Fantasy Football On Target: The top stories from Week 13

by Tim Heaney on December 5, 2013 @ 07:17:48 PDT


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For a complete listing of targets and touches, check out our Statistics Analyzer and Utilizations pages.

Write-ups labeled with WW are waiver wire targets. Find more fantasy football risers in our Fantasy Football Waiver Wire.

KFFL Target Data

Bull's eye

San Francisco 49ers WR Anquan Boldin
Q answers

When a dangerous weapon returns to the lineup, his talent doesn't merely restart his own fantasy value, but those around him, as well. One case in point was the re-emergence of Michael Crabtree (Achilles'), who mustered 68 yards on two grabs and four looks Sunday.

With the San Francisco 49ers' complete registry of starters back, the offense should open up, forcing the defense to spread its attention over more sources. Note Anquan Boldin and his 13 targets, his most since Week 1. Vernon Davis should be even better now, too.

Though Colin Kaepernick only found the end zone once, he posted one of his most efficient passing days on the year. His full complement of receivers made him more comfortable.

Crabtree this year will serve more often as a decoy, someone enemy secondaries must remember exists, than a focal point. Still, he's an attractive postseason stash who should be moving much better by January.

The rival Seattle Seahawks, who've already punched their own playoff ticket, must be leaning toward saving their own intriguing but fragile weapon until their Super Bowl push. Percy Harvin's (hip) latest setback jeopardizes his opportunity to follow in Crabtree's footsteps for fantasy owners. This offense has been a much better machine than San Fran's, though, so he'd merely be a bonus.

Running backs

Week 13 utilizations
Rk Player Tm Wk13 Notes
1 Adrian Peterson MIN 39 118 last 4 weeks leads RBs
2 Maurice Jones-Drew JAX 31 Realizing the O runs through him ... even passing game
3 Matt Forte CHI 25 At least 24 in each of last 5 weeks
4 Chris Johnson TEN 25 Even had an inside-the-5 TD
5 Le'Veon Bell PIT 25 Concussion puts him in jeopardy. Felix Jones and Jonathan Dwyer -- yeesh.
6 Reggie Bush DET 25 Regrouped after another lost fumble
7 LeSean McCoy PHI 24 280 on the year 4th among RBs
8 Steven Jackson ATL 24 2 TDs confirm he's fresh for late-season push
9 Joique Bell DET 23 Blowout helped workload, but he'll remain a frequently used No. 2.
10 Lamar Miller MIA 23 Daniel Thomas' bum ankle leaves Miller in driver's seat.
11 DeMarco Murray DAL 22 Most utils since Week 3. Maybe Dallas will lean -- nah.
12 Ben Tate HOU 22 Took command of backfield again.

Stevan Ridley was declared a healthy inactive Sunday. The New England Patriots will stick with Shane Vereen as the majority back, at least in their passing situations. LeGarrette Blount and Brandon Bolden will divvy up the carry picture for as long as Ridley is exiled.

Andre Ellington's sore knee kept him out on Sunday, and Rashard Mendenhall took advantage, averaging 4.22 yards, his highest rate since Week 2. Mendy had shown a bit more giddy-up the previous week, as well, as his turf toe that has nagged him nearly all season may be subsiding. Even after Ellington returns, if the situation calls for bruising, Mendenhall may take more work away as he regains Bruce Arians' trust.

In a not-so-big surprise, Donald Brown (17 utils Sunday) has supplanted Trent Richardson (five) as the Indianapolis Colts' starting back. Adjust accordingly.

Montee Ball had a banner day Sunday with 117 yards on 13 carries. Knowshon Moreno was active, but the Denver Broncos wanted to involve both to keep Moreno (ankle) fresh. Look for Ball to tote this frequently as Denver tries to lock down a first-round bye.

Wide receivers

Week 13 utilizations
Rk Player Tm Wk13 Notes
1 Alshon Jeffery CHI 16 69 since Week 8 bye lead the position
2 Harry Douglas ATL 15 Roddy White regaining strength helps everyone, too
3 Josh Gordon CLE 15 Only WR in history with back-to-back 200-yard receiving games
4 Brian Hartline MIA 15 33 in last 3 weeks
5 Roddy White ATL 14 Looked fresh, becomes starter-worthy down the stretch.
6 Anquan Boldin SF 13 Bull's eye section said it best.
7 Pierre Garcon WAS 12 Logged at least 10 in all but 2 G this year
8 Ace Sanders JAX 12 Ascending to No. 2 with Justin Blackmon suspended, Mike Brown hurt
9 Julian Edelman NE 12 Supplanted Danny Amendola
10 Eric Decker DEN 12 Marcus Cooper had a bad day. It was Decker's turn with the matchup.
11 Cecil Shorts JAX 11 Held his own versus Joe Haden while being force-fed again.
12 Andre Holmes OAK 11 Rapport with Matt McGloin growing with Denarius Moore (shoulder) MIA
13 Emmanuel Sanders PIT 11 18 in last 2 weeks
14 Kendall Wright TEN 11 Ryan Fitzpatrick continues to look his way.

Matt Flynn's tenure at quarterback may be over soon. The Green Bay Packers fill-in had little time to throw on Thanksgiving. He was sacked seven times. Jordy Nelson, Jarret Boykin and James Jones had little time to get open. Aaron Rodgers (collarbone) may be back this week.

WW: Watch out for LaVon Brazill, who has 13 targets in the last two weeks, including eight from Sunday. Andrew Luck is realizing that Darrius Heyward-Bey probably isn't the best choice to supplement T.Y. Hilton and Coby Fleener. Brazill boasts sneaky big-play ability.

Tight ends

Week 13 utilizations
Rk Player Tm Wk13 Notes
1 Rob Gronkowski NE 12 Gronk being Gronk
2 Charles Clay MIA 11 35 targets in last 4 weeks 2nd for position
3 Garrett Graham HOU 11 36 targets 1st among TEs
4 Jimmy Graham NO 9 SEA contained him on MNF despite TD.
5 Heath Miller PIT 9 33 tied for 3rd
6 Antonio Gates SD 9 Small rebound hindered by Ladarius Green's emergence
7 Tony Gonzalez ATL 7 More positive Roddy White fallout
8 Greg Olsen CAR 7 24 last 3 weeks
9 Jordan Cameron CLE 7 Concussed QB shuffle would hurt Cameron if Jason Campbell replaces Brandon Weeden

WW: Green has 16 looks in the last three contests and has taken advantage of the absence of Eddie Royal (toe, chest), but the San Diego Chargers would probably feature Green anyway even if the slot man were healthy. Green at times resembles a vintage Gates, and with the vet sporting little in the way of breakaway speed these days, Green should continue working into Philip Rivers' good graces.

WW: Coming out of the bye, Zach Ertz and Brent Celek were bigger parts of the game plan Sunday. They each hauled in six targets as the Philadelphia Eagles looked to expose the Arizona Cardinals' spotty defense against the position. The remaining schedule is somewhat attractive, and though these two often cannibalize their targets

WW: Following his six looks Sunday night (five receptions), Brandon Myers has 15 over his last trio of outings and a score in each of his last two. His 11 catches in that time reflect his time with the Oakland Raiders last year, when he posted one of the best catch percentages in the NFL. Eli Manning has been ineffective most of the season, and maybe re-incorporating Myers will help him regain some comfort.

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About Tim Heaney

Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.

During baseball and football season, he appears on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio on Thursdays and Sundays, and every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.

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