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Welcome to Week 13 of the NFL season. By this point, you and your fantasy team fall into one of three categories… you either A) have clinched a playoff spot and are sitting pretty, just waiting for the fun to begin, B) have fallen out of contention and have turned your focus to Christmas shopping, or C) you are in must-win mode, on the cusp of your league’s playoff picture. Personally, I’m in three fantasy leagues, and oddly enough, I fall into each one of these categories with my teams.
Well, if you fall in Category A, good for you… but stop gloating, you haven’t won anything yet. If you’re in Category B, well you probably aren’t here reading about fantasy football anymore anyways, so go back to clipping coupons. So this week, I’m dedicating “Fantasy Fast Forward” to my Category C companions… the men and women still fighting tooth-and-nail for a highly coveted playoff spot. Your high level of focus is only matched at this point by your even higher level of desperation. But you’re not in it alone, friends… “Fantasy Fast Forward” is here to hold your hand and lead the way.
Before I act as your beacon of hope for Week 13, let’s first take a fond look back at Week 12… a week that saw a healthy dose of good, to go along with a fair share of bad.
“The Matts” hooked up for a combined 7 TDs in Week 12, along with throwing zero interceptions, which makes this blogger look wicked smart! Their yardage was down overall, only Cassel threw for over 200 yards, but “The Matts” definitely outperformed “The Bretts,” “The Dereks,” and especially the “Rustys!”
I totally went down swinging on Cutler this week, as he torched the Eagles for 4TDs and 247 yards. The other two bozos didn’t amount to much though, with Fitzy and Smitty each connecting for just one score and one pick a piece. But they’ve got great Irish nicknames, so they’ve got that going for them.
What a trio these guys turned out to be. All three ran for over 100 yards in Week 12, all three had at least one touchdown, with Peyton Hillis finding the end zone three times on the day.
B-Jack did jack squat for Green Bay, but F-Jack hit the jackpot for Buffalo. Freddie ran for 59 and received for 104, including a TD grab. MJD didn’t reach the end zone, but did scamper for 113 yards.
I think I’m jinxed when it comes to picking wide receivers. I would’ve been better off picking Tito Jackson, Jim Rice, and “Braveheart’s” William Wallace! Instead, Vincent, Sidney, and Mike totaled a combined four catches for 53 yards. Thanks boys, thanks a lot.
My man Anquan continued to stink up the joint with a 3-catch, 27-yard day, but Blair White and Eddie Royal were on the receiving end of touchdown passes in Week 12, taking them out of “joker” status for Week 12.
He only had three catches and 15 yards, but one of those catches was for a touchdown, which saved the day for those of you who started him!
He’s sucked all season, but of course he had one of his best weeks when I pick him as a joker. Four catches for 44 yards along with a TD for the usually underperforming tight end in Week 12… good for him, I’m really happy for the guy.
“Neither Manning will throw more than one TD pass this week.”
0-for-1. Both ugly Manning brothers had a pair of TD passes in Week 12.
“Eight running backs had 100-yard days in Week 11. Less than half that number will have 100-yard days in Week 12.”
0-for-2. Nine backs topped the 100-yard mark in Week 12, led by Kansas City’s Jamaal Charles, who ran for 173.
“In Week 11, no extra points were missed. In Week 12, we’ll see at least three misses.”
0-for-3. Kickers weren’t perfect in Week 12, but the Rams’ Josh Brown was the only man willing to help me out, kicking the one failed extra point attempt of the week.
Ok, it’s hope-beaconing time! On to Week 13… let’s hope it’s not as unlucky as that number tends to be.
The rookie doesn’t look so rookie-like nowadays. He’s got the Rams fighting for a playoff spot, and he’s peaking at the right time. In his last six games, Bradford has 11 TD passes compared to just one interception. That’s scary good. This week, he takes on a Cardinals defense that ranks 25th against the pass. All signs point to Sam slinging it on Sunday, especially in the red zone.
In Week 10, when Orton and the Broncos faced the Chiefs the first time this season, K.O. KO’d the K.C. defense, throwing for 296 yards and connecting on four touchdown passes. He’ll be hoping for a similar performance this week, for sure. He looked good against the Rams last week, but I think he’ll look even better this week at Arrowhead.
I didn’t like Cutler against the Eagles last week, and he proved me so very wrong, so this week I’m jumping on his bandwagon. He has shredded Detroit every time he’s faced them, including in Week 1, when he threw for 372 yards and a pair of TDs. The Lions haven’t intercepted a pass in four games and have given up seven passing touchdowns over the past two weeks. Big things are happening for Cutler and the Bears offense this week.
There isn’t much going right for these two teams lately, but one thing the Colts can do well is defend the pass. They’re coming off a week where, despite the loss, the defense held the league’s leading passer, Phillip Rivers, to just 185 yards through the air. The Colts rank 6th in the league against the pass, which should turn Kitna’s Sunday into a tough day at the office.
Broken foot or not, Big Ben has a tough matchup facing him Sunday night in Baltimore. Roethlisberger hasn’t thrown multiple touchdown passes against the Ravens in his last four games against the Ravens, and this season, Baltimore is giving up the fourth-fewest fantasy points to opposing QBs. This should be a low-scoring affair as well, which will hurt the fantasy value of every player in this game.
