Definitely a mixed bag, leaning towards a full blown swing and miss last week. COVID, injuries and ineffectiveness reared its collective ugly head. I won’t belabor last week’s results but I do believe a quick look back at my Week 12 Start/Sit recommendations will illustrate how the correct process does not always yield positive results.
What I got RIGHT in Week 12 Start/Sit
- Wayne Gallman NYG – RB9 Overall! I have a suspicion that Gallman will be on a lot of fantasy playoff rosters (18.1 pts.)
- Darrell Henderson LAR – He’s so much better than this… (1.9 pts.)
- Malcolm Brown LAR – Que up the Spider-Man pointing at Spider-Man meme (1.9 pts.)
- DeVante Parker MIA – Top 12 finish last week. His ceiling is that of a low end WR1 as long as Fitz is under-center (19.9 pts.)
- Travis Fulgham PHI – It was nice while it lasted. Probably should be on the Waiver Wire in Redraft Leagues (3.6 pts.)
- Rob Gronkowski TB – TE4 Overall! Tom Brady left huge chunks of meat on the bone (16.6 pts.)
What I got Wrong in Week 12 Start/Sit
- Derek Carr LVR – QB35… one of several instances in which the process was correct but the results were awful. Believe it or not I’m going back to the well in Week 13 (1.6 pts.)
- Daniel Jones NYG – He wasn’t exactly lighting the world on fire but the injury certainly didn’t help (10.42 pts.)
- Ryan Tannehill TEN – The Titans dropped 45 on Indy last week despite Tannehill ONLY completing 13 passes… Still he managed to finish Top 10 among QBs. His rushing TD was the difference (19.14 pts.)
- Brian Hill ATL – Ito Smith huh…? (5.5 pts.)
- Cam Akers LAR – 9/84/1… one of those (only) nine carries went for 61 yards. I stand by my decision to Sit em’ (14.4 pts.)
- Nelson Agholor LAR – Should have been a layup but Derek Carr was awful (10.4 pts.)
It’s now or never folks! Let’s get into Week 13 Start/Sit recommendations.
Quarterback Start/Sit Recommendations
START Derek Carr @ New York Jets
I told you I was going back to the Derek Carr well. That’s three weeks in a row (1-1 thus far). Week 12 was brutal but I am inclinced to trust the process. Carr and the Las Vegas Raiders get yet another favorable matchup in Week 13. Derek Carr has proven inconsistent as evidenced by his stinker last week. However, my primary concern is wind gusts potentially reaching 20 mph in East Rutherford, NJ. Still, I believe Carr and the Raiders passing offense will be much sharper in Week 13. Last week’s opponent, the Atlanta Falcons have played much better as of late. Meanwhile, the Raiders’ Week 13 foe, the New York Jets, are winless and have demonstrated virtually no improvement.
I anticipate the Raiders offensive line bouncing back which is the primary catalyst to Las Vegas’ offensive success. A decent rushing attack should increase the effectiveness of the play-action game and slow down the pass rush. Furthermore, the New York Jets allow the 4th most fantasy points per game (22.0) to the quarterback position. Don’t fail me now Derek Carr… Start em.
START Jared Goff @ Arizona Cardinals
Through the 1st seven games of the season, Jared Goff had a 12:4 TD/INT ratio. In his last 4 games Goff has managed a woeful 4:6 TD/INT ratio. We’ve seen this act before. Goff is razor sharp during the months of September and October only to come crashing back to Earth in November and December. Conventional wisdom suggests you stay away. However, I am taking a chance on him this week given the success he’s enjoyed against the Arizona Cardinals throughout his young career.
In seven matchups with Arizona, Jared Goff has a 6-1 record and a healthy 10:3 TD/INT ratio. The Cardinals boast a “middle of the pack” pass defense that has struggled against the Rams play-action/misdirection laden offense. As CPGM Drew often says, “Confidence is a helluva drug.” And Goff has plenty of reason to be confident facing off against the Cardinals who have dropped their last two games following a Hail Mary win some three weeks ago.
While Goff is culpable for his poor play of late, Sean McVay certainly shares some of the blame as well. In fact, Bucky Brooks of NFL.com wrote an interesting column on McVay’s culpability in relation to Goff’s recent struggles. I may not agree with everything Brooks details; but I do believe it incumbent upon McVay to do some play-calling, self-scouting to help his QB right the ship. Sorry folks, this Start em recommendation is steeped much more in reality than (fantasy) analytics, so beware.
SIT Carson Wentz @ Green Bay Packers
I certainly understand, you may not have a choice in the matter; but if you can help it steer clear of Carson Wentz in Week 13. The Green Bay Packers have been a bit of a disappointment this season defensively. However, they should be able to take advantage of the porous offensive line the Philadelphia Eagles have to offer. Wentz’s decison-making has been brutal for the balance of the season and I don’t see a “fix” in sight. The perimeter weapons are struggling to create separation; the play-calling has been underwhelming, and the trigger man no longer trusts what he sees. Could the running game help the passing game get on track? Certainly. The Packers’ run defense is atrocious and a quality running game can slow down a pass rush and open passing lanes. But… Miss me with that! I’m still out this week.
