Wednesday - Mar 20, 2019

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PLAYERS TO TARGET: Week 13 “Must Win Edition”

Congratulations! If you are reading this article that likely means you still have a shot in at least one of your leagues! Not everyone can say that so pat yourself on the back – this game isn’t always easy! I’m switching gears this week as most people are past their respective trade deadlines (if not please feel free to find me on twitter for trade advice – @tradefantasy). For the next few weeks I’ll be ranking the top options I’m seeing at each respective position. Keep in mind, these are not our typical weekly rankings, these are just a few of the players to trust the most (based on a number of factors) to knock it out of the park this week and get you a much needed win!

*Note: Match up rating vs. position –

1st = Most generous match up in average fantasy points allowed to that position.
32nd = Least generous match up in average fantasy points allowed to that position.

Quarterbacks Opponent Matchup Rating  Comments
1. Russell Wilson vs Phi 21st With a 47 point over/under there should be plenty of fireworks in this NFC showdown and Wilson is currently the top scoring player in all of fantasy!
2. Tom Brady vs Buf 25th Not a great matchup but that doesn’t matter when it comes to Tom Brady who has 10 passing TD’s over his last 3 contests.
3. Carson Wentz @Sea 26th
Seattle has been beatable in the secondary since losing Kam Chancellor and Richard Sherman and as hot as Wentz has been, he’s a must start for the rest of 2017.
4. Philip Rivers vs Cle 11th
920 passing yards and 7 Touchdowns over his last three contests, Rivers is on a roll heading into a nice match up at home vs. the Browns who are allowing an average of two passing TD’s per game on the season.
5. Case Keenum @Atl 15th 282 passing yards, 2 passing TD’s, 20 rushing yards and one score on the ground vs Detroit in Week 12. The over/under is 47 with both offenses clicking – we should see the scoreboard light up in this contest!
6. Jared Goff @AZ 6th
354 yards passing with 2 touchdowns isn’t bad against a stout New Orleans pass defense. He should find at least that much success against a much more generous Cardinal’s secondary.
7. Josh McCown vs KC 9th
The Jets might not be winning but they sure put up a fight! Good match up at home vs. a very beatable secondary. McCown just threw for 307 with 3 TD’s vs. a much tougher Panthers defense.
8. Cam Newton @NO 18th
Disregard the bad outing in Week 3 vs. New Orleans. Cam is a new man averaging 24.4 points over his last 3 contests. This game is huge for both teams so it should be dog fight with Cam leading the way for Carolina.
9. Marcus Mariota vs Hou 1st Despite laying an egg last week at Indianapolis its hard to keep Super Mariota off this list against the leagues most generous pass defense.
10. Tyrod Taylor @NE 2nd
He wasn’t great statistically last week but the game flow (Bills are 8.5 point under dogs) should favor QB production for Buffalo. The Bills have to pull out all the stops if they hope keep pace with New England this week and that starts with Taylor.
   
Running Backs Opponent Matchup Rating   Comments
1. Le’Veon Bell @ Cin 11th
Bell is running well but hasn’t scored in a few weeks. With Ben going nuts the past two weeks in the touchdown department look for Bell to carry the mail against a foe he smashed for 192 all purpose yards in Week 4.
2. LeSean McCoy vs NE 9th
New England has been better on defense lately but they are still beatable. McCoy has to get rolling if the Bills want to put up a fight and they know it! Expect tons of usage especially in the passing game for McCoy who has 9 receptions over the past three weeks.
3. Alvin Kamara vs Car 28th Not a great matchup but Kamara is a must start every week no matter what.
4. Jordan Howard vs SF 1st Negative game script stole Howard’s value vs. Philadelphia. Don’t expect similar results vs. the hapless 49er’s.
5. Todd Gurley @ AZ 19th
Even if the Cardinals sell out to stop the run it won’t matter. Sean McVay knows how to get Gurley out in space as exhibited by his 42 receptions on the year.
6. Leonard Fournette vs Ind 7th
Nice get right game for Fournette who, largely due to injury, hasn’t scored since Week 6. This Colts defense has played well of late but the Jags back up RB’s gashed them for 117 yards and two scores with Fournette out in Week 7. Lets see what their starter can do against this mediocre front!
7. Samaje Perine @ Dal 10th 51 touches over the past two weeks is hard to overlook. He draws a nice match up this week in what figures to be a positive game script for high rushing totals.
8. Jamaal Williams vs TB 12th
Averaging 22 touches per game over his last three contests coming off a huge game Sunday night, the rookie rusher could be in line for a nice tail end of the season and certainly has a nice match up this week.
9. Rex Burkhead & Dion Lewis @ Buf 2nd
With an even snap split last week (both had 28) expect them to have similar workloads again barring injury. Great matchup vs. the Bills who up until last week had allowed 614 yards to opposing backs along with 9 touchdowns.
10. Melvin Gordon vs Cle 24th
Cleveland has been solid against the run all year but just gave up 114 yards and a score to Joe Mixon – they might be breaking down. 21 carries for Gordon on Thanksgiving certainly bodes well too.
11. Joe Mixon vs Pit 26th
The matchup isn’t great on paper but Mixon just put 124 yards and a score on Browns who have been comparably stingy to opposing backs so far on the year. He’s finally getting the volume he needs to be successful.
12. Alfred Morris vs Was 8th
This one is a tricky call with Rod Smith eating into Morris’ workload more and more. That said, Alfred feels like the lead back and Zeke hung 173 all purpose yards and 2 touchdowns on these Redskins in Week 8. If Alfred is getting half the work and scores half as much as Zeke did he’ll have a nice outing.There are far worse options out there this week.
   
