Buy Low Opportunities Heading into Week 13 (Fantasy Football)
Week 12 featured three surprisingly entertaining Thanksgiving football games and a lot of chaos during the Sunday slate. There were a couple of big comebacks and a couple of significant upsets that kept the playoff race interesting. The Eagles and Packers capped off the day with a fireworks show and the Colts and Steelers also played a football game on Monday, I think. A lot of fantasy managers have turned their focus to DFS due to a lack of season-long playoff contention, so this week will be primarily focused on quality matchup options.
Buy Trevor Lawrence as a Rock Solid QB1
Trevor Lawrence may finally be blossoming in front of our eyes, and his matchup in Week 13 could be the stepping stone that gets him into the next tier of fantasy quarterback play. His Week 12 performance against the Ravens was arguably the best game of his career, and his poise under pressure was more important than his final numbers. His stat line was great, but he quietly has the best quarterback rating in the fourth quarter amongst all NFL quarterbacks this year. Part of it has to do with matchups and playing from behind, but either way, he’s clearly taken a big leap forward. The Jags visit the Lions in Week 13 who have been absolutely decimated by every quarterback and receiver they’ve faced for the most part. The turf at Ford Field is friendly to opposing passing games, and I expect both Lawrence and Christian Kirk to have big days that warrant serious consideration in both DFS and season-long leagues.
Go Back to Dameon Pierce This Week
There has been a lot of discussion about Dameon Pierce recently, and for good reason. The main concern about him going into the season was the Texans’ offense inefficiencies and Pierce’s role in the passing game. The Texans haven’t changed much in terms of his usage, but their game scripts have been awful for a smashmouth running back. They went down early and often to the Dolphins and trailed early in the game against the Commanders the week before. Pierce didn’t have much of a chance to get going, and once they fell behind, the door was slammed shut for him. The Texans face off with the Browns in Week 13, who have given up the most fantasy points to running backs over the past four weeks and will be reintegrating Deshaun Watson into the offense full-time. Pierce is going to be the only chance the Texans have to keep it close, and the Browns have shown a willingness to be a run-funnel defense. I’m trusting Pierce in my flex spot one more time in Week 13.
Keep Christian Watson in Your Lineup This Week
Christian Watson has been on a ridiculous touchdown tear as of late, but it’s reasonable to wonder whether or not this will continue. I don’t expect Watson to find the end zone every week as he has been lately, but his usage is solid and he’s clearly built trust with both Aaron Rodgers and Jordan Love. The Packers’ offense runs through Aaron Jones, but Watson has carved out a valuable role that is very important for fantasy purposes. He may be on the fringe of some playoff team lineups, but his matchup in Week 13 with Chicago should be enough to keep him off your bench. The Bears have given up the 5th most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers over the past four weeks, and their secondary is susceptible to giving up big plays by athletic receivers like Watson. Lock him into your playoff matchups and don’t overthink it.
Stash Zonovan Knight – RB, New York Jets
The Jets’ running back position has been a confusing mess since Breece Hall went to IR, but their offense got a big boost in the form of Mike White last week, which should force us to look closer at their production. James Robinson was a healthy scratch, which meant that Zonovan Knight had a role here even before Michael Carter went down. Once Carter left the game, Knight was given the keys to the backfield and ended the game with 68 yards on 14 carries. We’re still awaiting confirmation on Carter’s injury status for this upcoming week, but either way, Knight is a great stash at a point in the season where there aren’t many of them. If Carter sits, he warrants serious flex consideration against Minnesota based on projected volume alone.
Add Jaylen Warren – RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
Najee Harris left the Steelers game on Monday night and the jury is still out on how bad his abdominal injury really is. There is a good chance that Harris misses time given the state of the Steelers’ playoff chances, so his backup running backs are going to be priority adds. If you watched the game you saw both Benny Snell and Anthony McFarland getting work, but if you’ve paid close attention then you are well aware that Jaylen Warren is the clear number two in Pittsburgh. Warren missed the game with his own injury, but he should be back in Week 13 and has bell cow potential if Harris sits. Mike Tomlin and the Steelers organization as a whole have shown a lot of love for Warren, and the two other guys in this backfield are inefficient plodders. Warren is a sneaky add given his injury status, so you may be able to grab him even after waivers clear.
Play Christian Kirk or Christian Watson