START Jonathan Taylor/Nyheim Hines @ Houston Texans
In Week 11, Jonathan Taylor had a career high 22 carries for 90 yards. Albeit unspectacular the commitment to Taylor was encouraging. Unfortunately, Taylor missed Week 12 due to COVID-19. However, Taylor will be back in the Colts lineup in Week 13 and he gets a quality matchup against the Texans. Houston allows the 2nd most fantasy points per game (26.2) to the running back position; and has allowed a running back to score in six straight games. I like Taylor’s odds this week to find the endzone and flirt with 90-100 total yards.
I like Taylor’s teammate Nyheim Hines as well even with the aforementioned returning to the lineup. Hines has been pretty effective playing the “Darren Sproles” role in the Philip Rivers-led offense this season though opportunity has been sporadic at times. Last week the Colts fell behind big and Hines got some additional run, includinng 10 targets. I’m not expecting double-digit targets this week but the Texans do struggle to defend RBs out of the backfield and Hines is the preferred passing down back. Rivers has shows a propensity to feature his running backs in the passing game so that bodes well in Hines’ favor. What solidifies Hines as a FLEX play for me this week is Indy’s willigness to give him redzone touches despite his smaller stature. Start em both.
START Melvin Gordon @ Kansas City Chiefs
Running the football is one of the few things the Broncos do well. Gordon’s running mate Phillip Lindsay could be limited and I am anticipating an upitck in Gordon’s usage in Week 13. Drew Lock returning to the lineup should help Gordon’s cause and the Kansas City Chiefs aren’t exactly stout against the run. If Denver can keep the score close enough to ensure the running game remains viable, Gordon should return RB2 value this week.
SIT Todd Gurley/Brian Hill/Ito Smith vs. New Orleans Saints
Todd Gurley isn’t a lock to play this week and the advent of Ito Smith throws cold water on Brian Hill. To make matters worse, the Falcons face the Saints’ elite run defense for the 2nd time in three weeks. I told you to sit Gurley the 1st time around and I beseech you avoid all of the Falcons’ ball-carriers in Week 13. Sit em.
Wide Receivers Start/Sit Recommendations
START Jarvis Landry @ Tennesee Titans
Jarivs Landry was WR3 Overall last week and I expect him to keep it going in Week 13. I’m anticipating points, a lot of them in this contest. While the Browns will lean on Nick Chubb/Kareem Hunt in the running game there will be plenty of opportunities for Landry to make his presence felt off of play-action. The Tennsee Titans’ pass defense has improved a bit since acquiring Desmond King but not so much so that I won’t fire up Jarvis Landry as a legitimate WR2 candidate. Start em.
START DeVante Parker vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Why fix something that isn’t broken? Last week I said, “It’s about time for DeVante Parker to go on a late season tear.” I believe Parker can improve upon his WR11 Overall finish last week if Ryan Fitzpatrick is at the controls given the matchup. The chemistry Parker and Fitzpatrick share is very real and Fitz is simply more advanced than Tua at this point in terms of anticipatory throws. For those reaasons, Parker vaults from a borderline WR3 to a WR2 most weeks. However, there’s a chance Tua returns to the starting lineup after having suffered a thumb injury. In the event the rookie gets the call I still think Parker flirts with WR2-ish numbers considering Cincinnati’s inability to rush the passer.
SIT Christian Kirk vs. Los Angeles Rams
Someone apparently cut the power in Arizona. After a midseason heater, Christian Kirk has a meager 18/11/96/0 line over his last three games. Kyler Murray has been somewhat underwhelming since his late game heroics against Buffalo a few weeks ago. Furthermore, Murray isn’t 100% healthy and Kliff Kingsbury needs to take a look in the mirror as a play-caller. To make matters worse, Arizona faces off against the Los Angeles Rams. The Rams allow the fewest fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers in the NFL. With Larry Fitzgerald and Andy Isabella moving in on Kirk’s target share I am seeking different options. Sit em.
START Jordan Akins vs. Indianapolis Colts
We’re digging deep here with my tight end Start/Sit recommendation. The Texans have a dearth of weapons with Will Fuller (suspended), Randall Cobb (IR) and Kenny Stills (recently released) no longer available. I’ve always liked the sparingly used Akins and his usage is set to grow out of sheer necessity. The Colts defend the tight end position well, but I am putting my faith in Deshaun Watson, who is always game.
Best of luck this weekend. Remember always start your STUDS and I take ZERO responsibility if these Start/Sit recommendations are wrong. Also, if my calls are right make certain you tell a friend. Start/Sit.