World-Herald fantasy football writer Cameron Carlow and staff writer Jake Anderson provide insight following Week 13′s NFL action.
* * *
UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
Bryce Brown, RB, Eagles: What a year for rookies in the NFL. Time to add Brown to the list of rookie phenoms. Brown totaled 181 yards and two touchdowns against the Cowboys. He has not only filled in for LeSean McCoy, he’s surpassed him. McCoy averaged 4.2 yards per carry — a very good number — in his 10 games before being concussed. Brown averages 6.5 yards a carry — second most in the NFL for running backs with at least 75 attempts. His role will likely decrease when McCoy returns, but he’ll certainly continue to be a valuable piece on any fantasy playoff roster.
Andrew Luck, QB, Colts: Speaking of rookie studs, Luck had his first game as a pro with four touchdown passes and has good enough match-ups to be trusted as a playoff starter.
Jamaal Charles, RB, Chiefs: Charles got the ball 31 times in Kansas City’s win over the Panthers. He totaled 138 yards but couldn’t get into the endzone — a continuous problem for the Chiefs, let alone Charles. Still, he’s a valuable fantasy running back and should continue to be going forward.
Michael Crabtree, WR, 49ers: Crabtree seems to be gaining chemistry with Colin Kaepernick after having his first 100 yard receiving game since Kaepernick took over. But the wide receiver’s constant inconsistency makes him a scary start in the coming weeks.
Steve Smith, WR, Panthers: Smith had his first touchdown reception in four games, and with Cam Newton’s recent hot streak, expect more big numbers.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB, Bengals: Green-Ellis has rushed for more than 100 yards in his last three games, capped by a 118-yard performance against the Chargers. He has Dallas and Philadelphia up next, and both have looked suspect against the run recently. With his midseason slump over, it is an exciting time to own Green-Ellis.
James Jones, WR, Packers: With Jones having no receptions in Week 11 and Greg Jennings returning, Jones’ arrow was pointing down. But with Jordy Nelson injuring his hamstring again and Jones adding another touchdown reception against the Vikings, he can be trusted as a starter to start the playoffs.
Ryan Mathews, RB, Chargers: Mathews’ fantasy owners have been more than frustrated this season, and it got worse on Sunday. The Chargers ran the ball with Mathews nine times, a disappointing total. On the bright side, he was the only Chargers running back to get a carry, so his job doesn’t seem in jeopardy. Be cautious in the coming weeks, and it may be time to look for a new running back.
Brandon Myers, TE, Raiders: Myers continued his hot streak with 14 receptions for 130 yards and a touchdown. If he is still available in your league, add him as soon as possible.
Jordy Nelson, WR, Packers: Nelson reinjured his troublesome hamstring against the Vikings and seems a long shot to go against Detroit.
>> Also: Steve Johnson, WR, Bills; Mohamed Sanu, WR, Bengals; Ryan Broyles, WR, Lions; Titus Young, WR, Lions; Rashad Jennings, RB, Jaguars
James Starks, RB, Packers: Green Bay running back is mostly a mute position, but Starks ran the ball well against the Vikings, scoring his first touchdown of the season, and he has been getting the bulk of the carries in the Packers backfield.
>> Also: Myers; Montell Owens, RB, Jaguars; Josh Gordon, WR, Browns; Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Steelers