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Alexander enjoying rebirth in SD
QB: Joe Flacco, Ravens
Concededly, Flacco’s tour de force (21-for-33, 341 passing yards, four total scores) came in opposition to an Oakland team surrendering the fifth-most points to field generals this season. Nevertheless, considering Flacco had failed to surpass 200 yards in three of his previous four outings, owners of the Baltimore quarterback won’t be offering any apologetic tones. The Ravens still have Pittsburgh twice in the second half, yet other than these rendezvouses with their division rival, their schedule is littered with exploitable opportunities for the offense, making Flacco an intriguing component down the fantasy home stretch.
QB: Andy Dalton, Bengals
Certainly didn’t see this one coming (21-for-30, 199 yards, four touchdowns), given the Red Rifle has tossed seven passes to the wrong team in his previous four contests. In Dalton’s defense, the inefficiency of BenJarvus Green-Ellis and the Cincinnati terrain game and has enabled adversaries to direct their focus on the air attack, correlating to the higher turnover ratio for the second-year arm out of TCU. However, Dalton excelled on Sunday thanks to patience with his reads, and didn’t exhibit his usual fallacy of forcing balls into A.J. Green. In two-quarterback formats, Dalton, available in 40 percent of FOXSports.com leagues, is a worthwhile investment the rest of November, with dates against two of the more porous pass defenses in Kansas City and Oakland.
RB: Steven Jackson, Rams
A host of backs exceeded Jackson’s output on Sunday, yet accounting that the venerable rusher was taking on a stout San Francisco unit, as well as the siphoning of carries from backup Daryl Richardson in recent weeks, owners will welcome his 127 total yards and trip to pay dirt with open arms. And since all signs point to St. Louis jettisoning Jackson after the 2012 campaign, can we please place the All-Pro on a winning franchise for the first time in his career? Not saying it needs to be Green Bay or anything (although can you imagine the carnage Aaron Rodgers could do with Jackson in tow?), but at least a playoff contender, like the Lions or Falcons. Guy’s been too good to be wasting away in that purgatory St. Louis calls a dome.
RB: Danny Woodhead, Patriots
Yeah, yeah, Woodhead’s conquest (15 rushing yards, four receptions, 46 receiving yards, two touchdowns) was great and all, but is there anything worse than these one-week wonders from third-stringers? The only redeeming upshot is the hilarity when said player is picked off the waiver wire the ensuing week and inserted into a lineup, only to lay a goose egg. And mark my words: Woodhead, owned in just 19.4 percent of FOXSports.com leagues, will be acquired in a contingent of formats this week.
WR: Calvin Johnson, Lions
To think, earlier this week a reader emailed, “My Megatron for Mike Williams? Or do I need more?” Yes, such a proposal seems capricious, yet the apprehension over Johnson and his array of ailments was very real. We can go ahead and put that caution to bed after the Detroit receiver’s revival on Sunday, hauling in 12 balls for 207 yards and an end-zone foray versus a solid Minnesota secondary. Granted, the touchdown was just his second score of the season, and his yearly figures have been embellished by the past two weeks (19 receptions, 336 yards). All the same, Johnson is just 26 yards away from reaching the 1,000-yard plateau. If he can amplify his presence inside the 20, Johnson will regain his preeminent standing at the position.
WR: Danario Alexander, Chargers
We highlighted Alexander as a flyer candidate in last Wednesday’s Fantasy Basement, but definitely didn’t expect such a bountiful return (five catches, 134 yards, touchdown). More importantly, Robert Meachem, who was envisioned to share snaps with Alexander, spent most of the game on the sideline as Alexander flourished on the field. Forget deeper formats; Alexander is worth implementation as a No. 3 WR or flex play in all leagues.
TE: Greg Olsen, Panthers
Yesterday’s triumph (nine receptions, 102 yards, two scores) is a major catalyst for this status, yet it warrants mentioning: heading into tonight’s Kansas City – Pittsburgh battle, Olsen is the seventh-ranked fantasy tight end in 2012. What’s more amazing is Olsen, who leads the Panthers in receptions and is second in targets, can be had in over 54 percent of FOXSports.com leagues. With the Carolina receiving corps failing to produce a viable complement for Steve Smith, Olsen could finish with the accumulation of a normal No. 2 receiver. This, my friends, is a good thing. Obtain Olsen if he’s untaken in your league.
