The Fantasy Footballers’ Rankings Audit & Podcast Highlights for Week 13
Welcome in, #Footclan! It’s (almost) football time!
After what has felt like the longest week of Fantasy Football ever, we are eager to move on to an exciting new slate of games in Week 13 of the National Football League!
As a reminder, this article is a weekly installment where I’ll review the Fantasy Footballers’ player rankings and highlight a few specific players per position that deserve extra attention. I’ll also recap important moments from the past week’s Fantasy Footballers’ podcast episodes with links to each episode provided. So be on the lookout every week for this series!
Also, please keep in mind that the Footballers’ rankings are constantly being updated whenever any breaking news is released. So always refer to their rankings page or click on a specific player below to see their latest rankings!
That said… let’s get to it!
Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans (vs IND)
What happens when you take away a hotshot QB’s main target (WR DeAndre Hopkins) during the offseason in what has been the worst trade deal in the history of trade deals, maybe ever? Not much, apparently, if you’re Texans phenom Deshaun Watson, who has simply balled out this year.
But what happens if you take away his top RB (David Johnson) and his third receiving option (Randall Cobb)? Again, not much, as Watson’s averaged 300+ all-purpose yards and 2.7 total TDs during that timespan — which includes a horrifically low-scoring match against the Browns in abysmal weather conditions. In fact, Watson has had back-to-back finishes as the overall QB1 in the last two weeks, because the man is a bona fide STUD.
Now, Watson will have to do it again as he’ll be without his favorite target, “Pill” Will Fuller V, who has been suspended for the remainder of the fantasy season. His top receiving option will now be Brandin Cooks, Keke Coutee, and fifth-round rookie Isaiah Coulter, who has yet to play an NFL snap. He’ll also have TEs Jordan Akins, Darren Fells, and possibly RB David Johnson back. Worst of all, he’ll have to do it against a stout Colts defense. That’s an impossible task for the overall QB6 on the year.
But if there’s anyone that can do it, it’s the Clemson product, Deshaun Watson.
— NFL (@NFL) November 27, 2020
Watson is currently the ‘Ballers’ consensus QB6 and a solid top-12 option.
Mitchell Trubisky, Chicago Bears (vs DET)
That’s the typical reaction made by Fantasy Football managers and Chicago Bears fans alike when former second-overall pick Mitchell Trubisky was named the starter for their Week 13 divisional battle against the Detroit Lions. But here’s the thing, Trubisky historically OBLITERATES the Lions. The maligned passer has averaged 288.8 all-purpose (AP) yards and 2.5 total TDs in their six showdowns. If you remove his rookie year, those numbers jump to 296 AP yards and 3.25 TDs. When he faced them in the season opener this year, he finished as the No. 8 QB. Those are strong numbers for someone readily available in most leagues.
While it’s never fun relying on such a volatile player during a crucial week before playoffs, Trubisky should be seriously considered for those desperate at the position. He’s a strong streaming option and a DFS play, but his volatile production lowers his ranking to make him the squad’s consensus QB18. Can he repeat his prior success against a Matt Patricia-less Detroit defense? I don’t see why not.
Running Back Rankings
Miles Sanders, Philadelphia Eagles (@ GB)
It’s quite simple, really. START RBS AGAINST GREEN BAY. Here’s how their opponents fared since their bye week:
- David Montgomery (CHI): 143 AP yards & one TD, 22.8 points (RB7)
- Jonathan Taylor (IND): 114 yards, 13.4 pts (RB13)
- James Robinson (JAX): 112 yards, 12.2 pts (RB19)
- Jerick McKinnon (SF): 68 yards & one TD, 14.3 pts (RB5)
- Dalvin Cook (MIN): 226 yards & four TDs, 47.6 pts (RB1)
- David Johnson (HOU): 84 yards & one TD, 14.4 pts (RB12)
- Ronald Jones II (TB): 121 yards & two TDs, 25.1 pts (RB4)
Those are elite numbers amongst a wide spectrum of RB talent. It’s understandable to be apprehensive with Miles Sanders, though, as he was criminally underutilized last week against the Seahawks and made some egregious drops. But Lambeau Field is where RBs go to right their wrongs. Sanders is not only the Footballers’ consensus RB9, but he’s also a popular DFS option and Mike’s Start of the Week.
