Fantasy Football Today - fantasy football rankings, cheatsheets, and information
A Fantasy Football Community!

Create An Account  |  Advertise  |  Contact      

Kirk Hollis | Archive | Email  
Staff Writer

Tuesday Morning Buzz
Fantasy Headlines from Week 13

Not all of Sunday’s games were noteworthy, but one game stood out above the rest. We’ll start there and continue with other unexpected happenings on this final weekend prior to fantasy playoffs beginning for most leagues. Ready, set, Buzz!…

Josh McCown

Josh McCown and Alex Smith combined for 7 TDs and finished as the top 2 fantasy QBs in Week 13.

Offensive Assault Team One: New York Jets

Just the thought of this headline back in August would have been considered absurd as it was predicted by many that the Jets would have one of the worst offenses in NFL history. After all, how can a team be expected to do much with veteran Josh McCown at QB and Robby Anderson and Jermaine Kearse anchoring the receiving corps? Fast forward to Sunday. Josh McCown threw for over 300 yards for a second week in a row and while his TD passes dropped from 3 to 1, he ran for two scores. Robby Anderson caught a season-high 8 passes for over 100 yards (third time this season), while Kearse topped Anderson in both categories. Throw in 141 combined yards and two TDs from the duo of Matt Forte and Bilal Powell and it was a great day for nearly all Jet skill position players. Yes, the Chiefs defense is bad, but you can’t deny how well this team is moving the ball. Week 14’s game in Denver could be rough, but the Jets’ division rivals from Miami gashed the Broncos pretty good this week. Sometimes, offenses emerge out of nowhere. Someone deserves some serious credit in New York for making this headline possible.

And From the Same Game…Team Two: Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs did everything right offensively…and still lost on Sunday. Those who watch them on a regular basis (when you live in Oklahoma, it’s a weekly venture) have been clamoring for them to throw the ball downfield again. They did. Alex Smith had one of his best games of his career throwing for nearly 400 yards to go along with 4 TDs. He even had a 70-yard run to boot! Travis Kelce finished as the top fantasy TE of the week, although the majority of his points came in the first quarter. When the Jets adjusted to try to eliminate him, Tyreek Hill torched them for nearly 200 yards of output and two scores. The Jets-Chiefs game was full of fireworks and underscored just how much the Chiefs may need to do offensively down the stretch to overcome awful defense. Kelce and Hill are a match-up nightmare for all opponents and with Andy Reid no longer calling the offensive plays, look for that to be the focal point of the offense in the coming weeks. Sorry Kareem Hunt owners. I’m afraid your fast-starting boat has officially sailed.

Week 13’s Star RBs Were Who???

With David Johnson out since Week 1, Ezekiel Elliott suspended for six games, and Le’Veon Bell not receiving touches near the goal line anymore, the world of fantasy football remains ripe for unusual heroes taking charge at the RB position. Consider this list of Week 13’s top ten performers: Kenyan Drake, Rex Burkhead, Alex Collins, Alfred Morris, Jamaal Williams, Derrick Henry, and Peyton Barber. Only the uber-reliable Saints RB duo (more on them to come), Le'Veon Bell, and Beast Mode made the list as expected with Raiders forced to run this week with both starting wide receivers out. All of the above players will have value in the fantasy playoffs with Drake emerging as the biggest workhorse of the bunch and Collins and Burkhead most likely to finding the end zone. And, while Alfred Morris doesn’t catch many passes and Aaron Jones’s return could cut into Jamaal Williams’ workload, don’t sleep on either of those players moving forward. Plenty of undrafted RBs have emerged in late November/ early December. Guess the Zero-RB guys are smiling once again…that is, as long as you found the right guy to plug in along the way.

Peculiar Patriot Progression

Speaking of Rex Burkhead and his continued fantasy binge, the Patriots in general are morphing into a running team more and more each week. With the defense playing light years better than it did in September, the onus is no longer on Tom Brady (zero touchdown passes on Sunday) to match opponents stride for stride. Instead, Dion Lewis, Burkhead, and James White are doing their fair share in an offense that ran the ball 35 times on Sunday vs. only 30 passes. It’s not that Brady can’t still be a fantasy force, it’s that he doesn’t always have to be in order for New England to win. Rob Gronkowksi is staring at a suspension next weekend, so cheer up if you’re a Brandin Cooks owner who was in the doldrums just two days ago. Also, expect all sorts of production in the passing game vs. Pittsburgh in two weeks. That could be a defining game not only for the AFC playoffs, but also fantasy playoff games everywhere. So, consider what’s going on right now and understand the tides could shift.

