When you draft your fantasy team in mid-August, there’s little reason for you to stare down and analyze the Week 13 schedule. After all, who would’ve thought the Dolphins would be decent, the Rams would be competitive against the 49ers and Charlie Batch would be starting at quarterback for the Steelers?
No, you’re not drafting your team based on the perceived ease of a Week 13 schedule, but it’s inevitably the most important fantasy week of your fantasy football regular season. Most leagues use Weeks 14-16 as playoff weeks, leaving Week 13 as the matchup to take your borderline-playoff team over the edge.
And if you were one of those teams on the fence and drafted your quarterback early, then you’re probably in tears today.
Sure, you can downplay Week 13. You can say, “But hey! Isn’t every other week just as important?” Tell that to last year’s New York Giants team, though. Tell that to the 2005 Steelers. It’s still a game, and regardless of what math tells us is important, getting those late-season wins seem to always outweigh any early-season ones.
Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady and Drew Brees each have sub-par days.
It’s obvious that I, the author of a book that tells you to draft quarterbacks late, am going to point out the fact that these three elite quarterbacks – three guys all taken at the front-end of fantasy drafts this season – threw for a combined two touchdowns and seven interceptions in Week 13. In terms of fantasy production, Rodgers ranked as the 14th-best Week 13 quarterback, Brady the 22nd and Brees the 29th.
Many keep asking me if this is something I saw coming. Well, in a nutshell, yes. I’m not trying to stand up and tell you all that I was right, because there was plenty that I was wrong with this season, but I played the numbers game when it came to quarterbacks. Plenty of individuals decided to draft a quarterback as early as the top overall pick in the draft because of one season’s numbers. Was Aaron Rodgers the MVP of fantasy football last season? Yes, he was. But there also was shortened training camp, and nearly five quarterbacks who threw for over 5,000 yards. Something had to be up.
And I think, as we’re seeing, the quarterback class was simply deeper than people realized. While the top, elite quarterbacks were performing better, so were the middle-tiered ones. Mark Sanchez last season was, at best, mediocre. But his numbers would’ve placed him as the 3rd best quarterback in 2002.
At the end of the day, the “Big 3” quarterbacks may rank as the best ones in the league. But if you look at their numbers, they’re simply not much better than their competition.
Have no fear, Megatron is here.
I got very, very lucky in a league I’m in, trading Jamaal Charles for Calvin Johnson after Week 9. Since (4 games), Johnson has accumulated 661 yards and 4 touchdowns. He’s now on pace to break receiving records. This coming after what many believed was a “slow start”.
I didn’t draft Megatron in any leagues because I feared he had too heavy of a reliance on touchdowns. While this may be true, we have to realize that his yardage numbers are just as consistent as top-tiered running backs. No matter how defenses play him, he’s a dominant force.
The Buffalo running game is frustrating.
CJ Spiller owners are not happy this morning. Once again, Spiller gets a nice average yards per carry. And once again, Fred Jackson was the guy in the backfield getting the most touches.
Fred Jackson, for whatever reason, is still a more consistent play than Spiller given touches. If you’ve got them both and are in the playoffs, I’d still, however, start Spiller. He’s clearly the big play running back, and can actually single-handedly win you a game. Fred Jackson can’t.
Andrew Luck disappoints Cincinnati and Pittsburgh fans.
It appeared as though the Lions were going to beat the Colts in Detroit, until Andrew Luck happened. His short pass to Donnie Avery proved to be the game winner with just seconds remaining, and Luck became the second highest quarterback point scorer of the week.
With the way the Texans secondary has been playing, there really isn’t a matchup on the Colts’ schedule that should scare anyone away from Luck. And for Bengals and Steelers fans – two teams trying to compete with the Colts for a wild card spot – this is bad news.
Adrian Peterson could be this season’s fantasy MVP.
For those of you who took a chance with the ACL torn Peterson, you’re probably in a playoff position right now. After his 210 yard performance against Green Bay, AP is now had six straight 100-plus yard performances, and has six touchdowns over this same stretch. It’s unfortunate that he has Chicago next week – a week where most playoffs begin – and then Houston in a potential fantasy championship. Regardless, you can’t bench the guy. He’s proven that opposing defensive matchups don’t really matter.
Don’t simply look at box scores for your analysis.
