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Target Analysis: Week 13 (2020 Fantasy Football)

Dec 9, 2020

Marvin Jones Jr. defied expectations and scored 25.6 PPR points in Week 13.

We’ve seen it time and time again. Volume is the clearest indicator of fantasy success, as it’s rare for a player to be a fantasy football stud without the opportunity to convert touches into points. Pass-catching opportunities, especially in PPR leagues, are often a bigger determinant of fantasy success than a player’s talent or circumstances.

So, every week of this fantasy season, I will diagnose the target landscape in the NFL. Who’s seeing the highest share on a team? Who’s trending downward? And most importantly, what takeaways can we draw from this data to ultimately help you make better fantasy lineup and roster decisions?

Here is your Week 13 Target Analysis.

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Arizona Cardinals

DeAndre Hopkins 13 28 9.33 116 9.67 ⬆️
Chase Edmonds 6 15 5.00 53 4.42 ⬆️
Andy Isabella 5 13 4.33 34 2.83 ⬇️
KeeSean Johnson 4 5 1.67 13 1.08 ⬆️
Christian Kirk 3 15 5.00 61 5.55 ⬇️
Kenyan Drake 3 12 4.00 23 2.09 ⬇️

Arizona has been on a downward spiral over the past five weeks. If not for an incredible Hail Mary catch by DeAndre Hopkins, the Cardinals would be 0-5 over their past five games. Not all of Arizona’s struggles fall on the offense’s shoulders, but they are clearly struggling. Kyler Murray completed just 21 of his passes for 173 yards against Los Angeles, with 59 of his yards coming on his first completion to Dan Arnold.

Hopkins ended the game with a solid stat-line of eight catches for 52 yards and a touchdown, but every other pass-catcher was abysmal. Aside from Dan Arnold, who caught two touchdowns, no other receiver scored more than seven PPR points. Christian Kirk was probably the most disappointing Cardinals receiver, as he caught just one catch for two yards off of three targets. Hopkins is the only startable Cardinals pass-catcher, and even he is not a surefire top-five receiver anymore.

Atlanta Falcons

Calvin Ridley 10 28 9.33 96 8.73 ⬆️
Julio Jones 10 12 4.00 68 7.56 ⬆️
Russell Gage 8 25 8.33 77 6.42 ⬆️
Hayden Hurst 4 14 4.67 68 5.67 ⬇️
Ito Smith 2 7 2.33 17 1.42 ⬇️
Jaeden Graham 1 3 1.00 4 0.33 ⬇️

After missing Atlanta’s last game due to injury, Julio Jones returned to the lineup tied Calvin Ridley for the team lead in targets. Jones and Ridley were equally dominant, with the former catching six of his ten targets for 94 yards, while Ridley caught five of his ten looks for 108 yards and a score. Russell Gage finally returned to fantasy relevance, seeing eight targets and catching four balls for 51 yards and a score. Meanwhile, tight end Hayden Hurst was barely involved, catching one nine-yard catch on four targets.

Russell Gage and Hayden Hurst will seldom both be fantasy-relevant during the same week. Often, either one or the other will put up a decent enough floor to make them FLEX-viable. Still, given their ceilings are extremely low, it’s not worth starting either one. I would be comfortable leaving them on the waiver wire. Calvin Ridley and Julio Jones will continue to be auto-starts so long as both stay upright.

Baltimore Ravens

Marquise Brown 8 19 6.33 74 6.17
Miles Boykin 3 3 1.00 26 2.17 ⬆️
Patrick Ricard 2 3 1.00 9 0.75 ⬆️
Devin Duvernay 1 6 2.00 24 2.00 ⬇️
Justice Hill 1 3 1.00 4 0.33 ⬇️
Luke Willson 1 3 1.00 3 1.50 ⬇️

Lamar Jackson returned to the lineup after a one-game stint on the COVID injured reserve and returned with the same rushing prowess that we come to expect from the 2019 MVP. Jackson carried the ball 11 times for 91 yards and a score, as Baltimore dominated on the ground all game. Unfortunately, that meant there was little success to be had through the air. Marquise Brown put together his second consecutive double-digit outing, but his fantasy day was saved with a touchdown. The only other Raven to catch more than one pass was the fullback, Patrick Ricard.

As I said last week, you can’t feel confident starting any Baltimore pass-catcher. Sure, Brown put together a solid performance, but he’s been extremely inconsistent on a low-volume passing offense. Even with Mark Andrews out of the lineup, Brown has failed to assert his dominance as a capable fantasy wideout receiver. He is by far and away the most talented receiver (sans Andrews) in the lineup, and he is still merely a touchdown-dependent option. With a Monday Night Football matchup against Cleveland on tap for Week 14, you should fade all Ravens pass-catchers yet again.

