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Offseason Extra: Our first draft of 2013

Senior Fantasy Writer
  •  

As the NFL has evolved into a year-round competition, so too has studying for Fantasy Football drafts.

League play has ended, champions have been crowned and our minds have already moved forward to 2013. When it comes to mock drafts, it's never too early.

Check out our Fantasy Football podcast!
There is no better source for entertaining Fantasy advice than our Fantasy Football Today podcast. Dave Richard, Jamey Eisenberg and Adam Aizer will help you pass the time as you anticipate Draft Day 2014!
Latest episode | Subscribe today!

What's the point of doing mock drafts now? Free agency is months away as is the NFL Draft, so the landscape is sure to change and players will move up and down our rankings. But the concepts we'll share with you when it comes to drafting are formed now. Draft Day trends will be found and scarcity among positions will materialize. The sooner you learn about them, the better you'll be prepared for your real drafts seven and eight months from now. Plus, it's fun to draft.

With that in mind, we rounded up 12 people to draft as if we were running a real Fantasy Football league. The scoring system is standard (six points for all touchdowns, no PPR, one point for every 10 yards rushing/receiving and 25 yards passing) and the draft runs 15 rounds. We feature a starting lineup of one quarterback, two running backs, two wide receivers, a tight end, a kicker, a DST and a Flex (RB/WR/TE). There will also be six reserve spots.

And as we'll always do, we encourage you to share your thoughts on this draft via our Fantasy Football Twitter feed (@CBSFantasyFB) and post your comments there, or share your thoughts on our Fantasy Football Facebook page. Remember, it's good to get out there and discuss this stuff now so that you're prepared when the picks really count.

Our draft order is as follows:
1. Dave Richard, Senior Fantasy Writer
2. Jamey Eisenberg, Senior Fantasy Writer
3. Peter Madden, Editorial Director, Fantasy Sports
4. Nathan Zegura, Senior Fantasy Writer
5. Will Brinson, Eye on Football Blogger
6. Michael Hurcomb, Fantasy Writer
7. Brent Stover, Fantasy Football Today Host
8. Al Melchior, Data Analyst
9. Chris Towers, Fantasy Writer
10. Jeff Tobin, Associate Managing Editor
11. Adam Aizer, Podcast/Video Host
12. Nando Di Fino, Senior Fantasy Writer

