Silvia’s Week 13 Fantasy Frenzy


Jeffrey Beall [CC BY 4.0 (], from Wikimedia Commons

Melvin Gordon suffered a MCL sprain in the Chargers’ blowout win over the Cardinals

Alexander W. Silvia, News Editor


Well, here we are. It’s the last week of the fantasy football regular season. Week 13 officially marks crunch time. Some teams are in must-win situations to force themselves into the playoff bracket while others have secured their ticket to the big dance. If you fell short of the playoffs this year, the season isn’t over. Continue to field the best roster possible and play spoiler to other teams and shake things up heading into the playoffs. Continued engagement after you are eliminated can help you come draft day next season. Paying attention to how things play out can better educate you on how players will be involved or not involved next year. The end of the season is where players can break out and make a name for themselves which will be remembered next year. The education never stops.

With that said, Week 12 had some major fantasy implications that will affect a lot of teams as we come down to the wire. If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a hundred times. For the past four weeks, I have been advising fantasy players to handcuff their stud running backs. This is a precautionary measure just in case a running back with a huge workload were to get hurt. And it happened. Melvin Gordon running back for the Los Angeles Chargers suffered an MCL sprain last week in the team’s blowout win over the Arizona Cardinals. Gordon narrowly avoided a season-ending injury but is now considered week-to-week, thus, most likely taking him out of fantasy lineups for at least two to four weeks. That’s a huge development. Gordon is a top-five fantasy back and has carried teams to a playoff berth. Now, owners will have to be without a key member of their team for a must-win situation in Week 13, and quite possibly the start of the playoffs in Week 14. This is why I constantly remind people to handcuff their running backs. Anything can happen, you have to be prepared for the worst. This is a catastrophic blow at the worst possible time. Hopefully, you stashed the next man up in Austin Eckler in the off chance that something like this would happen. It happened to me, I own Melvin Gordon in my most important league. But what kind of fantasy guru would I be if I didn’t practice what I preach. I grabbed Eckler two weeks ago and all I can do now is hope and pray that he produces enough to get me through until Gordon comes back.

There’s more running back trouble where that came from. Jacksonville Jaguars lead running back Leonard Fournette was involved in a sideline brawl with the Buffalo Bills’ Shaq Lawson this past week and has been suspended one game for throwing a punch. This was just a bonehead move. Fournette wasn’t even on the field. He ran over from his own sideline to involve himself in a scuffle near the end zone where things quickly got ugly. Both Lawson and Fournette were ejected from the game in the third quarter and had to be restrained from going after each other once again as they were escorted into the tunnel. Fournette is gone for Week 13 and this is yet another catastrophic blow for those teams who are fighting for a playoff spot this week.

Yes, this stuff is tough. You’ve worked all year to create the best possible lineup just to receive a blow like this, two weeks before the playoffs start. But this is football. And this is where fantasy football gets really interesting. Things rarely work out exactly how you plan and there’s going to be the occasional wrench thrown in your lineup. But this is what makes fantasy football so fun. You can’t dwell on a situation; fantasy owners have to react and move on and put themselves in the best possible situation to scrape out a win. There are so many different kinds of unpredictable scenarios and it’s how teams react that makes the difference.

The bye weeks are over. From Week 13 on, it’s each team’s best facing off against each other in their pursuit of the fantasy crown.

Waiver Wire

At this point in the season, the waiver wire is pretty scarce, but we must go back to the well once again as there are a few players who have been trending upward and may be a key piece in your championship lineups.

David Moore, rookie wide receiver for the Seattle Seahawks, has stepped up in a big way this year. The Seahawks number one receiver Doug Baldwin has been battling lower-body injuries all season and has not been the same player. Quarterback Russell Wilson has had to rely on other pass-catchers and recently it’s been David Moore. Early on in the season the group of Seattle wide receivers weren’t heavily talked about because they relied so much on the run game. But as of late, Wilson seems to have developed a rapport with Moore and has been targeting him frequently. In the last two games, Moore has been thrown to 13 times, turning that into eight receptions for 160 yards and a touchdown. Like I’ve said in the past these rookie wide receivers seem to come on during the second half of the season and this is another example of that. Moore’s usage is trending in the right direction and seeing as though he is owned in only 11 percent of Yahoo leagues, he is a must add heading into the stretch run. Not to mention for those in a do or die scenario this week, Moore and the Seahawks have a juicy matchup against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 13.

The Detroit Lions have struggled all year. Things are beginning to really thin out at the wide receiver position after Marvin Jones was placed on the injured-reserve this past week. The Lions traded Golden Tate to the Philadelphia Eagles and have now lost another piece in Marvin Jones. Whose left? Bruce Ellington. Ellington has stepped up with 12 catches on 16 targets in two games as a Lion, making him a great PPR option if desperate. Facing off against the Los Angeles Rams in Week 13, Ellington should be a solid play as game-script suggests the Lions will be down and looking to pass in an attempt to come back. Owned in just two percent of Yahoo leagues, Ellington is a dart-throw option.


The decisions you make going forward are different from the decisions you’ve made all year long. It’s time to get rid of the dead weight. Get rid of guys that aren’t going to help your team anymore. It’s smarter to handcuff a running back than stash a receiver that you aren’t going to put in your starting lineup. Defense and kickers as unfortunate as it is could prove to be the difference in the playoffs so teams need to scour the waiver wire for the best possible matchups. If that means rostering two defenses or two kickers in order to keep them away from your opponent, so be it. It’s all about strategy. Put yourself in the best possible spot to succeed and remember to have fun.

It’s been a great season and I hope that I’ve been able to provide some insight this year. For the last time, best of luck and may the fantasy gods be ever in your favor.