The Biggest Start/Sit Decisions for Week 13 (Fantasy Football)

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“Some yards is better than none yards.”
– John Madden

Willkommen, Footclan! Welcome to Week 13 of the Start/Sit series where we’ll identify and discuss your most commonly asked “Who should I start?” questions for the week.

The projections between any two players on your roster may appear similar, but this “simple” choice could be the difference between your team’s victory or defeat. Luckily, the Fantasy Footballers have created the Start/Sit tool to easily compare any two (or more) players with insight from the Ballers themselves, and trust me — it’s an extremely valuable asset that will help you make these crucial lineup decisions that could ultimately lead you to your #FootClanTitle. Please note that the Footballers’ rankings are constantly being updated as news breaks, so make sure you check out the tool yourself to catch any last-second changes.

So without further adieu, let’s kick things off with the most popular Start/Sit questions for Week 13:

QB:
Carson Wentz (PHI) or Derek Carr (LV)?

Carson Wentz

  • IND
  • QB
  • @ HOU
  • Sun, 12/5
  • 1:00pm EST

Derek Carr

  • LV
  • QB
  • vs WAS
  • Sun, 12/5
  • 4:05pm EST
EXPERT PROJECTIONS
Proj. Points 18.2 19.8
Andy Rank QB #14 QB #11
Mike Rank QB #13 QB #11
Jason Rank QB #14 QB #11
MATCHUP DETAILS
Opp. Rank 17 32
Home/Away Away Home
Over/Under 45 49.5
Line -10 -1.5

Since the Raiders’ bye in Week 8, Derek Carr ranks as the QB11 in total fantasy points while Carson Wentz is the QB8. And boy is it a tight race; only 1.46 points separate the two, with Jimmy Garappolo and Lamar Jackson squeezed in between. So why haven’t they earned set-and-forget statuses by now, especially with favorable matchups on the docket? A closer look at their weekly results paints a clearer picture.

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Both guys are considered streamers rather than auto-starts because they’ve been so inconsistent, bouncing their way each week to average out as fringe-QB1s… in total fantasy points. But it hasn’t always been a pretty ride. Wentz has already had five QB1 (i.e., top-12) finishes this season, but unfortunately has just as many games as the QB19 or worse. Similarly, Carr’s been a QB1 six times and the QB19 or worse four times. That’s been the story of his life, as Carr also had a hot streak around this time of year last season AND had a mouthwatering matchup (Week 12 at Atlanta) where people finally believed in him, but instead of producing anything salvageable, he completely fell apart and had the worst performance of his entire career (0.6 points). In other words… you can never truly feel comfortable starting him.

When it comes to non-elite players, matchups matter. In this case, both have great opponents that should help them boom instead of bust. But Carr clearly wins this battle as he’ll be gifted the WORST defense against opposing QBs in the Washington Football Team. This is the same team that just allowed the corpse of Russell Wilson — who’s obviously not 100% yet — to score twice with no turnovers and finish with more fantasy points than nearly twice the combined amount of his prior two games! Wentz has the tougher matchup but should have no problem storming along the field to a dominating victory. The only concern is that it’ll be too easy for the Colts, meaning they’ll rely even more on fantasy’s current RB1 (in all formats), Jonathan Taylor.

The Verdict
All three Ballers prefer Carr over Wentz, including Mike who made him his QB Start of the Week. Send in the Carr!

RB1:
Alexander Mattison (MIN) or Elijah Mitchell (SF)?

Alexander Mattison

  • MIN
  • RB
  • @ DET
  • Sun, 12/5
  • 1:00pm EST

Elijah Mitchell

  • SF
  • RB
  • @ SEA
  • Sun, 12/5
  • 4:25pm EST
EXPERT PROJECTIONS
Proj. Points 22.9 21.7
Andy Rank RB #5 RB #6
Mike Rank RB #4 RB #5
Jason Rank RB #5 RB #6
MATCHUP DETAILS
Opp. Rank 30 31
Home/Away Away Away
Over/Under 46.5 45.5
Line -7 -3

Apparently, a lot of you folks have teams that are so stacked that you need to sit one of these first-class options. I think I speak for all CMC/Derrick Henry/Dalvin Cook/Alvin Kamara drafters when I say… must be nice. But if you have both guys on your roster, then that’s likely a product of savvy trading or waiver wire acquisitions, so kudos to you! Both Alexander Mattison and Elijah Mitchell are in absolute eruption spots against some of the BEST matchups anyone could ask for. If you have both, then it’s borderline criminal not to start them.

