Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 13
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For many fake footballers, this week means securing a playoff spot — or even better, a first-round bye — as most leagues begin their postseason in Week 14.
Below you will find some players that fall into a "start'em" or "sit'em" category, but ultimately your league's depth and roster composition will determine who should be started.
To get a better sense of whether you should start one player over another, check out my Week 13 fantasy rankings, which include standard and PPR-scoring rankings as well as flex rankings.
That said, here are some players to consider starting in Week 13:
QB - Josh McCown, Chicago Bears (at MIN)
At least for one more week, McCown will get the start for the Bears even though Jay Cutler will resume his role as starter once he's healthy. McCown, who was on my waiver-wire list this week, threw for a season-high 352 yards last week and now has seven touchdowns to only one interception on the season.
Only the Cowboys have allowed more fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season than the Vikings, who allowed the duo of Scott Tolzien and Matt Flynn to score 25 fantasy points last week. The Vikings have allowed 17 or more fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks in all but two games this season. In addition, no team has allowed more passing touchdowns than the Vikings (24).
[Related: The Bears' QBs have the most favorable fantasy strength of schedule from Weeks 13 to 16.]
QB - Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals (at SD)
After a three-game stretch with 24 fantasy points or more, Dalton has a three-game stretch with 14 fantasy points or less. Although he has multiple touchdowns in five of those six games for a total of 16 touchdown passes, he has thrown eight interceptions in his three games before the bye.
Heading into Week 13, however, Dalton has a great opportunity to get back on track as he faces the Chargers, who have allowed the third-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season.
RB - Andre Brown, New York Giants (at WAS)
In his three games since returning from IR, Brown has 69 carries for 308 yards and a touchdown plus eight receptions for 42 yards. Brown has at least 18 carries in each of his games and should get another big workload in a favorable matchup against the Redskins, who have allowed the third-most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season.
RB - Frank Gore, San Francisco 49ers (vs. STL)
If Brown has a great matchup, Gore's matchup is better. Only the Cowboys have allowed more fantasy points to opposing running backs this season than the Rams. In fact, the first time this season that he faced the Rams, Gore rushed 20 times for a season-high 153 yards and a touchdown.
RB - Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville Jaguars (at CLE)
Although he is averaging only 3.28 yards per carry over his past four games, MJD has a total of 395 yards from scrimmage, 20 receptions and three touchdowns during that stretch. During that span, he has double-digit fantasy points in three games and the lone exception was a nine-point performance.
RB - Shane Vereen, New England Patriots (at HOU)
For a second consecutive week, Vereen has double-digit targets and eight receptions. Last week, he also had 10 carries as well.
Not only did he end his streak of five consecutive games with a touchdown, but Stevan Ridley extended his streak of games with a lost fumble to three. While Ridley's early-down work may go to the other backs, Vereen is clearly the Patriots running back that I'd prefer to start in Week 13 and the only one of the group that is ranked inside my top 20.
WR - Keenan Allen, San Diego Chargers (vs. CIN)
For the fourth time in his seven games, Allen exceeded the 100-yard mark as he finished last week's game with nine receptions for 124 yards. In eight games played since Week 4, Allen has 47 receptions for 707 yards and three touchdowns. Only six players have more receiving yards than Allen during that span.
WR - Rod Streater, Oakland Raiders (at DAL)
With Matt McGloin under center in the team's past two games, he has shown excellent chemistry with Streater, who has 11 receptions for 177 yards and a touchdown in these two games. Streater has at least 84 yards in both of those games.
Only the Eagles (300.1) have allowed more passing yards per game than the Cowboys (298.5) this season.
WR - Michael Floyd, Arizona Cardinals (at PHI)
One week after posting a career-high 193 yards, Floyd had seven catches for 104 yards against the Colts last week. Now Floyd gets an ideal matchup to try to extend his streak to three games.
Not only have the Eagles allowed the most passing yards than any other team, but no team has allowed more fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this year than the Eagles.
WR - Harry Douglas, Atlanta Falcons (at BUF)
Since the team's bye in Week 6, Douglas has been extremely productive with three 100-yard games and at least 79 yards in five of those six games. During that six-game stretch, Douglas has 44 receptions for 614 yards and two touchdowns. No player has more receptions and the only player with more receiving yards during that stretch is Calvin Johnson (861).
TE - Coby Fleener, Indianapolis Colts (vs. TEN)
Fleener has back-to-back games with double-digit fantasy points and at least five fantasy points in five consecutive games. The first of those two double-digit performances was against the Titans, who is also this week's opponent. In that game, Fleener had eight receptions for 107 yards, both of which are season highs.
TE - Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers (vs. TB)
A few weeks ago, Olsen had one catch for 14 yards (and just one fantasy point) against the 49ers. In the over four games over his past five games played, however, Olsen has scored a touchdown in each of those games.
