Week 13 Start 'Em and Sit 'Em
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It's hard to believe we're already at Week 13, which means the end of the Fantasy season is near. For most leagues, the playoffs start in Week 14, and many of you are fighting for a postseason berth or a higher seed this week, so good luck.
The week kicks off Thanksgiving Day -- happy holidays to all of you, by the way -- and we have three riveting matchups with Chicago at Detroit, Philadelphia at Dallas and Seattle at San Francisco. All three games have playoff implications, and all six teams have compelling Fantasy options.
On Sunday, the fun continues with the game of the week in New England at Green Bay. I hope the game lives up to the hype because right now these are the two best teams in the NFL, and this could definitely be a Super Bowl preview.
We hope you enjoy your time with your family this week, but don't neglect your Fantasy rosters because of travel, shopping or a turkey coma. We're in the red zone for the season, and now is your time to score.
We've seen two different Ben Roethlisberger this season. There's the quarterback at home, who has scored at least 18 Fantasy points in all five games, with at least 28 points in three outings. And there's the one on the road, who has scored 15 Fantasy points or less in five of six games, with 19 points the high away from Pittsburgh.
At home, Roethlisberger has an 18-to-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio with at least 314 passing yards in four of five games. On the road, his touchdown-to-interception ratio is 7-5, and he's topped 275 passing yards just once.
You see where we're going with this since he's home against the Saints this week. After two consecutive road games at the Jets and Titans where he combined for just 27 Fantasy points, Roethlisberger should get back on track in this matchup coming off a bye.
The Saints have only allowed four quarterbacks to score at least 20 Fantasy points against them, but six quarterbacks have reached 19 points, with three of those (Matt Ryan, Matthew Stafford and Tony Romo coming in five of their road games. New Orleans is also playing on a short week following the Monday night loss against Baltimore.
We doubt Roethlisberger has a six-touchdown performance, which he did in each of his last two home games against Indianapolis in Week 8 and Baltimore in Week 9, but he should have the chance for 20-plus Fantasy points this week. The man likes playing at home, and his track record suggests another big game is coming in Pittsburgh.
I'm starting Roethlisberger over: Drew Brees (at PIT), Ryan Tannehill (at NYJ), Russell Wilson (at SF), Cam Newton (at MIN), Matt Ryan (vs. ARI)
Stafford owes Fantasy owners a good game this week after two consecutive duds. He had five Fantasy points at Arizona in Week 11 and nine points at New England in Week 12. Now, those were tough matchups on the road, but Stafford has just four games with more than 20 Fantasy points this season. Granted, Calvin Johnson has battled injuries this year, but we were hoping for more from Stafford in 2014. The good news is he should finish the season strong with a favorable schedule -- he faces TB, MIN, at CHI and at GB in his final four games -- after this matchup with the Bears, who will likely be without linebacker Lance Briggs (groin) and cornerback Kyle Fuller (knee). Stafford has scored at least 19 Fantasy points in three of five home games, and the Bears have allowed five quarterbacks to throw multiple touchdowns, with four scoring at least 27 Fantasy points. Stafford also has three games in a row with multiple touchdowns against Chicago.
Fantasy owners like me who prefer to wait on drafting a quarterback are thriving with Romo this season. He's been awesome heading into this Thanksgiving Day showdown with the Eagles, which is for first place in the NFC East. Romo has at least 20 Fantasy points in six of his past seven games, and he's hot now with 60 points in his past two outings against Jacksonville and the Giants. The Eagles have allowed every quarterback but Eli Manning in Week 6 to score multiple touchdowns against them, with nine reaching at least 20 Fantasy points, including two in a row with Aaron Rodgers in Week 11 and Zach Mettenberger in Week 12. Romo is also averaging 21 Fantasy points at home this year, so he should have another quality performance this week.
Manning should play well this week. He's been better more times than not with at least 19 Fantasy points in seven of 11 games, including 46 points against AFC South opponents in Houston and Indianapolis. He's coming off a 29-point outing against Dallas, and he's scored at least 28 Fantasy points in two road games. Jacksonville also has allowed six quarterbacks to throw multiple touchdowns, including two in the past three games, and six have scored at least 18 Fantasy points. My concern with Manning is the Jaguars did just hold Andrew Luck to 16 Fantasy points on the road, and Manning has three road games with 13 points or less. He has a tendency to melt down with seven interceptions in his past three games, and consistency is always an issue with him. But there's more positive than negative for Manning this week, especially with how well Odell Beckham is playing, and we anticipate another 20-point outing in this matchup. He's worth using as a low-end starting option in all leagues.
