Booms, Busts, and Battlestar Galactica: NFL Week 13
For many, Week 13 is the end of a fantasy year that was more painful than watching Game of Thrones crap the bed in its final season.
Sure, it started off okay, but as you entered the final moments of a dismal period fraught with positive COVID tests and poor performances, you just wanted it to be over.
Still, the last week of the regular season was still a chance for many of these managers to drag someone down with them into the abyss of fantasy irrelevance. A little schadenfreude goes a long way, after all.
Here are the players who helped their managers accomplish that goal or doomed them to a wasted season:
Darren Waller TE Las Vegas Raiders
Darren Waller could not be stopped 😤 @Raiders #RaiderNation https://t.co/nQmnaWurKn— NFL Network (@NFL Network) 1607289698.0
The Jets have allowed four touchdowns to tight ends in the last four games, so an elite tight end like Waller was expected to eat well this past Sunday. The former Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket went full-on Kirby, catching 13 passes for 200 yards with two touchdowns, gashing New York for big gain after big gain.
However, he may not have such a productive week against the Tennessee Titans, who haven't allowed a 100-yard tight end and have given up only one touchdown to the position the entire season.
Derek Carr QB Las Vegas Raiders
Derek Carr just led his 19th 4th-quarter comeback since the start of 2015. No other QB has more during this time… https://t.co/J5zD7jT8LI— CBS Sports HQ (@CBS Sports HQ) 1607290552.0
After dropping a dud against the feeble Falcons, Derek Carr became the hero New York Jets fans needed to keep the tank rolling, throwing a game-winning touchdown to cap off a four-touchdown, 386-yard performance.
Next on docket are the Titans, who are suddenly looking vulnerable against quarterbacks, giving up six total touchdowns to signal callers in the last three games.
Corey Davis WR Tennessee Titans
Corey Davis vs. Browns 🔹 11 catches 🔹 182 yards 🔹 1 TD 🔹 35.2 PPR fantasy points https://t.co/rxbKlNiMLe— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF Fantasy Football) 1607290562.0
The Titans' day may have ended quickly after the Cleveland Browns went up 38-7 at halftime, but garbage time still counts in fantasy, and Corey Davis took full advantage of the opportunity. Tennessee went pass heavy in the second half, and it was Davis, not A.J. Brown, who was the beneficiary, ending the game with 11 receptions, 182 yards, and a touchdown.
Davis fluctuates between hot and cold, so trusting him to explode again would take a little courage from managers. Still, he may have a repeat performance with the Jacksonville Jaguars, who have given up an average of 188.75 yards to wideouts per game this season, next on the schedule.
Baker Mayfield QB Cleveland Browns
Baker Mayfield's 4 TD lead the Browns to their first winning season since 2007 😤 https://t.co/QpfyILrxST— ESPN (@ESPN) 1607289982.0
Nowadays, everyone wants to talk about Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt like they got something to say, but when the Titans moved their lips, just a bunch of gibberish because they forgot about May—Mayfield that is. The supposed game manager for the Browns torched the Titans for 334 yards, four touchdowns and even a catch just to rub a little salt in the wound.
Still, with the Baltimore Ravens coming to town next week, expect Mayfield to fall back down to earth against a stingier defense that only gave him 10.86 points in standard leagues the first time they faced each other.
Justin Herbert QB Los Angeles Chargers
The NFL: Justin Herbert is the Offensive Rookie of the Year. Bill Belichick: https://t.co/wMeJlxheih— Rich Eisen (@Rich Eisen) 1607297256.0
Bill Belichick tortures opposing rookie quarterbacks like he's Willie Wonka and they are misbehaved children. In Week 13, Justin Herbert was that child.
After being hamstrung by bad coaching against Buffalo, Herbert got another "welcome to the NFL" moment when the Patriots head coach schemed a defensive masterpiece that held the first-year signal caller to 6.36 points.
Herbert has a chance to rebound against Atlanta, who just gave up 315 yards and two touchdowns to Taysom Hill, who was held without a passing touchdown all season until this past week. Not even Anthony Lynn can ruin Herbert's production next week, can he?
Miles Sanders RB Philadelphia Eagles
Miles Sanders fantasy managers https://t.co/oGbefC1fZx— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF Fantasy Football) 1607300705.0
Carson Wentz's struggles have been well documented this season, but Sanders was supposed to be the fantasy asset managers could depend on. Three games under 10 points in the last three weeks: That expectation has not been met. On a day he was projected to score 16.07 PPR points, Sanders put up a 3.10 lemon against a Packers defense that has allowed an average of 26.8 PPR points to opposing running backs the last two games.
With the Eagles facing the best run defense in the league this upcoming week in the New Orleans Saints, don't presume his performance will turn around for the better.
Derrick Henry RB Tennessee Titans
My fantasy team with Derrick Henry last week vs this week https://t.co/onOCTM1w1w— Hugh Tomasello (@Hugh Tomasello) 1607284079.0
Not a lot of things worked for the Titans against the Browns, and it all started with Henry getting shut down, only gaining 69 total yards and losing a fumble.
Luckily, for Henry managers, this upcoming week is the start of a tasty stretch of games against three of the bottom five rushing defenses in the NFL.
Todd Gurley RB Atlanta Falcons
Todd Gurley single-handedly lost the Falcons this game. Thanks a lot Todd..... https://t.co/mVWxTCSb23— Dr. Omar Johnson (@Dr. Omar Johnson) 1607289197.0
After averaging over 19 touches before the bye, Gurley has only touched the ball an average of nine times in the last two games he has played. Those touches have only resulted in 6.9 total points and a lot of frustration.
Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter also revealed the running back is dealing with a knee injury, which is nails on a chalkboard for anyone hoping to depend on his production in the playoffs.