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What Did We Learn? – Week 13

It’s Thanksgiving week, and it’s important to take stock of what really matters. I’m thankful for
Russell Wilson

as a seventh rounder,
Julius Thomas

as an undrafted free agent, and Chip Kelly’s arrival in Philadelphia. I’m thankful for the opportunity to watch
Calvin Johnson

play receiver and
Joe Haden

Patrick Peterson

play cornerback. I’m thankful for my wife, my family and friends, and all that I have. Never forget that there are those who are less fortunate, and always remember those who have fought and died for our nation.

This is your last chance. Whether you’re securing a first round bye, locking up a playoff spot, or playing spoiler to ruin someone’s season, this is it.

Whether you’re loading up for a playoff run or just playing the matchups to fill out your starting roster for this week, everyone is looking to improve their roster. Let’s get to this week’s stock report.

Whose Stock is on the Rise?

Matt Flynn

is back. After
Scott Tolzien
uninspired performance through two-and-a-half quarters, Flynn took over midway through the third with a 20-7 deficit. He threw for 218 yards and a score while leading the offense to 16 fourth quarter points and an eventual tie with the Vikings. Given their early struggles, that could be considered a win.
Aaron Rodgers

is questionable for the early Thanksgiving game, meaning Flynn may get the nod against a Detroit team that he embarrassed the last time he saw them.

Benny Cunningham

certainly capitalized on his opportunity last Sunday. To be fair, the Bears defense has been horrendous this season, and it was more of the same as they allowed Cunningham and starter
Zac Stacy

to combine for 196 yards on just 25 carries. But Stacy had to leave the game with a head injury, providing the opening that Cunningham may need to become a late season hero for your fantasy team. In Week 13, the Rams will head to San Francisco, and Cunningham may have an increased role against a 49ers defense that has had its share of struggles against the run this season.

Dennis Johnson

is a running back on the Houston Texans. I just wanted to clarify that in case you weren’t aware. Texans head coach Gary Kubiak claims that
Ben Tate

is still his lead back, but Tate’s struggles can’t be ignored. On Sunday, he ran seven times for one yard. Seven carries. one yard. One. Johnson came on in relief, and suddenly the Houston run game had some juice, as Johnson put up 74 yards on just 13 carries. Johnson may earn more and more playing time going forward, especially considering that Tate has been nicked up for most of the season. It’ll be a tough matchup against the Patriots in Week 13, as the Texans figure to be trailing, but Johnson may be starting a late-season Arian Foster
-esque run.

Josh Gordon

might be the best receiver no one is talking about. On Sunday, he caught an astounding 14 balls for 237 yards and a touchdown. After being suspended for the first two games this season, all he’s done is catch 54 passes for 988 yards and five scores. The astounding part is that he’s done all this with a revolving door at quarterback, though it hasn’t seemed to bother him. He’s got a size/speed combo that GMs drool over, and he’s got good hands. He’s also that top target on a team that has been behind a lot. He’s a top-10 fantasy receiver.

Justin Hunter

has been in the dog house with Titans’ coaches most of the season. His attitude and work ethic have been questioned, but talent has never been the issue. With
Damian Williams

out with a quad injury, Hunter finally stepped up. He had six catches for 109 yards and a really impressive score, which included a few jukes that left a pair of Raiders defenders wondering what happened. Hunter needs to prove he can be consistent before he can be trusted, but he’s worth grabbing if you can afford the roster spot.

Whose Stock is Tanking?

Matt Ryan

has struggled since
Julio Jones

went down. It makes sense, considering Jones is easily Atlanta’s most talented offensive player.
Steven Jackson

has missed significant time,
Roddy White

tried to play through an injury and ended up hurting himself even worse, and
Tony Gonzalez

has been rethinking his decision to come back since the opening kickoff. On Thursday night, Ryan was actually effective, completing 30 of 39 passes for 292 yards. But he failed to throw a touchdown pass for the first time this season, and his line continues to get him hammered. It wouldn’t be surprising if the Falcons said he had some random injury and needed to shut him down soon. It’s just not worth getting your franchise quarterback killed.

Andrew Luck

can join Matt Ryan’s 
support group. Just as Ryan lost Jones for the season, Luck lost
Reggie Wayne

for the year, and the Colts offense hasn’t looked the same since. Luck has looked for
T.Y. Hilton

Coby Fleener

more often, while the running game has continued to sputter. Against a decent but not great Arizona pass defense, Luck went 20 of 39 for 163 yards, a score, and a pick. He’s had a few games like that. I’m not saying he’s terrible — clearly he’s not — but you may be interested in a guy like
Carson Palmer

Nick Foles

. Luck is a better NFL quarterback than a fantasy quarterback.

Stevan Ridley

continues to disappoint. He was a second or third round pick in August, and the startling thing is that he was actually a top-15 running back in standard leagues going into the week. During a stretch from Week 6 through Week 9, Ridley put up four really solid games and appeared to be turning the corner. But a fumble in each of the last two games places him firmly in Bill Belichick’s doghouse. On Sunday night, in weather that was tailor-made for running the football, Ridley managed 14 yards on four carries before his latest gaffe, and he wouldn’t see the field again. Instead, it was
Knowshon Moreno

with the huge night. I’m actually hoping Ridley starts in Week 13 and is able to right the ship, but I’m not real optimistic.

Victor Cruz

started out the season really strong. He topped 100 yards three of the first four games, and had four touchdowns. But since then, Cruz has topped 10 fantasy points just once, despite playing for a Giants team that has needed to chuck it for most of the season. It’s clear that defenses are keying on him, but I’m assuming he and
Eli Manning

get things figured out. The Giants will need Cruz if they’re going to have a shot.

Eric Decker

looked like the odd man out on Sunday night. To be fair, no one on the Broncos really had all that great a night catching the ball.
Demaryius Thomas

caught four passes for 41 yards and a score.
Wes Welker

caught four balls for 31 yards. Decker caught one ball for five yards. Five. He’s still having a nice year, as he’s just shy of 800 yards right now, but he’s caught just three touchdowns so far, compared with eight at this point last season. He’s still worth playing, obviously, as we never know whom
Peyton Manning

will target on a given day. But you may have more reliable options.

Good luck in week 13.

Drew Magyar is a staff writer and member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. He can be reached at

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