With Week 13 drawing to a close, let’s take a look at some notable (I didn’t say good or bad, just notable) happenings from this week and try to put them into perspective, so you can use them to your advantage for the rest of the season.
Allen exploded for 11-121-2 on a whopping 15 targets this week, and, after a very disappointing start to the season, has been surprisingly reliable as of late. So which Keenan Allen shows up for the fantasy playoffs? Probably a little of both. Allen hasn’t seen less than 6 targets in a game since Week 4, which affords him a nice floor in terms of fantasy points. However, he’ll likely draw Darrelle Revis in coverage next week, so you may want to look elsewhere. Weeks 15 and 16, he’ll face the Broncos and the Niners, neither of whom strike fear in the eyes of opposing wide receivers. Owners should feel comfortable starting him those two weeks.
Johnny Football finally got on the field, and it was glorious...kind of. He got himself a rushing touchdown, but 8 passing attempts is too small of a sample size for us to really say anything concrete about Manziel. Browns coach Mike Pettine hasn’t declared a starting quarterback for next week yet, but, assuming it is Manziel, he makes for an interesting play as a streamer and in daily leagues. The Browns play the Colts next week and the Panthers in week 16. He’ll be a safe start, due to his rushing ability, in both of those games.
Ellington owners let out a collective “ugh” when the shifty running back left today’s game against Atlanta with a hip pointer. Ellington’s recent schedule has stopped him from producing, and, though his injury is supposedly not serious, his upcoming schedule is pretty rough as well. The Chiefs run D has been exposed as of late, but the Cardinals may work a running back platoon in week 14 due to Ellington’s injury. After that, he gets the Rams and the Seahawks, neither of whom provide ample fantasy points to running backs. If you were counting on Ellington the rest of the way out, try to find a plan B.
Hopkins had an even bigger week than Keenan Allen, going off for 9-238-2 against the Titans. Though it’s hard to trust Houston wide receivers, Hopkins should be a pretty safe bet from here on out. His talent is undeniable, and he’s averaging 9 targets per game over the last 6 games. The Texans schedule from here on out (Jacksonville, Indianapolis, Baltimore) shouldn’t scare anyone away either. Hopkins owners should have no difficulty starting him every week during the fantasy playoffs.
Drew Brees threw for 257 yards and 5 touchdowns against the Steelers, so Graham must’ve had a huge game, right? Nah, he had a grand total of zero catches. So what can you do? Unfortunately, nothing. Despite the goose egg, you basically have to play Jimmy Graham every week if you have him. Remember, every tight end puts up a dud occasionally. That’s just how the position works. You just have to hope that Graham’s got all the duds out of his system this year.
Well, that just about does it for me, guys. Keep your eyes out for a streaming column from me later this week, as well as some quality work from my colleagues here at Let’s Talk Fantasy Football. Think Jimmy Graham is unstartable? Not a Hopkins fan? Think Ellington is primed for a breakout game? Let me know! I'd love to talk fantasy football.