Imagine having a team with Derrick Henry, Christian McCaffrey, and Ezekiel Elliot. Two years ago that would have been unfair. This season you’d be fortunate to make the playoffs. I don’t have to imagine that nightmare, I’m living it. In a three flex (don’t ask) in an Auction/Salary Cap league. I was able to acquire all of them through sheer skill and ingenuity. Shoot, at one point I even had Kamara (not with all of them, that would just be cheating, except for this season). Nonetheless, if you’re reading this there’s likely a chance you can win your league. Yes, even I have a shot at the title in my home league but the odds are decreasing week by week. But who doesn’t love a good underdog story? Week 13 is here, let’s get to it.
Mac Jones, New England Patriots vs. BUF – I know he’s showed some upside lately but do you really want to trust this match-up with your potential playoff aspirations on the line? Buffalo is the number one defense against QB’s (and everything else for that matter) and has only allowed one QB all season to get at least 20 fantasy points and guess what, it wasn’t Patrick Mahomes. I Jones better than Mahomes? Well at one point we asked if Mahomes was better than Brady? Jones is basically the Brady replacement. What am I getting at? I don’t actually know anymore but one thing I do know is that you should sit Michael McCorkie Jones this week. What? His parents named him McCorkie I just decided to use it to seem knowledgeable. Moving on…
Teddy Bridgewater, Denver Broncos vs. KC – Don’t let the early season failures fool you, the Chiefs defense has gotten healthy and have been shutting QB’s down again. Since Week 6 the Chiefs have allowed an average of 223.5 passing yards per game and haven’t allowed 300 yards passing or more than 2 passing TD’s in any game during that span. Teddy 2 gloves is also not that good, may still be dealing with a lingering leg injury and on top of all that….he’s just not that good.
Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders vs. WFT – Send in the Carr! If you’re not old enough to recognize that reference there may be certain aspects of life you don’t fully comprehend. Sidenote: It’s not a Christmas movie people, please stop that. Back to the point, Carr seems to be getting his groove back after a rough patch of having to adjust to losing Jon Gruden and Henry Ruggs in consecutive weeks and also finally figuring out how to utilize players outside of Darren Waller (which us Waller fantasy managers have not enjoyed but such is life). Finally back to passing for 370 plus, it doesn’t hurt that the WFT allows an average 23.5 fantasy points to QB’s (ranked 32nd, aka last).
Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings vs. DET – It’s Detroit, do I really have to convince you of this? They have more ties than wins. Outside of that Cousins will be down Cook and while Alexander Mattison is a very viable replacement he’s not Dalvin Cook and that means there will be more inclination for Cousins to throw. Outside of that, Captain Kirk averages 19.8 fantasy points per game which puts him at QB9 on the season as of this writing.
RUNNING BACK SITS
Saquon Barkley, New York Giants vs. MIA – Do you remember when Saquon was a top 5 RB? Yeah, me either. Don’t let the Gillette commercials fool you, Barkley has been a disappointment all season. When he hasn’t been hurt he’s been scoring less fantasy points then guys taken way after him like Leonard Fournette (Uncle Lenny) and Cordarelle Patterson (whom you got off the waiver wire). Not to mention that the Dolphins are another defense that has gotten healthy and look like the defense they were last season. The Dolphins haven’t allowed 100 yards rushing since Week 5 and no rushing TD’s since Week 7. The only thing smooth about Saquon this week will be his face. I do love me some Gillette blades though…
Najee Harris, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. BAL – So Najee finally let us down last week huh? Well expect it again. After being run on at will for most of the season the Ravens finally decided to shift their defensive philosophy to focus on that weakness. The results? 131 rushing yards over that past 3 games (43.6 per game). And that was against Myles Gaskin, David Montgomery, Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. You probably can’t afford to sit him based on your roster, but you can’t afford to play him either if we’re being honest.
RUNNING BACK STARTS
Alexander Mattison, Minnesota Vikings vs. DET – He’s basically a guaranteed 20 plus points any time Dalvin Cook is out. You went out of your way to get him so use him, don’t be stupid. He also has Detroit who is ranked 28th in fantasy points allowed to RB’s. If you have Dalvin Cook, business as usual. If you don’t, this week you get to see what it feels like. Plus he spells his last name pretty cool.
Leonard Fournette, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. ATL – Since coming out of his bye in Week 9, Fournette has 37 carries and 21 receptions with 4 TD’s (all from last week) and now he draws my Atlanta Falcons. Atlanta’s run defense seemed to have been improving going into their Week 6 bye (no 100-yard rushing games from Weeks 2-5) but coming out of the bye they have had 6 straight games of over 100 yards and rank 26th against RB’s in fantasy.
