Week 13 Start & Sit

For most leagues, this is the final week of their fantasy football regular season. A few may be starting the playoffs already and others start in Week 14, but either way, this is officially the beginning of the end of the 2016 fantasy football season. It’s been a fun ride and hopefully our Start & Sit recommendations have helped you in making some tough decisions.  Certain weeks, player or simple roster decisions can win you a match up, and in turn, that match up might be the difference between a bye next week, in some cases, or missing the playoffs all together in others. This week is a little weird because after last week we had no teams on their bye week, but the NFL schedule makers decided to make our lives as fantasy owners hell by giving us 2 teams on their final bye during Week 13. Hopefully nobody who needs a win, takes an “L” this week due to their players on the bye. Regardless, thanks for letting us be part of your weekly decision making process!

As always, I’m joined by DFF’s Rick Kerns @CoachKernzy to break down the Las Vegas NFL lines and see if the projected Vegas numbers can help us find games or players to target or avoid. There’s lots of high totals this week, but I foresee a few of them not getting there.

Kansas City at Atlanta (-3.5) with an over/under (O/U) of 49. This one should be a great game. KC should be able to move the ball well on that ATL defense and it may be a coming out party for them because I believe they’ll need to keep up. ATL is going to keep Julio away from Peters and run him against Gaines a lot at CB, which if anyone saw that Sunday night game, is a great thing for Julio. If Ryan has time to get him the ball they could both have big nights.

The Saints (-6) are hosting the Lions with a game total of 53.5. Wow, is that total is high, and it has actually come down from the 54 it opened at. Usually games like this don’t live up to the billing, but it’s hard to see that here. Both offenses are playing well and both defenses not so much. I think the Nawlins running game does more damage here than the passing game though and DET may have to rely on garbage time if NO gets out to a lead and controls the clock with their run game.

Buffalo visits the Raiders (-3), with an o/u of 49. Tyrod has Sammy back, but word is his foot is feeling sore again. McCoy will do work as always. OAK will do what they do, pound the ball, take some deep shots and score plenty. Should be a fun, high scoring affair.

Washington at Arizona (-2.5) has a projected total of 49.5. Doubt this one gets to that total. I can see ARI riding Johnson and their defense here. If the defense can slow Cousins and passing game down it could be a rough outing for them. Cousins seems to light up the NFL’s lesser defenses, but can struggle at times against better competition. This is a better secondary than most, so look for Kirk to lead the letdown charge this weekend.

The Steelers (-6) are at home against the Giants, in another game looking at a total over the 7-TD threshold with a projected total of 49.5. Brown vs. Beckham here. Sit back and enjoy the talent displayed as those two guys duel it out. QBs will be the key, which one can get their guy the ball the most will probably take this one. I think it’ll be a little closer than the 6 points, so the closer the better as each team tries to get the lead and then defend it.

Despite all of the high totals this week, there are still quite a few clunkers to look out for. Philly at Cincy is only looking to be 42-point affair and Miami at Baltimore is sitting at 41 too. The worst of them all is Jacksonville hosting Denver with a total of only 40 points. Most players in all of these games can, and probably should be avoided if you can do so.

Featured Starts:

Quarterback: Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers. This guy is among the best. I thought he’d have a bad week against Houston last week, but nope. The unstoppable passing of Old Man Rivers keeps on keeping on. This week is a savory matchup for the Gun Slinger as the Buccaneer’s sail into Whale’s Vagina to have their unsteady secondary picked apart. Start Rivers fo’ sho! – Jeremy Browand @DFF_Madman

Running Back: Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers. At the beginning of the year the Chargers surrendered a ton of fantasy points to the RB position. As of late they have been able to hold opposing backs to dismal outings, but Doug Martin is finally starting to look 100% and the offense is coming together quite nice. He had a good showing against a stout Seahawks run defense  as Martin showed his jump cutting ability and physical running style are back up to par. I can see Martin being a big part of the Bucs playoff push which means he will be have his hand in a championship run for quite a few fantasy teams. – Lawrence Chaney @pacificscouting

Wide Receiver: Brandin Cooks, New Orleans Saints. By now you should know that I like Brandin Cooks in home games. I particularly like him this week, due him being phased out of the offense last week. He’s expressed that he wants to be more involved (obviously), and I expect Payton and Drew to call some plays for Cooks to shine against this lackluster Detroit secondary. Squeaky wheel gets the grease – Eric Iannaccone @pprranks

