What a week for Football. With the exception of a couple of blowouts, there were a lot of great games and finishes to watch this week. It all started off with that wild finish on Thursday night where the Packers pulled off a great comeback to win. Then on Sunday we saw a few OT games, with other great last minute endings to other games as well. These are the weeks that you just love watching the game. With these great games came a lot of scoring. While the entire Running Back position didn't have one outstanding player, the Quarterbacks and Wide Receivers more than made up for it.
After going over my thoughts on the top performers at each position, I will also select a few other players who either performed above expectations, or maybe have you questioning whether you should continue starting him or not. After this week since most fantasy playoffs will be going, I will start to talk about player's values as it pertains to 2015 as well to help give you readers that are out of it something to look for as well.
The goal of this article is to highlight those top guys, and if you can expect some similar performances in the future from them or if it was a flash-in-the-pan, and also whether you should be worried about top picks in drafts that put up less than stellar performances. So without rambling on longer in this intro, let's take a look at those who performed well in week 13.
QB - Cam Newton 331 Passing Yards, 5 TD's and 1 INT, 10 Rushes for 49 Yards 35 Fantasy Points
Well I guess I need to write about Cam again. There is nothing I can say here that you don't already know. He is the second best QB in fantasy right now. When you have a matchup like this, you expect something spectacular out of Newton.
QB - Marcus Mariota 268 Passing Yards, 3 TD's and 1 INT, 9 Rushes for 112 Yards and 1 TD, 35 Fantasy Points
That was a crazy game. Why couldn't the game they just played be two weeks ago for the Thursday night one? It would have been a lot less painful to watch. This week Mariota finally showcased his speed, breaking off an 87 yard run for a TD in the 4th quarter. Mariota has some great upside when the matchup dictates it, but is also inconsistent. Going forward Mariota would be in my top 12, but will vary greatly with the matchups. Best part of Mariota's success was the reemergence of Dorial Green-Beckham. Pickup Green-Beckham if he is available, as this might be the start to a great end stretch.
QB - Ben Roethlisberger 364 Passing Yards, 4 TD's, 1 Rush for 13 Yards, 1 Two Point Conversion, 33 Fantasy Points
Just like with Cam, what can I say about Big Ben? He would be my third ranked QB the rest of the way behind Brady and Newton. The Steelers are letting Roethlisberger run the offense, which means he dictates the pace. The Steelers are playing more up tempo, spread out football. Don't bet against him in any matchup, especially against Denver in two weeks. He is matchup proof.
QB - Russell Wilson 274 Passing Yards, 3 TD's, 9 Rushes for 51 Yards and 1 TD, 33 Fantasy Points
Okay what has happened with Russell Wilson? He goes from being mediocre all season long to being an absolute stud for the past three weeks. I would like to point out the defenses that he has gone against here to justify his stats. The 49ers was his first matchup, then the high temp Steelers, and this week a banged up Vikings. This can explain a little bit of it, but not the entire story. With Lynch out, the Seahawks are putting Wilson in better spots to make plays. This has worked great for the entire team. Wilson is a top 10 QB going forward, but could be higher depending on the matchup.
RB - Javorius Allen 17 Carries for 63 Yards, 12 Catches for 107 Yards and 1 TD, 22 Fantasy Points
I wrote about Allen two weeks ago and said that he will be successful due to sheer volume. Well this is the kind of performance you can get with volume. With a total of 29 touches, and 12 of those coming off of receptions, Allen was put in a great spot to succeed. I loved seeing Allen used this much in the passing game, as he has the skills to break some big plays in open space. Going forward Allen would be in my top 12 backs, but be careful with the matchup next week, as they face the Seahawks who just shut down Adrian Peterson.
RB - T.J. Yeldon 15 Carries for 57 Yards and 1 TD, 4 Catches for 79 Yards, 18 Fantasy Points
Yeldon just hasn't been all that good this year. This was only his third TD of the year, and came in a game where pretty much everyone was scoring. Yeldon's yards per carry here don't instill a lot of confidence going forward. With the sad state of the position, he is still a top 20 guy going forward because he will see 15+ touches a game, however I don't feel good saying that. This contribution in the passing game was a bit of an aberration, as he had a 67 yard play on a short reception.
