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RED LIGHT, GREEN LIGHT: Week 13

Welcome back for the Week 13 edition of “Red Light, Green Light”, your matchup guide for all of this weekend’s (and Monday’s) NFL contests. While this piece is not intended to be solely a start/bench list, it can be used for some of those decisions as well.

In each NFL Week 13 game profile below, players mentioned in the green light sections have a great matchup, and can be counted on as rock solid options for the week. Players mentioned in the yellow light sections have just an okay matchup and/or usage concerns, meaning they are passable fantasy options but don’t expect them to set the world on fire. Players in the red light sections have serious concerns, and need to have expectations lowered for the week, and/or should be avoided if possible. Remember, seeing your stud listed in the yellow or red light section isn’t necessarily grounds to bench them, but more of an indication they may not be the guy(s) carrying your team to victory this week.

Note: Fantasy points allowed statistics are based off of the Fantasy Sharks default PPR scoring system.

Baltimore Ravens at Atlanta Falcons

Tale of the Tape – Ranks for Most 2018 Fantasy Points Allowed Per Game
Position Ravens Falcons
Quarterback 29th 2nd
Running Back 31st 3rd
Wide Receiver 30th 7th
Tight End 15th 18th
Defense/Special Teams 24th 20th
Vegas Line: Falcons -1.5
Vegas Over/Under: 49
green-light
  • Lamar Jackson – The rookie is now 2-0 as a starter, and the Ravens will continue to roll with him.  In total, the Falcons have allowed 8 QB1 performances out of 11 games played, and they likely won’t have an answer for Jackson’s rushing ability.
  • Gus Edwards – Expected to remain the man at running back for the Ravens, as Alex Collins (foot) is looking iffy for this Sunday. Only one starting running back that has faced the Falcons this season finished with fewer than 10 PPR fantasy points.
yellow-light
  • Julio Jones – The NFL’s current 2018 receiving yards leader is on a streak of six games with at least 104 receiving yards. Baltimore has yet to allow a 100-yard receiver this season.
  • Austin Hooper – He’s been steady yet unspectacular in five games since catching 9 passes in back-to-back contests across Weeks 5 and 6. Of all skill positions, Baltimore defends tight ends the worst, so hopefully Atlanta can take advantage.
red-light
  • Matt Ryan – Will have his work cut out for him against Baltimore’s stingy pass defense.
  • Tevin Coleman – He’s gone over 58 rushing yards just twice all season, which is the same number of times the Ravens defense has allowed an opposing running back to go for more than 65.
  • Ito Smith – Once thought to be a potential threat to Coleman’s starting job, Smith has carried the ball 14 times for just 21 yards over his past three games.
  • Calvin Ridley – His stats are propped up by touchdowns and the occasional big yardage game. No reason to expect Ridley to pop this week against a Ravens defense allowing just 46 receiving yards per game to opposing no. 2 wideouts.
  • Mohamed Sanu – Comes into this contest on a five game touchdown drought, and will be tough to have any faith in given the matchup.
  • Baltimore Wide Receivers – Lamar Jackson has targeted a wide receiver on just 27 of his 44 pass attempts the past two weeks, leaving Michael Crabtree, John Brown, and Willie Snead as high-risk plays.
  • Alex Collins (foot) – Even if Collins does return to the field, it so appears that Gus Edwards as swiped his starting job.
  • Ravens D/ST – Playing on the road against a high-powered offense (the Falcons are averaging 30 points per game at home) makes it unlikely this unit has Week 13 fantasy utility.

Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tale of the Tape – Ranks for Most 2018 Fantasy Points Allowed Per Game
Position Panthers Buccaneers
Quarterback 6th 4th
Running Back 25th 7th
Wide Receiver 13th 3rd
Tight End 1st 3rd
Defense/Special Teams 25th 10th
Vegas Line: Panthers -3.5
Vegas Over/Under: 
54
green-light
  • Cam Newton – His streak of two or more touchdowns goes all the way back to Week 2.
  • Christian McCaffrey – Comes off a season-high 237 total yards and two scores last Sunday against the Seahawks. Over their last five games, Tampa Bay has allowed four of five starting running backs to go for at least 138 total yards. as well as score seven touchdowns.
  • D.J. Moore – Potentially shaping up to be a target funnel against one of the NFL’s worst secondaries with Curtis Samuel (hamstring) and Devin Funchess (back) likely out. Update: Funchess and Samuel both returned to practice on Thursday, if one or both play, Moore’s green light status remains, though I won’t feel as confident about it.
  • Greg Olsen – Went 6-76-1 against the Bucs in Week 9, but just 8-60-1  in three games since. Look for a rebound from Olsen as the Panthers’ wideout corps is banged up at the moment.
  • Jameis Winston – Putting up 312 passing yards and two touchdowns last week is nothing new for Winston, however, it marked the first time all season he didn’t commit a single turnover. The Buccaneers passed for 243 yards and four scores against the Panthers in Week 9, though those numbers came with Ryan Fitzpatrick under center.
  • Mike Evans – The last matchup against the Panthers resulted in Evans’ worst statistical performacne of 2018 (1-16 on 10 targets). Consider it an anomaly as the star wideout has four 100-yard receiving performances over his last six games played.
  • Cameron Brate – Faces the NFL’s worst team at keeping opposing tight ends out of the end zone.
yellow-light
  • Peyton Barber – It hasn’t always been pretty, but Barber has at least 66 total yards or a score in four of his last five games. Carolina has allowed a rushing score in three straight.
  • Chris Godwin – Saw his snap share rise to second-most among Tampa Bay wideouts last week.
  • Adam Humphries – He’s been Tampa Bay’s most productive wideout from a pure scoring perspective. Humphries has four touchdowns over his last four games.
  • DeSean Jackson (thumb) – It doesn’t seem like the injury will keep Jackson out of action, but it may explain why he’s been so ineffective lately. with just 14-156-0 over Tampa Bay’s last four games.

