In this all-important 13th week of the fantasy season, there are several teams that will do their part in posting the kind of offensive numbers you may need to get your fantasy team into the playoffs. Find as many New England Patriots, Philadelphia Eagles, Carolina Panthers and Dallas Cowboys as you can while avoiding the Cincinnati Bengals, Atlanta Falcons and Minnesota Vikings this week. Happy hunting!
I utilize statistical analysis combined with more than 15 years of fantasy football experience to give you an inside look of how players will perform on a week-to-week basis. The Studs list will be updated on a regular basis as players emerge and injuries occur, but be patient with those players listed early in the season. They were ranked and selected high in your draft for a reason.
When using this list, try and remember a couple basic rules:
1) Studs – Always play your studs. Each position will include a list of players that are considered studs and should not be benched. If you have the luxury of needing to decide between studs, check out the matchups or feel free to let the shark tank assist you in your decisions.
2) Depth – Every fantasy team is different and some have more depth than others. Only follow the recommended moves if your team depth allows you to make such a move.
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay at N.Y. Giants
Drew Brees, New Orleans vs. Detroit
Tom Brady, New England vs. Indianapolis
Cam Newton, Carolina at Tampa Bay
Matthew Stafford, Detroit at New Orleans
Eli Manning, N.Y. Giants vs. Green Bay
Tony Romo, Dallas at Arizona
Matt Ryan, Atlanta at Houston
Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh vs. Cincinnati
Philip Rivers, San Diego at Jacksonville
Vince Young, Philadelphia at Seattle: With Michael Vick likely to miss a third straight game, Young should perform well against the Seahawks this week. Young has averaged 329 yards passing in his two starts with three touchdowns and four interceptions along with 45 rushing yards. Young was forced to throw often last week to try and keep up with the New England Patriots’ high-scoring offense. This week, he’ll be more efficient in the passing game minimizing his mistakes while still compiling some impressive numbers.
Matt Moore, Miami vs. Oakland: In his last three starts, Moore has averaged just 225 yards passing, but combining that with the seven touchdowns and only one interception, and you’ve got yourself a very capable injury replacement for your fantasy squad. Given the fact that the Raiders pass defense is one of just five teams this season to allow 20 or more passing touchdowns, you can expect solid numbers from Moore playing at home this week.
Joe Flacco, Baltimore at Cleveland: Flacco has been hit-or-miss all season. I’m fully expecting another miss this week against a Browns’ pass defense that has allowed the fewest passing yards in the NFL this season. Look for the Ravens to lean heavily on Ray Rice and the running game as they are able to move the ball on the ground much more effectively than they were able to do on Thanksgiving night. Don’t be surprised if Flacco throws for less than 200 yards this week, which would be the fifth time he’s hit that dubious mark this year.
Andy Dalton, Cincinnati at Pittsburgh: Dalton faced the Steelers just three short weeks ago and threw for 170 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions in Cincinnati. This week, the Bengals head to Pittsburgh, and Dalton won’t fare any better than he did the last time he faced the Steelers’ defense, which held his favorite receiver, A.J. Green, to just one catch for 36 yards who left the game early with a knee injury.