Saturday December 5th, 2015

Week 13 has arrived. It doesn’t feel like all that long ago when we were debating whether or not Le’Veon Bell was worth the No. 1 pick and if Aaron Rodgers or Andrew Luck should be the first quarterback selected in standard-scoring leagues (the answer, of course, was neither). Now, we’ve reached the end of the fantasy regular season. Congratulations to those of you already headed to your league’s playoffs. Not everyone is quite so lucky. For the owners who still need one more win to get into the postseason, you’ve come to the right place. Get all the last-minute advice you need right here in our Week 13 Cheat Sheet.

• FanDuel  Join our risk-free Week 13 FanDuel league. Double your entry fee or get refunded! New users only.

San Francisco 49ers at Chicago Bears

 

vs. QB

vs. RB

vs. WR

vs. TE

49ers

18th

28th

25th

11th

Bears

13th

16th

14th

6th

Vegas lines

Bears -7

Over/under 43.5

49ers o/u 18.5

Bears o/u 25.5

The Bears have entered the thick of the NFC wild card chase and have a pair of winnable games coming up, starting with the 49ers on Sunday. Blaine Gabbert has played better than expected, but the Bears are still deserving of being comfortable favorites in this one. The Matt Forte/Jeremy Langford breakdown is again the most interesting fantasy storyline to watch.

Player who could surprise: Shaun Draughn

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Start ’Em, Sit ’Em: How to set your fantasy lineups for Week 13

The following running backs have had at least 20 touches in all of their starts this season: Draughn. That’s it. Now, to be fair, Draughn has made just three starts, but it’s clear the 49ers are committed to feeding him the ball when he’s on the field. They still give him 20 touches two weeks ago when they were chasing the Seahawks all game. They could find themselves in the same situation this week, but the Bears are 31st in rush defense DVOA.

Player who could disappoint: Jeremy Langford

Langford got in the end zone last week and ran for 48 yards on 12 carries. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the 12 carries were his fewest since he had just five against the Lions in mid-October, the Bears last game before Matt Forte’s knee injury. Langford will have a role on Sunday, but it’s hard to imagine him getting more than 40% of the work out of the backfield, and that’s a ceiling.

Matchup to watch: Bears offensive line vs. 49ers rush defense

The 49ers have really struggled in pass coverage this season, but they’ve been at least close to league average against the run. Jay Cutler and Alshon Jeffery match up well with the Niners, but the Bears are likely to get at least 25 carries from Forte and Langford combined. The passing game’s production rests on establishing the run game early.

Injury report

Carlos Hyde (foot): Out

Anquan Boldin (hamstring): Probable

Marquess Wilson (foot): Out

Martellus Bennett (ribs): Probable

Zach Miller (ribs): Questionable

Eddie Royal (knee): Questionable

Houston Texans at Buffalo Bills

 

vs. QB

vs. RB

vs. WR

vs. TE

Texans

9th

18th

8th

8th

Bills

14th

21st

19th

10th

Vegas lines

Bills -3

Over/under 41.5

Texans o/u 19.5

Bills o/u 22.5

The Texans may be atop the AFC South, but they’re still underdogs in Buffalo this Sunday. Given the performance of their defense over the last month, it’s hard to see this game getting into the 40s. Outside LeSean McCoy and DeAndre Hopkins, there may not be much here for fantasy owners.

Player who could surprise: Alfred Blue

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Fantasy Playoff Prep: Three potential X-factors in two-quarterback leagues

The Bills are surprisingly 30th in rush defense DVOA. Pro Football Focus rates them 21st against the run, and they’ve allowed the 12th-most points to running backs this year. As much as the Texans want to feature Hopkins, they’ll have to get the run game going to win in Buffalo. Blue could easily push up toward 20 touches in this game.

Player who could disappoint: Tyrod Taylor and Sammy Watkins

In the last three weeks, the Texans have held the triumvirate of Andy Dalton, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Drew Brees to an average of 11.93 fantasy points per game, and the only reason it’s even that high is because Fitzpatrick scored a rushing touchdown. Those quarterbacks rank fourth, 15th and 11th, respectively at the position this year. The Texans could make life very hard for Taylor and, by extension, Watkins on Sunday.

