Fantasy Football Start ’em Sit ’em Week 13

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Fantasy Football Start ’em Sit ’em Week 13

Sully Maley, Director of Visual/Creative Media

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Keith Allison
Andrew Luck had a great Week 12 performance against the Dolphins, throwing for 343 yards and 3 TDs.

Start ‘Em: Andrew Luck @ JAX, Russell Wilson vs SF

Starting Luck is usually a good bet, but this week, it’s a no-brainer. He’s thrown for at least 3 TD’s for eight weeks straight, and the last time he played the Jags, he dropped 27.2 fantasy points. The Jaguars’ defensive troubles have only grown since then, so Luck can be expected to top that number. Wilson has posted two or more TD’s in every game but one this year, and he just dropped a season-high 339 passing yards on the Panthers. The Seahawks play at home against the 49ers, who have allowed 20+ fantasy points to QB in all but two games. He’ll most likely post good numbers on Sunday.

Sit ‘Em: Jeff Driskel vs DEN, Matt Ryan vs BAL

Yes, Jeff Driskel did pretty well when he came in for Andy Dalton after his thumb injury, scoring 2 TDs (after Dalton only scored one as the starter). But we should remember that the first of these two scores came late in the third quarter when Cleveland had a 4-TD lead and was basically tasked with running the clock. He’ll play a Broncos defense that had a solid outing against the Steelers on Sunday, ending the game with a crucial goal-line interception. Don’t count on a big game from the Bengals backup. Matt Ryan owners should consider benching him this week simply because of his matchup. He plays an amazing Baltimore pass defense that has allowed a league-low yards-per-attempt, completion percentage and touchdown rate. After dropping only 20.7 points on the Saints, ranked the 3rd easiest defense to pass against, he probably won’t perform at his normal caliber against the Ravens, who are ranked the 2nd hardest.

Sleeper: Case Keenum @ CIN

Although Keenum hasn’t been a big fantasy producer this season, he’ll be playing the Bengals defense that just gave up 258 yds and 4 TDs to rookie Baker Mayfield. This unit is also ranked 32nd in yards allowed and points allowed. He’s only 16% owned, so if you’re in need of a waiver QB, he’s almost definitely available.



Start ‘Em: James Conner vs LAC, Matt Breida @ SEA

Conner had a rough Sunday in Denver, logging 13 carries for 53 yards. However, Ben Roethlisberger has thrown 5 interceptions and only 3 touchdowns in his last two games, so expect the Steelers to use Conner to exploit the Chargers’ mediocre run defense as opposed to attacking their 7th ranked pass defense. Breida comes off of back-to-back 100+ yard games for his game in Seattle this weekend. The Seahawks have allowed at least 22 fantasy points to starting RBs three weeks in a row, and Breida can be expected to tack a fourth week onto that number.

Keith Allison
Adrian Peterson in September.

Sit ‘Em: Adrian Peterson @ PHI, Sony Michel @ MIN

The Redskins travel to play the Eagles, who’s run defense is ranked 11th. Even with backup QB Colt McCoy, the Redskins should look to the air against a 28th-ranked Eagles pass defense. Doug Pederson even admitted that because their unit is so thin at cornerback due to recent injuries, he’s been using wide receivers at the position in practice. Don’t be tempted by Sony Michel’s 133 yard game against the Jets last week, as he’ll play a Vikings defense that has allowed the 5th-fewest fantasy points to RBs this season. Despite his recent success, he can’t be relied on for a big game in Minnesota.

Sleeper: Austin Ekeler @ PIT

Ekeler eclipsed 100 yds Sunday with Melvin Gordon’s MCL injury. He’ll be starting this weekend with Gordon out, so increased numbers can be expected.


Wide Receivers

Jeffrey Beall
Emmanuel Sanders dropped 14.6 fantasy points on the Steelers last Sunday, and will look for another big performance in Week 13.

Start ‘Em: Emmanuel Sanders @ CIN, Amari Cooper vs NO

Sanders will face the Bengals’ weak pass defense (see sleeper QB) and should have a good game coming off a big home win against Pittsburgh. As for Cooper, who ranks 8th in PPR scoring in the span since he joined the Cowboys, the Cowboys will play New Orleans’ weak pass defense in Dallas (see Start ‘Em QBs) and he should have a pretty good game.

Sit ‘Em:Odell Beckham Jr. vs CHI, Jarvis Landry @ HOU

I sit Odell not for lack of talent, rather, lack of good play call. When Pat Shurmur and Mike Shula put together a game plan that only allows for two 30+ yard targets to their star receiver against Doug Pederson’s suffering secondary, I can’t really expect OBJ to post big numbers. If he only put up 8.5 fantasy points against Philly’s pass defense, which is 5th in yards allowed, then he can’t be relied on against Chicago, who allows the 10th least yards and leads the league in interceptions. Again, I don’t mean to stay that Beckham isn’t skilled enough to deserve a start, because he definitely is, but his coaching staff isn’t utilizing those skills, which means bad fantasy numbers. Landry owners need to face the fact that the Juice has expired. After failing to drop more than 5 fantasy points since Week 7, he’ll travel to play a Texans defense that has allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy points to WRs. He’s only had two 10+ fantasy point games on the season, so there’s no reason to expect big numbers from him this week.

Sleeper: Curtis Samuel @ TB

With Devin Funchess (back) still not practicing last week, it’s looking like he won’t take the field against the Bucs. If he doesn’t, Samuel will continue to receive increased snaps. He’s quietly integrated himself into the Panthers’ passing unit, scoring in three of his last four games. He should have a pretty good game against the 27th-ranked Tampa Bay pass defense.


Tight Ends

Start ‘Em: Cameron Brate vs CAR, Eric Ebron @ JAX

Throughout Jameis Winston’s starting QB battle with Ryan Fitzpatrick, Cameron Brate was a favorite target for Winston, and the Bucs will play at home against a Panthers defense that allows the most fantasy points to TE’s in the league. Eric Ebron has scored 11 TDs in 11 games this season, having a career year. He returned to full practice today, and he can be counted on for even better numbers this week due to Jack Doyle (kidney) being moved to IR. Plus, the Colts’ injury report lists 4 TEs, and Eric Ebron is the only one of those who had a full practice today.

Chipermc, Wikimedia Commons
George Kittle in December of last year.

Sit ‘Em: Jimmy Graham vs. ARI, Jordan Reed @ PHI

Jimmy Graham hasn’t run more than 20 routes in 3 straight games and is playing with a busted thumb against a Cardinals defense that gives up the 8th least points to TEs. Add onto that Aaron Rodgers’ recent inconsistencies, and you’ll see Graham being way overthrown when he’s wide open or struggling on difficult jump balls, just as we saw when Green Bay played the Rams, 49ers, and Vikings, to name a few. Reed has only scored 2 TDs on the season and will travel to play a Philly defense that has allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to TEs. While Reed could surprise us, he probably won’t repeat the success he’s enjoyed over the past two weeks.

Sleeper: George Kittle @ SEA

Yes, Kittle plays the Seahawks this week, who have allowed the 7th least points to TEs. Yes, he’ll be traveling. And yes, the 49ers are the most insecure team at QB in the league. But even though Kittle has struggled recently, a lot of these problems can be attributed to Nick Mullens, who may or may not start this week. Kittle can be considered a good sleeper option in a week where quality tight ends are at a heavy premium.

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