More Week 13:— — — — — — —
It's Week 13. The Fantasy playoffs start in most leagues next week, and you have to know who to trust.
This is crunch time.
Can you trust Jameis Winston coming back from a three-game absence with a shoulder injury, and what does that mean for Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson? Can you trust Devonta Freeman coming back from a two-game absence with a concussion, and now what happens with Tevin Coleman?
This isn't the time of year to be dealing with uncertainties, but we have a lot of them, unfortunately. It's been that kind of year.
But hopefully we'll give you some answers -- and some players to trust -- to help you win in this all-important week. So good luck, and we hope your Fantasy season will continue into Week 14 with a trip to the playoffs.
Editor's Note: Projections are provided by CBS Sports and not Jamey Eisenberg.
Start of the Week
It started around Week 3. That's when you could see that Alex Collins was clearly the best running back for the Ravens. From that point on, we were practically begging the Baltimore coaching staff to give him more work.
Slowly but surely his touches increased, and his breakout performance came in Week 8 against Miami during a Thursday night game. He had 18 carries for 113 yards and two catches for 30 yards, and there was no turning back then.
He finally found the end zone the past two games against the Packers and Texans, and he now has at least 12 Fantasy points in a standard league in three of his past four outings. He's also been much more involved in the passing game with nine catches for 52 yards on 12 targets over that span.
I'm expecting another strong performance from Collins this week against the Lions, who are No. 6 in Fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs this season. I expect Collins to be a top-10 running back in Week 13 against Detroit at home.
There is a great track record of running backs who have gotten at least 13 carries against the Lions this year, and Collins has at least 13 carries in four games in a row. Nine running backs have at least 13 carries against Detroit this year, and seven of them have scored double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league, including one in each of the past three games.
Collins will continue to share touches with Danny Woodhead and Javorius Allen, but he's been the best running back in Baltimore this year. And Collins will be among the best Fantasy running backs in any format this week.
It took a while, but the Ravens finally found their man. And Fantasy owners have reaped the benefits.
|23.2 projected points|
Philip Rivers Los Angeles Chargers QB
|Rivers was my other choice for Start of the Week, and he should be awesome against the Browns at home. He's playing great coming into this matchup with an average of 25.3 Fantasy points a game in his past three outings overall, and he's averaging 21.3 Fantasy points in his past three home games. The Browns have allowed three of the past four opposing quarterbacks to score at least 21 Fantasy points, and opposing quarterbacks are averaging 20.8 Fantasy points against Cleveland for the season. The only quarterback I like better than Rivers this week is Tom Brady.|
|22.5 projected points|
Kirk Cousins Washington Redskins QB
|The first time Cousins faced the Cowboys in Week 8 the game was played in a rainstorm, and the Redskins had plenty of issues on the offensive line because of injuries. We know the weather will be better in AT&T Stadium this week, but Washington still has issues along the offensive line, especially with left tackle Trent Williams (knee), right tackle Morgan Moses (knee/ankle) and right guard Brandon Scherff (knee) ailing. The good news is all three practiced on a limited basis Tuesday. Cousins only had 12 Fantasy points in the first game against Dallas, but he should play better this week. He's averaging 26.3 Fantasy points in his past three games, and in two career games at Dallas, Cousins has 625 passing yards, six touchdowns and no interceptions. The Cowboys are also allowing 20.7 Fantasy points a game to opposing quarterbacks this year.|
|21.6 projected points|
Cam Newton Carolina Panthers QB
|It was troubling that Newton came off his bye in Week 11 and struggled at the Jets in Week 12 with just 16 Fantasy points. This was after his dominant performance in Week 10 against Miami when he scored 43 Fantasy points, and it appeared like he had turned the corner with his production. I expect him to get back on track this week at New Orleans, and the Saints are banged up on defense, especially if starting cornerbacks Marshon Lattimore (ankle) and Ken Crawley (abdomen) remain out. Both sat last week at the Rams, and Jared Goff scored 24 Fantasy points, which came one week after Cousins had 31 points. Newton also has played well in New Orleans with an average of 260 passing yards, 13 total touchdowns and two interceptions in his past four games at the Superdome. He also has 181 rushing yards over that span. In a game where first place in the NFC South is on the line, I expect Newton to come through with a quality performance.|
|18.7 projected points|
Jared Goff Los Angeles Rams QB
|I was way off on Goff in Week 12 against New Orleans, and I didn't put enough emphasis on the injuries for the Saints defense. I also underestimated Goff, but he scored at least 20 Fantasy points for the fourth time in the past five games. The start of that stretch was Week 7 against Arizona in London, and Goff had 235 passing yards, one touchdown and one interception and 13 rushing yards with a score for 20 Fantasy points. Goff has scored at least 22 Fantasy points in three of five road games this year, and the Cardinals are allowing an average of 20.6 Fantasy points a game to opposing quarterbacks in 2017. Goff has the chance for another standout game this week.|
