By Eric Mack
November 11, 2012

Rushing for 171 yards and a touchdown on Sunday is impressive. Being the first back in the NFL to break 1,000-yard mark and leading the league in rushing less than a year removed from reconstructive knee injury is incredible.

Saying afterward he is still something less than 100 percent is downright scary.

"I still can get stronger," Adrian Peterson said. "I'm still not there, man. I'm pressing to get there. I'm going to come back stronger and better after the bye."

Peterson is going to be missed next week, but after his Week 10 performance, his fantasy owners should be more than willing to wait patiently. Let him rest up and come back even stronger. Peterson just might be the best running back in fantasy again.

Reviewing Week 10:

So much for those doomsday and Madden jinx comments on Calvin Johnson: Megatron goes for 12 catches for 207 yards and a touchdown, proving his knee is just fine. The Lions might not have won the game, but getting Matthew Stafford and Johnson back churning out huge points is an important development for their fantasy owners. Expect big numbers to continue against the Packers next week.

We predicted Michael Turner would have his best week of the season. The Falcons might have planned to get the ball to him more, but he sure didn't do much with the 13 carries he did get. He picked up 15 yards on one of the most suspect run defenses in the NFL.

That was pitiful. It might even make you want to consider sitting Turner next week against the Cardinals run defense. Heck, Turner might be looking over his should at Jacquizz Rodgers, who got only seven touches, but did pick up 62 yards with them at least.

We scoffed at the notion Eli Manning is going through a dead-arm period in Cheat Sheet, too. We probably shouldn't have.

While Manning didn't necessarily display any arm weakness, another awful performance suggests otherwise. Manning turned the ball over three times, went without a touchdown for a third-consecutive game and hasn't had a fantasy-starter-quality performance since Week 5.

You won't miss this Manning going into his bye, especially if you own one of his targets. Victor Cruz (3 catches for 26 yards) was bracketed by the Bengals, even if Hakeem Nicks (9-75) looked healthier.

The Giants are going to have to use their bye week to revamp a passing game that was one of the best in the NFL earlier this season.


• Andy Dalton, Bengals -- He finally snapped the interception streak he was on, throwing for four TDs. Consider him a viable starter in Week 11 against the Chiefs, especially since the Bengals aren't doing a great job on the ground with BenJarvus Green-Ellis.

• Carson Palmer, Raiders -- He might have thrown an interception and lost a fumble, but he has been a bright spot for the woeful Raiders, throwing for 368 yards and two TDs. Palmer has been pretty good for a while now and he draws the Saints secondary at home next week. It is a good time to consider him a fantasy starter as a bye-week replacement, especially with Denarius Moore, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Brandon Myers and fullback Marcel Reece all healthy and performing at career-high levels. All of these guys are viable starters in the anticipated shootout with the Saints in Week 11.

• Michael Vick, Eagles -- He left with a concussion and Nick Foles showed some promise in relief, but coach Andy Reid has declared Vick a starter if he passes the concussion tests. Whoever starts for the Eagles will be taking aim at that suspect Redskins secondary next week, so stay tuned.

Joe Flacco, Ravens -- That was an encouraging performance (341 yards, three TDs passing and one rushing), but it won't be enough for you to consider him a must-start against that Steelers defense next week. Ray Rice -- and maybe Torrey Smith -- might be the only must-start Ravens.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bills -- His fantasy owners took advantage of the favorable matchup that has been the Pats secondary, but try to ignore Miami's Week 10 performance when you weigh whether to start Fitzpatrick in Week 11. Fitzpatrick should only start out of necessity on the short week.

Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins -- It is a one-week hiccup in his career development, but it is a game-changer for fantasy owners. A good performance here would have made him a fantasy sleeper against the Bills on Thursday night. You cannot consider him a starter in most leagues now, though.

Russell Wilson, Seahawks -- He has the highest QB rating at home in the NFL. After the bye week, you might want to consider him as a sleeper when he is at home down the stretch.

Jake Locker, Titans -- He didn't lose the game, but he hardly did much either. In fact, he made Kenny Britt and Nate Washington look much less like fantasy starters heading into the bye week. You might be OK to cut your non-Chris Johnson Titans for bye-week fill-ins. That offense will be a work in progress and something of a fantasy crapshoot with Locker starting down the stretch.

Alex Smith, 49ers -- He left with a concussion and is going to be an extreme risk against the Bears defense next week. Whether or not Colin Kaepernick starts, you will want to avoid most of your 49ers.

Sam Bradford, Rams -- He got his No. 1 receiver back, the Rams ran the ball as good as they have all year and Bradford looked like a viable fantasy option again. Consider him if you're desperate next week. The Jets have made some of the worst QBs in fantasy productive.

