Fantasy Sports Fantasy Football

Fantasy Football 2012: Top Week 13 Performers

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Fantasy Football Top Players of Week 13

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Ideally, the best fantasy football rosters win by having great overall contributions from every player on the roster. When some players struggle to score near their projected totals, players that exceed expectations and have great outputs help balance out a team’s lower scorers. To win on a frequent basis, top performances are what fuel teams to the top of their respective leagues’ standings.

In Week 13, there were many players who would fit the statements of overachiever and high-scorers. The top performers of this week range from elite options with favorable matchups to the unlikely sources of production. If owners have one or more of the players on this list, they typically put themselves in a great position to win their matchup.

Week 13 provided plenty of scoring opportunities. In total, six teams scored at least 28 points, meaning there were plenty of touchdowns to go around for quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers and tight ends. This week, Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning threw for three passing touchdowns, Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles ran for over 125 rushing yards and Carolina Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith had 120 receiving yards and a touchdown, yet none of these players make the list as Week 13 fantasy leaders. Here’s a look at the best of the best from this week in the NFL.

* Fantasy points are determined by Yahoo! fantasy football default scoring settings. Ownership numbers are from Yahoo! fantasy football leagues and up to date as of Monday, December 3. Statistics listed for players are subject to change after the game.

Austin Chang is a featured columnist and fantasy sports expert at Rant Sports and you can follow him on Twitter @_austinchang.

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QB Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts

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QB Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts – 31.94 points (at Detroit Lions, 91% owned)

Week 13 statistics: 391 passing yards, 4 passing touchdowns, 3 interceptions, 33 rushing yards

Despite completing just 24-of-54 passes, Luck had a big fantasy showing in a shootout against the Lions. From finding eight different receivers to being the leader of the Colts offense, his multiple big plays downfield led to his best fantasy performance of his career.

Honorable mentions: Panthers’ Cam Newton (at Chiefs, 98% owned, 29.08 points), Seattle Seahawks’ Russell Wilson (at Chicago Bears, 23% owned, 26.82 points), Dallas Cowboys’ Tony Romo (vs. Philadelphia Eagles, 91% owned, 25.52 points)

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RB Bryce Brown, Philadelphia Eagles

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

RB Bryce Brown, Eagles – 28.30 points (at Cowboys, 72% owned)

Week 13 statistics: 169 rushing yards, 14 receiving yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 fumble lost

For a second-straight week, Brown has come out of nowhere to be this week’s highest-scoring running back. With LeSean McCoy’s health still in question and the Eagles looking towards their youth to end the season, he could continue playing like a top option during the fantasy playoff weeks.

Honorable mentions: Minnesota Vikings’ Adrian Peterson (at Green Bay Packers, 100% owned, 28.00 points), Cowboys’ DeMarco Murray (vs. Eagles, 92% owned, 16.20 points), Bears’ Matt Forte (vs. Seahawks, 99% owned, 15.60 points)

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WR Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions

Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

WR Calvin Johnson, Lions – 23.10 points (vs. Colts, 100% owned)

Week 13 statistics: 171 receiving yards, 1 touchdown

Since putting up a poor performance against the Seahawks in Week 8, Johnson has been absolutely dominant despite the Lions’ losing streak. Recording at least 140 yards and a touchdown in each of his last four games, he has put up some record-breaking numbers and has been incredible in November and December.

Honorable mentions: Broncos’ Demaryius Thomas (vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 98% owned, 21.90 points), Cowboys’ Dez Bryant (vs. Eagles, 97% owned, 21.80 points), Colts’ Donnie Avery (at Lions, 21% owned, 21.10 points)

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TE Brandon Myers, Oakland Raiders

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

TE Brandon Myers, Oakland Raiders – 19.00 points (vs. Cleveland Browns, 53% owned)

Week 13 statistics: 130 receiving yards, 1 touchdown

Targeted 15 times against the Browns, Myers was a fantasy juggernaut in Week 13. Aside from tying the franchise’s record for receptions in a single game, he has been Carson Palmer’s most-reliable target all season long. While the Raiders have lost their last five games, Myers has been very productive in three of those games, including excellent outings against the Buccaneers and New Orleans Saints.

Honorable mentions: Pittsburgh Steelers’ Heath Miller (at Baltimore Ravens, 88% owned, 15.70 points), New York Giants’ Martellus Bennett (at Washington Redskins, 52% owned, 14.20 points), Atlanta Falcons’ Tony Gonzalez (vs. Saints, 99% owned, 11.80 points)

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K Jason Hanson, Detroit Lions

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K Jason Hanson, Lions – 18.00 points (vs. Colts, 84% owned)

Week 13 statistics: 4-for-4 field goals made (48, 33, 52, 31), 3 extra points made

Like Luck and Johnson, Hanson also benefited from the high-scoring game, as he received plenty of opportunities to score. Making two long field goals from 48 and 52 yards, accuracy has been no problem for the veteran kicker. A Week 14 matchup against the Packers could provide similar results.

Honorable mentions: Buccaneers’ Connor Barth (at Broncos, 38% owned, 15.00 points), Steelers’ Shaun Suisham (at Ravens, 36% owned, 14.00 points), Falcons’ Matt Bryant (vs. Saints, 95% owned, 14.00 points)

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Houston Texans team defense

Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Houston Texans team defense – 22.00 points (at Tennessee Titans, 98% owned)

Week 13 statistics: 10 points allowed, 6 sacks, 3 interceptions, 3 fumble recoveries

The Texans had a huge game against Jake Locker and the Titans offense. From six sacks to three interceptions, they applied consistent pressure on Tennessee. With various playmakers on defense, the Texans have been able to rely on both their offense and defense for success during the regular season.

Honorable mentions: St. Louis Rams team defense (vs. San Francisco 49ers, 20% owned, 17.00 points), Falcons team defense (vs. Saints, 61% owned, 15.00 points), Arizona Cardinals team defense (at New York Jets, 58% owned, 15.00 points)