Tyrod Taylor Buffalo Bills QB
|The Patriots have done a nice job of late with their pass defense, and no opposing quarterback has scored more than 15 Fantasy points against them in their past four games. But earlier this season it was bad for New England when it came to opposing quarterbacks, and six scored at least 20 Fantasy points to open the year. Aside from Drew Brees in Week 2, the quarterbacks who have hurt the Patriots this year were guys not afraid to run. Every quarterback with at least three rushing attempts has scored at least 18 Fantasy points, which happened six times. Taylor has rushed at least three times in a game in all but one game this season, which was Week 5 at Cincinnati. I also like Taylor's track record against New England since he has scored at least 17 Fantasy points in three of four starts. And the Bills should be chasing points this week, which should help Taylor, who has at least 18 Fantasy points in four of five home games this year.|
- Case Keenum (at ATL): It's not an easy matchup against the Falcons, although Atlanta is dealing with injuries in the secondary to cornerbacks Desmond Trufant (concussion) and Brian Poole (hand). If both are out, that will help Keenum, who has four games in a row with at least 19 Fantasy points, including two games with at least 31 points. It's time to trust Keenum as a starting Fantasy quarterback in all leagues.
- Josh McCown (vs. KC): McCown has a better matchup than Keenum in Week 13 against the Chiefs, who are allowing an average of 19.6 Fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this year. And like Keenum, McCown has played well recently with at least 18 Fantasy points in five of his past six games, including 30 points against Carolina in Week 12. McCown also has proven himself trustworthy as a Fantasy quarterback in all formats.
- Brett Hundley (vs. TB): Hundley is worth using as a low-end starting option this week, especially in two-quarterback leagues. He just had the best game of his career against the Steelers in Week 12 with 27 Fantasy points, and this is a great matchup in Week 13 against the Buccaneers, who have allowed three of the past four opposing quarterbacks to score at least 18 Fantasy points.
|16.5 projected points|
Matthew Stafford Detroit Lions QB
|Stafford said the ankle he injured on Thanksgiving against Minnesota is "feeling better," but it's not a good situation to be facing the Ravens at less than 100 percent. Baltimore allows the second-fewest Fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks behind only Jacksonville, and Blake Bortles in Week 3 is the lone quarterback with more than 18 Fantasy points against the Ravens. Stafford has been playing great of late with an average of 21 Fantasy points in his past seven games, but Baltimore allows just 10.3 Fantasy points a game to opposing quarterbacks this year.|
|20.5 projected points|
Alex Smith Kansas City Chiefs QB
|There are some things to like about Smith this week. He has a great matchup at the Jets, who are allowing an average of 20.8 Fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season. And he's been better on the road than at home with at least 18 Fantasy points in 5-of-6 games away from Kansas City. But there's also some downside. He's struggling of late with 15 Fantasy points or less in three of his past four games, and he's potentially in danger of losing his job to rookie Patrick Mahomes since the team has lost five of its past six games. And the Jets have held their past two opposing quarterbacks to fewer than 16 Fantasy points in Ryan Fitzpatrick and Newton. Smith also had his worst game on the road (seven Fantasy points) in this building in Week 11 at the Giants, which could be a bad omen. Smith is just a No. 2 Fantasy quarterback this week.|
|19.8 projected points|
Marcus Mariota Tennessee Titans QB
|I had such high expectations for Mariota this year, but he's been mediocre at best as a Fantasy quarterback. He only has one game this season with 20-plus Fantasy points, which was Week 3 against Seattle, and he comes into this game with three touchdowns and seven interceptions in his past three outings. Now, this is a good matchup against the Texans, who have allowed four of their past five opposing quarterbacks to score at least 23 Fantasy points, so he could snap out of his funk. But Mariota has a bad track record against Houston with 298 passing yards, no touchdowns and three interceptions and 59 rushing yards and two touchdowns in two career meetings.|
|20.5 projected points|
Dak Prescott Dallas Cowboys QB
|The loss of Ezekiel Elliott (suspension), combined with injuries and poor play from his offensive line, has turned Prescott into a mediocre Fantasy quarterback. He has no touchdown passes in three games in a row, and he's passed for fewer than 180 yards in each game over that span. His Fantasy production in those three games is brutal with a combined 14 points. Left tackle Tyron Smith (back/groin) and left guard Zack Martin (concussion) have been limited in practice this week, but right tackle La'el Collins (back) has been out of practice. If any of the three are out, especially Smith and Martin, it could be another long day for Prescott, who only had six Fantasy points at Washington in Week 8 in the rain.|
|14.5 projected points|
Andy Dalton Cincinnati Bengals QB
