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Starts and Sits – Week 13

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By Brian Mackowick (@BMaaaaac), Joey DeFeo (@jdefeo91), and Jordan Vander Ploeg (@ff_jvp)


Week 12 Results

Last week Joey DeFeo (@jdefeo91), Jordan Vander Ploeg (@ff_jvp) and myself (@BMaaaaac) gave you our recommendations in a very important and pivotal week in the Fantasy season. Let’s take a look at the results:

QB Starts: Baker Mayfield (QB5); Lamar Jackson (QB15)

RB Starts: Marlon Mack (RB25); Mark Ingram (RB38)

WR Starts: Devin Funchess (DNP); Marquez Valdes-Scantling (WR102!)

TE Starts: David Njoku (TE3); Jonnu Smith (TE7)

 

QB Sits: Kirk Cousins (QB2); Philip Rivers (QB12)

RB Sits: James White (RB36); Dalvin Cook (RB17)

WR Sits: Allen Robinson (WR62); Larry Fitzgerald (WR41)

TE Sits: Austin Hooper (TE20); Cameron Brate (TE15)

Boy, Cleveland sure looks like they’ve got a team finally don’t they? A great start recommendation by @ff_jvp, Baker Mayfield had his best fantasy game of the season this past week and finished as QB5 on the back of his 258/4/0 performance. Our QB sits, however, did not fare as well with both Kirk Cousins (QB2) and Philip Rivers (QB12) finishing in the QB1 tier. Both Marlon Mack and Mark Ingram finished outside RB2 territory for our RB starts, though on the sit side we saw James White finish as a near RB4.

Similarly, our WR selections Devin Funchess and Marquez Valdes-Scantling did not perform as expected (or perform at all, for that matter). While Funchess ended up sitting, DJ Moore did put together a decent line and finished at WR19 as Cam Newton’s go-to receiver aside from Christian McCaffrey. I assumed MVS would see plenty of targets and he instead saw just two in a game where Aaron Rodgers threw just 28 passes (tied for his fewest of the season). On the tight end side, @jdefeo91 gave us solid recommendations to start David Njoku and Jonnu Smith, both of whom finished near the top at their position.

Week 13 is the last week of the Fantasy Football regular season in most leagues, so as I said last week, congratulations if you’ve already locked up a playoff spot, and good luck to those of you in the hunt! Let’s check out the week 13 Starts and Sits!


Quarterbacks – by Joey DeFeo

START

Andrew Luck – A player that I believe is not being talked about enough this season, mainly due to big seasons from guys like Brees, Goff, and Mahomes, is Andrew Luck. The leading candidate for Comeback Player of the Year, Luck has been an absolute stud this year. He is currently the seventh best quarterback going into week 13, just behind Big Ben and Jared Goff. The offense is clicking on all cylinders and Luck is a key contributor to how well they are playing. This week he travels to face the Jacksonville Jaguars who are still one of the better defenses in the league, but are on the field a ton. Luck hasn’t thrown less than three touchdowns since week 3 and I don’t expect that to change this week. He already accomplished a three-touchdown game against them a few weeks ago so if you were on the fence because of the matchup, lock him in and don’t think twice about it.

Dak Prescott – The Cowboys somehow have inserted themselves back into first place in the NFC East after beating the Washington Redskins this past week. Many were writing the Cowboys off after their Monday Night Football loss to Tennessee. They had publicly dragged Jason Garrett across the coals and called for him to be fired immediately. Fast forward to week 13 and it’s suddenly a different story as the trade for Amari Cooper now looks like a genius move and the team seems to be clicking at the right time. Prescott has been putting together solid performances during their three-game winning streak capped by a top-5 performance on Thanksgiving Day. The Cowboys get another Thursday game as the Saints bring their red-hot offense to Arlington. Even with the Cowboys defense playing very well they will have a tough time slowing MVP candidate Drew Brees and crew. Dak will be forced into catch up mode and will likely use his mobility to extend plays. Look for Dak to put together a solid performance through the air and on the ground.

 

SIT

Aaron Rodgers – Rodgers has had a down year to his standards and it could be caused by a multitude of reasons. The play calling, his knee, the injuries on the offensive line and receiving core. Whatever the reason, he is no longer the sure lock to produce elite numbers. Last week against Minnesota was his worst fantasy output of the season and honestly his worst that I can remember without him getting injured. The best offensive lineman they have in David Bakthari was in and out of the game which didn’t help Rodgers’ case as he was sacked four times and pressured frequently. This week he gets to face one of the best passing defenses in the league and one of the league’s leading sack masters in Chandler Jones. Although the Cardinals are in the hunt for the 1st overall pick, this defense is no cake walk. The same problems the Packers have faced all season will not magically disappear this week, leaving Rodgers to disappoint once again.

