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There are some very interesting names to take notice of in this weekend’s Divisional playoff matchups as potential 2013 fantasy options. How they are used and how they produce in the pressure cooker that is the NFL playoffs can be a nice barometer of future fantasy worthiness. Let’s get to it!
DuJuan Harris , RB, Green Bay: Harris may not be the long-term answer at the running back position for the Packers but he is using the late season and playoffs to throw his hat in the ring for consideration. He had 47 yards and a touchdown on the ground in the win over the Minnesota Vikings in the first round of the playoffs. Harris was also utilized in the passing game and hauled in five receptions for 53 yards while being targeted six times.
Harris pulled away in the competition for playing time with Alex Green and Ryan Grant down the stretch with a 4.6 yards per carry average and two touchdowns in the last four games of the regular season. He runs hard and shows a nice burst at the point of attack, and his receiving skills make him a nice fit in the high-powered Packers attack. The sledding will be much tougher this week in San Francisco but watch the kid closely as he can continue to stake his claim on a 2013 spot in the running back rotation for Green Bay.
DeVier Posey , WR, Houston: The Texans utilized their rushing game and short passing attack to beat the Cincinnati Bengals, unleashing Arian Foster to the tune of 32 carries for 140 yards and a touchdown. Foster would also catch eight passes out of the backfield for another 34 yards in the Houston victory. In fact, Matt Schaub would target the wide receiver position only 11 times for the entire game and throw to Andre Johnson and Kevin Walter exclusively. The two combined for eight catches and 88 total yards with no scores.
That will not get the job done against the New England Patriots this week or heading forward into the 2013 season, and Posey will have the chance to make a name for himself this week. Over the last four games of the regular season Posey was targeted 13 times and hauled in six passes for 87 yards. The Patriots’ game plan to take away what an offense does best so look for them to concentrate on stuffing the running game and blanketing the tight ends, which will free up Posey for the opportunity to put up numbers. How he performs this week can be an indicator of how he could emerge next season in the Texans’ passing game.
Bernard Pierce , RB, Baltimore: Don’t look now but starting Baltimore running back Ray Rice may be on the way to fumbling his way into a running back by committee situation for 2013. OK, that may be a bit extreme, but, after his impressive 13 carries and 103 yards in the Ravens’ victory over the Indianapolis Colts last week, Pierce has established himself as a threat to Rice’s stranglehold on carries in Baltimore.
Pierce put together a nice regular season in which he totaled 108 carries and amassed 532 yards and scored one touchdown. He added seven receptions for another 47 yards while averaging a healthy 4.9 yards per carry. The kid from Temple ran hard last week and was in the game late as the Ravens looked to run out the clock. While Rice does not have a history of fumbling and insists he is not ‘a fumbler,’ the fact is that if he continues to lose the football then Pierce will see his fantasy value increase moving forward.
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