Back to Earth: The Minnesota Effect

Any good recap article worth two cents last weekend took some time to pat Julio Jones on the back after his dynamic outing vs. Tampa Bay. This week, Jones was held to 2 catches and under 30 yards leaving many Julio investors confused yet again. So, what happened? The Vikings happened. Whoever Xavier Rhodes covers disappears the way Darrelle Revis and Richard Sherman used to make WRs disappear in their primes. Minnesota in general creates less than average performances from the skill position players and that means Cam Newton owners should beware in Week 14 and certainly A.J. Green owners take notice the following week. Certainly, Marvin Jones broke through on Thanksgiving Day to offer some hope to those opposing the Vikings, but consider that the exception rather than the rule. Julio will bounce back strong this Thursday night while the Panthers will struggle on Sunday in all aspects of offense. That’s our take, at least.

Buzz Good, Buzz Bad

Writing a fantasy football article involves telling readers what you think will happen. Last week’s two most famous prognosticating quotes went like this: “In Week 13, look for Jordan Howard to run wild vs. San Francisco”. Ummm…and the second was “Don’t give up on the Chiefs’ Tyreek Hill; we bet he’ll be much involved in the week to come”. One piece of advice was golden; the other, rotten. We’d like to think that most of predicting we do here at the Buzz turns into something positive for you. Tyreek made us look good this week while Howard and whoever decided to only give him the ball 13 times on Sunday didn’t. It’s why this hobby attracts so many people - it’s far from an exact science, even for those who look at it from every angle week in and week out.

Change at QB Equals Production at TE

Last week, we also noted that Cameron Brate was being “phased out” of the offense in Tampa Bay. It turns out he was just being ignored by Ryan Fitzpatrick. With Jameis Winston back in the fold, Brate returned to prominence with not one, but two TD receptions. In a similar turn of events, rookie TE Evan Engram turned in his best game of the season after 4 catches and 27 yards in Weeks 11 and 12 combined. One could argue that having Sterling Shepard back this past weekend made all the difference for Engram and it probably did. But, Geno Smith looked to him early and often as his most trusted target and no matter who is quarterback in New York moving forward, Engram is a must-start for fantasy playoffs. Brate, while more TD-dependent, just might be too.

Are Two Top-Five RBs on the Same Team Possible?

Mark this down as something I thought I would never ask for as long as I played fantasy football. Sure, there have been great RB duos from the same team over the years and we’ve reached back and reminded you of a few of those in weeks past. But, with Mark Ingram getting back on track on Sunday (122 total yards, 1 TD), it now appears that both he and potential fantasy football MVP Alvin Kamara will both rank in the top five at that position by season’s end. It is the most unimagined of plot twists this season and it will be fun to watch to see if it actually unfolds. Thursday night’s game vs. Atlanta will feature both in a whole lot of playoff lineups across that nation. Good stuff.

Welcome Back Flash Gordon

The words “encouraging” and “Cleveland” don’t really go together when it comes to football and the Browns, but it’s worth noting that Josh Gordon looked decent on Sunday in his first game in the NFL since 2014. Gordon caught 4 passes for 85 yards and was targeted no less than 11 times. Why does it matter? Because if Gordon is available in your league and it’s of the dynasty/keeper variety, a cheap stash at this point makes some sense. Gordon could fall flat on his face again as early as this week, but don’t forget that he was fantasy football’s best WR in 2013, even on a horrible team. Those counting on Corey Coleman in the fantasy playoffs this year, might want to leave him on the bench until further notice.

The Antonio Brown Gamble

Finally, hats off to everyone who held out and started Antonio Brown on Monday night. It's very difficult to try to figure out what to do when a player is considered 50/50 for the Monday night match-up. Brown did what he normally does- 100+ yards and a TD. But, I would imagine a few people opted to pull him out of the lineup in fear of the dreaded goose egg. For the playoffs, remember to hedge your bets on Sunday and Monday nights with another player playing in those games should a similar situation arise.

We'll be in playoff mode next Tuesday. Until then…