No person has a extra stacked lineup of fantasy analysts and NFL crew reporters than ESPN. It is the uncommon backfield by committee that’s truly a very good factor for fantasy managers. Each Tuesday, we’ll ask our NFL Nation reporters a sequence of burning questions to assist inform your waiver-wire pickups and roster choices.
A lot for these Week 13 QB rankings. The precise scoring leaders at quarterback on Sunday regarded like that they had been shaken out of a snow globe.
Among the many greatest surprises: Baker Mayfield (29.46 factors) and Matthew Stafford (26.08) landed within the high 5 in ESPN normal scoring, regardless of being ranked exterior the highest 20 in analysts’ projections. In the meantime, Derek Carr (31.74) and Cam Newton (23.56) each bounced again in an enormous manner after they flopped per week earlier with lower than 4 factors every.
However can these inconsistent quarterbacks maintain this? Are you able to truly belief them within the fantasy playoffs? As all the time, ESPN’s crew reporters have you ever lined.
Browns reporter Jake Trotter advised that Mayfield would possibly certainly be price grabbing on your playoff run now that he’s “regaining the scintillating passing contact he confirmed as a rookie.” Particularly contemplating that he’ll play on the New York Giants in Week 15 (18th-ranked move protection) and on the New York Jets (31st) in Week 16 after internet hosting the Baltimore Ravens in Week 14.
Mayfield threw for a season-high 334 yards with 4 first-half landing passes in Sunday’s 41-35 win at Tennessee. He’s now the one QB within the NFL to throw 4 TD passes in a half this season — and he has finished it twice (additionally within the second half at Cincinnati in Week 7).
Certain, Mayfield’s good days have been unpredictable. But it surely’s price noting two issues that Trotter has shared on this column in earlier weeks. Whereas endorsing huge receiver Jarvis Landry final week, Trotter defined that Cleveland’s complete passing offense suffered from Weeks 8 to 11 as a result of it saved enjoying in terrible climate situations. While you take away that stretch, Mayfield has carried out very properly in each different recreation since Odell Beckham Jr. was misplaced to a torn ACL in Week 7.
Additionally, Trotter identified after Week 7’s bonanza that Mayfield’s fantasy worth would not be damage as a lot by Beckham’s damage as folks would possibly anticipate — as a result of Mayfield tried to pressure the ball to his elite playmaker at occasions. They really had the lowest completion percentage of any duo within the NFL.
Lions reporter Michael Rothstein gave a fair stronger endorsement to Stafford after he threw for 402 yards with three TDs and one interception in former offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell’s debut as Detroit’s interim head coach.
“It is protected to start out him as soon as once more,” stated Rothstein, who stated Stafford regarded extra like his 2019 type in the course of the come-from-behind win at Chicago. “Bevell’s offense took extra downfield pictures and was extra aggressive. Stafford could be counted on as a QB 1/excessive QB 2 in virtually any league.”
Though Bevell was already calling the Lions’ performs beneath lately fired head coach Matt Patricia, Rothstein stated that Bevell’s aim was “basically to simply let Stafford play.”
“That is why Stafford regarded rather more just like the quarterback we noticed in Bevell’s offense in 2019 — keen to take pictures downfield, OK with a bit extra danger and usually extra snug than he checked out any level in the course of the 2020 season,” Rothstein stated. “It is positively a unique offensive mindset and method, definitely.”
The mannequin of inconsistency, Carr now has six video games with greater than 19 fantasy factors this season — and 6 video games with lower than 16. Raiders reporter Paul Gutierrez stated that makes some sense, contemplating Carr “has proven that he can win video games through the dink-and-dunk West Coast offense, handing off to a ground-it-out run recreation and by letting it fly in opposition to defenses that play zero protection in Hail Mary-type conditions.”
That final line was, in fact, a nod to Carr’s game-winning, 46-yard TD pass that led to Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams being fired — and turned Carr’s up-and-down outing right into a monster fantasy efficiency (381 passing yards, three passing TDs, one interception, one dashing TD).
Carr may not be your finest wager for constant manufacturing. Nonetheless, Gutierrez does imagine that he “must engineer some shootout-type affairs down the stretch to maintain the Raiders’ playoff hopes alive.” And he expects Carr to maintain feeding Darren Waller after the tight finish’s “epic efficiency” versus the Jets with 13 catches for 200 yards and two TDs.
For the second week in a row, the Patriots gained a recreation regardless of Newton throwing for lower than 100 yards. However Newton ran the ball 14 occasions for 48 yards and two TDs — and Patriots reporter Mike Reiss stated that is why he expects Newton to stay a fantasy asset because the 6-6 Patriots “are enjoying for his or her playoff life.”
Discipline Yates marvels over Cam Newton’s efficiency in a 45-Zero shutout of the Chargers in Week 13.
Newton’s 12 dashing makes an attempt within the first half of Sunday’s 45-Zero rout on the Los Angeles Chargers had been essentially the most of any half of his profession, in line with ESPN Stats & Info analysis.
“They cannot afford to lose one other recreation. So what this recreation informed us is they will maintain nothing again on the subject of Newton as a rusher. They’re gonna run him as a lot as they must,” Reiss stated. Nonetheless, he did level out that you simply’d be taking a danger counting on these “goal-to-go scores.”
“As a result of there are nonetheless important questions if they will constantly be productive within the passing recreation,” Reiss stated. “Additionally think about the energy of the subsequent two opponents — the Rams and Dolphins. Fairly good defenses there.”
