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2023 Fantasy Football: Takeaways From Every Week 13 Game

Tyjae Spears breaks a tackle vs. Colts
Tennessee Titans running back Tyjae Spears (32) is tackled by Indianapolis Colts safety Julian Blackmon (32) during the second quarter at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tenn., Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023.

The article below details one need-to-know takeaway from each NFL Week 13 contest, aimed at providing readers with immediately actionable fantasy football information. 

Top 3 Takeaways

How to Handle Dolphins, Commanders Injuries

The Miami Dolphins’ defense lost LB Jerome Baker to a knee injury and was already without Edge Jaelan Phillips (injured reserve) and safety Jevon Holland (knees). The injuries assist the matchup-needy Tennessee Titans fantasy assets in Week 14.

Washington Commanders RB Brian Robinson Jr. suffered a Week 13 hamstring strain and is not guaranteed to return after the team’s Week 14 bye. Hamstring strains sideline running backs for 2.3 games on average, per Doctor of Physical Therapy Adam Hutchison’s Injury Report

Washington No. 2 RB Antonio Gibson was limping in-game but doesn’t have an injury designation. Rookie RB Chris Rodriguez Jr. will be a worthy bench stash.

Spears To Start Vs. Injured MIA Defense?

Tennessee Titans RB Derrick Henry was taken to the locker room following a brutal hit in the second half. He didn't return, entering the NFL’s concussion protocol. 

Per Hutchison's Injury Report, running backs average 1.8 games missed due to concussions. RB Tyjae Spears is primed for a significant workload against Miami’s banged-up defense. 

Holland and Baker have 69 tackles each, tying for No. 2 on the team.

Watson's Injury Creates Opportunity For Wicks

Green Bay Packers X-WR Christian Watson strained his right-leg hamstring for the fourth time in his two-year NFL career. Hutchison’s Injury Report states wide receivers average 2.5 games missed due to the injury and Watson’s lengthy history bodes poorly for a quick turnaround. 

Green Bay’s fifth-round rookie WR Dontayvion Wicks’ 67.4 percent perimeter rate and 28.1 percent slot rate most closely align with Watson’s respective 61.3 percent and 34.7 percent rates, giving him the inside track for Watson’s Week 14 replacement role. The two players function as intermediate-to-deep route runners, with Wicks (11.2-yard average depth of target (aDot)) leaning toward the former and Watson (15.4-yard aDot) the latter.

Among 83 NFL wide receivers with at least 35 targets, Wicks ranks top 10 in yards per reception (16.30) and yards after the catch per reception (6.00). His 1.99 yards per route run (YPRR) ranks No. 24. 

Green Bay faces the New York Giants and Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ vulnerable secondaries in Weeks 14-15, making Wicks a priority waiver wire pickup.

Remaining Storylines

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith (7) celebrates with wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba (11) after throwing a touchdown pass against the Washington Commanders during the fourth quarter at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Smith-Njigba Has Good Matchup vs. 49ers

The Seattle Seahawks featured slot WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba (seven receptions, 62 yards receiving and 11 targets) against the Dallas Cowboys’ subpar slot CB Jourdan Lewis. 

In Week 14, Smith-Njigba faces the San Francisco 49ers, whose slot coverage allows a league-high 1.20 adjusted yards per slot-route run to opposing slot receivers. 

Stevenson Hip-Dropped, Elliott Likely Week 14 Starter 

New England Patriots RB Rhamondre Stevenson was stopped via the controversial hip-drop tackle and later ruled out because of an ankle injury. 

On Thursday night, No. 2 RB Ezekiel Elliott will be a volume-based flex option against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Saints' Hill Is A Potential League-Winner

New Orleans Saints QB Derek Carr suffered his third throwing shoulder injury of 2023. This time, Carr added a back injury and a concussion to the mix. TE Taysom Hill registered a season-high 13 rushing attempts, caught both targets and attempted two passes. 

Fantasy managers should expect Hill’s high-volume role to continue because Carr likely will miss at least Week 14. Also, WR Michael Thomas is on injured reserve, and WR Rashid Shaheed is nursing a quadriceps strain. 

Siemian Adds Downfield Potential?

The New York Jets benched Tim Boyle in favor of QB Trevor Siemian in the fourth quarter. Siemian produced a 38.5 percent completion rate and attempted 38.5 percent of passes at least 15 yards downfield. 

While the former is cause for concern, the latter adds a downfield component to New York’s passing offense. Boyle and QB Zach Wilson attempted passes 15-plus yards downfield at sub-1.70-percent rates. 

Brown Aggravates Heel, Untrustworthy In Week 14

The Arizona Cardinals kept WR Marquise Brown active for Week 13 despite not practicing all week due to a heel injury. 

He was forced from the game after three third-quarter snaps and failed to record a reception. Fantasy managers should only start Brown if he can practice this week.

Replacing Dell After Leg Injury

Houston Texans’ WR Tank Dell will head to injured reserve after suffering a fractured fibula. Nos. 3 and 4 WRs, Noah Brown and Robert Woods, failed to record a catch but will surely see increased opportunities for the rest of the season.

Mingo Ascends to No. 1 WR Role

Carolina Panthers rookie WR Jonathan Mingo leads all Carolina pass catchers in targets (16) over the last two weeks, and his 27.1 percent TPRR holds a 12.1 percent edge over WR Adam Thielen. Teams desperate for a WR4 could consider starting Mingo against a New Orleans Saints secondary missing No. 1 CB Marshon Lattimore (injured reserve) in Week 14. 

Stafford Plays Aggressively for First Time Post-Injury

The Los Angeles Rams fearlessly attacked the Cleveland Browns’s banged-up secondary in Week 13, indicating QB Matthew Stafford has fully recovered from the UCL tear he suffered in Week 8. Stafford attempted passes 15-plus yards downfield at a 27.0 percent rate, beating his prior post-injury best by more than 11.0 percent. Fantasy managers can trust Stafford to keep Los Angeles’ pass-catching components afloat against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 14.

Purdy Is Top-5 QB

San Francisco 49ers QB Brock Purdy is the QB4 (22.62 points per game) in per-game fantasy scoring since the team’s Week 9 bye, ranking No. 7 in 10-plus air-yard throwing rate (36.1 percent), No. 4 in yards passing per game (288.0), No. 2 in touchdowns passing per game (2.75), and No. 1 in both completion rate (74.1 percent) and yards per passing attempt (10.7) among NFL quarterbacks with at least 50 passing attempts during that span. Purdy is an elite QB1 against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 14.