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We’re with you every Sunday to provide the Sunday Six Pack, an article featuring six of the biggest storylines 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) Do You Believe in FitzMagic?
Just blow your mind. Just when Ryan Mallett looked like he was establishing himself, he goes down for the year with a pectoral injury. Now, the 5-6 Texans (who are on the very fringe of the AFC Wild Card race, but technically still alive) turn back to the guy who’s picture is in the dictionary next to the definition of “low ceiling,” Ryan Fitzpatrick. Maybe the change will rev up DeAndre Hopkins who was the PPR WR14 in weeks one through nine with FitzMagic at the helm, averaging almost 15 FPs per game. In Weeks 11 and 12 with Mallett, Nuk only averaged 10.5 FPs per game (although it is an admittedly low sample size). Perhaps the return of Arian Foster will also allow the passing game a little bit more room to work. Although the Titans are ranked tenth in the league in passing defense at 233.4 yards per game, that may have more to do with the fact that it’s so easy to run on their 32 ranked rushing defense that gives up an average of 145.4 yards per game.
Can #2) Boom Goes The Dynamite
Its painful to watch. With Ahmad Bradshaw out for the season and the underwhelming Trent Richardson missing practice during the week with the flu, Boom Herron got the starting nod at running back for the Colts and parlayed it into a PPR RB15 finish in Week 12 with 12 carries for 65 yards and five receptions on five targets for 31 yards. While he did lose a fumble, Herron looked much more explosive and added him to the not-so-exclusive list of RBs TRich has made look good over the last couple of seasons (hello, Donald Brown). I was actually surprised that Herron got all of the use in the passing game last week (Richardson did not receive a target), seeing as that is one of TRich’s strengths. Now that it seems that Richardson is not going to be used as a workhorse back, he falls into the low-end Flex category. Herron, however, can be fired up as a low-end RB2 option for this week’s matchup against the Washington Football Team and their ninth ranked rushing defense.
Can #3) May The Forsett Be With You
There has been an awakening. Speaking of Week 12 RBs, Ravens running back Justin Forsett finished as the RB1 for Week 12 with an impressive 22 carries for 182 yards and two touchdowns to go with two receptions for eight yards in the Ravens’ win over the Saints. Forsett is now up to the PPR RB6 on the season (above Jamaal Charles, Eddie Lacy and LeSean McCoy). In fact, his only game under ten PPR points this year was week seven against the Falcons where he ran 23 times for 95 yards in a 29-7 Ravens win. Forsett has really been a diamond in the rough for those who were lucky enough to grab him off of waivers this year. He’s certainly come a long way from being cut by the Jaguars. This week he gets the Chargers’ middle of the pack run defense (ranked 15th and giving up 108.8 yards per game). Until proven otherwise, Forsett has earned the right to be in your starting lineup on a weekly basis.
Can #4) Sometimes It Is Easy Being Green
It could be nicer being red or gold. Bengals receiver Adriel Jeremiah Green was the steal of the week across many DFS platforms coming off a Week 11 game where he caught six of eight targets for 127 yards and a touchdown. Last week, Green didn’t find the end zone, but seemingly got open at will for twelve catches on sixteen targets and 121 yards to notch his second game in a row over 24 PPR points. This week, Green and the Bengals get a Buccaneers defense that, while improving, is still ranked 22nd in the league against the pass and gives up an average of 251.5 passing yards per game. Green is unfortunately no longer the amazing DFS value that he was for a couple of weeks, but any doubts about his effectiveness coming back from a toe injury should be banished from your dirty thoughts.
Can #5) Ba Ba Banyard
Have you any yards? Vikings running back Jerick McKinnon hasn’t been the wunderkind that he was made out to be, not having eclipsed 10 PPR points in a game since week seven. Now McKinnon will miss Week 13 with a back injury just as touchdown whisperer Matt Asiata is ready to return from a concussion. Newly acquired Ben Tate was active last week, but didn’t garner a statistic. And last, but not least, is Joe Banyard, who received his first five carries of the year last week against the Packers for 26 yards, while adding three receptions for 19 yards. I’ve seen some people acquiring Banyard in deeper leagues this week, but I’d be surprised if this wasn’t the Tate and Asiata show, now that Tate has had time to get acclimated. At the very least, his best case scenario is desperation Flex play with the hope of a few receptions. If you are relying on him this week, you are in serious trouble.
Can #6) Playoffs?
You’re talking about playoffs? Raise your hand if you thought that the Week 13 matchup between the Cleveland Browns and the Buffalo Bills would have serious playoff implications for both teams. With the 7-4 Browns in the log jam of the AFC North (everyone is 7-4 except for the 7-3-1 Bengals), and the Bills at 6-5 and still in the Wild Card hunt, this is a must win game for both teams. The Bills defense has been a standout this year with their run defense ranked eighth giving up just 98.4 yards per game and their passing defense ranked fifth giving up just 213.8 yards per game. Josh Gordon is a must start and Isaiah Crowell can probably be started as a low-end RB2 based on volume, but that’s about it. On the other side of the ball, the Browns defense is ranked just 29th against the run giving up 134.9 yards per game on the ground. Fred Jackson seems to be rounding back into shape from his groin injury and is a nice RB2 option with upside in this one.