|Dalton's woes in prime time are well documented, and he comes into this game on Thursday night with a record of 5-12 in night games since 2011. In those games, he's passed for 19 touchdowns and 14 interceptions, and he scored just eight Fantasy points against Houston on Thursday night in Week 2. Now, Dalton is rolling coming into this game, and he's the only starting quarterback who hasn't thrown an interception since Week 8. In that span, he has thrown for nine touchdowns, and he's scored at least 18 Fantasy points four of his past five games. But he had 13 Fantasy points at Pittsburgh in Week 7, and he's scored 13 points or less in four of his past five games against the Steelers. Dalton could play well this week given his recent level of play overall, but his track record in prime time and his history vs. Pittsburgh would suggest otherwise.|
Ryan has played well of late, but he's had a difficult time stringing together 20-point Fantasy games this season. He's averaging 19.2 Fantasy points a game over his past six outings, but he's scored 20 points just twice over that span, with a high of 22. That's unfortunately his high for the season, and he hasn't scored more than 18 Fantasy points at home this year. The Vikings have only allowed two quarterbacks to score 20 Fantasy points this season, which were Ben Roethlisberger in Week 2 and Cousins in Week 10. But in the past two weeks, Minnesota has shut down Goff and Stafford for an average of 13.5 Fantasy points. And for the season, opposing quarterbacks are averaging just 15.0 Fantasy points against the Vikings this year. Ryan is just a No. 2 Fantasy quarterback at best this week.
|11.1 Projected points|
Samaje Perine Washington Redskins RB
|Perine has been exceptional for the past two weeks with Rob Kelley (knee) and Chris Thompson (leg) out, and he should have another solid outing at Dallas on Thursday night. In his past two games against New Orleans and the Giants, Perine has 47 carries for 217 yards (4.6 yards per carry) and a touchdown and four catches for 39 yards on four targets. Dallas linebacker Sean Lee (hamstring) is expected to be out again, and in the four games he has missed this season, the Cowboys have allowed four touchdowns to opposing running backs and four to score double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league. Kelley also scored against Dallas in Week 8.|
|12.6 projected points|
Carlos Hyde San Francisco 49ers RB
|Hyde has been great for PPR owners this season, and he has at least seven catches in two of his past three games. But he hasn't scored a touchdown since Week 7 and has scored single digits in Fantasy points in four of his past five games. This week, Hyde should break out of his standard-league slump with a quality outing at Chicago. The quarterback change to Jimmy Garoppolo will hopefully open up the offense, and the Bears have allowed four touchdowns to running backs in the past four games. Hyde's start percentage was under 80 percent on CBS Sports as of Wednesday afternoon, but don't shy away from starting Hyde this week.|
|9.3 projected points|
Dion Lewis New England Patriots RB
|Lewis was great as the Start of the Week in Week 12 against Miami with 15 carries for 112 yards and one catch for 1 yard. He lost out on two touchdowns to Rex Burkhead, but Lewis has now scored at least 11 Fantasy points in a standard league three games in a row. He should stay hot again this week at Buffalo, and the Bills allow the second-most Fantasy points to opposing running backs for the season. I like Burkhead (8.0 projected points) as a low-end starting option in all leagues as well, but Lewis should once again have another solid outing.|
|8.8 projected points|
Marshawn Lynch Oakland Raiders RB
|Lynch had his biggest workload of the season in Week 12 against Denver with 26 carries and three catches, and he finished with 111 total yards and a touchdown. He should get another heavy workload this week with Michael Crabtree (suspension) out and Amari Cooper (concussion/ankle) banged up. The Giants have allowed four running backs to score or gain 100 total yards in the past four games, and Lynch has double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league in three of the five home games he's been able to finish this year (he was ejected in Week 7 against Kansas City for making contact with an official). Lynch could easily be a top-10 Fantasy running back this week.|
|10.7 projected points|
Kenyan Drake Miami Dolphins RB
|Drake is expected to get a lot of work in Week 13 against the Broncos with Damien Williams (shoulder) out, and he should have a quality outing against Denver at home. Since the Dolphins traded Jay Ajayi to the Eagles prior to Week 9, Drake or Williams has either scored a touchdown or gain 100 total yards in each of the past four games, with Drake doing that three times. He's been at 15 touches or less in each of those games, but I would expect that to be his floor with Williams out. The Broncos have allowed nine touchdowns to opposing running backs in the past four games, and defensive linemen Derek Wolfe (neck) and Domata Peko (knee) are banged up. If both are out then Drake could have a big game at home.|
- Jerick McKinnon (at ATL): Even though Latavius Murray has outplayed McKinnon over the past three games, I like McKinnon better this week because of his role in the passing game. The Falcons have struggled against pass-catching running backs for the past two years, and they are tied for third this season for receptions to running backs with 68. McKinnon has at least five catches in four of his past seven games.
