Fantasy Football

2021 Fantasy Football Week 13 Blurbview

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Next year I think I’ll try and avoid having players with byes in Week 13 or 14. These two weeks are the last of the fantasy season for leagues with quarter-finals or a wild-card round.

If you are trying to make a playoff run, you really need your top guns out there for early December. Going with dart throws and downlisters off the waiver pile really lowers your chance of vital H2H wins at this time of the year.

Planning so far ahead from August still remains futile in your draft. And man, have we had injuries this year or what?

Would you believe Najee Harris and Joe Mixon had ADPs of RB12 and RB13 respectively entering 2021? Our current RB juggernaut, Jonathan Taylor, stood at RB9. Leonard Fournette? ADP RB33!

What are the lessons from this?

One lesson is that the consensus rankings and ADP have a wider range with reality. In 2022, following the carnage of this season, fantasy discussions may begin to critique the viability and practicality of the three-down running back.

However, even a running back on the higher end of a 60-40 split backfield still takes a pounding, and can end up out when you need him most. D’Andre Swift is one of the current examples.

With two IRs in one season, we’re already talking like Christian McCaffrey’s best fantasy days are over because we’ve seen early burnouts before. A picture of Todd Gurley hangs on that wall.

Another lesson is that next year, choose your running backs carefully. Furthermore, the fantasy trend could turn toward targeting stud receivers in the first round. We shall see.

The 2021 Fantasy Football Week 13 Blurbview is next.


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2021 Fantasy Football Week 13 Blurbview

Latest update: December 5, 2021 @ 11:30:01 ET

2021 Fantasy Football Week 13 Blurbview

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Byes: Browns, Packers, Panthers, Titans

The Games this Week2021 Fantasy Football Week 12 Blurbview

A brief rundown of the games this weekend. Time to set those lineups and watch ’em play.

Early Sunday: Chargers (6-5) at Bengals (7-4) -3.0 50.5

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Whenever you apply a “college atmosphere” to an NFL game, the defenses never seem to play along. You just cannot wish a Ducks-Tigers game into existence.

Oh well. These two young gun-slinging quarterbacks from the 2020 class can still make it look like a cross-conference shootout. It has plenty of potential to script in that direction.

That said, the Bengals avoided too much of a bombs-away approach against the Steelers in Week 12 and they may attempt a similar strategy versus the Chargers. Then again, the Bengals just hitting the ground hard doesn’t feel right in a game like this.

Joe Mixon is certainly hot right now. He and Austin Ekeler will likely play a heavy part. At least, that’s what you sense at first glance. Ja’Marr Chase hasn’t had a fantasy jarring receiving game since his beastly breakout in Week 7 with over 200 yards. It was Tee Higgins stealing the show in Week 12 with a definite rise of Joe Burrows’ attention.

Under the Radar Game for the Tight Ends?

Both sides have good and serviceable tight ends that can bring fantasy fire when we least expect. If you are suffering from the recent loss of Darren Waller, C.J. Uzomah and Jared Cook could nicely fit the bill this week. Don’t overlook them in your TE shopping as surprise end-zone visitors in this game if you need a spot start in the position. The Chargers are especially a good matchup for Uzomah.

Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert are reasonable fantasy QB starts despite both teams being solidly in the top ten for allowing fewest FPs to QBs this season. A similar metric applies against the wide receivers. This is why you cannot ignore the fantasy tight ends of the Bengals or Chargers in your lineup decisions.

