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Fantasy Football Weekly Recap: Week 13

by Isaiah Sirois | @is_sirois | Featured Writer
Dec 6, 2020

We saw some surprising upsets (and one near-upset) in Week 13, and we’ve got a few games left to finish up! Each week, I’ll be here to give you some instant stat-based insight into NFL offenses. I try to focus on the numbers, but I’ll also break down some of the significant injuries of the day as well. Without any further ado, I present the key storylines from Week 13.

And as always, check back on Monday mornings for storylines from the week’s late afternoon slate and Sunday Night Football.

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Story #1: Darren Waller exploded for 200 yards and two scores.

I know we’ve talked a lot about how good Travis Kelce has been this year, but let’s not sleep on Waller. He ranked 16th overall in total receptions heading into this game, and with 13 more this week, he’s probably going to more even further up the list. He drew a team-high 17 targets from Derek Carr as well, six more than the next-best option, Nelson Agholor.

A good chunk of Waller’s production came after the catch, too.

Waller remains a locked-in TE1 each week. He has more value in PPR formats due to his high-volume, short-yardage role, but the position is so depleted that he’s a must-start in standard, too.

The Raiders will play the Colts (third-best defense against tight ends), Chargers (eighth-worst), and Dolphins (eighth-best) to round out the year. Even though not all of those are great situations, you should start him due to his team-best target share.

Story #2: Baker Mayfield threw four touchdowns.

Mayfield had a day against the Titans, as he scored four times in the first half. His touchdown passes went to Rashard Higgins, Jarvis Landry, Donovan Peoples-Jones, and offensive tackle Kendall Lamm.

Mayfield has looked fantastic since his three-straight bad-weather games. He’ll head back to Cleveland next week to play the Ravens (14th-best defense against quarterbacks), and then he’ll play back-to-back games in MetLife Stadium against the Giants (fifth-best) and Jets (fourth-worst). Aside from the Jets, those aren’t the best teams to target with streamers, and you’ll need to monitor the forecast before committing to him each week.

This game also revealed that Mayfield will pepper Higgins with targets if KhaDarel Hodge doesn’t play. With Hodge now nursing a hamstring injury from last week’s practice, his status is something to follow if you’re thinking about starting Higgins.

Stories #3-5: Injuries.

Football is a violent game, and unfortunately, that means we’ll lose players to injury each week. A few fantasy-relevant players went down in Week 13’s first slate of games: Brandon Allen, Frank Gore, and Brandin Cooks.

#3: Allen left late with a chest injury in a messy game against the Dolphins. He had completed 11-of-19 passes for 153 yards, a score, and an interception before his departure. He also took five sacks, a problem exacerbated by an injury to left tackle Jonah Williams.

Overall, the Bengals are a mess, as their only score came on a 72-yard run-and-catch by Tyler Boyd. His splash play accounts for 47% of Allen’s passing yards. Ryan Finley replaced Allen and completed 6-of-7 passes for 40 yards and a pick, and he also took a sack.

Allen should be fine; he told reporters after the game that he just got the wind knocked out of him and struggled to explain the situation to coaches. That said, you should avoid the Bengals’ offense regardless of whether it’s Allen or Finley under center.

#4: Gore went down with a concussion on the Jets’ second offensive play against the Raiders. He went to the locker room and was ruled out with a concussion. The 37-year-old running back tallied just two yards before his injury.

As an older player, Gore’s status for next Sunday’s trip to Seattle is in question. If he can’t play, expect to see a lot of Ty Johnson, as he totaled 24 touches in the loss to Las Vegas. Josh Adams got eight touches, which isn’t bad, but Gase seemed to trust Johnson more, especially in the red zone.

#5: Cooks left briefly and was evaluated for a concussion before returning to Houston’s Week 13 loss to Indianapolis. Although he wasn’t diagnosed with one, he has a lengthy history of head injuries, and symptoms could flare up later in the week.

He’s someone to follow closely as Week 14 approaches. He’s obviously the lead receiver in Deshaun Watson’s arsenal with Will Fuller suspended, and he should be in line for some bigger games if he stays healthy.

That said, Cooks drew Xavier Rhodes in coverage, and slot receiver Keke Coutee led the team in targets (9), receptions (8), and receiving yards (141). He’s a must-add off waivers if he’s still available in your league.

Story #6: Five players were ejected in the Dolphins/Bengals game.

