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Scouting Notebook: Twice is nice for Bryce

Michael Salfino
Yahoo Sports

Well, I guess Bryce Brown is for real and who knows when LeSean McCoy will be back. But remember, you have to pick running backs first in your drafts because it's impossible to find one on the free agent wire once the season starts. Brown's fumble this week was more bad luck where the guy just got all ball on a punch. Not all fumbles are equal when allocating ball-carrier blame. The idea that you can put two hands on the ball on every carry is insanely stupid.

Brown is the second player to rush for 150-plus yards in his first two starts and also the second Brown (Gary).

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Russell Wilson: Circle of trust? (Getty)

Russell Wilson is another big Week 13 story. He just ripped the Bears defense apart and for the second week in a row showed the wheels we expected to not only extend plays but get easy yards and first downs. He has six games with a 100-plus QB rating now, including four in a row. That tied Ben Roethlisberger for the most by a rookie in NFL history (Robert Griffin III has five). Wilson needs to find the end zone on the ground but you have to think that's coming and thus he's definitely worthy of starting in all 12-team leagues now and in 2013.

Arian Foster owners get on my nerves because they can't just take his garbage touchdowns and be happy. They have to rationalize that he's really good beyond all objective evidence (talking about 2012 here, not career). That includes being below 4.0 per carry and consistently being outpaced by all other Texans backs. Foster owners were drafting quality and environment got barely any of the former and a boat-load of the latter.

Kenny Britt is starting his late-season push to ensure he disappoints his owners by getting overdrafted again next year.

Tom Brady laid an egg for those counting on him this week to get into the playoffs. But he tends to struggle in Miami for some reason and the Dolphins defense isn't bad.

Wes Welker outperformed my expectations but I think his owners got lucky by New England never really having a healthy Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski this year. Clearly, in the short time they were healthy together, Hernandez was squeezing Welker out of his happy home in the slot.

I get that the Bills want to limit C.J. Spiller's carries. And clearly Fred Jackson is not some bum. But I do not understand why they limit his snaps and his carries to the degree they do. Isn't he valuable just by being a decoy on the field? This impacts fantasy only to the degree it makes things easier for the Stevie Johnsons of the world.

The Colts continue to win games more due to lowercase luck than uppercase. Andrew on Sunday completed less than half of his passes with three picks but got hot at the right time. And of course the Lions can't get out of their own way in the end game. But Luck's volume continues to be so very playable, especially in leagues with little or no INT tax.

Calvin Johnson is again Mr. Consistency in scoring touchdowns. And the best receiver on the planet by a mile.

Cam Newton is again putting up the kind of numbers we expected. Given how hard it is to play the position, I'm inclined to cut him slack and make him one of the handful of guys I'd consider in the early rounds at quarterback next August.

We learned almost nothing about Greg McElroy but there is no way that Tim Tebow starts a game for the Jets even if he's healthy. That McElroy will likely supplant Sanchez for at least next week and not Tebow says everything you need to know about Tebow's lack of professional passing skills.

I guess Colin Kaepernick is no longer the hot hand. The Rams took away the big plays in the passing game, which is not hard to do if you sit back in zone and do not overcommit to stopping his running, and suddenly the Niners couldn't find the end zone with a GPS.

Adrian Peterson is just ridiculous. His owners should take a bow. I'm not going to say that passing on him early was the right thing to do because his owners generally believed he is Superman and the rules of recovery do not apply to him. That was obviously correct.

Christian Ponder is terrible lately. He cannot make anything happen downfield. It's extremely difficult to win in the NFL when your QB has a 41 rating.

Sidney Rice (possible concussion) is a top 30 receiver now and probably moves higher next year given Wilson's now proven ability.

Doug Martin may be hitting a wall at the worst possible time for his owners, or the Broncos are just a really good defense. Next week (Eagles) will tell, because that should be great matchup.

I said Vernon Davis over Antonio Gates and Gates is as over-the-hill as I feared and Davis still isn't any better (through no fault if his own).

Yes, Danario Alexander every week in PPR above those 30-to-40ish wideouts, I keep saying to my followers on Twitter. @michaelsalfino

If Norv Turner can't get production out of Ryan Mathews, no one can. So give it up, Mathews backers.

Trent Richardson is probably better than Alfred Morris in a vacuum. But environment really matters in our game. Thus, Morris easily over Richardson in non-PPR in 2013. I do think Morris, who is on the field more and more on third down, will start getting more catches – but the running back is rarely featured in a Mike Shanahan passing game.

Hat tip to Charlie Batch, who I trashed last week like everyone else. It was heartwarming during a very tough NFL week to see him rally and see the genuine emotion and affection that his teammates and coaches shared with him after he led the Steelers to a victory in Baltimore.

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