Devontae Booker, Las Vegas Raiders (@ NYJ)
With lead RB and Andy’s self-admittedly disappointing #MyGuy Josh Jacobs ruled out after suffering an ankle sprain, backup Devontae Booker is set for a smash spot against a middling Jets defense. There’s a reason he was a top waiver option this week. Booker has only averaged 20% of snaps and 6.6 opportunities (carries + targets) this year with Jacobs active. But in his lone game with double-digit opportunities, he went berserker barrage against an underrated Broncos D-line for 83 AP yards and two rushing TDs, ending as the week’s RB6. Most impressively, he was only out on the field for just 36% of snaps during that game.
Don’t get me wrong, Booker could just as easily bust if head coach Jon Gruden decides to “send in the Carr” and implement a pass-heavy approach after QB Derek Carr broke the hearts of fantasy GMs everywhere last week with an unforgivably cataclysmic game. Then again, we’re in a COVID-riddled season where the likes of Latavius Murray, Adrian Peterson, Wayne Gallman, Duke Johnson Jr., and Ito Smith were all top-12 RB1s last week. Booker currently stands as the gang’s RB25, and his expected workhorse usage and scoring upside against a weak team makes him a near must-start. But just remember that there are no guarantees with a wildly unpredictable Raiders offense.
Wide Receiver Rankings
Adam Thielen & Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings (vs JAX)
Believe it or not, but both Adam Thielen AND rookie sensation Justin Jefferson find themselves in the ‘Ballers’ top-10 rankings in Week 13 (WR5 and WR8, respectively). The sizzling duo have a combined eight WR1 games thus far. But here’s the rub, they’ve never finished as WR1s together during the same week. Sounds surprising, but if makes sense as they’re on a run-first team led by RB dynamo Dalvin Cook and sometimes Alexander Mattison.
They should be able to correct this stat against the 28th ranked Jaguars secondary. However, the Vikings may not need to throw the ball much as Jacksonville also has an equally vulnerable D-line that Cook should be able to annihilate. Vegas agrees as they’ve made Minnesota a -10.5 favorite, tied for the third-highest this week. Both wideouts are certainly capable of highlight-reel performances and represent one of the strongest WR duos in the league. Can this be the week where they both end up in the top-12 for the first time?
Adam Thielen really hit the Griddy like Justin Jefferson 😂
— ESPN (@espn) October 4, 2020
Robert Woods, Los Angeles Rams (@ ARI)
It’s been a stressful year for Robert Woods managers. A favorite sleeper pick in the offseason, Woods has bounced from extremely productive to frustratingly appalling games throughout the season. Regardless, it’s encouraging that he’s coming off a 100% snap game in a loss to the 49ers. This week, he’s projected to face shadow coverage from veteran CB Patrick Peterson, who’s recently shutdown receiving monster DK Metcalf, but was unable to contain other standouts like Amari Cooper and Stefon Diggs.
Robert Woods 👏
— PFF (@PFF) December 1, 2019
Woods has had success in his previous meetings with the Cardinals, finishing as the WR4 and WR11 in their two meetings last year. Andy and Mike believe Woods will repeat his latter performance, placing him as their WR11 this week, while Jason is more pessimistic with a WR15 ranking. But with the match having a projected 48.0 implied scoring total, Woods has all the makings for another top-10 showcase against their divisional opponent.
Tight End Rankings
Robert Tonyan, Green Bay Packers (vs PHI)
Like most TEs not named Travis Kelce, Packers Robert Tonyan has had a very inconsistent 2020. But with repeat top-5 performances against formidable adversaries in the Colts and Bears, Tonyan is officially heating up per NBA Jams rules and is ready to catch fire against the Eagles 20th ranked defense. Most impressively, he had his best performance in months–WITH WR2 Allen Lazard back in the lineup.
