Downgrade Todd Gurley to RB2
Recapping what to look for on Thanksgiving:
Cam Newton ran for another 45 yards and a touchdown but had a modest day through the air, finishing as a QB2 for the week and coming up short of his projected output.
Brent Celek did find the end zone but managed only 10 yards on two catches, failing to deliver as a streaming option. Zach Ertz is expected to return from his concussion this week, and I do still view him as an upward trending tight end option for those entering their playoffs without a top-tier tight end.
My outlook for Darren McFadden proved right on the money as a Flex/RB3 downgrade. Regarding his recent usage, he played 77 percent of the Cowboys’ offensive snaps, and backup Robert Turbin is still available in nine out of 10 ESPN leagues.
I made the case to buy into Eddie Lacy as a high-upside RB2 in Week 12 and moving forward. He wound up with the third-most fantasy points at his position, posting his second straight 100-yard rushing game despite the Packers going with a 60-40 pass-run balance after a 50-50 split the previous week.
Devin Funchess entered last week riding a wave of buzz, and it proved a good call to fade him against Dallas as he managed only two catches for 19 yards.
The stakes are rising more and more each week, so here are five key trends to look for in Week 13:
1) Trending upward: Matthew Stafford
Don’t look now, but Matthew Stafford has climbed up to the No. 12 fantasy QB on the season. The Lions’ quarterback has long tantalized owners with his big-time arm and array of weapons, but lately, something definitely seems to have clicked for Stafford.
Since Week 6, he ranks fourth in fantasy points among quarterbacks. In that span, he has been a top-five QB in PFF rating (95.52) and has acquitted himself well under pressure with a 69.1 accuracy percentage, which ranks seventh among qualified passers. It also bears mention that 21 of the Lions’ 28 sacks allowed this season have come since Week 6. A lot of Stafford’s recent success has coincided with the appointment of Jim Bob Cooter as offensive coordinator five weeks ago. Cooter has made it a point to put Stafford in situations that he feels most comfortable, and the payoff has been evident.
If you are searching for caveats, one is that last week’s 337-yard, five-touchdown effort came against a fading Eagles team that was also tagged for 45 points against Tampa Bay a week earlier. The only other time Stafford tossed more than two TDs in a game this season came back in Week 6, when he lit up the Bears for 405 yards and four scores.
WEEK 13 AND BEYOND