The Rundown: Week 13 Stats to Know & Thanksgiving Extravaganza

Nov 27, 2019
The Rundown: Week 13 Stats to Know & Thanksgiving Extravaganza

Week 12 set the table for this week, which seems appropriate given the holiday. It starts with a tripleheader on Thursday that will highlight playoff teams and provide some big help for those starting the fantasy playoffs. The rest of Week 13 will feature a potential Super Bowl preview with the Ravens and 49ers along with a Sunday night game that should frustrate and delight fantasy players all at once. For those celebrating Thanksgiving this week, enjoy the time with family and friends!

Each week, I will provide a preview article with some key overall stats to watch for along with the Thursday game preview which includes start/sit ratings. Then, there will be subsequent previews later in the week with all the other games in time for the remaining fantasy decisions before kickoff. For much of this data, I will be using 4for4's Snaps, Touches, and Targets Apps as well as analyzing each team's pace and play-calling tendencies.

Ten Stats to Know for Week 13

  • One man gang: Leonard Fournette is the first player to record three games with 30 or more touches this season. Week 12 was also his first 30-plus PPR game this year.
  • 250/25: Only one quarterback has scored over 250 fantasy points with over 25 interceptions. That’s Lynn Dickey in 1983. Jameis Winston is on pace to be the second at 195.6 and 20 with five weeks left.
  • Hands-on: Despite missing two games, Alvin Kamara is tied for the league lead with seven games of five or more catches. He is the RB6 in PPR points per game because of it.
  • 9-9-9 Plan: Zach Ertz is the first tight end since the NFL merger to record three straight games with nine or more catches. Only five players have ever done it four or more times consecutively.
  • Just run the ball: Derrick Henry is on pace to be the 11th running back since the merger to reach 250 PPR points with fewer than 20 catches. Only two have scored over 300.
  • Versatile quarterback: Josh Allen became the first quarterback since the merger to throw 25 touchdown passes and run for 15 more in his first two seasons. Lamar Jackson is still four rushing touchdowns short of making it a club.
  • Doing more with less: Lamar Jackson (five) and Sam Darnold (three) have streaks of three games or more with 20-plus fantasy points despite 30 or fewer pass attempts in each. Only 20 quarterbacks have ever done this.
  • Working hard, not hardly working: Nick Chubb has six straight games with 20-plus carries. Only five players have reached 10 or more games since 2000.
  • Low ceiling: The Patriots have a streak of 13 games without allowing multiple touchdown passes. Only four teams have reached 20 and just one has occurred in the last 40 years.
  • Red Zone woes: Mike Williams is the only player with 10-plus red-zone targets (10) and zero touchdowns this year. He had six touchdowns on 13 targets in 2018.

Bears @ Lions

Spread: Lions +3 | Total: 39

This is likely the game everyone will be the least thankful for on Thursday. The Bears had one of their best offensive games in Week 12 and they still scored just 19 points. While they get a bottom 10 defense in the Lions, the Bears are still likely going to struggle to reach the end zone. The Lions offense, meanwhile, have been toying with the idea of shutting down Matthew Stafford for the season, but he wants to come back. Regardless, he won’t be playing in this game and Jeff Driskel has looked better than expected. This will be a tough test for him but he should get some chances here.

Chicago Bears

This is an opportunity to try and establish some offensive rhythm. The Lions are bottom 10 against both the pass and the run. The ceiling with this offense is low, think 300 or so offensive yards, but they should get close to it here. It may not result in many useable fantasy games outside of Allen Robinson, however.

Team Trends That Matter

  • Opponents only score on 28.5% of their offensive possessions, the fourth-lowest rate in the NFL.
  • Have allowed just one quarterback to throw for over 250 yards in the last five games. It was Jeff Driskel.
  • Converting just 30.1% of their third downs, fourth-worst in the league.

Fantasy Rating and a Stat to Know

  • QB Mitch Trubisky (1) - Week 12 was his first game with a rushing touchdown this year
  • RB David Montgomery (3) - Five straight games with 15 or more total touches
  • RB Tarik Cohen (3) - The RB9 over the past three weeks
  • WR Allen Robinson (4) - Five of his top six fantasy games this year has come at home
  • WR Taylor Gabriel (0) - Played a season-low 55% of the offensive snaps in Week 12
  • TE Ben Braunecker (0) - Saw season bests in targets (four) and snaps (54) in Week 12

Detroit Lions

Jeff Driskel had success in the first meeting and his versatility is needed to replicate the feat against the fourth-ranked Bears defense. Bo Scarbrough could be a key here as the Bears have struggled with bigger running backs this season. The touchdown upside isn’t high here but they should get chances if the Bears offense struggles with turnovers.

Team Trends That Matter

  • Have allowed a receiving touchdown from seven different running backs this year.
  • The Lions defense has forced a turnover on just 3.2% of their defensive drives, the lowest rate in the NFL.
  • Week 12 was just the third time the Lions haven’t allowed multiple touchdown passes to an opposing quarterback.

Fantasy Rating and a Stat to Know

  • QB Jeff Driskel (1) - Would be the RB35 with his rushing stats over the past three weeks
  • RB Bo Scarbrough (2) - Has yet to catch a pass in two games so far
  • WR Kenny Golladay (3) - Has failed to score 15 PPR points in three Jeff Driskel starts
  • WR Marvin Jones (3) - Played in 80% of the offensive snaps in every game this year
  • TE T.J. Hockenson (2) - Week 12 was his first game without a catch

Bills @ Cowboys

Spread: Cowboys -7 | Total: 45

This matchup has NFL and fantasy implications with plenty of interesting matchups. The Bills bring their top three pass defense to counteract the Cowboys and their top-ranked passing attack. Both will also bring their top 10 rushing offenses as well. Ultimately, the Bills will need to keep the Cowboys off the field and continue to convert at a high rate when they reach the red zone.

