Running down each game from Sunday Week 13 for fantasy value and notables.
Pittsburgh 19, Atlanta 16
Not as many points as we wanted and not a lot of fantasy value as well. Kenny Pickett passed for 197 yards and one score with the best receivers of Pat Freiermuth (3-76) and Diontae Johnson (5-60) while George Pickens only managed one catch for two yards. Najee Harris was solid with 86 yards on 17 runs and a catch for six yards. The Steelers spent little time in the red zone and relied on four Matthew Wright field goals along with the first touchdown for tight end Connor Heyward. The 5-7 Steelers host the Ravens for Week 14.
The Falcons followed the same formula as the Steelers only with one fewer field goals. Marcus Mariota passed for 167 yards and one score to tight end MyCole Pruitt. Drake London (6-95) had one of his best performances but no other receiver managed more than 24 yards. Cordarrelle Patterson (11-60) and Tyler Allgeier (10-52) shared the carries for the backfield and yet neither had a target. The loss drops the Falcons to 5-8 and they head onto their bye.
Green Bay 28, Chicago 19
Aaron Rodgers continues his ownership of Chicago. He only passed for 182 yards and one score to Christian Watson (3-48, TD) who also ran in a touchdown on a 46-yard fourth-quarter jaunt that sealed the win. Allen Lazard (5-67) was the only other receiver of any note. Aaron Jones (9-26) added five catches for 24 yards but left injured. AJ Dillon took over and ran for 93 yards and a touchdown on 18 rushes and added three receptions for 26 yards. The Packers trailed 16-3 in the second quarter but scored 19 straight points in the fourth quarter. The win lifts the Packers to 5-8 and they head onto their bye.
The Bears were hot in the first half and Justin Fields logged a 55-yard run up the middle for a first-quarter touchdown. David Montgomery (14-61, TD) scored on a 7-yard run in the second quarter. But in the final 38 minutes, all the Bears could muster was a field goal. Fields passed for 254 yards and two interceptions with Equanimeous St. Brown (3-85) and Cole Kmet (6-72) as the primary receivers. Fields rushed for 71 yards in all but most of his day was made by the 55-yard run. The Bears fall to 3-10 and head onto their bye.
Jacksonville 14, Detroit 40
The Jaguars never got on track in this road game and Trevor Lawrence was tackled and had his legs awkwardly bent beneath him. He left the game for a time but returned. He only threw for 179 yards and a touchdown to Evan Engram (5-30, TD). Christian Kirk (6-104) was the only other receiver with more than 17 yards. Travis Etienne (13-54) added three catches for 12 yards but the Jaguars struggled in all facets on the road in Detroit. It was a cooling off of the recently hot Jaguars who fall to 4-8 and play in Tennessee this week.
The Lions played their best game of the year. Jared Goff threw for 340 yards and two scores that both went to Amon-Ra St. Brown (11-114, 2 TD) while D.J. Chark turned in five catches for 98 yards. D’Andre Swift finally had a big day when he ran for 62 yards and a score on 14 carries and caught four passes for 49 yards. Jamaal Williams ran for only 35 yards on 11 rushes but scored his one obligatory touchdown. The entire offense operated how it was intended for at least one glorious week, and it was a big day for Swift and Chark who did not generate much confidence this season until this week. The Lions rise to 5-7 and host the Vikings on Sunday.
NY Jets 22, Minnesota 27
The Jets fell behind 20-3 in the second quarter but battled back and was in position to potentially take the lead at the end of the game when Mike White threw his second interception. Zonovan Knight was the primary back with 15 runs for 90 yards and five catches for 29 more. James Robinson (4-10) and Ty Johnson (1-3) were barely involved. Mike White threw for 369 yards but no scores. Garrett Wilson (8-162) may not miss Zach Wilson much. Corey Davis (5-85) was the only other receiver of note since Elijah Moore (2-7) went back under his rock. The Jets fall to 7-5 and play in Buffalo this week.
