If you’re looking for QB/TE/DEF streaming options, check out my recently published Week 13 Waiver Wire article.
Start your studs and 3-down RBs every week, as the passing work keeps them viable in any game script: Le’Veon Bell, Todd Gurley, Alvin Kamara, Mark Ingram, Melvin Gordon, LeSean McCoy, Carlos Hyde, Devonta Freeman, Jordan Howard, Leonard Fournette, Lamar Miller, Christian McCaffrey (PPR preferred), Duke Johnson (PPR only).
Going to try something new this week, and that’s write a blurb on most RB situations you might be considering starting this week outside the ones I mentioned above.
RBs I like/okay with in Week 13
Perine is close to an every-week start for me as a 2-down RB because of a few things: 1) the Redskins usually won’t fall too far out of game script, so Perine will stay involved. 2) He’s capable in the passing game, which helps a ton in his final output for fantasy. 3) He’s been getting 23+ carries in each of the two games since Rob Kelley got hurt. Now that Chris Thompson is also done for the year, the Redskins will lean on Perine even more. 4) He’s been playing well behind a healthier offensive line. 5) He’ll have goal line opportunities. This week, he plays a Cowboys team that is very beatable on the ground, and should have another 20+ touch game.
Collins has been playing well, and when you have a defense that keeps the game in reach throughout, he’s going to have opportunity to continue running the ball down the opponent’s throats. Even against a tough Houston defense this past week, Collins was able to get enough opportunity and was able to get a score as well. This week he goes up against Detroit, who’s allowed at least one rushing TD to a RB in 6 straight games and in 9 of the 11 games they played this year.
Lewis has averaged about 15 touches a game over the past 5 games for the Patriots, and when you have these type of touches on a great offense, we want to start that player. Not only that, Lewis has looked good, averaging over 5 YPC over that time span. Lewis is a candidate for goal line carries as well, so I’m firing up Lewis when I have the chance. Buffalo has been terrible defending the run since trading away Marcell Dareus, and should get plenty of opportunity to carve up the defense while the Patriots are favored by more than a TD.
With Damien Williams out this week, Drake becomes a good start even against Denver since he’ll be getting a ton of work. Drake’s very capable in the pass game, and has been rotating with Williams in every role before Williams got hurt. Drake can break a long one on any of his touches, so I would start him as he should have a solid floor with a ceiling.
The Raiders are favored by more than a TD at home without Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper playing. That should tell you a lot about the Giants chances in this game. With the Raiders likely up most of the game, Lynch has a chance of duplicating his opportunity that he had last week and put up a very solid game on top of possible goal line opportunities. Starting RBs are averaging around 20 carries over the last 3 weeks against the Giants, so I like Lynch this week. Update: Damon “Snacks” Harrison might not play this week, and is listed as questionable. Lynch would get an upgrade if Snacks can’t go. Would start Lynch either way.
Peterson’s a decent start this week, with the hopes that he can get some work in before the game gets out of hand. Rams are favored by a TD in this game, but the Cardinals play better at home. Peterson needs volume to be relevant, and that might be tough in this game. Since the Rams have been giving up yards on the ground, Peterson can get his this week. Not my favorite start, but he’s viable.
Mixon hasn’t been good most of the year, mostly because of his offensive line and usage. We have to hope that his usage remains up near the 20+ carries he’s had the last 2 games, but his passing usage has been saving him even when he doesn’t get volume in the run game. Because of that, I’m okay starting him at home even though I cringe every time I see him in a lineup.
Eh RBs for Week 13
Alfred Morris/Rod Smith
This has been a timeshare the past 2 weeks, with Morris owners thinking that he has the early down job locked down. Smith has actually out-snapped Morris in all three games they played in without Zeke. This past week, Smith saw the same number of carries, but saw opportunity in the passing game as well as a goal line carry for a TD. Smith has looked good, and I think is the better start of the two, although I think they might take enough away from each other this week to keep them on your bench unless you don’t have any other options.
Abdullah doesn’t get enough work to be confident in him. I doubt that most of you have been using him. In the last 5 games, he’s had one game over 11 carries, and only had 6 last week against Minnesota. I doubt he will have a ton of work against Baltimore either. Even if he does, it’ll be hard to imagine him getting fantasy relevant production against this defense. He also didn’t practice on Thursday with a neck injury, which is not a good sign for his chances to play this week. Keep monitoring him; if he practices on Friday he should be able to suit up.
