Adrian Peterson 2012
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The Super Bowl is over. The smoke has cleared and the confetti has been swept away. What better time to start looking ahead at the 2014 fantasy football season and the LestersLegends early running back rankings.
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1. Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings
A down year for Adrian Peterson consisted of 1,437 total yards and 11 touchdowns. I’ll take that kind of production all day (pun intended). Norv Turner has had a great history of success with running backs of a similar ilk (Emmitt Smith and LaDainian Tomlinson). Look for big things from AP.
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2. Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs
Andy Reid knew how to get the very best of LeSean McCoy, which made him a perfect fit for Jamaal Charles. Charles combined for 1,980 total yards and 19 touchdowns. Another stellar season should be in store for this electric back. Charles could easily be the first pick, especially in points-per-reception (PPR) leagues.
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3. LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles
LeSean McCoy finished with 2,146 total yards and 11 touchdowns. He was a perfect fit for Chip Kelly’s up-tempo offense and put the concussion concerns to bed en route to the rushing title. McCoy could also be the first pick, particularly in PPR leagues.
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4. Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks
Marshawn Lynch showed everybody that he’s “’bout that action, boss”. Beast Mode compiled 1,573 total yards and 14 touchdowns. He averaged 96 yards per game while scoring four touchdown during the Seattle Seahawks’ Super Bowl run. He’s a power back. Use accordingly.
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5. Matt Forte, Chicago Bears
Matt Forte had a lot in common with Charles and McCoy. They all are dual-threat backs that thrived under a new coach. Forte finished with 1,933 total yard and 12 touchdowns under the vision of Marc Trestman. He should continue to put up impressive numbers.
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6. Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers
Eddie Lacy put any weight issues to bed by rolling for 1,178 yards and 11 touchdowns even as Aaron Rodgers was limited to nine games. Lacy added 257 receiving yards to show he’s not one-dimensional. As long as there isn’t a sophomore slump, Lacy should be a strong RB1 in 2014.
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7. Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Doug Martin was limited to six games, which netted him 522 total yards and one touchdown. Tampa Bay was dysfunctional at the time of his season-ending injury. The Bucs made strides throughout the year and Bobby Rainey and Mike James had some solid moments as replacements. Lovie Smith will want a run-first offense, which bodes well for Martin. He should also be very active in the passing game a la Matt Forte.
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8. DeMarco Murray, Dallas Cowboys
DeMarco Murray was limited to 14 games, but he finished with 1,474 total yards and 10 touchdowns. The talent and explosiveness cannot be questioned. Durability is another issue.
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9. Zac Stacy, St. Louis Rams
Zac Stacy, at 5’8″ and 224 pounds is a wrecking ball. In his final 12 games he averaged 92.5 total yards and 0.7 touchdowns. He comes with some risk, but also brings plenty of reward potential.
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10. Le’veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers
Le’veon Bell was limited to 13 games last year, but still managed to accumulate 1,259 total yards (96.8 yards per game) and eight touchdowns. He’s a big back at 6′ 1″ and 244 pounds with soft hands (45 receptions).
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We are in that time of the year where unless you are a fan of one of the Super Bowl teams you are probably not in football mode. You’ll gear up for the big game next week as you get your party plans and food figured out. Sure, the Pro Bowl is this week, but does anyone really care about that game? It’s cute that they are doing a Pro Bowl Draft, but if the game was in my back yard I might tune in for a drive or two. Why not take a moment and look towards next year’s fantasy draft?
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1. Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos
As long as he holds up in the Super Bowl and his next checks out, how can you not rank him number one after his record-breaking season? He threw for 5,477 yards and 55 touchdowns. He has great weapons in place. Peyton should have no problem putting up monster numbers once again.
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2. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
Drew Brees threw for 5,162 yards and 39 touchdowns. That’s three straight years with at least 5,000 yards and 39 touchdowns. He is the poster boy for consistent excellence.
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3. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
Cam Newton averaged 211.2 passing yards, 1.5 passing touchdowns, 36.5 rushing yards and 0.4 rushing touchdowns. He should continue to deliver with his legs. I expect Carolina spends the offseason upgrading his arsenal so he can start doing more damage with his arm.
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4. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
Aaron Rodgers was limited to nine games last year, but I think a bounceback is in order. He isn’t quite as dangerous with his feet, which cuts into his fantasy value a little. He still elite.
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5. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts
Andrew Luck threw for 3,822 yards and 23 touchdowns. He added 377 yards and four touchdowns with his feet. His ability to run puts him right up there with the best of the best. I expect his passing totals to rise.