Mattison represents the increasingly rare backup that retains the same bell-cow workload AND elite production of his lead RB when given the reins. In two games without Dalvin Cook (Week 3 vs SEA, Week 5 vs DET), Mattison accumulated 66 opportunities, 225 rushing yards, 99 receiving yards, and a TD through the air. He had over 20 fantasy points in each game and was well within the top-10 ranks. Now he gets the same exploitable, run-funnel Lions defense that he already trounced? START HIM.

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Meanwhile, Mitchell represents the potential of a Kyle Shanahan lead RB and why it was worth all the headache and FAAB throughout the past months. Elijah “Missile” is the bonafide RB1 for the 49ers, meaning he’ll be a fantasy RB1 for ROS barring injury. His usage has been insane, seeing 21.8 opportunities per game since his Week 6 bye, including 33 last week.

He’s definitely making the most of it, averaging 116.4 all-purpose yards per game and ranking as the overall RB6 in that timespan, an impressive feat made more remarkable considering he was inactive for Week 11. Sure, he hasn’t been amazing when facing tougher defenses. But against a struggling Seattle team who boasts a run defense that just made Antonio Gibson look like a league-winner, and without dynamic playmaker Deebo Samuel around to steal carries? START HIM.

The Verdict
Mattison is the unanimous vote, but both are must-starts this week.

RB2:
Jamaal Williams (DET) or David Montgomery (CHI)?
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Jamaal Williams

  • DET
  • RB
  • vs MIN
  • Sun, 12/5
  • 1:00pm EST

David Montgomery

  • CHI
  • RB
  • vs ARI
  • Sun, 12/5
  • 1:00pm EST
EXPERT PROJECTIONS
Proj. Points 14.2 14.3
Andy Rank RB #15 RB #16
Mike Rank RB #16 RB #15
Jason Rank RB #17 RB #16
MATCHUP DETAILS
Opp. Rank 24 3
Home/Away Home Home
Over/Under 46.5 44
Line +7 +7.5

The projections are as close as it gets, but this one is a no-brainer to me. After D’Andre Swift left the Thanksgiving game early (shoulder), Jamaal Williams claimed the Lions’ RB throne and saw a whopping 20 opportunities, five of which were targets. He’s flirted with high usage before and is certainly no stranger to the passing game, seeing nine targets in the opener with Swift fully active. And let’s be honest, head coach Dan Campbell and OC Anthony Lynn have proven incapable of scheming a successful gameplan that utilizes Jared Goff‘s “talents,” and they would much rather stick to their bread and butter, i.e., the run game.

Against a divisional opponent that is susceptible to RBs (Minnesota recently gave up 168 all-purpose yards and a TD to Elijah Mitchell), Williams IMO is a lock for another heavy workload that will lead him to a top-12 RB finish. The Vikings should sustain a commanding lead throughout the match, inferring that the Lions will need to rely on Williams to move the chains via dink-and-dunk passes that will boost his fantasy score in PPR leagues. He’s such a popular DFS pick that’s he’s even become a chalky play.

David Montgomery, on the other hand, has been rather disappointing since his return from injury (knee) in Week 9. It’s not for lack of trying as he’s averaged 16.7 opportunities since his Week 9 return, but his lack of production makes him a tough sell. To be fair, the entire Chicago offense has been a hot mess.

What makes Montgomery a possible “league winner,” though, is his stellar late-season schedule, something he capitalized on last year en route to a finish as the overall RB2 after his 2020 bye week. But he’ll be hard-pressed to soak up any Mopportunity if he’s facing a stout defensive front like the Cardinals.