Now for the remainder of our weekly tour across the league:
As Bears reporter Jeff Dickerson stated, “There may be all the time motive to proceed with warning on the subject of the Bears’ offense.” And he has been “burned earlier than” with excessive expectations for Montgomery. However Dickerson stated he thinks it’s truly OK to belief Montgomery in fantasy playoff lineups after his two finest performances of the season over the previous two weeks (143 yards from scrimmage and a receiving TD in Week 12, 111 yards from scrimmage and two dashing TDs in Week 13).
Two of Montgomery’s subsequent three opponents (vs. Houston in Week 14, at Jacksonville in Week 16) rank among the many 5 groups permitting essentially the most fantasy factors to working backs this yr.
“He ran with a transparent sense of function versus Detroit on Sunday and had a 100-yard recreation that horrible loss the week earlier than at Inexperienced Bay,” Dickerson stated. “Simply do not come after me if it does not work out. These are the Bears, in any case!”
In the meantime, it appears to be like just like the rookie Kmet might need supplanted veteran Jimmy Graham because the Bears’ tight finish to take a flier on in deep leagues. Kmet, who got here into Sunday with simply eight profession receptions, caught 5 passes for 37 yards and a TD whereas Graham had zero catches.
“I held out hope that Graham might need one good fantasy day left in him versus the Lions, however that went up in smoke,” Dickerson stated. “The Bears have moved on to Kmet, and so they focused him seven occasions in Week 13. For these fantasy managers determined at tight finish, Kmet is an effective late pickup as a result of the Bears intend to make use of him — after ignoring him a lot of the yr — over the ultimate 4 weeks.”
Patrick has soared previous fellow huge receiver Jeudy in fantasy factors over the previous three weeks. Within the two video games throughout which they performed with precise quarterbacks, Patrick has 9 catches for 163 yards and two TDs, whereas Jeudy has simply 4 catches for 42 yards.
Nonetheless, Broncos reporter Jeff Legwold identified that each wideouts noticed 4 targets on this previous recreation. And he stated Jeudy’s diminished manufacturing has extra to do with him being restricted by ankle and shoulder accidents in current weeks. Legwold stated he would not be stunned to see the rookie first-round draft choose extra concerned as he will get more healthy.
“Patrick could also be a safer wager, simply barely, within the weeks forward as a result of he’s enjoying higher than ever, for one. And when the Broncos run the ball quite a bit, he’ll get extra of the snaps in these personnel groupings as a result of he’s such a bodily participant,” Legwold stated. “However Drew Lock all the time appears to be like to Jeudy, so Jeudy’s lack of targets in opposition to the Chiefs was extra a bodily problem. When he feels higher, issues will transfer forwards and backwards between them — and huge receiver KJ Hamler‘s targets have steadily elevated, as properly.”
Discipline Yates and Stephania Bell agree that regardless of Brandin Cooks’ historical past of concussions, the truth that he was cleared to return vs. the Raiders ought to imply he can be out there in Week 14.
Coutee will possible be the most well liked waiver wire pickup in fantasy this week after the third-year huge receiver caught eight passes for 141 yards within the wake of Will Fuller V‘s season-ending suspension. Texans reporter Sarah Barshop stated Coutee must be price it.
“Coutee goes to proceed to get targets for the subsequent 4 video games. Houston is a pass-first offense, even with David Johnson again from injured reserve. And with out Fuller, Deshaun Watson wants somebody to throw to,” Barshop stated. “Coutee had two massive video games in 2018, his rookie season, however had fallen out of favor with former head coach Invoice O’Brien and was a wholesome scratch for many of the 2019 season.”
As for journeyman wideout Hansen, who had 5 catches for 101 yards in his first NFL recreation motion since 2017, it is more durable to anticipate a repeat efficiency.
“Hansen had a powerful coaching camp for the Texans, however his inclusion forward of fifth-round rookie Isaiah Coulter was a shock,” Barshop stated. “I am undecided he can be getting 100 receiving yards each week, however there’s clearly a belief between him and Watson that has been developed on the observe discipline.
Do not be alarmed that veteran backup Alfred Morris vultured two touchdowns away from Gallman on Sunday. Giants reporter Jordan Raanan stated Gallman is “a must-start RB1 at this level in fantasy.”
“There is no such thing as a manner round it,” Raanan stated of Gallman. “He is had at the least 15 touches in 4 straight video games, and the Giants are dedicated to the run, irrespective of the opponent. Gallman is coming off a career-high 135 yards dashing Sunday in Seattle, and the TDs had been solely vultured by Morris as a result of on each events he wanted a breather after lengthy runs. Gallman nonetheless out-snapped Morris 27-11 versus the Seahawks, and he has 13 purple zone carries as in comparison with Morris’ 4 throughout this stretch. There must be no hesitation in getting Gallman in your lineup each week.”
Stephania Bell and Discipline Yates focus on the concussion Frank Gore sustained vs. the Raiders and the fantasy impression that has on La’Mical Perine and Ty Johnson.
The second-year working again also needs to be a well-liked waiver-wire pickup after he ran for 104 yards and a TD on 22 carries on Sunday, on account of Frank Gore‘s early departure with a concussion.
Jets reporter Wealthy Cimini stated he expects Johnson to get one other crack because the main man subsequent week if Gore cannot return from the concussion. Nonetheless, Cimini did warning that Johnson will possible break up time with third-year RB Josh Adams, who gained 74 yards of his personal on eight carries on Sunday.
“I give a slight edge to Johnson by way of greater workload, however it might rely on recreation plan and opponent. For now, I would say Johnson can be 1A and Adams 1B,” stated Cimini, who identified that Gore might ultimately return to the combo, as properly, since head coach Adam Gase has all the time leaned on Gore a lot.