Tight End: C.J. Fiedorowicz, Houston Texans. Fiedorowicz was thought of as a guy that could make an impact at the next level coming out of Iowa, which also produced Dallas Clark. It took the 65th overall selection a couple years to adjust, but it appears he has done so. Since Week Four, he has averaged almost 53 yards and 4.6 catches amounting to double-digit PPR each week. Start him with confidence this week as he faces Green Bay.  – Shaun Crandall @WhiskeyD0G

Defense/Special Teams: New England Patriots. At home against a rookie QB… Sign me up! The Patriots coaching staff will probably try to scheme to stop Gurley from doing anything and challenge Jared Goff to beat them, which he won’t do. They should be able to force some turnovers too. – John DiBari @dibari22

IDP Starts: courtesy of our very own J.T. Maynard @FatAdamSchefter.

LB – Korey Toomer, San Diego Chargers.With Jatavis Brown being sidelined and Denzel Perryman being not too consistent, Toomer has come in and been very productive.

Last Week: Will Compton, Washington Redskins. 6 points (POOP)

DB – Eric Weddle, Baltimore Ravens. He is going up against Seattle and is going to be needed in the box against their run game and covering Jimmy Graham at times. Plus, I could not go a whole season and not put one of my favorite defensive players in the IDP must starts!

Last Week: Byron Jones, Dallas Cowboys. 19 points (Semi-Exceptional)

DL – Cameron Jordan, New Orleans Saints. He’s up against the Lions and their non-existent running game, so that means Stafford will be dropping back to pass…A LOT.

Last Week: Stephon Tuitt, Pittsburgh Steelers. 2 points (POOP) From being a wrecking ball the last 3 weeks to two points?!?! Man, I hate Shittsburgh. I should have known better!

Wildcard – Nick Bellore, San Francisco 49ers. With 65 tackles in 11 games, Nick is having a solid year and should continue to rack up the tackles during the final weeks of the season.

Last Week: *LOCK OF THE WEEK* DT Damon “Snacks” Harrison, New York Giants. 21 points (Semi-Exceptional!) I gave you a lock of at least 15 points, and Snacks & I delivered.

*My MFL IDP league records: 8-4, 8-4, 7-5, 6-6. Week 12 was my toughest week this year. My only win was somewhat of a pity killing. I’ve learned in my 26 years of fantasy that momentum going in to the last week and playoffs is huge. Last year I rode the positive wave to the title with little to no injuries, this year with Watt & Bowman out and their 700 combined points, I’m hoping to limp into the post season without the bye in my main league! Good Luck & work that Waiver Wire!!!

JT will be on Twitter before the 1pm est. Sunday games if you have any questions about your IDP lineups, hit him up @FatAdamSchefter.

Featured Sits:

Quarterback: Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars. If it wasn’t for garbage time, Bortles would have no time at all. We’ve all started Blake because the Jags are always playing catch-up, but his lackluster play – errant throws, coupled with bad decision-making – has me looking at any other option. When your best WR of late is the skinny and always hurt Marqise Lee, it’s not a good thing. I think Denver just might kill Jacksonville this week… and I mean the entire offense. It’ll be a bad day for Teenage Mutant Ninja Bortles. – Jeremy Browand @DFF_Madman

Running back: Devontae Booker, Denver Broncos. Jacksonville is ranked pretty low against the run, but when it comes to backs catching balls out of the backfield they’re ranked number 2 in the league. The Jags have only allowed a 100 yard rusher once in the last 4 weeks and Booker hasn’t rushed for more than 80 yards since Week 7. The Jags front seven is starting to come together and even with the terrible season they have had I can see this game being closer than most think. Since getting the starting role, after CJ Anderson went down, Booker has only scored more than his projected total twice. – Lawrence Chaney @pacificscouting

Wide Receiver: Allen Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars. The Denver defense has been exploited the past couple of weeks by New Orleans and Kansas City respectively. Both times, the defense gave up big plays late in the game. These contests were close though, and the defense had spent a lot of time on the field. I don’t expect that to be the case here, as they should largely shut down the Jaguars offense. Your only hope here is some garbage time throws to ARob, but I wouldn’t bank on that. The Jaguars have the lowest implied point total of the week according to Vegas (18 points). – Eric Iannaccone @pprranks

