by Logan Lepiscopo
Fantasy Football: Week 13 Starts & Sits
It is almost playoff time for fantasy football players, which means it is the most important time to have the correct players in your lineup. Obviously, keep the guys in your lineup that have been performing week after week. This article is going to give one start and sit for each position (QB, RB, WR, TE, D/ST, and K) the starts being guys that would usually be on the bench or a 50/50 start. But the guys that will be talked about sitting will be some guys that would typically make a starting lineup but have a tough matchup this week that may be a strong case to sit them.
Start em’ & Sit em’
Start: Derek Carr vs. The Washington Football Team
Derek Carr leads the league in passing yards, 11th in completion percentage, 5th in yards per attempt, and 11th in touchdowns. Carr is currently the 13th ranked quarterback on ESPN and is averaging 20.4 points per game. Derek Carr is going up against the third worst pass defense in the NFL allowing 267 passing yards per game and 2.4 passing touchdowns per game. Everything is in line for Carr to have a monster performance, though his primary target Darren Waller is doubtful for this game the Washington Football team is giving up 25.8 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks and 27.2 fantasy points per game to wide receivers. Start Derek Carr with confidence this week if you are looking for a QB to start in place of your quarterback that may be on a bye, injured, or that has been inconsistent.
Sit: Josh Allen vs. New England Patriots
Josh Allen may be the number 1 quarterback on ESPN, but he has his toughest matchup of the season going up against the New England Patriots. This may sound ridiculous, and you may still start Josh Allen in your fantasy leagues this week, but I ask that you still hear me out and read the facts. The Patriots give up on average 13.2 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks, the most points allowed this season was back in week 6 to Dak Prescott who scored 32.8. If there is a week that Josh Allen is meant to struggle in it is this one, Josh Allen passes on average for 279.2 yards and 2.3 passing touchdowns per game… this Patriots defense is allowing just 200.9 passing yards and 1.2 passing touchdowns per game. Josh Allen does have the fantasy boost with his rushing ability and the Patriots defense has yet to face a quarterback as mobile as Allen this season, but in Josh Allen’s career he has averaged just 17.96 fantasy points per game against the New England Patriots with his high being 32.3 points in week 16 of last season.
Start: Alexander Mattison @ Detroit Lions
Sunday versus the San Francisco 49ers running back Dalvin Cook was carted off with what was believed to be a shoulder dislocation and torn labrum. Head coach Mike Zimmer later confirmed after MRI’s that Cook did not tear his labrum but with the significant pain, he was in on Sunday it is a safe bet the Vikings rest their star running back this week against the Detroit Lions. Which means… Alexander Mattison is a MUST start in your fantasy football leagues, not only is he a top waiver wire add but he is a must plug in to your lineups too. The Vikings and Lions already met this season, and it was a very similar situation, Dalvin Cook not playing. Alexander Mattison stepped into the shoes of Dalvin Cook and had himself a day; running the ball Mattison had 25 carries for 113 yards, in the passing game Mattison had himself a game too with 7 receptions for 40 yards and a touchdown. In standard scoring leagues that is 19.3 fantasy points, PPR 26.3 since Mattison fumbled that brings down his total by 2 points. Also, not to mention the Lions allow 21.9 half-PPR points per game I do not think anything else needs to be said, Alexander Mattison is in the perfect situation, with a perfect matchup, why not let this be the week he has a game like Jonathan Taylor and Leonard Fournette had the past two weeks.
Sit: David Montgomery vs. Arizona Cardinals
Well to say the least this season has been disappointing for Montgomery. He ended the 2020-2021 season on such a high note and fantasy football players were drafting him at his ceiling this year as a third-fourth round pick. Yes, he had an injury and was out for a significant part of the Bears season, but even the games David Montgomery has played in it was like he wasn’t even there. David Montgomery averages 12.6 PPR points per game, and his best game coming against the Detroit Lions all the way back in week 4, the next time the Bears and Lions played… just 10.4 PPR points. The Cardinals allow the second least fantasy points to running backs a game at 15.7 half PPR points, David Montgomery is behind an awful offensive line and playing an Arizona Cardinals team coming off of a bye. If David Montgomery is in your lineup right now get him out and find someone else, unless he is a last option for a flex play, I would not have him in your lineup for week 13.
Start: Brandin Cooks vs. Indianapolis Colts
This season has not been great for Brandin Cooks, and I wish the Texans would allow him to get out of this organization so he could thrive elsewhere. This week Cooks will face the Indianapolis Colts, a team that allows 24 PPR points per week to wide receivers. Brandin Cooks played the Colts week 6 and finished the game with 9 receptions for 89 yards, Cooks was targeted 13 times in that game and Davis Mills was the quarterback at that time. With Tyrod Taylor at quarterback now Cooks should be sure to replicate or outperform that week 6 game, Tyrod Taylor may not be the most appealing quarterback, but he can get Cooks the ball. With the recent injuries in the NFL Brandin Cooks can easily be put into that role as your WR1 or WR2, or if you drafted and have worked the waivers perfect, he is a phenomenal player to have in your flex spot this week.