I was wrong on Tannehill each of the past two weeks, and for that I apologize. I thought the loss of left tackle Branden Albert (knee) would hurt against good pass-rushing teams like Buffalo and Denver, but Tannehill still thrived with 20 Fantasy points against the Bills and 32 points against the Broncos. He's clicking now with rookie receiver Jarvis Landry , but his entire receiving corps is making plays, which has attributed to him scoring at least 20 Fantasy points in six of his past eight games overall. He has a dream matchup this week against the Jets, who have allowed multiple touchdowns to every quarterback except Roethlisberger this year. It should be another productive week for Tannehill on Monday night in Week 13.
Most Fantasy owners are tired of the Sanchez experiment, and rightfully so. He's failed to deliver in two starts with a combined 31 Fantasy points at Green Bay and vs. Tennessee. This despite 43 pass attempts in each game and throwing for 300-plus yards. He only has three touchdowns over that span with four interceptions and two fumbles, but still I expect Sanchez to post quality stats in a shootout Thanksgiving Day. Three times this season a quarterback has attempted at least 40 passes against Dallas, and each quarterback has scored at least 23 Fantasy points. Six times a quarterback has scored at least 21 Fantasy points against the Cowboys, including Eli Manning and Carson Palmer in two of the past three games. If Sanchez can limit the turnovers he could have a huge game, and we'll take that risk again as a low-end starter in the majority of leagues.
SleepersJay Cutler (at DET): He should do well if the pass rush doesn't crush him.
Zach Mettenberger (at HOU): He's got 19 Fantasy points in 3 of 4 starts.
Andy Dalton (at TB): Six quarterbacks have multiple touchdowns vs. TB.
Kaepernick has been a disaster from a Fantasy standpoint over the past five games, and we don't see his fortunes changing this week against his biggest rival. He's scored 15 Fantasy points or less in his past five outings and in six of his past seven games overall. His running game has disappeared with 24 yards or less in his past five games, and he hasn't scored multiple touchdowns in any game over that span. In three meetings with Seattle during the regular season he has two touchdowns, five interceptions and a lost fumble. His best game against the Seahawks was his first meeting with them in 2012 with 16 Fantasy points. And while Seattle hasn't been the same team defensively this year the Seahawks have not allowed an opposing quarterback to score more than 18 Fantasy points in six games in a row.
The Ravens have done a nice job at home against opposing quarterbacks this season. No quarterback has thrown multiple touchdowns in Baltimore, including matchups with Dalton, Roethlisberger, Cam Newton , Ryan and Mettenberger. And only Dalton scored exactly 20 Fantasy points with 301 passing yards, one touchdown and a two-point conversion in Week 1. Rivers has fallen apart of late with three consecutive games of 15 Fantasy points or less. And he's making his third trip this season to the East Coast for a 1 p.m. start. He had 22 Fantasy points at Buffalo in Week 3 when he was playing well but minus-3 points at Miami in Week 9. We're not optimistic for Rivers this week on the road.
We expected Orton to play well last week against the Jets, and he delivered despite the weather issues moving the Bills from Buffalo to Detroit. He had 22 Fantasy points against the Jets, giving him two games with at least 22 points in his past five outings – both against New York. But everyone has success against the Jets, and now we want to see Orton play well against his other opponents. It would be a surprise to see it happen this week against the Browns, who have yet to allow a quarterback to score 20 Fantasy points in a game, including matchups with Roethlisberger twice, Drew Brees , Dalton and Ryan. Cleveland is vulnerable in run defense, and Buffalo can lean on Fred Jackson , Anthony Dixon and Bryce Brown in this matchup. I consider Orton a risky starter in two-quarterback leagues even at home.
