Fantasy Football Week 13 Start 'Em & Sit 'Em: Chris Carson steps into the spotlight
The Seahawks have figured out their running game, and Chris Carson is thriving as the lead back. He's due for a big game in what could be a blowout in Week 13, Jamey Eisenberg says.
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One more week. One more week to either get into the Fantasy playoffs or solidify your postseason position.
Or more week to wallow in pain because your Fantasy season might be over.
For most Fantasy leagues, the playoffs start in Week 14, so this is an important scoring period. Your Fantasy season might be on the line.
We got a lot of bad news earlier this week with Melvin Gordon's knee injury, Leonard Fournette's suspension and important role players like Marvin Jones (knee), Jack Doyle (kidney) and Andy Dalton (thumb) being placed on injured reserve. But all is not lost.
A.J. Green (toe) and Tre'Quan Smith (foot) appear poised to play in Week 13 after being out in recent weeks. And even though guys like Gordon and Fournette are out, that opens the door for potential standout replacements in Austin Ekeler and T.J. Yeldon, especially in PPR leagues.
There also are plenty of great matchups to exploit, which you'll read about below. And we get the added bonus of the Rams and Chiefs coming off their bye weeks. It's nice to have all those stars back in action.
So good luck to everyone in Week 13. We hope it's a lucky scoring period for you, and that your playoff standing improves as you make a final push for a Fantasy championship.
Editor's Note: Projections are provided by SportsLine.com. Projected points are for PPR leagues.
Start of the Week
This is the second time I've used Chris Carson as the Start of the Week in his two-year career. I'm hoping for better luck this time around.
The last time was Week 4 in 2017 against the Colts, and it was a disaster. Carson suffered a broken leg, and he was lost for the season.
Thankfully, Carson has come back strong in 2018, and he's been Seattle's best running back despite the team spending a first-round pick on rookie Rashaad Penny. Carson comes into Week 13 against the 49ers with at least 12 PPR points in three of his past four games, and this is a good matchup for him at home.
For starters, Seattle is a heavy favorite in this game against San Francisco. And the 49ers defense is in disarray after letting go of linebacker Reuben Foster following a domestic violence incident.
Carson will lose some touches to Penny and Mike Davis, but he's their best running back in a positive situation. And I expect Carson to have a standout performance in this matchup at home.
|19.2 projected points|
Jameis Winston Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB
|Winston had one of his best games in the NFL in Week 12 against the 49ers when he completed 76.3 percent of his passes for 312 yards and two touchdowns, along with 24 rushing yards. He didn't throw an interception for the first time all season, and he passed for at least 300 yards for the third time in six appearances. Winston didn't play in Week 9 at Carolina, but Ryan Fitzpatrick had 31 Fantasy points against the Panthers in that game. And Carolina has allowed five of the past six opposing quarterbacks to score at least 21 Fantasy points, which puts Winston in a good spot to have another quality outing this week (Sunday, 1 p.m. EST, available on fuboTV).|
|19.0 projected points|
Lamar Jackson Baltimore Ravens QB
|Jackson played well in Week 12 against Oakland with 22 Fantasy points, and he should build on that performance this week in his first ever road start at Atlanta. I'm excited to see him run on an indoor surface, and it's a great matchup since the Falcons allow the second-most Fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks at 25.8 points per game. So far, Jackson has accounted for at least 11 Fantasy points with just his rushing totals alone in two starts. That gives him a nice floor heading into this matchup in Atlanta.|
|18.6 projected points|
Marcus Mariota Tennessee Titans QB
|Mariota showed no signs of injury in Week 12 at Houston when he scored 26 Fantasy points, which was the third time he's hit that number in the past four games. The only time he failed to reach that total was Week 11 at Indianapolis when he suffered a stinger in his neck. This week, he gets the Jets at home, and only three quarterbacks have failed to score at least 20 Fantasy points against New York this year. Mariota is a low-end starting option in all leagues this week.|
|27.6 projected points|
Jared Goff Los Angeles Rams QB
|Goff has failed to score at least 20 Fantasy points in just two games this season, and both have come on the road — at Seattle in Week 5 and at Denver in Week 6. He's played better at home, but in his past two road starts — at San Francisco in Week 7 and at New Orleans in Week 9 — he's combined for 54 Fantasy points. I'm expecting another quality road outing this week at Detroit, and the Lions have allowed at least 20 Fantasy points to three quarterbacks in a row. For the season, Detroit is allowing opposing quarterbacks to score an average of 22.7 Fantasy points per game.|
|23.6 projected points|
Russell Wilson Seattle Seahawks QB
