By the Numbers: Aaron Rodgers, Josh Allen, Dak Prescott
Numbers matter in fantasy football. There’s no denying that. Passing yards are measured in numbers. Receiving TDs are measured in numbers. Rushing yards, receptions, interceptions, rushing TDs – that’s right, all numbers. The most critical fantasy number is points scored. Score more than your opponent, and you win. Score even a fraction of a point fewer, and you lose.
In the world of fantasy football, numbers are everything. Fantasy owners can read the box score of each game every week, but that doesn’t always tell the whole story. Numbers without context are meaningless. Some numbers matter more than others, some are good predictors of future behavior, some are fluky and hard to consistently forecast, and others merely reinforce what our eyes already tell us about a particular player.
We’ve finally arrived at the fantasy playoffs, and the regular season’s final week was very bizarre. I’m going to look at one stat that stood out from the Week 13 games for every team. Once again, let’s go “By the Numbers.”
2 – Chase Edmonds TDs in Week 13
Nothing to fear here, guys. Edmonds played the role of vulture in this one, but that’s all he was. He was out-touched by David Johnson 21-7, and DJ’s workload is secure. Unfortunately, the inept Cards’ offense will cause Johnson to have some duds, but he’s still elite.
131 – Matt Ryan‘s passing yards in Week 13
Ryan had easily his worst game of the season, tossing 131 yards and a TD and losing a fumble. Julio Jones was banged up, and the Falcons faced a stout Baltimore defense, so his struggles can be forgiven. Ryan should take the top off of Green Bay’s secondary next week and find success in his final two meetings with Arizona and Carolina.
200 – Lamar Jackson‘s total yards in Week 13
Jackson, should he keep the starting job, should be an easy QB1 the rest of the way. It’s disappointing that he only totaled 200 yards against one of the league’s worst defenses, but his nearly 90 rushing yards per game and cake schedule down the stretch make him an appealing option.
135 – Josh Allen‘s rushing yards in Week 13
Allen has shown that he’s just as capable on the ground as Lamar Jackson as of late, piling up 135 yards on the ground in Week 13 and 234 total in his last two. Much like Jackson, he’s raw and unpolished in his passing, but the rushing abilities make him a valuable fantasy play. A QB1 in two straight, Allen will look to extend that streak into Week 14’s matchup with the Jets.
11 – Curtis Samuel‘s targets in Week 13
Samuel saw a career-high 11 targets in Week 13, turning them into 6-88 receiving. He has at least 96 yards or a TD in his last three and four of his last five. He’s a risk/reward flex play for the fantasy playoffs.
156 – Tarik Cohen‘s receiving yards in Week 13
Cohen’s 156 yards led the league in Week 13. That’s not a typo. He caught a ridiculous 12 of his 14 targets and totaled 186 yards. He also threw a TD on a trick play. Cohen’s usage in the passing game may take a hit when Mitchell Trubisky returns to the starting lineup, but he’s still an explosive playmaker, and games like this will happen regardless of who’s under center.
6 – Giovani Bernard‘s receptions in Week 13
He tied for the team-lead in receptions and had only three fewer touches than starter Joe Mixon. Although Mixon is an excellent pass-catching back, Bernard still gets his share of work as the team’s third-down and hurry-up option out of the backfield. With the Bengals’ season lost, Bernard should continue to see work as Cincy plays from behind. He’s got some value in PPR leagues.
397 – Baker Mayfield‘s passing yards in Week 13
Mayfield threw for a season-high 397 yards in the Browns’ ugly loss to the Texans, but he tossed three picks to only one TD. He understandably cooled off against one of the league’s best defenses, but he should be in for better games ahead with Carolina, Denver, and Cincy still left.
8 – Dak Prescott‘s QB ranking since Week 9
Surprisingly, Dak is the QB8 since the Cowboys Week 8 bye, and he’s been putting up some solid stats. He’s only 56% owned, and he gets Philly, Indy, and Tampa Bay in the next three weeks, providing a great fantasy playoff schedule and an excellent championship week matchup.
