The Bengals moved to 8-3-1 on the season with a 14-13 win over the Buccaneers in Week 13. A.J. Green shined as he always does, wrangling in 4-of-8 targets for 57 yards and a touchdown. Andy Dalton managed 176 yards and 2 TDs (1 passing, 1 rushing) and RBs Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill combined for 89 rushing yards (Bernard – 49, Hill – 40). The defense showed up and allowed just 13 points to the Bucs, while also contributing a sack and an interception for fantasy owners.
Looking around the NFL, Titans WR Justin Hunter suffered a lacerated spleen against the Texans, and was still in the hospital as of Monday night. Given the injury, it is pretty safe to go ahead and cut him in fantasy leagues as the normal recovery time for this type of injury is 3-4 weeks for light activity, and could take months to fully heal. Browns WR Miles Austin suffered a kidney injury and was also still in the hospital as of Monday night, but he shouldn't be owned in most fantasy leagues.
Lastly, with the fantasy playoffs kicking off for some in Week 14, you need to make sure you look at your waiver wire to see if there are any improvements that can be made to your roster. Some players I would look at adding are WRs Kenny Stills and Donte Moncrief, and RB Dan Herron. You could take a shot and add Andre Williams in case Rashad Jennings can't play, but the Giants don't seem to think his ankle injury is serious.
Ryan Fitzpatrick – Texans: Fitzpatrick got off in Week 13 as he put up 358 yards passing and 6 touchdowns on the board against the Titans woefully bad defense. Fitzpatrick's previous career high for touchdowns was 4, and #6 set a Texans franchise record. This is obviously not going to be the norm for a QB like Fitzy, but he has proved he can be a QB streamer in the right match-up.
Colt McCoy – Redskins: In his first game as the starter after the benching of Robert Griffin III, McCoy got off to a rocky start but settled down and finished with an impressive 392 passing yards and 3 TDs. He did fumble the ball four times, losing one, so that is a bit concerning. But I doubt the Redskins bench him in favor of RGIII this season, so his job is fairly safe for QB needy fantasy teams.
Tre Mason – Rams: It looks like those predictions of fantasy gold for Mason were four weeks early, but I'm positive that won't let it stop those websites from boasting about being right on him. Mason got off early with TDs from 35 and 89 yards out, and finished the day with 164 total yards and 3 TDs. Mason has solidified himself as the Rams feature back, but with the Cardinals and Giants up in Weeks 15 & 16, his fantasy playoff schedule is not very appealing.
C.J. Anderson – Broncos: Anderson has been just what the doctor ordered for a Broncos team that has been riddled with injuries to their RBs this season. Anderson finished Week 13 with 32 carries for 168 yards (5.3 YPC), and added 2 catches for 17 yards and a touchdown. Over the last two weeks he is averaging 33 touches and 190 total yards, with a touchdown in each contest. Peyton Manning takes the heat of the running game, which will keep Anderson locked and loaded as a must-start RB1 in the fantasy playoffs.
Donte Moncrief – Colts: Everyone knows about T.Y. Hilton and Andrew Luck, but Donte Moncrief is making a name for himself in Indianapolis as Luck's new WR to own. The rookie is taking over Hakeem Nicks at WR, outsnapping and outplaying the veteran in each of the past two weeks. This week Moncrief hauled in 3 of his 4 targets for 134 yards and 2 TDs, while Nicks failed to register a single target. Moncrief is someone to target this week off the waiver wire (1.0 percent owned on NFL.com) if you need help at WR.
Kenny Stills – Saints: Stills is the new must-own Saints WR with Brandin Cooks on injured reserve. With Jimmy Graham getting shutdown (you'll see him down below), Stills reeled in 5 of 6 targets for 162 yards and a touchdown against the Steelers in Week 13. With the Panthers disappointing defense up next for the Saints, Stills is a WR2 with upside into the WR1 range if the defensive gameplan is to stop Graham. Stills is dirt cheap in daily leagues and owned in just 10.0 percent of NFL.com leagues, so go grab him!
Coby Fleener – Colts: Fleener is one of those TEs you love to hate because he sees the targets (63), but his 56.0 catch percentage is the 2nd lowest (Jared Cook is at 52.0 percent) for the top 20 targeted TEs in the NFL. This week Fleener finished with WR-like stats of 127 receiving yards and 2 TDs. The downside to that is it could have been higher if his hands were better as he dropped a pass that would probably have been another touchdown. Fleener is a risky TE play with his questionable hands, so play him at your own risk going forward.