Round by Round
Round 1
Pick Team Player
1 Richard Adrian Peterson, RB, MIN
2 Eisenberg Arian Foster, RB, HOU
3 Madden Ray Rice, RB, BAL
4 Zegura Marshawn Lynch, RB, SEA
5 Brinson C.J. Spiller, RB, BUF
6 Hurcomb Doug Martin, RB, TB
7 Stover Aaron Rodgers, QB, GB
8 Melchior Jamaal Charles, RB, KC
9 Towers Trent Richardson, RB, CLE
10 Tobin Stevan Ridley, RB, NE
11 Aizer LeSean McCoy, RB, PHI
12 Di Fino Calvin Johnson, WR, DET
Round 2
Pick Team Player
13 Di Fino DeMarco Murray, RB, DAL
14 Aizer Alfred Morris, RB, WAS
15 Tobin Rob Gronkowski, TE, NE
16 Towers Drew Brees, QB, NO
17 Melchior Demaryius Thomas, WR, DEN
18 Stover Julio Jones, WR, ATL
19 Hurcomb Matt Forte, RB, CHI
20 Brinson Chris Johnson, RB, TEN
21 Zegura Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, JAC
22 Madden Tom Brady, QB, NE
23 Eisenberg Dez Bryant, WR, DAL
24 Richard A.J. Green, WR, CIN
Round 3
Pick Team Player
25 Richard Brandon Marshall, WR, CHI
26 Eisenberg Jimmy Graham, TE, NO
27 Madden Andre Johnson, WR, HOU
28 Zegura Vincent Jackson, WR, TB
29 Brinson Roddy White, WR, ATL
30 Hurcomb Victor Cruz, WR, NYG
31 Stover Ryan Mathews, RB, SD
32 Melchior Frank Gore, RB, SF
33 Towers BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB, CIN
34 Tobin Percy Harvin, WR, MIN
35 Aizer Eric Decker, WR, DEN
36 Di Fino Wes Welker, WR, NE
Round 4
Pick Team Player
37 Di Fino Darren McFadden, RB, OAK
38 Aizer Peyton Manning, QB, DEN
39 Tobin Mikel Leshoure, RB, DET
40 Towers Marques Colston, WR, NO
41 Melchior Matt Ryan, QB, ATL
42 Stover Larry Fitzgerald, WR, ARI
43 Hurcomb Cam Newton, QB, CAR
44 Brinson Robert Griffin III, QB, WAS
45 Zegura Aaron Hernandez, TE, NE
46 Madden Hakeem Nicks, WR, NYG
47 Eisenberg Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, NYG
48 Richard Reggie Bush, RB, MIA
Round 5
Pick Team Player
49 Richard Darren Sproles, RB, NO
50 Eisenberg Vick Ballard, RB, IND
51 Madden Steven Jackson, RB, STL
52 Zegura Jordy Nelson, WR, GB
53 Brinson Randall Cobb, WR, GB
54 Hurcomb Michael Crabtree, WR, SF
55 Stover Steve Smith, WR, CAR
56 Melchior Torrey Smith, WR, BAL
57 Towers Reggie Wayne, WR, IND
58 Tobin Greg Jennings, WR, GB
59 Aizer Cecil Shorts, WR, JAC
60 Di Fino Pierre Garcon, WR, WAS
Round 6
Pick Team Player
61 Di Fino Andrew Luck, QB, IND
62 Aizer Jason Witten, TE, DAL
63 Tobin Matthew Stafford, QB, DET
64 Towers Shonn Greene, RB, NYJ
65 Melchior Antonio Brown, WR, PIT
66 Stover Jeremy Maclin, WR, PHI
67 Hurcomb Danario Alexander, WR, SD
68 Brinson Jonathan Stewart, RB, CAR
69 Zegura Tony Romo, QB, DAL
70 Madden Antonio Gates, TE, SD
71 Eisenberg David Wilson, RB, NYG
72 Richard Willis McGahee, RB, DEN
Round 7
Pick Team Player
73 Richard Knowshon Moreno, RB, DEN
74 Eisenberg Justin Blackmon, WR, JAC
75 Madden James Jones, WR, GB
76 Zegura Kenny Britt, WR, TEN
77 Brinson Dwayne Bowe, WR, KC
78 Hurcomb Fred Jackson, RB, BUF
79 Stover DeAngelo Williams, RB, CAR
80 Melchior Tony Gonzalez, TE, ATL
81 Towers Mike Williams, WR, TB
82 Tobin Mike Wallace, WR, PIT
83 Aizer Ryan Williams, RB, ARI
84 Di Fino DeSean Jackson, WR, PHI
Round 8
Pick Team Player
85 Di Fino Michael Turner, RB, ATL
86 Aizer Mark Ingram, RB, NO
87 Tobin Danny Woodhead, RB, NE
88 Towers Steve Johnson, WR, BUF
