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Fantasy Fodder: Dilemma for Ravens fans

Many Ravens fans will have an important question to ask themselves this weekend, and it has nothing to do with whether they should wave one of those purple rally towels at Sunday night's game.

With fantasy football playoffs set to begin in a week or two, and postseason berths and seeding at stake in Week 13, do fantasy-playing fans dare start a Steelers player such as Ben Roethlisberger or Hines Ward, who are playing a pretty important game against their favorite reality football team?

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It's understandable to be conflicted, and avoiding awkward situations like this is why some fans refuse to draft enemy players. Heck, one of my buddies, Craig, refused to play fantasy altogether because he loves his Redskins too much (I finally convinced him to wade into the fantasy waters this fall).

If you need a win this week, I say start some Steelers should you need to. No one is going to challenge your fanhood if you do. But it's your prerogative, Bobby Brown.

Just make sure you don't cheer if you're at Sunday's game and one of the guys in black and gold hooks you up with a huge game -- though I don't think that's going to be an issue for most of you.

Fantasy penthouse:

Tom Brady (341 passing yards, four touchdowns), Peyton Hillis (194 total yards, three scores), Dwayne Bowe (170 receiving yards, three TDs), Todd Heap, (79 receiving yards, one touchdown)

Fantasy doghouse:

Philip Rivers (185 passing yards, no touchdowns), Chris Johnson (nine total yards), Terrell Owens (three catches, 17 yards), John Carlson (one catch, three yards)

Frank Gore broke his hip and is out for the season. I plucked Brian Westbrook off the waiver wire after he had a big game in Gore's absence, but he'll split carries with Anthony Dixon, who is also worth a look. ... Adrian Peterson (ankle) is questionable. If Peterson doesn't play -- and the non-contending Vikings have little to gain by playing him -- Toby Gerhart will get the start. ... Vincent Jackson (calf) is week-to-week. Groan. ... Greg Jennings (foot) shouldn't miss time. ... Austin Collie (concussion) is again a question mark. ... Ditto for Brandon Marshall (hammy). ... Roethlisberger (foot) will play, but you knew that.

The wire:

Westbrook and Gerhart are the two hottest names on the wire this week. ... I am starting to like Matt Cassel more and more, and I'm still high on Josh Freeman even though he let me down last week. ... Sidney Rice could have an impact in the fantasy postseason. ... Seattle's Ben Obomanu is worth a look with Mike Williams out. ... Jacoby Ford is a risky play, but it could pay off in a big way. ... Two tight ends who are playing well are Kevin Boss and Joel Dreessen, who is doing his best Owen Daniels impersonation.

You make the call:

Which player would you rather have going forward this season: Toby Gerhart or Brian Westbrook?

Extra point:

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We all figured Jonathan Stewart would be a beastly fantasy option if DeAngelo Williams was to get hurt. But now that it actually happened (Williams is on the IR), the Panthers have another frustrating backfield committee. Mike Goodson has put together three strong weeks in a row, and Stewart nearly hit the 100-yard mark on Sunday. It would be nice if one of them took over the job -- for financial reasons, I'm pulling for Stewart -- but it doesn't look like it's going to happen. Dang.

My weekly Fantasy Fodder column will run in some fashion on the Virtual Vensanity blog every Wednesday. E-mail your fantasy questions to matt@btheite.com, Tweet them to twitter.com/mattvensel or leave them in the comments section below. Carrier pigeons are also acceptable.

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