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Quick Fantasy Hits for Week 11

Senior Fantasy Writer
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As we wade into an 11th week of action, there are some nuggets that are too in-depth for the podcast, too smart for Twitter and a little too short for the full column. Enjoy these Week 11 Quick Hits:

Your byes for Week 11:Tennessee, Minnesota, N.Y. Giants, Seattle

Give a second thought to Brandon LaFell this week. It's no secret that the Tampa Bay pass defense is weak. The Bucs have given up an average of 321.3 yards per game this year -- the most in the NFL -- and opposing wide receivers have scored an average of 29 points per game when facing the Bucs. In the last four weeks, however, the Bucs have gotten worse, giving up an average of 32.75 points to opposing wideouts. In the last four games, wide receivers have scored six touchdowns against them, including one each last week from Danario Alexander and Malcom Floyd.

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In fact, just looking at wide receivers in the last four weeks against the Bucs makes a LaFell play all the more enticing. Nine wide receivers have caught 60 yards or more in that span. Nine have been targeted seven or more times. Players like Joe Morgan, Rod Streater, and Alexander have scored touchdowns. And if you're worried about Greg Olsen stealing stats, just look at what tight ends did to the Bucs the last two weeks: Brandon Myers scored 17 points, while Antonio Gates scored 11. There's room for everyone to score against the Bucs, so don't let Olsen's presence scare you off.

Without comment, here are the top 30 running backs, wide receivers and tight ends -- ranked by their 2012 ADPs -- with their current Fantasy points rank in parentheses:

1. Arian Foster, RB, HOU (2)
2. Ray Rice, RB, BAL (7)
3. LeSean McCoy, RB, PHI (15)
4. Calvin Johnson, WR, DET (20)
5. Chris Johnson, RB, TEN (12)
6. Darren McFadden, RB, OAK (63)
7. DeMarco Murray, RB, DAL (111)
8. Matt Forte, RB, CHI (32)
9. Jimmy Graham, TE, NO (30)
10. Julio Jones, WR, ATL (26)
11. Rob Gronkowski, TE, NE (18)
12. Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, JAC (87)
13. Larry Fitzgerald, WR, ARI (46)
14. Marshawn Lynch, RB, SEA (4)
15. Steven Jackson, RB, STL (59)
16. Andre Johnson, WR, HOU (65)
17. Fred Jackson, RB, BUF (72)
18. Greg Jennings, WR, GB (244)
19. Adrian Peterson, RB, MIN (1)
20. Ryan Mathews, RB, SD (75)
21. Jamaal Charles, RB, KC (21)
22. Trent Richardson, RB, CLE (14)
23. Wes Welker, WR, NE (36)
24. Roddy White, WR, ATL (23)
25. Michael Turner, RB, ATL (38)
26. A.J. Green, WR, CIN (5)
27. Jordy Nelson, WR, GB (42)
28. Brandon Marshall, WR, CHI (6)
29. Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, NYG (33)
30. Darren Sproles, RB, NO (68)

David Ausberry could help teams in very deep leagues this week. Brandon Myers was limited in practice Wednesday and could be limited Week 11 after suffering his second concussion during his Week 10 contest, meaning David Ausberry could see some time at tight end. It's been established in this column on a few occasions that Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Knapp has a history of developing high-scoring (in terms of Fantasy points) tight ends throughout his career. If Myers is limited or simply out, Ausberry will just slide into that role. In fact, Ausberry has popped up with some nice catches in games already, with all but one of his seven catches going for 9 yards or more. For a team desperately in need of a tight end, Ausberry could be a solid solution.

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Apologies for Taiwan Jones. I hate to bring things into the first person, but... in last week's column, I made a pretty passionate argument for Taiwan Jones. It involved a lot of logic, research and reason. What it didn't have -- what nobody had -- was any concrete history on the usage of Jones and Marcel Reece in Oakland's offense without Darren McFadden in the mix. I argued Jones would be the more traditional running back, while Reece would catch a lot of passes. By the end of the first quarter, when Reece had played about 13 snaps to Jones' one, it was pretty apparent Reece would be the main back and catch passes. Where I thought Jones could take over the main back duties while Reece continues to catch passes, the coaching staff just worked Jones out of the mix entirely, giving more carries to Jeremy Stewart than Jones.

