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Quick Fantasy Hits for Week 13

Senior Fantasy Writer
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As we wade into a 13th week of action, there are some nuggets that are too in-depth for the podcast, too long for Twitter and a little too short for the full column. Enjoy these Week 13 Quick Hits.

We're going to try something new this week and go through every game for Week 13. Impact players, sleepers, rookies, Mark Sanchez and -- yes -- even kickers are found below for your Fantasy pleasure. Hopefully something in this rat-a-tat-tat of information can help you get into your league's playoffs.

New Orleans at Atlanta (Thursday night)

Your leading rusher for the Saints this season? Pierre Thomas with 341 yards. But the player with the most attempts is Mark Ingram, who has 92 carries and just 339 yards to show for it. In the last three weeks, Ingram has averaged about 13 carries for 54 yards. He's scored one touchdown in that span. Ingram has gotten 12 or more carries three times this season and he's scored a touchdown twice. In a way, he's trending in the right direction: he's had double-digit carries the last three games and had 16 (for 67 yards) the last time the Saints and Falcons squared off. But the carries have gone down each of the last three games, from 16 to 12 to 10.

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Houston at Tennessee

Houston's run defense has been, overall, pretty tough, with the Texans allowing the second-fewest Fantasy points to running backs this season. In fact, all season long they've allowed just one running back to hit the 100-yard mark: Chris Johnson. While this may bode well for Johnson owners, it's tempered by the fact that Jake Locker's presence seems to hurt Johnson's value. When Locker is the QB, Johnson averages 7.2 Fantasy points per game. When Matt Hasselbeck was the quarterback, Johnson averaged 14. There could be other factors -- Johnson could have started the season slow and it just happened to coincide with Locker's being healthy at the time -- but it shouldn't be enough to not start Johnson in most leagues.

New England at Miami

For all the attention paid to Tom Brady and the New England passing attack (the team is fourth in passing yards this season), the New England rushing game is equally impressive, sitting at second in the NFL in attempts and sixth in yards. With a 61-yard rushing performance against the Dolphins, Stevan Ridley -- who has more than 200 attempts this season -- will hit the 1,000-yard mark for the season. But don't bank on him turning in a score. While the Dolphins have given up some yards on the ground lately (103.3 yards per game in their last six), they have allowed three rushing touchdowns all season to running backs, including just one in the last 10 games.

Jacksonville at Buffalo

For as impressive as Steve Johnson's 106-yard performance was in Week 12, he only caught six passes on 15 targets against the Colts. On one hand, Johnson owners have to be excited at the prospect of 15 targets -- and nine in each of the two previous weeks -- but failing to convert nine of them is the continuation of a season-long problem that has haunted Johnson. He currently ranks fifth in the number of targets not converted into receptions (behind Reggie Wayne, Larry Fitzgerald, Dwayne Bowe and Calvin Johnson).

Indianapolis at Detroit

The Lions are first in passing attempts and yards, but rank only 16th in passing touchdowns. On the flip side to that, Detroit is 26th in rushing attempts and 24th in rushing yards, but fourth in rushing touchdowns. This has resulted in a weird disconnect, where Calvin Johnson has 1,257 total yards from scrimmage and four touchdowns while Mikel Leshoure has 688 total yards but has scored six times. This philosophy is a major departure from last season, when the Lions were first in pass attempts and third in passing TDs, while finishing 31st in rushing attempts and 23rd in rushing TDs.

Carolina at Kansas City

Over 91 career games, DeAngelo Williams has gotten 15 or more carries 32 times. He has averaged 92.8 rushing yards and scored 27 rushing touchdowns, nearly one per game. In 18 games with 18 or more carries, Williams has averaged 111.8 yards per game and scored 20 rushing touchdowns. And in 10 games with 20 or more carries, Williams has averaged 125.7 yards and 16 carries, scoring 12 rushing TDs. Of course, he's only played two of those 32 games with rushing threat Cam Newton as his quarterback. In four of their last five games, the Chiefs have faced an opposing running back who got 19 or more carries. They have faced an average of 28 carries from opposing running backs in that span.