The Verdict
It’s a toss-up between the crew, but I’m picking Williams with confidence.

WR3:
Van Jefferson (LAR) or Elijah Moore (NYJ)?
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Van Jefferson

  • LAR
  • WR
  • vs JAX
  • Sun, 12/5
  • 4:05pm EST

Elijah Moore

  • NYJ
  • WR
  • vs PHI
  • Sun, 12/5
  • 1:00pm EST
EXPERT PROJECTIONS
Proj. Points 12.4 13.2
Andy Rank WR #29 WR #26
Mike Rank WR #30 WR #27
Jason Rank WR #29 WR #24
MATCHUP DETAILS
Opp. Rank 19 3
Home/Away Home Home
Over/Under 48 45
Line -13 +7

Elijah Moore is the Ballers’ consensus favorite over Van Jefferson, but I’m not so sure about it. Don’t get me wrong, I love Moore and even have a few tickets on his hype train. But with Zach Wilson lobbing spitballs directly towards an imposing Eagles secondary that’s allowed the third FEWEST points to WRs, I’m staying away. Moore typically lines up all over the place so he could avoid standout CB Darius Slay, but the other defenders are no joke either. He’s proven capable of creating huge chunk plays seemingly out of nowhere, making him a decent start for those willing to take the plunge.

However, I’d much rather attempt to strike gold with Jefferson this week against a middling Jaguars defense. With Odell Beckham Jr. and Darrel Henderson questionable, the star-studded LA offense suddenly finds themselves devoid of weapons. That’s where Jefferson comes in, who’s seen seven or more targets in his last five games, including a career-high nine targets last week at Green Bay. The Rams are heavy favorites though, so Matthew Stafford might not have to chuck it enough to secure Jefferson’s floor. But they’ll still need to rack up the points if they want to meet their lofty -13 betting line, and I’m willing to bet that Jefferson plays a big part in that.

The Verdict
The gang prefers Moore, but I’m taking Jefferson, especially if OBJ is inactive.

TE:
Dawson Knox (BUF) or Dallas Goedert (PHI)?

Dawson Knox

  • BUF
  • TE
  • vs NE
  • Mon, 12/6
  • 8:15pm EST

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Dallas Goedert

  • PHI
  • TE
  • @ NYJ
  • Sun, 12/5
  • 1:00pm EST
EXPERT PROJECTIONS
Proj. Points 9.4 9.3
Andy Rank TE #8 TE #9
Mike Rank TE #9 TE #8
Jason Rank TE #10 TE #11
MATCHUP DETAILS
Opp. Rank 2 25
Home/Away Home Away
Over/Under 43 45
Line -3 -7

Do you trust TD efficiency or matchups? That’s the dilemma here with Dawson Knox and Dallas Goedert, two TEs who’ve seen limited work (~4.5 targets per game) but have flashed greatness sporadically enough to be top-10 plays this week. Knox is a scoring BEAST, leading all TEs (tied with Hunter Henry) in TDs despite missing time due to injury. Those TDs have buoyed his fantasy status and made him a weekly start despite the lack of usage.

Unfortunately, he’ll have to surpass the odds against one of the toughest defenses for TEs (and all offensive positions, basically). Plus, they’ll be playing in dreadful weather conditions. But the last time fantasy managers doubted the Bills offense during winter against a formidable Patriots defense, Josh Allen torched them for four passing TDs, one of which went to TE Lee Smith.

On the other hand, Goedert hasn’t converted scores much this year but has been very efficient with his minimal touches, averaging the third MOST yards after catch per reception (7.1) among TEs. If he could see more passes AND make it to the end zone, then he’d blow all the other TEs out of the water. Luckily for him, a favorable matchup with the Jets might be the remedy he needs. Goedert is Jason’s TE Start of the Week.

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The Verdict
The Ballers are split between the two. Goedert is the safe choice, but I’m rolling with Knox for some MNF primetime glory.

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