Fantasy Football Week 13 Start ’Em, Sit ’Em

Helping with some of your tougher lineup decisions heading into Week 13.
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Quarterbacks:

Start:

Nick Foles, Jaguars—I am not buying into the “Gardner Minshew should be the quarterback hype.” The Jaguars spent a small fortune on Foles and they need to give him every opportunity to succeed before making a change. In Week 13, Foles gets the Bucs defense which surprisingly played well against the Falcons, but who have been known to give up tons of yards in the passing game. The Bucs also have a way of disappointing when you expect them to play well. Foles will take advantage of another Bucs letdown and have the Jaguars playing at their offensive best.

Jared Goff, Rams—Nothing says “rebound game” more than going on the road to play the Cardinals who have one of the most porous defenses in the league. The Rams desperately need a win to keep their playoff hopes alive and Goff should be able to take advantage of the numerous offensive matchups that favor the Rams. The Cardinals run a ton of offensive plays, so look for the Rams to play up in pace and for Goff to flirt with 300 passing yards.

Sit:

Philip Rivers, Chargers—The way to beat the Broncos is to run the ball right down their throats. The Bills did that in Week 12 and I expect that the Chargers will do much of the same in Week 13. If the Chargers are going to run the ball 30-plus times as I expect, that will mean fewer pass attempts for Rivers, which should keep his numbers down as the whole. I see Rivers throwing for about 230 yards and a TD which is just not enough to excite fantasy owners.

Running Backs:

Start:

Jay Ajayi, Eagles—While Ajayi is far from a sure thing, there are some signs of him being a sneaky start in Week 13. Firstly, Carson Wentz has a bruised finger, so I can see the Eagles trying to limit his passing attempts. Secondly, Jordan Howard is still dealing with a shoulder injury and Ajayi is more of a power runner than Miles Sanders. Finally, this is a revenge narrative game for Ajayi as he heads back to Miami where he spent many (un)happy seasons. For all these reasons and more, I can easily see Ajayi scoring a TD on Sunday.

David Montgomery, Bears—I am getting tired of having Montgomery let me down week after week, but this must be the week that he breaks out, right?! As of Wednesday, both Lions QBs, Matt Stafford and Jeff Driskel, are dealing with injuries and there is a possibility that they will be starting their QB3, David Blough. All the Bears need to do to win this game is to play great defense and run the ball. Statistically, the Lions are the second-worst team in the league at stopping opposing running backs, so I am hoping that Matt Nagy establishes the run and the Bears coast to an easy Thanksgiving victory.

Sit:

Carlos Hyde, Texans—Fantasy owners know how amazing Patriots CB Stephon Gilmore is, but they probably do not realize that the Patriots defense is the No. 1 team in the league in points against the run. The Texans love to establish Hyde early to help set up the play-action pass for Deshaun Watson. Look for Hyde to be stopped dead in his tracks in Week 13 by a Patriots team who is playing for a number one seed (and home-field advantage) in the playoffs.

Wide Receivers:

Start:

Tyler Boyd, Bengals—The Bengals are the only team left in the league who have not won a game this season. Not wanting to go down in history with that designation, the team has decided to start former QB Andy Dalton to try to win this home game. No one is happier to see Big Red back than Tyler Boyd, who has only caught one TD pass this season since Dalton was taken out of the lineup. The Jets are very strong against the run as we saw last week versus Oakland, so look for the Bengals to put most of the pressure on the Jets' secondary all game long.

Dede Westbrook, Jaguars—Prior to the beginning of the season, most NFL and fantasy experts thought that the Jaguars' breakout receiver was going to be Dede Westbook and not D.J. Chark. Westbrook has struggled to find his groove thus far, but in the last two games with Foles back as a starter, he has 12 receptions on 15 targets. The Bucs' defense will be spending a lot of time covering Chark, which should leave Westbrook open to make some big plays.

Sit:

Courtland Sutton, Broncos—Brandon Allen’s play took a huge downward spiral last week (he literally could not throw a tight spiral into the wind at Buffalo) which hurt the entire Broncos receiving corps. To make matters worse, this week the Broncos play the Chargers and Pro Bowl CB Casey Hayward will be shadowing Sutton all over the field. I am a huge Sutton fan, but I think that Hayward will neutralize him and keep him under 70 yards receiving on the day.

Tight End:

Start:

Gerald Everett, Rams—Sometimes fantasy football is a hard game, and sometimes it’s an easy one. This seems like an easy play as the Cardinals are the worst-rated team in the NFL against opposing tight ends. Everett has been quiet for the past two weeks (only three receptions for 43 yards), but recency bias should work in our favor as most fantasy owners will sit him when they should be starting him.

**NOTE** Everett is dealing with a knee injury that he suffered in Monday night’s game. This article assumes he will be active, healthy and playing. If he is out for any reason, Tyler Higbee will start in his place and has an excellent chance to score a TD.

Nick O’Leary, Jaguars—I must admit that I did not wake up this morning thinking that Nick O’Leary was the key to my Week 13 fantasy success, but when I delved deeper into my analysis two major things stuck out. 1) The Bucs are the second-worst team in the NFL against opposing tight ends, so practically everyone who plays against them is in play, and 2) O’Leary had a 68% of the snap share last week with four receptions on four targets. With almost every other Jaguars TE being hurt right now, O’Leary should be able to make a few plays in this contest.

Sit:

Jason Witten, Cowboys—The Bills' pass defense has been stifling on the season (they are second-best against opposing WRs and TEs) and the Cowboys need to make sure that they get both Zeke Elliott and Amari Cooper more involved in the offensive scheme if they want to win. This will leave Witten with only a few possible targets (I am thinking a three for 30 day at best), which is much better left on your bench than in your lineup.

More Advice From SI Fantasy

—Our early rankings give the Top 10 at every position for Week 13

—Jaime Eisner’s waiver wire pickups: Ryan Tannehill, Rashaad Penny and more

—Frankie Taddeo’s droppables, with some big-name players you shouldn’t feel bad about cutting

—Bill Enright’s injury report takes a look at who is out how long

—Frankie Taddeo’s Week 12 Superlatives dish out awards for last week