Derek Carr (@ NYJ): The New York Jets are one of the worst overall teams in the NFL this season, currently without a win to their name. They give up roughly 395 total yards per game, and 250 passing yards per game. Starting Raiders running back Josh Jacobs has been ruled out for this contest, and that should give the Raiders more incentive to pass in this one, despite the fact they are facing the Jets on the road. The Raiders are looking to bounce back after a tough Week 12 loss against the Falcons. Don’t worry about last week’s dud and play Carr in this matchup.
Kirk Cousins (vs. JAC): Another team in contention for a top three overall pick in this upcoming draft is the Jacksonville Jaguars, who currently have just one win on the year. The Jaguars are worse than the Jets on defense, as they allow 415 total yards, 255 total passing yards, 20 completions per game to quarterbacks, and 17.5 fantasy points per game. Cousins is simply a streaming option if the right matchup pops up on paper, which happened this week.
Matthew Stafford (@ CHI): The Detroit Lions are a team we want to try and avoid, for a few reasons. The biggest is that there has been a head coaching change. Matt Patricia has been removed and replaced by the team’s current offensive coordinator. While this may be a good long-term solution for the Lions, I’d rather take a wait and see approach. Golladay is out for this one, D’Andre Swift is doubtful, and the Lions are in a rough spot against the Bears who have the number eight DVOA against the pass this season.
Carson Wentz (@ GB): The eye test sometimes is better than looking at numbers when it comes to making fantasy football decisions, and my eyes have told me that Carson Wentz looks lost out there. I can not advocate starting him in any format this week. I know recency bias is real, and maybe we should forget what we saw after one week, but I’m out on Wentz until further notice.
Melvin Gordon III (@ KC): I know Melvin Gordon has been rather disappointing this season, but he’s in a great spot this week. Game flow may not be in his favor, which is the major concern for a volume-based RB, but everything else checks out. First, he’s facing a Chiefs team that can’t stop the run. They give up 25.3 fantasy points per game to RBs on the year. That translates to 108.5 rushing yards, 22 rushing attempts, 6.25 receptions and 59 receiving yards per game to running backs overall. I think Gordon is an alright backend RB2 play.
Jonathan Taylor (@ HOU): A couple of points for Taylor here. He was placed on the COVID list last week because he was a close contact to someone who did have COVID. Taylor himself did not have COVID. That means, he’s healthy after a fresh week off. Indianapolis gets a phenomenal matchup against the Texans this week. The Texans have the 27th rank rush DVOA, allow 98.8 rushing yards per game, and 24.6 fantasy points per game on the season. It will likely be an RBBC for Taylor, Hines, and Wilkins this week, but if Indianapolis can get ahead in this one, Taylor should see a majority of the carries.
Kenyan Drake (vs. LAR): The matchup, on paper is not a good one for Drake here in Week 13. The Rams rank in the top 10 DVOA against the run as well as overall DVOA. I’m expecting a higher scoring contest here, so that should negate the Rams’ overall defensive efforts. However, we can’t forget about Chase Edmonds. It’s not just the Drake show in Arizona at this point. Keep in mind, Kyler Murray even gets tons of carries as well as a quarterback. A crowded backfield plus tough matchup and divisional opponent, it’s hard to trust Drake here. To me he’s just a mid-range FLEX option and nothing more.
Todd Gurley (vs. NO): As of this write up, Gurley is listed as questionable for Sunday’s divisional matchup against the Saints. If he plays, I’m avoiding Gurley this week. If Gurley sits, I’m avoiding all Falcons’ RBs as well. There are a few reasons. The first, being the Saints have the second-best run-stopping unit in the NFL. They allow roughly 65 rushing yard per game on average. Even if Gurley is active, I would not expect a full commitment to him, and it would be more of a committee approach. Regardless, Gurley and the Falcons’ RBs are not in a great situation this week.