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Here are some players to possibly sit for Week 13:
QB - Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins (vs. NYG)
Over his past six games, Griffin III has 20-plus fantasy points in half of his games and 10 or less in the other half: 25, 3, 10, 27, 22 and 5, respectively. In one league where I'm in the playoffs if I win this week (perhaps in if I lose as well but it's not a lock), I picked up McCown this morning and will start him over RG3, which is something that I would have never expected to do a couple of months ago.
QB - Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons (at BUF)
Once again, Ryan finds himself on the sit'em side of this column. Over his past five games, Ryan has 14 fantasy points or less in every game. This week, Ryan heads to Toronto to take on the Bills, who have limited opposing quarterbacks to 10 points or less in three consecutive games. Ryan has been much better at home (10 TDs and one INT) than on the road (eight TDs and 11 INTs) this season.
RB - Ben Tate, Houston Texans (vs. NE)
Despite a favorable matchup against the Jaguars, Tate had only one rushing yard on seven carries last week. Meanwhile, change-of-pace back Dennis Johnson led the team with 13 carries for 74 yards. While I don't expect as miserable of a performance for Tate or for Johnson to lead the team in rushing again, there's a good chance the workload is split fairly evenly between the two backs.
RB - Ray Rice, Baltimore Ravens (vs. PIT)
With a tough matchup against the Jets, Rice had 16 carries for 30 yards last week after his first 100-yard game of the season the previous week. That said, Rice has been so bad this season that he had his third-highest rushing output this season in his first matchup against the Steelers. In that game, he carried the ball 15 times for 45 yards. Yes, going into Week 13, Rice has only two games this season with at least 50 rushing yards.
RB - Lamar Miller, Miami Dolphins (at NYJ)
Even with a larger workload due to Daniel Thomas' injury, it's hard to trust Miller due to his inconsistency this season. In five of his past seven games, Miller has four fantasy points or less. In his past three games combined, Miller has 21 carries for 27 rushing yards.
Facing the league's top rushing defense, it's possible that Miller barely exceeds those 27 yards this week. (In fact, it's no lock that he gets to 27 rushing yards.)
RB - Stevan Ridley, New England Patriots (at HOU)
There's not too much to add here other than what I wrote for Vereen — with lost fumbles in three straight games, it's hard to trust that Ridley gets the workload to justify a start.
WR - Marques Colston, New Orleans Saints (at SEA)
After two solid performances, Colston had a mediocre 4/40 performance against the Falcons last week. Unfortunately for Colston and his fantasy owners, he has two difficult matchups coming up. This week, the Saints head to the Pacific Northwest to take on the Seahawks and Colston should be locked up by Richard Sherman. Next week, they face the Panthers, who have allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season.
WR - Cecil Shorts, Jacksonville Jaguars (at CLE)
Speaking of a team's No. 1 receiver facing a shutdown corner, that applies to Shorts as well as he will face Browns cornerback Joe Haden. Even though Antonio Brown had a solid game against Haden last week, he's gotten the better of the opponent's No. 1 receiver more often than not. The upside, though, is we could be in store for a Shorts' "f---ing dumb" rant again.
WR - Hakeem Nicks, New York Giants (at WAS)
The matchup is excellent, but can you really feel comfortable starting Nicks? Especially after he missed last week's game with an abdominal injury? In addition, Nicks has yet to score a touchdown this season. Therefore, he has single-digit fantasy points in his previous five games and has reached 100-plus yards only twice this season.
WR - Golden Tate, Seattle Seahawks (vs. NO)
Against the Vikings in Week 11 before the bye, Tate had just one reception for 26 yards. Tate has been inconsistent this season even with Percy Harvin out of the lineup. In his 11 games, here are his fantasy points production: 5, 1, 10, 1, 12, 3, 7, 21, 2, 16 and 2, respectively. See what I mean?
With Harvin back, we could see more of the performances with three points or less. In addition, the Saints have allowed the eighth-fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season.
TE - Jared Cook, St. Louis Rams (at SF)
Since his monster Week 1 performance, Cook had his best game of the season last week with four catches for 80 yards and a score. The good news is that Cook will face the Cardinals (again) in Week 14 — he had 7/141/2 (24 fantasy points) against the Cards in Week 1. (The bad news is this is Week 13.)
With athletic linebackers, the 49ers have allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season.
Week 13 Fantasy Football Rankings:
- Week 13 Fantasy Football QB Rankings
- Week 13 Fantasy Football RB Rankings
- Week 13 Fantasy Football WR Rankings
- Week 13 Fantasy Football TE Rankings
Week 13 Daily Fantasy Football Salary-Cap Analysis: