Sunday, December 10, 2017

Sunday morning observations -- Week 14

Good morning, Fools, and welcome to the fantasy postseason!

If you're reading this, I assume you're in the hunt for a title, and that makes me happy. I'm playing this weekend in one league and have a bye in the other. I was a decided underdog in this weekend's contest, but I got a huge break Thursday night when my opponent lost Alvin Kamara in the first quarter.

You never want to see a player get hurt -- and concussions evoke more concern than ever -- but the timing couldn't have been much better for me (or worse for my opponent).

Let's take our weekly swing around the NFL for the news we need to set our best starting lineups.

Matt Stafford is warming up well and will be playing despite his bruised and battered hand. I still don't love his chances for a big game today.

Tyrod Taylor will take a seat today thanks to a gimpy knee, giving the starting nod back to Nathan Peterman. This could get ugly. It's going to be snowing and blustery in Buffalo today, so conditions won't be great for either passing game. (That's a red flag for T.Y. Hilton, too ...)

Good news for those of us hoping for big things from Kenyan Drake on MNF: Damien Williams is out again due to his shoulder injury.

On the other side of the ball, Dion Lewis is still listed as questionable with an illness. Rex Burkhead could come up big on Monday night if Lewis sits. As you know, Gronk is suspended for the week, but Chris Hogan appears to be set for a return. I still like Danny Amendola in this one.

Adrian Peterson will sit out with his back injury, leaving the starting job in Kerwynn Williams' hands again. Stay away. Stay far away.

Doug Martin is back and expected to reclaim his starting job, which is a shame for those who were hoping for some help from Peyton Barber. It's hard to trust either player without a full workload.

Ameer Abdullah won't play, so the Lions' backfield workload will again be split between Theo Riddick and Tion Green.

As expected, Joe Mixon will miss at least this week due to last week's concussion. The Cincinnati running game will go through Gio Bernard today, and he could be a serviceable flex.

After some pessimism earlier due to a bum hammy, Sterling Shepard warmed up without restrictions and is active for today's tasty matchup with the Cowboys. He and Evan Engram should be very busy men today as Eli Manning returns to his starting gig against a very familiar opponent.

If you're counting on Derek Carr, there's good news: Amari Cooper is active and will suit up and play today. That said, his arrow was pointing straight down as recently as Thursday, so there's no telling how his ankle will hold up.

If you're still holding onto Jordan Reed, it's time to press the eject button. He's out today, probably again next week and you won't want to trust him in his first week back if that comes in Week 16. See if there's someone else out there who can help you in a pinch.

Both Greg Olsen and Devin Funchess will be available for Carolina today, but that may not be enough to help Cam Newton excel against the Vikings.

That's it for now. Inactives and other late-breaking news coming next via Twitter. Good luck today, Fools!

Friday, December 8, 2017

Week 14 Starters & Benchwarmers

It’s playoff time! Wondering whether or not to start LeSean McCoy and DeAndre Hopkins, or to bench Jamaal Charles and Michael Floyd? The network bozos specialize in that kind of advice. If you’re looking for help with your real starting lineup conundrums, read on.

Here are my picks to roll, and get rolled, in Week 14 of the 2017 season.

Watch ‘em roll

Jameis Winston, QB, Buccaneers vs. Lions. Winston put up respectable numbers last Sunday in his return from a three-week absence due to a shoulder injury. He’ll look to build on that performance in a home draw against a Detroit secondary that has coughed up serious fantasy points to opposing QBs lately. Though Mike Evans could struggle in his matchup with Darius Slay, Winston’s other receivers should have a field day.

Kenyan Drake, RB, Dolphins vs. Patriots. Damien Williams may return to the field for this contest, but Drake has earned more than his fair share of the carries. He should have little trouble slicing through one of the NFL’s most vulnerable run defenses. The main worry is that Miami could fall behind early and be forced to abandon the running game.

Samaje Perine, RB, Redskins at Chargers. Perine took a step backwards last weekend after two consecutive 100-yard outings, but he should bounce back nicely against a Chargers defense that struggles against the run. Perine has become a workhorse by default, and he should get plenty of volume to excel as L.A. clamps down on Washington’s passing game.