WIDE RECEIVER SITS
D.K. Metcalf, Seattle Seahawks vs. SF – In his 3 games coming out of the bye he’s averaging five fantasy points per game. You read that right, FIVE! Russell Wilson clearly came back too soon and despite his claims that the finger isn’t an issue it’s either that or Russ is just washed. Come on Russ, just admit that your middle finger looks like (expletive), and let us all move on. See what I did there? Anyway, Metcalf also has a lingering knee issue and hasn’t quite been as explosive as we’re used to seeing in times past. This may be the end of an era in Seattle by the way.
Devonta Smith, Philadelphia Eagles vs. NYJ – I know the match-up looks enticing but buyer beware. After 2 straight weeks of 22.6 fantasy points, Smith has seen his fantasy points drop to 10.1 and 4.2 in the past 2 weeks. That’s only 4.2 more points than you. The Eagles are on a new run-heavy philosophy and the Jets are dead last against fantasy points allowed to RB’s. They allow 35.5 points per game to the RB position (league average is 23.1) and are actually middle of the pack against WR’s (17th). If you’re Nick Sirianni, what’s your game plan for this week? Exactly.
WIDE RECEIVER STARTS
Marquise Brown, Baltimore Ravens vs. PIT – This ain’t your granddaddy Steelers! Bruised and battered, the Steelers defense has been getting lit up as of late and can’t seem to stop anything or anyone on land or in the air. How the mighty have fallen. That said, they call that boy Hollywood and he’s been living up to the name for the most part. He will definitely live up to it this week. In his last 4 games, he’s seen targets of 14, 12, 13, and 10. You can’t ask for better than that. Antonio’s little cousin will look a lot like big cuz this week and also the usurping of a top pass catcher in Baltimore by Rashod Bateman will have to hold on for a little while longer. HOLLYWOOOOOODDDD (if you’re older enough, you know the song).
Hunter Renfrow, Las Vegas Raiders vs. WFT – Clearly the go to guy this season in Vegas, Renfrow has 9 targets in 3 of his last 4 games and just toasted the Dallas Cowboys secondary last week for 8 catches and 134 yards. This week he gets WFT and believes it or not he’s got a shot to be even better. Washington ranks 29th in fantasy points allowed to WR’s. Hunter will be hunting this week (I’ll work on it some more, it’s right there).
TIGHT END SITS
Cole Kmet, Chicago Bears vs. AZ – Don’t chase the points, the Cardinals are 2nd in fantasy points allowed to the TE position and only allow an average of 7.5 points per game. Plus Jimmy “Grahampa” is still just hanging around for some reason to steal usable fantasy production. You can probably find better options from guys that have more than vowel in their names.
Hunter Henry, New England Patriots vs. BUF – The epitome of a TD dependent TE, if Henry doesn’t score then you wasted your TE spot for the week. He’s likely not going to score in what’s supposed to be a bad weather game against the top-ranked overall defense in the NFL (5th against TE’s) and this game will probably be won on the ground. The Bills have only allowed 3 TE touchdowns on the season and one of those was to Travis Kelce. Don’t count on the TD this week.
TIGHT END STARTS
Rob Gronkowski, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. ATL – Since his return from injury Gronk has 13 receptions on 17 targets for 265 yards. The Falcons have been relatively solid against the TE position but he had 4 receptions for 39 yards and 2 TD’s against them in their first go-round this season. He could have similar production again this time, especially if LB Deion Jones is slowed by injury.
Logan Thomas, Washington Football Team vs. LVR – Raiders rank 31st in fantasy points allowed to TE’s this season and they probably won’t do a good job of holding down Thomas this week either while focusing most of their attention on Terry McLaurin. Only C.J. Uzomah hasn’t scored a TE touchdown against “DA RAIDAS” since their Week 8 bye and have they’ve only had 3 games where they’ve allowed less than 10 points to the TE position (2 were in Weeks 1 and 2). Enjoy his comeback, Taylor Heinicke certainly will.
That’s all I got for this week folks. Hope you’re still in the playoff hunt and if not, there’s always fantasy basketball. Please feel free to follow me on Twitter @devekkiocarter and please subscribe to the website at thefantasysphinest.com and also as an Athens, GA native who currently boasts the number one college football team in the country I just have to mention…
LETS GO DAWGS!!!! Let me know if you see me on TV at the SEC championship game celebrating our victory over Alabama. Enjoy your weekend.