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For a complete listing of targets and touches, check out our Statistics Analyzer and Utilizations pages.
Write-ups labeled with WW are waiver wire targets. Find more fantasy football risers in our Fantasy Football Waiver Wire.
When a dangerous weapon returns to the lineup, his talent doesn't merely restart his own fantasy value, but those around him, as well. One case in point was the re-emergence of Michael Crabtree (Achilles'), who mustered 68 yards on two grabs and four looks Sunday.
With the San Francisco 49ers' complete registry of starters back, the offense should open up, forcing the defense to spread its attention over more sources. Note Anquan Boldin and his 13 targets, his most since Week 1. Vernon Davis should be even better now, too.
Though Colin Kaepernick only found the end zone once, he posted one of his most efficient passing days on the year. His full complement of receivers made him more comfortable.
Crabtree this year will serve more often as a decoy, someone enemy secondaries must remember exists, than a focal point. Still, he's an attractive postseason stash who should be moving much better by January.
The rival Seattle Seahawks, who've already punched their own playoff ticket, must be leaning toward saving their own intriguing but fragile weapon until their Super Bowl push. Percy Harvin's (hip) latest setback jeopardizes his opportunity to follow in Crabtree's footsteps for fantasy owners. This offense has been a much better machine than San Fran's, though, so he'd merely be a bonus.
Stevan Ridley was declared a healthy inactive Sunday. The New England Patriots will stick with Shane Vereen as the majority back, at least in their passing situations. LeGarrette Blount and Brandon Bolden will divvy up the carry picture for as long as Ridley is exiled.
Andre Ellington's sore knee kept him out on Sunday, and Rashard Mendenhall took advantage, averaging 4.22 yards, his highest rate since Week 2. Mendy had shown a bit more giddy-up the previous week, as well, as his turf toe that has nagged him nearly all season may be subsiding. Even after Ellington returns, if the situation calls for bruising, Mendenhall may take more work away as he regains Bruce Arians' trust.
In a not-so-big surprise, Donald Brown (17 utils Sunday) has supplanted Trent Richardson (five) as the Indianapolis Colts' starting back. Adjust accordingly.
Montee Ball had a banner day Sunday with 117 yards on 13 carries. Knowshon Moreno was active, but the Denver Broncos wanted to involve both to keep Moreno (ankle) fresh. Look for Ball to tote this frequently as Denver tries to lock down a first-round bye.
Matt Flynn's tenure at quarterback may be over soon. The Green Bay Packers fill-in had little time to throw on Thanksgiving. He was sacked seven times. Jordy Nelson, Jarret Boykin and James Jones had little time to get open. Aaron Rodgers (collarbone) may be back this week.
WW: Watch out for LaVon Brazill, who has 13 targets in the last two weeks, including eight from Sunday. Andrew Luck is realizing that Darrius Heyward-Bey probably isn't the best choice to supplement T.Y. Hilton and Coby Fleener. Brazill boasts sneaky big-play ability.
WW: Green has 16 looks in the last three contests and has taken advantage of the absence of Eddie Royal (toe, chest), but the San Diego Chargers would probably feature Green anyway even if the slot man were healthy. Green at times resembles a vintage Gates, and with the vet sporting little in the way of breakaway speed these days, Green should continue working into Philip Rivers' good graces.
WW: Coming out of the bye, Zach Ertz and Brent Celek were bigger parts of the game plan Sunday. They each hauled in six targets as the Philadelphia Eagles looked to expose the Arizona Cardinals' spotty defense against the position. The remaining schedule is somewhat attractive, and though these two often cannibalize their targets
WW: Following his six looks Sunday night (five receptions), Brandon Myers has 15 over his last trio of outings and a score in each of his last two. His 11 catches in that time reflect his time with the Oakland Raiders last year, when he posted one of the best catch percentages in the NFL. Eli Manning has been ineffective most of the season, and maybe re-incorporating Myers will help him regain some comfort.
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About Tim Heaney
Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in the prestigious LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.
He appears frequently, including every Sunday, on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, as well as every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.
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