Yikes. An early-game altercation between Tyler Boyd and Xavien Howard resulted in their ejections.

If you started Boyd, well, at least he had that 72-yard score before getting shown the door. His departure freed up plenty of opportunities for Tee Higgins and Drew Sample, who ended the game with seven targets. A.J. Green was only targeted once despite Boyd’s ejection, and if you were still holding onto him, it’s past time to let go.

Once the game was well in hand for Miami, a late-game brawl broke out after a hit to Jakeem Grant. DeVante Parker, Mack Hollins, and Shawn Williams were all ejected.

Parker wasn’t in line for much more work at this point anyway, but he ended his day with only four catches on eight targets for 35 yards. Mike Gesicki led Miami in receiving with nine catches on 11 targets for 88 yards and a score. He’s a surefire start at tight end, especially since Preston Williams may not return this season.

Story #7: Taysom Hill threw his first-career passing touchdown!

Hill’s only NFL passing touchdown to this point had come in the preseason, and he’d only scored as a rusher or receiver in the regular season. That all changed this week, as he tossed not just one, but two touchdowns against the Falcons.

Hill tossed his first score to Tre’Quan Smith and his second to Jared Cook. He completed 73% of his passes for 232 yards and those two scores, and he added 83 rushing yards on 14 attempts.

Drew Brees could return from injured reserve next week, so those counting on Hill as a streamer might be out of luck. That said, Brees isn’t a lock to suit up, so follow his status closely before moving on from Hill.

Story #8: Myles Gaskin returned for the Dolphins.

Gaskin looked fantastic in his return to action, and he totaled 90 rushing yards on 21 attempts, adding 51 more yards on a pair of receptions. He almost had a touchdown, too.

Given his high-volume role in Miami’s conservative offense, Gaskin should be a strong RB2 option moving forward. He’ll play the Chiefs (12th-worst defense against running backs), Patriots (15th-best), and Raiders (fourth-worst) to end the fantasy season, all of which are decent matchups.

Salvon Ahmed’s return could complicate things, but I expect Brian Flores to keep trusting Gaskin with enough work for him to be fantasy-relevant.

Story #9: Corey Davis earned 182 receiving yards.

Darren Waller may currently lead the league in receiving yards this week, but Corey Davis is a close second. He caught 11-of-12 targets for 182 yards against the Browns, including a second-quarter touchdown.

A.J. Brown missed some time with a minor non-contact injury, which explains some of Davis’ increased volume, but he returned to the game and finished with 87 receiving yards. Davis has finally looked worthy of the early first-round pick the Titans spent on him in 2016, and he should continue to be a smart start at WR3/FLEX this season.

The Titans will play the Jaguars (sixth-worst defense against wide receivers), Lions (eighth-worst), and Packers (15th-best) to wrap up the fantasy season. As long as A.J. Brown draws Jaire Alexander, he’s a great option for each of those matchups.

Story #10: Cole Kmet out-played Jimmy Graham in Chicago.

Here’s an interesting development. Kmet tied for the team lead in targets (7), while Mitch Trubisky threw Graham’s way just once. His lone target would’ve gone for a touchdown had he not pulled off a route that would’ve resulted in a big hit, so maybe that’s why Trubisky went to him more often. Meanwhile, Kmet caught five of his targets for 37 yards and a score.

Kmet had out-targeted Graham just once this season, and that came in a messy Week 10 loss to the Vikings. In the game, Kmet caught one of his three targets, while Graham failed to catch his two.

It’ll be interesting to see if the Bears end up pivoting to their first-round tight end with their season nearing an end. He could be worth a speculative add in deeper leagues, but I wouldn’t plan on starting him right away.

Kmet’s emergence is mostly news for those fantasy managers stuck with Jimmy Graham. If you were planning to stream him, look somewhere else next week.


Story #11: Davante Adams scored twice.

Adams had a fantastic fantasy day on Sunday. The Packers decimated the Eagles, the consequences of which I’ll get to in story #12, and Adams was a huge part of their success. He reeled in 10-of-12 targets for 121 yards and the pair of scores.

Adams has been incredible at finding the end zone this season. He is tied for the league lead in receiving touchdowns (13) with Tyreek Hill, and that’s despite Hill have played two more games than him.

The Packers will end the fantasy season with games against the Lions (eighth-worst defense against wide receivers), Panthers (ninth-best), and Titans (fifth-worst). While Adams is a matchup-proof option, he’s got some especially vulnerable opponents on tap, and he’ll end up being on a lot of championship rosters.

