The RotoExperts.com Staff reviews the Week 13 action through the fantasy lens.
Houston's decisive win over Jacksonville was a showcase for rookie running back Steve Slaton, who quelled any lingering doubts about his health by delivering the best game of his career. He totaled 182 yards from scrimmage and scored twice. Now, his owners have nothing more to worry about as their fantasy playoffs begin.
The Houston running back stable is depleted, but Slaton is proving that he can carry a significant workload, and the team has preserved him well. He touched the ball 23 times on Monday night, consistently displaying good vision, quick bursts through holes, and the ability to accelerate into higher gears when he hits the second level of defenders. Such qualities have solidified Slaton as a prime RB2 again as the fantasy postseason begins in many leagues. Gone are the whispers that the smallish-yet-exciting running back was either banged up, hitting the notorious rookie wall, or both.
The Texans lack a true goal-line ballcarrier, as Slaton was denied a possible touchdown on three consecutive attempts late in the third quarter. Yet, he bounced back to score twice in the fourth, including a late 40-yard scoring run against a tired, beaten Jacksonville defense. The long TD served mostly as window dressing by that point, but it was an excellent bonus for Slaton's fantasy owners, further proving his resiliency. You can't keep a determined runner like Slaton out of the end zone for too long, even if he lacks the bulk to punch the ball in when he carries in short space.
Houston will be careful not to overwork Slaton in the final weeks, though. All they really have behind him on the depth chart is Ryan Moats, another small scatback type who isn't nearly as dangerous to opposing defenses. With no other RB on the roster who can truly split time with Slaton, the Texans staff will have to carefully distribute his workload over the course of the final games. You can start him with great confidence during your playoffs, as he has rushed for over 100 yards in two of the past three games and had the best "comforting" week of any RB other than Brian Westbrook.
It was pleasant to see Andre Johnson score for just the second time in seven games. Kevin Walter was held to only 38 receiving yards on two receptions, a disappointing outing when you consider how steady he has been for most of the year. Most wide receivers, even the best ones, have off weeks here and there. Plus, there's a good chance Matt Schaub could return to action next week, which means the ball will be distributed in a more balanced manner among the Houston pass-catchers again. Sage Rosenfels threw for 200 yards, one TD, and an interception. Those aren't terrible numbers, but he has been a big disappointment in Schaub's absence. His shaky decision-making skills are certainly keeping the numbers of Houston's top pass-catchers down a bit overall. Owen Daniels caught only two passes for 25 yards, and his season may be revived if Schaub can return next week.
There's really no reason to own David Garrard in fantasy leagues with the postseason looming. He threw for 287 yards, one TD, and one interception on Monday night, and no owner with true aspirations of winning it all would start him. There are certainly better backups out there, and most smart owners have found an alternative option as a No. 2 fantasy QB by now.
Fred Taylor rushed for 67 yards on nine carries and scored his first rushing TD, but he has been very unreliable this season and won't be useful in most fantasy playoff scenarios, either. Maurice Jones-Drew totaled 71 yards from scrimmage, a respectable performance overall. Matt Jones led all receivers with eight catches for 104 yards and a TD. He has scored only twice this season, but Garrard is doing a good job of targeting him downfield and in the red zone. Jones did a nice job of catching a few high throws, plucking them out of the air like a tall kid taking groceries off the top shelf in the supermarket. Garrard is realizing that he should rely more on Jones, so you can give him strong starting consideration during your fantasy playoffs in larger leagues.
Reggie Williams scored for the second consecutive game, but it was on a garbage time play. While he is getting more key looks from Garrard recently, you really can't depend on Williams during the fantasy postseason. Jerry Porter caught only two passes for 39 yards, but he does command defensive respect, allowing Jones and Williams to get open more often. You shouldn't own Porter, but it will be helpful to the Jacksonville offense if he stays healthy in the final weeks.
