Fantasy football Week 12 risers, sliders (cont.)
Mohamed Sanu, Bengals -- The rookie from Rutgers has taken a while to come into his own as a pro, but his two-touchdown day against the Raiders' sieve of a defense was a promising sign. Oakland was (rightfully so) terrified by the prospects of A.J. Green and his now defunct nine-game touchdown streak in the red zone, which opened up the chances for Sanu. He's not a great pickup but should be on your watch list for the 2013 drafting season.
Ryan Broyles, Lions -- Matthew Stafford is back on track and his non-Megatron receivers are valuable again. However, Titus Young found himself suspended for the Texans game, and Broyles picked up the slack with a career-best six catches for 126 yards. There's little doubt that Broyles, who fell to the Lions in the second round of the 2012 NFL draft, will be hailed as a draft steal and a major fantasy contributor as early as next season. In the meantime, he's a solid injury replacement, especially over the all-important next three weeks against the Colts, Packers and Cardinals.
Jarius Wright, Vikings -- There's nobody in the NFL who can replace the speed and versatility Percy Harvin brings to the table, but with the Vikings' second-best weapon sidelined, the rookie Wright has done a commendable job. He followed up his NFL debut against the Lions two weeks ago (Minnesota was on a bye in Week 11) with a seven-catch day against a tough Bears defense. Most of the grabs were for short yardage but his speed makes him a threat to do damage on just about any play in which he can get into space.
Cole Beasley, Cowboys -- Needing an offensive spark as well as a replacement for an injured Miles Austin, Jason Garrett inserted the diminutive rookie receiver into the slot against the Redskins on Thanksgiving and he immediately began to pay dividends. Tony Romo looked his way 13 times, converting on seven passes for 68 yards. The targets are the big news here as no Cowboys receiver not named Witten, Austin or Bryant has seen more action in any game in four years. He's still learning, but with the Cowboys about to move into development mode, he could turn into a PPR asset through the fantasy postseason.
Danny Amendola, Rams -- After spending most of the week in a walking boot with a foot injury, Amendola valiantly attempted to play against the Cardinals. He managed one 38-yard grab on his only target of the day but was basically ineffective in his limited snaps. This is the second debilitating injury of the year for Amendola, which makes him questionable at best in the upcoming weeks. He's a PPR machine when healthy but that's a very big qualifier right now.
Anquan Boldin, Ravens -- You'd like to chalk up some of Boldin's struggles to Joe Flacco's road woes but Baltimore's quarterback threw for 355 yards in a dramatic come-from-behind win in San Diego. Flacco's fault or not, the veteran receiver was targeted eight times but managed just two catches and 42 yards. This also marked the 10th consecutive game in which Boldin was held out of the end zone, the longest touchdown drought of his career.
Mike Wallace, Steelers -- Pittsburgh's backup quarterback situation was the most experienced in the league yet among the most troublesome with porcelain-fragile Byron Leftwich as Ben Roethlisberger's primary backup, and behind him, dinosaur Charlie Batch, whose career began with him handing off to Barry Sanders in a league where Steve Young, Dan Marino and John Elway still roamed. Now Steelers receivers such as Wallace, already having a sub-par season in Todd Haley's dump-off pass-centered offense, are left to suffer the consequences. Until Roethlisberger's return, Wallace has little chance to excel and should be tethered to fantasy benches.
Rob Housler, Cardinals -- Inexperienced passers usually equate to high percentage passing schemes. That was evident on Sunday in the desert as a harried Ryan Lindley repeatedly looked for his tight ends, finding the scarcely-used Housler and Jeff King a combined nine times on 12 attempts. Housler accounted for eight of the catches to equal the combined efforts of Vernon Davis, Antonio Gates, Aaron Hernandez and Jermichael Finley for the week. This isn't an endorsement of anyone involved in the Arizona passing game right now, but it's something to notice if you get hung out to dry by an injury.
Vernon Davis, 49ers -- One of the biggest Colin Kaepernick supporters on the 49ers, Davis was shutout by the Saints in Week 12, catching no balls for the second time in five weeks. Meanwhile, Delanie Walker was involved to the tune of three catches for 81 yards. It's disheartening to see someone who fantasy owners should be able to rely on struggle as mightily as Davis has, but just one week removed from a big output he's not someone to give up on just yet.
Visanthe Shiancoe, Patriots -- So much for the veteran being Rob Gronkowski's replacement. Shiancoe, one of four healthy tight ends on the Patriots roster, watched from the sidelines on 87 percent of New England's offensive snaps Thanksgiving night against the Jets, garnering no catches or targets. In fact, New England's tight end corps was targeted just five times with three catches total, two by Aaron Hernandez and one by Daniel Fells. Hernandez should be used. The others are nothing short of a shot in the dark.
Rob Bironas, Titans -- Byes are over, so if you haven't settled on a kicker already, now is probably the time to do so. That leads us to Bironas, the NFL's active field goal accuracy leader, who has averaged 10 points per game in November, up from 6.8 from September through October and the third most in the league.
Mason Crosby, Packers -- Green Bay scores a lot of points, so how is it that Crosby, one of fantasy football's most reliable kickers over the past few years ranks just 26th in fantasy points at his position? Duped by the idea of him, savvy owners are letting themselves be duped out of all-important points by showing their loyalty -- he's owned in 75 percent of leagues while better kickers like Blair Walsh, Justin Tucker and Phil Dawson are readily available.