clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

NFL Fantasy Football, Week 13: 5 under-the-radar fantasy gems

A few lesser known flex options that should be in your lineups this week.

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Editor's Note: SB Nation's partner FanDuel is running a $1.25M fantasy football league on Sunday. First place wins $100,000. Join now! Sorry Washington residents, you can't play.


Week 12 In Review

If you aren't familiar with my methods yet, I'll put myself on a "PASS" or "FAIL" scale which is based on flex options scoring above or below double digit fantasy points. Above 10 points would be a PASS, and obviously below 10 would be a FAIL. I do my best to find the not-so obvious options from week to week to help you dominate your league. With that said here we go once again, let's see how I did for you, folks.

Devin Funchess, 3.9 - FAIL
Javorius Allen, 11.0 Points -- PASS
Donte Moncrief, 19.4 Points -- PASS
Spencer Ware, 20.5 Points -- PASS
Kirk Cousins, 24.1 Points -- PASS

And a Ric Flair "WOO" for those of you who followed my lead this week. All but one in this group made me look smart, the other one made me look like a complete fool. Perhaps It's my own fault for letting myself fall for a rookie wideout I graded so highly out of college. Thanks a lot, Devin, what the hell, bro? Despite how good the Carolina Panthers are playing I guess the lesson learned here is that rookies will continue to perform very up-and-down.

Javorius Allen pretty much felt like a no brainer here, he's the starting running back on a team that churns out high end producers at the position. I told folks not to sleep on Donte Moncrief -- sure Matt Hasselbeck was at QB, but talent trumps opinions, and he had a big day.

Spencer Ware is a talented player, on a team that only uses its running back, and there was nobody to stand in his way -- he blew up. Lastly the call that got me laughed at recently -- Kirk Cousins. He had the NYG DST and they can't cover a picnic table with a 50' tarp.... I have no idea what this even means.

Week 12: '5 Must-Start Fantasy Sleepers'

I pride myself on making tough calls, and this week will be no exception once again. Brock Osweiler > Tom Brady.

5. Duke Johnson Jr, RB CLE

Talk about a player I was high on pre-draft -- Duke Johnson can truly do it all. In Week 13, he gets a "tough" matchup, but with his type of on-field usage he should continue to succeed regardless of opponent.

Week 13 for the Cleveland Browns means they will be tested at home vs the 13th best run defense in the league in the Cincinnati Bengals. This year the Bengals are giving up just under 100 yards per game (99.8) and though they're ranked 13th of 32, the difference between them and a bottom 10 team is about 13 yards per game -- basically the gap ain't very big, guys.

On the year, Duke is averaging 10.6 touches per game (6.3 rush att, 4.3 pass targets) and 11 fantasy points per game. Essentially Duke is averaging more than a full point per touch, so without even factoring in touchdowns, his upside is obvious.

It's not a parallel comparison, but last week the Bengals gave up 63 rush yards and one score on just four carries to Tavon Austin -- Duke may not offer the blazing quickness, but he is just as crafty as a weapon out of the backfield. In fact the last time these two teams met back in Week 9, Duke posted 2 catches for 38 yards and a score, something that isn't out of the realm of possibility in this re-match. In a league shifting more and more towards RBBC's (running back by committee), despite Duke Johnson being apart of one, he is a premier option.

Johnson is currently available in 43.5% of ESPN leagues (Why? I have no idea) and 54% of Yahoo leagues as well. This is a player who has posted double digit scoring games five different times this year, and at his price tag he feels impossible to ignore.

4. Scott Chandler, TE NEP

If this feels like a no brainer, that's because it actually is. With the chance that Gronk misses time on an already banged up offense, Scott Chandler gets a major bump.

In Week 13 -- and coming off their first loss of the season -- the New England Patriots will be facing an absolutely miserable Philadelphia Eagles team. Even without Dion Lewis, Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola (maybe) and Rob Gronkowski, you can bet Tom Brady will get his by any means necessary -- this is where Scotty Chandler comes into play.

Prior to Gronk going down last week, Scott Chandler had never eclipsed 5 total passing targets in one game. By the end of New England's Week 12 matchup, Chandler had officially seen 10 (5-58-1). For starters if tight end Cameron Brate can put up a touchdown on this defense with Jameis Winston at QB, then Chandler will dismantle them.

Per PFF, the Eagles currently grade out as the 15th best in pass coverage in the NFL, and as we've discussed before, a middling secondary is a green light for the pass game. This could change in Week 13, knowing Bill Belichick's propensity for altering game plans, but on the year Tom Brady is averaging 41 passing attempts per game.

