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Moving Up, Moving Down – Week 14, 2013

By: — December 11, 2013 @ 4:01 pm
Filed under: Player Analysis


Moving Up

Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins
After a pair of 300-yard performances in Weeks 12 and 13, Tannehill turned in a 200-yard, three touchdown performance this week against the Steelers. That gives him 77 fantasy points in his last three games. This dude’s been decent this year considering Miami’s struggles in the run game and along the offensive line… not to mention missing having tight end Dustin Keller for the entire season and third wide receiver Brandon Gibson for much of it.

Moving Down

Tom Brady

Brady’s numbers without Gronk don’t inspire confidence.

Tom Brady, Patriots
In the seven games Rob Gronkowski was in the lineup, Brady averaged 23.3 PPG. In the six games Gronk was out of the lineup, Brady averaged 17.9 PPG. Enough said.

Robert Griffin III, Redskins
Benched? Seriously? Sure, RGIII’s benching has a lot more to do with head coach Mike Shanahan attempting to get himself fired (so he can collect his $7-million salary for 2014) than his actual play, but the truth is that Griffin has been awful in 2013.

Running Backs

Moving Up

Toby Gerhart, Vikings
Duh. With Adrian Peterson in a walking boot and likely out this week, Gerhart will likely step into the starting lineup this week against the Eagles 15th ranked run defense. That is, provided the hamstring pull he suffered at the end of his 15-carry, 89-yard, one-touchdown performance last week against the Ravens doesn’t keep him out of the lineup. Ahh, injuries.

Joique Bell, Lions
Reggie Bush re-aggravated a calf strain prior to the Lions Week 14 matchup against the Eagles and Bell stepped into the fray nicely, with 127 yards and a touchdown on 27 touches. With Bush’s Week 15 availability uncertain, Bell could be called upon to start against the Ravens in a home matchup the Lions must win.

Daniel Thomas, Dolphins
From looking like a third year bust and being a whisker away from being placed on injured reserve, Thomas returned to prominence this week with just the second 100-yard rushing game of his career (the first was in his first game of his career in Week 2 of the 2011 season). After Lamar Miller left the Dolphins Week 14 game against the Steelers with a concussion, Thomas took over and piled up 105 yards and a score on just 16 carries. While Miller is expected back this week, Thomas certainly has earned himself a greater share of the workload going forward.

Shane Vereen, Patriots
Can you say PPR demon? Vereen had three carries for nine yards and a touchdown this week against the Browns but did most of his damage in the passing game with 12 receptions on 17 targets for 153 yards. New England gets a soft Dolphins run defense in Week 15 but Vereen is still a decent bet to hit double-digit fantasy points given that he is averaging 13 PPG since returning to the lineup in Week 11. Somebody has to benefit from the absence of Rob Gronkowski and Vereen will definitely get some of the tight end’s looks.

Bobby Rainey, Bucs
Only when the matchup is sweet, my friends.

Marcel Reece, Raiders
With Darren McFadden and Rashad Jennings out of the lineup (not sure Run-DMC should go first when I mention Raiders running backs), Reese stepped up this week against a very solid Jets run defense, gaining 123 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries while chipping in 38 yards on a pair of receptions. Jennings is expected back this week but McFadden still hasn’t practiced so Reese could shape up as a solid flex play in larger leagues in Week 15.

Moving Down

Zac Stacy, Rams
His run of strong play has slowed down with Stacy racking up just 25 yards and a score on 14 carries this week on the heels of a 19-carry, 72-yard performance in Week 13.

Fred Jackson, Bills
FJax has gone a bit cold of late, failing to find the end zone in four of his last five games. In addition, he is averaging just 54 yards per game over his last four.

Pierre Thomas, Saints
In his last two games, Thomas has 49 yards on 19 touches. Ouch.

Wide Receivers

Moving Up

Josh Gordon, Browns
Gordon has apparently taken up residence as the first wide receiver on the Moving Up list. Should I charge him rent? He will certainly be able to afford it when he signs his next contract. In Gordon’s last four games, he has 36 receptions for 774 yards and five touchdowns. Amazing.

Alshon Jeffery, Bears
Jeffery has apparently taken up residence as the second wide receiver on the Moving Up list. Okay, using the same pun twice is cheesy. Agreed. Jeffery’s touchdown reception in the corner of the end zone this weekend was just sick…, as his play has been during his second year in the league. Remember, the conditions in Chicago on Monday night were not exactly conducive to receiver’s having sticky hands but Jeffery still pulled off that reception. He shapes up as a low end WR1 in 2014… and for the remainder of this season.

Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, Patriots
Edelman has 24 receptions for 275 yards and three scores over the last three games with Gronkowski in the lineup. Amendola’s been playing second fiddle to Edelman at wide receiver and while that may continue, he is in line for a bigger workload over the balance of the season.

Anquan Boldin, 49ers
Look who is turning it on with the playoffs just around the corner. No surprise here. Boldin has 27 targets over the past three weeks and has topped 90 yards in every game during that span while scoring two touchdowns. The Bucs and Falcons are up next.

Da’Rick Rogers, LaVon Brazill, Colts
They each scored two touchdowns this week but there probably won’t be enough work for both of them to be productive over the next few weeks. T.Y. Hilton was shut down this week and Darrius Heyward-Bey is in the doghouse so one of these two should be useful.

Moving Down

Victor Cruz, Giants
Just 149 yards over his past three games and no touchdowns over his last nine outings. Maybe the Giants will need to re-sign Hakeem Nicks after all.

Michael Crabtree, 49ers
Crabtree has been just so-so since returning to the lineup, catching 50% of his targets (six of 12) for 108 yards and no touchdowns. While it might be harsh to have him Moving Down after just returning to the lineup, the fact is that fantasy owners probably shouldn’t be relying him until he proves otherwise.

Golden Tate, Seahawks
What can I tell you? When you see this guy on the field, you want to smack him. Losah! And Tate is struggling as the season comes to a close with just 136 receiving yards over his last three games and just one score in his last five.

Tight Ends

Moving Up

Dennis Pitta, Ravens
Pitta returned this week from the hip injury that sidelined him in training camp and was welcomed back warmly by quarterback Joe Flacco. With Anquan Boldin traded and Pitta out of the lineup, Flacco has been without two of his main security blankets for most of the season. He targeted Pitta a whopping 11 times and while the results were mixed (he had six receptions for 48 yards but his fantasy stats looked good due to a touchdown), the target count bodes well for Pitta’s value over the balance of the season.

Brandon Myers, Giants
Touchdowns in three consecutive games to go along with 12 receptions and 126 receiving yards.

Charles Clay, Dolphins
After struggling over a four game stretch from Weeks 7-10, Clay has turned it on over the last four games, catching six or more passes for at least 80 yards in three of those games while chipping in three touchdowns. In each of his last two games, Clay has hauled in seven of his 10 targets, totaling 177 receiving yards and a pair of scores.

Moving Down

Rob Gronkowski, Patriots
Out for the year again. Status for the start of next year in doubt again. Dynasty league value declining again.

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