Bess, Garcon rise up WR ranks
Week 12 turned out to be something of a rollercoaster in the world of fantasy football. After starting on the holiday with three fantasy-filled games (all six quarterbacks threw for more than 300 yards), the early games Sunday had a lot of scoring from lesser known players while many fantasy stars were held in check.
This week I'll continue to look for possible gems still on the waiver wire. The last few weeks many players - Mohamed Sanu, Bryce Brown, Beanie Wells, Colin Kaepernick and Brian Quick - have all been highlighted so to avoid redundancy I'll only be discussing new players who haven't been mentioned yet.
Michael Bush, CHI - Matt Forte suffered a ankle injury against the Vikings, forcing him out of the game and giving way to Bush to take the workload. Bush scored twice against Minnesota, his first scores since Week 3. The status for Forte against the Seahawks is in the air at this point, but given his injury history it's likely Bush will start this week. Bush's numbers overall aren't all that eye-popping as a short yardage/goal-line back; he averaged only 3.8 yards per carry last season and 3.5 yards per carry this season. However, if Forte doesn't suit up, Bush is a lock for 20-plus touches and will continue to handle goal-line duties for the Bears.
Knowshon Moreno, DEN - With Willis McGahee injured, everyone scrambled to the waiver wire last week to get the apparent backup, Ronnie Hillman. Much to the surprise of Hillman's owners it was announced a couple of hours before the Broncos game that Moreno would start. John Fox decided to give Moreno a shot after being inactive since Week 2. Not only did Moreno start, he got the lion's share of work out of the backfield with 24 touches for 111 yards. As we warned here last week, Hillman was only viewed as a change-of-pace back when drafted and turning to Moreno was an option. Moreno has had an injury-plagued career and has had a mild case of fumblitis, as well, but with Willis out he looks to be the main guy to own of the Broncos running backs.
David Wilson, NYG - It's a shame that Andre Brown went down with a broken leg after running so good this season and coming all the way back from an Achilles' injury. Brown had an increased role in the offense due to his stellar 5.3 yards per carry mark as well as Ahmad Bradshaw being banged up. With Brown out, it's likely that Wilson sees more opportunities, occasionally spelling Bradshaw. Wilson has looked much better than since his fumbling Week 1 and has shown a lot of burst and speed in the return game. Look for him to get 10-15 touches as the backup to Bradshaw.
Jacquizz Rodgers, ATL - Rodgers matched his season-high with 10 carries for 49 yards and scored a touchdown against the Buccaneers. He's a better receiver out of the backfield than starter Michael Turner and looks like a better runner as well. Rodgers could be in line for more carries considering his last three games Turner has 41 carries for 78 yards (1.9 yards per carry). Rodgers has been used in critical situations as well, getting a goal-line carry against Tampa Bay and gaining a first down on third-and-short to finish off the Arizona game. While he's not going to unseat Turner as the starter, Rodgers could see more work in the upcoming weeks.
Pierre Garcon, WAS - It's been something of a lost season for Garcon, who likely won't be 100 percent recovered from his foot injury until the offseason. He didn't look hurt on a long touchdown after catching the ball at the 45-yard line and out-running the Dallas secondary to the end zone. After beating the Cowboys the Redskins are actually back into the playoff discussion, meaning Garcon will continue to try to play every week. Robert Griffin has been excellent, especially his last two games, and has looked Garcon's way often when he's been on the field. Considering the lack of productivity from his foot injury, Garcon is actually owned in less than 10 percent of fantasy leagues so check and see if he's available in your league.
Dwayne Harris, DAL - Doesn't it seem like ancient history since Kevin Ogletree went off Week 1 with 114 receiving yards and two touchdowns? Now dealing with a concussion, Harris has likely passed Ogletree on the depth charts. Miles Austin is once again dealing with a hip injury that opened up more looks for Harris against the Redskins. Harris finished the game with four catches for 71 yards on eight targets. Harris is a burner who has helped the Cowboys' return game this season and has the ability to make big plays. Austin hasn't been ruled out yet this week, but if he is Harris would be a sneaky play in deeper formats. Teammate Cole Beasley is another interesting player if Austin is out, especially in PPR formats.
Davone Bess, MIA - Bess turned in a season-high 129 receiving yards on seven catches and for the second straight week scored double-digit fantasy points in standard formats. Bess had 20 targets the last two weeks and at least four catches in each of his last six games, showing added value in PPR formats. This week the Dolphins have a great matchup against the Patriots, a team giving up 7.9 yards per attempt to opposing quarterbacks and 289 passing yards per game.
Marcedes Lewis, JAC - Lewis' fantasy value has been resurrected along with the other Jacksonville receiving options thanks to Chad Henne taking over under center. The passing game for the Jaguars has done a 180 and Lewis is back on the fantasy radar as a result. He finished Sunday's contest with four catches for 55 yards and had three catches for 40 yards and two scores the previous week against the Texans. He's one of the biggest red-zone targets in the league, and if Henne can continue to move the ball, Lewis could be an option if you need tight end help.
Dallas Clark, TB - In a season in which tight ends have disappointed, Clark has put himself on the fantasy map the last three weeks. He's scored at least six points in each of those weeks in standard formats and had a season-high 65 receiving yards against the Falcons. Josh Freeman has looked like a legit NFL quarterback this season, and the presence of Mike Williams and Vincent Jackson on the outside will open up the middle for Clark to operate.
Rob Housler, ARI - Housler had a career game against the Rams, finishing Sunday with eight catches for 82 yards on 11 targets. Housler has had a lot of potential as a receiver but apparently needed Ryan Lindley under center to break out. In all seriousness, there appears to be some rapport between Lindley and Housler so it's possible Housler could be developing into a No. 2 tight end option. Follow @KCPayne26 on Twitter.
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