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NFL fantasy football: Wide receivers catch injury bug

Whether you're a fantasy beginner or don't have as much time to devote to your fantasy team during the week, I'm here for you with the newest edition of Fantasy 101 -- all your fantasy needs in 15 minutes or less. Because that's how long you'll need to digest this column and make your appropriate moves. Finally, there seems to be a lot of production out there, and, with there being a deep pool of available players this week, you should be able to get someone to fill a void on your roster. First thing: IF COLIN KAPERNICK IS AVAILABLE IN YOUR LEAGUE, GO GET HIM. He could be a top 10 fantasy QB the rest of the season and if you need better production at that spot, he's your guy.

Big injuries to watch


Miles Austin, WR, Dallas Cowboys: His hip strain cut short his Thanksgiving Day outing against Washington. He has some extra days to get healthy but if you own him, have another option ready because he's not the quickest of healers.

Julian Edelman, WR, New England Patriots: He has some extra time to recover from his head injury Thanksgiving night. He's become a playmaker and should be owned over Brandon Lloyd. If he's healthy, he's a flex.

Matt Forte, RB, Chicago Bears: Regardless of his situation, pick up Michael Bush if you can. At the very least, Bush has become a good flex start if he continues to split time, and becomes a strong No. 1 fantasy RB as long as Forte is out.

DeSean Jackson, WR, Philadelphia Eagles: Done for the season with fractured ribs suffered during Monday night's loss to Carolina. Hopefully you can replace him with one of the players I mention below, because none of the other Eagles WR options who are on the waiver wire are worth owning.

Jalen Parmele, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars: He left Sunday's game twice with a leg injury, which is a shame because he was running well. Now he's finished for the season, but I'd still stay away from Rashad Jennings down the stretch.

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Free agents to pick up


Justin Blackmon, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars: The Jaguars are now officially pass-driven, and there are more than enough balls for Blackmon and Cecil Shorts. He's the top WR target on the waiver wire if he's still out there. And if by some reason Shorts is still around, nab him.

T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck has now officially found his No. 2 WR (to go along with Reggie Wayne). Hilton has game-breaking ability and has gained consistency and trust from his team.

Knowshon Moreno, RB, Denver Broncos: A surprise start for Denver, they gave him every chance to be "the guy" and he came through for them. He'll continue to get the opportunities as long as he runs like he did Sunday. He, along with Michael Bush, are the top two RB free agent targets for you this week.

Mohamed Sanu, WR, Cincinnati Bengals: I thought he'd dent the stat sheet a little earlier this season, but it's clear Andy Dalton is looking for Sanu when A.J. Green is covered, especially in the red zone. Sanu is a big target who's proving to have a good set of hands.

Jacob Tamme, TE, Denver Broncos: I know, just two weeks ago it looked like Joel Dreessen was the tight end to have in Denver. How things have changed. Tamme is worth a pick-up if you're not getting anything out of your current TE.

Daniel Thomas, RB, Miami Dolphins: He's in a full time-share with Reggie Bush, which is bad news for Bush and great news for Thomas. Thomas is, without a doubt, the goal-line back in Miami, so you can even say he has a slight edge over Bush.

Beanie Wells, RB, Arizona Cardinals: He was better than I thought he'd be in his return. So much for LaRod Stephens-Howling. Wells had two TDs and is absolutely someone you should go get, but don't expect this every week. Wells had a good matchup this week against the Rams. He's not so fortunate the rest of the way.

Other notes of note


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1) It's going to be useless to try to play any Pittsburgh Steelers running back for the next few weeks until their rotation gets figured out. And if it doesn't? Don't try to play the guessing game. Just stay away.

2) Chad Henne may be a late-season free-agent quarterback who can lift you to a fantasy title if you have a QB need. Carson Palmer could also be that guy, but as I said before, the Jaguars WR corps is coming on strong.

3) As long as C.J. Spiller is healthy, he's going to get the bulk of the carries, which means Fred Jackson's value has decreased enough that you might not want to play him for now.

4) BenJarvus Green-Ellis has now had two terrific games in a row, and I think Cincinnati is going to lean on him even more in December. He's going to be in your lineup on a regular basis the rest of the way.

5) It's pretty safe to get Pierre Garcon back in your lineup -- he finally looks healthy after a dominant win over Dallas. And if he's available in your league? He's WR priority number one for you ahead of Blackmon.

Jason Smith hosts NFL Fantasy Live on the NFL Network and writes fantasy and other pith for NFL.com. Talk to him on Twitter @howaboutafresca, and listen to the NFL Fantasy LIVE podcast with Michael Fabiano and Elliot Harrison every week on NFL.com. He only asks you never bring up when the Jets play poorly.

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