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Fantasy Football: Week 13 Pickups

Fantasy Football Week 13 Pickups

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Benny Cunningham, RB (STL)

Following the injury to Zac Stacy on Sunday, Cunningham did a great job finishing what Stacy started, rushing for 109 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries. The most impressive note to take away from Cunningham's breakout performance was five of his carries went for 10 yards or more, leading yards per carry average just over eight yards. Stacy was diagnosed with a concussion, and will have to work through the league's protocol before being cleared to rejoin the team, so Cunningham could be in line to get his first start against the Niners on Sunday. While it is clear that Stacy is the team's No. 1 running back once healthy, Cunningham should at least be picked up as a precaution for Stacy owners in the event his health takes a turn for the worst. 

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Brandon Bolden, RB (NE)

Following fumbles by both Stevan Ridley and LeGarrette Blount in first half of Sunday's win over the Broncos, the Patriots decided to turn to Bolden in the harsh conditions at Gillette Stadium. Bolden finished the day with 58 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries, adding one catch for 11 yards proving he is still a viable option despite being buried behind three running backs on the depth chart. Both Ridley and Blount have had their issues with ball control this season, so there is a good chance Bolden could get additional work moving forward. After all, both players have had plenty of chances to prove themselves, and have yet to make the most of it.

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Nate Burleson, WR (DET)

Burleson picked up right where he left off in Week 12 prior to suffering a broken arm, having now recorded at least six receptions in each of his four games played this season, after seven catches for 77 yards and a touchdown. With opposing defenses concentrating heavily on Calvin Johnson, Burleson is going to continue to get heavily targeted in the Lions pass-happy offensive attack. Health has always been an issue for Burleson, but right now he appears to be a man on a mission and is a solid player to help fantasy owners with the playoffs right around the corner. 

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Dennis Johnson, RB (HOU)

After being ineffective through the early portion of Sunday's game, the Texans coaching staff decided to bench Ben Tate in favor of Johnson, who had little to no production through the first 11 weeks. Johnson finished the game with a respectable 74 yards on 13 carries, but as of Monday it wasn't enough to earn him the starting job against the Patriots in Week 13. However, if the Texans are willing to bench Tate one week, who says it won't happen again? Johnson is worth stashing in deep league formats for now, but could become a viable option in standard leagues if Tate is either ineffective or suffers a setback to his ailing ribs. 


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Ladarius Green, TE (SD)

Despite paying second fiddle to Antonio Gates, Green has been able to contribute enough over the last two weeks to make him a solid add heading into Week 13. Green has made the most of his limited targets over that time span, hauling in seven receptions for 161 yards and a touchdown on 10 targets, giving quarterback Philip Rivers another lethal target in the passing game. Considering his freakish size (6'6", 240 lbs), Green could become a big time red zone threat in the future, even with Antonio Gates on the field. For those in dynasty leagues, Green is a must-add if he wasn't picked up already, as he has the making of being able to join the elite tight ends in the league once he fully matures at this level.

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Rod Streater, WR (OAK)

In the absence of Denarius Moore on Sunday, Streater was able to establish himself as the top option in the Raiders passing game, finishing the game with five receptions for 93 yards on 10 targets. Since quarterback Matt McGloin took over the play calling for the Raiders, Streater has seen an uptick in production, hauling in 11 catches for 177 yards and a touchdown. Moore was unable to practice yet again on Monday, and considering the Raiders are playing on a short week, there is a good chance he is going to miss Thursday's game against the Cowboys, which would make Streater the go-to guy once again. If you are unable to add Nate Burleson this week, Streater is the next best option while Moore is out and McGloin is under center. 

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C.J. Anderson, RB (DEN)

Although Anderson has only seven carries on the season, Anderson makes for a solid addition this week for those in deep league formats. Following Sunday's loss to the Patriots, starting running back Knowshon Moreno was spotted walking with crutches, after suffering a significant bone bruise on his lower right leg, making his status for Week 13 unclear. Both Ronnie Hillman and Montee Ball have has there issues with ball control this season, and with a key divisional game on deck, the Broncos may turn to Anderson if Moreno is ruled out. Again, Anderson's fantasy value relies heavily on the health of Moreno, but he is worth adding for those who like to speculate.

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Tiquan Underwood, WR (TB)

Heading into Week 13, the Buccaneers knew they would be able to pass on the vulnerable Lions secondary, but no one who have guessed it would be Underwood who who leave the top scorer from the passing game. He caught only three passes in the contest, but made the most of his limited chances, going for 108 yards and two scores. The bulk of his production came off of a 85-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Mike Glennon, so some may say his production is too inconsistent, considering he has yet to record more than three catches in a game this season. However, now this three touchdowns in his last four games, Underwood is worth adding for those who can take chances, with his high-risk high-reward payout.

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Josh McCown, QB (CHI)

In a losing effort to the Rams on Sunday, McCown finished the game 30-for-47 for 352 yards and two touchdowns, earning a spot in the top 10 among fantasy quarterbacks. He continues to get the job done, in terms of fantasy, while Jay Culter is sidelined and was once again named the starting quarterback for Week 13. This will likely be the last week he will be under center, with Cutler slated to return in two weeks, but the Bears matchup with the Vikings is definitely something to take advantage of, if you are looking for a pickup at the quarterback position. 

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Buffalo Bills Defense/Special Teams

Coming off of a bye week, the Bills will welcome the struggling Atlanta Falcons to Upstate New York for a game that will likely feature extreme weather conditions, like in most games in Buffalo around this time. The Falcons have had issues on their offensive line all season, and the Bills pass rush should force Matt Ryan to make bad decisions, if he is even able to get the ball off. Not to mention, this group is coming off of a great performance against the Jets in Week 11, when they forced three interceptions and a fumble. While I don't think they are the best option this week, they certainly are would considering for those who have been streaming defenses all season. 

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