So what now? Well, the rest of the reason was sound: Knapp has a habit of taking little-known RBs and making them stars. I just had the wrong guy. We have Reece ranked 18th (Jamey Eisenberg), 14th (Dave Richard) and 12th (Nathan Zegura) for standard leagues. In PPR, you have to give him a nice bump up. Reece is playing the Saints this week, a team that has allowed the second-most rushing yards per game and second-most passing yards per game. They've allowed the third-most points to running backs overall this season and have been especially easy on running backs who excel at both running and catching. Jamaal Charles famously ran for 233 yards and caught six passes for 55 in Week 3. Beyond that, however, Ryan Mathews had arguably his best game of the season against the Saints (80 rushing yards, 59 receiving), Ronnie Brown caught five passes for 47 yards, Doug Martin had 122 total yards in Week 7, Willis McGahee totaled 155 yards in Week 8 and while Jacquizz Rodgers only totaled 62 total yards in Week 10 against New Orleans, he did that with seven total touches (three carries, four receptions). In short, Reece is set up to have a field day against New Orleans and is still available in about 25 percent of CBSSports.com leagues.

Two players who could pop up with some nice late-season stats: Mohamed Sanu and Damian Williams. Sanu has seen his targets rise over the last three weeks and has been especially present since the Bengals' Week 8 bye. In the two weeks since the bye, Sanu has been targeted nine times, catching six passes for 76 yards and a touchdown. This is deep league territory here, but Sanu -- who caught pretty much everything thrown his way at Rutgers -- has great hands, is a large target and could develop into a solid six-points-or-more-per-week performer from this point forward.

Williams, meanwhile, has been far more involved with the Tennessee offense this year than Sanu has been with the Bengals, but is still waiting for the breakout performance. His two biggest games, in terms of targets and receptions, occurred in Weeks 1 and 2, when he was targeted 12 times, caught nine passes and totaled seven Fantasy points. There are two forces at work here, from opposite directions:

On one hand, Williams' quarterback in those first two weeks was Jake Locker, who just recently came back from a shoulder injury. On the other hand, the team was without Kenny Britt in Week 1 and had a hobbled half-Britt in Week 2. Is there a tiebreaker? Maybe the Week 11 bye, which could afford Locker the opportunity to re-connect with Williams. He's not especially exciting, but Williams did have 592 receiving yards and five touchdowns in 2011 and was at least in a position to break out this season before coming up short over the first 10 games.

Again, these are not players for 12-team leagues. Or even 14-team leagues. But, for a squad looking either thin -- or to the future -- Sanu and Williams offer more upside than some of the other also-rans available on the wire.

A quick look at defenses. Just because the stats are available to us here, the teams DSTs score the most points against (in other words, the offenses you want your DSTs to face) are:

1. Kansas City (16.11 Fantasy points per game)
2. Philadelphia (15.98 FPPG)
3. Jacksonville (14.56 FPPG)
4. Arizona (14.44 FPPG)
5. Dallas (13.44 FPPG)

And the DSTs facing the top five are... Cincinnati (KC), Washington (PHI), Houston (JAC), Atlanta (ARI) and Cleveland (DAL).

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Player News
Philip Rivers on target in Week 12 victory
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7:26 pm ET) Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers completed 29 of 35 passes (83 percent) for 291 yards and a touchdown with one interception in Sunday's 27-24 win over the Rams. Rivers threw a 99-yard pick-six to corner Janoris Jenkins in the second quarter, but made few mistakes after that.

With just over eight minutes left in the game, Rivers hit wideout Keenan Allen on a slip screen that turned into a 29-yard touchdown. Despite the solid performance, Rivers has accounted for two scores and five turnovers in his last three games.

He'll visit the Ravens in Week 13.


Bengals kicker Mike Nugent has eight-point game Week 12
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(7:25 pm ET) Bengals kicker Mike Nugent made two field goals and two extra points during a 22-13 win Week 12 at Houston. Nugent made a 31-yarder and a 49-yarder Sunday -- both in the fourth quarter.

Nugent has finished with less than 10 points in six straight games. The Bengals are back in action Week 13 at Tampa Bay.


Eagles RB Darren Sproles scores fifth rushing TD
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(7:23 pm ET) Eagles running back Darren Sproles found the end zone during Sunday's 43-24 victory over Tennessee in Week 12.

