Photo: Brace Hemmelgarn, USA Today Sports
HOU @ DET
- Will Fuller V was somehow still balling and winning weeks on Thanksgiving but then he got a six game suspension for PED usage this week. Brandin Cooks is going to be a fantasy WR1 from here on out.
- Deshaun Watson is playing his best football of the year and the Lions defense is playing its worst. He might be as valuable as Patrick Mahomes II right now. Chicago, Green Bay, Tennessee, and Tampa Bay get the Lions from Weeks 13-16.
- Keke Coutee was just missed on an early deep ball and could be a very useful depth piece if Watson stays hot and he stays healthy.
- Duke Johnson Jr caught a wheel route touchdown on a beautiful throw and he is a candidate to be a PPR wonder to fill the vacuum left by Fuller.
- The Lions offense also looks morose, although Kerryon Johnson showed a pulse for dynasty leagues and the Texans forgot to cover TJ Hockenson. The Texans are probably still a defense to target when we are setting lineups. They have the Colts twice in the next three weeks.
- Jordan Akins dropped two scores and Kahale Warring got activated so the Texans tight end situation is not clear enough to take advantage of it in fantasy, but Akins could get more action in the slot if Keke Coutee starts lining up outside.
WAS @ DAL
- Antonio Gibson looked like young David Johnson as he waved bye bye (literally) to the Cowboys defense. Being bold about taking him after Adrian Peterson was released is being rewarded.
- Andy Dalton’s offensive line lost both starting tackles including Zack Martin. We really might be benching every Cowboy except Amari Cooper and maybe Dalton Schultz. Yes, including Ezekiel Elliott - except maybe in Week 14 vs. Cincinnati with Baltimore, San Francisco and Philadelphia up in Weeks 13, 15, and 16. Watch the covid list for the Ravens Tuesday game.
When Washington can play with a lead, J.D. McKissic will play a smaller role. He still looks sharp and should be considered in PPR for tougher matchups like the next three - Pittsburgh, San Francisco, and Seattle.
- Terry McLaurin is quarterback and game script proof and will go no later than the third round in drafts next year.
LAC @ BUF
- Austin Ekeler got a bell cow workload despite indications of being eased in. We will give a long leash to Allen in lineups even though his target share dropped precipitously with Ekeler’s return. Mike Williams is not a great play vs. New England with the prospect of Stephon Gilmore covering him, but matchups against Atlanta, Las Vegas, and Denver in the fantasy playoffs are more promising.
- Josh Allen being much less efficient when John Brown is out continued to be a trend, but Allen did run in a score and Cole Beasley threw a touchdown pass instead of Allen to take away from the quarterback’s production. Allen is slipping with matchups against the 49ers and Steelers up the next two weeks and his nemesis Patriots in Week 16.
- Justin Herbert actually became a worse quarterback with Austin Ekeler. He favored Ekeler instead of Keenan Allen and his production and efficiency suffered. Give the Bills defense some credit, but be wary of Herbert against the Patriots this week.
- Devin Singletary looked as good as he has in a month to show a pulse in fantasy leagues. Zack Moss has the better shot of scoring in any given week and neither is a player you want to count on in lineups during the fantasy playoffs.
- Stefon Diggs drew a long pass interference that put the ball at the one so this was a bad beat mediocre game from him. He’s still a bona fide WR1 for fantasy.
TEN @ IND
- The Colts defense needs DeForest Buckner back badly. The Titans shredded them for five touchdowns on six first half drives. At least a bad Colts defense gave Nyheim Hines the PPR special game script to go with his opportunity inflated by Jonathan Taylor going on the covid list.
- The Colts offense needs Anthony Castonzo back badly. They slowed down when he left with an MCL injury after scoring two touchdowns to open the game. At least the Texans are up twice in the next three weeks with the Raiders the meat in the sandwich.
- Ryan Tannehill is going to walk that low volume tightrope in fantasy, but he looks sharp and so so AJ Brown and Corey Davis. A swing pass that could have been a touchdown credited to Tannehill was instead scored as a Derrick Henry carry or Tannehill would have had a nice game.
- Michael Pittman Jr moved in the background after breaking out in the first matchup. He still has what the heck flex value against the Texans.
- It’s getting cold so Derrick Henry is looking even more like a league winner.
- You wouldn’t have missed much if you benched Jonnu Smith for the last month and a half. It’s ok to look elsewhere for your starter until/unless he heats up again.
- Trey Burton looked great on his catches and could be a viable what the heck tight end against Houston this week and going forward.
- T.Y. Hilton scored and had his best game of the year and he’s worth a what the heck flex against the Texans this week because he has owned them.