Palmer has been a turnover machine lately, throwing seven picks the last three weeks. He goes up against the defending champs this week, a Saints team that has been sneaky good against the pass this season. Only three opposing QBs have thrown for more than 230 yards against New Orleans this year, so look for Palmer’s struggles to last at least one more week.
As much as I don’t like Jon Kitna as a fantasy starter this week, I love the prospects of Felix Jones and the Dallas running game on Sunday. With Marion Barber shelved with an injury, Jones will be the feature back against a Colts team that ranks 29th in run defense. Jones has double-digit carries the past three weeks, and Week 13 should be no exception.
Moreno’s had a lot of success in his brief career against Kansas City. In three games facing the Chiefs, he’s got four touchdowns and has run for 242 total yards, with another 98 yards and a TD in the receiving game to go with it. His legs should get a good workout this Sunday.
Tomlinson’s production has dipped as of late, but I like him a lot this week in New England on Monday night. L.T. is still in a time-share with Shonn Greene in the Jets backfield, but L.T. can contribute more in the passing game than Greene ever will. In Week 2 against the Pats, Tomlinson ran for 76 and caught another 26 yards worth of passes. Expect another 100-yard day for L.T. on Monday at Gillette.
San Diego is a beautiful place to visit… unless you’re Darren McFadden. In three career meetings with the Chargers, “Run DMc” has just 88 total rushing yards on 25 carries. In his last two games this season, McFadden has just 16 total yards on 18 carries. If he’s going to bounce back from those awful numbers, this isn’t the week he’ll do it.
With Jahvid Best a question mark to play this Sunday, all signs point to Morris getting the “lion’s share” of the carries against the Bears. There’s the problem right there… he’s facing the very tough defense of the Chicago Bears. Morris is looking to build from his best game of the year last week against the Pats, where he ran for 55 yards and two scores. Ain’t happenin’ this week, my friend.
Nobody runs well against the Jets, let’s face it. “The Law Firm” has run well lately, rushing for 242 yards and 3 TDs in his last three contests, but look for that streak to come to a screeching halt on Monday night. In their Week 2 meeting with the Jets, BJGE was held to just 19 yards on ten carries, and that was before Danny Woodhead entered the picture.
No player will be more motivated to erase their memories of Week 12 than Buffalo’s Steve Johnson. Johnson dropped what would have been a game-winning touchdown against the Steelers last week, erasing all the good that he’s done over the past few weeks. No receiver has more targets over the last two weeks than Johnson, and you better believe Ryan Fitzpatrick will look his way quite often this week in Minnesota.
The Browns have done a good job lately limiting the production of opposing receivers, but I see Davone Bess bucking that trend this week. Without Brandon Marshall in Week 12, Bess had his best day of the season, topping the 100-yard mark for the first time. Even if Marshall returns this week, he won’t be 100%, and QB Chad Henne would be smart to continue targeting Bess in the middle of the field.
Staying in the AFC East, Holmes wasn’t in the picture back in Week 2 when these two teams first met. Now that he’s on the field for the Jets, he’s made his presence known in a big way, especially lately. He’s caught a touchdown pass in three straight games, and odds are a fourth won’t be too hard to come by, as the Pats rank dead last in the league against the pass, allowing over 288 yards per game.
We’ve already touched on how good the Colts are against the pass and how awful they are against the run, so that obviously leads me to believe that the Dallas receivers will struggle to put up big numbers this week in Indy. Austin hasn’t had a big game in a long while, averaging just 40 yards receiving over his last seven games. His woes will continue this week, for sure.
They’re back! Harvin’s battle with migraines has resurfaced, causing him to miss practice all week long. Even if he does make it back to play on Sunday, I can’t see him having much success. He has just 11 catches in his last three games and has become much less of a focal point in the offense since Sidney Rice returned to the lineup. Harvin’s fantasy owners won’t like this, but I can’t see him adding any value to your starting lineups for the rest of the season.
Moss has scored eight touchdowns against the Giants in his career, more than any other team he’s faced. But this season, no team has allowed less passing yardage than New York, and with a less-than-100% knee, I can’t see Moss’s success against the G-Men continuing in Week 13.
Sure, Shiancoe has been a disappointment this season, but if you’re looking for a turnaround, always go with the tight end that’s facing the Buffalo Bills. Only the Texans allow more fantasy points to opposing tight ends, so if Shiancoe’s ever going to get rolling, this will be the week he hits his stride.
Drew Stanton is under center for the Lions this week. ‘Nuff said. Pettigrew has had a big year, ranking second in the league among tight ends with 55 receptions, but the Bears are as tough as any team against opposing TEs. The fluky TD grab by Philly tight end Brent Celek last week was the one and only touchdown the Bears have given up to a tight end all season long. Again, ‘nuff said.
(These are admittedly low-odds predictions, that only I have the stones to profess…)
Tags: Ben Roethlisberger, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Brandon Pettigrew, Carson Palmer, Darren McFadden, Davone Bess, fantasy fast forward, Fantasy Football, Felix Jones, Jay Cutler, Jon Kitna, Knowshon Moreno, Kyle Orton, LaDainian Tomlinson, Maurice Morris, Miles Austin, NFL, Percy Harvin, Sam Bradford, Santana Moss, Santonio Holmes, Steve Johnson, Visanthe Shiancoe