WR - Allen Robinson 15 Targets, 10 Receptions for 153 Yards and 3 TD's, 33 Fantasy Points
This Jaguar I do trust. Robinson has been one of the most consistent receivers this year, with his 8th straight game of over 10 fantasy points. With the game today, Robinson now has 11 TD's, and 1,080 yards. He is top 5 for me, and is so close to the conversation with the top 4 of Julio, Hopkins, Beckham Jr., and Brown.
WR - Antonio Brown 11 Targets, 8 Receptions for 118 Yards and 2 TD's, 1 Punt Return TD, 29 Fantasy Points
Speaking of Brown, he is the best receiver in the game right now. Sure Beckham Jr. makes a great case for it each week, but Brown is also special. I mean he returned a punt for a TD this week. If that doesn't separate you, I don't know what does.
WR - Doug Baldwin 7 Targets, 5 Receptions for 94 Yards and 2 TD's, 21 Fantasy Points
The man who has benefited the most from Russell Wilson's great play is Doug Baldwin. This now marks the fourth consecutive week where he has had 5 or more receptions. Baldwin is looking like a great receiver right now, and will be in my top 20 most weeks going forward. Until Wilson decides to play like he was at the beginning of this year, I don't think the Baldwin train will be slowing down as much as you may think.
TE - Richard Rodgers 8 Targets, 8 Receptions for 146 Yards and 1 TD, 20 Fantasy Points
So Hail Mary aside, Rodgers still had one of his best games of the season. Take away that 61 yard TD and he still has over 80 yards on the day. That alone would have been his highest for the season. The big reason Rodgers played great on Thursday night was the fact that he caught all of his targets, something other Packers have struggled with. I don't think this game is indicative of what you will get out of him going forward. In most weeks Rodgers will be targeted around 7 times, catching about 4 of them. With that he will top out at around 50 yards, and gives you about a 50% chance of scoring a short TD in that week. Sadly that sounds like a top 10 TE going forward, but don't mistake this game as his coming out party.
TE - Delanie Walker 12 Targets, 8 Receptions for 92 Yards and 1 TD, 15 Fantasy Points
Walker has been phenomenal lately. With Mariota back and playing great, Walker has been playing well along with him. Mariota keeps looking for Walker more than any other player on the Titans, and that won't be changing. Even with Green-Beckham probably taking on a larger role, there will always be work for Walker to play as well as he did this week. He is a top 5 TE for me the rest of the way, and is bordering on number 2 at the moment.
Now a look at a couple of other performances that stood out to me from Sunday's games:
QB - Alex Smith 162 Passing Yards, 2 TD's, 5 Rushes for 23 Yards and 1 TD, 24 Fantasy Points
Alex Smith has quietly been a solid QB this year. It seems as though that can be said every year, but I bring it up now for one reason. That reason is the schedule that he has going forward is great for him. With the Chargers, Ravens, Browns, and Raiders his last four games, he has a great matchup in each week. There is a chance that Smith is available in your league, so if you are using a revolving door of QB's currently, take a look at Alex Smith and his great schedule with a relatively high floor compared to other mid-level QB's.
RB - Chris Polk 12 Carries for 61 Yards, 1 Catch for 11 Yards and 1 TD, 13 Fantasy Points
Alfred Blue is hurt. He only got 4 carries in this game, while Polk led the way with 12. Polk is interesting, as he appears to be more skilled running the ball then Blue was. Keep an eye on what the word is out of Houston because I think Polk is going to be the starter the rest of the way. If that is the case, you need to pick up Polk, as he is this week's starter on the waiver wire. The Texans have a couple of nice matchups the next two weeks with the Patriots and the Colts, which could give him opportunity to be a FLEX option, or an RB2 in deeper leagues.
WR - Tyler Lockett 7 Targets, 7 Receptions for 90 Yards and 0 TD's, 9 Fantasy Points
The Seahawks had a gameplan on Sunday, and that was to get Lockett the ball in space. They ran a lot of quick throws to get Lockett the ball and let him do the work. While this caps his upside for most weeks, it is nice to see for PPR leagues. I am intrigued by this, and think that it may be sustainable. Keep a close eye, but I could see Lockett being a sneaky play in PPR leagues the rest of the way with his brand of explosiveness, and the Seahawks wanting to get him the ball.
Want thoughts on a specific player? Leave a comment on who it is, and I will respond with my thoughts on that guy's performance and where he stands going forward.