T.Y. Hilton, WR, Colts at Bills. Hilton delivered against the NFL’s stingiest secondary last week, thanks to a nifty, 40-yard TD catch and run. He’ll have a chance to improve on that performance on his trip to Buffalo, which has surrendered big chunks of yardage, and plenty of scoring plays, to No. 1 wideouts over the past several weeks.

Danny Amendola, WR, Patriots at Dolphins. This game may not be competitive for long, but with Rob Gronkowski sitting out, Amendola should be a busy man. Even if Chris Hogan returns, Amendola will keep the chains moving for the Patriots while Brandin Cooks takes the top off the sieve-like Miami secondary.

More thumbs up (excluding the no-brainers): QBs Alex Smith, Dak Prescott, Philip Rivers; RBs Jordan Howard, Frank Gore, Dion Lewis, Alfred Morris, Giovani Bernard, Peyton Barber, Lamar Miller, Carlos Hyde; WRs DeSean Jackson, Larry Fitzgerald, Dez Bryant, Keenan Allen, Sterling Shepard, Michael Crabtree, Marquise Goodwin, Davante Adams, Adam Thielen, Jarvis Landry.

Roll ‘em back

Jared Goff, QB, Rams vs. Eagles. Goff has struggled against three of the best pass defenses in the NFL (Seattle, Minnesota and Jacksonville), and he’ll face another elite unit on Sunday. Robert Woods is likely to miss another week, adding another red flag to Goff’s prospects.
Leonard Fournette, RB, Jaguars vs. Seahawks. The old adage that you don’t sit your studs in the playoffs may not apply to Fournette, who hasn’t been very studly of late. His lingering ankle woes appear to be limiting his burst and Seattle’s stout run defense will surely stack the line to keep the rookie from controlling this game.

Christian McCaffrey, RB, Panthers vs. Vikings. He’s dealing with a tender shoulder, and he doesn’t get many carries. Where McCaffrey excels is in the passing game, but Minnesota’s defense is exceptionally tough against opposing running backs – including the pass-catching types. They’ve only surrendered one receiving TD to a tailback all season.

Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Broncos vs. Jets. How can you trust a wideout with seven receptions for a whopping 38 yards total over the last three games? You can’t, even in a favorable matchup like this. Sanders’ talents are being squandered by pathetic quarterback play; so while you can always hope for a breakout, your postseason fate is best placed in another receiver’s hands.

Marvin Jones, WR, Lions at Buccaneers. There is legitimate concern that Matt Stafford’s injured hand could compromise his ability to grip and accurately throw the football on Sunday. The Bucs have improved their pass defense recently, so Jones may have trouble keeping up his stellar production.

More thumbs down: QBs Matt Stafford, Cam Newton, Marcus Mariota, Blake Bortles, Joe Flacco, Josh McCown, Jay Cutler; RBs Devontae Booker, Danny Woodhead, Doug Martin, Mike Davis, Orleans Darkwa, Isaiah Crowell, Kerwynn Williams, Ameer Abdullah; WRs Will Fuller, Jordy Nelson, Doug Baldwin, Kelvin Benjamin, Sammy Watkins, Dontrelle Inman, Jamison Crowder, Nelson Agholor, Jeremy Maclin, Martavis Bryant, Jermaine Kearse.


Josh Gordon, WR, Browns vs. Packers. It’s understandable that Gordon only snagged four of the 11 passes sent his way in his 2017 debut last week against the Chargers. The once-elite wideout was shaking off the rust, he faced a tough secondary and his chemistry with rookie QB DeShone Kizer is a work-in-progress. But did you catch that number 11? As in 11 targets? That’s extremely telling, and with the Packers’ struggling unit coming to town, Gordon has a great opportunity to exploit all that attention.

DON’T BE THE BONEHEAD WHO…complains about the way your league allocates postseason berths, seeding and payouts. That’s a discussion for preseason, not now. If you think your rules are unfair – and if they’re all about win-loss records and don’t factor in points, you’re right – put a reminder on your calendar for next August and propose a change prior to next season’s draft.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Week 13 Heroes & Zeros

This was a great week to play…

Alex Smith, Chiefs – Passed for 366 yards and 4 TDs without a turnover, and had a 70-yard run to boot.
Josh McCown, Jets – Passed for 331 yards and 1 TD and added 19 rushing yards and 2 more TDs, without a blemish.
Russell Wilson, Seahawks – Went full-on DangerRuss, passing for 227 yards and 3 TDs, plus 31 rushing yards.

