Wideout injuries creating opportunity for T.Y. Hilton, others

      November 6, 2012 @ 12:07:56 PDT


Andrew Luck is freakin' impressive in his rookie season. Believe it or not, he has 2,404 passing yards through Week 9, which is identical to Peyton Manning. Eerie, yes. And damn impressive. Luck is a solid QB1 in the right matchups. It can't be disputed.

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Emmanuel Sanders
Emmanuel is your man

It's almost impossible not to root for the Colts these days with what Luck is doing and Chuck Pagano's fight against cancer. They'll have an excellent chance to go 6-3 in their tilt against the Jacksonville Jaguars in two days, too.

Luck had his best showing of the season in Week 9 against the Miami Dolphins, going 30-for-48 for 433 yards and two touchdowns. Arians wasn't afraid to have the rook air it out against the Dolphins' shaky secondary.

Jacksonville's secondary hasn't been quite as bad as Miami's, but they're yielding the 10th most receiving yards per game (168.6) and give up an average of 20.8 fantasy points to receivers per game in standard scoring. You better believe they'll let Luck exploit that to some degree this Thursday.

With the short week, Donnie Avery will be a game-time decision with a hip ailment. T.Y. Hilton will step up in his place if Avery can't play, and even if Avery suits up, Hilton could be a sneaky play. The 22-year-old Florida International product had his second 100-yard effort last week and was targeted a team-high 12 times by Luck. Hilton has been thrown to at least five times in the last three weeks.

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Own any of the Packers receivers who are on a bye this week? What about Larry Fitzgerald? If so, take a peek at Emmanuel Sanders, too. He was targeted only twice in the Steelers' win over the G-Men last week, but one of those took place in the end zone.

Antonio Brown (high ankle sprain) almost certainly won't play against the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday night, so expect Sanders to reap the benefits against the AFC West basement dwellers. Romeo Crennel fired himself as the defensive coordinator in favor of linebackers coach Gary Gibbs this week, so expect a transition period. Sanders and Mike Wallace should take advantage.

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In deeper leagues, how about Jerome Simpson? Minnesota is in a bit of a freefall with Christian Ponder being downright awful lately, and Percy Harvin (ankle) is doubtful to play this week. They're going in the opposite direction of their Week 10 opponent and division foe, the Detroit Lions.

Minnesota could easily lean more on the bionic robot that is Adrian Peterson, but with Harvin likely out, they'll have to throw at some point, especially if they fall behind Detroit by a few scores, which is entirely possible. Kyle Rudolph will probably benefit the most from Harvin's absence, but expect Simpson's numbers to rise as well.

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About Keith Hernandez

Keith, an editor with KFFL, joined the team as a Hot off the Wire analyst in 2008 and has been playing fantasy sports since 2005. He is involved in MLB, NFL and NASCAR content. He graduated from the University of California-San Diego in 2005 with a B.A. in Communications and was a four-year starter as a member of the baseball program.

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