What We Learned Week 12 (SUNDAY)

Percy Harvin carried the heavy load this week and rewarded all his owners. While it’s possible AP will return this week, high ankle sprains have a tendency to linger so it could take you into the playoffs. We will know better as the week progresses, but regardless Harvin should be in your lineup at all times. Ponder trusts him and is looking his way more times than not. With AP out and Gerhart’s average performance at the goal line, Harvin should also be in line to possibly see more than the token 5 carries.

Legarrette Blount now has two straight 100+ rushing games and I don’t expect that to change. Raheem Morris has finally seen the light and understands the more carries he has the better for the offense. You can also add Mike Williams to the list of Bucs back on the map after his second 83+ yard game with a score. Josh Freeman is still a proposition best left on the bench though he is improving.

After reports that he was not going to be ready, Peyton Hillis returned to action with 65 yard performance. Surprisingly, he carried the load with 19 touches compared to Ogbannaya’s 3 touches. Don’t go dropping him yet though, as Hillis has proven to be an injury liability. If you have both and are rolling with Hillis, keep Obannaya on the bench and save him for a rainy day.

Cedric Benson posted a solid 106 yard, 1 touchdown day but don’t buy into it. He did show improvement on his vision and speed this week but it was against a weak rush defense and next week draws the Steelers whom just limited KC to 90 total yards. 

Though Deangelo Williams posted a two score day on 69 yards rushing, Jonathan Stewart was the better back. Quite simply it was luck of the draw at who happened to be in on a given play. The Colts are miserable defensively and Stewart totaled 70 yards on 5 fewer carries. The Panthers face the Bucs in two of their next three games so there is money to be made with both backs but Stewart has the better up side.

Although CJ Spiller posted only 70 total yards, he was very active throughout the game and showed the best decisiveness I’ve seen from him all year. Next week brings the Titans which allowed Blount a 110+ day and are ranked 23rd overall against the run. You can also trust Ryan Fitzpatrick and Steve Johnson again. Fitz had his best performance in weeks and showed a return to his accuracy.

While the stats show Mark Sanchez having a stellar game, his four touchdowns came on a measly 180 yards and he was nearly boo’d out of the stadium before salvaging himself with a great late drive to take the lead. There were still the hesitancy issues and his problems with making poor reads in the middle of the field. Ever since their “talk”, Plaxico Burress has been a better option than Santonio Holmes. Holmes had 28 yards on the ground which helped his numbers this week but his speed and Sanchez’ hesitancy issues make for a bad combination. While you can’t bench the guy, plan being on edge if you roll with him into the playoffs.

The Matt Leinart injury couldn’t have come at a worse time for Andre Johnson. Yates is sure to have had only very limited time all season working with Johnson since he was 3rd on the depth chart. He is a rookie QB whom will make mistakes and turn the ball over which means less impact for Johnson. You can rely on Arian Foster to carry the load but come down to Earth in terms of his crazy numbers. An 80+ yard day with a score would be about the expectation given teams will go man and bring help up to stop him in hopes of forcing Yates to beat them. Ben Tate could see an increase in work load as well if the Texans go to running the ball 30+ times until Yates gets his feet wet. Could this be the exact opportunity Brett Favre has been waiting for?

Forget about buying into the Johnny Knox performance. The Bears were down and playing sand lot football, hoping to strike it rich and they did on a 81 yard connection. Caleb Haine did have a much better second half so it is possible he just needed to get his feet wet. Matt Forte finished with just 84 total yards, part due to the score and part due to the fact a Raider was in his face every time he touched the ball. Like Arian Foster, teams will focus on Forte until Haine proves otherwise. Unlike Foster, Haine has the ability and potential to make that happen quickly. 

If you checked out my Friday post I told you Marcel Reece had some serious up side to him. While he would have been a very risky play, he did reward with a 92 yard performance receiving. Mike Bush posted 93 yards with a score against an elite defense so there are no worries there. 

If you own any of the Chiefs Running Backs, plan on benching them until Haley recovers from his Mike Shanahan look alike contest. Haley has opted to use a three headed attack which has killed the values of Battle, Jones, and McCluster. Although Palko is a sub average quarterback, Dwayne Bowe still had 11 targets and delivered on 7 of them for 69 yards. Bowe will be a priority regardless and has the athleticism to make catches from errant throws. Keep him in there.

Antonio Brown is still one of the most trustworthy fantasy players after getting a team high 6 targets and 81 yards receiving. Roethlisberger has complete trust in this guy and so should you. Rahsard Mendenhall is an after thought and should be for your team as well unless the match up is priceless.

Use Desean Jackson with caution after his benching for dropped passes. The Eagles are nearing implode mode and Jackson is a gamer with immaturity issues. 

Norv Turner delivered on his wish to get Ryan Mathews the ball more, letting the back tote the rock 22 times for 137 yards. BumpMike Tolbert down a notch unless Mathews sustains another injury. He is now a Flex play at best. 

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