CAR @ MIN
- Teddy Bridgewater came away with three points on three red zone trips. This just ain’t cutting and there’s a lot left on the table for fantasy in this offense. They should be in the market for a quarterback next year.
- Mike Davis ceded more work to Rodney Smith and Trenton Cannon than expected and he probably doesn’t need to be carried through the bye.
- Kirk Cousins was hyperefficient without Adam Thielen, with Justin Jefferson finishing two drives and cementing his status as an unbenchable player in his rookie year, a la AJ Brown. With Jacksonville up next the offense could revert to a low passing volume, but Tampa, Chicago, and New Orleans in the fantasy playoffs could be promising.
- DJ Moore was missed on two possible touchdowns and got hurt on one of the misses. He might not miss Week 14 after the bye, but this could still slow him down. Robby Anderson and Curtis Samuel would be more reliable plays if Moore is out or limited.
- Dalvin Cook had another injury scare and was contained by the Panthers in a bit of a surprise. After the Jags this week he has a tough road to hoe through the Tampa, Chicago, and Saints run defenses.
- Kyle Rudolph sustained his what the heck tight end value while Irv Smith has been out.
CLE @ JAX
- After a ho hum season to day, Jarvis Landry took over in the passing game and could have some value down the stretch against defenses loaded up to stop the run with Baker Mayfield passing with good efficiency, at least against defenses like Jacksonville.
- Nick Chubb is running like Derrick Henry north
- Collin Johnson was a much higher rated prospect two years than he fell to the fifth round in what is looking like an historic wide receiver class. His size/speed combination stood out with DJ Chark on the bench and he might have some what the heck flex value leveraging good chemistry with Mike Glennon
- Glennon was serviceable against a Browns defense missing their best pass rusher and cover corner and should create more value in the passing game than Jake Luton did.
NYG @ CIN
- Daniel Jones left with an injured hamstring that is likely to cost him at least one game. The Giants offense instantly became one of the worst in the league with Colt McCoy at quarterback.
- Wayne Gallman scored for the fifth straight game and posted a career high in rushing yards, but with McCoy at quarterback, his prospects look dim against Seattle this week.
- Jason Garrett actually called multiple downfield shots for Evan Engram and Engram converted them. That was before Jones went out. This looked like a breakout game, but Engram goes back to being a low ceiling tight end play with McCoy
- Brandon Allen was as bad or expected or worse. He did lead one good drive capped by a Tee Higgins score, but Giovani Bernard and Tyler Boyd were fantasy liabilities and this offense should be avoided against the Dolphins this week.
- Once McCoy entered the game, he mainly targeted Sterling Shepard, so there’s some hope for him to maintain startable value in PPR leagues while McCoy is in.
ARI @ NE
- The worry level about Kyler Murray is rising as he was befuddled by the Patriots pass defense and didn’t make a big impact as a runner. Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey plus the rest of the Rams defense is up next.
- Kenyan Drake scored twice and if he hadn’t been stopped at the goal line on the last play of the first half, he would have had three (and the Cardinals might have won). He is starting to deliver on his pricy ADP and should be in lineups.
- Cam Newton put the ugly in win ugly. Even though James White scored twice as a runner, his inconsistent role in the passing game is making him hard to trust and they aren’t running the ball well enough to trust Damien Harris. Jakobi Meyers is the only part of this offense that we can play, and only in PPR leagues.
MIA @ NYJ
- Sam Darnold’s first game with his top three receivers looked a lot like his games with backup receivers. The Dolphins defense still deserves a lot of respect, but Darnold and the Jets offense has earned none.
- Ryan Fitzpatrick was back for a game at least and the offense ran through him, reviving the values of DeVante Parker and Mike Gesicki.
- DeAndre Washington and Matt Breida failed to distinguish themselves as runners, so Myles Gaskin should own this backfield again once he’s ready to play and he was close to a return in Week 12.
- Frank Gore is still running with great focus and intensity but this putrid Jets offense renders him mere desperation depth despite Gore taking over the backfield after Lamical Perine went on injured reserve.
LV @ ATL
- Josh Jacobs suffered an ankle injury in this game, so monitor his availability for Week 13 and make sure Devontae Booker isn’t available on your waiver wire. This was just one down note in the worst game of the year for the Raiders.
- Derek Carr coughed up the ball three times and threw a pick to be one of the worst fantasy starts at any position in Week 12. We can’t trust him despite the good matchup against the Jets.
- Todd Gurley could return for Week 13, but if he misses any further games, Ito Smith outplayed Brian Hill and should be the pickup.
- Hayden Hurst had his first good game with Julio Jones on the sidelines, creating some hope that he can be a consistent TE1 down the stretch.