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6. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions
Matthew Stafford threw for 4,650 yards and 29 touchdowns, putting his three-year average at 4,885 yards and 30 touchdowns. Calvin Johnson is an elite talent. I expect the Lions to add help. Jim Caldwell’s presence should also help.
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7. Tom Brady, New England Patriots
Brady did as much as he could with the talent available to him. He still finished with 4,343 yards and 25 touchdowns. Assuming he has better options next year, Brady should continue to put up big numbers.
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8. Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys
Most teams would kill for a quarterback that throws for 3,828 yards and 31 touchdowns with just 10 interceptions. Unfortunately Tony Romo will carry a stigma until he can win the big game. For fantasy owners, that’s irrelevant. He’ll continue to put up big numbers.
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9. Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles
Nick Foles threw for 27 touchdowns with just two interceptions. He has a firm grasp of Chip Kelly’s offense. Expect more growth, even if the numbers take a little hit. A 13.5:1 TD-Interception ratio is not sustainable.
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10. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
Russell Wilson has 52 touchdowns to just 19 interceptions in two seasons. He adds value by running the ball. A healthy Percy Harvin should only help his passing numbers.
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Most fantasy leagues have wrapped up already, but there are some that still play to the bitter end. For those leagues, I present the Lester’s Legends 2013 Week 17 fantasy football kicker rankings.
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1. Stephen Gostkowski, New England Patriots
2. Matt Prater, Denver Broncos
3. Steven Hauschka, Seattle Seahawks
4. Justin Tucker, Baltimore Ravens
5. Phil Dawson, San Francisco 49ers
6. Mason Crosby, Green Bay Packers
7. Nick Novak, San Diego Chargers
8. Adam Vinatieri, Indianapolis Colts
9. Dan Bailey, Dallas Cowboys
10. Robbie Gould, Chicago Bears
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Carolina Panthers Defense
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Most fantasy leagues have wrapped up already, but there are some that still play to the bitter end. For those leagues, I present the Lester’s Legends 2013 Week 17 fantasy football team defense rankings.
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1. Carolina Panthers
2. Seattle Seahawks
3. San Francisco 49ers
4. Kansas City Chiefs
5. Miami Dolphins
6. Cincinnati Bengals
7. Arizona Cardinals
8. Indianapolis Colts
9. New England Patriots
10. Tennessee Titans
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Most fantasy leagues have wrapped up already, but there are some that still play to the bitter end. For those leagues, I present the Lester’s Legends 2013 Week 17 fantasy football tight end rankings.
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1. Jimmy Graham, New Orleans Saints
Jimmy Graham is averaging 76.3 yards and a touchdown per game. He had 10 catches for 179 yards and a score in the first meeting with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
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2. Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers
Vernon Davis is not piling up the yards like Graham, but he’s been just as prolific scoring touchdowns. Davis had 180 yards and two touchdowns in his first meeting against the Arizona Cardinals.
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3. Julius Thomas, Denver Broncos
Julius Thomas is averaging 57.8 yards and 0.9 touchdowns. He had 37 yards and a touchdown in the first game against the Oakland Raiders.
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4. Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys
Jason Witten is averaging 47.7 yards and 0.5 touchdowns per game. He has four touchdowns in the past five games. He should finish strong against the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles have allowed 285.2 yards and 1.5 touchdowns per game.
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5. Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta Falcons
Tony Gonzalez could be closing out his Hall of Fame career against the Carolina Panthers. He had 81 yards and a touchdown in the first meeting.
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6. Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers
Greg Olsen is averaging 51.6 yards and 0.3 touchdowns per game. He had 66 yards and a touchdown in the first meeting with the Atlanta Falcons.
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7. Martellus Bennett, Chicago Bears
Martellus Bennett has averaged 78 yards the past two game. He closes the 2013 season against the Green Bay Packers. The Pack have allowed 248.8 yards and 1.9 touchdowns per game.
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8. Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers
Antonio Gates is averaging 56.1 yards and 0.2 touchdowns per game. He finishes the year with a tough matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs.
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9. Marcedes Lewis, Jacksonville Jaguars
Marcedes Lewis has scored in four straight games. The Jacksonville Jaguars don’t have many other options in the passing game, particularly in the red zone. Lewis is a risky option against the Indianapolis Colts, but he’s on fire right now.
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10. Brandon Myers, New York Giants
Brandon Myers is averaging 43.2 yards and 0.6 touchdowns in his past five games. He should finish strong against the Washington Redskins. The Skins have allowed 249.3 yards and 1.9 touchdowns per game, including 61 yards and a score by Myers in their first meeting.