- Alfred Morris (vs. WAS): Revenge game? If the Cowboys can get their offensive line going, and Morris can get more work than Rod Smith, then he's worth the risk as at least a flex option in standard leagues. Morris has yet to score since taking over as the starter for Elliott, but the Redskins have allowed three touchdowns to running backs over the past three games.
- Devontae Booker (at MIA): Booker came so close to having a quality Fantasy performance in Week 12 at Oakland when his 19-yard reception, which was initially ruled a touchdown, was called down at the 1-yard line in the second quarter. Instead, Booker had just six carries for 11 yards and two catches for 22 yards, but he's worth using as a flex option this week. The Dolphins have allowed seven running backs to score a touchdown or gain 100 rushing yards in their past five games.
- Duke Johnson (at LAC): I expect the Browns to be chasing points this week, and Johnson should be heavily involved in the passing game. He has at least four catches in each of the past five games, and he's scored at least eight Fantasy points in a standard league in two of his past three outings. The Chargers have allowed eight running backs to catch at least four passes in a game this season and are tied for first in receptions allowed to running backs this year.
- Tarik Cohen (vs. SF): I'm expecting Jordan Howard to have a big game this week because the 49ers are terrible against opposing running backs, and Cohen could also get in on the action. He has at least seven Fantasy points in a standard league in four of six home games this season, and San Francisco is among the league leaders in receptions allowed to running backs with 67. Six running backs have scored at least seven Fantasy points in a standard league with their receiving stats alone against the 49ers this year.
|7.8 projected points|
Orleans Darkwa New York Giants RB
|We're going to shy away from most of the Giants this week with Eli Manning getting benched in favor of Geno Smith, including Darkwa. He's coming off a bad game in Week 12 at Washington with 11 carries for 30 yards and one catch for 9 yards. The offensive line is also banged up with right guard D.J. Fluker (toe) out for the season, although right tackle Justin Pugh (back) could return this week. Darkwa is just a flex option in standard leagues at best this week.|
|7.4 projected points|
Ameer Abdullah Detroit Lions RB
|The Ravens haven't allowed a running back to rush for more than 57 yards in their past four games, and Lamar Miller in Week 12 is the lone running back with double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league against Baltimore over that span. Abdullah has been held under 55 rushing yards for the past seven games, and he's only scored double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league just once over that span. He does have three touchdowns in his past four games, but his lack of total yardage or consistent production makes him hard to trust in this game on the road.|
|6.9 projected points|
Jay Ajayi Philadelphia Eagles RB
|Ajayi's upside was on display during his first two games with the Eagles following his trade from Miami. He had a 46-yard touchdown run in Week 9 against Denver and a 71-yard run in Week 11 at Dallas. But his downside was evident in Week 12 against Chicago when he was held to five carries for 26 yards and one catch for 7 yards. He has yet to top eight carries in a game with Philadelphia, and he will continue to share touches with LeGarrette Blount and Corey Clement. Heading into a tough matchup with the Seahawks, who allow the fifth-fewest Fantasy points to opposing running backs this year, Ajayi will likely need a touchdown to save his production this week. I'd avoid him if you could in most leagues.|
|9.7 projected points|
Tevin Coleman Atlanta Falcons RB
|It was easy to support starting Coleman this week if Freeman was going to be out after he missed the past two games with a concussion. But since Freeman is expected to return, it's easy to bench Coleman in the majority of leagues when you factor in the tough matchup with Minnesota. The Vikings allow the fewest Fantasy points to opposing running backs this year, and Minnesota has allowed just four total touchdowns to the position. Freeman and Coleman will once again split touches, but you should expect Freeman to get the majority of work now that he's healthy. I'd still use Coleman as a flex option in most formats, but Freeman's return severely lowers his ceiling in Week 13.|
|8.4 projected points|
Frank Gore Indianapolis Colts RB