Sproles ripped a 4-yard run in the opening period for his fifth rushing touchdown of the season. he carried the ball six times for 25 yards. He also caught three of four targets for 14 yards. He has 282 rushing yards and 294 receiving yards on the year.

Philadelphia will square off against Dallas on Thanksgiving Day.


Ryan Mathews breaks out for first 100-yard game
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7:19 pm ET) Chargers running back Ryan Mathews ran 12 times for 105 yards and a touchdown in the Week 12 win over the Rams, his first 100-yard effort this season. Mathews suffered a left shoulder injury when he ripped off a career-best 32-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, but he was able to return.

Mathews caught two passes for eight yards. He'll visit the Ravens in Week 13.


Falcons kicker Matt Bryant makes 53-yard FG in Week 12 loss
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(7:17 pm ET) Falcons kicker Matt Bryant had one field goal and three extra points during a 26-24 loss Week 12 vs. Cleveland. 

Bryant gave Atlanta a late lead when he booted a 53-yard field goal with 44 seconds left, putting Atlanta ahead 24-23. It was his only field-goal attempt Sunday.

The Falcons are back in action Week 13 vs. Arizona.


Billy Cundiff totals four FGs, including game-winner Week 12
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(7:12 pm ET) Browns kicker Billy Cundiff booted a 37-yard field goal as time expired Sunday, lifting Cleveland to a 26-24 win Week 12 at Atlanta. 

The game-winner was Cundiff's fourth made field goal. He had field goals of 33 and 37 yards in the second quarter, and a 32-yard field goal in the third quarter. Cundiff did miss a 60-yard field goal at the end of the first half.

He had two extra points Sunday and finished with a season-best 14 points. He has managed 10 or more points in three of his last five games.

The Browns are back in action Week 13 at Buffalo.


Isaiah Crowell the better Browns back again
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(7:11 pm ET) Unlike Week 11 against Houston, Isaiah Crowell didn't lead the Browns in carries Week 12 at Atlanta, but he was once again the more effective of the two rookie running backs, picking up 88 yards on 12 carries. He also scored two touchdowns, the most impressive coming on a 26-yard run late in the third quarter in which he probably ran more horizontally than vertically, taking the ball past the left hash mark before cutting all the way back to the right sideline.

By comparison, Terrance West had 62 yards on 14 carries and was the only one of the two to catch a pass -- a 9-yarder. It wasn't a bad performance by any means, but West hasn't done anything to distinguish himself in the two games with Ben Tate out of the running.

True, Week 12 was the Browns' first game with Tate completely off the roster, so they're still feeling out their backfield. But while Crowell and West will probably continue to split carries going forward, Crowell is looking like the one to own in Fantasy. Chances are even with an even distribution of carries, they won't both contribute relevant numbers each week.


Cowboys QB Tony Romo active for Week 12 vs. Giants
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(7:10 pm ET) Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo is active for Sunday night's Week 12 matchup against the Giants. Romo was listed on the final injury report as probable with a back injury but was never in danger of missing the divisional battle.

Kendall Wright, Nate Washington held in check Week 12
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(7:09 pm ET) Titans wideouts Kendall Wright and Nate Washington were held in check during Sunday's defeat to the Eagles in Week 12.

Wright was held without a grab for the first three quarters. He came down with a 28-yard reception with 9:35 renaming in the game for his only catch of the day. He was targeted six times. Washington caught four of the six passes thrown his way for 63 yards.


Cowboys list Week 12 inactives vs. Giants
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(7:08 pm ET) The Cowboys have listed the following players as inactive for Sunday night's Week 12 matchup with the Giants: cornerback Tyler Patmon (knee, ankle), defensive tackles Josh Brent (groin) and Terrell McClain, offensive tackles Tony Hills and Donald Hawkins, safety Jakar Hamilton and quarterback Dustin Vaughan.

Patmon had previously been ruled out of Week 12 action, while Brent had been listed as probable. Five other probables are active for the Cowboys, including quarterback Tony Romo (back), offensive tackle Doug Free (foot), linebacker Rolando McClain (knee), defensive tackle Nick Hayden (shoulder) and defensive end Tyrone Crawford (knee).


 
 
 
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