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Week 13 Fantasy Insights

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - When the first 14 games of Week 13 produced just four 300-yard passers, and two of their names were Christian Ponder and Dan Orlovsky, you knew it was going to be a low-scoring week. Try to amass a decent point total, win the week, get into the playoffs and anything can happen.


Philadelphia at Seattle

Vince Young is NOT an NFL starting quarterback. His game against New England was an aberration and wherever he ends up in 2012, don't be blinded by the glare of one or two great fantasy totals.

I hope the reason LeSean McCoy got only 17 rushing attempts was because of his foot problem - not play calling. Your best player simply has to get the ball more often, particularly with the absence of Jeremy Maclin and the contract- driven funk of DeSean Jackson.

Marshawn Lynch rivals the Vikings' Adrian Peterson for second-effort plays. You gotta love a guy who doesn't quit on a play and gets the absolute most out of it. There are a lot of other backs who should take notice.


Tennessee at Buffalo

Chris Johnson's 48-yard touchdown run and 153 yards rushing on top of last week's 190-yard performance couldn't come at a better time for fantasy owners as the playoffs begin next week. That assumes, of course, that you didn't get frustrated and sent him packing in a deal earlier this season.

This is the first game that C.J. Spiller (14-83-1) has shown the talent he displayed coming out of Clemson. Of course, Fred Jackson's performance had kept Spiller on the bench for most of the games.

Steve Johnson still doesn't have a 100-yard receiving day this season

Kansas City at Chicago

With Matt Forte on the sidelines with a right knee injury courtesy of a big Derrick Johnson hit, the Bears had zero offensive players worthy of a fantasy start. Marion Barber does not have it in him to produce at a high level anymore.

It only took one more quarter of ineptitude to get Kyle Orton into the game. He started the second quarter for Kansas City. He lasted just one play before injuring his throwing hand on a helmet.

This was truly an ugly game for fantasy owners to watch.

Atlanta at Houston

Who would have thought that the Texans would come out throwing? J.T. Yates was 10-for-18 for 154 yards and a short touchdown pass in the first half. he didn't throw much in the second half as the Texans ran the ball 44 times. Yates doesn't have fantasy value.

Meanwhile, Matt Ryan couldn't find the rhythm, throwing two first half interceptions and failing to get the Falcons into the endzone. He's struggling on the road and you should keep that in mind with two of the next three away from the Georgia Dome.

An injured Andre Johnson sitting on the sidelines is getting to be a bad habit - it was the hamstring again. Knowing how long the first one lasted, he likely won't be back for any of the fantasy playoffs.

Oakland at Miami

It was Michael Bush carrying 10 times for 18 yards and being badly beaten by Reggie Bush. I'll bet no one could have predicted that. Reggie made his fantasy owners sweat, however, rushing for 101 yards, then losing seven on two carries before running for six yards and no gain to finish with exactly 100 yards.

Did you know that Anthony Fasano leads all Dolphins starters in yards-per- catch (15.3). He's become a low-end fantasy tight end.

Denver at Minnesota

Another typical Tebow half - 29 yards passing. He'll be the death of Broncos receivers yet.

Then in the second half...a Christmas miracle. Two Tebow touchdown passes to oft-injured Demaryius Thomas, 173 yards passing and another win.

An impressive game for Vikings rookie quarterback Christian Ponder (29-for-47 for 381 yards and three touchdowns ended with a horrible game-losing interception.

Percy Harvin got over whatever illness was causing him to miss practice and he turned in a superlative performance (8-156-2) and 19 yards rushing.

Indianapolis at New England

I don't know what the Patriots were doing letting the Colts hang around in the first half. But they closed out the second quarter with two touchdowns and quickly scored in the first drive of the third quarter to end the suspense. Three fourth quarter touchdowns and a lot of passing yards from Orlovsky made the final score a lot closer than it actually was.

Rob Gronkowski continues to pressure Jimmy Graham for the top fantasy tight end. Three more touchdowns this week.

The bad news is that Brady threw for zero yards in the fourth quarter after throwing for 289 in the first three. Fantasy owners were probably already counting on his bonus as the final stanza started.

Wes Welker with another 11 targets, 11 receptions for 114 yards...boring.

Cincinnati at Pittsburgh

Early in the week, the Steelers had said they would emphasize the run game and Rashard Mendenhall made it all work with two first-half touchdowns.

Those who sat their Steelers receivers upon hearing that comment and knowing Ben Roethlisberger's injury situation may have avoided a bad game. Wallace had 38 yards, but did post two touchdowns and Antonio Brown, Hines Ward and Heath Miller were all below average.

A.J. Green continues to post double-digit points each week and might have cracked the 100-yard mark had the game not been out of reach and their starting quarterback hurt.

Carolina at Tampa Bay

Newton broke the record for single season rushing touchdown mark by a quarterback (13) by scoring three times on the ground, but he takes away from the Panthers running back tandem of DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart.

Stewart got some rare first and second-down action and responded with a solid game (14-80-1)

The Panthers' Steve Smith continues to get looks, but not receptions or yards. You got to consider sitting him.

Conor Barth's leg was tired from a busy first half, posting four field goals - all from 44 yards or more.

Josh Johnson was respectable from a fantasy standpoint in his substitute role with 229 yards, one touchdown pass and one interception.

New York Jets at Washington

Thank you Mike Shanahan for finally keeping your word and playing Roy Helu (23-100-1) as you stated earlier in the week. That's not always the case with this head coach.

Shonn Greene's three touchdowns runs make up for the fact that he never runs for the 100-yard bonus...at least for this week.

Baltimore at Cleveland

The Ravens didn't need much offense to beat the Browns and played a conservative first half. Ray Rice led them with 107 yards and a touchdown at half-time. Rice kept going and cracked the 200-yard mark with four minutes left to play.

Peyton Hillis scratched out 97 yards from scrimmage and was the best of a mediocre Browns offense.

Dallas at Arizona

Surprising half-time note - the two leading rushers were Felix Jones and LaRod Stephens-Howling, not DeMarco Murray and Beanie Wells. Kevin Kolb's stats; 7- for-11 for 44 yards. Murray finished with 38 yards and Wells slightly better with 67 yards and a score.

Tony Romo finished one yard short of the 300-yard passing bonus.

Green Bay at New York Giants

Ahmad Bradshaw's return and Brandon Jacobs helped the Giants have a more balanced offense.

What's Travis Beckum doing catching a touchdowns pass?

Aaron Rodgers struggled all day with accuracy and drops...and still threw four touchdown passes. He also led the team in rushing.

St. Louis at San Francisco

If you had David Akers as your kicker, you enjoyed this game - if not it was a snooze-fest. For the Rams, Steven Jackson and Brandon Lloyd totaled nine yards from scrimmage at half-time and just 64 yards for the game.

Another under-achieving game for Frank Gore against the worst defense in the league (21-73-0).

The 49ers have yet to yield a rushing touchdown this season.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.

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