The Vikings took the win but no one had a big game. Kirk Cousins passed for 173 yards and one score. Justin Jefferson (7-45, TD) had the score save his fantasy value while the rookie Sauce Gardner did a credible job in coverage. T.J. Hockenson was one of the top receivers with only four catches for 33 yards. Dalvin Cook (20-86, TD) was solid but the Vikings made no mistakes and played just good enough to take the win. The Vikings are 10-2 and head to Detroit on Sunday.
Washington 20, NY Giants 20 OT
Here’s our first tie since Week 1. The Commanders needed a touchdown catch by Jahan Dotson to tie the game with 1:45 left to play and then both teams had to punt twice in overtime. The Giants Graham Gano missed a 58-yard field goal attempt to end the game in a tie.
Taylor Heinicke passed for 275 yards and two scores between Terry McLaurin (8-105, TD) and Jahan Dotson (5-54, TD) while Curtis Samuel caught six passes for 63 yards and ran for 23 more. Brian Robinson (21-96) added two catches for 15 yards while Antonio Gibson only rained 39 yards on nine rushes and caught two passes for 20 yards. McLaurin and Robinson paced the team as they do in most weeks. The 7-5-1 Commanders head onto their bye.
Daniel Jones passed for 200 yards and one score, and he was also the leading rusher with 71 yards on 12 runs. Darius Slayton (6-90) had a respectable showing and Isiah Hodgins (5-44, TD) was the only other receiver with more than 25 yards. Saquon Barkley (18-63, TD) added five catches for 18 yards. This game was a defensive battle and it was fitting to end in a tie since neither team was better than the other. The 7-4-1 Giants try to get right against the visiting Eagles on Sunday.
Tennessee 10, Philadelphia 35
The Titans were in this and led 14-10 in the second quarter but the Eagles peeled off three straight touchdowns to take the win without too much trouble. Ryan Tannehill only passed for 141 yards and one touchdown to Treylon Burks (1-25, TD) who was injured on the play. Tight end Chigoziem Okonkwo led the team with four catches for 68 yards while Austin Hooper caught three passes for 22 yards. What little passing that Tannehill attempted was primarily to the tight ends, The wide receivers combined for only three catches with one for each starter. The loss drops the Titans to 7-5 and they host the Jaguars for Week 14.
What makes the Eagles so dangerous is that they can beat teams with their run or their pass. This week was all about the passing since Miles Sanders only gained 24 yards on ten carries but ran in one touchdown. Jalen Hurts was a top fantasy play for Week 13 with 380 passing yards and three scores, plus he ran for a fourth score as well. A.J. Brown (8-119, 2 TD) had no problem sticking it to his old team and DeVonta Smith (5-102, TD) scored the first touchdown of the game. Even without a receiving tight end like Dallas Goedert in the lineup, Hurts had no problem finding targets. The 11-1 Eagles continue their march to the No. 1 seed and head to New York to play the Giants for Week 14.
Denver 9, Baltimore 10
This game featured 19 total points and the winning (and only) touchdown wasn’t scored until deep into the fourth quarter. The Broncos offensive woes are only getting worse. Russell Wilson only passed for 189 yards with Greg Dulcich (6-85) and Jerry Jeudy (4-65) were the top receivers while Courtland Sutton didn’t have a catch before leaving the game with a hamstring injury. Latavius Murray was the lead rusher with 47 yards on 17 carries but Mike Boone (6-18) had his first carries since Week 7 when he went onto injured reserve. The 3-9 Broncos hope to break their four-game losing streak at home against the Chiefs this week.
The Ravens won, barely, and lost Lamar Jackson not for the year but at least for now and maybe a few weeks according to initial speculation. With Jackson out nearly from the start, Mark Andrews led the receivers with only four catches for 53 yards and Demarcus Robinson ended with seven receptions for 41 as the next-best receiver. Huntley was the top rusher with 41 yards and the lone touchdown. But the loss of Jackson is not a great sign for Kenyan Drake (7-29) or Gus Edwards (6-12). The Ravens try to figure out how to win without Jackson this week in Pittsburgh.
Cleveland 27, Houston 14
The much-anticipated return of Deshaun Watson was a sound win by the Browns, though it had almost nothing to do with Watson who only passed for 131 yards and one interception. Donovan Peoples-Jones (3-44) and Amari Cooper (4-40) were as good as it got for receivers. Nick Chubb (17-80) ran well enough and Kareem Hunt (9-56) was better than usual. The Browns won because they scored on a fumble recovery, a punt return, and an interception return. That sort of trifecta helps fantasy teams win their games almost every time. The 5-7 Browns head to Cincinnati for Week 14.
The Texans led the game 5-0 though almost the entire second quarter but then gave up touchdowns in every possible way to an opposing defense. Kyle Allen passed for 201 yards and a score with two interceptions and one lost fumble. Nico Collins (3-35, TD) had the only receiving score and Brevin Jordan (4-46) was the top receiver. Dameon Pierce turned around a two-game slide by running for 73 yards on 18 carries and adding three receptions for 22 more yards. This game was never as close as the score may suggest since it was 27-8 with two minutes left in the game. The 1-10-1 Texans play in Dallas on Sunday.
Seattle 27, LA Rams 23
The Seahawks pulled out this surprisingly close matchup with the Rams by throwing a touchdown with only 36 seconds left to play. The game was so back and forth that each team had five scores each and never had two in a row. It was back and forth every time. Geno Smith passed for 367 yards and three touchdowns that included Tyler Lockett (9-128, TD), DK Metcalf (8-127, TD), and Noah Fant (4-42, TD) were all the top scorers and receivers. Kenneth Walker injured his ankle and left after three carries. DeeJay Dallas (10-37) and Tony Jones (7-14) replaced him but not very well. The Seahawks missed his explosive running style. The 7-3 Seahawks host the Panthers for Week 14.
The Rams played better than expected considering that they’ve lost their best player in nearly every position. John Wolford threw for 178 yards and two interceptions with Tutu Atwell (2-48) and Brandon Powell (4-39) as the top receivers. Cam Akers had his best game of the year with 17 runs for 60 yards and two touchdowns. Overall, still not much fantasy value here aside from Akers’ “big” day and he’s hardly reliable. The Rams drop to 3-9 and bring their six-game losing streak to host the Raiders on Sunday.
Miami 17, San Francisco 33
This was less of a game than expected, and that’s before the 49ers lost another starting quarterback and now revert to a former third stringer. Brock Purdy was plenty effective, throwing for 210 yards and two scores with one interception. Deebo Samuel (6-58) and Brandon Aiyuk (5-46) were the best wideouts though George Kittle was left with just two catches for 22 yards. Christian McCaffrey was the star of the game rushing for 66 yards on 17 runs and catching a team-high eight passes for 80 yards and the only offensive touchdown. The 49ers defense scored on a fumble return and did a great job limiting the Dolphins other than Tyreek Hill. The 8-4 49ers host the Buccaneers for Week 14.
The Dolphins tied the score 10-10 in the second quarter but did little else in the second half. Tua Tagovailoa threw for 295 yards and two scores but had two interceptions and lost a fumble. Tyreek Hill (9-146, TD) excelled but Jaylen Waddle (1-9) injured his leg and left the game but returned later on. Trent Sherfield caught a 75-yard touchdown to open the game but never recorded another reception. The Dolphins had little rushing offense with Raheem Mostert (7-30) and Jeff Wilson (1-3) little used. There was no word given why Wilson was only used and more information is expected to be given about it. The loss pulls the Dolphins down to 8-4 and they head to Los Angeles to play the Chargers.
