Week 13 fantasy flex plays
We're fast approaching playoff time (some of you in larger league's may start this week), so this could be a pivotal matchup for many owners. Hopefully, you've kept track of the many injuries that continue to pile up and are adjusting accordingly with waiver-wire grabs. There aren't likely to be many Bryce Browns left - or in general for that matter - as the natural talent looks poised to steal a spot among the top-10 backs as long as LeSean McCoy is out. However, Knowshon Moreno returning to a starting job he once held for two years and Rashad Jennings returning to a starting role he vacated for one week provide two feature backs that may have begun this week on waivers. Others, like Shane Vereen, Jacquizz Rodgers and Bilal Powell, are carving out flex-sized roles in their respective backfields. The receiver position, while not seeing many injury-replacement studs, is still more than deep enough to find emerging talents (see rookies Justin Blackmon, T.Y. Hilton, Ryan Broyles and Mohamed Sanu for flex starts).
1. Davone Bess vs. New England - Bess has seen 20 targets the last two weeks and has at least 11 fantasy points in each of those contests. He just posted a career-high 129 yards on Seattle's ultra-stingy corners in a relatively close game that saw Miami run 28 times to 26 pass attempts. Against a much weaker New England secondary in a game in which Miami is surely going to have to throw it 35-40 times at least, expect another strong performance from Bess.
2. Justin Blackmon at Buffalo - In the last two weeks, Blackmon has racked up 310 total yards. Although the majority of that damage came in a shootout with Houston, it's hard to ignore the 19 targets and 13 touches he's seen in that stretch. It's clear that Blackmon is building a strong chemistry with Chad Henne, and the Jaguars want to involve him more in the offense. A Bills team that has been badly exposed on defense multiple times this year is about to learn that firsthand.
3. Mohamed Sanu at San Diego - If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Sanu has four touchdowns in his last three games and is fast becoming a favorite of Andy Dalton's inside the red zone.
4. Jacquizz Rodgers vs. New Orleans - Rodgers is slowly starting to steal Michael Turner's job as the lead runner in the Atlanta backfield. He received just three fewer carries last week and averaged 4.9 yards per attempt against Tampa Bay's top-ranked rush defense while totaling 79 yards and his first rushing score of the season. Turner, meanwhile, averaged a pathetic 1.3 yards per carry last week and was useless to the tune of 13 carries for 15 yards in Atlanta's trip to New Orleans just a couple weeks back. Expect the expansion of Rodger's role to continue versus the Saints dead-last run defense, and similar or better results could follow last week's career game.
5. Knowshon Moreno vs. Tampa Bay - Although the Bucs still boast the best run defense in terms of yards allowed per carry and game, they have given up nine scores on the ground. After racking up 24 touches last week it seems apparent Moreno is the back that Denver plans to move forward with this year. So even though Tampa may well keep him from the 100-plus total yards he registered versus Kansas City, the sheer volume of touches could translate to nice flex numbers.
6. Mark Ingram at Atlanta - Ingram might be sharing touches with Chris Ivory, Darren Sproles and even Pierre Thomas some, but he's still the Saints' goal-line back. With Drew Brees slinging it, New Orleans will get in close, which could lead to scoring chances for Ingram. Furthermore, he should find plenty of running room between the 20s versus a Falcons defense that allows 4.8 yards per carry and likely will drop five and six players into coverage often for fear of Brees burning them for big gains.
WEEK 13 FLEX-PLAY RANKINGS
*Check injury status
1. Calvin Johnson DET vs. Ind
2. A.J. Green CIN at SD
3. *Adrian Peterson MIN at GB - Suffered a shoulder strain against the Bears last week.
4. Trent Richardson CLE at Oak - I know his YPC weren't good against the Steelers, but if the Raiders' run defense last week was any indication, Richardson should go nuts this week.
5. Arian Foster HOU at Ten
6. Doug Martin TB at Den
7. Reggie Wayne IND at Det
8. Roddy White ATL vs. NO
9. Andre Johnson HOU at Ten
10. Dez Bryant DAL vs. Phi
11. Demaryius Thomas DEN vs. TB
12. Victor Cruz NYG at Was
13. Chris Johnson TEN vs. Hou
14. *Bryce Brown PHI at Dal - Good bet to start again this week.
15. C.J. Spiller BUF vs. Jac - Spiller just had 14 carries last week (though Fred Jackson had only six) - he only averaged 7.6 yards per carry, I can see why the Bills would want to keep him under wraps. Wait, what?
16. Ray Rice BAL vs. Pit - Everyone will remember Rice's 4th-and-29 conversion, nobody will remember that for the second time this season, earlier in the game the Ravens didn't have Rice in the game in a critical 4th-and-short yardage situation.
17. Marshawn Lynch SEA at Chi
18. Frank Gore SF at StL
19. Jimmy Graham NO at Atl
20. Brandon Marshall CHI vs. Sea
21. *Marques Colston NO at Atl - (Neck) Briefly left last week after a big hit, passed a concussion test in the locker room.
22. Hakeem Nicks NYG at Was
23. Vincent Jackson TB at Den
24. Julio Jones ATL vs. NO - Ankle concerns were blown out of proportion by me, apparently - benched him in three leagues, much to my chagrin.
