I know I had a million other people I could’ve made the lead out of from yesterday’s games but I think you’ve already heard of them and you already know how good they are and what they do. Don’t worry, I’ll be able to talk about them below. What you need to realize is for all the accolades being shined on Luck and RGIII, Russell Wilson is putting together a strong year, both in real and fantasy football. The Seahawks took it slow with him to start the year, keeping the playbook simple which limited both his upside but also kept the ball in the hands of Marshawn Lynch and relied heavily on their defense. But as the month of November has passed and we head into December, it’s time to recognize that playbook is opening a little bit more for Wilson’s arm. After his 293 passing/71 yard rushing performance on Sunday to go with 2 touchdown passes, Wilson has put up 878 passing yards to go with 9 passing touchdowns in his last 4 games, not to mention 170 yards on the ground. Unlike the other two big name rookie QBs, Wilson landed on a very solid team. It’s rare he’s going to get a shot at a shootout due to his defense getting worked over. It’s also unlikely he’ll get as many shots at rushing touchdowns when you have a workhorse who can go for 87 and a touchdown against a stingy Bears defense like Lynch did yesterday. Despite all that, Wilson has been a QB1 over his last 4 weeks of play, despite playing some tough secondaries – Jets & Bears – during that stretch. All this to say, he’s 22% and 17.8% owned in yahoo and ESPN leagues, respectively which is amazing to me because I don’t play in any leagues where he’s not. I mention that because Colin Kaepernick is 54%/43% owned. Now that’s not a knock on Colin, it’s a knock against YOU, fantasy footballers. Tsk, tsk for shame and all that jazz. Russell has been solid all year and if you need him he’s out there, waiting for your warm, loving fantasy arms. In other fantasy football news…
Calvin Johnson - He dropped a touchdown and about 50 yards worth of receiving. That’s the bad news. The good news? Oh, you know 171 yards on 13 receptions and a touchdown on 20 targets. Or as I like to call it, the usual which for a while wasn’t usual this year. He’s off pace from the touchdowns of 2011 but is on pace to shatter his career highs in receptions (114) and yardage (1904) from that same year. Take THAT Madden Curse!
Andrew Luck – See, I told you I wouldn’t leave these guys out. Formula for fantasy football success: draft a quality quarterback that plays for a team that has borderline no defense to speak of. Play from behind all year and rack up the puntos positivos. He tossed 3 interceptions but because Indianapolis played from behind all game, ended with 391 passing yards and 4 touchdowns. I have a funny feeling ‘Suck for Luck’ has taken on a very wrong meaning in dynasty leagues.
Adrian Peterson - What’s there to say? Somehow, AP racks up 210 rushing yards on 21 carries and a touchdown while his QB only throws two complete pass to a wide receiver on the day and ends 12/25 for 119 yards with two INT and a touchdown to Kyle Rudolph. All Day laughs at your need for offensive balance to create a running game. We’re not even 12 months from his injury and he’s on pace for over 1900 rushing yards. I kneel at the altar of the Purple Jesus every Sunday.
Cam Newton- After today’s 232 passing yards and 3 TDs to go with 78 rushing yards, I decided to double check his 2011 line and compare it to this year and here’s the scary result. He’s on pace for 3900 passing yards, 18 TDs, 13 INT, 698 rushing yards and 8 rushing touchdowns. In total, basically, 4 less passing TDs, 4 less INT, 6 less rushing TDs and about 150 less yards of passing from 2011. So what’s really hurt has been the rushing TDs but everyone and their non-football watching mother knew he wasn’t going to get 14 this year. He’s currently in the top 7 for QBs in both ESPN and yahoo leagues and yet all I hear from everyone is he’s terrible. Just doesn’t make sense to me.
Donnie Avery - When a QB throws for almost 400 yards, someone’s gotta catch a few passes and Donnie did that just fine, finishing the day with 91 yards on 5 receptions to go with his two touchdown passes. I’ll just throw my love for T.Y. Hilton in here while I’m at it: 100 receiving yards on 6 receptions. If you’re willing to Suck For Luck in dynasty leagues, the least you could do is say TY for Hilton’s services.
Steve Smith - Caught his first touchdown pass of the year to go with 120 yards on 5 receptions. I’ve heard he’s actually going into a witness protection program after this season due to angry fantasy owners. He won’t have to change his name, he’ll just move to St. Louis and take the #12.
Tony Moeaki – And you thought I was joking. I’ll take ‘out of nowhere top 5 TE for week 13′ for $1000, Alex.
Matt Forte – It feels like forever since I’ve talked good about Forte but that’s what happens when you only average 48 yards rushing a game for the last three weeks. He only had 63 on ground today but had 30 receiving yards and a touchdown to maybe leapfrog Shonn Greene in terms of fantasy relevance this year. I wish I was joking about that, go look at the stats. Meanwhile, Brandon Marshall was what he was: the only guy Jay Cutler throws to with 10 catches on 14 targets to go with 165 yards.
