Stars of Week 13

QB: Baker Mayfield, CLE: 25-33, 334 yards 4 TDs, 0 INTs

RB: David Montgomery, CHI: 17 carries, 72 yards, 2 TDs                              

WR: Corey Davis, TEN: 11 catches, 182 yards, 1 TD

TE: Darren Waller, LV: 13 catches, 200 yards, 2 TDs

Welcome to the honor roll, Baker Mayfield! The third-year signal caller led the Browns to a huge win against the Titans. Mayfield threw 4 TDs in the first half, helping build a lead which the Titans could never overcome. We’ll take a closer look at what this performance means for Mayfield’s fantasy outlook below.

Bears’ running back David Montgomery has served as a high floor, low ceiling option in his two years in the league, but he scored his second and third TDs of the season against the Detroit Lions. The Lions provide little resistance in the running game, so expect Montgomery to revert back to his solid RB2 performances. Nothing wrong with that, but just don’t expect a breakout here.

On the flip side, Tennessee Titans’ WR Corey Davis has enjoyed a breakout season in this, his fourth year in the league. Davis hauled in 182 yards and found the end zone against the Browns. His breakout has come just in time for free agency, as the Titans’ declined his fifth year option prior to the season. Davis has solidified himself as a weekly WR3/flex option, and should be in starting lineups most weeks. 

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. 

Baker Mayfield, QB – CLE: 25-33, 334 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INTs

Analysis:  The Cleveland Browns have quietly had a strong 2020 season, now sitting at 9-3. Given the Browns’ history, it’s understandable that they haven’t garnered much national attention. The defense has boasted a strong pass rush, and Nick Chubb – Kareem Hunt pose the best 1-2 RB punch in the league. But with all that said, QB Baker Mayfield has improved significantly under new head coach Kevin Stefanski. Mayfield showed off his improved game by tossing four first-half TDs against the Titans, leading to a huge win against a quality opponent. The biggest change in Mayfield has been in the interception department – he threw 21 picks in 2019, and sits on pace for approximately 10 for 2020. Mayfield’s improvement has been real, but has he become a trustworthy fantasy option? You should remain skeptical. Through 12 games, Mayfield has only thrown for more than 300 yards one time (yup, against the Titans) and has only tossed three or more TDs twice in a game. A significant part of the issue for Mayfield comes from the game plan, which (rightfully) emphasizes the running game for the Browns. So Mayfield’s fantasy value is tied to his opponents, specifically those who don’t play pass defense. That’s the Titans, but it won’t be the Ravens or the Giants, who are the Browns’ next two opponents. So to wrap up, great game for Mayfield, but he’s not a solid starting option again until Week 16, when the Browns face the lowly Jets. 

Ty Johnson, RB – NYJ: 22 carries, 104 yards, 1 TD

Analysis: The New York Jets had a scare this past weekend, almost winning a game and blowing their opportunity to draft generational QB Trevor Lawrence. Thankfully for the fan base, defensive coordinator Gregg Williams made a defensive call with seconds remaining in the game which led to the team giving up the game winning TD to the Raiders. A deep breath is in order. In unfortunate news, the team lost RB Frank Gore early in the game due to a concussion. The ageless wonder was set to post another solid game, but in his absence stepped up Ty Johnson, and he delivered with a TD and more than 100 yards over 22 carries. Johnson entered the league in 2019 as a sixth round pick of the Detroit Lions, and now he presumably will have a starting job next week when the Jets face the Seahawks. Johnson has his most success as a downhill runner, not faring well moving laterally. That’s ok for an RB, and preferable to the converse. As we enter Week 14 and the fantasy playoffs, the quality of the waiver wire pales in comparison to earlier weeks, so moves need to be strategic and based on week-to-week data. Johnson should get the bulk of the carries next week against the Seahawks, while fellow RB Josh Adams will likely spell Johnson for 6-8 carries. While the Seahawks have a respectable run defense, it’s not of the caliber as has been reported – see the Giants posting 190 rushing yards against them in Week 13. Johnson should be viewed as a flex option in standard leagues and very deep PPR leagues (14 plus teams), so put in a claim for him if you need RB help and if he matches up with your league settings.   

Keke Coutee, WR – HOU: 8 catches, 141 yards, 0 TDs

Analysis: Houston Texans’ QB Deshaun Watson has done his best to keep the offense respectable despite the loss of all-world WR DeAndre Hopkins in the offseason, and now WR Will Fuller for the rest of the season. With WR Kenny Stills released last week as well, that leaves the Texans’ WR options to Brandin Cooks and Keke Coutee. Coutee has not had a memorable season, being on the inactive list for several games, while coming into Week 13 with only 38 yards receiving in three games played. Well, with the massive losses at WR, and Cooks’ loss mid-game against the Colts, Coutee stepped up big-time as the next, next man up to the tune of 8 catches for 141 yards, while targeted by Watson a team leading 9 times. Coutee does his best work in the slot, but has failed to hold his position in the Texans’ depth chart over his three year career. Some players need to be added because of their imminent breakout, while others due to their sheer expected volume in the offense. Coutee falls into the latter category here. The Texans will need to put up a lot of points to win their remaining games, and Watson will capably lead their offense down the field…he’s too good not to. So this means that Coutee will play a key role here since there are few options left. The Texans face some tough pass defenses the next two weeks in the Bears and the Colts, so keep expectations in check. But if you need a WR, give a look to Coutee in PPR leagues. Koutee can help you in larger leagues (12 plus teams).

Collin Johnson, WR – JAC: 4 catches, 66 yards, 0 TDs

Analysis:  The Jaguars were almost the league winners for Week 13, only for the Jets to give up that long game winning TD pass to the Raiders with the game down to its final seconds. But I digress. With retread QB Mike Glennon at the helm for the Jaguars the past two games, the team has been surprisingly competitive. With a change in QB often comes a change in preference at WR. While the Jaguars have established WRs DJ Chark and Keelan Cole at their disposal, Glennon has shown a fondness to throwing Collin Johnson’s way. The 2020 fifth round pick from Texas has posted his best two games as a pro with Glennon at the helm, hauling in 96 yards plus a TD against the Browns in Week 12, and leading the Jags’ again with 66 yards against the Vikings in Week 13. Glennon targeted Johnson 8 times against the Browns and 6 times versus the Vikings. Whom do the Jaguars face in Week 14? None other than the Tennessee Titans. That’s a plus matchup, making Johnson a flex option in 12 plus team leagues. If choosing between Koutee and Johnson, I’d lean towards Koutee because he has the more reliable QB. But if Koutee gets snapped up, Johnson’s a reasonable alternative.

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 more than 50% of leagues.

QB: Philip Rivers, IND (@ LV)

RB: Phillip Lindsay, DEN (@ CAR)

RB: Kalen Ballage, LAC (vs ATL)

WR: TY Hilton, IND (@ LV)

WR: Denzel Mims, NYJ (@ SEA)

TE: Tyler Eifert, JAC (vs TEN)