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RED LIGHT, GREEN LIGHT: Week 13

Welcome to the Week 13 edition of “Red Light, Green Light,” a matchup guide for all of this weekend’s NFL contests (and Monday night).

In each NFL Week 13 game profile below, I will choose a total of three players to highlight as green-, yellow- or red-light options.

green-light Green Light: Players who have a great matchup. These guys are rock solid fantasy options and can be counted on as a strong source of fantasy production.
yellow-light Yellow Light: Players with just an OK matchup and/or usage concerns. These guys are passable fantasy options but don’t expect them to set the world on fire.
red-light Red Light: Players with serious matchup/usage concerns, thus requiring lowered expectations lowered for the week; they should just be avoided altogether 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 carry your team to victory.

As always, the information conveyed below is not intended to be solely a start/bench list, but can be used to evaluate those decisions as well.

Note: Fantasy points allowed statistics are based off of the Fantasy Sharks default points per reception (PPR) scoring system. Point Spreads and Over/Unders are based off the Fantasy Sharks consensus analysis.

Bye Week Teams: Carolina, Tampa Bay

Cleveland Browns at Tennessee Titans

Tale of the Tape – Ranks for Most 2020 Fantasy Points Allowed Per Game
Position Browns Titans
Quarterback 9th 7th
Running Back 23rd 10th
Wide Receiver 9th 13th
Tight End 1st 4th
Defense/Special Teams 23rd 32nd
Vegas Line: Titans -5.5
Vegas Over/Under: 54

Green Light – Jarvis Landry (WR, Cleveland)

Landry’s eight catches, 143 yards and a touchdown last week were a sight for sore eyes, and while it feels a bit point-chasey to go all in on him this week, game script will likely dictate that Cleveland can’t just sit back and hand the ball off to its talented running back duo.

Yellow Light – Corey Davis (WR, Tennessee)

Since his bagel in Week 9, Davis is averaging 83.3 receiving yards per game over Tennessee’s last three games. In fact, if Davis ups his overall season pace, he could finish the year with 1,000 receiving yards for the first time. Look for Tennessee to take advantage of Cleveland’s injury-riddled secondary.

Red Light – Jonnu Smith (TE, Tennessee)

Cleveland has allowed the third-most receptions to opposing tight ends, so why is Smith a red light? Well for starters, he’s nursing a knee injury that has kept him out of practice all week. Second of all, even if Smith does manage to get cleared to play, he’s averaged a miniscule 1.7 targets per game since Week 6.

Update: Smith (knee) is OUT for Week 13.

Las Vegas Raiders at New York Jets

Tale of the Tape – Ranks for Most 2020 Fantasy Points Allowed Per Game
Position Raiders Jets
Quarterback 6th 4th
Running Back 5th 7th
Wide Receiver 12th 5th
Tight End 21st 6th
Defense/Special Teams 22nd 1st
Vegas Line: Raiders -7.5
Vegas Over/Under: 47

Green Light – Denzel Mims (WR, New York Jets)

Despite only playing in five games so far this season, the rookie leads the Jets in air yards (568) by a healthy margin. While betting on any New York Jet for fantasy purposes is a major risk, Mims appears poised for a breakout in a contest that likely sees his team attempting at least 30 passes.

Yellow Light – Derek Carr (QB, Las Vegas)

What happened to Carr and Las Vegas against Atlanta last week? Why would I want to go back to a guy who threw for just 215 yards with no scores and four turnovers against one of the NFL’s worst pass defenses? The Jets allow the third-most passing yards per game and Las Vegas won’t be lacking motivation to score points after an embarrassing lost.

Red Light – Josh Jacobs (RB, Las Vegas)

Jacobs (ankle) has missed practice all week, and looks like a longshot to play. A shame really, since this contest figures to provide plenty of positive game script for the Las Vegas backfield. Look for Devontae Booker to operate as Las Vegas’ lead back in the likely event Jacobs cannot suit up.

Update: Jacobs (ankle) is OUT for Week 13.