Tyler Thigpen failed to throw a touchdown pass for the first time since being named the Chiefs starter. He also rushed for 48 yards. Consider the poor outing just a minor speed bump for Thigpen, who has two bottom-feeder defenses, Denver and San Diego up next on the schedule. As expected, Dwayne Bowe had a tough afternoon with Nnamdi Asomugha all over him, and Mark Bradley, who figured to see increased looks, didn't have a single catch. As with Thigpen, write this game off as just a tough matchup with a good secondary. Bowe is still a reliable WR2 going forward, and Bradley can be useful as a flex play. Larry Johnson received his highest workload since Week 4, carrying the ball 24 times for 92 yards and a touchdown. Johnson has been at his best when given 20-plus carries this season (four times), averaging 121.2 rushing yards and scoring all four of his touchdowns in those games. With a very fantasy-friendly schedule coming up, Johnson should be able to continue to approach those numbers, so consider him a high-end RB2.
JaMarcus Russell completed only 35 percent of his passes for 132 yards and failed to throw a touchdown. In terms of full-time starting quarterbacks, Russell ranks as one of the worst from a fantasy perspective. He shouldn't be owned in anything but dynasty leagues. Zach Miller had five catches for 79 yards against Kansas City; he is about as consistent as they come at the tight end position. Justin Fargas had 82 yards on 18 carries and scored his first touchdown of the season. He continues to see twice as many carries as Darren McFadden, and has emerged as a good RB3 option. McFadden failed to expand on his productive outing two weeks ago, rushing seven times for just 13 yards. He did have three catches for 50 yards. His time will come, but for now, keep him on lockdown. -- Chris Ryan
Philip Rivers had a miserable day, completing 17-of-30 passes for 149 yards and no scores. It was the second time in three games that he's been held without a touchdown pass, and the yardage total was his lowest of the season. Rivers has definitely struggled of late, but when he's on, he's one of the top quarterbacks in fantasy. He should remain a weekly starter unless an incredible matchup for your backup dictates otherwise. Surprisingly, Malcom Floyd led all Chargers with five catches for 59 yards, while Chris Chambers had one catch and two yards. Vincent Jackson did not have a reception. Floyd is worth picking up, but with so many options on the Chargers, combined with the uncertainty surrounding all three receivers, none is worth starting at this point. LaDainian Tomlinson rushed 14 times for 24 yards, although he did score a touchdown and contributed another 42 yards on five catches. Tomlinson is still finding ways to consistently put up double-digit fantasy days, and should still be looked on as a RB1. After not throwing a scoring pass in his last two games,
Matt Ryan bounced back with two touchdown tosses, and his 207 yards marked the seventh consecutive outing that he's topped the 200-yard plateau. Don't expect monster numbers from him, but as a steadying force, "Matty Ice" is a fine play. Roddy White remains his top target (six receptions for 112 yards), but Ryan's starting to get other guys involved as well. After returning a punt for a touchdown and running in for another score last week, Harry Douglas caught a touchdown pass against the Chargers. He only finished with three catches for 13 yards however, and still isn't worth more than an add in deeper leagues. Michael Jenkins had his worst game of the season, catching only one ball for 22 yards. Consider him a matchup play in your flex spot over the last few weeks. If you're really scraping the bottom of the barrel at tight end, you may be able to find some value in Justin Peelle. In his first game as the starter, he caught three passes for 38 yards, including an 18-yard touchdown. -- C.R.