|Wilson has put himself in contention for the NFL MVP award. He won't get it without a complete drop-off from Drew Brees or Patrick Mahomes, but Seattle would be terrible without him this season. And Fantasy owners have benefitted from Wilson as well. He's scored at least 23 Fantasy points in seven games in a row, and his pass attempts are up with at least 31 in three of the past four outings. This week, he's facing a 49ers defense that allows an average of 23.4 Fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, and Eli Manning and Winston have each scored at least 25 points against San Francisco in the past two weeks.|
- Josh Allen (at MIA): Allen had an excellent game in Week 12 against Jacksonville with 27 Fantasy points, and he did the majority of his work on the ground with 99 rushing yards and a touchdown. He has the chance for a solid encore at Miami in Week 13, and the Dolphins have allowed five of the past six opposing quarterbacks to score at least 20 Fantasy points. Allen is a great sleeper to consider in two-quarterback and super-flex leagues. Allen has at least seven Fantasy points with just his rushing totals alone in three of his past five games.
- Case Keenum (at CIN): Keenum just scored 19 Fantasy points at home against Pittsburgh, and this week he gets a great matchup at Cincinnati. The Bengals have allowed three touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks in four of the past five games, and the lone quarterback who failed to do that was Lamar Jackson in Week 11 in his first NFL start. Keenum likely won't get to three touchdowns, but the matchup is worth trusting him as a starter in two-quarterback and super-flex leagues.
- Chase Daniel (at NYG): Daniel is expected to start again in Week 13 with Mitchell Trubisky (shoulder) still hurt, and he's someone to consider in two-quarterback leagues. Daniel played well in Week 12 on Thanksgiving against Detroit with 22 Fantasy points, but this is a tougher matchup since the Giants have held three of the past four opposing quarterbacks to 15 points or less. Still, if Daniel does start again, I'm counting on Matt Nagy to help him find his way to about 18 Fantasy points on the road.
|19.4 projected points|
Baker Mayfield Cleveland Browns QB
|Mayfield's been on a nice roll of late, and he's taken advantage of some incredible matchups. He's scored at least 21 Fantasy points in four of his past five games, and his positive performances have come against Tampa Bay, Kansas City, Atlanta and Cincinnati. He failed to do well against Pittsburgh, finishing with 17 Fantasy points, and I would put him in that range in this matchup at Houston. The Texans are No. 4 in fewest Fantasy points allowed to opposing quarterbacks at 17.3 per game, and J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney should make things uncomfortable for Mayfield this week.|
|20.4 projected points|
Dak Prescott Dallas Cowboys QB
|Prescott has been great coming into Week 13 against the Saints with at least 21 Fantasy points in four of his past six games. He's scored a rushing touchdown in five of his past six games, and he's developed a solid rapport with Amari Cooper already. But left tackle Tyron Smith (stingers) could be out this week, and that's not a good situation against a Saints pass rush that has 13 sacks in the past three games, as well as six interceptions over that span. I like Prescott in two-quarterback leagues, but I'm nervous about his production on Thursday night, even at home.|
|18.0 projected points|
Matthew Stafford Detroit Lions QB
|Stafford has scored a combined 42 Fantasy points in his past four games, and he only has one game with multiple touchdowns over that span, which was in Week 10 at Chicago. His receiving corps has been stripped down with Golden Tate's trade to Philadelphia, as well as Marvin Jones (knee) being placed on injured reserve, and Kenny Golladay is his only reliable weapon, with Bruce Ellington just a sleeper. While the Rams allow an average of 22.1 Fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks for the season, I'm not buying back in to Stafford, even at home.|
|15.2 projected points|
Eli Manning New York Giants QB
|Manning was on a nice run recently with at least 21 Fantasy points in the two games prior to facing Philadelphia in Week 12. And in what should have been a good matchup against a decimated Eagles secondary due to injuries – just ask Odell Beckham – Manning struggled with just 15 Fantasy points. Now, he has to face a Bears defense with a ferocious pass rush. Manning has been sacked at least four times in six games this season, and he could be cowering for his life this week. He's a questionable option in two-quarterback leagues against Chicago.|
I'll like Brady more if Xavier Rhodes (hamstring) is out for the Vikings, but this will still be a tough matchup for him, even at home. As we said last week with Aaron Rodgers playing at Minnesota, when defensive end Everson Griffen is active for the Vikings, they are tough on opposing quarterbacks. In six games with Griffen, Minnesota has held Jimmy Garoppolo, Rodgers twice, Drew Brees, Stafford and Trubisky to an average of just 11.8 Fantasy points per game. Brady also has scored more than 17 Fantasy points just once in his past four games. Granted, that came in Week 12 at the Jets when his entire receiving corps was healthy. But I wouldn't count on a dominant game from Brady this week, especially if Rhodes is able to play.
