Demos: Week 13 fantasy projections

Khari Demos

The longest week in NFL history is finally over, as Pittsburgh beat Baltimore's JV/COVID squad to reach 11-0. It was a key win, as the AFC has Kansas City at 10-1 and three 8-3 teams in Buffalo, Cleveland and Tennessee.

The AFC wildcard chase could be fun, with Miami, Indianapolis, Baltimore, Las Vegas and New England all in contention for the final three spots.

The NFC seems to keep shifting. New Orleans leaned on its backup QB to take care of a Denver team with no QB. Green Bay's former MVP QB kept things rolling while Chicago looks listless under center. Seattle is actually the No. 2 seed at the moment because its superstar QB is back playing like he did through the first seven games.

The NFC East still looks to be the funniest division of all, though, as the New York Giants and Washington Football Team are tied at the top at 4-7. Whoever comes out of the worst division ever could see a team from a mix of Tampa Bay, the Los Angeles Rams, Arizona, Minnesota, Chicago or San Francisco.

My waiver wire adds of the week are Atlanta's Ito Smith, Minnesota's Bisi Johnson and Houston's Keke Coutee, who should see a bunch of targets after Will Fuller V was suspended for the rest of the season for PEDs.

We've got a lot to unpack, so let's dive in.

START 'EM

Allen Robinson, WR, Chicago Bears

The Penn State product has become a must start each week, even if he's working in one of the messiest quarterback rooms in the NFL. I mean, if he can put up 1,400 yards and 14 TDs with Blake Bortles, what makes you think Nick Foles and Mitchell Trubisky won't suffice?

Robinson has been a model of consistency in 2020, recording 70 or more receiving yards eight times and hauling in five or more passes in all but two games. His 71 catches are tied for eighth in the league, while his 829 receiving yards place him inside the top 15.

Next on the slate for A-Rob and Da Bears is Detroit, as the woeful Lions relieved HC Matt Patricia and GM Bob Quinn of their duties after a pitiful showing on Thanksgiving. Deshaun Watson tossed the pill all over the yard in Detroit, with Fuller (6 catches, 171 yards, 2 TDs) sharing a nice sendoff performance before his six-game suspension.

Robinson may not be the burner Fuller is, but the Lions should be well aware after the former scored twice last week in garbage time. He also seems to enjoy playing Detroit, as Robinson has recorded at least five receptions and over 70 yards in his last four outings against the Lions, to go along with three TDs.

SIT 'EM

DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Arizona Cardinals

Listen folks, I get it. D-Hop, in my opinion as well as most others, is one of the top three receivers in football and should be a must start. But he's been on a bad trend and is heading into a dreadful matchup.

The Clemson product has scored once in the last four games played, as he's recorded 55 yards or less in three of those games. Add in Kyler Murray's sprained AC joint in his throwing shoulder, and Hopkins' stock has slightly fallen.

Just look at when he locked up with the Patriot's Stephon Gilmore, who limited Hopkins to three receptions for 26 yards in coverage over the weekend. Who's the No. 1 corner D-Hop gets to see this week? Jalen Ramsey, who's posted an elite Pro Football Focus grade of 73.6.

Hopkins and Ramsey should remember each other from their AFC South days, as they faced off seven times from 2016-19. During those games between Hopkins' Texans and Ramsey's Jaguars, the former only recorded one 100-yard game and scored three TDs.

As great as the 2017 Jags defense was, the 2020 Rams may be even better. Especially against the pass, where they rank top five in passing yards allowed per game, passer rating allowed, sacks and yards per completion, as well as top 10 in completion rate allowed and interceptions.

SLEEPER OF THE WEEK

Dallas Goedert, TE, Philadelphia Eagles

I know the Philly offense is atrocious all around, but the South Dakota State product is back like he never left. Back from an ankle fracture earlier in the season, Goedert is back putting up TE1 numbers.

Not only has the third-year TE scored in each of the last two games, he's averaged six receptions and 76 yards per game. Carson Wentz may seem off his rocker this season, but he knows to find No. 88 when he's in the lineup.

Goedert has drawn six or more targets in the last three games, adding to his 2020 total of five outings with that target share in seven games played.

Green Bay has done a bang up job against TEs this year, though, ranking in the top 10 in terms of receptions, yards and TDs allowed per game to the position, as well as only 5.6 fantasy points per game — seventh-least in the NFL.

