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Fantasy Football Week 13 Start ‘Em and Sit “Em: The King’s Guide to Tough Lineup Calls

Although the bye weeks are done, there is still a lot of anxiety surrounding Fantasy Football Week 13 lineup decisions. With less players idle, key calls become challenging in a different way now. There will be some guys you just don’t want on the bench, but you won’t have room for them. When faced with such tough situations, match ups will, of course, break any ties. But the players must be close in value and appeal for the match up to be the ultimate deciding factor.

Plus, there may be more of a sense of “needed upside” after three games were completed on Thanksgiving. If you have fallen behind by more than 20 points, you may  want to lean to players with higher ceilings for this week in your lineup. That can also be another tiebreaker. But don’t get crazy. Stick with your superstars and proven winning performers and let the bulk of the games play out. You can easily catch up if you have more or close to the same amount of players still yet to go in the remaining NFL games. Thursday’s games are not a complete reflection of how the final score may look after Monday night.

We help you make the key decisions that give you the best chance of winning this week. Lock in our best picks for increased odds of success. We also tell you who to avoid that may drag you down.

For help getting ready for NFL Week 13, check out our Waiver Wire Recommendations and  FAAB Guide.

Fantasy Football Week 13: Start ‘Em

Running Backs

Jonathan Williams vs. TEN: This presumed journeyman type has also splashed onto the Fantasy scene the last two weeks, but the Colts are very impressed with him and will need Williams to keep operating as a focal point of the offense in Fantasy Football Week 13. Most of their top starting skill position players are now down and Williams has produced enough recently that he looks like the best of all the backup players pushed into a larger role. He has rushed for 220 yards in two games.

Chris Carson vs. MIN: You actually may be tempted to sit him this week and play a guy who has produced lesser numbers overall but has a better matchup. That may turn out to be a mistake. Pete Carroll will maintain faith in Carson and give him every opportunity to show he is still a significant part of the Seattle offense on Monday night. Rashaad Penny has yet to prove anything for more than one game. Carson will also likely remain the short yardage runner of preference. When things start going bad for key Seattle players, Carroll likes to help them re-establish themselves rather than drastically reduce their reps if he can.

Carlos Hyde vs. NE: The match up would seem to dictate you bench Hyde. But he has overcome a lot of adversity to resurface as a starter in Houston and is running with a lot of determination. The Texans are going to be geared up to prove themselves again vs. New England after Baltimore recently embarrassed them. Hyde should at least be a flex play and he is a gusty one in Fantasy Football Week 13.

Wide Receivers

Dede Westbrook vs. TB: He has not shown much upside this season and D.J. Chark has emerged as the most productive Fantasy WR for the Jaguars. But he is a good upside play if you need one in a great matchup. We will simply remind you that the Buccaneers have allowed the most Fantasy Points Per Game to WRs over the past month and full season.

DK Metcalf vs. MIN: As is the case with Carson, Metcalf is coming off a forgettable outing, maybe his worst as a pro so far in terms of pure performance. Expect him to get some big play and goal line area scoring chances in Fantasy Football Week 13. Carroll definitely wants to make sure Metcalf’s confidence does not wane. The Vikings have also allowed the second-most FFPG to WRs over the past month and the third-most this season.

Tyler Boyd vs. NYJ: He reached 100 yards and scored for the first time since Week 5 last Sunday. Now Andy Dalton is back as the Bengals starter, which boosts the chances of Boyd to sustain momentum against a Jets pass defense that has allowed the most FFPG in the AFC to WRs this season.

Tight Ends

Kyle Rudolph vs. SEA: The “Red Zone Reindeer” has re-emerged just in time for the holidays. The Seahawks have allowed the third-most FFPG to TEs this season. He’s a TE1 in Fantasy Football Week 13.

Ryan Griffin vs. CIN: There is no reason to doubt him anymore and he will continue to be a frequent scoring target in a rejuvenated Jets passing game. The Bengals have allowed the most FFPG to TEs over the past month.


Sam Darnold vs. CIN: He has started to gain more confidence and is producing better recently. The Jets are not playoff bound and that may have taken some pressure off. The Bengals have allowed the most FFPG in the AFC to QBs this season. He is a top-10 starter at QB in Fantasy Football Week 13.

Jameis Winston vs. JAC: Yes, you can have confidence in him in a very important week because of volume and arguably the best pair of WRs in the game. Plus, the Jaguars have allowed the most FFPG in the AFC to QBs over the past month.

Fantasy Football Week 13: Sit ‘Em

Running Backs

Miles Sanders vs. MIA: He is not an outright bench candidate, but in many cases, I would not use him over another option who has been more dependable based on the matchup. I have been waiting for the Sanders breakout game for weeks and it has not happened. I would not be shocked if Jay Ajayi shines over him at times versus his former team. If you are not in a position where you need a lot of upside, Sanders is way too boom or bust in a critical Fantasy week. Opportunity does not always lead to production.

Sony Michel vs. HOU: He has not scored in his past four games and the rushing totals have been regularly blah. Michel has been a big disappointment and too mediocre to consider using him in Fantasy Football Week 13, when so much is at stake.

Rashaad Penny vs. MIN: He has yet to prove anything yet, as we have only seen very brief flashes of promise followed by extensive bouts of irrelevancy. Penny is coming off a career game, but don’t chase last week. Let him show he can do it again before you rely on him at such an important time of year.

Wide Receivers

Will Fuller vs. NE: The Texans will put up a fight, but as they do, the Patriots may determine that it is better to take Will Fuller out of the game to hurt Deshaun Watson more. The Houston QB had some of his best games of the season earlier in the year when Fuller was healthy and unleashed the deep ball again when he returned last week. Watson is potentially less explosive when Fuller is not in the flow and New England may concede shorter throws to DeAndre Hopkins instead. Fuller may be headed for a quiet Fantasy Football Week 13.

Tyrell Williams vs. KC: He has not been quite the same since returning from an injury in Week 8 and does not have a TD catch in the past four games.

Marquise Brown vs. SF: Don’t chase last week. Brown is simply too boom/bust overall.


Nick Foles vs. TB: I just cannot recommend him as a Top 12 QB based on a match up in Fantasy Football Week 13. Foles has historically been a mediocre Fantasy QB and starting him could be the sort of match up over-analysis type of move that could kill your season or hurt your playoff outlook. I am very reluctant to recommend putting your important fortunes into his hands in Fantasy Football Week 13.

Carson Wentz vs. MIA: As with Foles, the match up looks very appealing, but I strongly question whether the player can take full advantage of it. I see no upside for Wentz right now.

NOTE: The usual reminder there are no outright bench TE candidates. If you have a top guy who is healthy, you start him.

Got a question for Scott about Fantasy Football Week 13? Let him know in the comments below.

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  1. Jerry says

    I’m in a tight spot on a make or break weekend. Got a couple questions.
    Should I Start Brady, Cousins or Winston
    And Should I start R.Jones or L.MCcoy

    1. Scott Engel says

      Winston is throwing for 300 yards every week. Jones faces a Jags defense that has been very leaky

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