2015 Fantasy Football: Week 13 Gold Mine
Just one week left until a majority of fantasy leagues kick off the first week of the playoffs. Of course if you play in a league that only awards the top four teams into the playoffs, you probably have two weeks left, which means there is still a chance to make a play for extra football.
As we have repeated ad nauseam, injuries have crippled the face of fantasy football in nearly every single week with Rob Gronkowski being the latest victim. Although Gronk has faired well in this particular injury with no structural damage and no risk of missing an extended period of time, his loss will be felt in several leagues on many different sites.
With so many available options remaining on the waiver wire you are still in control of your own destiny as the regular season winds down. There is no better time than right now to make the tweaks and changes you need to give yourself the final push towards the playoffs.
The following players are all owned in less than 35% of ESPN leagues. However, if you happen to not play on ESPN check out their percentage of ownership on Yahoo and NFL sites as well as their price on Fanduel and Draftkings for the week.
Jay Cutler (CHI): ESPN: 30.5; Yahoo: 45; NFL: 65; FD: 7K; DK: 5.1K
Surprisingly, the San Francisco 49ers shut out Carson Palmer last week to the tune of zero passing touchdowns marking the first time since week 1 that the 49ers have been able to do that. Since the first week of the season they had given up five games of at least two passing touchdowns and at least one in four others. This week they get the Chicago Bears and Jay Cutler who has been reeling as of late scoring no more than 22 fantasy points in 6 point per touchdown leagues over the last two weeks combined. Prior to that Cutler had thrown for at least 21 fantasy points in six straight games including a 30-point performance against the Rams in week 10. The 49ers are currently ranked 22nd in the league against opposing QBs which should give Cutler the ability to get back to his high performance ways.
James White (NE): ESPN: 29.3; Yahoo: 27; NFL: 6.9; FD: 5.2K; DK: 3.3K
James White, Brandon Bolden, White, Bolden, White. This is the pattern we are hoping for this week as the Pats take on the Philadelphia Eagles. In back to back games the two New England halfbacks have been trading off on masterful performances with James White scoring 18 fantasy points two weeks ago and Brandon Bolden scoring 19 last week. If the trend continues week 13 will be the perfect week for James White to be the guy for the Patriots. With Danny Amendola, Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman all hurt there is a good chance that both White and Bolden will get plenty of scoring opportunities in this one. The Eagles have now given up 45+ points in back-to-back games and have averaged 39 fantasy points to opposing running backs in the last two games. Don’t sleep on the prospect of stashing Bolden either as he is only owned in 13% of ESPN leagues at this point. One of the two of them needs to show consistency and this week it could be both of them.
Kyle Rudolph (MIN): ESPN: 26.5; Yahoo: 56; NFL: 11; FD: 5.1K; DK: 3.7K
Are we ready to believe that Kyle Rudolph has finally become the Kyle Rudolph we wanted him to be at the start of the season? After two straight weeks of at least six receptions the answer is pointing in the right direction. To start off the season Rudolph who was highly touted as a nice sleeper option late in drafts had seven straight games of 2 receptions or fewer from week 3 to week 10. In week 10 he had the most egregious error a player could have when he dropped a wide open reception in the end zone that hit him straight in the hands and many people gave up on him because of it. Since then he has racked up 13 receptions, 159 yards receiving and 1 touchdown good for a total of 34 fantasy points and back-to-back double digit fantasy games, something that hadn’t been done since week 2. Rudolph gets another really solid match up this week that will allow him to keep the ball rolling as the Vikes take on the Seattle Seahawks at home who are ranked 29th in the league against the position and have given up double digit fantasy points to opposing tight ends in three straight weeks.
Devin Funchess (CAR): ESPN: 23; Yahoo: 47; NFL: 36.8; FD: 5.6K; DK: 3.7K
The Carolina Panthers have been shocking the world this year and it all starts with the MVP style play of Cam Newton. After the loss of Kelvin Benjamin in the off season everyone thought the Panthers were done before the season was started. Fast forward 12 regular season weeks later and they are sitting at 11 – 0 with an amazing opportunity to get to 12 – 0 as they take on the New Orleans Saints. The Saints have been beyond abysmal on the defensive side of the ball and that shouldn’t change this week with Cam Newton and company. In order for the script to write itself though Devin Funchess will need to step up his game a bit to help Cam continue to tell his story. Funchess who has now had 16 fantasy points in two of his last four games with at least three receptions, 60 yards and a touchdown in each of those two games should be an immediate benefactor to the weak Saints secondary. While Funchess has not been the rookie stud we all thought he would be to start the season he has picked it up as of late and the match up vs. New Orleans has us giddy that he can put up another solid performance.
DeVante Parker (MIA): ESPN: 17.8; Yahoo: 22; NFL: 14.1; FD: 5.2K; DK: 3.3K
Up until week 12 DeVante Parker had only played in more than 25 snaps just once all season including only eight total snaps in his last three games combined. Then Rishard Matthews went down with fractured ribs after taking a crushing blow from Jets Safety Calvin Pryor, which gave Parker a total of 59 snaps against the Jets. In those 59 snaps Parker had four receptions on 10 targets for 80 yards receiving and found the end zone for the first time in his career. With the news that Matthews will be out indefinitely with the broken ribs Parker is going to be need to step up to be the #2 receiver for the Dolphins and to keep defenses from keying on Jarvis Landry on the other side of the field. The Dolphins week 13 opponent; Baltimore, has given up at least 37 fantasy points to opposing wide outs in six of their last seven games with only St. Louis failing to reach that mark. With Matthews out Parker and Tannehill should be able to exploit a pretty inept Ravens secondary and continue to build chemistry down the stretch.