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Fantasy Football Risers, Fallers - Matt Ryan, Deebo Samuel, D.J. Moore


Whether due to their own play, the play of others, or injuries, players' stock increases and decreases on a weekly basis. Perhaps more than any other, the NFL is a league that experiences ups and downs at a rapid pace. With only 16 games, there’s little room for error and seemingly endless opportunities for improvement. The same goes for fantasy football; managing rosters effectively is key to winning that championship.

Throughout the season, players get hot and see an increased role while others struggle and fight to stay relevant. Experienced fantasy players know this happens every year. In this weekly column, we’ll showcase those who have taken important steps forward and those who have taken steps back.

These are the key risers and fallers heading into Week 13 of the NFL season.

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Week 13 Risers

Sam Darnold (QB, NYJ)

Perhaps good Sam Darnold is here to stay? Darnold has now surpassed 20 fantasy points in three straight games. Weeks 15 and 16 are a hard no for starting Darnold, but he's got two more weeks coming up of cupcake matchups against the Bengals and Dolphins. Darnold is a legitimate QB1 for two more weeks and you can confidently start him.

Baker Mayfield (QB, CLE)

It is time! Baker Mayfield is going to be a difference maker down the stretch. After failing to throw for multiple touchdowns over his first eight games, Mayfield has now thrown multiple scores in three straight games. Hopefully you have an alternative for Week 13 (or you just don't need the win) because in Weeks 14 and 15, Mayfield gets the Bengals and the Cardinals. Mayfield is going to be an elite quarterback at some point in the future. It may very well start happening at the end of this season.

D.J. Moore (WR, CAR)

For all the failings of the Panthers' passing game, D.J. Moore has been the lone bright spot. Over the past month, Moore's usage has been fantastic. He's averaging double digit targets and over 100 yards per game. He hasn't scored below 17 fantasy points in his last four games. Moore has had a very high floor this ceiling and has been largely matchup proof. The Redskins and Falcons over the next two weeks certainly is nice to see. Moore is bordering on every week WR1 status.

Jonathan Williams (RB, IND)

So much for a split backfield. Jordan Wilkins and Nyheim Hines were nowhere to be found last Thursday night. When you have a third string running back with 30 career carries prior to this season, you have to make sure you get him the ball. The Colts fed Williams 29 touches and Williams delivered. It was an awful, ineffective game plan for the Colts, but excellent for fantasy owners. Williams even played ahead of Hines on passing downs. Williams is clearly the bellcow and is a high RB2 for as long as Marlon Mack remains sidelined.

 

Week 13 Fallers

Matt Ryan (QB, ATL)

It's hard to pinpoint exactly when a player hits rock bottom, but failing to throw a touchdown against the Bucs seems like a good barometer. Matt Ryan has not posted QB1 numbers since Week 6. Somehow, 46 pass attempts against the league's worst pass defense didn't yield a single score. The Falcons are a terrible team and have an absolutely brutal stretch to finish out the fantasy season. It's fair to wonder whether Ryan belongs on the waiver wire with games against the Saints, Panthers, 49ers, and Jaguars upcoming.

Deebo Samuel (WR, SF)

One week after being a riser, Deebo Samuel is now a faller. He had a nice fantasy line due to his long touchdown on Sunday night, but with George Kittle back, Samuel saw just two targets. Game script definitely didn't help with the 49ers just running out the clock the entire second half, but that's a common theme with great teams featuring great defenses. The 49ers have the Ravens and Saints over the next two weeks, which is less than ideal. Samuel is going to be more boom/bust than the reliable WR3 we saw in Weeks 10 and 11.

Saquon Barkley (RB, NYG)

It's almost like running backs don't matter. Saquon Barkley is arguably the most talented running back of all time and he can't do anything on his terrible offense. Barkley hasn't rushed for over 100 yards since Week 2. He's failed to reach double digit fantasy points in consecutive games and he's not being used in the passing game with just three targets. You can't sit Barkley, but he is absolutely not an RB1.

Chris Carson (RB, SEA)

Perhaps Chris Carson's fumbling problem has finally caught up with him? Carson has fumbled the ball seven times this season and it really should be eight, but Sunday's mishap was charged to Russell Wilson. Carson's season low in carries had been 15. He saw just eight carries last week while Rashaad Penny exploded for 129 yards on 14 carries. Penny played a season high 46% of the snaps. We have no way of knowing if Pete Carroll goes right back to Carson next week; he very well may, but we have to be a bit concerned that Penny has done enough to eat into Carson's work.

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