Fantasy Feedback: Week 13

  • The Browns offense is awful. It’s even more awful when they fall behind like they did on Sunday against Baltimore. It’s more awful still when they seem to have no offensive game plan. Peyton Hillis started the day with 40 yards on his first eight carries. He ended it with 45 yards on 12 carries. Sure, he caught a 52-yard pass, thanks to a broken coverage, but Cleveland went away from what was working. Add to it that Chris Ogbonnaya only had one carry and Montario Hardesty had none, and it’s a head scratcher what the Browns were doing. If you haven’t already (and we hope you have), ditch any Browns offensive players heading into the fantasy playoffs.
  • Whatever is going on with Braylon Edwards, could also be happening to Miles Austin in Dallas. Since Austin’s injury, Laurent Robinson has filled in splendidly, including four catches for 72 yards on Sunday. Without knowing how close Austin is to returning, Robinson should continue to be in fantasy lineups, regardless of the matchup.
  • It might be frustrating at times to watch, but if you have one of Green Bay’s top four pass-catchers (Jermichael Finley, Jordy Nelson, Greg Jennings or Donald Driver), you have to believe Aaron Rodgers will find them eventually. Each of them scored at least 9.40 fantasy points Sunday and as long as the Packers running game keeps sputtering like car low on gas, Green Bay will keep spreading the ball around.
  • Braylon Edwards is steadily losing his status as a go-to receiver for the 49ers. In addition to his drops when he’s on the field, his inability to stay healthy has opened up opportunities for Ted Ginn and Kyle Williams, both of whom have produced solid games this week.
  • If you needed more proof that the Packers run game is non-existent, Green Bay’s halftime rushing leader is Aaron Rodgers, who has 26 yards on three carries. After James Starks was carted off with an injury, Ryan Grant becomes the RB of choice for the Pack, but there’s no reason to believe he can produce.
Observations from the early games
  • Toby Gerhart provided some punch for the Vikings’ run game without Adrian Peterson, running for 91 yards while catching eight passes for 42 yards. As long as Peterson is out, Gerhart is worth a look as a flex player in deep leagues.
  • Sure, the Colts offense isn’t worth much in fantasy footall (or real football, for that matter), but Donald Brown is starting to prove valuable. His 41 rushing yards weren’t particularly special, but he did find the end zone for the second straight week and looks like he’s taking over the No. 1 RB job from Joseph Addai. The problem is the next three weeks, the Colts have terrible RB matchups. So it’s probably best that you avoid him.
  • Suddenly, the Bears offense is full of question marks after Matt Forte went down in the first quarter with a knee injury. While it’s too early to know the severity of the injury, no Forte plus Caleb Hanie at quarterback makes most of the Bears offensive players very iffy. The only guy with any real value is RB Marion Barber, who ran for 44 yards in a relief effort.
  • Christian Ponder is doing good things against the recently resurgent Broncos’ defense. The Vikings QB has thrown for 294 yards and two TDs through three quarters.
  • Tim Tebow is diversifying in the passing game. His usual target, Eric Decker, has two catches for 25 yards. But Tebow has also gotten Demaryius Thomas involved with two catches for 62 yards and two TDs. If he starts spreading the ball around, he becomes that much more dangerous.
  • After weeks of waiting, the Bills are finally getting production from C.J. Spiller. The young RB has rushed for 79 yards and a touchdown in the first half. Over the next three weeks, Buffalo’s matchups are a mixed bag, so don’t rush to plug Spiller into your lineup just yet.
  • T.J. Yates is performing pretty well in the first half, completing eight of his first 13 passes for 135 yards and a TD. Doesn’t hurt that he knows to find Andre Johnson.
  • Chris Johnson is re-affirming his status as a matchup-based start. His first four carries against Buffalo’s 21st-ranked run defense have gone for 64 yards and a touchdown.
  • It looks like #shanahanigans worked. Just when fantasy owners wrote off any Redskins running backs, Roy Helu has turned into the legitimate No. 1 RB in Washington. On the team’s first drive, Helu rushed five times for 32 yards and a touchdown. He also had one catch for eight yards. This is worth paying attention to since two of the Redskins next three games come with favorable RB matchups.

– Marcas Grant

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