Tired of twins, in need of wins

Consider adding – Jacksonville QB David Garrard, Tennessee RB Antowain Smith, Atlanta RB T.J. Duckett, Jacksonville RB Greg Jones, Tennessee WR Drew Bennett, Tampa Bay TE Ken Dilger; Consider dropping – Cleveland QB Jeff Garcia, Denver RB Garrison Hearst, Carolina RB Brad Hoover, Seattle WR Koren Robinson, New York Giants defense

Starting nod

Quarterback: Jake Plummer, Denver – Every member of the Broncos' offense should have a field day this week against the Saints, who rank last in the league in running defense, passing defense and points allowed. The well-rested Plummer had four TDs in two straight games leading up to last week's bye.

Running back: Willis McGahee, Buffalo – The Bills fell behind early last week, and McGahee got only 15 touches. That should change this week. The Bills need to do everything they can to get the ball out of Drew Bledsoe's hands, and they're going up against the Rams' 29th-ranked run defense; Corey Dillon, New England – The AFC's second-leading rusher faces one of the NFL's worst defenses (Kansas City) on Monday night. This could be the game Dillon owners have been hoping for.

Wide receiver: Michael Clayton, Tampa Bay – The rookie from LSU has 90 or more yards in four of his last six games and has scored three TDs in that span. He goes up against the Niners' decimated defensive backfield; Nate Burleson, Minnesota – Randy Moss is still out and Marcus Robinson is hobbled, meaning the Vikings will call Burleson's number often against the Lions. He's caught a TD in three straight games.

Tight end: Antonio Gates, San Diego – Welcome back from the bye week, Antonio. Gates had three TDs his last time out and scored twice against the Raiders earlier this season. Oakland has given up eight TDs to tight ends in its last five games.

Kicker: Josh Brown, Seattle – He's made good on 17 of 18 field-goal attempts and is coming off a four-FG effort last week. The Seahawks should put up plenty of points vs. the Dolphins this week.

Defense: Cincinnati – The Bengals' D is available in a lot of leagues despite ranking among the top-five fantasy defenses in four out of the last five weeks. The Bengals are tied for the league lead in interceptions with 13 heading into this week's game against Pittsburgh.

Ravens report

Anyone who tuned into Monday Night Football saw (among other things) what the Ravens are up against this week: a discombobulated Dallas defense. That bodes well for Jamal Lewis, who's due for a big game after running for 152 yards and one TD on 52 carries in his last two games. The return of Jonathan Ogden, which seems likely this week, will help Lewis top 100 yards for the third time this season.

There's also reason for optimism in the passing game after Kyle Boller's promising performance in Week 10. Boller isn't worth owning, but if he can keep improving, Travis Taylor and Clarence Moore will be. Moore's two-TD game against the Jets made him the fifth best fantasy WR last week and has turned him into a trendy pickup. He's unlikely to score two TDs in a game again this season, but he's an intriguing WR3 or flex position option from here on out. Boller has confidence in the rookie, and his size (6-foot-6) makes him an attractive jump-ball option any time the Ravens are in the red zone.

In other news, the guy who used to be the Ravens best red-zone option – Todd Heap – still isn't ready to return. His ankle injury has lingered longer than anyone expected, but you can't cut him now. Once Heap gets back on the field, you'll be glad you stuck with him.

Baltimore's top-ranked fantasy defense gets another favorable matchup this week. The Cowboys have committed eight turnovers in their past two games, and Keyshawn Johnson and Jason Witten are the only players on their offense deserving of a spot in fantasy lineups. I wouldn't be surprised to see Drew Henson get into this week's game in relief of Vinny Testaverde.

Dave Alexander is a sports producer at baltimoresun.com. Send questions or comments to dalexander@baltimoresun.com




Look for this special section in your
Baltimore Sun newspaper on Dec. 29, 2013.
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