He's only 5 foot 8 inches tall but weighs 212 pounds, making him fast and hard to stop as he can get really low to the ground. Bobby Rainey has stepped into fill the rather big shoes of Doug Martin who's out for the season. He's a starting running back that you need on your team heading into the fantasy playoffs. Injuries are always a concern and matchups are now more important than ever as we near the end of the regular season is fantasy leagues.

11:07pm EST | Nov 20
02:58pm EST | Nov 20
Bobby Rainey: Big Game from a Tiny Man

Last week it was Tavon Austin who burst on to the scene but he’s been replaced by the performance of a 5’8”, 212 pound running back from Tampa Bay. Filling in for the injured Doug Martin, Bobby Rainey proved his abilities to handle a heavy workload with 30 rushes for 163 yards and 2 touchdowns to go along with 2 catches and a receiving touchdown. Atlanta had no answer for the tiny back and he looks primed to continue his fine form with a week 12 matchup in Detroit. 

His true value through the rest of the season heading into the playoffs is that he is a starting running back that are often hard to come by in the late stages of the season. He is only owned in 38% of ESPN leagues (was only owned in 1% a week ago) so if you have the top waiver spot or a big budget remaining, go all in my friend. 

02:58pm EST | Nov 20
Kansas City Loses First Game of the Season

The previously undefeated Kansas City Chiefs have finally lost after facing the Denver Broncos, the team most have considered the best in the NFL despite having a better record. Manning and company finally proved that the KC defense can be beaten, totaling 427 net yards and three touchdowns. KC was no slouch and tried to prove their record was not a fluke by any means, posting 344 net yards themselves and 2 touchdowns. 

From a fantasy perspective, this game provided some good and bad performances for owners. Dwayne Bowe hauled in a an early touchdown, Demaryius Thomas racked up 121 yards but no touchdowns and Julius Thomas found the endzone for the 10th time this season.  Jamaal Charles had his worst outing of the season with 78 yards rushing and -6 receiving yards while Wes Welker was quiet totaling only 72 yards before suffering what appears to be a concussion. 
Both of these teams meet again in week 13, the final regular season week for most leagues. With so many top fantasy performers in the matchup and both teams fighting for top spot in the AFC, this could make or break many fantasy seasons as players will be leaving it all on the field to show who the best team really is. Expect a much bigger game between these two in week 13. 

02:57pm EST | Nov 20
Injury Update

Aaron Rodgers

He was seen throwing before the Packers took on the Giants in week 11. When asked how he felt, he indicated he is throwing and running pain free. While this may look like good news for owners, the caveat here is nothing to do with his pain level but with how fragile the fractured collarbone may be. He could begin playing anytime, but another hard hit could cause more damage and cause long term affects that no one wants in franchise quarterback. The risk is not really worth the reward right now, so fantasy owners will have to hold tight as he may return during the fantasy playoffs, and when Rodgers plays, we all know what he can do for a fantasy team on a championship run. 

Jay Cutler

Jay and the Bears sit with the same 6-4 record as division rivals Detroit, with the Lions leading on head to head wins. Fighting for a playoff spot, Cutler will remain out in week 12 with a sprained left ankle with Josh McCown continuing to fill in. After this week’s matchup against St. Louis, if Cutler can return, he has some friendly matchups ahead including Minnesota, Dallas and Cleveland that would be great for fantasy owners heading into the first round of the playoffs. Continue to monitor his status as he is worth a pickup if available and maybe even a start in the coming weeks. 

Wes Welker

Welker appears to have suffered a concussion during the 4th quarter of the Broncos week 11 game against Kansas City. He did return and finish the game, with the Broncos stating he wasn’t suffering from any concussion symptoms on the sideline until after the game was completed (questionable, I know, but the independent doctors would have been the one to clear him). He will have to go through the standard concussion protocol this week which could leave him out of practice until Friday. This is tricky for fantasy owners, so have a backup plan in place should the former Patriot not be able to suit up against New England in week 12. 

Julius Thomas

After recovering from an ankle sprain a few weeks back, it appears Julius Thomas sprained his knee against Kansas City as well. He found the endzone once again having become the 2nd best tight end this season behind Jimmy Graham. Manning seems to love the big target, so this is another one to monitor closely, but if he’s active, you start him.
 
Adrian Peterson

Suffering from a groin injury, the major concern for AP owners is whether the 2-8 Vikings shut down the star running back in order to avoid long term issues. They are out of the playoff picture, so this is a truly scary situation for fantasy owners who have rode the pro-bowler all the way to a playoff berth for him to all of a sudden be unavailable when needed most. Fortunately, he is a competitor and if he is healthy he will want to play and run all over opposing defenses. Facing a Green Bay team that held Peterson to only 60 yards in week 8 is also cause for concern. Tread wisely and have a backup plan in place as always. 

02:56pm EST | Nov 20
Best Matchups

Zac Stacy VS Chicago Bears

There are many questioning whether Ray Rice finally woke up in the stormy week 11 game against the Bears, or if they are just not that good against the run. I’d say a mixture of both, which is good news for Stacy who has been fairly consistent since taking on the starting role for the Rams. With 25+ touches in each of his last three games totaling three touchdowns, Stacy should find the holes against the mediocre Bears run defense in week 12.

Eli Manning VS Dallas Cowboys

Eli has led the Giants back into the playoff picture after a 0-4 start. Even though the Cowboys came out with a W in week one, Manning still threw for 450 yards and 3 touchdowns against the worst pass defense in the NFL this season. If it wasn’t for the three interceptions, this would have been an easy win for Manning who still totaled 28 fantasy points that day. With Dallas coming to New York and a playoff spot on the line, Manning is due for a big game in week 12. 

Marques Colston @ Atlanta Falcons

Due to a combination of the New Orleans Saints playing some amazing football thanks to Drew Brees and the fact that Atlanta is truly horrible stopping anyone (they lost to Tampa Bay last week), Colston is an easy start and should put up a solid score alongside Jimmy Graham this week. 

02:56pm EST | Nov 20
Worst Matchups

Robert Griffin III VS San Francisco

While San Francisco has seen its fair share of struggles this season, they are still in the playoff hunt in a must win matchup in week 12. This is bad news for RGIII who the 49ers will no doubt be ready for considering they practice each day against a similar style quarterback in Colin Kaepernick. Harbaugh is tired of losing close games and I expect he will want to punish RGIII as much as possible if he attempts to run at all. He is a questionable start this week with plenty of other favorable QB matchups to choose from instead. 

Donald Brown @ Arizona Cardinals

Trend Richardson has been poor since moving to the Colts, with Brown stepping in last week to put a claim on the starting spot. Unfortunately, the Cardinals defense is much better than the Titans, having allowed the fewest fantasy points to running backs this season. After scoring two touchdowns last week, expectations should be tempered and Brown should only find a spot in your flex position if you really have no other option available.

Antonio Brown @ Cleveland Browns

Brown has been a top 10 receiver this season even with the sporadic performances from Big Ben. The issue this week is that Joe Haden has been incredible at stopping star receivers from having big games and Brown should be no exception. This isn’t to say that the Steelers won’t find the endzone, it just means it may not come through Antonio Brown’s hands as Cleveland is much more likely to allow running backs to score 6 this season and the offensive strategy this week should reflect that.