D.J. Chark (@ MIN): Chark was held out of last week’s matchup for the Jaguars with an injury. He’s ready to return and gets a great spot here. The Vikings are one of the worst defensive units against wide receivers on the year. They are giving up 14 receptions, and top 10 fantasy production to receivers on the year. The one downside for Chark is that his quarterback is going to be Mike Glennon. He’s had bad QB play for most of this season anyway, so that concern isn’t really a big deal. No issue with starting Chark this week.
Brandin Cooks (vs. IND): In case you missed the news, Will Fuller has been suspended for six games. Randall Cobb was recently released from Houston. That leaves Brandin Cooks and Keke Coutee as the top two options for the Texans. Cooks should be a solid number two wide receiver this week. The Colts matchup as a whole is not the best for receivers, but Cooks should be able to overcome it with enough volume, provided he stays healthy.
Jerry Jeudy (@ KC): Earlier in this article, we mentioned that Kansas City is awful against the run, but they make up for it in being equally as good against the pass, specifically wide receivers. Jeudy will be facing some combo of Tyrann Mathieu, Bashaud Breeland, and Chavarius Ward this week. All of which are great cornerbacks. The metrics back this up as well, as KC is the 13th ranked DVOA against the pass, allow the fewest receptions to receivers, and second fewest overall fantasy points to wide outs on the year.
CeeDee Lamb (@ BAL): Despite having so much long-term upside, CeeDee Lamb is in a tough spot against a Ravens team that has a secondary filled with great players. The trio of Marlon Humphrey, Jimmy Smith, Marcus Peters is a shut-down unit. Whether or not the Ravens try to take Cooper or Lamb out of the equation remains to be seen, but I’d avoid looking in other directions this week.
Austin Hooper (@ TEN): Originally, I was going to list Jonnu Smith as one of my starts at tight end for the week, but he was ruled out. The other tight end in this game, Austin Hooper, is in a fine situation as well. The Titans are allowing 55.5 total yards to tight ends on the year, and roughly five receptions. Hooper might luck into another touchdown, as he had last week. Regardless, if we can get a halfway decent tight end in a good matchup, we need to take advantage when we can.
Kyle Rudolph (vs. JAC): Normally, we don’t start these fringe Vikings’ players and expect much of anything. However, tight ends as a whole have been awful this year, so anyone with a pulse in a solid matchup is worth a look. That’s what we’re getting here with Rudolph. With Irv Smith Jr out, Rudolph gets a great matchup against the Jaguars. Jacksonville allows the second most red-zone targets to tight ends, 54 receiving yards, and roughly 12.17 fantasy points per game. We are basically hoping for the equivalent of slightly more than a touchdown from our tight end. I’m expecting Rudolph to be in that range.
Eric Ebron (vs. WAS): Ebron has a tough matchup against the Football Team in Washington here in Week 13. The Football Team allows the fewest red zone targets to tight ends, which is where Ebron makes most of his noise in the fantasy game. Ebron has seen 11 receiving targets in the redzone this season, which is tied for the 13th most. That’s the one stat that stood out to me. Overall, Washington is actually a middle of the road pack against the tight ends, but I can’t trust Ebron.
Jimmy Graham (vs. DET): A tight end who has fallen off the raider over these last few weeks has been Jimmy Graham. Kmet has started to see more snaps. Kmet, since Week 7 on, has steadily been seeing roughly equal or more snaps to Jimmy Graham on offense. This has led to a decline in Graham’s production. I don’t like either Bears’ tight end this week.
Las Vegas Raiders (@ NYJ): The Raiders were just embarrassed last week against the Falcons. Look for them to rebound this week against the New York Jets at home. We’ve gone over how bad the Jets are numerous times in this article.
Seattle Seahawks (vs NYG): As of this writing, Daniel Jones is doubtful for the Giants’ matchup against Seattle this week. If Colt McCoy starts, the Seahawks defense are a good play. McCoy has been a career backup for years now. We know who he is. I’d downgrade all Giants if McCoy is the starter.
