A new star was made Monday night, at least according to Jon Gruden.
As Bryce Brown was scoring on a 65-yard touchdown run against the Panthers, Monday Night Football analyst Gruden excitedly proclaimed that you see new stars made every year in the NFL. He then compared Brown to Arian Foster.
Brown's obviously no Foster, but he had a pretty nice performance on Monday night. By halftime he had more fantasy points than LeSean McCoy did in any game this season. He rushed 19 times for 178 yards -- an Eagles rookie record -- and two touchdowns, including a 65-yarder. Brown also caught four passes for 11 yards on five targets. (And, yes, yours truly looks like an idiot for recommending Ronnie Hillman over Brown last week.)
It's unclear when LeSean McCoy will come back, but at 3-8 the Eagles aren't likely to rush him. The Eagles play the Cowboys this week. Dallas' rushing defense is better than Carolina's, but if Brown starts again next week he could put up decent numbers again. He's owned in just 38 percent of Yahoo! leagues, so if you're in need of a running back this week, pick him up.
Colin Kaepernick, 49ers (36 percent owned): Jim Harbaugh's going with the hotter hand, and Kaepernick could be a top fantasy quarterback the last few weeks of the season. He went 16-for-25 for 231 yards with one touchdown and one pick and ran six times for 27 yards and a score. Kaepernick's opportunities for rushing yardage and touchdowns make him an even more attractive fantasy candidate.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bills (45 percent): He's been sputtering since a hot start. But if you're completely desperate, the Bills get the Jaguars at home this week.
Knowshon Moreno, Broncos (20 percent): Ronnie Hillman was expected to get the start at tailback with Willis McGahee out for the rest of the fantasy season. Instead, Moreno stepped into the starting role in Week 12, rushing 20 times for 85 yards and catching four passes for 26 yards on four targets. Whoever's starting in Denver is valuable because of the offense he plays in, with lots of guaranteed carries and dump-off passes from Peyton Manning. Moreno hadn't played in two months, but he's worth picking up for those in need of a running back.
Jacquizz Rodgers, Falcons (43 percent): Michael Turner is still the starter in Atlanta, but Pro Football Focus says Rodgers got more snaps than Turner for the second straight week. Turner had 10 carries and Rodgers 13, but Rodgers had more yards: 49 to 17. Both guys scored a touchdown; Rodgers also caught two passes for 30 yards. Against the Saints this week, Rodgers is a great start.
Michael Bush, Bears (56 percent): Matt Forte tweaked his ankle in the third quarter against the Vikings and sat out the rest of the game. In relief, Bush rushed 21 times for 60 yards, but did get two scores. If Forte can't go this week, Bush would start. The Seahawks have a solid run defense, but so did Minnesota on Sunday.
David Wilson, Giants (14 percent): This is only for those of you in deep leagues. Ahmad Bradshaw's backup, Andre Brown, broke his fibula on Sunday night. Wilson hasn't done much this year, but will now be slotted in the relief role for the Giants. He's for depth or handcuff purposes only.
Cecil Shorts, Jaguars (60 percent): Another week, another long touchdown for Cecil Shorts. He caught four passes for 105 yards on seven targets Sunday. He's probably already gone in your league, but if he's not, pick him up.
Danario Alexander, Chargers (47 percent): Philip Rivers keeps throwing to him; Alexander had another eight targets on Sunday, catching five passes for 74 yards against the Ravens. If Shorts is gone, Alexander is likely the best difference-maker in the fantasy playoffs available on your waiver wire. Go get him if you need a wideout.
T.Y. Hilton, Colts (43 percent): The rookie wide receiver was targeted just three times Sunday, but caught all three passes for 33 yards and a touchdown. With good matchups against the Lions and Titans coming up, Hilton could keep racking up fantasy points.
Julian Edelman, Patriots (16 percent): Edelman scored for the second straight week with a 56-yard touchdown on Thanksgiving; he caught one other pass for eight yards and had a three-yard carry. He left with a concussion in the third after a helmet-to-helmet hit (on that carry) and his status for this week is still in doubt. But the Patriots have an easy schedule and a thin receiving corps the rest of the way; even if Edelman doesn't play this week he might be worth stashing on your bench.
Mohamed Sanu, Bengals (3 percent): Sanu scored for the third straight game, while hauling in five passes for 29 yards and two scores on nine targets in Week 12. The targets looks is a career high, but he's only getting short stuff from Andy Dalton, and the Bengals have faced subpar secondaries the past three weeks. The upside: More average secondaries (San Diego, Dallas and Philly) are on the way the next three games, so for those in big leagues, Sanu's a guy to take a flier on. He could steal some more touchdowns.
Dwayne Allen, Colts (16 percent): Andrew Luck has targeted Allen 17 times the last two weeks. He caught just three passes for 36 yards Sunday, but this week faces the Detroit Lions, one of the worst teams in the league at defending tight ends. Expect a lot of targets for Allen this week.
Kyle Rudolph, Vikings (52 percent): Rudolph had his second strong week in a row, catching five passes for 55 yards and a touchdown on nine targets versus the Bears, but left the game in the fourth quarter after possibly suffering a concussion. He's questionable this week; if he plays he's an OK start against the Packers defense.
Phil Dawson, Browns (16 percent): Dawson has quietly been a top-10 fantasy kicker; he's had three low-scoring weeks but hasn't missed a field goal all season. This week he gets the Raiders, who give up a ton of fantasy points to opposing kickers. If you've been swapping kickers weekly in order to improve your chances at the playoffs, Dawson's your pick for this week.
Ryan Lindell, Bills (3 percent): The Bills play the defensively-challenged Jaguars this week. Lindell's missed just one field goal this year and should get a few chances on Sunday.
Dallas Cowboys (31 percent): Your weekly this team-plays-the-Eagles special. The Cowboys scored two defensive touchdowns and returned a punt for a touchdown last time they played Philly. They also got two sacks.
Carolina Panthers (16 percent): And here's your weekly this team-plays-the-Chiefs special. Carolina gave up 22 points to the Eagles, but forced three turnovers and recorded a sack.