Brian Westbrook was back to his old tricks Monday night against the Arizona Cardinals. Frank Gore left with a hip injury in the first quarter and didn’t return, so Westbrook received the workload and excelled. Westbrook ran for 136 yards on 23 carries with one touchdown. He should have had another score as well, but was carrying the ball in the wrong arm when he got close to the goal line and was ruled out at the 1-yard-line. The most important bit of information here is that Gore is now done for the season with a broken hip so Westbrook will be the premier runner in the San Francisco backfield for the rest of the season. I understand that Arizona’s defense was horrible last week, but it was still a very impressive game for the former Eagle. And with his tremendous pass catching abilities, Westbrook should be an awesome play for the last month of the season.
The Chicago Bears keep winning, and Matt Forte is starting to enjoy some success late in the season. After struggling for most of the first half of the season, Forte has been solid over the last month. Though he’s only rushed for one touchdown in the last four games, he is getting more than 18 carries per game and is averaging 83 yards a game and 4.5 yards per carry. Throw in the fact that Forte is also an excellent receiver (34 receptions on the season) and he should be a nice spark for owners the rest of 2010. He’s a must start in Week 13 as Chicago matches up against Detroit. The Lions are allowing close to 130 rushing yards per game so get him in your lineup and be ready for a nice showing out of Forte.
Ever since the Bills traded Marshawn Lynch to Seattle, Fred Jackson has been an awesome source of fantasy points for owners. He’s gotten 20 carries or more in four of the last six games and has been on an absolute tear the last three weeks. During that span, Jackson has rushed for more than 100 yards per game with three scores. He’s also got 14 receptions for 154 yards and two more scores and I don’t see him slowing down anytime soon. Minnesota does have a solid run defense, but so did Pittsburgh last week and he torched them for 163 total yards and a trip to pay dirt. Jackson is a must-start for the remainder of the season and even if he has a tough day running the ball, he still will provide lots of help with his receiving skills.
Dustin Keller, TE, New York Jets
Keller started the season out on fire and was a top-tier tight end after the first four weeks of the season, but then he cooled down considerably. He hasn’t caught a touchdown pass or had more than four receptions in any game since Week 4. But for some reason, Keller always has a good game against the Patriots and that’s why he should be considered a solid tight end choice for Week 13. In the Jets’ first matchup against New England in Week 2, Keller had seven catches for 115 yards and a score. He also had an eight reception game against them in 2008 and scored a touchdown in a 2009 contest, so he looks like he’s figured them out. Don’t be surprised if Mark Sanchez looks to Keller early and often on Monday night.
Toby Gerhart, RB, Minnesota Vikings
Starting running back Adrian Peterson still hasn’t practiced this week with an ankle sprain. He insists that he’s going to be on the field come Sunday, but the coaches aren’t as sure and neither should fantasy owners. Gerhart is a must add for any Peterson owner and is coming off an impressive performance in Week 12 against Washington where he ran for 76 yards on 22 carries with a score. If Peterson can’t go on Sunday then Gerhart will get his first career start against the NFL’s worst run defense in the Buffalo Bills. He would be an excellent play and at the very least should be a handcuff for Peterson owners for the rest of the season.
James Davis, RB, Washington Redskins
The running back situation in Washington is so screwed up right now that I’m not sure if it’s worth owning anyone right now, but it looks like Davis might get a shot at starting this Sunday against the Giants. Ryan Torain probably will not be available this week so that leaves Davis and Keiland Williams as the primary backs for the Redskins. Davis received double the carries as Williams last week and even though it was just six to three, Davis will get the goal line work as well. You never really know with Mike Shanahan, but if I had to put my money on one of these guys then I’m going to start Davis. He could have a big game against New York and is the definition of a sleeper going into Week 13.
Lock of the Week
Knowshon Moreno, RB, Denver Broncos
’s finally healthy and has been the go-to guy for the Broncos over the last three games. He’s done a little bit of everything in these games and has been quite the fantasy boost for owners. Moreno has run for 220 yards and scored two touchdowns and he also has an incredible 16 receptions for a very nice 174 yards with another score. The second-year back out of Georgia is averaging more than 4.6 yards per carry and well higher than 120 total yards per game during this three-game effort. I expect more of the same this Sunday against Kansas City. Moreno ran for 106 yards on 22 carries and had three catches for 50 yards and a score against the Chiefs in Week 10, so this should be an easy lock of the week. The only difference I see is that he probably won’t get as many carries, but should make up for that in the receiving department as teams have had much success throwing against Kansas City.