This is the Fantasy Football Nerd's look at the best and worst fantasy football matchups for Week 13 of the 2014 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.
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 Peyton Manning, Jimmy Graham, or LeSean McCoy. 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 - Ryan Tannehill (MIA, QB)
Ryan Tannehill has quietly become a Top 12 fantasy QB making him a QB1 in 12-team leagues. He'll play that way this week against a Jets defense that gives up the 2nd-most fantasy points to the position. If Kyle Orton can torch them for 26 points, Tannehill could see 20+ points as well.
Start 'em - Tony Romo (DAL, QB)
The Eagles give up the most fantasy points to QB's and Romo should shine on Thanksgiving. He's healthy, coming off a big game, and has thrown 7 scores and 0 picks in the last 2 games. Romo should have a decent day on Thanksgiving.
Start 'em - Alfred Morris (WAS, RB)
With the exception of DeSean Jackson, the only player left on the Redskins that is still fantasy-relevant is Alfred Morris. Indy gives up the 3rd-most fantasy points (ppr) to RB's. Morris has had 4 scores in his last 4 games. There's a good chance that he extends that streak to 5.
Start 'em - Justin Forsett (BAL, RB)
One of the biggest surprises this year has been Justin Forsett. With more 1,113 yards and 7 TD's, Forsett has been a fantastic addition for fantasy owners. Even though he's facing a San Diego defense that has statistically been tough on RB's, they haven't faced many good ones. That changes this week.
Start 'em - Julian Edelman (NE, WR)
The game of the week is being billed as Rodgers vs Brady. One of the guys that will help Brady compete this week is Julian Edelman. The Packers give up the 10th-most fantasy points to WR's (ppr) and this game should be a shootout.
Start 'em - Odell Beckham Jr. (NYG, WR)
Even though Eli Manning can't seem to put up big fantasy numbers, that doesn't mean that Odell Beckham Jr. can't. The man with one of the most amazing catches ever faces a Jacksonville defense that has been middle of the road this year. Beckham has quickly become a WR1.
Start 'em - Jason Witten (DAL, TE)
It was nice to see Jason Witten find the endzone last week against the Giants. There's a great chance that we see it again on Thanksgiving when the Cowboys face the Eagles - a team that Witten has a great history scoring on. He's also bouncing back nicely with 4 scores in his last 6 games.
Start 'em - Delanie Walker (TEN, TE)
The best option in the Tennessee passing game is Delanie Walker. His 155 yards last week was really impressive for a TE. He'll have his work cut out for him as Houston has been tough on TE's this year, but Walker is on a roll and you have to play the hot hand.
Start 'em - Randy Bullock (HOU, K)
Randy Bullock has quietly been a Top 10 fantasy kicker this year. That trend should continue as he faces a Titans defense that gives up the 3rd-most fantasy points to the position. If you're looking for a solid option at the K position, there's a good chance that Bullock is still available.
Start 'em - Miami Dolphins (MIA, DEF)
Frankly, it doesn't really matter if Michael Vick or Geno Smith starts at QB, the Jets are going to have a tough time putting up points on the Miami Dolphins. The Jets give up the 3rd-most fantasy points to opposing DST's and the Dolphins D is primed for a big day.
Sit 'em - Colin Kaepernick (SF, QB)
Colin Kaepernick has been a disappointment lately for fantasy owners. This week he'll face a Seattle defense that gives up the 2nd-fewest fantasy points. Kaepernick has thrown just 1 score in each of his last 5 games. The Seahawks will be tough to put numbers on.
Sit 'em - Geno Smith (NYJ, QB)
The QB situation in New York is a mess. Michael Vick has been benched this week in favor of Geno Smith, but that doesn't mean Smith is worth starting. In fact, Smith is ranked 32nd among QB's on FFN this week and for good reason. Even in 2-QB leagues, we're passing on Smith.
Sit 'em - Frank Gore (SF, RB)
We're starting to see Carlos Hyde emerge in San Francisco and with good reason. Gore faces a Seattle defense that is ranked 6th in fantasy points allowed and has only allowed 2 rushers to hit 20+ fantasy points this season.
Sit 'em - Ryan Mathews (SD, RB)
Ryan Mathews had a fantastic return from injury rushing for 105 yards and a score last week. There didn't seem to be any lingering issue with his shoulder, but he's facing a Ravens defense that gives up the fewest fantasy points to RB's this year. This will be Mathew's toughest matchup.
Sit 'em - Pierre Garcon (WAS, WR)
With Colt McCoy under center, Pierre Garcon may actually get a small boost in the rankings, but it's not enough to make him start-worthy. His former team gives up the 6th-fewest fantasy points to WR's (ppr) this year. Garcon is a risky play this week.
Sit 'em - Kendall Wright (TEN, WR)
Last year's quiet PPR monster has been a shell of his former self. Even with a matchup against the Titans who give up more fantasy points than any other team to WR's, it's too tough to count on Wright to produce anything. This is not the week to wait for Wright to redeem himself. Put him on the bench.
Sit 'em - Zach Ertz (PHI, TE)
Unless his name is Brent Celek, there are no Philly TE's that you should be owning. Zach Ertz had so much potential and has utterly failed to live up to them. He has a cake matchup with the Cowboys, but if you've got a better option, play it.
Sit 'em - Vernon Davis (SF, TE)
Vernon Davis is an enigma wrapped in a riddle. He has so much talent but hasn't been an active part of what has become a pathetic passing game in San Francisco. Even though he's owned in 80%+ of leagues on Yahoo, NFL.com, ESPN, and Fleaflicker, he's a TE3 this year. With an average of 6 points in ppr, he's too risky to trust this week.
Sit 'em - Mason Crosby (GB, K)
There's a great chance that the Packers/Patriots game becomes a shootout, but the Pats don't give up a lot of points to kickers this year. In fact, they give up the 12-fewest to the position. Crosby at home could still do well, but we think his #4 FFN ranking this week is optimistic.
Sit 'em - New England Patriots (NE, DEF)
The Patriots have had a great fantasy defense this year, but facing Aaron Rodgers and the Packers at Lambeau Field is not a great matchup. Even if Revis can keep Jordy Nelson at bay (a difficult task), Rodgers can find Cobb for a big play. This is a game where we wouldn't want to start either team in our DST slot. We're sitting both the Packers and the Patriots in this one.
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