DeMarco Murray/Derrick Henry
The Titans backfield has been turning into a timeshare and goes back and forth between Murray and Henry every week. It’s currently pointing in favor of Henry, but we just don’t know who the guy will be this week. I hope you have another option, as I’m finding it tough to start either of these guys, who vulture fantasy value away from each other.
CJ Anderson/Devontae Booker
This backfield is favoring Booker, as he has more of a chance of being Denver’s future feature RB, but this is still a timeshare. Booker has some appeal in PPR, so I’m okay starting him there, but he’s not my favorite choice. I’m not starting CJ Anderson right now if I have a choice. This is a poor man’s Murray/Henry situation.
Gore should get his classic 17 carries for 62 yards in this game. Pretty much what he gets in every game. If you’re cool with that, start him.
I’m starting Williams if Ty Montgomery and Aaron Jones, who practiced on Thursday, are inactive. If either are active, it’s a crapshoot as far as how much work Williams will get. If you don’t have any other options, he’s an okay start. If both Ty and Jones are active, all bets are off as this backfield can become very messy.
Jacquizz Rodgers/Peyton Barber/Charles Sims
If I’m listing three RBs, you know it’s going to be a problem. I’m not starting any of these guys. Jacquizz will probably see the most touches in case Doug Martin can’t go this week because of his concussion. Peyton Barber will probably come in for goal line carries, and Sims will get passing down work. That sounds like you can’t depend on any of these three, so I won’t bother.
He’s an eh running back? My goodness, how the landscape changes. But honestly, he’s the best eh running back in this list. He’s going to get the touches (I hope) and he should give you a solid floor (I hope). He’s only here because he hasn’t been getting it done lately in good matchups. I’m not reaching and getting desperate to put someone in for Kareem Hunt. If I have him, I’m most likely playing him. Things have to get right in KC at some point (I hope). They’re playing the Jets this week, but the matchup never mattered with Hunt; it’s his usage we need to worried about. If he’s used properly in any matchup, he will produce for fantasy.
Matt Forte/Bilal Powell/Elijah McGuire
This backfield is too crowded for me to start anyone. If Forte doesn’t play, I’m okay playing Powell, but we’ve seen him and McGuire split touches, limiting the upside for either. I’ll be staying away.
He’s a poor man’s Frank Gore. And that’s poor. Stewart does have a good matchup this week as long as the game stays close, so he’s a long shot floor play with potential for a TD with volume.
He’ll be eh in every game because of game script issues, but he’s not a bad start as he’s been playing well lately. The Chargers have a beatable run defense, and Crowell should be able to find space before the game gets out of hand.
Orleans Darkwa/Wayne Gallman
Gallman saw more opportunity than Darkwa last week, which was not what most of us were expecting, as Darkwa has played well this year. The Giants might want to continue to take a look at what they have in the rookie Gallman, so Darkwa is a risky play going forward. That combined with the Giants being 8.5 point underdogs doesn’t help his case of being in a position to get a ton of carries.
LeGarrette Blount/Jay Ajayi/Corey Clement
Blount is probably the only back I would start this week in this backfield. Ajayi is yet to see enough work to trust him, even though he can break a long one on any play. Blount has been playing well and could see 15+ carries against the Seahawks, a game in which the Eagles are favored by almost a touchdown. I’m not starting Blount unless I didn’t have much of a choice.. I don’t see his upside in this matchup, especially when he’s still not on the field as much as we’d like for a starting RB.
WR Starts – Remember, start your studs
Note: All position-specific fantasy stats for WRs come from Mike Clay’s WR/CB research. I realize I haven’t given credit to him all season, but he deserves a ton. Great stuff.
Adams has been getting it done with Brett Hundley at QB, averaging 6.25 catches for 88 yards on 9 targets over the last 4 games. That’s great. Start him with confidence against a TB secondary that allowed Julio to go over 250 yards with 2 TDs. Robert McClain has been terrible on the outside this season, so expect the Packers to take advantage of that matchup, where Adams runs a majority of his routes from.
