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Week 13 Fantasy Football Trends

austin ekeler week 13 fantasy football trends

Not everybody can watch every game, so I give you some instant fantasy analysis and future trends from every game. This is hard-hitting, quick analysis to help you make Waiver Wire decisions, find trade targets, and digest each week’s action. If you prefer this in video form, be sure to subscribe to The Fantasy Authority YouTube channel for all future content! Without further ado, here is my Week 13 Fantasy Football Trends article.

Texans vs. Lions

Don’t expect much to change for the Lions offensively after they fired Matt Patricia because Offensive Coordinator, Darrell Bevell, was named the interim head coach. Golladay and Swift might return soon to provide a boost in playmaking, but the offense should remain very similar because Matt Patricia had next-to-no involvement in offensive scheme or play calling.

Washington Football Team vs. Cowboys

I complimented Dallas on a redesigned offensive a few weeks ago, but NFL defenses adjust quickly – especially a particularly good defense like Washington’s. Ultimately, the issue for Dallas is offensive line problems – even with a short, quick passing scheme. Dallas’s OL allowed 15 QB pressures, 9 QB hurries, and 3 sacks on 35 pass attempts. This OL is decimated with injuries, which is a big reason why Dalton and Elliott are struggling.

Chargers vs. Bills Trends

Austin Ekeler looked great in his first return to action. He was slightly inefficient in the running game, but he was unleashed in the passing game – getting 16 (!!!) targets. His day could he been even better if he hadn’t been tackled at the one yard line (converted by Joshua Kelley on the next play). Also, there were apparently no limitations, as he played 72% of the snaps, and if they were limiting his playing time, even better news!

Titans vs. Colts

Phillip Rivers didn’t look quite right in this game. He barely completed more than 50% of his passes and couldn’t find a rhythm with anyone other than Nyheim Hines. Hurt worst of all by Rivers’ poor play was Michael Pittman, who only caught 2 of 9 targets. Rivers was fighting a toe injury, so perhaps that impacted his play. Still, you’d expect more out of the Colts passing game when they trailed the game from the start and trailing big in the second half. The COVID issues in Indy might have had something to do with the inconsistent play. Don’t drop Pittman just yet.

Panthers vs. Vikings

DJ Moore suffered a non-contact injured on Sunday. The injury was completely Teddy Bridgewater’s fault because he badly missed a wide-open Moore in the endzone, causing Moore to contort awkwardly in an effort to catch the misfired pass. As of the writing of this article, the injury is considered an “ankle” injury, so his future status is unknown (it’s worth noting that Carolina has a Week 13 bye week, so he gets 2 weeks to recover without missing a game). When I saw the play, it looked like a knee tear, so it’s good to hear that isn’t the case. The injury happened on the second-to-last Panthers series, so we didn’t get to learn much about a Moore-less Panthers offense. The one drive we did see included a deep pass to Curtis Samuel, a short dump off to Mike Davis, and a short pass to Robby Anderson before a field goal attempt. In other words, not much changed for Carolina without Moore. Expect more McCaffery and Samuel if Moore misses any time.

Browns vs. Jaguars Trends

For the first time in like three weeks, the Browns didn’t play a football game inside an active tornado/hurricane/monsoon. As a result, Jarvis Landry had a huge day going for 143 yards after bringing in 8 of 11 targets. When the Browns have to pass the ball, Jarvis is the alpha. But, this is still very much a run-first offense (29 passes to 29 rushes) and Baker will hold him back a bit. Baker also missed perhaps the most wide-open receiver in the end zone all year. Landry is still solid moving forward. Probably a low-end WR2.

Giants vs. Bengals

Brandon Allen was approximately as bad as we expected, and he destroyed the fantasy value of all Bengals, including the RBs. Tee Higgins salvaged his day with a touchdown, but that is probably the best we can expect from any Bengals moving forward – playing a Bengal is just hoping they score a touchdown. In other words, there won’t be many 100+ yard games from any Bengal running back or wide receiver.

Cardinals vs. Patriots

Kyler was credited with 5 rushes, but only two of those rushes were designed rushes (as opposed to last-resort scrambles). Particularly, Kyler had zero designed rushes near the goal line. And it’s not like the Cardinals didn’t have green-zone rushes; Kenyon Drake had six green zone rushes. I think the Cardinals played it safe with Kyler’s running due to the shoulder injury last week. It cost them the game, so hopefully they learned their lesson.

Meanwhile, the Patriots also had their fair share of green zone rushing attempts. Harris had two (both from outside the 5), Cam had two (one from the 7 and one from the 1, which he failed to convert), and James White had two, which both turned into touchdowns. Despite this split, Cam is still the goal-line runner when they get in real close. White’s 2-TDs was a bit of variance, so don’t get too excited.

Dolphins vs. Jets

DeVante Parker had nearly 3 times more targets than the second most targeted Dolphin (Mike Gesicki), which should tell you everything you need to know about the Dolphins’ passing offense.

Raiders vs. Falcons

Josh Jacobs was injured in this game, and it didn’t look pretty. He was in so much pain that he fumbled the ball. However, like DJ Moore, the injury looked worse than it apparently is, which the team has called an “ankle injury” Devonte Booker would be a priority add behind a decent Oakland OL, especially consider that Booker was already involved in the passing game a bit. We didn’t get to see much of Booker, and what we did see involved Nathan Peterman at QB, so I am not reading too much into the Oakland 4th Quarter without Jacobs. I wouldn’t spend much on Booker unless Jacobs is going to be out long term. That said, he might help you win a week, and you should not be afraid to “buy a win” with FAAB dollars at this stage in the season, especially if you are contending for the playoffs or a first-round bye.

Saints vs. Broncos Trends

Taysom Hill is Alvin Kamara’s kryptonite. In the Hill lead offense, Kamara has received three total targets over two weeks. Without that passing game usage, he’s just a very talented running back in a well-established timeshare (although it should be noted that Kamara’s 48% snap counts and being far out-carried by Latavius Murray was almost certainly related to the game never being in doubt). But the worst news of all, is that Kamara isn’t even the goal-line back anymore – it’s Taysom Hill. Kamara got no green zone carries, preferring instead to use him as a decoy in those situations, running him in pre-snap jet sweeps to attract defense attention away from Hill’s designed running lane. This is a big problem for the many playoff fantasy teams riding Kamara. It’s possible that Kamara’s low usage, and particularly his low passing game usage, is tied to the fact that New Orleans won two straight weeks without really breaking a sweat against lesser than opponents. But NO gets Atlanta and Philly the next two weeks. It’s not until Week 15, when they play the Chiefs, that they again compete against a strong opponent. I have no advice other than ride it out, but Kamara’s outlook isn’t great with Hill at QB. I’d be ranking him as an RB2 until we see some passing game usage.

49ers vs. Rams

Here is a fun stat: Deebo Samuel had an average air yards per target of 1.6, yet accumulated 133 total receiving yards. He’s a beast with the ball in his hands. I just wish we could see how Kyle Shanahan intends to use both him and Aiyuk together. They both do a lot of the same things well, so the question becomes: can Shanahan design enough gimmick plays for each of them to be fantasy viable? We haven’t seen them share the field yet, so it’s hard to find any future pointing trends until we see it.

Chiefs vs. Buccaneers

Sammy Watkins returned from injury and immediately returned to his old role, playing about 75% of the snaps and turning 5+ targets into negligible yardage. Mecole Hardman was pushed out of playing time as the Chiefs clearly prefer Watkins and Demarcus Robinson over him. This passing offense remains highly concentrated between Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. Hardman is a handcuff for Hill at this point.

Bears vs. Packers Trends

David Montgomery looked strong in his first game back from the concussion protocol. He only received 11 carries, but that was almost entirely game script related (plus he was incredibly efficient gaining 103 yards on those 11 carries – thanks crappy Green Bay run defense!). Still, he played 85% of the snaps and saw 6 targets, including a goal-line screen designed for him that resulted in a touchdown. He’s a true workhorse in a below average offense. But, any workhorse has value, regardless of offensive skill. Just ask James Robinson.

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