Blaine Gabbert, Jaguars -- He left with a shoulder issue, but the Jags are confident he will play against the Texans next week. You won't miss him or Chad Henne, regardless, but you might consider Cecil Shorts, Justin Blackmon or Laurent Robinson for some anticipated garbage-time numbers.

Tim Tebow, Jets -- A bad performance by Mark Sanchez at Seattle should have been expected and won't cost him his job. A bad game against the Rams would, though. It might be time to consider stashing Tim Tebow in deeper leagues.

Running backs:

Stevan Ridley, Patriots -- Despite Danny Woodhead getting a 15-yard TD run and TD reception, Ridley's 22-98-1 production is promising because he got almost all of the ground carries. Shane Vereen was limited to just five carries and Brandon Bolden is serving a four-game suspension. Ridley is going to be a great start against the Colts in Week 11 and inclement weather might make the Pats a bit more run-heavy.

Ryan Mathews, Chargers -- Despite the disappointing numbers against a good Bucs run defense, Mathews did get almost all of the carries and pass receptions and he didn't fumble. That sets him up well for future weeks for fantasy owners, even if he won't be the elite RB we hoped he would be this season.

Reggie Bush, Dolphins -- He was benched for fumbling, but you should expect him to be targeted frequently against the Bills on Thursday. You're going to want to have him active unless the Dolphins announce some drastic decision to go with Daniel Thomas as the feature back going forward.

Fred Jackson, Bills -- His 16-80-2 performance shows you why you need to keep him active even if he is facing a tough run defense and timeshare back C.J. Spiller is healthy. If Jackson clears concussion tests, he and Spiller will get plenty of touches to be worth keeping active in all leagues. Spiller, 9-70 on the ground and 4-61 receiving, was productive, too, on Sunday.

Steven Jackson, Rams -- That was an encouraging performance coming out of the bye week, posting 101 yards rushing and a TD against the best run defense in the NFL. It should lead you to trust him against the Jets in Week 11. Rookie backup Daryl Richardson was relegated to mere scraps.

Ahmad Bradshaw, Giants -- The bye week should help him heal his foot issue, which is good news because Andre Brown (7-65-1) is looking like the better option to start right now. This is actually a timely bye week for Bradshaw owners. Brown has stolen goal-line duties already, but he might have taken the feature-back role if Bradshaw wasn't going to get the week off due to the bye.

Shonn Greene, Jets -- You should expect him to perform more like a fantasy starter next week against the Rams. That Seahawks run defense is just too tough on visiting teams.

Chris Ivory, Saints -- He broke a 56-yard TD, but it was Mark Ingram who got the majority of carries (16-67) and that includes even former starter Pierre Thomas. With the Raiders' run defense next on the schedule and Darren Sproles (hand) expected to be out until at least Thanksgiving, you might want to consider Ivory off waivers. You might also want to start Ingram if you need a bye-week replacement.

Rashad Jennings, Jaguars -- We found out everything we need to know about Maurice Jones-Drew's backup: He's not fantasy-starter worthy. Definitely don't consider him against the Texans next week.

Donald Brown, Colts -- Until he is 100 percent, he is going to be in a timeshare with rookie Vick Ballard. You shouldn't like either back on the road against a good Pats run defense next week.

Jonathan Stewart, Panthers -- You don't need to own this guy in any fantasy leagues right now, much less backup DeAngelo Williams. The Panthers running game is worthless and the Bucs' run defense is a bad matchup next week.

Taiwan Jones, Raiders -- Reece wound up dominating the carries in addition to the receptions, so Jones isn't worth considering in any fantasy leagues, even if Darren McFadden (ankle) remains out in Week 11. That Saints run defense did a number on the Falcons' Turner. Don't bother owning Jones now.

Wide receivers:

Julio Jones, Falcons -- He was able to talk his way back into the game after a leg injury, so we shouldn't be concerned about his availability for Week 11.

Dez Bryant, Cowboys -- With 87 yards and a TD, he showed why you probably should just keep him active, regardless of the matchup. The same probably goes for Miles Austin, despite his mere two catches for 32 yards.

Jeremy Maclin, Eagles -- He had a solid 8-93-1 performance and will be a must-start next week against the Redskins suspect secondary, no matter who gets the start at QB for the Eagles.

Danny Amendola, Rams -- He came back with a bang (11-102) and is a must-start in all PPR formats going forward.

Lance Moore, Saints -- He doesn't get steady targets, but the fact the Saints are using their primary receivers more this season is at least promising. Moore will be a solid start against a Raiders secondary that has been getting torched in recent weeks.