Speaking of surprising rookie quarterbacks, how about Joe Flacco? He completed 19-of-29 passes for 280 yards and two touchdowns against the Bengals, and has now thrown multiple scores in four of his last five games. Unfortunately, his schedule over the next couple of weeks (Washington and Pittsburgh), isn't exactly conducive to great fantasy numbers. Flacco shouldn't be started as anything other than a QB2 if your league allows it. Mark Clayton took advantage of a disinterested Cincinnati secondary, and posted a career high 164 yards on five catches (he also threw a 32-yard touchdown). Clayton has caught long touchdowns in back-to-back weeks, but Derrick Mason -- who had six grabs for 91 yards and a score -- is still the go-to guy. Clayton should be added in all formats, but is not quite worthy of starting consideration. Le'Ron McClain received the most carries out of the Ravens running backs for the second straight week, totaling 86 yards on 25 attempts. Ray Rice saw some action as well, catching four balls and rushing for 41 yards on 11 carries. Despite being healthy, Willis McGahee saw no playing time. John Harbaugh claimed that decision was "strategic," and that McGahee is simply being rested for the stretch run. It's impossible to decipher which running backs Harbaugh will go with on a week-to-week basis, making all three ownable, but not startable.
There was a Palmer sighting in Cincinnati on Sunday, unfortunately for Bengals fans and fantasy owners alike, it was Jordan Palmer, and not big brother Carson that was on the field against the Ravens. That Palmer actually saw game action says a lot about the ineffectiveness of Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Bengals offense as a whole. Fitzpatrick threw for a season-low 124 yards, and completed only 12-of-31 passes. On the bright side, he didn't turn the ball over, and finally completed a pass longer than 40 yards. T.J. Houshmandzadeh was on the receiving end of that 46-yard pass, and he was the only player in Cincinnati to produce a decent outing (four catches for 64 yards). Chad Johnson's four catches for 48 yards marked the ninth time this season that he's been held under 50 receiving yards. He still has some value in the flex spot thanks to his remarkably consistent mediocrity, but don't expect any kind of resurgence over the last few weeks. Cedric Benson rushed for 17 yards on 10 attempts, and is averaging 1.9 yards per-carry over his last three games. He's a possible RB3 play against the Colts next week, but the Bengals are so terrible that it's hard to trust anyone -- with the exception of Houshmandzadeh -- in your all-important playoff games. -- C.R.
In a game featuring five turnovers and no offensive touchdowns, there wasn't a whole lot to take from a fantasy perspective. In rainy conditions, the Colts offense was held without a touchdown for the first time since the opening game of the 2003 season. Peyton Manning turned the ball over three times and threw for only 125 yards. Reggie Wayne led all receivers with four catches and 46 yards, while Joseph Addai and Dominic Rhodes combined for 92 rushing yards on 26 carries. Addai had 15 attempts, while Rhodes was handed the ball 11 times, and most notably, was the featured running back near the goal line once again. With a cakewalk schedule over the next two weeks (Cincinnati and Detroit), Addai shouldn't be out of your starting lineup, but Rhodes' positive contributions will limit his value. As for the other Colts skill position players, don't let this game skew your view of them. They'll get back on track, starting next week, in Cincinnati. Things were even worse on the Cleveland side of the ball.
Derek Anderson threw for 110 yards and injured his knee late in the fourth quarter. With his season over, the Browns will turn to Ken Dorsey to lead the troops, and that could spell the end of any value that Braylon Edwards and his fellow pass-catchers had. Jamal Lewis saw the brunt of the handoffs for Cleveland, but averaged only 3.2 yards per carry on 24 attempts, a disappointing game against a Bob Sanders-less defense. Lewis will continue to plod his way to solid RB2 status, but the chances of him having outstanding days against Tennessee and Philadelphia -- the Browns next two opponents --- are not good. -- C.R.
Despite my statements to the contrary the last two weeks, John Carlson remains fantasy relevant, as he hauled in six passes for 105 receiving yards. Carlson is probably the only Seattle player who still has any remaining fantasy relevance. It took 11 rushes for Julius Jones to reach 37 yards and Maurice Morris only gained 10 yards on six carries. Ignore the Seattle rushing attack. The wide receiving corps has done very little this year. Supposed WR1 Deion Branch had only 56 receiving yards and the remaining Seattle wide receivers had fairly quiet days as well. Matt Hasselbeck remains a shell of his former self, and has yet to throw for 300 yards. He had his best yardage game this past week with 287, but failed to throw a single touchdown.
