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NFL Fantasy Help -- Week 13

eagle eye

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Week 13 is, in a lot of leagues the last week of the regular season. It is the last chance to eek out a win to make the fantasy playoffs. For some the playoffs begin this week. The bad/good thing is there are three games on Thursday instead of the usual one. It is, after all, Thanksgiving. Family, foot and football is a tradition on this holiday. Gotta love it, right?


My advice to fantasy players is set your lineups today, tomorrow at the latest, so you can concentrate on having a great holiday. Just so you know what to expect on Thursday in the NFL are these 3 games;


11:30 AM (CBS) Bears @ Lions - Not too many fantasy players in this game!


3:30 PM (Fox) Eagles @ Cowboys - Again, a desert of fantasy players in this game---sheesh!


7:30 PM (NBC) Seahawks @ 49ers - 3 huge rivalry games, 3 division matchups, mega-representation on fantasy rosters. Holy crap! You could be done for Week 13 on Thursday!


QB's out this week:

> Ryan Mallett is not only out this week he's done for the year with a torn right pec muscle.

> Michael Vick is not out per se but the Jets are so bad I couldn't recommend him as a viable fantasy play. The Jets are at home this week but that probably won't matter as they are playing the Miami Dolphins.


Up until this year that wasn't much of a threat but the Fish are playing tough defense and solid offense. Lamar Miller and Ryan Tannehill are viable fantasy plays especially in deeper leagues. Also, don't go to sleep on their defense who pushed the Broncos to the limit on Sunday.


Need a running back? Try giving Latavius Murray from the Raiders. I advised picking him up after last week's breakout game against the Chiefs in a torrential rain. It was only 4 carries but he gained 112 yards with 2 TDs. He's big and really fast. He suffered a concussion right before the end of the first half and didn't return to the game but in the past 2 games you see a player on the verge of a big breakout. With Murray you will need to make sure he passes the concussion protocols and is available for this week's game. If not and if you make your league playoffs he will be ready to go.


More to come later.

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Breaking news! NFL Channel's Ian Rappaport is reporting that the Washington Redskins are planning to start Colt McCoy on Sunday vs the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. Personally I like the move. Between the disconnect between RG III and Redskins head coach Jay Gruden and the sheer fact that Griffin has looked really bad since coming back from an early season injury it comes as no surprise. The fact is, rumors last week had many in the Redskins locker room supporting a move to McCoy. After RGIII's hideous performance in Week 11 vs Tampa Bay and resulting criticism by Gruden of RGIII's poor mechanics and sub par play it looked for all the world that Gruden would make the change last week. Last Monday the coach rips RGIII a new one in the media and the next day Gruden apologized for his remarks the previous day. It has been a total circus in the Nation's Capital the past week culminating in another so-so performance in the Redskins loss to San Francisco in San Fran. The Redskins actually played well enough to only lose by four points holding the Niners to only 17 on the day. It was the lackluster offensive performance by Griffin that seemed to hold the Redskins back. In Week 7 McCoy came in for another lackluster Washington QB, Kirk Cousins, and led the Redskins to a 19-17 win over Tennessee and the following Monday Night McCoy led the 'Skins to a very unlikely win over Dallas in overtime. RGIII came back the next week and the Redskins have lost 3 straight since his return. The only other game won by the 3-8 Redskins was in Week 2 over a pre-Blake Bortles led Jacksonville Jaguars and that game was quarterbacked by Kirk Cousins who came in relief of RGIII who was injured in the first quarter after throwing only 3 passes. That injury, a dislocated ankle, kept Griffin out until Week 9. Again, it has been rumored that McCoy has a lot of support in the Redskins locker room. I, for one, am glad McCoy is getting a second chance to be "the guy" on an NFL team.
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The Jets must be driving their fans crazy. Geno Smith for 1-1/2 years. Michael Vick for 3 games. Now, the Jets have announced that Smith will be the starter in this week's game. It's incredible how dysfunctional the Jets are. They seem to be in a race with the Redskins for most dysfunctional NFL team. Because of the talent the Redskins have on their team my vote would be Washington on the one hand because they can't seem to take advantage of an embarrassment of riches especially on offense. On the other hand, the Jets can't seem to do anything right. Very little talent on offense and an inconsistent defense. Okay, my vote is in. The Jets win because at least the Redskins can accumulate decent talent.


The Arizona Cardinals have signed former Raider and Bear Michael Bush. The Cards have the 2nd worst running game in the NFL better than only Oakland in yards per game and I'm sure they are hoping to improve on that, especially in short yardage situations.


The Broncos have a new kicker. His name is Connor Barth. The Broncos old kicker Brandon McManus was cut due to inconsistency. Barth has been in the NFL since he began his career with Kansas City in 2008. He spent some time in Tampa from 2009 until this year when he was beaten out by Patrick Murray. He has been unemployed until today.

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Arian Foster is back in the lineup this week as Houston hosts Tennessee. He will be a welcome play in fantasy leagues.