Alvin Kamara, Saints – Rushed for 60 yards and 2 TDs and added 5 receptions for 66 yards.
Rex Burkhead, Patriots – Ran for 78 yards and 2 TDs, and caught 3 passes for 25 yards.
Le’Veon Bell, Steelers – Rushed for 76 yards and tallied 5 receptions for 106 yards and a TD.
Kenyan Drake, Dolphins – Took advantage of his workhorse role with 120 rushing yards and a TD, plus 21 receiving yards on 3 balls.
Alex Collins, Ravens – Rumbled for 75 yards and 2 TDs, and caught 2 passes for 23 yards.

Tyreek Hill, Chiefs – Reeled in 6 passes for 185 yards and 2 TDs.
A.J. Green, Bengals – Seemed unstoppable on MNF, catching 7 passes for 77 yards and 2 TDs (and had another long TD called back)
Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals – Caught 10 passes for 98 yards and a TD.
Keenan Allen, Chargers – He collected 105 yards and a TD on his 10 receptions.
Nelson Agholor, Eagles – Hauled in 7 passes for 141 yards and a TD.
Jermaine Kearse, Jets – In PPR leagues, his 9 receptions for 157 yards were sweet.

Travis Kelce, Chiefs – Grabbed 4 passes for 94 yards and 2 TDs.
Rob Gronkowski, Patriots – Reeled in 9 passes for 147 yards.
Evan Engram, Giants – Caught 7 passes for 99 yards and 1 TD.
Cameron Brate, Buccaneers – Scored on both of his catches, with 39 receiving yards.

Dolphins – Collected 3 sacks, 3 INTs, a fumble, 2 safeties and an INT return TD while holding the Broncos to 9 points.
Ravens – Amassed 3 sacks, 2 INTs, a fumble and returned an INT for a TD.
Rams – Had 6 sacks, 2 INTs, a TD on an INT return and 2 blocked kicks.

Robbie Gould, 49ers – Scored all of his team's points with 5 FGs (of 24, 28, 33, 34 and 35 yards)

This was a great week to play against…

Tom Brady, Patriots – Tossed 258 yards but had 0 TDs and an INT.
Matt Ryan, Falcons – Only 173 passing yards without a TD or turnover.
Trevor Siemian, Broncos – Passed for 200 yards without a TD, plus 16 rushing yards, and was picked off 3 times.
Brett Hundley, Packers – Managed just 84 passing yards with 1 INT and 0 TDs, plus 66 rushing yards.
Tyrod Taylor, Bills – Passed for 65 yards, ran for 32 yards, had 0 TDs and 1 INT.

Danny Woodhead, Ravens – Combined for 23 yards.
Duke Johnson, Jr., Browns – Amassed just 12 total yards.
LeGarrette Blount, Eagles – Finished with 26 rushing yards.
Jacquizz Rodgers, Buccaneers – Only 25 yards rushing while Doug Martin sat out.
Jordan Howard, Bears – Ran for just 38 yards and lost 5 yards on his only reception.
Joe Mixon, Bengals – Combined for 42 yards before leaving injured.

DeVante Parker, Dolphins – Had a 5 yarder.
Tyrell Williams, Chargers – Caught an 8-yard pass.
Paul Richardson, Seahawks – He got his 8 yards on 2 catches.
Emmanuel Sanders, Broncos – Only 11 yards on a pair of receptions.
Corey Davis, Titans – Limited to 12 yards on 2 receptions.
Jordan Matthews, Bills – Caught a 14 yarder.
Jordy Nelson, Packers – Finished with 17 yards on 5 balls.
Brandin Cooks, Patriots – His 17 yards came on 2 receptions.
JuJu Smith-Schuster, Steelers – His 17 came on 4 catches.
Zay Jones, Bills – Caught 2 passes for 22 yards.
DeSean Jackson, Buccaneers – Logged 24 yards on 2 balls.
Julio Jones, Falcons – So did he.
Eric Decker, Titans – Just 27 yards on 3 catches.
Demaryius Thomas, Broncos – He got 27 yards on 2 catches.
Stefon Diggs, Vikings – His 32 yards came on 2 receptions.
Mike Evans, Buccaneers – Held to 33 yards on 2 receptions.
Danny Amendola, Patriots – Caught 2 passes for 34 yards.

