Week 13 was defined by eye-opening performances from backup quarterbacks and running backs. We even saw a winless team get their first victory.
Today, however, we will be discussing some long-awaited fantastic performances from some fantasy stars.
Here are my takeaways from Week 13.
It's very unfair that Tom Brady gets to have a plethora of offensive weapons at his disposal. What’s even more incredible is that any one of them has a chance to be Brady’s “favorite” target any given Sunday.
Apparently, this past Sunday was Chris Godwin’s turn to shine.
Chris Godwin had 15 receptions today, the most from any wide receiver (at least in the regular season) since Keenan Allen's 16-reception game in Week 11 last season.
— JJ Zachariason (@LateRoundQB) December 6, 2021
Godwin was an absolute ball hog, catching a career-high 15 receptions on 17 targets for a season-high 143 yards. Fifteen receptions! I had to repeat myself for dramatic effect; I’m still in shock. He didn’t even need to score a touchdown to finish as the WR3 on the week.
This was just another example of Godwin’s consistency this season.
He has finished in the top 12 four times and in the top 24 six times this year. He is also still the WR9 in points per game and averaging a 21 percent target share. Not to mention he is now fifth in receptions, second in red-zone targets, and seventh in receiving yards. Antonio Brown being injured and suspended should continue to benefit Godwin in the target department.
In short, he is a high-end WR2 with WR1 upside. You’re going to slot him into your lineup regardless of matchups and reap the benefits going into the playoffs.
Welcome back, King!
It feels like an eternity since we last saw Kyler Murray take the field after he missed three games due to an ankle injury. From Week 1-7, Murray was balling out as he was QB4 in points per game with a total of 20 touchdowns during that span. Thankfully, his return was worth the wait — Murray did not disappoint.
Kyler Murray vs Bears:
🔺182 TOTAL YDS
🔺4 TOTAL TDs
🔺22.3 Fantasy points
WELCOME BACK🙌 pic.twitter.com/5InA0dFWoq
— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) December 5, 2021
It looks like he is all healed up, throwing two passing touchdowns and rushing for two touchdowns, finishing as the QB1. This was the first game of his career where he has had two passing and two rushing touchdowns. It was also the first game where Murray had multiple rushing touchdowns since Week 10 of 2020. Even though he threw for a season-low 123 yards, he didn’t have to do much since the Cardinals had the game well in hand in their 33-22 victory against the Bears.
It’s almost like Murray has to handicap himself to level the playing field.
Despite missing three games, he is second in rushing touchdowns (5), 11th in passing touchdowns (19), and 10th in rushing yards (205) among quarterbacks. Murray is an absolute cheat code, and it wouldn’t be surprising if he were the QB1 from this point till the end of the season.
It’s good to have you back Kyler — just try and stay healthy, and don’t leave us again.
Kittle Me This
We all know that George Kittle is one of the best tight ends in the NFL. However, his numbers going into this game weren’t necessarily “George Kittle” like. Entering Week 13, he was 10th in receiving yards and 16th in targets among tight ends, per PlayerProfiler. Now, these rankings aren't horrible, but they certainly are disappointing based on the expectations fantasy managers have for Kittle. He has battled through injuries this season, which has certainly played a factor in his production.
However, he made sure to remind us all of how much of a force he can be when healthy — and utilized.
Despite the loss to the Seahawks, Kittle absolutely embarrassed the Seattle secondary, catching 9 receptions on 12 targets for a season-high 181 yards and 2 touchdowns, finishing as the TE1. It also seemed like there were no other receivers on the field as Kittle saw a ridiculous 40% target share. With Deebo Samuel out, Kittle clearly called dibs on all of Samuel’s targets. Two other surprising takeaways from this game were that he had his highest yardage total since Week 3 of 2020 and the first multi-touchdown game of his career. It was great to see Kittle look like the unstoppable force we all know and love.
It’s unclear how Kittle’s role will be impacted with Samuel back in the lineup, but Kittle should continue to produce TE1 numbers for the rest of the season.
Tee for 1s
We are actually going to discuss a Bengals’ wide receiver not named Ja’Marr Chase.
Tee Higgins is an example of a receiver that entered the season with high expectations but has had underwhelming production most of the season. Prior to Week 13, Higgins was ranked 27th in points per game, 35th in targets, and 34th in receiving yards. He had been more of a WR3 than a WR2, only having three weeks this year finishing inside the top-24. That’s not a recipe for fantasy success.
Recently, however, Higgins decided that Chase wasn’t the only Bengals’ receiver who could turn heads.
— NFL (@NFL) December 5, 2021
Higgins destroyed the Chargers’ secondary in the Sunday loss, catching 9 of 14 targets for a career-high 138 yards and a touchdown and finishing as the WR4. Over the last two weeks, Higgins is Cincinnati’s WR1, averaging 8 receptions, 11 targets, and 126 yards. He has also scored in back-to-back weeks after not scoring since Week 2. For reference, Chase is outside the top 36 receivers in points per game over the past two weeks.
Higgins has had quite an impressive comeback as of late, but now we have to ask ourselves: Can we trust him again?
Based on his recent production, he should be considered a mid-range WR2 with WR1 upside. He needs to show more consistency before he becomes a locked-in starting option every week. It's also possible Chase will get back on track, which may cut into Higgins’ numbers.
Nevertheless, Higgins’ production is coming at the right time as fantasy playoffs are just around the corner. Let’s hope Joe Burrow feels the same way as us fantasy managers and continues to feed him down the stretch.