Fantasy Doc: Is Westbrook worth a pickup?

Posted Dec. 01, 2010 @ 9:57 a.m.
Posted By The Fantasy Doctor

Now that the regular season is in full swing, the Fantasy Doctor will be making regular house calls, answering readers' fantasy questions each Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Send your questions to the Doc at fantasydoctor@pfwmedia.com.

Dr. Fantasy,
With Frank Gore going down for the season, would you recommend picking up Brian Westbrook? How do you see him doing the rest of the season? Thanks.

— Larry


Losing Gore to a fractured hip is definitely a rough blow for all his fantasy owners, Larry, but luckily for them, Westbrook should be available in most leagues and is well worth an add.

After spending basically the entire season on the bench, the former Eagle emerged Monday night to run for 136 yards and a TD on 23 carries at Arizona. Believe it or not, that was the most rushing yards he has had in a game since Oct. 26, 2008. The 31-year-old looked surprisingly spry for a guy who appeared to be on his last legs a year ago, and while part of the reason for that is the Cardinals' invisible defense, Westbrook deserves credit for running well after having barely played this year.

Considering that the 49ers are a run-first team, Westbrook probably belongs as your top waiver addition for this week. He's going to see extended action for the remainder of 2010, and even though his schedule isn't great, he should be a decent contributor. One downside could be the presence of rookie Anthony Dixon, who had 14-54-1 Monday night. But it's clear San Fran prefers Westbrook at this point, so grab him if you can.

Doc,
It's been a rough season, so I definitely want to close things out with a win. So, who do you think is a better flex play for Week 13: Felix Jones, Miles Austin or Jonathan Stewart? Help me end the year with dignity.
 
— Dave from Louisiana


For owners like you, Dave, who have had a tough fantasy season, at least the end is almost here, as this is the final week of the regular season in most leagues.

To help you finish with a bang, I'd be looking to Dallas this week. As much as I think Stewart could be an asset down the stretch, I'm not ready to recommend him as a weekly start just yet. That leaves Jones and Austin as your best options.

Based purely on matchups, I'm going to go with Jones. He goes up against a Colts run defense that's allowing 136 yards per game and has surrendered 12 TDs on the ground. Jones is becoming a larger part of the Cowboys' offense as both a runner and receiver, picking up 113 yards on 20 touches last week. He should take advantage of this favorable situation and have a solid outing, especially with Marion Barber banged up. Austin could have a decent day, too, but Indy is pretty good against the pass and could hold him in check.