Matchup to watch: DeAndre Hopkins vs. Ronald Darby

It’s time for Darby to get more notice in mainstream circles. The rookie out of Florida State has limited quarterbacks to a rating of 67 on passes thrown in his direction this season. He has been targeted 81 times, allowing 42 receptions for 462 yards and two touchdowns. He has also picked two passes and defensed 11 more. This is one of the best individual matchups of the weekend.

Injury report

DeAnre Hopkins (hamstring): Probable

Alfred Blue (back): Probable

Karlos Williams (shoulder): Out

Tyrod Raylor (shoulder): Probable

Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns

 

vs. QB

vs. RB

vs. WR

vs. TE

Bengals

7th

8th

13th

18th

Browns

26th

27th

27th

13th

Vegas lines

Bengals -10

Over/under 44

Bengals o/u 27

Browns o/u 17

The top offense by DVOA visits the No. 29 defense, meaning you probably want to have any and all available Bengals in your lineups this week. There’s not a whole lot to like on Cleveland’s side of the ball, but garbage time could very well become its best friend. Still, it’s hard to find a potential starter other than Gary Barnidge and Travis Benjamin.

• BURKE: Pettine's stubbornness in handling of Manziel reaches new heights

Player who could surprise: Jeremy Hill

Two weeks ago, Hill ran for a pair of touchdowns in the loss to the Cardinals. Last week, he reached 100 total yards in a game for the first time this season. Hill could be in for a huge workload on Sunday if the Bengals are able to build a big lead, as expected. The Browns are 28th in rush defense DVOA and have allowed the sixth-most yards per carry this season. Forget about the first two months of the season, at least for a week. Hill should star on Sunday.

Player who could disappoint: Giovani Bernard

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Week 13’s most intriguing players: Ryan eyeing rebound against Bucs

I’m starting Bernard with confidence anywhere that I own him, but he needs to get in on the fun early if the predictable game script comes to fruition. If the Bengals are protecting a lead in the second half, it’s more likely that Hill, and not Bernard, would be the running back hammer of choice. If Bernard doesn’t show up in the first half, he might not show up at all.

Matchup to watch: Browns offensive line vs. Bengals pass rush

The Browns line ranks second in pass blocking this season. If they’re going to make this a game, they’ll have to lean on the right arm of Austin Davis. The line is actually capable of making that happen. For what it’s worth, the Bengals rank 15th in pass rush, according to Pro Football Focus.

Injury report

Tyler Eifert (neck): Doubtful

Adam Jones (foot): Questionable

George Iloka (groin): Questionable

Justin Gilbert (concussion): Out

Joe Haden (concussion): Out

Baltimore Ravens at Miami Dolphins

 

vs. QB

vs. RB

vs. WR

vs. TE

Ravens

30th

6th

30th

5th

Dolphins

25th

29th

26th

15th

Vegas lines

Dolphins -4

Over/under 44

Ravens o/u 20

Dolphins o/u 24

It’s painful, I know. But we have to trust the Dolphins, at least for one more week. The matchup dictates it. There’s a surprising amount of fantasy value in this game, with Buck Allen and Kamar Aiken turning into must-start players for the moribund Ravens, and the Dolphins well positioned to take advantage of the Ravens’ bad defense.

Player who could surprise: DeVante Parker

It took 12 Weeks, but it appears the Dolphins are finally giving Parker a true shot to show what he can do with extended playing time. After getting a season-high 10 targets last week, catching four of them for 80 yards and a touchdown, Parker will start against the Ravens. This defense has allowed the third-most points to receivers and quarterbacks this season. Parker has the size and speed to be a No. 1. Now he’s getting the opportunity, as well. Expect Ryan Tannehill to target him early and often.

Player who could disappoint: Ryan Tannehill

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Lamar Miller is really the only other choice here, especially with the Ravens defense ranking a respectable 13th in rush DVOA. Tannehill, however, staved off fantasy death with a huge second half against the Jets last week, and many in the fantasy community are expecting him to carve up Baltimore’s dreadful passing defense. I am starting him in a two-QB league, but I am, admittedly, a bit nervous. Why? Because it’s Tannehill, that’s why. He doesn’t need a reason to disappoint his fantasy owners. He just does it with alacrity. He’s a mid-tier QB2, though the floor is low.

