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Aces & Deuces: Week 11 Aces

Rams wide receiver Danny Amendola has broken into must-start territory as the team’s most versatile weapon.

As we enter the home stretch of the fantasy season, let’s take a look at the list of injured players needing to be accounted for in this week’s lineups:

  • Ben Roethlisberger
  • Antonio Brown
  • Darren McFadden
  • Maurice Jones-Drew
  • Julio Jones (possibly)

Now, add to that the list of top performers finally getting to their bye weeks:

  • Victor Cruz
  • Adrian Peterson
  • Percy Harvin (could go on both lists)
  • Marshawn Lynch
  • Chris Johnson

With 10 fake football heroes needing replacement this week, you’re going to need to find a rabbit in your hat in order to win. Or, at the very least, an Ace up your sleeve.

Aces – Week 11

QB Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts (@ New England Patriots) When I do my Aces digging each week, I continue to be floored at the fact that Luck is being started in fewer than 50% of Yahoo! leagues (44% at the time of this publication, to be exact). The rookie signal caller is the 7th-ranked QB in standard scoring – right behind the man he replaced in Indy – and has one rushing touchdown fewer than Robert Griffin III. With a deft mix of speedy targets (T.Y. Hilton, Donnie Avery) and a savvy veteran (a resurgent Reggie Wayne), Luck has plenty of options at his disposal against a New England secondary that has taken more abuse than the inside of Charlie Sheen’s nostrils. He’s in for another huge week. Prediction: 315 yards passing + 22 yards rushing + 2 TDs passing =  22.8 fantasy points

QB Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals (@ Kansas City Chiefs) Hot off of being named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week, the Red Rifle is poised for another strong performance at Arrowhead this weekend. KC’s defense may be ranked 9th in the league in terms of yardage allowed, but looking closer at the numbers reveals a trend of generosity (102.1 opposing passer rating, 18 TDs allowed, 29 plays of 20 yards or more) that will benefit Dalton. He may not throw four touchdowns this weekend, but you never expect that out of a fantasy sub, anyway. Prediction: 255 yards passing + 3 TDs + 1 INT = 20.2 fantasy points

WR Danny Amendola, St. Louis Rams (vs. New York Jets) Without question, Amendola is a stud. Putting up more than 100 yards, while still playing with pain from a broken collarbone, against San Francisco defense automatically vaults you to must-start status. Amendola was targeted a whopping 12 times against the Niners, and there is no reason to believe that number will be any smaller against New York’s mediocre circus. Let Steven Jackson pound the ball on first and second down, then let Amendola move the sticks all day. Another 100-plus yard game is in the offing. Prediction: 117 yards receiving + 1 TD = 17.7 fantasy points

WR Brian Hartline, Miami Dolphins (@ Buffalo Bills) Hartline has quieted down in recent weeks, but is still the 10th receiver in the league in total yards and leads the Dolphins in targets. The touchdowns don’t come in bulk with Miami, but against a Buffalo defense that yields 31.7 points per game, there will be opportunities for Hartline to replicate his Week 4 explosion against Arizona. Prediction: 120 yards receiving = 12 fantasy points

The Sunday forecast in Oakland calls for plenty of Marcel Reece against a weak Saints defense.

RB Marcel Reece, Oakland Raiders (vs. New Orleans Saints) The Saints and their bend-but-don’t-break defense came up big to knock of Atlanta last week, but still allowed 457 total yards in the process. And while they did shut down Michael Turner, the Saints allowed enough yardage to Jacquizz Rodgers in the receiving game to show opponents that they can easily employ their running backs in the passing game. This spells good news for owners of Reece, who is the fifth-most targeted running back in the league. Likely playing from behind against New Orleans’ potent offense, expect the Raiders to take to the air and try to work Reece underneath and in the red zone, similar to how Atlanta used Tony Gonzalez in last week’s game. Prediction: 57 yards rushing + 52 yards receiving + 1 TD = 16.9 fantasy points

RB Daniel Thomas, Miami Dolphins (@ Buffalo Bills) Reggie Bush was benched last week after he fumbled, and Thomas has been receiving more red zone looks of late. While this might be a bit of a dart throw for the week, Buffalo is the league’s worst rushing defense and has allowed 16 touchdowns on the ground. He is owned in only a third of all Yahoo! leagues, but he is most certainly worth a start this week in what will likely be a high-scoring affair. Prediction: 45 yards rushing + 1 TD = 10.5 fantasy points

TE Brandon Myers, Oakland Raiders (vs. New Orleans Saints) See the aforementioned Gonzalez performance against New Orleans, then subtract a couple points for talent and scheming. Myers has been under the radar all year, but is a near-lock to splash six this weekend in the Black Hole. Prediction: 47 yards receiving + 1 TD = 10.7 fantasy points

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