Sit: Tee Higgins vs. Los Angeles Chargers
6 receptions, 114 yards, and a touchdown added up to make Tee Higgins 23.4 PPR fantasy points last week, but I insist on pumping the brakes on Higgins. That performance against the Steelers was bound to happen at some point with the show that Ja’Marr Chase has been putting on all season. The Steelers secondary has been playing significantly worse than the Chargers whom, allow the second least amount of fantasy points per game to wide receivers. Tee Higgins is the WR2 in the Bengals offense, and when looking at the Chargers defense game by game it is usually the WR1 or the TE on the opposing team that has the greatest success. I would not start Higgins this week due to how unpredictable his production can be, and the matchup is not appealing.
Start: Jack Doyle vs. Houston Texans
Jack Doyle has not been good at all this season, very disappointing to say the least. But week 12 against the Buccaneers showed what Doyle has the potential to do each and every week. I know I said to pump the brakes on Tee Higgins after his big week against the Steelers, but Jack Doyle has an amazing matchup this week against the Texans. Recently the Texans defense has a good job shutting down the tight end position, but the last two matchups against the Titans and Jets are two teams that do not use their tight ends often. The Colts game plan is obvious, give the ball to Jonathan Taylor, but when it is time to pass the football Carson Wentz is known for his tight end love. A lot of the better fantasy football tight ends are here to start, but if yours happens to be on a bye, injured, or just has a bad matchup consider Jack Doyle as a play for the tight end spot on your roster.
Sit: Hunter Henry @ Buffalo Bills
Henry was on a tear with consistently getting touchdowns and getting the ball thrown his way, the keyword in that sentence is was. The past two weeks Henry has had 8 targets and caught 4 of those targets for 41 yards… 8.1 PPR fantasy points in the past two weeks combined is not good. Hunter Henry is currently the number 9 tight end on ESPN, but just two weeks ago before this downfall he was top 5 and even cracking into the top 3. The matchup this week is even less in Hunter Henry’s favor considering the Buffalo Bills being very greedy allowing tight ends fantasy points. Allowing just 5.3 half-PPR points on average is terrifying for Hunter Henry fantasy football owners, get Hunter Henry out of your lineup and get a tight end in there that has a good matchup and has actually been consistently getting the ball.
Start: Eagles @ New York Jets
I bet you weren’t expecting to actually get a start and sit for defenses this week too, well we are about to get into the playoffs it is the most important time to have a defense that isn’t going to put up little or negative points for you. The Eagles’ defense is number 12 on ESPN, and they face the Jets. The Jets have turned over the ball 24 times this year (most in the NFL), 19 interceptions and 5 fumbles, the Eagles are no stranger to creating turnovers though they are not on top of the league the team averages 1 turnover per game. Start the Eagles defense with confidence this week, especially since quarterback Jalen Hurts is currently questionable for this game the defense if going to need to step up big.
Sit: Bears vs. Arizona Cardinals
This shall be very self-explanatory, do not start the 4-7 Bears defense against the 9-2 Arizona Cardinals offense. The Cardinals have not played Kyler Murray or DeAndre Hopkins since week 8 due to injuries, but now after over a full month of rest and healing the two will be back in the Cardinals lineup. The Bears defense consistently scores points, but I think the team scoring its projected 4.6 points this week will be impossible to do. If for some reason you have been using the Bears defense in fantasy football stop it, get a new defense for your playoff run.
Start: Evan McPherson vs. Chargers
Yup don’t worry I didn’t lie to you I picked kickers too. The number 5 kicker on ESPN right now has been exceptional all season, and in my previous article I talk more about that. Start McPherson this week and every week from here on out, 34/35 on extra points and 17/20 on all field goals (92.7% kicking accuracy). The Chargers’ defense is good, and the Bengals offense has struggled to finish drives in the endzone, so McPherson should do very well in his matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers. He may not get those 50+ yard field goals this week like he typically would but I expect him to be on the field and kicking the ball just as much as he usually would.
Sit: Chris Boswell vs. Ravens
If last week told you anything about the Pittsburgh Steelers, it is that this offense cannot consistently put-up points week after week. This week they face another divisional opponent that is no push around team, the rivalry between these two teams runs high especially closer to playoff time. The Ravens allow kickers in fantasy football just 6 points a week when your round up their 5.6 average. Chris Boswell is the number 4 kicker on ESPN for fantasy football and averages 9.4 points per game. There is a very high chance for Boswell to continue his success this season against the Ravens, but after the Steelers offense couldn’t convert versus the Bengals, I find it difficult to trust that the team will be able to get Boswell into field goal range this week.