It’s Week 13, which means we are heading into the fantasy playoffs soon. I know that because my readership has dwindled the last two weeks, as many fantasy owners have been eliminated from the playoffs and are throwing in the towel. But that’s OKAY. That just means we can be more serious and a bit more intimate now. It’s just me and you, playoff hopefuls.
Heading into this week, Tim Hightower was a name to watch because Mark Ingram was still in the concussion protocol and was questionable to play. If Ingram couldn’t go, Hightower was going to be a high-end flex/RB2 to throw into lineups before they locked on Sunday. But word came out on Sunday morning that Ingram was going to play, so many likely left Hightower on the bench or on the waiver wire.
But something funny happened. It didn’t matter that Ingram played. Ingram and Hightower combined for three touchdowns and almost 300 yards, with Hightower accounting for 51 rushing yards, 54 receiving yards, and one of the touchdowns. Although, Hightower’s final stat line would look a bit different if not for the late 50-yard touchdown pass from wide receiver Willie Snead. If Hightower can keep producing even with a healthy Ingram, he can help out some of the needier fantasy owners come playoff time.
To the report…
NOTE: In the tables below, I’ve removed running backs who have been placed on Injured Reserve. If the running back is injured but is not on IR, then he has a + next to his name.
Now that Dion Lewis is officially back, the running back situation in New England is even tougher to predict. LeGarrette Blount, Dion Lewis, and James White split snaps almost evenly, with 27, 23, and 25, respectively. Blount only rushed 11 times, and Lewis and White each caught four passes. Lewis coming back certainly doesn’t help Blount owners, but this gameplan likely had more to do with a tough New York Jets rushing defense and the fact that the Patriots were playing from behind for a while. I would say that Blount is going to be fine for the fantasy playoffs, but there is one catch. Look at the defenses the Patriots have coming up: Rams, Ravens, Broncos, and Jets.
Despite dislocating his thumb last week, LeSean McCoy started for the Buffalo Bills on Sunday and posted one of the top fantasy performances of the week. Instead, it was everyone’s favorite handcuff Mike Gillislee who missed the game, as he injured his hamstring during the week. Even with the injured thumb, McCoy put up 134 total yards and two touchdowns, including a 75-yard run in the second half. McCoy has been banged up all year but hasn’t missed much time, much to the chagrin of Gillislee handcuffers. And now it is Gillislee who is banged up.
If you look at the total numbers, Jeremy Hill had a solid day and put up 14 points in PPR formats. However, that is only because he caught six passes for 61 yards. On the ground, Hill rushed 12 times for only 21 yards (1.8 YPC). The hope for Hill owners was that his production would go up now that Giovani Bernard is out, but it looks like Hill’s ceiling is still pretty limited.
— Nathan Jahnke (@PFF_NateJahnke) November 27, 2016
A few weeks ago, it looked like the Giants were preparing for Perkins to take over the starting job from Rashad Jennings. But then Jennings caught fire, and Perkins disappeared. With the playoffs coming up, Perkins taking snaps and touches from Jennings is not what fantasy owners want to see. Keep an eye on this one.
Another week, another Matt Asiata vulture touchdown. Unfortunately, the Vikings split the running back touches between Asiata and Jerick McKinnon. And both running backs are not very good. And Minnesota’s offensive line is terrible. If you are headed to the playoffs in your league, you likely made it this far without using either of these backs. There is no need for that to change now.
Thomas Rawls turned in a real dud on Sunday, but so did most of the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks were down early and were never able to climb out of the hole, and Rawls ended the day with 12 rushes for 38 yards. This was obviously a disappointing day for Rawls and the Seahawks, but it is hard not to roll with Rawls and hope for the best at this point. He’s the workhorse for the foreseeable future, and there just aren’t that many of them out there.
Additional Thoughts, Observations, and Injuries. . .
- I’m not entirely sure why, but Matthew Berry came at me on Twitter on Sunday morning:
— Matthew Berry (@MatthewBerryTMR) November 27, 2016
I write news updates for FantasyPros, and when I submit news that account tweets the headline and the link and tags my account. I guess Berry interpreted an auto-generated tweet from a news alert account as me taking credit for “breaking” that news? Maybe? However, if he would have just clicked the link he would have seen that, not only did I credit Adam Schefter for reporting it first, but I LINKED THE UPDATE TO SCHEFTER’S REPORT. But Berry didn’t, and then he decided to come at me, and now he has made himself an enemy. And if you come at the king, you best not miss.
- The Giants placed Orleans Darkwa on injured reserve, ending his season. Also, it was reported earlier this week that Shane Vereen could return in a couple weeks.
- I was at the 49ers-Dolphins game on Sunday, and the main takeaway for me was that Jay Ajayi is in trouble if the Dolphins are going to be without three of their starting offensive linemen for an extended period of time. With Pouncey, Albert, and Tunsil out, their backup line got no push against one of the league’s worst defenses.
- Bonus takeaway from that game: Colin Kaepernick got the crap booed out of him. He was partly booed, of course, because of his national anthem protests (our section even received STAND UP posters to hold up, if we chose), but he also recently defended Fidel Castro, which did not play well with the heavily Cuban community in this area. It was pretty interesting to be there to see it in person.
- Kenneth Dixon out-snapped Terrance West 31 to 22 on Sunday, but neither back did much. As I have said most of this season, stay away from the Baltimore Ravens backfield.
If you want to talk fantasy football or have players you want Mike to feature, hit him up on Twitter at @mikeMaher or post a comment below!