Jack Doyle, Colts – Only 16 yards on 3 receptions.

Zach Ertz, Eagles – Caught 2 passes for 24 yards before leaving injured.

Monday, December 4, 2017

And a rookie shall lead them

Well, that was quick.

The fantasy regular season is now a wrap – in most leagues – and if you’re reading this, I’m guessing you are preparing for your postseason run.

It seems like just yesterday we were drafting our squads and eagerly anticipating the season opener. Remember how pumped you were when you got the first pick and confidently invested it in David Johnson?

Not long after, back in the “olden days” of September, didn’t it seem inevitable that Kareem Hunt would be the common denominator in the majority of championship teams?

Fast forward a few weeks, and the Hunt owner in one of my leagues didn’t even make the playoffs. Then again, he was the same guy who selected Johnson first, and Ezekiel Elliott with his third pick.

Fantasy football can be a cruel mistress.

Sitting here today, the player I fear most in an opponent’s playoff lineup is a different rookie running back. A “backup,” at that.

Alvin Kamara looks positively unstoppable, and he’s making Hunt’s stellar first three games look routine. Can you imagine what Kamara’s numbers would look like if the extremely capable Mark Ingram wasn’t competing for touches? (The duo is also conspiring to turn Drew Brees into a proverbial bus driver.)

Who else do I hope to avoid in my quest for fantasy glory?

Russell Wilson, who’s hitting his stride at just the right (or wrong) time, depending on your perspective.

Keenan Allen, who has caught 33 of the 41 passes Philip Rivers has flung his way over the last three games.

A healthy Antonio Brown … because he’s still an unstoppable force.

And Rob Gronkowski, because he’s a freak of nature.

Of course, nothing beats a well-rounded team from top to bottom. And a dash of good luck!


To win a fantasy championship, it’s best to start with a great draft. But filling gaps in your roster with the occasional waiver-wire acquisition can also pay big dividends. Here's a look at players worth considering, and a couple who would look better in someone else's lineup.

Catch ‘em while you can

Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers. The future Hall of Famer has resumed throwing and is progressing toward a probable return to the field in Week 15. He’s available in nearly half of all leagues and should be added for those hoping to progress into the postseason. I don’t have to explain why, right?

Peyton Barber, RB, Buccaneers. Last week I advised you to steer away from “hot waiver-wire prospect” Jacquizz Rodgers, mostly because he had failed to shine in previous opportunities and was destined to share carries. Little did I know that Barber would step so boldly to the plate. The second-year back finished with 27 touches (vs. 3 for Rodgers and 5 for Charles Sims). He was the Bucs’ leading rusher and receiver and he put to rest the notion that he’s little more than a goal-line vulture. Doug Martin could return in Week 14, but Barber has staked his claim to a continuing role in this offense.

Chris Ivory, RB, Jaguars. Leonard Fournette limped off the field late in Sunday’s game, though he returned to the field and finished strong. Still, the scene should serve as a reminder of how important it is to handcuff your studs. Ivory is Fournette’s primary insurance policy, leaving him just a play away from becoming a very important addition to your postseason roster.

Don’t be fooled

Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, 49ers. Let’s tap the brakes a bit before we anoint Garoppolo the second coming of Tom Brady. Sure, he was impressive in his starting debut with the 49ers. He showed poise, touch, accuracy and even the “it” factor. The interception wasn’t his fault, but he’s going to have to start leading drives that end in TDs, not field goals, before he’s ready for the fantasy stage. Maybe next year, Jimmy G.

Mike Davis, RB, Seahawks. Has Seattle finally settled on a workhorse running back? Davis got his turn in the primetime spotlight and didn’t disappoint. Of course, the best runner on the team is still the quarterback. And I continue to believe that J.D. McKissic is the team’s most talented tailback. Count me skeptical of Davis’ value down the stretch.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Sunday morning observations -- Week 13

Good morning, Fools. It's another beautiful day in Fantasyland as most of us look to wrap up our regular seasons and seal the highest possible seeding in the playoffs. Hopefully you, too, are preparing for a postseason berth. If not ... well ... there's always next year!

