Hopefully, your tummies were filled with delicious food and wallets emptied from shopping after Thanksgiving weekend. As the season hit its homestretch, the Dallas Cowboys cruised to their 10th win in a row while the New York Giants, Detroit Lions, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Oakland Raiders, and Miami Dolphins continue to heat up and extended their own winning streaks. Unfortunately, the San Francisco 49ers, Jacksonville Jaguars, and winless Cleveland Browns cannot seem to find a break in their losing streaks and continue to drop farther down in their divisional standings.
In most fantasy football leagues, Week 13 signifies the end of the regular season. Therefore, winning or losing this week may affect whether you earn a playoff berth, or have to watch your friends and family vie for the fantasy football trophy this season. Take a dive with me as we review several key matchups for Week 13.
QB Alex Smith
Kansas City Chiefs’ veteran quarterback Alex Smith will generally not “win” your week, but he certainly can help you not lose it. Smith has posted at least 17 points in six of his ten starts this season, which shows consistency especially as QB2. Over his last two starts, he has averaged over 240 passing yards and a touchdown. Smith has often been heralded as a “game manager” by many, but should be considered a high-QB2 for his Week 13 matchup against the Atlanta Falcons who have allowed the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks including the second most passing yards. If your quarterback is on bye or faces a difficult opponent, Smith may be a great fill-in for Week 13.
Week 13 forecast: 225 passing yards; 2 TD
Rookie running back Jordan Howard has quietly compiled a very impressive season and been one of the few highlights for the Chicago Bears in 2016. Howard has totaled at least 99 yards over four straight games and has become a must-start in fantasy leagues as RB2 or Flex. The rookie stud should find more running room in Week 13 when the Chicago Bears welcome the struggling San Francisco 49ers who have given up the most fantasy points including most rushing yards and touchdowns to opposing running backs. The weather forecast shows the mid 30’s so it may be chilly, but should not hinder Howard’s projection.
Week 13 forecast: 100 total yards; 1 TD
Atlanta Falcons’ wide receiver Taylor Gabriel was not on the fantasy radar in drafts or during the first half of the season, but has literally blown up over the last month. He has averaged a touchdown and over 80 total yards over the last four games, and seems to have supplanted Mohamed Sanu as Matt Ryan’s secondary target. Gabriel should see success against the Kansas City Chief’s secondary who has surrendered the 2nd most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers including over 300 receiving yards and three touchdowns to Denver’s wide receiving corps in Week 12. Gabriel is a risky play, but with high upside for Week 13.
Week 13 forecast: 100 receiving yards; 1 TD
The Houston Texans’ passing offense has much to be desired, but third-year tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz has been relatively consistent this season. He has received at least five targets over the last eight games and would likely have connected on more if Brock Osweiler’s accuracy improved. Regardless, the Texans’ tight end has a favorable matchup against the Green Bay Packers’ struggling secondary that has allowed the 8th most fantasy points to opposing tight ends. The Packers defense played better on Monday Night Football, but will be on short rest for their tilt against Houston. If your tight end is on bye or being defended by a strong defense, then consider Fiedorowicz for Week 13.
Week 13 forecast: 50 receiving yards; 1 TD
DST Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Bucs have won three straight games and seem to be trending upward offensively and defensively. Tampa Bay will visit the San Diego Chargers whose offense has allowed the 12th most fantasy points to opposing defenses and seem to be dipping over the last month. On the other hand, the Bucs’ defense has averaged 16 points over the last three games and picking up steam. If your defense is on bye or faces a difficult matchup, consider Tampa Bay this weekend.
Week 13 forecast: 11 points
Week 12 results:
Week 12 projection: 225 passing yards; 2 TD
Week 12 results: 289 passing yards; 2 TD 1 INT (good call)
Week 12 projection: 80 total yards; 1 TD
Week 12 results: 47 total yards (bad call)
Week 12 projection: 100 receiving yards; 1 TD
Week 12 results: 64 receiving yards; 1TD (good call)
TE Eric Ebron
Week 12 projection: 60 receiving yards; 1 TD
Week 12 results: 0 receiving yards (bad call)
DST New Orleans Saints
Week 12 projection: 11 points
Week 12 results: 7 points (ok call)
Best of luck in Week 13!