With the fantasy football regular season at or near its end (depending on your league type), Hook’s Wrap Up is going to continue the trend of discussing more fantasy analysis and implications from this past week rather than going through a game by game recap. NFL Week 13 was lucky for some, unlucky for others. Personally, I was one of the lucky ones who actually made the playoffs in one of my fantasy leagues with a 6-7 record. If you’re 6-7 and didn’t make it to the post season, it’s ok. About 95% of 6-7 teams don’t make it to the post season in 6 playoff team leagues and 99.9999% don’t in 4 playoff team leagues. 8-5 is the mark to shoot for each year, so congrats to the managers out there who made it.
As for the unlucky of Week 13, head coach Josh McDaniels was cut loose by the Denver Broncos and the New York Jets got absolutely dismantled by the Patriots on Monday Night Football. At 3-9 the Broncos are in last place in the AFC West even with Kyle Orton throwing for almost 3500 yards on the season so far (good for 4th in the NFL). I guess when your team is losing every week your QB is going to get a lot of attempts and yards. The Jets vs Patriots game was a massacre. Bill Belichick orchestrated a symphony of a football game, dominating mean green on both sides of the ball. The Jets were without starting safety Jim Leonhard (broken leg, season ending IR) and it showed. I wouldn’t call the Jets’ superbowl aspirations crushed, but the Pats definitely put a chink in New York’s armor. The Bears found a way to win yet again, basically having the game handed to them by the referees. Detroit rookie Ndamukong Suh emphatically shoved Jay Cutler to the ground on third down garnering an unnecessary roughness penalty which lead to the game-winning touchdown. Replays would show the hit was clean, but you can’t overturn a penalty. At 9-3 the Bears are in first place in the NFC North while riding a 5-0 winning streak. One more win should get them in the playoffs, and that’s all they should expect with New England (the best team in the NFL), Minnesota, New York Jets and Green Bay (the best team in the NFC North) remaining on the schedule.
Before we jump right into the fantasy implications of Week 13, TSB would like to give a shout-out to Big Ben Roethlisberger. The guy entered the game with a sprained foot and on the very first series had his nose broken. Instead of taking a seat, Roethlisberger remained in the game and lead his team to a hard-fought 13-10 victory over the Baltimore Ravens. Big-ups to Big Ben. Respect. Possibly the biggest fantasy impact of Week 13 was Adrian Peterson manning up and playing on a less than healthy ankle. If you were caught snoozing with AP on your bench or Gerhart in your lineup, you were wearing it on Sunday as AP started and ripped off a 108 yard 3 TD game. Gerhart still got some touches, but nowhere near the projected starting amount. Don’t cut Gerhart just yet. Stash him just incase AP’s ankle acts up and sits one out. Reggie Wayne went off in Week 13 for a 14 reception 200 yard 1 TD game. Fantasy owners had been waiting for a game like this from the 2nd round draft pick and boy did it come at a good time. He skipped practice on Monday so be sure to monitor his health going into Week 14.
On the defensive side, Champ Bailey had a huge impact on fantasy stud wide-out Dwayne Bowe. Bowe was held without a catch as Bailey has emerged as this year’s Darrell Revis as far as shut-down corners go. Going into Weeks 14-16, if you’re top WR is facing the Denver Broncos, you might want to think of an alternative. This means Larry Fitzgerald in Week 14, Louis Murphy in Week 15 and Andre Johnson in Week 16 all may be in for lower than average fantasy production. I have no problem sitting Fitz or Murphy, but you’ll just have to trust Andre 3k in the ‘ship if you make it that far.
Week 13 had plenty of studs and duds. Some Week 13 studs were benchwarmers all season that have emerged as viable fantasy starters going forward, and I’ll label those with a *. We already discussed Wanye and Peterson’s monster games. Tom Brady put himself in the lead for league MVP on Monday Night Football throwing for 326 yards 4 TDs. Greg Jennings has been the 2nd best receiver the past month and a half and continued rolling with 122 yards 2 TDs. Mike Vick threw for 300 yards 2 TDs, 48 rushing 1 TD as he keeps producing week after week. *Marshawn Lynch had his biggest game of the season with 100 total yards 3 TDs. *Sidney Rice went off for 105 yards 2 TDs. *Chris Ivory ran for 117 yards 2 TDs as well. Arian Foster scored another 2 TDs and Anquan Boldin FINALLY had a big game with 118 yards 1 TD. Giants running backs Bradshaw and *Jacobs tallied 105 and 103 yards respectively with 2 TDs apiece.Wrapping up TSB’s studs this week is Cleveland TE Ben Watson who had his best game of the season with 10 receptions 100 yards 1 TD.
It wasn’t all fun and games for fantasy players in Week 13. In the Week 13 edition of grenades and landmines, some of these players made the CDC explosion in The Walking Dead season finale look like a mere firecracker. Rookie Sam Bradford had the type of game I expected to see all year, even though his team managed to win. Bradford threw for 187 yards 0 TD 1 INT. Kyle Orton was even worse, with 117 passing yards 0 TDs 1 FL which hurt Brandon Lloyd’s performance. The Sanchize proved why you can’t trust him as he threw for 164 yards 0 TD 3 INT. Dez Bryant managed 1 reception for 14 yards before breaking his ankle. That leaves Hook’s grenade of the week, Dwayne Bowe, who had 0 receptions as he had himself a stiff shot of Bailey(s).
That’s it for Week 13. The waiver wire is extremely thin, but you’ll likely have less competition picking up players than in weeks past as the bottom feeders of your league have all given up. Here’s Hook’s Players to Add, Drop and Keep an Eye on for Week 14: Must Add: Ben Watson (TE CLE), Donald Driver (WR GB), Tashard Choice (RB DAL), Jonathan Stewart (RB CAR), Sidney Rice (WR MIN), James Starks (RB GB) Must Drop: Todd Heap (TE BAL), Dez Bryant (WR DAL, season ending broken ankle), Keiland Williams (RB WAS) Keep an Eye on: Your lineups.
Make sure you take a look at your team 20 minutes before kickoff on Sunday. If you’re still in it, it’s time to focus. Save yourself the embarrassment and don’t get caught playing someone who’s out for the week.