Now that all but the Monday night game has been played, it is time for a weekly look at the top performers from the games on Sunday, and on Thursday. After going over my thoughts, I will select a few other players who either performed above expectations, or maybe have you questioning whether you should continue starting him or not.
The goal of this article is to highlight those top guys, and if you can expect similar performances in the future. If you can’t though, I will detail what you should do with that player, and what expectations are going forward. Let’s get right into the top performers from week 12.
QB - Drew Brees 310 Passing Yards, 4 TD’s, 1 Rush for 1 Yard and 1 TD, 1 Fumble Lost, 32 Fantasy Points
Well this is Drew Brees for you. A top 3 QB having a monster game. This will happen at least one or two more times the rest of the season. Just keep starting with confidence as good things will happen.
QB - Colin Kaepernick 296 Passing Yards, 3 TD’s, 1 INT, 10 Rushes for 113 Yards, 32 Fantasy Points
Well it is nice to see the old Kaepernick again. While he was tasked with throwing the ball 46 times, the 49ers are letting him take full control of this offense to end the season. This now marks the fourth consecutive game where he has posted 19 or more fantasy points. He is a consistent option that should be viewed as a starter in all leagues.
QB - Kirk Cousins 449 Passing Yards, 3 TD’s, 29 Fantasy Points
Well Cousins may be on his way to another big finish to a season. Over his last five games, Cousins has thrown for over 440 yards twice, while posting at least 18 fantasy points in every game. He was already a surefire stater, but this just cements the upside that he will still bring down the homestretch here.
RB - Mark Ingram 14 Carries for 146 Yards and 1 TD, 1 Reception for 21 Yards and 1 TD, 28 Fantasy Points
Can someone let the Saints know that Mark Ingram can touch the ball more than 15 times in a game? It seems as though they are hellbent on not letting him touch the ball too much in the offense. Yet they are willing to give the ball to Hightower over 20-25 times when Ingram is out. Okay rant aside, this was great to see from Ingram. My rant goes to why I can’t see him ever cracking the top 10 though. If the Saints just let him touch the ball more he could be one of the best fantasy backs. Until that happens though, he is merely just in the conversation for top 10.
RB - LeSean McCoy 19 Carries for 103 Yards and 2 TD’s, 2 Receptions for 31 Yards, 1 Two Point Conversion, 27 Fantasy Points
When healthy we have seen that McCoy is a top 5 back. So the question just becomes will he stay healthy the rest of the season? I have my doubts about him staying fully healthy due to the numerous nagging injuries he seems to have had this season. With only five weeks left though, he has a shot to make it the rest of the way without missing a beat. If that happens, he is a top 5 guy the rest of the way.
RB - Ezekiel Elliott 20 Carries for 97 Yards and 2 TD’s, 2 Receptions for 23 Yards, 23 Fantasy Points
Nothing much to say here. I am not worried about him getting rested. The biggest concern I have is that the Cowboys aren’t letting him get to 100 yards rushing now it seems like. He has been held to 96, 92, 97, and 97 again in four of his last five games. All joking aside though, Elliott is in a battle with Johnson for the most non-QB points scored this year.
WR - Antonio Brown 6 Targets, 5 Receptions for 91 Yards and 3 TD’s, 27 Fantasy Points
After an “off” week, Brown went out and obliterated the Colts secondary. It didn’t take many looks his way to get his best game of the season. He is the top receiver the rest of the way, and it should be interesting to see how many more of these types of games he has left.
WR - Tyreek Hill 10 Targets, 9 Receptions for 52 Yards and 1 TD, 1 Rush for 3 Yards and 1 TD, 1 Kick Return TD, 23 Fantasy Points
Well this is one way to have a big breakout. On National TV Hill put together a great grab bag performance for everyone to see. He did it by getting countless looks his way from Alex Smith, he showed off his open field ability on the Safety Punt return TD, and also added in an end around rushing TD for good measure. Before the game I was worried about him facing that tough Broncos secondary, but he proved me wrong. Even when Maclin returns Hill is a must add and immediate top 25 receiver for the rest of the way. His looks shouldn’t be diminished by Maclin’s return, as he has proven to be the better asset for Alex Smith and the Chiefs.
TE - Jordan Reed 11 Targets, 10 Receptions for 95 Yards and 2 TD’s, 21 Fantasy Points
Well I would love to say that all is well with Reed and he is the number 2 TE the rest of the way, but I simply can’t make that statement. He got hurt once again in the Dallas game on Thursday, making him a game-time decision for week 13. When healthy he is second to only Rob Gronkowski, but like Gronk, he is battling an injury. He may have one more game like this ready to go down the stretch if he fully recovers.
TE - Tyler Eifert 11 Targets, 5 Receptions for 68 Yards and 1 TD, 12 Fantasy Points
With A.J. Green out, it was expected that Eifert would start to see more looks from Andy Dalton. While I still think there is more yardage upside to come, seeing this type of performance against a very good Ravens defense is exactly what we want to see. Eifert is a top 5 TE for me the rest of the season due to this increase in targets and expected output.
Now a look at a couple of other performances that stood out to me from Sunday’s games:
QB - Jared Goff 214 Passing Yards, 3 TD’s, 1 INT, 16 Fantasy Points
So after a shaky start to his career, Goff went out and threw for 3 TD’s in just his second career game. That type of performance might have fantasy owners wondering if he could be a viable option late in the season. I am here to tell you that won’t be the case. This can simply be chalked up to Goff facing one of the worst defenses in the league. Next week against New England will show just that when he struggles to get anything going.
RB - Todd Gurley 13 Carries for 50 Yards, 4 Receptions for 39 Yards, 8 Fantasy Points
Now time for your Todd Gurley update. I said in this article last week that if it didn’t happen against the Saints, then it just never will this season. I stick by what I said. This is not a good look for him. Once again he failed to even crack 4 yards per carry. I mean it is the Saints defense we are talking about here. There is no reason someone as talented as Gurley shouldn’t be able to destroy this defense. You can expect that Gurley will only be that guy who gets you about 6-8 points each week, and if you are lucky he falls into the endzone.
WR - Taylor Gabriel 5 Targets, 4 Receptions for 75 Yards and 2 TD’s, 1 Rush for 27 Yards, 21 Fantasy Points
So this marks the fourth consecutive game where Gabriel has scored a TD and put up at least 12 Fantasy Points. I thought for the most part this was an aberration, but it is looking pretty real right now. The Falcons have made it a point to get Gabriel in situations where they can use his speed to bust open big plays. I simply can’t ignore him and his performances anymore. He is a must add in all leagues, but would add Tyreek Hill before him. Gabriel will probably be close to top 30 in my week 13 ranks, but who knows it could be a little bit higher. This makes him FLEX worthy right away.