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Fantasy football

Beanie left heads spinning

Unreliable back did a turnaround

Arizona’s Beanie Wells, who was a game-time decision, picked up 83 horizontal yards - and this one vertical touchdown. Arizona’s Beanie Wells, who was a game-time decision, picked up 83 horizontal yards - and this one vertical touchdown. (Rob carr/Getty Images)
By Ed Ryan
Globe Staff / November 4, 2011

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I’m not sure if I owe Beanie Wells an apology or Beanie Wells owes me an apology.

Wells is the Cardinals starting running back - when healthy - and I own him in one of my leagues. Early last week, I read a report that Wells was “day to day’’ with a sore knee. “Day to day’’ is a death blow in fantasy football and typically means you need a replacement.

In Wells’s case, you almost always need a replacement.

Since entering the NFL in 2009, he hasn’t exactly been the Cal Ripken of football. Wells missed three games last year, didn’t become a starter until this season, and is often “limited’’ in games and practices.

So I discounted Wells and inserted Cleveland’s Montario Hardesty into my lineup. Hardesty was starting in place of the injured Peyton Hillis. But on Sunday morning, I had a decision to make because Wells was unexpectedly declared active against the Ravens.

With no faith in Wells, I left him on my bench and started Hardesty, who gave me what I thought Wells would produce: two rushes, 6 yards, zero fantasy points, and an early exit with a calf injury. Wells, meanwhile, ran hard in Baltimore and finished with 83 yards, a touchdown, and 14 fantasy points.

And I lost my matchup by 13 points.

Three up:

Kyle Orton, QB, Denver: Tim Tebow is not guaranteed to start for the Broncos beyond this week. If Orton is reinserted into the starting lineup, he’s worth a look if you’re having quarterback issues.

Greg Salas, WR, St. Louis: This rookie from Hawaii hasn’t found the end zone this season but he has 15 catches in his last three games and appears to have found his niche in the slot.

Eli Manning, QB, NY Giants: Manning is facing the Patriots. Place him in your lineup and expect a big day.

Three down:

A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati: Green has double-digit fantasy points in all but one game, but trouble looms: The Bengals face the Steelers twice and the Ravens once in the next five weeks.

Laurent Robinson, WR, Dallas: Robinson has big-play capability, and his long touchdown catch against the Eagles was impressive. At some point, though, quarterback Tony Romo is going to start targeting Miles Austin and Dez Bryant again, keeping Robinson’s numbers inconsistent.

Chris Ogbonnaya, RB, Cleveland: The Browns are possibly down to their third-stringer, but this former Texas Longhorn is more of a pass-catching, third-down back than an every-down runner.

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