It’s time for our Week 13 Starts and Sits! Remember, we’ll do our best to predict outcomes based on what’s given to us. That’s diving into the numbers, digging through the juicy matchups, examining trends, watching the film, and collecting data that should lean towards certain players being better starts than others. While it won’t always play out that way, fantasy is a game of what’s most “likely” to happen and we need to attack it that way.
Every week we try to make some of your decision-making easier with what we’ve collected, but ultimately it’s your call on what you want to do with your team. I’ll try to avoid the slam-dunk stud plays and focus more on players you’re teetering with putting in your starting lineups. We’re going to discuss Quarterbacks, Running Backs, Wide Receivers, and Tight Ends on each week’s slate, and I hope that we can win you the week!
Now, let’s go.
Quarterbacks to Start:
Carson Wentz | Indianapolis Colts: Carson Wentz has continued to dazzle over recent weeks. Last week against the Buccaneers, Wentz went 24/44 for 306 yards and three touchdowns in the Colts’ near upset win. Wentz’s 306 yards were actually his most since Week 5 when he threw for 402 against Baltimore.
Wentz faces a Texans team this week that ranks as 12th-worst against opposing quarterbacks, allowing 18.8 fantasy points per game. Wentz is the QB11 on the season and has scored 20+ fantasy points in four of his last six games, I like for him to continue his momentum in this game against the Texans. Don’t expect a lot of volume as we saw in Week 12, but a lot more efficiency.
Derek Carr | Las Vegas Raiders: Carr is coming off of an impressive Thanksgiving win over the Dallas Cowboys, in which he completed 24 of his 39 passes for 373 yards and a touchdown. Carr’s 21 fantasy points were his most since Week 6, and only the third time since Week 3 that Carr has eclipsed the 20 point mark. Believe it or not this year, Carr has really been airing it out, as he’s averaging a career-high 8.3 yards per attempt, while still completing over 67% of his passes.
Carr gets to face Washington, who is giving up over 24 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks. Washington has been attempting to control time of possession recently by running the ball and killing the clock, which could limit possessions for the Raiders. Ultimately, I trust when the Raiders when they have the ball to score on this defense and for Carr to be a big part of it. Start him. times.
Taysom Hill | New Orleans Saints: It’s finally happening. The man of the mysterious contracts will finally start at quarterback for the New Orleans Saints. The last time we saw HIll as a starter, it was Weeks 10-13 last season. Hill was the QB13 at over 17 fantasy points per game over that stretch with four passing touchdowns and four rushing touchdowns. Hill also averaged over 50 rushing yards per game over that time and gave a great rushing floor, which for fantasy is huge for quarterbacks.
In Hill’s first start, he goes against the Cowboys on Thursday Night on a short week. The Cowboys have been giving up almost 19 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks and allowed four rushing touchdowns to those quarterbacks this season. That ranks t-2nd worst in football. Hill’s rushing upside plus the Dallas defense looking much more vulnerable this week have me playing Hill in a lot of places.
Quarterback to Sit:
Mac Jones | New England Patriots: Jones, who is the QB17 on the season, has looked great over the last three weeks as he’s been QB8 over that time period. For those three games, Jones has thrown six touchdowns and one interception, while throwing for nearly nine yards per pass. The problem is that going forward, the schedule won’t be as easy, and that starts this week.
Jones is set to face the Buffalo Bills, who have allowed the fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks at 12 per game. That includes only eight passing scores all season. In a Monday Night Football game in Buffalo, that’s going to be frigid, I expect the running game to take precedence for New England and Mac Jones to not be a viable starter this week.
Running Backs to Start:
Alexander Mattison | Minnesota Vikings: Forgive me for treating this like a free square, because in all honesty, it really is. Mattison is surprisingly not owned in 100% of leagues and as one of the highest-end back-ups in the league, that shouldn’t be the case. Mattison is “Dalvin Cook Lite” in my eyes and is a MUST-START almost any week Cook is inactive. The last time we saw Mattison in this starter role was against these same Lions he’ll face on Sunday, and he lit them up for 26.3 fantasy points.
In fact, in the two Mattison has started this season, he’s rushed for 225 yards on 51 carries (4.4 yards per carry), and had 13 catches for another 99 yards. Both of those weeks, Mattison scored 23 or more PPR points and finished as a top 7 running back on the week. In a great matchup with the Lions here, Mattison should be a smash play.
Miles Sanders | Philadelphia Eagles: I was burned hard last week by trusting that Nick Siriani would be consistent with a running back in Jordan Howard’s absence and had a lot of Sanders last week in DFS. An injury in the middle of the game caused Sanders to finish the day with 9 carries for 64 yards in Week 12 and watch as Boston Scott continued his dominance against the New York Giants. I’m intrigued to go right back to Sanders here: Since coming back from his three-game absence due to an ankle injury, he’s rushed 25 times for 158 yards and has looked very decisive running the ball. If Sanders is healthy, I’m very much playing him this week mostly because of his opponent.
The New York Jets are allowing over 36 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs and have allowed 21 total touchdowns to the position. That’s with one not scoring last week for the Texans and still four touchdowns greater than the second-highest team. This backfield may get hairy at times, but Sanders is the lead back against the worst run defense in football. I Sanders is out, Boston Scott needs to be the play here. Start accordingly.
Jamaal Williams | Detroit Lions: As of this writing, D’Andre Swift is not expected to play. That’s coming straight from head coach Dan Campbell. For one of the first times this season, we got to catch a small glimpse of Jamaal Williams as the lead back in this backfield, where after Swift departed, Williams recorded 15 carries for 65 yards and had five receptions for another 18 yards. Williams hasn’t gotten in the endzone since Week 3 so he seems to be due, and that could be this week against the Minnesota Vikings.
