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What We Learned in Week 13


Succeeding in fantasy football is all about stats, trends and knowing how to analyze that information and using it to your advantage. While the NFL is a week-to-week league, which makes it difficult to predict anything with certainty (hello, Geno Smith’s 30 fantasy points at the Jerry Dome), here’s five things I learned from Week 13 that I’ll definitely be using when I set my fantasy lineups for fantasy’s Week 14.

Fantasy fans need postseason insurance

The fantasy playoffs are a week away, so it’s high time (and past time, really) to add insurance for your top running backs. That was evident this week, as Derrick HenryRhamondre Stevenson and Brian Robinson Jr. all went down with injuries. Whether they ultimately miss time matters not, as those with their backups can feel safer in terms of their starting lineups. Injuries happen often in the NFL, so be prepared. This week, filled with injuries, should be a real reminder of that (fantasy) reality.

De’Von Achane is back again (really)!

Achane was an absolute superstar in his second return from a bum knee, totaling 103 yards, two touchdowns and 25.3 fantasy points in a win over the Commanders. The talented rookie has now scored at least 21.5 points in each of his last four full games, during which time he has averaged a bananas 31.3 points. With a full game under his belt (and no setbacks), Achane should be a top-10 back moving forward.

Revenge game narratives can be very real

James Conner had been a massive fantasy dud, failing to score double-digit points in a game since late September. What’s more, he had averaged a gross 6.8 points in his previous five games before his return to Pittsburgh. He exacted some revenge against his former team, running for 105 yards with two touchdowns in a surprising 24-10 win. In all, Conner finished with 22.5 points. He served his dish of revenge in a very cold manner, and it’s no coincidence he got right against his old squad.

D’Andre is “Swiftly” losing fantasy value

Swift had been one of the more reliable running backs in fantasy football, but that’s not been the case of late. Since Week 9, he’s been held to single digits three times, including just four points in a loss to the 49ers. That’s his worst total since Week 1. Things don’t get easier for Swift, either, as he’ll face a Cowboys defense that held him to just 9.4 points earlier this season. Running back is a thin position, but we can’t just blindly keep Swift in our starting lineups a week before the playoffs.

Sam Howell is good even when he’s bad

Howell opened this week as the fifth-best quarterback in fantasy football, despite his leading one of the worst teams in the league. How does he do it? Well, look at his stat line against the Dolphins. While he threw for a gross 127 yards with no touchdowns and one interception, not to mention a season-worst 52.2 completion percentage, Howell made up for it with 21 rushing yards and two scores on the ground. That was good enough to finish with 19.2 fantasy points. He has now recorded at least 17.3 points in six straight games and has hit that mark in all but two games since Week 2.

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