Driven Stronger: Nelson a bounce-back candidate

Print

Last week Ryan Mathews was one of our top Driven Stronger candidates, and he crossed the century mark for the first time this season, also finding the end zone on an impressive scamper. Looking ahead to Week 13, whether the players below are looking to bounce-back, face a great matchup or want to silence critics, each should have a little extra something to propel them to the top of the fantasy ranks.

Quarterback -- Matthew Stafford

Stafford laid a big egg fantasy-wise for the second consecutive week, failing to throw a touchdown pass against the Patriots after also failing to do so against the Cardinals. Two straight weeks of riding the struggle bus should be enough for Stafford to get his act together and put together a dynamite fantasy performance on Thanksgiving Day against the Bears.

Running back -- Mark Ingram

Ingram had been pretty matchup-proof since returning from his broken hand, but the Ravens stout rushing defense slowed him down significantly on Monday night. Look for Ingram to bounce back against a much easier matchup in the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Running back -- Giovani Bernard

Bernard returned to action for the first time in a month, and looked pretty good. He split the load with Jeremy Hill pretty evenly, racking up 67 total yards. Bernard will be looking to remind people just how good he is against Tampa Bay this weekend after Hill stole the show in his absence.

Wide receiver -- Jordy Nelson

Week 12 was only the third time Nelson had been held to under 83 receiving yards this season, and with an important home game up next against the New England Patriots, look for Nelson to be ready to shoulder the load for the Packers offense and rebound with a big game.

Wide receiver -- Calvin Johnson

Much like his quarterback, Megatron was held in check for a second straight week. That doesn't figure to be the case when the duo take on the Chicago Bears at home on Thanksgiving. Look for a big game from Detroit's big receiver as the Lions look to stay alive in the NFC playoff hunt.

Tight end -- Antonio Gates

Gates hasn't had more than 32 receiving yards or scored a touchdown since Week 8, so it's high time for him to bounce back and help lift up the struggling Chargers offense. A matchup against the Ravens could be just the ticket, as they were beat by Jimmy Graham for two touchdowns on Monday Night Football.

Kicker -- Mason Crosby

Crosby didn't have a terrible game, but his scoring chances were limited a bit by his the Packers' struggles to get close enough for more field goal attempts. With a crucial matchup at home against the Patriots next on the slate, look for Crosby to be extra motivated to drill any and all field goal attempts his offense gives him.

Defense/Special teams -- Minnesota Vikins

The Vikings defense understandably hit a road bump fantasy-wise with Aaron Rodgers and co. in town last weekend, but this week they get to face the Panthers. The Panthers offensive line has surrendered a ton of sacks lately, while the Minnesota defense has been getting after the quarterback. Expect a bounce-back from the Norsemen.

-- Alex Gelhar is a fantasy and features writer at NFL.com. Follow him on Twitter @AlexGelhar.

Print