Wide Receivers
Opponent Matchup Rating   Comments
1. DeAndre Hopkins @Ten 5th
Hopkins beat a stout Ravens secondary for 125 yards on Monday night, there’s no way the abysmal pass defense of the Titans can stop him. The only thing that might get in his way is the Houston QB play.
2. Antonio Brown @ Cin 30th The match up doesn’t look overly enticing but you can’t sit AB. Five touchdowns and over 300-yards receiving the past two weeks is ridiculous.
3. Keenan Allen vs Cle 26th
The Browns haven’t been exactly leaky vs. opposing wideouts thus far but Keenan Allen should change all that. He’s got 331 receiving yards and three scores on 23 receptions over the past two contests and is an obvious must start right now.
4. Doug Baldwin vs Phi 11th
Baldwin should bounce back in a big game at home vs Philly. This secondary has allowed the 11th most points per game to opposing WR’s and Seattle is a 5-point under dog. This should be a shoot out!
5. Mike Evans @ GB 7th
He hasn’t scored since Week 7 but that should change this week against a swiss cheese Green Bay secondary that has been lit up by opposing wide receivers the past four weeks.
6. Brandin Cooks @ Buf 16th
With Hogan out of the lineup, Cooks has been red-hot posting three straight six reception games. The Bills just shut down the Chiefs (or the Chiefs shut themselves down) but the week prior they gave up over 54 PPR fantasy points to the Chargers wide receivers.
7. Julio Jones vs Min 18th
Julio has a tough match up vs Xavier Rhodes but he’s got the talent to overcome the challenge. He’s on fire coming off a 253 yard, 2 touchdown outing and should stay hot with Matt Ryan finally playing well.
8. Adam Thielen @ ATL 27th
This game doesn’t have good paper match ups for wideouts on either side but the talent is among the best in the league. This game has a 47 point over/under so there should be plenty of work for Theilen who is 3rd in the NFL in receiving yards with 1,005 yards at the moment.
9. Cooper Kupp @ AZ 9th
He stepped up big time with Robert Woods out, posting 8 receptions for 116 yards this past week. Lets hope Patrick Peterson locks onto Sammy Watkins all day to free up Kupp for another big outing.
10. Jamison Crowder @Dal 6th
Back-to-back 7 reception games and complete target dominance on his team. The last time he faced Dallas, Crowder beat this defense for 9 receptions and 123 yards, no reason he wont repeat that number.
11. Alshon Jeffery @Sea 19th
Not a great match up when you look at the season long numbers Seattle has allowed to opposing wide receivers but they are very banged up and Jeffery is red-hot scoring in four straight games with no less than 52 yards in any contest since Week 7.
12. Devin Funchess @ NO 24th
We’re chasing the over/under a little with this one but Funchess has been solid since Kelvin Benjamin‘s departure and dominates this team in targets. New Orleans has shown chinks in the armor after giving up 244 yards and 2 touchdowns to the Rams receivers in Week 12.
   
Tight Ends Opponent Matchup Rating   Comments
1. Zach Ertz @ Sea 9th
It’s all systems go in this Sunday night showdown! Ertz should find room to roam against the Seahawks who have given up scores to opposing tight ends in two out of their past three contests.
2. Rob Gronkowski @ Buf 16th You start Gronk – every week, no matter what.
3. Evan Engram @ Oak 7th
Last week was an outlier for Engram despite the great match up. Expect a bounce back this week vs. the Raiders defense who is averaging the 7th most points allowed to opposing tight ends.
4. Jimmy Graham vs Phi 12th
Jimmy Graham has scored in six of his past seven contests. This week should make that 7-of-8 as Jimmy continues to dominate red-zone looks with 10 over the past three weeks.
5. Travis Kelce @ NYJ 8th
There is something very wrong with the K.C. offense but Kelce remains a must start. He should help Alex Smith get back on track in this nice Week 13 match up.
6. Delanie Walker vs Hou 6th
Delanie had a nice outing vs. the Colts in Week 12 and draws a very nice match up vs. Houston this week. With no less than 3 receptions in any game this season, he’s as safe a bet as any this week at tight end.
7. Kyle Rudolph @ Atl 17th
Not exactly the juiciest match up for tight ends but Rudolph is coming off his biggest game of the year entering arguably the biggest game of the season for this Vikings team as a whole. Rudolph is tied for the team lead among pass catchers with 12 red-zone looks on the year. That’s good company to keep!
8. Jason Witten vs Was 4th
It’s not so much that I believe in Witten as much as it is that I don’t believe in the Redskins stopping opposing tight ends. They held Witten in check back in Week 8, but I’m betting against this weak defense doing so again in Week 13.
9. Hunter Henry vs Cle 3rd Henry woke up a bit last week posting 76 yards and a score. He draws a nice match up this week vs. the traditionally soft Browns and should stay hot.
10. Jared Cook vs NYG 1st
Cooper is likely to miss this game with multiple ailments and Crabtree has been suspended (as of this writing). Perfect time for Cook to face the league’s most generous team to opposing tight ends!

Best of Luck in Week 13! Did I overlook your player? Follow me on twitter for one off start/sit questions!

About David Olivarez

David has been writing fantasy football content steadily since 2012 on the web and has been a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association since 2014. He focuses on Daily Fantasy Sports and Trade Analysis. Feel free to ask him questions on Twitter!