For a majority of leagues, Week 13 is the final game of the fantasy
regular season. Cleveland and Tennessee, the final pair of teams,
are on bye.
With the carnage at the tight end position,
Vernon Davis becomes a viable play in Week 13.
“Even if you are minority of one. The truth is the truth.”
1) Chiefs wideout/return man Tyreek
Hill is the “real deal” and a viable option against
Atlanta this weekend and going forward into the playoffs.
Hill scored three time Sunday night; a rushing touchdown, a receiving
score and a kickoff return for 86 yards. The last one to do that
was Gale Sayers (1965) and suffice it to say anything that invokes
Sayers name is a special accomplishment. It was Hill’s second
game in the last three with double-digit targets. Even if Jeremy Maclin is able to come back this week, not likely, Hill has earned
a significant role in an offense. He’s a must start in league
which consider return yards where he’s managed 1,213 all-purpose
yards in 11 games (110.2 ypg) after a typical slow rookie start.
2) It was a tough week, physically,
on tight ends which is likely to make Week 13 a struggle to find
12 fantasy-worthy starters.
3) If you followed my advice on starting
Colin Kaepernick against Miami and collected 38.1 fantasy points
in Week 12, don’t quit on him now.
The 49ers face the 2-9 Chicago Bears. The Bears are middle-of-the-road
against the pass and have managed just five interceptions all
season. Kaepernick ranks fifth-best this season scoring 25.9 FPts/G
aided by 373 yards rushing.
4) Speaking of must starts, they is
no surer play in Week 13 than Drew Brees in New Orleans this Sunday
Brees may own a mediocre 3-3 record at home this season, but he
is averaging 357 passing yards per game, with 19 touchdown passes
and just four interceptions (116.7 QB Rating). Considering he
faced both Denver and Seattle among those six teams, his stunning
32.9 FPts/G at home is off the charts good. Facing a Lions team
ranked 22nd in quarterback points allowed, I can’t think
of a better fantasy option than the Saints quarterback.
5) If you used Andy Dalton before
A.J. Green was injured, it’s still possible.
Over the past three seasons Dalton has averaged 20.5 FPts/G with
Green (34 games) and 19.7 FPts/G without him (six games). Neither
production is fantasy worthy in one quarterback leagues, but it
still places him at No. 21, and a viable low-end option, in two-quarterback
“There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.”
– Arthur Conan Doyle
1) Trevor Siemian, Matt Barkley and
Cam Newton’s Week 12 production was a mirage.
Don’t be fooled, particularly by the 26.9 points posted
by Newton, the 2015 NFL MVP. He managed just 18 first-half yards
on 3-for-12 passing before hitting on two long touchdown passes
in the second half (88, 44). Newton’s passes don’t
look crisp. He’ll be facing the Seahawks sixth-ranked pass
defense in CenturyLink Field this Sunday.
2) Also a mirage is Tennessee rookie
running back Derrik Henry outscoring DeMarco Murray.
Henry rushed eight times for 60 yards and a score (12 points),
while Murray managed just 8.4 points on 17 carries for 43 yards
and five receptions for 41 yards. Although Murray was active,
he is still dealing with a foot injury. The bye week should have
Murray ready for the first round of the fantasy playoffs.
3) Brandin Cooks’ zero-target Week
12 makes him impossible to start.
Cooks complained about his role on Tuesday and we usually see
the “squeaky wheel” getting increased usage. Cooks
is an elite deep option, but the Saints have three good receivers
(Michael Thomas, Willie Snead) and solid tight ends (Coby Fleener,
Josh Hill), so I don’t envision Cooks as a top-10 receiver
going forward. Still, he’s a viable WR3. Brees has always
spread the wealth among his pass-catchers.
4) It’s impossible to be a viable
fantasy option opposite an elite receiver.
False. While Antonio Brown, Mike Evans and Odell Beckham Jr. are
elite and their opposite numbers haven’t been able to consistently
score, down in Atlanta, Taylor Gabriel seems to have figured it
out and has posted four consecutive double-digit games, including
a season-high 22.2 fantasy points, last Sunday. As long as Julio Jones is healthy and drawing the “double-team,” Matt Ryan should continue to get the ball to Gabriel. And by-the-way,
in Green Bay Davante Adams is thriving across from Jordy Nelson.
5) The Minnesota Vikings D/ST leads
the league averaging 7.8 FPts/G.
The number is correct, but they have been living off a fast start.
They are no longer an elite defense/special team. The Vikings
have scored two points or less in four of the last five games.
Even the last-place Jets D/ST averages 2.5 FPts/G. It’s time to
jump off that Vikings bandwagon with Minnesota facing Dallas Thursday
Steve Schwarz served as the fantasy sports editor of The Sports Network and is the 2014 FSWA Football Writer of the Year.