It was a long week of football, with games spanning from Turkey Day to Monday night, so let’s examine who helped and who hurt your fantasy squad during the holidays.
1. Kyle Orton, Kansas City Chiefs — Orton may not have played this week, but he still manages to be hot, thanks to another terrible start by Tyler Palko, who struggled in second appearance replacing Matt Cassel. Palko threw for only 167 yards and, to make matters worse, tossed three interceptions. Orton — who was waived by Denver and picked up by Kansas City — should benefit from this and will most likely step into the starting role this weekend for the Chiefs to provide a steadying hand.
2. Donald Brown, Indianapolis Colts — The Colts have been bad this season, no doubt about it. But Brown, once considered a first-round bust, has been one of the few bright spots for them in the last few weeks. With normal starter Joseph Addai hampered with injuries, Brown has seen an increased workload. And he has taken advantage. On Sunday, he ran for 80 yards and a touchdown. Brown might be worth a look if you’re short on running backs going into the home stretch.
1. Phillip Rivers, San Diego Chargers — So much for being an elite quarterback. Rivers has struggled all year and because of it, the Chargers are off to a terrible start at 4-7, which only becomes worse when you consider the talent on the roster. But that talent can’t overcome Rivers’ poor play. He has been a pick machine this season, leading the NFL with 17. This weekend, he just couldn’t manage to jump start the offense against the Broncos throwing for only 188 yards in a loss. It’s to suggest this considering his past production, but if you have a decent option behind Rivers, it might be a good idea to sit him for a while until he turns it around.
2. Sidney Rice, Seattle Seahawks — Rice is one of the most talented players in football, but he has two things working against him that make him a risky play in fantasy. First, he plays for a team with Tarvaris Jackson at quarterback. Second, he can’t seem to stay on the field, as he was lost yet again to injury this week. Rice has been a rough play all season for fantasy owners and if you can package him away in a trade in your run to the playoffs, you might want to consider it.