If you were to look at the box score in the Texans versus Titans game, you’d see that running back Justin Forsett tied Arian Foster with 14 carries. While he did see some action in the first half, I think we need to take this performance and realize that it happened because Houston played Tennessee. If there is one underlying thing to take away, it’s that Forsett may be the handcuff to own for Foster. Ben Tate has missed serious time this season, and if it’s nagging in any way, Forsett should be the one on your bench in the playoffs if you’re a Foster owner.
The Kansas City Chiefs show heart.
The tragedy in Kansas City is one that should simply never have to happen. So, first and foremost, I want to send my thoughts and prayers to the families of those involved, the Chiefs organization, and most importantly, the daughter who was left parent-less after the acts of Jovan Belcher.
And while I’m on the topic, it was a disgrace to see folks on Twitter mentioning the fact that the gunman “at least it wasn’t Jamaal Charles” because if it was, their fantasy teams would suffer. If you’re one of those people, and you’re more worried about your fantasy team than human life, you shouldn’t be playing fantasy football. These are still players that you’re fake managing. They’re human beings. They, whether you want to believe it or not, have feelings. Fantasy football is a game within a game. It’s fun, and that’s the extent of it.
With that, what the Chiefs did yesterday was nothing short of awesome. I’ve now placed this game and moment with the bravery shown by Torrey Smith when his brother passed away earlier this season. Two very hard things to overcome, and I believe it shows just how tough and fearless football players are.
Is Colin Kaepernick a worthwhile start moving forward?
Kaepernick has now posted three double-digit (18, 19, 14) standard scoring fantasy performances since Alex Smith’s concussion, and it makes me wonder whether or not the guy is worth a start in the fantasy playoffs. Short answer? No.
He ranked 16th this week amongst quarterbacks, and that’s surely going to change after RGIII and Eli play tonight. Next week, Kaepernick faces Miami’s defense who just held Tom Brady to a modest 11 fantasy points. Then, Kaepernick gets a start versus New England, followed by Seattle.
My advice? See how he does against Miami, but look for a better matchup at quarterback next week. If he does good things, starting him against New England is a fine idea given their tendency to give up points to opposing quarterbacks (although, to be fair, they’ve been better as of late).
Mark Sanchez may not have been the worst quarterback in Sunday’s Cardinals/Jets game.
If you played for Arizona – better yet, if you’re Larry Fitzgerald – then you’re not a happy camper today. While fingers are pointed at Mark Sanchez after his three interception performance, let’s realize that Arizona’s rookie quarterback, Ryan Lindley, completed just 10 of 31 passes and threw a pick. He’s now got a completion percentage of 48.5%, and that’s with one of the best receivers in the game. As long as Lindley is quarterback in Arizona, you can bench nearly any guy on that offense – including Beanie Wells and Larry Fitzgerald.
What happened to Eric Decker?
There was a legitimate battle between Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker in the middle of this 2012 as to who was the better fantasy play. Now, I’m not sure Eric Decker is a better fantasy play than Jacob Tamme.
The Broncos’ receiver now has 10 receptions over his last four games, including just one touchdown. Compare that to the four games before this stretch occurred, and you’d see Decker with 22 receptions and six touchdowns.
If I’m relying on Decker in the playoffs, I’m a bit nervous. But I’m still starting him. The Broncos get Oakland next week, and then they travel to Baltimore to play the Ravens. Those are two matchups that are definitely not bad.
Philip Rivers is a bottom-half quarterback.
You shouldn’t be thinking of Rivers as a fantasy starter to begin with, but after this week’s game against Cincinnati, you definitely won’t be thinking of him as your lead signal caller. The NC State quarterback has just two 3-plus touchdown games this season, and has thrown just a single touchdown pass over the last two weeks. That’s no good in today’s NFL.
Oh, and he gets Pittsburgh next week.
Dez Bryant is a must, must start.
Inconsistency is no longer associated with Dez Bryant. And neither is “sub-100 yard games”.
Bryant now has six (no, that’s no typo) touchdowns in his last four games, including two 145 yard performances. The bad part for Dez owners is that he’s facing a solid Cincinnati secondary next week, and then Pittsburgh the week after. If you’re fortunate to play in your league’s championship with Dez this year, however, you’re looking at a nice matchup against New Orleans in Week 16. You have to still start him with his poor matchups, but temper expectations slightly.