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HALFTIME ADJUSTMENTS
DAVID SABINO
November 07, 2011
Beware the Titans and their dilemma at running back, but three other intriguing playmakers are showing signs of heating up as the season approaches the midway point
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November 07, 2011

Halftime Adjustments

Beware the Titans and their dilemma at running back, but three other intriguing playmakers are showing signs of heating up as the season approaches the midway point

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JAVON RINGER, RB, Titans

Usually when a runner gets an increased workload, it's because he has been piling up a lot of yards. That's not the case with Ringer. He's now sharing time in the Tennessee backfield with 2011's biggest fantasy failure, Chris Johnson, who less than two years removed from a season in which he rushed for more than 2,000 yards is on pace to run for 690 yards. Ringer is averaging a not-so-robust 3.5 yards a carry, and his lack of production only complicates Johnson's fantasy usefulness. Avoid either player if possible.

ANTONIO BROWN, WR, Steelers

The Steelers' passing attack didn't miss a beat against the Patriots on Sunday without Hines Ward, the franchise's alltime receptions leader. That's largely because of Brown, who over the last two games has caught 16 passes for 169 yards and his first touchdown. He also had the first 100-yard performance of his 20-game career. Against New England, Ben Roethlisberger looked Brown's way 15 times, pushing him past Mike Wallace for the team lead in targets this season, 63--58. That trend has gone largely unnoticed; Brown is available in more than 70% of fantasy leagues.

PLAXICO BURRESS, WR, Jets

When last you saw Burress, he was hauling in three touchdown passes against the Chargers on Oct. 23 and looking a lot like the receiver who accounted for 22 scores in 31 games with the Giants in 2005 and '06. The Jets' inability to score on the ground and the knack the 6'5" Burress has shown for making plays over smaller defensive backs make the veteran a logical target near the goal line. With no tough passing defenses left on the Jets' schedule, Burress, who has a team-high five touchdown receptions, could be in line for more monster games.

ELI MANNING, QB, Giants

After struggling to rack up fantasy points early on, Manning turned it on in October. In four games he passed for 1,382 yards and seven touchdowns. Much of his productivity coincides with the emergence of Victor Cruz and the healthy return of Mario Manningham. That has helped ease the burden on Manning's favorite receiver, Hakeem Nicks, who pulled a hamstring on Sunday in the Giants' comeback win over the Dolphins. Manning is well worth playing the rest of the way. Only the Eagles and the Saints rank above 20th in pass defense among New York's next five foes.

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