This year has been so strange and taxing, it’s hard to judge the passing of time. This seems like an awfully fast fantasy football season, doesn’t it?
I don’t know if my perception is off, but the reality is that we are here. This is it. Week 13…the final showdown of the fantasy football regular season.
Right off the top, I’m gonna remind you to pay extremely close attention to detail.
Quick example: In Week 12, I was so concerned about the Pittsburgh D that I forgot to pay attention to Tim Patrick in my Flex in a 14-team league. I couldn’t decide if I felt the Steelers’ game would get canceled due to COVID – ultimately I went with the Niners, who did quite well – and I forgot to swap Patrick for Curtis Samuel, Antonio Brown or Cam Akers. (Of course, the Broncos had no QB, so Patrick finished with zero points.)
That almost cost me big time. Almost blew up my entire season, actually.
So yeah – now more than ever – check every single spot in your lineup. Double and triple-check a half-hour before kickoff. Between COVID, injuries, postponements and cancellations, there is more to monitor than ever before. Leave no stone unturned. Consider every angle and possibility.
Again, similarly to last week, a number of coaches in your league have probably given up. The waiver wire and free agent pickups should be there for the taking. This is the time to strike…
So let’s make the fantasy football playoffs!
Potential Pickups for Week 13
(Always for Superflex or 2 QB)
Colt McCoy, Giants: Bright and early yesterday, I received a text from my Giants’ fan friend saying “the Giants are preparing for Daniel Jones to miss some time.” Disappointing but intriguing, that opens the door for the veteran McCoy, who is known for rallying the troops and getting his teammates behind him. Unfortunately, I don’t see prolific offense coming here, as McCoy has struggled with injuries and inconsistent performance in the past. He’s certainly an emergency option in Superflex, but it isn’t wise to expect him to light up the scoreboard.
Jalen Hurts, Eagles: The Carson Wentz Embarrassment Tour continues. On national TV last night, Wentz – once again – looked completely lost, tossing away twenty incomplete passes en route to another ugly loss for his Philadelphia Eagles. Alabama fans tell me Hurts isn’t ready, but the Eagles are 3-7-1 and have now dropped to 3rd place in the sloppy NFC East. It really can’t get much worse. Continue to stash Hurts in Superflex and 2 QB leagues.
Devontae Booker, Raiders: Josh Jacobs now has a “chance” to play on Sunday vs. my lowly Jets, which is quite the 180 from yesterday’s reports which indicated that Jacobs’ ankle injury is “worse than anticipated.” Whether or not you’re a subscriber to “Fake News,” there’s a heck of a lot of it out there in the fantasy community. Booker would have been the runaway pickup of the week, but now his potential value is a bit more tenuous. Clearly he’s still worth a grab, but we may only get one full game out of him.
Frank Gore, Cam Akers & Jordan Wilkins: I’ve written about all three backs in the past, so you pretty much know the deal: La’Mical Perine is on IR, so Adam Gase is riding Gore as anticipated; Akers seems to have fresher legs than Darrell Henderson right now and Jonathan Taylor’s status on the COVID list needs to be monitored. Gore actually gets the most touches here, but Akers is the upside play of the trio.
Ito Smith, Falcons: Brian Hill was the far more popular midweek pickup last week, but shifty Smith actually outplayed him in the absence of veteran Todd Gurley. Smith racked up about 15 fantasy points in PPR, and we already know he’s a more dangerous pass catcher than Hill. I’m tempted to write, “The Falcons are out of the race, so they won’t rush Gurley back,” but the reality is that 4-7 isn’t the end of the line for Atlanta. They are still holding out hope for a late playoff run.
Keke Coutee, Texans: I mentioned him as a potential stash last week, but this week his value climbs with the news of Will Fuller’s PED suspension. Obviously Brandin Cooks will run as Deshaun Watson’s WR1, but there aren’t many others in Keke’s way. I don’t have a ton of personal confidence in him, but the opportunities should be there nonetheless.
Gabriel Davis, Bills: Has been an intriguing rookie throughout the season, but things got even juicier this weekend when he was on the field for 97% of Buffalo’s offensive snaps. Not surprisingly, Davis’ role is expanding with John Brown on IR. I like Davis’ nose for paydirt; he finds a way to make impact plays in the passing game.
Collin Johnson, Jaguars: Ummm… who? Yeah, I don’t know everybody, and of course I’ve never claimed to. The youngster went for 96 yards and a touchdown in the absence of both D.J. Chark and Chris Conley – I’d say that’s awfully impressive with shaky Mike Glennon under center. It just goes to show ya…some of these “unknowns” simply need an opportunity to play, then they can instantly produce.
Laviska Shenault, also Jaguars: I’ve seen the rookie dropped in a handful of my leagues. Just continue to keep an eye on the injury statuses of Chark and Conley. Jacksonville does its best to find creative ways to get the rock into Shenault’s hands in space; worth a look in 14-team leagues at this point.
Week 13 DFS Plays
Safe: Kirk Cousins $6,400 vs. JAX
Sleeper: Mitchell Trubisky $5,400 vs. DET
Perfect Storm: Derek Carr $5,800 @ NYJ
Summary: After a dreadful performance against the scarcely-mentioned Falcons’ D, ya gotta like Carr against my hapless Jets this week.
Safe: Alvin Kamara $7,000 @ ATL
Sleeper: Brian Hill $4,800 vs. NO
Perfect Storm: Chris Carson $6,300 vs. NYG
Summary: You know how it goes… everyone will switch to Ito Smith this week, then Hill will outperform him.
Safe: Justin Jefferson $6,900 vs. JAX
Sleeper: Michael Pittman Jr. $4,900 @ HOU
Perfect Storm: DeVante Parker $6,400 vs. CIN
Summary: Parker is an entirely different player with FitzMagic under center for the Dolphins. We have to love this matchup vs. the deflated Bengals.
Safe: Hunter Henry $4,800 vs. NE
Sleeper: Robert Tonyan $3,700 vs. PHI
Perfect Storm: Dallas Goedert $4,300 @ GB
Summary: We know what Belichick does – he’s taking Keenan Allen out of this game. That leaves Henry with more looks and better opportunities.
Hope you make the playoffs!
John Frascella is a published sports author and fantasy football analyst with over two decades of experience. Follow him on Twitter @LegendSports7 for all things fantasy football.