But my theory here is that the Eagles need Goedert to have a day. With a receiving core mixed with Travis Fulgham, Alshon Jeffrey and Jalen Reagor, Wentz will be much more inclined to throw to Goedert, as the Packers secondary features Jaire Alexander, Darnell Savage, Adrian Amos and Kevin King.

Mix in the possibility of trailing Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay offense, Wentz will need Goedert to shine.

BILLS' OUTLOOK

at San Francisco

Even as weird as Sunday's affair was, the Bills got to 8-3 by running the ball, which I figured would be crucial to a win. They ran for the second-highest team total of the season (172 yards) and held the Los Angeles Chargers under 100 yards rushing (76). Buffalo is now 5-0 this season when the team cracks the 100-yard mark on the ground.

The offensive line had some ups and downs with three sacks allowed, but the Bills got strong play from Devin Singletary (102 scrimmage yards, 7.3 yards per touch) and Zack Moss (68 yards from scrimmage, 6.8 yards per touch). Even on Josh Allen's most average of days (18 of 24, 157 passing yards, 32 rushing yards, 2 total TDs, 2 turnovers), he was able to dink and dunk to keep the Bills offense effective enough.

Posting a 44% third-down percentage and scoring two touchdowns in three red zone trips, Allen and the Bills were able to bear through a sloppy day that saw nine penalties for 85 yards and three turnovers in a span of seven plays. And although it wasn't No. 17's best, Allen recorded a touchdown rush and pass for the fifth time this season — trailing only Kyler Murray in such games this year.

The Buffalo passing game wasn't spectacular, with only Gabriel Davis showing out (3 receptions, 79 yards, 1 TD, 26.3 yards per reception) with his third outing with over 70 yards this season. Stefon Diggs had a so-so day (7 receptions, 39 yards), far from the pace he's put together this season.

The Bills defense flexed its muscles, for the most part locking down offensive rookie of the year front-runner Justin Herbert (31 of 52, 316 passing yards, 1 TD, 1 INT), holding him to a season-worst passer rating (75.5), tying for his season high in taking three sacks, and forcing his second-worst yards per attempt mark (6.1) and fourth-worst QBR (46.5) this year.

Also, this was only the third time all year Buffalo held a team under 20 points (17).

Tre'Davious White was able to contribute well (8 tackles, 2 pass deflections, 1 INT), but this will be remembered as the A.J. Klein game (14 total tackles, 10 solo tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, 2 QB hits, 1 pass deflections). And although Austin Ekeler (129 yards from scrimmage, 11 receptions), Hunter Henry (6 receptions, 67 yards), Tyron Johnson (2 receptions, 63 yards) and Keenan Allen (4 receptions, 40 yards, 1 TD) got theirs, it was all to no avail.

Looking ahead to the Niners game — In Arizona. 2020 right? — the matchup of Brian Daboll's offense against the Robert Saleh's defense should be great Monday night. The effects of John Brown's absence could continue to hurt the Bills, especially with Richard Sherman rejoining a unit that is still top 10 in passing yards allowed per game and passer rating allowed, as well as just ranking outside the top 10 scoring defenses.

San Fran locked down Jared Goff last weekend, picking him off twice with no TD passes and forcing his season-low in passer rating and second-worst QBR of 2020.

But I also think Kyle Shanahan's offense against Sean McDermott's defense is must-see TV, too. Even with Nick Mullens under center, San Fran's offense remains one of the most creative in the NFL and the unit could see the return of Brandon Aiyuk.

As always, it's more about the sum of the running game over its parts with Shanahan, as San Fran's top back Raheem Mostert returned in Week 12 after a stint on the IR. Although he scored and was solid in the performance, Jeff Wilson Jr. and Jerrick McKinnon being active means anybody in this three-headed monster can snap at any moment.

A huge boost should be coming the Bills way, though, as Matt Milano is eligible to return at linebacker.

With All-Pro George Kittle on the shelf, the name to watch will be Deebo Samuel, who set a career high with 11 receptions against LA for a season-best 133 yards. The Buffalo secondary will need to play well in order to hold off the defending NFC champs.

Respond to sports reporter Khari Demos on Twitter @riri_demos or at khari.demos@gnnewspaper.com. Also, be sure to listen to the GNN Sports Podcast, on Spotify, Anchor, Apple Podcasts and more.

Trending Video

Recommended for you