By the Numbers: Week 13 (2020 Fantasy Football)
“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”
– Sun Tzu, The Art of War
Knowing your roster heading into the next few win-or-go-home matchups isn’t enough.
To win big this fantasy playoff season, it’s going to take extra effort, which means knowing the strengths and weaknesses of every opponent moving forward and making corresponding chess moves to improve your odds at survival.
Think two steps ahead – and perhaps two weeks ahead – from here on out. If there’s an upcoming opponent with a running back deficiency, replace those extra defenses, quarterbacks, and kickers you’re hoarding with the best runners available.
If someone is desperate at tight end after an injury, gobble up the best guy on the waiver wire, even if you don’t need (or want) the player.
At this point, defense can be the best offense, and odds are, someone is likely trying to do the same thing to you.
In addition to this piece, be sure to check out the rest of Week 12’s numbers to prepare for Week 13 with our target analysis and notable snap count rundowns.
I perhaps made the wrong choice in drafting Austin Ekeler over Alvin Kamara with the fifth overall pick in one of my PPR leagues this season. That said, the Ekeler selection may finally be paying off, and it couldn’t come at a better time.
In his Week 12 return from a serious hamstring injury that had sidelined him since Week 4, Ekeler posted 18.4 half-PPR points on 25 touches, his most this season.
Full-PPR managers should be especially excited by Ekeler, whose 16 targets tied a career-high set last season.
Losing Will Fuller will hurt, but Deshaun Watson is still a top-five fantasy quarterback, as evidenced by his 25.9 fantasy points per game since Week 4, the second-best rate behind Kyler Murray during that span.
Watson posted his second consecutive 30-point effort in Sunday’s win against the Lions, and on the season has six games with at least 300 passing yards and multiple passing touchdowns.
While his upcoming schedule is daunting (two games against the Colts and one against the Bears), I expect Watson to sustain his high passing volume because of the Texans’ uninspiring run game.
He’s been a set-it-and-forget-it guy all season; no need to rethink the wheel now.
– NFL Fantasy Football (@NFLFantasy) December 1, 2020
My premise was that in four games with both running backs in the lineup earlier this season, Hunt managed a strong 16.4 half-PPR points per game, good for the RB7 to that point in the year.
The thesis of my argument – and why I’m walking back my stance now – was that Hunt would continue to see ample passing-game opportunity, and might even see increased receiving work with Chubb taking early-down snaps.
Well, I was wrong. Hunt has seen just three targets over the past two weeks, and has averaged 9.3 half-PPR points per contest since Chubb returned, a significant decrease from his 14.4 average through the Browns’ first eight games.
Cleveland is committed to running the ball, so it’s not like Hunt has no value, but I feel a lot less comfortable with him in my starting lineup today than I did a few weeks ago.
He also ranks first or tied for first at his position in receiving touchdowns, target separation, catch rate, and quarterback passer rating when targeted.
Considering he’s rostered in just 61 percent and 46 percent of Yahoo and ESPN leagues, respectively, I’d consider him a must-add for the playoffs, especially for managers who’ve lost George Kittle or have struggled at the position all season.
While he’s certainly touchdown dependent – Tonyan ranks 18th among tight ends in targets – he does well with the ball in his hands, and has become a favorite target for Aaron Rodgers in the red zone.
Since Week 7, only five running backs have scored more half-PPR points than Wayne Gallman Jr. Gallman’s 15.2 average over the past five games has been particularly impressive considering the Giants’ previously dormant offense, which has favorable matchups upcoming against the Seattle Seahawks and the Arizona Cardinals.
Gallman’s strong volume (he’s averaged 21 touches and played at least 57 percent of the Giants’ offensive snaps in each of the past three games) makes him a solid RB2 for the rest of the season
If you want to dive deeper into fantasy football, be sure to check out our award-winning slate of Fantasy Football Tools as you navigate your season. From our Start/Sit Assistant – which provides your optimal lineup, based on accurate consensus projections – to our Waiver Wire Assistant – that allows you to quickly see which available players will improve your team, and by how much – we’ve got you covered this fantasy football season.