2018 Fantasy Football: Week 13 Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em - Roto Street Journal
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2018 Fantasy Football: Week 13 Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em

Week 13 is do or die for many of us. In most leagues this marks the last week of the fantasy regular season, while in others it’s the beginning of the playoffs. Regardless of scheduling, a lot of fantasy owners find themselves in a must-win situation. Luckily, if you’re reading this it means you have Roto Street Journal to help get you that W.

Last week’s Start/Sits were a particularly accurate batch of predictions. I suggested starting Baker Mayfield, Nick Chubb, Matt Breida, Kenny Golladay and David Njoku amongst others. But no one is perfect. I mistakenly told you to bench a few guys who had productive outings such as Philip Rivers, Doug Martin and Corey Davis. Oops! All I can do is learn from my miscues and try to do better this week.

I make these suggestions based on each player’s weekly matchups, surrounding talent and in-game usage. While predicting the future is anything but easy, using these tools can help us make better choices when determining which players we start or sit from week to week.

Let me remind you that these lists consist of players who aren’t obvious. I shouldn’t have to tell you to start super stars like Drew Brees, Alvin Kamara, Michael Thomas, Zeke Elliot and Julio Jones. This article revolves around players who haven’t yet reached “stud” status, and thus require weekly consideration for your lineup.

For more help with your lineup check out The Wolf’s weekly rankings.

Start

Quarterback

Dak Prescott:

After struggling to begin the year, Prescott has now surpassed 20 fantasy points in four of his last six games. Since their week eight bye, Prescott has just two turnovers compared to eight touchdowns, three of which came on the ground. This week he’ll be asked to keep pace with the league’s top scoring offense and should find success doing so against a Saints defense that has allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks.

Results: 248 Pass Yards, 1 Pass TD, 1 FUM, 22 Rush Yards

Lamar Jackson:

With each passing week Jackson become more acclimated to running Baltimore’s offense. While his two interceptions last Sunday illustrate the learning curve of a rookie quarterback, he set career-highs in completions (14) and passing yards (174) while throwing for a touchdown and adding another 74 yards and a score on the ground. The speedster is 2-0 as a starter and will be hard to catch indoors on Atlanta’s turf. The Falcons have surrendered the second-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks.

Running Back

Aaron Jones:

Jones continued to impress last week, racking up 93 yards on 20 touches and finding the endzone for the fifth time in his last three games. After two tough road matchups with the Seahawks and Vikings, Jones finds himself back in Green Bay to play a Cardinals defense that has allowed the fourth-most fantasy points (PPR) to opposing backfields. No team has given up more rushing touchdowns (16) than Arizona.

Phillip Lindsay:

Lindsay’s usage has remained constant despite the return of Rocye Freeman. The undrafted rookie is coming off his second career 100-yard rushing performance. Lindsay should be licking his chops as he stares down a Bengals defense that has surrendered the second-most rushing yards per game (147.5) and fantasy points (PPR) to opposing running backs.

Spencer Ware:

In a shocking move the Chiefs have cut Kareem Hunt, leaving Ware as their feature ‘back. Ware now inherits a lead role on the highest scoring offense (36.7 PPG) in the league. While not quite on the level as Hunt, Ware is a talented rusher in his own right. The veteran has averaged 4.7 yards per carry on 311 career rushes and can catch the ball out of the backfield as well. This week he faces a Raiders defense that has allowed the most rushing yards per game (151.4).

Wide Receiver

Amari Cooper:

Cooper went bananas last week, catching eight of his nine targets for 180 yards and two scores. Though he’s unlikely to top that lofty stat-line, Cooper is in position to be productive again tonight against a Saints defense that has allowed the most fantasy points (PPR) to opposing receivers. Dallas may find themselves in a pass-heavy game-script should New Orleans’ top scoring offense (37.2 PPG) build an early lead.

Results: 8 REC, 75 REC Yards, 1 FUM

Kenny Golladay:

No receiver has more targets than Golladay over the last three weeks (34). With Golden Tate in Philadelphia and Marvin Jones Jr. on IR, Golladay has Matthew Stafford’s full attention. He should see double digits targets again this week as Detroit tries to keep up with the high-scoring Rams. LAR has given up the second-most touchdown passes in the NFL (25) and the 10th-most fantasy points (PPR) to opposing wide receivers.

DJ Moore:

Cam Newton is growing fond of Moore. The rookie has set new career-highs in targets each of the past two weeks. During that time, he reeled in 15 of his 17 targets for 248 yards and a score. Even with Devin Funchess returning, Moore has a golden opportunity to exploit a Buccaneers defense that has allowed the fourth-most fantasy points (PPR) to opposing receivers. Tampa Bay has surrendered more passing touchdowns than any other team (26).

Tight End

Cameron Brate:

Jameis Winston loves him some tight ends. With O.J. Howard on IR, Brate played a season-high 70% of the offensive snaps last week and once again found the endzone. Brate will get plenty of redzone looks funneled his way again this week against a Panthers defense that has allowed the most fantasy points (PPR) to opposing tight ends.

