TORONTO - Just when you thought the Saints’ backfield wasn’t trouble enough, now the Shanahan-ian Sean Payton has four fully healthy RBs to toy around with.
On Monday night, three of the four — Mark Ingram, Darren Sproles and Pierre Thomas — had a pretty even split of the touches while Chris Ivory was left out in the cold, being made a healthy scratch.
Ingram was the leading rusher with 13 carries for 80 yards on the night, but 35 of those came on a late touchdown run when the Giants had all but given up.
Sproles and Thomas were both more effective on a per carry basis and shouldn’t be forgotten about.
This situation should cause a lot of headaches if you own one of these guys heading into the stretch run and playoffs.
— Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse for the Houston Texans, two things happened: They lost backup QB Matt Leinart for the rest of the season with a broken collarbone and then they signed Jake Delhomme. While the former Brown may be better than rookie T.J. Yates, who did a decent job taking over in Leinart’s stead, this move still won’t be good for the fantasy value of Andre Johnson. The all-world receiver only had three targets and two catches on Sunday despite the Jaguars focussing on stopping the run.
— The Texans’ QB woes have already had an effect on their powerful running game. Arian Foster was held to 65 yards on 22 carries on Sunday but did punch in a touchdown. While I’d never suggest benching the fantasy stud, it’s worth noting that it’ll be tougher to rely on him to carry you all the way to fantasy glory.
— Want a solution to your CJ1K problem? Think of Chris Johnson as an average running back and not your wasted first-round pick. It’s sad to acknowledge that a guy with so much potential has fallen this far, but that’s the harsh reality. That means that this week Johnson is a sure-fire starter going up against a Bills team that has allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs. And, not to get you too excited, but the Titans also have the Saints, Colts and Jags on tap for the next few weeks.
— Things are finally starting to come around for the Browns’ running game. Peyton Hillis returned from injuries, illness, etc. last week and reports are that Montario Hardesty isn’t too far behind him. That means that Chris Ogbonnaya will be relegated back to third down duties at most, making him quite expendable.
— While Chiefs’ head coach Todd Haley has said that Tyler Palko is still his starting QB this week, it seems that Kyle Orton will get a shot to run the offence in the near future. This week at practice Orton got “plenty” of reps with the first team offence in an effort to get him up to speed on the playbook. Should he demonstrate enough comfort with the offence and Palko continues to throw three picks per game, well it’s academic that the former Bronco will be under centre soon.
— It looks like you’ll have to go another week without Adrian Peterson carrying the load for your fantasy team. The Vikings have already ruled out their star back, so expect another healthy serving of Toby Gerhart this week. In his first career start last week, Gerhart only managed 44 yards, but did punch in a TD to give him a respectable fantasy showing. If you’re desperate for a back that you know will get a lot of carries this week, the sparsely-owned Gerhart should be your man.
— Things aren’t going so well for DeSean Jackson and his fantasy owners. After being benched in the fourth quarter on Sunday, he only managed 34 yards on Thursday night in Seattle. He hasn’t exactly lit the fantasy world on fire this season and should no longer be considered a must-start every week.
Drew Brees leads the league with 16 passing touchdowns that traveled five yards or fewer past the line of scrimmage.
Just in case you were wondering, after Matt Leinart was injured on Sunday and T.J. Yates came in, the Texans backup QB was Owen Daniels, who threw six passes as a college freshman.
Start Tim Tebow, QB, DEN at MIN — His passing stats won’t impress, but he’s sixth among QBs in fantasy points over the past four weeks.
Sit Carson Palmer, QB, OAK at MIA — He has been improving each week, but the Dolphins are too.
Start BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB, NE vs. IND — The Patriots are quite simply going to crush the Colts.
Sit Stephen Jackson, RB, STL at SF — We’re into Week 13 and the Niners still haven’t allowed a rushing TD.
Start Chris Johnson, RB, TEN at BUF — Remember how I said to play CJ against poor teams? Here you go.
Sit Roy Helu, RB, WAS vs. NYJ — He was a lone wolf for the Skins last week, but can we really trust Mike Shanahan?
Sit Julio Jones, WR, ATL at HOU — He’s still nursing a hamstring issue and was held without a catch last week.
Start Reggie Wayne, WR, IND at NE — Sure the Colts will get crushed, but they will be throwing the ball a lot.
Start Scott Chandler, TE, BUF vs. TEN — Wide out injuries has him featuring more prominently in the Bills aerial attack.
Matt Stafford, QB, DET at NO
— Since breaking his finger, has thrown nine interceptions in three games.
— After playing on Thanksgiving, he’s coming off 10 days of rest.
— With only six interceptions this season, New Orleans has the second fewest in the league.
— The Saints are allowing more than 300 yards passing per game over their past four outings.
Eli Manning, QB, NYG vs. GB
— Running game still isn’t working out, so look for a lot of passes.
— Victor Cruz has emerged as a near-elite fantasy receiver for Manning to target.
— Despite the Giants’ recent slump, Manning has still been performing and threw for more than 400 yards in Monday’s loss.
— The Packers are allowing the third-most fantasy points per game to opposing QBs.
Verdict: Considering the Giants have a good history against unbeaten teams, take Eli.