If you ain’t got a quarterback, you ain’t got nothing. The late Yogi Berra might have uttered that one if he was a football player.
Thankfully, for the Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars, they don’t have to live, err die, by that mantra any longer, apparently. Heck, if anything we learned from NFL Week 13 for one-week fantasy football play on FanDuel, it is Marcus Mariota ($7,500)and Blake Bortles ($7,700) are huge values when they’re facing vulnerable opponents.
And, when those two hook up against each other like they did Sunday, it is a veritable fantasy bonanza.
Mariota posted the double-triple that Russell Wilson has made famous, over 100 rushing yards and triple-digit passing yards (even if he fell short of Wilson’s trademark 300-100). The Titans rookie quarterback was Sunday’s third-highest scoring player with 36.92 FanDuel points, throwing for 268 yards and three touchdowns while rushing for 112 and another score.
On the other side of the ball, the second-year quarterback Bortles was not to be too far outdone. He finished sixth among Week 13 quarterbacks and eighth overall with 32.78 points, throwing for 322 yards and five touchdowns. It was Bortles’ second consecutive 300-yard game, this one coming against a Titans defense that was top 10 in the NFL against the pass.
These Mariota and Bortles breakthroughs won’t be any Colin Kaepernick-like flash in the pan either, especially in the case of the Jags quarterback, who was found a big-time fantasy star in wide receiver Allen Robinson ($8,500). Robinson led all FanDuel scorers Sunday with 38.3 points, reeling in 10 passes for 153 yards and three touchdowns.
“He’s by far the best [receiver] I’ve ever played with,” Bortles told Gene Frenette of The Florida Times-Union. “He’s unbelievable, his ability to run and jump. He’s going to accomplish, I think, a ton of things in his career and he’ll be the most humble guy doing it the whole time.”
Robinson is now in the elite price range among wideouts, but he is facing an Indianapolis Colts defense that just gave up a huge performance Sunday night to another elite receiver, Antonio Brown (8-118-2).
“I just appreciate the guys continuing to call my number and give me a chance to make so many plays,” Robinson told Frenette. “I’m just thankful for [offensive coordinator Greg Olson] dialing up the calls. I wouldn’t be able to [make plays] without Blake giving me the opportunity. I know [Bortles] has to go through his reads and things like that. Sometimes he may come to me a little bit quicker.”
Early and often—that is how the Jags game plan Robinson on the reg now. We should be doing the same when setting our FanDuel lineups.
Here is a breakdown of all of Sunday’s fantasy studs and duds in our NFL Week 13 Retrospectacle.
WR Allen Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars (38.3 FanDuel points)—We didn’t love the matchup against the Titans secondary going in, but we probably should have been more bullish on AR15 after seeing Allen Hurns (concussion) was ruled out.
QB Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers (37.14)—Playing a quarterback against the Saints has become a fantasy sure thing this season (Jameis Winston ($7,800), you got next). Newton comes through for those that go with the obvious selection, throwing for five touchdowns, 331 passing yards and chipping in 49 yards rushing. We heart mobile quarterbacks in FanDuel play.
— Jesse Lambert (@jceltsp3) December 7, 2015
QB Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans (36.92)—You might be a bit less excited about him at the Indianapolis Colts in Week 14, but the Colts were just ripped by the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday night and Mariota had a career-high 367 passing yards against the Colts in the first meeting.
QB Tom Brady, New England Patriots (34.28)—Banged-up supporting cast or not, Brady was a great play against that Philadelphia Eagles secondary. Not only did he have his usual 312-3 passing, he added 6-17-1 rushing and—this is not a misprint—one catch for 36 yards receiving. If we didn’t already figure Brady was Mr. Everything for the Pats, we have to pity the Houston Texans against a Pats team and Brady coming off back-to-back losses.
QB Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks (34.06)—Wilson has scorched since Marshawn Lynch (hernia) went down, throwing for 11 touchdowns in the pass three games. Like the mobile quarterbacks above, Wilson added 51 yards rushing and a touchdown to his 274-3 passing line.
QB Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers (33.86)—He might have lost Le’Veon Bell (knee) for the season, but he has a healthy trio of top-flight wideouts. His Week 14 matchup at the Cincinnati Bengals won’t put him at the top of the FanDuel wish lists, but we cannot wait to see what he has in store for that pivotal division game.