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Dez Bryant
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Most fantasy leagues have wrapped up already, but there are some that still play to the bitter end. For those leagues, I present the Lester’s Legends 2013 Week 17 fantasy football wide receiver rankings.
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1. Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys
Dez Bryant is averaging 75.6 yards and 0.8 touchdowns per game. He has scored a touchdown in four straight games. Dez should finish strong against the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles have allowed 285.2 passing yards and 1.5 touchdowns per game. Dez had 110 yards in the first meeting.
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2. Josh Gordon, Cleveland Browns
Josh Gordon is averaging 120.3 yards and 0.7 touchdowns. The last time he played the Pittsburgh Steelers he had 14 catches for 237 yards and a touchdown.
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3. Brandon Marshall, Chicago Bears
Brandon Marshall has scored in both games since Jay Cutler’s return. He should have another strong game against the Green Bay Packers. He had 107 yards and a score in the first meeting. The Pack have allowed 248.8 yards and 1.9 touchdowns per game.
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4. Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos
Demaryius Thomas is averaging 87.8 yards and 0.8 touchdowns per game. He should see plenty of looks as Peyton Manning attempts to set the single-season passing yards record against the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders have yielded 250.5 yards and 1.9 touchdowns per game. Thomas caught 10 balls for 94 yards in the first meeting.
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5. Eric Decker, Denver Broncos
Eric Decker is averaging 116 yards and 1.8 touchdowns in his past four games. He’s thriving with Wes Welker (concussion) out of the mix. Decker caught eight passes for 133 yards and a score in the first game against the Raiders.
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6. DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia Eagles
DeSean Jackson is averaging 86.9 yards and 0.6 touchdowns per game. He should light up the Dallas Cowboys. The Boys have allowed 290.7 yards and 2.1 touchdowns per game.
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7. Pierre Garcon, Washington Redskins
Pierre Garcon is averaging nine catches for 136.5 yards and a touchdown with Kirk Cousins under center. He should finish strong against the New York Giants.
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8. A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals
A.J. Green is averaging 91 yards and 0.7 touchdowns. He had 151 yards and a score in his first meeting with the Baltimore Ravens.
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9. Alshon Jeffery, Chicago Bears
Alshon Jeffrey is averaging 96.4 total yards and 0.5 touchdowns per game. He had 60 yards and a touchdown in the first meeting with the Packers.
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10. Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers
Antonio Brown is averaging 94.1 yards and 0.5 yards per game with an additional score in the return game. He had 92 yards and a touchdown in the first meeting against the Cleveland Browns.
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11. Keenan Allen, San Diego Chargers
Keenan Allen has five touchdown catches in the past three games. He’s averaging 68.8 yards and a score in his past five games. Allen had nine catches for 124 yards in the first meeting with the Kansas City Chiefs.
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12. Julian Edelman, New England Patriots
Julian Edelman is averaging 98.2 yards and 0.8 touchdowns in the past five games. He should have a strong finale against the Buffalo Bills. The Bills have allowed 1.8 touchdowns per game. Edelman had 79 yards and two touchdowns in the first meeting.
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13. Andre Johnson, Houston Texans
Andre Johnson is averaging 90.5 yards and 0.3 touchdowns per game. He had eight catches for 76 yards in the first meeting with the Tennessee Titans. If he can manage 142 yards Johnson will have his fourth season with 1,500 yards.
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14. Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions
Calvin Johnson is dealing with knee and ankle injuries that have held him to a 64.3 yard average in his past three games without a score. He’d occupy the top spot against the Minnesota Vikings if he were healthy. The Vikes have allowed 294.4 yards and 2.4 touchdowns per game. Megatron is as likely to get 40 yards as he is to get 140 yards. He’s very unpredictable this week.
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15. Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Vincent Jackson is averaging 79.3 yards and 0.5 touchdowns per game. He had 77 yards in the first meeting against the New Orleans Saints.
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16. Marques Colston, New Orleans Saints
Marques Colston is averaging 93.3 yards and a touchdown in his past three games. He finishes against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bucs have allowed 1.7 touchdown passes per game.
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17. Jordy Nelson, Green Bay Packers
Jordy Nelson is averaging 76.9 yards and 0.5 touchdowns. He wraps the season up against the Chicago Bears. The Bears have allowed 1.5 touchdowns per game.
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18. Torrey Smith, Baltimore Ravens
Torrey Smith is averaging 73.4 yards and 0.3 touchdowns per game. He faces the Cincinnati Bengals. Smith had 46 yards and a score in the first meeting.