Meanwhile, Tony Romo continued to dominate on Thanksgiving Day, throwing for 331 yards and three touchdowns. Terrell Owens and Jason Witten remain must-starts: catching five passes for 98 yards and a touchdown and nine passes for 115 yards and touchdown respectively. Marion Barber III only had 32 rushing yards, but did punch one into the end zone. If you own Barber, you can't bench him while you keep a close watch on his toe problem, and low-end double-digit point production should be expected. -- Mark Strausberg
Well, Josh Brown had a great fantasy day. But you probably didn't come here to read about a kicker who hit all four of his attempts including one from beyond 50, did you? Unfortunately, no one else in this game did very much. Ronnie Brown had the best fantasy day in this game, rushing for 48 yards and the lone touchdown, but his owners were probably expecting more. The Dolphins have some guppies left on their schedule and Brown should have a few good games left in him. Davone Bess did step up to fill the void left by Greg Camarillo by catching six passes for 84 yards. If Bess is still available deeper leagues, pick him up. Ted Ginn's owners were probably expecting him to also produce well, but he finished with four catches for 55 yards. For the time being, both starting Miami wide receivers should be left on the bench (depending on your other alternatives).
It will be hard to leave Steven Jackson on your bench, as he returned to action and finished with 94 rushing yards and one catch for 16 yards. His owners will be hoping he finishes strong like he did last year, and he should fulfill those hopes. Any other performances in this game ranged from marginal to horrible. Torry Holt managed 30 receiving yards, and he should be dropped in nearly any type of league. -- M.S.
Dustin Keller is a must-start at tight end. He had a team-leading seven catches for 77 yards and Brett Favre seems to look his way constantly when he tries to engineer a comeback victory. With San Francisco and Seattle in weeks 14 and 16 respectively, Favre should see better days. Jay Cutler looked at ease and completed 27 of his 43 attempts for 357 yards and two touchdowns.
Like Favre, Cutler looked to his TE, and Tony Scheffler finished with a team leading seven catches for 90 yards. If you've been waiting for Scheffler to return to form, it is safe to say that you can comfortably start him again. Eddie Royal, had the best fantasy day of any wide receiver in this game, hauling in five passes for 84 yards and a touchdown. Brandon Marshall managed to scrape five catches together for 55 yards. That's better than any Jets wide receiver though, as the team's second-leading receiver behind Keller was Leon Washington, who had three catches for 60 yards. The Jets did get production from their running game, as Thomas Jones steamrolled to a two-touchdown 138-yard game. There are now less than 10 running backs I'd start in any given week ahead of Jones. Peyton Hillis helped the Broncos maintain their lead with 129 rushing yards and a touchdown, but did have to leave the game with an injury. -- M.S.
Eli Manning finally had a 300-yard game, completing 21 of 34 passes for 305 yards and a touchdown. The touchdown went to Amani Toomer, who had 85 receiving yards. With Plaxico Burress out, Domenik Hixon took advantage and turned in a decent day with five catches for 71 yards. With two divisional games coming up, expect the Giants to depend on some of their lesser-used weapons like Hixon. Derrick Ward actually had the second-best receiving day, catching five passes for 75 yards in addition to his 30 rushing yards. Ward continues to show potential for those of you in keeper leagues, but for those of you still fighting for this year, Brandon Jacobs remains the starting running back, carrying 20-plus times for 71 yards and a touchdown.
Clinton Portis has vaulted a number of fantasy teams into the playoffs already, but he helped very few of his owners with 37 combined yards against the Giants. Don't expect much more next week against the Ravens either, but he should have a decent game against the Bengals in Week 15. Santana Moss also had another quiet day, catching only four passes for 55 yards, and you should consider benching him. Chris Cooley continues to put up strong games for a TE, snatching six passes for 71 yards. Jason Campbell's passes sailed everywhere all day, and he failed to throw a touchdown. He threw for 231 yards but should be dropped on any playoff-contending fantasy team. -- M.S.