Matchup to watch: Jarvis Landry vs. Lardarius Webb

Webb has spent more time in the slot than any other Baltimore corner, but it hasn’t been pretty. He has surrendered a quarterback rating of 111.7, allowing 28 receptions for 226 yards and three touchdowns on 39 targets. Landry, meanwhile, has turned himself into one of the league’s best slot receivers.

Injury report

Jay Ajayi (shoulder): Probable

Jarvis Landry (knee): Probable

Mike Pouncey (foot): Questionable

Kenny Stills (ankle): Questionable

Seattle Seahawks at Minnesota Vikings

 

vs. QB

vs. RB

vs. WR

vs. TE

Seahawks

8th

2nd

5th

29th

Vikings

5th

7th

10th

17th

Vegas lines

PK

Over/under 42

Seahawks o/u 21

Vikings o/u 21

This is a key game for both teams, and it’s entirely possible that one more loss keeps the Seahawks from making the playoffs after winning the NFC both of the last two years. The Vikings may be a bit worse than their record suggests, while Seattle could be a touch better than its 5-6 mark, but the fact that this is a pick’em game in Minnesota is surprising. The Vikings have earned their 8-3 record.

Player who could surprise: Adrian Peterson

We expect Peterson to be among the best running backs every single week, but this is a brutally tough matchup. The Seahawks have surrendered the second-fewest points to running backs and just 3.8 yards per carry. At the same time, there are some kinks in the armor. They’re 11th in rush defense DVOA and 12th in Pro Football Focus rankings. And, of course, this is Peterson. He’s my No. 2 back this week.

Player who could disappoint: Russell Wilson

NFL
The Playbook: A complete guide to Week 13 action around the NFL

Wilson had his best game of the season last week, throwing for 345 yards, 11.5 yards per attempt and five touchdowns. The Vikings get a ton of credit for their defense, but they’re really only good against the pass. Teams have been able to run on the Vikings this year, so we should see a healthy dose of Thomas Rawls on Sunday. The Vikings, however, are 13th in pass DVOA, fourth in pass rush and ninth in coverage. Wilson wasn’t getting a ton out of Jimmy Graham, but his mere presence is a nuisance for teams in the red zone. Wilson is going to come back down to earth on Sunday.

Matchup to watch: Everything in the trenches

Both of these teams are happiest when their running backs carry the ball at least 25 times. Peterson and Rawls are the likely fantasy stars of this game, but both will need their lines to do work if they’re going to reach their projected heights.

Injury report

Marshawn Lynch (abdomen): Out

Harrison Smith (knee): Questionable

Anthony Barr (hand): Questionable

New York Jets at New York Giants

 

vs. QB

vs. RB

vs. WR

vs. TE

Jets

17th

3rd

24th

2nd

Giants

29th

23rd

18th

31st

Jets -2

Over/under 45

Jets o/u 23.5

Giants o/u 21.5

An over/under of 45 feels awfully low for a game that features two strong passing games, one very good rushing attack and two defenses that have struggled, especially against the pass, of late. You’re going to want investment in this game. It’s going to take 30 points to win this one.

Player who could surprise: Eli Manning

No player in the NFL is better at pulling out the rug than Manning. He had a great matchup last week in Washington, and the Giants had the opportunity to take command in the NFC East, and he put up one of his worst real-life games of the season. Don’t let that sway you from using him in Week 13. The Jets are a name-brand defense, but they’ve been torched in four of their last six games. Right now, they’re no better than a league-average pass defense, and Darrelle Revis will miss another game because of his concussion. Manning should take advantage.

Player who could disappoint: Jets defense

This goes hand in hand with the Manning play above. All the fantasy-relevant players in this one—Manning, Odell Beckham, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Chris Ivory, Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker—belong in your lineups this week. That leaves the Jets defense as the obvious choice for a disappointing fantasy player. They’ve had more than five points just twice in their last seven games, and they still surrendered a total of 732 passing yards and five passing touchdowns in those games. This is not the good matchup it appears to be on its face.

Matchup to watch: Brandon Marshall vs. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie

Even if Revis was healthy, this would be the best receiver-corner matchup in this game. Rodgers-Cromartie has limited quarterbacks to a 48.7 rating this season, and the next touchdown scored on him will be the first of the year. Marshall will be up to the challenge.

