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updated: 12/2/2010 7:51 PM

Impossible to replace Gore ... but some options exist

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While messing around on Facebook this week, I ran across a post by one of my brother's friends that read, "Norm Klebba has just had his fantasy season flushed down the toilet."

It didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what happened to poor, old Norm.

He is (or was) a Frank Gore owner and was lamenting the loss of his superstar running back. And to make matters worse, his upcoming foe swooped in and stole Brian Westbrook from him.

Talk about a double whammy.

I know many of you are feeling Norm's pain (and some of you probably played the role of "swooper" and stole Westbrook from queasy Gore owners).

But if you can still make pickups this week, there are other players worth considering if they are available.

&bul; First of all, don't assume Westbrook will be the bell cow in San Francisco. He's 31 and injury prone, and the Niners will want to see what they have in Anthony Dixon. The rookie out of Mississippi State is worth a roster stash if you've made the playoffs and can be patient.

&bul; For three straight weeks, Carolina's Mike Goodson (available in 26 percent of cbssportsline leagues) has gone over 100 yards from scrimmage. Goodson gets the Seahawks this week, and they've given up the seventh-most fantasy points to RBs.

&bul; Couldn't get Goodson? What about his teammate, Jonathan Stewart? He's available in 20 percent of leagues and returns to his home state to play Seattle. Goodson and Stewart may split time, but they are the only solid players on an otherwise putrid Panthers offense.

&bul; Dallas' Tashard Choice is available in 86 percent of leagues at press time. With Marion Barber likely out, Choice will see double-digit touches against a weak Colts run defense.

&bul; If Adrian Peterson owners haven't insured themselves with Toby Gerhart, that's a no-brainer pickup. If Peterson (ankle) can't go, Gerhart's an excellent start against the woeful Bills run defense.

&bul; If you're really desperate, you can probably get Detroit's Maurice Morris. He scored twice last week against New England, but he's a poor bet against the Bears this week.

Playoff tiebreakers: I've always harped on leagues to make sure you have iron-clad ways to break ties in playoff games.

But it's just as important to know how ties are broken in the standings. I've always believed it should be total points for the season.

You can argue head-to-head or division record should be the top tiebreaker, but this if fantasy football, not real football.

In this game, it all comes down to total points scored. That team should advance based on the fact it was better over the course of the season.

Sneaky pickup: Capturing a fantasy title can sometimes be as simple as paying attention to the schedule. With that in mind, owners should consider grabbing the Atlanta defense, which is at Carolina (12.7 ppg) and Seattle (19 ppg) in Weeks 14 and 15, respectively. And if your title game is in Week 17, the Falcons host the Panthers.

My teams: For the first time this season, both of my teams lost in the same week. The unit-league team laid an egg in a 43-41 setback. However, that team is 9-3 and earned a first-round bye. As for the regular team, it fell 101-88 thanks to duds by Ben Roethlisberger, Darren McFadden and Vincent Jackson. That team is 6-6 but should make the playoffs based on the fact I have the second-most points in the league (the top four records plus the next two best in points qualify).

Good bets

&bul; Bears QB Jay Cuter, RB Matt Forte and TE Greg Olsen at Detroit. Cutler (372 yards) and Forte (201 yards from scrimmage, 2 TDs) both blew up the Lions in Week 1. Olsen was quiet, but he has scored in three of the last four and deserves a look if you're thin at TE.

&bul; Packers RB Brandon Jackson vs. San Francisco. Bit of a sleeper pick here, but Jackson has scored in three of Green Bay's five home games.

&bul; Broncos QB Kyle Orton and WR Jabar Gaffney at Kansas City. For those with short memories, Orton (4 TDs), Gaffney (57 yards, TD) and Co. completely abused the Chiefs just three weeks ago.

&bul; Chiefs QB Matt Cassel and Thomas Jones vs. Denver. Amazingly, Cassel (18 TDs, 1 INT last seven) has reached must-start status.

&bul; Giants QB Eli Manning and RB Brandon Jacobs vs. Washington. The Redskins don't defend the pass (29th) or the run (26th). That means lock & load with any and all of your G-men.

&bul; Colts WR Pierre Garcon vs. Dallas. Few players have disappointed me more than Garcon. He was a terror in last season's playoffs, and figuring that would roll over, I ranked him 17th among WRs in my preseason rankings. Well, he's 62nd after 12 weeks. The total dud has a chance to climb the rankings a bit this week, though, if he can get in the end zone against a secondary that has allowed the second-most passing TDs this year (23).

&bul; Seahawks WR Ben Obomanu vs. Carolina. He has just 20 catches (14 the last three weeks), yet he ranks 13 spots above Garcon. He's on fire, so use him.

&bul; Rams WR Danny Amendola at Arizona. The Cardinals have given up. Amendola's good for 70-80 yards and a likely TD.

&bul; Jets WRs Braylon Edwards and Santonio Holmes at New England. No team gives up more passing yards than the Patriots.

&bul; Titans WR Randy Moss vs. Jacksonville. Just a gut feeling here! Don't sue me if I'm wrong.

Bad bets

&bul; Lions WR Nate Burleson vs. Bears. With 4 TDs in his last seven games, Burleson been a nice WR3, but you want no part of him in this spot.

&bul; Bengals RB Cedric Benson vs. New Orleans. Play him if you must, but Benson (3.3 yards per carry last six) has been running in mud. The Saints should romp, rendering Benson worthless.

&bul; Jaguars RB Maurice Jones-Drew at Tennessee. Like Moss above, going with my gut here. MJD is banged up and the Titans have allowed just 4 rushing TDs.

&bul; Raiders RB Darren McFadden at San Diego. Eighteen carries for 16 yards. That's what McFadden has managed the last two games combined. He's fine for PPR leagues, but the rest of you should consider other options.

&bul; Falcons QB Matt Ryan at Tampa Bay. The Bucs are ninth vs. the pass, and Ryan typically doesn't fare well on the road.

&bul; Bucs RB LaGarrette Blount vs. Atlanta. The Falcons boast the league's sixth-best run D and have surrendered just 4 rushing scores.

&bul; Patriots WR Wes Welker vs. the Jets. Five catches for 55 yards. That's Welker's line this week.

&bul; Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger at Baltimore. Big Ben has a bad foot, and I see a low-scoring game here. Don't expect much.

&bul; Bengals WR Chad Ochocinco vs. New Orleans. No team has allowed fewer passing TDs than the Saints (7).