|12.7 projected points|
Josh Adams Philadelphia Eagles RB
|We've been talking up Adams for weeks as someone to buy into, and he had his breakout game in Week 12 against the Giants with 22 carries for 84 yards and a touchdown. He has now scored 31 PPR points in his past two games against the Saints and Giants, and he's poised for a strong finish to the season, starting this week against Washington. In the past five games, Washington has allowed six running backs to either score or gain at least 100 total yards. Adams should join that list on Monday night.|
|10.2 projected points|
Gus Edwards Baltimore Ravens RB
|Edwards followed up his surprise performance in Week 11 against Cincinnati with another great outing in Week 12 against Oakland. He had 23 carries for 118 yards, and he continues to work well with Lamar Jackson. It helped Edwards that Alex Collins (foot) was out against the Raiders, and we hope that's a headache we can avoid in Week 13 against the Falcons (Sunday, 1 p.m. EST, available on fuboTV). But it's hard to imagine the Ravens going back to Collins any time soon with how well Edwards has performed. And Atlanta has allowed a running back to score or gain at least 90 total yards in every game this season.|
|17.7 projected points|
Austin Ekeler Los Angeles Chargers RB
|The best part about Ekeler with Melvin Gordon (knee) out will likely be his role in the passing game. When Gordon missed Week 7 against Tennessee, Ekeler had five catches for 26 yards on seven targets. And then in Week 12 against the Cardinals, in the game where Gordon was hurt, Ekeler had 10 catches for 68 yards on 11 targets. He's also averaging 5.8 yards per carry, so he should be successful carrying the ball as well. This week, he's facing a Steelers defense that has allowed a running back to score in four games in a row. Ekeler is a must-start option in all leagues, and Justin Jackson is also worth using as a sleeper in deeper formats.|
|12.6 projected points|
Lamar Miller Houston Texans RB
|Miller is on a roll heading into Week 13 against the Browns, and he's scored at least 13 PPR points in four of his past five games, including two in a row. I was skeptical of Miller in the past two weeks against Washington and Tennessee, but he's been impressive behind a shaky offensive line. Cleveland has allowed a running back to either score or gain at least 100 total yards in five of the past six games, and Miller should stay hot in this matchup at home.|
|12.2 projected points|
Tarik Cohen Chicago Bears RB
|The Giants come into Week 13 having allowed a running back to score in every game this season. In the past four games since trading standout defensive lineman Damon Harrison, a running back has gained at least 80 rushing yards and a touchdown against the Giants. And now here we are with this matchup against the Bears. This should be a good game for Jordan Howard, but he's been impossible to trust of late with no touchdowns in three games in a row, along with just one outing over 35 total yards over that span. Cohen, meanwhile, has at least 15 PPR points in six of his past eight games, with six touchdowns over that span. The track record suggests a running back for Chicago will score this week, and Cohen appears the most likely candidate for that to happen. But don't rule out Howard scoring either given the matchup, and he's a flex in all leagues this week.|
- Dion Lewis and Derrick Henry (vs. NYJ): The Titans would love to get their ground game going, and this is the perfect matchup against the Jets. In their past five games, they have allowed seven touchdowns to running backs and six to gain at least 75 total yards. Lewis is the safer of the two Tennessee running backs in all leagues, but don't be surprised if Henry scores this week at home.