Arizona at N.Y. Jets

It's not exactly a defense of Mark Sanchez, but it's at least prudent to point out that the 2011 Jets receiving leaders were: Dustin Keller (815 yards, five TDs), Santonio Holmes (654 yards, eight TDs), Plaxico Burress (612 yards, eight TDs) and LaDainian Tomlinson (449 yards, two TDs). Sanchez finished with 3,474 passing yards and 26 touchdowns. Keller has started just four games this year, Holmes was injured in the fourth game, the team jettisoned Burress and Tomlinson retired. The fourth-leading receiver this year? Chaz Schilens. For all the scorn heaped on him, Sanchez is still on pace for 3,402 passing yards, but just 17 touchdowns. There's no doubt it's been ugly, but if Sanchez had, say, Vincent Jackson to throw to, things would be looking decidedly better.

San Francisco at St. Louis

Over the last three games, the running back with the most rushing yards in the NFL: Steven Jackson, with 321. Jamaal Charles and Arian Foster are tied for second, with 294.

Minnesota at Green Bay

The Vikings have allowed seven total touchdowns to running backs so far this season. All of them have come in their last six games, with five coming in their last four. After a brilliant start to the season against running backs the Vikings have faltered a bit, giving up an average of 22 Fantasy points to opposing running backs over their last five games.

Seattle at Chicago

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In the last three weeks, Russell Wilson has slowly -- and somewhat quietly -- been increasing his rushing yards. In Week 9, he ran nine times for 27 yards. In Week 10, Wilson ran seven times for a career-high 34 yards. And in Week 12, Wilson re-set his career high with five rushes for 38 yards. Wilson finished his college career with an average of 355 rushing yards per season, a mark he is nearing in his rookie season (he has 227 right now). Over the last three games, Wilson is tied for third in rushing yards among all QBs, with Cam Newton. If this turns out to be a late-season strategy by the Seahawks -- have Wilson run more -- those two or three points per game he regularly gets from the ground could be a nice boost in closer playoff games.

Tampa Bay at Denver

For the season, Eric Decker is averaging five receptions and 62 yards, with about 10 Fantasy points per game. But in his last three games, Decker has averaged just five points per game, with an average of 34 receiving yards and one total touchdown. Lurking in the shadows laughing? Brandon Stokley, who has averaged 6.4 Fantasy points per game this season, but 9.3 in his last three games. He's averaged 57 yards per game over his last three to Decker's 34, as well. Two of Stokley's best seasons came while he was with Peyton Manning and the Colts -- in 2004, he had 1,077 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns. And his 449 yards so far this season already qualify as his fifth-highest total in a 14-year career.

Cincinnati at San Diego

Before the Week 8 bye, Mohamed Sanu had a total of 27 receiving yards. In the four weeks since the bye, Sanu has eclipsed that total in three of his four games. His value may be tied to touchdowns, as he has caught four in the last three games, but Andy Dalton targeted Sanu nine times in Week 12, up fom an average of five in the previous two weeks.

Cleveland at Oakland

Coming off the Week 10 bye, Josh Gordon has two consecutive seven-target games. And his games of five (Week 11) and four (Week 12) receptions represent his two highest totals so far this year.

Pittsburgh at Baltimore

Justin Tucker is currently the fifth-best kicker in Fantasy leagues, with 109 Fantasy points so far this season. He's missed just two of his 24 attempts and has a long of 56 yards. In the four games since Baltimore's bye, Tucker has scored in double digits twice. And here's the best part about him: while the rest of his team seems to have some heavy home/road splits, Tucker is dead even at home and on the road, averaging 10 Fantasy points in both scenarios

Philadelphia at Dallas

Fun Fact: Nick Foles fumbled five times in November, despite starting just two games. He has two more fumbles than the group of eight players tied for second, with three fumbles (led by Philip Rivers and Chris Rainey). Other monthly leaders this year? Mark Sanchez fumbled five times in October and Michael Vick and Robert Griffin III fumbled five times each in September. The season leaders in fumbles are Vick and Sachez, with 10 each.