Buffalo Bills

Stefon Diggs 11 20 6.67 122 10.17 ⬆️
Cole Beasley 11 15 5.00 82 6.83 ⬆️
Gabe Davis 4 8 2.67 39 3.25
Devin Singletary 4 7 2.33 45 3.75 ⬆️
Dawson Knox 4 5 1.67 20 2.50 ⬆️
Isaiah McKenzie 2 2 0.67 19 1.58 ⬆️

With the San Francisco defense getting healthier and John Brown on injured reserve, there was a chance that the Bills offense could have struggled on Monday Night. Well, Josh Allen put those fears to rest early as he put together an MVP-caliber performance against the 49ers, completing 32 of 40 passes for 375 yards and four touchdowns. He connected 19 times with the tandem of Stefon Diggs and Cole Beasley, and both wideouts scored at least 19 PPR points. With Brown sidelined one more week, I’d start Diggs and Beasley with confidence next week even though the matchup with Pittsburgh is less than ideal.

Gabriel Davis has been a solid floor play in Brown’s absence, but he’s not worth rostering. I don’t expect more than two pass-catchers to have viable fantasy days against the Steelers, so taking a gamble with Davis in Week 14 is ill-advised. Devin Singletary will also likely see a drop in targets going forward, as Zack Moss was essentially benched since the middle of the first quarter due to his early fumble; given his rushing production has been mediocre at best, he should stay on your bench for the first round of the playoffs.

Chicago Bears

Allen Robinson 7 20 6.67 115 9.58 ⬇️
Cole Kmet 7 10 3.33 20 1.67 ⬆️
Darnell Mooney 6 15 5.00 71 5.92 ⬇️
Anthony Miller 5 11 3.67 68 5.67 ⬇️
David Montgomery 4 10 3.33 51 4.64 ⬇️
Cordarrelle Patterson 2 2 0.67 23 1.92 ⬆️

I have praised Allen Robinson all season for his incredible consistency despite the dysfunction seething from the quarterback position. Yet again, Robinson put up a double-digit fantasy outing, catching six of his seven targets for 75 yards. Rookie second-round pick Cole Kmet has officially surpassed Jimmy Graham on the depth chart, as he out-targeted his predecessor seven to one and out-scored him by 14.7 PPR points. Anthony Miller and Darnell Mooney also had decent days, as they averaged 4.5 receptions and 5o yards receiving.

Allen Robinson is the only Bears wideout you should even consider putting in your lineup. I really like rookie Darnell Mooney as a prospect, and I believe he could succeed in the NFL. Unfortunately, he’s not talented enough to overcome Mitch Trubisky or Nick Foles at quarterback; he’s definitely a worthwhile “buy” in dynasty leagues, however. Cole Kmet is a dart throw at the tight end position, but he is still entirely touchdown-dependent. I would take my chances with other tight ends on more explosive offenses.

Cincinnati Bengals

Tee Higgins 7 22 7.33 83 6.92 ⬆️
Drew Sample 7 16 5.33 44 3.67 ⬆️
Tyler Boyd 4 21 7.00 97 8.08 ⬇️
Gio Bernard 2 10 3.33 46 3.83 ⬇️
Alex Erickson 2 3 1.00 5 0.42 ⬆️
A.J. Green 1 13 4.33 81 6.75 ⬇️

Ryan Finley and Brandon Allen combined for 193 yards passing on 17 completions against Miami. 37 percent of those passing yards came on a broken play, in which Tyler Boyd took a quick-out 72 yards to the house. If you are betting on a Bengals receiver providing you any semblance of fantasy production, you are gambling that these backup quarterbacks can be productive. That’s not a bet that I want to take.

Tee Higgins has been viable in two straight games without Joe Burrow, but his ceiling is capped unless he catches a touchdown. Now that we are entering the fantasy playoffs, you can’t start players that don’t have a chance of scoring 20 or more points. Tyler Boyd, Tee Higgins, and A.J. Green are all unplayable unless you are in dire straits with your roster’s depth.

Cleveland Browns

Jarvis Landry 10 23 7.67 77 6.42 ⬇️
Rashard Higgins 9 15 5.00 35 2.92 ⬆️
Kareem Hunt 3 6 2.00 35 2.92 ⬆️
Donovan Peoples-Jones
3 3 1.00 9 0.75 ⬆️
Austin Hooper 2 9 3.00 44 4.40
Nick Chubb 1 4 1.33 8 1.00 ⬇️

It is incredible that Baker Mayfield is a better passer WITHOUT Odell Beckham Jr. in the lineup. I honestly believe that, without Beckham, Mayfield doesn’t feel compelled to force his star wide receiver the ball. In his Week 13 matchup against Tennessee, Mayfield had his best performance of his career, completing 25 of his 33 passes for 334 yards and four touchdowns. Jarvis Landry and Rashard Higgins were the main beneficiaries, as the former caught eight of his 10 targets for 62 yards and a score, while the latter managed six receptions for 95 yards and a touchdown on one less target.