Though the undrafted TE is averaging just a paltry 3.8 targets per game and has only five Red Zone targets on the year, he’s converted all five of those valuable targets into TDs. That prodigious efficiency is part of the reason why Tonyan is the overall TE4 on the year. In Week 13, he’s the guys’ consensus TE6 and Jason’s Start of the Week. And if we want to play the narrative game, former Packers WR and Aaron Rodgers BFF James Jones just revealed in a Reddit AMA, “Rodgers loves Tonyan. He’s a big body, he can do it all.” Basically, unless you have Kelce, Darren Waller, or kept Taysom Hill in the TE slot since Week 11, start Tonyan if you got him.
Biggest Takeaways from the Week 13 Podcasts
Monday (Week 12 Studs & Stinkers + White Knuckle Starts, GibSZN)
Our beloved Footballers jumpstart this episode by sharing their favorite Monday Punday submissions at 03:30. Next is a fantasy-focused recap of all last week’s games on the Weekly Rewind at 05:45. The ‘Ballers then discuss all their Fantasy Studmuffins at 15:00, before commiserating on the Stinkers of the Week at 37:05. My personal condolences to those that started Derek Carr (*raises hand*).
Tuesday (Week 13 Waivers + Full Stream Ahead, Wanna Play a Game?)
The gang kicks off Tuesday’s show with a recap of the Monday Night Football debacle between the inconsistent Seahawks and the “what-the-fart-happened-to-this-team” Eagles at 00:45, before moving on to the News & Notes at 11:25. The gang dedicates a solemn moment for suspended fantasy superhero “Pill” Will Fuller V at 14:50. We then come to the juiciest part of the episode: the Week 13 Waivers at 22:25, including a funny/sad “I Want to Play a Game” segment at 33:45, comparing stats between rookie Jonathan Taylor and the immortal one, Frank Gore. We wrap up the episode with their choices for DST Streamers (Bears, Seahawks, 49ers, Cardinals) at 45:40 and QB Streamers (Kirk Cousins, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ryan Tannehill) at 49:30.
Wednesday (Week 13 Buy or Sell, Fantasy Algebra & Questions)
Our fearless crew begins this episode with a discussion regarding Inactive Managers and Penalties for not setting rosters at 02:25. They move onto the Buy or Sell segment at 06:55, debating trending players like Brandin Cooks, Michael Thomas, and Keenan Allen. They move onto the News & Notes at 15:10, discussing various injuries for key players, before concluding the episode with a substantial Mailbag segment at 22:20.
Thursday (Starts of the Week + Week 13 Breakdown, Spotty Starts, Funny Jokes)
We hit the ground running with a recap of the WednesdayAfternoonFootball.com spectacle between the undefeated Steelers and COVID-stricken Ravens at 01:07. The squad then Taking It Up To 100 segment at 06:05, where the guys plant their flag on J.K. Dobbins, Raheem Mostert, and Christian Kirk, who they’re all expecting to exceed expectations this week. That’s followed by the News & Notes at 10:00, then a thorough discussion on the upcoming Week 13 slate in the Fantasy Forecast at 16:10. We then get to the meat & taters of the episode at 57:25 — the ‘Ballers Starts of the Week! And don’t forget Jason Moore’s Iron-Clad Locked and Loaded 100% Guaranteed Boom-Boom Kicker of the Week at 01:08:30!
Friday (Week 13 Matchups + Tilt Talk, Pigeon Theft!)
The ‘Ballers kickstart this podcast with the FootClan Friday segment at 04:20. Next up is the News & Notes at 07:15, with a special story by Jason about a stolen pigeon at 07:48. The gang next details the Fantasy Forecast for the remaining Week 13 matchups at 18:00, including a b-e-a-utiful “kiss” drop by Producer “Owl” Borland at 52:47 that deserves to be heard worldwide. This jam-packed episode culminates at 01:04:40 with their can’t-miss segment, Prop It Like It’s Hot!
Have a great weekend #Footclan and let’s crush all our matchups! If you haven’t done so yet, make sure you check out the awesome Week 13 DFS Podcast by Kyle Borgognoni (@kyle_borg) and Matthew Betz (@TheFantasyPT). And as always, remember to tune in Sunday for Mike’s live stream where he provides last-minute updates to help you make those crucial roster decisions!
Lastly, make sure you catch next week’s (final?) 1000th episode! What a huge, well-deserved milestone; congratulations to the entire Footballers crew!