15 Fantasy Football numbers to know for Week 13: Can Martellus Bennett step up in Rob Gronkowski's absence?
Need some hard numbers to back your Fantasy lineup decisions? Chris Towers takes a look inside the stats going into Week 13.
Keeping up with 13 games in a week is a lot for some Fantasy players to handle, so here is one key number to know for every game in the NFL in Week 13.
(Numbers from ProFootballFocus.com)
Passer rating when Xavier Rhodes is targeted
Rhodes ranks among the league leaders in interceptions, and it shouldn't be much of a surprise that he has held quarterbacks to the lowest passer rating in the league as a result. He has allowed just 46.2 percent of the passes thrown his way in coverage to be caught, while allowing the 11th-fewest receiving yards per coverage snap overall at the cornerback position. Dez Bryant could be in for a long day, especially when you add in the fact that Terence Newman is allowing just a 61.1 passer rating, with the league's best yards per coverage snap mark.
Bryant has been one of the three or four best receivers in football since returning from his injury, but it's going to be a lot to ask of him to keep rolling against this kind of matchup.
Tyreek Hill's snap percentage over the last three weeks
Hill has been a hot topic over the last few days, after his big three-touchdown performance in Week 12. There was a lot about that performance that was flukey, but the fact remains that Hill has an increased role in the Chiefs' offense, having played a season-high 57 snaps Sunday.
He still isn't playing a full-time role -- he was on the sidelines for 32.5 percent of the team's snaps -- but he has been seeing plenty of targets, and that trend could continue in Week 13 with the Chiefs likely to be chasing points.
Missed tackles forced by Golden Tate
Sometimes, it seems like Tate might have the most difficult job in the NFL, because so much of his yardage has had to come after the catch this season. Among the top-50 wide receivers in targets this season, just three have picked up more than half of their yards after the catch; Tate leads the pack at a whopping 67.6 percent.
He has led the league in missed tackles forced among wide receivers in three of the past four seasons -- he was second in 2014 -- and has a great matchup against the Saints on the way this week. Tate is the hardest working man in the NFL, and that hard work may pay off.
Martellus Bennett's combined grade over the last two games
Bennett ranks as one of the biggest disappointments in Fantasy over the past two games, as he has barely been able to make an impact with Rob Gronkowski largely a non-factor for the Patriots. Gronkowski will miss the remainder of the regular season after undergoing back surgery, but Bennett's track record with Gronkowski either sidelined or limited doesn't exactly inspire confidence.
Gronkowski has played 14 or fewer snaps in six games this season, and Bennett has had 25 yards or fewer in four of them. The silver lining is that he topped 100 yards in each of the other two. Bennett's recent slide is likely attributable to some degree to a lingering ankle injury, but the overall track record suggests he may be just another boom-or-bust tight end, albeit one with more upside than your typical one in that offense.
Paxton Lynch's average depth of target
The Broncos probably had to pass more than they wanted with Lynch in his two appearances earlier in the season, but they didn't exactly keep the degree of difficulty low for him. He was looking deep, which could have been a function of chasing points against the Falcons in Week 5, too, but it's at least a sign that the Broncos won't keep the reins on Lynch if he has to step in for an injured Trevor Siemian.
Demaryius Thomas had just 49 yards in Lynch's previous start, however he did haul in a touchdown, while Emmanuel Sanders had seven catches for 80 yards in that same start. Lynch is still very much a work in progress, but a matchup against the Jaguars could at least help keep Sanders and Thomas Fantasy relevant.
Texans' pressure rate as a team
Back in 2014, Aaron Rodgers sported the third-best passer rating in the league when pressured, at 91.3. He had nine touchdowns to just one interception when the defense pressured him, a testament to his well-documented ability to make the best out of a bad situation at any time. However, he hasn't displayed that same ability over the past few seasons with just a 70.4 passer rating when pressured this season. That isn't terrible -- he has five touchdowns to one interception -- but it's pretty middling, and a sign that if you can get to Rodgers, you can make him look mortal.
The Texans miss J.J. Watt for about a thousand different reasons, but Whitney Mercilus and Jadaveon Clowney have kept the pressure on opposing quarterbacks well enough. It won't be enough to make Rodgers a bad start for Fantasy, but it presents some risk if they can get to him.
Wendell Smallwood's grade for the season
Smallwood was a pretty big disappointment in Week 12, logging just 22 snaps for the Eagles despite the absence of Ryan Mathews. Darren Sproles still led the team in snaps at running back, despite having just three carries last week. Smallwood has run the ball well enough this season, with a 4.4 yards per carry mark, but he rates out as the Eagles' worst pass-catching back and their worst blocker, which helps explain why his role was still relatively limited.
Even if Mathews remains out, it's hard to see Smallwood being more than a role player, which obviously limits his Fantasy appeal moving forward.
Kenneth Dixon's elusive rating
Dixon started to get more playing time than Terrance West last week, and it wouldn't be a surprise if that trend continued moving forward. With the exception of a few solid performances early in the season, West has remained as underwhelming as ever, leaving the door open for the much more dynamic rookie.
