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Fantasy Football Risers and Fallers - Week 13

Garrett Wilson - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, Waiver Wire Pickups - icon rotoballer

Week 12 is now officially in the books. We have a lot of good information we can use to help make decisions as we head into Week 13 and beyond.

In this weekly column, we'll be looking at players whose arrows may be pointing up, and players whose arrows may be pointing down based on the previous week's games. We'll try not to overreact, but instead, use relevant data to make informed decisions about certain players.

Here are the key risers and fallers coming out of Week 12 of the NFL season. Note: I could put Josh Jacobs as the biggest riser, but that's no fun!

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Week 13 Fantasy Football Risers

Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Godwin finally looks 100% after returning from ACL reconstruction surgery a year ago. He played almost every snap in Week 12 coming out of the Bucs' bye in Week 11. He's led Bucs receivers in target share the last two weeks at 27.6% and 31%, respectively. Godwin has also scored a touchdown in each of the last two games.

He's essentially played seven full games this season and has seen double-digit targets in six of those contests. The Bucs are also leading the league in pass attempts per game at 42.8 attempts, which should continue to yield results for Tom Brady's seemingly favorite target in the most important moments of a game.

Godwin and the Bucs will be in Tampa Bay for Week 13 against the Saints, then in San Francisco to take on the 49ers in Week 14, then back in Tampa Bay for Week 15 against the Bengals, and then off to Arizona to face the Cardinals in Week 16. The warm weather in Weeks 13-15 and the indoor game in Week 16 can only help Godwin and the passing attack. Giddy up!

Garrett Wilson, New York Jets

Wilson is now averaging 10.3 targets per game in four games not quarterbacked by Zach Wilson. With Mike White now the starter moving forward, the arrow is pointing straight up on Wilson's stock. Not to mention his only touchdowns (four of them) have come from Joe Flacco and White.

Wilson has now played over 85% of the snaps in each of his last four games after being more of a part-time player early in the season. In Week 12, he had a route participation percentage of 93.3%, the highest of any player on the team.

With favorable matchups against the Vikings, Bills, Lions, Jaguars, Seahawks, and Dolphins the rest of the way, Wilson is in for a huge end to his rookie campaign. Buckle up.

Amari Cooper, Cleveland Browns

After being heavily faded this offseason (admittedly by myself included), Cooper is the overall WR8 in fantasy football. He's currently seventh amongst all wide receivers in total targets with 93 of them. And that's with Jacoby Brissett under center. In Week 13, he'll be catching passes from Deshaun Watson, who will return after his 11-game suspension.

Prior to this season, Cooper's career-high target share was 22.3% back in 2016. This season, Cooper's target share sits at a whopping 26.4%. Per PlayerProfiler, he's averaging a career-high 105.4 air yards per game. This is the first season he's been over 100 air yards per game. The last time Deshaun Watson played (in 2020), he averaged 300.2 air yards per game, good for fifth amongst all quarterbacks.

James Conner, Arizona Cardinals

Conner has been a bell cow in every sense of the term the last three weeks. He's playing an every-down role and getting almost all of the RB opportunities for the Cardinals. In fact, he's played more than 95% of the snaps in two of his last three games. In his last three games, Conner is averaging 23.7 opportunities per game.

With the Cardinals on a bye in Week 13, Kyler Murray should have his full complement of wide receivers available in Week 14. That includes DeAndre Hopkins, Marquise Brown, and likely at least one of Rondale Moore or Greg Dortch. That should only mean more production for Conner and more goal-line opportunities for him to punch it into the end zone.

He now has four touchdowns in his last three games. You'll remember back to the 2021 season when Conner was a touchdown machine, scoring 18 total on 241 opportunities. His opportunities right now feel eerily similar to what they were last season at this time.

