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Risers and Fallers - Week 13

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Jacksonville Jaguars vs Buffalo Bills


Is Justin Blackmon developing into a reliable fantasy option?


            It’s not every day that a wide receiver goes well over 200 yards in a single game. The 200-yard feat is something very indicative of an elite player. When a rookie does it, it signals the potential of an extremely bright future like a fire cracker on the 4th of July. Coming off that amazing shootout with the Texans we knew that Blackmon was going to come back down to earth a bit. If five catches for 62 yards and a score last week against the Titans is back to earth, then I’ll take that dose of gravity every week.


            At this point it seems apparent that the quarterbacking issue was more to blame than a “slow, lazy” rookie receiver, as detailed by a football “scout” a few weeks back. Chad Henne has proven to be a higher quality starter in just two games than Blaine Gabbert could in a season and a half. Blackmon could finish the season on a high note and find himself worlds away from where his value was headed just three weeks ago. He has to keep the pace up to negate the first half of the season. But if he and fellow receiver Cecil Shorts are up to the challenge, they will find themselves on the list of top wide receiver tandems next season.



Seattle Seahawks vs Chicago Bears


Can Michael Bush establish a role for next season?


            Things looked really good for Bush when the season first opened back in week one. After that first game though, he pulled a David Copperfield and disappeared in front of our eyes. Eleven weeks later, Matt Forte suffered an injury and missed a little time. In his absence, Bush regained his week one prowess and bulldozed his way into the end zone, twice. The latest news this week is that Matt Forte has been practicing and looks ready to go on Sunday. So what happens to Bush now?


            The original idea was that Michael Bush would be used as the goal line back and Matt Forte as the all around back that gets more carries but surrenders red zone touches. Will that finally turn out to be the case or is Bush nothing more than a handcuff? If both can play in unison with each other and succeed in their roles, Bush could offer a valuable band-aid for owners who are dealing with running back issues. If not, Bush should be benched moving forward in all games that Forte is able to play in.


Indianapolis Colts vs Detroit Lions


Can Mikel LeShoure become “The” running back in Detroit?


            There is nothing that I want more than for Mikel LeShoure to completely takeoff with the starter’s role and never look back. I personally don’t even have LeShoure in any league or format, I just want us to have an answer to the yearly question of who to own? Each and every year for what seems like a century, or at least since Barry Sanders hung up the cleats, we find ourselves debating who will be the superior Detroit back? Joique Bell, Kevin Smith, Jahvid Best, and LeShoure have been among the candidates this season. While LeShoure has been the better overall producer, Bell has come on lately showing great burst and game breaking ability. This could once again turn into a jumbled mess of a backfield, subject to opinionated debate.


            In order to avoid another offseason of optimistic speculation, LeShoure needs to showcase himself as a RB1. He needs to put Bell in the backseat for good and prove that he deserves a heavy workload. This is the perfect chance for him to do just that as the Colts are one of the worst teams against the run. The Lions back needs to fire off a big game to provide a little short-term memory loss for fantasy owners in regards to Joique Bell.

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