Chicago Bears at New York Giants

Tale of the Tape – Ranks for Most 2018 Fantasy Points Allowed Per Game
Position Bears Giants
Quarterback 27th 19th
Running Back 27th 12th
Wide Receiver 14th 24th
Tight End 24th 16th
Defense/Special Teams 23rd 16th
Vegas Line: Bears -4
Vegas Over/Under: 
44.5
  • Bears D/ST – I just don’t see how the Giants’ patchwork offensive line holds a prayer against fantasy’s top scoring defensive unit.
  • Tarik Cohen – He’s emerged as the Bears’ most reliable running back, while the Bears have allowed at least 50 rushing yards and a touchdown in each of their last five games.
  • Trey Burton – He’s put up just a 14-123-1 line over his last five games. however, the Giants have allowed an average of 84 receiving yards per game to opposing tight ends since their Week 9 bye.
  • Odell Beckham – Of all skill positions, the Bears defend wideouts the worst. My main worry about Beckham is whether the Giants’ offensive line can protect Eli Manning long enough to find him downfield.
  • Saquon Barkley – The most likely scenario I see here is the Bears’ bottle up Barkley on the ground, resulting in the Giants feeding him checkdowns in the passing game.
  • Mitchell Trubisky (shoulder) – Returned to limited practice this week, but isn’t a lock to start. If Trubisky does play the Bears could shelter him in a game they should be able to control with defense. Update: Despite logging limited practices all week, the Trubisky is expected to miss his second game in a row.
  • Allen Robinson – Looking at a third down performance in a row as the Giants aren’t the most giving team to opposing wideouts.
  • Anthony Miller – Outside of a huge performance in Week 10, Miller has settled in as mostly touchdown dependent.
  • Jordan Howard – The Giants actually a decent matchup for running backs, though I just don’t trust the Bears coaching staff to give Howard the necessary usage that will enable him to take advantage after he touched the ball a season low 9 times for 15 yards in Week 12.
  • Eli Manning – For the same reasons I like the Bears D/ST this week, I dislike Manning. The Giants’ offensive line will need to play out of their minds to prevent a jail break every time Manning drops back to pass.
  • Evan Engram (hamstring) – Not a lock to suit up after appearing on last Sunday’s injury report as a surprise inactive. Engram has yet to resume practicing.

Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins

Tale of the Tape – Ranks for Most 2018 Fantasy Points Allowed Per Game
Position Bills Dolphins
Quarterback 32nd 18th
Running Back 8th 5th
Wide Receiver 32nd 23rd
Tight End 27th 10th
Defense/Special Teams 1st 6th
Vegas Line: Dolphins -3.5
Vegas Over/Under: 
40
  • LeSean McCoy – Expect a heavy dose of the Bills’ run game against the NFL’s 4th-worst rush defense (139.8 yards allowed per game).
  • Bills D/ST – While the Dolphins are better off with Ryan Tannehill under center, they are still the NFL’s eighth-lowest scoring team.
  • Dolphins D/ST – While Miami’s defense overall may not be as talented as Buffalo’s, they are home favorites facing an opponent with the third-lowest implied team point total of the week (17.5).
  • Frank Gore – With the likely game script for the Dolphins dictating a ground-and-pound approach, look for the ageless Gore to score his first rushing touchdown of the season.
  • Bills Pass Catchers – Undrafted rookie Robert Foster was the Bills’ leading receiver with a 2-94-1 line on three targets last Sunday against the Jaguars. Who? Exactly. Sometimes I forget that Kelvin Benjamin is even on the roster, while the Bills’ top receiver on the season Zay Jones was on a milk carton last week.
  • Josh Allen – Somehow he has more rushing touchdowns than passing, but at least he’s managing to win games.
  • DeVante Parker (shoulder) – Perpetually nursing an ailment, Parker has just a 9-61-0 receiving line over his last three games played despite being one of the few relatively proven bodies at wideout on the Dolphins roster.
  • Kenny Stills – He’s failed to catch more than three passes in a game since Week 1.
  • Kenyan Drake (shoulder) – With 96 total yards and two touchdowns last Sunday, Drake had his best game in several weeks. Unfortunately, Drake has consistently followed up big performances with duds the week after, as the Dolphins coaching staff continues to keep him in a change-of-pace role behind starter Frank Gore. Additionally, Drake re-aggravated his shoulder issue from a few weeks ago, so he’s been limited to non-contact work all week.
  • Danny Amendola (knee) – Looking likely to sit after missing practice Wednesday and Thursday.

About Will Weiler

An NFL Red Zone addict and all-around data nerd, I've been obsessed with the NFL and stats ever since I started playing the virtual pigskin game in 2005.