N.Y. Giants at Washington

Alfred Morris ranks fifth among all running backs in rushing yards, with 982. But, of the top 30, Morris has the fewest receiving yards, with 42. The next--lowest total? Stevan Ridley with 61.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us on Twitter @CBSFantasyFB or Nando Di Fino at @NandoCBS . You can also send our staff an e-mail at fantasyfootball@cbsinteractive.com .

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Player News
Bears QB Jay Cutler has no issues with Marshall's locker-room rant
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(4:49 pm ET) Bears quarterback Jay Cutler said he was not upset with wide receiver Brandon Marshall's postgame rant in the locker room following Sunday's loss against the Dolphins.

"He’s an emotional guy," Cutler said, per The Chicago Tribune. "Whenever he gets frustrated, he’s going to get emotional most of the time, and he’s going to speak from the heart, and he’s going to make sure everyone else around him hears him. It wasn’t anything that caught us off guard or was off-putting. It was frustration coming out and him just letting us know that it’s important to him."

Cutler added he doesn't believe Marshall crossed a line and said Marshall's actions were not directed at him.

"He didn’t come near me," Cutler said. "He didn’t say my name. I don’t think he attacked anybody personally (with) what he was saying."


Dolphins TE Charles Clay limited again with knee issue
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(4:43 pm ET) Dolphins tight end Charles Clay was limited in practice Thursday due to a knee injury.

Clay has been dealing with a knee issue all season, which may have limited his effectiveness early in the year. He was able to score his first touchdown last week, but isn't fully over his injury just yet. Clay has been able to play through the issue all season, so he'll likely put in more work at practice Friday. 


Kelvin Benjamin probably a worthwhile risk
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4:39 pm ET) Only you can say for sure whether you should start Panthers wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin this week because only you know your alternatives. But Jamey Eisenberg and Dave Richard have him in their top 24 wide receivers, which makes him an advisable start in standard 12-team leagues. And while I might rank Andre Johnson, Mohamed Sanu and Doug Baldwin ahead of him, I generally agree with their assessment.

Clearly, though, it isn't a slam dunk, and the main reason why is Richard Sherman. He's not quite Darrelle Revis in his prime, but he's been known to shut down a top flight wide receiver or two. He just held the Rams' Brian Quick to two catches for 33 yards in Week 7.

Of course, Benjamin is probably better than Quick and plays for a team with a more consistent passing attack. His size makes him an ideal red zone target, and he's scored a touchdown in five of seven games this season. How do you sit that?

Again, you probably don't, but keep your expectations in check for Benjamin this week.


Bengals still cautious with A.J. Green
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(4:29 pm ET) The Bengals will be cautious with wideout A.J. Green, according to the NFL Network.

Green is dealing with a foot injury, and was unable to take part in the open portion of practice Thursday. Given how quickly Marvin Jones' foot issue went south, the club wants to be more cautious with Green. There's still a chance Green plays Week 8, but it will likely depend on him putting in some work on the practice field Friday. 


Cam Newton too hard to predict
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4:23 pm ET) In Week 8, the Panthers host the Seahawks, who have been a tough matchup for quarterbacks in recent years. Not so much this year, though. The Seahawks rank 16th against the pass, surrendering 239.0 yards per game, and have allowed the fifth-highest passer rating of any team this season. They've also given up the ninth-most Fantasy points per game to quarterbacks.

