2013 Fantasy Football: 8 Players Who Likely Won You a Championship
With the 2013 fantasy football season wrapping up (which all depends on whether or not your league counts this week for the playoffs), it’s time to recognize those under-the-radar players who rose to prominence the past couple of weeks.
It's time to salute the Joique Bells or Andy Dalton-type players who likely helped you win a championship.
Obviously, players like Peyton Manning or Jamaal Charles are mainstays in your lineup and you can count on them for production time in and time out. No, this list is about the players who—depending on your lineup and the size of your league—went above and beyond the call of duty the past couple of weeks.
Chances are, if you had these guys on your team the past couple of weeks, you might have hoisted the championship hardware by now.
So, in this slideshow will be eight non-stud/no-brainer starts (ranked in order of the fantasy points they accumulated in Weeks 14-16—via CBSSports.com) who stood out when it mattered most in the playoffs (usually Weeks 14-16 in most leagues).
8. Marcedes Lewis, Jacksonville Jaguars (42.6 points)
There was a very good chance that Marcedes Lewis was on the waiver wire during your playoff run, but if you play in deep leagues, or lost a Rob Gronkowski in Week 14, or a Jordan Cameron in Week 16, Lewis could have helped you out a lot in a pinch.
In Weeks 14-16, Lewis accumulated 10 catches for 146 receiving yards and a touchdown in each game. In fact, Lewis has now scored in four straight games dating back to Week 13.
It seems Jags quarterback Chad Henne is starting to incorporate Lewis more into the game plan, and if you’re still playing for something in Week 17, Lewis could be a good option when Jacksonville faces the Colts this week.
7. DeAngelo Williams, Carolina Panthers (56.8 points)
For most of the season, DeAngelo Williams has been hard to predict; sometimes he would be a serviceable No. 2 running back, and many times he didn’t even warrant being started.
However, Williams came alive for his owners in the fantasy playoffs while taking a stranglehold of the job as Panthers’ lead back.
In Weeks 14-16, Williams rushed for a respectable 200 yards, scoring one touchdown while also reeling in five catches for 99 yards and another receiving touchdown.
So when you combine the rushing and receiving workload, Williams was as good a secondary back as there was in the playoffs.
6. Pierre Garcon, Washington Redskins (66 points)
Although he has been a solid No. 2 wide receiver for the past couple of years, Pierre Garcon hit a snag in the middle of the season amid the struggles Robert Griffin III was enduring. In Weeks 11-13, Garcon was good for only 177 yards receiving with no touchdowns. He also had a clunker of a game in Week 14 against the Chiefs with just five catches for 37 yards.
But once Washington switched to Kirk Cousins at quarterback, Garcon put it in an extra gear the past two weeks. In Weeks 15 and 16 with Cousins at quarterback, Garcon compiled 18 receptions for 273 receiving yards and two touchdowns.
If somehow you play in Week 17, Garcon—with Cousins feeding him the ball against the anemic Giants’ defense—could stay hot with more outstanding production.
5. Eric Decker, Denver Broncos (67 points)
There was a time in the middle of the season where Eric Decker frustrated his owners with some mediocre performances (from Weeks 8-12, Decker only registered 13 receptions for 170 yards receiving with no touchdowns). However, his Week 13 performance at Kansas City perked up the ears of his owners, when he had an outstanding day to the tune of 174 receiving yards and a whopping four touchdowns.
As a result, some owners put their trust back in Decker for the playoff run, and if you played him in Weeks 14 and 16, then you should be more than happy with his results. His Week 15 outing (two catches for 42 yards) left a lot to be desired, but in Weeks 14 and 16, Decker combined to record 18 receptions for 248 receiving yards and three touchdowns. All in all, Decker was good for 67 points in the playoffs.
4. Marques Colston, New Orleans Saints (68 points)
Marques Colston has always been a reliable, steady No. 2 wide receiver, but too many times he went missing this year (according to points-per-reception leagues through CBSSports.com, Colston has five games this season under 10 points). But if you stuck with him these past couple of weeks, you were probably handsomely rewarded.
Colston racked up 22 receptions for 280 yards and three touchdowns in Weeks 14-16.
While he may struggle at times, Colston is still a viable player to count on at wide receiver.
3. Joique Bell, Detroit Lions (74.8 Points)
Considering that Reggie Bush is the primary ball-carrier for the Detroit Lions, starting Bell in your fantasy playoffs certainly came with some risk. If you did start Bell, though, you should give yourself a nice pat on the back.
Whether it was Bush missing the Eagles game with a calf injury or his fumbling issues in his game against the Giants, Bell capitalized in Bush’s stead. In Weeks 14-16, Bell rushed for 184 yards and two touchdowns while also chipping in with 15 receptions for an additional 114 receiving yards.
Bell proved to be the ultimate flex-spot savior for many winning fantasy teams.
2. Ryan Mathews, San Diego Chargers (83.95 points)
While maddeningly inconsistent for most of his career and in the early going of 2013, Ryan Mathews stepped up at the most opportune time.
Sure, some people might have been starting Mathews prior to the playoffs, but he was clearly not a No. 1 running back or maybe not even a No. 2 running back, but he played like a stud down the stretch.
In Weeks 14-16, Mathews rushed for 329 yards and three touchdowns while also recording seven receptions for an additional 53 yards.
Mathews pushed aside fellow back Danny Woodhead and became the man in the Chargers’ backfield.
1. Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals (148.15 points)
If you are one of the owners who does not have a Peyton Manning, Drew Brees or a Cam Newton, there was a chance you played the matchups with quarterbacks. And if you started Andy Dalton in the playoffs, then there is a good chance you’re a happy guy or gal.
In Weeks 14-16, Dalton threw for 871 yards and nine touchdown with no interceptions (he also added a rushing score against the Colts in Week 14). Dalton has a habit of being streaky, and if you played a hunch thinking Dalton would come up big in the playoffs, then it paid off in spades.