Crunch time is here! It is Week 13, and if you are reading this, you are likely still alive! Hopefully you have a playoff spot clinched and are playing for seeding or a bye, but if you are fighting for your life, know that the playoffs have already started for you! Use this article to help you make tough lineup calls and maybe find a sleeper to propel you into the playoffs!
Week 12 Slot Leaders
Tough Slot Matchups:
Top-5 teams (not on bye) allowing the fewest fantasy PPG to slot WR and their Week 13 opponents top slot option:
QBs Throwing to Slot the Most
Top-5 QBs in percent of passes to the slot:
Top Slot Performers in the Last Month
Here are the top fantasy scoring WRs from the slot since Week 13 and their PPG:
Slot Storylines to Follow
Sterling Shepard saw a lot of work from the slot early in the year, but then he went down due to injury around the time Golden Tate was returning and Tate has held down the slot ever since. The duo both took the field in Week 12, for the first time since Week 5, when Tate made his team debut. The slot usage in Week 12 would be our first real sense of how the Giants would operate with both healthy moving forward. Tate led the Giants with 27 slot routes, while Shepard ran just eight. Tate also led with six slot targets. It is clear, if he is healthy enough to play, he will continue to man the slot for the Giants. But, there could be a lot of mouths to feed if and when Evan Engram returns.
Chris Godwin and Mike Evans may have not split the fantasy points in Week 12, but they did continue to split time in the slot. Godwin ran 11 slot routes to Evans' 10. Godwin caught all three of his slot targets for 57 yards and a score, while Evans finished with only 17 yards on his lone slot target.
Danny Amendola ran a team leading 21 slot routes for the Lions, but Marvin Jones was right behind him with 20. Jones did lead the Lions with six slot targets and three catches. This is becoming a trend, as Jones has averaged 15.5 slot routes per game and 2.8 slot targets per game since Week 9. That adds to his weekly floor, putting him in the WR3/flex discussion.
Strong Slot Matchups
Davante Adams may be a surprising name to see in a slot receiver article, but in Week 12 he led the Packers with four slot targets. Adams caught three of them for 19 yards and a score. You know to play him every week, but he has a great matchup against the Giants, who struggle against receivers both out wide and in the slot. They have allowed the second-most fantasy PPG to slot receivers this season (17.48) and the fourth most since Week 9 (19.33).
Allen Robinson ran 15 slot routes, saw five slot targets, and finished with five catches for 113 yards and a touchdown, all from the slot. Expect more of the same this week against the Lions who have allowed the third most fantasy PPG to slot receivers since Week 9 (20.10) and are tied for the third most allowed on the season (17.22). Anthony Miller saw heavy volume out of the slot in Week 12 as well. He ran 23 routes, was targeted eight times and finished with six catches for 77 yards. He is a flex option in deeper leagues.
Cooper Kupp looked awesome in the first five weeks of the season, but he has been the WR39 since Week 6. He is a name to keep in your lineup this week against the Cardinals who have allowed the sixth most fantasy PPG to slot receivers both on the year (15.85) and since Week 9 (17.37).
Dede Westbrook seemingly leads the league in slot routes every week. He has a safe floor and this week may get to showcase his ceiling in the best matchup possible for slot receivers. The Bucs have allowed the most fantasy PPG to slot receivers this season (19.04) and the second-most since Week 9 (22.33). That is after getting torched by slot receivers all last season. There is a reason the Bucs opponent has been in this article every week since its inception. Start Westbrook this week.
Larry Fitzgerald takes on the Rams this week, who have allowed four touchdowns to slot receivers since Week 9. That is tied for the most in the NFL in that span. They've also allowed the seventh most fantasy PPG to slot receivers in that span (15.47). Fitzgerald has also taken over as the main slot receiver for the Cardinals. Since Week 9, he is averaging 27.7 slot routes per game, while Kirk is only running 4.3 per game. Fitzgerald is on the flex radar in this matchup.
Russell Gage saw big volume in Week 12. He ran 39 slot routes, finishing with nine targets, seven catches for 65 yards. This week he faces the Saints who have allowed the eighth-most fantasy PPG to slot receivers (15.75) in a game where the Falcons will likely be chasing points. He is a flex option once again.
Zay Jones is a deep sleeper. With Hunter Renfrow banged up, Jones will likely take over as the top slot option. Renfrow had seen at least five targets in four straight games. He is a deep play, but he faces the Chiefs who have allowed the fifth-most fantasy PPG to slot receivers (15.92) and the Raiders are likely going to be playing from behind.