157 – Phillip Lindsay‘s rushing yards in Week 13
Lindsay rolled the Bengals for 157 yards and two rushing scores as the Broncos cruised to a third straight win since their bye. In those games, Lindsay has totaled 346 rushing yards and five rushing TDs. He’s surprisingly become an every-week top-15 play. Keep playing him as the Broncos have some excellent matchups for the fantasy playoffs.
7 – Bruce Ellington‘s targets in Week 13
Ellington has become a reliable option for Matthew Stafford in three games since joining the Lions. He’s totaled 26 targets and 19 receptions. While he’s only turned those receptions into 115 scoreless yards, he has become a high-floor PPR option who continues to fly under the radar.
Green Bay Packers
233 – Aaron Rodgers‘ pass yards in Week 13
Rodgers had another poor showing, and he’s only averaged 215 yards through the air over his last two games. He’s only thrown one TD pass in each of those games. The Packers have lost five of their last six games, and while the organization seems to be in turmoil, Rodgers can’t be benched. He’s got a top draw vs. Atlanta in Week 14, and the firing of Mike McCarthy should give A-Rodg some extra incentive moving forward.
31 – DeShaun Watson’s passing attempts in Week 13
Watson’s 31 attempts were his most since Week 5, and in his last six games, he averaged 23.5 attempts per game. Houston’s dedication to the run game and Watson’s efficiency have propelled the team to a nine-game winning streak. Lamar Miller has run for 100 yards or more in four of his last six games, and Watson has settled in as more of a backend QB1 or high-end QB2.
0 – Andrew Luck‘s passing TDs in Week 13
Luck’s incredible streak of eight games with at least three passing TDs was snapped on Sunday, as the Colts were blanked by the Jags in a surprising upset. Luck had a terrible showing, but he’s proven that he can be an elite option even in less-than-ideal matchups. He’ll bounce back next week.
0 – Points allowed by Jacksonville’s D/ST in Week 13
It was “Sacksonville”‘s first shutout of the season in what has been an extremely disappointing year for last year’s number one defensive unit. At only 55% ownership, the Jags could be a great addition as they face Marcus Mariota, Mark Sanchez, and Ryan Tannehill over the final three weeks of the season.
Kansas City Chiefs
13 – Tyreek Hill‘s receiving yards in Week 13
After absolutely exploding for a 17-332-4 line in his last two games, Tyreek Hill went 1-13 in Week 13’s win over the Raiders. It was a huge letdown for Hill owners, and the Chiefs have a tough draw against Baltimore’s top-ranked defense in Week 14. Still, Hill is always one explosive play away from big fantasy numbers on any given week.
Los Angeles Chargers
82 – Justin Jackson‘s scrimmage yards in Week 13
Jackson outgained Austin Ekeler 82-43 in Week 13 on half of the touches. He looks to be the more explosive option in the offense, and with matchups against the Bengals and Chiefs in the next two weeks, Jackson is worth a flex play for the fantasy playoffs.
Los Angeles Rams
19 – Josh Reynolds‘ receiving yards in Week 13
Reynolds went 2-19 after popping off for a 6-80-1 line in his last game. That game proved to be fool’s gold, as Reynolds has been a totally unreliable option in the passing game in the absence of Cooper Kupp. I wouldn’t be confident playing him at all in the fantasy playoffs.
43 – DeVante Parker‘s receiving yards in Week 13
Parker led the team in receiving, and he continues to frustrate fantasy owners with his rollercoaster of performances. He’ll see an increased target share if Danny Amendola misses more time, but he’s always a boom/bust option.
Diggs finished with 49 yards and Thielen with 28, while the latter was the only one to score a Td. The Pats held Minnesota to only 10 points, so chalk it up to a good old fashioned butt whooping. Both wideouts will have better games next week in Seattle.