The Titans' running backs did most of the damage on Thursday. Because there wasn't much need for the Titans to pass, none of the Titans receivers did much. Justin McCareins, Justin Gage and Alge Crumpler all caught two passes, while Bo Scaife and Brandon Jones each caught one pass. None of these receivers are worthy of your lineup during your fantasy playoffs. Chris Johnson rushed for 125 yards and two touchdowns, while LenDale White ran for 106 yards and a pair of scores. The Lions offered no resistance to the Titans, and on Johnson's two scoring runs, he wasn't even touched. With Cleveland and Houston upcoming, both Johnson and White should continue to roll.
Daunte Culpepper had another miserable game, throwing for 134 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Since joining the Lions, Culpepper has thrown for less than 150 yards in three of four games and should not be on your fantasy team in any league. Despite being held to five receptions and 66 yards, Calvin Johnson has already proven he deserves a consistent spot in your lineup, so don't consider benching him now. However, none of the other receivers deserve a slot on your roster. Kevin Smith had 12 carries for 22 yards. 21 of those yards came on one play. The Lions offensive line can't sustain blocks for the running game, and holes will be few and far between for Smith, so it's best to keep him on your bench for the fantasy playoffs. -- Matt Wirkiowski
Shaun Hill didn't do much against Buffalo, throwing for 161 yards with one touchdown and zero interceptions. His place is on your bench or preferably on your free-agent list, if you have good depth. Isaac Bruce now has touchdown receptions in consecutive games, and depending on your depth at wide receiver, is an option at your flex spot. Frank Gore was stymied by the Bills defense, averaging 2.8 yards per carry with a long run of 12 yards, and finished the day with 89 total yards. Gore has looked bad the past two games, but don't consider benching him, as he can certainly generate fantasy points in a hurry.
Trent Edwards threw for 112 yards before leaving the game with a groin injury. His status for next week is uncertain. J.P. Losman replaced Edwards and threw for 93 yards. Neither warrants a place in your lineup. Lee Evans hauled in seven balls for 80 yards, and remains a WR3 option for your fantasy squad. Josh Reed grabbed five balls for 58 yards, while Derek Schouman nabbed four balls for 44 yards. Don't look at either of those two for your fantasy team. Marshawn Lynch rolled up 135 total yards, but couldn't punch one into the end zone. -- Matt Wirkiowski
This was the DeAngelo Williams show. If you had him in your lineup, you probably won your matchup. If your opponent started him ... you probably lost. Williams had only 86 total yards, but scored four touchdowns, and remains a strong play for your playoff run. Jonathan Stewart chipped in with 61 total yards, and should have scored one touchdown, but was injured on a 43-yard run and was caught from behind. Stewart has lost carries to Williams, and is no longer a player to consider when you're setting your lineup. Jake Delhomme threw for 177 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions. Delhomme, who ran for a score, has three touchdown tosses in his past four games. Steve Smith now has consecutive 100-yard efforts, and Delhomme seems to be looking for him more. The only concern about Smith is that his touchdown drought has now reached four games. Muhsin Muhammad caught two balls for 50 yards and is a bench player.
Ryan Grant had 39 yards before leaving in the first half with a thumb injury. If Grant can't go in Week 14, Brandon Jackson will be the starter. Jackson replaced Grant on Sunday, and had 86 total yards. Jackson is worth a pickup if he's on your free-agent list, especially if you own Grant. Aaron Rodgers had his third straight game with two or more touchdown tosses, and finished with three touchdowns, 298 passing yards, and one interception. Rodgers spread the ball around, but Greg Jennings had the biggest game, catching eight balls for 91 yards and a touchdown. Donald Driver had his first touchdown catch in four weeks and finished with five receptions for 83 yards. Donald Lee snagged four balls for 37 yards and also scored a touchdown. Driver, depending on your depth, is an option for your flex spot, while Lee should only be played if your team is especially weak at tight end. -- M.W.
