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In The Spotlight – Week 13 In Review

Week 13 Fantasy Headlines:

  • Peyton Manning Torches KC for 403 Passing Yards & 5 TDs

  • Eric Decker: 8 Catches, 174 Yards Receiving & 4 TDs

  • Josh Gordon: 1
    0 Catches, 261 Yards Receiving & 2 TDs

  • Alshon Jeffery: 12 Catches, 249 Yards Receiving & 2 TDs

  • Adrian Peterson: 211 Yards Rushing on 35 Carries

  • DeMarco Murray’s 3 TDs Power Dallas Past Oakland

  • Ben Tate’s 3 TDs Not Enough to Rescue Texans

  • Too Late for Fantasy Owners– Roddy White: 10 Catches for 143 Yards

  • Too Late for Fantasy Owners – Steven Jackson: 84 Rushing Yards & 2 TDs

  • Too Late for Fantasy Owners – C.J. Spiller: 149 Rushing Yards & 1 TD

  • Detroit’s Triplets – Megatron, Stafford & R. Bush – Lead a Thrashing of the Pack

Game Summaries & Fantasy Commentary:

Thanksgiving Day Games:









Fantasy Focus – Green Bay Packers:
Most of the blame for this turkey of a performance by the Green Bay offense (126 total yards) clearly falls on Matt Flynn. The popgun-armed passer played an all-around horrible game. He amassed negative point totals in some fantasy leagues. Flynn (10/21 for 139 yards, 0 TDs and 1 INT) amassed 56 of his passing yards on a bomb to James Jones (3-79-0 on five targets) in garbage time. Flynn also lost two fumbles and took seven sacks. Granted, his offensive line deserves some blame for its terrible play, too.

Jordy Nelson (2-14-0 on four targets) compiled his worst fantasy outing of the season and was the only other Packers wideout to catch at least two balls. Jarrett Boykin was targeted three times but didn’t haul in a pass during his worst fantasy performance of 2013.

The Lions had no reason to respect the feeble armed Flynn-led passing attack, which is why Eddie Lacy found no room to operate. He carried 10 times for 16 yards, which was his worst full-game performance of the season. The rookie also tacked on two catches for 23 yards.

Green Bay scored its only touchdown of the game on a Morgan Burnett one-yard fumble-six.

Fantasy Focus – Detroit Lions:
Despite some occasional miscues, the Lions offense rolled up a whopping 561 total yards against a Green Bay defense that was stuck on the field for long stretches. Matthew Stafford (22/35 for 330 yards, 3 TDs and 2 INTs) faced little resistance from a porous secondary while racking up his fourth straight outing with multiple scoring strikes. Stafford also lost a fumble.

Calvin Johnson (6-101-1 on 10 targets) topped all Lions receivers with his third straight 100-yard game. “Megatron” also hit pay dirt for the fifth time in his last six contests. Kevin Ogletree (1-20-1 on two targets) and backup receiver Jeremy Ross (1-5-1 on one target) each caught a touchdown pass. Kris Durham (3-68-0 on seven targets) was the only other stat-sheet standout in the receiver corps.

The Detroit ground game rolled up 241 yards. Reggie Bush (20-117-1 and 5-65-0 receiving) lost his third fumble (first quarter) in the last five weeks. However, Bush played with a lot of passion after the turnover, compiling 182 total yards and scoring his fifth rushing touchdown of the season.

Joique Bell (19-94-1 rushing and 3-34-0 receiving) enjoyed his best fantasy outing of 2013, amassing season highs in carries, rushing yardage and total yards to go along with his sixth rushing touchdown.

Key Injury:
Reggie Bush (knee – not considered serious)

Fantasy Talk:
Did you start a Green Bay wideout? You’re probably still mad about the Matt Flynn-led passing attack pulling a no-show in spades. Did starting a Packers receiver cost your fantasy team a trip to the playoffs? If your answer is yes, don’t get too down. After watching Flynn play solidly against the Minnesota Vikings two weeks ago, it seemed reasonable to think that he could get the ball to Jordy Nelson, Jarrett Boykin and James Jones consistently against one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL.

Is Aaron Rodgers (collarbone) coming back in Week 14 to boost the fantasy value of his receiver corps? Unfortunately, if some Sunday media reports are to be believed, the Packers are seriously thinking about shutting him down for the rest of the season. If Flynn starts in Week 14 at home against the Falcons, I think he will play better. Regard Nelson and Jones as fantasy WR3s, and treat Boykin as a flex.