Tom Brady – Although the Patriots have been winning as they normally do, Tom Brady hasn’t been reaping any benefits. He put up three poor performances before their bye week and then followed it up with a mediocre game against the Jets this past week. The way the Patriots have been winning is by controlling the game with their two-headed monster of a rushing attack with Sony Michel and James White, leaving Brady with not much to do. He may have to try and do more this week as they play the Minnesota Vikings who just made Aaron Rodgers look mediocre. He will have a hard time moving the ball with how much pressure the Vikings like to force on the quarterback so look for Brady to have another down game this week.


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Running Backs – by Brian Mackowick

START

Gus Edwards – Gus “The Bus” Edwards certainly appears to have taken over the Ravens’ backfield. Over the last two weeks, Gus has averaged a gaudy 5.8 yards-per-carry on 40 total carries, good for 233 total yards. Granted, though, these numbers came against two of the weaker run defenses in the league. This week the Ravens’ offensive situation is again up in the air as it is unknown whether or not we’ll see a return of Joe Flacco to the lineup, and Alex Collins’ usage should he return (as of this writing, it appears Lamar will start again and Collins is day-to-day). I’m operating under the assumption Gus continues to be the main guy, and he’s got another great matchup this week on the road against the Falcons. The downside for Gus is the lack of targets in the passing game (zero targets the last two weeks) and the lack of goal-line work (zero carries inside the five). Luckily for Gus and his owners, Atlanta has allowed 454 yards on the ground on just 72 carries over their last three contests; good for a 6.3 yard-per-carry rate. Gus is a start regardless of Flacco or Collins getting back on the field in my opinion, but if Lamar Jackson gets another start I think Gus is potentially in the RB1 conversation.

T.J. Yeldon – Leonard Fournette is heading for a one-game suspension this week as the Jags welcome the Colts to town. That leaves a lot of touches on the table for T.J. Yeldon and Carlos Hyde. While I think both merit consideration this week in your starting lineups, I’d personally prefer the pass-catching-prowess of Yeldon. Thus far this season, Yeldon has averaged three receptions on five targets in games in which Fournette has played. In games where Fournette has sat out, Yeldon has averaged 5.2 receptions on 7.2 targets. Additionally, Yeldon’s receiving yardage totals increase from an average of 28.6 to 46.7 when Fournette has been out. Back in week 10, Indy gave up a combined 10/107/1 receiving line to Fournette and Yeldon, and I’m expecting more of the same this week. The quarterback change to Cody Kessler might result in a few more dump-offs to Yeldon as well. Plug him in as an RB2 this week.

 

SIT

Mark Ingram – Last week we had Mark Ingram listed as a start, and he finished as RB38. This week, listing him as a sit, he’ll certainly end up an RB1! Jokes aside, this is not a favorable matchup for Ingram as Dallas has given up a total of just 273 yards on 68 carries combined over their last four games. Ingram is arguably more talented than the backfield opponents Dallas has faced over those four weeks, but I believe we’ll see a lot of Kamara this week. Brees and the Saints should be looking avoid the stout Cowboys defensive line, and Kamara being on the field helps provide a quick outlet for Brees. If you’re starting Ingram this week, you are likely hoping for a goal-line shot at the end zone. I’m keeping Ingram on the bench this week.

Adrian Peterson – AP is still ranked RB17 on the season in PPR leagues, but his output has slowed considerably as of late. Through the first seven games of the season, Peterson averaged 18 carries and 84 yards per game (4.6ypc) with five total scores. In that seven-game span, Peterson had three weeks of RB8 or better output. Since week 8, Peterson has averaged 14 carries and just 42.8 yards per game (3.1ypc) with two total scores. While the Eagles have given up some big numbers the last three weeks to the likes of Ezekiel Elliott, Kamara/Ingram and Saquon Barkley, I think Philly gets up on Colt McCoy and the Redskins early this week, limiting AP’s role as the Redkins play catch up. AP is an RB3 for me this week.


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Wide Receivers – by Jordan Vander Ploeg

START

Adam Humphries – Adam Humphries has been a solid fantasy WR. He is more valuable in a PPR scoring format but still excels in standard scoring formats as well. Adam Humphries has 45 targets since week 6, an average of 6.4 targets per game in that span. In his last four games, he has had 249 receiving yards and four receiving touchdowns! That averages 62.25 yards per game and one receiving touchdown. The Panthers-Bucs game has an over-under of 56 points, meaning… someone will need to score all of those touchdowns! Humphries’ recent success mixed with a high scoring game against the Panthers is the perfect combo for Humphries to boom in week 13.

