Your Targets and Touches Report for Week 13
Week 13 represents the final game of the Fantasy regular season for many leagues while also serving as the penultimate game for those who want the extra week to push for the playoffs. Regardless, this serves as a week where caution gets tossed out of the window, reality is whatever the hell you want it to be and your lineups have the feel of a classic Janet Jackson song.
Touch who you need to touch. Place the target smack dab into the chest of anyone who can bring your life beyond the Fantasy Thunderdome (I promise to restrain myself on 1980s references. Not only does it show my age, but I can also keep this going all night l… you know the rest.)
The Eagles Have a Lead RB? Quit Joshing!
If you quietly picked up Josh Adams 3-4 weeks ago, you can walk with a strut knowing you have a potential difference maker in the Fantasy playoffs (of course, you must get there first). Hosannas were sung throughout the Fantasy world last week when Eagles coach Doug Pederson lived up to his word and gave Adams 22 touches in the win over the Giants. Adams rushed for 84 yards and scored in a second straight game and is now the certified RB1 in Philly. He’s not going to offer much for the PPR crowd, but you’ll live with that so long as he’s getting fed the rock as he was last week. Adams offers solid RB2 value in Monday night’s game against Washington, who are 10th in Fantasy points per game allowed to opposing running backs but are coming off a Thanksgiving Day loss at the Cowboys where Ezekiel Elliott carved them up for 121 yards and a score. Seeing as this could be a high-scoring affair, I’d want to have Adams and the potential of a high volume of touches in my lineup.
A Hero Justin Time
If you owned Melvin Gordon, you were among the first to stake a waiver claim on Justin Jackson, he of the five carries until last Sunday when Gordon went out with a knee injury that led to Jackson rushing for 57 yards on seven carries. While this may feel like a happy time for Austin Ekeler owners, rest assured that he’s not going to get a monster workload against the Steelers on Sunday night. Jackson has also shown to be a good receiver out of the backfield, so while Ekeler will likely have the edge in touches, Jackson will have sleeper value as a low-end Flex in deeper leagues. Keep in mind that Pittsburgh is ninth against the run, so both Jackson and Ekeler will likely have to produce as receivers in order to be effective.
I Mitch You Much
Bears receiver Allen Robinson had a monster Week 10, catching six passes for 133 yards and two scores in a win over the Lions. In his last two games, he’s managed all of just five catches for 76 yards and nary a visit to the end zone as the injured elbow of Mitchell Trubisky led to an ineffective outing against the Vikings and his missing the Thanksgiving Day win over the Lions. He’s expected back this Sunday against the Giants and their middle-of-the-road pass defense. There’s sneaky good value with Robinson if Trubisky does indeed return to the lineup, which is why I like him as a WR3 with considerable upside.
Who Cares? He’s a Ram, So Just Play Him!
Rams receiver Josh Reynolds may not get a high volume of targets in his direction, but he seems to know where the end zone is. Reynolds has scored three times and caught nine of his 13 targets in the last two games as one of a host of players filling the void of the injured Cooper Kupp. Reynolds almost harkens memories of the 1999-2001 Rams when starting either Ricky Proehl or Az-Zahir Hakim was justified despite their presence as role players in the Greatest Show on Turf. I’d suggest getting that yesteryear feeling and playing Reynolds against a Lions defense that is 31st in average yards per catch allowed and is 26th overall in touchdown passes given up (26). Reynolds offers a chance at a high reward if Jared Goff gets him involved early.
In the Noontime Hour, They Cried Moore, Moore, Moore
Panthers receiver D.J. Moore is the defacto WR1 in Carolina, having caught 15 of his 17 targets in the last two games for 248 yards and a touchdown. Devin Funchess’ status remains in question, but even if Funchess suits up, Moore’s matchup against a Buccaneers defense that is next to last in Fantasy points per game allowed to opposing receivers is way too good to keep him on the sidelines. The Panthers also love to give Moore a jet sweep or two, which will allow for additional production. There’s trust from Cam Newton, so expect Moore to see a third straight week of at least seven to 10 targets and a good chance he crosses the 90-yard barrier for the third time in five weeks. He feels more like a WR3/Flex option, but my hunch has no problem calling him a low-end WR2.