Watching Matthew Stafford throw the rock to what seemed like every Detroit receiver except Nate Burleson (season-worst zero catches on one target) was obviously very frustrating for his owners. Burleson simply wasn’t a big part of the game plan, and the Lions never mentioned that he was on a snap count. Burleson should bounce back in Week 14 against a vulnerable Eagles secondary.

I wouldn’t chase the performance of the Lions defense. The play of the Packers offense was unusually horrible by NFL standards, and Detroit doesn’t play with the same intensity away from Ford Field.

Waiver Wire Prospects:










Fantasy Focus – Oakland Raiders:
Although the Oakland offense (305 total yards) amassed just 17 offensive points, this unit has shown a pulse with Rashad Jennings (17-35-2 rushing and 1-8-0 receiving) operating as the lead dog in the backfield. Jennings didn’t rack up much yardage, but he salvaged his fantasy outing with two trips to the end zone. Making three starts in place of the injured Darren McFadden, Jennings has averaged 21 total touches, 104 total yards and one rushing touchdown per contest.

McGloin (18/30 for 255 yards, 0 TDs and 1 INT) failed to toss a scoring strike in a game for the first time since he took over as the starter in Week 10, but the mediocre rookie is quite capable of getting the ball to his wideouts consistently.

Any fantasy owner who used Rod Streater (3-57-0 on four targets) as a plug-and-play option against Dallas’ leaky secondary made what seemed like a reasonable call. McGloin had shown some chemistry with Streater in Weeks 11 and Week 12. However, Andre Holmes, who started in place of the inactive Denarius Moore (shoulder), unexpectedly supplanted Streater as McGloin’s go-to guy – at least in this contest. Holmes amassed seven grabs for 136 yards on 11 targets, which led all receivers. Mychal Rivera (2-30-0 on three targets) also played second fiddle to Holmes.

Greg Jenkins scored on a 23-yard fumble-six.

Fantasy Focus – Dallas Cowboys:
I blame the Cowboys’ slow start – the offense didn’t start clicking until they fell behind 21-7 – on a mini letdown following their huge Week 12 victory over the Giants. DeMarco Murray (17-63-3 rushing and 5-39-0 receiving) visited the end zone a single-game career-best three times. Lance Dunbar (12-82-0 rushing and 1-12-0 receiving) amassed the bulk of his rushing yardage on a 45-yard run. He left in the fourth quarter with a knee injury.

Tony Romo (23/32 for 225 yards, 1 TD and 0 INTs) disappointed in a favorable matchup for the second straight week. He hooked up with Dez Bryant (7-61-1 on nine targets) for Dallas’ only passing touchdown of the contest. This was Bryant’s first visit to the end zone since Week 8. Jason Witten (3-53-0 on three targets), Miles Austin (1-18-0 on five targets) and Terrance Williams (3-23-0 on six targets) had quiet games.

Key Injury:
Lance Dunbar (knee – out for the season), Rashad Jennings (concussion)

Fantasy Talk:
Although Darren McFadden (5-13-0 rushing and 0-0-0 receiving) made his return after missing three games with a hamstring injury, the Raiders stuck with Rashad Jennings (concussion) as their lead dog in the backfield. However, if Jennings isn’t cleared to play in Week 14, McFadden obviously will get the starting nod.

Denarius Moore (shoulder) is expected to return to his starting role in Week 14. Will Andre Holmes supplant Rod Streater as a starter? I doubt it, but keep an eye on this situation. Coming into this game, Holmes had caught just three balls for 65 yards on the season, which is why I think he is a one-week wonder.

Physically, Miles Austin still doesn’t look 100 percent to me. Unfortunately, his presence is killing what value Terrance Williams had. There is a troubling trend in the Dallas offense that owners of Tony Romo and Dez Bryant won’t like. When the DeMarco Murray-led rushing attack is productive, the Cowboys seem content to relegate Romo to a high-end game-manager role, which, of course, means less throwing.

Waiver Wire Prospect:









Fantasy Focus – Pittsburgh Steelers:
Le’Veon Bell (16-73-1 rushing and 7-63-0 receiving) impressed with the most productive fantasy outing of his career, which included a single-game best seven receptions. As you probably know, Bell had a second rushing score nullified in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter. The play was blown dead when his helmet flew off during a violent collision at the one-yard line. No other Steelers running back toted the rock in this contest.