Wilson is more of a bust alert than a sit candidate because of how well he's played this season, especially the past two weeks. He has at least 20 Fantasy points in seven of 11 games, including two in a row against standout pass defenses in Kansas City and Arizona. Now, Wilson didn't hurt those teams throwing as much as his overall ability. He had at least 71 rushing yards in each outing (he also threw two touchdowns against the Chiefs), and he's accounted for 30 Fantasy points on the ground in his past three games. He'll probably have to keep up his rushing prowess this week against the 49ers, who have allowed just four quarterbacks to score 20 Fantasy points this season. Wilson doesn't have a great history against the 49ers in the regular season with three games of 12 Fantasy points or less, and he's averaging just seven Fantasy points at San Francisco in his career. He could always rise to the occasion of this NFC West showdown in a rivalry game, so use caution if you decide to bench him. But we're not expecting a big statistical performance on Thanksgiving Day.
We saw McCown play like a journeyman backup quarterback again in Week 12 at Chicago, and he cost many Fantasy owners who bought into him as a starting option. McCown had 341 passing yards and a touchdown, but he ruined that with two interceptions and a fumble for his worst game of the season with 14 Fantasy points. He might not be much better this week against the Bengals, who are starting to play better on defense of late. In their past three games, the Bengals have allowed a combined 29 Fantasy points against Brian Hoyer , Brees and Ryan Mallett . While that isn't a gauntlet of opposing passers aside from Brees, we just saw McCown falter against a favorable opponent in Chicago. He's prone to mistakes with eight interceptions in six starts, and he could be a costly starting option this week, even in two-quarterback formats.
Ryan's streak of consecutive games with less than 20 Fantasy points lives on heading into this matchup, and he's at seven and counting. We expect him to hit eight in this game against the Cardinals, even at home. Arizona has a 3-to-5 touchdown-to-interception ratio over the past four games and has allowed just five quarterbacks to score at least 20 Fantasy points. Tight ends have accounted for five of the 15 passing touchdowns allowed by the Cardinals, and we doubt Ryan is going to thrive in this game using Levine Toilolo , who has two touchdowns on the season and no games with more than 34 receiving yards. Expect a lot of blitzing from Arizona, and Ryan could be under duress this week. He's not worth using in most standard leagues and is even risky in two-quarterback formats.
Ellington is due for a big game coming off three consecutive duds. Now, his past three opponents were St. Louis, Detroit and Seattle, which are three of the better run defenses in the league, but Ellington combined for just 20 Fantasy points over that span. This week, Ellington could have one of his better outings of the season. Atlanta allows the most Fantasy points to opposing running backs with 15 touchdowns allowed and 10 have reached double digits in Fantasy points. Last year, Ellington had his best game of the season against the Falcons at home with 15 carries for 154 yards and a touchdown, and we hope a repeat performance takes place this week.
Jennings continues to be a workhorse running back for the Giants and played well in Week 12 against Dallas. He had 19 carries for 52 yards and eight catches for 68 yards, and this is consecutive games with at least 22 touches. He lost a touchdown to Andre Williams against the Cowboys, but maybe the Giants let Jennings score this week against one of his former teams. It helps that the Jaguars have allowed 10 running backs to reach double digits in Fantasy points, including four in the past three games with Jeremy Hill , DeMarco Murray , Joseph Randle and Trent Richardson . Jennings is a must-start option in PPR leagues with at least four catches in four of seven starts this year.
Reggie Bush (ankle) could return Thanksgiving Day for this matchup, but don't let him be a deterrent to using Bell this week. His workload has been a constant all season with a least 15 touches in seven of the 10 games he's played, and the Bears will be without linebacker Lance Briggs (groin). Bell was great on Thanksgiving last season with 19 carries for 94 yards and a touchdown and three catches for 34 yards against the Packers, so hopefully this showcase game leads to another big performance at home. We like Bell as a safe No. 2 running back in all leagues with the chance to be a Top 15 option if he's able to score.
As we've seen many times this season and certainly throughout his tenure in New England, it's difficult to trust a running back for coach Bill Belichick when it comes to Fantasy rosters. This could easily be a Shane Vereen week if the game becomes a shootout, or Belichick could go back to the benched Jonas Gray . But the Patriots could definitely use a similar game plan like they used against the Colts in Week 11 with Cameron Fleming as a sixth offensive lineman for 37 snaps. Running the ball against Green Bay will slow down the Packers offense, and if New England goes that route we would expect a lot of work for Blount. He was great last week against the Lions with 12 carries for 78 yards and two touchdowns, and he's worth using in standard formats as a No. 2 option this week. We caution you on trusting Belichick, but I think this is a good opportunity for Blount to play well.
