Sunday Six Pack: Week 13

Jeff Smith

Welcome to the week 13 edition of the Sunday Six Pack. In this case, we should call it lucky week 13, as in we are lucky to have made it this far. COVID is rearing its ugly head and impacting the NFL more and more each week, so much so that we have had the threat of a strike that could have jeopardized the remainder of the season.

Let us count our blessings and talk about six dynasty-related topics to monitor in week 14 and ignore the external distractions for now.

Could Justin Herbert Be Matchup-Proof?

This is the week we find out if rookie quarterback Herbert is matchup-proof. The New England Patriots are only allowing 20.3 real points per game. This is their lowest since the 2000 season. They have been stingy versus quarterbacks as well, allowing just 17.7 fantasy points per game to the position.

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Data from DLF Fantasy Points Allowed App.

This will be the toughest matchup of the season for the stud gunslinger. The only other top-ten defenses he has faced this season in terms of QB points allowed were the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New Orleans Saints way back in weeks four and five respectively. There was little tape available to game plan against the Oregon grad for those matchups. One would think Bill Belichick will find a way to neutralize the young phenom. Lastly, Kyler Murray scored a season and career-low 8.9 fantasy points against the Patriots in week 12. Temper expectations this week. If Herbert happens to excel, we have to bump him up in our dynasty rankings.

Kamara Concern?

There sure are a lot of scared Alvin Kamara owners out there. Should they be worried? Maybe. Taysom Hill is Kamara Kryptonite but he is only around for another week or two. But could Drew Brees be what makes the dynamic rusher run like a well-oiled machine? History tells us that Brees has been pretty fortunate with the stable of backs he has played with. Here is a look at the career arc of Brees’ backfield mates.

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Data from DLF QB History App.

The veteran quarterback has been blessed with the likes of LaDainian Tomlinson, Reggie Bush, Pierre Thomas, Darren Sproles, and Mark Ingram. The bad year in 2010? Chris Ivory. Ingram has been a shell of himself since he left his future Hall of Fame signal-caller. One has to at least ask: is it the running back or the quarterback who makes it all work well? We shall find out if Brees retires at season’s end and Kamara is stuck with Hill in 2021. This is certainly something to monitor for dynasty purposes.

Let Cooks Cook?

Will Fuller has been suspended for the next six games. The big question becomes how will Brandin Cooks fare being the number one receiver in Houston with no one to draw coverage away from him. The journeyman wideout has been the alpha wideout once before. This was in 2017 during his one year stint with the New England Patriots. Danny Amendola was the only other receiver of note on that squad. Rob Gronkowski was there as well but is a tight end. Take a look at the numbers.

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Data from DLF Yearly Data App.

As you can see, Cooks was more than serviceable, averaging 13.82 PPR points per game. The only time the veteran pass-catcher averaged fewer than double-digit points was in 2019 with the Los Angeles Rams. The Oregon State grad seems to thrive regardless of his situation unless there is a Robert Woods and a Cooper Kupp there to pilfer targets from him. Cooks owners are certainly hoping that the loss of Fuller is a boon for him. The 27-year-old wideout is perennially underrated in dynasty formats. Buy him on the cheap if he does happen to struggle sans Fuller.

Kyler is King

Speaking of matchup-proof quarterbacks and Kyler Murray, it will be interesting to see if he can avoid back-to-back dud performances. The odds are not in his favor. Up next on the docket are the Los Angeles Rams who have only allowed two QB1 finishes all season long with the last one being week six when Jimmy Garoppolo (yes, Jimmy Garoppolo) pulled off the feat. Murray himself has been a QB1 every week except last week against the Patriots. The Heisman Trophy winner has been down-right dominant in 2020 chart, bar chart description automatically generated

Data from DLF Yearly Data App.

As with Justin Herbert discussed above, expectations have to be tempered this week. However, it is safe to say Murray has supplanted Lamar Jackson in value and the argument could be made he is a better fantasy quarterback going forward than Patrick Mahomes. The only thing that has slowed the Oklahoma grad this season has been the shoulder injury he suffered in week 11 versus the Seattle Seahawks.

Changing of the Guard?

James Conner has been a controversial figure in dynasty circles the past couple of seasons. Early word is that he is going to miss the week 13 game as well. Could this be the end of Conner in the Steel City? The Pitt grad is an unrestricted free agent after this season. Benny Snell filled in admirably in fill-in duty against a tough Baltimore Ravens defense in week 12. Although he only had 60 yards, he did so on just 16 carries (3.8 YPC) and had another three catches for 33 in the air. Up next is another tough matchup against the Washington Football Team. If Snell can show well in that game also, it may spell the end of Conner time in Pittsburgh.

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Data from DLF College Market Share App.

We see that Snell has the chops to potentially be a lead back in the NFL. What Conner does have going for him is the fact that Mike Tomlin seems to love him. If he were to leave, however, the landing spot will obviously go a long way in determining his future value. If you have shares of Conner, keep them. You will not get fair market value right now.

Primetime is the Right Time

We have Tuesday night football this week but the game Monday night is of interest. Josh Allen will finally be in a primetime game again. Allen has only played in one Monday night game and one Sunday night game in his young career. Maybe he will finally get the respect from the dynasty community he deserves. All Allen has done is finish as a QB1 in seven of 11 games this season. In the four games, he was a QB2, he still scored respectably and is the QB4 overall in fantasy.

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Data from DLF Yearly Data App.

We can also see improvement each year he has been in the league. Is that not what we want in a young quarterback? The Wyoming alum is averaging 25.13 points per game this season after averaging over 17 and 18 points per game respectively in his first two seasons in the league. Check the price on him in your league before Monday’s game kicks off and see just how real the disrespect is.

jeff smith