Holmes, Maclin, Hill still rising

TSA pat downs and full body scans are dominating the news. Well, along with Barbara Bush ripping on Sarah Palin and The Pope making an amazing statement about the use of condoms preventing the spread of HIV. Then there’s NFL concussions and, oh by the way, the return to glory of Mike Vick. You guessed it, I’m not watching ESPN as I write this. I’m in an airport with CNN blaring in my ear. But with all of the extracurriculars going on around us, the main thing I care about (other than getting home safely to my family), is delivering this week’s stock market report to you, my readers.

Happy Thanksgiving Week...

RISING
Santonio Holmes, Jets WR

After gradually being worked into the Jets passing game following his four game suspension, it’s time to start taking the former Super Bowl MVP seriously as a fantasy option. Very seriously, that is. After catching two straight game-winning scores, and setting up the game clincher in the other two of his last four, Holmes is clearly the Jets’ number one receiving option. Not only does he have a couple friendly matchups down the stretch, but he’s being targeted more and more each week. Consider him a high-end WR2 the rest of the way, and a dynasty gem once again, as the Jets are likely to lock him up long term.

Jeremy Maclin, Eagles WR
Let’s all welcome Jeremy Maclin out of DeSean Jackson’s shadow. While DeSean has been the sexier player, it’s clear that Maclin is a co-number one WR in the Eagles offense. Mike Vick targeted him 14 times in Week 11, as he hauled in a career-high nine balls for 120 yards. PPR owners should value Maclin over Jackson, as he’s a much more consistent option due to his ability to run crisper routes and break tackles. Maclin and Jackson benefit from one another, and each clearly has big-play ability.

Shaun Hill, Lions QB
Hill is starting to look like Billy Volek in 2004 — aka a phenomenal sleeper down the stretch heading into fantasy playoffs. There’s no need to make a trade for a signal caller in your league if Hill is available on waivers. He’s put up consistent numbers when given the opportunity to play, has great matchups coming up, and has two great receivers in Calvin Johnson and Nate Burleson (who is also rising rapidly heading into crunch time).

Steve Johnson, Bills WR
Like Maclin and Holmes, Johnson is a player I’ve thoroughly jocked in this very column multiple times this year, but I just want to emphasize how good this kid is. He’s big, fast, and now extremely confident after scoring three times against the Bengals, and not only is a must-start, but a clear cut number one WR in fantasy moving forward. Yep, that’s right, I’ve seen enough to know. Seasonal owners should ride the hot streak down to the wire, and dynasty owners should NOT sell high on this phenomenon — sorry, I mean “The Phenomena” (a nickname a guy in my league just gave him).

Blair White, Colts WR
This is a tricky one, as nobody knows if Austin Collie will return in Week 12, but it’s clear that Blair White will be a very solid WR3 if Collie misses any more time. For those of you in need of WR help trying to secure a playoff spot, look to White, who hauled in five balls for 42 yards and two scores pretty much in half of a game in relief of Collie in Week 11.

Marques Colston, Saints WR
Well, the stigma of Drew Brees spreading the ball around too much is pretty much shot. Colston has seen five or more targets in each game this year, including nine or more in each of his last four. On top of that, he’s starting to score touchdowns, which makes him look a lot better than even guys like Andre Johnson and DeSean Jackson.

Jimmy Graham, Saints TE
A player I’ve been very high on this year, Graham followed up his solid Week 9 performance with five catches for 72 yards in place of Jeremy Shockey in Week 11. A former basketball player at the University of Miami, Graham has an upside similar to that of Antonio Gates. No joke. Dynasty owners need to add him NOW.

Sidney Rice, Vikings WR
From being in a situation two days ago in which he had the chance to go on IR, to being targeted 10 times in Week 11, it looks like fantasy owners can probably consider Rice a sleeper WR3 with upside the rest of the way. Even though Brett Favre stunk it up against Green Bay, and Minnesota is completely out of the playoff picture, there are some stats left on that team.

FALLING
Brent Celek, Eagles TE

Falling? More like rock bottom. After hauling in 76 balls for 971 yards and eight TDs a year ago, the fourth-year man has fallen off the map. He’s been targeted just five times in his last three games, including zero targets in Week 11. He’s droppable in all formats.

Austin Collie, Colts WR
Make no mistake, Collie is a PPR freak when healthy, and I still love him long term, but with concussion issues, owners may not be able to count on him down the stretch. He may be a SELL NOW in seasonal leagues.

For more risers and fallers, check out our weekly rankings on Wednesday.

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Paul Hickey

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