WHEN DENVER running back C.J. Anderson went down with a knee injury during his best game of the season in Week 7, the hope among fantasy players was that rookie Devontae Booker would step in for Anderson and simply carry the baton to the finish line.
Problem is, somewhere along the line, somebody tied his cleats together.
Oh sure, Booker had his moments, but in the five games since Anderson went out, it's taken him 95 carries to gain 266 yards. With a 2.8 yards per attempt, it's no wonder the Broncos are looking at another option.
Kapri Bibbs, which would be a swell name for a high-end infant's clothing store, had a couple of decent runs last week before injuring his ankle. With Bibbs out for the season, Denver signed free agent Justin Forsett.
Forsett came into the season as the Ravens' No. 1 running back, but was released after three games. Then he had a failed stint in Detroit. Now he is back with Gary Kubiak, the Denver head coach who was the offensive coordinator in Baltimore in 2014 when Forsett ran for 1,200 yards and eight touchdowns as a replacement to Ray Rice. Forsett has 777 yards since, which lottery players must love.
"I think the biggest thing with Devontae (is) a bunch got put on his plate," Kubiak said this week. "So, I think if Justin can come in and do the things I know he's capable of doing, maybe it takes a little bit off of Book, and I think that may help in a lot of ways."
Denver plays at Tennessee on Sunday and may start rookie Paxton Lynch at quarterback. Tennessee's defense has been a bear for opposing RBs, except for Week 9, when San Diego's Melvin Gordon chewed them up for 196 yards. Put Booker on the bench, use Forsett only as a midlevel flex, and take the under as long as the line is higher than 41.
Name the three tight ends who came into the week leading their team in receptions. Hint: Two play in the AFC.
There doesn't appear to be any weather severe enough to sit star players, but snow and moderate wind (10-20 mph) are forecast for Cinicinnati at Cleveland, and Baltimore at New England.
Light snow and light wind (5-10 mph) are in store for Pittsburgh at Buffalo, Seattle at Green Bay and Dallas at the N.Y. Giants.
This is the final week of Alshon Jeffery's four-game suspension for PEDs. The Bears' final three games are at Buffalo, San Diego at home and at Pittsburgh.
Three tight ends to lead teams in receptions are KC's Travis Kelce, Tennessee's Delanie Walker and Carolina's Greg Olsen.
QUARTERBACKS: Robert Griffin III is starting for the Browns Sunday against visiting Cincinnati. He, of course, is not a fantasy option, but it's worth noting that in his only game this season, Griffin targeted Terrelle Pryor seven times before leaving Week 1's loss at the Eagles. We have Pryor as a midlevel WR2 . . . Going out on a limb by putting Kirk Cousins ahead of Tom Brady in the week's quarterback rankings. Despite a subpar outing at Arizona last week, Cousins has 17 TD passes in his last eight road games and he's thrown seven TDs in his two trips to Lincoln Financial Field. Having tight end Jordan Reed (shoulder) would help Cousins' cause. Reed told ESPN he's playing, so stay tuned.
RUNNING BACKS: Would love Matt Forte as an RB1 against the Niners, but the Jets offense is in disarray and starting center Nick Mangold was just lost for the season with an ankle injury. Those who can use Forte as an RB2 or a flex should be in good shape for this mammoth week . . . Lamar Miller has only 79 yards on 33 carries in his last two games. Miller had a season-high 149 yards in the first meeting with Indy, so he's a borderline RB1 this week in the rematch.
WIDE RECEIVERS: Julio Jones has five 100-yard games in his last seven, but only two touchdowns. He's battling a turf toe injury, so participating in Friday's practice will alleviate fantasy owners' anxiety . . . Redskins slot receiver Jamison Crowder has five touchdowns and three 100-yard outings in his last seven games . . . Indy's Donte Moncrief has caught a touchdown in five consecutive games.