So the matchup really isn't the concern for Cam Newton this week. Cam Newton himself is. After breaking out with 284 passing yards and 107 rushing yards Week 6 at Cincinnati, he had a chance to solidify his place in Fantasy in what figured to be a high-scoring affair Week 7 at Green Bay. But while he once again contributed as a rusher with seven carries for 41 yards -- another sign that his surgically repaired ankle is feeling better -- he wasn't productive enough throwing the ball to satisfy his Fantasy owners.

Of course, the Packers have allowed the lowest quarterback rating of any team this season, so maybe Newton is more the quarterback we saw two weeks ago than not. Unlike Jamey Eisenberg and Dave Richard, I'd have him in my top 12 for this week, but just barely. 


Pierre Thomas, Khiry Robinson unable to practice Thursday
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(4:20 pm ET) Saints running back Khiry Robinson (forearm) and running back Pierre Thomas (rib, shoulder) were held out of practice again Thursday. The Saints are preparing to play the Packers in Week 8.

Ravens not concerned about Owen Daniels
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(4:11 pm ET) The Ravens don't seem concerned about Owen Daniels' status for Sunday, according to the Baltimore Sun

According to offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak, Daniels is "fine." Kubiak noted that coach John Harbaugh has a plan for the team's veteran players. Daniels was held out of practice Thursday due to a knee issue. He was also held out Wednesday, but that was assumed to be a veteran's day of rest. 


Throw Doug Baldwin right in fire
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4:06 pm ET) If you own Doug Baldwin in Fantasy, chances are you just added him in response to his 123-yard, touchdown-scoring performance at St. Louis in Week 7. Hey, with Percy Harvin following Golden Tate out the door and the Seahawks throwing the ball more than ever, somebody has be on the other end of Russell Wilson's passes.

But you may still be reluctant to start Baldwin Week 8 at Carolina just because ... well, it's not like Harvin was doing all that much for the Seahawks. Where was Baldwin before the trade?

Harvin may not have been giving the Seahawks much yardage, but a lot of the plays when he took the field were designed specifically for him. He had a decent number of targets and several carries as well. On average, it was probably about eight plays each week that are now going to someone else.

That's a significant number, especially since nobody new was added with his removal. And again, the Seahawks have been throwing the ball more and more in recent weeks with their defense showing signs of weakness.

The Panthers aren't so great against the pass, ranking 22nd of 32 teams, and have been especially bad against wide receivers, allowing the fourth-most Fantasy points per game to them. I say you run Baldwin out there right away.


Are we really doubting Russell Wilson still?
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(3:52 pm ET) Coming off the best game of his life (at least from a statistical standpoint), Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is started in only 67 percent of CBSSports.com Fantasy leagues. Is that a problem to anyone else?

In case you haven't noticed, the Seahawks haven't been as dominant defensively this year, which has made Wilson's performance more critical to their success. The result is better numbers for the third-year passer. He's contributed at least two touchdowns in every game but one, and that one was sandwiched between two three-touchdown games, including Week 7.

In those three-touchdown games, Wilson also rushed for more than 100 yards, leading to some monster production that has made him the fifth-best quarterback in standard CBSSports.com leagues to date.

So he's consistent and has a high ceiling from week to week. So ... what's the deal, then? Certainly it's not the matchup steering you away from him in Week 8. The hosting Panthers have allowed the sixth-most Fantasy points per game to quarterbacks this season and rank 22nd against the pass, giving up 250.7 yards per game.


Jaguars coach: Robinson featured in Week 8 over Gerhart
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(3:42 pm ET) Gus Bradley has announced that Week 7 breakout back Denard Robinson will receive the bulk of the carries for the Jaguars in Week 8 against Miami, per the Florida Times-Union. Toby Gerhart, who returns from injury with a 2.6 YPC average, will serve as his backup.

The former Michigan quarterback exploded for 127 yards on 22 carries and added three receptions Sunday against Cleveland. It marked his first double-figure attempt day in the NFL.

Gerhart appears set to play after missing two games with a foot sprain.


 
 
 
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