Injury report

Darrelle Revis (concussion): Out

Eric Decker (knee): Probable

Ryan Fitzpatrick (thumb): Probable

Marshall Newhouse (back): Questionable

Weston Richburg (ankle): Questionable

Arizona Cardinals at St. Louis Rams

 

vs. QB

vs. RB

vs. WR

vs. TE

Cardinals

11th

9th

11th

12th

Rams

4th

17th

3rd

20th

Cardinals -6

Over/under 42.5

Cardinals o/u 24.5

Rams o/u 18.5

The Cardinals surprisingly had their hands full in San Francisco last week. Could that repeat itself in St. Louis on Sunday? The Rams have taken a nosedive over the last few weeks, but they still have a great defense, as well as Todd Gurley. If the Cardinals play only as well as they did last week, they won’t be quite so lucky.

Player who could surprise: John Brown

Despite the matchup, the Cardinals aren’t going to change what they do on offense. Carson Palmer is going to push the ball down field, and Brown has been his favored weapon when doing so over the last few weeks. Michael Floyd is another week removed from his hamstring injury, so he could be in this mix, too, but Brown has had a couple nice games in a row, a sign that he is fully healed from his own hammy issue.

Player who could disappoint: Todd Gurley

Through no fault of his own, Gurley’s production has cratered over the last four weeks. He has found the end zone in three of those games, but has also rushed for 219 yards on 70 carries, which translates to just 3.13 yards per carry. He has another tough matchup with an Arizona defense that ranks seventh in rush DVOA. If the pass game can’t give him a breather, it could be another frustrating game for the rookie.

Matchup to watch: Nick Foles vs. Cardinals secondary

If Gurley is going to have any running room this week, it’s up to Foles to make some plays down the field to keep this defense honest. Don’t hold your breath.

Injury report

Andre Ellington (toe): Out

John Brown (hamstring): Probable

Larry Fitzgerald (ankle): Probable

Michael Floyd (hamstring): Questionable

Robert Quinn (back): Doubtful

Greg Zuerlein (hip): Doubtful

Trumaine Johnson (thigh): Doubtful

Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

 

vs. QB

vs. RB

vs. WR

vs. TE

Falcons

2nd

30th

2nd

25th

Buccaneers

21st

11th

22nd

16th

Vegas lines

Buccaneers -2

Over/under 46

Falcons o/u 22

Buccaneers o/u 24

It’s not a stretch to say the Falcons season is on the line this week. With all the teams in the NFC chasing down the second wild card spot and, quite frankly, playing much better football than the Falcons, they can’t afford a loss at Tampa Bay on Sunday. The bet here is that the offense finally shows up with a strong performance. Getting Devonta Freeman back certainly doesn’t hurt.

Player who could surprise: Matt Ryan

Ryan’s disappointing season has sort of flown under the radar of fantasy flops. He’s also exhibit A, at least this year, for why you don’t target mid-round quarterbacks. Having said that, Ryan threw for 397 yards and two touchdowns the first time these teams met this season. No one on Tampa Bay can match up with Julio Jones, and Freeman’s return gives Ryan a huge boost.

Player who could disappoint: Mike Evans

Evans’ target numbers took a hit when Vincent Jackson returned, and now he’ll draw an assignment with Desmond Trufant on Sunday. Trufant typically doesn’t shadow receivers, but the Falcons may make an exception for Evans. No matter what, he’ll spend at least some time across the line from Pro Football Focus’ No. 11 cover corner.

Matchup to watch: Falcons offensive line vs. Buccaneers run defense

The Atlanta line ranks seventh in run blocking this season, and is a big reason why Freeman has enjoyed a breakout campaign. The Buccaneers are surprisingly tough against the run, rating second in rush defense DVOA. This is the most important matchup in a crucial game in the NFC wild card chase.

Injury report

Matt Bryant (quad): Out

Devonta Freeman (concussion): Probable

Gerald McCoy (hand): Doubtful

Austin Seferian-Jenkins (shoulder): Questionable

Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans

 

vs. QB

vs. RB

vs. WR

vs. TE

Jaguars

28th

20th

15th

26th

Titans

23rd

4th

17th

24th

Vegas lines

Titans -2.5

Over/under 43

Jaguars o/u 20

Titans o/u 23

These teams played just two weeks ago, with the Titans pulling out a 19-13 victory on the road. It wasn’t exactly memorable for fantasy purposes, with only Allen Robinson and Delanie Walker meeting expectations. This game could follow a similar script, with Robinson and Walker the only definite fantasy starters.

