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2023 Fantasy Football Week 13 Projections: Chargers Duo Ready to Erupt

Keenan Allen and Justin Herbert of the Los Angeles Chargers
Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen (left) and quarterback Justin Herbert (10) are poised for big weeks. Photo by: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Using machine learning, I’ve built a model that projects player usage and fantasy performance week to week. Below, you can find the model’s 2023 Week 12 projections. Each player is listed with relevant projected stats, as well as their projected points in half-PPR leagues and PPR leagues and their projected rank.

Write-ups for interesting and notable players will be found under each position.

Disclaimer: I wouldn’t recommend using these projections for the betting markets. The model regresses outlier predictions and performances back to an average. Though this model can aid in betting decision-making, it wasn’t modeled with that in mind.

Week 13 Projections


Jalen Hurts32222241.610430.521.11
Patrick Mahomes39262662.34250.120.82
CJ Stroud33222902.04260.220.63
Dak Prescott34242812.1270.219.64
Tua Tagovailoa33232781.9270.219.05
Sam Howell43292871.93190.118.86
Trevor Lawrence34222731.74240.118.77
Justin Herbert36222332.04150.118.38
Russell Wilson31232282.04210.118.29
Jared Goff36242631.8120.116.410
Kyler Murray30182061.06340.416.111
Baker Mayfield33212251.83100.116.112
Brock Purdy27202471.6340.115.913
Matthew Stafford36232481.8130.115.814
Jordan Love36232441.5290.116.315
Kenny Pickett35212381.4270.315.316
Bryce Young39232211.63190.115.317
Jake Browning36242451.42100.115.018
Geno Smith32212151.5170.214.720
Gardner Minshew32192251.32110.114.419
Derek Carr34222181.6250.114.122
Desmond Ridder33211881.63130.114.121
Will Levis33192241.3380.213.923
Mac Jones32191881.5270.113.024
Dorian Thompson-Robinson35201811.23140.212.625
Tim Boyle30191471.1290.110.426

C.J. Stroud (QB3)

During the past month, C.J. Stroud has demonstrated exceptional efficiency. His 10.3 yards per attempt ranks second only to Brock Purdy. Averaging the second-most pass attempts per game at 38.5, the Houston Texans rookie finds himself in the MVP conversation and in the discussion for Offensive Rookie of the Year.

There are plenty of quality teams on bye this week; perhaps that's why the 45-point total between Denver and Houston is the fourth-highest on the slate. This game has all the makings of a shootout because both signal callers lead highly efficient offenses. Stroud continues to be a must-start in Week 13.

Justin Herbert (QB8)

Justin Herbert's 2023 season hasn't lived up to expectations, and Los Angeles Chargers coach Brandon Staley is feeling the pressure. Facing one of the NFL's weaker teams, the New England Patriots, Staley might be fighting to secure his job, signaling an aggressive approach for the Chargers. 

Despite a mid-QB1 projection, Herbert presents a favorable opportunity. He ranks as the QB4 in points per game but has struggled with consistency. New England's average pass defense positions Herbert as an average QB1 for Week 13.

Russell Wilson (QB10)

Star quarterbacks Lamar Jackson and Josh Allen have byes, so Russell Wilson has an opportunity for his fourth QB1 finish of the season. This matchup, much like Stroud’s, sets the stage for a potential shootout. The Denver Broncos will be pressed to keep pace with the red-hot Texans' offense. 

Wilson, boasting the fifth-highest passer rating and the best TD/INT ratio among all quarterbacks this season, aims to showcase his efficiency. Remarkably, Wilson has not thrown an interception since Week 6. With a focus on careful play, Wilson is poised for a relatively safe game, securing a low-end QB1 finish.