Mikel LeShoure - Had 73 total yards and a touchdown. Raise your hand if you’re LeShoure! Anybody? No? Yeah, it took him 23 touches to get that yardage so I’m not so sure about him either. Meanwhile, Joique Bell had 102 yards on 10 touches. And yet there seems to be no controversy over which running back should really be out there. If I were the coach, Joique could ring my Bell anytime. Which means if I were the coach, I just got fired for sexual harassment.
C.J. Spiller – Was able to turn 15 touches into 84 yards and a touchdown. Meanwhile, Fred Jackson turned 27 touches into 119 yards. I still think they’re peanut butter and jelly together, personally, but I know a lot of pundits think they’re pickles and tang.
Cecil Shorts, III - Another week, another touchdown. Threw in 77 yards on 7 receptions for good PPR measure as well before leaving with a head injury. It’s rumored to have been caused by a headache of reading how he’s outscoring Larry Fitzgerald on the year but isn’t 100% owned yet like ‘ole Fitz. His worst production in a PPR league since week 7 was 7.1 points and he’s scored a touchdown in 4 straight games and we’ve touted him plenty on the site. Don’t blame us if your team comes up Shorts this year!
Vick Ballard - Scored his first rushing touchdown of his career today to go with 41 yards on 9 carries and threw in 21 yards on 3 receptions to boot. This is a looking forward thing but I’m pretty sure I’m gonna be writing some love Ballards over the off-season. I’ll take creative license and change his first name to Vicky while I do it.
Wes Welker – Finished the day with 103 yards and a touchdown on 12 receptions and should’ve had one more TD that he dropped. Remember at the beginning of the year the fear he was going to get faded out of the offense? I hope you hopped on the Welk-ome Wagon when I told you to. Meanwhile, Charlie Batch outscored Tom Brady this week because fantasy football hates you.
Arian Foster- Had the fantasy saving TD because he sure didn’t do much else with his 19 touches, only netting 53 total yards. Don’t want to scare you but he’s now averaging less than 4 YPC on the year. He’s looking like a quantity over quality play right now and I have no doubt the Texans will try to limit his load the rest of the way as much as possible to keep him fresh for the playoffs.
Golden Tate - Finished with 96 yards on 5 receptions and a touchdown, nearly identical to Sidney Rice and his 99 yards on 6 receptions. Not the Tate I thought who’d be fantasy relevant this year but definitely the Tate I’ll be writing a sleeper post on during the off-season.
Trent Richardson - Not quite the day I was expecting – taking 20 carries to gain only 72 yards on the ground – but overall finished with a touchdown and 23 yards on 3 receptions. He’s been a top 5 back this year even with the rib injury that ruined fantasy teams in week 6 and 7. Let’s just say Ryan Mathews is no T-Rich and be happy with it.
Jonathan Dwyer - Didn’t have a huge day but did have the workload and turned in a reasonable fantasy performance with it: 57 total yards on 19 touches or as I like to call it ‘LeShoure Lite’. It’s been a love/hate relationship with Dwyer over this season but with Rashard Mendenhall a healthy inactive today in a very important game vs the Ravens, it’s clear the backfield in Pittsburgh is Dwyer’s to fumble away…pun intended.
Ray Rice - Saw a tweet earlier in the week that Harbaugh really wanted to see Bernard Pierce get more carries. The carries were 12 to 8 in favor of Rice, an exact 60/40 split. Ray was still able to get a touchdown and 78 rushing yards to go with a catch for 5 despite the nonsense but still, this is a week after Rice gains 30 yards on a 4th and 29. You can say Flacco is whacko all you want but it’s clear Harbaugh is a little Coo Coo for cocopuffs himself and must really hate using the talent he has appropriately. Yeah, I’m not bitter.
Josh Gordon - Flash Gordon really should be his nickname but namely because he’s quite the streaker. Went for 116 yards and a touchdown on 6 receptions after 4 weeks of boring his owners into asking ‘should I drop him for Cole Beasley?’. He gets KC and then the Redskins over the next two weeks so it looks like he’s gonna be wearing his birthday suit for a little longer.
Demaryius Thomas - I’m sorry I denied you in the off-season Demaryius. I thought you’d have a hard time running crisp enough routes for Peyton Manning. I thought you didn’t fully understand how to use your size yet. I thought Eric Decker was the guy to own in Denver. After your 99 yards on 8 receptions and two touchdowns, I yield. Ok, I yielded around week 4 but that’s besides the point. DT is a top 5 WR and I’m a dumb SOB for thinking different.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis - I don’t know what has happened with BJGE over the last couple of weeks, but he’s been ripping some long runs of late. Followed up his career high 48 yard run last week with a 41 yarder this week, finishing the day with 118 yards on 25 carries, while chipping in a very uncharacteristic 14 yards on 4 receptions. Due to health – both bad for others and good for himself – he’s quietly been a top 20 back this year, even though this Law Firm has made you feel like falling asleep in court nearly all season.