There was some concern about what would happen to Hill with Giovani Bernard back on the field, and he still played well in Week 12 at Houston. Hill had 18 carries for 87 yards and a touchdown and one catch for 9 yards. He had at least 14 Fantasy points for the third time in four games even with Bernard getting 17 carries for 45 yards and two catches for 22 yards. Bernard isn't a bad sleeper this week because of the matchup, but Hill should continue to play at a high level. The Buccaneers have allowed 12 running backs to score double digits in Fantasy points this season with 13 touchdowns allowed. A running back has scored or had 100 total yards against Tampa Bay in four games in a row, and Hill should have the chance for another solid outing. Until we see Bernard send Hill to the bench, which isn't expected to happen any time soon, you can feel confident starting him in the majority of leagues.
SleepersDan Herron (vs. WAS): Herron has taken over Ahmad Bradshaw role.
Fred Jackson (vs. CLE): BUF should lean on its ground game this week.
Tre Mason (vs. OAK): A rusher has scored vs. OAK in 9 of 11 games.
Isaiah Crowell (at BUF): He has 90 total yards or a TD in three-straight games.
Lamar Miller (at NYJ): He could be awesome if Muhammad Wilkerson sits.
It used to be a safe bet to use Gore at home since he had 100 total yards or a touchdown in every game in San Francisco going back to Week 11 of the 2012 season. But that streak ended in Week 9 against St. Louis, and he's scored a combined five Fantasy points in his past two home games against the Rams and Redskins. He's fumbled in consecutive games, and he has just one game with double digits in Fantasy points in his past six outings. Gore had 17 carries for 110 yards against the Seahawks at home last year, but Seattle should be able to limit his production this week. Linebacker Bobby Wagner was able to return from his toe injury last week, and he's a difference maker for Seattle's run defense. Gore is barely an option at flex in this matchup.
Jackson has done a nice job of late with three touchdowns in his past four games, and he's been a useful Fantasy option over that span because of his ability to score. But he has one game this season with more than 60 rushing yards and two games this year with more than 70 total yards, so if he doesn't score you're left with a mediocre stat line. Arizona has allowed five touchdowns to opposing running backs and four to reach double digits in Fantasy points, but the Cardinals just held Marshawn Lynch to 15 carries for 39 yards and three catches for 43 yards and should be able to contain Jackson. There's limited upside for him this week.
Ivory's time as a useful Fantasy option might be over based on his lack of production during the past three games. He's combined for 10 Fantasy points over that span against Kansas City, Pittsburgh and Buffalo, and he has just one game with double digits in carries in those outings, which was against the Steelers. He continues to share playing time with Chris Johnson , who isn't much of a factor, but he does take Ivory off the field. And the Dolphins have allowed just one running back to score in their past five games, which was C.J. Anderson in Denver last week. The good news for Ivory is he's played better with Geno Smith than Michael Vick , and Smith is starting this week. But we still view Ivory as just a low-end No. 3 running back in this matchup.
It sounds like Murray will be cleared to play this week against the Rams after suffering a concussion in Week 12 at Kansas City. That's the good news. And Fantasy owners should continue to add Murray and stash him to see if his performance against the Chiefs is a sign of things to come after he had four carries for 112 yards and two touchdowns. But I wouldn't start Murray this week based on the matchup. Prior to last week, when Ryan Mathews had 12 carries for 105 yards and a touchdown in San Diego, the Rams had done well in limiting opposing running backs, with Ellington, Gore twice, Lynch and LeSean McCoy being held to nine Fantasy points or less going back to Week 5. Only Jamaal Charles , Knile Davis and Anderson reached double digits in Fantasy points against St. Louis over that span, but Murray isn't in that category just yet. At home, the Rams held Gore to three Fantasy points and Lynch to six points, and Murray owners shouldn't start him yet until we have a larger sample size to see what he's capable of doing.
Richardson will continue to get plenty of work with Bradshaw out, but the Colts plan to start Herron ahead of him. Richardson finished with 10 Fantasy points in Week 12 against the Jaguars because of a 1-yard touchdown run, which was the first time he reached double digits in Fantasy points since Week 7, but he struggled again with 13 carries for 42 yards. This is a tough matchup for Richardson, especially if he continues to be limited in the passing game, since Washington has allowed just three running backs to score on the ground this year. Only five running backs have reached double digits in Fantasy points against the Redskins, and Richardson will have a limited stat line if he fails to reach the end zone. Keep in mind he's scored just three touchdowns this year.