Quarterback, team: opponent
1. Drew Brees, NO : at TB
2. Ben Roethlisberger, Pit. : at Buf.
3. Kirk Cousins, Was. : at Phi.
4. Tom Brady, NE : vs. Bal.
5. Aaron Rodgers, GB : vs. Sea.
6. Matt Ryan, Atl. : at LA
7. Russell Wilson, Sea. : at GB
8. Philip Rivers, SD : at Car.
9. Matthew Stafford, Det.: vs. Chi.
10. Andrew Luck, Ind. : vs. Hou.
11. Jameis Winston, TB : vs. NO
12. Dak Prescott, Dal. : at NYG
Running back, team, opponent
1. Ezekiel Elliott, Dal. : at NYG
2. David Johnson, Ari. : at Mia.
3. Le'Veon Bell, Pit. : at Buf.
4. LeSean McCoy, Buf. : vs. Pit.
5. Melvin Gordon, SD : at Car.
6. DeMarco Murray, Ten. : vs. Den.
7. Thomas Rawls, Sea.: at GB
8. Latavius Murray, Oak. : at KC
9. Devonta Freeman, Atl. : at LA
10. Lamar Miller, Hou. : at Ind.
11. Spencer Ware, KC : vs. Oak.
12. Jay Ajayi, Mia. : vs. Ari.
13. Matt Forte, NYJ : at SF
14. LeGarrette Blount, NE : vs. Bal.
15. Jordan Howard, Chi. : at Det.
16. Jonathan Stewart, Car. : vs. SD
17. Jeremy Hill, Cin. : at Cle.
18. Mark Ingram, NO : at TB
19. Theo Riddick, Det.: vs. Chi.
20. Carlos Hyde, SF: vs. NYJ
21. Todd Gurley, LA : vs. Atl.
22. Frank Gore, Ind.: vs. Hou.
23. Isaiah Crowell, Cle. : vs. Cin.
24. Justin Forsett, Den. : at Ten.
25. Rob Kelley, Was. : at Phi.
Wide receiver, team: opponent
1. Antonio Brown, Pit. : at Buf.
2. Odell Beckham, NYG : vs. Dal.
3. Julio Jones, Atl. : at LA
4. Mike Evans, TB : vs. NO
5. Larry Fitzgerald, Ari. : at Mia.
6. Julian Edelman, NE : vs. Bal.
7. Jordy Nelson, GB : vs. Sea.
8. T.Y. Hilton, Ind. : vs. Hou.
9. Demaryius Thomas, Den. : at Ten.
10. Dez Bryant, Dal. : at NYG
11. Stefon Diggs, Min. : at Jac.
12. Amari Cooper, Oak. : at KC
13. Brandin Cooks, NO : at TB
14. Doug Baldwin, Sea. : at GB
15. Davante Adams, GB : vs. Sea.
16. Terrelle Pryor, Cle. : vs. Cin.
17. Golden Tate, Det. : vs. Chi.
18. Jamison Crowder, Was. : at Phi.
19. Donte Moncrief, Ind. : vs. Hou.
20. Emmanuel Sanders, Den. : at Ten.
21. Tyrell Williams, SD : at Car.
22. Sammy Watkins, Buf. : vs. Pit.
23. DeSean Jackson, Was. : at Phi.
24. DeAndre Hopkins, Hou. : at Ind.
25. Randall Cobb, GB : vs. Sea.
Tight end, team: opponent
1. Jimmy Graham, Sea. : at GB
2. Travis Kelce, KC : vs. Oak.
3. Delanie Walker, Ten. : vs. Den.
4. Jordan Reed, Was. : at Phi.
5. Tyler Eifert, Cin. : at Cle.
6. Greg Olsen, Car. : vs. SD
7. Ladarius Green, Pit. : at Buf.
8. Zach Ertz, Phi.: vs. Was.
9. Kyle Rudolph, Min.: at Jac.
10. Cameron Brate, TB : vs. NO
11. Martellus Bennett, NE : vs. Bal.
12. Dennis Pitta, Bal.: at NE
QBs: Kirk Cousins, Jameis Winston
RBs: Devonta Freeman, Theo Riddick
WRs: Stefon Diggs, Golden Tate
TEs: Tyler Eifert, Cameron Brate