Ben Roethlisberger threw for two touchdowns for the first time since Week Seven, and finished with 179 passing yards and one interception. Roethlisberger has been inconsistent, and is a low-end option for your quarterback spot. Heath Miller finished with four receptions for 60 yards, while Hines Ward caught five balls for 37 yards, including his first touchdown grab since Week 7. Santonio Holmes even caught a touchdown pass, and finished with two catches for 28 yards. Holmes remains a risky play due to his inconsistency; Ward can be used as a WR3 or flex for your playoffs, depending on your depth. Willie Parker played despite a bad left knee, and he didn't look confident planting or cutting on his left leg. Parker did finish with 87 yards, and remains an option at your RB2 spot. Mewelde Moore subbed for Parker at times, and had 76 total yards. Do not cut Moore, as he will have relevance if Parker were to miss any more games.
Matt Cassel had his worst game so far, throwing for 169 yards and two interceptions. Cassel has thrown three touchdowns in a game three times; in the other nine games he has thrown one touchdown or less. With Cassel, there is no middle ground; you'll either get a lot of fantasy points or next to nothing. Use him at your own risk. Randy Moss caught four balls for 45 yards, while Wes Welker grabbed four balls for 30 yards. Welker was knocked out of the game in the third quarter and didn't return. Sammy Morris got the most carries with 10, and scored. However, Kevin Faulk got the most total opportunities with six carries and seven receptions. Morris totaled 57 yards while Faulk totaled 121 yards. BenJarvus Green-Ellis wasn't used much and finished with 23 total yards. Faulk is still the one to start at the flex, but watch Morris as well.-- M.W.
Brian Westbrook broke a four-week scoreless streak, as he registered four touchdowns against the Cardinals. Westbrook, suffering from knee and ankle injuries, had been held to under 62 rushing yards for four consecutive weeks before breaking out on Thanksgiving. Westbrook scored two on the ground, rushing for 110 yards on 22 carries. He also added two receiving touchdowns. Westbrook looked strong and quick, making it seem as if his nagging injuries were long gone. Despite the huge game, Westbrook still can't be counted on as a RB1. With games remaining against the New York Giants, Dallas and Washington, Westbrook faces some tough competition. Consider him a RB2. Donovan McNabb responded to last week's benching by throwing four touchdowns and 260 yards. McNabb is having an up-and-down season, but a threat to his playing time seemed to raise his intensity. McNabb is a must-start each week. DeSean Jackson tied a season-high with six receptions and totaled 76 yards and a touchdown. Jackson has only one game with less than two receptions, and despite having only two touchdowns, is a strong WR3 in PPR leagues. Jason Avant scored a touchdown and had four receptions for 25 yards, but has too much competition ahead of him to be counted on. Kevin Curtis had five receptions for 59 yards and like Jackson, makes a consistent WR3 play.
