Week 13 Preview

All Bettings Lines from Bovada

No teams on BYE for the rest of the season

Saints (-8) @ Cowboys (Thu 5:20 PM PDT):

O/U: 53.5

Blurb: Ezekiel Elliott goes up against the top rushing defense in the NFL, but you still are going to start him. Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper could benefit from having to keep up with the Saints, but there are a lot of better options than Prescott at QB for this week. Amari Cooper is a tough decision because he will most likely be shadowed by Marshon Lattimore. I still think he will have a decent game because he has a huge target share in the Cowboys offense. The Saints defense is a sleeper play for me: If they can get the Cowboys off schedule and make Prescott throw on 2nd and 3rd and longs, they can get a bunch of sacks and turnovers. Drew Brees, Michael Thomas, and Alvin Kamara are all must start options. Mark Ingram has a tough matchup because the Cowboys allow a low YPC number, but because of the potential of anyone involved in the Saints offense, he’s still a good play in my opinion. Tre’Quan Smith is a sneaky option to have a good game (if he plays) and this is why: The Cowboys have good numbers against fantasy WRs because they see a low amount of targets, BUT the Cowboys have one of the worst yards per catch allowed numbers in the league. Tre’Quan Smith has been a big play machine this year.

Bears (-4) @ Giants (Sun 10:00 AM PDT):

O/U: 44.5

Blurb: Mitch Trubisky is expected to miss this game. The Bears defense has a great matchup going against the Giants offense. They are my top play of the week. Saquon Barkley and Odell Beckham are must starts, but you definitely need to temper expectations for them this week. I wouldn’t start anyone else on the Giants offense, it’s not worth the risk, especially with Sterling Shepard’s struggles lately and Evan Engram’s injuries. Jordan Howard is a bench until further notice. It doesn’t matter how bad the Giants have been against running backs, Jordan Howard has been just as bad as a running back. Tarik Cohen is the play here, and I’m confident in him because of the aforementioned problems the Giants have against the running back position. The Bears receivers and Trey Burton have all been pretty unreliable and difficult to predict. I think there are a lot of better options than Burton for this week, and the Bears receivers are all lower end options for me.

Broncos (-5) @ Bengals (Sun 10:00 AM PDT):

O/U: 43.5

Blurb: The Bengals just lost Andy Dalton for the season, and the Broncos defense is licking their chops to go against backup QB Jeff Driskel. The Broncos defense is a must play for me. A.J. Green will return this week, but he’s someone you need to lower expectations for because of the Broncos defense and Driskel. Joe Mixon is going to face a tough running defense, but you’re still starting him. Just temper expectations for him as well. C.J. Uzomah is a sneaky good play because the Broncos are a great matchup for TEs in fantasy, and he saw a season high in targets last week. I think Jeff Driskel looks his way early and often. Tyler Boyd is a fine play, with Green back he should avoid seeing Chris Harris a lot in coverage. If you don’t have a better option, he’s someone you shouldn’t feel horrible about putting in. The Broncos face a horrible defense, and that makes Philip Lindsay and Emmanuel Sanders must starts. Royce Freeman could even get in on the action, he’s great for a desperation play. Courtland Sutton is a boom/bust play that has a high chance of paying off because of the matchup.

Rams (-10) @ Lions (Sun 10:00 AM PDT):

O/U: 55

Blurb: Jared Goff, Robert Woods, Brandin Cooks, and Todd Gurley are all must starts on the Rams side of the ball. The Lions woes against WRs make Josh Reynolds a good play on this explosive offense. Reynolds plays >90% of the snaps on this offense in place of Cooper Kupp. The Lions are middle of the pack against TEs, and I’m not a fan of taking a chance on a Rams TE this week unless you’re looking for a desperation play. On the Lions side of the ball, LeGarrette Blount is a desperation play against a Rams team allowing 4.9 yards per carry, a bottom 7 number in the NFL. He won’t get a lot of carries like he did last week, but he has a chance at a short-yardage TD. Theo Riddick is also a desperation play because the Lions will probably have to pass a lot to chase points against the Rams. That also means Kenny Golladay is a very strong play this week with his volume, even though Aqib Talib may come back. This being said, I don’t like Matthew Stafford. He hasn’t played well since Golden Tate was traded, and with so many good QBs this week there is no need to take the risk. The Rams are a must start defensive option this week. The Lions will probably get into a lot of obvious passing situations, and then the Rams pass rushers will tee off and wreak havoc.

