Sorry Ron Burgundy, San Diego ain’t so classy right now. The San Diego Chargers were considered the favorite to win the AFC West this season with the maturing skill set of quarterback Philip Rivers, one-two punch of running backs Ryan Mathews and Mike Tolbert, a full season with wide receiver Vincent Jackson, and improved health of elite tight end Antonio Gates. After a 4-1 start, San Diego appeared to be taking “charge” of the division, then their bye arrived during Week 6.
While most teams re-energize on a bye, the San Diego Chargers seemed to completely “discharge ” and have not won a game since. After six straight losses, San Diego has now fallen into the cellar of the AFC West after a solid start including two heartbreaking losses to the Kansas City Chiefs and most recently, the Denver Broncos. Although their playoff hopes appear to be shattered as Oakland and Denver battle for the division, San Diego will attempt to rebound with a televised Monday night matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars, who just fired coach Jack Del Rio and were sold to a new owner.
With one week remaining until fantasy playoff action in most leagues, this may be the most important week of the season for your team. Take a dive with me as we review several key matchups for Week 13, which may decide whether you will be fighting for the coveted fantasy football trophy or hoping to save your dignity in the meaningless consolation bracket.
QB Tim Tebow– Have you heard of this guy yet? It is nearly impossible to listen to sports radio or watch NFL analysts without hearing “Tebow Time”, “Tebowned”, or “Tebowing”. Owners of Tebow have now become accustomed to a frustrating first half of games, then are shockingly pleased as Tebow leads the Denver Broncos to another game-winning or tying drive and posts another solid fantasy performance. In most standard leagues, he is averaging 19 fantasy points over his last four games, which is tied for sixth among quarterbacks. Tebow battles the Minnesota Vikings, who have surrendered the most points to quarterbacks. Do not expect Tebow to magically throw the ball like Aaron Rodgers, but he should have one of his better outings in Week 13.
Week 13 projection: 150 passing yards, 50 rushing yards, and 2 TDs
RB LeGarrette Blount– You may already be preparing to start Blount this week, but here are a few more compelling reasons. Blount’s start to the season was mediocre and included a minor injury. Since his return in Week 9, he has been solid averaging over five yards per carry in three of his last four games including back-to-back 100-plus rushing yard performances. Fantasy owners are licking their chops as Blount battles the terrible Carolina Panthers’ rush defense that has allowed the most points to running backs including at least 100 yards rushing in all weeks except one. Blount is a must-start this week.
Week 13 projection: 150 total yards and 2 TDs
WR Percy Harvin– With Michael Jenkins’ placement on injured reserve, Harvin’s value has taken a boost. The Vikings’ young receiver has three total touchdowns (two receiving and one rushing) over his last four games along with over 50 receiving yards. He is also leading the receiving corps in targets during this period and receives a few rush attempts each game. Quarterback Christian Ponder has been relatively consistent and will be targeting Harvin even more the rest of the season. Harvin will battle Denver’s much improved secondary, but he should still receive at least eight targets and be a productive start.
Week 13 projection: 100 total yards and 1 TD
TE Jermaine Gresham– Cincinnati Bengals’ quarterback Andy Dalton has been a pleasant surprise this season and a key reason for his team contending for a playoff berth in the AFC North. Dalton has gradually built more chemistry with Jermaine Gresham and targeted his tight end nine times in Week 12. Gresham battles the Pittsburgh Steelers, who are stingy to opposing tight ends, but owners should expect another solid outing.
Week 13 projection: 50 receiving yards and 1 TD
Chicago Bears DEF– Brian Urlacher and the Bears’ defense has improved in the second half of the season. They kept Chicago close against the Oakland Raiders last weekend with rookie quarterback Caleb Hanie manning the offense. In Week 13, the Bears host the Kansas City Chiefs, which will likely be a cold, snowy low-scoring game at Soldier Field. It appears that Tyler Palko will receive another start even though Kyle Orton is taking snaps with the first team as well this week. The Chiefs have averaged just over six points per game during their recent four game slide. Even with Hanie still learning the offense, expect Chicago’s ‘D’ to dominate Kansas City.
Week 13 projection: 12 points
Week 12 RESULTS– Pretty good week for me!
QB Mark Sanchez
Week 12 Projection: 200 passing yards and 2 TD’s
Week 12 Results: 180 passing yards, 4 TD’s, and 1 INT (SUCCESS!)
RB Donald Brown
Week 12 Projection: 80 total yards and 1 TD
Week 12 Results: 97 total yards and 1 TD (SUCCESS)
WR Torrey Smith
Week 12 Projection: 100 receiving yards and 1 TD
Week 12 Results: 23 receiving yards (FAIL)
TE Kellen Winslow
Week 12 Projection: 60 receiving yards and 1 TD
Week 12 Results: 52 receiving yards (Partial Success)
St Louis Defense
Week 12 Projection: 12 points
Week 12 Results: 9 points or 15 points if Ret TD’s are counted (Partial Success)
Good luck this week!