By Kimra Schleicher //
I hope this finds each of you doing very well and in good spirits this week! I had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with my family and friends. We watched a lot of football and yes, we did a little shopping along the way as well.
On Thanksgiving Day, I was cheering for overtime between Detroit and Houston because I had the following players on several of my teams: Matt Stafford, Calvin Johnson, Andre Johnson, Mikel Leshoure, and Matt Schaub. To my delight, the game went into overtime and several fantasy points were scored. I also had the New England defense on Thursday night and they had two defensive touchdowns and scored well over 22 points in my leagues.
I thought I had a tremendous start to the high stakes fantasy playoffs in Las Vegas. I have three teams and they each had a comfortable lead going into Sunday's games. Well, I won two of the three games but the guy that I highlighted last week, Bryce Brown, decided to have his coming out party on Monday Night Football and I lost one league by 8 points because of his 34 points in a PPR league. I was none too happy last night around after he scored his second touchdown. Well, you can't win 'em all. I am fortunate though because all three teams will make the tournament in weeks 14-16. If Bryce Brown is still available, I would add him to your roster immediately, because you don't know if LeSean McCoy will play this Sunday. Brown has huge upside as an RB2 on your team if McCoy is out.
It was another crazy week as we saw more players end their season with injuries. DeSean Jackson, Andre Brown and Kendall Hunter are out for the season. Honestly, DeSean Jackson has been missing in action most of the year anyway, and it appears the days are numbered for Andy Reid in Philadelphia. Other players listed on the injury report are Brandon Weeden, Matt Forte, Jalen Parmele, Dexter McCluster and Kyle Rudolph. Always check the injury report before starting any player. If a player practices on Friday, that is a good indication he will play on Sunday.
Pickups of the week:
Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers
I watched the New Orleans Saints-San Franciso 49ers game on Sunday afternoon. Colin Kaepernick is a very good QB and you can see why Harbaugh elected to start him over Alex Smith. Kaepernick completed 16 of his 25 passes for 231 yards and a TD. He also rushed the ball 6 times for 27 yards and a TD. He has a big arm and is very mobile. He has a very favorable schedule with the St. Lous Rams up next. I actually picked him up in two leagues where I lost Ben Roethlisberger, and he was steal on the waiver wire. If he is still available, pick him up and utilize your matchups moving forward.
Michael Bush, Chicago Bears
No one is sure about the status of Matt Forte but if he is out this week due to an ankle injury, you need to add Bush to your roster. Bush is a weekly starter as long as Forte is not playing. He scored two TDs last weekend.
Knowshon Moreno, Denver Broncos
I admit I was wrong here. I thought Ronnie Hillman would see the bulk of the carries but it was Knowshon Moreno who carried the ball 20 times for 85 yards. He also had 4 receptions for 26 yards. I think they will try to get Hillman more involved but for now, it appears that Moreno will be the lead back for Denver.
Justin Blackmon, Jacksonville Jaguars
I've highlighted him before and he probably shouldn't be available if you play in a deep league. This is the last time I am going to mention him, but he looks like a totally different player with Chad Henne at QB. He was very impressive again as he posted 5 receptions for 62 yards and a TD. I know he has been inconsistent but it appears he is starting to pull it together opposite Cecil Shorts. If you have a roster spot, I wouldn't hesitate adding him to your team.
Julian Edelman, New England Patriots
This guy is a playmaker and he had two TDs last Thursday -- one on offense and one on defense. Check his injury status but don't hesitate adding him to your team if you play in a PPR league or a league that awards touchdown points to individual defensive players. As long as Rob Gronkowski is out, he is an option at WR.
Chris Givens, St. Louis Rams
If Danny Amendola continues to struggle with injuries, look to add Givens. I made a huge mistake on Sunday by not playing Givens in one of my leagues. He sat on my bench and he led his team with 5 catches for 115 yards and a TD. He is definitely a high risk/high reward type of player.
Cole Beasley, Dallas Cowboys
When Miles Austin was injured, Beasley became the slot receiver. I actually had to look this guy up to find out some additional information on him. He is a rookie from Texas and it appeared Tony Romo was confident in him as he was targeted 13 times against the Redskins. He ended the game with 7 receptions for 68 yards. If Austin continues to struggle with his injury, look to add Beasley immediately.
If any of these guys are still available, you might want to add them to your roster: Chad Henne, Pierre Garcon, Greg Jennings. Danario Alexander or Ryan Broyles.
Best of luck this weekend in all of your fantasy football games. Let's go win a championship!