Cardinals @ Packers (-14) (Sun 10:00 AM PDT):

O/U: 44.5

Blurb: This week is better for the Cardinals offense. The Packers secondary is really banged up right now, so I think both Christian Kirk and Larry Fitzgerald can be viable low-end starters. David Johnson is a must start. That being said, the Packers defense is still a must-start option because it’s the Cardinals offense. On the Packers side of the ball, it’s hard to ignore how disappointing Aaron Rodgers has been in fantasy football this year. He’s the QB12 in points per game. That being said, he’s a must start this week because the Packers should roll. Davante Adams and Aaron Jones are the only other players I’m starting on this offense, but they are must starts as well. Randall Cobb is a sleeper play coming back from injury, as he sees a very favorable matchup in the slot. The Cardinals are absolutely atrocious against the run, and after what Aaron Jones did to the Dolphins, I bet he’s licking his chops again. Adams will be matched up 1 on 1 with Patrick Peterson, but there’s no way you can bench him after what he did to Xavier Rhodes last week.

Browns @ Texans (-6) (Sun 10:00 AM PDT):

O/U: 48

Blurb: The Browns have been gangbusters on offense against two of the worst defenses in football, and now they travel to play one of the league’s best defenses. Baker Mayfield is a bench this week against this tough defense, I’ve already talked about how there are so many QBs this week that there is no use taking a risk on lower end options. Nick Chubb is practically a must start, but expectations should be lowered this week against a good Texans run defense. David Njoku is a good tight end option, the Texans weakest area is against fantasy TEs. Jarvis Landry has become a low end option. He wasn’t doing that great with double digit targets, and since the Browns changed offensive staff, he hasn’t even hit double digit targets once. Bench Duke Johnson. The Browns allow a lot of yards per carry, and that’s good news for Lamar Miller who has been getting in done for fantasy owners over the past month. The Texans have limited DeShaun Watson’s pass attempts and the increase in rushing attempts has benefited Miller, despite randomly ceding carries to Alfred Blue. The aforementioned decrease in Watson’s pass attempts make him someone that you need to have rushing yards or touchdowns in order to have a good fantasy game, and that’s a little risky. That being said, his numbers at home recently have been great, and I expect that to continue. DeAndre Hopkins is the only other Texans player I’m confident starting, and he’s a must start.

Colts (-5) @ Jaguars (Sun 10:00 AM PDT):

O/U: 48

Blurb: I have to downgrade everyone on the Colts offense a slight bit, but I’m not overly concerned because the Jaguars defense has not been the same, and the Jaguars offense is not threatening. Andrew Luck is still a decent starting option at QB, and with Jack Doyle’s injury Eric Ebron is a must start tight end. T.Y. Hilton is a tough call, but the rate at which the Jaguars D has been allowing big plays gives me enough confidence to throw him into most lineups. Marlon Mack will play this game after passing concussion protocol, but I’m not confident in him going into a difficult matchup after missing practices. Nyheim Hines should have some value as a desperation-type play as he will see more touches than usual. On the Jaguars side of the ball, they will go with a Carlos Hyde / T.J. Yeldon platoon because of Fournette’s suspension. I expect the Jaguars to try to feed Hyde on runs like they did with Fournette, but with the potency of the Colts offense, I expect Yeldon to be the more productive player.

Bills @ Dolphins (-5) (Sun 10:00 AM PDT):

O/U: 40

Blurb: The Dolphins and Bills are both startable defenses this week. This is a great spot for LeSean McCoy, the Dolphins aren’t going to run away from the Bills so they should feed him early and often against a defense that cannot stop the run to save their lives. The Dolphins recently called to gauge my interest in playing linebacker for them. Don’t start anyone else on the Bills. Kenyan Drake is a risk-reward play because of his lack of touches and abundance of talent, while Frank Gore is basically a guaranteed 40-60 yards in this game with a low chance of a touchdown. I have no faith in any other players aside Drake, Gore and McCoy.

