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Friday, December 7, 2012
Fantasy Fix: Bradshaw coming on strong

By Dan Graziano

Because we all spend way too much time each week working on our fantasy football teams anyway, here at the NFC East blog we like to take one post every Friday and make it fantasy-focused. If today's post matters to you, congratulations are likely in order, because that means you've probably made your league's playoffs. If you have, you may be wondering how certain of our division's players fall in this week's rankings by our ESPN fantasy football experts. For the complete position rankings, click on the name of the position.

QUARTERBACKS

3. Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins vs. Ravens

10. Eli Manning, New York Giants vs. Saints

13. Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys at Cincinnati

Ol' Nick Foles still can't crack the top 25. And not just because people are holding the Napoleon Dynamite resemblance against him... Griffin's a must-start no matter the opponent, since you're getting decent running-back numbers along with his quarterback numbers so it's almost like having an extra player... Romo's a tough one this week against a good Bengals defense. Tough to feel great about starting him... Kind of expected Manning to rate higher against the Saints, but he hasn't looked like himself. This is a big one for him. He seems to struggle against the Redskins, and a big game Sunday would make it look as though that's all Monday was.

RUNNING BACKS

7. Ahmad Bradshaw, Giants vs. Saints

9. Alfred Morris, Redskins vs. Ravens

12. Bryce Brown, Philadelphia Eagles at Tampa Bay

T15. DeMarco Murray, Cowboys at Cincinnati

46. David Wilson, Giants vs. Saints

48. Felix Jones, Cowboys at Cincinnati

The Buccaneers are tough on running backs in fantasy, which is a big reason a guy who's rushed for more than 300 yards over the past two weeks is down at 12... Bradshaw looked great against the Redskins, and without Andre Brown around to steal goal-line carries looks like a great play against the very permissive Saints.

WIDE RECEIVERS

6. Dez Bryant, Cowboys at Cincinnati

9. Victor Cruz, Giants vs. Saints

15. Hakeem Nicks, Giants vs. Saints

16. Pierre Garcon, Redskins vs. Ravens

26. Miles Austin, Cowboys at Cincinnati

42. Jeremy Maclin, Eagles at Tampa Bay

Bryant at No. 6! What a meteoric rise. In truth, he's been lights out. I have him in a league in which I drafted Maclin as my No. 1, but thankfully managed to trade for Cruz and Bryant and Roddy White along the way and win the regular-season points title. So I have this terrible feeling that one week soon Bryant will be a decoy and Austin will have the big game. But the train is moving too well to jump off right now... Watch out for Nicks, who missed Thursday practice with a knee injury. If he can't go, I think Cruz's value goes up. Not that that's based on any experience from earlier this year or anything... In that same league, the guy who picked Garcon up off waivers two weeks ago made the playoffs by a single point when Garcon caught that lass Griffin pass Monday night. Talk about drama, right?

TIGHT ENDS

3. Jason Witten, Cowboys at Cincinnati

13. Martellus Bennett, Giants vs. Saints

19. Brent Celek, Eagles at Tampa Bay

I say pretty much the same thing here every week. Witten's the only NFC tight end you start for sure. Bennett maybe in case he runs into a touchdown.

KICKERS

1. Lawrence Tynes, Giants vs. Saints

T13. Dan Bailey, Cowboys at Cincinnati

15. Kai Forbath, Redskins vs. Ravens

17. Alex Henery, Eagles at Tampa Bay

Should be a high-scoring game between the Giants and Saints, meaning plenty of opportunity for fantasy's top kicker... Henery's been great, but the Eagles just don't get him enough scoring chances.

TEAM DEFENSES

16. Giants vs. Saints

21. Cowboys at Cincinnati

26. Redskins vs. Ravens

T31. Eagles at Tampa Bay

Pretty much says it all, doesn't it? Three of the defenses who are playing against NFC East teams this week -- Cincinnati, Tampa Bay and Baltimore -- rank in the top 15. None of the NFC East defenses do. Yowza.