Week 13 NFL Matchup Preview Part Two
Be sure to check out Part One of our Week 13 NFL Matchup Previews.
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2016
1:00 PM EST
Los Angeles Rams at New England Patriots
QB Jared Goff: Matchups are key to fantasy performances and Jared Goff was the perfect example of that last week. He exploited a great matchup, but this week is another story. The Patriots are playing their typical bend, don’t break, defense. The yardage allowed is ok due to opposing QBs having to play catch-up regularly, but they are stingy on allowing TDs. Jared Goff should not be started based on last week’s performance but benched due to this week’s matchup.
RB Todd Gurley: Another week, another mediocre performance. It’s just not going to happen for Todd Gurley this year, especially against a surprisingly stout Patriots defense allowing just under 100 yards per game. They’ve also allowed just 6 TDs in their 11 games. He’s an RB2 due to volume.
WR Kenny Britt, Tavon Austin: Kenny Britt continues to be a solid contributor for your fantasy teams and can be started as a low-end WR2. Tavon Austin had a boom week, but there are too many bust weeks to trust him as a starter.
TE Lance Kendricks: Lance Kendricks continues to be a low-end fantasy contributor in PPR leagues. With just 2 TDs on the season, it’s not a high ceiling play.
QB Tom Brady: The Rams haven’t allowed big yardage this year, but they have given up 20 passing TDs. Brady is a must-start.
RB LeGarrette Blount, Dion Lewis, James White: The Rams have been decent against RBs and allowed just 8 TDs through 11 games. LeGarrette Blount should see enough volume to be an RB2, while the loss of Rob Gronkowski should increase Dion Lewis’ targets making him a reasonable option for a flex start. James White continues to get a handful of targets but isn’t trustworthy as a starter.
WR Julian Edelman, Malcolm Mitchell: Edelman has back-to-back 8 reception games and is trending back into his high-end WR2 in PPR leagues. Malcolm Mitchell followed his Week 11 breakout game with another solid Week 12 game going 5/42/2. With Rob Gronkowski out, Mitchell becomes a low-end WR2 with upside.
TE Martellus Bennett: Rob Gronkowski is out making Martellus Bennett a must-start TE, assuming he’s healthy enough to play himself.
Detriot Lions at New Orleans Saints
QB Matthew Stafford: Matthew Stafford has cooled off, tossing just 5 TDs in his last 5 games, and none over 300 passing yards in that span. But a trip to the Superdome is often the cure for many QB ailments. In a game that has the highest over/under of the week, Stafford has a great shot at being a solid QB1. Start him with confidence.
RB Theo Riddick: Theo Riddick has returned to his PPR ways, with 22 receptions in his last 4 games. He’s a solid RB2 in PPR leagues.
WR Golden Tate, Marvin Jones Jr., Anquan Boldin: The Lions have had a very rough stretch of games against strong pass defenses, including Minnesota 2 of the last 3 weeks. But the shootout potential of this Saints matchup is too good to pass up on. Golden Tate is a WR2 in PPR leagues, while Marvin Jones and Anquan Boldin are high upside flex options.
TE Eric Ebron: After returning in Week 8 from an injury, Eric Ebron had been heavily involved in the passing game. But after a goose-egg last week, owners may be concerned. The Saints are allowing the 12th most points to opposing TEs, making him a solid starter.
QB Drew Brees: You’ve heard the narrative about Drew Brees at home, and this is a dream matchup to exploit it. He has #1 QB upside for the week.
RB Mark Ingram, Tim Hightower: Both Mark Ingram and Tim Hightower have been effective the past few games. Ingram is an RB2 while Hightower has earned stand-alone value as a flex option.
WR Brandin Cooks, Michael Thomas, Willie Snead: I’m a very firm believer in “the squeaky wheel gets the grease”, and Brandin Cooks has been complaining about his role recently. In a great matchup, Cooks may get a few extra chances and could have a big game. Michael Thomas has established himself as a weekly WR2 and Willie Snead has a big enough opportunity to easily be a flex option with upside.
TE Coby Fleener: The Lions are allowing the 2nd most points-per-game to opposing TEs, giving Fleener a great opportunity to post starter numbers.
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2016
4:05 PM EST
Buffalo Bills at Oakland Raiders
QB Tyrod Taylor: Tyrod Taylor has been a solid fantasy QB thanks to scoring 4 rushing TDs in his last 5 games. The Raiders are a nice matchup for Taylor to again post borderline QB1 numbers.