- Royce Freeman (at CIN): Freeman is going to need to score to help your Fantasy roster because Phillip Lindsay has taken over this backfield and is a must-start option in all leagues. But the Bengals are tied with Tampa Bay for the most touchdowns allowed to running backs with 17. And Freeman has scored in two of his past three games.
- T.J. Yeldon (vs. IND): With Leonard Fournette (suspension) out, Yeldon will get a boost in touches, and I like him better than Carlos Hyde this week, mostly because of his role in the passing game. He has five games this season with at least five catches, including Week 10 at Indianapolis when Fournette was active. He also has seven games this season with at least 10 PPR points just with his receiving totals alone. And the Colts are No. 2 in the NFL in receptions allowed to running backs with 79, trailing only the Falcons (88).
- Doug Martin (vs. KC): In the past five games with Marshawn Lynch (groin) out, Martin is averaging 4.8 yards per carry, and he's scored at least 12 PPR points in two of his past three outings, even with the Raiders falling apart. This week, he's facing a Chiefs defense that allows the third-most Fantasy points to opposing running backs. While Jalen Richard has been a quality option in PPR leagues all season, you can use both Oakland running backs as flex options in Week 13.
- Nyheim Hines (at JAC): We'll see if Marlon Mack (concussion) is out in Week 13 against Jacksonville, but Hines and Jordan Wilkins would share touches in his place. We've seen this show before when Mack missed four of the first five games with foot and ankle problems, and Hines was the better option with his work in the passing game. Hines had at least 11 PPR points in three of the four games without Mack. I would use Hines as a flex option in all PPR leagues if Mack is out against the Jaguars, and Wilkins is an option in deeper formats.
|10.8 projected points|
Adrian Peterson Washington Redskins RB
|Peterson is struggling of late behind a banged up offensive line, as well as playing with a backup quarterback in Colt McCoy with Alex Smith (broken leg) out. He's averaging just 3.1 yards per carry in his past four outings, and he has fewer than 70 total yards in each game over that span. Chris Thompson (ribs) could return this week to also take some work away from Peterson, and the Eagles run defense is tougher than what it's shown the past few weeks after being beat up by Ezekiel Elliott, Alvin Kamara and Saquon Barkley (twice) since Week 6. It's tough to trust Peterson as anything more than a flex this week.|
|4.0 projected points|
LeGarrette Blount Detroit Lions RB
|Blount is listed here with the expectation he will start again for the injured Kerryon Johnson (knee). And I'm expecting a letdown game after his strong performance against the Bears on Thanksgiving. While Blount could find the end zone, the game on Thanksgiving was the perfect set up for him against a tired Chicago defense that played late on Sunday night and then had to travel for a Thursday morning game. The Rams are coming off a bye and well rested. Along with that, I'm also expecting the Lions to be chasing points here, which means they can't lean on the ground game. Without a touchdown, this should be a disappointing stat line for Blount, and I prefer Theo Riddick as the best Detroit running back given the expected game flow.|
|10.8 projected points|
Carlos Hyde Jacksonville Jaguars RB
|Hyde will get an expanded role with Fournette suspended for this game against the Colts, but I don't expect him to have a quality stat line without finding the end zone. And Indianapolis is among the league leaders in fewest rushing touchdowns allowed to running backs this season with only five. While Fournette had one of those in Week 10, he needed 24 carries to grind out 53 yards, and now Jacksonville is down another offensive lineman with guard Andrew Norwell (ankle) out. Yeldon should be the better Fantasy running back for the Jaguars with his role in the passing game, and Hyde is a low-end flex option at best.|
|6.4 projected points|
Peyton Barber Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB
|Barber has actually been a quality Fantasy running back of late with at least 13 PPR points in three of his past five games, and his best performances of the season have come with Jameis Winston on the field. While Winston did not play in Week 9 at Carolina in the first meeting between these two teams, Barber struggled with 11 carries for 31 yards, as well as two catches for 9 yards on three targets. I'm expecting the Panthers defense to rebound this week after three straight losses in which running backs had success against them, including James Conner, Kerryon Johnson and Chris Carson. Those were close games for Detroit and Seattle, and Pittsburgh just smashed Carolina. I'm counting on the Panthers playing with a lead here, and Barber will need to score to help his stat line look respectable in Week 13. He's a flex option at best.|
You got lucky if you started Coleman in Week 12 at New Orleans because he scored on a late receiving touchdown to save a miserable stat line. Without the touchdown, Coleman finished with just 23 total yards on eight carries for 6 yards, as well as three catches for 17 yards on four targets. While he does have five receiving touchdowns on the season, he's only scored once on the ground since Week 1, and he continues to share touches with Ito Smith. The Ravens have allowed just seven total touchdowns to running backs on the season (five rushing and two receiving), and I'm concerned about Coleman posting another disappointing stat line. He's also scored 10 PPR points or less in three games in a row. That puts him play as a flex option, but he's not a must-start running back, even at home, against the Ravens.