Of his total 451 attempted passes, the tight end has been targeted 124 times (27.5%). In a game that could produce more rushing attempts than New England has dialed up all year, nobody should shy away from Scott Chandler -- especially when Brady is averaging 11+ targets per game to his tight ends.

Scott Chandler is currently available in 88% of Yahoo leagues and in 97.4% of leagues at ESPN. I am 100% certain these two numbers will absolutely skyrocket as soon as leagues complete their waiver periods. With that said hurry up and put your claim in -- this week Chandler could be the difference between being in the playoffs and watching them from home.

3. Alfred Morris, RB WAS

This has been the year of the running back vanishing act. From C.J. Anderson to Eddie Lacy and back again, some guys just haven't performed as expected. Alfred Morris is unfortunately a part of this group as well, but with his workload back up to feature back volume, Week 13 is worth a start.

On the year, the Dallas Cowboys are ranked 15th in the NFL against the run, giving up over a hundred yards per week (106.9). In addition to the triple digits they allow to rushers, this Dallas defense has given up 11 rushing touchdowns in 2015 -- or the 4th most allowed by any team all season.

This hasn't felt like the Alfred Morris seasons of the past, and maybe in part because of the Matt Jones flashes, however if last week is any indication, Alf may be back. Although to some it may appear that Morris has taken a backseat to Jones, on the year Morris is winning the carry battle 135-98, and over the past three  weeks he is dominating 40-24.

Coming off of a Week 12 performance where he saw 23 touches, it may be time to say Morris is again the lead back in Washington. With Matt Jones' ball control issues (2 fumbles in last four weeks), Alfred Morris has seen a major uptick in volume. Across these same four weeks, the Cowboys DST is yielding 4.16 YPC to opposing offenses as well. With Morris basically being slept on by anybody with a pillow this may be your shot to hit big at a low price.

Morris is currently available in 48% of Yahoo leagues and 49.9% of leagues at ESPN. Again, its surprising to see a running back who has been as steady as Morris this readily available -- but this is to your benefit. At Alf's price tag, it would be silly not to go get him if he's sitting on your local waiver wire.

2. David Johnson, RB AZ

Chris Johnson is once again damaged goods, and Andre Ellington is Andre Ellington. For this reason, Week 13 is definitely the week to put your David Johnson stock to work.

A sneaky athletic prospect out of the UNI (University of Northern Iowa), talent is not a problem for David. Chris Johnson had been running so well in 2015 that Johnson never really got a crack at a "real workload," and this is evident as his highest carry total from any one game in 2015 has been 8.

Johnson has been used pretty "extensively" in limited time out of the backfield with 27 targets (19 receptions, 241 receiving yards, 3 touchdowns). As a pure rusher, Johnson is averaging 4.0 YPC meanwhile scoring 4 touchdowns on the season -- his production is plenty ample to lead this offense. In Week 13 the Arizona Cardinals get their division rivals the St Louis Rams, whom on the season are allowing 111 rushing yards per game to opposing offenses (21st in the NFL).

The Cardinals are currently averaging 28 designed runs per game (309 rush att.). There is no debate of the volume being there for Johnson this week, and he's a good bet to put his receiving skills to work as one of his three receiving touchdowns in 2015 came against the Rams DST back in Week 4. If you already owned David Johnson kudos to you, if not, and he's still available, get him ASAP.

David Johnson is available in 57% of Yahoo leagues and 38.3% of leagues at ESPN. He feels like a no brainier start for me with all the injuries this positions had already taken.

1. Julius Thomas, TE JAC

I've been constantly telling people not to start Julius Thomas until he shows us something. Well, I think the time has come.

In Week 13 Julius Thomas will get a shot at the Tennessee Titans' defense that on the year has given up 20 passing touchdowns (7th worst). Since Thomas' return in Week 5, he's averaging 6.8 targets per game and recently came off a season high with 11.

This week Julius will look to score once again after coming off back to back games with a touchdown in each. Thomas has already flashed his big play ability (last week he went 9-116-1) and it may get even better as Allen Hurns will likely miss Sunday's game. Julius is an absolute lock for 10+ targets and should be a serious focal point of a pass first offense (61.2% passing plays). To top it all off, of the league's top 12 pass defenses, the Tennessee Titans are giving up the second most total points per game with 23.4 -- a stat that Blake Bortles desperately needs to read. At a position that's thinner than Calista Flockheart, you need to grab Julius wherever available.

Currently Julius Thomas is available in 25% of Yahoo leagues and in 30.4% of leagues at ESPN. Look, if Julius is available in a single league, you play in and you don't grab him then I'm just going to assume you enjoy losing. Don't make this mistake.

Good luck this week everyone.

As always you can find me on twitter @AnOutragedJew if you have sit/start questions or want steamy dating advice.