89 Melchior T.Y. Hilton, WR, IND
90 Stover Rashard Mendenhall, RB, PIT
91 Hurcomb Danny Amendola, WR, STL
92 Brinson Josh Gordon, WR, CLE
93 Zegura Beanie Wells, RB, ARI
94 Madden Kendall Hunter, RB, SF
95 Eisenberg Ben Tate, RB, HOU
96 Richard Russell Wilson, QB, SEA
Round 9
Pick Team Player
97 Richard Ronnie Hillman, RB, DEN
98 Eisenberg Eli Manning, QB, NYG
99 Madden Daryl Richardson, RB, STL
100 Zegura Lance Moore, WR, NO
101 Brinson Greg Olsen, TE, CAR
102 Hurcomb Miles Austin, WR, DAL
103 Stover Vernon Davis, TE, SF
104 Melchior Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, ATL
105 Towers Jermichael Finley, TE, GB
106 Tobin Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, OAK
107 Aizer Brandon Lloyd, WR, NE
108 Di Fino Donald Brown, RB, IND
Round 10
Pick Team Player
109 Di Fino Daniel Thomas, RB, MIA
110 Aizer Lamar Miller, RB, MIA
111 Tobin Alshon Jeffery, WR, CHI
112 Towers Bilal Powell, RB, NYJ
113 Melchior Brian Hartline, WR, MIA
114 Stover Shane Vereen, RB, NE
115 Hurcomb Cedric Benson, RB, GB
116 Brinson DuJuan Harris, RB, GB
117 Zegura Jonathan Dwyer, RB, PIT
118 Madden LaMichael James, RB, SF
119 Eisenberg Denarius Moore, WR, OAK
120 Richard Ben Roethlisberger, QB, PIT
Round 11
Pick Team Player
121 Richard Sidney Rice, WR, SEA
122 Eisenberg Kendall Wright, WR, TEN
123 Madden Rueben Randle, WR, NYG
124 Zegura Robert Turbin, RB, SEA
125 Brinson Bryce Brown, RB, PHI
126 Hurcomb Colin Kaepernick, QB, SF
127 Stover Isaiah Pead, RB, STL
128 Melchior Andy Dalton, QB, CIN
129 Towers Kyle Rudolph, TE, MIN
130 Tobin Felix Jones, RB, DAL
131 Aizer Jon Baldwin, WR, KC
132 Di Fino Brandon LaFell, WR, CAR
Round 12
Pick Team Player
133 Di Fino Michael Vick, QB, PHI
134 Aizer Roy Helu, RB, WAS
135 Tobin Isaac Redman, RB, PIT
136 Towers Josh Freeman, QB, TB
137 Melchior Andre Brown, RB, NYG
138 Stover Ryan Broyles, WR, DET
139 Hurcomb Bernard Pierce, RB, BAL
140 Brinson Philip Rivers, QB, SD
141 Zegura Broncos DST
142 Madden Seahawks DST
143 Eisenberg Joique Bell, RB, DET
144 Richard Dennis Pitta, TE, BAL
Round 13
Pick Team Player
145 Richard Jermaine Gresham, TE, CIN
146 Eisenberg Golden Tate, WR, SEA
147 Madden Rashad Jennings, RB, JAC
148 Zegura Santonio Holmes, WR, NYJ
149 Brinson 49ers DST
150 Hurcomb Bears DST
151 Stover Mike Tolbert, RB, CAR
152 Melchior Bengals DST
153 Towers Jahvid Best, RB, DET
154 Tobin Patriots DST
155 Aizer Greg Little, WR, CLE
156 Di Fino Brandon Pettigrew, TE, DET
Round 14
Pick Team Player
157 Di Fino Texans DST
158 Aizer Packers DST
159 Tobin Blair Walsh, K, MIN
160 Towers Steelers DST
161 Melchior Pierre Thomas, RB, NO
162 Stover Chargers DST
163 Hurcomb Owen Daniels, TE, HOU
164 Brinson Marcel Reece, RB, OAK
165 Zegura Tim Tebow, QB, NYJ
166 Madden Stephen Gostkowski, K, NE
167 Eisenberg Falcons DST
168 Richard Rams DST
Round 15
Pick Team Player
169 Richard Matt Bryant, K, ATL
170 Eisenberg Matt Prater, K, DEN
171 Madden Chris Ivory, RB, NO
172 Zegura Sebastian Janikowski, K, OAK
173 Brinson Justin Tucker, K, BAL
174 Hurcomb Connor Barth, K, TB
175 Stover Dan Bailey, K, DAL
176 Melchior Lawrence Tynes, K, NYG
177 Towers David Akers, K, SF
178 Tobin Anquan Boldin, WR, BAL
179 Aizer Shayne Graham, K, HOU
180 Di Fino Greg Zuerlein, K, STL
 