Buffalo Bills

Simply, run the ball and avoid turnovers. Considering they only have two turnovers since their Week 6 bye, it’s in line with how they have been working recently. The Cowboys defense is penetrable and Josh Allen, Devin Singletary, and John Brown should all have nice games. Don’t sleep on Cole Beasley either.

Team Trends That Matter

  • Have allowed just four receiving touchdowns to wide receivers this year.
  • The Bills defense is allowing touchdowns on just 15.3% of defensive drives, third-best in the league.
  • No tight end has scored 12 PPR points against the Bills in 2019.

Fantasy Rating and a Stat to Know

  • QB Josh Allen (3) - Could become the sixth quarterback since the merger to rush for double-digit touchdowns. Currently at seven
  • RB Devin Singletary (3) - Played a season-best 57 snaps in Week 12
  • RB Frank Gore (1) - Has not reached double-digit PPR points since Week 4
  • WR John Brown (4) - Four targets in Week 12 was a season-low
  • WR Cole Beasley (2) - Has caught all six red-zone targets. They account for all four touchdowns in 2019
  • TE Dawson Knox (2) - Season-best 62 snaps in Week 12

Dallas Cowboys

We might see the more traditional run-first approach from the Cowboys knowing the resistance the Bills pass defense can provide. That could mean a big game for Ezekiel Elliott. It would be nice if Dak Prescott is given a few more designed runs as well. Amari Cooper could struggle for a second week.

Team Trends That Matter

  • Only two quarterbacks have thrown for more than 250 yards against the Cowboys.
  • Have not allowed a receiving touchdown to a running back this season.
  • The Cowboys punt on just 28.9% of their offensive drives, the third-lowest rate in the league.

Fantasy Rating and a Stat to Know

  • QB Dak Prescott (4) - Only one game over 30 rushing yards this season
  • RB Ezekiel Elliott (5) - Just the RB14 since the Cowboys bye in Week 8
  • WR Amari Cooper (3) - At least 15 PPR points in every home game this year
  • WR Michael Gallup (3) - Season-best 98% snap share in Week 12
  • WR Randall Cobb (1) - The WR8 since the Cowboys bye in Week 8
  • TE Jason Witten (2) - Week 12 was his first game this year without multiple receptions

Saints @ Falcons

Spread: Falcons +7 | Total: 49

This is a good way to wake up from the inevitable Thanksgiving coma. Two top 10 passing offenses meet here with the Saints having scored 30 offensive points in four of the past five games. They should threaten that mark again here. The Falcons, meanwhile, remain the team with the most passing attempts but allow the fourth-highest net yards per pass attempt. This should feature plenty of fireworks and expect the Saints to be out for blood after being embarrassed in their first matchup.

New Orleans Saints

The struggles for the Saints against the Falcons in the last matchup was in the run game. They will want that to change here and with a fully healthy backfield, it’s hard to bet against that. The pass game will thrive as well with a secondary option like Jared Cook capable of putting together a second nice game in a row.

Team Trends That Matter

  • Have only failed to reach 100 team rushing yards once in the last two months. It was against the Falcons.
  • Week 12 was the first time they allowed over 18 PPR points to a running back. It was Christian McCaffrey.
  • Four different wide receivers have scored 30-plus PPR points against the Saints.

Fantasy Rating and a Stat to Know

  • QB Drew Brees (5) - QB10 in fantasy points per game since his return from injury in Week 8
  • RB Alvin Kamara (5) - RB10 in PPR points per game since he last scored a touchdown in Week 3
  • RB Latavius Murray (3) - Has yet to play 30 offensive snaps in a game since the Week 9 bye
  • WR Michael Thomas (5) - Eight straight games with eight or more catches
  • WR TreQuan Smith (0) - Tied his season-best with three targets in Week 12
  • TE Jared Cook (4) - The TE2 since his return from injury in Week 10

Atlanta Falcons

Normally, the Falcons look to throw the ball a lot, but the Saints are a top-five run defense, so this may skew even more in that direction. That helps every non-running back and should put three wide receivers in line to be strong fantasy contributors this week. Matt Ryan could finish as a top-three quarterback this week, or outside the top 12. That’s how volatile this game could be.

Team Trends That Matter

  • Four straight games allowing 100 or more yards to a receiver.
  • The Falcons defense lets opponents score on 45.9% of their possessions, the second-worst rate in the NFL.
  • Their 67.2% pass rate in the highest in the NFL this season.

Fantasy Rating and a Stat to Know

  • QB Matt Ryan (4) - Has thrown multiple touchdowns against the Saints in his last three meetings
  • RB Brian Hill (2) - Just 104 rushing yards on 44 attempts during the last three weeks
  • WR Julio Jones (4) - Six straight games with eight or more targets
  • WR Calvin Ridley (4) - Saw a season-best 74 snaps in Week 12
  • WR Russell Gage (2) - Five or more targets in three of his past four games

Fantasy Rating Key

  • (5) - Elite option. Must start.
  • (4) - Strong option. Likely start.
  • (3) - Good option. Low-end starter to high-end backup.
  • (2) - Weak option. Possible flex or desperation play.
  • (1) - Bad option. Bench in nearly all cases.
  • (0) - Not an option. Injured, bench, or waivers.