Week 13 fantasy pickups include Benny Cunningham, Nate Burleson, Montee Ball

nate-burlesonFor most of you, Week 13 is the final week of the regular season in fantasy football. That means if you are on the playoff bubble and need to win this week, this is the most crucial week of the season. Bench the wrong guy and it could very well be “see ya next year.” Leave the wrong guy on waivers and you might be kicking yourself until next August. Hopefully, we can help. Here are your Week 13 fantasy pickups.

Benny Cunningham, RB, Rams: Zac Stacy left Sunday’s win over the Bears with a concussion. Prior to his departure, he was completely shredding Chicago’s porous run defense. Cunningham took over after Stacy went out and did the same, racking up 109 yards and scoring a touchdown on 13 carries. Against the Niners this week, it will not be that simple. Still, Stacy owners have no choice. If you’re in the playoff hunt, Stacy has probably helped get you there. With his status still up in the air, Cunningham needs to be added.

Nate Burleson, WR, Lions: Burleson was out a bit longer than expected while recovering from a broken arm, but the extra rest appears to have served him well. With Calvin Johnson facing the usual double-teams against the Bucs, Burleson worked the middle of the field and racked up seven catches for 77 yards and a touchdown. Burleson is a particularly solid add in PPR leagues, as he has caught at least six passes in every game he has played this year. Matthew Stafford trusts Burleson, and he should continue to benefit from Megatron getting all of the attention.

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Broncos running backs played rock, paper, scissors for last touchdown

Ronnie HillmanThe Denver Broncos have created a fantasy football nightmare with their crowded backfield. Knowshon Moreno emerged as the clear-cut starter with his breakout performance against the New York Giants last weekend, but Ronnie Hillman and rookie Montee Ball have still received their fair share of carries. On Tuesday night, the trio may have decided fantasy matchups with a game of rock, paper, scissors.

Hillman ripped off a 19-yard run in the fourth quarter to get the ball down to the 1-yard line. In order to decide which running back would get the chance to punch the ball in, Hillman says he played rock, paper, scissors against Ball and Moreno.

“I mean, you definitely don’t want to see anybody else go in at that point,” Hillman told Gray Caldwell of DenverBroncos.com. “We were just messing around on the sideline. Just something to do. Have fun. Luckily I won, so it all worked out.”

So there you have it. Ball has lost a fumble in two straight games and Hillman put the ball on the ground three times in preseason. You would think Moreno has earned the goal line work by default, but fantasy owners who have Hillman or Ball really just need their running backs to get better at rock, paper, scissors. That would help your team rack up more wins.

H/T Rotoworld

Ronnie Hillman not worried about competition with Montee Ball

Ronnie HillmanThe Denver Broncos have many running backs vying for carries this season, but Ronnie Hillman is not too worried about the competition.

Hillman rushed for 330 yards and a touchdown as a rookie last season, and he posted 83 yards in a playoff loss to the Baltimore Ravens. The Broncos drafted former Wisconsin running back Montee Hall in the second round this year, but Hillman is not too concerned,

“He’s a good back,” Hillman said of Ball during an interview with Larry Brown Sports at the Playboy Mansion last week. “We’re two different backs. I’m happy for the guy. He’s a good player and he’s giving us competition in the backfield.”

Hillman told LBS that he is looking to build on his success last season and contribute more than he did last year. He also says the experience he gained last year will help him this season.

“I didn’t really know what to anticipate,” Hillman said of his rookie year. “It was my first year and I didn’t know what to expect going in, but I know now.”

There was a lot of change in Denver last season. The team signed Peyton Manning as quarterback, and he returned from multiple neck surgeries to have a fantastic season, which included throwing for 37 touchdowns and only 11 interceptions. Hillman talked about Manning’s style as a leader.

“He’s going to hold you accountable for everything for you do. How deep your route is, how far. He holds you accountable but he also holds himself accountable to the same (standard).”

In addition to Ball, the Broncos added wide receiver Wes Welker this offseason. Hillman called Welker “another weapon” for the offense. Asked if the offense could set some records this season, Hillman gave a smile.

“Probably, could be. We’ll see.”

Montee Ball says he wasn’t in fight days before attack

Wisconsin running back Montee Ball was sent to the hospital after being attacked by five men early Wednesday morning. The Heisman Trophy candidate was recovering from a concussion and facial injuries. The attack was initially said to be “unprovoked,” but a report from TMZ suggests otherwise.

Law enforcement sources tell TMZ … cops have received tips about a brawl at a UW football player’s home roughly one week before Ball was jumped on campus.

According to our sources, cops have been told Ball was at the home … and along with some of his teammates, may have participated in beating up a non-football player.

Cops were never called to the scene and no police report was ever filed.

Ball sent a tweet on Thursday to deny the report:

This is only further complicating matters. If Ball is to be believed, that means he was jumped by five people for no reason. I suppose that’s possible but it’s not exactly a common occurrence around college campuses. I’m guessing there is at least some truth to TMZ’s report and that the jumping was retaliation for something.

Montee Ball Would Vote Robert Griffin III for Heisman Trophy

Wisconsin running back Montee Ball is one of five players invited to New York City for the Heisman Trophy ceremony Saturday. The junior leads the country with 1,759 rushing yards and 32 rushing touchdowns. Even though his numbers are stellar, he says his vote would go to Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III.

“I’d vote for RGIII,” Ball told the Scott Van Pelt Show.

“I kept telling people, if I don’t win it, I would be fine, I’m not going to be upset, disappointed or anything. Whoever wins it it’s well deserved.

“I’m just so honored just to be welcomed in New York with all the other great players in the country. This is something I always wanted as a child, and just to see it all happening is such a blessing.”

Ball has an excellent attitude headed into the weekend, and that’s probably because he’s not expected to win it. Most people guess it will be between Robert Griffin III and Andrew Luck, with Trent Richardson third and Ball fourth. Just like Ball said, whoever wins it’s well deserved.

I have no objection with Griffin winning it — he had an outstanding year and led Baylor to one of its best seasons in school history. He was pretty spectacular this year.