New England Patriots
10 – Points allowed by New England’s D/ST in Week 13
The Patriots’ defense has now allowed an average of only 11 PPG in its last three games, and they’ve totaled three picks over their last two. Since Week 7, this has been a top-12 defensive unit, and they face Miami and Buffalo in two of their next three games. The Pats are a top option at their position for the fantasy playoffs.
New Orleans Saints
7 – Sacks by the Saints’ D/ST in Week 13
Speaking of top-flight defenses, the Saints have been fantasy’s highest-scoring D/ST since Week 10. They have a ridiculous 13 sacks over their last two games to go with six takeaways. Even in a loss to Dallas, the Saints put up a lot of fantasy points. This is a must-play D/ST option.
New York Giants
158.3 – Odell Beckham‘s passer rating in Week 13
OBJ tossed his second TD of the season, and he was certainly the better QB in the Giants’ OT win over the Bears. Beckham has thrown only two passes on the season and has completed both of them for 106 yards and two scores. He has six receiving TDs on the year as well. Even when Eli and the offense struggle, Beckham finds a way to make a weekly impact and remains a WR1.
New York Jets
48 – Robby Anderson‘s receiving yards in Week 13
The Jets continue to struggle, and Josh McCown is a complete mess right now. The Jets rank 30th in the NFL in passing yards per game with 192.4, and Anderson led the team in receiving. The state of Gang Green’s offense is so pitiful that no Jets receiver has finished with more than 73 yards in a game since Week 6. Let that sink in. None of the receivers on this team warrant any fantasy consideration.
126 – Jalen Richard‘s total yards in Week 13
Richard has now totaled at least 93 yards in two of his last three games, and he has a high floor because of his work as a receiver in Oakland’s wasteland of a receiving corps. The team just signed C.J. Anderson, but that should hurt Doug Martin‘s value rather than Richard’s.
85 – Golden Tate‘s receiving yards in Week 13
Tate nearly matched his previous three-game receiving yards total (97) with a 7-85-1 line in Philly’s win over the Redskins. Tate is up to 22 targets in his last three games, and this is hopefully the beginning of some increased production given his relatively high target volume.
25 – Jaylen Samuels‘ total yards in Week 13
Samuels totaled 25 yards on five touches and scored a receiving TD in Sunday’s loss to the Chargers. With James Conner already ruled out, he’s a solid option for Week 14, especially his dual eligibility as a RB/TE.
San Francisco 49ers
134 – Jeff Wilson Jr.’s total yards in Week 13
Carrying the load for an injured Matt Breida, Wilson Jr. racked up 134 yards from scrimmage. Breida’s injuries have been a headache for fantasy owners this year, but if he misses any time, Wilson is in for a lot of work. He has some tough matchups for the fantasy playoffs, but the opportunity could definitely be there.
9.3 – Rashaad Penny‘s YPC in Week 13
Penny has been a pretty good RB this season when given the opportunity, and he’s averaged a healthy 5.1 YPC on the season. Chris Carson is dealing with a broken finger, and Penny may get more run in Week 14. He’s only 30% owned right now.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
101 – Chris Godwin‘s receiving yards in Week 13
Godwin finished tied for second on the team in targets with six but paced the Bucs in receiving yards. DeSean Jackson may miss the remainder of the season making Godwin an interesting play with expanded opportunities.
Tennessee’s dynamic duo enjoyed a bit of a productive run towards the middle of the season, but they are both back to being irrelevant for fantasy as their 79 yards came on 20 touches. While Derrick Henry did score a TD, he’s a bust if he doesn’t score. Both of these guys should be avoided.
98 – Adrian Peterson‘s rushing yards in Week 13
AP broke a 90-yard touchdown but totaled only eight yards on his remaining eight carries. With Mark Sanchez in at QB, Peterson will he leaned on heavily, though opposing defenses are likely to hone in on him. The ‘Skins face a porous Giants run defense in Week 14, but Peterson should be avoided after that in matchups against the Jags and Titans in the final weeks of the fantasy season.