Week 13 Fantasy Surprises

ryan-fitzpatrick-nfl-cleveland-browns-new-york-jets4Last week was a nice one for my fantasy surprises as Brian Hoyer put up a solid effort, DeSean Jackson showed off his big play capability and Jimmy Graham was on pace for an impressive game before suffering his season ending injury. With this being one of if not the last week of the fantasy regular season, it’s hard to believe how fast it has gone by. More than usual, it seemed guys who should of been cornerstones for teams got hurt which once again led to many leagues being decided on the waiver wire. If you take a look at your league standings, chances are the teams in the top positions are the ones who drafted well in terms of depth and had luck regarding their waiver claims.

QB: Ryan Fitzpatrick vs Giants: If you’re in need of a quarterback streamer or one who can save you in terms of salary in daily games, the Amish Rifle could be your guy. Fitzpatrick has a very favorable matchup against a struggling Giants pass defense in what could turn into a high scoring affair. Did I mention he also has two quality receivers in Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker at his disposal? Star him with confidence this week. Expect around 260 total yards and two touchdowns.

RB: Ronnie Hillman vs Chargers: C.J. Anderson after his big performance in the win against the Patriots is now the flavor of the week in the Broncos backfield. However, this situation is a very evenly distributed committee which means Hillman is being underrated in fantasy circles for this appealing matchup. The Chargers have struggled against the ground game all year and since Brock Osweiler has been under center, things have really opened up in the ground game for the Broncos. Hillman should be able to put up starting caliber numbers this week even if he only maxes out around 15 touches. Expect around 70 total yards and a touchdown.

WR: Kamar Aiken vs Dolphins: Are you a fan of wideouts with a high floor and moderate ceiling? If so, Aiken could be the one for you. At this point, he is serving as the primary receiver for the Ravens and running short to intermediate routes like he does is Matt Schaub’s bread and butter. The Dolphins defense has also been a mess of late especially in the secondary. If you need a third receiver or flex option, Aiken could be a nice option. Expect around 60 yards and a touchdown.

TE: Julius Thomas vs Titans: If you’re wondering what kind of a difference a Peyton Manning led offense can make, look no further than Thomas’ 2015 season. Last year at times he was among the fantasy elite as the third option in the passing game on his own team. Now in a new system (granted he missed the first few weeks due to injury) and still the third option in the passing game, he’s a matchup based play for fantasy owners.

The good news is, this is one of those weeks. Not only do the Titans struggle covering tight ends but with Allen Hurns going down, Thomas figures to see more targets. Considering he figures to see double digit throws his way this week, don’t hesitate to insert Thomas into lineups. Expect around 70 yards and a touchdown.

K: Dustin Hopkins vs Cowboys: I had Hopkins here last week, and I’m going back for more in another favorable matchup. As previously mentioned, it just comes down to opportunities for kickers and Hopkins could have them against an inconsistent Cowboys defense. Expect around two field goals and two extra points.

DEF: Dolphins vs Ravens: I went against the Ravens last week and despite them fairing well offensively, the Browns defense put up a decent showing. That’s in large part due to turnovers which is the whole reason you’d pick a defense against Schaub. When he has played the past few years, Schaub has been prone to throwing what my friends and I call taINTs (touchdown(s) after interception). Unless you’re applying at an adult film production company, the phrase taINT savant is probably one that doesn’t boost the resume but that’s exactly what Schaub has shown to be in his recent starts.

The short to intermediate routes paired with declining arm strength lead to perfect taINT potential. And what do you know this past Monday night Karlos Dansby jumped a route and he was off to the races for six. For that, the Dolphins defense is one strongly worth a look in all formats. Expect around two sacks, an interception and  fumble recovery.

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