Fantasy Football Rankings: Week 13 Matchups to Consider
Just two weeks remain in most fantasy regular seasons, which means every lineup decision is magnified in importance! The Ballers Week 13 Rankings are hot off the press, and I’m here to take a look through matchups at each position that may need a little extra attention.
As always, make use of the Start/Sit Tool on the website, ask for advice in the Discord, or reach out to me via Twitter: @KurtKnowsBest.
Lamar Jackson (BAL) vs Denver
It may not feel like it, but Lamar Jackson has been the QB5 on the season through 12 weeks. After a stretch from Weeks 4 through Week 7 where he only finished inside the top 12 QBs once, Jackson has been a top-10 QB in three of his last four games. However, the scoring hasn’t been the “boom” games we’re used to seeing from the Ravens QB. After averaging 34 fantasy points per game in his first three weeks, Jackson has only topped 20 points twice since.
The concern for Jackson heading into Week 13 has less to do with Jackson and more to do with a tough matchup against Denver’s defense. The Broncos’ defense has been great against opposing fantasy QBs, only allowing two top-10 QB finishes through 11 games. It is worth noting that those top-10 QB finishes have come in two of their last three games.
Fantasy managers may find it hard to shift from Jackson this week, but when you get to this point of the season, it may make the most sense to play the matchups.
Kurt would prefer to play: Trevor Lawrence (QB11)
Derek Carr (LV) vs LA Chargers
The Raiders have been a bit of a mess this season, but Derek Carr has been a useful QB stream in the right matchup. Carr has finished as a top-12 QB in six of eleven games this season, including back-to-back top-10 finishes against pretty solid defenses in Denver and Seattle. In recent weeks, it seems the Raiders’ offense may be turning a corner since they’ve scored 20 or more points in four straight weeks after not getting past midfield against the Saints in Week 8.
Week 13 presents another chance for Carr to deliver as a streaming option as they take on the LA Chargers for the second time this season. The Chargers’ defense has given up QB2 and QB4 finishes over the last two weeks and it has been well-documented how bad the Raiders’ defense is, so there should be plenty of points to go around in this one.
Kurt would play Carr over: Tom Brady (QB12); Deshaun Watson (QB11)
Kareem Hunt (CLE) at Houston
It’s been really hard for fantasy managers to depend on Kareem Hunt this season. Through 11 games, Hunt has only finished inside the top 24 twice and hasn’t hit double-digit fantasy points since Week 5. What may be most concerning for Hunt’s fantasy managers is the lack of opportunities he’s seen. From Week 6 to Week 12, Hunt has only averaged eight total opportunities (rush attempts + targets) per game.
Getting to play the Texans’ defense is a remedy for any running game woes, so this may present the last opportunity for managers with Hunt on their roster to put him into their lineups with any confidence. Houston’s defense just flat-out bleeds points to opposing RBs. Opposing teams’ RBs average 21.8 points per game against this Texans’ defense and they’re giving up almost 170 yards per game on the ground alone.
If you’re going to make use of Hunt again this season – barring injury ahead of him of course – this is the time, but he should only be considered a FLEX play.
Kurt would play Hunt over: Gus Edwards (RB27)
AJ Dillon (GB) at Chicago
The AJ Dillon truthers got a little redemption in Week 12 after he finished with 88 total yards and a TD as the RB12 on the week. Dillon’s big week marked the first time since Week 1 that he’d finished inside the top 24. It was also Dillon’s best rushing performance on the season, averaging a gaudy eight yards per carry.
Dillion may find an opportunity for a follow-up performance against a Bears’ defense that’s more than willing to give up big RB fantasy finishes. In the four games since trading Roquan Smith at the trade deadline, Chicago’s defense has given up five top-24 RB finishes including two in one game.
With the uncertainty at QB for the Packers, this feels like a week that Dillon should be utilized more than he has so far this season.
Kurt would play Dillon over: Latavius Murry (RB30)
Dameon Pierce (HOU) vs Cleveland
It’s been a rough few weeks for fantasy managers who’ve depended on Dameon Pierce. After finishing inside the top 20 for seven straight games, Pierce has now posted back-to-back finishes outside the top 45. Gross. What may be the most concerning for Pierce is the lack of carries he’s seen during his down stretch. Over the last two weeks, Pierce has only carried the ball a combined 15 times. That’s a stark difference from the nearly 20 carries a game he averaged during his top-20 stretch.
