Cleat Geeks

Cover 3: Week 13

Wow. Just…wow. Which team is better at finding ways to lose, the Lions or the Browns? I’m still in awe. Shock. Disbelief. Thursday Night Football took me on a roller coaster of emotions, so this is all I can write for an introduction to “Cover 3” this week. After 13 weeks, you all know what to expect from this article. We have three games previewed for this week: Fantasy Jackpot, “Bad Blood”, and the Must-Watch Showdown.

Fantasy Jackpot Game of the Week—New York Jets vs New York Giants


There will be a battle at The Meadowlands this Sunday between both of the teams that call MetLife Stadium “home.”

The Jets enter the game with a winning record at 6-5, but they will be missing CB Darrelle Revis due to a concussion. They have been pretty good offensively this year, and they average 363.5 total yards per game. If you own a Jets player, you have plenty to be excited about since they face a Giants defense that gives up 425.5 yards per game. Chris Ivory has been averaging 4+ yards per carry the past three games and is finally looking a bit better again. He should be able to find the end zone and put together a decent game, but the Giants’ run defense has played better recently. They haven’t given up a 100 yard rusher since week seven, and they surprisingly have only given up two this season. They do still give up over 100 rushing yards per game though. The Jets’ passing game has been better this year than they have been in a long time. Brandon Marshall leads the team with 71 catches for 931 yards and nine touchdowns. Eric Decker is putting together a solid season of his own with 51 catches for 700 yards and eight touchdowns in one less game than Marshall. These two have had this kind of success because of veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick. Look for him to pass often and take some shots downfield against a defense that game up 302 yards to Kirk Cousins last week.


The Giants have been one of the most up-and-down teams this season, but they look to get back on track after losing two straight and giving up the division lead. Their backfield has been a true running back by committee this season. They have struggled to run the football, and this trend will continue against a Jets defense that is the best in the league at defending the run. This means that the only running back that I’d think of starting is Shane Vereen, but he still is only a low-end PPR flex play. With Revis out and others in the secondary banged up, this is the obvious way to attack the Jets. Eli Manning could pass 50 times like he did last week, and he should get over 300 yards for the third week in a row. If Eli is passing for 300 yards, you know Odell Beckham Jr. is going to have a big day! Both Dwayne Harris and Rueben Randle should also add about five catches each. I would avoid tight end Will Tye in this game since the Jets give up the second-fewest points to tight ends in the league.


“Bad Blood” Game of the Week—Kansas City Chiefs vs Oakland Raiders


The Chiefs and the Raiders have one of the most bitter rivalries in the entire league. This rivalry will definitely be shown on Sunday when the Chiefs travel to The Black Hole to take on the Raiders. When former player Harvey Williams was asked to describe the rivalry, he described it perfectly when he said, “Only one word: Blood.” These AFC West rivals have met 112 times; the Chiefs lead the all-time series 58-52-2.


The Chiefs are coming into this game red hot after winning five straight games. The defense has been rock-solid lately, but they will be missing linebacker Justin Houston (knee) for this game. The offense has also been on fire lately averaging 32 points per game over their last five. They will be getting running back Charcandrick West back this week, but they won’t be giving him the full workload he had before his hamstring injury. In his absence, Spencer Ware’s tough running style has proven effective as ran for 96 and 114 yards in the two games. While Alex Smith’s passing attack is still pretty conservative and efficient, he has started to be more aggressive and force the ball downfield a bit more. This obviously has helped spread things out for the running game, but it has also helped Travis Kelce and Jeremy Maclin get a little more involved. Maclin posted his best game of the season two weeks ago when he exploded for 160 yards and a touchdown on nine catches against the Bills.


The Raiders have surprised many this season with their 5-6 record as they fight for a playoff spot in the AFC. They will be tested the next three weeks as they play the Chiefs this week, at Denver next week, then come back home to play the Packers. Quarterback Derek Carr has probably been the biggest reason the Raiders have been so much more competitive this year. He already has 2,895 yards with 24 touchdowns and only six interceptions. That is three more touchdowns than last year in five less games. While he has played better, he has also gotten help from Michael Crabtree and rookie Amari Cooper. Crabtree leads the team in receptions with 61 for 715 yards and six touchdowns while Cooper has 58 catches for 851 yards and four touchdowns. The running game has been inconsistent this year, but Latavius Murray does have 765 rushing yards on 179 carries.


Must-Watch Showdown—Seattle Seahawks vs Minnesota Vikings


Both the Seahawks and the Vikings will be fighting to keep their playoff spots on Sunday. If the Seahawks win, the Vikings will be knocked down to wild card with them. With a loss, the Seahawks risk being out of the current playoff standings. Both teams have been led by their defenses for the majority of the season, but their offenses have started to gain traction as their year has gone on.

The Seahawks have won four of their past five games, but their only victory against a team with a winning record came last week against the Steelers. The offense has taken some hits lately as the lost Lynch for awhile after he had surgery to repair a sports hernia. They also lost tight end Jimmy Graham for the rest of the season after he suffered a ruptured patellar tendon last week. With their absence, some role players will have to step up for them as they push on to make a playoff run. Rookie running back Thomas Rawls has done just that. He has averaged 145 rushing yards and a touchdown over the past two weeks. Doug Baldwin has also shown that he can be a viable receiving option for Russell Wilson, but we will need to see a little bit more against some better competition.


The Vikings have played great this season led by Adrian Peterson. He has failed to reach 100 rushing yards just once in his last five games, and he even has a 200-yard rushing day in there against the Raiders. After all of the season-ending injuries to running backs this season, A.P. has clearly been the best at his position this year. The rest of the offense hasn’t been complicated, but it is getting the job done. Teddy Bridgewater has mostly been a game manager this season, but he has made some plays when he had to. Many of us were debating whether Mike Wallace or Charles Johnson was going to have the better receiving year, but it has actually been Stefon Diggs’s show so far. In fact, you can combine both Wallace and Johnson’s stats and it wouldn’t equal Diggs’. He leads the team with 40 catches and 604 yards. The next man up would be tight end Kyle Rudolph with only 341 (159 of which came in the past two games). Even though they have had their injuries, the Vikings’ defense still ranks among the top in the league. They are second in points allowed with only 17.6, and ninth in yards allowed with 334.1.


What did you think of this week’s Cover 3? Who do you think will win between the Seahawks and the Vikings? You can post your questions, answers, and comments down below, or talk to me over on Twitter @FantasyFlurry. If you mention that you read the “Cover 3” article, I’ll be sure to give you a shout-out!

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