Note from Fortenbaugh: It is with great pain that I put quarterbacks Matt Leinart and Vince Young on this week’s rundown, as many of you know how I feel about those two guys. Lets see if either of them can prove me wrong.
Kendall Hunter, RB, San Francisco 49ers: With Pro Bowl running back Frank Gore sidelined due to an ankle injury, Hunter rolled up 40 yards and a touchdown on just six carries against the New York Giants in Week 10. Head coach Jim Harbaugh has already told the media that Gore will likely be limited in Week 11, so look for the rookie from Oklahoma State to see some solid playing time.
Next up: vs. Arizona
Vincent Brown, WR, San Diego Chargers: In his last two games, Brown has been targeted 15 times, hauling in nine receptions for 176 yards and a touchdown as quarterback Philip Rivers has been looking his way on a more consistent basis. With Vincent Jackson stretching the field on one side and Antonio Gates drawing attention over the middle, Brown has been free to exploit coverage mismatches on the other side of the field. Consider him a WR3/4 with upside.
Next up: at Chicago
Denarius Moore, WR, Oakland Raiders: With Darrius Heyward-Bey apparently in the coach’s doghouse and Jacoby Ford exiting early due to injury, Moore ripped apart the San Diego secondary to the tune of five receptions for 123 yards and two touchdowns on seven targets last Thursday night. Don’t forget, this guy was targeted 12 times in Carson Palmer’s starting debut against the Denver Broncos back in Week 9. Consider him a WR3/4 with big-time upside.
Next up: at Minnesota
Vince Young, QB, Philadelphia Eagles: While he hasn’t officially been ruled out for Week 11 just yet, Eagles quarterback Michael Vick is battling two broken ribs that led to a disastrous performance Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals. Enter Young, who will have a plethora of explosive talent around him should he get the start Sunday in New York. We don’t think the former Titan is a great QB1 option, but we’d consider him a high risk/high reward pickup.
Next up: at New York Giants
Matt Leinart, QB, Houston Texans: The good news for Houston fans is that Leinart will get two weeks to prepare for his first start of the season due to the fact that the Texans are on the bye this weekend. The bad news is that this guy is still Matt Leinart. Those of you who have been following my work for the last four seasons know I’m not high on the former USC standout, so it shouldn’t surprise you that I don’t see much upside here. However, Leinart will have Andre Johnson and Arian Foster at his disposal, so it wouldn’t be a complete shock if he found a way to produce some decent numbers.
Next up: Bye
Earl Bennett, WR, Chicago Bears: We mentioned Bennett in this column last week and if he somehow found a way to go unclaimed, we advise you to make a move ASAP. Since coming back from injury, Jay Cutler’s former collegiate teammate has caught 11 passes for 176 yards and one touchdown on 11 targets. Bennett is quickly becoming Jay-Cut’s favorite weapon (outside of running back Matt Forte), so don’t be shocked if he continues to produce respectable stat lines on a consistent basis.
Next up: vs. San Diego
Lance Ball, RB, Denver Broncos: Willis McGahee (hamstring) says he’ll play Thursday night against the New York Jets, but Ball is still worth owning in deeper leagues if you have some roster space available. Knowshon Moreno (ACL) is out for the season and Ball racked up 96 rushing yards on 30 carries this past Sunday at Kansas City.
Next up: New York Jets (Thursday night)
Ed Dickson, TE, Baltimore Ravens: The second-year tight end out of Oregon ranks just 15th in scoring among fantasy TEs, but ranks sixth at the position in targets (68). He’ll most likely produce varying stat lines over the course of the next seven weeks, but is still worth owning in leagues with more than 12 teams.
Next up: vs. Cincinnati
Tyler Palko, QB, Kansas City Chiefs: With starting quarterback Matt Cassel likely finished for the season, Palko will step into the starting role for a Chiefs team that is suddenly struggling. He’s only thrown 13 passes in his two-year career, so we aren’t expected big-time production. But owners in deeper leagues will want to keep an eye on this guy moving forward, as Palko has a pretty strong supporting cast in Dwayne Bowe, Steve Breaston and Jonathan Baldwin.
Next up: at New England
John Skelton, QB, Arizona Cardinals: The second-year signal-caller out of Fordham has started each of the last two games for the Cardinals and has emerged victorious in both contests. Skelton will likely relinquish the starting gig once the high-priced Kevin Kolb gets healthy, but for now, you can consider this guy a serviceable QB2 in leagues with 12 or more teams. After all, he has thrown four touchdown passes over his last two games and is averaging 268.6 passing yards per start.
Next up: at San Francisco
Jacob Tamme, TE, Indianapolis Colts: This offense has had big-time trouble scoring points this season, but Tamme has been targeted 15 times over his last two games ever since starting TE Dallas Clark went down with a lower leg injury. Clark is expected to return to action in three weeks, so consider Tamme a semi-serviceable TE option for owners in leagues with more than 12 teams.
Next up: Bye
Harry Douglas, WR, Atlanta Falcons: Douglas isn’t a consistent fantasy producer, but he’s posted 55 or more receiving yards in three of his last four games and just racked up a season-high eight receptions for 133 yards on 14 targets Sunday against New Orleans. Owners in leagues with 12 or more teams should consider him a WR4/5 moving forward.
Next up: vs. Tennessee
Damian Williams, WR, Tennessee Titans: Once wideout Kenny Britt was lost for the season, somebody needed to step up for the Titans. While it’s been a crapshoot to this point, Williams has found the end zone in four of his last six starts and is coming off a season-high 107-yard performance against the Carolina Panthers. Consider him a solid WR4 if you’re in a league with 12 or more teams.
Next up: at Atlanta
Jermaine Gresham, TE, Cincinnati Bengals: The second-year tight end out of Oklahoma doesn’t post big receiving numbers, but he has found the end zone in three of his last four games, which shows you that quarterback Andy Dalton is looking his way once the Bengals reach the red zone. If Gresham’s former owner dropped him back in October when he injured his hamstring, now is the time to hit the waiver wire. This guy makes for a solid TE1 in leagues with 12 or more teams.
Next up: at Baltimore
New England Patriots, D/ST: Yes, this unit has been awful in 2011, but keep in mind that New England is coming off a solid Sunday night performance against the New York Jets and plays host to a Kansas City team on Monday night that will be without their starting quarterback. If the Patriots get up early in this one, the defense will be able to sit back in nickel and dime coverage, effectively taking away Tyler Palko’s throwing lanes.
Next up: vs. Kansas City (Monday night)
Seattle Seahawks, D/ST: Through ten weeks, the St. Louis Rams rank 25th in the league in total offense and dead last in scoring offense (12.6 pts/gm). We recommended you start the Cleveland Browns D/ST last week against the Rams (held St. Louis to just 13 points) and we’ll do the same this week with Seattle.
Next up: vs. St. Louis
Hit me up on Twitter: @JoeFortenbaugh
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