One fumble by Peyton Hillis was all it took for New York Giants running back Andre Brown to become one of this week’s must-add players in fantasy football.
Playing in his first game of the season in Week 10 coming back from a broken leg, Brown rushed 30 times for 115 yards and a touchdown in the Giants’ 24-20 win over Oakland last Sunday.
With Hillis not trusted and Brandon Jacobs hurt, Brown is the No. 1 running back with the Giants, and worth adding in all fantasy formats. He might not see 30 carries every week, but the fifth-year veteran is established enough to be counted on as a flex option in your lineup.
Brown and the Giants face Green Bay in Week 11. The Packers have given up 316 yards rushing in the past two games, meaning Brown could be in line for another big game.
Brown is 39 yards from being the Giants’ rushing leader in 2013 – and he’s only played one game. Brown’s effort in Week 10 gave him a 44 percent boost in ownership in ESPN leagues, from 23 to 67 percent. But that means he’s still available in about one third of leagues, so if that’s true of yours, find a way to add him.
Revis Island is real
Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Darrelle Revis is just as tough as ever on opposing No. 1 receivers. Revis held Miami’s Mike Wallace to four catches for 15 yards in Week 10.
Prior to that, he limited Seattle’s Golden Tate to three catches for 29 yards and Carolina’s Steve Smith to four catches for 42 yards.
Revis and the Bucs host Atlanta on Sunday. That makes for a tough decision for fantasy owners who have Falcons receivers Roddy White and/or Harry Douglas. White is just coming back from injury and has had a terrible 2013 season, with Douglas taking over as Matt Ryan’s favorite target. Douglas plays mostly out of the slot.
Taking into account the Revis factor makes both White and Douglas risky plays.
Time to trust Tavon?
Tavon Austin might be the most over-drafted player in fantasy football this season. The Rams’ rookie receiver had an average draft position of 78.65 in CBS Sports leagues, but up until Week 10 had not had a game with more than 47 receiving yards. That changed against the Colts last week, however, when Austin exploded for 138 yards and two touchdowns (he added another on a punt return).
So should he be trusted moving forward? Not yet. The Rams are on a bye this week, then have to face Chicago, San Francisco and Arizona in the coming weeks. Even though he showed the big-play ability people have been waiting for, Austin only got three targets against Indianapolis. The Rams simply don’t look to him enough to make him a trusted fantasy receiver. He’s worth stashing on your bench if you’ve got the room, but for now, he shouldn’t be starting.
Hold off on Harvin
Seattle receiver Percy Harvin has a good chance of making his season debut following hip surgery on Sunday against his former team, the Minnesota Vikings.
But fantasy owners should hold off on using Harvin in their lineup. The Seahawks have a bye in Week 12, meaning Harvin would have two more weeks to get healthy before a big game against New Orleans.
It would make sense for the Seahawks to ease Harvin into the lineup by giving him just a few snaps against the Vikings, then use their bye week to get him even closer to 100 percent.
Analyzing the Bills
Running back Fred Jackson continues to get the majority of work at running back for the Bills. The Jets have the best rushing defense in the NFL, allowing just 73.8 yards per game, but Jackson did have a solid game against them in Week Three, when he rushed for 72 yards. He’s a good play as a No. 2 running back, while C.J. Spiller is relegated to being a flex player in most formats.
With both Stevie Johnson and Robert Woods hurt, the Bills do not have a receiver worth starting.
Bilal Powell rushed for 149 yards in New York’s Week Three victory against the Bills, but he’s been phased out of the offense since that time, with Chris Ivory becoming the featured back. Ivory has 270 yards rushing on 56 carries in the Jets’ last three victories, including his best game of the season in Week Nine against New Orleans, when he gained 139 yards and a touchdown on 18 rushes. Although the Bills have only allowed two rushing touchdowns to opposing running backs this season, one of them came last week to Steelers rookie Le’Veon Bell. Ivory is a good start Sunday.
Like the Bills, the Jets do not have any other skill-position players worth starting in fantasy.
Bye weeks: Dallas, St. Louis.