The Free Press, Mankato, MN

December 3, 2012

Who in the heck is Montell Owens?

By Jim Rueda
Free Press Sports Editor

MANKATO — It’s make or break week for those teams on the bubble of making their fantasy football playoffs.

Surely some of you could use a little help and if Bryce Brown of Philadelphia happens to be available, he just might get you over the hump. In the last two games Brown has rushed for 347 yards and four touchdowns. Those are stud fantasy numbers and he should be just about everyone’s priority pickup this week.

A sneaky pick-up at running back could be Houston’s Justin Forsett. The Texans are close to wrapping homefield advantage for the playoffs. Once that happens, expect to see large doses of Forsett in the closing weeks as Arian Foster and Ben Tate get more rest than playing time.

In Jacksonville, somebody named Montell Owens may be the starting running back this weekend. Maurice Jones-Drew (foot), Jalen Parmele (groin) and Rashad Jennings (concussion) may all be sidelined, opening the door for Owens.

As for receivers, it’s time to consider not just one, but two Seattle players. Golden Tate has caught four touchdown passes the last four games. That may not be No. 1 wideout material but he’s a decent flex or WR3 option.

Teammate Sidney Rice is having his best year since 2009. He has reached double-figures in fantasy scoring in four of his last five games and is worth a look as quarterback Russell Wilson continues to develop.

In San Diego, wide receiver Donario Alexander has been steadily improving. He has three touchdowns and 467 receiver yards over that span. Again, not eye-popping stats but certainly worthy of a roster spot.

If you don’t play in a PPR league then Chris Givens of the St. Louis Rams may still be available. He seems to have become quarterback Sam Bradford’s wideout of choice over the last 4-6 weeks and is worth consideration.

Cleveland’s Josh Gordon is another receiver who has made himself fantasy relevant. Gordon had six catches for 116 yards and a touchdown against the Raiders. Yes, the Raiders are weak against the pass, but Cleveland quarterback Brandon Weeden loves to air it out and Gordon is often the target.

If you need tight end help, Denver’s Jacob Tamme might be available and may be of assistance. It seems he’s finally developing the rapport he had with quarterback Peyton Manning in Indianapolis. Over the last three weeks he has 190 yards and a touchdown and has been targeted 25 times.