunity as the Jags’ primary man, accruing a meager 2.96 yards per attempt on 50 carries in his last three games. As the vaunted front seven of the Houston Texans wait on the horizon in Week 11, this is more than likely Jennings’ last shot at fantasy relevancy as Jacksonville takes on an Indianapolis squad that is surrendering over 130 yards per ballgame.
Darren McFadden, Raiders
Run DMC’s day was cut short by a high ankle sprain, leaving owners with just 17 yards on seven carries. The outing served as the fifth occasion this year that McFadden fell short of the 55-yard plateau in eight games. Regardless of the uncertainty of his injury, the fact the Oakland offensive line has worse coverage than AT&T clouds McFadden’s fantasy prognosis for November and December. His receiving aptitude validates a roster spot; unfortunately, that spot is on the bench.
Hakeem Nicks, Giants
In his defense, a hearty contingent of the modest output originates from the play under center, as well as formidable cornerback competition. However, though he claims to be 90-95 percent back from earlier knee issues, Nicks has underwhelmed since returning from a three-game absence, with just 13 receptions for 153 yards and zero touchdowns in his past four contests. Alluded to in the Eli section, a foray with Cincinnati should facilitate a bounce-back game. Yet if this does not come to pass (pun intended), with the bye respite in Week 11, it would indicate six straight weeks of unproductivity for Nicks, and unfortunately, nominating the Giants receiver as one of the biggest fantasy busts of 2012.
Antonio Brown, Steelers
Brown came roaring out of the gates in September, bringing in 25 receptions for 326 yards in his first four games. These good times have hit a snag, unfortunately, as Brown has recorded four receptions or less in three of his past four games. Worse, Brown suffered a high ankle sprain that puts his availability for Week 11’s battle in doubt. While Todd Haley’s new up-tempo offense has enabled a higher fantasy importance for Ben Roethlisberger and Heath Miller, it seems as Brown may be the causality of such a scheme, as he made his bones working over the middle (an area now occupied by Miller or multiple receivers). In PPR leagues, Brown has maintained his merit, yet his lack of yardage and scores has knocked him down the wideout ranks.
Kyle Rudolph, Vikings
Ponder’s plight is the catalyst for three consecutive no-shows from Rudolph. Nevertheless, as the Minnesota tight end is not one to accrue robust totals in the yardage column, his fantasy worth is reliant on red-zone looks, and the deficiency of these situations have left owners in the cold. Think of Rudolph has a rich man’s Scott Chandler: feast or famine. (Also pretty sure no one has ever typed the phrase “rich man’s Scott Chandler.” All about trail blazing here in the fantasy department.)
In their, um, “defense,” the inefficiency of the offense has backed up defensive coordinator Ray Horton’s crew in ominous positions. Still, in the last month, Arizona, owned in more than 60 percent of leagues, stands in at No. 21 in defensive fantasy points. That’s not getting it done, son.
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