We didn't mention this in regards to Rivers, but the Chargers are using their fourth center this season with Chris Watt after Rich Ohrnberger (back) was ruled out for the year, joining Nick Hardwick (neck) and Doug Legursky (knee). Watt played well in helping Mathews run for 105 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries last week against the Rams, but we'll see how the offensive line holds up against Baltimore. The Ravens have allowed just five touchdowns to opposing running backs this year (three rushing) and only four have reached double digits in Fantasy points. At home, the Ravens have held Bernard, Le'Veon Bell , Steven Jackson and Bishop Sankey to fewer than 60 rushing yards and no touchdowns in each game, and they should be able to limit Mathews' production. I would only consider Mathews as a flex option this week.
We hope Benjamin is able to pick up where he left off prior to the bye in Week 12 because he was great against Atlanta in Week 11 with nine catches for 109 yards and a touchdown on 13 targets. He's reached double digits in Fantasy points in seven games this season with eight touchdowns, and he's scored in every road game this year. The Vikings have allowed 13 touchdowns to opposing receivers and eight have reached double digits in Fantasy points, and we like Benjamin's chances this week to remain a standout Fantasy option. The Panthers are doing a great job of getting Benjamin the ball with at least seven targets in each of his past four games, and he's shown an ability to produce more often than not, which is something we like as Fantasy owners.
Tate did well in a tough matchup last week at New England with four catches for 97 yards and one carry for 13 yards. He now has double digits in Fantasy points in six of his past eight games, but he hasn't scored a touchdown in his past three outings. That could change this week against the Bears, who have allowed 12 touchdowns to opposing receivers and will be without Fuller. We expect Calvin Johnson to rebound with a big performance this week, but Tate should also do well. He has at least nine Fantasy points in four of five home games this season.
Like Roethlisberger, Bryant gets to return home, where most of his success has come this season. Bryant has played in three home games this year, and he's scored in all three of them with five touchdowns and 56 Fantasy points over that span. He's scored six touchdowns in the five games he's played overall, and the Saints should have a tough time in this matchup with Bryant and Antonio Brown . New Orleans has allowed 13 touchdowns to opposing receivers and 12 have reached double digits in Fantasy points. There have been five times this season where a receiver duo from the same team has scored at least nine Fantasy points against the Saints, including Torrey Smith and Steve Smith last week, so look for Bryant and Brown to again post quality stat lines this week.
We can only fit one mug shot in each posting here, but I like LaFell and Julian Edelman as starting options this week. The Packers have struggled with opposing receivers all season with 14 touchdowns allowed and 11 scoring double digits in Fantasy points. The majority of that production has come in the past six games with 10 touchdowns to opposing receivers over that span. LaFell has at least nine Fantasy points in three of his past four games, and he should continue to remain a go-to weapon for Tom Brady , who has looked his way with 40 targets in those outings. Edelman is a better option in PPR leagues with only one touchdown since Week 2, but he's scored at least eight Fantasy points in a standard format in three games in a row. He has 33 targets over that span and two games with at least nine catches and 89 receiving yards.
Like the Patriots with LaFell and Edelman, I like two Dolphins for this spot with Landry and Mike Wallace . Both should have plenty of success against the Jets, who have allowed 12 touchdowns to opposing receivers and 11 to reach double digits in Fantasy points. There have been four times this season where a receiver duo from the same team has scored at least nine Fantasy points against the Jets, and Landry and Wallace both scored at least nine points last week at Denver. Landry has four touchdowns in his past four games, including three touchdowns in his past two outings. And Wallace has a touchdown in five of six road games this season. He also has a touchdown in three consecutive meetings with the Jets.
SleepersJustin Hunter (at HOU): HOU has allowed 15 touchdowns to receivers.
Michael Floyd (at ATL): I expect him to score vs. ATL this week.
DeAndre Hopkins (vs. TEN): He had nine points vs. TEN in Week 8.
Jordan Matthews (at DAL): He has 25 targets in three starts with Sanchez.
