Target Practice, Week 12: Ryan Broyles, rated rookie

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We can't accurately say that Ryan Broyles made the most of his Week 12 opportunities, because — by his own admission — he "left some plays out there" in Detroit's overtime loss to Houston. However, the rookie still managed to haul in six balls for 126 yards on 12 targets, with this improvised, field-flipping 40-yard OT grab included. The kid can play a little.

There's a decent chance that Broyles has shown enough to vault Titus Young on the Lions' depth chart. Young, you'll recall, is so deep in the doghouse that he was benched against the Texans. Broyles should remain a useful fantasy asset in Week 13 and beyond, a key weapon in a high-volume passing game. (Detroit has averaged 45.5 pass attempts per game this season, easily the most in the league).

Broyles had a ridiculous collegiate career at Oklahoma, setting the all-time FBS reception record (349) despite missing the final four games of his senior season due to injury. The Lions thought so much of his talent that they drafted him in Round 2, even though he was just five months removed from ACL surgery. He was mostly a bystander in the early weeks of his first NFL campaign — Broyles saw just one target in the Lions first five games — but he's set up for a solid finish. Add as needed. Broyles is available in 78 percent of Yahoo! leagues.

* The Larry Fitzgerald tape was ghastly in Week 12, and it obviously wasn't Fitz's fault. He caught just three passes on 12 targets, doing all of his damage on the Cards' opening series. Whenever Ryan Lindley targeted Fitzgerald on deep or intermediate routes, bad things happened; three of the rookie's four interceptions occurred on passes intended for Fitz. Separating from coverage wasn't an issue for Fitzgerald, but Lindley's misreads and misfires were.

Things got so bad in the loss to St. Louis that when Fox gave us this image...

...I might have teared up just a little.

When you find yourself pining for Kevin Kolb, then ... well, yeah. You've arrived at a dark place. Kolb is still recovering from his disgusting injury (detached ribs), so the seven-day forecast calls for more Lindley.

* You won't see many receivers do less with 17 targets than Brandon Marshall did on Sunday (92 yards, no TDs), but he did manage to catch 12 balls vs. the Vikes. He's an almost impossible cover in post-up situations. Opposing corners have been lobbying for offensive PI flags on Marshall all year (not without cause), without success.

* DeSean Jackson is headed for IR after suffering multiple rib fractures on Monday night, so the Eagles will need to promote a few more kids from JV. In fantasy leagues of unusual size (16-plus), owners will need to consider names like Damaris Johnson and Riley Cooper. But c'mon, we're talking about an awful passing game. Let's hope you can avoid this mess entirely.

* Miles Austin (hip) and Kevin Ogletree (concussion) are hoping to practice on Wednesday in some capacity, which is good news for Dallas as the team prepares to face Philly's exceedingly friendly defense. Cole Beasley and Dwayne Harris combined for 20 targets on Thursday, as Tony Romo put the ball in the air an absurd 62 times.

* Note the double-digit target total for Jarius Wright, a fourth-round Minnesota rookie who filled in for Percy Harvin on Sunday. Harvin (ankle) is no lock to return for the Green Bay match-up in Week 13, so keep Wright in mind as a PPR Hail Mary. Despite appearing in just two games for the Vikings, Wright has already exceeded the year-to-date fantasy production of drop-prone Jerome Simpson, which is both remarkable and pathetic.


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