The pressure of Week 13 starts now. If you’re finalizing your travel arrangements or preparing for a household full of relatives, just remember that the most important thing you have to do is work the waiver wire and make your roster as strong as possible for that playoff push. With the three turkey day games kicking off an hour early on Thanksgiving morning, there’s even more pressure to get things in order before you’re sent to the grocery store for that fifth time. The first step, as always, is to discover the “10 Names You Should Know” for this week.
Matt Flynn, QB GBP
The prodigal son returns or something along those lines. Matt Flynn parlayed his past above average relief efforts in Green Bay into two potential starting jobs before bouncing around random tryouts throughout the league this year. It wasn’t until the Packers got truly desperate did Flynn get a call which is saying something since this is a team that believed Seneca Wallace could start games for them. Flynn stepped in for an overwhelmed Scott Tolzien and dinked and dunked his way to 218 yards and a TD in just under a half of play. With Aaron Rodgers hopeful but doubtful to play on a short week, Matt Flynn has QB2 appeal against the Vikings on Thanksgiving which is something I never thought I’d see again.
Julian Edelman, WR NEP
Much like the Patriots running backs, the Patriots wide receivers remain a riddle wrapped up in an enigma. The roulette wheel landed on Edelman this week as he caught nine passes for 110 yards and two two TDs.
Sunday night’s effort reminded us of the first month of the season when Edelman was on a roll but just as quickly as he jukes a defender in open space, he was gone. Now, nearly two months later, he’s asking us to open our hearts and give him a second chance. Fantasy football is about trust and it’s hard to trust him again.
Dennis Johnson, RB HOU
With a prime opportunity to showcase his skills in a contract year, Ben Tate is not doing himself any favors. Yes, Tate’s playing with broken ribs, but the injury appears to be so debilitating that he would probably have been better served resting instead of teasing fantasy owners with a tasty matchup, then failing to gain a positive rushing yard. Dennis Johnson stepped into Tate’s role and put up a workmanlike 13-carry, 74-yard effort. The Texans are heading in the wrong direction and Tate is likely not to be re-signed, so it would be wise for the Texans to see what they really have in the rookie from Arkansas.
Benny Cunningham, RB STL
Mr. C is going to get two thumbs up and an “aaaay” for reaching the 100-yard mark and adding a touchdown in his relief effort of a concussed Zac Stacy in Week 12. Stacy is by far the superior running back but his Week 13 is officially cloudy as he attempts to get cleared from his concussion. While Cunningham looked good against the depleted Bears defense, head coach Jeff Fisher will more than likely roll with a hot hand rotation if Stacy were to miss time. Taking that into account and seeing the Niners next on deck, we can safely look for other options.
Bilal Powell, RB NYJ
Bilal Powell started the year carrying the mail for the Jets and while he didn’t set the fantasy world afire, he did at least prove to be a serviceable flex option and, in some cases, a very low end RB2. Recently, Chris Ivory began to take over as the primary ball carrier and we enjoyed two productive weeks in a row before Ivory came crashing down to reality and suffered yet another lower leg injury. While Ivory’s immediate future is doubt, Powell now finds himself back in the driver’s seat of the Jets’ run heavy offense where his value is not attributed to his talent but to the immense volume of touches he will receive. It’s time to bring Powell back into the fold.