Mon Dec 4 12:26pm ET
Field Level Media
Could Brock Purdy go from Mr. Irrelevant to NFL Most Valuable Player in less than two years?
San Francisco's quarterback is the +300 MVP favorite at DraftKings after leading the 49ers to a 42-19 victory at Philadelphia on Sunday. Not only did it serve notice that San Francisco might be the NFC's most dominant team, but Purdy outplayed previous MVP favorite Jalen Hurts in his own building.
Hurts, who was the +250 favorite at the book just two weeks ago, dropped to +350. That's equal to Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott, who is on his own rapid rise after opening the Week 13 slate with his sixth consecutive multiple-touchdown game in a comeback win over Seattle on Thursday night.
The trio are the +350 co-favorites at BetMGM. There is then a significant gap to two previous MVPs -- Baltimore's Lamar Jackson at +600 and Kansas City's Patrick Mahomes at +750, followed by Miami's Tua Tagovailoa at +800.
Jackson and Mahomes are being offered at +900 at DraftKings after being +350 and +400, respectively, just two weeks ago. Tagovailoa has shorter odds than both at the book, where he is +700.
Jackson's Ravens are coming off their bye week and are tied with Tagovailoa's Dolphins atop the AFC at 9-3. He will have plenty of opportunity to state his case down the stretch with a Week 15 game at Jacksonville followed by a cross-country trip to battle Purdy in San Francisco ahead of a Week 17 home game against Tagovailoa and Miami that could decide home-field advantage in the AFC.
Mahomes and the Chiefs have fallen a game off the pace following their loss at Green Bay on Sunday night -- Kansas City's third loss in its past five games. Mahomes, the reigning MVP, does not have any remaining games against other MVP candidates, although the Chiefs also play only one more team that currently has a winning record.
Meanwhile, Purdy has plenty of opportunity to continue to shine on the national stage.
San Francisco plays host to Seattle on Sunday, followed by a game at Arizona before the Week 16 tilt against Baltimore on "Monday Night Football." The 49ers close out the regular season with a trip to reeling Washington and a home game against the Los Angeles Rams.
After a slow first quarter, Purdy led San Francisco to touchdown drives on six consecutive possessions at Philadelphia. He finished the game with 314 passing yards and four touchdowns. Critics will point out that his receivers racked up 212 yards after the catch and that 48.5 percent of Purdy's passing yards this season have been the result of YAC.
However, Purdy has already outplayed Hurst and Prescott in head-to-head blowouts by San Francisco, and he'll have an opportunity for a third signature win against Jackson and the Ravens.
Purdy leads the NFL in completion percentage and quarterback rating.
The 49ers (9-3) are now second in the NFC behind the Eagles (10-2), whose next two games are at the Cowboys (9-3) and Seahawks (6-6). How the NFC playoff picture looks after the next several weeks could have a major factor in how the MVP race shakes out.
The Washington Commanders offense really couldn't get anything going in the 45-15 shellacking by the Miami Dolphins on Sunday in Week 13. No Washington pass-catcher exceeded 65 yards on the day or found the end zone. Tight end Logan Thomas, meanwhile, couldn't secure his only target of the day to give fantasy managers that started him a bagel in the score column. It was his second straight disappointing game, as Thomas had only two catches for 15 yards in last week's blowout loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving. The Commanders will go back to the drawing board during their bye in Week 14, and Thomas will come out in Week 15 against the Los Angeles Rams hoping to be much more productive. Fantasy managers will find him hard to trust in that one as a high-end, touchdown-dependent TE2.
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Greg Dortch scored his first touchdown of the year in last week's loss to the Los Angeles Rams, but he couldn't continue the momentum in Week 13's upset win in Pittsburgh over the Steelers on Sunday. Dortch finished with just one catch on three targets for a 19-yard gain. More was expected of Dortch in this one with rookie Michael Wilson (shoulder) missing his third straight game and the fact that No. 1 wideout Marquise Brown aggravated his heel injury in this game and didn't catch a single pass. But the Cardinals jumped out to an early lead and never really needed to put their foot on the gas pedal with the passing offense in a game that was delayed twice due to thunderstorms in the area. The Cardinals head into their bye in Week 14, so Brown could be ready to go for Week 15 against the San Francisco 49ers.
Fantasy managers that chose to stream Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Cade Otton in Week 13 with six teams on bye came away extremely disappointed with the results and were left with a donut. Otton wasn't targeted at all in the team's 21-18 win over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. As usual, No. 1 receiver Mike Evans did the heavy lifting for the Bucs through the air with a 7-162-1 line in Tampa's fifth win of the season. It was the first time all year that Otton hasn't seen a target. Other than a two-touchdown performance in Week 9 against the Houston Texans, the 24-year-old has not gone over 50 receiving yards in a contest in 2023. He'll most likely bounce back in Week 14 against the Atlanta Falcons, but Otton has been a low-upside, touchdown-dependent TE2 streamer, at best.