With a divisional matchup against Baltimore on tap in Week 14, I wouldn’t feel comfortable starting any Cleveland Browns pass-catchers in what should be a run-dominated, low-scoring matchup. However, with Week 15 and 16 matchups against both New York teams, both Landry and Higgins should be considered as viable fantasy starts.

Dallas Cowboys

Michael Gallup 11 24 8.00 79 6.58 ⬆️
Amari Cooper 9 24 8.00 107 8.92 ⬆️
CeeDee Lamb 9 22 7.33 88 7.33 ⬆️
Ezekiel Elliot 6 11 3.67 62 5.17 ⬆️
Dalton Schultz 4 15 5.00 70 5.83 ⬇️
Noah Brown 4 5 1.67 17 1.42 ⬆️

Surprisingly, all three Dallas wideouts scored 10 or more fantasy points on Tuesday night.  Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and Ceedee Lamb all saw at least seven targets and logged at least four receptions. Gallup led the team in receiving yards, as he caught seven passes for 86 yards and a score. Lamb was highly productive with six catches for 46 yards on nine targets, while Amari Cooper salvaged his outing with a garbage-time touchdown.

The Cowboys face a depleted Bengals team in Week 14, and it seems likely that at least two, if not three, of these Dallas wideouts, will have viable fantasy outings. Amari Cooper has the highest ceiling and safest floor of anyone, as he’s only scored less than 12.5 PPR points in two of his contests this year; I could easily see him having a phenomenal game. I also prefer Lamb over Gallup, as his volume is more assured given his productivity in the slot. Either way, despite all of the quarterback turmoil that has gone on in Dallas this year, you will have some startable assets from this team going forward.

Denver Broncos

Noah Fant 7 14 4.67 67 6.09 ⬆️
KJ Hamler 5 11 3.67 49 4.45 ⬆️
Tim Patrick 4 14 4.67 62 5.17 ⬆️
Jerry Jeudy 4 13 4.33 82 6.83 ⬆️
Nick Vannett 2 5 1.67 16 1.33 ⬆️
Melvin Gordon 2 2 0.67 31 2.82 ⬆️

There aren’t really any exciting pieces on this offense. Don’t get me wrong, I love the talent of Noah Fant and Jerry Jeudy; I think they can be special moving forward. However, so long as Drew Lock remains under center, their ceilings are limited. In what looked to be a shootout with Kansas City, Denver only scored 16 points; just one pass-catcher scored double-digit fantasy points, and that was on the back of two touchdowns.

Fant is startable at tight end because of the low-quality options available on most waiver wires, but starting Jerry Jeudy or Tim Patrick is a recipe for a disappointing output. You are better off avoiding this team entirely unless we see Drew Lock makes major strides in the next two weeks.

Detroit Lions

Marvin Jones 12 30 10.00 81 6.75
T.J. Hockenson 9 24 8.00 77 6.42 ⬆️
Danny Amendola 5 5 1.67 49 4.90 ⬆️
Quintez Cephus 4 8 2.67 25 2.08 ⬆️
Kerryon Johnson 3 12 4.00 22 2.00 ⬇️
Jesse James 3 6 2.00 19 1.58 ⬆️

I apologize to anyone who heeded my advice and benched Marvin Jones in this matchup. To my credit, the Chicago Bears have been one of the toughest fantasy matchups for wide receivers and Jones has been highly volatile all season. Nonetheless, Jones defied expectations and scored 25.6 PPR points. Jones saw a whopping 12 targets and caught eight balls for 116 yards and a score. Tight end T.J. Hockenson was also heavily involved, seeing nine looks and catching seven balls for 84 yards.

So long as Kenny Golladay remains sidelined, Marvin Jones and T.J. Hockenson will see a large share of the targets and receiving yardage in Detroit. On volume alone, they should put up a solid floor and be startable for fantasy. However, I do contend that D’Andre Swift could siphon away a decent chunk of the volume once he re-enters the lineup. Nonetheless, Jones and Hockenson are playable next week.

Green Bay Packers

Davante Adams 12 29 9.67 108 10.80 ⬆️
Robert Tonyan 5 15 5.00 47 3.92
Allen Lazard 4 14 4.67 31 5.17 ⬇️
Aaron Jones 3 9 3.00 48 4.80 ⬆️
EQ St. Brown 2 5 1.67 10 1.25
Marquez Valdes-Scantling 2 8 2.67 53 4.42 ⬆️

According to the FOX broadcast, Aaron Rodgers had called Matt LaFleur this offseason and said he wanted to get rid of all of the extra fluff from the offense. By that, he must’ve meant everyone but Davante Adams. Adams was once again phenomenal, catching 10 of his 12 targets for 121 yards and two touchdowns. Everyone else was once again mediocre, as Allen Lazard was the only other player to surpass 40 yards receiving and Robert Tonyan was the only other player to catch a touchdown.

