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What Did We Learn? – Week 12

Injuries can play a huge part at this point in the season. For instance, Aaron Rodgers is projected to return this week against the Minnesota Vikings. First, that’s an easy comeback game for Rodgers, as he should be able to have his way with that defense. But it’s also huge for Jordy Nelson, James Jones and even Jarrett Boykin. Eddie Lacy also becomes even more attractive out of the backfield, as teams will now be retreating to stop the pass.

Over the next few weeks, teams will also want to see what they have on their roster. Some young quarterback or skill position guy may get more reps down the stretch as the team readies that player for the postseason or merely assesses their roster for the offseason.

Either way, there’s still a lot to be learned as we near Thanksgiving. And whether you’re loading up for a playoff run or just playing the matchups to fill out your starting roster for this week, everyone is looking to improve their roster. Let’s get to this week’s stock report.

Whose Stock is on the Rise?

Bobby Rainey
has burst onto the scene for Tampa Bay over the last two games. With Doug Martin and Mike James on the shelf, the Buccaneers were seemingly “stuck” with Brian Leonard and Rainey. In Week 10, he had nine touches for 56 yards and a score against Miami. In Week 11, he torched Atlanta for 163 rushing yards and two scores, and added a short touchdown catch as well. He’ll continue to be the guy for Tampa Bay, and he’ll be a top pickup this week.

Donald Brown
is finally starting to play like a first-round pick, and all it took was trading for another first rounder. With Trent Richardson possibly wearing two left shoes, Brown has seized his opportunity, taking advantage of Richardson’s struggles. On Sunday, he ran 14 times for 80 yards and a pair of scores, while the Indianapolis Colts coaching staff insists that he’s still the backup. This may lead to Richardson getting the ceremonial start each week, but Brown is clearly the more effective back.

Rod Streater
got some preseason love from fantasy pundits, but with Terrelle Pryor winning the starting gig coming out of camp, the Oakland passing game has been slow to develop. When Pryor was diagnosed with a knee sprain last week, the Raiders turned to Matt McGloin, who came out of relative anonymity to have a really nice game against Houston. McGloin threw three touchdowns, and Streater was one of the main beneficiaries. He caught six passes for 84 yards and a touchdown. He and Denarius Moore are the major targets going forward in the Oakland passing game, but they’ll have a tough time against the talented Tennessee secondary.

Jarrett Boykin
has stepped up in a big way since Randall Cobb went down. In the past two weeks, he’s caught 14 balls for 203 yards. He continues to impress, even with Scott Tolzien at quarterback. While Aaron Rodgers has been targeting this week for his return, the Green Bay coaching staff is indicating that Tolzien will get another start. I think Boykin will once again be a dangerous receiver against a poor Minnesota defense. By the way, if you can afford the roster spot, you should try to grab Cobb in the next week or so if he’s available. He could be a valuable asset come the fantasy playoffs.

Delanie Walker
has scored in three of his last four games. With Ryan Fitzpatrick under center, Walker seems to be a bigger threat as a check down and short yardage guy. On Thursday night, he caught 10 balls for 91 yards and a score, and while this will probably be his best game of the season, he could provide decent value in the next few weeks as Fitzpatrick continues to dink-and-dunk to his athletic tight end.

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