— You wouldn’t know it from last week, but Mike Shanahan isn’t coaching Denver any more. After a week of expecting rookie Ronnie Hillman to lead the Broncos rushing attack, word broke early Sunday that Knowshon Moreno would get the start and shoulder the load. Hillman ended with three carries for nine yards and a very disappointed amount of owners that couldn’t get him out of their lineups before game time.
— The oft-injured Darren McFadden should be making his return on Sunday for the Raiders against Cleveland. McFadden and his injured backup, Mike Goodson (who is also practising), have been out for two weeks with high ankle sprains, leaving Marcel Reece to carry the running game. The thing is that Reece has done a nice job, but can now no longer be trusted in fantasy leagues as long as McFadden plays. It was good while it lasted for those who grabbed Reece, but that run has come to an end.
— Week 12 was a terrible week for top-end tight ends. Not taking anything away from the unowned Charles Clay of the Dolphins, who was tops on the week with 14.4 points, but it’s unlikely he’ll do that again — ever. To put in perspective how bad the top TEs were last week, Aaron Hernandez, Jimmy Graham, Antonio Gates and Jermichael Finley combined for 13.3 points — 1.1 fewer than Clay.
— The Pittsburgh Steelers are preparing for another game without injured QB Ben Roethlisberger, so you should too. Big Ben tested out his ribs and shoulder during the week and still had issues with both arm strength and pain. That means Charlie Batch will start Sunday against the tough Ravens so you might want to avoid Pittsburgh’s receivers, as well. Also, start Baltimore’s defence if you have it.
— Jonathan Dwyer is the starting RB for the Steelers this week. What does that mean? Not much. With a crowded four-man backfield, Dwyer isn’t likely to get many more touches than any of the other guys.
PICKUP OF THE WEEK
Rashad Jennings, RB, Jac
It has been a rollercoaster ride of a season for Jennings. He previously has been both an Add of the Week and Drop of the Week. But with Jalen Parmele now on IR and Maurice Jones-Drew still unable to return from his foot injury, the Jags are reluctantly giving Jennings and his puny 2.8 YPC another spin as their feature back against an improving Bills run defence. How long this stint lasts for Jennings, however, who knows?
DROP OF THE WEEK
LaRod Stephens-Howling, RB
Now that Beanie Wells is back in the Cardinals fold, Stephens-Howling is back to being an afterthought in the desert. He had only one carry last Sunday and was targeted just once in the passing game. The end result: One yard and 0.1 fantasy point. Consider him strictly a handcuff in case Wells gets hurt again.
WAIVER ‘D’ OF THE WEEK
New York Jets
The Cardinals are becoming a very easy team to pick on. They have allowed the most sacks in the league, are starting a rookie QB and playing three time zones east of their home. Even the Jets’ anemic pass rush should be able to notch a few sacks. Also, Ryan Lindley was picked off four times and two of them were returned for TDs last week.
SIT OR START
Tony Romo, QB, DAL vs. PHI
The Eagles are giving up a lot of passing yards and just cut their best pass rusher.
Chad Henne, QB, JAC at BUF
Henne has been solid since taking over as starter and Buffalo is a good matchup.
Colin Kaepernick, QB, SF at STL
He’s the starter in San Fran and has shown that he can be a good fantasy guy too.
Nick Foles, QB, PHI at DAL
It turns out that Foles isn’t the answer for Philly. He passed for only 119 yards against the Panthers.
Chris Johnson, RB, HOU at TEN
He has a nice history against the Texans, but this is still the league’s best run defence.
Brandon Lloyd, WR, NE at MIA
Despite the Patriots recent scoring binge, Lloyd has been quiet the past three weeks.
Mike Wallace, WR, PIT at BAL
Wallace has been struggling the past three games, amassing only 29 yards total in three weeks.
T.Y. Hilton, WR, IND at DET
Has scored four touchdowns in the past two weeks, including one on a punt return.
Brandon Myers, TE, OAK vs. CLE
The Browns have given up the least points in the NFL to opposing TEs.
Dallas Cowboys DEF vs. PHI
The Eagles are a turnover machine and have allowed the second-most to opposing DEFs.