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Let’s Talk About Flex – Week 13

With the fantasy playoffs closing in, Evan Brown (@FFEvanlution) has battled through the Bye-pocalypse schedule to bring you some flex gems!

Hopefully, you all were stuffed with turkey and surrounded by loved ones in Week 12. I do get the feeling that the fantasy gods don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, however, as they were particularly harsh in their interactions with us mere mortals last weekend. It was not a great week for the flex article, but looking at the laundry list of fantasy “studs” who had an absolute “dud” of a week makes me feel better. D’Andre Swift, Austin Ekeler, and Brian Robinson Jr. all finished with less than 10 PPR points. I won’t even start on the wide receivers!

Let’s have an official look back at last week’s picks before we jump into Week 13.

Week 12 Hits

Devin Singletary, RB HOU

As I had assumed, even with the return of Dameon Pierce, Singletary was still involved enough to be worth playing in a PPR format. With only 6 rush attempts for 18 yards, Devin made his fantasy day through the air. He snagged 6 receptions on 7 targets for 54 yards. A 13.2 fantasy point outing isn’t anything to write home about, but considering the stinkers many managers had to deal with last week, I will take it. Unfortunately, Singletary feels like a risky flex option at best going forward with the return of Dameon Pierce. On the plus side, at least Singletary is getting targets!

Zay Flowers, WR BAL

If you dared to slot Zay Flowers into your starting lineup last week, you were handsomely rewarded! Flowers managed to score twice, once through the air and once rushing. Zay ended up as WR6 on the week! It was a tale of efficiency over volume, as he only recorded 25 receiving yards and a single rush attempt! Flowers was banged up through the week but managed to put in a great performance for the Ravens when it mattered against the Los Angeles Chargers. Since Baltimore is on bye this week, we should see a fully fit Zay Flowers ready for action in Week 14.

Demario Douglas, WR NE

(Photo Courtesy of Peter Joneleit/Icon Sportswire)

This one wasn’t pretty, but it just about got the job done. Douglas is the sole bright spark in a dismal New England Patriots attack that seems to have completely lost its way. Demario hauled in 6 receptions on 9 targets for 49 yards and no touchdown against the New York Giants. Douglas did have to leave the game with a head injury, and you will need to keep an eye on practice reports to see if he clears concussion protocol in time for a Week 13 matchup with the Chargers.

Week 12 Misses

Zach Charbonnet, RB SEA

It is a game of fine margins, and Zach Charbonnet JUST missed out on being in the “hits” section of this week’s article by 0.2 fantasy points! BRUTAL! As predicted, Kenneth Walker missed the matchup against the 49ers, and Charbonnet got most of the rushing work. Sadly, there just wasn’t much running to be had against the behemoth that is the 49ers defense. Rushing 14 times for 47 yards and adding 4 receptions for 11 yards only gets you 9.8 fantasy points, which just isn’t good enough! Keep an eye on Seahawks reports this week to see if Walker is cleared to play the Cowboys in Week 13. Unfortunately, it is another tough matchup, but Zach is still worth a start if he is the lone back.

Brian Robinson Jr., RB WAS

(Photo Courtesy of Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire)

I knew this would be a tough matchup, but I thought the targets would be there to alleviate the lack of rushing upside. I was wrong. Robinson managed 53 rushing yards on 15 attempts against the Dallas Cowboys run defense, which honestly, isn’t that bad. Sadly, he only had 2 receptions on 3 targets to go with that. A sub-optimal 8.4 fantasy points later, and we are on to Week 13 and another fairly difficult matchup against the Miami Dolphins.

Romeo Doubs, WR GB

Doubs continues to be an anomaly for fantasy managers, much like Gabe Davis. It feels like when you put him in your starting lineup, you are disappointed, and then when you bench him, he explodes for 15-20 point weeks. Sadly, it was the latter this week. Doubs finished third in the pecking order of Green Bay Packers receivers in their surprise victory over the Detroit Lions—only 3 receptions on 4 targets for 37 yards and no touchdown. In general, the lack of consistency from Jordan Love and the Packers makes Doubs a risky flex play each week.