Tight End: Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts. Doyle has been a stalwart play for most of the year all while fellow tight end Dwayne Allen has bounced in and out of the lineup. Andrew Luck’s replacement, Scott Tolzien may have capped Doyle’s production last week, but even with Luck returning this week, don’t look for big numbers as he faces the Jets.  – Shaun Crandall @WhiskeyD0G

Defense/Special Teams: Kansas City Chiefs. The KC defense has been a great defense for fantasy purposes all season, but this week looks like trouble. On the road, facing Atlanta in the dome, coming off of a huge division win, they’re poised for a letdown game here. It also feels like a long time since Julio Jones went off, those feelings don’t typically last long. – John Di Bari @dibari22

Staff Starts:

Jeremy Browand: @DFF_Madman

Running Back: Jordan Howard, Chicago Bears

Wide Receiver: Michael Crabtree, Oakland Raiders

Tight End: Tyler Eifert, Cincinnati Bengals

Team Defense: Baltimore Ravens

Lawrence Chaney: @pacificscouting

Quarterback: Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers

Wide Receiver: Doug Baldwin, Seattle Seahawks

Tight End: Eric Ebron, Detroit Lions

Team Defense: Philadelphia Eagles

Eric Iannaccone: @pprranks

Quarterback: Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions

Running Back: Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tight End: Eric Ebron, Detroit Lions

Team Defense: New England Patriots

Shaun Crandall: @WhiskeyD0G

Quarterback: Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills

Running Back: Spencer Ware, Kansas City Chiefs

Wide Receiver: Brandin Cooks, New Orleans Saints

Team Defense: San Diego Chargers

John Di Bari: @dibari22

Quarterback: Ryan Fitzpatrick, New York Jets

Running Back: Jordan Howard, Chicago Bears

Wide Receiver: Will Fuller, Houston Texans

Tight End: Coby Fleener, New Orleans Saints

Staff Sits:

Jeremy Browand: @DFF_Madman

Running Back: Jonathan Stewart, Carolina Panthers

Wide Receiver: Allen Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars

Tight End: Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Team Defense: Los Angeles Rams

Lawrence Chaney: @pacificscouting

Quarterback: Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals

Wide Receiver: Jordy Nelson, Green Bay Packers

Tight End: Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts

Team Defense: Houston Texans

Eric Iannaccone: @pprranks

Quarterback: Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars

Running Back: Jay Ajayi, Miami Dolphins

Tight End: Rob Gronkowski (if playing, if not Martellus Bennett)

Team Defense: Houston Texans

Shaun Crandall: @WhiskeyD0G

Quarterback: Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers

Running Back: LeGarrett Blount, New England Patriots

Wide Receiver: Devante Adams, Green Bay Packers

Team Defense: Buffalo Bills

John Di Bari: @dibari22

Quarterback: Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars

Running Back: Jay Ajayi, Miami Dolphins

Wide Receiver: Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys

Tight End: Tyler Eifert, Cincinnati Bengals

Last week’s record: We went a cumulative (28-22) last week, far from incredible but not terrible either. Considering we have typically offered deeper league starters and shied away from the chalkiest plays and we have tried to “sit” good players too, those numbers are decent- and have been most of the season. I’ve noticed on Twitter (and have recently heard from other fantasy writers) that this is the time of year when some people like to start saying “I called it!” and begin to list all the player predictions they got correct, while completely ignoring all of their misses. We have been totally out in the open from Day 1 with our picks and have never backed away from some of our more awful recommendations. It’s been a fun ride and hopefully you’ve enjoyed it and that it’s been helpful through the year.


Good luck in Week 13, we hope the 2 byes this week don’t derail your whole season and you are ready for the playoffs next week. If you’re in the playoffs this week, good luck, getting the “W”, and hopefully making a little money in the process too. Thank you to the DFF weekly team – Jeremy, Lawrence, Eric, Shaun, Rick & JT – for all their work each week on this piece, and thanks to you for giving us a read!



Chicagoan living in Las Vegas. Fantasy Football writer & Director of In-Season Analysis for Dynasty Football Factory, blogger for USFantasy and contributor to TheFakeHockey. Member FSWA.

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