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The Skeptic Tank: Weeks 11/12

Welcome to the Week 11 edition of the Skeptic Tank. Join me as I take a look back at Sunday’s games and review the fantasy implications of some of the more interesting performances. It’s also never too early to start thinking about your waiver wire pickups for Week 12.

It looks like Buffalo may have found a replacement for the injured Roscoe Parrish and his name is Donald Jones.  Jones, a rookie out of Youngstown State, caught all five of his targets for 70 yards and a touchdown.  He may not be a great play next week as the Bills will be hosting the Steelers.  But, with Cleveland, Miami and New England on the slate for weeks 14-16, Jones could surprise.

Dallas has been one crazy place this year.  The Cowboys beat the Lions 35-19 and you see that Jon Kitna has thrown for three touchdowns, but only 147 yards.  Then you check to see who caught the touchdowns and you see that Dez Bryant had three catches for eight yards and one touchdown, while Miles Austin had two catches for seven yards and two touchdowns.  Combined that’s five catches for 15 yards and three touchdowns.  I would not have expected Dallas to beat anyone on a day when Austin and Bryant get only seven targets combined.

Expect Detroit quarterback Shaun Hill, who threw for 289 yards and two touchdowns versus Dallas, to continue to put up viable QB1 numbers as long as Matthew Stafford is out.

It looks like we’re closing in on running back James Davis‘ turn in Washington.  With Clinton Portis reinjuring his groin and Ryan Torain missing time with a bad hammy, the Redskins are running out of healthy running backs.  Throw in a lackluster 68 yards on 23 carries by Keiland Williams and you have a perfect scenario for Shanahan to take a look at Davis.  Washington has the 8th most favorable schedule for running backs during weeks 14-16.

What heightens the intrigue surrounding James Davis is the fact that the Carolina Panthers wanted to sign Davis off of the Redskins’ practice squad, but Davis declined the offer tweeting, “I thought stayin’ here could be a good fit plus the Skins took care of me.”

I still haven’t given up on Packers’ running back James Starks making an impact this season.  The Packers have the 10th easiest schedule for running backs during weeks 14-16.  If Starks is available and you have the room he’s definitely worth stashing.

Vikings’ wide receive Sidney Rice made his 2010 debut this week versus the Packers and had three catches for 56 yards on 10 targets.  I had Rice on my dynasty league team up until Thursday of this week when I traded him and Chiefs’ wide receiver Dexter McCluster to ESPN’s Matt Williamson in exchange for Panthers’ running back DeAngelo Williams and a 2012 1st round draft pick.  Injuries to Tony Romo, Pierre Thomas and Rice along with some injuries on the defensive side of the ball have made this a season to forget.    But, with the emergence of Dez Bryant and Tampa’s Mike Williams, I felt that I had enough wide receiver depth to move Rice and acquire a potential RB stud in DeAngelo Williams.  I’m hoping that 2011 finds him some place other than Carolina.

No doubt Texans’ running back Arian Foster has laid claim as the primary ball carrier in Houston for years to come, but don’t sleep on injured rookie Ben Tate.  Tate is supposed to be 100% healthy by the start of 2011 training camp and as we’ve seen all over the NFL, opportunity is one tackle away.

Also keep an eye on injured Browns’ rookie Montario Hardesty.  Hardesty was expected to be a major contributor this year and can probably be had on the cheap at this point in time.

Carolina running back Mike Goodson was the lone Panther to carry the ball versus the Ravens on Sunday picking up 120 yards on 22 carries.  He has now put together back-to-back 100-yard games and is a must add.  Those in dynasty leagues should definitely take note as he’s making a case to be Jonathan Stewart‘s new RBBC partner should the Panthers decide not to sign, or to trade, DeAngelo Williams.

In case you haven’t noticed, Rams’ quarterback Sam Bradford has put up 42 pass attempts in back-to-back games.  The reason I mention this is that Rams’ wide receiver Danario Alexander is due back in the next week or so, and once healthy, the Rams are going to give him all the work he can handle.

Shame on you if you’re in a dynasty league and Saints’ tight end Jimmy Graham is still a free agent.  Sunday versus the Seahawks Graham had five catches for 72 yards.  This guy is raw and has huge upside and is primed to be a TE1 as early as next year.

Thanks for reading and have a great week.

Jim Bukowski is a staff writer for and can be reached at

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