Ravens @ Falcons (-1) (Sun 10:00 AM PDT):

O/U: 48

Blurb: The Ravens have a great matchup against a bad Falcons defense. This really only benefits Lamar Jackson and Gus Edwards though, I still can’t trust a Ravens pass catcher because of the lack of passing in this offense with Jackson at QB. Jackson and Edwards are both fine starts. On the Falcons side of the ball, I don’t think this is a tough matchup for them. The Ravens defense is good, but on the road they have struggled a little bit by their standards. Matt Ryan is a fine start for me, and Julio Jones is a must start. Mohamed Sanu is a 40-60 yard guy with a medium chance for a touchdown, while Calvin Ridley is an all or nothing type of option. The lack of a run game should benefit both Ridley and Sanu, and Austin Hooper should have a good game as the Ravens weaker spot is fantasy TEs.  That means the one Falcon I am incredibly concerned for is Tevin Coleman. The Ravens will not allow the Falcons to run on them, and they also are great against RBs out of the backfield. I would still bench the Ravens defense.

Panthers (-3.5) @ Buccaneers (Sun 10:00 AM PDT):

O/U: 55.5

Blurb: The Panthers are the next lucky team to face Tampa Bay’s excuse for a “defense.” Cam Newton and Christian McCaffrey are must starts. Greg Olsen is someone you aren’t getting away from, forget about last week and toss him into your lineup again this week. Devin Funchess probably won’t play this week, but either way D.J. Moore is a good play. If Funchess is out, Curtis Samuel is a great desperation play. On the Bucs side of the ball, Jameis Winston is a low-end starter for me. Most people have him ranked much higher, but I’m scared of him having a meltdown so I would only recommend him if you don’t have any steadier options. He’s a high risk, high reward type player. Mike Evans is a must start, and I don’t mind Chris Godwin as a low floor high upside play and Adam Humphries as a guaranteed 60 yard play with DeSean Jackson missing this game. This Carolina secondary has struggled and I don’t see that changing against this great group of receivers. Cameron Brate is a great start against the worst defense vs fantasy TEs. Peyton Barber is not a good play this week, Carolina is good against the run. The Panthers defense is a lower end play, they are going to get scored on with that weak secondary, but they could also be the beneficiary of a Jameis Winston meltdown.

Chiefs (-15.5) @ Raiders (Sun 1:05 PM PDT):

O/U: 55.5

Blurb: The only Raiders that I would play in this game are Doug Martin, Jalen Richard, and Jared Cook. The Chiefs have been bad against running backs, and Doug Martin usually sees a lot of work for the Raiders, and Richard will get balls thrown to him when they are inevitably down by many points. What really scares me about Raiders players is the team implied total is only 13 points. Richard and Martin could rack up enough yards to be usable, but Jared Cook is touchdown or bust and with that implied total the odds are against him. The Chiefs defense is a great start for me. On the Chiefs side of the ball Mahomes, Kelce, Hill, are all must starts. If Sammy Watkins plays, he’s a good play, if he is out, Chris Conley becomes a really good desperation guy. As of now I don’t expect that Watkins will play. Kareem Hunt has been cut from the team, so Spencer Ware is now the starting RB and a must start for this week.

Jets @ Titans (-8) (Sun 1:25 PM PDT):

O/U: 40.5

Blurb: The Titans are good against the rush, but they are better against pass catching RBs. It’s a down week for both Isaiah Crowell and Elijah McGuire. Most owners are more likely playing Chris Herndon than either of them. This bodes well for the Titans defense, another great option for this week. On the Titans side of the ball, Corey Davis is a decent start. The Jets aren’t that good against opposing WRs, but i’m not sure how many times the Titans will throw. The Titans RBs should be licking their chops, the Jets are bottom 10 in yards per carry and yards per catch allowed to running backs. Derrick Henry is touchdown or bust, but Dion Lewis is someone im confident in this week.

