Stars of Week 13
QB: Patrick Mahomes, KC: 23-38, 295 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INTs (9 carries, 52 yards, 0 TDs)
RB: Todd Gurley, LAR: 23 carries, 132 yards, 2 TDs
WR: Keenan Allen, LAC: 14 catches, 148 yards, 1 TD
TE: Travis Kelce, KC: 12 catches, 168 yards, 2 TDs
The honor roll this week comprises names we’ve seen so often this year, the players might as well be considered family at this point. In Patrick Mahomes, we’ve got the number 1 overall QB this season. In Todd Gurley, we’ve got the number 1 overall RB this year. In Travis Kelce, we’ve got the number 1 over TE for 2018. In Keenen Allen, we’ve got only the 11th best WR this campaign – so Allen is our slacker here. Just kidding! Tyreek Hill has been the best WR this year, and he had a relatively quiet day. But in any event, this week brought us two players from Los Angeles along with two Chiefs. These guys are quite good – not much more to say here.
Week 13 Takeaways – A Closer Look
Each week we take a closer look at a handful of performances and sort out what such performances mean going forward.
Spencer Ware, RB – KC: 14 carries, 47 yards, 1 TD
Damien Williams, RB – KC: 5 carries, 38 yards, 0 TDs
Analysis: The NFL world received a jolt when a TMZ video surfaced of Kansas City Chiefs’ star RB Kareem Hunt pushing and kicking a woman outside his place in February of this year. Domestic violence is not and should not be tolerated, and the Chiefs rightfully released Hunt once the videos became public and showed Hunt’s actions that night. How the NFL handles domestic violence is a whole another topic, but in this space we’re going to look at the Chiefs running backs in a post-Hunt world. Spencer Ware owned the Chiefs starting gig prior to Hunt entering the NFL, and he was the logical choice to take the lead role once again. Based on the distribution of carries against the Raiders this past Sunday, Ware was in fact the lead guy. However, the Chiefs did employ a time share between Ware and Damien Williams, with Ware getting roughly sixty percent of the RB snaps. The team signed another familiar face, former Chief Charcandrick West, as well this week, and with West viewed as a depth piece. Going forward, expect Ware to get somewhere between 60 – 65% of the RB carries, with Williams likely to be primarily the third down and change of pace back. Ware should be viewed as a solid RB2, and Williams is a flex option in PPR leagues.
Justin Jackson, RB – LAC: 8 carries, 63 yards, 1 TD
Analysis: With Melvin Gordon out for the Chargers on Sunday night against the Steelers, primary ball carrying duties fell to Austin Ekeler, with Justin Jackson also in the mix. Despite Ekeler out-carrying Jackson 13 to 8, Jackson clearly had the better rushing performance on SNF. So what does this all mean? Well first off, Gordon is expected to be back by no later than week 15, and may return as soon as this upcoming week 14. Jackson loses fantasy relevancy upon Gordon’s return, while Ekeler does not. Assuming Gordon sits out against the Bengals this coming week, then Jackson becomes a high end flex play for week 14. Ekeler remains the back on passing downs, so Jackson would lose some value in PPR leagues. So essentially, Jackson’s a good short term add (meaning one week) IF Gordon’s out another week, but you’ll need to stay tuned. The guess here is that Gordon will be held out this week in anticipation of being fully healthy for the Bolts’ huge matchup with the Chiefs the following week. Keep an eye on the Gordon news, and proceed from there.
Dante Pettis, WR – SF: 5 catches, 129 yards, 2 TDs
Analysis: The 49ers selected Dante Pettis in the second round of the 2018 draft, and the rookie entered the NFL as the all-time leader in NCAA punt return TDs with nine. For those who watched Pettis in college, you’d also know that he’s a heck of a WR. Pettis got off to a very quiet start to his NFL career, but he’s made hay over the last two weeks. This past Sunday against the Seahawks, Pettis caught a 75 yard catch and run TD, and found the end zone a second time in his first triple digit yardage performance. Quarterback Nick Mullins targeted Pettis 7 times, which trailed running back Jeff Wilson and stud tight end George Kittle, who each had nine targets. Pettis’ value will take a hit when top WR Marquise Goodwin returns from injury, so keep an eye on Goodwin’s status. But in the meantime, we know the 49ers will be trailing in most of their games, and Pettis represents somewhat of a boom-bust option for those of you in deeper leagues. Even if you don’t need Pettis for this year, would recommend keeping a scouting eye on him as a potential breakout player for next year. He’s a good football player who’s learning the ropes.
Curtis Samuel, WR – CAR: 6 catches, 88 yards, 0 TDs
Analysis: The Carolina Panthers are in a complete tailspin, now having lost four games in a row – with their most recent defeat coming at the hands of the lowly Bucs. With that said, Panthers’ wide receiver Curtis Samuel brought his A game this past weekend, and the Panthers could have won if he wasn’t the only one doing so. The second year player from Ohio State easily had his best game of the season, hauling in six passes for 88 yards, while being targeted by QB Cam Newton a whopping 11 times. DJ Moore has been the most recent riser in the Panthers’ WR corps, but Curtis Samuel also has a bright future for the team with Devin Funchess likely to move on in free agency. As for the immediate future, Funchess has been limited by injuries and his continued role in the offense bears watching. If Funchess remains limited, then Samuel is a potential flex candidate in deeper leagues (12 plus teams).
Rapid Fire Pickups
Each week we throw out potential free agent pickups from each position for deeper leagues, in each case 1) someone who has NOT been featured above, and 2) a player available in most leagues.
QB: Case Keenum, DEN
RB: Jaylen Samuels, PIT (he’s the pickup with Connor out)
RB: Jeff Wilson, SF (he’s the pickup with Breida out)
WR: Chris Conley, KC
WR: David Moore, SEA
TE: Jonnu Smith, TEN