Kenny Stills (at PIT): PIT has allowed a receiver to score in four games in a row.
We all remember the last time Crabtree played the Seahawks in the NFC Championship Game in Seattle. The game was on the line, Kaepernick targeted Crabtree in the end zone, and Richard Sherman knocked away the pass. Sherman then proceeded to trash Crabtree to a national audience, and they should square off against each other again this time around. We're betting on Sherman again winning that matchup since Crabtree has six Fantasy points or less in his past three meetings with the Seahawks in the regular season. He also has one game with double digits in Fantasy points in his past five outings overall this year. If you want a San Francisco receiver to trust this week go with Anquan Boldin , who has been the lone constant in this passing game all season.
Things were starting to look good for Harvin in Week 9 at Kansas City when he had 13 targets and finished with 11 catches for 129 yards. He followed that up with three catches for 23 yards against the Steelers on five targets in Week 10, and then he disappeared against the Bills in Week 12 with one catch for 2 yards on five targets. There's no way you can trust him, especially with the Jets changing quarterbacks to Smith. Maybe Harvin comes out and does well in a nationally-televised game, or he could again suffer against a Miami secondary that prior to last week's game at Denver had allowed just six touchdowns to opposing receivers through 10 games. I'm done counting on Harvin as a reliable option this year.
Johnson is getting Ryan Fitzpatrick back as his quarterback with Ryan Mallett (pectoral) out for the season. Not that Mallett did great things for Johnson in his two starts, but Fitzpatrick got Johnson one touchdown in nine starts and no games with 100 receiving yards. He had 12 targets against the Titans in Week 8 and finished with seven catches for 55 yards, which is a typical stat line for him these days. He also hasn't scored against the Titans in their past five meetings with his best outing seven Fantasy points in a standard league in Week 2 at home last year. I'd start Hopkins this week if you're looking for a Texans receiver to rely on, but Johnson is worth cutting in most standard formats.
There are two things working in Jackson's favor this week if you want to start him. He's played well indoors this year with 17 Fantasy points at Arizona in Week 6 and 13 Fantasy points at Dallas in Week 8. That Cowboys game was also started by Colt McCoy , who will start this week in place of Robert Griffin III , and Jackson and McCoy connected on six passes for 136 yards in that matchup. But I don't want to trust anyone in the Washington passing game this week, and the Colts have done well against No. 1 receivers for most of this year when Vontae Davis has been healthy. Some of the receivers Indianapolis has limited this year include Demaryius Thomas , Emmanuel Sanders , Torrey Smith , Steve Smith , Mohamed Sanu , Hopkins and LaFell, who all scored seven Fantasy points or less with no touchdowns. Jackson is always a big-play away from a great game, but I don't have much faith in him on the road in this matchup.
You have to go back to Week 7 of the 2012 season to find the last time Colston scored a touchdown outdoors, which is a span of 11 games. Over that span, he's never had more than five catches in a game or 70 receiving yards, including his last game outdoors at Carolina in Week 9 when he had three catches for 36 yards. Now, he did play well in Week 12 against Baltimore, which was the first game without Brandin Cooks (thumb), and he finished with four catches for 82 yards and a touchdown. But that was his first game with double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league this season and just his second touchdown. We hope Colston can build off his performance against the Ravens, but his track record outdoors suggests that isn't likely to happen. He's not worth using in most formats this week.
Watkins is dealing with a three-game slump heading into this matchup with the Browns and Joe Haden , and we're not expecting him to snap out of it as he returns home. Watkins, who has battled a groin injury in recent weeks, has combined for just eight Fantasy points in his past three outings against Kansas City, Miami and the Jets despite 22 targets. Bills coach Doug Marrone said the Jets used two defenders to limit Watkins, but he should draw single coverage against Haden, who is having a fantastic season. The last time Watkins was in a matchup like this was Week 11 against the Dolphins when Brent Grimes held him to three catches for 32 yards. We expect another low stat line for Watkins this week, and he should be considered just a No. 3 Fantasy receiver at best in the majority of leagues.
