AFC East

Week 13 Fantasy Football Recap

Justin Jefferson Fantasy Football
Via Brad Rempel/USA Today Sports

With many fantasy football leagues now just 1 week away from the playoffs, week 13 was of major importance. From the performances of high-end handcuffs to the explosion of Justin Jefferson, most fantasy football managers had something to cheer about. A recap of each game is going to be provided in this article each week.

Dallas Cowboys @ New Orleans Saints

Dak Prescott (26/40, 238 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception) struggled, but Dallas’ defense has become an elite unit. Ezekiel Elliott’s injury has slowed him down to the point where he is barely startable, much like last season. Tony Pollard has looked extremely good all year, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him have some big games down the stretch. He is a low-end RB2 for now but would be an RB1 if Zeke misses any time. CeeDee Lamb caught 7 passes for 89 yards while also recording a 33-yard rush. Lamb remains a low-end WR1. Dalton Schultz (5/43) and Amari Cooper (2/41) had disappointing games. Schultz is still a low-end TE1 in this high-volume passing attack, but Cooper has been downgraded to a low-end WR2.

Taysom Hill (264 passing yards, 2 touchdowns, 4 interceptions, 101 rushing yards) was terrible in real life but was a top fantasy football option. As long as he remains the starter for the Saints, that will be the case. His legs ensure his value, even if he is nowhere near NFL-caliber as a passer. Mark Ingram (10/28) was a bust this week, as Hill hurts both his touchdown equity and his receiving work. Deonte Harris (4/96/1) had a nice game but has since been suspended by the NFL. With Hill under center, none of the Saints pass-catchers are viable starters.

Arizona Cardinals @ Chicago Bears

Kyler Murray threw just 15 times in his return from injury but had 2 passing touchdowns. He also added 59 rushing yards and 2 rushing touchdowns and finished the week as the QB1. James Conner (20/75 rushing, 2/36/1 receiving) had another good day and is near the RB2/RB1 borderline. However, Chase Edmonds may return in week 14. If he does, Connor will be downgraded to mid-to-low range RB2 status, as he will lose most of his passing game work. DeAndre Hopkins (2/32/1) will bounce back as a high-end WR2 in games where Arizona throws more, while Zach Ertz (1/10) is a boom-or-bust TE2.

Andy Dalton (26/41, 229 yards, 2 touchdowns, 4 interceptions) didn’t play well but put up enough yards and touchdowns to sustain some fantasy football production from his skill position players. David Montgomery ran for 90 yards and a touchdown, but, most importantly, caught 8 passes for 51 yards. If this receiving work persists, he will be a high-end RB2, and potentially even a low-end RB1. Darnell Mooney (5/27) saw the targets but didn’t get a lot of yards. However, he is firmly entrenched on the WR2/WR3 borderline.

Los Angeles Chargers @ Cincinnati Bengals

Justin Herbert (317 yards, 3 touchdowns, 1 interception) and the Chargers offense were able to score the football at will against the Bengals. Austin Ekeler ran for 59 yards, caught 5 passes, and scored a goal-line touchdown. He should be a first-round pick in all fantasy football drafts next season. For the receivers, Mike Williams (5/110) had another boom game. He has been the 2021 version of 2020 Tyler Lockett. He hits his floor often, but his ceiling is so high that you have to start him. Keenan Allen had just 34 yards but caught his 3rd and 4th touchdowns of the season. Unfortunately, he has been placed in Covid-19 protocols and may be unavailable for Week 14.

Joe Burrow put up 300 yards, 1 touchdown, and 2 interceptions while trying to keep up with Los Angeles. One of those interceptions was not his fault, as he made a beautiful throw to Ja’Marr Chase, who bobbled the football right into the hands of a Chargers defender. Speaking of Chase, he was quiet again today, but a blow-up game is due to happen soon. Tee Higgins (9/138/1) had his second straight great game and is shooting up my WR rankings for Week 14. Tyler Boyd (5/85) played well and is a solid flex option. Joe Mixon (19/54/1) had his worst game in weeks, which says a lot about his play. He is still an elite RB1.

New York Giants @ Miami Dolphins

Mike Glennon got the start at QB in Daniel Jones’ absence and produced just 187 scoreless yards. Saquon Barkley had 55 rushing yards and 6 catches but turned these catches into just 19 yards. The Giants simply don’t score enough for Barkley to still be a solid option. Evan Engram (4/61) led New York in receiving and is a mid-range TE2. The Giants are sorely missing Kadarius Toney and Sterling Shepard.

Tua Tagovailoa threw for 244 yards, 2 touchdowns, and avoided making mistakes. He may not have a high ceiling, but he has an extremely solid floor. Myles Gaskin’s inconsistency reared its ugly head once again, as he ran for just 44 yards and only caught 2 passes. He’s a mid-range RB2 at best. Jaylen Waddle (9/90) continued to function as Miami’s clear number 1 receiver. Waddle will be a high-end WR2 after his bye and is someone I plan to target aggressively in 2022 fantasy drafts. Mike Gesicki (7/46) is a volume-based TE1.

