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The Lowdown – Week 13

Welcome to The Lowdown for Week 13. This is my little corner of the fantasy football universe — feel free to pull up a chair and stay a while!

Closing Out a Game

I just got done watching the Packers-Lions game, and I have a question: does anyone know how to close out a game any more? I don’t know who the defensive coordinator is for the Lions, but he should be arrested for impersonating an NFL coach. Here you had a defensive unit that had shut down Aaron Rodgers for 59 minutes by steamrolling a depleted Packers O-line, yet for the final play of the game the Lions decided to give Rodgers a sporting chance by rushing just three guys.  Nice play calling. You couldn’t figure out to rush five guys and have six DBs lined up at the goal line?

It’s just not the Packers; if you’ve been masochistic enough to have followed this column all year, you’ve heard me rant once or twice about how the Giants do not know how to run out a clock in the fourth quarter. On Monday, we saw the Browns and Ravens in the last two minutes of their game take turns trying to give the game away to each other. In Week 10, the Jags beat the Ravens when a defensive penalty that gave the Jags a shot at the game-winning FG.

Seems to me like football is a tough enough game without teams actively trying to avoid winning. Then again, perhaps this is the result of the constant whining of politically correct social commentators who insist that we avoid loss-shaming teams.


Interesting Players for Week 12

If you’re interested, here is the list of the Top 10 at each offensive position (along with a relative value) for this weekend’s games. Use it to gauge how two players compare. For example, if Tom Brady has an Fantasy Football Ranking System (FFRS) of 44 this week and Derek Carr has a 33, then you should think of Brady as being a 33 percent stronger play than Carr this week. Use these FFRS for standard fantasy leagues for waivers or lineup decisions; in daily leagues use the relative nature of the FFRS to gauge dollar values between players.

Good luck! (Points per reception scoring is used for the FFRS rankings below)

Top 10 QB Plays:

  1. Tom Brady, NEP (vs. PHI) – 23.41
  2. Cam Newton, CAR (vs. NOS) – 22.98
  3. Andy Dalton, CIN (vs. CLE) – 20.45
  4. Carson Palmer, ARI (vs. STL) – 19.89
  5. Blake Bortles, JAC (vs. TEN) – 19.03
  6. Drew Brees, NOS (vs. CAR) – 18.78
  7. Derek Carr, OAK (vs. KCC) – 18.72
  8. Eli Manning, NYG (vs. NYJ) – 18.53
  9. Marcus Mariota, TEN (vs. JAC) – 18.35
  10. Ryan Fitzpatrick, NYJ (vs. NYG) – 18.22

If anyone can explain to me how Cam Newton is having such a stellar season, please send me an email. I’ve spent way too much time trying to figure it out, but I think I’d have better luck trying to figure out why Russell Brand has a career.

Top 10 RB Plays:

  1. Devonta Freeman, ATL (vs. TBB) – 21.56
  2. Matt Forte, CHI (vs. SFO) – 19.07
  3. Doug Martin, TBB (vs. ATL) – 19.04
  4. Adrian Peterson, MIN (vs. SEA) – 18.72
  5. LeSean McCoy, BUF (vs. HOU) – 18.49
  6. Chris Ivory, NYJ (vs. NYG) – 18.45
  7. Todd Gurley, STL (vs. ARI) – 17.65
  8. Mark Ingram, NOS (vs. CAR) – 17.15
  9. DeMarco Murray, PHI (vs. NEP) – 16.98
  10. Lamar Miller, MIA (vs. BAL) – 16.63

The Bears have already made up their mind about Matt Forte in 2016. Between age, salary, and the emergence of rookie Jeremy Langford, Forte won’t be with the team next season; so why not give him the ball until he drops?

Top 10 WR Plays:

  1. Julio Jones, ATL (vs. TBB) – 27.04
  2. Antonio Brown, PIT (vs. IND) – 25.81
  3. Odell Beckham, NYG (vs. NYJ) – 25.21
  4. DeAndre Hopkins, HOU (vs. BUF) – 25.11
  5. Alshon Jeffery, CHI (vs. SFO) – 24.33
  6. A.J. Green, CIN (vs. CLE) – 23.19
  7. Amari Cooper, OAK (vs. KCC) – 22.40
  8. Allen Robinson, JAC (vs. TEN) – 22.07
  9. T.Y. Hilton, IND (vs. PIT) – 22.01
  10. Jeremy Maclin, KCC (vs. OAK) – 20.36

Given his age and quarterback, I doubt that many had predicted the success of Jeremy Maclin this season; he’s outscored guys like Randall Cobb and DeSean Jackson. So take that, all you fancy fantasy football writers…

Top 10 TE Plays:

  1. Gary Barnidge, CLE (vs. CIN) – 15.72
  2. Greg Olsen, CAR (vs. NOS) – 15.59
  3. Antonio Gates, SDC (vs. DEN) – 14.34
  4. Jordan Reed, WAS (vs. DAL) – 13.90
  5. Delanie Walker, TEN (vs. JAC) – 13.56
  6. Crockett Gillmore, BAL (vs. MIA) – 12.77
  7. Travis Kelce, KCC (vs. OAK) – 12.61
  8. Jacob Tamme, ATL (vs. TBB) – 11.96
  9. Jason Witten, DAL (vs. WAS) – 11.79
  10. Ben Watson, NOS (vs. CAR) – 11.75

Gary Barnidge and Crockett Gillmore sound like two characters from Little House on the Prairie; won’t someone help them out, before the bank forecloses and they each lose their respective farm?

Baltimore TE Crockett Gillmore.

Seriously though: guys like Barnidge, Crockett, Watson, and Tamme are the reason I’ve been able to successfully field two-TE lineups most weeks. Why bother with guys like Davante Adams or Rashad Jennings at the flex, when these productive TEs are available? Dare to be different!

About John Georgopoulos

John T. Georgopoulos is a 23-year veteran of fantasy sports journalism. John’s Fantasy Forecast series has won the prestigious Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) award for Best Series, and he’s been nominated as an FSWA Award finalist on nine occasions. You can also listen to his weekly, non-sports NSFW opinions at The Riot.