Lucky 13, amirite? For some of you, the fantasy football playoffs begin this week. If you’re reading this, then I assume congratulations are in order for making your league’s big dance. May you mop up the floor with your opponent’s bleeding, dead carcass. For many of you, though, this is the final week of the fantasy regular season. If you’ve already locked up a playoff spot, then here’s to probably your least-stressful match-up. Seeding is close to irrelevant in the fantasy game and fantasy playoff bye weeks are only appreciated if you’re dealing with an injury but you’ll get the guy back the rest of the way – Gronk owners, I’m looking at you.

But for many of you, you’re faced with the always stressful “win and you’re in” match-up and you’re going to be glued to your phone/laptop all day Sunday like a fat kid staring at free cake. While it’s great to still be “in it” this far into the season, I don’t envy your position. It’s a tough spot to be in as there continues to be a major disruption in the football force (nerdy Star Wars reference, yes). The loss of Tony Romo puts Dez Bryant owners in a tight spot, Aaron Rodgers doesn’t look like himself, Matt Ryan’s 2015 ineptitude is affecting Julio Jones’ game and WTF is up with Drew Brees?

While tracking the targets all season has been a helpful tool for your lineup decision-making process, you’re obviously going to have to make a number of adjustments heading into this week. Studs are studs and while some of the quarterbacks are struggling or banged-up, you don’t want to be that guy who overthinks his match-up and loses with Julio Jones on your bench. But when you’re assembling your supporting cast, you need to make sure you’re looking at every possible aspect which could affect the player’s performance. You need to look at the match-up, the quarterback’s health and recent performance, target distribution over the last few weeks, other injuries/recoveries which could affect target numbers and any personnel changes that may have been made in recent weeks. All of these things affect game-plans and game flow and you want to make sure you have everything covered. If it’s a must-win situation, then you best be doing as much research as you can.

Now let’s hit the targets from Week 12 and how things may be affected moving forward.

Week 12 Target Leaders


























We haven’t had a list this long for a look at the weekly targets yet this season, but with such a heavy passing week and with so many new faces involved now, I thought it best to include at least everyone who saw double-digit targets in Week 13. Some have the ability to stay heavily involved while others just saw an opportunity that may not come again this season. Here’s a look at some of the players we aren’t used to seeing in this section.

Markus Wheaton, WR PIT – In a game that saw Ben Roethlisberger and Jarvis Landry throw a combined 59 times, it was Wheaton who saw the most action as Seattle’s Legion of Boom did its best to contain Martavis Bryant and Antonio Brown. While many expected Wheaton to step into a much larger role early in the season when Bryant was suspended, the second-year wideout failed to live up to the preseason hype. He’s definitely talented and offers the Steelers a third viable target, he is unlikely to duplicate his Week 12 effort. He could see a steady bump in targets from his usual 3.2 targets per game average, he’s still the third option, fourth is you count tight end Heath Miller, so don’t expect too much from him moving forward.

Brian Hartline, WR CLE – With Andrew Hawkins on the shelf with a concussion and now Josh McCown out for the rest of the season, Hartline could prove to be a solid PPR option once again. He’s developed a decent rapport at practice with back-up (and new starter) Austin Davis, and could be the guy used to help move the chains more consistently. Travis Benjamin still commands the most targets in this offense, though.

Kenny Britt, WR STL – This was Britt’s biggest game since Week 3, but given the ineptitude of Nick Foles and back-up Shaun Mannion, the best you can hope for is that he sees a few extra targets during garbage-time moments. There’s no consistency with regard to the Rams passing attack, so Britt shouldn’t be used at all in season-long play and is nothing more than a dart in GPP daily games.

Scott Chandler, TE NE – He’s seen an increase in targets recently with injuries to Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola and while the latter will likely return this week, there’s more than just a strong chance that Rob Gronkowski will be out. Chandler has always been an underrated passing threat, dating back to his time with Buffalo and should see a significant amount of work this week should Gronk be out. He’s a must-add if you’re struggling at the tight end position.

