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Risers and Fallers – Week 13

Four Value Scenarios

Pierre Thomas – Thomas has earned a much larger than expected workload this season. He’ll find tough sledding this week against the Seahawks, though they have been weaker against the run as of late. Thomas has done a good job coming through as a low end RB2 and a flex option and coming through again here would do a lot for his long-term value. As long as Thomas continues to do his thing for the remaining five games, he’ll be the most sought after Saints running back on draft day next year. Losing ground to Mark Ingram or allowing Sproles to regain his front of the class seat would all but destroy his value, both short and long term.

Philip Rivers – Entering week 13 with just under 3,400 yards and 22 touchdowns, he’s already matched, or even surpassed, preseason projections. Rivers has done a great job making something out of nothing in the same fashion of Tom Brady. You can’t help but to wonder what his stat totals would like with a supporting cast like the Cowboys or Broncos? Last week everyone was down on Rivers due to the less than favorable matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs. Rivers answered the call though, coming through with just under 400 yards passing and three touchdowns. He’s now officially a must-start, regardless of matchup. Now that he’s got the stud label he needs to tow the line or he’ll find himself on the outs with owners once again.

Stevan Ridley – Week 13 will be very telling as to how Bill Belichick will utilize Ridley moving forward. After the main running option put the ball on the grass, yet again, he was forced to the sideline for the remainder of the Broncos’ game. Once placed on the bench, backup runner LeGarrette Blount stepped up, only to fumble the ball away as well. Once Blount was placed on the sideline, Brandon Bolden stepped up and played well in both aspects of the offensive game plan. If Belichick decides that he’s going to use Ridley only as an emergency option he could have all of his value fall out from under him. This could have finally been the last straw and force the Patriots to platoon Bolden with Vereen for the rest of the year. As of now, all signs indicate that the Patriots will not re-up Ridley as he’s finishing the last year of his contract.

Wes Welker – Where has all the production gone? With tight end Julius Thomas having missed last week’s game, Welker was expected to own the middle of the field. Instead, he finished with minimal yards and yet again failed to find the end zone. Welker has been holding on to his nine touchdowns for weeks now as he still can’t seem to set his new personal record. It’s time for Welker to get back to work as he’s falling off considerably in the rankings. The next five games will be instrumental for Welker’s value as people are already wondering if he’s too old to handle a full season. A big game here against the division rival Kansas City Chiefs will ease owners’ worries.

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