Greg Olsen:

Olsen has logged a touchdown in four of his last six games. While his four catches for 20 yards over the past two weeks is concerning, he has a chance to reestablish himself this week against a Buccaneers defense that has given up the most passing touchdowns (26) and the fifth-most fantasy points (PPR) to opposing tight ends. Olsen had his best game of the season (6-76-1) against Tampa Bay in week nine.

Defense

Seattle Seahawks:

A decimated 49ers offense will struggle to produce in Seattle this weekend. The team was already down its starting quarterback and running back, but now will be without top receivers Marquise Goodwin and Pierre Garcon for a second straight week. San Francisco managed just nine points last week against a pathetic Buccaneers defense.

Green Bay Packers:

For all the talk of Aaron Rodgers having no help, the Packers’ defense hasn’t been half bad. They’ve held opponents to 18.8 points per game at Lambeau Field this season and have accumulated the fourth-most sacks (36). This week Green Bay hosts the Cardinals, who average the fewest points per game (14.1) and have committed the third-most turnovers (22).

Sit ‘Em

Quarterback

Matt Ryan:

Atlanta’s offense has struggled lately. The team has been held under 20 points for three straight weeks. Ryan has a 5-4 touchdown to turnover ratio during that time. This week the Ravens bring to town a defense that has allowed the fewest points in the league (18 PPG). Baltimore has given up the eighth-fewest fantasy points to opposing querterbacks.

Baker Mayfield:

Mayfield has thrown seven touchdowns over his last two games, taking advantage of the Bengals’ and Falcons’ leaky secondaries. A trip to Houston will present the rookie with one of his biggest challenges thus far. The Texans have allowed the seventh-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks and have racked up the sixth-most sacks (34).

Running Back

Marlon Mack:

Though trending in the right direction, Mack hasn’t officially been cleared to play Sunday in Jacksonville. If he does take the field it will be against a defense that has allowed the fewest fantasy points (PPR) to opposing running backs. Mack managed just 38 yards on 14 touches versus the Jaguars in week 10.

Tevin Coleman:

Coleman has faded as of late, averaging just 57 yards per game over the last three weeks. This Sunday he faces a Ravens defense that has given up the second-fewest fantasy points (PPR) to opposing running backs. Baltimore has surrendered the fewest points per game (18) and the sixth-fewest yards per rush (3.9) this season.

Peyton Barber:

Back to game double digit fantasy performance might make one think it’s a good idea to start Barber this week. I’m here to tell you otherwise. Carolina’s run defense is much better than Tampa Bay’s previous two opponents. The Panthers have allowed the eighth-fewest fantasy points (PPR) to opposing backfields and have held rushers to the ninth-fewest yards per carry (4.1).

Wide Receiver

Jarvis Landry:

The promotion of Freddie Kitchens to offensive coordinator has been fantastic for Cleveland’s offense as a whole, but terrible for Landry’s individual statistics. The veteran has seen his target average drop from 11.75 per game through the first eight weeks, to 5.6 in the three games since Kitchens took over. Landry belongs on your bench this week as the Browns travel to Houston to face a Texans defense that has allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy points (PPR) to opposing receivers

Allen Robinson:

With Chase Daniels under center, Robinson caught two of his four targets last week for 37 yards. Daniels has been named the starter again this Sunday as Mitch Trubisky continues to recover from a shoulder injury. On the road against a Giants defense that has surrendered the eighth-fewest fantasy points (PPR) to opposing receivers, Robinson has too many factors working against him to warrant a start.

Calvin Ridley:

Ridley has been the Kenyan Drake of wide receivers this season. His Jekyll & Hyde-like production forces fantasy owners to roll the dice each time they put him in their lineup. The odds are against Ridley this week as he faces a Ravens defense that has allowed the fewest points per game (18) and the third-fewest fantasy points (PPR) to opposing wide receivers.

Tight End

Jimmy Graham:

Graham was on the field for a season-low 42% of the offensive snaps last week as he attempted to play through a broken thumb. He was able to catch two of his four targets for 34 yards but is clearly hampered by the injury. Should he fight through the pain again this week, he’ll be doing so against a Cardinals defense that has allowed just one touchdown to a tight end over their last nine games.

Trey Burton:

The element of upside seems to have disappeared from Burton’s game with Mitch Trubisky out of the lineup. Burton has averaged just 24.6 yards per contest over his last five games and hasn’t reached the endzone since week nine. The only two touchdowns the Giant have surrendered to a tight end all season have both gone to super star Zach Ertz.

Defense

Dallas Cowboys:

Dallas’ defense is one of the best in football and has held every opponent under 30 points this season. That’s likely to change tonight against a Saints offense that leads the league is scoring (37.2 PPG). New Orleans is also fifth in yards per game (416.6), has allowed the fewest sacks (11) and committed the fewest turnovers (9).

Results: 10 Points Allowed, 1 INT, 2 Sacks

Jacksonville Jaguars:

This defense hasn’t been the same in 2018. While Jacksonville has held opponents to the eighth-fewest points per game (22.1), they rank in the bottom 10 in both sacks (21) and turnovers forced (11). Alpha corner Jalen Ramsey is listed as questionable after missing practice all week. Meanwhile, the Colts average the fourth-most points per game (29.5), the eight-most yards per game (388.2) and have allowed the fewest sacks (11).

 

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