Lazard’s ceiling is extremely low in this Packers offense, as you are banking on a long touchdown in order for him to put together a double-digit fantasy outing. I know it is tempting to start Aaron Rodgers’ No. 2 wideout, but Rodgers simply doesn’t need another wideout. Every receiver who isn’t Adams is “fluff.” Tonyan is still streamable at the tight end position, but don’t expect a three-touchdown performance like we saw earlier this year versus Atlanta.

Houston Texans

Keke Coutee 9 16 5.33 18 1.50 ⬆️
Brandin Cooks 8 18 6.00 86 7.17 ⬆️
Chad Hansen 7 7 2.33 7 7.00 ⬆️
Duke Johnson 6 15 5.00 31 3.10 ⬆️
Jordan Akins 3 11 3.67 31 2.58 ⬆️
David Johnson 2 2 0.67 27 3.00 ⬆️

With Will Fuller suspended for the remainder of the regular season, someone had to step up and replace his incredible production. In Week 13, two different players you likely haven’t even considered being productive stepped up and exceeded 100 receiving yards. Keke Coutee exploded onto the scene with eight catches for 141 yards off of nine targets, while Chad Hansen caught five balls for 101 yards off of seven targets. Brandin Cooks once again put up a solid floor, catching five balls for 65 yards.

It would be extremely risky to put Coutee or Hansen into your lineup; I can’t imagine either player can continue to be this productive despite the target void left in this offense by Fuller’s departure. Cooks has been an auto-start all season given his incredible consistency, but his ceiling is sky-high now that he’s the alpha wideout.

Indianapolis Colts

T.Y. Hilton 11 22 7.33 66 6.00 ⬆️
Michael Pittman 5 17 5.67 45 5.00 ⬇️
Mo Alie-Cox 5 9 3.00 34 3.09 ⬆️
Nyheim Hines 3 17 5.67 58 4.83 ⬇️
Trey Burton 3 14 4.67 41 4.56 ⬇️
Jonathan Taylor 3 7 2.33 31 2.82 ⬆️

There are few certainties in life, but T.Y. Hilton dominating against the Houston Texans is one of them. Throughout his entire career, Hilton has had the Texans’ number regardless of who is throwing him the ball. In Week 13 of the 2020 season, he ran all over them once again. Hilton saw 11 targets in this matchup,  catching eight balls for 110 yards and a touchdown. He was the only Colts pass-catcher to surpass 50 yards receiving.

Even though Hilton had his best game of the season, he’s a risky start going forward. This was just Hilton’s second game this season with more than 15 PPR points; to his credit, however, both of those games came in the last two weeks. Still, with the way Philip Rivers has distributed the ball this season, I would be extremely cautious before inserting him into your lineup for a Week 14 against Las Vegas. On the bright side, he plays Houston again in Week 15.

Jacksonville Jaguars

D.J. Chark 7 15 5.00 73 7.30 ⬆️
Collin Johnson 6 14 4.67 27 2.25 ⬇️
James Robinson 6 14 4.67 53 4.42
Tyler Eifert 6 15 5.00 47 4.27 ⬆️
James O’Shaughnessy 6 10 3.33 31 2.58 ⬆️
Laviska Shenault 3 7 2.33 46 4.60 ⬇️

Even though there were a few fantasy viable players in their Week 13 matchup against Minnesota, starting any Jaguars player not named James Robinson is a roll of the dice. D.J. Chark, who had been Jacksonville’s WR1 for most of the season, saw seven targets on Sunday. However, he only managed two receptions for 41 yards. Colin Johnson was the leading receiver for Jacksonville, catching four passes for 66 yards, while Laviska Shenault caught Mike Glennon’s lone touchdown pass off of a deflection.

I wouldn’t start any Jaguars pass-catcher headed into Week 14. Jacksonville has been competitive and Mike Glennon has played well, but he has been distributing the ball relatively evenly. You can’t predict which receiver, if any, will receive the lion’s share of the targets. I’d avoid this team’s pass-catching unit in its entirety going forward.

Kansas City Chiefs

Travis Kelce 13 31 10.33 110 9.17 ⬆️
Tyreek Hill 10 39 13.00 111 9.25 ⬇️
Sammy Watkins 6 13 4.33 42 6.00 ⬇️
Mecole Hardman 3 9 3.00 42 3.50 ⬇️
Le’Veon Bell 3 6 2.00 13 1.86 ⬆️
Demarcus Robinson 2 16 5.33 46 3.83 ⬇️

For a team that is as fantasy-friendly as Kansas City, there was a lot of disappointment in Week 14 for fantasy managers of several Chiefs players. One of the most disheartening developments was Clyde Edwards-Helaire’s game status. After being declared active prior to game-time, he played zero snaps and single-handedly lost his fantasy managers their matchups. Tyreek Hill put up a solid six catches for 58 yards, but he could’ve had more; the Chiefs did not challenge what would’ve been a long touchdown for Hill, leaving fantasy managers wondering what could’ve been.