Brandon Lloyd, Patriots -- Given that he was limited to just 5-45 against that awful Bills defense with Aaron Hernandez out, we likely have to downgrade Lloyd to a mere fantasy backup. Hernandez (ankle) should return next week and Wes Welker (6-74) and Rob Gronkowski (3-31-1) are going to be high priority targets going forward.

Sidney Rice, Seahawks -- He and Golden Tate are headed for their bye week, but you might want to consider them starters when they are at home down the stretch. Wilson has been a productive rookie QB at home.

Michael Crabtree, 49ers -- He has quietly become the 49ers' go-to man in recent weeks, particularly with Vernon Davis' struggles. Crabtree is worth starting in all matchups, while Randy Moss and Mario Manningham might not even be worth owning.

Danario Alexander, Chargers -- Say hello to this week's most-added player in fantasy. That was a freak 80-yard TD, but the Chargers kept going back to him in his 5-134-1 day. That makes him a fantasy option for all leagues in Denver next week. Eddie Royal and Robert Meachem are fifth and sixth options behind Malcom Floyd, TE Antonio Gates, Mathews and Alexander now. Don't bother owning Royal or Meachem any longer.

Titus Young, Lions -- After a quiet week, he rebounds with a TD reception. He is a nice starting option in what should be a shootout against the Packers next week.

Donnie Avery, Colts -- You should like him a good deal more than rookie T.Y. Hilton, who was held without a catch Thursday night. Avery is a solid start next week against that suspect Pats secondary.

Donald Jones, Bills -- He was productive again and is shaping up to be a solid sleeper, at least in PPR formats. He will be the second most-added WR in fantasy this week. Consider him a fantasy starter at home Thursday against the Dolphins.

Jarius Wright, Vikings -- There are a number of reasons he isn't worth owning: 1. After his early catches and TD he was not involved much in the game; 2. The Vikings are heading to their bye week anyway; and, 3. When they return, Percy Harvin (ankle) should be able to play and relegate Wright to a reserve role.

Tight ends:

Tony Gonzalez, Falcons -- It should have been beyond apparent already, but the ageless Hall of Famer is a must-start in all leagues as long as he stays healthy. That was an impressive 11-122-2 performance, even if it was just the Saints secondary.

Jermaine Gresham, Bengals -- The late TD saved a mediocre day, but Gresham has been steadily improving this season and should be considered one of the weekly starters at the position even after the byes are done.

Greg Olsen, Panthers -- We might start to consider him the Panthers' leading receiver, especially with the awful week Steve Smith (1-19) posted. Olsen is clearly a fantasy starter among TEs.

Brandon Myers, Raiders -- Another solid week is overshadowed by a concussion. Watch his status in practice this week, because he could be solid against that Saints defense next week.

Scott Chandler, Bills -- He just might not be fading down the stretch like he did a year ago. Consider him among the starter-quality TEs in fantasy after his 5-65-1 performance.

Martellus Bennett, Giants -- He had some drops and the Giants went to PUP-list returnee Travis Beckum late in the game. After the bye week, it wouldn't be surprising to see the targets going to Beckum over Bennett. Neither TE is worth owning going into the Week 11 bye.

Dennis Pitta, Ravens -- A revived Flacco and the bye week allowed Pitta to get involved again. Even Ed Dickson caught two passes for 59 yards. The Ravens clearly wanted to re-establish their tight ends. Consider Pitta a sleeper in deeper leagues, especially since the TE is one of the few positions the Steelers haven't defended well. He should be a frequent target against the Steelers next Sunday.


David Akers, 49ers -- After setting an NFL record with 44 field goals last season, Akers has already missed his sixth field goal this season (the potential game-winner Sunday). It is beyond time to look for another starting kicker for your stretch run.

Defense/Special teams:

Cowboys -- This might be one of the best defenses in fantasy now. Consider them a must-start unit at home against the Browns in Week 11.

Ravens -- They were dropped in many leagues, but they remain one of the top 12 units in fantasy, regardless of the matchup.

Buccaneers -- After that big performance, they might be a streaming option next week at Carolina, if you're desperate. That Panthers offense just isn't scaring anyone right now.

Giants -- After a few weeks of revival, it is time again to cut the Giants defense. They are headed for their bye, then come out of it with the Packers, Redskins (on the road) and Saints. Ouch. Don't bother stashing this unit through the bye week.

Colts -- They performed well against the Jags, but you won't want to use them in any league next week at New England.

Eric Mack writes fantasy for Track his weekly starts and sits every Thursday, his last-minute Cheat Sheet on Sunday morning and his Fantasy Fast Forward on Sunday night. You can also find him on Twitter, where you can mock him, rip him and (doubtful) praise him before asking him for fantasy advice or challenging him to a head-to-head fantasy game @EricMackFantasy. He reads all the messages there (guaranteed) and takes them very, very personally (not really).

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