LA Chargers 20, Las Vegas 27
The Chargers led 13-10 at the half but then let Davante Adams lay down 14 unanswered points until the Chargers made it look closer with a fourth-quarter touchdown. The Chargers had almost nothing from the run game with Austin Ekeler (10-35) and Joshua Kelley (7-30) not making any difference but Ekeler caught five passes for 67 yards to salvage his fantasy value. Justin Herbert threw for 335 yards and one touchdown to Keenan Allen (6-88, TD). Gerald Everett (5-80) and Joshua Palmer (7-60) were also contributors. The 6-6 Chargers host the Dolphins for Week 14.
The Raiders had Josh Jacobs questionable and he wasn’t a safe start until he was officially active. So naturally, he runs for 144 yards and a score on 26 carries and catches two passes for six yards in yet another monster game. Derek Carr passed for 250 yards and two touchdowns which almost entirely ended up with Davante Adams (7-177, 2 TD). No other receiver gained more than 35 yards. But Jacobs and Adams were enough to win the game. The win lifts the Raiders to 5-7 and they play at the Rams on Thursday night.
Indianapolis 19, Dallas 54
That was a very close game except for the 33 points the Cowboys scored in the fourth quarter. The Colts trailed just 19-21 entering the fourth quarter but it all came undone when they Colts had to pass and abandon the run. Matt Ryan threw for 233 yards and two scores, but had three interceptions and lost a fumble that was returned for a Dallas score. Alec Pierce (4-86, TD) was the only receiver with more than 45 yards and Michael Pittman (2-16) was clearly schemed to be shut down by the defense. Jonathan Taylor ran for 82 yards on 21 carries and added three catches for 21 yards for a decent fantasy score. But the Colts crumbled late and couldn’t keep the Cowboys’ third-string running back from scoring on a 23-yard run. The 4-8-1 Colts head onto their bye.
The Cowboys fired up the bulldozer in the fourth quarter, but they were evenly matched through three quarters. It ended well enough, but Tony Pollard (12-91, 2 TD) was the more effective back and even took goal line duty for his first score. Ezekiel Elliott ended with 77 yards on 17 rushes with a touchdown and caught three passed for 14 yards though much of that happened in the fourth-quarter point-a-rama. CeeDee Lamb (5-71, TD) and Michael Gallup (4-23, 2 TD) were the only notable receivers. Dalton Schultz ended with just two catches for 33 yards despite being thrown six targets. The Dallas defense came up big once the Colts were forced into throwing the ball. The Cowboys rise to 9-3 and host the Texans for Week 14.
GAME-O-THE-WEEK: Kansas City 24, Cincinnati 27
This was the third time that the Bengals beat the Chiefs in the calendar year. If the Bengals weren’t inside the Chiefs’ head before, they should be now. Patrick Mahomes had another marginal game with only 223 passing yards and one score though he ran in a touchdown to help his fantasy value. Marquez Valdes-Scantling (2-71) and Travis Kelce (4-56) were the top receivers and Jerick McKinnon (2-9, TD) caught the touchdown. Isiah Pacheco (14-66, TD) and McKinnon (8-51) were effective when they ran but the Chiefs couldn’t score in the fourth quarter while the Bengals notched two touchdowns. The loss drops the Chiefs to 9-3 and they head to Denver for Week 14.
The Bengals won with a successful balance of offense, helped more than a little by the weak Chiefs defense. Joe Burrow passed for 286 yards and two scores and ran for 46 yards and a third touchdown. Ja’Marr Chase (7-97), Tee Higgins (3-35, TD), and Tyler Boyd (4-60) all contributed. With Joe Mixon out again, Samaje Perine filled in with 21 carries for 106 yards and caught six passes for 49 yards with another fine fantasy showing. The Bengals scored two-unanswered fourth quarter touchdowns to secure the win and the Chiefs came up short yet again. The 8-4 Bengals host the Browns on Sunday.