Well the Fantasy Football regular season has come to an end for most leagues. It really is amazing how fast it goes by. It only seems like last week that we were debating whether or not we should draft a running back or wide receiver in the first round. Hopefully, you made the playoffs and your season will continue but if not, there is always DFS sports to play. With that in mind, let us look at what we learned from Week 13.
We were all scratching our heads trying to figure out why Eddie Lacy was benched for most of the game versus the Lions. Did he re-injure his ankle? Was it poor performance? No. Apparently Lacy missed curfew the night before the game and was punished with a lack of playing time. This was a killer for Fantasy owners as Lacy had just gotten back into their good graces by rushing for at least 100 yards in back to back games. Having this dud in what may have been a do or die game was unfortunate to say the least. Hopefully, that is the extent of his punishment and he gets back his starting job versus the Cowboys in Week 14.
The Giants’ offense is literally a one-man show. It’s all about Odell Beckham. He’s an absolute monster, and he proved it again Sunday with six receptions for 149 yards and a touchdown. The rest of the receivers had 148 yards with the next leading receiver being TE Will Tye. I’m sure you have heard of him. Reuben Randle had two receptions. Hakeem Nicks had one and Shane Vereen had two. The Giants miss Victor Cruz more than they might want to admit. With a running game that is non-existent, you can look for defenses to do all they can to take Beckham away from Eli Manning and force someone else on that offense to try and beat them.
Could the Cardinals be an even more dangerous team now that David Johnson is the starting running back? I believe so. There is no doubt that Chris Johnson was one of the best free agent signings of the offseason, but he also was looking like the season had started to wear him down. Over his last three games, he had only rushed for 138 yards on 55 carries; those are pretty ugly numbers when you consider how lethal the passing game has been, and that defenses had to be more focused on stopping the aerial attack. David Johnson may just be what this team needs down the stretch. He will be a low end RB1 from here on out.
The Seahawks certainly seem to be hitting their stride at the right time. A month ago, we moved Russell Wilson out of the Top 10 QBs, and now, over his past three games he has 12 TDs (11 passing, one rushing). He’s back and now a must-start once again. They lose Marshawn Lynch to a sports hernia. No problem. Undrafted rookie Thomas Rawls is there to save the day and has 391 yards rushing and three TDs in his last three games. Jimmy Graham is lost for the year (torn patellar). They can’t really replace him at TE, but all of a sudden Doug Baldwin looks like a strong WR2, as he has 11 receptions for 239 yards and five TDs in his last two games. The Seahawks may be in line for a strong finish.
LeSean McCoy had another good game Sunday versus the Texans, but he also had to leave the game for a bit to get checked out for a concussion. McCoy passed the concussion test but this is always the worry for him; he gets dinged up quite a bit. As a Fantasy owner, you are almost forced to hold your breath every time he carries the ball. This is also why his owners shouldn’t complain too much about Karlos Williams being his caddy; it’s really not a bad thing to give McCoy a breather every now and again.
Sure, the Dolphins won the game, but what happened to all the Fantasy goodies we were expecting from their passing offense? The Ravens had been horrendous against the pass, yet Ryan Tannehill was only 9 for 19 for, wait for it…86 yards. What does this say about his progress? Jarvis Landry only had two receptions for five yards. Are you kidding me. The only receiver to have a decent day was rookie DeVante Parker, who had three receptions and a TD. Yippee. Well, at least the running game got going again; but how can we trust anyone in the passing game even with another good matchup against the Giants next Monday?
I know Fantasy owners were disappointed about Tyler Eifert not starting this week but you really can’t blame the Bengals. They knew they would be able to defeat the Browns without Eifert. They are playing the long game here; better to be safe than sorry. We also found out why Jeremy Hill wasn’t on the injury report this week despite suffering an ankle injury last week. He looked just fine rushing for 98 yards and a touchdown. More importantly to Fantasy owners is that he out-touched Giovani Bernard 22-6. He may once again be the starting back.
How many receivers would you start over Allen Robinson right now? I’ll give you Beckham, Antonio Brown, and Julio Jones, but that may just be it. He’s certainly Top 10 for me for the rest of this season and a must-start, but I’m more curious to see where he will be taken next season. With Blake Bortles looking like he will become an above average NFL starter, a good running game with T.J. Yeldon, and solid complementary receivers in Allen Hurns and Julius Thomas, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if Robinson ends up a Top 5 WR next season.
Just when C.J. Anderson reels me in, he only gets seven carries in what looked like a great matchup versus the Chargers. Anderson ended up suffering an ankle injury, supposedly minor, and was held out for the rest of the game as a precaution. Just imagine if you owned Lacy and Anderson and needed a win this week. Yeah, that would hurt. Anderson was averaging six yards a carry before the injury, so nothing should change as far as his starting status once healthy.
Entering the game Sunday, we were wondering how the timeshare would work between Charcandrick West and Spencer Ware. Well, Fantasy owners can’t be too thrilled, as it was pretty much an even split, with West getting 11 touches and Ware nine. Now, this may have been because neither one truly stood out above the other, which forced Andy Reid’s hand. On the other hand, perhaps it’s because Reid was telling the truth earlier in the week when he stated that it would be a committee.
Well, I couldn’t have been more wrong about the Saints. I didn’t want to start anyone on New Orleans. They were playing the undefeated Panthers, a team with a very good defense, and the Saints didn’t look all that interested in playing football the past couple of weeks. Well, they may have lost the game, but Drew Brees, Brandin Cooks, and Mark Ingram all produced good Fantasy days. This is why it’s dangerous to sit your studs, especially when those studs are on the Saints and playing in that dome.
Why are we really that surprised that the Eagles beat the Patriots? New England is not the same team that they were earlier this season. How can they be? They are playing without three of their top four offensive weapons. Tom Brady can only cover up so many deficiencies. I’m not saying you shouldn’t start Brady. He is still putting up good numbers. However, when he does face a good defense, I just might be tempted to go in a different direction, at least until Rob Gronkowski returns.
What did we learn about Matt Hasselbeck last night? We learned that when Andrew Luck returns from his kidney injury (Week 15?), he would once again be the starting QB. There was actually some talk this week that Hasselbeck should keep the job for the remainder of the season. Hasselbeck is a very good backup QB, even at 40 years of age. However, against good to great offensive teams, Indy will need Luck and all he brings to the table to keep up with the points his defense will allow. Game management can only go so far.
As always feel free to follow me on Twitter and ask any questions you, @georgekurtz.