RotoWire: Flex Appeal (Week 13)

Nov 30, 2012

RotowireLuke Hoover points to players fantasy owners should consider saving a starting spot for during Week 13.


This article is part of our series that highlights quality content from premium subscription sites. RotoWire has been gracious enough to share a weekly article with our users for free. For additional RotoWire insight, you can visit


We’re fast approaching playoff time (some of you in larger league’s may start this week), so this could be a pivotal matchup for many owners. Hopefully, you’ve kept track of the many injuries that continue to pile up and are adjusting accordingly with waiver-wire grabs. There aren’t likely to be many Bryce Brown‘s left – or in general for that matter – as the natural talent looks poised to steal a spot among the top-10 backs as long as LeSean McCoy is out. However, Knowshon Moreno returning to a starting job he once held for two years and Rashad Jennings returning to a starting role he vacated for one week provide two feature backs that may have begun this week on waivers. Others, like Shane Vereen, Jacquizz Rodgers and Bilal Powell, are carving out flex-sized roles in their respective backfields. The receiver position, while not seeing many injury-replacement studs, is still more than deep enough to find emerging talents (see rookies Justin Blackmon, T.Y. Hilton, Ryan Broyles and Mohamed Sanu for flex starts).


In the passing department this week, injuries opened the door for Colin Kaepernick and Chad Henne, each of whom has been terrific in two games with extended action. For 12-team leagues and deeper, Kaepernick already looks as if he’s a weekly No. 1 option, though he has yet to be officially named the starter this week. If Kaepernick were somehow benched in favor of Alex Smith, expect the former top overall draft pick to be plenty motivated to turn in a stellar performance against the same Rams team that knocked him out a couple weeks back. For those true two-quarterback only options, Henne appears poised to climb toward the top of that list. His excellent chemistry with the young and gifted Blackmon and quietly spectacular Cecil Shorts makes it look like the recent afterthought still has a promising career as a starting NFL quarterback.


With the magnitude of playoff spots on the line this week, don’t get too cute with those starting decisions. Your best players should play – regardless of matchup in most cases – and if you need a quick fix for that one last lineup hole, make sure it’s a calculated option based on a combination of recent play, friendly matchup and/or, most important, opportunities to touch the ball.




1. Colin Kaepernick at St. Louis – Kaepernick looks like a safe bet for 200-plus passing yards and two totals touchdowns pretty much every game. Two Niners’ pick-sixes were about all that held him from adding another score or two last week, and it might not be long before he’s considered a top-10 fantasy quarterback. If you own him, it’s awfully hard to bench him.

2. Josh Freeman at Denver –
Freeman’s 6-game streak of multi-touchdown performances came to an abrupt halt when he couldn’t get into the end zone a single time versus Atlanta last week. Although he faces a Denver defense ranked fifth in the league in passing yards allowed (just 210 per game), look for Freeman to get back on track. The Broncos have given up 18 scores through the air, and considering the Bucs bring the league’s worst pass defense to Mile High, Peyton Manning and Co. have a good shot at making Freeman play catch-up through the thin Denver air.

3. Chad Henne at Buffalo –
With the emergence of Cecil Shorts and Justin Blackmon as playmakers the Jaguars have found a productive passing game for the first time in years. Of course, Henne has had a lot to do with that. Over his last nine quarters he’s thrown for a whopping 736 yards and seven touchdowns at a ridiculous 9.8 yards per attempt. It’s hard to imagine a weak Buffalo pass defense slowing his hot streak down too much.

4. Matt Schaub at Tennessee –
The Texans have to start saving Arian Foster for the playoffs at least a little, don’t they? That means Schaub should continue to get extra work out his arm whether the Titans can keep this game competitive or not. With Andre Johnson playing at a historic level lately, that figures to translate into solid production from Schaub yet again.

5. Philip Rivers vs. Cincinnati –
Rivers has only thrown 40 passes in a game three times this season. When he did hit that threshold, Rivers registered at least 240 yards and two scores each time. Given the dominant way the Bengals have won their last three games by a combined 64 points and are having little difficulty moving the ball, expect Rivers to post game No. 4 with 40-plus tosses.

6. Ryan Tannehill vs. New England –
For deeper leagues it’s worth noting that Tannehill somehow completed 69 percent of his passes for 253 yards and a score versus an elite Seattle pass defense that’s among the best in the league in touchdowns and yards allowed through the air. And he did that damage while averaging nearly 10.0 yards per attempt as the Dolphins ran it more than they threw it. Facing a Patriots team that’s among the worst pass defenses in the league and is sure to force Tannehill into more dropbacks, the rookie may be one of the week’s sneakiest starts.




1. Davone Bess vs. New England – Bess has seen 20 targets the last two weeks and has at least 11 fantasy points in each of those contests. He just posted a career-high 129 yards on Seattle’s ultra-stingy corners in a relatively close game that saw Miami run 28 times to 26 pass attempts. Against a much weaker New England secondary in a game in which Miami is surely going to have to throw it 35-40 times at least, expect another strong performance from Bess.

