Every week, at least one player becomes my fascination of whether he’s worthy of a fantasy football start as a streamer. The decision can be a mental wrestling match, but for the purpose of brevity, only one player can be chosen as the fantasy football gamble of the week.
The best fantasy football gamble for Week 13
Tracking my predictions: 3-8-1
Win: Player produces ≥ 75% of projected fantasy points
Loss: Player produces >75% of projected fantasy points
Tie: Player is ejected, leaves with an injury, or lands on COVID-19 list after publishing
2021 record: 8-9-1
2020 record: 5-10-1
I’ve made some close calls this year that didn’t break in my favor, and I have whiffed on a few others, but the projection of Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Alec Pierce last week was off by a country mile. As written in the piece, the massive risk was abundantly clear, but I can’t say a two-target shutout was even 5 percent likely in my mind.
As I’ve stated more than once, being wrong isn’t what wears on me as much as the idea someone may have wasted a valuable lineup spot on such a blown call. The only redeeming factor here is all 32 teams played last week, which diminished the need for anyone to gamble on Pierce.
With that disaster behind us, this week’s recommendation isn’t too far off in terms of being a low-floor, moderate-ceiling play for those looking to lean into a risk-reward decision.
Last week, the Jets made the bold decision to move on from 2020 first-round pick Zach Wilson, and subsequent reports confirm he’s done in New York. This led to naming Mike White the starter, a move that proved to be correct after he tossed three touchdowns and 315 yards worth of completions.
Two of those throws went to second-year receiver Elijah Moore, whose season has been entirely forgettable after being demoted and ultimately not granted his trade request. The pair of targets went for 64 yards and a score, his only of the year, and Moore reminded the world what he is capable of as a playmaker.
Interestingly — this is part of the risk involved — last week’s two-look performance was the second-lowest target count of his prior seven games with a combination of Joe Flacco and Wilson. He becomes a much safer play if White delivers closer to the seven targets Moore averaged through the first three weeks with Flacco, but there’s always the big-play nature to fall back on. Much like with Pierce, this one isn’t for the faint of heart, though there’s quite a bit to like about Moore’s situation.
Last year, prior to getting injured in Week 9, White sent a 19-yard TD strike Moore’s way. In White’s breakout performance vs. Cincinnati the previous week, the then-rookie caught all six targets for 67 yards.
As the fourth-weakest PPR unit vs. the position, Minnesota has been owned by wideouts in 2022, especially over the last five games. Since Week 7, the ranking jumps to No. 2 on the strength of having allowed six of the nine total TDs to the position in that time. The per-game number of fantasy points allowed is 18.6 percent greater than the rest of the league, but that figure basically doubled in the most recent five contests. Sixteen receivers have posted at least 10 PPR points against the Vikings this year, and 11 of the performances were good for 15 or more.
Facing Minnesota also presents the opportunity for a potential shootout scenario, or at least garbage-time points from the Jets. New York has been formidable vs. the pass all year, though the Vikings have plenty of ways to attack, and this factor adds a little more incentive to gambling on Moore. As mentioned, he’s extremely hazardous, so judge how much risk you’re willing to assume from the flex spot.
My projection: 6 targets, 5 receptions, 68 yards, 1 TD (17.8 PPR fantasy points)