Let's take our weekly spin around the NFL for the news we can use to set our best starting lineups today:

In Green Bay, all eyes are on Aaron Rodgers as he begins practicing in hopes of returning to the lineup in Week 15. He is being scooped up quickly with this news and, yes, I grabbed him in one league -- if for no other reason than to keep him out of a potential opponent's lineup in the playoffs. There's no guarantee he'll return, especially if the Packers are out of the postseason hunt, but his arrow is pointing up at the moment.

Jameis Winston will be back under center today in a favorable matchup with the Packers. I like his WRs' chances, but not sure I'd trust him as my starter. He wasn't exactly killing it prior to his shoulder injury.

Who is Derek Carr going to throw to today, with both Amari Cooper (concussion, ankle) and Michael Crabtree (gold chain, suspended) out? How about perennial underachiever Cordarrelle Patterson and occasional producer Seth Roberts. If you HAVE to start one of them, Roberts is the safer choice. I'm sitting Carr, for sure.

It's not shocking that the Eli Manning Era is apparently over in New York. What's shocking is that he's losing his starting gig to Geno Smith. Methinks the Giants are going to get a stark reminder why Smith washed out in his previous attempts to start in this league. Normally, I'd be encouraging you to start Sterling Shepard (who is returning today from his bout with migraines), but how can we be confident with Smith under center? Evan Engram is going through a rough patch of his own, so it's hard to trust him today, either. 

Kenyan Drake will carry the bulk of the rushing workload today as backfield mate Damien Williams nurses a shoulder injury. Denver's defense is very generous to opposing rushers, so Drake is worth starting consideration depending on your other options. I grabbed Drake earlier this week when Williams' injury was announced, and just wish I hadn't already played Samaje Perine on Thursday in my flex slot. In hindsight, Drake would've looked better there.

There's a good chance Adrian Peterson will miss today's bout with the Rams. That would cede the starting job to Kerwynn Williams, who has done little to suggest he can be a viable fantasy producer. D.J. Foster will likely see plenty of carries as well. But I would avoid both backs.

Counting on Leonard Fournette today? You're in luck. His ankle appears to be fine and he should run rampant on the Colts.

Without Doug Martin in the Bucs' backfield, look for Jacquizz Rodgers as the starter. But Peyton Barber could once again poach the goal-line carries and Charles Sims will retain his passing-down role. Avoid all Bucs RBs today (and probably for the duration).

Looks like Ameer Abdullah will sit out today with a neck injury (as will Dwayne Washington), leaving the backfield in Theo Riddick's hands. In PPR leagues, Riddick is a viable starting option against the Ravens.

Sources say Jamaal Williams will handle the bulk of the rushing workload against the Bucs, even though Aaron Jones is expected to return from his knee injury.

Once again, Kelvin Benjamin will not be suiting up today. That trade sure hasn't panned out liked the Bills had hoped.

Rishard Matthews will be a game-time decision. It would be a shame for him to miss this prime matchup against the Texans.

JuJu Smith-Schuster should be back for MNF, and while I like his chances to continue building on his impressive rookie resume, he'll face a tough matchup in Cincinnati. He carries risk in your lineup.

More concerning is Antonio Brown's status. He is questionable due to a toe injury and may come down to a game-time decision, but I would reserve a spot in my lineup for him regardless.

Though Jimmy Graham is questionable for the Sunday nighter, his arrow is pointing up and he appears to be very likely to play. You can feel secure leaving him in your starting lineup today.

On the other hand, Greg Olsen is not expected to play due to his recurring foot injury.

That's it for now. I'll be tweeting inactives and answering questions via Twitter next. Good luck today, Fools. Go lock up that top seed!

Friday, December 1, 2017

Week 13 Starters & Benchwarmers

Wondering whether or not to start Tom Brady and DeAndre Hopkins, or to bench Mitchell Trubisky and Kenny Britt? The network bozos specialize in that kind of advice. If you’re looking for help with your real starting lineup conundrums, read on.

Here are my picks to roll, and get rolled, in Week 13 of the 2017 season.

Watch ‘em roll

Philip Rivers, QB, Chargers vs. Browns. Rivers is coming off one of the most prolific games of his career, but I’m not expecting a repeat performance. That said, I would ride his hot hand in a home game against a Cleveland secondary that struggles against slot receivers and tight ends. Rivers’ go-to receivers, Keenan Allen and Hunter Henry, are set to soar.