Fun Fact: The Bengals are the 7th highest scoring team. They also allow the 5th least opposition scoring.
Sleeper: Tyler Boyd, WR, Bengals
Pick Poll: Bengals 73%
Weather: 45° Mostly Cloudy

Other Early Sunday Games in Brief…

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Cardinals (9-2) at Bears (4-7) +7.5 45.5

Andy Dalton continues as starter for the Bears in place of Justin Fields (ribs). Kyler Murray, with the extended recovery time, still has a questionable tag and a game time decision outlook. De’Andre Hopkins, same club. However, most expect both will start. Downside matchup for David Montgomery, but he shows occasional ability to overcome such scripts. Consider him a 50-50 chance for decent production. Darnell Mooney is the rising fantasy man of the moment, but leans toward the fade side this week. Your downfield Cardinals are all startable with variable upsides depending on Hopkins’ availability. Consider Zach Ertz and Cole Kmet good starts as well – in that order.
Pick Poll: Cardinals 96%
Weather: 38° Overcast Possible Drizzle

2021 Fantasy Football Week 12 Blurbview

Giants (4-7) at Dolphins (5-7) -3.0 42.0

Is there a receiver on the Giants you can trust? The answer is no. Even the shiny upside we saw with Kadarius Toney in the first half of the season is looking kinda rusty now. Mike Glennon is warming up to start in place of the injured Daniel Jones. Feeling better yet? Sit your Giants and temper zee eggs on Saquon Barkley too. For Miami, everyone fantasy relevant starts. Jaylen Waddle is creeping further toward WR1 territory every week. Waddle should see only a minor shave in targets with the return of Devante Parker. Parker himself has Flex appeal.
Pick Poll: Dolphins 85%
Weather: 80° Humid Partly Cloudy

Buccaneers (8-3) at Falcons (5-6) +11.0 50.5

Once upon a time on the Buccaneers, there was a running back by the name of Bobby Rainey. In 2013, he had a massive day against the Falcons. Two rushing TDs and one through the air with 163 rushing yards. We can guess the waiver wire went nuts. The following week? 35 scoreless yards on 18 carries against Detroit. Leonard Fournette is different. He will not follow up his big day last week with junk fantasy points like Rainey. Fournette is in the RB1 conversation now and something has changed. He’s a better and smarter football player. Everyone with fantasy stripe can start for you in this game.
Pick Poll: Buccaneers 98%
Weather: Dome
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Eagles (5-7) at Jets (3-8) +6.5 45.0  (revised Dec 5 0400 et )

Jalen Hurts appears as both a non-start and game-time decision. Closer to out seems the call. The Eagles backfield has more injury clarity. Miles Sanders appears okay and Boston Scott not so quite, but expected to play. Jordan Howard ruled out already. Start DeVonta Smith and Dallas Goedart as usual – even with Garner Minshew. Quez Watkins is one of the better dart throws of all the sleepers this weekend against the Jets defense. Jets: Fantasy buzz continues to surround Elijah Moore; Corey Davis on leaning on the wrong side of questionable. The Jets backfield is as quick to trust as an archaelogical dig. Ty Johnson difficult to land into a fantasy spot start. Consider him a lottery ticket.
Pick Poll: Eagles 90%
Weather: 42° Clear

Vikings (5-6) at Lions (0-10-1) +7.0 46.5

We have a Jamaal Williams versus Alexander Mattison game. Both are “next man up” starts and among the best backfield fills in fantasy. Mike Zimmer threw some water on the rushing game script idea this week by making his intentions known about expanding the passing game. Could be true. Just the same, this would give Mattison extra PPR upside, if anything. The Lions should work their offense in a similar way. Usually, if a guy with upside hasn’t done much lately, he makes for good sleeper. Add Kalif Raymond and K.J. Osborn into that column. T.J. Hockenson and Tyler Conklin have the green light.
Pick Poll: Vikings 94%
Weather: Dome

Colts (6-6) at Texans (2-9) +9.0 45.5

The Texans could really damage the playoff hopes for the Colts with a win. The Colts cannot look past this game to the tougher challenges facing them ahead with the Patriots and Cardinals. All your main fantasy Colts can start. Include with this Jack Doyle, who apparently has the eye of Carson Wentz over Mo Alie-Cox. Wentz himself is a sound play and you can even Flex in T.Y. Hilton or Zach Pascal as sleeper shots. For the Texans, a Tyrod Taylor spot start looks desperate, but a fine play for those needing a streamer in the bye week. As for the rest of the Houston guys – just Brandin Cooks – if available.
Pick Poll: Colts 98%
Weather: 70° Overcast

Late Sunday: Ravens (8-3) at Steelers (5-5-1) +4.5 44.0

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This matchup is not always a defensive struggle and low scoring. Though, they haven’t had a true fireworks game since 2017.

