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updated: 12/6/2012 10:46 AM

Will Eagles' Brown fumble his big opportunity?

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  • Philadelphia Eagles running back Bryce Brown has been impressive the last two weeks with 4 touchdowns and averaging 8.1 yards per carry. He also has lost three fumbles, however, which could affect his playing time.

      Philadelphia Eagles running back Bryce Brown has been impressive the last two weeks with 4 touchdowns and averaging 8.1 yards per carry. He also has lost three fumbles, however, which could affect his playing time.
    Associated Press

  • Dallas Cowboys nose tackle Josh Brent (92) causes Philadelphia Eagles running back Bryce Brown to fumble the ball in their game Sunday. One of Brown's fumbles were returned for a touchdown.

      Dallas Cowboys nose tackle Josh Brent (92) causes Philadelphia Eagles running back Bryce Brown to fumble the ball in their game Sunday. One of Brown's fumbles were returned for a touchdown.
    Associated Press

 
 

Eagles running back Bryce Brown has burst onto the scene the last two weeks and posted some phenomenal numbers.

•347: Rushing yards

•8.1: Yards per carry

•4: Touchdowns

•53: Fantasy points in standard leagues

What's truly amazing is he's posting these numbers with a rookie quarterback at the helm of a 3-9 team that has basically given up.

One thing's for sure: The seventh-round rookie out of Kansas State meets the "eye test." And by that, I mean it doesn't take a pro scout or an NFL head coach to tell that this young man has talent.

Until LeSean McCoy returns -- or more accurately -- IF McCoy returns from a concussion, those of you who snared Brown off the waiver wire have a slam-dunk starter with the fantasy playoffs either here or on the horizon.

Looking forward, though, there's another number that -- if it continues to rise -- will affect Brown's long-term job security in the league.

That number is 3, as in the number of lost fumbles he has suffered in the last two games. One occurred in the fourth quarter of Philly's loss to Dallas last week with the Eagles trailing 31-27. Dallas' Josh Brent forced the loose ball, and Morris Claiborne returned it 50 yards for a touchdown.

"When you get tired, when you are in that fourth quarter and you've been grinding, you've got to keep focused on that," said Eagles coach Andy Reid, who will be lucky to keep his job when the season ends. "He was trying to get every stinking yard he possibly could. And he was doing that. But you've got to overemphasize it, exaggerate it. Until you answer it, they are going to be going for the football."

Brown realizes that.

But realizing it and doing something about it are two different things.

Hopefully we're not seeing a flash-in-the-pan performer like Steve Slaton, a talented individual who simply can't hold onto the football.

Time will tell, but enjoy the ride for now.

My teams: A pair of meaningless wins. My regular-season team finished 6-7, and my auction-league team is 4-9 with one more week in the regular season.

Good bets

•Browns WR Josh Gordon vs. Kansas City. Since Cleveland's bye in Week 10, Gordon has 15 catches for 229 yards and a 44-yard TD catch last week. He's a great play against a very weak pass D.

•Ravens WRs Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith at Washington. Smith (13 catches last four weeks) and Boldin (2 TDs all season) have done little to excite fantasy owners. In this matchup, I think both can be productive and deserve consideration.

•Bucs QB Josh Freeman vs. Philadelphia. With 2 TD passes the last two weeks, Freeman has come down to earth, but watch him soar Sunday to the tune of 280-320 passing yards and 3 TDs.

•Colts QB Andrew Luck and WR T.Y. Hilton vs. Tennessee. Get this: Since Week 9, only Calvin Johnson, Dez Bryant and Brandon Marshall have more fantasy points than Hilton (21-335-5).

•Giants QB Eli Manning and RB Ahmad Bradshaw vs. New Orleans. Nobody allows more points to opposing QBs than the Saints. As for Bradshaw, if you watched Michael Turner gash the Saints last week with 83 yards on 12 carries, you'll see why every RB is a good play against this unit.

•Eagles QB Nick Foles at Tampa Bay. You have to be pretty desperate to play Foles, but I'll go out on a limb and say he outscores Andy Dalton and Tony Romo this week.

•Rams RB Steven Jackson at Buffalo. Since Week 9, he is ninth among RBs in fantasy points. I like him to go over 100 yards from scrimmage for the fourth time in five games.

•Jets RB Shonn Greene at Jacksonville. Greene ought to improve his ho-hum numbers (806 rushing yards, 5 TDs) in a big way Sunday. The Jags allow 144 ypg on the ground and have yielded a whopping 16 scores on the ground.

•Texans QB Matt Schaub at New England. This will be a high-scoring affair on MNF, and Schaub will finish in the top 8 in QBs for the week.

•Cleveland, Tampa Bay, Seattle and N.Y. Jets defenses. The Bears' D is the first item in my bad bets list. Any of these four units will do better than Rod Marinelli's men.

Bad bets

•Bears defense at Minnesota. After a too-fast-to-believe start, the Bears leveled off and may be entering Bust Territory for the final month. The last four weeks, this unit is 23rd in fantasy points with 7 sacks and 6 forced turnovers. With injuries piling up, it's time to look elsewhere.

•Dolphins WR Brian Hartline at San Francisco. With decent numbers in three of the last five games, Hartline's been an OK plug-in-and-play guy. This week, he's best left on the bench.

•Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald and RB Beanie Wells at Seattle. How surprising is this: Fitzgerald has been targeted 26 times the last three games and has 5 catches!

•Panthers WR Steve Smith vs. Atlanta. The Falcons (11 pass TDs allowed) have Smith's number. He hasn't found the end zone against them since 2009.

•Redskins WR Pierre Garcon vs. Baltimore. The Ravens are allowing 246.5 yards through the air but they just don't allow many receivers into the end zone. Garcon figures to be good for 5-7 points.

•Bengals QB Andy Dalton and Cowboys QB Tony Romo in Cincinnati. I see a 17-16 or 20-17 final. Both teams have solid pass defenses, meaning the QBs won't have big games.

•Patriots RB Stevan Ridley vs. Houston. Terrible timing for Ridley owners if your playoffs start. The Texans have allowed 2 rushing scores and they came in the same week.

•Chargers RB Ryan Mathews at Pittsburgh. The Sit of the Week here. Don't even think about playing Mathews.

jdietz@dailyherald.com

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