Julius Thomas, TE JAC – Thomas has seen an average of 7.8 targets per game over the last four weeks and has now found the end zone in each of his last two games. With Allen Hurns questionable and possibly out for Week 13, Thomas should continue to see his usual targets, but more importantly, could be used in the red zone a whole lot more this week.

DeVante Parker, WR MIA – The Miami rookie wideout failed to live up to the preseason hype due to a lingering foot issue, but with the injury to Rishard Matthews (ribs), he’s now getting a chance to show what he can do. Word out of Miami is that Parker will now be the X receiver for Week 13 which means he will be the split end and, most of the time, face a lot of one-one coverage from the opposing cornerback. Because the X receiver is tethered to the line of scrimmage, he’s going to have to play a very physical game off the line if he wants to create any separation. With a match-up against the Ravens this week, there’s a good chance he duplicates his Week 12 totals.

Kenny Stills, WR MIA – Seeing 10 targets and coming down with just two grabs, pretty much, tells the whole story with Stills. For the season he has 46 targets and just 20 receptions and that kind of a catch rate isn’t going to endear him to any type of a quarterback. Should Parker prove more capable, Stills will be on the outside looking in and not someone you want for your fantasy squad.

Overall Targets Leaderboard



















































Target Percentage Leaders

Pierre Garcon, WR WAS – While Garcon’s target rate hasn’t taken a major dip, the reduction is sure to come soon. The return of both DeSean Jackson and Jordan Reed has forced his targets to drop and now Jamison Crowder is starting to see an increase in red zone looks. Garcon won’t completely fade into obscurity, but he’s certainly not the threat he once was back when the season opened.

Kamar Aiken, WR BAL – His target rate jumped from 15.9-percent in Week 11 to a 17-percent in Week 12 and should continue to rise a bit more. Matt Schaub is still working his way into this offense and is doing it without any legitimate receivers other than Aiken. Crockett Gillmore will help out from the tight end position, but neither Chris Givens nor Jeremy Butler are anyone about whom to get excited.

Red Zone Target Percentage Leaders

Theo Riddick, RB DET – We discussed Riddick in this same section just two weeks ago and while his RZ target rate has dipped since then thanks to Megatron’s heavy load on Thanksgiving, Riddick is still a strong flex option for those in need. His ownership percentages haven’t changed much so if you are losing Tevin Coleman to Devonta Freeman’s return or are unsure about the Spencer Ware/Chancandrick West split, Riddick just might be your solution.

Tavon Austin, WR STL – While I’ve never been a big fan of Austin due to a lack of week-to-week consistency, he is the top target for the Rams once they get inside the red zone. On top of that, they also hand the ball off to him a bunch so even if he doesn’t see the passing target in there, he could have the ball handed off to him just as easily. He’s still just a deep-league WR3/flex or a GPP dart with a solid match-up.


Potential Risers

Vincent Jackson
Martavis Bryant
Devin Funchess
Sammy Watkins
Kyle Rudolph

Potential Fallers

Jamison Crowder
Rueben Randle
Terrance Williams
Richard Rodgers
Ben Watson

Week 13 Match-Up to Watch

Indianapolis Colts at Pittsburgh Steelers – With an over/under at 49, the highest of the week, everyone is anticipating another shootout for the Steelers. Weather could play a factor, so keep tabs on what it will be like Sunday night, but if there’s no precipitation, look out! Ben Roethlisberger has been cleared via the league’s concussion protocol and has two of the best targets in the game in Antonio Brown and Martavis Bryant. And don’t forget DeAngelo Williams who can catch out of the flat with the best of them. For the Colts, Matt Hasselbeck looks like he’s found the fountain of youth as he is playing some of the best ball in his career right now. Both T.Y. Hildon and Donte Moncrief had big games last week and now face the 19th-ranked pass defense in the league which gives up an average of 284 passing yards per game.