|Gore was great in Week 12 against Tennessee with 17 carries for 62 yards and a touchdown and two catches for 17 yards on five targets. It was his third game this season with double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league, and all three of those games have come at home. On the road, Gore is averaging just 6.6 Fantasy points a game in five outings, and he only had three Fantasy points against Jacksonville at home in Week 7 with nine carries for 34 yards and no catches. The Jaguars run defense has been tough since adding defensive lineman Marcell Dareus in a trade from Buffalo prior to Week 9, and Gore is just a flex option at best in this matchup.|
Murray scored a touchdown in Week 12 at Indianapolis, but he's been bad of late and could struggle again this week against the Texans. He's been under 20 rushing yards in three of his past four games and hasn't rushed for more than 60 yards in eight games in a row. He struggled at Houston in Week 4 with seven carries for 31 yards and two catches for 4 yards, and the Texans are No. 4 in fewest Fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs. I'd rather start Derrick Henry over Murray in standard leagues, but Murray still has some value in PPR since he has 12 catches in his past three games. Still, based on his recent level of play, Murray is just a flex option at best in most formats.
|8.9 projected points|
Davante Adams Green Bay Packers WR
|Adams has been great with Hundley, and if you've been reluctant to buy it, don't be anymore. He has 25 catches for 351 yards and two touchdowns on 37 targets in his past four games and has scored at least 12 Fantasy points in a standard league in each of his past three outings. He also has a dream matchup this week against Tampa Bay, and the Buccaneers have allowed the most Fantasy points to opposing receivers this year.|
|6.7 projected points|
Jamison Crowder Washington Redskins WR
|I also like Josh Doctson (8.4 projected points) as a sleeper this week, but Crowder is a must-start Fantasy option in the majority of leagues. The Cowboys have been awful at defending slot receivers this season, and Crowder had nine catches for 123 yards on 13 targets against Dallas in Week 8. In his past four games, Crowder has 27 catches for 412 yards and one touchdown on 42 targets, and he's clearly been the go-to weapon for Cousins. Crowder should be considered a top-10 Fantasy receiver in the majority of leagues this week, and Doctson is a low-end starting option in all formats.|
|8.5 projected points|
Robby Anderson New York Jets WR
|Anderson comes into Week 13 against the Chiefs riding a five-game touchdown streak, and he's averaging 15 Fantasy points a game in standard leagues over that span. He was amazing in Week 12 against Carolina with six catches for 146 yards and two touchdowns on 10 targets, and he's scored double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league in 4-of-7 games when he's had at least six targets this year, including three times in a row. He should have another standout game this week against the Chiefs, who are allowing the second-most Fantasy points to opposing receivers this season.|
|9.4 projected points|
Devin Funchess Carolina Panthers WR
|Funchess is dealing with a toe injury, so keep an eye on his status prior to Sunday. He's expected to play at New Orleans, and he should have the chance for another outstanding game, especially if Lattimore and Crawley remain out. Since the Panthers traded Kelvin Benjamin to Buffalo three games ago, Funchess has 17 catches for 286 yards and two touchdowns on 25 targets. With Lattimore and Crawley out last week at Los Angeles, the Rams had Sammy Watkins, Cooper Kupp and Josh Reynolds combine for 16 catches, 235 yards and two touchdowns on 26 targets. It could be a big week for Funchess against the Saints.|
|6.7 projected points|
Cooper Kupp Los Angeles Rams WR
|As we just said above, Kupp and his teammates went off against the Saints in Week 12 in the first game without Robert Woods (shoulder), and Kupp had eight catches for 116 yards on 11 targets. This week, Kupp and Reynolds, another sleeper, should play well against the Cardinals, but Watkins will likely get shadow coverage from Arizona's standout cornerback Patrick Peterson. These teams met in Week 7 in London, and Kupp had four catches for 51 yards and a touchdown on 10 targets, and he could have a similar performance in the rematch.|
- Marqise Lee (vs. IND): Don't look at Lee's past two games and judge him on that production, which was a combined five Fantasy points in a standard league. He played in horrible weather in Week 11 at Cleveland and then had to deal with Peterson in Week 12 at Arizona. Prior to that, he scored at least nine Fantasy points in 3-of-4 games, and the Colts are without cornerback Rashaan Melvin (hand) this week. Lee has top-20 upside in Week 13.
