As the last scraps of turkey are made into dumplings or a stew it’s time to focus on Week 13 action and the looming fantasy football playoffs. Well, in a lot of leagues this is the final week of the fantasy regular season but I do realize some leagues kick off their playoffs this week.
The bottom line is that every start or bench decision becomes more important than it has been all season long.
This is not the time of year for a nervous person my friends. This is the time of year to grab the bull by the horns and set our lineups with confidence. Hopefully you are headed to the playoffs but if that doesn’t happen to be the case make sure to set a lineup as there could be owners that need your team to win to get them into the playoffs.
There’s no shame in being a spoiler team at this time of year.
There are no changes to the ‘studs’ list this week as I feel pretty secure with the players listed. We will of course reevaluate following this week’s action and make any necessary adjustments.
Alright. Enough of my babbling. Let’s get to it!
Matthew Stafford, DETROIT at New Orleans- This is the matchup that Stafford owners have been waiting for to help break his month long slump. While he has been leading the Lions to victories Stafford’s numbers have been mediocre at best. This week he faces a Saints defense that just allowed rookie Jared Goff to throw for three scores against them. New Orleans has allowed multiple touchdown passes in seven of their last nine games. We like Stafford this week.
Colin Kaepernick, SAN FRANCISCO at Chicago- Kaepernick is coming off a monster game against the Dolphins last week and has a very nice matchup. He amassed over 400 total yards including an impressive 10-carries for 113 yards while also tossing three touchdown passes. A running Kaepernick is a fantasy weapon and he’s facing a Chicago defense that will be without Jerrell Freeman (suspension) and Danny Trevathan (knee injury). Chicago allowed Marcus Mariota to average 11-yards per rush last week so I see Kaepernick gouging this defense on the ground and through the air.
Tyrod Taylor, BUFFALO at Oakland- We like quarterbacks in shootouts and Taylor is in line for a high scoring affair on the west coast in Week 13. The Raiders are allowing an average of 25 points per game and 390 total yards. That bodes well for a duel threat quarterback like Taylor that garners fantasy production with his legs as well as through the air. Taylor leads all quarterbacks with 439 rushing yards while rushing for five touchdowns which is tied for the league lead with Cam Newton and Dak Prescott. Throw in the fact that Taylor also has his main receiving threat back in Sammy Watkins (80 receiving yards last week) and we see a big Week 13 on tap.
Jameis Winston, TAMPA BAY at San Diego- The Buccaneers are flying high after completely pummeling the Seattle Seahawks last week. Winston started the game hot throwing a pair of touchdowns to his favorite receiving option Mike Evans in the first quarter and then the defense did the rest of the heavy lifting. Winston has been a very efficient quarterback over the last six games throwing 13-touchdowns while turning the ball over only five times. He’s had multiple touchdown passes seven times this season including five of the last six games. The Chargers will be hard pressed to contain the Winston to Evans hook up so look for the Buccaneers and Winston to continue to roll this week.
Blake Bortles, JACKSONVILLE vs. Denver- Bortles actually had a turnover free game last week! Of course the Jaguars still lost to the Buffalo Bills and the passing game was completely off kilter. Bortles did manage a pair of touchdown passes but finished with only 126 passing yards. This week he faces a Denver defense that remains the stingiest unit in allowing fantasy points to quarterbacks. Through 11 games the Broncos have given up an average of only 211 passing yards per game and 12 total scores to quarterbacks. Worse yet for Bortles is the fact that Denver has picked off 10 passes to date and interceptions are his forte.
Andy Dalton, CINCINNATI vs. Philadelphia- We got a glimpse of the Bengals offense without A.J. Green or Giovani Bernard last week and it was not pretty. Dalton finished with 283 passing yards with a touchdown pass but fumbled four times losing two. In fact, over his last four games Dalton has posted six total touchdowns while turning the ball over seven times. The Eagles aren’t particularly tough on quarterbacks but that won’t matter as Dalton simply doesn’t have the weapons to produce the fantasy numbers we need at this time of year.
Carson Palmer, ARIZONA vs. Washington- It’s time to officially pull the plug on Palmer for the 2016 season. I’m not sure if ‘Father Time’ has caught up with the veteran but he has been awful of late. Palmer has finished in the top-12 in weekly quarterbacks scoring just once in his last eight games and finished outside the top-20 twice in that time. The offensive line has struggled to protect him as he’s been sacked 32 times and been pressured into some untimely turnovers. On the season Palmer now has thrown 15 touchdown passes and turned the ball over 14 times. Regardless of the matchup we can’t trust Palmer to suddenly come alive in Week 13.
Ryan Tannehill, MIAMI at Baltimore- We liked Tannehill as a starting option last week because of the juicy matchup against the San Francisco 49ers and he came through for us putting up top-10 fantasy totals. That being said relying on the quarterback from a run heavy team to post consistently high numbers is not a recipe for success. During the six game winning streak the Dolphins have been on Tannehill is averaging only 217 passing yards and 19 completions per game while tossing nine touchdown passes. The offense will continue to run (pun intended) through Jay Ajayi and it’s tough to trust that Tannehill will post back-to-back good games against a defense that’s much stiffer than the 49ers.