Week 12: Player Upgrades
What are you looking for?
Latest NFL News and Rumors...

Maurice Jones-Drew and Darren McFadden are expected to provide the Raiders with an interesting one-two punch out of the ba... [read more] [All News & Rumors]
Bill Lazor has replaced Mike Sherman as the Dolphins' offensive coordinator this year, and one of the differences between ... [read more] [All News & Rumors]
As expected, the Raiders unloaded quarterback Terrelle Pryor on Monday. Less expected is that they actually got something ... [read more] [All News & Rumors]
Marquess Wilson has some more competition in his... [read more] [All News & Rumors]
Rams head coach Jeff Fisher said Sunday that quarterback Sam Bradford is doing really well as he rehabs from reconstructiv... [read more] [All News & Rumors]
A wide majority of NFL teams begin their offseason program this week. One of those teams is the Dallas Cowboys, who actual... [read more] [All News & Rumors]
Bears wide receiver Marquess Wilson was a seventh-round pick in last year's draft. He played in nine games and caught two ... [read more] [All News & Rumors]
We've been tracking 49ers running back Marcus Lattimore's long road back from his latest devestating knee injury. Most rec... [read more] [All News & Rumors]
Andrew Abramson of the Palm Beach Post wrote Friday that Dolphins wide receivers Brian Hartline and Brandon Gibson are exp... [read more] [All News & Rumors]
 
 
 
 
Football > Week 12 > Player Upgrades

Week 12: Player Upgrades

The passers, runners and receivers rising the short and long term fantasy football ranks This week's picks include Profiled players include E.J. Manuel, Alex Smith, Chris Ivory, Donald Brown, and Victor Cruz.
RSS
 0 Reader Comments | Add Yours

Manuel is on bye this week, but returns for a three-game stint against the Falcons, Buccaneers and Jaguars. Obviously, he'll be a good play for those weeks; and to make owners feel even better, he was able to turn in perhaps the strongest performance of his young career last week. Manuel went 20-28 for 245 yards and two touchdowns against the Jets. Most impressive is the fact that Manuel was able to do this without much in the way of a ground game. The Bills have struggled all season running the ball and despite that being the case Sunday, Manuel put together a game that should propel him to a strong finish in 2013.

Injury Status: Out - Knee

Much like the Chiefs franchise, Smith isn't flashy. He hasn't thrown a touchdown in five of his starts and he has yet to post a 300-yard passing game. None of that matters anymore because Smith finishes the year with the third-softest schedule of any quarterback in the NFL per our very own strength of schedule ratings. That means Smith will be playing the likes of San Diego (twice), Denver, Washington, and Oakland. For a quarterback who is often turnover-free (11 touchdowns to four interceptions), this bodes well for Smith as he could really pad his stats against some of the worst secondaries in the league. Smith is also an efficient runner and should be a guy worth starting down the stretch.

Injury Status: Out - Coach's Decision

Two straight impressive performances for Ivory get him on the list. Ivory has 237 yards and two touchdowns over the past two games and the 10th softest schedule remaining for any running back. Ivory's 7.2 yards per carry over the past two weeks have been even more impressive given the lack of support he has received from Geno Smith (who has not thrown a touchdown pass over that span).

Brown has not been named the starter, but since Trent Richardson has been a member of the Colts, Brown has 293 yards on 48 carries and Richardson has 272 yards on 96 carries. Given the lack of success for Richardson, Brown received more carries against the Titans (14 to Richardson's 8) and delivered with 80 yards and two touchdowns. Brown's big night should merit continued opportunities, especially since Richardson's touches have decreased over the past month. The Colts are committed to running the ball and so fantasy owners should ride the hot hand with Brown.

It seemed like Hakeem Nicks was poised to break out and start finding the end zone a few weeks ago, but instead it's been Rueben Randle getting all the red zone looks. The forgotten man in the Giants receiving corps has six touchdowns in the last six weeks. However, Cruz has been the WR getting the most attention from Eli Manning. Cruz has been targeted 31 times over the past three games and has totaled 18 receptions for 233 yards. He's bound to find the end zone soon as the Giants have games remaining against the likes of the Cowboys, Redskins (twice) and Chargers.

Injury Status: Out - Knee
 
 0 Reader Comments | Add Yours
Partner of USA TODAY Sports Digital Properties