Dixon has shown an ability to create for himself forcing more than half as many missed tackles as West, despite nearly one-quarter as many rushing attempts. Throw in Dixon's apparent advantage as a pass-catcher -- nine receptions over the last three games, to five for West -- and it wouldn't be a surprise if we saw him run away with this job down the stretch.
49ers at Bears
Yards dropped by Bears receivers in Week 12
Matt Barkley was surprisingly decent last week, passing for 316 yards and three touchdowns against the Titans in his first career start. The overall efficiency numbers aren't particularly impressive, however 74.4 percent of his passes were graded as accurate by PFF. The receivers just didn't give him any help.
In fact, he had 12 passes dropped, the most any quarterback has had since 2006, according to PFF's tracking. That added up to 176 yards lost for Barkley; to put that in context, Matthew Stafford has had the most yards lost by drops all season, at 268. Barkley got close in one game. The Bears aren't a particularly talented receiving corps, but with just slightly better play, Barkley could have had an even bigger game. You won't want to rely on him, but at least after one week, there are signs that this Bears' offense won't be a total pushover.
Average depth of target for Sammy Watkins in Week 12
Watkins had a scare Wednesday, when he sat out practice with soreness in his troublesome foot, but he was back on the field Thursday, a good sign for his chances of staying on the field moving forward. The Bills had him on the field for just 25 snaps, and though it isn't clear if that number is likely to increase or how much it might, they at least made his time on the field count.
Tyrod Taylor was one of the best deep passers in the game last season, and Watkins' ability to make plays down the field played a big part in that. That aspect of their offense has been missing this season, but Watkins' return gave Taylor his best weapon back. If this one turns into a shootout -- a standard for the Raiders this season -- and Watkins is healthy, he and Taylor could be in for a big game.
Giants' pass coverage grade this season
The Giants spent a ton of money this offseason to beef up their defense, and it seems to have worked. They grade out as the sixth-best unit in the league by PFF, and their pass coverage grade tops the field. They were the fourth-worst in the league a year ago, so this is an incredible turnaround, but they will be tested in Week 12.
The Steelers' offense is always dangerous, but Ben Roethlisberger has been on a different level at home over the past few seasons. As good as this Giants' secondary has been this season, it's a mighty tall task to ask them to slow the Steelers down at home. Don't expect it.
Completion percentage on deep passes vs. Arizona
For a long time, the book on Kirk Cousins was that he was largely avoiding risks, making easy throws and allowing his receivers to make plays with the ball in their hands, but Washington has grown more bold of late. Cousins has probably played at a higher level over the past two weeks than any other stretch of his career, and success on the deep ball has been a big part of that success.
For the first 10 games of the season, Cousins had just a 71.9 passer rating on deep passes, with only 34.5 percent of his throws 20-plus yards down the field on target. He has connected on three of his six deep attempts over the last two games for two touchdowns, with his average depth of target over the last two weeks increasing from 9.0 yards down the field to 9.8 in the first 10 weeks.
Cousins could face a tougher test this week against the Cardinals, however Patrick Peterson's iffy health could mean another big game for Cousins.
Buccaneers run defense grade
The Buccaneers managed to dominate the Seahawks on the line last week, in arguably their best performance of the season. That isn't saying much, of course, as the Buccaneers grade out as the second-worst rush defense in the NFL this season. Melvin Gordon has played much better ball over his past four games, averaging 4.7 yards per carry and 159.3 yards from scrimmage, so this could be another opportunity for him to put together a good game.
Of course, it would also be nice if Gordon could get into the end zone, something he hasn't done on his past 61 touches entering play Sunday. He scored once every 17.5 touches before that.
Panthers at Seahawks
Russell Wilson's passer rating under pressure in Week 12
The Buccaneers absolutely dominated the line of scrimmage last week, and they ended Wilson's string of solid performances as a result. He was pressured on 53.3 percent of his dropbacks while completing just four of 154 passes for 41 yards and an interception on those dropbacks.
It did lead to his best rushing game of the season, but that's little consolation for Fantasy players whose lineups were sunk by Wilson's struggles. The Panthers are still strong in the front seven, so if the Seahawks' line doesn't play better, it could be another long day for Wilson.
Colts rank in pass rush and coverage grade
The idea of starting Ryan Fitzpatrick after the way he has played this season has to make Fantasy players nauseous, but he actually wasn't terrible last week, scoring 22 Fantasy points. That is just one game amid an absolutely disastrous season, but it's something to build on heading into what may be the best matchup possible.
The Colts have been predictably terrible on defense, rating out as by far the worst defensive unit in the league in addition to ranking 28th in points allowed. Fitzpatrick will likely need to chase points to try to keep up with Andrew Luck and the Colts' offense, and if you're absolutely desperate for quarterback help -- or are wondering if you should start Brandon Marshall or Quincy Enunwa -- don't be shocked if the Jets put together their best offensive showing of the season this week.
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