Jordan Howard, RB, Bears vs. 49ers. Chicago’s workhorse is coming off his second pathetic game of the season, but don’t let that discourage you. This offense still runs through Howard, and he’s primed to exploit one of the NFL’s rushing doormats.

Isaiah Crowell, RB, Browns at Chargers. No team has coughed up more rushing yards to its opponents than the Chargers. While he shares the backfield duties with pass-catching specialist Duke Johnson, Crowell gets enough touches to excel in positive matchups. Like this one.

Marqise Lee, WR, Jaguars vs. Colts. Blake Bortles has been stinking it up over the past three games, but he’ll face a generous Indy secondary that he handled well in Week 7. Lee is looking for redemption after a stinker of his own, and he should be targeted early and often in this very favorable matchup.

DeSean Jackson, WR, Buccaneers at Packers. D-Jax gets two pieces of good news this week: Jameis Winston is expected to return from his shoulder injury and they will be facing a Green Bay secondary that has been torched repeatedly of late.

More thumbs up (excluding the no-brainers): QBs Carson Wentz, Drew Brees, Jared Goff; RBs Marshawn Lynch, Leonard Fournette, Alex Collins, Latavius Murray, Alvin Kamara, Kenyan Drake, Kareem Hunt, Christian McCaffrey, Dion Lewis; WRs Davante Adams, Emmanuel Sanders, Tyreek Hill, Alshon Jeffery, Adam Thielen, Robby Anderson, Larry Fitzgerald, Cooper Kupp, Marvin Jones.

Roll ‘em back

Matt Ryan, QB, Falcons vs. Vikings. Minnesota’s pass defense has surrendered just 12 passing TDs all season and Ryan has yet to notch more than two TDs in a game to date. While you can’t bench Julio Jones, even when he’s matched up against shutdown corner Xavier Rhodes, you can (and should) sit Ryan.

Jay Ajayi, RB, Eagles at Seahawks. Not only is he sharing carries with both LeGarrette Blount and, to a lesser extent, touchdown poacher Corey Clement, but Ajayi will be squaring off with Seattle’s dominant run defense. He won’t see enough volume to make up for the short gains he is likely to experience.

DeMarco Murray, RB, Titans vs. Texans. If not for his one-yard TD plunge last week, Murray would have been a bust for the second consecutive game. Derrick Henry has been outperforming the starter during that stretch, and with a tough matchup up next, Murray’s arrow is pointing down yet again.

T.Y. Hilton, WR, Colts at Jaguars. The last time these teams met, Hilton was limited to two receptions for 27 yards. Since then, the Jaguars have cemented their status as the league’s most fearsome pass defense. Jacoby Brissett will be under siege all game, leaving Hilton to run around aimlessly.

Doug Baldwin, WR, Seahawks vs. Eagles. Baldwin was inexplicably targeted just three times last week, and another quiet outing could be looming on Sunday night. Philly CB Patrick Robinson will be shadowing him all game, and the Eagles’ defensive line should overpower Seattle’s struggling offensive counterparts.

More thumbs down: QBs Derek Carr, Andy Dalton, Jacoby Brissett, Jay Cutler, Case Keenum, Joe Flacco, Jimmy Garoppolo; RBs C.J. Anderson, Jonathan Stewart, Jacquizz Rodgers, Mike Davis, Eddie Lacy, Tevin Coleman, LeGarrette Blount, Frank Gore, Ameer Abdullah, Matt Forte; WRs Donte Moncrief, Corey Coleman, Nelson Agholor, Kenny Stills, Mohammed Sanu, Jordan Matthews, Jeremy Maclin, Martavis Bryant, Travis Benjamin.


Corey Davis, WR, Titans vs. Texans. Arguably the most electric receiver in the 2017 draft, Davis is still looking for his breakout game after missing a big chunk of the season with a bum hammy. His moment in the spotlight could come Sunday, with Rishard Matthews likely sidelined again and Houston’s soft secondary on tap.

DON’T BE THE BONEHEAD WHO…starts Josh Gordon in his first game action in three years. Everything is working against him in this contest, not least of which is the stifling Chargers pass defense. I understand the desire to plug in an “elite” receiver in Week 13, but Gordon hasn’t fit that description since 2013.