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Week 13 Busts For Fantasy Football: Frank Gore, T.J. Yeldon, Brandin Cooks & More


Week 13 Fantasy Football Busts

Frank Gore (RB, IND)

"He's beat to crap, but he's a warrior." This quote from Colts head coach Chuck Pagano about his running back is pretty striking. Frank Gore may be a warrior, but there's only so much a warrior can take. Throughout his career, Gore has been a workhorse--essentially a machine. Since his debut in 2004, he has the most rushing attempts in all of football. So, it's understandable that after 11 seasons and over 2,500 carries, he could finally be slowing down. Through 11 games in 2015, Gore has yet to eclipse 100 yards, something he had done at least once in each of his first 10 seasons.

The former 49er carried the ball 19 times for just 24 yards in Week 12. Yikes. Pittsburgh, Gore's Week 13 opponent, has the toughest run defense in football, statistically speaking. The Steelers have allowed the seventh-fewest rushing yards per game, surrendered the third-fewest rushing touchdowns and caused the most fumbles. Whether or not Gore's time as a capable running back is over, he is a risky play this week. I'd avoid him if possible, and at best he is a low-end RB2 in deep leagues.

T.J. Yeldon (RB, JAC)

I am as big of a T.J. Yeldon fan as anyone is, but it is becoming incredibly difficult to continue endorsing him on a weekly basis. In Week 12, he saw just nine carries against the embarrassingly bad Chargers defense, gaining 36 yards in the process. Even when he does see more touches, the rookie out of Alabama has not been given the opportunity to find the end zone.

His lone rushing touchdown -- yes, one rushing touchdown in 156 attempts(!) -- came on a 28-yard run to the outside in Week 7. Yahoo! projections give Tre Mason, who had one carry for negative two yards in Week 12, a greater chance of scoring a rushing touchdown this week. Yeldon's four yards per carry is respectable, but he simply isn't getting touches close to the goal line. In Week 12 against the Chargers, the Jaguars ran 11 passing plays and no running plays in the red zone. They ended up with three field goals and one touchdown. Maybe Greg Olson should reconsider some of his play-calling? Just a thought. The bottom line is that Yeldon cannot be trusted to score a touchdown, and 50 or 60 yards on the ground just won't cut it as you try to lock up a playoff spot.

Brandin Cooks (WR, NO)

Cooks found his groove in Week 8, and found the end zone five times over the next three weeks. However, coming out of the bye, he struggled to make an impact in Week 12, with just 35 yards on five receptions. Unfortunately for Cooks, he isn't likely to bounce back in Week 13, as he is taking a trip to Norman Island. Okay, that's not quite as catchy, but the point is, Panthers cornerback Josh Norman is expected to shadow Cooks for the duration of the game. The way Norman is playing, it would take a player with Antonio Brown's speed, Calvin Johnson's size and Odell Beckham's hands to have a productive day. Brandin Cooks does not have any of those qualities. With a fickle Drew Brees throwing him the football, Cooks is bound to frustrate any fantasy owner who starts the speedy wideout. The fact that he has seen at least five targets in every game this year means his long-term fantasy value is still strong, but don't expect much out of the second-year wideout on Sunday.

St. Louis Rams (DST, STL)

A defensive unit that put up double-digit fantasy points in six of its first seven games has struggled as of late, with five or fewer fantasy points in three of the last four weeks. The most baffling and embarrassing performance came in Week 10, when they allowed 37 points to a Bears team that was missing Matt Forte. Arizona is averaging a league-best 32.3 points per game, so the Rams have their work cut out for them on Sunday. Carson Palmer is playing at an elite level--as are receivers Larry Fitzgerald and John Brown--and the Cardinals' offensive lineman have kept their quarterback upright. With injuries to Chris Johnson and Andre Ellington, David Johnson will be the lead back. The rookie is more than capable of stepping in and producing at a high level, and should pose yet another threat to the Rams. The Rams' defense is owned in 89% of Fleaflicker leagues -- the sixth-highest owned percentage -- but there are plenty of less-owned defenses worth starting over St. Louis this week. The Titans (20%), Redskins (18%) and Bears (13%) are all better plays in Week 13. Simply put, avoid the Rams' DST against the Cardinals.

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