Ray Rice won his appeal and is eligible to play in the NFL. Rice has been suspended for the entire 2014 season for violating the NFL personal conduct policy after he was caught on film hitting his then-fiancée in an Atlantic City elevator. The couple was married not long after the incident and, at first, Rice was only suspended for 2 games but after the release of the security camera film inside the elevator showed the actual punch that knocked his fiancée out public outcry caused NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to suspend him indefinitely. Rice had filed an appeal of his suspension and today the verdict was passed down that Rice should be allowed to make a living again as an NFL player. Now, the question begs, which NFL team will take Rice and the huge amount of baggage he brings with him.


Johnny Football keeps getting into hot water but it looks like this latest incident involving a man named Chris Gonos drunk off his ass tried to give Manziel a hug. The next day Gonos claimed Manziel's entourage stepped in and beat him up. According to Manziel his "entourage" was his roommate and the building security to attempted to subdue the aggressive Gonos. It turns out Gonos is an ex-con and one wonders what he's doing in a high end apartment building that Manziel lives in. The Browns aren't worried about the incident and there will be no issues with the police in the matter. And, Manziel will continue to back up starting QB Brian Hoyer as the Browns continue to fight for a playoff spot. The Browns are currently 7-4 tied for second place in the AFC North with Pittsburgh and Baltimore just 1/2 game behind the 7-3-1 Cincinnati Bengals in what is the most hotly contested division in the NFL.


Even though Larry Fitzgerald said that he's "highly likely" to play in this week's game he may be just hoping out loud since he has yet to practice this week. Arizona travels to Atlanta with a game against a Falcons team that hasn't exactly been at the top of the league this year limping along with a 4-7 yet still tied for first place in the weak NFC South with New Orleans. The Cards don't likely need Fitzgerald in this game to beat the Falcons and it may be better to let his sprained MCL get an extra week to heal.


After a huge breakout game in the first half of the Raiders game against Kansas City Latavius Murray suffered a concussion and as yet has no passed the NFL concussion protocols and he will not play this week against St Louis.


Bills WR Robert Woods is probable for this week's game vs Cleveland after being limited in practice this week. Wood had a huge day against the Jets on Monday night eclipsing the red hot rookie Sammy Watkins. Woods is a good WR2 in leagues this week.


The Colts TE Dwayne Allen will miss this weeks game against Washington with an ankle injury.


The Jets will go back to Geno Smith this week at the instance of GM John Idzik who is reported as wanting a final look at Smith as he decides how to move forward in the future. Head Coach Rex Ryan is likely going to be fired at the end of the season as the Jets try to rebuild. It's likely going to take a total house cleaning because Idzik is not great shakes as a GM.


Broncos TE Julius Thomas returned to practice on Friday and is likely going to be back in the lineup Sunday when Denver faces off against the Kansas City Chiefs in Denver.


Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon is out this week against the Carolina Panthers. This means Matt Asiata and Ben Tate will be the main RBs for Minnesota.


Saints RB Khiry Robinson is out again this week meaning Mark Ingram and Pierre Thomas will lead the charge out of the backfield for the Saints against the Steelers.

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This week is not the week Browns TE Jordan Cameron returns to the lineup. The lack of Jordan hasn't really effected much as the TE position has just 13 receptions in six games. Maybe if he was on the field then it would've made a difference but.....the real difference maker just returned to the lineup last week. That guy would be Josh Gordon. I wonder how many of you actually drafted Gordon back in August with his availability for the whole season in question and how many picked him up when he was about to be eligible again. Interesting conversation starter anyway. Either way Gordon made his presence felt in his first week back and it should only build from there. He caught passes for 120 yards on 8 receptions. Not bad for a guy who hasn't played an NFL snap since the end of training camp.


Here's an interesting tidbit, who will lead the Vikings RB charge with Jerick McKinnon likely out this week due to a lingering back problem? You'd think that Ben Tate but he's only in his second week as a Viking. He certainly could get some carries but you wonder how much of the Norv Turner offense he's been able to absorb. Matt Asiata will get his looks but he is just coming back from a concussion. You could likely wonder how much the Vikings will trust him in his first week back. I would offer one last suggestion. 3rd string RB Joe Banyard. He played the second most snaps last week, 30, to McKinnon's 39. He showed some moves and some speed in his 8 touches (5 runs, 3 pass catches). If you need a sleeper he could be the one.


The fact of the matter is, you shouldn't need a sleeper at this point of the season. You need depth. If you didn't have depth before you're not likely to get it. So, what the heck do you do. I refer back a few posts where I told you to pick up the backups to you RBs and WRs as a handcuff in case of injury. There are guys who are emerging as late season producers like Buffalo WR Robert Woods and Philly WR Jordan Mathews. TE Tony Moeaki has come on for Seattle in the last couple of weeks. Detroit's Theo Riddick has gotten a lot of snaps because Reggie Bush just can't get back in the game. There really aren't many surprises in the RB ranks. Go to that dance with who brung ya. But backups like Seattle's Robert Turbin, Dallas' Joseph Randall, Philly's Chris Polk and the 49ers Carlos Hyde are candidates. You may need a good backup QB so may I suggest, if you don't have one, maybe Philly's Marc Sanchez isn't a fluke after all. It's too late for him to help you this week but we were talking backups weren't we? I'm still on board with Brian Hoyer and there's a lot of buzz about Ryan Tannehill. The Dolphins are no joke at all. They gave Denver all they could handle last week.

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