Welcome to Week 13 of the NFL season, or as I lovingly refer to it, funeral week. Yes, Week 13 is the one where a lot of fantasy seasons end. Some teams were in situations where they must win and when that doesn’t happen… well… RIP.
I am not Scott Rinear. Our beloved analyst is out this week, so I have migrated from my usual entertainment beat to cover Week 13’s “Fantasy Football Winners & Losers.” Fantasy managers still need to know who to credit for their wins and, more importantly, who to blame for their losses.
So, let’s get after it!
Fantasy Football Winners & Losers: Week 13
Fantasy Football Winners
D.K. Metcalf (WR, Seattle Seahawks)
Yeah, if you had D.K. Metcalf this week, you probably had a solid chance of winning. Catching six of his eight targets en route to 134 yards and three touchdowns, the fifth-year WR was a man amongst boys. A whopping 37.9 Points Per Reception (PPR) points meant that he was the WR1 on the week and had his highest point total of the season!
The ability is always there with Metcalf. The problem is that sometimes his route running leaves a bit to be desired. But when he pops, and when he’s really feeling it out there, he is a menace.
If you were one of the managers who was patient and held Metcalf even though he certainly hasn’t been the WR1 you drafted him to be, congratulations! You were rewarded, and hopefully, he nudged you into the playoffs. If you decided to dump him to another team in pursuit of a star… sorry.
Chuba Hubbard (RB, Carolina Panthers)
OK, where is this coming from? Chuba Hubbard was on my radar as a rookie in 2021, but then saw a diminished rookie in 2022, despite Christian McCaffrey being traded mid-season. This season he seemed to have wrestled the starting job away from Miles Sanders, but then it looked like he was being phased out again. Now he’s a stud? What?
The signing of Sanders was supposed to spell the end of Hubbard and any hope we may have had for him to look like that explosive player he was at Oklahoma State. Instead, he’s rendered Sanders a free-agent bust and has established himself as a fantasy gem!
He totaled 25 carries, 104 yards and two touchdowns against a Tampa Bay defense that ranked among the elites against the run. My goodness, Hubbard, pop off, king.
Going forward, I think this is the way the Panthers’ offense will go. Bryce Young is in disarray, so they will run it as much as they can. If you remain rostering Hubbard, you should reap the rewards the rest of the way.
Deebo Samuel (WR, San Francisco 49ers)
It was a matter of when, not if, Deebo Samuel would go off. Now he did, and for the second week in a row, he delivered a great fantasy performance for all managers who are lucky enough to roster him!
Samuel is a modern-day renaissance man. He’s not a wide receiver or a running back. He’s Deebo, an elite athlete. That can feel like a weird label to put on an NFL player, but he’s too good at both roles to say he’s one or the other (I mean, he gets listed as a wide receiver, so whatever, but I stand by my point).
Samuel is a Week 13 fantasy football winner after totaling four catches for 116 yards and two touchdowns, plus three carries, 22 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown against the Eagles. Just Deebo being Deebo.
Moving ahead, I think we just keep seeing more of the same from him. The 49ers will find ways to put the ball in his hands, and he knows how to make things happen when he gets it! Start him with confidence as you progress into and through your fantasy football playoffs!
Fantasy Football Losers
Adam Thielen (WR, Carolina Panthers)
“Steve, he was already listed last week…” Yeah, I know, but this is so f***ing bad that it needs to happen again. I mean, what the actual FUNK happened to Adam Thielen?
He was a top-eight PPR WR in the first half of the year, and then it’s like he remembered he’s 80 years old and just fell off a cliff.
I’ll tell you what actually happened. Bryce Young regressed. Unfortunately, Thielen’s value is tied to maybe the worst starter in the NFL. Unable to read defenses quickly, Young has lost his touch on the ball to squeeze it into the windows that Thielen creates on his routes. He’s not Tyreek Hill; he isn’t going to run around and find a ton of space. The man is borderline geriatric in the NFL world. For Thielen to have any value the rest of the way, Young needs to improve and make the easy throws.
Terry McLaurin (WR, Washington Commanders)
“Scary” Terry McLaurin was scary to fantasy managers who watched him put up a big fat zero. Targeted three times in the entire game when the Commanders were down by a million, the Ohio State product did not catch one ball. Not one – Zero. Gross.
McLaurin is no doubt a victim of the team he plays for, but something’s up. Maybe he isn’t giving it his all. Perhaps he just isn’t as elite as we all thought he was. Regardless, putting up a bagel is a killer and makes him a Week 13 fantasy football loser who’s hard to trust the rest of the way. Also, being the PPR WR26 on the year isn’t really cutting it for someone of his talent.
Justin Herbert (QB, Los Angeles Chargers)
Can we get off the hype train now? Six points. That’s all the Chargers scored Sunday against New England!
Justin Herbert has been good for fantasy managers for most of the year, but he now delivered a dud when a lot of managers needed him to save their seasons. To be perfectly transparent, I have never been on the hype train of Herbert being elite. Fantasy-wise, yes. But is it real ball? No. He can’t deliver in crunch time, and that sucks.
The former Oregon Duck puts up a lot of empty stats. Which, for fantasy football, is great!
Despite the down performance, you likely will still be starting him with some confidence going forward. But just know he’ll have a few of these disappearing acts every season. Hopefully, there will be no more for the next four weeks.
Not What It Seems: Fantasy Football Panic Meter
The following players were fantasy disappointments in Week 13, but my concern is low moving forward:
- David Njoku (TE, Cleveland Browns)
- Jahmyr Gibbs (RB, Detroit Lions)
- Garrett Wilson (WR, New York Jets)
- Zack Moss (RB, Indianapolis Colts)
The following players were disappointments in Week 13, and I am concerned about moving forward:
- Austin Ekeler (RB, Los Angeles Chargers)
- D’Andre Swift (RB, Phialdephai Eagles)
- Devin Singletary (RB, Houston Texans)
- Chris Godwin (WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
- Josh Downs (WR, Indianapolis Colts)
Thanks for reading my Week 13 fantasy football winners and losers. I hope you have enjoyed yourself, and keep an eye out for entertainment and fantasy content from me here at In-Between Media (IBT)! For more entertainment and sports takes, find me on Twitter, @Steve_Lawson93.
*Photo Credit: Eric Hartline – USA TODAY Sports*