Posted: Wednesday, November 29, 2017
This is the Fantasy Football Nerd's look at the best and worst matchups for Week 13 of the 2017 NFL season. Decisions are based upon the FFN rankings and matchup analysis. Given the known conditions, these matchups are the ones to watch and/or avoid.
Please Note: This list does not generally include the elite players that you are going to start regardless of matchup. You don't need us to tell you to start Drew Brees, Rob Gronkowski, or Antonio Brown. Instead, we take a look at other players on your team that we believe either have great matchups or should be avoided for multiple reasons. Factors like opposing defense, performance trending, and peer comparisons may influence our decisions.
Start 'em Philip Rivers (LAC, QB)
After a dominating performance on Thanksgiving (434 yards and 3 TDs), fantasy owners would be best served to keep Philip Rivers penciled into their lineups. He's ranked 4th this week facing a Cleveland defense that have allowed the eighth-most fantasy points to signal-callers on the season, making Rivers a nice start at home this Sunday.
Start 'em Tyrod Taylor (BUF, QB)
Ranked 8th this week is a rejuvenated Tyrod Taylor lining up against a Patriots defense that has surrendered the 2nd-most yards through the air and the 3rd-most total yards. New England gives up the 4th-most fantasy points to quarterbacks on the season. If you have Taylor, hold onto him. The rest of the season looks very favorable including a rematch with the Pats in Week 16. He is one of our highlighted players in our DFS app
Start 'em Marshawn Lynch (OAK, RB)
Hopefully you haven't dropped Marshawn Lynch yet, because he's ranked 20th this week in a plus matchup at home against the struggling New York Giants. Big Blue gives up the second most yards on the ground (132) to opposing backs, and in all but three games have given up double digit fantasy production to the opposing team's starter. With no Crabtree (or likely Cooper), expect the Raiders to continue feeding the ball to Beast Mode.
Start 'em Jamaal Williams (GB, RB)
There were two things that were supposed to happen last week. Jamaal Wiliams was supposed to get a heavy workload, and despite that workload, he was supposed to be stuffed against a stout Pittsburgh run defense. He got his workload (21 carries), and while the Steelers kept him to 3.1 yards per carry, he also tallied 4 catches for 69 yards. Even better, he found the endzone both on the ground and through the air. As the Packers' new bell-cow, he's facing a Bucs defense that has given up 11 total touchdowns to running backs. Williams is ranked inside our Top 10 and should have no trouble finishing that way.
Start 'em Devin Funchess (CAR, WR)
Ranked 17th this week is Devin Funchess who has absolutely benefited from Kelvin Benjamin's trade. He's dealing with a toe issue but don't let that stop you from starting him against a Saints secondary that just got torched by Cooper Kupp and Sammy Watkins. With the Pathers in control of the NFC's top Wild Card spot, Funchess has every intention of suiting up and playing.
Start 'em Davante Adams (GB, WR)
The only wide receiver that we want to start in fantasy with Brett Hundley under center is Davante Adams - especially against a Bucs defense that gave up 65 fantasy points to Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu last week and 50 fantasy points the week before to Jarvis Landry and Kenny Stills. In fact, no team gives up more yards through the air (284.6) than Tampa Bay this year.
Start 'em Jared Cook (OAK, TE)
There's not going to be a lot of receiving talent on the Raiders this week making Cook a prime target. The Giants have given up more touchdowns and fantasy points to the TE position than any other team. They have also surrendered the 3rd-most yards per game. He's ranked 6th among TE's this week and is another player that we've highlighted in our DFS app
with a solid Bang for your Buck score.
Start 'em Delanie Walker (TEN, TE)
Delanie Walker comes into this week's rankings sitting firmly in our Top 5 facing a Houston defense that has given up the fifth-most fantasy points to the position. Walker is averaging 11.3 points per game (ppr) and should continue building upon what has arguably been a very productive season.
Start 'em Los Angeles Chargers (LAC, DEF)
The Chargers have the Power of Three. They're the 3rd-best fantasy defense on the year. They're facing a Cleveland team that have given up the 3rd-most fantasy points this season, and they're ranked 3rd among all defenses on FFN this week. Start'em with confidence.