Player who could surprise: Blake Bortles

Bortles threw for just 242 yards, one touchdown and one interception in the loss to the Titans two weeks ago, and it appears he won’t have Allen Hurns (concussion) at his disposal in this game. Having said that, the Titans have the 10th-most points to quarterbacks this season and Bortles has a relatively high floor, especially with Robinson and Julius Thomas playing the way they have of late. Bortles is right on the QB1/2 borderline.

Player who could disappoint: Marcus Mariota

Mariota, too, struggled in the previous game with Jacksonville, throwing for 231 yards and 6.6 YPA without a touchdown. The Jaguars have been much better against the run than the pass, but who can Mariota trust in this game outside of Walker? Kendall Wright is back, but he’s still not quite 100%. Dorial Green-Beckham has stalled over the last few weeks, and there isn’t a significant receiving threat in the Titans’ backfield. Mariota is no more than mid-tier QB2.

Matchup to watch: Jaguars offensive line vs. Titans defensive line

The Titans rank eighth in run defense and 14th in pass rush this season, according to Pro Football Focus. They have a significant advantage on defense, evidenced by the way they should down the Jaguars two weeks ago. If the Jags are to hold onto their slim playoff hopes, the line is going to have one of its best games of the season.

Injury report

Allen Hurns (concussion): Out

Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders

 

vs. QB

vs. RB

vs. WR

vs. TE

Chiefs

12th

5th

31st

1st

Raiders

24th

22nd

12th

30th

Vegas lines

Chiefs -3

Over/under 44

Chiefs o/u 23.5

Raiders o/u 21

The Chiefs are one of the hottest teams in football, winners of five straight, but the team totals suggest that Vegas slightly favors the Raiders against the spread. This could be a sneakily high-scoring game, and one of Week 13’s most exciting matchups.

Player who could surprise: Alex Smith

Smith is putting together a quietly effective season, ranking 16th among quarterbacks in points in standard-scoring leagues. The Raiders have allowed the ninth-most points to quarterbacks this year and rank 20th in pass defense DVOA. Smith doesn’t hurt you with turnovers and has averaged 44.8 rushing yards per game in the last four weeks. If he throws for a pair of touchdowns, he’ll get you a 20-point day.

• MAYS: How the Chiefs went from 1–5 to wild-card contenders

Player who could disappoint: Charcandrick West and Spencer Ware

The dreaded backfield committee has reached Kansas City. West will return from his hamstring injury this week, but Ware looked great in his stead. That means both will have a significant role on Sunday. That might be great news for the Chiefs, but it’s terrible news for their fantasy owners. You should go in another direction.

Matchup to watch: Amari Cooper vs. Marcus Peters

We could be looking at the Offensive and Defensive Rookie of the Year winners in this matchup, though Ronald Darby is in pole position for the latter honor. No matter what, though, Cooper and Peters should give us one of the week’s best receiver-corner battles.

Injury report

Justin Houston (knee): Out

Travis Kelce (groin): Probable

Charcandrick West (hamstring): Probable

Spencer Ware (hamstring): Probable

Denver Broncos at San Diego Chargers

 

vs. QB

vs. RB

vs. WR

vs. TE

Broncos

1st

19th

1st

19th

Chargers

16th

32nd

7th

27th

Vegas lines

Broncos -4.5

Over/under 44

Broncos o/u 24.5

Chargers o/u 20

This game may be in San Diego, but this feels like an awfully low spread with the way these teams are playing. Denver’s run game hasn’t looked better all year and its defense is a terrible matchup for Philip Rivers and company.

Player who could surprise: Ronnie Hillman and C.J. Anderson

All too often, a committee approach in the backfield kills both players fantasy prospects. That hasn’t been the case for the Broncos the last two weeks, and it won’t change on Sunday. Hillman’s last two games? Twenty-one carries for 102 yards and 14 totes for 59 yards and a score. As for Anderson, he ran for 59 yards on 12 carries two weeks ago, then rumbled for 113 yards and two scores in the win over New England last week. This run game is clicking and has a great matchup with a San Diego defense that ranks 32nd in rush DVOA. Both should start for their owners.