Throw away last week’s game against Patrick Peterson. We saw that performance a week ahead of that matchup. Lee was averaging almost 10 targets per game before last week’s 2 target game. They just chose not to test Peterson. This week, he goes up against a Colts defense that was already bad against WRs, but now they’ll be without their top corner Rashaan Melvin. Expected perimeter defenders Pierre Desir and Kenny Moore have allowed 0.40+ fantasy points per route run against them this year in their limited time on the field so far. I expect Lee to have a great game at home, so I’ll try to have him in any lineup I can, including DFS.
We saw how involved Kupp was last week without Robert Woods on the field, and I would expect that to continue in a big way this week against the Cardinals. The Cards have struggled against slot WRs, giving up the 11th most fantasy points to the position. With Patrick Peterson focused on Sammy Watkins, Kupp should get close to 10 targets, plus red zone opportunities. Get him in your lineup this week.
Jay Cutler is back, so Parker becomes relevant again. With Aqib Talib out, there is no one on the perimeter that can hold Parker. Bradley Roby hasn’t been good, and rookie Brendan Langley is set take Talib’s spot on the other side. Parker is averaging about 9 targets since he came back from injury (and 9 targets/game with Cutler at QB), so I’m firing him up this week against a Broncos secondary who has allowed the most passing TDs in the league – and that’s with Talib on the field.
Just for the record, I’m playing Diggs every week. He’s a playmaker and can win you a week, even though Adam Thielen has emerged as the go-to in that offense. Diggs has a great matchup this week against struggling corner Desmond Trufant, who’s been allowing the 10th most fantasy points to WRs lining up against him. Trufant was once someone we were weary against starting our WRs against, but not this year. Diggs plays 50% of his routes on that side of the field, so Diggs should be able to come out with a good game in a possible shootout. Update: Trufant is likely out this Sunday as he’s still in the concussion protocol. Upgrade for Diggs.
Ted Ginn Jr.
James Bradberry has been getting killed lately, especially with speed. Robby Anderson was able to go HAM on him last week, and this week he faces another speedster in Ginn. Over the last 4 weeks and over the course of the season, Bradberry has allowed the most fantasy points to WRs lining up on the right side of the field, and a gaudy 0.42 fantasy points per route run against him. Outside of his disappearance in the Buffalo game where the Saints ran all over the Bills, Ginn has topped 59 yards in 7 of his last 8 games after the bye. He has actually turned into a pretty reliable start.
Crowder has been balling lately, averaging 103 yards and 10.5 targets per game over the last four. He’s a start regardless of matchup right now, but Dallas has also struggled lately against slot WRs, giving up the 5th most fantasy points to them over the last 4 games, and the 5th most over the last 8. With limited options to throw to now that Chris Thompson is out of the fold, expect Crowder to continue his run.
Desperate WR Starts
Doctson is desperate because he’s not getting the target numbers we want. He beat Janoris Jenkins late in the game on Thanksgiving for a red zone touchdown, but he would have ended with a terrible line if that didn’t happen. Doctson can make plays, so with some volume he should be able to get it done against the Cowboys, especially once he’s on Chidobe Awuzie’s side of the field. Cousins should be able to recognize the matchup and get the ball to him in spots. I’m only starting Doctson if I don’t have that many options at WR and/or you need an upside play.
Since getting traded to Chicago, Inman has emerged as the clear #1, seeing 8+ targets in 2 of his 3 games. He’s up against SF this week, where Dontae Johnson and Ahkello Witherspoon have been very pedestrian on the perimeter this year. Inman can easily take advantage of this matchup and should provide you with a solid floor this week.
Demaryius Thomas/Emanuel Sanders
Now that Trevor Siemian is back at QB, even with all of his turnovers, the Broncos WRs have the best chance of having good games. If I had to choose one between the two, it would be Sanders because of Siemian’s affinity for him and because of how much he moves around the formation. Sanders plays enough out of the slot (28% of the time) to take advantage of Bobby McCain, who’s been terrible lately; he’s allowing the most fantasy points to slot WRs in the last 4 weeks.