Vikings @ Patriots (-6) (Sun 1:25 PM PDT):

O/U: 48.5

Blurb: This is a tough spot for Tom Brady. He’s been having a down year for fantasy, and now he faces the 4th toughest defense against fantasy QBs. There are a lot of better options this week. I think that Sony Michel is going to have a down game as well, the Vikings are top 5 in least yards per carry allowed, but they are top 5 in most yards per catch allowed against opposing RBs. This means that the Patriots will most likely utilize James White rather than run Sony Michel. Rob Gronkowski is a must start if he’s on the field. The Patriots receivers are tough to gauge with Xavier Rhodes’ status up in the air. I think he will play, so Josh Gordon is downgraded. That means Julian Edelman is going to hog targets in the slot. On the Vikings side of the ball, Stefon Diggs will most likely be shadowed by Stephon Gilmore. While that is a tough matchup, I believe Diggs is good enough to overcome it. Adam Thielen and him are both must starts. I like Kirk Cousins as well this week. I’m not confident in Dalvin Cook because he splits time with Latavius Murray, and he hasn’t been effective save for two plays since he’s been back from injury. Kyle Rudolph has a fantastic matchup, so he’s a low end starter for me.

49ers @ Seahawks (-10) (Sun 1:25 PM PDT):

O/U: 46

Blurb: The Seahawks won’t be threatened in this game, so that means they will probably run the ball a lot. While the 49ers have been solid against the run, the sheer volume that Chris Carson gets will make him a really good play this week. Tyler Lockett and Doug Baldwin will be able to find holes in this bad 49ers secondary, and David Moore is always a threat for a huge play. Lockett is my favorite and is a good play, Baldwin is decent, and Moore is a desperation shot that has a decent chance of paying off. On the 49ers side of the ball, it’s a tough matchup all around. George Kittle is a must start, but I don’t want to play any of the wide receivers, while Matt Breida is downgraded against a tough run defense.

Chargers @ Steelers (-3.5) (Sun 5:20 PM PDT):
O/U: 51.5

Blurb: The Chargers offense is in a tough spot: a west coast team travelling to the east coast without one of their best playmakers; playing against a defense that plays really well at home. That being said, they are a really good offense in their own right and I think all the players involved on their team will have decent showings while keeping pace with the Steelers. Rivers is a startable option, Keenan Allen is a must start, and Austin Ekeler is a great start as well. I think all of them will be involved a lot with Melvin Gordon out. Justin Jackson is a desperation play, but with his role being mostly in the rushing game, the tough Steelers run defense won’t give him a chance to put on a good performance. On the Steelers side of the ball Roethlisberger, Conner, Brown, and Smith-Schuster are all must starts. Vance McDonald is a low end starter at TE.

Redskins @ Eagles (-6) (Mon 5:15 PM PDT):

O/U 44

Blurb: The Redskins come in to this game with their backup quarterback, and that really doesn’t bode well because the Eagles weakness is in the secondary, not their front line. They will be able to shut down Adrian Peterson, and I don’t know if the Redskins have the weapons to exploit the Eagles outside of Jordan Reed. Chris Thompson may return to this game, but his workload will be managed, making him someone you have to bench. The Eagles are middle of the pack in Yards/Reception allowed to tight ends, but they are good at making sure tight ends don’t catch a lot of passes. Because Jordan Reed is the only weapon the Redskins have, I think the Eagles focus on him and shut him down. He’s my least favorite option out of all the tight ends that are weekly starters. On the Eagles side of the ball, they gave the workload to Josh Adams last game, and that makes him a good play because there is no chance they will have to catch up to the Redskins on the scoreboard. Zach Ertz is a must start, but I’m not high on the other members of this passing game, I don’t like Carson Wentz and Golden Tate, while Alshon Jeffery is a so-so play for me. I just don’t like how the Eagles passing game has performed lately outside of Zach Ertz.