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Fantasy Football Risers and Fallers - Week 13

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.

Below are my key risers and fallers heading into Week 13 of the NFL season. You can also check out our other articles throughout the week, discussing other fantasy football risers and fallers as well.

Editor's Note: Get any full-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive In-Season Lineup Tools, Lineup Optimizer and over 150 days of Premium DFS Research. Sign Up Now!


Week 13 Risers

Dak Prescott (QB, DAL)

It is now time for us to look towards the fantasy postseason and the arrow is pointing up for Dak Prescott. Remember, it was one short year ago that this guy spent the first half of the season as the best QB in fantasy. Prescott has now eclipsed 20 fantasy points in four of his last six games including a rushing touchdown in five of his last six. More encouraging, the remaining schedule is relatively unimposing. Three of his next four games are at home, and the only road game is against the Colts. All of these games project to require points to be scored and Prescott is proving to have some rapport with Amari Cooper such that I think he can do it.

D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel (WRs, CAR)

With Devin Funchess out, we knew D.J. Moore would command a significant snap share. With Torrey Smith back, it was unclear whether Ron Rivera would mistakenly push him back into the lineup over Curtis Samuel. It appears that, despite taking a tough loss, the Panthers are actually interested in winning games. Moore and Samuel each played 92% of the snaps. They are, by far, the Panthers best two WRs. Moore now has 17 targets over his past two games, while Samuel has a touchdown in back to back games. Samuel still isn't touching the ball as much as he should, but Moore has emerged as an every-week WR3.

Austin Ekeler (RB, LAC)

This is not hindsight bias when I say that Melvin Gordon should not have played on Sunday. I know his sprained MCL is unrelated to his preexisting hamstring injury, but the Chargers did not need Gordon to beat the worst team in the NFL. They certainly didn't need Gordon to be taking touches on double reverses in the third quarter of a 28-10 game. Gordon was upended and now is at risk of missing the remainder of the fantasy season. The Chargers will definitely have Gordon back for the playoffs, which has to be their primary concern given they have no realistic shot at catching the Chiefs. There is a very real scenario where Austin Ekeler is the lead back for the remaining four weeks of fantasy football. While he's not Melvin Gordon, Ekeler will touch the ball 15-20 times and is a rock-solid RB2.

Jordan Reed (TE, WAS)

With 19 targets over the past two weeks, Jordan Reed is back in the TE1 conversation. He appears to have a better rapport with Colt McCoy than he did with Alex Smith. Of course, Reed can never stay healthy and didn't practice Monday, but he was reportedly looking fine as he watched practice, for whatever that is worth. If Reed can go, he's back in the must-start discussion.


Week 13 Fallers

Name Brand Quarterbacks

If you want to find your name brand quarterbacks, be sure to scroll down past the top 12 from Week 12. It is only then that you will find Matt Ryan, Drew Brees, Philip Rivers, Tom Brady, Carson Wentz, and Aaron Rodgers. While the down week can be considered a blip for Brees (who still threw four touchdowns), fantasy owners were taking Rodgers and Brady before the double-digit rounds (please stop doing this). Currently, Rodgers is the QB10 and Brady is the QB15. Even Russell Wilson slots in as just the QB14. Out of all the names listed here, only Brees is an every week starter at this point.

Alshon Jeffery (WR, PHI)

Over his past four games, Alshon Jeffery's best performance is 4-48. He hasn't scored, and he hasn't sniffed double-digit fantasy points. Interestingly, this has largely coincided with the arrival of Golden Tate. In fact, the entire Eagles passing attack has gone down the drain since Tate was acquired. That could be conflating correlation with causation, but it's something to consider. The Eagles are trending in the wrong direction and what looked like a promising bounce-back campaign for Jeffery has him just a week or two away from being dropped.

Melvin Gordon (RB, LAC)

I won't belabor this point any further. Melvin Gordon is here because he sprained his MCL and will miss at least the next two weeks, if not the remainder of the regular season.

James White (RB, NE)

It appears that the return of Sony Michel is a big problem for James White as White has failed to reach double-digit fantasy points in each of his last two games. An every week RB1 has fallen into "should I start him" territory. As if that wasn't enough, Rex Burkhead was activated from IR this week and will almost certainly see a handful of snaps. White benefited from being the only game in town, and now there are many games.

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