Quick Fantasy Hits for Week 13
Could DeAngelo WIlliams be a solid play this week? Is Josh Gordon actually improving? And which kicker could be a plug-and-play the rest of the season? Nando Di Fino dinves into this more in his Quick Fantasy Hits for Week 13.
As we wade into a 13th week of action, there are some nuggets that are too in-depth for the podcast, too long for Twitter and a little too short for the full column. Enjoy these Week 13 Quick Hits.
We're going to try something new this week and go through every game for Week 13. Impact players, sleepers, rookies, Mark Sanchez and -- yes -- even kickers are found below for your Fantasy pleasure. Hopefully something in this rat-a-tat-tat of information can help you get into your league's playoffs.
New Orleans at Atlanta (Thursday night)
Your leading rusher for the Saints this season? Pierre Thomas with 341 yards. But the player with the most attempts is Mark Ingram , who has 92 carries and just 339 yards to show for it. In the last three weeks, Ingram has averaged about 13 carries for 54 yards. He's scored one touchdown in that span. Ingram has gotten 12 or more carries three times this season and he's scored a touchdown twice. In a way, he's trending in the right direction: he's had double-digit carries the last three games and had 16 (for 67 yards) the last time the Saints and Falcons squared off. But the carries have gone down each of the last three games, from 16 to 12 to 10.
Houston at Tennessee
Houston's run defense has been, overall, pretty tough, with the Texans allowing the second-fewest Fantasy points to running backs this season. In fact, all season long they've allowed just one running back to hit the 100-yard mark: Chris Johnson . While this may bode well for Johnson owners, it's tempered by the fact that Jake Locker 's presence seems to hurt Johnson's value. When Locker is the QB, Johnson averages 7.2 Fantasy points per game. When Matt Hasselbeck was the quarterback, Johnson averaged 14. There could be other factors -- Johnson could have started the season slow and it just happened to coincide with Locker's being healthy at the time -- but it shouldn't be enough to not start Johnson in most leagues.
New England at Miami
For all the attention paid to Tom Brady and the New England passing attack (the team is fourth in passing yards this season), the New England rushing game is equally impressive, sitting at second in the NFL in attempts and sixth in yards. With a 61-yard rushing performance against the Dolphins, Stevan Ridley -- who has more than 200 attempts this season -- will hit the 1,000-yard mark for the season. But don't bank on him turning in a score. While the Dolphins have given up some yards on the ground lately (103.3 yards per game in their last six), they have allowed three rushing touchdowns all season to running backs, including just one in the last 10 games.
Jacksonville at Buffalo
For as impressive as Steve Johnson 's 106-yard performance was in Week 12, he only caught six passes on 15 targets against the Colts. On one hand, Johnson owners have to be excited at the prospect of 15 targets -- and nine in each of the two previous weeks -- but failing to convert nine of them is the continuation of a season-long problem that has haunted Johnson. He currently ranks fifth in the number of targets not converted into receptions (behind Reggie Wayne , Larry Fitzgerald , Dwayne Bowe and Calvin Johnson .
Indianapolis at Detroit
The Lions are first in passing attempts and yards, but rank only 16th in passing touchdowns. On the flip side to that, Detroit is 26th in rushing attempts and 24th in rushing yards, but fourth in rushing touchdowns. This has resulted in a weird disconnect, where Calvin Johnson has 1,257 total yards from scrimmage and four touchdowns while Mikel Leshoure has 688 total yards but has scored six times. This philosophy is a major departure from last season, when the Lions were first in pass attempts and third in passing TDs, while finishing 31st in rushing attempts and 23rd in rushing TDs.
Carolina at Kansas City
Over 91 career games, DeAngelo Williams has gotten 15 or more carries 32 times. He has averaged 92.8 rushing yards and scored 27 rushing touchdowns, nearly one per game. In 18 games with 18 or more carries, Williams has averaged 111.8 yards per game and scored 20 rushing touchdowns. And in 10 games with 20 or more carries, Williams has averaged 125.7 yards and 16 carries, scoring 12 rushing TDs. Of course, he's only played two of those 32 games with rushing threat Cam Newton as his quarterback. In four of their last five games, the Chiefs have faced an opposing running back who got 19 or more carries. They have faced an average of 28 carries from opposing running backs in that span.
