It was a record setting day for not one, but two NFL wide receivers this weekend as both Josh Gordon and Alshon Jeffery broke their team’s season game receiving record. Gordon broke the record that he set just last week (237 yards) by reeling in 10 passes for 261 yards and 2 TDs; Jeffery hauled in 12 passes for 249 yards and a single TD on Sunday. Eric Decker was a force to be reckoned with as he hauled in 8 passes for 174 yards and 4 TDs!
It is rare to see a WR atop the fantasy rankings for a single week, so to see the #1, #2, and #3 overall spots occupied by WRs can only be a sign that either the fantasy football Gods’ were shining down on us this weekend or that the end is officially near. How ironic is it that both of the teams for the record-setting WRs lost their?
Closer to home, the Dolphins had the #2 ranked defense this weekend. I won’t go into specifics here because you will see it below, but let’s just say they should be owned in more than 14.9 percent of NFL.com leagues, and started in far more than 9.4 percent of them! Ryan Tannehill, Lamar Miller, Brian Hartline, Mike Wallace, and even Charles Clay ALL finished as viable fantasy starters this weekend. The Dolphins entire team showed up (as I knew they would) and they now sit at 6-6 for the season. Next week will be a tougher test for Tannehill as the Steelers defense gives up the 9th fewest fantasy points to QBs this season at 18.0 PPG.
Ryan Tannehill – QB Dolphins: Tannehill continues to put up above average fantasy numbers, despite criticism by those national media and fantasy wannabes. This weekend he torched the Jets for 331 passing yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception, and chipped in 22 rushing yards because he knew fantasy owners could use an extra 2 points. He finished as NFL.com’s #4 ranked fantasy QB in standard scoring formats with 21.44 points.
JoshMcCown – QB Bears: As I predicted in my Friday article, McCown lit up the Vikings this weekend and finished as the #3 ranked fantasy QB on NFL.com thanks to his 355 passing yards and 2 TDs (no INTs). It wasn’t really surprising considering that Jay Cutler threw for 290 yards and 3 TDs in the first matchup with the Vikings this season. Cutler is aiming for a return in week 14 against the Cowboys, so this might have been McCown’s last start of the season. Not a bad way to go out with guns blazing.
Shane Vereen – RB Patriots: Stevan Ridley was an outright inactive on Sunday, leaving the workload in the hands of Vereen and LaGarrette Blount. It was Vereen who led the RBs in stats as he finished with 75 total yards (38 rushing, 37 receiving) and a touchdown. Vereen holds more value in PPR formats because of his catching ability out of the backfield, but with Ridley not even being active, Vereen is going to have solid RB2 value to finish out the season.
Ben Tate – RB Texans: Tate came alive this weekend as he ran for 102 yards and 3 TDs against the Patriots. Tate finished tied for the #1 spot with DeMarco Murray for RBs this week with 28.20 fantasy points on NFL.com, and has two juicy match-ups coming with the Jaguars and Broncos defenses to finish out the fantasy season.
Eric Dekcer – WR Broncos: The Chiefs defense is hurting right now with a few key injuries, and Peyton Manning took full advantage of it Sunday evening as he hooked up with Decker time and time again for touchdowns. Decker finished with a monster 41.40 fantasy point day on NFL.com, and single handedly led teams into the fantasy playoffs.
Josh Gordon – WR Browns: As I mentioned in the opening, Josh put on his best Flash Gordon impersonation and finished in the #2 spot for all fantasy football in week 13 on NFL.com. It’s not often a guy can run off a 10/261/2 line at WR and finish #2 that week, but I wouldn’t worry too much because I’m sure his owners aren’t complaining about the 38.10 fantasy points he landed them on NFL.com.
Alshon Jeffery – WR Bears: Jeffery certainly opened some eyes this weekend with a highlight reel catch that is sure to be played all over SportsCenter. If you remember back to the pre-season, I called Jeffery out as my sleeper pick at WR, and he has been a borderline WR1 all season long. The Bears are going to have to deal with Jeffery’s contract at some point because he has already outgrown the 4-year rookie contract he signed in 2012.
Zach Ertz – TE Eagles: Who? Ertz pulled a Joseph Fauria on Sunday with more yards as he was able to beat the Cardinals defense for 5 catches, 68 yards and 2 TDs. Ertz is just like Fauria, John Carlson, and Scott Chandler in that owners should not go chasing points by picking him up when the waiver wire opens. Chalk it up as a missed opportunity and move on.
Miami Dolphins defense: As I said above, the Dolphins defense finished week 13 ranked #2 thanks to their 4 sacks, 2 INTs, 1 fumble recovered, and just 3 points allowed. The Dolphins defense is worth hanging on to because they have the Bills in week 16. Provided you can make it that far, they will be a top 5 fantasy defense in the NFL.com fantasy finals.
