Hogs & Dogs: Week 13
Hello friends, and welcome to week thirteen (!) of the fantasy season. I don’t know how in the world we got here so quickly, but it seems every year the season just flies right on by. With that being said, were getting down to the dog days of the season, where champions are made. Last week we saw another big name go down in Rob Gronkowski, and who knows if he’ll be ready to go this week. But if you’ve made it this far into the season and are still in the playoff hunt, then you certainly haven’t been relying on him like you thought you might need to. Who knows, maybe he can catapult you in the finals. His value next season all depends on his finish this season. Check out our podcast, Trophy Time (available everywhere), to hear our thoughts on that subject. Anyways, here’s another column of Hogs and Dogs, to get you through this week.
This installment is our Wednesday special, our weekly start and sit article that we like to get out to you before Thursday games. While discussing starts and sits in Hogs and Dogs, we also like to sprinkle in some buy lows, sell highs, and contrarian views that might not exactly mesh with what the majority of other experts are saying. We want to give you a different perspective on the NFL while also delivering some helpful advice that can translate to your league. Let’s roll!
Tyrod Taylor – Lots of people love a different running quarterback right now, Colin Kaepernick, but I’m going to zag to a different runner. Tyrod makes better decisions and is more trustworthy with the ball than Kaep. It also helps that Tyrod’s favorite receiver, Sammy Watkins, has returned (unless this new foot soreness takes a turn for the worst). Watkins provides some big play ability and has Taylor’s trust, which can really help a quarterback out. Buffalo is also playing against Oakland this week with a very beatable defense. Following that, they have weeks fourteen through sixteen at home, which tends to be a tough place to play for opposing teams once things start getting chilly. I had him as a Hog a few weeks ago and that didn’t pan out so well with an eight point dud at Seattle. But I’m giving him another shot and I like some Tyrod streaming over the next few weeks.
Taylor Gabriel – Dude is a baller. Nice work, Cleveland. I know he has some of that boom or bust potential that we try to limit here at TFFG, but he has developed into a dynamic playmaker on one of the highest powered offenses in the NFL. When you get one of these offenses, most of the weapons become viable and that’s just what’s going on in Hot-Lanta. Gabriel has scored 12.80 or more points in his last four games, though he’s only seeing about four targets per game. He doesn’t get shadowed by an opposing team’s best cornerback because they usually take Julio, leaving a lot of room to operate for Gabriel. Though Kansas City does have Marcus Peters, they have also given up the second most fantasy points to receivers on the year. Wish I predicted this a few weeks ago, hope I’m not too late to the party. Ball out, T. Gabes!
Tyreek Hill – My name is Reek. Another absolute speed demon, Tyreek Hill has been somewhat of a dynasty darling since the ceiling started, and things are finally coming to fruition. He’s similar to Gabriel in terms of boom or bust, but he has an expanded role on the offense and special teams, giving him more value. If and when Jeremy Maclin returns, I still expect Hill to have his Swiss army knife-type role with the Chiefs. Over his last six games, he’s scored at least 6.10 points, providing a bit of a safe floor. Four of those other games he was over 10.10. I’ll take my chances all day with Hill as a solid WR3.
Marquess Wilson – Back from the dead is one of last year’s decent waiver wire adds. Wilson missed the first ten weeks of the season due to injury and is now trying to get back into the swing of things with the lowly Bears. Wilson was a guy that really liked last year as a good complimentary piece to Alshon Jeffery. With Cameron Meredith becoming less and less relevant every week and Kevin White, Alshon, and Zach Miller all unavailable, I think Wilson could be in for some big workloads these next few weeks. If he can continue to play as Matt Barkley’s favorite target, which he did against Tennessee (8/125/1), then I like his prospects these next few weeks against San Fran, Detroit, and Green Bay. Those are all beatable secondaries and Chicago is more than likely going to be playing from behind during the majority of these games. Quess is a sneaky WR3 going forward! Do it!
Thomas Rawls – Rawls and his big ole bawls will be facing Carolina this week in what could be a vicious game. With Richard Sherman already making comments about Cam Newton as of Wednesday, things are only going to get worse. If only Josh Norman was still with Carolina! The Panthers front has played much better lately compared to the beginning of the season and Rawls runs with such conviction and fierceness that it’s inevitable that he gets bundled (hurt) again. I really like him as a player, but unless he stops trying to run anything and everything over, his seasons are going to be short and sweet. I think Alex Collins plays a role in this game as well catching passes out of the backfield and George Farmer (who?) will probably snag some touches as well. No thank you this week Tommy.
Jay Ajayi – One of my favorites since he came to the NFL, Ajayi has taken full control of that Miami backfield since Arian “The Barbarian” Foster hung ‘em up a few short months ago. Since week seven, his rushing yardage totals have decreased every week. He has still maintained great fantasy value otherwise, putting up 8.00 points as his lowest since then, but he is going up the number one rush defense this season in Baltimore. Baltimore has also given up the fewest fantasy points to running backs this year. If you have other options, I might go with them this week in Ajayi’s toughest test yet. His upcoming schedule is also heinous, having to face Arizona, the Jets on the road, and Buffalo on the road. Them Dolphins can’t swim in the cold water!
Kyle Rudolph – I’m unfortunately stuck streaming Rudolph in one league because free agency is absolutely depleted. The Minnesota offense is in shambles and the only trustable player is Stefon Diggs because he has cemented himself as Sam Bradford’s favorite target. His targets seem to fluctuate greatly week to week and though history is no indicator of future performance, his targets have gone 6, 3, 8, 3, 10, meaning he’ll probably see around three targets, especially with Diggs returning. Rudolph has one game over 6.40 points since week five and going against the ball control Cowboys, things aren’t shaping up favorably for the red-nosed reindeer. Steer clear this week, unless your me.
Austin Hooper – As much as I like Taylor Gabriel this week, I equally dislike Hooper because of how good Kansas City’s linebackers and safeties are. Kansas City has given up the third fewest fantasy points to tight ends this season, and Hooper has not been seeing many targets as of late either. Since his 10.60 outburst in week nine, Hooper has scored a combined 1.60 points through two games. I think he has a good chance to rebound next week against Los Angeles, who just seem disinterested in even playing anymore. But for this week, you have to stay away from streaming the Hoop man. Arizona and Kansas City back to back is certainly not a dream tight end matchup.
And that wraps it up. Good luck this week everyone. Remember to send us your lineup questions on Twitter @TFFGurus, @TheFantasyBoys, and @DaFantasyFather, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re here to help you, and if you can’t get enough of the Gurus be sure to check out Trophy Time, our twice a week podcast that you can find on iTunes, Google Play, etc. Also, if you have a player that you want to be covered in Hogs & Dogs please email or tweet us that player. I’d love to tackle a player or situation each week that either slipped my mind or I wasn’t going to originally include. So send in your conundrums and we’ll try to include some info for you! Finally, make sure to check out and follow our Facebook page, The Fantasy Football Gurus.