At least Travis Kelce was elite as always, catching eight of his 13 targets for 136 yards and a touchdown. Despite many analysts, including myself, advising against selecting a tight end in the early rounds, Kelce has proven he is worth the investment and a league-winner in 2020.

Las Vegas Raiders

Darren Waller 17 31 10.33 108 9.00 ⬆️
Nelson Agholor 11 26 8.67 55 4.58 ⬆️
Hunter Renfrow 6 17 5.67 55 4.58 ⬇️
Henry Ruggs 4 10 3.33 35 3.50 ⬇️
Devontae Booker 2 7 2.33 16 1.33 ⬇️
Bryan Edwards 1 5 1.67 12 1.50 ⬇️

While most will likely focus on the near implosion of the Las Vegas Raiders against the winless New York Jets, us in the fantasy community would rather praise the incredible performance of Darren Waller. Last year’s breakout tight end put on a show against New York, corralling 13 of his 17 targets for 200 yards and two touchdowns. Nelson Agholor also saw double-digit targets, but he did not have nearly as much success, as he only managed four receptions for 38 yards. His other speedy counterpart, Henry Ruggs, was the most productive wideout on the day, as he caught three balls for 84 yards and a score.

Darren Waller rivals Travis Kelce and George Kittle for the moniker of “best tight end in the league.” So long as Waller and Derek Carr are tied at the hip, the Las Vegas tight end will continue to be a top option at his position. Waller is the only Raiders pass-catcher you can insert into your lineup with any confidence, as you are betting on a deep shot by Carr for Ruggs or Agholor to have a viable game.

Los Angeles Chargers

Keenan Allen 11 40 13.33 133 11.08 ⬆️
Austin Ekeler 9 25 8.33 42 7.00 ⬇️
Mike Williams 9 21 7.00 66 6.00 ⬆️
Jalen Guyton 7 12 4.00 37 3.08 ⬆️
Donald Parham 4 5 1.67 12 1.00 ⬆️
Kalen Ballage 4 13 4.33 22 5.50 ⬆️

Bill Belichick has a great win-loss record versus rookie quarterbacks, and he added another “W” to the win column this past Sunday against Los Angeles. The Chargers were held to zero points in their matchup with the Patriots, as Justin Herbert was held to 209 yards and threw two interceptions. Keenan Allen was suffocated by lockdown cornerback Stephon Gilmore, catching just five of his eleven targets for 58 yards. Austin Ekeler and Mike Williams each saw nine targets, but they managed just four receptions for less than 50 yards.

Chalk up this poor outing to Anthony Lynn being out-coached by Bill Belichick. There will be better days ahead for Allen, Williams, and Ekeler, so don’t get reactionary by benching them in Week 14. This Chargers offense has proven to be explosive with Herbert at the helm, so I would expect a bounceback performance by at least two of those three pass-catchers next week.

Los Angeles Rams

Robert Woods 11 38 12.67 98 8.17 ⬇️
Cooper Kupp 9 27 9.00 106 8.83 ⬆️
Gerald Everett 7 14 4.67 44 3.67 ⬆️
Tyler Higbee 6 12 4.00 43 3.91 ⬆️
Van Jefferson 5 6 2.00 21 1.75 ⬆️
Darrell Henderson 3 7 2.33 23 1.92 ⬆️

The Los Angeles Rams have had the Cardinals’ number of late, and they continued to dominate in a 38-28 victory over their division rival. The usual suspects for the Rams were Jared Goff’s go-to targets, as Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp each saw nine or more looks. Woods caught 10 of his 11 opportunities for 85 yards, while Kupp caught eight of his nine opportunities for 73 yards. Both tight ends were playable, but they cannibalized each other’s value. Gerald Everett caught six passes for 44 yards, but Tyler Higbee ended up with the touchdown.

Even with a tough matchup against New England on tap for the Rams, Woods and Kupp are auto-starts. They each receive enough volume to provide a solid floor, and they have shown that they can each put up WR1 performances in the same game. The tight ends, on the other hand, should be left on the waiver wire; they aren’t utilized nearly enough to be playable for fantasy.

Miami Dolphins

Mike Gesicki 11 21 7.00 62 5.17 ⬆️
DeVante Parker 8 31 10.33 87 7.25 ⬇️
Jakeem Grant 6 14 4.67 42 3.50 ⬆️
Lynn Bowden Jr. 4 5 1.67 6 0.60 ⬆️
Patrick Laird 3 5 1.67 9 0.75 ⬆️
Durham Smythe 2 6 2.00 17 1.42 ⬇️

Ryan Fitzpatrick’s time as the starter was short-lived, as rookie Tua Tagovailoa returned to the lineup after a one-game absence to guide the Dolphins to a 19-7 win over the Burrow-less Cincinnati Bengals. Tagovailoa had his best professional outing as a passer, completing 26 of his 39 attempts for 296 yards and a score. The rookie quarterback heavily favored his tight ends in this matchup, targeting the position on 15 of his 39 attempts. Mike Gesicki was the main beneficiary of this hyper-focused passing attack, catching nine balls for 88 yards and a touchdown.

