Teams went to the air this week and a lot of fireworks flew around the league. I'd venture to guess that you needed one of the big games below to survive this week. I have SuperCam in one league and it wasn't enough to overcome the Allen Robinson show. Let's see who thought Week 13 was indeed a lucky number.
- What a game from Cam Newton! SuperCam delivered on a dream matchup, going 28-41 for 331 yards, 5 TDs and another 49 yards on the ground. If you're a Newton hater - well, that's fine - but this was the kind of game you want from a star and we got it. If only New Orleans was on the schedule in week 16...
- Just a clip behind Newton in Week 13 QB leaderboard was Marcus Mariota. The rookie had a huge TD run to eclipse 100 yards on the ground - one of only 5 players this week to have over 100 yards. Plus, Mariota added through the air by going 20-29 for 268 for 3 scores and a pick. This young Titans team may not have a lot of wins this season, but I think I'd be very excited if I were a Titans fan.
- In a very similar line, Russell Wilson was on fire this weekend - 21-27 for 274 yards, 3 scores through the air, and another 51 yards and a score on the ground. Minnesota turned into Russell Wilson country.
- Another youngster to remember for next year is Blake Bortles. The Jaguar went 24-36 for 322 yards and 5 scores in his finest game of the season. This Jaguars team has some young playmakers and while Bortles has a long way to go, he may be in the lower end of the QB1 conversation next year.
- It was a down week for running backs as teams took to the air but Javorius Allen benefitted from check-down maestro Matt Schaub for 12 catches, 107 yards, and a score through the air. Buck added another 63 yards on the ground to pace the field. The Ravens simply don't have a lot of other playmakers so play with confidence if the matchup suits you.
- We had some discussion about David Johnson and his potential workload for the Cardinals. Bruce Arians came through for us, giving Johnson 22 carries for 99 yards and another 2 catches for 21 and a score. Johnson is a dynamic player who looks to have a bright future in this league. With the Cardinals trying to clinch a first round bye, I'd expect similar usage down the stretch.
- A note about Frank Gore - I thought he looked pretty good. Gore only got 13 carries and 3 catches but was able to turn that into 94 yards from scrimmage and a score. With the game out of reach early, Gore became a spectator, but Indy will be in some of these games down the stretch and fighting for a playoff spot. I have a few shares of Gore and I'm cautiously optimistic he can help contribute to a winner.
- I'll mention a big game for Darren Sproles - 15 carries for 66 yards, 4 grabs for 34 yards and a punt return TD. I love Sproles and I've absolutely dialed him up in a few desperation spots this year. I think his usage on Sunday represents an anomaly with Ryan Mathews out but it does appear that Chip Kelly is shying away from using DeMarco Murray as much as he was earlier in the year. With the division and maybe his job on the line, I'm curious to see if we'll enjoy more Sproles.
- I don't know how this happens, but I seem to go up against guys in multiple weeks that have career days. This week it was Allen Robinson hassling me in two leagues with his 10 catches for 153 yards and 3 scores. I'll be very curious to see where Robinson is ranked for 2016 as he has an end of the second round feel to me.
- I hope some of you stuck out the Sunday Night Football game just to watch the brilliance of Antonio Brown. Brown took 8 grabs for 118 yards and 2 scores and then added a fantastic punt return TD to cap off another great day. I think I would take Brown #1 overall next season.
- One of my favorite sleeper picks, Doug Baldwin, turned in another impressive day. This time Dougie Fresh scored twice on only 5 catches for 94 yards. If you're relying on Baldwin as a WR3, you could do a lot worse. Seattle is rolling right now and Baldwin is a big reason why. Ride the wave.
- A little rookie breakout game for Dorial Green-Beckham with 119 yards on 5 grabs and a score. The book on this kid was incredibly talented but sushi-grade raw. Keep an eye on this guy going forward to develop into a big play threat for Mariota.
- Richard Rodgers led the tight end group this week. It helps when you get an extra play gifted to you by the officials but whatever.
- Delanie Walker turned in another solid performance, catching 8 balls for 92 yards and a score. Make sure you remember Walker during next year's draft. He's a solid tight end playing for a young QB who looks likely to take the next step in development. He's had huge games in the past so I'd expect him to deliver a good 2016 campaign.
- If you are lucky enough to be a Greg Olsen owner, you've no doubt enjoyed a banner year for the former Bear. Olsen caught 9 balls for 129 yards in that highly entertaining Panthers / Saints game. He's got two games in the next three weeks against the Falcons and I expect him to continue his run.
- Matt Forte & Jeremy Langford - The work split out about as I expected it would, with Forte returning to feature back status and getting 21 carries to Langford's 12. Forte was able to gain 123 yards from scrimmage and a score to Langford's 68. What was surprising was the Ka'Deem Carey drive that resulted in a TD run and another great carry to help get in position for the game winning FG attempt. I think we can expect a similar 2:1 ratio moving forward but I wouldn't be surprised if we see a game where Forte dominates at an even greater clip.
- Jay Cutler - Terrible day for Cutty on the fantasy front as he could only muster 202 yards and a devastating pick. There were plenty of streaming options that were really attractive so I'll assume no one got caught with their feet flat on this one. I wouldn't feel good about using Cutty this week either.
- Alshon Jeffery - Alshon turned in a terribly inefficient day and just missed a big TD strike from Cutty. Grabbing just 4 of 12 targets for 85 yards, this is a game that Alshon will likely want to burn the tape on.
- Martellus Bennett & Zach Miller - We've gotten a bit of conversation about the Bears TE pair in recent weeks in the comments section. Marty was able to secure 3 of his 4 targets for a whopping 14 yards while Miller caught his lone target for 6 yards. Bennett is now on IR, so for you Zach Miller enthusiasts, the floor is yours to make your case as a fantasy tight end.
I was able to secure my first playoff asterisk this week with another guaranteed next week. Who else punched their ticket to the post season?