Yes, No, Maybe (Subtitled: Do I Really Want to Order Out Tonight?)
Yes: Aaron Jones, RB, Packers: He’s scored at least 15 Fantasy points in four of his last five games, including games of 24.8 and 30.7. With the Packers finally committed to giving him the ball extensively, Jones is in line for a big afternoon against a Cardinals defense that is 30th against the run and has allowed a league-high 16 touchdowns on the ground.
No: Nick Chubb, RB, Browns: The Texans are playing some kick-ass defense these days and while Chubb has had three straight games of at least 20 carries, the running lanes he saw against the Falcons won’t be there against a Houston D that allows only 3.8 yards per carry and is pretty damn stingy when it comes to rushing TDs (five).
Maybe: Josh Doctson, WR, Redskins: Philly’s secondary is so banged up that they inquired about the availability of Eric Allen, Irv Cross and a couple of the corners who were in the movie Any Given Sunday. Someone must exploit an Eagles pass defense that is 31st in Fantasy points allowed per game to opposing receivers, so Doctson, who had a season-high 10 targets at Dallas last week, has the best chance to do so.
Come On, Come On, Come On, Come On Now Touch (and Target) Me, Baby
Lamar Miller, RB, Texans: I’ve been a critic of his Fantasy potential all season, but Miller shut me the hell up with his 162-yard performance in Monday’s emotional win over the Titans He’s had at least 20 touches in four of his last five games and should be able to keep up his recent run of solid production against a Browns defense that allows 4.8 yards per carry and has given up 15 rushing touchdowns. (Brandon Note: Bob McNair was a good man and treated me well in the interactions I had with him during my time covering the Texans from 2004-12. He will be missed).
Kyle Rudolph, TE, Vikings: Rudolph hasn’t scored a touchdown since Week Three, but that has a great chance to end Sunday afternoon. The Patriots are 29th in Fantasy points per game allowed to opposing tight ends, and the fact Rudolph had seven targets in Sunday night’s win over the Packers gives him considerable momentum.
Kenny Golladay, WR, Lions: I like the slugfest potential against the Rams, and Golladay—who has 36 targets over the last three games—will get a hefty share of looks from Matthew Stafford. Los Angeles has allowed 25 touchdown passes and 12.3 yards per catch, numbers that require Golladay’s presence in your lineup.
Matt Breida, RB, 49ers: No team is as giving on the ground on a per carry basis than the Seahawks, who allow a league-worst 5.3 yards per attempt. Breida averages 5.8 yards per carry, making him an ideal candidate to rip off a third straight 100-yard game.
Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Broncos: Sanders had 12 targets in last week’s win over the Steelers and should be near that total against the Bengals, who are 31st in passing yards allowed and have given up 25 touchdowns via the friendly skies. The only worry with Sanders is if the Broncos turn this into a blowout early, but he’ll have a hand in making that happen.
LeSean McCoy, RB, Bills: A Shady Revival lies in wait against the Dolphins, who are 29th against the run. McCoy has 43 carries in the last two games and will be flying under a lot of Fantasy radars after his sluggish effort against the Jaguars last week.
Doug Martin, RB, Raiders: The Chiefs’ defense remains like Christmas Day when it comes to Fantasy points per game allowed to opposing running backs, putting Martin on the outer edge of RB2/Flex. He can be effective even if he’s still in the 12-15 touch range.
Christian Kirk, WR, Cardinals: There’s some risk here, but the Packers are 26th in average yards allowed per catch (12.1). That plays into the strength of Kirk, whose deep speed has helped him record four games of at least 77 yards in catches. Here’s betting he gets his first career 100-yard game on Sunday.
Gimme A Sleeper!
Washington receiver Trey Quinn is nine for 10 in targets in his last two games. An injury-ravaged Eagles secondary is a golden opportunity for someone willing to take a chance on the rookie wideout, especially since the Redskins’ receiving pecking order is readjusted with Colt McCoy under center.