|16.1 projected points|
Emmanuel Sanders Denver Broncos WR
|I thought Sanders would play well in a revenge game against his former team in Week 12 against the Steelers, and he delivered with seven catches for 86 yards and a touchdown on 12 targets. He ended a three-game scoreless streak, and he should stay hot in this matchup with the Bengals (Sunday, 1 p.m. EST, available on fuboTV). In the past six games, Cincinnati has allowed seven touchdowns to opposing receivers, as well as nine receivers to score at last 11 PPR points over that span. That should be the floor for Sanders in this matchup on the road.|
|10.8 projected points|
Corey Davis Tennessee Titans WR
|In the past three games that Marcus Mariota has been able to finish -- Week 9 at Dallas, Week 10 vs. New England and Week 12 at Houston – Davis is averaging 19.3 PPR points. He has two touchdowns over that span, and he's finally starting to look like the breakout receiver we hoped he could become for the past two seasons. This week, he's facing a Jets secondary that has allowed seven touchdowns to receivers in the past seven games, as well as eight guys to score at least 12 PPR points over that span. As long as Mariota is healthy, Davis should stay hot to close the year.|
|14.6 projected points|
D.J. Moore Carolina Panthers WR
|I expected Moore to be the best Carolina receiver this season, and he's finally starting to look the part of late. He's scored at least 17 PPR points in three of his past five games, including two in a row, and Devin Funchess (back) and Curtis Samuel (hamstring) are hurt. Moore has 17 targets in the past two games against Detroit and Seattle, and he's responded with 15 catches for 248 yards and one touchdown over that span. Now, he didn't have a dominant game against the Buccaneers in Week 9 with only one catch for 16 yards on two targets, as well as 32 rushing yards, but he should be much better in the rematch. And he will be a target hog if Funchess and Samuel are out this week.|
|12.2 projected points|
Tyler Lockett Seattle Seahawks WR
|As much as I remain hopeful for Doug Baldwin to start playing like the No. 1 receiver in Seattle, it's long overdue to acknowledge just how good Lockett has been this season. There are some flaws in his game since he has the fewest receptions (43) of any of the top 20 PPR receivers this season, but he's failed to score a touchdown in just three games this year, and he comes into Week 13 with at least 12 PPR points in three games in a row. The 49ers are among the league leaders with 15 touchdowns allowed to receivers, and nine guys in the past six games have scored at least 12 PPR points against this secondary. Baldwin and David Moore are worth using as No. 3 Fantasy receivers this week, but Lockett is a must-start option in all formats.|
|9.7 projected points|
Josh Reynolds Los Angeles Rams WR
|The last time we saw Reynolds was Week 11 against the Chiefs in the first game after Cooper Kupp (ACL) was lost for the season. And Reynolds was awesome with six catches for 80 yards and a touchdown on eight targets. He now has nine catches for 122 yards and three touchdowns on 13 targets in the past two games without Kupp this year -- Kupp also missed Weeks 7 and 8 with another knee injury. This week against Detroit, Reynolds is facing a secondary that has allowed eight touchdowns to receivers in the past five games. This should be a big week for Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods and Reynolds, who should be considered a low-end starter in all leagues.|
- Adam Humphries (vs. CAR): Humphries is playing well of late, and Tampa Bay is quickly losing options in the passing game. O.J. Howard (ankle) is out for the season, and DeSean Jackson (thumb) could be out in Week 13 against Carolina. That could make Humphries even more valuable, and he comes into this game with at least 14 PPR points in four of his past five outings, including a monster game against the Panthers in Week 9. He had eight catches for 82 yards and two touchdowns on eight targets in that game, and Carolina has struggled with slot receivers this season. Humphries is a strong No. 3 receiver option in PPR in Week 13.
