Adam Ronis, Staff Writer November 30, 2012

Bryce Brown rushed for 178 yards and two TDs in his first NFL start. Photo Credit: Sports on me

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Would you start Bryce Brown or Marcel Reece in a PPR league?

Reece has been just about a must-start the past few games with the absence of Darren McFadden. Over the last three games, he has 47 carries for 225 yards and caught 15 passes for 175 yards on 22 targets. Despite no TDs in that span, he had at least 13 points in a PPR format in each game. McFadden is likely to return in Week 13 and that makes the role of Reece cloudy. It is possible McFadden gets a workload less than what he was getting when healthy, enabling Reece to still get some carries. Either way, Reece has been good and should still be involved. If his touches are reduced, it will impact his value. Reece becomes more of a low RB2 or flex play in a PPR league. Brown will start again for the Eagles, and he couldn’t have been more impressive in his first start since high school on Monday night against the Panthers. It wasn’t just Brown getting big holes to run through. Brown was strong, fast, and decisive, and he ran with excellent burst. The only negative was losing two fumbles. Brown had 19 carries for 178 yards with two TDs and caught four passes for 11 yards. He showed his big-play ability, and could be a player that leads teams to Fantasy titles the next few weeks should LeSean McCoy remained sidelined with a concussion. There’s no doubt about Brown’s talent. He was one of the top high school recruits in the country. Brown has a good matchup against a Cowboys defense that has lost both of its inside linebackers for the season. Start Brown.

I’m in a .5 PPR league with one point for 25 yards per reception/rushing. Which three would you play out of Cecil Shorts, Danario Alexander, Bryce Brown, Larry Fitzgerald and Mohamed Sanu?

It was revealed Friday morning that Sanu has a stress fracture in his foot and will have surgery Monday, so he can be cut. Brown was discussed extensively in the previous question and should be started in just about every situation. He will get the ball and the Cowboys have been hit hard by injuries on defense, especially at linebacker. Shorts is on a roll right now and the play of Chad Henne, who is making good throws downfield and not afraid to take chances, bodes well for him. Shorts missed practice on Thursday with a hamstring injury, but was back at practice Friday and is likely to play. Since the Jaguars Week 6 bye, Shorts has at least 16 points in five of six games in PPR formats. He has at least 79 yards in five of those games and four TDs. The emergence of Henne, Justin Blackmon and Marcedes Lewis will only help Shorts. Alexander has been very productive since entering the Chargers starting lineup. He’s a big-play receiver that uses his body well to shield defenders and is a good downfield threat. Philip Rivers looks for him often. Alexander has 17 catches for 304 yards and three TDs on 26 targets the last three games. I’d start those three. Many people are advocating benching Larry Fitzgerald this week and it’s difficult to dispute that. It really depends on your alternatives, and in this case I believe it’s valid. Still, Fitzgerald is one of the best receivers in football and he’s has excelled with awful quarterback play in the past. The problem is that Ryan Lindley has been awful. Fitzgerald is still getting a ton of targets, but it’s not translating to success. Fitzgerald had 12 targets last week against the Rams, but had just three catches for 31 yards. The prior week he had one catch for 11 yards. Fitzgerald has 29 yards or less and one TD in three of his last five games. Fitzgerald takes on a Jets defense that has been good against the pass and he will likely draw Antonio Cromartie, who has been excellent this season. I think this actually is better than getting bracket coverage and I wouldn’t be surprised if Fitzgerald had success this week.

I have Hakeem Nicks and Eric Decker. I need a third WR in a PPR and can choose from T.Y. Hilton, Mike Wallace, Ryan Broyles and Santana Moss.

With Titus Young sent home last week and purposely lining up in the wrong spots, Broyles has emerged into a very good play. He was terrific last week against the Texans despite dropping a TD pass. Broyles had six catches for 126 yards on 12 targets. He has excellent skills after the catch and will become a big part of a pass-first offense. Broyles will see a lot of favorable matchups, as Calvin Johnson draws heavy attention. Wallace is not listed as a co-starter on the depth chart with Emmanuel Sanders, and with Ben Roethlisberger out again, Wallace is on the bench in most instances. I love the upside and big-play ability of Hilton, but he is inconsistent with Donnie Avery in the picture. While he has four TDs and two 100-yard games over the last four games, his targets are 11, 1, 9 and 3. While he can excel with limited targets, Broyles is the safer play. Moss has seven TDs on just 29 catches, and if he doesn’t score he won’t provide much. He did have two TDs the last time he faced the Giants, but he only had three receptions. He has eight targets the last three games. Broyles is the safest play and will get many receptions.

Rank these RBs in order for Week 13: Mikel Leshoure, DeMarco Murray, Stevan Ridley and Trent Richardson.

Richardson is easily the top choice. Here are his touches over the last four games: 25, 31, 34 and 33. The Raiders, who rank 28th against the run, have been abysmal against the run. The Raiders allowed BenJarvus Green-Ellis to rush for 129 yards on 19 carries with a TD. How bad is the Raiders’ run defense right now? Green-Ellis entered the game with a career long run of 33 yards. He had a 39-yard and a 48-yard run last week. While Ridley has a tough matchup against a Dolphins run defense that ranks seventh against the run and shut down Marshawn Lynch last week, I’d still rank him No. 2 in this group. The Patriots offense will put him in a position to score every week. He has eight TDs on the season and has scored in four consecutive games. After that, I go Leshoure. He missed practice Wednesday with an ankle injury, but was at practice Thursday. Leshoure scored the first rushing TD against the Texans last week and he has five TDs the last four games. Murray is too risky. There are mixed reports about whether he plays and the game is Sunday night. He has practiced and while the signs point to him being active, his workload is unknown. There’s also the possibility of him aggravating the injury. As of Friday afternoon, he’s risky.

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