DEF: Tennessee Titans
Denver and Dallas racked up a higher harvest, though as under one percent of users gave the starting nod to the Titans this week, Tennessee earns our endorsement by holding the Miami offense to a meager three points with two sacks, four turnovers and a touchdown.
Honorable Mention: Adrian Peterson, Vikings
Not for his most recent exploits (27 carries, 171 yards, touchdown). Bearing in mind that in late August Peterson’s forecast to start in the season opener was ominous at best in his recovery from knee surgery, it’s mind-blowing that the four-time Pro Bowler is leading the league in rushing (112.8 yards per game) heading into Week 11. Purple Jesus, indeed.
QB: Eli Manning, Giants
We vouched for a bounce-back effort versus the Bengals, only for Eli to submit his fourth underwhelming performance in his past five games. The only way I can make sense of these shenanigans (hold on folks, we’re about to take a ride): consider the Giants quarterback like Matt Damon. Like the actor, Manning has a proven track record and, on, multiple occasions, hit the pinnacle of his profession with two Super Bowl rings (or, in Damon’s case, Good Will Hunting and the Bourne series), so you just have to shrug off the occasional stink bombs (like Eli’s past month and Damon’s Hereafter). And yes, this analogy made a lot more sense when Ocean’s Thirteen was on last night.
At this juncture, Manning’s buy rate is at an all-time low. Following this week’s bye, the G-Men confront advantageous secondaries in Green Bay, Washington and New Orleans, making Manning an attractive play heading into the fantasy postseason.
QB: Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins
Remember the gaining momentum of the, “Tannehill deserves as much recognition as the other rookie quarterbacks!” fervor last week?
Tannehill may lead the ‘Fins to a postseason appearance in January, but let’s pump the breaks on his inclusion with Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson for the moment, as the Miami arm had three turnovers and looked confused and agitated in the pocket in the Dolphins’ dismantling by the Titans on Sunday. If he couldn’t feast on a Tennessee unit allowing the third-most points to fantasy field generals, no reason to believe Tannehill has much rotisserie worth the rest of the season.
RB: Rashad Jennings, Jaguars
In Maurice Jones-Drew’s absence, Jennings has amassed a whopping 175 yards in four games (2.86 yards per carry). That’s not what we in the football business call “good.” Oh, and the Jags face the top-rated Texans rush resistance in Week 11. Going out on a limb and saying it’s probably alright to drop Jennings from all formats at this stage, as MJD should return by Thanksgiving.
RB: Michael Turner, Falcons
It sure looked tantalizing on paper: Turner, coming off 102 yards and a touchdown versus Dallas, against a Saints defense giving up the second-highest output to running backs in 2012. Apropos, then, that the one they used to call “Burner” turned in 15 yards off 13 attempts. Wait, “apropos” is the word I’m looking for, right? I’m sorry, I meant “totally and inexcusably appalling.” That’s better.
WR: Eric Decker, Broncos
You can’t hate on Decker, as the third-year receiver had seven touchdowns in his previous five games, and ranked as a top-10 player at his position heading into the weekend. Alas, his proprietors were hoping for more in Charlotte, as Decker has emerged as a favorite target in Peyton Manning’s well-oiled machine. Look for Decker to recuperate with San Diego, Kansas City, Tampa Bay and Oakland on the horizon.
WR: Steve Smith, Panthers
Two words: Champ Bailey.
Unfortunately, while Smith is averaging 72.1 yards per game, his lone touchdown is keeping his overall value from reaching its potential. Though trusting Cam Newton is not an easy endeavor, Smith is another buy-low entity that could pay dividends come December.
TE: Vernon Davis, 49ers
Since scoring four times in the season’s first three games, Davis has fallen short of 40 receiving yards in five of the last six weeks. Part of it can be attributed to Alex Smith dropping off the game-managing wagon, yet Davis can no longer be considered an upper echelon contributor at tight end.
DEF: Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins were an intriguing add in Week 10, as Jake Locker had not completed a pass since Week 3. So much for that theory, as the Tennessee offense dropped 31 points on Miami. Go ahead and release them back to the wire. (Get it? Dolphins, release? Thank you, I’ll be here all week.)
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