NO @ DEN
- Latavius Murray is coming on as his downhill style is working well against defenses that are focused on Taysom Hill’s running ability. The Saints might be going lighter on Alvin Kamara because of his foot injury, creating a window of RB2 value for Murray this week against the Falcons.
- Taysom Hill didn’t really break a sweat as a passer and scored twice as a runner to post an adequate fantasy day. He has been a top 10 play in his two starts.
- The Broncos played without a quarterback and it was as ugly as you could have imagined. Phillip Lindsay also got hurt and might not be available for Week 13 against Kansas City.
SF @ LAR
- Deebo Samuel announced that he was back in a big way, accounting for more than half of the offense in the upset win at Los Angeles. Keep him in against the Bills.
- Cam Akers had a 61-yard run, the longest of his career, and got to finish the drive with a score. He might get a chance to do more down the stretch and shouldn’t be on the waiver wire.
- Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson were both back from injured reserve. Mostert scored as the backs split the work pretty evenly, but the Rams held the 49ers running game in check. Mostert is still the play but his hold on the offense isn’t as tight.
- Jared Goff continues to be difficult to decipher. The 49ers had his number in this one, and Cooper Kupp was a nonfactor. The first matchup with the Cardinals is up next.
- With the 49ers win, there’s a glimmer of hope that George Kittle could return for a team contending for a playoff spot by Week 16.
KC @ TB
- Ronald Jones II scored on a beautiful tightrope run down the sideline after a short reception and broke off a long run. He could become a much bigger part of the offense after the bye.
- Patrick Mahomes II and Tyreek Hill threatened to break records and toyed with the Bucs secondary after Jared Goff and his top two receivers made it look easy last week. Minnesota, Atlanta, and Detroit face this pass defense after the bye.
- Antonio Brown is becoming a smaller part of the Bucs pass offense while Chris Godwin and Mike Evans values are on the rise.
- Rob Gronkowski is still rising and has established himself as a TE1 who is worth riding through the ups and downs.
CHI @ GB
- David Montgomery was back from his concussion and looked as good as he has in his career. He had the longest run of his career and caught a touchdown pass. Of course, it might just be that the Packers run defense is that bad. Miles Sanders gets them next.
- Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams were in basically a 50/50 committee and Williams got the touchdown as neither was involved in the passing game in the blowout win. Jones might not be a fantasy RB1 down the stretch and Williams might be a fantasy RB2.
- Aaron Rodgers is peaking and should be considered a top five fantasy quarterback for the stretch run.
- Robert Tonyan Jr scored and had five catches for the second straight game and he has proven that he can a fantasy TE1 even with Davante Adams out there after having his biggest games while Adams was out earlier in the year.
- Mitchell Trubisky brought some life back to the offense in garbage time, especially to Allen Robinson, but the Bears don’t seem better off with him than they were with Nick Foles.
- Marquez Valdes-Scantling was active, but Allen Lazard was the #2 receiver and he’s a WR3/Flex consideration as long as Rodgers is in the zone.
SEA @ PHI
- Now that the Seahawks have their top two backs on the field and the defense is respectable, Russell Wilson is just bussing tables. His pass volume is low and we might not be able to count on him as a QB1 in what should be easy wins over the Giants and Jets the next two weeks.
- Miles Sanders is not being used enough after the Eagles rode him to a playoff berth in December last year. Hopefully Doug Pederson realizes that Sanders is their most talented player on offense going into the matchup against the porous Packers run defense.
- Chris Carson was back with his usual burst and stubborn combative interactions with defenders. He scored, but Carlos Hyde actually got more touches even though he was a lot less effective. Carson is still a weekly play, but Hyde could cap his ceiling.
- Carson Wentz continues to look overwhelmed behind a poor offensive line with receivers who can’t separate. He is also missing on throws, but he is doing enough to keep Dallas Goedert a strong TE1 for the fantasy playoffs.
- Don’t tell DK Metcalf that he’s not as good as Calvin Johnson (yet). Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz did and Metcald responded by taking over the game against Darius Slay.
BAL @ PIT
- The Steelers offense continues to be a high volume short passing game that will provide high weekly floors in PPR leagues for all three starting receivers and Eric Ebron.
- Marquise Brown flashed his speed on a long touchdown in garbage time to revive some interest in starting him against a weak schedule (DAL CLE JAX NYG).
- Benny Snell was a decent start but the Steelers fizzled out too many times in the red zone for him to have a great fantasy day. Gus Edwards and Justice Hill were overwhelmed with Griffin providing little threat as a passer.
- The Steelers defense is too good for Robert Griffin III III to make many incursions at this point in his career and the Ravens should look to upgrade from him.