What We Saw: Week 13

The QB List staff catches you up on everything you missed during Week 13 of the 2020 NFL season.

Colts @ Texans

 

This was a well-contested game with enough big offensive plays, defensive stops, and drama to be very interesting. Phillip Rivers was nothing special as usual, but he got the job done. Jonathan Taylor finally put up good numbers on the ground and Nyheim Hines had a bunch of great kick/punt returns called back due to penalties. Deshaun Watson put the team on his back and nearly carried them to victory, but a late fumble proved costly as the Colts snuck away with a 26-20 victory.

 

Indianapolis Colts

 

Quarterback

 

Phillip Rivers: 27/35, 285 yards, 2 TD, 3 sacks | 2 carries, -2 yards

Jacoby Brissett: 2 carries, 1 yard

 

There was a bit of a scare early on for the Colts and especially Phillip Rivers, as their starting left tackle Le’Raven Clark was hurt on the first drive of the game. In fact, Clark is actually the backup left tackle, as the true starter Anthony Castonzo was ruled out for this one. So, Indianapolis was down to their third-string left tackle against a scary Houston front led by J.J. Watt, and… it ended up just fine. Rivers was sacked only a handful of times, and for the most part, he dinked and dunked his way down the field at will. His two touchdowns were largely due to wide-open receivers, so it’s not like Rivers did anything truly special here, but he was serviceable for both fantasy and real-life purposes en route to a victory. Jacoby Brissett once again came in for a couple of short-yardage situations, including one on 3rd and 1 to keep a drive moving, but otherwise did nothing. He will occasionally vulture a TD or two from either Rivers or the backs, but in the event of a Rivers injury he doesn’t really move the needle either.

 

Running Backs

 

Jonathan Taylor: 13 carries, 91 yards | 3 targets, 3 receptions, 44 yards, TD

Nyheim Hines: 6 carries, 10 yards, TD | 3 targets, 3 receptions, 22 yards

Jordan Wilkins: 5 carries, 12 yards | 2 targets, 2 receptions, 6 yards

 

This was the Jonathan Taylor that fantasy managers have been hoping for all season. Taylor was nine yards shy of 100 on the day, and he capitalized on his three targets with a 39-yard touchdown reception in the 2nd quarter. It came on a 4th-and-4 play call immediately after a 3rd down play where J.J. Watt blew up Nyheim Hines in the backfield.

 

 

Taylor set the tone on his first carry of the game, getting held up after a four-yard gain but he somehow powered his way for another five yards (with some help from his offensive linemen). On a drive late in the 4th quarter, he had multiple long chunk runs while staying inbounds to milk some extra clock. The Texans’ defense is no steel curtain, but it was still nice to see Taylor finally have a good day regardless of the opponent.

Nyheim Hines salvaged his day with a touchdown run at the end of the first quarter, and was otherwise useless for fantasy purposes. He saved his explosiveness for the return game, where he broke out two long returns on punts and another on a free kick after a safety which looked to be a touchdown at first glance. All of them got called back on Colts’ penalties, however, so even if your league rewards return yards, Hines did nothing for you. Time will tell if the pendulum swings back to him in Week 14, or if most of the touches and success goes to Taylor. Here’s a GIF of Hines getting stuffed on a key 4th and 1 late in the game on a carry that probably should have gone to Taylor.

 

 

 

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

 

T.Y. Hilton: 11 targets, 8 receptions, 110 yards, TD

Michael Pittman Jr.: 5 targets, 5 receptions, 46 yards

Zach Pascal: 1 target, 1 reception, 11 yards

Trey Burton: 3 targets,1 reception, 11 yards

Mo Allie-Cox: 5 targets, 3 receptions, 23 yards

Jack Doyle: 1 target, 1 reception, 12 yards

 

Boy, T.Y. Hilton really loves Houston, huh? He had another huge day at the Texans’ home stadium, racking up over 100 yards receiving for the first time this season. He also scored a touchdown on a well-executed rub route where he had plenty of room to catch the pass and run into the end zone.Hilton TD on a rub route on Colts’ first drive.

 

 

Later in the game, Hilton made an acrobatic 3rd down catch that was initially called out of bounds. Instant replay reversed the call when it became clear that he somehow tapped his left toe inbounds before he got knocked out. He was the star of this game, and it’s great to finally see a breakout for the former fantasy stud.

The only other notable receiver worth mentioning was Michael Pittman Jr., and he didn’t really stand out at all. Unless I missed something, his five catches were pretty quiet. The five targets are nice, but if he’s going to break out at all this year we need to see more than those five targets consistently.

