Toby Gerhart @ Lions (if Adrian Peterson’s out)
After a failing to show much against the Raiders and Falcons, Toby Gerhart looked great against the Broncos last week. With a consistent commitment to using a fullback to block, Gerhart looked like a different running back, and if he should start this week, he will have likely rush for more than 100 yards and a score.
Detroit hasn’t looked good on defense of late, and with Ndamukong Suh still on suspension and Nick Fairley suffering a setback to his foot injury, Minnesota will test the Lions run defense.
Marion Barber @ Broncos
The Bears are likely to use a committee this week, but Marion Barber should see up to 20 carries as the lead back. Denver has done a great job of applying pressure on the quarterback, but it can be had on the ground, so if you’re looking for a replacement for Matt Forte, give Barber a start this week.
Mark Ingram @ Titans
The Titans should have continued success on the ground this week, but look for New Orleans to roll up more than 30 points as Mark Ingram closes out the game in the fourth quarter. In recent weeks, the Titans haven’t done a good job against the run, and Ingram should be good for a touchdown and more than 50 yards on the ground.
Carson Palmer @ Packers
The Raiders were ineffective on offense until the fourth quarter last week, but Palmer put up a respectable stat line for fantasy by game's end. It’s likely Palmer will at least get Denarius Moore back this week, and he should throw for more than 300 yards against the Packers defense as Oakland throws to get back in the game.
Ahmad Bradshaw @ Cowboys
It was nice to see Bradshaw return last week against the Packers, but trusting him at this point in the season is hard to do. Like Peyton Hillis, I can’t blame you for starting him if you don’t have another option, but it’s likely he will be in a time share with Brandon Jacobs to finish the season.
Jacobs was active in the running game before Bradshaw suffered another foot injury, but he wasn’t running well early in the season, and the coaching staff wasn’t trying to protect Bradshaw from overusing him. Maybe the Giants will allow Bradshaw to touch the football more than 15 times a week going forward, but I would like to see him do it for a week before trusting him in the playoffs.
Peyton Hillis @ Steelers
Hillis had a decent stat line overall against the Ravens, but once again he came away with an injury. Monitor Hillis’ status heading up to game time if you need him on Thursday, but it’s best to avoid playing him on a short week against the Steelers.
Dwayne Bowe @ Jets
Unfortunately for Dwayne Bowe, veteran quarterback Kyle Orton injured his hand on his first pass as a Chief last week. Orton may have been Bowe’s last chance to be a fantasy-relevant option this year as Tyler Palko won’t be given many opportunities to throw the football. This week Bowe will likely line up against Darrelle Revis, and that makes him a must-bench option this week.