Team by Team
Adam Aizer
Rd.Pk Player
1.11 LeSean McCoy, RB, PHI
2.2 Alfred Morris, RB, WAS
3.11 Eric Decker, WR, DEN
4.2 Peyton Manning, QB, DEN
5.11 Cecil Shorts, WR, JAC
6.2 Jason Witten, TE, DAL
7.11 Ryan Williams, RB, ARI
8.2 Mark Ingram, RB, NO
9.11 Brandon Lloyd, WR, NE
10.2 Lamar Miller, RB, MIA
11.11 Jon Baldwin, WR, KC
12.2 Roy Helu, RB, WAS
13.11 Greg Little, WR, CLE
14.2 Packers DST
15.11 Shayne Graham, K, HOU
Will Brinson
Rd.Pk Player
1.5 C.J. Spiller, RB, BUF
2.8 Chris Johnson, RB, TEN
3.5 Roddy White, WR, ATL
4.8 Robert Griffin III, QB, WAS
5.5 Randall Cobb, WR, GB
6.8 Jonathan Stewart, RB, CAR
7.5 Dwayne Bowe, WR, KC
8.8 Josh Gordon, WR, CLE
9.5 Greg Olsen, TE, CAR
10.8 DuJuan Harris, RB, GB
11.5 Bryce Brown, RB, PHI
12.8 Philip Rivers, QB, SD
13.5 49ers DST
14.8 Marcel Reece, RB, OAK
15.5 Justin Tucker, K, BAL
Nando Di Fino
Rd.Pk Player
1.12 Calvin Johnson, WR, DET
2.1 DeMarco Murray, RB, DAL
3.12 Wes Welker, WR, NE
4.1 Darren McFadden, RB, OAK
5.12 Pierre Garcon, WR, WAS
6.1 Andrew Luck, QB, IND
7.12 DeSean Jackson, WR, PHI
8.1 Michael Turner, RB, ATL
9.12 Donald Brown, RB, IND
10.1 Daniel Thomas, RB, MIA
11.12 Brandon LaFell, WR, CAR
12.1 Michael Vick, QB, PHI
13.12 Brandon Pettigrew, TE, DET
14.1 Texans DST
15.12 Greg Zuerlein, K, STL
Jamey Eisenberg
Rd.Pk Player
1.2 Arian Foster, RB, HOU
2.11 Dez Bryant, WR, DAL
3.2 Jimmy Graham, TE, NO
4.11 Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, NYG
5.2 Vick Ballard, RB, IND
6.11 David Wilson, RB, NYG
7.2 Justin Blackmon, WR, JAC
8.11 Ben Tate, RB, HOU
9.2 Eli Manning, QB, NYG
10.11 Denarius Moore, WR, OAK
11.2 Kendall Wright, WR, TEN
12.11 Joique Bell, RB, DET
13.2 Golden Tate, WR, SEA
14.11 Falcons DST
15.2 Matt Prater, K, DEN
Michael Hurcomb
Rd.Pk Player
1.6 Doug Martin, RB, TB
2.7 Matt Forte, RB, CHI
3.6 Victor Cruz, WR, NYG
4.7 Cam Newton, QB, CAR
5.6 Michael Crabtree, WR, SF
6.7 Danario Alexander, WR, SD
7.6 Fred Jackson, RB, BUF
8.7 Danny Amendola, WR, STL
9.6 Miles Austin, WR, DAL
10.7 Cedric Benson, RB, GB
11.6 Colin Kaepernick, QB, SF
12.7 Bernard Pierce, RB, BAL
13.6 Bears DST
14.7 Owen Daniels, TE, HOU
15.6 Connor Barth, K, TB
Peter Madden
Rd.Pk Player
1.3 Ray Rice, RB, BAL
2.10 Tom Brady, QB, NE
3.3 Andre Johnson, WR, HOU
4.10 Hakeem Nicks, WR, NYG
5.3 Steven Jackson, RB, STL
6.10 Antonio Gates, TE, SD
7.3 James Jones, WR, GB
8.10 Kendall Hunter, RB, SF
9.3 Daryl Richardson, RB, STL
10.10 LaMichael James, RB, SF
11.3 Rueben Randle, WR, NYG
12.10 Seahawks DST
13.3 Rashad Jennings, RB, JAC
14.10 Stephen Gostkowski, K, NE
15.3 Chris Ivory, RB, NO
Al Melchior
Rd.Pk Player
1.8 Jamaal Charles, RB, KC