Ben Roethlisberger (28/44 for 257 yards, 2 TDs and 0 INTs) received rock-solid protection behind Pittsburgh’s shaky offensive line (no sacks allowed). He has tossed multiple touchdown passes in three straight games.

Antonio Brown (5-59-0 on eight targets) logged one of his worst outings of the season because of constant shadow coverage from Jimmy Smith and Ladarius Webb. Heath Miller (8-86-0 on nine targets) topped the team in catches and receiving yards. If he hadn’t been stopped inside the one-yard line twice, Miller could have had a monster game. Emmanuel Sanders (6-43-1 on 11 targets) and Jerricho Cotchery (2-6-1 on six targets) each caught a touchdown pass.

Fantasy Focus – Baltimore Ravens:
No, they didn’t use the Wildcat. Justin Tucker connected on all five of his field goal attempts. The Ravens scored only one offensive touchdown. It came in the first quarter when Joe Flacco (24/35 for 251 yards, 1 TD and 0 INTs) hit Torrey Smith (6-93-1 on 10 targets) from seven yards out, which was his third visit to the end zone in the last four weeks. Jacoby Jones (4-53-0 on seven targets) was the other stat-sheet standout. No other Baltimore wideout or tight end caught more than three balls.

The Steelers bottled up Ray Rice (12-32-0 rushing and 6-38-0 receiving) and Bernard Pierce (9-35-0 rushing and 3-4-0 receiving) with little trouble.

Key Injury:
Le’Veon Bell (concussion)

Fantasy Talk:
Keep an eye on Le’Veon Bell’s status throughout the week. If Bell can suit up for Week 14, he draws a favorable home matchup against a soft Dolphins run defense. If Bell sits out, Pittsburgh likely would use backups Felix Jones and Jonathan Dwyer in a committee.

Joe Flacco and the Baltimore passing attack have a nice Week 14 matchup against the Vikings.

Waiver Wire Prospect:
Justin Tucker

Early Sunday Afternoon Games:








Fantasy Focus – Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
The Buccaneers mustered only 206 total yards and two field goals against one of the NFL’s best defenses. Mike Glennon (14/21 for 180 yards, 0 TDs and 1 INT) had an overall bad game. He turned the ball over twice (one pick and one fumble) and took four sacks.

Vincent Jackson (3-75-0 on five targets) had a quiet game as expected. He led Tampa Bay in catches (tie) and receiving yards. Tiquan Underwood (3-51-0 on four targets) and Tim Wright (2-17-0 on three targets) also were non-factors.

Bobby Rainey (17-63-0 rushing and 2-8-0 receiving) handled the bulk of the rushing duties for the third week in a row. Brian Leonard did not receive any carries, but he caught two passes for 10 yards.

Fantasy Focus – Carolina Panthers:
While Cam Newton (18/29 for 263 yards, 2 TDs and 2 INTs) didn’t face much resistance from the Tampa Bay secondary, he wasn’t very sharp. Newton missed some easy throws and tossed two picks in a game for only the second time since Week 6.

Greg Olsen (5-85-0 on seven targets) led Carolina with a season-high 85 receiving yards. He has caught five passes in three straight contests. Although Darrelle Revis (groin) didn’t shadow Steve Smith (3-51-0 on four targets) all afternoon, Smith still had a quiet game. Brandon LaFell (3-36-1 on seven targets) and Ted Ginn (2-47-1 on four targets) each hauled in a touchdown catch.

Newton (5-68-1 rushing) was the Panthers’ top ground gainer. With DeAngelo Williams (quad) inactive, Jonathan Stewart (14-39-0 rushing and 2-3-0 receiving) failed to impress. His longest run of the day was only six yards. Mike Tolbert (9-48-0 rushing and 3-41-0 receiving) amassed a season-high 89 total yards, but he failed to hit pay dirt for the fourth straight week.

Key Injuries:

Fantasy Talk:
The Buccaneers are still playing hard for embattled head coach Greg Schiano. Tampa Bay’s fantasy stars have a nice Week 14 matchup at home against a Bills defense that struggles away from Orchard Park.

Even with DeAngelo Williams out of the Carolina backfield mix, you still can’t trust any of their running backs as fantasy starters. Mike Tolbert’s 89 total yards was a fluke, so don’t chase it. Cam Newton owners should dial down their expectations when he squares off in Week 14 against the Saints and their rock-solid pass defense.

Waiver Wire Prospects:

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