Over the past month, no NFL back has been as dominant for fantasy owners as Cleveland's Peyton Hillis, who added 131 yards, six catches and three touchdowns to his season totals on Sunday. But the Browns will run up against a roadblock in Miami next weekend. The Dolphins allow 3.8 yards per carry and have given up just six rushing scores all season. For these reasons, Hillis is my STUD TO SIT for Week 13. This past week, Miami made Oakland's Darren McFadden look common (eight carries for two yards) and a month ago limited Pittsburgh's Rashard Mendenhall to just 37 yards on 15 carries. Hillis has been splendid for fantasy owners this season ... this week he'll be so-so.
BREAKING NEWS: Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo threw passes in Monday's practice -- only a few days after telling the media he intended to suit up again yet this season. Considering Jon Kitna has thrown for six touchdowns and almost 800 yards in the past three weeks, Romo will have to make a strong case to the team's coaching staff.
CALL ME CRAZY but I'm going to ride New Orleans' Chris Ivory one more week. Ivory has been an unpredictable fantasy prospect, something that will only get more complicated when Pierre Thomas resurfaces. But Ivory has produced solid numbers the past two weeks and will likely remain the team's short-yardage back even when its backfield is back to full strength. Plus, the Bengals give up 4.5 yards per carry (26th) and have allowed 11 rushing touchdowns (tied for 27th). Ivory should pay dividends this week even if he doesn't get 20-plus touches.
I like the SHORT ODDS, so give me the following wide receivers to gain 100 or more yards this week: Jeremy Maclin, Mario Manningham and Dwayne Bowe.
Week 2 seems like ancient history to fantasy owners. Storylines have changed, players have matured and teams have made adjustments. Even so, you cannot ignore the numbers. That weekend the Jets' Mark Sanchez and Dustin Keller took apart the New England pass defense. The second-year quarterback completed 70 percent of his passes for 220 yards and three touchdowns; Keller posted season highs for catches (seven) and yards (115) and caught a touchdown. DOUBLE DOWN on Sanchez and Keller in Week 13 and hope history repeats itself.
A little BASIC MATH tells us New York's Eli Manning is in for a dandy against Washington this week. The Redskins own one of the league's worst pass defenses, which ranks 29th in yards allowed per contest. And in his last three games against Washington, Manning has thrown five touchdowns and two interceptions, with 276.3 yards per game and an average completion percentage of 67.4.
THE BREAK ROOM (industry experts share their thoughts): Who deserves to be voted the fantasy MVP of 2010?
For once, the experts seem to agree ...
"Everyone but the Denver Broncos has to be giddy about Peyton Hillis' performance this year," says RapidDraft.com senior football writer Matt Schauf. "The guy has just one game without a touchdown, and even that one included six catches in a predictably difficult matchup with Pittsburgh. He proved matchup-proof for PPR owners even in his weakest outing, and the big yardage against Baltimore earlier in the year made Hillis an every-week starter pretty early on."
Greg Kellogg of Fantasy Sharks gives Hillis bonus points for producing elite numbers at a bargain rate.
"Hillis wasn't even an afterthought in most drafts," says Kellogg. "In fact, he was only selected in 12 percent of all fantasy drafts. Put another way -- he wasn't even drafted in 88 percent of all drafts."
Kellogg believes Houston's Arian Foster deserves careful consideration, as well, but gives Hillis the nod.
"In the eight games that both Hillis and Foster have played as starters, Hillis has outscored Foster five times," he says.
SUCKER TRADE OF THE WEEK
Ryan from Kansas writes: "Picked up [Greg] Jennings and Mike Vick for Eli Manning and Percy Harvin a while back. Goin' to the playoffs!" ... I'm guessing the person who ended up with Manning and Harvin is not. One of many Vick trades that have earned sucker trade status this year.
Mike Beacom is a contributing writer for FootballDiehards.com. Send him your questions and "sucker trade" entries at firstname.lastname@example.org. Include a full name and your home state, please.