Player who could disappoint: Philip Rivers

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Fantasy Fact or Fiction: Broncos' run game a force to be reckoned with

Rivers had a great game last week, throwing for 300 yards and four touchdowns in the win over the Jaguars. The defense he gets on Sunday is slightly better. The Broncos remain first in overall defensive DVOA and first against the pass. Rivers, as we know, isn’t the same without Keenan Allen. You can do better at quarterback this week.

Matchup to watch: Broncos offensive line vs. Chargers run defense.

It isn’t just Football Outsiders that hates the Chargers defense against the run. They rank last at Pro Football Focus and have allowed the most fantasy points to running backs this year. Denver’s line should have its way with the Chargers all afternoon.

Injury report

Peyton Manning (foot): Out

DeMarcus Ware (back): Out

Ronnie Hillman (tooth): Probable

Emmanuel Sanders (ankle): Probable

D.J. Fluker (concussion): Out

King Dunlap (ankle): Out

Philip Rivers (foot): Probable

Corey Liuget (foot): Questionable

Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints

 

vs. QB

vs. RB

vs. WR

vs. TE

Panthers

3rd

10th

6th

14th

Saints

32nd

31st

21st

32nd

Vegas lines

Panthers -7

Over/under 49.5

Panthers o/u 28.5

Saints o/u 21.5

You heard it here, maybe not first, but well before Sunday afternoon. The Saints are going to keep this game close. They may not slow down Cam Newton and the Panthers, but they’re going to be able to score. This game will be within a touchdown, meaning you want to get your Saints active.

• ​KING: Undefeated season is within reach for Cam and the Panthers

Player who could surprise: Mark Ingram

Everyone is already writing Ingram off in this game, based on recent performance and the Carolina defense. The reality, however, is that the Panthers are only slightly better than league average against the run. It’s not that Ingram has run poorly in these last few games. The Saints have gone away from the run early both of the last two weeks, but Ingram has 129 yards on 14 carries in that time. He still has his familiar RB1 ceiling, even in a tough matchup.

Player who could disappoint: Brandin Cooks

Cooks draws this week what has proved to be the toughest assignment for a receiver this season. He’ll line up across from Josh Norman, who will undoubtedly shadow him all game. Cooks still has a WR2 ceiling, but there’s a very real chance Norman shuts him down. He has allowed a quarterback rating of 38.4 and ranks as the league’s top cover corner, according to Pro Football Focus.

• ​HARPER: Why we're undefeated

Matchup to watch: Marques Colston vs. Bene Benwikere

With Norman sticking Cooks on Sunday, Drew Brees could very well turn to Snead more frequently than usual. Charles Tillman (knee) has already been ruled out, forcing Benwikere into the starting lineup. The newly signed Cortland Finnegan could also see time. Colston may have the advantage. Don’t sleep on him as a WR3 this week.

Injury report

Charles Tillman (knee): Out

Corey Brown (shoulder): Probable

Willie Snead (calf): Doubtful

Mark Ingram (shoulder): Probable

Philadelphia Eagles at New England Patriots

 

vs. QB

vs. RB

vs. WR

vs. TE

Eagles

31st

14th

32nd

3rd

Patriots

10th

12th

23rd

4th

Vegas lines

Patriots -9.5

Over/under 49

Eagles o/u 19.5

Patriots o/u 29

No Dion Lewis. No Julian Edelman. No Rob Gronkowski. It’s almost like the Patriots are challenging themselves to se how many key pieces they could lose and still beat the Eagles by two scores. Sorry Eagles, they haven’t lost enough just yet.

• Fantasy football prep: Complete Week 13 player rankings

Player who could surprise: Brandon LaFell

LaFell is just a guy. There’s really no way around that. However, he’s also now the guy at the top of the Patriots receiver depth chart going up against an Eagles defense that has allowed the most fantasy points to the position and is 31st in DVOA against No. 1 receivers. LaFell figures to get 10-plus targets in a game where the Patriots have a team over/under of 29. The ceiling is quite high for him this week.