Indianapolis Colts (@ HOU): Without Will Fuller, this Texans’ offense might not have the same fire power. However, in Week 13, David Johnson is returning, and this team needs him. On top of that, this Colts team was just embarrassed by the Titans on the ground last week. I’m not expecting nearly as bad of a performance here in Week 13 with some key players back, but I can’t in good faith start the Colts defense.
Los Angeles Rams (@ ARI): This Rams game is going to be a higher scoring matchup than Vegas indicates. Both teams are fighting for a wild card spot and can’t afford to lose. Kyler Murray and the Cardinals offense is playing at home in this one. Surprisingly, the Rams have actually allowed just 296 total yards per game, which is a really low number, second in the league, but I’m expecting this Cardinals offense to put up numbers in a paced-up game for the Rams.
Jason Myers (vs. NYG): This Seahawks team should run away with a win in their Week 13 matchup against the Giants and backup quarterback Colt McCoy. Even if Daniel Jones somehow gets the start (doubtful as of this writing) I like Myers’ spot here this week. Seattle should be able to score quite often against the Giants.
Matt Prater (@ CHI): The Bears are allowing 2.9 field goal attempts per game this season. What this means is, the Bears are allowing the most field goal attempts out of any team on the year. It’s worth noting, the last three weeks, the Bears actually performed well against kickers, allowing just one field goal attempt over that span. But, when the Bears are home, they allow a high 3.6 field goal attempts per game. We just want kickers who either are in high scoring contests or are facing teams that give up tons of field goal attempts. Both add up to fantasy points most of the time.
Jake Elliott (@ GB): This entire Eagles offense has been struggling over the last few weeks. There’s that, plus the fact that Green Bay is in the bottom ten of field goal attempts allowed. Two reasons to fade Elliott this week.
Cairo Santos (vs DET): So even though we like the spot for the opposing kicker in this game, Cairo Santos is not in a good spot for the Bears. For one, the Bears’ offense is not nearly as productive as the Lions could be. In terms of overall yards per game, Chicago actually has just the second fewest total yards. Detroit is not much better, ranked 21st overall, but it’s still a more productive offense as a whole. On top of that, the second fewest field goal attempts per game in the league are the Lions with just 1.3 attempts per game. I’ll look in other directions this week.
UPDATED WEEK 13 INJURY REPORT
Nick Foles (Hip): Likely will be active, but as a backup.
Lamar Jackson (COVID): DNP, questionable to be cleared for Tuesday’s matchup.
Daniel Jones (Hamstring): Limited practice, but doubtful.
Tua Tagovailoa (Thumb): Expected to play, Miami did not activate a QB from their practice squad.
Salvon Ahmed (Shoulder): Ruled out.
Kalen Ballage (Ankle): Expected to return.
Matt Breida (Illness): Ruled out.
Chris Carson (Foot): Expected to play.
James Conner (COVID): Has to be cleared before Monday’s game, uncertain at this time.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire (Illness): Expected to play.
Myles Gaskin (Knee): Activated off of IR, will start.
Todd Gurley (Knee): Limited practice, should play.
Josh Jacobs (Ankle): Ruled out. Booker will start.
Philip Lindsay (Knee): Expected to play.
Alexander Mattison (Illness): Ruled out.
D’Andre Swift (Illness): Doubtful, DNP.
David Johnson (Concussion): Activated off of IR, will play.
DeAndre Washington (Hamstring): Ruled out.
D.J. Chark (Ribs): Expected to return.
Kenny Golladay (Hip): Ruled out.
Jerry Jeudy (Ankle): Expected to play.
Julio Jones (Hamstring): Expected to return.
Allen Robinson (Knee): Expected to play, but limited practice on Friday.
Adam Thielen (COVID): Expected to play.
Mark Andrews (COVID): DNP, high-risk COVID situation. Unsure if he will be cleared on time.
Irv Smith Jr (Back): Ruled out.
Jonnu Smith (Knee): Ruled out.
Zach Ertz (Ankle): Expected to return.
(Cover Photo: Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)