Arizona at N.Y. Jets
It's not exactly a defense of Mark Sanchez , but it's at least prudent to point out that the 2011 Jets receiving leaders were: Dustin Keller (815 yards, five TDs), Santonio Holmes (654 yards, eight TDs), Plaxico Burress (612 yards, eight TDs) and LaDainian Tomlinson (449 yards, two TDs). Sanchez finished with 3,474 passing yards and 26 touchdowns. Keller has started just four games this year, Holmes was injured in the fourth game, the team jettisoned Burress and Tomlinson retired. The fourth-leading receiver this year? Chaz Schilens . For all the scorn heaped on him, Sanchez is still on pace for 3,402 passing yards, but just 17 touchdowns. There's no doubt it's been ugly, but if Sanchez had, say, Vincent Jackson to throw to, things would be looking decidedly better.
San Francisco at St. Louis
Over the last three games, the running back with the most rushing yards in the Steven Jackson , with 321. Jamaal Charles and Arian Foster are tied for second, with 294.
Minnesota at Green Bay
The Vikings have allowed seven total touchdowns to running backs so far this season. All of them have come in their last six games, with five coming in their last four. After a brilliant start to the season against running backs the Vikings have faltered a bit, giving up an average of 22 Fantasy points to opposing running backs over their last five games.
Seattle at Chicago
In the last three weeks, Russell Wilson has slowly -- and somewhat quietly -- been increasing his rushing yards. In Week 9, he ran nine times for 27 yards. In Week 10, Wilson ran seven times for a career-high 34 yards. And in Week 12, Wilson re-set his career high with five rushes for 38 yards. Wilson finished his college career with an average of 355 rushing yards per season, a mark he is nearing in his rookie season (he has 227 right now). Over the last three games, Wilson is tied for third in rushing yards among all QBs, with Cam Newton . If this turns out to be a late-season strategy by the Seahawks -- have Wilson run more -- those two or three points per game he regularly gets from the ground could be a nice boost in closer playoff games.
Tampa Bay at Denver
For the season, Eric Decker is averaging five receptions and 62 yards, with about 10 Fantasy points per game. But in his last three games, Decker has averaged just five points per game, with an average of 34 receiving yards and one total touchdown. Lurking in the shadows laughing? Brandon Stokley , who has averaged 6.4 Fantasy points per game this season, but 9.3 in his last three games. He's averaged 57 yards per game over his last three to Decker's 34, as well. Two of Stokley's best seasons came while he was with Peyton Manning and the Colts -- in 2004, he had 1,077 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns. And his 449 yards so far this season already qualify as his fifth-highest total in a 14-year career.
Cincinnati at San Diego
Before the Week 8 bye, Mohamed Sanu had a total of 27 receiving yards. In the four weeks since the bye, Sanu has eclipsed that total in three of his four games. His value may be tied to touchdowns, as he has caught four in the last three games, but Andy Dalton targeted Sanu nine times in Week 12, up fom an average of five in the previous two weeks.
Cleveland at Oakland
Coming off the Week 10 bye, Josh Gordon has two consecutive seven-target games. And his games of five (Week 11) and four (Week 12) receptions represent his two highest totals so far this year.
Pittsburgh at Baltimore
Justin Tucker is currently the fifth-best kicker in Fantasy leagues, with 109 Fantasy points so far this season. He's missed just two of his 24 attempts and has a long of 56 yards. In the four games since Baltimore's bye, Tucker has scored in double digits twice. And here's the best part about him: while the rest of his team seems to have some heavy home/road splits, Tucker is dead even at home and on the road, averaging 10 Fantasy points in both scenarios
Philadelphia at Dallas
Fun Fact: Nick Foles fumbled five times in November, despite starting just two games. He has two more fumbles than the group of eight players tied for second, with three fumbles (led by Philip Rivers and Chris Rainey . Other monthly leaders this year? Mark Sanchez fumbled five times in October and Michael Vick and Robert Griffin III fumbled five times each in September. The season leaders in fumbles are Vick and Sachez, with 10 each.
N.Y. Giants at Washington
Alfred Morris ranks fifth among all running backs in rushing yards, with 982. But, of the top 30, Morris has the fewest receiving yards, with 42. The next--lowest total? Stevan Ridley with 61.
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