Player who could disappoint: DeMarco Murray

The Eagles abandoned the run early in the last two games, and the results for Murray weren’t pretty. He totaled just 94 yards on 27 carries in the losses to the Buccaneers and the Lions. Remember, the Eagles were outscored 90-31 in those games. What hope do they have of keeping it close in New England?

Matchup to watch: Patriots offensive line vs. Eagles pass rush

Jameis Winston and Matthew Stafford combined for 10 touchdowns against the Eagles, but before that they had actually played pretty well against the pass. They still rank sixth in pass rush, according to Pro Football Focus, so there’s a chance they could make Brady uncomfortable. It’s their only hope for not getting embarrassed on Sunday.

Injury report

Ryan Mathews (concussion): Out

Sam Bradford (shoulder): Probable

Rob Gronkowski (knee): Out

Julian Edelman (foot): Out

Danny Amendola (knee): Questionable

Indianapolis Colts at Pittsburgh Steelers

 

vs. QB

vs. RB

vs. WR

vs. TE

Colts

20th

24th

20th

21st

Steelers

27th

1st

29th

28th

Vegas lines

Steelers -7

Over/under 49

There’s a very real chance for a shootout in this one, so you’re going to want to get pretty much everyone in the respective passing games active. Keep an eye on Martavis Bryant, who is dealing with a hip injury. If he’s out, Markus Wheaton could make a decent dart throw.

Player who could surprise: Jesse James

The Steelers haven’t said anything definitive on Heath Miller, but it doesn’t look good for him this week because of a rib injury. If he’s out, James, the rookie out of Penn State, could have a large role in the offense. The Colts are no better than average against tight ends, and James could feature prominently if Bryant is out. If you lost Gronkowski or Graham and didn’t grab someone like Scott Chandler or Kyle Rudolph, take a flier on James.

Player who could disappoint: Frank Gore

Gore’s first season in Indianapolis has been an unmitigated disappointment. He has just 657 yards and four touchdowns on 181 carries, which translates to a paltry 3.6 yards per tote. The Steelers, meanwhile, have allowed the fewest fantasy points to running backs this season. If the Colts do damage, it’ll be through the air, not on the ground.

Matchup to watch: Antonio Brown vs. Vontae Davis

Davis’ cover skills aren’t what they were a few years ago, but he remains one of the more intimidating players in coverage, and the Colts aren’t afraid to single him up against anyone, Brown included. Brown, however, doesn’t get shut down two weeks in a row very frequently. Give the receiver, and therefore the Steelers, an edge.

Injury report

Ben Roethlisberger (concussion): Probable

Martavis Bryant (hip): Probable

Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins

 

vs. QB

vs. RB

vs. WR

vs. TE

Cowboys

6th

26th

4th

9th

Redskins

19th

15th

28th

7th

Vegas lines

Redskins -4.5

Over/under 42

Cowboys o/u 19

Redskins o/u 23.5

First-place Washington hosts last-place Dallas in Week 13 on Monday Night Football. Just like we all drew it up three months ago. Washington has been very good at home this season, and that should continue against a team led by Matt Cassel.

Player who could surprise: Washington defense

This is one of the best stream units of the week, thanks to the presence of Cassel looming over the Dallas offense. In his four starts this season, the team scored more than 20 points once, and he threw five interceptions against four touchdowns. What’s more, three of those touchdowns came in the same game against the Eagles, which isn’t all that impressive. Washington has the ceiling of a top-10 defense this week.

Player who could disappoint: Dez Bryant

Poor, poor Dez. After scoring 16 touchdowns last year and earning himself a first-round fantasy grade heading into 2015, he suffered through a lost season due to injury, both to him and Tony Romo. The season can’t end soon enough for him individually and the Cowboys as a whole. He’ll be back among the elite receivers next year, but it’s hard to have a ton of confidence in him with Cassel at the helm.

Matchup to watch: DeSean Jackson vs. Cowboys secondary

The Cowboys rate 28th in DVOA against No. 1 receivers and 18th against the pass overall. Jackson has seven receptions for 153 yards and two touchdowns over the last two weeks, and has at least one catch for 40 yards or more in each of his last three games. That’s as sure a sign as any that he’s over the hamstring injury at back to his old self.

Injury report

The official injury report for Monday Night Football is not available until Sunday, but there aren’t expected to be any fantasy-relevant injuries for either team.

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