Wide Receivers

Keenan Allen1391020.618.723.51
Amon-Ra St. Brown1181020.517.721.72
Tyreek Hill128980.617.621.83
CeeDee Lamb107820.615.919.44
A.J. Brown96700.513.116.25
Mike Evans95740.513.015.56
Chris Olave126680.512.916.17
Cooper Kupp95760.412.815.28
Courtland Sutton85610.712.715.49
Nico Collins85780.412.715.310
Jaylen Waddle85770.412.615.211
Christian Kirk85760.412.614.912
Brandon Aiyuk64690.612.514.713
Tank Dell85700.512.515.114
Drake London96680.412.215.515
Michael Pittman Jr.116660.412.215.416
Adam Thielen106630.412.215.417
Ja'Marr Chase95710.412.114.718
DK Metcalf95700.512.114.419
DeAndre Hopkins94690.511.813.920
Terry McLaurin96620.411.614.821
Rashee Rice75630.411.213.722
Puka Nacua74650.410.913.023
Diontae Johnson95660.310.813.324
DeVonta Smith65600.410.713.025
Jayden Reed75600.410.713.326
Amari Cooper85560.410.613.027
Calvin Ridley74600.410.612.828
Tyler Lockett75530.510.513.029
Garrett Wilson95510.410.012.630
Romeo Doubs64460.59.912.131
Jerry Jeudy64530.39.511.632
George Pickens73490.39.411.133
Brandin Cooks53540.39.110.834
Josh Downs74490.38.910.935
Chris Godwin74420.38.811.036
Tutu Atwell64450.38.410.237
Deebo Samuel53310.28.29.938
Christian Watson74470.38.210.039
Marquise Brown73480.38.19.840
Demario Douglas64430.37.89.641
Curtis Samuel64410.37.79.942
Robert Woods64410.37.79.543
Tyler Boyd74360.37.69.644
Elijah Moore74360.27.49.345
Jahan Dotson64350.37.49.346
Jaxon Smith-Njigba53430.27.39.047
Jonathan Mingo84410.27.29.248
Trey Palmer43240.56.78.049
Michael Wilson43430.16.47.850
Rondale Moore53290.16.37.751
Justin Watson74360.16.07.852
Dontayvion Wicks53380.05.46.953
Tee Higgins53390.05.47.054
Josh Reynolds32290.25.26.255
DeVante Parker42260.25.06.156

Keenan Allen (WR1)

Amid injuries plaguing the Chargers' offense, Keenan Allen has delivered a stellar performance with double-digit receptions and more than 100 yards in three consecutive games. During this stretch, he claims the WR1 position, averaging nearly four points more than the next-highest wideout, CeeDee Lamb.

A few more factors play in his favor. The Chargers confront one of the league's struggling teams, and Staley is fighting for job security. So expect Allen to maintain his exceptional involvement and receive substantial usage, especially with his teammates sidelined due to injuries.

Chris Olave (WR7)

Pending his availability from concussion protocol, Chris Olave is poised for a substantial week. The New Orleans Saints are missing WR Michael Thomas and likely Rashid Shaheed, so Olave is anticipated to claim an impressive 32 percent team target share. Teammates Alvin Kamara and Taysom Hill also should see notable usage upticks. 

Although projected for 12 targets, Olave’s estimated receptions are six. While the increased usage is advantageous in PPR formats, Olave's inefficiency and limited touchdowns have impacted his overall season-long performance. Despite the volatility, he can be trusted as a low-end WR1.

Michael Pittman (WR16)

Benefiting from a significant 31.7 percent target share from QB Gardner Minshew, Michael Pittman has asserted himself as a key target in the Indianapolis Colts' offense. To put this into perspective, such a share would rank fourth behind Allen, Tyreek Hill and Garrett Wilson. 

However, Pittman's challenge lies in the scarcity of touchdowns, having scored only three this season. RB Jonathan Taylor is expected to be absent in Week 13, meaning the Colts could struggle to move the ball, diminishing Pittman's red zone chances. As a result, he stands as a mid-range WR2 this week.