The Vikings have struggled to stop the run, allowing the third-most rushing yards per game (134.4) this season. They also are allowing the 11th-most points to opposing fantasy running backs at just under 25 points per game. Williams has 20 touch upside and is used in the passing game, so he should be a great flex play this week.
Running Back to Sit:
Damien Harris/Rhamondre Stevenson | New England Patriots: When one of these running backs is injured, the other is a GREAT RB2. The problem is when both remain healthy, they cannibalize each other and neither is a great play unless they get into the endzone. Over the last two weeks, Harris is RB26, averaging around 9.9 fantasy points per game. During that same time, Stevenson is RB38, averaging around 6.6 fantasy points per game. The big difference between them being Harris has two touchdowns over that time and Stevenson has zero. The exact snaps over the last two weeks between the two are 47-43. Yikes.
The Bills run defense has been very good this season outside matchups Week 6 and Week 11 to Derrick Henry and Jonathan Taylor. The Bills defense WITH those games has allowed 20.1 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs and ranks as the 3rd-worst matchup for those running backs. Patriots running backs aren’t those guys, so I’d be cautious starting either.
Wide Receivers to Start:
Brandon Aiyuk | San Francisco 49ers: Brandon Aiyuk has been a roller coaster to roster this season. After scoring double-digit PPR points in only one of his first six contests this season, Aiyuk has scored double-digits now in four of his last five. Arguably the best fantasy wide receiver not named Cooper Kupp this season in Deebo Samuel is set to miss this contest and Aiyuk owners have to love the opportunity that Aiyuk gives them this week. He’s secured 85 receiving yards or more in three of the last four games and has two touchdowns over that time.
The Seahawks are allowing the second-most passing yards per game this season (274.1) and have given up over 34 fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers this season. I like Aiyuk as a WR2 this week.
Van Jefferson | Los Angeles Rams: The current WR40, Jefferson seems like a boom, bust play, but has actually been fairly consistent over his last five games. Jefferson has scored at least 7.1 PPR over that time and scored double-digit fantasy points in three of those games. That was highlighted with his game last week in which he had nine targets and secured three of them for 93 yards and a touchdown. Odell Beckham is currently dealing with a hip injury and is questionable for this game. Jefferson will be an even more appealing play if he doesn’t go.
Jacksonville ranks 13th-worst against the opposing wide receivers this season, giving up 36.5 fantasy points per game. Cooper Kupp is of course a smash play this week, but I think Jefferson has a nice game here too as the Rams look to re-establish their winning ways.
Christian Kirk | Arizona Cardinals: You have to be excited for this offense with the expected return of Kyler Murray. While Kirk has done well this season in games started by Murray and McCoy as he’s scored at least 12 PPR points in four of his last six games. However, Kirk is lacking in the touchdown department as he hasn’t scored since Week 7. Kirk gets Kyler Murray (ankle) back this week after a three-game absence, but Kirk did well even with Colt McCoy under center. Kirk scored at least 12 PPR points in four of his past six games, including two of those outings with McCoy, but Kirk hasn’t scored a touchdown since Week 7.
The matchup against the Bears is a good one for this receiving core and especially Kirk. The Bears give up the 11th-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers at nearly 37 per game and have been prone to giving up long passing plays (evident by Josh Reynolds’ TD catch on Thanksgiving). Kirk is a great WR3/flex play this week.
Wide Receiver to Sit:
Courtland Sutton | Denver Broncos: Courtland Sutton has been absolutely dreadful since Jerry Jeudy returned to the lineup. Sutton has not scored higher than 6.8 fantasy points over his last five games and received just 12 targets and seven catches for zero touchdowns over the last four games. What’s made this worse is that the Broncos have become increasingly run-heavy over the last few weeks and have used Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams even more in this offense, which has limited the work to be done by these wide receivers.
The Chiefs actually rank 7th-best against opposing wide receivers and their cornerbacks have been playing really well as this defense has been resurgent over the last few games. The combination of the Chiefs’ bad run defense, with how the Broncos want to play to stay in this game, leaves Sutton as an easy bench for me.
Tight End to Start:
Foster Moreau| Las Vegas Raiders: With the expectation that Darren Waller misses this game, Foster Moreau becomes a very intriguing low-rostered tight end to start in Week 13. The last time we saw Moreau start, it was against the Eagles in Week 7, where Moreau secured six catches for 60 yards and a touchdown on six targets. Waller gets over eight targets per game and that pass catcher in the middle of the field is important, as Hunter Renfrow works under, while Bryan Edwards and other wide receivers work over top.
The Washington Football Team ranks in the middle of the pack in terms of fantasy points allowed to the position but has allowed a tight end to reach paydirt in three of its past five games. That includes Gerald Everett this past week on Monday Night Football. I think Moreau has the potential to be a back-end TE1 in Week 13.
Tight End to Sit:
Noah Fant | Denver Broncos: This pick is a combination of what was said above with the Broncos change in offensive philosophy, but also Fant’s individual profile. Fant is coming off of 12 yards on just three catches in the Broncos win over the Chargers in Week 12 and has scored double-digit fantasy points only once in his last four games. This includes not having scored a touchdown since Week 6.
Fant faces the Kansas City Chiefs, who have allowed 15 fantasy points per game to tight ends, but the overall pass volume in this offense scares me away from Fant doing much in this spot. I would look elsewhere for your tight end.