Stars of Week 13 

QB: Cam Newton, CAR:28-41, 331 yards, 5 TDs, 1 INTs (10 carries, 49 yards, 0 TDs)

RB: Thomas Rawls, SEA: 19 carries, 101 yards, 1 TD                                            

WR: Allen Robinson, JAX: 10 catches, 153 yards, 3 TDs      

TE: Richard Rodgers, GB: 8 catches, 146 yards, 1 TD 

One of the key 2015 storylines has been the emergence of Cam Newton as an elite QB. Newton has a top TE in Greg Olsen, but otherwise has worked his magic with an underwhelming wide receiver group. His 49 yards rushing also play an important role in elevating Newton to beast level. Speaking of beast, the heir apparent to Beast Mode had a nice day against the Vikings. Thomas Rawls has shown that he’ll be ready to take over the Seahawks’ RB duties once Lynch retires or otherwise leaves the team. Allen Robinson is threatening the top 5 NFL receiver group. He’s a monster and will be going very high in drafts next season. I touted A-Rob in my draft guide, so nice work to those of you who took him. Richard Rodgers caught the hail mary pass from Aaron Rodgers last week to enable the Packers to beat the Lions in a soul crushing manner. We’ll take a closer look at Richard Rodgers below. 

Week 13 Takeaways – A Closer Look

Each week we’ll take a closer look at a handful of performances and sort out what such performances mean going forward.

- Blake Bortles, QB – JAX: 24-36, 322 yards, 5 TDs, 0 INTs

Analysis: While the Jaguars continue to lose lots of games, the good news (for us) is that the team becomes more relevant for fantasy purposes each year. After a horrific rookie campaign by Bortles last season, it looks like the young Jaguars’ QB will be a fine NFL QB. He’s not afraid to sling the ball, and with weapons such as Allen Robinson, Allen Hurns and Julius Thomas, he’s got the tools to post strong numbers. Bortles is on pace for over 4,000 passing yards and mid-30s TD passes, so that’s low end QB1 material. Ideally you have a platoon partner to go with Bortles when he faces tough matchups, but if not, you could do worse than having Bortles as your starting QB. The team will be throwing often, so the numbers will be there.

- David Johnson, RB – ARZ: 22 carries, 99 yards, 0 TDs (2 catches, 21 yards, 1 TD)                     

Analysis: David Johnson was the top waiver wire pickup for last week, as he takes over the lead RB spot the rest of the way. Chris Johnson is out for the rest of the regular season, and while Andre Ellington will return soon, he’ll resume his role primarily as a pass catcher. Johnson looked the part against the Rams, falling just shy of 100 rushing yards. He did haul in a TD pass from Carson Palmer though, so he’ll get his points in multiple ways. Johnson actually has 4 receiving TDs to his name thus far. The rookie RB’s value comes from a well-rounded skill set and a golden opportunity. In the unlikely event that Johnson remains available in your league, snag him now. For those who own him, Johnson will straddle the low RB1/high RB2 line the rest of the way. He should be in starting lineups. 

- Ameer Abdullah, RB – DET: 13 carries, 67 yards, 0 TDs                                  

Analysis: Ameer Abdullah shot out of the preseason like a cannon, only to fall flat once the regular season began. Abdullah’s 2015 season serves as a friendly reminder that preseason stardom does not necessarily equal NFL success. The good news is that Abdullah has looked better in Jim Bob Cooter’s offense – as has every Lion actually. Abdullah has passed the 60 yard rushing plateau each of the past two games. While that’s not much to get excited about, at least he’s trending in the right direction. At this point the Lions are essentially knocked out of the playoff picture, so look to them to continue to feed Abdullah to see what they have in him. He’s an RB3 going forward, so he should be rostered in deeper leagues, but only started if you don’t have better options.

- Tyler Lockett, WR – SEA: 7 catches, 90 yards, 0 TD

Analysis: I received a lineup question from a twitter follower about Tyler Lockett this past week. I’m a huge fan of Lockett, but have felt that the Seahawks’ system holds down Lockett’s fantasy value, since the Hawks move the ball around to several targets from week to week. In any event, I went too low on Lockett last week, and he needs to be viewed as a more serious fantasy weapon going forward. On top of being an electric kick/punt returner, Lockett has excellent receiving skills. He runs good routes, makes tough catches and has a high football IQ. He should also be a sleeper target for 2016 drafts, so tuck his name away. But for the rest of 2015, Lockett should be viewed as a WR3/WR4 straddler, with upside. As long as the Seahawks give him the opportunity, he’ll eclipse expectations for your team.