Story #12: Carson Wentz got benched.

As I said, the Packers decimated the Eagles. Wentz was bad enough that Doug Pederson benched him for Jalen Hurts.

Neither quarterback finished with a particularly impressive stat line, although Hurts completed more of his passes, took fewer sacks, and threw a touchdown.

If you’re Doug Pederson, I don’t know how you go back to Wentz. The former first-rounder said that Pederson didn’t talk to him post-game, and the head coach didn’t commit to a starting quarterback for next week.

The Eagles have a tough Week 14 matchup against the Saints coming up, and to rehash what I wrote in my Panic Meter, you shouldn’t trust either of them next week. That said, Hurts is a good speculative waiver add in 2QB leagues if he’s still available, and you can send Wentz back to waivers in shallower leagues. I would wait on more news out of Philadelphia before moving on from him in deeper formats.

Stories #13-5: Injuries II.

Fortunately, we didn’t lose a whole lot of fantasy-relevant players to injury in the afternoon slate. So instead, I’ll cover one player who didn’t see the field as much as planned (Clyde Edwards-Helaire) along with two injuries of note (Joshua Kelley and Darrell Henderson).

#13: Edwards-Helaire was sick coming into Week 14, but Andy Reid kept him active. Fantasy managers who stuck with him as a starter weren’t rewarded for their trust, however, as the rookie first-rounder didn’t touch the ball once. Le’Veon Bell played as the lead back instead, logging 13 touches to Darrel Williams’ seven.

CEH should be back next week against the Dolphins, and he’ll reenter the RB2 conversation for that matchup.

Also, Bell’s inefficiency — and his split with Williams — suggest that he doesn’t have much value as a handcuff, so if you were holding onto him in hopes of an expanded workload, I would cut bait with him now.

#14: Kelley exited the Chargers’ blowout loss to the Patriots in the fourth quarter with an ankle injury. He had touched the ball just twice for three yards before his exit, and he hadn’t recorded a single carry.

Kalen Ballage is the change-of-pace back in Los Angeles now, and with Kelley hurt and relegated to a third-string role, you can safely send the rookie back to the waiver wire.

#15: Henderson suffered a knee injury in the second quarter of the Rams’ visit to Arizona. He had carried the ball twice for 11 yards and caught one pass for six more up to that point. Fortunately, Henderson returned late in the game, and he even scored a 38-yard touchdown.

Henderson is probably fine, but his injury status is worth monitoring because of what it would mean for Cam Akers. The rookie looked like a workhorse back against the Cardinals, as he touched the ball a team-high 22 times. He turned those opportunities into 94 yards and a score. Meanwhile, Henderson and Malcolm Brown combined for a whopping nine touches.

The Rams will play the Patriots this Thursday night, so if anything is still bothering Henderson, he doesn’t have much time to get healthy. Akers is starting to look like a safe RB2 play each week, but I Sean McVay likes to play the hot hand, so he doesn’t have a high floor when both Henderson and Brown are also active.

Story #16: Alfred Morris scored twice — including his first-career receiving touchdown.

Uh… what year is it? Morris’ last rushing touchdown came in December 2018, and he had never caught a touchdown pass while in the league. That all changed in New York’s 17-12 upset of the Seattle Seahawks this Sunday.

The play was also Colt McCoy’s first touchdown since November 2018.

While it’s a good story, Morris shouldn’t be on your radar for fantasy purposes. He’s the clear-cut RB2 behind Wayne Gallman, who led the Giants with 135 rushing yards on 16 attempts. Meanwhile, Morris touched the ball just nine times for 45 yards. He won’t have value unless he finds the end zone, and that’s not something I expect him to do regularly.

Story #17: Drew Lock is bad. Jerry Jeudy is not.

The Denver Broncos got out to an early lead against Kansas City, but poor quarterback play held them back, preventing them from scoring an upset win.

After he ended the day with just one catch for five yards, Jeudy apparently took to Twitter to throw some post-game shade.

Jeudy doesn’t have much value with Lock under center and Tim Patrick healthy. Sure, he’s a boom-or-bust option who can break big plays, but Denver’s anemic offense often prevents him from doing so. It’s hard to trust Jeudy in your starting lineup at this point, and I would move on from him in shallow, non-keeper leagues.

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Isaiah Sirois is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Isaiah, check out his archive and follow him @is_sirois.

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