- Chris Conley (at OAK): Conley's usage is contingent on Sammy Watkins (foot) and if he's healthy. If Watkins is expected to play in Week 13 at Oakland, then ignore Conley in most formats. But if Watkins is out, then Conley is a high-end No. 3 Fantasy receiver this week. In Kansas City's last game at the Rams in Week 11, Watkins couldn't play past the first quarter because of his foot injury, and Conley went off for seven catches, 74 yards and two touchdowns on eight targets. He's unlikely to replicate that performance, but Oakland is among the league leaders with 16 touchdowns allowed to receivers. Keep an eye on Watkins, but Conley has plenty of upside if Watkins is out.
- Taylor Gabriel (at NYG): Gabriel has picked things up in the past two games, and he's worth buying back into after a recent cold stretch. Gabriel has 17 targets in the past two games against Minnesota and Detroit, and he has 14 catches for 101 yards over that span. He hasn't scored since Week 4, but his PPR points are solid as a No. 3 Fantasy receiver. And he was the target leader for Chicago in Week 12 against the Lions with eight with Chase Daniel under center, and Daniel is likely starting again in place of Mitchell Trubisky (shoulder).
- Bruce Ellington (vs. LAR): With Marvin Jones (knee) now out for the season, Ellington is locked into the No. 2 receiver role for the Lions behind Kenny Golladay, and he's worth using as a No. 3 receiver in PPR leagues in Week 13 against the Rams. In two games with Detroit, Ellington has 12 catches for 80 yards on 16 targets, with six catches in each game. He's proven to be a reliable, short-area target for Matthew Stafford, and Ellington should once again be around six catches in this matchup at home.
- Josh Doctson (at PHI): In Colt McCoy's first start in place of Alex Smith (ankle) in Week 12 at Dallas, he leaned on Doctson, who had six catches for 66 yards on 10 targets, and he's now scored at least 12 PPR points in three of his past four games. This is a great matchup to trust Doctson as a low-end No. 3 receiver since the Eagles allow the second-most Fantasy points to the position, and you can also consider Trey Quinn a sleeper this week as well.
|11.7 projected points|
Alshon Jeffery Philadelphia Eagles WR
|Golden Tate's addition to the Eagles has been bad for Jeffery. In three games with Tate, Jeffery has combined for seven catches for 120 yards and no touchdowns on 16 targets. He's now gone four games in a row without finding the end zone, and it's hard to trust him this week against Washington. He also struggled against the Redskins in 2017 with five catches for 75 yards and no touchdowns on 13 targets in two games. Until he starts producing again on a consistent basis, you should keep Jeffery reserved in most leagues.|
|13.2 projected points|
Jarvis Landry Cleveland Browns WR
|Baker Mayfield is getting better. The Browns have actually won two games in a row. But Landry has not been productive as a Fantasy receiver. Go figure. He has just one touchdown in his past seven games, and he's combined for just 10 PPR points in his past two outings against Atlanta and Cincinnati. This matchup in Week 13 isn't easy either since Houston has allowed just one touchdown to a receiver in the past five games. I'm still hopeful Landry can finish the season strong, but he's not someone you can trust until he proves he can be productive again on a consistent basis.|
|8.7 projected points|
Allen Robinson Chicago Bears WR
|Robinson was amazing in Week 10 against Detroit with six catches for 133 yards and two touchdowns on eight targets, but he disappeared in the past two games. He combined for five catches for 76 yards and no touchdowns on 11 targets against the Vikings and in the rematch with the Lions, and he could be limited again this week at the Giants. Chase Daniel only targeted Robinson four times, and he could see a lot of Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins, which won't be an easy matchup. Robinson is a low-end No. 3 Fantasy receiver at best this week.|