The Eagles went from being a good team against tight ends to looking terrible of late because of injuries to their linebackers. In two of the past three games, Greg Olsen (six catches for 119 yards) and Walker have torched them, becoming the first two tight ends to score double digits in Fantasy points against the Eagles this year. Philadelphia has still allowed just one touchdown to an opposing tight end, which was Jack Doyle in Week 2, but Witten is hot right now coming into this matchup. He has a touchdown in consecutive games and three touchdowns in his past four outings. He has at least six targets in each of his past four outings, and he has two games with 100-plus receiving yards against the Eagles in his past two home meetings. He should do well on Thanksgiving Day.
Walker came back from his concussion in Week 11 to dominate in Week 12 at Philadelphia with five catches for 155 yards on 10 targets. He now has a touchdown or 100 receiving yards in the two games he's been able to finish with Mettenberger starting, and he has 19 targets in those outings. The first game for Walker with Mettenberger was Week 8 against Houston, and he had four catches for 37 yards and a touchdown on nine targets. Houston has yet to allow a tight end to reach double digits in Fantasy points this season with only three touchdowns allowed, but Walker has done a nice job with Mettenberger and warrants consideration as a starter this week.
Fleener let us down in a big way last week against Jacksonville with just two Fantasy points, but the entire offense was really out of sync despite the favorable matchup. I wouldn't give up on Fleener just yet, especially if Dwayne Allen (ankle) remains out. He has another positive matchup this week against the Redskins, who have allowed seven touchdowns to tight ends, including two in the past three weeks. I'm hopeful he gets more targets this week since he had only four against the Jaguars. In the two games prior to Week 12, Fleener had 18 targets, which was a big reason for his success in those two games with a combined 27 Fantasy points.
SleepersEric Ebron (vs. CHI): CHI allows the most Fantasy points to tight ends.
Timothy Wright (at GB): He has six touchdowns in his past seven games.
Travis Kelce (vs. DEN): He had four catches for 81 yards vs. DEN in Week 2.
Rivera was a great streaming option for a stretch of three games against Cleveland, Seattle and Denver when he took advantage of garbage-time production and some favorable matchups. In his past two games against San Diego and Kansas City, Rivera has struggled with four catches for 48 yards on nine targets, and we don't expect a rebound game this week. Going back to 2012, a span of 43 games, St. Louis has allowed just 10 touchdowns to opposing tight ends and only four to reach double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league. Cooper Helfet is the lone tight end to reach that mark this season, and Rivera isn't worth the risk of starting in this tough matchup.
Heath Miller (vs. NO): The Saints have struggled on defense this season, but one area where they've been successful is defending tight ends. New Orleans actually allows the fewest Fantasy points to opposing tight ends this year. Only two tight ends have scored against the Saints this season for three touchdowns in Toilolo and Jermaine Gresham , who scored twice in Week 11, including matchups with Witten, Olsen and Vernon Davis . Gresham is the lone tight end to reach double digits in Fantasy points. Miller has just two games with double digits in Fantasy points, and both have come at home, but he also has three games at home with two points or less. I'm just not ready to buy him as a starter given his overall body of work this year.
Daniels has struggled of late with five Fantasy points or less in his past three games. He has one touchdown in his past seven games, and he had no Fantasy points in Week 12 at New Orleans despite five targets. We're all searching for quality tight end play, but Daniels might not deliver this week once again. The Chargers have allowed just two touchdowns to tight ends, and only Charles Clay has scored double digits in Fantasy points. Daniels just doesn't have enough upside to consider starting this week.
Bennett continues to prove he's a disappearing act as the season moves on from September through the rest of the year. In his past three seasons, Bennett has 10 touchdowns in 12 games in September. In the other 31 games he's played through Week 12 of this season, Bennett has just five touchdowns. He has one game with more than seven Fantasy points since October, a stretch of seven outings, and he hasn't scored against the Lions in two meetings against them as a member of the Bears. He did have eight catches for 90 yards against Detroit last year in Week 4 – a game in September – and the Lions have allowed just three tight ends to reach double digits in Fantasy points despite six touchdowns being scored. It's a risk to bench Benjamin because he's such a significant contributor in this offense with at least six targets in five of his past six games, but there's a strong track record here that suggests he could struggle.
Catanzaro has struggled of late with only four field goals in his past six games, and he hasn't scored in double digits in Fantasy points since Week 6. But the Cardinals should have the chance to score a lot this week, and the Falcons just allowed four field goals to Billy Cundiff in Week 12. Atlanta has allowed five kickers to score at least 10 Fantasy points this season, including two in four home games. It's a gamble to trust Catanzaro based on his recent struggles, but I'm expecting him to deliver in this matchup indoors.