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19. Mike Wallace, Miami Dolphins
Mike Wallace is averaging 74.2 yards and 0.6 touchdowns in his past five games. He closes out against the New York Jets. The Jets have allowed 249.5 yards and 1.7 touchdowns per game. Wallace had 82 yards and a score in the first meeting.
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20. Danny Amendola, New England Patriots
Danny Amendola caught 10 passes for 104 yards in the first meeting with the Bills. He should close the season on a high note.
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LeSean McCoy snow
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Most fantasy leagues have wrapped up already, but there are some that still play to the bitter end. For those leagues, I present the Lester’s Legends 2013 Week 17 fantasy football running back rankings.
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1. LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles
LeSean McCoy is averaging 134.1 total yards and 0.7 touchdowns per game. He should finish strong against the Dallas Cowboys. The Boys have allowed 127.9 yards and 1.1 touchdowns per game.
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2. Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers
Eddie Lacy is averaging 96.7 total yards and 0.7 touchdowns per game. He should beast out in the finale against the Chicago Bears. The Bears have allowed 161.5 yards and 1.4 touchdowns per game. Lacy had 150 yards and a score in the first meeting.
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3. DeMarco Murray, Dallas Cowboys
DeMarco Murray is averaging 106.5 total yards and 0.8 touchdowns per game. He’s facing the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles have allowed 107.5 yards and 0.8 touchdowns per game.
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4. Matt Forte, Chicago Bears
Matt Forte is averaging 118.4 total yards and 0.6 touchdowns per game. He closes the season out against the Green Bay Packers. The Pack have allowed 125.3 yards and 0.9 touchdowns per game. Forte had 179 yards and a score in the first meeting.
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5. Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks
Marshawn Lynch is averaging 98.1 total yards and 0.9 touchdowns per game. He should close strong against the St. Louis Rams. The Rams have allowed 102.3 yards and 1.1 touchdowns per game.
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6. Reggie Bush, Detroit Lions
Reggie Bush started the season off with a bang with 191 total yards and a touchdown against the Minnesota Vikings. He is averaging 111.3 total yards and 0.5 touchdowns per game. Bush should finish strong as the Vikes have allowed 113.6 yards and 0.9 touchdowns per game.
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7. Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers
Le’Veon Bell is averaging 96.9 total yards and 0.6 touchdowns per game. He takes on the Cleveland Browns in the finale. The Browns have allowed 110.7 yards and 0.8 touchdowns per game. Bell had 98 total yards in the first meeting.
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8. Alfred Morris, Washington Redskins
Alfred Morris is averaging 80.9 yards and 0.6 touchdowns per game. He wraps up another strong year against the New York Giants. The G-Men have allowed 110.1 yards and 0.8 touchdowns per game. Morris had 53 total yard and a score in the first meeting.
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9. Zac Stacy, St. Louis Rams
Zac Stacy is averaging 97.5 total yards and 0.7 touchdowns in his past 11 games. He has a tough finale against the Seattle Seahawks, but he managed 134 yards against them in the first meeting.
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10. Ryan Mathews, San Diego Chargers
Ryan Mathews is averaging 113.7 total yards and 0.7 touchdowns in his past six games. He has a tough finish against the Kansas City Chiefs, but Matthews has 65 total yards and a score in the first meeting.
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11. Andre Brown, New York Giants
Andre Brown has fizzled out a bit averaging 40 total yards in is past two games after averaging 100.8 total yards with all three of his touchdowns in his first five games, but he should close out strong against the Washington Redskins. The Skins have allowed 109.8 yards and 1.5 touchdowns. Brown had 58 total yards and a pair of touchdowns in the first meeting.
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12. Fred Jackson, Buffalo Bills
Fred Jackson is averaging 78 total yards and 0.6 touchdowns per game. He faces the New England Patriots. The Pats have allowed 131.7 yards and 0.7 touchdowns per game. Jackson had 108 total yards against them in the first meeting.
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13. LeGarrette Blount, New England Patriots
LeGarrette Blount had 76 yards and a pair of scores in Week 16 against the Baltimore Ravens. He should have a heavy load in the finale against the Buffalo Bills. The Bills have allowed 119.7 yards per game.
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14. Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals
Giovani Bernard is averaging 75.7 total yards and 0.5 touchdowns per game. He faces the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens have allowed 105.1 yards per game. Bernard had 95 total yards and a score in the first meeting.
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15. Knowshon Moreno, Denver Broncos
The fact that the Patriots play the afternoon game makes Moreno and the Broncos play to win. He should do his damage early against the Oakland Raiders.
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