Under-the-Radar Booms/Busts: Week 13

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This is the week where fantasy football owners can expect to be unlucky.

It is the unlucky 13th week of the NFL season! This could be the week your quarterback is stuck throwing in 60-mph winds, your receiver is stuck with a third-string signal caller tossing wobbly passes at his feet, or your kicker is stuck with a pulled hamstring after making a tackle on a kickoff return. Maybe all of the above. Yet no matter what week of the season it is, fantasy players still need to find those lesser-known booms and busts if they are going to win big.

Here are some under-the-radar booms and busts for the 13th week of NFL action to help you set a winning lineup. Good luck RotoBallers!

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Week 13 Under-the-Radar Booms

Jordy Nelson (WR, GB) vs. TB

Nelson has had all of his fantasy value sucked out of him by the Brett Hundley value vacuum. Green Bay’s former No. 1 receiver has been consistent --- consistently terrible --- in the five games Hundley has started since Aaron Rodgers got his collarbone cracked. No touchdowns, no 40-yard games, no five-reception games. Atlanta’s Julio Jones did more last week than Nelson has done in a month-plus. Hundley is starting to figure out this quarterbacking thing, though, as evidenced by how well he played and threw to Davante Adams and Randall Cobb (one TD apiece) against Pittsburgh last Sunday night. With Hundley coming around and with Green Bay hosting Tampa Bay’s NFL-worst pass defense, look for Nelson to finally blow up big. 

Dontrelle Inman (WR, CHI) vs. SF

Inman has learned Chicago’s playbook faster than an honors student learns a foreign language in high school. He has quickly and easily become Chicago’s most productive receiver (which is not saying much) by catching 13 passes for 195 yards over his first three games with the Bears. Franchise quarterback Mitchell Trubisky and Inman will only click better this week with Inman becoming more comfortable with his quarterback and his offense. San Francisco’s 26th-ranked pass defense has allowed everybody and anybody to throw at will on them. The 49ers have allowed the last six quarterbacks they have faced to throw two touchdown passes or more against them, which is made sadder because two of them were Eli Manning and Drew Stanton. Inman should be able to post solid if not super stats this weekend.

Jared Cook (TE, OAK) vs. NYG

Cook has always been harder to trust than a snake-oil salesman because of his maddening inconsistency. That has been on display again this season. Cook had 18 receptions for 290 yards over a three-game span Weeks 7-9, then had just three catches for 38 yards during a two-game slump recently. You never know what you are going to get with him, although unlike with a box of chocolates, not everything with Cook turns out to be sweet. This seems to be a week to think Cook will deliver for fantasy owners since he is facing a 29th-ranked New York Giants pass defense that lost corner Janoris Jenkins with a season-ending injury. With Michael Crabtree suspended and Amari Cooper concussed, Cook should be David Carr’s No. 1 option on pass plays this Sunday. If Cook does not have a good game, then fantasy owners should never trust him again.

 

Week 13 Under-the-Radar Busts

Frank Gore (RB, IND) at JAC

It is an indictment of Indianapolis’ lack of talent at running back that Gore remains the team’s top tailback even though he is 90 years old (OK, 34). He is coming off his best game of the season, however, after racking up 79 combined yards and scoring a touchdown against Tennessee. Before you go thinking he will keep it up against Jacksonville’s 19th-rated run defense, look closer at the Jags’ recent run-defense numbers. They have not allowed four of their last five opponents to run for over 100 yards against them as they have steadily moved up from the bottom of the run-defense rankings. With the Jaguars at home and coming off a loss, the Colts are probably in for a larger heap of trouble than Batman’s villains are. Do not expect much from Mr. Gore.

Derrick Henry (RB, TEN) vs. HOU

Henry has been shafted this season due to his unfair timeshare with DeMarco Murray. While Henry is averaging 4.6 ypc and playing at an above-average level, Murray is averaging 3.5 ypc and running as if he has swollen feet. Since Murray is the grizzled veteran and offers more near the goal line and in passing situations, though, he still gets slightly more playing time than Henry does. The trend seems like it will continue this week against Houston’s seventh-ranked run defense, a unit that was solid for five consecutive games until allowing Alex Collins and the Baltimore Ravens to run for 139 yards and two touchdowns this past Monday. With Houston playing for its playoff lives and Tennessee’s coaching staff in no hurry to make Henry the top tailback, it is hard to figure this to be the week Henry blows up and barrels for 100 yards and two touchdowns.

Tyler Kroft (TE, CIN) vs. PIT

Remember when Tyler Eifert was the top tight end named Tyler in Cincinnati?  Times have changed thanks to another season-ruining injury for the unlucky Eifert. Kroft has stepped in and stepped up, catching five touchdown tosses including scores in each of his past two contests. Pittsburgh’s third-ranked pass defense has only allowed one touchdown to a tight end over its past seven games, and that was to Kroft. The chances of Kroft having two in two games against the Super Bowl contending Steelers are slimmer than the chances of Ja Rule organizing the next Coachella Festival. If you are looking for a cheap option at TE this week, look elsewhere. 

 

More Week 13 Lineup Prep