We’re with you every Sunday to provide the Sunday Six Pack, an article featuring six of the biggest story lines heading into each and every week of the season. Keeping tabs on these events will keep you prepared and informed throughout the season – just don’t drive within six hours of reading this.
Can #1) Ram Tough
The Rams were tough enough on Sunday and averted a second tie game with the 49′ers when Greg Zuerlein connected on a 54 yard field goal to secure the win. Steven Jackson’s fantasy totals on the day were not overly impressive. For his part, Jackson amassed 48 yards on the ground on 21 totes, good for a 2.3 ypc. average. But for PPR fans, his five receptions for 69 yards salvaged the day. It’s obvious that Jackson has lost some of his dynamic and will likely be with a new team in 2013. Let’s not put him into pasture just yet because the 49′ers are as tough as they come on opposing runners and Jackson is just plain as tough as they come.
Can #2) Et Tu, Sanu?
In replacement of the recently productive Sanu, Marvin Jones could only muster two receptions for 20 yards on three targets, his only uncaught target resulting from a bad drop. Before his injury, Jones was said to be coming on strong and this first game back will hopefully allow him to shake the rust out and come back stronger in week 14 vs. the Cowboys. There’s no question that Jones has the body and size to be a difference maker in the NFL. Coming from an NFL-style offense while at Cal, Jones has four games left to make his case as a full time WR2 in 2013.
Can #3) Run Trent Run
Cleveland’s Trent Richardson didn’t run wild but did put together a solid fantasy day with 72 yards on 20 carries and a touchdown. He also chipped in with three receptions for 23 yards. In the end, the Browns traveled into the Black Hole and emerged on the other side with a “W”. Richardson is putting up solid fantasy stats in 2012 and, heading into fantasy playoff season, his next three games find two home tilts vs the Chiefs and Redskins followed by a trip to Mile High. He’ll be a valuable back to have to close out your season and he hasn’t had so much work as to expect him to hit the rookie wall.
Can #4) Texans on the Defensive
No problem in Houston in week thirteen. The Texans cruised to a relatively easy win on Sunday, besting the struggling Titans 24-10. While they did yield 309 passing yards to Jake Locker, much of this came on soft coverage as they protected their lead. Combine that with three interceptions, three forced fumbles and six sacks and you have a recipe for dominance as well as a nice scoring day in fantasy. More good news for the Texans’ defense in that they only gave up 89 yards on the ground, 51 of those to the recently-hot Chris Johnson. Playing from behind early, the Titans could only manage 17 rush attempts, four of those by Locker himself. After a defensive lull, they’re playing with energy once again.
Can #5) Cheese Whiz
Chalk up another win to Aaron Rodgers, who proved that a masterful job of game management can also be just as effective toward securing a victory as can putting up eye-popping statistics. Oddly enough, the Packers ran their way to victory vs. the Vikings by churning out 152 yards on 36 rushing attempts. James Starks‘ third quarter 22 yard scamper for a touchdown wouldn’t be answered as they sent the Vikings to 6-6 on the year by the score of 23-14. Averaging 4.2 ypc., while not jaw dropping, is more than enough to add a playoff dimension to an already established and elite offense. Once again, Starks and Alex Green received a similar number of touches. With bouts against Detroit and Chicago on the docket over the next two weeks, the running game will be hard pressed to find a similar level of success.
Can #6) Bad Batch
Charlie Batch performed much better on Sunday when he helped down the Ravens by the score of 23-20. Batch completed 25/36 passes for 276 yards, a single touchdown and one interception. Many were quick to jump on Batch after his horrific week 12 performance even though he’s been a competent backup for many years. It didn’t take him long to round into form and show that he’s still capable of managing a game when he gets comfortable. Until Big Ben is back under center, however, we must continue to downgrade Pittsburgh’s receiving duo of Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown. The two combined for ten receptions for 102 yards on Sunday, but heading into the fantasy playoffs, those numbers aren’t likely to get the job done. We’re looking for Roethlisberger to return in week fourteen.