|11.4 projected points|
Sterling Shepard New York Giants WR
|Shepard is slumping of late with a combined 28 PPR points in his past four games, and that includes scoring a touchdown in Week 10 at San Francisco. He has 12 catches for 102 yards on 19 targets over that span, and the Giants aren't leaning on him by any stretch. Maybe that changes this week if Evan Engram (hamstring) is out, but this isn't an easy matchup against the Bears, especially with Eli Manning expected to deal with a heavy pass rush. The only Giants to trust this week are Odell Beckham and Saquon Barkley.|
Boyd will benefit with A.J. Green (toe) expected to return this week, but he also has the downgrade of quarterbacks with Jeff Driskel starting. Now, Green is still worth using as a No. 2 Fantasy receiver, but Boyd is more of a No. 3 option. Driskel did connect with Boyd for a 28-yard touchdown in Week 12 against Cleveland after Andy Dalton (thumb) got hurt, but Boyd could see plenty of coverage from Denver cornerback Chris Harris in Week 13 in the slot. Let's hope Driskel will keep Green and Boyd playing at a high level, but I'm downgrading Boyd this week given the quarterback change and likely matchup with Harris.
|9.3 projected points|
Cameron Brate Tampa Bay Buccaneers TE
|As expected, in the first game without O.J. Howard (ankle), Brate delivered a quality Fantasy performance in Week 12 against the 49ers. He had three catches for 26 yards and a touchdown on four targets, and he's now scored three of his four touchdowns this year from Jameis Winston. Carolina allows the most Fantasy points to opposing tight ends, and Howard had four catches for 53 yards and two touchdowns on six targets against the Panthers in Week 9.|
|9.7 projected points|
David Njoku Cleveland Browns TE
|Njoku ended a three-game scoring slump in Week 12 at Cincinnati when he had five catches for 63 yards and a touchdown on five targets. He has a favorable matchup in Week 13 at Houston since the Texans have allowed a tight end to score in three games in a row, including Jeff Heuerman in Week 9, Jordan Reed in Week 11 and Jonnu Smith in Week 12.|
|11.5 projected points|
Greg Olsen Carolina Panthers TE
|Olsen's best game of the season came in Week 9 against Tampa Bay when he had six catches for 76 yards and a touchdown on six targets. He should benefit this week if Devin Funchess (back) and Curtis Samuel (hamstring) are out, and hopefully he takes advantage of this matchup for the second time this year. The Buccaneers are No. 3 in Fantasy points allowed to tight ends, trailing only Carolina and Cincinnati.|
- Chris Herndon (at TEN): Herndon had another solid outing in Week 12 against the Patriots with seven catches for 57 yards on eight targets, and he's now scored at least 10 PPR points in four of his past six games, with three touchdowns over that span. He doesn't have an easy matchup in Week 13 at Tennessee, but Herndon is still worth using in deeper leagues as a streaming option.
- Gerald Everett (at DET): The last time we saw Everett was in Week 11 against Kansas City in the first game without Cooper Kupp (ACL) since he was lost for the season. Everett and Tyler Higbee both played well, but Everett had the bigger game with three catches for 49 yards and two touchdowns on four targets (Higbee added six catches for 63 yards on seven targets). Both are potential sleepers this week, but I like Everett better given his big-play ability. In Week 13 at Detroit, both Rams tight ends are worth using as streaming options.
- Jonnu Smith (vs. NYJ): Smith has been on a roll for the past four games, and he's emerged as the No. 2 option in Tennessee's receiving corps behind Corey Davis. Smith has at least 10 PPR points in four games in a row, and he's scored a touchdown in three of his past four outings. He's facing a Jets defense that has only allowed four touchdowns to tight ends this season, but Smith is playing at a high level of late and is worth using as a low-end starter in Week 13.
