Cam Newton, QB, Carolina – Cam Newton has been consistently producing mid-level QB1 numbers for most of the 2018 season. Newton has tallied at least 21 fantasy points in eight of 11 games this season and in six of the last seven games. He’s thrown for at least two touchdowns in every game since Week 2 and has recorded at least 30 rushing yards in eight of 11 games. He’s as reliable and steady as it gets at the quarterback position and has as much weekly upside as any quarterback out there. He enters Week 13 averaging 23.2 fantasy points per game, which ranks sixth among quarterbacks this season.
A Week 13 matchup against a Tampa Bay defense that has allowed the most passing touchdowns (26), fifth-most passing yards per game (292), and is allowing an average of 22.1 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks is a highly favorable matchup for the eighth-year player out of Auburn. Furthermore, Newton has three favorable fantasy playoff matchups against Cleveland, New Orleans and Atlanta in Weeks 14, 15 and 16. There are very few quarterbacks I’d rather have on my fantasy team than Newton, so keep him locked into your starting quarterback spot for the rest of the season and enjoy the steady, high-end fantasy production you’ll continue to receive from him.
Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle – In the first four games of this season, Russell Wilson averaged 14.8 fantasy points per game. Since Week 5 (seven games), Wilson is averaging 21.7 fantasy points per game. After a slow start, the seventh-year player out of Wisconsin has played exceptionally well in Seattle’s last seven games. He has totaled at least 18.6 fantasy points in each of those seven games and is well on his way to climbing up into mid-level QB1 territory by the end of the season.
Wilson had an excellent game and set a season-high in passing yards in Week 12 against Carolina, completing 22-of-31 passes for 339 passing yards and two touchdowns. Those numbers brought his fantasy point total to 23.8 on the day. He’s thrown for at least two passing touchdowns in 10-of-11 games this season and should continue to produce mid-level QB1 numbers in some favorable matchups over the final five weeks of the season. Seattle has a favorable home matchup in Week 13 against a San Francisco defense that has allowed the eighth-most fantasy points per game (19.7), and eighth-most passing touchdowns (23) to opposing quarterbacks this season. Looking ahead to the fantasy playoffs, Wilson will face a tough Minnesota defense in Week 14 but will play San Francisco again in Week 15 and then a horrible Kansas City defense in Week 16. View Wilson as a low-end QB1 with mid-level QB1 upside for the rest of the season.
Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants – Beast. Saquon Barkley is an absolute beast. Let’s call a spade a spade and say that the New York Giants football team (their offense, in particular) is not all that good for a number of reasons. Barkley has been one of the bright spots on this offense this season, and the future is undoubtedly bright at the running back position in New York. Barkley had another remarkable performance in Week 12 against Philadelphia. He totaled 113 rushing yards on just 13 carries with one rushing touchdown, and chipped in with seven receptions (on eight targets) for 41 receiving yards and a receiving touchdown. His performance yesterday resulted in a whopping 35.2 points per reception (PPR) league fantasy points on the day, which makes it two weeks in a row with at least 35 PPR points for Barkley. He is the only running back in the NFL that has recorded at least 20 PPR points in 10 of 11 games this season. You read that right.
This rookie is going to be special for many years to come. Now, if only New York can find a franchise-type of quarterback to replace Eli Manning next year or in two years, they’ll be well on their way. Barkley ranks second in the NFL among running backs with 294 total PPR points, behind only Todd Gurley (308.4 points). The running back position is very top-heavy this season, but pairing two elite wide receivers with at least one of the top seven running backs is the recipe for success this year. Anyway, Barkley and New York will host a ferocious Chicago defense in Week 13, but don’t let the tough matchup for Barkley make you pessimistic. Barkley is a matchup-proof stud that is among the cream of the crop at his position and should be in your starting lineup every week – no matter what. View him as an elite, high-end RB1 for this week and for the rest of the season.
Matt Breida, RB, San Francisco – In his last two games, Matt Breida has run for 207 yards on 31 carries (an average of 6.67 yards per carry) and has two total touchdowns. He’s also caught six receptions for 65 receiving yards. After dealing with an ankle injury in the middle of the season, Breida appears to be fully healthy and ready to be a rock-solid RB2/Flex play for fantasy teams during the stretch run of their fantasy playoffs. Breida is averaging 12.9 PPR fantasy points per game this season, which ranks 19th in the NFL among running backs. It’s nothing to write home about, but he’s been excellent these last two games and should be viewed as a mid-level RB2 with high-end RB2 weekly upside for the rest of the season. He is the primary running back on a decent offense and should have plenty of opportunities for carries and targets out of the backfield.
San Francisco will be traveling to Seattle in Week 13 to face a Seattle defense that was just gouged on the ground and out of the backfield by Christian McCaffrey in Week 12. It’s a neutral matchup, but one that Breida can exploit. Expect at least 15 PPR points out Breida in Week 13 with the potential to tally between 20-30 PPR points. Keep him locked into your RB2 or Flex spot for the duration of the season.