- Richard Rodgers, TE – GB: 8 catches, 146 yards, 1 TD

Analysis: Richard Rodgers has quietly had a nice season for the Packers, especially in terms of finding the end zone. Rodgers sits with 6 TDs. The Packers have struggled offensively in recent weeks, as the receivers have had trouble gaining separation from their defenders, among other issues. As for Rodgers, even if you were to subtract the 61 yard hail mary TD, he still had a nice week. That being said, Rodgers’ other performances have been dependent upon TDs being caught. Coming into last week’s game, Rodgers had posted no more than 45 yards in any other game. With all of this in mind, Rodgers should be viewed as a high-end TE2 (think top 15 overall). If you start him, that’s fine, but he’s ideally only started based on favorable matchups. But his arrow points up, so keep an eye on him to see if he can string together consistent good weeks. 

Rapid Fire Pickups

Each week we’ll throw out potential free agent pickups from each position for deeper leagues, in each case 1) someone who has NOT been referenced above, and 2) a player available in most leagues.

QB:                  Marcus Mariota, TEN

RB:                  Ryan Mathews, PHI

RB:                  Karlos Williams, BUF

WR:                 Devante Parker, MIA

WR:                 Kendall Wright, TEN

TE:                  Jacob Tamme, ATL 

Week 14 Rankings


1. Cam Newton

2. Russell Wilson

3. Carson Palmer

4. Aaron Rodgers

5. Tom Brady

6. Blake Bortles

7. Tyrod Taylor

8. Ben Roethlisberger

9. Drew Brees

10. Andy Dalton

11. Eli Manning

12. Jameis Winston

13. Ryan Tannehill

14. Ryan Fitzpatrick

15. Marcus Mariota

16. Brian Hoyer

17. Matthew Stafford

18. Philip Rivers

19. Derek Carr

20. Alex Smith

Running Backs

1. Doug Martin

2. Adrian Peterson

3. LeSean McCoy

4. Thomas Rawls

5. Jonathan Stewart

6. DeAngelo Williams

7. David Johnson

8. Devonta Freeman

9. Todd Gurley

10. Mark Ingram

11. Matt Forte

12. Lamar Miller

13. Charcandrick West

14. T.J. Yeldon

15. Chris Ivory

16. Darren McFadden

17. Javorius Allen

18. Shaun Draughn

19. LeGarrette Blount

20. Latavius Murray

21. Frank Gore

22. C.J. Anderson

23. Ronnie Hillman

24. Jeremy Hill

25. Eddie Lacy

26. DeMarco Murray

27. Spencer Ware

28. Jeremy Langford

29. Giovani Bernard

30. Matt Jones

31. Danny Woodhead

32. Antonio Andrews

33. Darren Sproles

34. Melvin Gordon

35. Ameer Abdullah

Wide Receivers

1. Odell Beckham Jr.

2. Antonio Brown

3. DeAndre Hopkins

4. A.J. Green

5. Allen Robinson

6. Brandon Marshall

7. Calvin Johnson

8. Julio Jones

9. Alshon Jeffery

10. Larry Fitzgerald

11. Sammy Watkins

12. Mike Evans

13. Martavis Bryant

14. Jarvis Landry

15. Demaryius Thomas

16. Eric Decker

17. Brandin Cooks

18. Danny Amendola

19. T.Y. Hilton

20. Doug Baldwin

21. Jeremy Maclin

22. Dez Bryant

23. John Brown

24. Allen Hurns

25. Amari Cooper

26. Emmanuel Sanders

27. Randall Cobb

28. DeSean Jackson

29. Michael Crabtree

30. Travis Benjamin

31. Jordan Matthews

32. Kamar Aiken

33. Brandon LaFell

34. Vincent Jackson

35. Michael Floyd

Tight Ends

1. Greg Olsen

2. Tyler Eifert

3. Travis Kelce

4. Gary Barnidge

5. Delanie Walker

6. Jordan Reed

7. Julius Thomas

8. Scott Chandler

9. Richard Rodgers

10. Antonio Gates

11. Benjamin Watson

12. Jacob Tamme

13. Zach Miller

14. Heath Miller

15. Zach Ertz