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Fantasy Football: Week 13 key wide receiver questions and tight end analysis

  • Browns WR Amari Cooper and TE David Njoku enter weekly must-start territory with Deshaun Watson back under center.
  • Cowboys TE Dalton Schultz has ripped off five top-12 fantasy finishes in six games with Dak Prescott this season.
  • Lions WR Amon-Ra St. Brown has caught at least seven passes in 11 of his last 13 non-injured games.
Estimated reading time: 30 minutes

Week 13 is here! It’s truly a great day to be great.

What follows is a fantasy football-themed breakdown of each and every wide receiver and tight end group. The following seven categories will be analyzed for all 30 teams playing this week:

  • Week 13 WR Fantasy Rankings: Where the wide receiver falls in my fantasy ranks. Updated ranks can be found throughout the week on PFF.com as well as the new PFF app.
  • WR Usage: Every team’s top-three wide receivers in terms of last week’s route rate alongside their season-long marks in targets per route run and yards per route run.
  • Week 13 Matchup: Opponent’s rank in PPR points allowed to opposing wide receivers as well as their team PFF coverage grade. Higher numbers are better for wide receivers; “32” illustrates the worst defense in a given category, and “1” is the best.
  • Shadow Matchups: Denotes whether or not any wide receivers are expected to be “shadowed” by a specific cornerback.
  • Week 13 TE Fantasy Rankings: Where the tight end falls in my fantasy ranks. Updated ranks can be found throughout the week on PFF.com as well as the new PFF app.
  • TE Usage: Every team’s top-two tight ends in terms of last week’s route rate alongside their season-long marks in targets per route run and yards per route run.
  • Key question: One key question for every team that is on my mind.

JUMP TO A TEAM:

ATL | BLT | BUF | CIN | CHI | CLE | DEN | DAL | DET | GB | HOU | IND | JAX | KC | LVR | LAC | LAR | MIA | MIN | NE | NO | NYG | NYJ | PHI | PIT | SF | SEA | TB | TEN | WSH


ARIZONA CARDINALS

  • Week 13 WR Fantasy Ranking: Drake London (WR38), Olamide Zaccheaus (WR71)
  • WR Usage: Drake London (96% routes, 0.23 targets per route run, 1.53 yards per route run), Olamide Zaccheaus (85%, 0.17, 1.99), Damiere Byrd (42%, 0.16, 2.36)
  • Week 13 WR Matchup: PIT: 32 in PPR per game to WR, 18 in PFF coverage grade 
  • WR/CB Shadow Matchups: None.
  • Week 13 TE Fantasy Rankings: MyCole Pruitt (TE38)
  • TE Usage: Anthony Firkser (50% routes, 0.11 targets per route run, 1.22 yards per route run), Parker Hesse (35%, 0.08, 0.6)

Key question: Can Drake London be trusted against the league’s single-worst defense in PPR points per game allowed to opposing wide receivers?

Sadly: No. The 2022 NFL Draft’s No. 8 overall pick has flashed on numerous occasions throughout the season; too bad he has five or fewer targets in five of his last seven games. London managed to score in both Week 10 and Week 11, but hasn’t reached even 50 yards in a game since Week 3.

Overall, London is just the WR48 in expected PPR points per game inside the of NFL’s single-most run-heavy offense. This usage doesn’t even account for the reality that Marcus Mariota isn’t exactly setting up his pass-catchers with pin-point accuracy on an every-throw basis; there isn’t a more fantasy-unfriendly passing game than the Falcons.

Even a late-season switch to Desmond Ridder isn’t guaranteed to help London boom considering he’ll still likely struggle to see consistent volume. I love the idea of buying low on the rookie in dynasty land if managers are panicking, but it’s tough to treat him as anything more than a low-ceiling WR4 as long as he struggles to see even five pass-game opportunities per game.

BALTIMORE RAVENS

  • Week 13 WR Fantasy Ranking: Devin Duvernay (WR50), Demarcus Robinson (WR53), DeSean Jackson (WR79)
  • WR Usage: Devin Duvernay (78% routes, 0.14 targets per route run, 1.27 yards per route run), Demarcus Robinson (65%, 0.19, 1.38), DeSean Jackson (19%, 0.42, 7.5) 
  • Week 13 WR Matchup: DEN: 2 in PPR per game to WR, 2 in PFF coverage grade 
  • WR/CB Shadow Matchups: None.
  • Week 13 TE Fantasy Rankings: Mark Andrews (TE2)
  • TE Usage: Mark Andrews (95% routes, 0.27 targets per route run, 2.04 yards per route run), Josh Oliver (57%, 0.17, 1.26)

Key question: Did these Ravens pass-catchers let down Lamar Jackson in Week 12?