Recap

After the smoke settled, it was a dead heat in week 12. A ratio of 35 hits and 30 misses leaves us on a 54% hit rate as things stand for the season. I keep thinking things can’t get crazier, and 2023 keeps saying, hold my beer! This week, we have The Bye-pocalypse to deal with on top of everything else, as six teams have decided to take the week off! Buckle up, friends; it’s about to get crazy!

As a reminder, I am using the FantasyPros Expert Consensus Ranking (ECR) as my guidelines each week. I will be picking wide receivers and running backs outside their top 24 to discuss. I will give a couple I like and maybe one or two I don’t and brief reasons. Hopefully, these studs give you more than 10 PPR points and will all end up in next week’s “hits” section!

Week 13

Josh Downs, WR IND (WR26) ⬆️

(Photo Courtesy of Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire)

Downs looked much better after the bye-week and is trending in a positive direction after Week 12. He tied Michael Pittman Jr. with 13 targets but sadly only managed to haul in 5 receptions. Still, when thinking about a flex play, it is nice to chase some volume. The Tennessee Titans have been middle-of-the-road against fantasy wide receivers over the last six weeks, so the matchup does nothing to dissuade me from wanting to start Josh Downs this weekend.

Drake London, WR ATL (WR36) ⬇️

I am a big Drake London fan in dynasty, just not in Week 13 of the 2023 NFL season. As rough as the New York Jets offense has been, their defense has been immense! Over the last six weeks, the Jets’ defense has been top 5 for total yards, receptions, and fantasy points to wide receivers. They have only allowed two passing touchdowns all season, for goodness sake! It is truly a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde scenario if ever there was one!

I don’t trust Arthur Smith or Desmond Ridder enough to think that the odds are in favor of Drake having a blowup game this weekend. If he blows up on my bench, I can live with that in Week 13.

Rashee Rice, WR KC (WR29) ⬆️

(Photo Courtesy of William Purnell/Icon Sportswire)

Rice is a bit of a risky play, but if you are looking for some “swinging for the fences” upside in Week 13, I have your man! Rice has been slowly acclimating to the NFL all season and finally had his coming out party in Week 12. Playing 67% of snaps and being targeted ten times is enough to get me hot and bothered in an Andy Reid-coached, Patrick Mahomes-led Kansas City Chiefs attack.

The Green Bay Packers will offer a fairly staunch test for the budding wide receiver. Jaire Alexander is no slouch at defensive back, and the Packers have been borderline top-10 in some categories against fantasy wide receivers since Week 6.

On the flip side, Patrick Mahomes is still one of the best, if not the best, quarterback in the NFL. Mahomes has a 138 passer rating when targeting Rice this season, which is second-best among quarterback-wide receiver duos (with a minimum of 50 targets) per Next Gen Stats. It is a risk, but the upside is there! Plus, if it pays off, you can always taunt your opponent with a little “Rice, Rice Baby” chant!

George Pickens, WR PIT (WR32) ⬆️

I am so thankful Matt Canada is finally gone! In the first Canada-less game for the Steelers in what feels like a hundred years, their offense certainly seemed more potent than in previous weeks. Pickens did not light the world on fire, but he did put up a respectable 5 receptions on 8 targets. This week, the Steelers matchup is against the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals have been, at best, middle-of-the-pack lately, and in many categories, they have been bottom third against fantasy wide receivers. I am hoping for a solid outing for the new-look Steelers, and Pickens always carries that big-play upside.

Samaje Perine, RB DEN (RB34) ⬇️

It was unexpected that Perine jumped ahead of Jaleel McLaughlin last week. I still would not trust him in my starting lineup. The Houston Texans are a difficult matchup on the ground. Their offense has been moving the ball easily, as well. The ground game could be less than desired for fantasy managers of Perine. Javonte Williams also seems to be in fine health after an injury scare later on against the Cleveland Browns. I don’t think the volume or the consistency is there to put Perine in your lineup unless you are desperate.

Conclusion

The Week 13 lucky numbers are in! I hope you make the right start-sit decisions, and I hope you survive the Bye-pocalypse unscathed!

If you want to chat fantasy football, you can always find me on X / Twitter @FFEvanlution. You can also check out my year-round dynasty fantasy football podcast (@DynastyDebates) on all major podcast listening platforms!

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