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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
Report: Titans plan to start QB Zach Mettenberger vs. Texans
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(11:00 pm ET) The Titans are planning to start rookie quarterback Zach Mettenberger against the Texans Sunday, The Tennessean reports.

Coach Ken Whisenhunt said Monday that the plan was to have Jake Locker (thumb) regain the starting job when healthy, and the former first-round pick was limited in practice Wednesday. If Mettenberger has already been notified that he'll start, as the report suggests, it could mean Whisenhunt has changed his mind on Locker, who is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent after the season.

Locker has completed 58 percent of his passes while averaging 6.8 yards per attempt and throwing four touchdowns and four interceptions in four starts. Backup Charlie Whitehurst has also played four games while starting three times, completing 60.2 percent of his passes while averaging 7.8 yards per attempt and throwing five touchdowns and two interceptions.


Cardinals QB Carson Palmer over nerve problem
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(10:42 pm ET) Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer said Wednesday that he is no longer dealing with a nerve problem in his right shoulder, the Arizona Republic reports.

"Yeah, I'm there right now," Palmer said. "I'm actually able to lift with my upper body, which I wasn't able to lift for five weeks or whatever it was. I definitely had a lot of atrophy, so I'm starting to get some strength back and put a little extra weight up top, which is good. You get sick of going into the weight room and not being able to do things. There was a month of that and it's good to be able to get back in there and do something."

Palmer missed three games earlier in the season but has performed well in the two games since returning, completing 66.7 percent of his passes for 503 yards with four touchdowns and one interception.


Report: Broncos practice squad S John Boyett arrested
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(9:42 pm ET) Broncos practice squad safety John Boyett was arrested early Wednesday on a charge of third degree assault, the Denver Post reports.

"We are disappointed to learn of the matter involving John Boyett and are in the process of gathering more information," the Broncos told the Post.

Boyett was arrested on charges of disorderly public intoxication on Sept. 2 of last year and waived by the Colts the next day. He signed with the Broncos last November.


Report: Texans' Brian Cushing (knee) out at least one week
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(9:39 pm ET) Texans linebacker Brian Cushing will miss at least one week of action due to a knee injury, Pro Football Talk reports.

The knee has reportedly been bothering Cushing for the last two weeks, and he has had the troublesome knee drained a few times recently. The Texans have just two games left before the bye, so it's possible Cushing is held out through the team's Week 11 bye before returning in Week 12.


Report: Titans WR Nate Washington could be on trade block
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(9:03 pm ET) Titans wide receiver Nate Washington has drawn some trade interest recently and could be on the trade block, NFL.com reports.

Washington recently lost his starting job to Justin Hunter and is making $4.8 million in the final year of a six-year contract signed in March 2009. He has tallied 13 receptions for 169 yards in seven games.


Report: Judge forces Roger Goodell to testify at Ray Rice hearing
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(8:43 pm ET) NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is being forced to testify at the hearing for former Ravens running back Ray Rice by a judge's ruling, ESPN.com reports.

Rice's hearing is set for the first week of November. He is appealing the decision to suspend him indefinitely for the domestic violence incident that initially earned him a two-game suspension during the league's inital investigation.


Report: Torn bicep could end Raiders LB LaMarr Woodley's season
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(8:32 pm ET) Raiders linebacker LaMarr Woodley suffered a torn bicep in Sunday's game, NFL.com reports.

The injury is expected to cost Woodley the remainder of the season, according to the report. Head coach Tony Sparano said Wednesday that the injury "could be serious," and a tear is a worst-case scenario for the linebacker.


Report: Raiders TE David Ausberry dealing with foot injury
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(8:29 pm ET) Raiders tight end David Ausberry has a foot injury that could cost him significant time, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Ausberry played just one snap on offense in Week 7, but he was spotted heading to the locker room with a trainer during the game. He has caught two passes for 14 yards this season.


Sparano: Raiders' LaMarr Woodley's bicep injury 'could be serious'
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(8:11 pm ET) Raiders linebacker LaMarr Woodley missed practice Wednesday with a bicep injury, and head coach Tony Sparano said it "could be serious," CSN Bay Area reports.

The injury is a new one for Woodley, who has yet to record a sack in five games. He played less than 50 percent of the defense's snaps for the first time this season in Week 7.


Raiders T Khalif Barnes practices Wednesday, may not start
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(8:03 pm ET) Raiders tackle Khalif Barnes (quad) returned to practice Wednesday, but he may not regain his starting role from Menelik Watson, CSNBayArea.com reports.

Watson has allowed just two pressures in two starts, but coach Tony Sparano was noncommittal earlier in the week when asked about the situation. "We’re going to have some decisions to make," Sparano said Monday. "Menelik did a great job in there again (on Sunday). Khalif has been a real staple for me at a bunch of positions, as you know. I really feel like he’s one of the leaders of that group and he hasn’t been out there, but Menelik has done a really good job. We’ll find ways to keep them all involved and to keep them all going. The good news is that Menelik is a young player right now that is getting better."

Watson ran with the first team during the portion of Wednesday's practice open to the media.


 
 
 
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