|6.9 projected points|
Trey Burton Chicago Bears TE
|Burton has gone three games in a row without scoring a touchdown. He's been held to 40 yards or less in five games in a row. And the Giants have allowed just two touchdowns to tight ends this season, and they were scored by the same guy – Zach Ertz. There's no reason to trust Burton this week.|
|5.4 projected points|
Jimmy Graham Green Bay Packers TE
|In Graham's first game playing with a broken thumb, he had two catches for 34 yards on four targets at Minnesota in Week 12. It's impressive that he's playing through the injury, but he was a disappointing Fantasy tight end this season when healthy. He's now scored just once in his past seven games, including three games in a row without finding the end zone. And he's combined for four catches for 61 yards in his past three games on six targets, although he left Week 11 at Seattle when he first injured his thumb. It's risky to trust Graham while he's playing hurt.|
|6.7 projected points|
Jesse James Pittsburgh Steelers TE
|James is likely going to start for the injured Vance McDonald (hip), but he's not worth trusting in this matchup with the Chargers. The Chargers have allowed just one touchdown to a tight end in the past five games, which was Nick Vannett in Week 9. Since then, they shut down similar tight ends to James, including Jared Cook (four catches for 52 yards), Heuerman (four catches for 20 yards) and Ricky Seals-Jones (one catch for 5 yards). James is only worth using as a streaming option in deeper leagues.|
Cook is only listed here with the chance that Chiefs safety Eric Berry (heel) is able to play this week. If Berry remains out then consider Cook a safe start, but Berry has been a tight-end eraser during his career. Cook has played well of late with five catches for 63 yards and two touchdowns on 11 targets in his past two games against Arizona and Baltimore, but I would be hesitant to start him in a matchup against Berry.
Seahawks (vs. SF) – 9.3 projected points
The 49ers are playing a second consecutive road game this week at Seattle, and Nick Mullens looked like a third-string quarterback in Week 12 at Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers had four sacks and two interceptions, and Mullens has now thrown four interceptions in his past two games.
- Chiefs (at OAK): The Raiders have scored 17 points or less in three of the past four games, and Oakland has allowed 19 sacks in the past four outings. With Berry potentially back for Kansas City, the Chiefs DST is a must play in Week 13.
- Broncos (at CIN): A.J. Green's return hurts the Broncos DST a little bit, but facing Jeff Driskel is still a bonus. Cincinnati has allowed multiple sacks in all but three games this season, and Von Miller and Bradley Chubb should make Driskel uncomfortable in the pocket.
- Titans (vs. NYJ): The Jets have allowed nine sacks in their past three games, and they have seven interceptions over that span. We'll see if Sam Darnold (foot) or Josh McCown start this week, but either way, the Titans DST is a solid option in all formats.
Chargers (at PIT) – 7.0 projected points
The Chargers DST had a good stretch run recently with at least 10 Fantasy points in three of the past four games. But this isn't a time to trust the Chargers DST at Pittsburgh. The Steelers are averaging 35.4 points at home this year, and Ben Roethlisberger has just four sacks and three interceptions in those games.
McManus has combined for just 12 Fantasy points in his past two games, but he's due for a big outing, which should happen this week. The Bengals are No. 4 in Fantasy points allowed to opposing kickers, and five of the past six kickers against Cincinnati have scored at least eight Fantasy points.
- Sebastian Janikowski (vs. SF): The 49ers have allowed two field goals and three extra points to opposing kickers in the past two games, and six kickers have made multiple field goals against San Francisco this season.
- Ryan Succop (vs. NYJ): Succop scored 10 Fantasy points in his past home game in Week 10 against New England, and the Jets have allowed six field goals in the past three games against Miami, Buffalo and the Patriots.
- Cody Parkey (at NYG): The Giants allow the most Fantasy points to opposing kickers, and three of the past five kickers against the Giants have made at least three field goals. Parkey has two games in his past four outings with at least 11 Fantasy points.
Bailey has been a disappointing kicker of late with six Fantasy points or less in four games in a row. He just missed two field goals at home against Green Bay in Week 12, and the Patriots have allowed just one kicker to score more than seven Fantasy points against them in the past five games.
So who should you sit and start? And what shocking running back could win you Week 13? Visit SportsLine now to get Fantasy football rankings for every single position, and see which shocking RB finishes in the top 10 this week, all from the model that out-performed experts big time last season.
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