It’s hard to stay up to date with absolutely everything that went down in a given NFL Sunday. Obviously you know the big storylines—Derrick Henry running all over the Colts vaunted defense and Tyreek Hill singlehandedly torching the Buccaneers secondary stand out as the big ones for Week 12—but it’s important to also note minor storylines, ones that might have more actionable fantasy football takeaways.
I’ve gone game-by-game Sunday to bring you the major storyline to come out of each game. Make sure to check back Tuesday morning for my takeaway from Monday night’s showdown between the Eagles and Seahawks.
Seahawks vs Eagles: It’s over for your Eagles wide receivers
I thought facing the Seahawks secondary, the one currently allowing over 2,600 yards to wide receivers, would be the get right game Carson Wentz and the Eagles pass catchers needed to return to some sort of fantasy contributors for the playoffs. Alas, in my most Bane voice, you have my permission to panic.
Wentz threw for 215 yards and two touchdowns against the Seahawks and only 46 of those yards went to his wide receivers. Jalen Reagor went for 11, Travis Fulgham went for 16, Alshon Jeffery caught 15 and Greg Ward and John Hightower combined for four. Miles Sanders even got in on the fun, catching two balls for only seven yards. He also added 15 yards on the ground on six carries and was one again out performed by Boston Scott from a fantasy standpoint. You have my permission to panic about him as well.
Unless you’ve rostered Dallas Goedert or Richard Rodgers, there’s no reason to start anyone else on the Eagles offense in fantasy. And I say this as someone with a lot of Miles Sanders and Jalen Reagor shares.
It’s over. I give up. I’m out.
Raiders vs Falcons: The Raiders offense had a bad day
Coming off a big outing vs the Chiefs, many, including myself, expected Derek Carr and the Raiders offense to have another big performances vs a struggling Falcons team. Instead, Las Vegas ran into a buzzsaw and only managed to score six points on the day, with Carr turning the ball over four times.
I wouldn’t be too worried though about Carr and the Raiders offense. Josh Jacobs left the game early with an ankle sprain which seems to have looked worse than it actually is and Jacobs could be good to go for Week 13. He’s the main catalyst in the offense and his presence, or lack there of, was certainly felt. If the Raiders put up another stinker against the Jets in Week 13, then it’s time to panic.
While most eyes were on the Chargers backfield with the return of Austin Ekeler—who, it should be noted, stepped onto the field and instantly was the No. 1 back, carrying the ball 14 times and catching 11 balls on a staggering 16 targets—it was Buffalo’s backfield that offered more fantasy intrigue. While Zach Moss still saw over 50% of the offensive snaps (59 to Singletary’s 41), it was Singletary who led the backfield in touches and yards.
Singletary carried the ball 11 times for 82 yards and caught all three of his targets for 20 yards. Meanwhile, Moss had 59 yards on nine carries and only two targets. Singletary’s strong performance might cause a shift in the distribution of offensive snaps for Week 13 against the 49ers.
Also, with John Brown on IR, Gabriel Davis stepped into the role as the Bills deep threat, going 3/4-79-1. He’s rostered in 3% of Yahoo leagues.
Giants vs Bengals: Wayne Gallman and Tee Higgins deserve your trust
Since Week 7, Gallman has been the RB6 in .5PPR averaging 15.2 points per game and scoring at least one touchdown in each game. He continued to post top fantasy numbers against the Bengals, carrying the ball 24 times for 94 yards and a touchdown. No running back in New York is challenging him in terms of touches and if Daniel Jones does miss time—something the team is preparing for after he left with a hamstring injury—Gallman becomes even more valuable with Colt McCoy under center.
On the other side of the ball, I panic benched Tee Higgins because with Brandon Allen starting in Joe Burrow’s place, I was certain the young rookie receiver would take a backseat to slot king Tyler Boyd. How silly I was. Yes Boyd led Cincy in targets, but he managed to only catch three of his six targets for 15 yards. Meanwhile, Higgins caught all five of his targets for 44 yards and a touchdown.
I will be moving Higgins back in my starting lineup for Week 13 and leaving him there for the rest of the season.
Titans vs Colts: T.Y. Hilton might be back and Jacoby Brissett steals touchdowns
It’s been a minute since T.Y Hilton did much of anything fantasy noteworthy but Sunday saw him score his first touchdown since October of last year so he clearly becomes the top story here (well, outside of Derrick Henry eviscerating the entire defense for 178 yards and three touchdowns).
Hilton went 4/5-81-1 against the Titans and was the Colts most productive receiver. Now, Nyheim Hines (10), Michael Pittman Jr. (9), and Trey Burton (6) all out-targeted Hilton, but we might finally be seeing Hilton and Philip Rivers getting on the same page which would be huge for fantasy managers moving forward as the Colts have a cake walk of a remaining schedule. Hilton is rostered in only 38% of Yahoo leagues.
Also Jacoby Brissett carried the ball four times for three yards and scored two touchdowns. This is now the second time in three weeks Brissett has scored on a QB sneak at the goal line.
Browns vs Jaguars: Collin Johnson might be something?
Johnson was thrust into a bigger role Sunday with both D.J. Chark and Chris Conley out. New quarterback Mike Glennon preceded to target him eight times, catching four of them for 96 yards, including a 46-yard touchdown run.
I highly doubt both Chark and Conley will be out Week 13 against the Vikings which certainly caps Johnson’s upside but the rookie made the most of his brief start and isn’t a bad stash in deep, dynasty leagues. Also Mike Glennon didn’t suck, going 20/35 for 235 yards and two touchdowns. Against the Vikings next week, the Jaguars passing game might be a nice low key play.
