It’s playoff time! Did you make it in? Were you already in and are you now making plans for a glorious championship run?
Week 13 is usually the end of the regular season for most fantasy players, as Weeks 14-16 (and sometimes including Week 17) are when the playoffs typically take place.
That being said, Week 13 is as critical as it gets, as it’s your last chance to secure a spot in the coveted playoffs or earn a bye (if you’re league is set up that way). Did you ride your studs or play the matchups?
If you started the players listed in this slideshow, chances are you’re sitting pretty and are in good shape. If, by chance, any of these players were on your bench, you have my sincere condolences. Most of the players mentioned here are tried-and-true studs that should start no matter what. However, there were a few surprise players who stepped up their game in Week 13.
So, here are your Week 13 top scorers.
As a universal start across the board, Calvin Johnson’s owners were treated with a stat line that they were expecting to receive on a weekly basis when they drafted him on draft day.
“Megatron” was beastly at one of the more opportune times of the year, as he hauled in an amazing 13 receptions for 171 yards and a touchdown. No one on the Indianapolis Colts could contain Johnson, as he shredded the Colts’ weak secondary.
Johnson should be in line for a successful playoff run as his schedule (@Green Bay, @Arizona, vs. Atlanta) is more than manageable for him to put up more ridiculous stats.
Again, Adrian Peterson is a trusted stud who will never come out of lineups and those who have the pleasure of owning him may be thinking of sending him a gift basket after the day he just enjoyed.
Peterson absolutely dominated the Green Bay Packers on the ground while rumbling his way to 210 rushing yards and a touchdown on 21 carries. You’re reading that correctly: Peterson did in fact average 10 yards per carry, a stat buoyed by the impressive 82-yard scamper he had in the second quarter.
As studly as Peterson is, he won’t have it easy in the playoffs. He is set to face the Chicago Bears, the St. Louis Rams and the Houston Texans (the latter two on the road). Of course you start AP without hesitation, but temper expectations.
Is this guy impressive or what? Andrew Luck led the Indianapolis Colts to a stunning come-from-behind win against the Detroit Lions as time expired.
Once again, Luck put the Colts on his shoulders and willed his team to victory. Sure, Luck did throw three picks on the day, but he more than made up for it by passing for a robust 391 yards and four touchdowns. For good measure, Luck ran for an additional 33 yards on three carries.
Luck has cemented himself as a must-start option for most of his owners and he’ll have a quality schedule ahead of him. Luck will draw the Tennessee Titans (at home) and the Kansas City Chiefs (away) in weeks 14 and 16 respectively. The only problem is that in Week 15 Luck and the Colts will have to travel to Houston and face off against the Houston Texans' daunting defense. On the other hand, by that time the Texans may have wrapped up home field advantage and could rest many of their stars. That remains to be seen though.
Regardless, start Luck with confidence.
Cam Newton is coming on a like a hurricane while making up for lost time. The reports of Newton’s demise have been greatly exaggerated.
For the last two weeks Newton has been flat-out awesome and he was at it again on Sunday in Kansas City. On the day, Newton threw for 232 yards and three touchdowns while also rushing for an additional 78 yards on seven carries.
It only gets better for Newton and his owners, as his fantasy playoff schedule (vs. Atlanta, @San Diego, vs. Oakland) is one that he can exploit.
If you haven’t noticed, Brandon Myers has been one of the highest-scoring—and vastly underrated—tight ends for the last month or so. And, boy, did he have himself quite the statement game on Sunday.
Myers was all over the place in the Oakland Raiders' loss to the Cleveland Browns and if you play in PPR leagues, he was just simply beastly. Myers recorded a whopping 14 receptions for 130 yards and a touchdown.
Myers should not be a player on any league's waiver wire. If he is, shame on you and your league. Going forward, Myers can be viewed as a legitimate top 5-10 tight end and his schedule is not all that intimidating (vs. Denver, vs. Kansas City, @ Carolina).
There are probably a lot of Donny Avery owners who are kicking themselves right now, as Avery is at best a fringe/flex-spot starter on most occasions. So, more than likely, Avery was either on many people’s benches or perhaps even on the waiver wire.
If Avery was on your bench, you let a lot of points go by the wayside. Avery was marvelous on Sunday vs. the Detroit Lions, registering five receptions for 91 yards and two touchdowns
It may be hard to trust Avery for an encore performance in the playoffs, but as I stated in the Luck slideshow, the Indianapolis Colts do have a pair of favorable games on the docket.
There is no doubt Demaryius Thomas has ascended to the elite ranks of receivers this year amidst a breakout 2012 campaign.
And on Sunday, Thomas had one of his finest outings of the year. Thomas hauled in eight receptions for 99 yards and two touchdowns against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Thomas has to be viewed as one the most reliable receivers in the game and is without a doubt a must start each and every week.
The playoff schedule (@Oakland, @Baltimore, vs. Cleveland) should provide Thomas ample opportunities to post monster stats to end the season.
LeSean McCoy who?
Once again Bryce Brown was magnificent in prime time, as he rushed for a staggering 169 yards and two touchdowns against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night.
With the way Brown is playing and given that the Philadelphia Eagles having nothing to play for, expect Philadephia to keep McCoy sidelined for as long as possible, as there is no need to rush him back. The only drawback for Brown is his propensity for fumbling, as he fumbled once again on Sunday. This coming after Brown fumbled twice the previous week.
If Brown is the starter for the remainder of the season, he’ll have a reasonable schedule ahead of him (@Tampa Bay, vs. Cincinnati, vs. Washington).
Russell Wilson continues to turn heads in his rookie season, as he was spectacular in leading the Seattle Seahawks past an intimidating Chicago Bears’ team on the road (usually a difficult task for Seattle). Wilson played with the poise that is most often indicative of elite quarterbacks.
Wilson threw for 293 yards and two touchdowns on Sunday while also chipping in with 71 rushing yards. Considering his history on the road and with many other viable quarterbacks ahead of him in the pecking order of fantasy quarterbacks, Wilson was probably reserved in most leagues.
Wilson has a reasonable schedule ahead of him with two home games (vs. Arizona in Week 14 and San Francisco in Week 16) and a great matchup sandwiched in between at Buffalo in Week 15.
With the season he has endured, Steve Smith has been mostly a thorn in the side to his fantasy owners. Smith has just been too inconsistent to trust on a weekly basis.
But if you stuck with Smith, you were handsomely rewarded on Sunday, as Smith racked up 120 yards receiving and a touchdown on five catches against the Kansas City Chiefs.
If Cam Newton continues to play at this level, then Smith could be in line for a great playoff run. As I previously mentioned, the schedule is not that overwhelming for the Carolia Panthers. Play Smith at your own risk.
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