Start 'em Chris Boswell (PIT, K)
Ranked 5th among kickers this week is Chris Boswell. He may not have been the most consistent kicker this season, but a matchup with Cincy is a nice one. When he faced them in Week 7, he put up a whopping 17 fantasy points. Zane Gonzalez put up 10 points against them last week, and they've given up at least ten points in half of their games this season.
Sit 'em Matthew Stafford (DET, QB)
After rolling his ankle last week, Matthew Stafford is back at practice as a full participant. He'll have a brutal matchup this week against the Ravens who have given up the 2nd-fewest fantasy points to QB's on the season. Over the last eight games, Baltimore has surrendered just 8 fantasy points per game to opposing signal callers.
Sit 'em Jameis Winston (TB, QB)
Even against the Packers, who give up the 8th-most yards through the air and 12th-most fantasy points, it's tough to trust Jameis Winston right now. He's coming off a three-game absence that follows a season in which he's thrown just 10 touchdowns and six picks. He's ranked 17th this week making him startable only in superflex leagues.
Sit 'em Jay Ajayi (PHI, RB)
When looking at starting running backs in this week's rankings, we have to look all the way down to #57 to find Jay Ajayi. Technically he's second on the depth chart, but he was traded to be the starter and we drafted him as a starter. Since coming to Philly, he hasn't carried the ball more than eight times or caught more than one ball in a single game. The workload isn't there, and a matchup with the 9th-ranked Seattle run defense makes Ajayi a benchable player.
Sit 'em Alfred Morris (DAL, RB)
Alf Morris largely failed to live up to expectations last week in the continued absence of Zeke Elliott. Admittedly the run game wasn't a big focus for the Cowboys who played from behind, but both Morris and Rod Smith toted the ball just nine times. Morris doesn't appear to be part of the passing game, and given his ranking this week of 37th, he's no more than a low-end RB3/flex.
Sit 'em Jordy Nelson (GB, WR)
Since losing Aaron Rodgers, Jordy Nelson has not topped more than four catches or 35 yards in a single game with Brett Hundley. He has struggled to be a part of this offense failing to see the endzone since Week 5. There is just no rapport between Hundley and Nelson making him a tough start even in a sweet matchup with a Bucs secondary that has given up more fantasy points to wide receivers than anyone else. Nelson is ranked 38th making him a WR4/flex.
Sit 'em T.Y. Hilton (IND, WR)
Ranked 40th this week is T.Y. Hilton facing a Jacksonville secondary that has kept Larry Fitzgerald, Keenan Allen, A.J. Green, and Sammy Watkins to single digit fantasy points. When Hilton faced this defense in Week 7, he put up 2.7 standard points and 4.7 in PPR. The Jags haven't surrendered a touchdown to a receiver all season and there's little reason to think that Hilton will change that.
Sit 'em Austin Hooper (ATL, TE)
Only three tight ends have managed to produce double-digit fantasy points against the Vikings this year. Minnesota has surrendered the fifth-fewest points to the position. It's tough to trust Austin Hooper as a starting TE with many fantasy playoffs hanging in the balance especially with a difficult matchup on tap.
Sit 'em Tyler Kroft (CIN, TE)
After finding the endzone for the last two weeks straight, it's time to put Kroft on the bench. The Steelers have allowed just two tight ends to reach double-digit fantasy production (ppr). They've given up the fourth-fewest fantasy points to tight ends.
Sit 'em Seattle Seahawks (SEA, DEF)
Combine injuries to some of their best defensive players with a matchup against the Eagles and their high-powered offense and you get a matchup that should be avoided in fantasy.
Sit 'em Blair Walsh (SEA, K)
Philadelphia has given up the 9th-fewest fantasy points to kickers this season, and Blair Walsh is coming off a game where he missed three kicks in what ended up being a three-point loss. Ranked 20th this week, Walsh shouldn't be on fantasy rosters.