SleepersMatt Prater (vs. CHI): Nine kickers have multiple field goals vs. CHI.
Caleb Sturgis (at NYJ): NYJ have allowed 9 field goals in past five games.
Greg Zuerlein (vs. OAK): Eight kickers have multiple field goals vs. OAK.
Dawson has been hit or miss with his performances at home this season. He has three games with multiple field goals, including two games with at least four made kicks. But in his last two home games against St. Louis and Washington he's combined for just two field goals and nine Fantasy points. He has one game with double digits in Fantasy points in his past six outings, and the Seahawks have only allowed two kickers to make multiple field goals against them this season, with Nick Novak in Week 2 and Dan Bailey in Week 6. The 49ers have struggled offensively of late, and Dawson has struggled to score as a result. He should not be considered a must-start option this week even at home.
Most Fantasy owners got rid of the Dolphins DST in Week 12 because of their matchup at Denver, and they struggled as expected with three Fantasy points in a standard league. For just the second time this year Miami was held to less than two sacks, but a rebound game is coming against the Jets. Vick has been benched for Smith, and that could help the Dolphins in this matchup. Five DST units have scored at least 18 Fantasy points against the Jets this year, including the Bills in Week 12. They have scored 20 points or less in eight games, and they have 12 interceptions, 36 sacks allowed and seven fumbles. This is a great week to buy into the Dolphins DST as a must-start unit in all leagues.
SleepersRams (vs. OAK): STL held DEN to seven points in its last home game.
Colts (vs. WAS): IND has the chance for another big game vs. McCoy.
Ravens (vs. SD): BAL should take advantage of SD having offensive line issues.
You have to go back to Week 9 against Denver to find the last time Brady was sacked and Week 6 to find the last time he was sacked twice. Brady has four interceptions in his past three games, but the last time New England lost a fumble was Week 4. In their past seven games overall, the Patriots have allowed a combined 16 Fantasy points to opposing DST units, with four points the best total in Week 11 by the Colts on the road. So even though the Packers DST has scored 53 Fantasy points in their past two home games against some good offenses in Chicago and Philadelphia, you can't trust them this week. Brady and the Patriots won't give them many chances to have a good statistical day, even at home.
Full Disclosure from Week 12
We thought C.J. Anderson was going to be good in Week 12, but he exceeded our expectations as the Start of the Week. Anderson had 24 Fantasy points to finish as the No. 3 running back in standard leagues, and we consider him an obvious starter this week at Kansas City.
One of the running backs who did better than Anderson in Week 12 was Justin Forsett , who we also had as a start, and he was the No. 1 running back. Other positive start recommendations, including sleepers, were Tony Romo , Kyle Orton , Rashad Jennings , Isaiah Crowell , Steven Jackson , Trent Richardson , Odell Beckham , Josh Gordon , Mohamed Sanu , Vincent Jackson , Kenny Stills and Jason Witten .
We said to sit Matthew Stafford , Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates , among others. And our bad start recommendations included Josh McCown , Denard Robinson and Coby Fleener .
Some of the guys we said to bench who played well were Ryan Tannehill , Alfred Morris and Ryan Mathews . I realize the error of my ways with Tannehill, and I'm confident he will play well against the Jets this week.
|Player||Fantasy Pts. (proj.)||Fantasy Pts. (actual)||Pos. rank|
|C.J. Anderson , RB, Broncos||13||24||3|
|Tony Romo , QB, Cowboys||23||33||2|
|Justin Forsett , RB, Ravens||15||30||1|
|Odell Beckham , WR, Giants||13||26||1|
|Philip Rivers , QB, Chargers||17||15||16|
|Matthew Stafford , QB, Lions||18||9||23|
|Antonio Gates , TE, Chargers||6||1||34|
|Josh McCown , QB, Buccaneers||21||14||18|
|Denard Robinson , RB, Jaguars||17||4||38|
|Coby Fleener , TE, Colts||11||2||24|
|Ryan Tannehill , QB, Dolphins||17||32||4|
|Alfred Morris , RB, Redskins||7||18||10|
|Ryan Mathews , RB, Chargers||6||16||11|