A high-powered offense had a welcome speedy addition return to their backfield in Week 13. Meanwhile, a wideout reunited with a familiar signal-caller in a popgun offense is an intriguing fantasy option going forward after an eye-catching performance. Unfortunately, two offenses were putrid in Week 13 and difficult to trust the rest of the way. Finally, an NFC contender is a fantasy treasure trove, and a struggling team finally pulled the plug on their non-NFL caliber quarterback.
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Fantasy Football Week 13 Takeaways
The Dolphins Have Two Fantasy-Friendly Running Backs
Miami’s backfield picked up where it left off when De’Von Achane was healthy from Week 3 through Week 5. According to Pro Football Focus (PFF), Achane played 37 snaps, ran 16 routes, carried the ball 17 times and had four targets versus 23, nine, 11 and one for Raheem Mostert. Thankfully, Jeff Wilson was a non-factor, playing only five snaps.
The game was a blowout, but Achane and Mostert were both involved and productive early in the contest. The rookie had 103 scrimmage yards, three receptions and two touchdowns, and the veteran had 51, one and one.
Mostert’s value takes a hit with Achane, but since he’s attached to a potent offense and has big-play ability, he’s firmly in the RB2 range. Achane is a slightly more valuable RB2. Gamers can confidently start both running backs.
A Familiar Connection in a New Home is Excellent for a Cleveland Pass-Catcher
Joe Flacco was Cleveland’s starter in Week 13 and could continue starting if head coach Kevin Stefanski believes he’s an upgrade on rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson. Elijah Moore benefited from the veteran quarterback getting the nod against the Rams.
The two had played together on the Jets. As Scott Barrett pointed out last week, Moore had his most success when Flacco was the quarterback.
Elijah Moore [Career]
Fantasy Points per Route Run
w/ Joe Flacco: 1.12
w/ Everyone Else: 0.25
I’ve waited my whole life for this moment
– Scott Barrett (@ScottBarrettDFB) December 1, 2023
Moore had a team-high 27.3% target share, four receptions and a team-leading 83 receiving yards against the Rams. Amari Cooper was knocked out of the game with a concussion. Yet, Moore was involved before Cooper was removed. Moore is an appealing waiver target in 12-team or larger point-per-reception (PPR) or half-PPR formats.
The Post-Canada Honeymoon is Over in Pittsburgh
The Steelers had a yardage outburst in Week 12, their first contest after firing offensive coordinator Matt Canada. Sadly, per ESPN, they had only 317 yards and 10 points against Arizona’s lousy defense. The weather was dreadful, but it was a discouraging performance.
The more significant concern was Kenny Pickett suffering an ankle injury. He’ll be sidelined for multiple weeks. Mitch Trubisky was 11 for 17 for 117 passing yards and one touchdown against the Cardinals. Nevertheless, he’s a downgrade, hurting the value of Najee Harris, Jaylen Warren, Diontae Johnson, George Pickens and Pat Freiermuth by lowering the offense’s scoring potential. Gamers with alternatives to Pittsburgh’s offensive players are encouraged to use the non-Steelers.
The Chargers are Broken Beyond Repair
Justin Herbert‘s lack of explosive weapons is too much for him to overcome. Since their shootout against the Lions in Week 10, they’ve scored 20, 10 and six points. In his two most recent games, Herbert has thrown only one touchdown and one interception. He’s no longer a must-start player.
The situation is even more dire for Austin Ekeler. LA’s lead running back has had only 50 rushing yards on 24 attempts in his last two games, with a pitiful long of six yards. Ekeler’s receiving production also wasn’t up to par. He’s had just seven receptions for 41 scoreless yards since Week 12, adding a lost fumble to his ledger to pour salt in the wound. Ekeler has a get-right matchup against the Broncos in Week 14 but isn’t a no-brainer starter for gamers with viable alternatives.
The Lions are a Fantasy Carnival
Veteran fantasy pundit Scott Pianowski coined the term fantasy carnival to describe a team with a high-octane offense and a defense incapable of stopping a runny nose with a tissue. The current Lions are the epitome of a fantasy carnival.
First, Jahmyr Gibbs and David Montgomery are a talented one-two punch in the backfield. Second, Amon-Ra St. Brown is an elite wideout, Sam LaPorta is a top-shelf tight end and Jameson Williams is a burner who can stress defenses deep, opening up the underneath areas for Gibbs, Montgomery, ARSB and LaPorta.
Jared Goff is an inconsistent quarterback but benefits from his treasure trove of weapons. Detroit’s offensive weapons will be pushed weekly because their defense has collapsed. Since Week 10, the Lions have coughed up 38, 26, 29 and 28 points to the Chargers, Bears, Packers and Saints. So, they haven’t played a murderer’s row of offenses. The Lions are a shootout waiting to happen. They have the Bears, Broncos, Vikings and Cowboys on the docket for the remainder of the fantasy season.
The QB Carousel Was Fired Up in New Jersey
Robert Saleh pulled the plug on Tim Boyle, benching him at the beginning of the fourth quarter in a one-score game in favor of Trevor Siemian. Unsurprising, Gang Green’s offense was still unserious. Siemian completed only five of 13 passes for 66 yards. The veteran was also sacked three times.
Boyle isn’t an NFL-caliber quarterback, but Siemian didn’t provide any reason he belongs in the NFL, either. The Jets don’t have a quarterback capable of leading the team to points or even consistently moving the chains, destroying the fantasy value for Breece Hall and Garrett Wilson. The talented sophomores should be started only on injury-riddled rosters or in 14-team or larger leagues.