Tom Brady continues to hold down father time as he ripped the Falcons apart by throwing four touchdown passes against them. Brady was the only quarterback to throw for four touchdowns. Kyler Murray didn’t throw four touchdowns but still accumulated four by rushing in two and passing for two touchdowns in his return to action. With Melvin Gordon out of the way due to injury, rookie Javonte Williams ran for over 100 yards and caught six passes for 76 yards and a touchdown reception. David Montgomery had an excellent bounce-back performance by rushing for 90 yards and catching eight passes. Jonathan Taylor continued his dominance by rushing for 143 yards and despite Darrell Henderson being active, Sony Michel led the Rams charge on the ground by rushing for 121 yards. George Kittle caught nine passes for 181 yards and two touchdowns making him the top fantasy performer in PPR for the week (prior to Monday Night Football). Adam Thielen injured his ankle early in the Vikings-Lions game and is looking at missed time ahead, while his teammate Justin Jefferson caught 11 balls for 182 yards and a score. Other injuries included Taysom Hill and Joe Burrow both injuring their fingers, but both will continue to play through the pain. Miles Sanders rushed for 120 yards but once again injured his ankle in the process. Luckily for him, the Eagles are on bye for Week 14. We won’t see Logan Thomas or Kenyan Drake play again this season after suffering season-ending lower body injuries. Let’s look at the latest trendy players around the NFL.
Russell Wilson, QB SEA: A few weeks ago Wilson was being benched in a lot of leagues against the Cardinals and it looked like his injured Hand wasn’t fully recovered. He silenced doubters over his last two weeks and after completing less than 54 percent of his passes in Weeks 10 and 11, Wilson completed over 81 percent of his passes in Week 13 versus San Francisco. After not throwing multiple touchdowns since Week 4, he’s now thrown two touchdowns in back to back weeks and he’s thrown for at least 230 yards in both contests. The Seahawks run game cannot be relied on as Seattle has a by committee approach for carries and they’ll have to rely a bit more on their passing game down the stretch. Up next for Wilson is Houston, which is a very beatable matchup for him. Hopefully, Wilson himself starts to run a bit more after Adrian Peterson ran for 1.5 yards per carry on Sunday.
Van Jefferson, WR LAR: Between Robert Woods being lost for the season and Matthew Stafford playing better, Jefferson’s production ceiling has risen over the last few weeks. Jefferson commands the second most targets on the team. He’s received at least 21 percent of the Rams targets over his last two matchups. Jefferson has received no fewer than six targets since week seven. He hit double figures in PPR in four of his last six contests. Jefferson has caught a touchdown pass in both of his last two matchups and after the Rams game versus the Cardinals, they have a favorable schedule that includes the Seahawks, Vikings and Ravens. Jefferson has posted at least 40 receiving yards in each of his last six games. By the time Woods got hurt, he had already been targeted 16 times in the red zone along with Tyler Higbee and Cooper Kupp leads the league with 24 red zone targets. Jefferson currently has 12 targets in the red zone and that is bound to grow as the Rams have clearly shown they’re not shy about throwing inside the 20-yard line.
Russell Gage, WR ATL: Matt Ryan has zeroed in on Gage for the most part over the Falcons last five games. Cordarrelle Patterson is utilized in both the Falcons rushing and passing attack and Kyle Pitts has been held down. Gage has received a bigger percentage of targets than Pitts in the Falcons last three games. Gage has received at least 24 percent of the Falcons targets in four of his last five games. He’s caught 22 passes total in his last three games on 23 targets. Gage has produced 62 receiving yards or more in four of his last seven games. While he does have a couple of games during that stretch in which he produced zero points, Gage has been getting fed the targets receiving seven or more in three straight games and he just caught 11 passes for 130 yards against the Buccaneers. Opposing teams are clearly scheming to take Pitts out of the game and make the other receivers beat them. We haven’t seen Calvin Ridley take the field since week seven and we don’t know when he’ll return. While he’s out, Gage will continue being the prioritized or second prioritized receiving weapon in the Falcons passing game.
Noah Fant, TE DEN: Fant averages 16.5 percent of the Broncos target-share for the season, but he’s only exceeded that number 1 time in his last 4 games. After hitting double figures in PPR in four of his first six games, Fant has scored 10 or more points once in his last five contests. He hasn’t caught a touchdown pass since Week 6 and Fant has caught fewer than five passes in three of his last four games. There are just a lot of passing options in Denver including Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton (who they just paid) and Tim Patrick. Let’s not forget that both Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams can catch passes too. Even tight tnd teammate Albert Okwuegbunam is eating into Fant’s targets as he’s received three or more in four of his last five games. We’ve seen Fant and Sutton get hindered by the return of Jeudy to the field and Fant has become hard to trust to start. It also doesn’t help that Teddy Bridgewater has completed fewer than 62 percent of his passes in his last three games.
Christian Kirk, WR ARI: If we look at Kirk’s target-share for the season, he’s the top dog among Cardinals options and yes, the Cardinals have been dealing with injuries, especially to Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins, but with both back in the mix, the targets will become even more divided and Kirk could lose out on production. Zach Ertz, A.J. Green and Rondale Moore are also on Kirk’s tail when it comes to target percentage. Kirk hasn’t caught a touchdown pass since Week 7 and he’s caught just three passes total in his last two games. Kirk caught one pass in the Cardinals last matchup against the Rams and next week Hopkins will be even healthier unless he has a setback in practice and we saw Kirk out on the field for a season-low 60 percent of the snaps on Sunday losing out to Hopkins, Green and Ertz.
Carson Wentz, QB IND: Wentz had an incredible run from Week 4 until Week 9 in which he threw multiple touchdown passes in each game. Since Week 10, Wentz has thrown more than one touchdown in just one game. He’s thrown for fewer than 200 yards in three of his last four battles and we’ve seen him throw more than 22 passes just one time in his last three games. Jonathan Taylor has been receiving heavy volume lately and that will certainly take away from Wentz production. Taylor has carried the ball 32 times in two of his last three games. The Colts have no reason to give Taylor fewer carries because he’s been rushing for 5.6 yards per carry. The Colts have a bye in Week 14 and then have dates with the Patriots and Cardinals, which of course won’t be easy matchups. Wentz was an excellent waiver wire stopgap for those that had QB issues in fantasy, but now we have to separate from him as the Colts continue to lean heavily on Taylor.