2.5 Demaryius Thomas, WR, DEN
3.8 Frank Gore, RB, SF
4.5 Matt Ryan, QB, ATL
5.8 Torrey Smith, WR, BAL
6.5 Antonio Brown, WR, PIT
7.8 Tony Gonzalez, TE, ATL
8.5 T.Y. Hilton, WR, IND
9.8 Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, ATL
10.5 Brian Hartline, WR, MIA
11.8 Andy Dalton, QB, CIN
12.5 Andre Brown, RB, NYG
13.8 Bengals DST
14.5 Pierre Thomas, RB, NO
15.8 Lawrence Tynes, K, NYG
Dave Richard
Rd.Pk Player
1.1 Adrian Peterson, RB, MIN
2.12 A.J. Green, WR, CIN
3.1 Brandon Marshall, WR, CHI
4.12 Reggie Bush, RB, MIA
5.1 Darren Sproles, RB, NO
6.12 Willis McGahee, RB, DEN
7.1 Knowshon Moreno, RB, DEN
8.12 Russell Wilson, QB, SEA
9.1 Ronnie Hillman, RB, DEN
10.12 Ben Roethlisberger, QB, PIT
11.1 Sidney Rice, WR, SEA
12.12 Dennis Pitta, TE, BAL
13.1 Jermaine Gresham, TE, CIN
14.12 Rams DST
15.1 Matt Bryant, K, ATL
Brent Stover
Rd.Pk Player
1.7 Aaron Rodgers, QB, GB
2.6 Julio Jones, WR, ATL
3.7 Ryan Mathews, RB, SD
4.6 Larry Fitzgerald, WR, ARI
5.7 Steve Smith, WR, CAR
6.6 Jeremy Maclin, WR, PHI
7.7 DeAngelo Williams, RB, CAR
8.6 Rashard Mendenhall, RB, PIT
9.7 Vernon Davis, TE, SF
10.6 Shane Vereen, RB, NE
11.7 Isaiah Pead, RB, STL
12.6 Ryan Broyles, WR, DET
13.7 Mike Tolbert, RB, CAR
14.6 Chargers DST
15.7 Dan Bailey, K, DAL
Jeff Tobin
Rd.Pk Player
1.10 Stevan Ridley, RB, NE
2.3 Rob Gronkowski, TE, NE
3.10 Percy Harvin, WR, MIN
4.3 Mikel Leshoure, RB, DET
5.10 Greg Jennings, WR, GB
6.3 Matthew Stafford, QB, DET
7.10 Mike Wallace, WR, PIT
8.3 Danny Woodhead, RB, NE
9.10 Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, OAK
10.3 Alshon Jeffery, WR, CHI
11.10 Felix Jones, RB, DAL
12.3 Isaac Redman, RB, PIT
13.10 Patriots DST
14.3 Blair Walsh, K, MIN
15.10 Anquan Boldin, WR, BAL
Chris Towers
Rd.Pk Player
1.9 Trent Richardson, RB, CLE
2.4 Drew Brees, QB, NO
3.9 BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB, CIN
4.4 Marques Colston, WR, NO
5.9 Reggie Wayne, WR, IND
6.4 Shonn Greene, RB, NYJ
7.9 Mike Williams, WR, TB
8.4 Steve Johnson, WR, BUF
9.9 Jermichael Finley, TE, GB
10.4 Bilal Powell, RB, NYJ
11.9 Kyle Rudolph, TE, MIN
12.4 Josh Freeman, QB, TB
13.9 Jahvid Best, RB, DET
14.4 Steelers DST
15.9 David Akers, K, SF
Nathan Zegura
Rd.Pk Player
1.4 Marshawn Lynch, RB, SEA
2.9 Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, JAC
3.4 Vincent Jackson, WR, TB
4.9 Aaron Hernandez, TE, NE
5.4 Jordy Nelson, WR, GB
6.9 Tony Romo, QB, DAL
7.4 Kenny Britt, WR, TEN
8.9 Beanie Wells, RB, ARI
9.4 Lance Moore, WR, NO
10.9 Jonathan Dwyer, RB, PIT
11.4 Robert Turbin, RB, SEA
12.9 Broncos DST
13.4 Santonio Holmes, WR, NYJ
14.9 Tim Tebow, QB, NYJ
15.4 Sebastian Janikowski, K, OAK

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter @CBSFantasyFB . You can also follow Dave at @daverichard and on Facebook .

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Player News
QB struggles begin to impact Cardinals DST
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(2:13 am ET) The Cardinals DST scored just one Fantasy point in standard CBSSports.com leagues Week 16 against Seattle, interrupting a stretch of 10 games in which it averaged 15.1, and the Cardinals' offensive woes may have had something to do with it.

Specifically, they've been unable to find a decent quarterback since losing Carson Palmer to injury in Week 10. Backup Drew Stanton at least mounted some kind of threat, but with him sidelined by a sprained knee in Week 16, the Cardinals had to turn to third-stringer Ryan Lindley. He turned the ball over twice without once leading his team into the end zone, completing less than half of his passes in the process.

The quick trips back to the sideline gave the Seahawks more chances to pile up points and yards, and they did, finishing with 35 and 596. Only one other time have the Cardinals allowed more than 30 points in a game, and the 596 yards were a season high. Worse yet, they were lacking in big plays, recording one sack with no takeaways.

Fortunately, the Cardinals will take on a struggling 49ers offense in Week 17, so even if Lindley is back under center, the DST at least has a chance of a respectable performance. Still, if you've been relying on it all season, you might want to make sure there isn't an appealing matchups play on the waiver wire.


Seahawks DST can't be stopped
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(2:04 am ET) The Seahawks DST had another dominant performance Week 16 at Arizona, continuing a nine-week run that has made it once again arguably the top unit in Fantasy. During that stretch, it has averaged 16.2 Fantasy points, allowing 11.9 points on 231.3 yards.

It allowed only six points on 216 yards in Week 16, recording four sacks and one interception. Of the Seahawks' 33 sacks this season, 20 have come in their last five games.

Clearly, they had a favorable matchup in this one, but they also shut down the Eagles in Week 14. You don't have any reason to shy away from the Seahawks DST against St. Louis in Week 17.


Kenbrell Thompkins comes out of nowhere
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(1:58 am ET) After making only modest contributions since coming over from the Patriots in Week 6, Raiders wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins suddenly emerged as quarterback Derek Carr's favorite target Week 16 against Buffalo, catching five passes for 90 yards. He hadn't caught even one pass since Week 13, and his previous high in yardage was 47.

Of course, you should know how this goes by now. Fellow wide receivers James Jones and Andre Holmes have both had their stretches of Fantasy relevance this season, as has tight end Mychal Rivera. The Raiders have a multitude of viable receiving targets, but their roles aren't so clear, which makes the task of picking the most impactful from week to week next to impossible.

In other words, you'd need to play in an especially deep league to take a flier on Thompkins for the season's final week.


Latavius Murray trustworthy up to a point
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(1:51 am ET) If his 23 carries Week 14 against San Francisco didn't convince you, Latavius Murray's 23 carries Week 16 against Buffalo should make the message loud and clear: He is the Raiders' top running back, and they're putting more faith in him than they ever did Darren McFadden.

Granted, it hasn't translated to much production yet, but the 49ers and Bills are two of the toughest defenses against the run. Unfortunately, Denver, the Raiders' Week 17 opponent, is ranked even higher at both.

Can you trust Murray to get his carries? He's gotten them two of the last three weeks, so most likely, yes. And with 20-plus chances, there's always the chance he breaks a long one. But the matchup will make it difficult.

You'd like to start him given his ever-increasing role, but you shouldn't force him into your lineup if you have two (or maybe three) respectable running backs already.


One way or another, Fred Jackson gets his
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(1:44 am ET) Trailing early Week 16 at Oakland with their playoff hopes on the line, the Bills didn't stick with the running game for long, attempting only three runs in the second half. But in a way, that worked to running back Fred Jackson's advantage. He's such a good pass-catcher out of the backfield that he still topped 100 total yards, doing so for the first time since returning from a groin injury in Week 12.

Even with the return of C.J. Spiller from a long-term shoulder injury, Jackson still led the Bills in carries, but with only six for 10 yards. He also led the team in catches with nine for 93 yards. He had 10 catches just two weeks ago, so clearly, he's a PPR stud.

Is he worth starting in standard leagues as well? Well, he's also gotten 20 carries twice in five games since returning. He hasn't been as effective on the ground as through the air, but yards are yards, however he gets them.

Their matchup Week 17 at New England will probably force the Bills to go pass-heavy again, so unless you're stacked at running back, you can find a spot for Jackson in your lineup.


Desperation fuels Kyle Orton's performance
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(1:35 am ET) Bills quarterback Kyle Orton didn't have the most efficient day throwing the ball Week 16 at Oakland, but from a Fantasy perspective, it was a productive one. He threw for 329 yards and three touchdowns but also had two interceptions.

What's crazy, though, is that 196 of those yards came in the second half. The Bills were trailing a winnable game with their playoff hopes on the line, and their desperation showed. Unfortunately, that desperation also contributed to the second of Orton's interceptions.

The Bills have been eliminated, so no matter how much they're trailing Week 17 at New England, they probably won't be quite as desperate. You can expect more typical numbers from Orton -- maybe about 250 yards with one or two scores -- even if the matchup appears to be a favorable one, making him a player better left for two-quarterback leagues.