- Zay Jones (vs. NE): Jones still has a hard time catching the ball, but he has played well of late and benefits with Benjamin (knee) out. He also has a favorable matchup against the Patriots in Week 13. In his past three games, Jones has 13 catches for 154 yards and two touchdowns on 24 targets. It would be nice if he had a better catch rate, but clearly Taylor is leaning on him.
- DeVante Parker (vs. DEN): Jay Cutler is back after missing one game with a concussion, and that's good news for Parker. This stat is courtesy of our podcast host, Adam Aizer, but in the five games started and finished by Cutler, Parker has averaged 74.4 yards per game, which would have put him on pace for 1,190 yards over 16 games. That excludes the Tennessee game in Week 5 when Parker left with an injury, but it's clear Parker and Cutler have good rapport. And with Aqib Talib (suspension) out, the Broncos secondary isn't as intimidating. Parker is a No. 3 Fantasy receiver this week.
- Dontrelle Inman (vs. SF): Inman has emerged as the No. 1 receiver for the Bears, and he's done a nice job in two of his past three games, with a good matchup on tap in Week 13 against the 49ers. In Week 10, Inman had six catches for 88 yards on eight targets, and he had four catches for 64 yards on nine targets in Week 12 at Philadelphia. The 49ers have allowed a receiver to score in five of their past six games, and Inman could get his first touchdown of the season in Week 13.
- Marquise Goodwin (at CHI): Like Inman with the Bears, Goodwin has emerged as the No. 1 receiver for the 49ers, and he's been productive in each of his past three games. He has seven catches for 229 yards and a touchdown on 16 targets over that span, and hopefully we'll see Garoppolo lean on him as much if not more than C.J. Beathard did. Goodwin is worth using as a No. 3 Fantasy receiver in Week 13 at Chicago.
|6.2 projected points|
T.Y. Hilton Indianapolis Colts WR
|The first time Hilton faced this Jaguars secondary was in Week 7 at home, and he finished with just two catches for 27 yards on eight targets. Jacksonville, with cornerbacks Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye, has the best pass defense in the NFL, and only two receivers have scored against the Jaguars this year. Hilton has scored two Fantasy points or less in a standard league in five of his past six games, and there's no way to trust him as a starter in the majority of leagues this week given the matchup.|
|7.2 projected points|
DeSean Jackson Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR
|Jackson gets Winston back at quarterback this week, but the Buccaneers offensive line is a mess with center Ali Marpet (knee) and right tackle Demar Dotson (knee) now out for the year after getting hurt in Week 12. That won't help Winston look downfield for Jackson, who hasn't scored double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league in his past seven games. He only has three touchdowns on the season, and Jackson should just be considered a No. 3 Fantasy receiver at best this week.|
|8.6 projected points|
Dez Bryant Dallas Cowboys WR
|Like all the Cowboys, Bryant has struggled of late, and he comes into Week 13 against the Redskins with a five-game scoreless streak. One of those games was against Washington in Week 8 when he was held to four catches for 39 yards on six targets. Bryant has now gone 18 games in a row in the regular season without gaining 100 receiving yards, and it's hard to trust him when he's not scoring touchdowns. He's just a No. 3 Fantasy receiver at best in this matchup against the Redskins, and he will likely see plenty of coverage from standout cornerback Josh Norman, which will make it even tougher for Bryant to produce.|
|4.3 projected points||Josh Gordon|
|We're all excited that Gordon is back from his suspension, which has kept him off the field since 2014. And he should be owned in all leagues. But you don't have to start him in Week 13 at Los Angeles, and he should be considered a No. 3 Fantasy receiver at best in his return to action. While all the practice reports about Gordon have been glowing, he still has to prove himself in live action against a Chargers secondary that has allowed just one touchdown, and one receiver to score double digits in Fantasy points in its past five games. Corey Coleman is also a risky Fantasy option this week, but I like him better than Gordon since he's been playing. Eventually, I expect Gordon to be a quality Fantasy option, but give him a week before inserting him into your lineup.|
|3.6 projected points|
Martavis Bryant Pittsburgh Steelers WR