They sure did. Don’t be so quick to slander Lamar Jackson after the Ravens’ devastating Week 12 loss to the Jaguars. He might literally reply to your tweet and tell you to stfu.

Also, Jackson didn’t get a lot of help from his normally pretty reliable pass-catchers during the Ravens’ Week 12 implosion against the Jaguars. Each of TE Mark Andrews (from one yard out), WR Demarcus Robinson (12) and TE Josh Oliver (18) were officially charged with drops by PFF on plays that all would have gone for six points.

 

Yes, Jackson missed an open Robinson on what should have been a 50-yard touchdown on the second play of the game. Also yes, THERE WERE THREE OTHER DROPPED TOUCHDOWNS IN THE GAME. Throw in Jackson getting stopped just short of the goal line on a potential six-yard rushing score as well as another borderline drop by Andrews down the sideline on what could have been a solid 30-yard gain, and it’s safe to say No. 8 shouldn’t be viewed as the problem for the Ravens’ disappointing Week 12 loss.

Up next is a rather tough matchup against Patrick Surtain II and the Broncos’ second-ranked defense in both PFF coverage grade and PPR points per game allowed to opposing wide receivers. TE Mark Andrews is the only pass-catcher from this offense who needs to be in starting lineups ahead of this rough spot.

BUFFALO BILLS

  • Week 13 WR Fantasy Ranking: Stefon Diggs (WR4), Gabriel Davis (WR25), Isaiah McKenzie (WR49)
  • WR Usage: Gabriel Davis (88% routes, 0.14 targets per route run, 1.57 yards per route run), Stefon Diggs (87%, 0.28, 2.69), Isaiah McKenzie (75%, 0.16, 1.18)
  • Week 13 WR Matchup: NE: 8 in PPR per game to WR, 10 in PFF coverage grade 
  • WR/CB Shadow Matchups: Bills WR Stefon Diggs and Gabriel Davis vs. Patriots CB Jonathan Jones and Jalen Mills
  • Week 13 TE Fantasy Rankings: Dawson Knox (TE11)
  • TE Usage: Dawson Knox (77% routes, 0.13 targets per route run, 1.01 yards per route run), Quintin Morris (17%, 0.07, 0.61)

Key question: Will Bill Belichick take away the Bills’ No. 1 offensive weapon?

I’m sure he’ll try, but the Patriots haven’t exactly locked up Stefon Diggs since he arrived in Buffalo back in 2020. Overall, Diggs has peeled off boom-worthy 7-85-1 and 9-145-3 performances in two of his five appearances against the Patriots since joining forces with Josh Allen.

Ultimately, Allen hasn’t had any trouble eviscerating this defense in recent matchups that haven’t included 50-mile-per-hour wind gusts:

  • Week 16, 2020: 320 pass yards-4 TD-0 INT
  • Week 13, 2021: 145-1-0 (wind game)
  • Week 16, 2021: 314-3-0
  • AFC Divisional Round, 2021: 308-5-0

Perhaps Belichick and the Patriots’ sixth-ranked scoring defense makes Allen look more like the youngster who struggled in his first four matchups against the Patriots, but then again they are only a week removed from giving up a 299-3-1 passing performance to *checks notes* Kirk Cousins.

Fire up Diggs as his usual upside WR1 self, while Davis could flirt with the latter outcome of his typical boom-or-bust profile against the league’s eighth-best defense in fewest PPR points per game allowed to wide receivers.

CHICAGO BEARS

  • Week 13 WR Fantasy Ranking: Chase Claypool (WR41), Equanimeous St. Brown (WR87), Byron Pringle (WR92)
  • WR Usage: Chase Claypool (75% routes, 0.17 targets per route run, 1.09 yards per route run), Byron Pringle (57%, 0.16, 1.33), Dante Pettis (46%, 0.11, 0.95)
  • Week 13 WR Matchup: GB: 12 in PPR per game to WR, 11 in PFF coverage grade 
  • WR/CB Shadow Matchups: None.
  • Week 13 TE Fantasy Rankings: Cole Kmet (TE9)
  • TE Usage: Cole Kmet (93% routes, 0.14 targets per route run, 1.15 yards per route run), Trevon Wesco (7%, 0.09, 0.81)

Key question: Can Chase Claypool be trusted in fantasy land now that Darnell Mooney (ankle) is out for the season?

Well, did you ever feel great about starting Mooney before he got injured? Because that’s about where we are with Claypool, who finally is at least on the field enough to be under consideration as a fantasy WR3. Still, this week’s matchup against Jaire Alexander and the Packers’ top-12 secondary in PFF coverage grade as well as PPR points per game allowed to the position isn’t ideal, and the continued absence of Justin Fields (left shoulder) doesn’t help the overall scoring upside of this offense.

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