The Ravens blitz the third most in the league, so the Steelers must rely on Najee Harris to break lanes to catch Baltimore in overpursuit. It will take the pressure off Ben to make deeper throws. Chase Claypool might need to play cornerback on more than one or two occasions in this game. Nevertheless, with all that pressure up front, Ben will have an interception or two – count on it.

On the other side, the Steelers are not as much a blitzing defense, so they can focus on contain. Lamar Jackson will no doubt try to expose the tight coverage of the Steelers with scrambles in any direction.

Rushing or Passing Game Script?

Rushing will likely dominate this game for both teams, but also short passing mixed in. Ben always likes to take the deep shots, so he may put up with a few sacks until something opens up.

You need to give some fantasy start preference to Pat Freiermuth and Mark Andrews. Owing to the low scoring forecast, avoid any sleepers you may have in mind from this game for cheap touchdown fantasy points.

Fun Fact: The Steelers allowed over 150 rushing yards on defense in each of their last three games.
Sleeper:  none
Pick Poll: Ravens 87%
Weather: 49° Mostly Cloudy

Other Late Games in Brief…

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2021 Fantasy Football Week 13 Blurbview

Washington (5-6) at Raiders (6-5) -2.5 49.5

Grit and determination counts for a lot in football. Taylor Heinicke certainly has it. He himself admits a lack of talent compared with the league leading quarterbacks, but makes up for it with the intangibles. Washington currently hold the tie-breaker advantage for the 7th playoff seed in the NFC. The problem is that while Heinicke maintains the floor solidly for the fantasy stars on the team, he short-changes their ceilings somewhat. For the Raiders, their running game has picked up steam. Foster Moreau has reasonable upside in the Waller spot. Hunter Renfrow is now an established WR2 in fantasy and climbing. J.D. McKissic out – Antonio Gibson full RB1 upgrade, but Jaret Patterson remains a tepid Flex. Wendell Smallwood? Your guess is as good as mine. Obvious risk, but for what reward?
Pick Poll: Raiders 72%
Weather: Dome

Jaguars (2-9) at Rams (7-4) -13.0 48.0

Three straight losses. The Rams finally have a chance to let loose and blow out the moribund Jaguars. Which, they likely will – for team spirit, right? A full sit for all your fantasy Jaguars, and yes, if possible sit James Robinson too. All your fantasy Rams are green across the board. The only issue to monitor is the Darrell Henderson injury. As you know, Sony Michel is the plug and play insert.
Pick Poll: Rams 99%
Weather: Dome

Forty-Niners (6-5) at Seahawks (3-8) +3.5 45.5

We’re at the point where D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett are well into bust territory. They are not players you want on your fantasy team any longer. The problem is not them, but the Seahawks offense. When your players are standing on the sidelines, they cannot score fantasy points. Seattle averages five plays per drive this season – lowest in the league. Sorry folks, but until further notice I am going to suggest you sit all Seahawks. Your fantasy 49ers, on the other hand, are all good to go. And how about this? With Deebo Samuel out, you can even fantasy test drive Jauan Jennings with low risk!
Pick Poll: 49ers 83%
Weather: 40° Overcast

Feature Games

Sunday Night: Broncos (6-5) at Chiefs (7-4) -10.0 47.0

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The Chiefs have 11 straight wins versus their division rivals coming into this game. Every team is over .500 in the AFC West.

KC continue to play better defensively than they did in the early part of 2021, but so are the Broncos.

Denver put a clinic on Justin Herbert for most of last week’s game, but can they do the same against Patrick Mahomes? The Chiefs know that the running game is key, so expect a heavy attack from Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Darrel Williams. Williams is not a top-choice Flex in PPR formats, but playable. As usual, fade the downfield Broncos, but the backfield is fine.