RB LeSean McCoy, Mike Gillislee: LeSean McCoy continues to be the centerpiece of this offense and should be considered an RB1 in a nice matchup. Gillislee has been hampered by a hamstring injury and should not be counted on as a starter.
WR Sammy Watkins: The return of Sammy Watkins should give a nice boost to this passing game. By sheer lack of competition for targets, Watkins should be a WR2 moving forward.
TE Charles Clay: Clay hasn’t been a great fantasy play this year, but a matchup with the TE friendly Raiders should at least put him on the streaming radar.
QB Derek Carr: The Bills haven’t been giving up a ton of yards (227 per game) or TDs (13), but Derek Carr has been playing solidly enough to be on the bottom end of the QB1 ranks most weeks.
RB Latavius Murray: Latavius Murray has been a solid RB1 since returning from his injury, but is still dealing with an ankle issue. Assuming he plays through the injury, Murray should return RB2 value.
WR Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree: These two just keep flip-flopping WR1 and WR3 weeks, making both WR2 plays (Amari Cooper is a high-end WR2, Michael Crabtree is a low-end WR2).
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2016
4:25 PM EST
Washington Redskins at Arizona Cardinals
QB Kirk Cousins: Kirk Cousins has been a great QB1 and performed well, even in tough matchups. This week he faces a Cardinals team allowing the 2nd least yards per game while allowing a league low 9 passing TDs. Temper your expectations for Cousins ceiling.
RB Rob Kelley: After receiving at least 21 carries in the previous 3 games, Kelley handled only 14 carries last week. The Redskins should look to continue feeding him, giving him RB2 upside on volume.
WR DeSean Jackson, Jamison Crowder, Pierre Garçon: The Cardinals secondary is a tough matchup, making DeSean Jackson a boom/bust play and Pierre Garçon a low-end flex in PPR leagues. Jamison Crowder has been very reliable for fantasy owners and he should see enough targets to be a WR2, especially if he avoids being completely shadowed by Patrick Peterson.
TE Vernon Davis: Jordan Reed has been ruled out, giving Vernon Davis another start. Unfortunately, he’s facing a Cardinals team allowing the fewest points to opposing TEs.
QB Carson Palmer: After a rough stretch, Carson Palmer has strung together a few decent weeks in a row. He should be a decent streaming option at home against a mid-pack Redskins defense.
RB David Johnson: Must. Start. Every. Week.
WR Larry Fitzgerald: Fitzgerald is the only reliable fantasy WR on the Cardinals and should be a borderline WR1 this week. With just two teams on bye, there is no reason to start any of the other Cardinal receivers.
New York Giants at Pittsburgh Steelers
QB Eli Manning: Eli Manning has been a TD machine the past few weeks and a soft matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers should see his streak of QB1 performances continue.
RB Rashad Jennings, Paul Perkins: The mix between Rashad Jennings and Paul Perkins has been fairly consistent, with Jennings performing as a low-end RB2 and Perkins having limited value as a flex option.
WR Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard: After a slow start to the season, Odell Beckham has returned to his elite WR1 status. Meanwhile, rookie Sterling Shepard is coming off a zero target game. Its safe to expect him to see enough targets in a high-scoring game to warrant a start as a flex play.
TE Will Tye: The matchup with the Steelers defense allowing the 11th most points to opposing TEs is nice, but Will Tye has seen his target volume drop the past few weeks. He’s a streaming option due to the matchup, but there may be better options.
QB Ben Roethlisberger: The Giants are allowing the 3rd least points to opposing QBs and a mere 10 passing TDs this year. But a quick look at their recent schedule shows a different story as to why they may look so good on paper. Ben Roethlisberger is in a different class than many of their recent matchups and he should be considered a low-end QB1 with upside in a game that could turn into a shootout.
RB Le’Veon Bell: STUD. Doesn’t matter the matchup.
WR Antonio Brown: Antonio Brown = see Bell, Le’Veon. But at this stage, Brown is the only Steelers WR that you should be trusting in your lineup. The upside is there for the others, but so is a huge downside.
TE Ladarius Green: In the three games since returning to the field, Ladarius Green has 5 receptions for 97 yards and no TDs. The talent is there, but he shouldn’t be trusted in the last week before the playoffs.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at San Diego Chargers
QB Jameis Winston: Jameis Winston starts his streak of great matchups and should be a low-end QB1 moving forward. The Chargers are allowing over 270 passing yards per game while allowing 16 passing TDs thus far.