2. Justin Blackmon at Buffalo –
In the last two weeks, Blackmon has racked up 310 total yards. Although the majority of that damage came in a shootout with Houston, it’s hard to ignore the 19 targets and 13 touches he’s seen in that stretch. It’s clear that Blackmon is building a strong chemistry with Chad Henne, and the Jaguars want to involve him more in the offense. A Bills team that has been badly exposed on defense multiple times this year is about to learn that firsthand.

3. Mohamed Sanu at San Diego –
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Sanu has four touchdowns in his last three games and is fast becoming a favorite of Andy Dalton‘s inside the red zone.

4. Knowshon Moreno vs. Tampa Bay –
Although the Bucs still boast the best run defense in terms of yards allowed per carry and game, they have given up nine scores on the ground. After racking up 24 touches last week it seems apparent Moreno is the back that Denver plans to move forward with this year. So even though Tampa may well keep him from the 100-plus total yards he registered versus Kansas City, the sheer volume of touches could translate to nice flex numbers.


RotoWireTo view more great content like this, please visit our friends at & follow them on Twitter: @RotoWire.

What's your take? Leave a comment

Fantasy Games
FanDuel photo
Win your first contest
Or we'll credit your entry fee
DRAFT photo
Get a free best ball entry with your 1st deposit!
CBS Sports photo
Serious Fantasy Football
1David Johnson (ARI)RB
2Le'Veon Bell (PIT)RB
3Antonio Brown (PIT)WR
4Odell Beckham Jr. (NYG)WR
5LeSean McCoy (BUF)RB
6Julio Jones (ATL)WR
7Melvin Gordon (LAC)RB
8A.J. Green (CIN)WR
9Mike Evans (TB)WR
10Devonta Freeman (ATL)RB
 View All Rankings 
11Jordy Nelson (GB)WR
12Jay Ajayi (MIA)RB
13Jordan Howard (CHI)RB
14DeMarco Murray (TEN)RB
15Michael Thomas (NO)WR
16Dez Bryant (DAL)WR
17T.Y. Hilton (IND)WR
18Todd Gurley (LAR)RB
19Leonard Fournette (JAC)RB
20Amari Cooper (OAK)WR
21Doug Baldwin (SEA)WR
22Rob Gronkowski (NE)TE
23Lamar Miller (HOU)RB
24Ezekiel Elliott (DAL)RB
25Isaiah Crowell (CLE)RB
26DeAndre Hopkins (HOU)WR
27Brandin Cooks (NE)WR
28Demaryius Thomas (DEN)WR
29Aaron Rodgers (GB)QB
30Marshawn Lynch (OAK)RB
1Mike Trout (LAA)CF,DH
2Paul Goldschmidt (ARI)1B
3Jose Altuve (HOU)2B
4Nolan Arenado (COL)3B
5Charlie Blackmon (COL)CF
6Max Scherzer (WSH)SP
7Chris Sale (BOS)SP
8Joey Votto (CIN)1B
9Giancarlo Stanton (MIA)RF
10Mookie Betts (BOS)RF
 View All Rankings 
11Kris Bryant (CHC)1B,3B
12Corey Kluber (CLE)SP
13Freddie Freeman (ATL)1B,3B
14Anthony Rizzo (CHC)1B,2B
15Corey Seager (LAD)SS
16Manny Machado (BAL)3B,SS
17George Springer (HOU)CF,RF
18Daniel Murphy (WSH)1B,2B
19Nelson Cruz (SEA)RF,DH
20Francisco Lindor (CLE)SS
21Aaron Judge (NYY)RF,DH
22Clayton Kershaw (LAD)SP
23Edwin Encarnacion (CLE)1B,DH
24J.D. Martinez (ARI)RF
25Robinson Cano (SEA)2B
26Yu Darvish (LAD)SP
27Cody Bellinger (LAD)1B,LF
28Jose Ramirez (CLE)2B,3B
29Miguel Cabrera (DET)1B,DH
30Josh Donaldson (TOR)3B,DH
1Russell Westbrook (OKC)PG
2James Harden (HOU)PG,SG
3Stephen Curry (GSW)PG,SG
4Kevin Durant (GSW)SF,PF
5Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN)C
6Anthony Davis (NOR)PF,C
7LeBron James (CLE)SF,PF
8Chris Paul (HOU)PG
9Kawhi Leonard (SAS)SG,SF
10DeMarcus Cousins (NOR)PF,C
 View All Rankings 
11Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL)PG,SG
12Paul George (OKC)SF,PF
13Hassan Whiteside (MIA)C,PF
14Damian Lillard (POR)PG
15John Wall (WAS)PG
16Kyle Lowry (TOR)PG
17Paul Millsap (DEN)PF,C
18Jimmy Butler (MIN)SG,SF
19Draymond Green (GSW)SF,PF
20Kemba Walker (CHA)PG
21Kyrie Irving (CLE)PG,SG
22Al Horford (BOS)PF,C
23Victor Oladipo (IND)PG,SG
24Isaiah Thomas (BOS)PG
25C.J. McCollum (POR)PG,SG
26LaMarcus Aldridge (SAS)PF,C
27Brook Lopez (LAL)C
28Klay Thompson (GSW)SG,SF
29Kristaps Porzingis (NYK)PF,C
30Carmelo Anthony (NYK)SF,PF