Mike Goodson has had two solid performances in a row for Carolina since taking over the starting running back job due to injuries to both DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart. He ran for 100 yards on 23 carries in Week 10 and 120 yards on 22 carries last week. He’s also contributed eight receptions for nearly 50 yards in that time. Well, Williams’ season is over and Stewart’s status is still uncertain after suffering a concussion a few weeks ago, so it looks like Goodson will get his third straight start on Sunday. He’s matched up against Cleveland, who has been pretty good against the run, but I still see Goodson as a solid start in Week 12. He’s had a bit of a fumbling issues over the last couple games, but Goodson has been running hard and makes up for it with his pass catching ability. Treat him as a RB2 this weekend and be rewarded.
Keiland Williams should be in line for another heavy load of work in Week 12 for Washington. Both Clinton Portis and Ryan Torain are still not 100 percent healthy so Williams is likely to start and get most of the carries out of the backfield against Minnesota. Portis has a groin injury, while Torain is nursing a hamstring. These are nagging injuries that take a while to fully heal and Williams has been more than serviceable when he gets the touches. He scored three touchdowns against the Eagles in Week 10 and came up with 95 total yards in Week 11 and if he gets a good amount of touches on Sunday, then Williams should put up double-digit fantasy points once again.
After the night that Mike Tolbert had Monday night against the Broncos, it looks like he’ll be the starting running back for the rest of the 2010 season for the Chargers. Taking advantage of yet another injury to rookie starting running back Ryan Mathews, Tolbert ran for 111 yards and a score on 25 carries. He also had two receptions for 42 yards. Tolbert now has eight touchdowns on the season and has solidified his role as the starting running back from here on out. At the very least, he’s an RB2 this week against the less-than-impressive run defense of the Indianapolis Colts, and even though San Diego is a pass first offense, Tolbert will still get double-digit carries the rest of the way and all goal line opportunities. He’s a must-start right now in fantasy and a touchdown machine so enjoy the production.
Nate Burleson, WR, Detroit Lions
Burleson has quietly put together a very nice 2010 campaign thus far and has really come on over the last month. He’s had seven catches in three of his last four games while posting 304 yards and two touchdowns in that span. More importantly, Burleson has seen a lot of red zone targets as of late and has been a go-to receiver for new quarterback Shaun Hill, who has taken over for the injured Matthew Stafford. The Lions square off against the Patriots on Thursday, and though New England is playing well right now, their pass defense still has a lot of holes in it, so Burleson could be in line for another big game. There’s a pretty good chance that Detroit will be playing from behind so there will be plenty of pass catching opportunities for Burleson to take advantage of.
Kevin Boss, TE, New York Giants
Boss has definitely had a disappointing season for the Giants in 2010, but he might start becoming fantasy relevant again over the next three or four weeks. New York is already without starting wide receiver Steve Smith and now they just lost fellow wideout Hakeem Nicks for about a month. There aren’t many receiving options left for the Giants, so look for quarterback Eli Manning to lean on someone he trusts while Smith and Nicks are on the shelf. That someone should be Boss. He has been starting to get more targets the last couple weeks, including a couple in the red zone, and seeing that the tight end position is suddenly very scarce in fantasy, Boss might not be a bad play this weekend against the Jaguars. There should be a jump in production for him so take advantage while it lasts.
Shaun Hill, QB, Detroit Lions
Hill has done a nice job the last two weeks as the starter for the Lions. Matthew Stafford is out for the season with a shoulder injury so Hill has a lock on the starting job and has been sneaky good with the opportunity. He’s thrown for more than 600 yards the last two games combined with three touchdown passes and two interceptions. The fact that the Lions are consistently playing from behind only helps matters for Hill and his fantasy owners because he has to attempt a lot of passes. He threw 50 in Week 10 and another 47 in Week 11, so the yards are adding up. It’s almost a certainty that he will at least attempt 35-45 passes against New England on Thursday, and with wide receiver Calvin Johnson on his team, anything is possible for Hill. Go ahead and start him this week. He may have an interception or two, but the Patriots secondary is soft and Hill should exploit it and put up around 300 passing yards.
Lock of the Week
BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB, New England Patriots
When Green-Ellis gets carries, he produces. That is how it’s been all season for the Patriots running back. He has averaged almost 20 carries a game the last two weeks and has run for 183 yards with a touchdown. Green-Ellis has a favorable matchup on Turkey Day against the Lions and should be started in all formats this week. New England’s offense is hitting on all cylinders right now. Tom Brady is throwing all over the field and that has been opening up the running game for Green-Ellis to operate. He should see close to 20 carries again on Thursday and if that’s the case then expect another 80-90 yards and a score out of “BJGE.”