RB Doug Martin: Doug Martin has been given the bell cow workload and is performing well enough to be a solid RB2 with RB1 upside. He’s a safe start even though the Chargers are only allowing 89 rushing yards per game, as they have given up the second most rushing TDs (15) this year.
WR Mike Evans: With the bye weeks mostly over, Evans is the only Buccaneer WR to consider starting, and he’s an elite WR1.
TE Cameron Brate: Cameron Brate had a TD called back last week due to a penalty. The Chargers have been pretty good against TEs, but Brate’s involvement in the Redzone is pushing him into must-start TE territory.
QB Philip Rivers: Philip Rivers has become a must-start QB in almost all situations and a matchup with the mid-pack Buccaneers is no reason to bench him. He’s a safe start as a mid-low QB1.
RB Melvin Gordon: Must-start RB1.
WR Tyrell Williams, Dontrelle Inman: Tyrell Williams has become a must-start WR bordering on the WR1 line. His running mate Dontrelle Inman has also come on as of late and should be a decent WR2 in PPR leagues.
TE Antonio Gates, Hunter Henry: The TE slot has been a bit of a mess for the Chargers, with Antonio Gates falling off and Hunter Henry being a TD-dependent play. Neither is more than a desperation start at TE.
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2016
8:30 PM EST
Carolina Panthers at Seattle Seahawks
QB Cam Newton: While his floor is always solid due to his rushing TDs, Cam Newton hasn’t posted big numbers in the passing game in tough matchups. He’s a high floor, low ceiling QB1 play against the vaunted Seahawks secondary.
RB Jonathan Stewart: Jonathan Stewart has become a TD-dependent RB2.
WR Kelvin Benjamin, Ted Ginn: Kelvin Benjamin scored his first TD since Week 4, and is dealing with a shoulder injury. While he should play, the tough matchup limits his ceiling to WR2 status. Ted Ginn has returned to fantasy relevance and seems to be worth of starting as a boom/bust flex option.
TE Greg Olsen: Much more was expected of Greg Olsen last week as he continues to disappoint. He’s still getting enough volume in PPR leagues to be a starter, but the matchup is not very good this week. He’s a low-end TE1.
QB Russell Wilson: Everything was pointing to Russell Wilson returning to every week must-start status, but his offensive line let him down last week, having no time to throw the ball. This week, he should bounce back at home against a soft Carolina secondary.
RB Thomas Rawls: Thomas Rawls hasn’t seen the massive workload that many expected. With just 13 carries per game and minimal usage in the passing game, Rawls is a low-end RB2 against a very good Carolina defense allowing just 79 yards per game and 6 rushing TDs this year.
WR Doug Baldwin, Tyler Lockett: Doug Baldwin continues to be a solid WR2 in PPR leagues with a nice, safe floor. While He’s essentially done nothing this year, Tyler Lockett could have a boom week coming this week. The Panthers have given up solid games to opposing teams secondary WRs, especially to players in a role similar to Tyler Lockett. It’s an extremely bold move to pick him up and start him, but a long-TD is clearly in the realm of possible outcomes.
TE Jimmy Graham: He’s established himself as a must-start TE1.
MONDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2016
8:30 PM EST
Indianapolis Colts at New York Jets
QB Andrew Luck: Luck returns after missing the Week 12 contest due to a concussion. This week he faces a soft Jets secondary in a game the Colts must win to stay in contention for the AFC South title.
RB Frank Gore: The Jets have allowed the 8th fewest fantasy points to opposing RBs. They are holding opponents to under 90 rushing yards per game and have allowed just 6 rushing TDs to date.
WR T.Y. Hilton, Donte Moncrief: The return of Luck and a friendly matchup returns T.Y. Hilton to the low-end WR1 ranks while Donte Moncrief is a TD-dependant WR2.
TE Dwayne Allen, Jack Doyle: The Jets are pretty good against opposing TEs and the two Colts TEs have cooled off. Neither of them should really be trusted as starters at this point.
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick: Who knows how long he’s going to last as the starting QB for the Jets, but if he can make it through the whole game, he should be a solid streaming option against a soft Colts secondary allowing the second most points to opposing QBs.
RB Matt Forte, Bilal Powell: In a game that has the chance to make the scoreboard spin, both RBs have startable value. Matt Forte is a borderline RB1 against the Colts defense allowing the 6th most points to opposing RBs. Bilal Powell also finds himself as a decent option as a flex play with TD upside.
WR Brandon Marshall, Quincy Enunwa: Both Jets WRs are WR2 starters with this friendly matchup.