Seth Roberts/Cordarrelle Patterson
With Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper (probably) out this week, Roberts and Patterson will have extra targets going their way. Roberts was already a favorite of Carr around the red zone, so we should expect some targets there. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is a good corner, but the Giants have been giving up a ton of points to slot WRs, so I’m not too worried about his coverage on Roberts. I think Patterson has some upside this week with Janoris Jenkins placed on IR. The Giants have already been bad, and Patterson can step up and make some plays on the outside. We’ve seen glimpses of his playmaking ability, so if you’re shooting for the ceiling, throw Patterson in your lineup this week.
Goodwin runs a majority of his routes on Prince Amukamara’s side of the field, who has been one of the best corners this year, allowing the least amount of fantasy points to his side of the field. Lucky, Goodwin moves around a bit and will spend some time against Kyle Fuller, who has allowed the 3rd most fantasy points to WRs lining up against him. With the wild card of Jimmy Garropolo taking snaps under center, Goodwin is a risky start as we don’t know what to expect and what his target share will be. Either way, he’s a guy who can get it done on one long play, and if Kyle Fuller is on the field, it can happen at any time.
Gordon is expected to start opposite Corey Coleman, but there are obviously many risks here. Casey Hayward can either shadow Coleman, or play a side because of Gordon’s presence. Either way, Trevor Williams has been getting it done against whoever Hayward isn’t following around, allowing only 0.24 fantasy points per route run against him, while Hayward is allowing 0.22. There is definitely the question of how many snaps Gordon will play, but with news of him starting, it seems like he should be out there for a majority of snaps. He’s an upside play, but if you need to get into the playoffs with a win this week, he’s definitely a risky one. Update: Some really sad news. Casey Hayward’s younger brother passed away in a car crash on Monday, and Hayward has traveled back to be with his family. It’s possible he makes it back in time for the game on Sunday, but he might not. If he doesn’t play, Coleman and Gordon get an upgrade. Condolences to Casey Hayward and his family.
Late Addition: Dede Westbrook
Keep an eye out for Allen Hurns, as he didn’t practice on Friday is not looking like he’s going to be able to suit up. The Jaguars have a great matchup against the Colts this week, so Westbrook can give you a solid floor. I wouldn’t expect a huge target number since Patrick Peterson isn’t shadowing Marqise Lee this week, but Westbrook is a decent desperation play in a good matchup.
Temper Expectations for these WRs
I’m not benching Larry, as he’s shown to get it done against most matchups, especially at home. Last week he couldn’t find much success against Jalen Ramsey, and I can’t blame him for that. His matchup this week isn’t the easiest against Nickell Robey-Coleman, who’s allowing only 0.20 fantasy points per route run against him, but I would bet on Larry.
After Julio’s monster game against the Bucs last week, I expect him to fall back to earth against Xavier Rhodes. Rhodes was exposed by Marvin Jones on Thanksgiving, but I put that more on Jones’ efforts and Stafford’s willingness to trust Jones than Rhodes being incapable of shutting receivers down. Julio is a must-play every single week obviously, but we have to temper our expectations and not expect another 250 yard, 2 TD game. He’s been having mostly solid games before the explosion, and I expect him to just have a solid game this week, with Matt Ryan exploring his other options in the passing game.
Funchess should see a lot of Marshon Lattimore, but he moves around enough to avoid his side of the field some of the time. Funchess actually lines up on Ken Crawley’s side of the field on a a lot of his routes, and Crawley has given up the most fantasy points per route run against him and gets targeted the most compared to Lattimore and Kenny Vaccaro, who mans the nickel. With a potential shootout in place against the Saints, expect Funchess to see close to 10 targets without (possibly) Olsen and anyone trustworthy on the other side of the field. Update: Marshon Lattimore missed practice on Thursday and is becoming more doubtful to line up. Pay attention to his injury throughout the weekend, but if Lattimore doesn’t play, Funchess becomes a must-start.
Coleman will probably be shadowed by Casey Hayward, who has been balling this year. He allows only 0.22 fantasy points per route run against him, and even if Hayward doesn’t shadow Coleman, there’s still Trevor Williams on the other side who has been holding it down himself as well. With Coleman likely getting targets due to a negative game script for the Browns, he’s an okay start, but I would be looking for other options. Another wild card here is Josh Gordon’s return into the lineup. We don’t know how that affects Coleman’s opportunity, so there are a few risks this week if you choose to start Coleman. Update: Some really sad news. Casey Hayward’s younger brother passed away in a car crash on Monday, and Hayward has traveled back to be with his family. It’s possible he makes it back in time for the game on Sunday, but he might not. If he doesn’t play, Coleman gets an upgrade. Condolences to Casey Hayward and his family.
