Five fantasy stars of Week 13

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith, left, throws during the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Jets, Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (Julie Jacobson/AP)

The end of Week 13 marks the end of the fantasy football regular season. I would like to congratulate everyone who made it to the playoffs, and for those who just missed out, good luck next year. As far as top performances go, there were some big names, one huge surprise, and one very familiar face. Let’s take a look at who shined in Week 13.

Quarterback Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs: 37 points standard, 37.6 points PPR

Smith had a huge game against the New York Jets, throwing for 366 yards and four touchdowns. He also took to the ground only once throughout the whole game, but made the most of it and ran for 70 yards. He was on fire, taking advantage of a vulnerable Jets secondary and often beat them with the long ball. Unfortunately for Smith, the Chiefs defense cracked under pressure and could not hold onto the 31-30 lead they were handed. The Chiefs fell to the Jets 38-31, dropping their fourth straight game, their sixth loss in the last seven games.

Smith has been one of the best quarterbacks in the league this season, making people forget about 2017 10th overall pick Patrick Mahomes II. The top-five fantasy quarterback plays the Oakland Raiders in Week 14, which should be a good matchup for Smith. If Geno Smith can throw for 212 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions against the Raiders defense, then Alex Smith is capable of having another monster performance. Start Smith next week, and expect big things.

Quarterback Josh McCown, New York Jets: 30 points standard, 31.1 points PPR

The second quarterback on this list comes from the same game as the first one, except he wore green instead of red. McCown—yes that’s right Josh McCown—threw for 331 yards and one touchdown against the Chiefs. He also had a big day in the running game, reaching the end zone twice, one of which would end up being the game-winning touchdown. The Jets’ defense was able to stop the Chiefs on their last possession and give McCown his fifth win of the season.

McCown is an interesting case when it comes to fantasy football. On one hand, he is currently playing the best of his career, and has been a top-15 quarterback thus far. On the other hand, he is still Josh McCown, and it will always be a risk to start him. The Jets play the Denver Broncos next week, their last favorable matchup of the season. I would consider starting McCown next week, and as someone who is available in just over 60 percent of all ESPN leagues, he is one of the best streaming options out there.

Honorable Mentions: Blake Bortles, Russell Wilson

Running back Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints: 24 points standard, 29.6 points PPR

This marks Kamara’s fifth-straight week in which he has had a top-five fantasy performance. He did not do as well as he did last week, but it was still the best game of any running back in Week 13. The Saints defeated the Carolina Panthers 31-21, and both of the Saints’ running backs had great games, but it was Kamara who had the better day in fantasy. Kamara rushed nine times for 60 yards and two touchdowns, and caught five passes for 66 yards.

Kamara had his success in both the air and ground game, and has established himself as one of the elite dual-threat players in football. There is nothing else I can say to praise Kamara any more. If you are not starting him, then the only conclusion I can come to is that you want to lose. The Saints face the Falcons Week 14, and Kamara should keep on rolling. Start him.

Running back Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers: 23 points standard, 29.2 points PPR

The Monday Night Football matchup between the Steelers and the Bengals was one of the dirtiest games I have ever seen. Luckily for Bell, he escaped the worst of it, and his play was representative of that. Bell rushed the ball 18 times for 76 yards, and caught five passes for 106 yards and scored a touchdown. It was his performance that helped the Steelers come back against the Bengals and ultimately win 23-20 in Cincinnati.

In my opinion, Le’Veon Bell is the best running back in all of pro football. This stands true for fantasy football, as he is a top performer at the position year in, year out. He, like Kamara, is a dual threat, which makes for the perfect fantasy player. The Steelers play the Ravens next week, and even though the Ravens have a good defense, it does not matter for Bell. Just like Kamara, Bell is a must-start every single week, no matter the matchup.

Honorable Mentions: Rex Burkhead, Alex Collins

Wide Receiver Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs: 30 points standard, 36.5 points PPR

Hill is the third fantasy star to come from the matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and the New York Jets. He caught only six passes, but accumulated 185 yards and two touchdowns. Both of his touchdowns came off of big plays. The first came on a 79-yard reception, while the second was a 40-yard reception. He was able to use his crazy speed to leave the Jets’ secondary in the dust, but as previously stated, it was not enough for the Chiefs.

After a breakout season last year, Hill has picked up right where he left off. Currently the No. 5-ranked wide receiver in fantasy, Hill has proven himself to be an elite receiving threat. The Chiefs have a decent matchup next week, as they face the Oakland Raiders in what will be a crucial division struggle. The last time the Chiefs played the Raiders, Hill went off for 125 yards and a touchdown. I would start Hill next week and expect a big game from the speedster.

Honorable Mentions: Nelson Agholor, A.J. Green


Jorge Eckardt is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at jorge.eckardt@uconn.edu.