There’s only room in these parts for one star … and there’s a new sheriff in town. When it comes to running backs in the state of Texas, Houston rookie Dameon Pierce semed to have the upper hand for most of the season. But lately, with Dallas’ Ezekiel Elliott slowed by a knee injury, another back has become a difference-maker for fantasy football managers.
WEEK 11 WINNERS, LOSERS: Cowboys look super vs. Vikings
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These players saw their fantasy values increase or decrease most based on their performances in Week 11:
RB Tony Pollard, Dallas Cowboys: Dallas is riding a thin line between Pollard and Elliott, with each able to carve out a role. Pollard has become the better fantasy play because of his contributions in the receiving game, as evidenced by his six catches for 109 yards and two TDs vs. the Vikings.
RB Najee Harris, Pittsburgh Steelers: As the Steelers have struggled on offense, Harris has been an inconsistent fantasy starter. That all changed against Cincinnati as Harris reminded everyone with his 116 total yards and two touchdowns that talent eventually rises to the top.
RB Samaje Perine, Cincinnati Bengals: Perine’s stock will skyrocket if Joe Mixon can’t return from concussion protocol. Every time Perine has filled in, he has produced, including his three TD receptions after Mixon left in the second quarter against Pittsburgh.
RB Jamaal Williams, Detroit Lions: Even with the return of D’Andre Swift, Williams has been getting the bulk of the carries. He has been at his best in the red zone, with three rushing scores against the Giants to take over the league lead in touchdowns with 12.
WR Josh Palmer, Los Angeles Chargers: Palmer’s star seemed to dim with the return of Keenan Allen and Mike Williams from injury. However, Williams exited early, and Palmer hauled in eight receptions for 106 yards and a pair of touchdowns. The sky’s the limit with Palmer’s emerging chemistry with quarterback Justin Herbert.
RB Dameon Pierce, Houston Texans: There’s no doubting Pierce’s talent, but he’s still a rookie on a bad team. When Sunday’s game at Washington started going sideways, Pierce became a nonfactor with just 17 total yards.
RB James Robinson, New York Jets: Going up against a tough Patriots defense, Robinson managed just 10 yards on seven carries. Even against a lesser opponent, there just don’t seem to be enough touches for him or Michael Carter to be fantasy factors.
WR Diontae Johnson, Pittsburgh Steelers: Put Johnson on a team with a big-time quarterback and he could average 100 receiving yards a game. But Kenny Pickett only seems to have eyes for fellow rookie George Pickens and tight end Pat Freiermuth, rendering Johnson (four catches, 21 yards) as an afterthought.
WR Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings: Thielen has been fairly quiet all season, but the trade that brought tight end T.J. Hockenson to Minnesota has apparently reduced his target share even more. Thielen saw just three targets in a blowout loss to Dallas.
WR Isaiah McKenzie, Buffalo Bills: The signs are all good. Starting slot receiver, high-scoring offense, Josh Allen at quarterback. But McKenzie failed to catch his only target against the Browns.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fantasy football stock watch: Tony Pollard up, Dameon Pierce down