D.J. Moore – HEAT CHECK! Yes, DJ Moore has been HOT! The Carolina Panthers game plan has clearly been to get this rookie the ball more. In the past two games, he has 17 targets for 15 receptions and 248 receiving yards with one touchdown. This week he is in a favorable high-scoring matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bucs have given up 1,831 receiving yards (175.1 yards per game) and 17 receiving touchdowns to the WR position this season. DJ Moore is poised to explode this week! He has a solid floor due to his massive target share and has huge upside due to his big play ability. Devin Funchess missed last week’s game due to a back injury and may be limited this week (monitor the situation). Do yourself a favor and put DJ Moore in your line up this week against the Bucs!

 

SIT

Jarvis Landry – YUCK! Landry has been a fantasy football DUD in his last four games as he’s averaged only 35.25 receiving yards per game. Landry’s success, the few times this season he’s done well, is due to high volume, seeing 10-15 targets in a game. But, Landry has only seen five targets in each of his last two games which is alarming. Mayfield has been spreading the ball around to all of his weapons and this has downgraded Landry’s fantasy relevance. Week 13 is a poor matchup for Landry against a Texans team who has only given up 152.7 receiving yards per game and seven receiving touchdowns to the WR position this season. This is not the week to take a chance on a WR who has been ice cold. Take a chance on someone else!

T.Y. Hilton – T.Y. Hilton has been a solid fantasy WR this year and Andrew Luck has been oh so good! Unfortunately, this week T.Y. Hilton is going to be shadowed by Jalen Ramsey who limits all receivers that he guards. The Jags have given up only 150.1 yards per game and seven receiving touchdowns to the WR position this season. The Colts love throwing to the TE position in the end zone, limiting Hilton’s upside potential. Hilton won’t have a horrible game but he isn’t going to get you that big boom game that fantasy owners are looking for. He has a low floor of around 50 yards and the upside, unfortunately, just isn’t there this week. If you have other WR options to replace Hilton this week, make use of them.


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Tight Ends – by Jordan Vander Ploeg

START

Cameron Brate – What a juicy matchup! Brate is a tight-end-touchdown machine with four this season on just 20 receptions, and he gets to play the team that has given up the most touchdowns to tight ends this season. The Carolina Panthers have given up nine touchdowns and 713 yards to the tight end position this season. Winston loves targeting his TE and this is the perfect match up to do it! In week 12 Brate was the TE10 (standard league) where he had four targets for three receptions for 26 receiving yards and a receiving touchdown against the 49ers. Brate will have a solid floor of 40-60 yards with the chance to boom if he can get a touchdown, which he has done in four of the nine games he’s played. Put him in your line up!

David Njoku – This is what the fantasy football community has been waiting to see from David Njoku. Njoku is coming off a hot week 12 game where he was the overall TE4 against the Bengals. He had five receptions on five targets for 63 receiving yards and a touchdown. Baker Mayfield has been slinging the ball down the field and things aren’t going to change against the Houston Texans who just allowed Jonnu Smith a 61-yard touchdown. Houston has allowed 742 yards and six touchdowns to the TE position this season. Mayfield has nine passing touchdowns in his last three games and Njoku is poised to be the benefactor of those touchdowns. Njoku has a safe floor due to his targets and receptions and has a high chance to get that big play against the Texans. Have no fear to put Njoku in your line up this week.

 

SIT

Jimmy Graham – Jimmy Graham is coming off a knee/thumb injury. During week 12 against the Vikings he caught three of his four targets for 34 yards while on a limited snap count due to his recent injuries. This week he gets matched up against the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals have a horrible rush defense (4th worst), and the Packers will take full advantage of that. Jimmy Graham should be the product of negative game script mixed with a recent injury. The Packers will be up in the game early and will most likely run the ball with Jones the majority of the game. As a result, I expect Graham will be scarcely utilized in this game. In his past three starts, Graham has averaged just 3.3 PPR per game and has averaged only two targets per game. Graham needs to take a seat on your bench until he is fully healthy.

Evan Engram – Evan Engram has been a huge disappointment this season. He has been hurt and hasn’t been utilized in the same way he was last year. If you played Engram last week you got the big goose egg, and you probably had no idea he wasn’t suiting up either. With zero notice to the fantasy football community you didn’t even have the chance to plug someone else in the lineup. This week he is currently listed as questionable and he is not worth taking the chance on. If he does play he’ll be facing a Bears defense that has been punishing the tight end position. In week 11, the Bears held Kyle Rudolph to just the TE30. Engram only has 33 targets this season averaging 4.7 per game, and only has 23 receptions, averaging 3.3 receptions per game. He has 257 receiving yards this season, averaging 36.7 yards per game. Engram is banged up, matched up against a tough Bears defense, and has been underutilized this season. These three reasons create the perfect storm for why Evan Engram needs to ride the bench this week.


Good luck again to all of you in this pivotal week!

 

Be sure to check for our week 14 Start/Sit column to see the week 13 results! Follow us on Twitter @jdefeo91, @ff_jvp, and @Bmaaaaac, follow our podcast @F3Pod, and look out for more articles in the future on www.TheFFFranchise.com!

Brian Mackowick