WHAT CAN ANDRE BROWN DO FOR YOU?
The Giants rushing attack, which looked promising to start the season, had been an absolute disaster. Heading into Week 10, they ranked 30th in rushing offense, averaging just 69.9 yards per contest. Fantasy owners didn’t see this one coming, as many were drafting second year back David Wilson as early as the late second round and calling for a huge breakout. Needless to say, he was an unmitigated failure prior to being lost for the season courtesy of a neck injury.
Andre Brown fractured his left leg prior to the start of the season and was just activated off the short term IR after missing the team’s first nine games. After racking up 115 yards on 30 carries in his first game back it’s safe to say Brandon Jacobs and Peyton Hillis should no longer see the field in meaningful action unless Brown suffers another injury.
Overall the Giants offense has struggled. The lack of a viable rushing attack is one of the main reasons. Poor play from Eli Manning is the other. Brown’s return will cure both issues. Opposing defenses now have to respect the run, something they really haven’t had to account for the entire season.
Brown immediately becomes a RB2 with some tasty matchups on the horizon against division foes Dallas and Washington. At this stage of the game I would be more comfortable starting him over guys like Ray Rice, C.J. Spiller and Trent Richardson.
Expect the Giants to start dialing up some play action passing to get Eli back on track. Getting him some confidence will provide a boost in stats all around. Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks and Rueben Randle should see an uptick in value as a result. That’s what Brown can do for you.
Talent has never been a question for Rams rookie Tavon Austin. If it was a question, he certainly answered it after racking up 138 receiving yards and a pair of touchdowns in a surprise blowout of the Colts on Sunday. In the event your league values returns he rang up a 98 yard punt return for a score as well. His speed was just too much to handle for the man coverage Indy employed. One could only wonder how big a game he could have had if this contest didn’t get out of hand and he saw more than three targets in the passing game. Your take from this game should be that this kid is a special talent. From a Fantasy perspective, though, can you really trust him yet? Heading into this week he still hadn’t eclipsed 50 yards receiving in a game and had just 207 receiving yards overall. St. Louis just hasn’t found a way to consistently get the ball in Austin’s hands in space to let him do his magic. Expect the inconsistency to continue with Kellen Clemens under center for the remainder of the season.
Throughout his three years at Alabama, Eddie Lacy carried the ball a total of 355 times, 204 times as a junior. Over his last six games for the Green Bay Lacy has carried the ball 143 times bringing his season total up to 158. When you take into consideration he missed almost two full games I think it’s officially time to start worrying about the rookie’s workload. James Starks has taken a full-fledged backseat to Lacy and just seen 17 carries over the last three weeks since his return from injury. With Aaron Rodgers at least a few weeks away from a return the team figures to continue to lean on Lacy. He hasn’t shown any signs of wearing down yet, but the grind of the NFL season on running backs is brutal. Here’s to hoping I’m wrong here and Lacy doesn’t let his owners down when they need him most, during the Fantasy playoffs.
Since Julio Jones was lost for the season, Matt Ryan has really struggled. Over his last four games he has thrown for only 965 yards and six touchdowns with seven interceptions. Those are not QB1 numbers. Roddy White’s return to action this week didn’t provide much relief, as he caught just one pass for 20 yards. Sure Atlanta has had a tough string of games, facing off against Arizona, Carolina and Seattle in their last three. But elite signal callers are supposed to be matchup proof. Ryan is proving he is not elite without Jones on the field. Because of this I don’t view him as a lineup lock anymore, even with some tasty matchups on the horizon.
Heading into this week, Mark Ingram’s best rushing output for his career was 91 yards. He did so against the Colts in Week 7 of 2011. Watching him absolutely shred Dallas for 145 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries on Sunday night was unexpected to say the least. He ran with purpose and authority, albeit through holes that at times were big enough to drive a truck through. The Cowboys lost both Sean Lee and Justin Durant to injury, and after they departed things really got out of hand. His strong performance is going to guarantee him more work moving forward, thus making him a guy worth picking up off your waiver wire if available. Problem is we never know how much work he will receive with Pierre Thomas and Darren Sproles also in the mix for touches out of the backfield. If he runs hard and makes some plays against a much tougher 49ers defense next week, Ingram will put himself into weekly FLEX play consideration. For the time being, though, he shouldn’t see starting lineups unless Thomas or Sproles fall prey to injury.
All reports point to Percy Harvin returning to game action in Week 11. Conveniently, that opponent is his former employer, Minnesota. There is no doubt Harvin wants to stick it to his former organization, and Pete Carroll will likely have a few set packages in place to give him a chance to do so. That, however, is all the work he will likely see. Harvin has done plenty of side work at Seahawks practices, but he hasn’t actually practiced with the team yet. Because of this he is going to need some time to get acclimated with the offense. As an owner myself, I don’t plan on using him until I actually see how he looks and gauge the level of usage he gets. You can’t get stuck holding on with a guy that is on the field for 20 percent of the time. Unless you have some pretty weak alternatives I suggest you do the same.
Owners of Arian Foster got the worst news possible this morning. Back surgery is required and he will miss the remainder of the season. Losing your first rounder for the year is a crushing blow. Hopefully, you also owned Ben Tate. We have seen glimpses of Tate’s potential, but this will be his first extended look since entering the league. While he didn’t light the world on fire this week against Arizona, you need to take into consideration that he is playing with four cracked ribs. What many fail to recognize at this point is that Tate is playing for a contract, as his expires at the end of this season. Nothing motivates more in this game than getting paid. Because of this I expect to see some monster games from him to close out the season. Lock him into your lineups every week, no questions asked.
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