Jacksonville Jaguars at Minnesota Vikings

Tale of the Tape – Ranks for Most 2020 Fantasy Points Allowed Per Game
Position Jaguars Vikings
Quarterback 3rd 10th
Running Back 4th 18th
Wide Receiver 7th 3rd
Tight End 7th 22nd
Defense/Special Teams 6th 15th
Vegas Line: Vikings -9.5
Vegas Over/Under: 52

Green Light – D.J. Chark (WR, Jacksonville)

Chark (ribs) missed Week 12, but appears on track to suit up after logging limited practices all week. Quarterback Mike Glennon was not entirely incompetent in the team’s loss to Cleveland last week, so Chark should be in line for a healthy smattering of targets in a game that sees Jacksonville as heavy underdogs. Only Dallas has allowed more receiving scores to opposing wideouts than Minnesota.

Yellow Light – Kirk Cousins (QB, Minnesota)

As we’ve seen the last two weeks, Cousins is at his best (for fantasy purposes) when his opponents pull ahead on the score board and force Minnesota into comeback mode. That scenario could very well not come to fruition here with Minnesota projected to win handily.

Red Light – Tyler Eifert (TE, Jacksonville)

Minnesota defends opposing tight ends reasonably well, and D.J. Chark’s impending return adds another body ahead of Eifert in Jacksonville’s target hierarchy.

Cincinnati Bengals at Miami Dolphins

Tale of the Tape – Ranks for Most 2020 Fantasy Points Allowed Per Game
Position Bengals Dolphins
Quarterback 11th 19th
Running Back 17th 16th
Wide Receiver 14th 15th
Tight End 5th 25th
Defense/Special Teams 4th 14th
Vegas Line: Dolphins -11
Vegas Over/Under: 42

Green Light – Miami D/ST

This contest projects as another layup for the Miami stop unit, as it plays at home against an opponent with a measly 15.5 implied point total.

Yellow Light – Mike Gesicki (TE, Miami)

You’re hoping Miami sticks with Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback, as the change under center seems to have sparked the team’s talented but inconsistent tight end. No team has allowed more than Cincinnati’s 65.3 receiving yards per game to the position.

Red Light – Giovani Bernard (RB, Cincinnati)

While Bernard remains Cincinnati’s starting running back in name (Joe Mixon isn’t eligible to return until Week 14, if he comes back at all), the veteran has not eclipsed nine carries since prior to the team’s bye. Bernard may catch a few passes in junk time, but expect minimal usage in a contest that figures to be controlled by Miami.

Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans

Tale of the Tape – Ranks for Most 2020 Fantasy Points Allowed Per Game
Position Colts Texans
Quarterback 29th 13th
Running Back 19th 2nd
Wide Receiver 25th 11th
Tight End 29th 16th
Defense/Special Teams 24th 20th
Vegas Line: Colts -3
Vegas Over/Under: 53

Green Light – Jonathan Taylor (RB, Indianapolis)

I had Taylor as a green light last week, and he ended up not playing after getting placed on the reserve/COVID last as a “close contact.” Neither Nyheim Hines nor Jordan Wilkins put up a performance against Tennessee that would suggest they’ll get more touches at Taylor’s expense this week against the NFL’s second-worst rush defense.

Yellow Light – Michael Pittman (WR, Indianapolis)

Aside from a 50-yard catch by T.Y. Hilton last week, none of the Indianapolis wideouts did much against Tennessee as Philip Rivers is reportedly dealing with a not insignificant lower body injury. Nevertheless, Pittman’s nine targets led the team in that contest, and the Houston defense will be without top cornerback Bradley Roby (suspension) for the remainder of the 2020 season.

Red Light – Deshaun Watson (QB, Houston)

If losing top wideout Will Fuller (suspension) isn’t bad enough, Watson has to face an Indianapolis defense that has allowed the fourth-fewest passing yards to opposing quarterbacks. Still down Randall Cobb (foot, Injured Reserve), Watson doesn’t have much to work with in the pass game outside of Brandin Cooks.

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.