The Playoffs are upon us now. Make the right decisions and you could end up holding the trophy at the end of year. One wrong move could mark the end of your season. I am sitting as the second seed in my playoffs with some pretty favorable match-ups ahead of me if I get by this week. Your roster should be set, but here are the Week 13 winners and losers that could make you a winner or loser.
Winners: Ryan Fitzpatrick (HOU) 63.9 points and Andrew Luck (IND) 54.5 points:
Fitzpatrick and Luck both went off on the Titans and Redskins respectively. Fitzpatrick threw for 358 yards and six touchdowns in his first game back since getting benched in favor of Ryan Mallet. Fitzpatrick’s totals were both season highs and his point total is more than double his previous high of 27.1 points. Fitzpatrick has a favorable match-up in Week 14 against the Jacksonville Jaguars, but Houston could be in for a slow start against a defense that has forced six turnovers in the last two games. Start him if you are desperate for a quarterback.
Luck showed the world why he deserves to be Peyton Manning’s replacement in the elite category when Paeyton retires. He torched a Redskins “defense” for 370 yards and five touchdowns. What is even more impressive is that he still scored 54 points while turning the ball over twice early in the game. Luck’s next game is at Cleveland. There is no discussion, you start him.
Loser: Tony Romo (DAL) 6 points:
Thanksgiving is supposed to mean bountiful feasts for families and Cowboys football. What America got was 199 passing yards and two interceptions from Tony Romo as the Cowboys were steamrolled by the Eagles. Romo looked downright awful against the division rival Eagles. Romo’s December struggles are well documented, so only time will tell if the Cowboys can continue to ride the Romo train into the playoffs. You can start him, but beware because it is a Thursday night road game against the Bears.
Winners: Tre Mason (STL) 38.4 points and Le’Veon Bell (PIT) 33.4 points
Regardless of your view on the Ferguson situation, the Rams are focused on playing football. The Rams blanked the Oakland Raiders 52-0. If you like abstract thinking, the Rams beat the Raiders, who beat the Chiefs, who beat the Patriots. So therefore the Rams kind of beat the Patriots in Week 13 as well. As for Mason, he only accounted for three touchdowns on 164 total yards. Zac Stacy is no longer a threat to dig into Mason’s carries. At this rate, Gale Sayers couldn’t take carries away from Mason. He has become a must start against the Redskins in Week 14.
Le’Veon Bell only scored one touchdown and still scored 33 points. How? It helps when you rush for 95 yards and have 159 receiving yards. It is almost impossible to Bell under 100 yards from scrimmage. He is an elite NFL running back. Defenses need to beware because Bell’s teammate at Michigan State Jeremy Langford will be coming into the NFL next year. Start Bell against Cincinnati. You could probably start Bell at point guard for the 76ers, he is that versatile.
Loser: Andre Ellington (ARI) 1.2 points
Ellington was injured against the Falcons and coach Bruce Arians is not optimistic for Week 14 against the Kansas City Chiefs. Arians told Fox Sports 1, “Ellington is dealing with a ‘severe’ hip pointer which is expected to hold him out of practice this week.” With Carson Palmer already gone for the season, the once high-flying Cardinals now have a couple of broken wings. Larry Fitzgerald and cornerback Tyrann Mathieu are also injured. Keep Ellington on your bench for the foreseeable future.
Winner: DeAndre Hopkins (HOU) 40.8 points
The second year receiver from Clemson just earned his “Man Status” card for the NFL. Hopkins added to his good season with 238 yards on nine catches and two touchdowns. Hopkins has six touchdowns this season, four more than longtime leader Andre Johnson. With Johnson waning, Hopkins has asserted himself as the go-to-guy in Houston. Next up is Jacksonville, another juicy match-up.
Loser: Vincent Jackson (TB) 2.4 points
Well that’s 10 million dollars down the drain. Jackson and the Tampa Bay team have been a complete disappointment this year. With Sunday’s performance, Jackson is averaging 58.5 yards per game. Jackson also hasn’t scored a touchdown since Week 4. Tampa needs to decide whether they are going to keep Jackson because right now, he is nowhere close to meeting expectations. Next is a match-up with Detroit. Sit him.
Winner: Coby Fleener (IND) 26.7 points
With battery mate Dwayne Allen injured, Fleener has stepped up and has become Dallas Clark 2.0. Fleener and Luck were teammates in college at Stanford, so the chemistry shouldn’t surprise anyone. Fleener had 127 yards on four catches and two touchdowns. He dropped a potential third touchdown in the second quarter, but still managed to decimate the Redskins linebackers. Monitor the status of Dwayne Allen, but Fleener should get the start.
Loser: Jimmy Graham (NO) Nothing, not even a target
Give credit to the Steelers. Drew Brees threw for five touchdowns but they were adamant that Jimmy Graham was not going to beat them. Graham had no catches, targets or explanation for what kind of game that was. Continue to start Graham, this was certainly a weird hiccup.