The Rundown: Week 13
It’s funny writing about Week 13 when Week 12, as of Wednesday afternoon, has yet to conclude. Some delays in games has the schedule out of whack, so it’s important to be mindful as we approach the fantasy playoffs. It would be a huge disappointment to make the playoffs only to lose as a result of game changes that impact a player’s availability for the week. Now is the time to talk to your commissioner about any protocols heading into the playoffs around this. That includes waivers, lineup setting, and possible flagging of substitutes for players if they are in an impacted game.
Week 12 saw another nice game for new quarterback Taysom Hill, elevated running back James White, and tight end committee member Trey Burton. All three will be playing for playoff possibilities - even the Patriots are still in it - so they could keep producing down the stretch in key situations. We also saw the Bengals sputter without Joe Burrow, and Kerryon Johnson did have some success without D’Andre Swift, although that’ll be short-lived.
This article leverages the wide array of 4for4’s data library including snaps, touches, targets, fantasy scoring, and red zone information. Lucky for you, this article will put everything in one place in time for those weekly matchup decisions.
Quarterbacks Trending Up
Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans
Watson’s recent stretch has been a wonder to behold. He hasn’t thrown an interception since Week 5 and is just two touchdowns short of his career high with five games to go. He’s also running more, averaging eight rushes per game over the past five weeks with four of those leading to a top-10 fantasy finish, including back-to-back first-place scoring efforts these past two weeks. Watson is setting personal bests in sack rate, yards per attempt, interception rate, and completion percentage. He’s doing all this with DeAndre Hopkins in Arizona, by the way. He plays a tough defense in the Colts, but they’ve been on a skid, giving up 76 points to the Titans and Packers in the past two games.
Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings
Much like Watson, Cousins is seeing a recent run of success with three passing touchdowns in three of the past four games. The two most recent ones include over 300 passing yards, leading to a pair of top-five finishes. The touchdown rate may not be sustainable, he’s seeing two points higher than his career average (7.2% vs 5.1%) and his interception and sack rates are both up. However, it hasn’t impacted his completion rate, and Justin Jefferson has proven to be a reasonable replacement for Stefon Diggs. The Jaguars give Cousins another great matchup as they are a bottom-five pass defense and are consistently among the worst in every defensive measure.
Quarterbacks Trending Down
Nick Foles and Mitch Trubisky, Chicago Bears
Even if you combine their efforts, the Bears quarterback position is the 25th ranked unit for fantasy this season. It speaks to the ineptitude of the offense, as the running back position is the last-ranked fantasy group, which should mean that the passing game is responsible for more of the yardage and scoring. Rather, the offense isn’t moving the ball or scoring much. They rank bottom five in both measures while also throwing the fourth most interceptions on the season. If Allen Robinson leaves after the season as a free agent, this offense is really in trouble. It’s hard to invest in any Bears player until there is a massive offensive upheaval. It doesn’t matter who they play, even this week’s cupcake matchup against the Lions, unless it’s Allen Robinson, no Bears player can be relied upon.
Daniel Jones, New York Giants
It’s largely been a disappointing season for Jones, who now faces the prospect of missing time with an injured hamstring. With just two games over 20 points this season - both top-12 finishes - Jones hasn’t shown the upside that flashed in his rookie season. His touchdown rate is down, from 5.2% to 2.2%, with little improvement in his interception rate, completion percentage, or sack rate. While Jones’ rushing is up, he only has one touchdown on the ground despite over 400 rushing yards. The Giants need to address the wide receiver position - a unit ranked 29th in fantasy with no player inside the top-40 this year - for Jones to take a step forward.
Running Backs Trending Up
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