No other Dolphin did much of note, as Devante Parker finished with just four catches for 35 yards and Jakeem Grant caught just two balls for 42 yards. With an upcoming shootout on tap against the Kansas City Chiefs, we could see Gesicki and Parker both have fantasy viable performances in Week 14.

Minnesota Vikings

Justin Jefferson 12 30 10.00 84 7.00 ⬇️
Adam Thielen 11 22 7.33 87 7.91 ⬆️
Dalvin Cook 9 18 6.00 43 3.91 ⬆️
Chad Beebe 3 10 3.33 21 1.75 ⬇️
Kyle Rudolph 2 13 4.33 37 3.08 ⬇️
Tyler Conklin 1 3 1.00 5 0.42 ⬇️

Justin Jefferson has made his mark on the NFL with one of the best rookie wide receiver seasons in recent memory. In what ended up being a tightly contested game versus the Jacksonville Jaguars, Jefferson nabbed nine receptions for 121 yards and a touchdown off of 12 targets. His veteran counterpart, Adam Thielen, also put up solid numbers in Week 13; Thielen caught eight passes for 75 yards and a score off of 11 targets.

The Vikings have some tough matchups upcoming over the course of the fantasy playoffs, but you simply can’t bench Jefferson or Thielen with the way they have played this season. Either one could finish as a top-five receiver in any given week, and leaving that upside on your bench is a recipe for disaster. Start both with confidence moving forward and just hope that Kirk Cousins doesn’t falter down the stretch.

New England Patriots

Jakobi Meyers 6 15 5.00 53 4.42
James White 4 14 4.67 46 4.60 ⬆️
Damiere Byrd 3 17 5.67 58 4.83 ⬇️
N’Keal Harry 3 14 4.67 46 4.60
Ryan Izzo 1 4 1.33 20 1.67 ⬆️
Damien Harris 1 3 1.00 5 0.42 ⬆️

You shouldn’t have been starting any New England pass-catchers since at least Week 6, as I have made it an emphasis in my articles over the past several weeks to not roster any Patriots. This offense is entirely run focused, and when they do pass, it’s entirely unpredictable. New England’s leading receiver in Week 13 was Gunner Olszewski, who caught his lone 38-yard pass from back-up Jarrett Stidham in garbage time. Cam Newton only passed for 69 yards on Sunday, and the Patriots still won 45-0.

I don’t care if your roster is completely depleted, you cannot start any Patriots pass-catcher. This offense simply doesn’t pass enough to produce any fantasy viable receivers. If you roster Damiere Byrd, James White, or Jakobi Meyers, you would be better off dropping them and letting your opponent take their chances with the New England landmine.

New Orleans Saints

Michael Thomas 11 29 9.67 47 7.83 ⬆️
Emmanuel Sanders 6 12 4.00 54 5.40 ⬆️
Tre’Quan Smith 6 7 2.33 42 3.50 ⬆️
Jared Cook 5 8 2.67 42 3.82 ⬆️
Alvin Kamara 3 6 2.00 86 7.17 ⬆️
Adam Trautman 3 5 1.67 12 1.00 ⬆️

After passing for just 78 yards last week against the quarterback-less Denver Broncos, Taysom Hill once again feasted on Atlanta’s porous defense to the tune of 232 yards passing and two touchdowns. He found his favorite receiver Michael Thomas early and often, targeting last year’s WR1 eleven times; Thomas converted his opportunity into nine catches for 105 yards and a score. Both Tre’Quan Smith and Emmanuel Sanders caught a touchdown in this matchup, but neither did much else in the receiving game.

It has been speculated that Drew Brees will make his return to action next week against Philadelphia, but surprisingly, his return doesn’t change much. You are still starting Thomas regardless of the matchup or passer throwing him the ball. Emmanuel Sanders is still a risky WR4, as he does not receive nearly as much volume as other team’s WR2s. The only thing that changes is Alvin Kamara will finally return to his incredible receiving pace, which will be a welcomed sight for his fantasy managers.

New York Giants

Evan Engram 8 17 5.67 84 7.64 ⬇️
Sterling Shepard 6 14 4.67 56 7.00 ⬇️
Golden Tate 4 13 4.33 47 4.70 ⬇️
Darius Slayton 1 3 1.00 68 5.67 ⬇️
C.J. Board 1 2 0.67 14 1.17
Kaden Smith 1 1 0.33 18 1.50 ⬆️

After starting 0-5, the Giants have gone 5-2 and currently maintain the division lead for the NFC East title. However, they’ve done so mostly through the run game and a stout defense, as Colt McCoy only passed for 105 yards in a five-point victory against Seattle. No receiver caught more than four balls or accumulated more than 35 receiving yards. Evan Engram was the Giants’ highest-scoring fantasy pass-catcher, and he managed just four receptions for 32 yards.

