The best way to celebrate Thanksgiving is by being grateful for making the fantasy football playoffs. My Start-Sit predictions for Week 13 aims to push your fantasy team through to the postseason as you make the best lineup decisions possible. Before we break down fantasy football Week 13, let’s take a look at the best fantasy players so far this season.
Christian McCaffrey leads all players with 336 fantasy points, more than 30 points higher than the next person on the list (PPR scoring), per ESPN. Lamar Jackson is not only doing wonders for the Ravens, but he is likely to be the highest owned player on fantasy championship teams this season. Jackson is the only quarterback to top the 300 mark and has scored 56 more points than Russell Wilson who is the No. 2 fantasy QB in 2019.
Michael Thomas is on pace to break the single-season reception record and it is no surprise that he has been the best fantasy wide receiver this year. The Bucs duo of Chris Godwin and Mike Evans are next on the list rounding out the top three fantasy receivers this season.
After having a bit of a slow start, Travis Kelce and Zach Ertz are the top two fantasy tight ends, but the next three players may surprise you. Austin Hooper, Mark Andrews and Darren Waller round out the top five and are all players that were mostly selected in the later rounds of fantasy drafts.
While it is great to look back at the season, what matters most now is what players will produce heading into the fantasy playoffs which can be an altogether different question. Feel free to reach out on Twitter @JonDAdams with any fantasy football questions you may have as you make your playoff push.
Here are my fantasy football predictions for Week 13.
Start Jaguars QB Nick Foles vs. Buccaneers & Sit Chargers QB Philip Rivers vs. Broncos
Nick Foles has looked good since returning from a shoulder injury, but the Jaguars quarterback failed to throw a touchdown against the Titans in Week 12 which frustrated fantasy owners. Foles still managed to complete more than 66 percent of his passes and this week faces a Bucs defense that is allowing the most passing yards in the NFL. The Jaguars have the weapons for this game to be a shootout, and Foles is poised for his best fantasy performance of the season.
Philip Rivers may eventually bounce out of his funk, but the Chargers quarterback cannot be trusted with fantasy playoff spots on the line. Rivers has struggled down the stretch and things could get even worse in Week 13 as the Chargers face a top-five ranked passing defense in Denver. There will be a lot of questions about Rivers heading into the 2020 season unless he is able to bounce back during the Chargers’ next few games.
QB Starts Week 13: There are a number of quarterbacks that should bounce back in Week 13 after having disappointing outings including Carson Wentz and Aaron Rodgers. Wentz’s outlook depends on his health, but the Eagles quarterback gets a plus-matchup against the Dolphins if he is able to play. Rodgers should put up big numbers against a Giants defense that is ready for the season to be over.
Sam Darnold will likely continue his hot streak with another great matchup against the Bengals. Baker Mayfield is unlikely to match his Week 12 performance against the Dolphins, but I like his outlook in a rematch against a Steelers team that is struggling. Kyle Allen also gets a nice matchup against the Redskins if you are in a bind at quarterback.
QB Sits Week 13: Despite his strong recent performances, Kirk Cousins in a tough Seattle environment on Monday Night Football is not someone I want in my lineup. Jared Goff should continue to be faded until he proves otherwise.
Derek Carr in the Kansas City cold also makes him a sit for me this week. If you have Deshaun Watson, you are likely starting him against the Patriots just out of necessity, but you have to hope for some rushing yards to make up for a likely diminished passing game against New England.
Start Panthers WR D.J. Moore vs. Redskins & Sit Ravens WR Marquise Brown vs. 49ers
D.J. Moore has been crushing it down the stretch as he has solidified his status as the Panthers’ WR1. Moore has received at least eight targets in seven straight games and has at least five receptions in those contests. Moore is coming off six catches for 126 yards and two touchdowns against the Saints. Look for Moore to continue his hot streak against a middle-of-the-pack Redskins defense.
Marquise Brown is a super-talented rookie receiver but has been boom-or-bust from a fantasy perspective. Brown ended up having a monster Week 12 thanks to two touchdowns, but he could be in for a down week against a strong 49ers secondary. With so much at stake in Week 13, I do not want to risk a zero in my lineup.
WR Starts Week 13: D.J. Chark should go back to being a WR2 this week against a poor Bucs secondary. Allen Robinson is likely to have himself a nice Turkey Day against a Lions’ defense allowing the third-most passing yards in the NFL. Stefon Diggs is poised for another solid outing against a Seahawks secondary prone to giving up yards. Sammy Watkins also gets a plus-matchup against the Raiders secondary.
WR Sits Week 13: It is hard to start any Texans receiver this week not named DeAndre Hopkins. Will Fuller should go back to your bench with the Patriots coming to town. Mike Williams is not getting the volume needed to be a fantasy starter and has a bad matchup against the Broncos secondary.
With the emergence of Randall Cobb, Michael Gallup has been hard to start with confidence. The Cowboys also face a Bills defense that has been shutting down their opponent’s passing game.
Start Jets RB Le’Veon Bell vs. Bengals & Sit 49ers Running Backs vs. Ravens
It has been a disappointing season for Le’Veon Bell based on where he was drafted, but the only saving grace for the Jets running back has been his receptions. Bell should have one of his better games of the season against a Bengals defense allowing 166 rushing yards per game. The Bengals are allowing the most rushing yards in the NFL by a margin of close to 20 yards more than the next team on the list.
The 49ers are now using as many as four running backs each game which can be effective from a football perspective. When it comes to fantasy, it has made Tevin Coleman and Matt Breida (when healthy) major disappointments in your lineup. The Niners face a Ravens defense that ranks third against the run, so it is better just to avoid all the 49ers’ backs for Week 13.
RB Starts Week 13: Josh Jacobs is an automatic start at this point, but the Raiders running back could end up being the top player at the position as he battles a poor Kansas City defense. Keep an eye on the injury report in Philadelphia, Jordan Howard would be a strong start against the Dolphins. If Howard is sidelined, that makes Miles Sanders an RB2 for this week. Ronald Jones is a great start against a Jaguars defense allowing the fourth-most rushing yards in the NFL.
RB Sits Week 13: Brian Hill cannot be trusted even if he ends up playing against a good Saints defense. If Devonta Freeman ends up active, he can still be a low-end RB2 against New Orleans thanks to his involvement in the passing game. Bo Scarborough faces a top-ten Bears defense that is a less-than-ideal matchup. It is understandable if you need to start the Lions running back given the state of the running back position. However, you should not expect a big outing and are likely depending on a touchdown for him to save his fantasy week.