Mo Allie-Cox led the tight end group on Sunday with five targets, and like Pittman I don’t recall them being anything spectacular. Trey Burton did have an egregious drop that is worth mentioning, and after his big week in Week 12 he fell back to earth as Allie-Cox got more playing time.

 

Houston Texans

 

Quarterback

 

Deshaun Watson: 26/38, 341 yards, INT, 5 sacks, 2 fumbles | 7 carries, 38 yards, TD

 

It was an up and down day for Deshaun Watson and the Texans’ offense. Despite losing Will Fuller V for the season with a PED suspension, Watson still made some big plays thanks in large part to some relatively unknown names. Watson leaned heavily on Keke Coutee and Chad Hansen in this one, both of whom were surprisingly open for most of the day. Watson found Coutee for a 64 yard connection in the 1st quarter, where Watson stepped up to avoid pressure and made a nice throw downfield.

 

 

On the next play, Watson ran it in for the Texans’ first touchdown of the day.

 

 

On the next drive, Watson nearly threw an interception on a funky trick play where he was split out wide. David Johnson took the direct snap, tossed it to Watson (as he ran towards the backfield), and then Watson heaved it downfield where it was tipped by a Colts’ defender and nearly picked off by another. Later in the game, Watson was intercepted on a pass that was nearly caught by Brandin Cooks, but it was wrestled away by the defender midair and instant replay didn’t overturn the call.

 

 

The first of Watson’s two fumbles was a strip by Justin Houston – who was all over Watson all day – but luckily an offensive lineman fell on the ball. Midway through the fourth quarter, he was also sacked by Houston in the end zone for a safety.

 

 

It looked to be the end of the day for Houston, but they would get the ball one more time with a chance to score. Watson then led Houston’s offense downfield on a surgical drive where he went 5-for-6 and gained 73 yards. On 2nd and goal at the Indianapolis two-yard line, Watson bobbled a shotgun snap, fumbled the ball and it was recovered by Indy. It was a stunning ending when it looked all but certain that Watson would complete the late-game heroics and lead Houston to victory. Despite the mistakes and the lack of passing touchdowns, it was an impressive performance for Watson who made the most of what he had in a tough matchup. Look for him to bounce back next week against the Bears.

 

 

Running Backs

 

David Johnson: 10 carries, 44 yards, TD | 2 targets

Duke Johnson: 2 carries, 8 yards | 6 targets, 6 receptions, 24 yards

 

David Johnson returned on Sunday and looked… okay. 4.4 yards per carry is respectable, but only carrying it 10 times isn’t enough, especially when you’re only targeted twice. Duke Johnson was the back getting all the targets, but he didn’t get any carries. If you were to combine the two DJs into one it would have been a solid PPR day for the Houston running back, but alas they are not the same person. David did find the end zone on a nice run, but otherwise it was a quiet day for this backfield.

 

 

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

 

Brandin Cooks: 8 targets, 5 receptions, 65 yards

Keke Coutee: 9 targets, 8 receptions, 141 yards

Jordan Akins: 3 targets, 2 receptions, 10 yards

Chad Hansen: 7 targets, 5 receptions, 101 yards

Darren Fells: 1 target

 

Okay, so Keke Coutee isn’t exactly unknown in fantasy realms, but for the majority of casual fans I’m sure his big day came as a huge surprise when most of them probably expectedd Brandin Cooks to be the one to go off. In fact, Cooks was actually the third best receiver on the day for Houston behind Coutee and Chad Hansen. Hansen was surely the biggest surprise of the day, as this writer had never heard of him prior to today’s game. He made a nice catch on a deflected ball just before halftime to help put Houston in field goal range.

 

 

I wouldn’t be racing out to add Hansen this week, but I will be looking to add Coutee everywhere. He was the story of the day for this Houston team and it’s clear that he’s finally capable of picking up the slack and excelling in this offense after years of disappointment. He looked quick with good separation, and he should continue seeing targets in this pass heavy offense.

Brandin Cooks did leave the game briefly after hitting his head hard on the ground, and for a moment it looked like he would be out for a considerable amount of time. However, he was cleared to play shortly after and ended up catching a couple passes after returning. Keep an eye on this going forward but it seems that Cooks and his fantasy managers all dodged a bullet.

 

— Ben Brown (@FelixTheDog23 on Twitter, iamatechnician on Reddit)

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