Week 13 Start'em Sit'em

Posted: Wednesday, November 28, 2018


This is the Fantasy Football Nerd's look at the best and worst matchups for Week 13 of the 2018 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 Aaron Rodgers, 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 Jameis Winston (TB, QB)
Ranked 4th this week is Jameis Winston facing a Carolina secondary that has given up a promising 24 fantasy points to QB's the last four weeks. He put up 312 yards and 2 scores last week against the Niners, and Winston will remain a high-upside Q1 against a burnable Carolina defense on Sunday.
Start 'em Jared Goff (LAR, QB)
Goff has a beautiful matchup against the Lions who gave up 24 points to Cam Newton and 34 points to Mitch Trubisky since Week 10. There's nothing scary at all about the matchup, and as long as Gurley doesn't do it all, Goff should live up to his Top 5 ranking this week.
Start 'em Lamar Jackson (BAL, QB)
If you're in need of a QB, look no further than Lamar Jackson who will get his first road start of the year against the Falcons. A running, passing Jackson indoors on Atlanta turf is reminiscent of Michael Vick. He's ranked 14th this week putting him on the QB 1 bubble.
Start 'em Austin Ekeler (LAC, RB)
With Melvin Gordon out this week (and potentially for a few weeks), Austin Ekeler will be a worthy RB2 play for the final week of the fantasy regular season. The Steelers have struggled as of late with running backs and we expect Ekeler to be a popular play in both season and DFS play this week.
Start 'em Aaron Jones (GB, RB)
Jones comes into Week 13 ranked 8th facing a Cardinals defense that last week gave up 47 fantasy points between Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler in PPR. Jones will look to build upon another dominant performance last week with 22 opportunities and 20 touches.
Start 'em LeSean McCoy (BUF, RB)
It's difficult to trust Shady McCoy this season, and Josh Allen doesn't make it any easier, but the matchup is there. The Dolphins give up the 4th-most yards on the ground and have by and large given opposing running backs double digit fantasy production. He makes for a solid flex option this week.
Start 'em Kenny Golladay (DET, WR)
Someone has to catch passes for Detroit, right? With no Golden Tate and no Marvin Jones, Golladay has been hanging in there as the go-to guy and a marked man catching 5 of 8 targets last week. The Rams often end up in shootouts, and they give up an insane 51.4 FPG to WRs the last 4 weeks.
Start 'em Corey Davis (TEN, WR)
Corey Davis is ranked 20th this week (PPR) facing the Jets. He balled out last week catching all 4 targets and adding a 39-yard run, and has a decent match up here against a solid but beatable secondary that gives up 34.9 FPG to WRs the last 4 weeks.
Start 'em D.J. Moore (CAR, WR)
We'll see about Devin Funchess, but D.J. Moore has arrived and caught 8 of 9 targets last week. He's ranked 21st this week facing a Bucs secondary that has been fairly stingy these days by the numbers, but we know they're still beatable.
Start 'em Eric Ebron (IND, TE)
Promising 7 targets and 70% of snaps last week with Doyle getting hurt, and now with no Doyle he goes up against the Jags he crushed for 3 TDs a couple weeks ago and who give up 21.7 FPG to TEs the last 4 weeks.
Start 'em Jared Cook (OAK, TE)
Did have a decent 5 targets last week with a TD as he's the only guy you can trust on the Raiders, and they do give up a promising 17.2 FPG to TEs the last 4 weeks.
Start 'em Green Bay Packers (GB, DEF)
Streaming defenses? Look no further than the Packers who certainly have a chance against the shaky Rosen who throws it to the other team more than once per game on average, and they give up 6 FPG to DSTs the last 4 weeks.
Start 'em Justin Tucker (BAL, K)
Tucker has 5 field goals in his last 2 games, so he is back to producing.
Sit 'em Matthew Stafford (DET, QB)
You'll have to scroll this week's rankings down to #19 to find Matthew Stafford facing a stout Rams defense. Stafford has been struggling over his past four games, and with his top two wide receivers gone (Tate traded and Jones on IR), he's likely to continue that struggle.
Sit 'em Marcus Mariota (TEN, QB)
It's difficult to know what to expect from Mariota. He is one of the most unpredictable players at the position. Mariota can pop up for big games in random spots and totally bottom out in perceived good matchups. The Jets have given up just 16 fantasy points to quarterbacks over the last four games.
Sit 'em Eli Manning (NYG, QB)
Eli - meet Khahil. A matchup with the Bears is not a recipe for fantasy QB success. Over the past four games, the Bears have given up an average of just 12.1 fantasy points. His 25th ranking on FFN this week makes him a bad option even in 2-QB or Super-Flex leagues.
Sit 'em Adrian Peterson (WAS, RB)
Adrian Peterson has shown that he still has some miles left on those tires, but he's starting to run out of gas. A banged up offensive line, backup QB Colt McCoy, and the return of Chris Thompson are not exciting.
Sit 'em Tevin Coleman (ATL, RB)
What happened to Tevin Coleman? With Freeman out, Coleman was supposed to be a solid fantasy handcuff. He's disappointed fantasy owners having found the endzone just once on the ground. He saw only 8 carries last week, and he'll face a Ravens defense giving up just 3.5 YPC the last 4, so use him only if you need him.
Sit 'em Marlon Mack (IND, RB)
Mack had 15 carries for 85 yards before getting concussed last week against the Dolphins. The injury-prone back won't practice today and will be up against it to be ready to face the Jaguars. If Mack can't go, Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins would figure to be ahead of Jonathan Williams for touches.
Sit 'em DeSean Jackson (TB, WR)
DJax saw 8 targets last week but only managed to haul in 3 for 19 yards. He was much more productive with Ryan Fitzpatrick under center. Add a tough matchup to the fact that he's dealing with a thumb issue this week, and Jackson makes for a sketchier play.
Sit 'em Marquez Valdes-Scantling (GB, WR)
It is impossible to trust Marquez Valdes-Scantling right now. He saw just two targets last week and managed 1 catch for 3 yards despite playing 82% of the snaps. If you're on the bubble to make it into the playoffs, MVS is simply too risky even as a WR3/4.
Sit 'em Sterling Shepard (NYG, WR)
Sterling Shepard has really let us down lately with great matchups, so it's tough to endorse him with this matchup even though the Bears at least give up some production at 34.5 FPG to WRs the last 4 weeks.
Sit 'em Gerald Everett (LAR, TE)
Big game last week but still tough to trust and they give up 7.9 FPG to TEs the last 4 weeks, but certainly has the opportunity to beat the Lions.
Sit 'em Evan Engram (NYG, TE)
Fantasy owners were justifiably angry last week with the lack of notification from the Giants as to Engram's availability. Engram said he's "optimistic" he'll play Week 13 against the Bears, but that's looking doubtful.
Sit 'em Pittsburgh Steelers (PIT, DEF)
Philip Rivers and the Chargers are not a good matchup even without Melvin Gordon. The Steelers give up just 4.5 FPG to DSTs the last 4 weeks.
Sit 'em Greg Joseph (CLE, K)
Only one kicker has managed double digit fantasy production against the Texans this year. Joseph doesn't have a field goal in his last two games.

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