Gordon Sidelined

Speaking of the Broncos backfield, Melvin Gordon has a hip injury clearing the way for a major fantasy boost to Javonte Williams. Of course, owners of Javonte are way ahead of everyone on knowing that.

Sunday Night Football has the national spotlight and games tend to elevate to the occasion. However, the Broncos roll along with a defense in mind first and offense second. Vic Fangio seems satisfied with the arrangement. For fans of Denver, it leaves them with either boring wins with the occasional last-minute field goal thrown in to keep you interested.

Fun Fact: The Broncos and Patriots have allowed the fewest rushing touchdowns with six.
Sleeper: Mecole Hardman, WR, Chiefs
Pick Poll: Chiefs 92%
Weather: 38° Some Cloud

Monday Night: Patriots (8-4) at Bills (7-4) -2.5 43.5

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The Monday Night Football schedulers lucked into a good one.

This is the moment of truth for the Patriots and their dominance in the AFC East. New England have not spent two straight seasons outside the top spot since before the realignment of 2002. And only three times just once, including in 2020. Spoiled brats.

The 2021 Patriots owe most of their success from the defense, but the same can apply to the Bills. However, the advantage in this game lies in the better offense. Buffalo has the plus with that.

That said, the Bills have games where they cannot get anything going for long stretches. The strange loss to the Jaguars in Week 9 comes to mind.

Quit Dodging. Who do we start?

Okay. Okay. I don’t like this game for fantasy, because to start with, these are opportunistic defenses. With defenses like this, the offenses play tight to avoid turnovers. This is a script where turnovers will make the difference.

The only script scenario that can open up this game is if the Patriots find themselves down two scores early. If it is the opposite… ugh. That either means the Bills came out flat on offense or the Patriots on defense are getting to Josh Allen giving Mac Jones a short field to work with.

Your fantasy Bills should manage their floors okay. If things go well, Stefon Diggs could cap your fantasy win for the week without you waiting until the second half. So no nail bites there. However, with Matt Breida and Devin Singletary – tough yardage.

Dawson Knox will get the Patriot treatment in the red-zone, so don’t expect much from him unless the Bills confuse everyone with two tight end package sets close to the goal line. Emmanuel Sanders? Yeah, best to sit him – I might regret saying that, because whenever I put the diss on Sanders he comes up with a big catch for a touchdown on a missed assignment.

The Patriots?

As for the Patriots, you know the deal by now. Kendrick Bourne is the emerging top receiver in the offense. Although there is promising future upside for Bourne these days, his reliance remains in the boom or bust column at present. The better play for me on the Patriots is Hunter Henry if available to you.

Fun Fact: This is the sixth meeting between these teams on Monday Night Football. The Patriots are 4-1 with the Bills getting their only win last season in Week 16.
Sleeper: Cole Beasley, WR, Bills
Pick Poll: Bills 56%
Weather: 29° Overcast, Windy – Chance of Snow

In the Booth on Sunday

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CBS Early

Chargers at Bengals: Ian Eagle, Charles Davis
Colts at Texans: Greg Gumbel, Adam Archuleta
Eagles at Jets: Andrew Catalon, James Lofton
Vikings at Lions: Spero Dedes, Jay Feely

FOX Early

Buccaneers at Falcons: Kenny Albert, Jonathan Vilma
Cardinals at Bears: Adam Amin, Mark Schlereth
Giants at Dolphins: Chris Myers, Daryl Johnson

CBS Late

Ravens at Steelers: Jim Nantz, Tony Romo
49ers at Seahawks: Kevin Harlan, Trent Green

FOX Late

Washington at Raiders: Kevin Burkhardt, Greg Olsen
Jaguars at Rams: Kevin Kugler, Mark Sanchez

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Check out the rest of our 2021 Fantasy Football content from our great team of writers.

About Richard Savill

Richard is a NFL Fantasy Football Senior Writer and Editor of Fantasy Six Pack. Host of The Fantasy Edge Podcast. FantasyPros Contributor. Member of the FSWA. Richard is known for his "outside the box" insight into NFL fantasy football. He ranked 6th in draft rankings on Fantasy Pros in 2020.

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