Bryant and Dak Prescott haven’t been playing well, and with when both a QB and WR aren’t playing well, that doesn’t give us too much confidence in that WR! Bryant hasn’t scored in 5 straight games, his longest streak without a TD, after scoring in 4 of 6 weeks to start the season; but that was when the Cowboys offense had a pulse. This week he goes up against Josh Norman and Bashaud Breeland, so it’s safe to say I’m not feeling him. His saving grace will be when he lines up in the slot – this is when Dak has to take advantage of the matchup against nickel corner Kendall Fuller, who’s allowed the 8th most fantasy points to slot WRs in the last 4 weeks, and that’s actually better than he was doing earlier in the year. Dez is a tough start this week, but I wouldn’t go reach too deep to replace him.
We have to temper our expectations for Marvin Jones against the Ravens, but we have to start him because of how well he is doing even in tough matchups. He had a huge game against a close to shutdown corner in Xavier Rhodes, and we saw that DeAndre Hopkins was able to get it done against the Ravens as well. Jones isn’t in the same category as Hopkins, but his ability to come down with tough catches on the perimeter is up there near the top of the league. Consistency has always been Jones’ issue as a Lion, but he’s a tough bench despite the matchup. There is some silver lining to be a bit more confident in starting Jones: he will run a majority of his routes against Brandon Carr, who’s allowed the 12th most fantasy points to WRs in the last 4 weeks… so it might not be as bad as we think.
Landry has been money this season, and he most likely will be in my lineup this week, but it’s a tough matchup. Chris Harris is one of the top nickel corners in the league, allowing the 7th least fantasy points to slot WRs. Cutler will probably look Landry’s way anyway, but with the matchup being so good on the outside for Parker and Stills, it’s possible that Landry doesn’t play a huge role in this game.
The matchup is so good that I don’t think I can sit Shepard, even with Geno Smith starting. Where else is Geno going to throw the ball outside of Shepard and Evan Engram. TJ Carrie has allowed the 2nd most fantasy points to slot WRs in the last 4 weeks, so Shepard is still very viable in this game. If the Giants are going to be down in this game, a negative game script should allow Shepard to still have a decent game. I’m not as confident in him because of the rapport he had built with Eli Manning, which is why he’s in this section instead of the Start section.
For the record, I’m starting Anderson. He runs a majority of his routes away from Marcus Peters, but still has run around 42% of them on Peters’ side of the field. Guess who’s starting on the other side? Darrelle fricking Revis. This dude was getting beat left and right before he retired. If Anderson gets a step on Revis, see ya. The Chiefs also struggle against slot receivers, so as much as Anderson moves around, I’m good having him in my lineup this week hoping he continues his TD streak.
Nickel corner Patrick Robinson for the Eagles has been one of the best this season, allowing the least amount of fantasy points to slot WRs, and allowing only 0.24 fantasy points per route run against him. We know Baldwin can disappear at times, and he might end up disappearing once again in this one. I won’t tell you to sit Baldwin because he can rise above bad matchups, but I’m not expecting much out of Baldwin this week.
We can’t depend on Nelson, who continues his draught when we thought it couldn’t get any worse; he caught 3 balls for 11 yards. Sit him. I’m keeping him on my roster if I’m sitting pretty hoping for the Aaron Rodgers comeback in Week 15.
Hilton has been terrible in most matchups this year, and has had his three good games against bad defenses. He plays the Jaguars this week, so keep him on the bottom of your bench.
Patrick Peterson should be shadowing Sammy Watkins, so there won’t be much reason for Jared Goff to send the ball his way, especially because there are plenty of other ways the Rams can choose to move the ball.
Maclin was in two prime spots to have big games the last 2 weeks and disappointed mightily. We can’t trust him in our lineups. He’ll probably blow up this week knowing him, but with fantasy playoffs around the corner, he deserves to be on the waiver wire.