Other Risers: Skyy Moore, Zay Jones, Marquise Brown, DeAndre Carter

 

Week 13 Fantasy Football Fallers

DeAndre Hopkins, Arizona Cardinals

"Adam, you're nuts, how can D Hop be a faller after averaging 20.7 PPR points per game through six games?" Well, let me explain. Both Kyler Murray and Marquise Brown returned in Week 12. Hopkins saw just six targets on 26 routes (23.1% target rate) in that game vs. the Chargers. In comparison, Hollywood was targeted eight times on 29 routes (27.6% target rate). That was the first game Hopkins played with Brown this season. Hopkins also played just 74% of the snaps while Hollywood played 95% of the snaps.

Yes, it's a small sample size, but Brown is sure to take valuable targets away from Hopkins as the season progresses. The Cardinals have their bye in Week 13, but then they'll likely get back Rondale Moore in Week 14. Moore has been really good this season as well, garnering a target share of 19.5% with a target rate of 22.6%.

With a full complement of good receiving options at his disposal, don't expect Murray to hyper-target Hopkins as he had been in Weeks 7 and 8. The Cardinals also don't have the easiest of schedules for receivers after the bye, facing the Patriots, Broncos, and Buccaneers in their next three games. Temper expectations.

Curtis Samuel, Washington Commanders

Check this out:

Those splits are reminiscent of Garrett Wilson playing with and without Zach Wilson. It's amazing what a change at quarterback can do for a receiver. In the case of Curtis Samuel, playing with Taylor Heinicke has been awful for his fantasy value.

In fact, Samuel has turned into more of a running back while playing with Heinicke. In his last five games, Samuel has had 15 rush attempts to just 14 targets. That's definitely not what we want out of our wide receivers in PPR leagues, especially. Additionally, he's playing on a fewer percentage of snaps. Through Week 7, Samuel had a snap share of 80%. In Weeks 8 through 12, that number has dipped to just 67%.

To make matters worse for Samuel and the Commanders' passing attack, up next is the Giants, who have made it tough on wide receivers all year long. Then they'll have a bye, and face off with the Giants yet again in Week 15. Don't be afraid to not only bench Samuel, but to cut him loose should there be a better option out there on the waiver wire.

Dameon Pierce, Houston Texans

This one stings. Pierce was so good between Weeks 3 and 10. In fact, he averaged 17.2 PPR points over that stretch of seven games, good for 12th amongst all running backs. But in his last two games, Pierce has averaged just 4.2 PPR points per game. He's totaled a miserable 33 yards on 20 touches in those games.

These poor performances were likely a product of the Texans getting beaten badly by the Commanders and Dolphins, respectively. This forced the Texans to throw the ball more than normal. The problem, however, is that we should realistically expect more of the same with upcoming matchups against the Browns, Cowboys, and Chiefs.

It may feel like a challenge to outright bench Pierce this week at home vs. a Browns run defense that isn't all that good, but this game could get out of hand as Deshaun Watson returns to Houston to face his former team. You can't feel as good about starting Pierce these days as you may have been during the middle part of the season.

JuJu Smith-Schuster, Kansas City Chiefs

JuJu played on just 38% of the snaps in Week 12 after practicing all week in full. Chiefs head coach Andy Reid talked about not knowing how much Smith-Schuster could handle after suffering a concussion back in Week 10, but it's odd that he'd be a full participant in each day of practice and then not return to a full-time role in the offense. Take a look:

It's possible Reid is being completely honest here, but it's also possible he's trying to get more opportunities for some other guys, including Skyy Moore and Justin Watson (believe it or not). Watson has played a nearly every-down role, while Moore has been a little more limited in his route participation and snap share. Despite the low routes run, Moore has garnered targets at a very high rate.

It truly does feel like Reid wants to rotate receivers, and that includes JuJu. Travis Kelce will always be the big dog, with the other tight ends and receivers getting the leftovers. With Patrick Mahomes spreading the ball around to lots of different guys, it'll be tough for JuJu to live up to early-season expectations.

Other Fallers: Greg Dulcich, Tyler Higbee, Drake London



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