25. Jamaal Charles KC vs. Car
26. Mikel Leshoure DET vs. Ind
27. Ahmad Bradshaw NYG at Was
28. Jason Witten DAL vs. Phi
29. Jordy Nelson GB vs. Min
30. Wes Welker NE at Mia
31. Steve Johnson BUF vs. Jac
32. Alfred Morris WAS vs. NYG
33. Darren Sproles NO at Atl
34. Steven Jackson STL vs. SF
35. Ryan Mathews SD vs. Cin
36. *Michael Bush CHI vs. Sea - Had two scores even before Forte got hurt last week. Now he'll probably be the starter against the Seahawks.
37. Reggie Bush MIA vs. NE
38. Tony Gonzalez ATL vs. NO
39. *Aaron Hernandez NE at Mia - (Ankle) Disappointing results, but Hernandez was on the field for 57-of-68 of the Pats' offensive snaps.
40. Cecil Shorts JAC at Buf
41. Steve Smith CAR at KC
42. Lance Moore NO at Atl
43. Denarius Moore OAK vs. Cle
44. Michael Crabtree SF at StL
45. Torrey Smith BAL vs. Pit
46. *Marcel Reece OAK vs. Cle - What happens to Reece when McFadden and/or Goodson return? He had a combined 103 yards against the Bengals.
47. BenJarvus Green-Ellis CIN at SD
48. Stevan Ridley NE at Mia
49. *Knowshon Moreno DEN vs. TB - Moreno had 55 snaps compared to just seven for Hillman last week.
50. *Felix Jones DAL vs. Phi - (Knee) Jones had just six carries, although Lance Dunbar had just one. Once the Cowboys fell behind they completely abandoned the running game.
51. Brandon Myers OAK vs. Cle
52. Jermaine Gresham CIN at SD
53. *Danario Alexander SD vs. Cin - Led the Chargers in receiving yards last week, but suffered a thigh injury in the game.
54. Ryan Broyles DET vs. Ind
55. Golden Tate SEA at Chi
56. Malcom Floyd SD vs. Cin
57. Justin Blackmon JAC at Buf
58. Eric Decker DEN vs. TB
59. *T.Y. Hilton IND at Det - Came back from a nasty hit on a punt return to later catch a touchdown pass.
60. Pierre Garcon WAS vs. NYG
61. *Jeremy Maclin PHI at Dal - Will be the primary target for Foles this week with DeSean Jackson out for the season.
62. Davone Bess MIA vs. NE
63. *Rashad Jennings JAC at Buf - Likely starting again this week with Parmele out and MJD a long shot to play.
64. *DeAngelo Williams CAR at KC - Could get more carries this week with Stewart dealing with a high ankle sprain.
65. Jacquizz Rodgers ATL vs. NO
66. *Jonathan Dwyer PIT at Bal - 'You get a fumble.' Dwyer lost a fumble last week, but he's been named the starter for this week against the Ravens and will get the bulk of the carries.
67. Shonn Greene NYJ vs. Ari
68. *Beanie Wells ARZ at NYJ - Wells had two touchdowns as the primary back for the Cardinals, but also averaged just 2.8 yards per carry. He and Shonn Greene make a nice match for a running into the pile contest this week.
69. Sidney Rice SEA at Chi
70. Brandon Lloyd NE at Mia
71. Dwayne Bowe KC vs. Car - Had just four receptions against the Broncos despite 12 targets from Brady Quinn.
72. *Mike Wallace PIT at Bal - Listed as a co-starter alongside Emmanuel Sanders, with Antonio Brown expected to start at the other spot upon his return.
73. Larry Fitzgerald ARZ at NYJ
74. Donald Jones BUF vs. Jac
75. Santana Moss WAS vs. NYG
76. Brandon LaFell CAR at KC
77. Anquan Boldin BAL vs. Pit
78. Antonio Brown PIT at Bal
79. *Emmanuel Sanders PIT at Bal - Listed as a co-starter alongside Mike Wallace, with Antonio Brown expected to start at the other spot upon his return.
80. Dustin Keller NYJ vs. Ari
81. Brandon Pettigrew DET vs. Ind
82. Owen Daniels HOU at Ten
83. Vernon Davis SF at StL - No official catches last week - had one overturned by penalty. Guess it wasn't Alex Smith's fault after all.
84. Dennis Pitta BAL vs. Pit - Nine targets and a touchdown against the Chargers. Could be huge if Dickson can't go this week.
85. Greg Olsen CAR at KC
86. Daniel Thomas MIA vs. NE
87. Vick Ballard IND at Det - Ballard had a disappointing game in a good matchup against the Bills last week.
88. James Starks GB vs. Min
89. Shane Vereen NE at Mia - Perhaps the most surreal offensive (as opposed to the resulting two defensive scores for the Pats) touchdown of the week came on Vereen's 83-yard reception, which was a simple pass in the flats that led to him going untouched down the sideline. What sort of blown defense do you have where that can happen?
90. Fred Jackson BUF vs. Jac - More snaps than Spiller last week, but far fewer carries. Chan Gailey suggested that arrangement would remain this week.
91. *Michael Turner ATL vs. NO - On the field for fewer snaps than Jacquizz Rodgers last week, and far less effective with his carries.
92. Chris Ivory NO at Atl
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