Indianapolis Colts @ Houston Texans

Carson Wentz (158 yards, 1 touchdown) has seen his fantasy value slip as Indianapolis feeds Jonathan Taylor the football. That trend should continue after his bye in week 15 against a great Patriots defense. Jonathan Taylor (32/143/2) continues to show why he is the clear number 1 overall pick in 2022. Michael Pittman Jr. caught 6 passes for 77 yards, even with Wentz’s low passing volume) and should continue to be a high-floor WR2.

Tyrod Taylor was benched for Davis Mills, and the pair combined for less than 100 yards. Rex Burkhead (8/30) and Brandin Cooks (1/16) were two of Houston’s top fantasy performers. No one on this team can be trusted in fantasy football for the remainder of this season.

Minnesota Vikings @ Detroit Lions

Minnesota. How did you lose to the Lions? Kirk Cousins did his best, completing 75 percent of his passes for 340 yards and 2 touchdowns. A large chunk of those yards went to Justin Jefferson (11/182/1), who is a clear-cut top 3 option now, moving past Tyreek Hill. JJetts finds himself below only Cooper Kupp and Davante Adams. Alexander Mattison filled in admirably for Dalvin Cook, rushing for 90 yards and a touchdown while catching 3 passes for 34 yards. His 21.4 fantasy points make my start of the week prediction look pretty good. Adam Thielen suffered an ankle injury early in the game and is in danger of missing Thursday’s game after not practicing on Monday. Tyler Conklin (7/56) had a pretty good game and is becoming a high-end TE2.

Jared Goff had one of his better games of the season, throwing for 296 yards, 3 touchdowns, and one interception. Jamaal Williams ran for 71 yards but caught just one pass. However, if Swift misses another game, I expect Williams, who is a great pass-catching back, to be an RB2. Amon-Ra St. Brown (10/86/1) and Josh Reynolds (4/69) had good games, and are intriguing dart throw options in deeper leagues. T.J. Hockensen has begun to rebound, as he has a touchdown in 2 straight weeks. He’s a clear top 5 option at the position for week 14.

Philadelphia Eagles @ New York Jets

Replacing fantasy football star Jalen Hurts, Gardner Minshew had a pretty decent game. He completed 20/25 passes for 242 yards and 2 touchdowns. Miles Sanders (24/120) was having a great day but is now dealing with an ankle injury. Kenneth Gainwell (12/54/1) appears to be the main beneficiary of Sanders’ injury if Sanders and Jordan Howard remains sidelined. If Howard (but not Sanders) returns, he will be a low-end RB2. Dallas Goedert (6/105/2) atoned for his 1 point performance last week by scoring 28.5 this week. He caught all 6 of his targets for 108 yards and 2 touchdowns. His low floor makes him hard to trust, but Goedert will be on the TE2/TE1 borderline after the bye.

Zach Wilson (226 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception) was decent, and if he can even put up this stat-line consistently, I will have much more faith in New York’s receivers. Tevin Coleman ran for 58 yards and caught 3 passes, and is startable against New Orleans if you are desperate. However, be advised that he has a very low ceiling. Elijah Moore (6/77/1) is entering must-start territory. Now that Corey Davis is out for the season, Moore is a mid-range WR2. Jamison Crowder (4/62) has value in deeper leagues as well.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Atlanta Falcons

Tom Brady picked up where he left off in week 2 and has now thrown for 9 touchdowns in 2 games against the Falcons. Leonard Fournette (44 yards rushing, 7/48/1 receiving) showed the dual-threat ability that he has had all season, and will likely be ranked just outside my top 10 next week. even in a tough matchup with Buffalo. Chris Godwin (15/143) had a monster performance and has benefited from the absence of Antonio Brown. Mike Evans (7/99) and Rob Gronkowski (4/58/2) remain high-level options in this high-powered passing-oriented offense.

Matt Ryan hasn’t scored 15 points since week 9, and should not be a starter on your fantasy football team under any circumstances. Cordarrelle Patterson was interestingly not used much in the passing game, but ran for 78 yards and retains the top-10 status. Russell Gage (11/130) has been picking it up over the last few weeks and has entered WR3 territory. Kyle Pitts (4/48) is still a low-end TE1.

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Los Angeles Rams

Trevor Lawrence continues to be overwhelmed at the NFL level and isn’t a recommended QB option. James Robinson was benched for Carlos Hyde after a fumble and is a low-end RB2 if clarity about his usage doesn’t emerge. No pass-catchers are viable fantasy options for this struggling guars defense that has scored just 64 points in its last 6 games.

