Fantasy football: Ronnie Hillman is a legitimate starter

Change of plans: It couldn’t come at a worse time for fantasy owners, but Denver Broncos running back Willis McGahee will be out for six to eight weeks after suffering a torn MCL and a fracture in his leg during Sunday’s 30-23 win over the San Diego Chargers. Fantasy guru Michael Fabiano already alerted you in his Week 12 waiver wire analysis to pick up Ronnie Hillman, but what are his prospects you ask? Luckily, fellow fantasy editor Marcas Grant published his Week 12 strength of schedule report. In it, he notes the Broncos have the second-easiest S.O.S. among all teams from Week 12 through 16. Hillman and teammate Lance Ball get to square off against the likes of the Chiefs, Raiders, Ravens and Browns defenses moving forward. What do all those teams have in common? They are all ranked no better than 23rd against the run. Sure, Hillman is no McGahee, but if you are able to get him off the wire, you will have a viable flex option.

Snap decision: It didn’t take long for Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Chad Henne to be named the starter for the team’s Week 12 matchup against the Tennessee Titans. After exploding onto the scene with a 354-yard, four-touchdown performance against the Texans on Sunday, rolling with the hot-hand is an easy choice. Though we’ve seen these types of performances only sporadically from Henne in the past, another good effort against the Titans isn’t too far fetched. The Tennessee secondary has allowed an average of 266 yards passing per game, to go along with 20 touchdowns compared to just nine interceptions. With Henne finally getting some production out of rookie Justin Blackmon and the sub-par performances of running back Rashad Jennings, don’t be surprised to see the Michigan product tossing it all over the field next week.

World of pain: The Pittsburgh Steelers will be on the hunt for a quarterback this week. After losing Ben Roethlisberger to injury in Week 10, Byron Leftwich might be “out for a while” because of the rib and shoulder injuries he suffered in Sunday night’s 13-10 loss to Baltimore Ravens. The team could now be forced to turn to 15-year veteran Charlie Batch to take the reins. While he’s far from the worst option, considering the veteran hasn’t started more than two games in a season since 2001, his impending start doesn’t bode well for the fantasy potential of Mike Wallace or Heath Miller. Neither player posted more than 26 yards receiving with Leftwich at the helm, so don’t expect them to light it up with Batch throwing to them. If you don’t have better options, the time to make a trade or camp out by the waiver wire is now!

-Adrian Mojica
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