Running Backs

Christian McCaffrey19820.954360.119.721.61
Travis Etienne21990.753300.119.521.12
Austin Ekeler16530.563380.315.917.63
Jahmyr Gibbs11550.564370.315.818.04
Derrick Henry19770.832190.115.716.75
Alvin Kamara13430.475440.315.418.16
Brian Robinson Jr.14520.564430.215.217.17
Bijan Robinson13680.353260.314.716.48
D'Andre Swift17780.343200.214.616.39
Joe Mixon17640.453320.114.316.010
Zack Moss18701.01170.014.314.811
Rachaad White16590.643250.114.215.712
Breece Hall19620.543250.114.215.813
Isiah Pacheco16800.432140.113.714.914
Rhamondre Stevenson16750.443190.113.515.015
Tony Pollard17680.533130.113.414.616
Raheem Mostert12640.71170.112.613.117
Zach Charbonnet17680.532110.112.513.718
David Montgomery17760.61160.012.512.819
A.J. Dillon13470.453280.112.213.920
Jaylen Warren9490.443210.111.913.421
Kyren Williams11420.443290.111.713.322
Javonte Williams14490.243180.311.312.823
James Conner15710.51140.111.311.724
Najee Harris11430.632130.211.212.125
Devon Achane8460.51190.210.210.726
Devin Singletary12570.51140.110.010.327
Tyjae Spears6300.354290.09.511.328
Chuba Hubbard13390.243160.18.910.429
Jerome Ford10380.332120.08.08.930
Tyler Allgeier10440.31190.17.98.331
Ezekiel Elliott10370.322120.17.88.632
Royce Freeman11420.41150.17.67.933
Antonio Gibson4150.143230.26.98.234
Kareem Hunt9300.32190.16.87.435
Samaje Perine290.033290.26.58.036
Jaleel McLaughlin3140.243130.15.77.237
Dameon Pierce7260.21140.14.95.238

Zack Moss (RB11)

Taylor is expected to be sidelined for the next few weeks, which puts the Colts' offense in a challenging situation. However, the primary beneficiary of Taylor's absence is anticipated to be Zack Moss.

When Taylor was unavailable earlier this season, Moss emerged as a formidable running back, ranking as the RB4 in points per game. Projected to command around two-thirds of the Colts' rushing attempts, Moss is poised to operate efficiently, presenting himself as a volatile RB2 with the potential for RB1 upside.

>> READ: How To Handle Zack Moss This Week

Alvin Kamara (RB6)

Given the significant injuries to the Saints' offensive weapons, Alvin Kamara is expected to experience a surge in usage. While Kamara has seen a decrease in targets, the absence of key teammates like Thomas, Shaheed and potentially Olave could lead to Kamara returning to elite levels of receiving involvement.

With this increased role, Kamara becomes a must-start fantasy option, boasting overall RB1 upside.

Raheem Mostert (RB17), De'von achane (RB26)

De'Von Achane is anticipated to return in Week 13. However, his last game saw minimal production with only 1.5 HPPR fantasy points on two touches. Factors such as the risk of re-injury, the shared workload with Raheem Mostert and a matchup against one of the weakest pass defenses in the NFL suggest the running back duo might not have high ceilings. 

The best-case scenario for Mostert and Achane is one where the Miami Dolphins secure an early lead, prompting the team to rely on the running back committee to control the clock. However, with a split in carries, it remains challenging for both players to achieve top-12 fantasy rankings despite being elite options without the other.

Tight Ends

Travis Kelce97620.714.017.41
George Kittle65670.411.814.32
Taysom Hill*43240.39.510.83
Sam LaPorta65440.49.011.44
David Njoku95470.39.011.75
Jake Ferguson53380.58.410.26
Trey McBride65480.28.310.67
Evan Engram75430.28.110.88
Kyle Pitts64420.37.89.89
Pat Freiermuth53400.37.69.310
Logan Thomas64350.47.59.511
Dalton Schultz43310.46.78.112
Durham Smythe53310.36.48.013
Juwan Johnson63290.36.27.914
Dallas Goedert43340.25.97.315
Chigoziem Okonkwo53280.25.87.616
Gerald Everett43270.35.87.217
Tyler Higbee53270.25.87.418
Jonnu Smith33230.35.16.419

Taysom Hill (TE3)

Similar to Olave and Kamara, Taysom Hill is poised to experience increased usage due to numerous injuries affecting the Saints' offense. Hill's role as the primary red zone threat is projected to expand with his versatile usage. 

The absence of several notable tight ends on byes means Hill emerges as a straightforward plug-and-play option, offering elite upside.

Pat Freiermuth (TE10)

Pat Freiermuth's second game back from injured reserve showcased an impressive 33 percent target share. This notable performance was partly attributed to the favorable matchup the Cincinnati Bengals presented for tight ends. 

While it's encouraging to witness the Pittsburgh Steelers' offense rebound after the firing of OC Matt Canada, there remains uncertainty about the team's long-term offensive consistency. Freiermuth can be considered in times of desperation, but there are safer tight end options available, including some more likely to score touchdowns.

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