NFL Week 13 Moving Up, Moving Down: Is Robert Meachem a Must Start?

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NFL Week 13 Moving Up, Moving Down: Is Robert Meachem a Must Start?
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With the fantasy playoffs approaching, we're reminded that every year there are players that seemingly come out of nowhere to help lead fantasy squads to their league's championships. This year, it looks like Robert Meachem of the Saints could be the guy to propel his owners to a championship.

Moving Up

  • Robert Meachem, Saints – Touchdowns in five straight games, plays on the league’s best offense – what’s not to like? Even the schedule looks good with the Falcons, Cowboys and Bucs up next.
  • Brandon Jacobs, Giants – Nice of Jacobs to throw up his best game of the year this week with 113 total yards and two touchdowns. Of course, I had him on my bench and it helped cost me a playoff spot in one of my leagues. [Editor's note: Me too. Bench that is, not the rest of the stuff.] Maybe he’s finally ready to assume the high end RB2 status most expected entering the season.
  • Antonio Gates, Chargers – Gates has been solid for most of the year but nowhere near the major stud he has been at times in previous years. However, he seems to have reclaimed his old form in the last two weeks with 15 receptions for 285 yards and two touchdowns. It looks like he’s getting hot just in time to carry some lucky owner’s fantasy squad in the playoffs.
  • Jason Witten, Cowboys – Similar story here with Witten going off during the last two weeks to the tune of 19 catches for 263 yards. However, it does look like the Cowboys are using Roy Williams as their main option in the red zone.
  • Alex Smith, 49ers – It’s official – the 49ers have morphed into a passing team and Smith is reaping the fantasy reward of that. In the last three games, he’s passed for 769 yards, seven touchdowns and only one interception. He’s worthy of a start in two of the next three weeks – avoid using him in Week 15 against the Eagles.
  • Santonio Holmes, Steelers – With 131 yards and a score in Week One, Holmes seemed ready to enjoy a breakout year in 2009. However, he failed to find the end zone again until Week 12 but has touchdowns in each of the last two games. With Hines Ward out this week, expect more targets for Holmes.
  • Pierre Garcon, Colts – Garcon shredded a pretty decent Titans secondary this week with 136 yards on six receptions. He was considered a raw prospect entering the season but has come on in the last three games with 307 yards and a score. He’s a worthy starter on a weekly basis.
  • Devin Thomas, Redskins – The situation in Washington isn’t a promising one but the bottom line is that Thomas has been used more and produced more since Sherman Lewis took over the play calling duties from Jim Zorn. This week it resulted in 100 yards and two touchdowns on seven catches. Maybe the light has gone on for Thomas.

Moving Down

  • Frank Gore, 49ers – 117 yards on 32 carries sounds like what Gore might put up in a single game. Unfortunately for his fantasy owners, that’s what he’s put up in the last three games. His performances have been saved by two receiving touchdowns but it’s not even like he’s contributing much in the passing game with just 60 yards over those games.
  • Vincent Jackson, Chargers – I love Jackson’s game but what I don’t love is how he’s been utilized over the past four weeks. Over that span, he’s been targeted 18 times and has 147 receiving yards and no touchdowns plus he’s been usurped by Antonio Gates as the team’s top red zone target. That could change as soon as this week but as of now, he’s dropped to WR2 status.
  • Justin Forsett, Seahawks – What can I say other than “wow”? In Julius Jones‘ return from injury, Forsett managed to get just five carries compared to 20 for Jones. Plus, now he’s hurt. Things change quickly in fantasy land.
  • Jay Cutler, Bears – 8 for 17 and 143 yards and a score sounds like what Cutler should put up against the Ravens or Bears but those are his stats from last week’s matchup against the lowly Rams. Over the last three quarters, he was four of 10 for 12 yards. And, no, I don’t care that his hand was slightly banged up since the Bears themselves said the injury wasn’t serious.
  • Brett Favre, Vikings – Okay, I’m not really all that down on Favre but he is coming off his first multiple interception performance of the season, he played poorly against the Cardinals and the stingy pass defenses of the Bengals and Panthers are up next. Then Week 16 features a trip to Chicago where the weather could reduce the chance of a strong fantasy performance.

Not Sold Yet

  • Bruce Gradkowski, Raiders – 308 yards and three touchdowns against the Steelers looks very good. However, unless you’re extremely desperate, avoid Gradkowski because, although he seems to be trying very hard, he’s just not that good and neither is the offense he’s leading.
  • Louis Murphy, Raiders – It was very nice that he had four receptions for 128 yards and two touchdowns while sitting on someone’s bench this week. Unfortunately, he plays for the Raiders and the odds of him duplicating this performance are pretty much nil.

Dave Stringer is the head fantasy football contributor at MyOfficePool.ca . To review the full article, click here . Check his weekly articles and player projections to help manage your team to the championship.

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