It’s unknown how long Daniel Jones will be sidelined, but you can’t consider starting any New York receiver until he returns. This offense runs through Wayne Gallman (that’s weird to say), so Colt McCoy will just be managing the game while he’s at the helm. You need upside to win in the fantasy playoffs, and these Giants receivers don’t have any.

New York Jets

Jamison Crowder 7 15 5.00 63 7.88 ⬆️
Breshad Perriman 4 16 5.33 40 5.00 ⬇️
Denzel Mims 3 19 6.33 37 6.17 ⬇️
Ty Johnson 2 10 3.33 12 1.00
Ryan Griffin 2 2 0.67 12 1.00 ⬆️
Braxton Berrios 2 2 0.67 40 3.33 ⬆️

I think the Week 13 meltdown versus the Las Vegas Raiders was the best-case scenario for New York Jets fans. New York lost the game, which helped them inch closer towards the No. 1 overall pick. However, they were competitive for most of the contest, which should give Jets fans some hope for the future with the current roster. However, fantasy managers shouldn’t be too happy. After several dud games from Jamison Crowder, the slot receiver finally had a fantasy viable performance with five catches for 47 yards and two scores. Denzel Mims and Breshad Perriman, on the other hand, combined for three catches for 62 yards.

You can’t reasonably put any New York Jets in your lineup for the fantasy playoffs. Don’t even think about it. If you have no options left aside from New York Jets receivers, Crowder and Mims aren’t the worst plays at the position. Still, the likelihood of seeing an above-average fantasy performance from a Jets receiver is the same as the Jets winning a game this season: virtually zero.

Philadelphia Eagles

Dallas Goedert 7 23 7.67 48 6.00 ⬇️
Greg Ward 5 12 4.00 63 5.25 ⬆️
Zach Ertz 4 4 1.33 49 7.00 ⬆️
Boston Scott 2 11 3.67 29 2.42 ⬇️
Travis Fulgham 2 11 3.67 60 5.00
John Hightower 2 3 1.00 26 2.17 ⬆️

We’ve had a changing at the guard at quarterback in Philadelphia, as Carson Wentz was benched for rookie Jalen Hurts in the third quarter of Sunday’s game against the Green Bay Packers. Neither quarterback did much through the air, as they combined for 11 completions and 188 passing yards. As a result, only four players came away with at least one reception. Dallas Goedert caught five of the 11 total completions, and he managed 66 receiving yards with his opportunity. Greg Ward caught three passes for 57 yards and a score, while Zach Ertz did little in his return with two receptions for 31 yards.

Although we saw about a half’s worth of football from Jalen Hurts, I can’t confidently say he will support more than one pass-catcher. Dallas Goedert seems to be the safest of all Eagles receivers, and given the scarcity at the tight end position, he’s a must-start. However, if you have Ward, Reagor, or Ertz on your roster, you are better off leaving them on the bench rather than risking a goose-egg in the fantasy playoffs.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Diontae Johnson 12 41 13.67 106 9.64 ⬇️
Eric Ebron 11 29 9.67 78 6.50
JuJu Smith-Schuster 10 24 8.00 94 7.83 ⬆️
Chase Claypool 4 21 7.00 78 6.50 ⬇️
James Washington 4 10 3.33 42 3.50 ⬆️
Jaylen Samuels 4 4 1.33 9 0.75 ⬆️

Name a better combination than Dionte Johnson and double-digit targets. The sophomore wideout has hit that mark eight times this year; he’s averaged over 12 targets per game over his past five contests. Despite the competition around him, Johnson consistently sees a heavy dose of targets from Ben Roethlisberger, and he’s become a top-tier fantasy wideout because of it. Juju Smith-Schuster also saw double-digit targets, but he only managed four yards per catch off of seven receptions; he has a great floor, but he’s not being utilized at all down the field.

Chase Claypool didn’t see much action in this contest, as Roethlisberger opted for his big-bodied tight end Eric Ebron in lieu of his rookie wideout. I would still feel comfortable starting Claypool every week, as three pass-catchers can be easily supported in this offense. Ben Roethlisberger threw the ball 53 times as a heavy favorite over Washington, so I can’t see him throwing it any less versus a red-hot Buffalo Bills squad.

