After everyone gained 10 pounds Thursday we were given a good day of football. Here is a look back at the action from week 13 and some helpful notes for your playoff run.
Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions 12:30 pm Thursday
This was a really ugly game for Green Bay. Matt Flynn disappointed a lot of people who tried using him as a spot start and he brought the rest of the Green Bay offense down with him. Eddie Lacy struggled against the stacked boxes as well as a good Lions run defense. The only receiver to do anything for the Packers was James Jones who caught 3 passes for 79 yards. If Matt Flynn starts again next week I wouldn’t rely on a Packer in the playoffs unless I was forced to. If they make the switch back to Scott Tolzien the receivers should get a bump in production specifically Jarrett Boykin.
Many Reggie Bush owners were worried when he had an early red zone fumble but he came back from it for 182 total yards and added a touchdown and for the most part wasn’t used to run the clock down. Calvin Johnson and Matt Stafford had their typical days. Joique Bell performed well in relief with 128 total yards and a touchdown. He can’t be relied on in the fantasy playoffs unless Reggie Bush isn’t playing.
Oakland Raiders at Dallas Cowboys 4:30 pm Thursday
Matt McGloin played well but wasn’t able to get the touchdowns to make his fantasy day great Rashad Jennings stole the show there. He didn’t do much else and was also dinged up during the game, which is something to keep an eye on. Andre Holmes stepped in and looked really good on some of his catches by making some nice plays while the ball was in the air he is someone to keep an eye on for keeper and dynasty leagues. If you are relying on him for the playoffs this week you would have to be in serious desperation.
Tony Romo might be becoming a better real life quarterback than for fantasy. DeMarco Murray scored three short yardage touchdowns and as long as he is healthy is a lock on playoff rosters. Dez Bryant performed well again and is proving his back isn’t an issue.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore ravens 8:30 pm Thursday
Antonio Brown let down owners but it’s expected for any receiver to have up and down weeks and he is still someone to be relied on. Le’veon Bell suffered a concussion that looked really ugly late in the game. He is iffy for this week even after the long week. If he doesn’t play don’t expect Felix Jones or Jonathan Dwyer to save you. Heath miller played well for the first time in a while and is still in the group of tight ends that you’re going to get something from every week but there is a low ceiling.
Torrey Smith is the only Raven I would be starting every week in the playoffs. He had a long catch and followed it up with a touchdown later on the drive. He is locked in as a number two receiver for the playoff run. Ray Rice is a matchup play at best at this point and I would be looking elsewhere if you have him and were lucky enough to make the playoffs.
New England Patriots at Houston Texans 1:00 pm
It appears that Julian Edelman has supplanted Danny Amendola as the go to guy outside of Rob Gronkowski. Shane Vereen is to New England what Darren Sproles used to be for New Orleans. I don’t think Steven Ridley’s active or inactive status changes much with Shane Vereen. Tom Brady has really bounced back from his early season struggles and has out himself back into the top half of the quarterback 1 category.
Those who sat Ben Tate are regretting it after this week’s performance after he scored three touchdowns. Andre Johnson still loves the move to Case Keenum. His production has really increased since they made the quarterback change.
Chicago bears at Minnesota Vikings 1:00 pm
Alshon Jeffery showed up big again with another game over 200 yards and he added 2 touchdowns. He has been up and down this season but when he is up he can single handedly win you a week. There are rumors that Jay Cutler might make it back for this weeks game so if you only have Josh McCown you will have to look elsewhere unless Jay Cutler is ruled out before Sunday.
The Bears are proving to be one of the teams that you hope your running back plays down the stretch. Their run defense is bad and with Adrian Peterson against them it is no surprise that he went for over 200 yards. Cordarrelle Patterson is frustrating like Tavon Austin is, there is much talent and potential but until he is used more regularly he can’t be trusted.
Arizona Cardinals at Philadelphia Eagles 1:00 pm
Michael Floyd and Larry Fitzgerald both had another good game. They are both reliable receivers for the playoff run. Carson Palmer has 5 straight games with at least 2 touchdown passes and in his last 3 he has gone over 300 yards. If he is still available in your league he is a borderline quarterback one for the playoffs and I would take him over Andrew Luck at this point.
Nick Foles is on an amazing run since taking over the starting job and unless you have one of the elite options he is a guy that needs to be started in the playoffs. LeSean McCoy’s rushing numbers have struggled with Nick Foles at the helm but his total yards have still been solid. Riley Cooper had another average game and it looks like he is now a third receiver in fantasy leagues, the ball is spread around too much in this offense. Zach Ertz had a big game with 2 touchdowns but it is hard to gauge week to week if it will be him or Brent Celek that gets the numbers.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Cleveland Browns 1:00 pm
Ace Sanders had another good game but didn’t manage to get a touchdown, and he could be a decent flex option in deeper leagues in the playoffs. Maurice Jones-Drew had a good but not great game. The Jaguars have been on a good stretch lately and when they have been competitive Maurice Jones-Drew has been able to produce.
Don’t buy into Willis McGahee and his performance this week. He has been bad for a number of weeks I would consider this an anomaly. Josh Gordon just wow, if he can keep out of trouble he can be a top 5 receiver year in and year out. He has proven that it doesn’t matter who is throwing him the ball. Jordan Cameron struggled yet again and has settled into the big tier of tight ends that need a touchdown to have anything more than 6 points.
Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts 1:00 pm
Chris Johnson had over 100 total yards and scored on a short pass on a fourth down play. Nate Washington and Kendall Wright both played well but missed out on the touchdown that could have given them double-digit days.
How the mighty have fallen. Andrew Luck, Donald Brown, and T.Y. Hilton are all matchup plays in the playoffs. The offense is in shambles right now and the only person I would trust, as a starting option weekly in the playoffs, is Coby Fleener.
