Hunter, Ball good handcuff options

BY foxsports • November 15, 2011

As far as quarterbacks in the league are concerned, Week 10 might as well have been unlucky Week 13. Matt Schaub and Matt Cassel suffered injuries that potentially could keep them out the rest of the season while Michael Vick suffered a couple of broken ribs. Despite only completing two passes, Tim Tebow again led the Broncos to victory. Another loss by the DeSean Jackson-less Eagles has their brass contemplating a possible coaching change considering the talent on the roster. The Cowboys got another stellar game out of rookie DeMarco Murray and pulled to within a game of the NFC East with the Giants' loss at San Francisco. The Indianapolis Colts appear to have a legitimate chance to go winless while a change back to Rex Grossman made no difference as the Redskins lost their fifth straight. Now, let's look at some viable waiver options for Week 11.

Lance Ball, RB, DEN - The difference between Ball being a low No. 2 RB this week and not being considered as an option at all is directly tied to Willis McGahee's health. With Knowshon Moreno headed to the IR with a torn ACL, Ball at the very least will serve as Denver's backup. He could be in line for a similar workload (30 carries, 96 yards) Thursday night if McGaheel who is dealing with both a hand and hamstring injury, is unavailable to go. Ball has the "run-first" mentality of John Fox working in his favor (the Broncos ran the ball 55 times Sunday) but will lose goal-line work to Tim Tebow. Keep an eye on McGahee's status to determine if Ball can help your fantasy squad this week.

Vincent Brown, WR, SD - It's easy to forget the splash Brown made after playing that game almost a week ago on Thursday. Starting in the place of Macolm Floyd, Brown finished with five catches for 97 yards and a touchdown. On the scoring play, Brown went up and beat not only the corner but also the safety to get the touchdown. He had another fantastic grab that appeared to be a touchdown only to have replay overturn it when the defender he was battling for the ball landed out of the end zone. It's likely that Brown will see fewer targets once Floyd returns, though he should still be involved in the offense in a similar role that Victor Cruz fills with the Giants. Look at him as a low No. 2 wide receiver option if Floyd is unable to go against Chicago this week.

Kendall Hunter, RB, SF - Frank Gore was likely the biggest fantasy disappointment Sunday, leaving the game with a knee injury after six carries for zero yards. Gore, who came into the game with five consecutive 100-yard rushing games was replaced by Hunter who later scored on a 27-yard touchdown run. Hunter has shown plenty of upside this season, averaging 4.8 YPC and has shown the ability to be a factor in the passing game. For now it appears that Gore's injury isn't anything serious, but if he were to miss time Hunter would be in line for at least 20 touches a week.

Matt Leinart, QB, HOU - Keep in mind the Texans have their bye this week, so this recommendation is an option for later in the season. It'll be interesting to see what Leinart can do, considering he's in an ideal situation for a quarterback. He has the best rushing attack in football as well as one of the better offensive lines in the game. After the bye it's expected he'll get Andre Johnson, giving him another offensive weapon to go with Jacoby Jones, Kevin Walter, Arian Foster and Owen Daniels. Foster recorded his third 100-yard receiving game Sunday, giving Matt Schaub's owners easy points in the passing game almost on a weekly basis. Its likely opposing teams will stack the box against the Texans, which should give the receivers a lot of one-on-one coverage. The Texans have some nice matchups down the stretch, playing Carolina Week 15 and then the Colts in Week 16. Keep an eye on how he plays stepping into a starting role and gamble on him over someone like Tyler Palko if desperate for quarterback help.

Damien Williams, WR, TEN - While many expected Nate Washington to step up after the injury to Kenny Britt it has been Williams who's been the better fantasy option the last two games, totaling 141 receiving yards and two touchdowns. The second-year player out of USC has earned the trust of Matt Hasselbeck, getting seven targets in each of those last two games. With Chris Johnson showing signs of life with the run game, Williams should continue to find favorable matchups with teams having to game plan to stop CJ2K. The Titans also have a nice schedule the rest of the way, playing teams like Buffalo, Indianapolis, Atlanta and Tampa Bay.

Harry Douglas, WR, ATL - A week after posting a monster fantasy game, Julio Jones left Sunday's contest with a hamstring injury. Jones hasn't been able to stay on the field yet this season, and Douglas filled in nicely for him after he left the game. Douglas finished the game with eight catches for 133 yards on a team-high 14 targets. Sixty-Six of those receiving yards came on the team's final drive in regulation that led to the game-tying field goal. Hamstring injuries tend to linger, so consider Douglas a receiver to add if Jones misses time.

New England D - If you're the owner who changes their defense every week like taking out the trash, give the Patriots a look for Week 11. The defense had an outstanding game against the Jets as Rob Ninkovich recorded two interceptions (including a pick-six) and Andre Carter recorded 4.5 of the team's five sacks. This week, New England gets a juicy matchup at home on Monday night against the Chiefs. Not only has the Chiefs offense sputtered, totaling 13 points the last two games, but now it will start Tyler Palko for the injured Matt Cassel. Throw in the Patriots offense, which should rack up a bunch of points, and it's likely Kansas City will have to throw more than it wants to.

Andrew Hawkins, WR, CIN - It should be surprising that the Bengals' leading receiver from Sunday was Hawkins, considering he had never caught more than two balls in a game all season. His five catches Sunday matched his season total as he took advantage of playing extra snaps while A.J. Green dealt with a knee injury. Hawkins, who won back-to-back Grey Cups playing with the Montreal Alouettes, would be an interesting sleeper in deep leagues if Green misses time. As it stands, it appears Green should be fine for this week, making Hawkins a player with whom to take a "wait-and-see" approach.

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