Kenny Britt clearly better with Shaun Hill
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(1:27 am ET) Rams wide receiver Kenny Britt caught a season-high nine passes on a season-high 11 targets Week 16 against the Giants, but his 103 receiving yards actually weren't a season high.

That's because he had 128, along with a touchdown, Week 11 against the Broncos.

That was Shaun Hill's first game back under center. Week 16, obviously, was his latest one. In the six games since Hill reclaimed the role, Britt has averaged 3.8 catches for 66.3 yards. In the nine games before then, he averaged 2.3 catches for 34.7 yards.

Britt has been especially good lately, averaging 73.3 yards in his last three games. Hill has also been fond of Stedman Bailey, but he doesn't seem to have a clear preference for one or the other.

Of course, the Rams passing attack isn't prolific enough to sustain both, so if you're going to target Britt or Bailey off the waiver wire, make sure it's in a deeper league. You wouldn't want to roll the dice on either in the season's final week if you can help it.


Andre Williams showing more ability
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(1:19 am ET) Carrying the load for the third straight game with Rashad Jennings sidelined by an ankle injury Week 16 at St. Louis, Giants rookie running back Andre Williams delivered his second 100-yard effort during that stretch, picking up 110 yards on 26 carries. Of course, just like in Week 14, it wasn't the steadiest performance. He had a 50-yard run in that one en route to a career-best 131 yards. He had a 45-yard run en route to his 110 yards in this one.

But that's true for most 100-yard rushing performances. The best backs break long runs occasionally, which makes up for all the 2- and 3-yard gains in between. It's easy to discount Williams' performance because of a long run here or a long run there because he's been so bad on a per-carry basis this season (take that 45-yard run away, and he averaged only 2.6 yards per carry -- oh noes!), but the fact is those long runs count, too. And he barreled over a couple of tacklers to complete it, which was nice to see.

Because Williams is short on receiving ability, his numbers don't look so great when he doesn't break a long run, but with all the carries he's getting now, his chances are better than not of breaking one. He's worth starting in standard leagues Week 17 against Philadelphia.


Rueben Randle not overshadowed for once
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(1:08 am ET) Since the emergence of rookie Odell Beckham in Week 9, and especially since his even bigger emergence in Week 12, wide receiver Rueben Randle has been an afterthought in the Giants passing game, averaging 2.3 catches for 31.8 yards in the four games leading up to Week 16 at St. Louis. But quarterback Eli Manning finally had enough yards to go around in that one, delivering Beckham his usual eight grabs for 148 yards and still finding Randle on six passes for 132 yards.

Randle even caught a touchdown pass, his first since Week 5. Of course, Beckham caught two and is now up to eight in his last five games, averaging 9.6 catches for 131.4 yards during that stretch.

You see the problem here, don't you? Manning was able to sustain both Beckham and Randle in this one, but that's only because he threw for a season-high 391 yards. If he regresses to a more modest total Week 17 against Philadelphia, we all know Randle is the one taking a back seat. Beckham has other-worldly talent, and Manning is smart enough to deliver him the ball as often as possible.

Of course, the Giants will probably have to throw a lot to keep pace with the Eagles, which bodes well for Randle, but you should still treat him as no more than a No. 3 wide receiver in Fantasy.


Odell Beckham making Eli Manning a stud
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(12:58 am ET) Giants rookie wide receiver Odell Beckham had another eight catches for 148 yards and two touchdowns Week 16 at St. Louis, which has become par for the course for him. It was his second straight game and third game in five with more than 140 receiving yards and multiple scores.

What you may not have noticed, though, is that quarterback Eli Manning has taken off during that same stretch. He had a season-high 391 yards and three touchdowns in Week 16, completing 25 of 32 passes. Over his last five games, he has averaged 297.2 yards with 11 touchdowns and two interceptions.

It stands to reason, of course. Beckham couldn't be putting up all those numbers without someone throwing him the ball. This may be one of those rare cases of the wide receiver making the quarterback as opposed to the other way around. Beckham is clearly a special talent, and Manning has made a point to deliver him the ball as often as possible.

It's reason enough to give Manning another chance Week 17 against Philadelphia if you've been suffering with Matthew Stafford or Colin Kaepernick and are somehow still alive in spite of it.


 
 
 
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