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Rondale Moore's day in Week 13 against the Pittsburgh Steelers could have been much more fruitful, but he ended the 24-10 upset win with just a six-yard pickup on his only catch (two targets). Moore secured a long touchdown catch in the back of the end zone that was called back due to an offensive penalty and he did very little else on a day in which the Cardinals didn't need to throw the ball much after building an early lead and never being threatened by a Steelers offense that lost quarterback Kenny Pickett to an ankle injury early in the first half. He had a 48-yard touchdown catch (his first of the year) in Week 11 but has posted three catches for 41 yards in two games since. The 23-year-old hasn't gone over 50 yards receiving in a single game in 2023 and has a bad matchup in Week 15 against the San Francisco 49ers after a bye in Week 14.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Derek Carr (concussion, back, shoulder) left the Week 13 loss to the Detroit Lions in the fourth quarter after a hard shot and never returned, and he's officially in the league's concussion protocol on Monday. Carr had to be carted off the field and is also dealing with back and shoulder injuries. The 32-year-old seemingly has been hurt almost every week but hasn't missed any time in 2023. This situation with multiple injuries could be different, though. Jameis Winston replaced Carr and nearly led the Saints back and could be in line to start in Week 14 against the Carolina Panthers. Carr is now in the concussion protocol for the second time in the last three games, so it seems likely he'll need to sit out at least one game.
Dynasty | Christian Watson exited week 13 with an apparent re-injury of his right hamstring Dynasty Analysis: Not ideal. Watson has been trending of late and put together another fine performance Sunday night before falling to the ground grabbing the same hamstring that caused him to miss three games at the beginning of the season. Balky hamstrings have been at the forefront of injury news through the entirety of 2023 and Watson will be a big loss as we head into fantasy playoffs if he misses any time, as would seem to be likely. Watson is found as DLF's WR30.
Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Justin Watson was not targeted at all in the team's 27-19 loss to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night. In recent weeks, the 27-year-old seemed to be carving out a role in this offense that's devoid of strong wide receivers. He scored in each of the last two games and earned 11 targets two weeks ago against the Eagles. Rookie Rashee Rice led the wideouts on Sunday, but Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Richie James, and Skyy Moore all saw more looks than Watson. His snap shares didn't take a hit. He was just unable to get open. Watson is avoidable in the majority of leagues and the Chiefs prepare to host the Buffalo Bills.
Washington Commanders wide receiver Jahan Dotson caught two of his five targets for 23 yards in the team's 45-15 blowout loss to the Miami Dolphins. The Commanders, unsurprisingly, fell behind quickly to one of the best offenses in the league. Instead of throwing to try and catch up, Ron Rivera stayed committed to the running game. Sam Howell only ended up throwing 23 passes, completing 12 of them. The Commanders take their bye in Week 14 (the final bye week of the season). Dotson has been a disappointment for the majority of the season and does not need to be rostered through the bye in standard-sized leagues. The Rams, Jets, and 49ers are on the schedule when they return to play.
San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle secured four of his six targets for 68 yards in the team's blowout victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. Even though he was able to reach double-digit PPR points, the former All-Pro was the San Francisco weapon left out of the fun. Deebo Samuel scored three times, Brandon Aiyuk grabbed another touchdown, Christian McCaffrey scored on the ground, and even Jauan Jennings found paydirt. Kittle will be right back in the TE1 range next week when the Niners host the Seattle Seahawks.
New York Giants quarterback Tyrod Taylor (ribs) is being designated to return from injured reserve. His practice window is open and the Giants will have 21 days to activate him for a game. Undrafted rookie quarterback Tommy Devito has led New York to two straight victories (albeit over Washington and New England), so the team may decide to stick with the youngster during this lost season. It's worth watching as the Giants prepare to host the Green Bay Packers in Week 14. Regardless of who is the starter, neither signal caller is worth a roster spot in single-quarterback formats.
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Josh Downs caught three passes for 14 yards in the team's 31-28 overtime win over the Tennessee Titans. The rookie saw just five targets on the day and fell behind Alec Pierce (six targets, three catches for 100 yards) on the afternoon. Michael Pittman Jr. led the way in the Indianapolis receiving game once again. After looking like a weekly starter in the middle of the season, Downs has let managers down in four straight games, although in two of those he was limited due to a knee injury. He'll match up against a soft Cincinnati secondary in Week 14 but it's difficult to trust the rookie as anything more than a WR4 right now.
Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (concussion) is officially in the league's concussion protocol after departing Sunday's game against the Colts with symptoms. The former All-Pro back rushed 21 times for 102 yards and two touchdowns and caught one pass for 18 yards before exiting in the fourth quarter. The concussion puts his status in doubt for a Monday night tilt against the Miami Dolphins. The timing could present a dilemma for fantasy managers, depending on whether Henry is still questionable when the Sunday games begin. Rookie Tyjae Spears becomes an immediate priority off of the waiver wire if he's available.
