With Week 13 either being the first week of the fantasy playoffs or the week before, I decided to make this week’s Reactions looking ahead to Week 13 and beyond. Let’s get started looking at the matchups and new weekly starters because this is an important week.
Vernon Davis Could Be A League Winner
Not a joke. However, this relies on the injury that Jordan Reed suffered against Dallas. Reed landed awkwardly on his shoulder, leaving the game, but then coming back and posting 30+ PPR points. Vernon Davis is a “TE Handcuff”, which is a new thing now with Martellus Bennett also backing up Rob Gronkowski. In two games without Reed, Weeks 6 and 7, Davis had 2 catches for 50 and 1 TD in Week 6 and 6 catches for 79 yards in Week 7, filling in admirably for Jordan Reed. Even so, Davis’ production has been there even with Reed back, catching 5 for 93 in Week 8, 3 for 66 and a TD in Week 10, and 5 for 68 in Week 12. Add Davis as a Reed owner, especially if you want reassurance in the scenario that Reed misses time.
Don’t Get Tricked By Kelvin Benjamin
Whoa! Kelvin Benjamin had 13 points. That’s great! Actually, not. He caught 2 of 6 targets for 53 yards and 1 TD. Eighty-three percent of Benjamin’s production in Week 12 came on 1 play, a 44-yard bomb, the 2nd longest catch of his career so that type of production isn’t likely to continue. Benjamin has been going through a quiet slump, only being the WR 27 through 12 weeks after posting 21 and 29 PPR points in Weeks 1 and 2. Outside of those 2 games, Benjamin has 1 game over 14 PPR points with 16 in Week 6. The TD in Week 12 was Benjamin’s first since Week 4, marking a long stretch where Cam Newton and the offensive line struggled mightily.
Heading into the fantasy playoffs Kelvin Benjamin is almost unplayable. Cam’s struggles have been reflected into Benjamins, but those struggles aren’t likely to go away with a broken offensive line. Kelvin Benjamin has been disappointing this season and you can’t trust him with your win or go home situation.
Just Like DeAndre Hopkins
Back in Week 10 I absolutely went off on Hopkins and the struggles Brock Osweiler has imposed on him. It turns out that I was wrong and he’s now the WR 32, 1 spot up from Week 10. Hopkins has in fact been even worse that Benjamin only posting one 20+ PPR point game. That was all the way back in Week 2 against the Kansas City Chiefs. With Brock Osweiler throwing only 112 TDs to 13 INTs, DeAndre hasn’t scored since Week 5 in garbage time.
Hopkins has 3 games with over 70 receiving yards (70,71, and 113), a stat that is unlikely to improve with Brock Osweiler at QB. The fantasy community has been expecting Hopkins to run it around simply because he’s an ‘elite’ talent. Except Hopkins isn’t extremely athletically talented. He succeeds running routes and catching 50-50 passes that his QB gives him a shot at. However, with wild Brock slinging the rock, Hopkins typically only has a 25% chance at these balls leading to many incomplete passes and turnovers. Similarly to Benjamin, you can’t drop Hopkins, but can’t start him. I advocated “selling low” on Hopkins in Week 10 and I hope you took my advice on that.
Colin Kaepernick Is A Fantasy Star
Even if he isn’t that good in real life. Kaepernick has started 6 games this season and has scored 18 or more fantasy points in all but 1 of those games. In 3 of the 4 games, however, Kaepernick has 22 or more points. Colin Kaepernick is averaging 21.8 points per game, which would rank 4th among all QBs in fantasy points per game. Despite being this successful Kaepernick is only 22.7 % owned in ESPN leagues heading into to waivers Tuesday night. Over the remainder of the fantasy season, Kaepernick faces the Bears, Jets, Falcons, and Rams with only the Rams being in the top 10 passing defenses in yards allowed per game. Despite being great at preventing passing yards the Rams are tied for 9th in TDs allowed with 20 after being exposed by Drew Brees in Week 12.
Kaepernick provides plenty of fantasy upside with his rushing ability and no one in his immediate schedule should scare owners away. It is completely possible that Kaepernick is the QB savior you need to win a ‘ship. There is a very short list of QBs I’m sitting Kaepernick given the upside he has and the defenses he will face. Unless you own Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan, Drew Brees, or Tom Brady give me Kaepernick. Note: Dak Prescott isn’t there because I worry about his leash in the championship game in Week 16 and 17.
Can I Trust Taylor Gabriel/Tyreek Hill?
Probably not, but Hill is the more trustworthy one to own. Hill had an amazing game against the Broncos, scoring two TDs on 10 touches with one rush and nine catches on 10 targets. Tyreek Hill is one of the fastest players in the league and the Chiefs have done well manufacturing touches for him. Hill possess immense upside and can barely be contained by most defenses.
One the flip side, Taylor Gabriel is a souped up Tavon Austin in a better offense. Gabriel is an elite open field weapon with great speed and that’s how the Falcons have used him. Gabriel will continue to be a boom or bust WR for the rest of the season based off of TDs, but he has seen enough volume lately to be a deep play.