Also, James Robinson should win ROTY.
Panthers vs Vikings: D.J. Moore left with non-contact injury
Moore left Sunday’s game early with a non-contact leg injury that left him in pain. That is terrible news as non-contact injures have a tendency to be long-term. However, the Panthers have a Week 13 bye which means the extra week might be enough for Moore to get right and still be able to suit up for Week 14 against the Broncos. Moore still went 4/9-61 against the Vikings, though it was his teammate Robby Anderson who returned to fantasy stardom, going 4/7-94-1 Sunday. If Moore were to miss time, Anderson and Curtis Samuel would naturally see an uptick in targets.
Also, Justin Jefferson should win ROTY.
Cardinals vs Patriots: Patriots defense can still be formidable
The Patriots defense handed Kyler Murray his worst fantasy performance of the year, throwing for only 170 yards and an interception and carrying the ball only five times for 31 yards. Stephon Gilmore held DeAndre Hopkins to only 55 yards on five catches and the Cardinals passing game struggled. That being said, as we’ve seen throughout the year, the Cardinals were able to run the ball on the Patriots with Kenyan Drake carrying the ball 22 times for 78 yards and two touchdowns, plus three catches for 15 yards.
With the Chargers next on the schedule, we might see Bill Belichick and his defense yet again confuse the opposing young quarterback and let the team run the ball. Austin Ekeler could be in for a big ol’ outing in Week 13.
James White for the second week in a row was the Patriots’ leading fantasy running back. He’s rostered in 62% of Yahoo leagues.
Dolphins vs Jets: Ryan Fitzpatrick unlocks DeVante Parker and Mike Gesicki
With Tua Tagovailoa sidelined because of an injury, Fitzpatrick started Week 12 against the Jets and instantly breathed life into fantasy stalwarts Parker and Gesicki. Parker finished 8/14-119 and Gesicki posted 2/5-35-1. DeVante Parker hasn’t had the season many expected him to after last year’s breakout, in part because of the quarterback change from the gunslinger Fitzmagic to the more conservative Tua. As long as Fitzpatrick is under center however, Parker is a high-end WR2, especially in Week 13 against the Bengals.
Saints vs Broncos: Taysom Hill tanks Alvin Kamara’s value
Alvin Kamara is an extremely talented running back running the ball, but his involvement in the passing game is what takes him from a high-end RB2 and pushes him into the top running back territory. However, Taysom Hill under center has proven to completely neuter Kamara’s pass catching ceiling. In his last two games, Kamara has seen only THREE targets after averaging almost nine targets a game with Drew Brees. Against the Broncos, it was the more traditional runner Latavius Murray who benefited the most from Hill starting at quarterback.
Murray finished with 124 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries.
49ers vs Rams: Deebo Samuel is a league winner
It’s been a long season for both Deebo and fantasy managers as the second year receiver has only been able to suit up for five games this year. However, he was finally healthy against the Rams and proceeded to put the team on his back and carry the Niners to a victory.
Samuel finished with 11 catches on 13 targets for 133 yards. He was the apple of Nick Mullens’ eye and clearly the top offensive weapon Kyle Shanahan has to deploy. If you’ve held onto Deebo this long, good on you. You’re about to reap your reward. If he’s available on your waiver wire—56% rostered on Yahoo—he has to be your top priority as his role in the 49ers offense is big enough to push his floor to WR2 status and his ceiling into WR1 territory each week.
Also Cam Akers might finally be staking his claim in the Rams backfield after going 9-84-1 against the Niners. He’s rostered in only 30% of Yahoo leagues.
Chiefs vs Buccaneers: Ronald Jones and Mike Evans are the No. 1s
Much agonizing has been made about the Buccaneers backfield and who is the running back any given week to start, but when you actually look at the numbers, the answer is clearly Ronald Jones. Jones again led the Buccaneers backfield against the Chiefs, carrying the ball nine times for 66 yards and caught a 37-yard touchdown pass. Even seeing a fewer percentage of snaps than Leonard Fournette, Jones way out played him. I would put my confidence in RoJo moving forward.
Same is true for Mike Evans. There was worry early in the season that with Antonio Brown joining, Evans would be the receiver pushed to the sidelines. How wrong we were. While he’s playing like a glorified tight end, Evans has been Brady’s go-to guy around the end zone catching a touchdown in all but three games this year. The touchdown dependency is there—case an point this week vs the Chiefs where Evans only caught three of his nine targets but two of them went for touchdowns—but Tom Brady has only failed to score a touchdown in a game once this year and you can bet Evans will see at least three end zone shots from Brady.
Quickly, because it has to be said, Tyreek Hill’s game was utterly insane. I feel like it can best be summed up by this tweet:
he’s added another 70 yards and a touchdown since i tweeted this tweet... 7 minutes ago https://t.co/mvTh1g4VwB— Fake Teams (@faketeams) November 29, 2020
Bears vs Packers: David Montgomery is the only person who enjoys Mitch Trubisky starting
The Packers run defense has been bad all season and Montgomery was able to take full advantage, rushing for 103 yards on 11 carried (9.4 yards per attempt) and catching five balls for 40 yards and a touchdown.
With Trubisky under center, the Bears have posted at least 122 rushing yards which bodes well for Montgomery moving forward as the schedule opens up to a smorgasbord of bad NFL defenses. The Bears play the Lions, Texans, Vikings, Jaguars and Packers again rest of the season. Montgomery could provide the perfect late season surge that propels your fantasy team deep into the playoffs.
Also, Aaron Rodgers is a God and currently has thrown for 33 touchdowns and only four interceptions this season.