If an RB needs to get back on track, getting a matchup with the Cleveland defense is a nice remedy. In their last three games, the Browns have allowed four top-15 RB finishes. In three of those weeks, they allowed a top-10 RB finish. As long as the opportunities come back for Pierce, he should be back to his normal top-20 self in Week 13.
Kurt would play Pierce over: Miles Sanders (RB18)
Garrett Wilson (NYJ) at Minnesota
The change at QB in New York was just what the fantasy doctor ordered to get Garrett Wilson rolling. Wilson has now finished as a top-16 WR in three of four games and is averaging nearly 80 yards per game in that span. As long as the Jets’ offense can continue to take strides forward in the passing game with Mike White at the helm, fantasy managers should be happy to have Wilson in their FLEX with WR2 upside.
Minnesota’s defense has been absolutely torched in the last several weeks by opposing fantasy WRs. Since their bye in Week 7, the Vikings’ defense is giving up 36.6 fantasy points per game to opposing teams’ WRs. Only once in that stretch have they allowed less than 20 points to be scored by WRs. With Wilson leading the way as the main target for the Jets, Week 13 should be another chance for a big week.
Kurt would play Wilson over: Mike Evans (WR18)
Zay Jones (JAX) at Detroit
Zay Jones is quietly emerging as the lead target in Jacksonville for Trevor Lawrence. While Christian Kirk has had the bigger fantasy finishes thanks to getting into the end zone, Jones has seen double-digit targets in back-to-back games for the Jaguars and had the second most in the league in Week 12 with 14. Jones has been a decent FLEX option every week since Week 7, not finishing outside the top 36 WRs in that stretch, and even provided a big game last week as the WR5.
Getting to play the Lions in Detroit should prove fruitful for Jones since they have given up the 3rd most points to fantasy WRs on the season. Detroit has allowed a top-24 WR finish in three of their last four games and is allowing the 4th most passing yards in the league. Jones should be considered a strong FLEX option with upside down the stretch for fantasy managers.
Kurt would play Jones over: Courtland Sutton (WR30); Gabe Davis (WR29)
Darius Slayton (NYG) vs Washington
As the only man left standing for the Giants, Darius Slayton has an opportunity to be a huge factor down the stretch for fantasy managers. Week 12 didn’t pan out for Slayton due to a tough matchup against the Dallas defense, but he’d finished as the WR22 and WR11 in the previous two weeks and still had 63 yards in the Giants’ loss.
At face value, Washington’s defense presents a much better chance for Slayton to contribute to your fantasy lineup, but the Commanders’ passing defense is better than their 21st ranking against WRs would suggest. In their last three games, Washington’s defense hasn’t allowed a top-24 WR finish. The Commanders also haven’t allowed more than 21 points to be scored against them since Week 4.
I like Slayton’s opportunity but might stay away this week.
Kurt would prefer to play: Treylon Burks (WR38)
Gerald Everett (LAC) at Las Vegas
Everett has cooled down after starting the season with top-12 TE finishes in three of the Chargers’ first four weeks. Since Week 5, Everett has only been a fantasy-relevant player once. What’s still encouraging about Everett’s fantasy value is he’s seen at least seven targets in three different games during his bad stretch, so the opportunity is there for him.
The Raiders’ defense is all-around terrible, giving up the 7th most passing yards per game and allowing the 5th most passing TDs in the league. All that said, Las Vegas hasn’t allowed a top-12 TE finish in their last five games.
With Mike Williams still likely to miss another game, I like Everett to be a productive option this week. When the Chargers played the Raiders in Week 1, Everett finished with 54 yards and a TD, so there’s plenty of upside for Week 13.
Kurt would play Everett over: David Njoku (TE7)
Jelani Woods (IND) at Dallas
Woods was the star of the show in the Colts’ Monday night loss against the Steelers, catching eight passes for 98 yards en route to a TE4 finish. So far this season, Woods’ usage has been fairly sporadic, and he’s never seen more than three targets in a single game.
Dallas presents a much more difficult matchup for Woods in Week 13. The Cowboys have only allowed double-digit fantasy points to opposing TEs once this season and are averaging just 5.3 points over their last four games.
Woods is nursing a quad injury heading into Sunday but should be watched and rostered since the TE position is extremely shallow, and a repeat in his massive usage from Week 12 could signal big things to come for fantasy purposes.
Najee kamara rashad white hunt Dillon knight pacheco Pickens Pittman D Carter and J Williams are all my position players and need advice on who to start…need two wr, two backs with one flex.
I also have Hurts, Dak, and D Watson…planning to fire up Hurts.
Please advise as I need to win to make the postseason…thanks!!!