The fantasy world was treated to a duel of monstrous proportions on Sunday as two otherworldly fake football creatures scratched and clawed their way to over 500 combined receiving yards. Fantasy’s own Alien vs. Predator ended with both Josh Gordon and Alshon Jeffery scoring twice and hauling in double digit receptions in addition to some ridiculous yardage totals. The only thing more crazy than the Week 13 performances of Gordon and Jeffery is the idea that both of these players are under 24 years old. Now let’s dive right in and check out all the action from a high scoring Sunday as the fake football regular season draw to and end:
Josh Gordon: Sunday was yet another huge day for Gordon as he carved up Jacksonville for ten catches, 261 yards and two touchdowns. As tempting as it was, no, I didn’t just copy and paste the Josh Gordon blurb from Week 12’s recap. This ridiculous outing comes on the heels of a 14 catch, 237 yard performance last week, giving Gordon 498 receiving yards in two weeks. Have you heard of Dwayne Bowe? Stevie Johnson? Greg Jennings? Well, Josh Gordon has more receiving yards in the last eight days than any of those players had over the entire 2013 season prior to Week 13. Gordon is now averaging an astounding 124.9 yards per game this season and has his fantasy owners drooling. New England is up for Gordon and the Browns in Week 14. I wouldn’t want to be a Patriots defensive back right now.
Alshon Jeffery: Just in case you weren’t satisfied with one wide receiver having 200+ receiving yards on Sunday, our pal Alshon served up a healthy stack of fantasy stats himself. Once the overtime period ended in Minnesota, Jeffery was the proud owner of 12 catches, 249 yards and two touchdowns. This was Jeffery’s second 200+ yard effort of the 2013 season in what has proven to be a true breakout campaign. Alshon now has more receiving yards in the last three weeks than he did his entire rookie season, and this beast won’t be slowing down anytime soon. Opposing defenses are often left gasping for air, as they were on Sunday, when faced with the prospect of covering both Jeffery and Brandon Marshall, which will keep these Chicago wide outs pumping out top notch fantasy numbers. Need more good news? Thought so. Chicago faces Dallas’ atrocious secondary in Week 14 so get ready to collect a fantasy playoff victory.
Lamar Miller: The 2013 season hasn’t been kind to Miller, as he has been the victim of a poor offense line and a baffling timeshare with the far less talented Daniel Thomas. Week 13 was set to be Miller’s breakout, as his backfield mate Danny Thomas was out due to injury. With the Miami backfield finally belonging to Miller, fake footballers were curious to see if they could squeeze any production from their early round fantasy bust. Well, the answer is….sort of. Miller’s final stat total (85 total yards) is respectable, but his 3.3 yards per carry average on 22 carries is far from fantastic. I am willing to chalk this one up to one part tough matchup and one part lousy offensive line. Let’s keep an eye on Miller next week at Pittsburgh.
Nick Foles: For fantasy squads hurting due to Aaron Rodgers or Jay Cutler injuries, or Matt Ryan or Colin Kaepernick ineffectiveness, Nick Foles has been a gem sent from the waiver wire Gods. Foles had another strong effort on Sunday, throwing for 237 yards and three touchdowns. Foles is now averaging 292.3 passing yards over his last four games and has accounted for 14 total touchdowns in that same span. If you have been rolling Foles out as your starting fantasy QB lately, get ready to cash in. St. Nick will be filling up your stocking with mountains of fantasy points in the fake football playoffs, as DET, @MIN, CHI is an awfully generous slate of defenses.
Jonathan Stewart: With DeAngelo Williams out with a quad injury, Stewart was finally in line to get himself a nice chunk of carries for the Carolina Panthers. The touches materialized, however the production did not. J-Stew had 16 touches compared to Fat Mike Tolbert’s 12 but Fat Mike outgained Stewart in yardage 89 to 42. Neither back reached the endzone, as Cam Newton takes care of that in Carolina, but Stewart was far from impressive with his 2.8 yard per carry average. If your fantasy team is still alive and you are starting any of the three Panthers backs, you won’t be around for long.
Shane Vereen: After Stevan Ridley was announced as inactive (fumblitis), New England was left with Vereen, LeGarrette Blount and Brandon Bolden to carry the backfield responsibilities at Houston. Bolden ended up the forgotten man as Blount led the team in carries (12) and Vereen led the backs in receptions (5). Vereen had a solid day with 75 total yards and a score but could have piled up an even bigger stack of points if he wasn’t ruled out at the one yard line on a catch and didn’t drop another pass in the end zone. The lesson here is that whether Ridley, Blount, Bolden, Dillon, or Faulk get the carries in New England, Vereen’s workload will not be impacted. He will be a safe RB2 in the fantasy playoffs.
Roddy White: There you are, Roddy! After 12 agonizing weeks of non-production from Roddy White, fantasy owners were surprised to see their early round bust come through with 10 catches on 14 targets for 143 yards in Week 13. By now, he was probably rotting in Fantasy Bench Land (in between Adventure Land and Frontier Land), but it was nice to see some life from old Roddy. White will probably saddle up in WR3 territory for Atlanta’s Week 14 matchup with Green Bay.
Michael Crabtree: In his 2013 debut, Michael Crabtree caught two of four targets for 68 yards on Sunday as San Francisco beat St. Louis. It was good to see Crabs back in action, and it will be interesting to see his snap count and target totals over the next few weeks as he is eased back into game shape. If you’ve been stashing Crabtree, leave him on your bench for Week 14’s matchup against Seattle.
Eric Decker: Oh, you weren’t impressed by Alshon Jeffery’s 249 yards or Josh Gordon’s 261 yards? You’re more of a touchdown kind of person? Eric Decker has you covered. In the third jewel of our Week 13 wide receiver crown, Decker pumped out eight grabs for 174 yards and a cool FOUR pack of touchdowns. The quad touchdown performance equaled Victor Cruz’ and Torrey Smith’s individual touchdown totals for the entire 2013 season. Decker’s 2013 has been a bit of a roller coaster but when you’re a part of Peyton Manning’s offense, you aren’t going anywhere near a fantasy football bench. Let’s see what Decker and Denver do for an encore next week at home against Tennessee.
Keenan Allen: In his latest impressive rookie performance, Allen caught eight of 10 targets on Sunday for 106 yards as San Diego lost a tough game to Cincinnati. Allen is now averaging over six catches per game since Week 4 and now has racked up five 100+ yard receiving games on the season. Quarterback Philip Rivers will be targeting Allen a ton in the fake football playoffs as the Chargers draw NYG, @DEN, OAK in Weeks 14-16. Keep rolling this rookie out weekly with the utmost confidence.