We are entering the final week of byes (insert cheers and applause), but it’s a rough one. Buffalo, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, and Seattle are the teams taking Week 12 off, so I’ll try to provide substantial replacements for the sitting studs.
Scott Tolzien, Packers QB (owned in 2.5 percent of FOXSports.com leagues)
In case you are the team that’s been riding the recent success of Nick Foles, or you have Russell Wilson, consider the Packers’ starting quarterback this Sunday. The announcement has already been made that Scott Tolzien will get the nod for at least one more week. Last week, Tolzien threw for 339 yards but was intercepted three times. However, this Sunday he’ll face a Vikings secondary that allows 23.8 points per game to opposing quarterbacks (second-most).
Brian Leonard had the immediate carries when Mike James was injured two weeks ago against Miami, but Bobby Rainey seems to have a stronghold on the job now. Last week, Rainey ran 30 times for 163 yards and two touchdowns, with a third TD in the receiving category. Even though he faces a tough Lions rushing defense (fifth-best), Rainey is a starting RB and can replace LeSean McCoy or Marshawn Lynch if you’re in a pinch.
Trent Richardson hasn’t even been in the NFL for two full seasons yet he’s already considered a “bust” in the fantasy football world. After scoring a touchdown in his first two games as a Colt, Richardson has gone six-straight starts without a TD. Donald Brown has scored four times since Richardson has become a teammate. Arizona has the second-best rushing defense, allowing 81.4 yards per game on the ground, so Brown is best used in PPR leagues this week.
Remember that time Tavon Austin scored three touchdowns in a game? Yeah, that was awesome. With only 40.4 percent ownership now, I would like to know how many teams actually got to enjoy that performance, other than St. Louis. After Sam Bradford was sidelined with a season-ending torn ACL injury, all seemed lost for the Rams’ receiving corps. However, a couple of long TDs to Austin sparked some life into his fantasy stock. Though Kellen Clemens only threw 16 passes against Indianapolis, the emergence of Zac Stacy in the running game gives the passing attack a chance. With A.J. Green and DeSean Jackson off for the week, owners could get the same big play potential from Austin.
Coby Fleener, Colts TE (53.9 percent)
With former University of Toledo (Go Rockets!) tight end, Danny Noble, scoring a TD last week the Cardinals continue to allow an average of one touchdown per game to opposing TEs. This Sunday, Arizona hosts the Colts and Coby Fleener. In deeper leagues, he’s probably unavailable. However, you still might have multiple TEs, so hopefully this helps your decision making process.