Week 13 fantasy football leading scorers, surprises and waiver wire options
After learning about Rob Gronkowski’s season-ending back surgery late last week, fantasy owners rushed to the waiver wire to gobble up the best of the rest.
One of the more popular suggestions was Houston’s C.J. Fiedorowicz. He’s averaging better than nine fantasy points per game this season as Brock Osweiler embraced a dink-and-dunk passing game. However, before you go falling in love with his rest-of-season fantasy playoff potential, keep this in mind. Ryan Griffin is cutting into Fiedorowicz’s full fantasy potential. Here’s how the two tight ends stack up over the past month:
My two primary replacement suggestions were Vernon Davis (9.8 fantasy points vs. ARI) and Cameron Brate (20.6 fantasy points vs. SD). After averaging 9+ targets per game Weeks 7-10, Antonio Gates has seen four targets over the past two games. Hunter Henry may have failed to score in Week 13, but he’s not completely out of the picture as was the case four weeks ago.
Without question, the Week 14 waiver wire will be picked over, but one guy owners should note is the Bills’ Mike Gillislee. He’s available in 80 percent of leagues and cutting into LeSean McCoy’s fantasy production. Gillislee rushed eight times for 49 yards with two touchdowns against the Raiders in Week 13 and now has seven touchdowns in 11 games this season. McCoy has scored 10 times. When you also consider McCoy has missed time due to a hamstring injury and a dislocated thumb that required surgery, Gillislee is one play away from regular playing time. The Bills face the Steelers and Browns the next two weeks. Both defenses allow a ton of fantasy points to opposing running backs.
Granted, Joe Flacco picked the Dolphins’ pass defense apart, but the Kenneth Dixon project is a mess. He was earning more snaps, targets and touches in recent weeks but was held to six carries despite averaging 9.3 YPR. Dixon’s 10 touches were trumped by Terrance West’s 13 who scored two of the Ravens’ five touchdowns. Dennis Pitta — who hadn’t caught a touchdown pass since 2013 — finished with nine receptions for 90 yards and two touchdowns against the Dolphins. It was his best fantasy performance since December 2012, when he racked up 125 receiving yards with two touchdowns against the Broncos. Eric Decker was the Broncos leading receiver in that game.
With Gronk out, Tom Brady completed 33 passes to seven different receivers. Malcolm Mitchell caught eight of 10 passes for 82 yards. He’s averaging 19 fantasy points per game (PPR) over the past three games.
This was the moment Ladarius Green truthers craved. After living in Antonio Gates’ shadow in San Diego, Green signed with the Steelers only to miss a good chunk of the season. Now healthy, Pittsburgh eased him into the offense the past three games, but they released the Kraken against the Giants. Green saw 11 targets, caught six balls and scored his first touchdown since October 2015.
What happened to those Week 12 guys?
A week after posting 26.50 fantasy football points, the Bears’ Marquess Willson saw one target, hurt his groin and missed most of the game. Despite a few drops in the snow, Josh Bellamy led the team with four receptions for 93 yards on six targets.
The Falcons’ Taylor Gabriel saw his six targets and caught five passes for 44 yards but failed to dive into the end zone. Aldrick Robinson carved out a role in Week 13 and caught two passes for 18 yards with Matt Ryan’s only touchdown pass of the game.
The Chiefs’ Tyreek Hill caught five of six passes for 53 yards and chipped in 19 yards on the ground but failed to score against the Falcons. Travis Kelce ate well with eight receptions on eight targets for 140 yards.