It takes a rare night for the NFL to field the sports landscape's undercard to the NBA, although Thursday was it. But the better game was in Philadelphia, as the Eagles and Texans provided a fantasy-point buffet in the nick of time for owners on the playoff bubble. The Eagles' 34-24 win had something for everyone, including big performances, a back-and-forth final quarter for the non-fantasy Puritan folks and intrigue supreme.
It would have been nice for either one or both leading Eagles receivers, DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin, to get in the end zone. After a pair of tough outings, Jackson owners got some relief with his 84-yard night although his touchdown drought reached three games. On another note, we saw the latest Jason Avant touchdown drop in what seems to be a weekly routine. From here on out, anytime the Eagles reach the red zone, just wish for the anti-Avant package to enter the game, with No. 81 safely on the sideline.
Expect these prominent fantasy starters to halt their various skids and score some redemption, along with some much-needed points this weekend.
They might be well-known but seldom used or unknown and ready to use, there are points to be had on the waiver wire or even buried on the bench. Here are three picks to start, that might not be obvious in a special all-running back edition.
The best way to gauge the value of a wide receiver is the number of times quarterbacks look their way, known as Targets. Here are the top 20 leading receivers through 12 weeks.
1. Terrell Owens, Bengals 124
Saints at Bengals
With the news that Lions quarterback Shaun Hill might miss the rest of the season, don't expect much from WR Calvin Johnson. Downgrade him to a mid-range WR3 and keep in mind that with third-stringer Drew Stanton in, and a banged up and ineffective RB in Jahvid Best, it could get ugly again in Detroit. Johnson could always pick up some fourth quarter garbage points, but with Stanton start at your own risk.
Various reports have hinted that Pierre Thomas could be back this week, making the Saints' backfield even more crowded. Fantasy owners already had to deal with a curve ball last week with Reggie Bush's exciting return to the lineup (insert joke here), while Chris Ivory failed to get many yards but still punched in two TDs. The best advice here, is to treat the Saints' backfield like its radioactive -- stay away.