Matthew Stafford threw for 295 yards and 3 touchdowns as Los Angeles’ offense got back on track. Sony Michel was the workhorse due to Darrell Henderson’s injury, and he ran for 121 yards and a score. He’s a high-end RB2 if Henderson is unable to play next week, but Henderson seems likely to suit up. Cooper Kupp (8/129/1) is having a historically great season, and is the WR1, even after the addition of Odell Beckham Jr. Speaking of OBJ, he caught just 2 passes for 28 yards, but scored a touchdown and was targeted 5 times. He will be a low-end WR2/high-end WR3 moving forward. Van Jefferson (6/41/1) and Tyler Higbee (5/48) had good games as well, and both will be streaming options in what should be a high-scoring affair in week 14 against Arizona.

Washington Football Team @ Las Vegas Raiders

Taylor Heinicke had a decent day, throwing for 196 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 1 interception. However, the tough Dallas defense could cause problems next week. Antonio Gibson ran for 83 yards, had 5 catches, and caught a touchdown. He is quickly making up for his early-season woes, and is becoming the RB1 fantasy football managers were hoping for when they drafted him. Terry McLaurin could not break his min-slump, as he had just 22 yards, but he is too talented to stay quiet for long. He should bounce back soon. Logan Thomas tore both his ACL and MCL and will miss the rest of the season.

Derek Carr threw for 249 scoreless yards and is merely a streaming option against good matchups. Josh Jacobs (13/53/1, 9 catches) is a high-end RB2 that is finally showing upside. With Kenyan Drake’s injury, Jacobs is the clear number 1 and should get even more touches. Hunter Renfrow (9/102) is a must-start whenever Darren Waller is out, and will still be a WR2 even after Waller returns.

San Francisco 49ers @ Seattle Seahawks

Jimmy Garoppolo continues to be a solid streamer, throwing for 299 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions. Eli Mitchell ran for 66 yards and a touchdown, and his 22 carries were extremely encouraging. As the unquestioned lead back on a run-first offense, Mitchell is set up to be on the RB1/RB2 borderline to close out the season. George Kittle (9/181/2) had a monster performance, finally putting together the massive ceiling game we all knew he was capable of. Brandon Aiyuk (3/55) remains a low-end WR2.

Russell Wilson still hasn’t had a big game since returning from injury, but his 231 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 1 interception were certainly slid. Tyler Lockett (7/68/1) has been more consistent recently and is a mid-range WR2. D.K. Metcalf (5/60) had his best game in weeks and will be a WR2 in a great matchup with the Texans. None of Seattle’s RBs are worth rostering, as Travis Homer was the only back with over 35 yards, and that was due to a fake punt.

Baltimore Ravens @ Pittsburgh Steelers

Lamar Jackson (253 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception) hasn’t been throwing the ball well recently, but his legs keep him an elite QB1. Devonta Freeman ran for 52 yards and caught 5 passes while dominating the RB touches. If he is the true number RB1 in Baltimore, he will be ranked as a mid-range RB2 against Cleveland. Marquise Brown (5/55) and Mark Andrews (4/50) will both bounce back once Lamar regains his form through the air.

Ben Roethlisberger (236 yards, 2 touchdowns) had a decent day. Najee Harris (21/71, 5 catches) will struggle to continue putting up elite RB1 numbers in a low-powered offense, but his volume dictates that he be ranked at least as a lower-end RB1. Diontae Johnson (8/105/2) is an elite talent and an elite WR1. Chase Claypool (2/52) will be boom-or-bust, while Pat Freiermuth needs a touchdown to be fantasy-relevant.

Denver Broncos @ Kansas City Chiefs

Teddy Bridgewater (22/40, 257 yards, 1 touchdown, 2 interceptions) can’t provide enough stats to be valued on a weekly basis. Javonte Williams (23/102 rushing, 6/76/1 receiving) showed his elite talent sans Melvin Gordon and is an RB1 if Gordon misses next week. Jerry Jeudy (4/77) has the talent but doesn’t play with a good enough quarterback to stay fantasy-relevant. The same is true for Noah Fant.

On the flip side, Patrick Mahomes continued his trend of struggling against Denver. He is a top 2 QB in the league, however, and will perform much better next week. Clyde Edwards-Helaire (14/54, 3 catches) doesn’t see the volume to be anything more than a low-end RB2. Travis Kelce (3/27) and Tyreek Hill (2/22) had their worst games of the season, but are still top plays at their positions.

New England Patriots @ Buffalo Bills

In a really weird game that involved snow and 45-MPH winds, Mac Jones threw the ball just 3 times. He will obviously throw more than that in week 15 after his bye. Damien Harris (10/111/1) broke off a long touchdown and looked great all day, but tweaked his hamstring. He has until week 15 to get healthy. If he is unable to play, Rhamondre Stevenson (24/78) will be an RB2. While he did not catch a pass, Kendrick Bourne is still an intriguing WR3 option in deeper leagues in week 15.

Josh Allen struggled in the terrible conditions, completing just 50% of his passes while throwing for 145 yards and 1 touchdown. He and Stefon Diggs (4/51) will have much better games down the road. Devin Singletary (10/36) and Zack Moss (8/21) are splitting work, while Matt Breida saw just 1 carry. None of the three should be started on any fantasy football teams.

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