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updated: 11/29/2012 2:27 PM

Tough decisions for Week 13 Fantasy Football

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  • Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton disappointed a lot of fantasy football owners for most of the season, but he's been huge in recent weeks.

      Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton disappointed a lot of fantasy football owners for most of the season, but he's been huge in recent weeks.
    Associated Press

  • Carolina's Cam Newton ranked No. 20 in fantasy football scoring after the first half of the NFL season, but since Week 9 he is first in scoring with 9 touchdowns.

      Carolina's Cam Newton ranked No. 20 in fantasy football scoring after the first half of the NFL season, but since Week 9 he is first in scoring with 9 touchdowns.
    Associated Press

 
 

Win and you're in.

Lose and it's wait 'til next year.

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For many fantasy football owners, that pretty much says it all as we enter Week 13 of the NFL season. Most regular seasons end this week or next, so I'm sure most of you are over analyzing to the max, stressing out and losing sleep.

The best advice I can give is to stick with the guys who got you this far and ride them for better or for worse.

Of course, there are always tough decisions to be made, and what has transpired in the last few weeks hasn't made those choices any easier. What follows is a rundown of some players whose stock is rising and may help put you over the top a month from now.

Running backs

•Denver's Knowshon Moreno. Coming off an ACL injury last year, the 12th pick of the 2009 draft hasn't been fantasy relevant since 2010. Many assumed Moreno was in John Fox's doghouse, but here's what the coach said this week: "He needed some time and he had a great attitude, great mindset throughout that period of time. ... We knew we needed him and he went about it right so that's why he looked so good." On a high-scoring offense, Moreno (111 yards from scrimmage last week) has four weak opponents ahead. Grab this Bronco and ride him into the sunset.

•Philadelphia's Bryce Brown. Who was the top-scoring tailback last week? Yep, this seventh-round rookie from Kansas State. With LeSean McCoy (concussion) possibly out for the season, Brown is a stellar option.

•New York Giants' Ahmad Bradshaw. As the No. 14 tailback this season, Bradshaw has likely been in and out of fantasy lineups all year. Well, Andre Brown's out for the season, meaning if Bradshaw's feet hold up, you should be able to count on him.

•Buffalo's C.J. Spiller. If you haven't noticed, Spiller's fantasy points the last six weeks look like this: 16-10-9-13-12-10. Now he gets the Jaguars and Rams, teams in the top 10 in points allowed to RBs.

Wide receivers

•Washington's Pierre Garcon. The Redskins' No. 1 receiver is finally healthy after missing much of the year with a foot ailment. He makes a great WR3 going forward.

•Jaguars WR Justin Blackmon. Those hesitating to insert the rookie into lineups, hesitate no more. With Chad Henne at quarterback, Blackmon (12-298-2 last two) is doing everything the team hoped he would when they took him with the fifth pick.

Quarterbacks

•Carolina's Cam Newton. If you own Newton and your team is alive, congratulations. You survived a season in which a top pick horribly underperformed. Newton was 20th among QBs heading into Week 9. Since then? He's No. 1 with 9 total touchdowns, and solid passing and rushing numbers. Going forward, the Panthers are at the Chiefs, host the Falcons, at San Diego and host the Raiders. Play him with plenty of confidence.

•San Francisco's Colin Kaepernick. Assuming the Niners stick with their rookie instead of Alex Smith the rest of the way, I like Kaepernick to post top-10 numbers.

Fools gold: Seventeen carries, 48 yards, 2 TDs. Nice line by Arizona's Beanie Wells, right? Well, yes, but I wouldn't put much faith in him after this week as Arizona is at the Seahawks in Week 14, then hosts the Lions and Bears.

My teams: Injuries to Matt Forte and Miles Austin have now doomed my regular-league team. That squad fell to 5-7 and would need a miracle to qualify for the playoffs. The auction league team fell to 3-9.

Good bets

Let's start by making it simple: I consider everybody mentioned above (even Beanie Wells) to be a good bet this week. After that …

•Cowboys QB Tony Romo vs. Philadelphia. Now that the Eagles have thrown in the towel, fantasy players are soaking up the points.

•Texans QB Matt Schaub at Tennessee. A seldom-used player most of the season, Schaub (842 passing yards last two) will have another huge afternoon against a defense that's allowed a league-high 23 passing TDs.

•Giants QB Eli Manning at Washington. Apparently, Manning was serious about just needing a week off.

•Browns WR Josh Gordon at Oakland. Gordon's good for 60-plus yards against the reeling Raiders.

•Jaguars RB Rashad Jennings at Buffalo. Jennings (2.8 ypc) has been flat-out awful, but against a Bills team that has allowed a league-high 16 rushing scores, Jennings is a very good flex play.

•Seahawks defense at Chicago. One, two, three sacks, four sacks, rock! Five, six, seven sacks, eight sacks, rock! ... You get the point. Hopefully for Bears fans, Jay Cutler -- playing behind a patchwork O-line -- won't have his clock cleaned too badly by this punishing defense.

Bad bets

•Steelers WR Mike Wallace at Baltimore. This is almost the lock of the week. DO NOT PLAY Wallace or any Steelers receiver, even if Ben Roethlisberger miraculously returns. No team has allowed fewer passing TDs than the Ravens.

•Packers WR James Jones vs. Minnesota. With Greg Jennings set to return, Jones figures to get lost in the shuffle.

•Ravens WR Torrey Smith vs. Pittsburgh. Smith has 7 TDs on the season, but he managed just 1 catch for 7 yards when these teams met two weeks ago.

•Seahawks WR Sidney Rice at the Bears. Even if Charles Tillman is out, I doubt Rice finds the end zone.

•Bucs QB Josh Freeman at Denver. Since Week 6, Freeman has the second-most fantasy points among QBs. My money's on the Broncos, though, as they have allowed just 10 TD passes with 11 INTs since Week 3.

•Rams RB Steven Jackson vs. San Francisco. When these teams met in a Week 10 tie, Jackson rolled to 101 rushing yards and a TD. The Niners haven't forgotten and their defense is out for revenge.

•Bengals RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis at San Diego. You've got to pick your spots with the Law Firm, and this isn't one of them.

•Dolphins RB Reggie Bush vs. New England. Are you going to trust a guy averaging 12 touches the last five games? Be my guest, but I'd leave this tease on my bench.

jdietz@dailyherald.com

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