San Francisco 49ers

Deebo Samuel 9 22 7.33 44 7.33 ⬇️
Brandon Aiyuk 9 9 3.00 66 7.33 ⬆️
Kendrick Bourne 6 11 3.67 56 5.09 ⬆️
Jeff Wilson 5 5 1.67 12 1.33 ⬆️
Jordan Reed 4 10 3.33 34 4.86 ⬇️
Ross Dwelley 2 4 1.33 18 1.50

After missing last week due to COVID, Brandon Aiyuk shined on Monday Night Football and was the best player on the field for San Francisco. Aiyuk was targeted nine times and caught five balls for 95 yards and score; even with Deebo Samuel in the lineup, he’s been a viable WR2 and viable in most of his contests this year. Speaking of Samuel, he didn’t get going until late in the fourth quarter when the game was already out of reach. After a slow start, Samuel ended the night with six receptions for 73 yards.

Even though Nick Mullens doesn’t inspire much confidence as a passer, he’s been solid in Kyle Shanahan’s system. With matchups against Washington and Dallas upcoming, Aiyuk and Samuel should both be decent FLEX options and put up a solid floor. Until George Kittle returns (which is hopefully Week 16), I wouldn’t roster any other 49er pass-catcher aside from their top two wideouts.

Seattle Seahawks

Tyler Lockett 9 22 7.33 101 8.42 ⬆️
D.K. Metcalf 8 26 8.67 98 8.17 ⬇️
Chris Carson 6 8 2.67 33 4.13 ⬆️
Will Dissly 5 6 2.00 21 1.75 ⬆️
Jacob Hollister 4 12 4.00 28 2.33 ⬇️
Carlos Hyde 3 9 3.00 16 2.29

In a surprisingly low-scoring affair for Seattle, Russell Wilson only completed 27 of his 43 attempts for 263 yards and a touchdown. Still, even when the offense struggles, D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett will get their opportunities. Metcalf had a decent outing, catching five of his eight targets for 80 yards; Lockett experienced similar output, catching just six of his nine targets for 63 yards. Neither player had an explosive game, but they had a high enough floor that they didn’t hurt you this week.

As usual, Lockett and Metcalf were the only viable Seahawks pass-catchers for fantasy. David Moore was held to one catch on two targets, while tight ends Will Dissly and Jacob Hollister combined for seven catches for 48 receiving yards. Regardless of the game-script or matchup, you shouldn’t expect anyone other than Lockett and Metcalf to be worth starting.

Tennessee Titans

Corey Davis 12 22 7.33 70 7.00 ⬆️
A.J. Brown 7 20 6.67 72 7.20 ⬆️
Anthony Firkser 7 13 4.33 47 3.92 ⬆️
Jeremy McNichols 4 6 2.00 14 1.17 ⬆️
Adam Humphries 4 4 1.33 35 3.18 ⬆️
Cameron Baston 3 5 1.67 10 0.83 ⬆️

This target distribution is much harder to diagnose than what we see in the chart above. The game-script for Tennessee had completely flipped from what we normally expect from this team, as the run-centric Titans trailed by 31 points at half-time to the Cleveland Browns. Ryan Tannehill was forced to throw the ball 45 times, which inflated the statistics of all of his pass-catchers.

Corey Davis had an explosive performance with eleven receptions for 182 yards and a touchdown on 12 targets, but he had been averaging less than seven targets per game prior to Week 13. The likelihood that he continues to be featured heavily is slim; he’s startable, but he’s no more than a back-end WR3. A.J. Brown only saw seven targets and caught four balls for 87 yards, but he had been banged up earlier in the game. If he’s healthy entering Week 14, he’s a clear auto-start at the wide receiver position.

Washington Football Team

J.D. McKissic 10 16 5.33 78 6.50 ⬆️
Logan Thomas 9 18 6.00 70 5.83 ⬆️
Cam Sims 9 11 3.67 24 2.00 ⬆️
Terry McLaurin 6 22 7.33 108 9.00 ⬇️
Steven Sims Jr. 6 10 3.33 25 2.08 ⬆️
Isaiah Wright 4 5 1.67 31 2.58 ⬆️

Despite losing arguably their best offensive weapon (Antonio Gibson) to injury on the first series of play, the Washington Football Team seemed doomed to engage in a low-scoring affair against the league’s top-ranked defense. Yet, Alex Smith continued his Comeback Player of the Year campaign by throwing the ball 46 times and throwing for nearly 300 yards in an upset victory. Surprisingly, sophomore wideout Terry McLaurin ranked fourth in targets on his own team, as J.D. McKissic, Logan Thomas, and Cam Sims all saw nine or more targets.

Thomas had his best performance of his career, catching all nine of his targets for 98 yards and a touchdown; he’s a must-start at the tight end position purely due to the floor he provides at the position. J.D. McKissic will see a solid uptick in value if Antonio Gibson were to miss extended time, especially as most of McKissic’s production comes on check-downs (last I checked, Peyton Barber can’t catch). Cam Sims had a surprising five catches for 92 yards, but he’s not worth rostering heading into the fantasy playoffs.

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Dan Ambrosino is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Dan, check out his archive and follow him @AmbrosinoNFL.

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