St. Louis Rams defense: There is a good strategy when it comes to defensive streaming in fantasy football: play whatever defense plays the Raiders. That worked for people who picked up the Rams this week as they held the Raiders scoreless while adding 6 sacks, 3 INTs, 2 recovered fumbles, and a defensive touchdown on a 43-yard pick-six. Next week the Rams get the Redskins, so consider them a low-end starting fantasy defense.
Colin Kaepernick – 49ers: It was not a happy Thanksgiving for Kaepernick and the 46ers as he felt the full wrath of Richard Sherman and the Seahawks blanketing defense. Kaepernick finished with 121 yards passing, 0 TDs, and 2 INTs, which is really a little misleading if you consider that he actually only had 90 yards passing before getting an additional 31 yards on a pointless final drive. Kaepernick has been horrible since Week 6, throwing just 1 touchdown in each game and accounting for 7 turnovers in that span (4 INTs and 3 lost fumbles). I would consider him a QB2 against the Raiders next week, and not one I would be excited to get behind given his last six games.
Tony Romo – Cowboys: Speaking of unhappy Thanksgivings, Tony Romo looked like he was giving Kaepernick a QB class on Thursday as he completed just 18-of-29 passes for 199 yards, 0 TDs, and 2 INTs. As if losing to the Eagles on Thanksgiving wasn't bad enough, you have to remember that the same Eagles defense gave up a robust 345 yards to rookie Zach Mettenberger in Week 12! There is some concern with Romo's back, but word is he is in no danger of missing Week 14 against a Bears bottom scrapping secondary.
Jonas Gray – Patriots: I remember when everyone on the internet was screaming for people to go pick up Jonas Gray following his 201 yards and 4 touchdowns back in Week 11. Well, almost everyone because I know I told you it was a fugazi (fake). Not many people listened as his ownership on NFL.com soared from virtually unowned to 43.3 percent as of Week 13. He did manage to gain 4 yards on one carry, thanks to his not so impressive two total snaps this week. Gray played as the Patriots' No. 4 back, running behind LeGarrette Blount, Brandon Bolden and Shane Vereen, meaning you can safely drop him in any and all formats at this point.
Andre Ellington – Cardinals: Ellington left Sunday's game in the 2nd quarter after taking a knee to the hip, leaving him with just 12 yards on 5 carries in Week 13. Reports are that Ellington suffered a hip pointer and he could be back on the field when the Cardinals take on the Chiefs in Week 14. He is likely to be a game-time decision, so make sure you have other plans at RB if you own Ellington.
Steve Smith – Ravens: I remember back when Steve Smith was the fantasy football sleeper of the year, until he hit a brick wall in Week 7 and was never the same again. This week the Ravens WR finished with just 1 catch for 2 yards as Brandon Flowers completely shut him down. With the Dolphins playing the Ravens next week, you can expect him to see plenty of Brent Grimes, making him a player you will want firmly planted on your bench once again.
Sammy Watkins – Bills: Watkins had hands of steel this week as he managed to catch just 3-of-9 targets for 11 yards thanks to Browns CB Joe Hayden. The Bills are now saying Watkins suffered a hip injury despite playing all 66 of the Bills offensive snaps in Week 13, which is a little confusing. I'd bet Watkins plays against the Broncos in Week 14, so there is little need to worry about his status for next week.
Jimmy Graham – Saints: As I alluded to earlier, Graham disappointed fantasy owners around the world as he didn't receive a single target in Week 13 against the Steelers. He gave a lot of credit to the Steelers defense,specifically Troy Polamalu and Will Allen, but 0 targets is deplorable at best. You can expect Drew Brees to target him early and often in Week 14 against the Panthers.
Carolina Panthers defense: When you look at a defense that is owned in 65.1 percent of NFL.com leagues (12th most owned), you'd expect to see them as a top 15 defense right? Well, that is not what is happening with the Panthers as their 28th ranked fantasy defense gave up an unacceptable 31 points to the Vikings no-name offense in Week 13. I have no idea why people still own the Panthers defense at this point in the season, unless they are banking on them having their best game of the season against the Bucs in Week 15. Cut them loose and go pick up someone else, please!