As we now enter Week Thirteen, most fantasy leagues are winding to the playoffs. There are some leagues that will play their regular seasons into Week Fourteen and then run the playoffs into the final week of the NFL regular season. Still, this is a critical week ... for fantasy. As we look at an important week in the Packer’s season, here are some fantasy considerations.
Finally played a game where Rodgers looked like he was in rhythm all game long. Short passes got Rodgers going and he let the receivers do the work after the catch. Look for the Packers to keep up this plan going against another strong pass defense. Houston is still living off the strong start to their defensive season. The yards per game is a bit deceiving as Football Outsiders has the Texans as the 11th in Defense-adjusted Value Over Average (DVOA). For comparison, Philadelphia is second. Rodgers should still have big numbers. This week it remains hard to start Rodgers in DFS as you want to pair him with someone to double your points. Rodgers spreads the ball well.
Easy one, even with a Packers defense that has struggled plenty, you are not starting Osweiler. More touchdowns than interceptions, terrible yardage numbers. The Packers looked better this last week with Randall and Rollins both back in the lineup. There is really no match up where you should feel safe starting Osweiler. If you have Osweiler on your team, you are not playing fantasy football in a week.
I am not ranking Christine Michael this week. Even in goal line carries the Packers did not give Michael a serious look. Starks looked okay, but he looks like he kept trying to make big plays by cutting outside. Starks will get you a few catches, but now it looks like Ripkowski will be stealing some catches and even some carries. Starks does not really have flex value.
Miller is the only running back averaging at least 19.0 carries per game to have fewer than eight touchdowns. Miller is averaging over 80 yards a game and Le’Veon Bell is the only other running back averaging at least that much and having just three touchdowns (there are eight such running backs). Miller is the clear lead back. He is going to get a bunch of carries against what appears to be a good run defense. Still, the Packers will still have to contend with injuries to Blake Martinez and Jake Ryan. Lamar Miller is likely a low-end RB1, but if the Packers can move the ball and put up points again then Miller might have less value. Still, you start him if you have him.
Jordy Nelson/Davante Adams/Randall Cobb
Nelson remains the top target and Adams remains an near equal. In points to date, both Nelson and Adams are top ten fantasy receivers. You start them both in any format. Randall Cobb seems to have been relegated to the third option and a short yardage option at that. Cobb is far more valuable in PPR formats. He is not far behind in catches, but he has not produced the yards or touchdowns Nelson and Adams have produced. Against a middling, and falling, pass defense, Cobb is a flex consideration and a WR2 in deeper leagues.
DeAndre Hopkins/Will Fuller
The utter bomb that is Brock Osweiler’s fantasy value has harmed both Hopkins and Fuller. Hopkins is in the same realm as Cobb in terms of his statistics. Fuller started well, but since Week Four he has not had a touchdown, has only managed four catches twice and only managed more than 25 yards once. You likely drafted Hopkins in the first round of your draft and this has likely made it hard for you to be in playoff contention at this point. Hopkins likely has value as a starter this week as the Packers have had issues with WR1s this season. Fuller has not been the same since getting injured.
THE REST OF THE LEAGUE
You likely have your quarterback by now and most of the major byes are all done, but somehow Kirk Cousins is available in 14% of Yahoo leagues and 21.2% of ESPN leagues. If he is out there in your league, grab him. If you do not need him someone else will. Cousins is in the top six in scoring so far and Washington has clearly turned to the passing game as the first and second option. If things are getting desperate, Jameis Winston is a good start this week. He has been a low-end QB1 most of the year and this week he gets to face the Charges. This should be a game where he throws frequently. Winston is available in 30.8% of ESPN leagues and 21% of Yahoo leagues.
Not really much out there for running backs at point. Everyone is injured or owned. Rashad Jennings could be an interesting name in a pinch. Jennings was inured earlier in the season (missed the Packers game) but he has managed to score double digits in three of his last five games. He goes against the Steelers this week. Not a perfect match up, but nothing to be afraid of either. Jennings is still out there in 12-15% of leagues. If you are suddenly in desperation mode, Bilal Powell might be useful. He continues to outplay Matt Forte in this latter portion of the season and seems very adept in the passing game. Powell is very available and has scored 10+ in two of his last four games. Powell faces the Colts this week and should find room rushing and receiving.
Somehow, Jamison Crowder is still available in 16% of Yahoo leagues and 23.5% of ESPN leagues. He has been the most consistent receiver on Washington and he has been getting plenty of targets. If he is out there, you might be adding a WR2 to your team with WR1 potential.
Tyrell Williams has been coming on very strong, but appears to be suffering some injuries. He still managed good numbers last week and is a viable WR2 if you need the points this week. Mike Wallace has big point capability, but as a deep-threat guy, he really is a hit-or-miss prospect. If you fancy a gamble and already face a long-shot this week, he might be your pick. He is out there in over 20% of leagues.
An interesting deeper pick is Kenny Britt. Britt retained his value even in the change of quarterbacks. Goff targeted Britt ten times last week. Britt has topped 10 points in three of the last four contests. This week he faces the Patriots and the passing game is the weakest point of their defense. Britt could be valuable and he is available in 40.4% of ESPN leagues and 39% of Yahoo leagues. WR2 potential and if you have a flex slot he could carry the day.