WR Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers (33.8)—When Big Ben is healthy, there should be no debate. Forget Odell Beckham ($9,300), Julio Jones ($8,800), DeAndre Hopkins ($8,700) or the rising AR15 of the Jags, Brown is FanDuel’s No. 1 wideout play at any price, even $9,300 for Week 14.
QB Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars (32.78)—The future is finally looking up in Jacksonville with Robinson, Hurns ($6,600) and TE Julius Thomas ($5,900).
QB Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills (29.24)—Have you seen us write this before: We love mobile quarterbacks at FanDuel, especially ones that don’t get a lot of love for their passing exploits. Taylor ($7,500) remains a bargain and draws a favorable matchup at the Eagles after going 211-3 passing and 7-28-1 rushing.
RB Javorius Allen, Baltimore Ravens (29.0)—Lost in the Ravens’ loss and lost season is the emergence of a burgeoning fantasy star in Buck Allen ($7,000), who impacts both the rushing (17-63) and passing (12-107-1) games for the injury-riddled Ravens. You might not consider him against the Seahawks defense in Week 14, but he is still priced to play.
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, New York Jets (25.8)—You have to love any quarterback and receiver against that last-ranked New York Giants secondary. Fitzy went for 390-2 and Ryan Tannehill and the Miami Dolphins are up next for the Giants for some Monday night magic.
QB Blaine Gabbert, San Francisco 49ers (25.34)—No one could have expected this performance, which was carried more by his 75-1 rushing numbers than his passing (196-1). The Cleveland Browns are up next, though, and Gabbert is dirt cheap among quarterbacks at $6,400.
WR Brandon Marshall, New York Jets (25.1)—Bortles and AR15 just went off against that Titans secondary. Fitzpatrick ($7,800), Marshall ($8,200) and Eric Decker ($7,300) will be extremely popular plays in Week 14 at Tennessee now, too.
Philadelphia Eagles Defense (27.0)—They had been horrible of late, but when you look at the season as a whole, they have exceeded expectations—just like they did Sunday at New England. They did it all against the injury-hit Pats: Sacks (four), turnovers (two), special teams touchdowns (two) and a defensive touchdown.
Denver Broncos Defense (23.0)—We have to consider this the premium play of all defenses. Even $5,400 won’t keep them out of FanDuel lineups at home against the Oakland Raiders in Week 14.
QB Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers (7.08)—Two of the past three games have been disastrously bad after the loss of Keenan Allen (kidney) for the season. There were 25 quarterbacks who scored more points and now Rivers is priced among the scrubs. He might truly be one without Allen or a running game.
QB Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins (8.54)—That matchup against the Baltimore Ravens was supposed to be a favorable one, but Jarvis Landry was held to two catches for five yards and Tannehill attempted just 19 passes and threw for only 86 yards. Coach Dan Campbell changed offensive coordinators to put more focus on the running game, but this was ridiculous. The good news is the New York Giants’ league-worst pass defense is on tap and Tannehill’s price is under $7K at $6,900 for some Monday night magic in Week 14.
WR Jarvis Landry, Miami Dolphins (1.5)—We are left scratching our head at how he goes from 13-165-1 to 2-5-0. Curse you, offensive coordinator change!
WR Emmanuel Sanders, Denver Broncos (3.9)—Peyton Manning fill-in Brock Osweiler might be winning games behind the Broncos defense and winning over fans, but he is not winning any FanDuel love for the performances he is making for his wideouts. It is Sanders who gets stuffed to 3-19 this week, after Demaryius Thomas went for just one catch last week.
WR T.Y. Hilton and WR Donte Moncrief (5.1 and 3.8)—Russell Wilson just torched this Steelers secondary for five touchdowns and these two Colts combine for just four catches for 69 yards? Sure, makes total fantasy sense. No, not really; it doesn’t at all.
TE Martellus Bennett, Chicago Bears (2.9)—The self-proclaimed Black Unicorn can take that horn and stick it where the sun doesn’t shine after catching just three passes for 14 yards against the 49ers. A promising season has really gone south for him the past three weeks.
Houston Texans Defense (0.0)—Mr. Blutarsky, zero point zero. Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son. The Texans had been rolling and couldn’t muster a single FanDuel point against the struggling Bills. Next up for the Texans are the Patriots coming off back-to-back losses. This won’t end well for Houston.