Rumblin’, Bumblin’, Stumblin’ – Fantasy Football Player Value Adjustments – Week 13

Here’s a look at the guys who spent their time in week 12 doing one of three things: rumblin’ up the player value charts with big performances, bumblin’ through a rough week and making their owners nervous, or stumblin’ so badly that their fantasy value took a major hit.

Rumblin'

Frank Gore, RB, SF: Gore ran all over Arizona, a team that up until last week had been pretty solid against the run. His 200+ yards and 2 touchdowns got him back in his owners’ good graces, as long as he can stay healthy (never a sure bet, as demonstrated when he aggravated his ankle in the first quarter – for once, though, he toughed it out).

Ryan Grant, RB, GB: He looked good for the third game in a row, but keep in mind that this is Brett’s show, and the Packers are a passing offense, regardless of the score. He’s not always going to turn 15 carries into 101 yards (like he did last week).

Larry Fitzgerald, WR, ARI: He’s been consistently solid all season, and last week’s 156-yard, 2-TD explosion was an indicator of what he’s capable of when Good Kurt is behind center, gimpy non-throwing arm and all.

Chad Johnson, WR, CLE: It’s only one big game, but you get the sense that he’ll be a major presence in fantasy football for the rest of the season. He may have just needed a few weeks to shake off that massive hit he took against Buffalo.

Jamal Lewis, RB, CLE: Going into his late-season string of good matchups, it’s nice to see that Lewis can still tear a poor rush D apart. And hey, he even had a nice 123-total-yard game against Baltimore’s tough D in week 11, though that might have been a grudge thing against his old team. He should be a top option at RB for the rest of the fantasy season – didn’t see that coming, didja?

Tony Scheffler, TE, DEN: He’s healthy, and a favorite target of Jay Cutler. Should be a nice option the rest of the way, unless Javon Walker is able to return and steals too much of the action (if Walker and Marshall are both healthy by next week, look out AFC West).

Kolby Smith, RB, KC: Keep one thing in mind – his 150-yard performance was against Oakland, possibly the easiest team to run on in the league. San Diego will be a much better test in week 13. But for now, he looks like a decent #2 RB until LJ comes back (because who the hell would the Chiefs replace him with if he struggled?).

Wes Welker, WR, NE: I wasn’t a believer, but since week 6, Welker’s done nothing but put up at least average, and sometimes stellar, fantasy performances. He’s a pretty safe WR3 play.

Andre Johnson, WR, HOU: It isn’t a particularly good sign that the Browns were able to hold Johnson to 37 yards by double-teaming him. Think Houston’s next few opponents will be studying that film? If the Browns can do it…

Thomas Jones, RB, NYJ: He still hasn’t scored a touchdown yet. And he’s still the feature back for an NFL team. Just thought I’d point that out. Oh, and he posted a 2.4 YPC average last week.

Heath Miller, TE, PIT: Big Ben just hasn’t been looking his way all that often lately (11 catches in the last 5 games).

Santana Moss, WR, WAS: Moss (5 catches, 37 yards, fum lost) seems to be locked in a battle with Lee Evans over who is the more infuriating fantasy WR to own.

Clinton Portis, RB, WAS: He fumbles twice, so the Skins replace him with Betts for the entire fourth quarter. An ominous sign of things to come, or just the coach’s way of chewing him out for being sloppy with the ball? I’m guessing the latter.

LenDale White, RB, TEN: Three straight terrible games, mostly due to the Titans playing from behind as their defense has fallen apart. The defense’s woes have been partially due to the absence of Albert Haynesworth, who might return this Sunday, so if you’ve got White on your team, take a look at Haynesworth’s status before you plug White into your lineup.

Stumblin

Reggie Bush, RB, NO: What did the Saints learn in Carolina? That even if you reduce Bush’s workload, you can still win by giving Aaron Stecker and Pierre Thomas a share of the workload (13 and 12 carries, respectively). Heck, you might even be better off. Not a good thing, and if I was a betting man, I’d wager that Stecker and Thomas will continue to be more involved than they were before, even when Bush’s bruised shin heals. Oh wait, I am a betting man. This is going to be tough to work out with my bookie.

Jerricho Cotchery, WR, NYJ: A total of three receptions in the past two weeks, and that’s with Coles out of the lineup. Looks like there’s a pretty significant lack of chemistry between Cotchery and Clemens.

DeShaun Foster, RB, CAR: 9 carries for -5 yards against New Orleans? Two fumbles? If you’re too desperate at RB to drop Foster at this point, consider your season over.

Tony Gonzalez, TE, KC: As much as Brody Croyle has been a boon for Dwayne Bowe owners, he’s been a disaster for Gonzo owners. It’s hard to say whether Croyle will start looking his way more often down the line, but for the time being, you might be better off with an option from the waiver wire (is Scheffler still available in your league?).

Ike Hilliard, WR, TB: He’s had a nice season so far, but until Jeff Garcia’s back is healthy, Hilliard’s unstartable in fantasy.