Kurt Warner threw for 235 yards and three touchdowns, but added three interceptions as well. Warner's numbers make up for any turnovers he delivers. Larry Fitzgerald caught two touchdowns and finished with five receptions for 65 yards. Fitzgerald has over 1,000 yards and eight touchdowns. Anquan Boldin was limited to five receptions for 63 yards, his worst fantasy performance of the season. Boldin remains a WR1 and an inviting schedule down the stretch should confirm this. Steve Breaston caught six passes for 45 yards and a touchdown. Breaston continues to be a WR3 in standard leagues, and a low-end WR2 in PPR leagues. Tim Hightower failed to top 50 total yards for the fourth straight week, rushing for seven yards on seven carries. After getting 22 carries in Week 9, Hightower hasn't received more than 13 in any game since. Hightower's only value comes in the form of goal-line carries and he has become a flex play. J.J. Arrington received only two carries and gained 10 yards. -- Brad Rysz
Drew Brees threw for 296 yards and two touchdowns. Despite three interceptions, Brees was able to compile another impressive fantasy performance against a formidable defense. Brees is a no-brainer starter, whomever the opponent. Reggie Bush returned from a knee injury to catch five passes for 32 yards. Bush received only three carries. In PPR leagues, Bush returns as a RB2, but his lack of carries makes him a flex play in standard leagues until he gets more action. Lance Moore caught two passes for 15 yards, but scored for the fifth consecutive week. Moore's ability to find the end zone on a regular basis makes him a WR1 to finish the season. Marques Colston caught six passes for 106 yards. Colston has been hit-or-miss since his hand injury and is now a WR2 with upside. Jeremy Shockey caught four passes for 52 yards. Shockey has caught at least five passes in three straight weeks and can be counted on as an every-week starter. Devery Henderson caught two passes for 33 yards and hasn't scored since Week 8. With Colston back and healthy, Henderson has limited value. Pierre Thomas had another good week, rushing for 34 yards and catching a 20-yard touchdown pass. Bush's presence will take away from Thomas' overall value, but he still has a good opportunity to be the Saints' goal-line running back. Thomas is a weekly flex play.
Jeff Garcia threw for 119 yards and his typical one touchdown. Garcia has only one multi-touchdown game and is barely worthy of being a fantasy backup. Warrick Dunn rushed for 74 yards, but the real story was Cadillac Williams, who scored first touchdown since Sept. 23, 2007. Williams rushed for 20 yards on four carries, including an eight-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. Dunn will see the majority of the carries, but Williams is likely to be the goal-line running back. While Dunn remains a RB2, Williams is a flex play at best. Antonio Bryant caught his third touchdown and finished with three catches for 63 yards. Bryant has 57 receptions and is a WR3 in PPR leagues. -- B.R.
Adrian Peterson rushed for 131 yards and scored his ninth touchdown of the season. Peterson has scored at least one touchdown in five of the Vikings last six games and is the top running back in fantasy. Bernard Berrian broke a string of three straight lackluster outings with a four-catch, 122-yard performance, including a 99-yard touchdown reception. Berrian's recent struggles overall still make him a questionable start. Gus Frerotte threw for 210 yards and a touchdown. Frerotte surpassed 200 yards for the first time since Week 7, and with matchups against Detroit and Arizona the next two weeks, he makes a decent spot start if you are desperate. Chester Taylor scored for the second week in a row and rushed for 46 yards on 10 carries. Taylor is beginning to receive more carries and can be an adequate flex play. Visanthe Shiancoe had only one catch for 20 yards. Shiancoe hasn't scored since Week Nine. Matt Forte proved to be unafraid of the vaunted Vikings rush defense, as he ran for 96 yards and scoring a receiving touchdown. Forte now has four receiving touchdowns and a favorable schedule down the stretch.
Kyle Orton passed for two touchdowns, but was held to 153 yards and threw three interceptions. The 153 yards was Orton's highest total since he passed for 283 yards in Week 9. Orton isn't getting much time to throw and Forte's success is limiting his opportunities in the passing game. Orton shouldn't be started anymore. Devin Hester caught three passes for 67 yards and a touchdown. It was Hester's first touchdown since Week 5 and the yardage total was his second-highest of the season. Hester is slowly contributing more on offense, but shouldn't be counted on for anything more than WR3 numbers. Brandon Lloyd and Rashied Davis each caught one pass, and are no longer viable wide receiver options. Greg Olsen caught one pass for seven yards. It was the first time Olsen had less than two catches in a game. Without a touchdown since Week 7, Olsen hasn't been the check-down threat that he was to start the season. Look for other tight end options. -- B.R.