Miami Dolphins at New York Jets 1:00 pm
This was a game that I hope you weren’t forced to watch this week as ugly might be a nice term for this game. Lamar Miller was given 22 carries and got 72 yards. It is hard to judge Lamar Miller based on this game. The Jets have a great run defense and the Dolphins won this game easily with the inept offense they were playing against which let him get a lot of carries. I think he is a flex play for the playoffs but don’t expect more. It is worth noting he had a touchdown wiped away in this game. I can’t trust any of the receivers on this team. A lot of people will start Mike Wallace after back to back good games but he is a boom or bust and you could get 0 points next week.
Chris Ivory keeps getting carries and continues to be the only person who is ownable on the jets. There really isn’t anything else I can say about this team besides stay away.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers 1:00 pm
All the Tampa Bay options struggled but it was expected going against a tough Panthers defense. My outlook on them doesn’t change as Mike Glennon and Bobby Rainey continue as matchup plays and Vincent Jackson is an every week starter.
Greg Olsen had another good game and he is the only option after Cam Newton that I would want to start in the playoffs. They spread the ball around too much between running backs and receivers but if I had to start a running back I still think the guy is Mike Tolbert.
Atlanta Falcons at Buffalo Bills (Toronto) 4:05 pm
Roddy White is back or is he? He hauled in 10 passes for 143 yards leading the team in both categories. I would have to see it one more time in order to start him but he might finally be healthy. Harry Douglas actually had more targets and can be started in the playoffs as a solid wide receiver two. Steven Jackson scored two touchdowns but I don’t trust him like I don’t trust Roddy White and I need to see another good game before I can trust him unless I don’t have any other options.
C.J. Spiller might be back as well. He ripped off a 77-yard carry on the second play of the game. I trust him more than I trust the Falcons guys. That could be because I thought so highly of him preseason. Fred Jackson vultured a rushing touchdown and caught another touchdown and don’t expect that to stop. The Bills are still the best when they use both of the backs and C.J. Spiller isn’t a player who needs 20 plus carries to be effective.
St. Louis Rams at San Francisco 49ers 4:05 pm
Tavon Austin wasn’t able to break a long touchdown and if he continues to only get 5 touches a game he can’t be relied on. Zac Stacy was able to play but struggled against a good defense but was still able to get 72 yards on the ground.
Frank Gore is starting to worry owners with his usage but I would expect him to continue getting around 15 carries rather than over 20 to keep him fresh for the playoffs. He isn’t someone that you can sit but he would be someone I would stay away from in daily leagues. Anquan Boldin had his second straight good game and should be a low end flex for the playoffs. Michael Crabtree had a 60-yard reception but it appeared he wasn’t fully healthy and I believe in years past he would have scored. I would add him but he is another guy where I need to see it again before I could start him in the playoffs.
Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs 4:25 pm
Montee Ball ran very well against the Chiefs averaging over 9 yards per carry. A lot of Knowshon Moreno owners will be worried but this is still Knowshon Moreno’s backfield. He won’t be getting 30 carries anytime soon but he is going to get 15 plus carries a week with a few receptions. If Montee Ball could hang on to the ball or play well in the passing game this might be something to worry about but I wouldn’t be concerned. Eric Decker proved why a passing option in this offense can’t ever be benched.
The Chiefs were plagued by drops all game long. Alex Smith played well and it could have been a lot better if it weren’t for all the drops. Knile Davis looked great on his limited touches and looks like he could be a good play if Jamaal Charles gets hurt.
Cincinnati Bengals at San Diego Chargers 4:25 pm
BenJarvus Green-Ellis had 92 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries. He is a good play when they can get in the chew the clock mode at the end of the game, he got 12 of those 20 carries in the fourth quarter, but it is too hard to predict. If you’re desperate I could see them beating the Colts this week and he could get some late game carries.
Keenan Allen had another game with over 100 yards but wasn’t able to get a touchdown. Ladarius Green was reported as playing on 91 percent of snaps this week and only playing 1 less snap than Antonio Gates. They are starting to use two tight end sets more and if Ladarius Green continues with this snap count I think he is a top 10 tight end with his size and speed.
New York Giants at Washington Redskins 8:30 pm
The Giants offense wasn’t great but it was good enough. Those who started Andre Brown were pleased with the points but not so much with the yardage. Victor Cruz came up inches short of a touchdown frustrating his owners again. Eli Manning has really struggled this year and it has hurt the production of his receivers. I still think Victor Cruz needs to be started but he needs to start performing for the playoffs.
Jordan Reed was a late scratch and it made a lot of people scramble for a backup and might have meant people missed the playoffs by having to take a 0 or choosing the wrong tight end option. Don’t be shocked if he is shut down with the season being over for them and him having concussion issues 2 weeks later. Alfred Morris scored an early touchdown but didn’t do much after that because they seemed to get away from the run in the second half.
New Orleans Saints at Seattle Seahawks 8:30 pm Monday
The Seahawks shut down the Saints offense and Jimmy Graham was the lone bright spot with 42 yards and a touchdown. The Saints should bounce back even on a short week against another tough defense.
This was the Russell Wilson show. Throwing for over 300 yards and 3 touchdowns as well as 47 yards rushing. The run game struggled Marshawn Lynch only managed 45 yards on 16 carries. Those who had to play Zach Miller with Jordan Reed being inactive were happy since he had 86 yards and a touchdown. Rumors have come out that Percy Harvin might be shut down for the season. If you need a roster spot for a handcuff or something else I would cut him. He is going to need to perform for at least 1 week before you trust him and it looks like he is doubtful for week 14.