Matt Flynn – QB Packers: When Flynn was announced as the starter there was a rush of people picking him up off the waiver wire. The problem there is that Aaron Rodgers is what makes that offense really move, and the names mean really nothing when you have a guy like Flynn throwing to them. Flynn finished Thursday’s game with 139 yards passing, 1 INT, and 2 lost fumbles. Can you believe that his -0.04 fantasy points weren’t even the worst at the QB position this week? That’s right, Geno Smith was worse with his -0.64 fantasy points on NFL.com!
Andrew Luck – QB Colts: Luck hasn’t been the same must-start QB the last few weeks that he started the season out as, but I warned you about that in this week’s projection article. Luck managed just 200 yards, no TDs, 1 INT and 42 yards on the ground against the Titans for a #18 ranking on NFL.com. With the Bengals next week, the Texans in week 15, and the Chiefs in week 16, I wouldn’t be in a rush to stick Luck into my starting line-up to finish out the season. In fact, an argument could be made for cutting him if you have a better starter, and hoping one of the playoff teams pick him up a play him. It is a smarter move than you might think it is.
Benny Cunningham – RB Rams: I warned people on Friday not to put too much stock in Cunningham following his 109 yards and a TD against the Bears in week 11. Zac Stacy ended up starting and Cunningham managed just 16 yards rushing as a back-up this week. His NFL.com ownership went from right at around 0 percent owned to 4.6 percent owned this week. When you consider the sheer numbers it takes to go from 0.1 to 4.6 percent on a game played by possibly millions of people, you can see why Cunningham is worth mentioning on the losers list. A LOT of people were burned by him this weekend.
Trent Richardson – RB Colts: It is officially time to cut Richardson as he has hit rock bottom in terms of fantasy AND NFL value. Richardson was benched in favor of Donald Brown on Sunday, and Brown proceeded to rumble his way to 54 yards and a touchdown. If there is ANYTHING of value on the waiver wire, feel free to cut ties with Richardson and pick it up.
T.Y. Hilton – WR Colts: Again, as I predicted on Friday Hilton was not worth playing this weekend as he finished with 5 catches for 46 yards and no TDs. In standard scoring formats on NFL.com, his4.60 fantasy points translated into a 50-55 ranking at WR alone. Hilton has now had three straight games with fewer than 50 yards receiving, and it might not get much better next weekend as the Bengals defense allows just 19.8 PPG to fantasy WRs, #11 in the NFL.
Vincent Jackson – WR Buccaneers: I could almost just copy and paste my Friday projections here and be right. V-Jax finished with 3 catches for 75 yards and no endzone visits on Sunday. But what makes it worse is that 60 of those yards came on one catch! Jackson finished just inside the flex range thanks to the 7.50 fantasy points on NFL.com, but he was far from being “worth it” in fantasy terms.
Antonio Gates – TE Chargers: It’s tough being right on almost every pick! Gates finished the day with 5 catches for 41 yards and a fumble according to NFL.com. The fumble was ruled an interception in the game, so NFL.com might adjust his points accordingly. The only reason Gates in on pace for 85 catches and 965 yards is because of September. Take October and November into account and you have a TE2 more in the Martellus Bennett/Tim Wright range.
Baltimore Ravens defense: The Ravens defense is owned in 69.0 percent of NFL.com leagues, and started in 53.8 percent of them, so nearly all the teams that own them also start them. This weekend they gave up 29 points to the Steelers, while recording no defensive stats for fantasy purposes. No sacks, no interceptions, no fumbles, nothing. Unless the Saints or Seahawks go into the negative for points, the Ravens will finish week 13 dead last in the NFL for fantasy defenses thanks to their 1.00 fantasy points.
So, how did I do you ask? I missed on Andy Dalton (191 yards passing, 1 TD and 1 INT), Jordan Cameron (4 catches and 43 yards) and the Browns (30 points allowed, 2 sacks and 1 INT) defense. But, I was right on the other 13 picks I made, making me 13-3 this weekend. A case can be made for Cameron as not a total bust if you are in PPR leagues where he finished somewhere in the #15 range. But, fair is fair and I said Start ‘em which is technically a TE1 ranking.
As I’ve said before, you find me a handicapper that goes 13-3 and I will show you a man charging you money for his service on a 1-800 number. The NFL teams hire me because I am one of the best in the world at what I do!
The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed by The Finsiders Blog represent those of individual writers, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions, policies or desires of the Miami Dolphins organization, front office, coaches and executives. Writers' views are formulated independently from any inside information and/or conversation with Dolphins officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.