Dynasty | Kenny Pickett will undergo ankle surgery on Monday morning and miss at least "a couple weeks." Dynasty Analysis: The hope is that the team will have their signal caller back soon though Adam Schefter noted that the goal is to make sure he's back by no later than week 18, hopefully for the beginning of what would be a visit to the playoffs. It's been a difficult year for the sophomore quarterback who only has six throwing touchdowns to four interceptions in his 12 appearances and now cedes the starting role to Mitch Trubisky. At this point in his development, he's not better than a back-end QB2 in fantasy and is found as DLF's QB23.
Dynasty | Mitch Trubisky will be the Steelers starter until Kenny Pickett returns in "a couple weeks." Dynasty Analysis: Trubisky saw action for the third time this season and will now be under center for multiple weeks while starter Kenny Pickett recovers from ankle surgery. The veteran quarterback hasn't been able to spark the team to a victory in any of this appearances in 2023 though did throw a touchdown in the Steelers embarrassing loss to the Cardinals in week 13. The Steelers quarterback situation remains a black hole of production and it's hard to imagine Trubisky turning that around in the weeks to come. He remains unranked on DLF's dynasty quarterback rankings and is a low upside emergency option only.
Dynasty | Jordan Love threw for 267 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions in the Packers victory over the Chiefs in week 13. Dynasty Analysis: Don't look now but Love seems to have turned the corner and is putting his thumbprint on the starting job. He's now notched three victories in as many weeks while throwing for eight touchdowns to zero interceptions. If nothing else, he's given the Packers enough to be under-center in 2024. On the season, the first-year starter has a 22:10 touchdown-to-interception ratio with five games remaining. The NFL's youngest team sports an extremely young receiver corps. and Love, found as DLF's QB20 continues to give dynasty coaches something to think about.
Dynasty | Rookie Rashee Rice produced 64 yards on 8-of-9 receiving in the Chiefs loss to the Packers in Week 13, securing his role as the team's WR1. Dynasty Analysis: Without question the top target remains Travis Kelce but it's the rookie who has climbed the ladder to emerge from a middling group of receivers. Mahomes continues to express confidence in his receiver room while taking all the criticism, but clearly the team has production issues in the passing game and will need to address the position in the offseason. As for Rice, the rookie now produced eight receptions over his past two contests on 19 targets while finding the end zone five times. Listed as DLF's WR42, Rice carries a low value and appears to be a value-on acquisition target in dynasty.
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett (ankle) will not be placed on injured reserve, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. He's expected to undergo surgery today and the recovery timeline for his high-ankle issue is 2-4 weeks. Pittsburgh, despite the upset loss to the Cardinals on Sunday, remains in the thick of the AFC playoff race. Having the opportunity for their starting quarterback to return late in the regular season likely plays a big factor in the decision. Mitch Trubisky will be the starter for Thursday Night Football against the New England Patriots, with Mason Rudolph serving as the backup.
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Jauan Jennings had his most productive offensive day this season in the team's 42-19 dismantling of the Eagles in Philadelphia. The former seventh-rounder finished the day with three catches on four targets for 44 yards and a touchdown. That's about as good as it's going to get as long as San Francisco's other pass-catchers are healthy. If Jennings becomes a starting option in fantasy, then something has gone terribly wrong in San Francisco. It was nice to see the role-player get a well-deserved touchdown, but he can be ignored in Week 14 a home game versus the Seattle Seahawks.
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel backed up a lot of smack talk in a 43-19 victory over the Eagles in Philadelphia on Sunday. The 27-year-old had been publicly doubting the skills of the Eagles secondary in the media for months, so Sunday was a good day for a four-catch, 116-yard, two-touchdown performance. Samuel also had it going on the ground, taking three carries for 22 yards and another touchdown. His two receiving touchdowns were a season-high and he's now scored three rushing touchdowns in his last four games. Samuel is tough to predict because unlike the week-to-week matchup-based uncertainty surrounding many of the receivers near him in the rankings, Samuel's biggest obstacle to consistency is the production of his teammates. The 49ers' uber-talented pass attack will meet the bottom-10 Seattle Seahawks pass defense at Levi's Stadium in Week 14.
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk was targeted a team-high seven times on Sunday in a massive 43-19 victory over the Eagles in Philadelphia on Sunday. He finished the day with five receptions for 46 yards and a touchdown. The second-quarter, two-yard touchdown came on a nice diving catch on a crossing route in the back of the endzone. Aiyuk has now caught exactly one touchdown in each of San Francisco's last four games. Fantasy managers could be forgiven, though, for wanting a bit more fantasy production on Sunday given the final score. Aiyuk and the 49ers host a beatable Seattle Seahawks pass defense in Week 14 and fantasy gamers will hope it's Aiyuk's turn for a monster performance in this too-many-mouths-to-feed offense.