|Bryant could be in line for an expanded role again this week at Cincinnati if JuJu Smith-Schuster (hamstring) remains out, and Bryant played well in Week 12 when Smith-Schuster was sidelined against Green Bay. Bryant had four catches for 40 yards and a touchdown on six targets, and it was his second-best Fantasy game of the season after he had 15 points in Week 2 against Minnesota. Obviously, if Smith-Schuster plays, you should avoid Bryant in the majority of leagues. But Bryant is also risky if Smith-Schuster is out since the Bengals are No. 3 in fewest Fantasy points allowed to opposing receivers. And Bryant also has a spotty track record on the road with three touchdowns in 14 career road outings.|
Watkins will likely get plenty of attention from Peterson this week, which is why he's in this category. It was good to see him get plenty of targets last week against the Saints with Woods out. He had a season-best nine targets, and he finished with four catches for 82 yards and a touchdown, which was the third time he's scored in the past four games. Peterson should make life tough on Watkins on Sunday, and Watkins only had three catches for 42 yards on five targets in Week 7 against the Cardinals in London. Watkins is just a No. 3 Fantasy receiver this week in the majority of leagues.
|7.6 projected points|
Jared Cook Oakland Raiders TE
|Let's hope Cook is ready for this game because he will likely see a season-high in targets with Crabtree out and Cooper not expected to play. Cook has three games this season with at least seven targets, and he's scored double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league in two of them. This is a dream matchup against the Giants, who have allowed the most Fantasy points to tight ends this year. A tight end has scored or gone over 100 receiving yards in 10-of-11 games, and Cook has the chance to be a top-five player at his position this week.|
|6.4 projected points|
Hunter Henry Los Angeles Chargers TE
|Another tight end with a fantastic matchup this week is Henry, who appears to be back as a focal point of the Chargers offense. He faces the Browns this week, and Cleveland has allowed the fifth-most Fantasy points to opposing tight ends this year. A tight end has scored against the Browns in four games in a row coming into Week 13, and Henry just had his best game of the year in Week 12 at Dallas with five catches for 76 yards and a touchdown on five targets. He has 10 targets in his past two games, and you should be able to trust Henry in this matchup against Cleveland.|
|7.4 projected points|
Vernon Davis Washington Redskins TE
|One of the biggest disappointments in Week 12 was Davis because he failed to deliver in his matchup against the Giants. Scroll up to the blurb on Cook where it says a tight end has scored or gone over 100 receiving yards against the Giants in 10-of-11 games, and Davis was that 11th man. He had no catches on one target in Week 12, but he will rebound this week against the Cowboys. With Jordan Reed (hamstring) out, Davis will again operate as the No. 1 tight end for Cousins, and Dallas has allowed a tight end to score in three of the past four games. Davis hasn't scored since Week 3, but this is a good spot for him to bounce back in a big way.|
- Charles Clay (vs. NE): The Bills should be chasing point this week, and Clay will likely see plenty of targets. He had a solid game in Week 12 at Kansas City with four catches for 60 yards on four targets, and he should continue to be a go-to guy for Taylor, especially with Benjamin out. New England has allowed five tight ends to score this year.
- Ricky Seals-Jones (vs. LAR): In two games since becoming a featured part of the offense, especially with Blaine Gabbert under center, Seals-Jones has seven catches for 126 yards and three touchdowns on 11 targets. He's become the second-best receiving threat for the Cardinals behind Larry Fitzgerald, and Seals-Jones should be considered a low-end starting option in Week 13 against the Rams.
- Julius Thomas (vs. DEN): Thomas is worth a look in deeper leagues given the matchup with the Broncos, who allow the second-most Fantasy points to opposing tight ends. It's also a revenge game for Thomas, who started his career with the Broncos, and he has two touchdowns in his past four games. It should help Thomas that Cutler is back for this game.
|5.2 projected points|
Austin Hooper Atlanta Falcons TE
|It doesn't appear like Hooper and Mohamed Sanu can be productive in the same game. As Sanu has come on of late, Hooper has struggled with five catches for 37 yards on seven targets in his past two games. And Hooper has a tough matchup in Week 13 against Minnesota. The Vikings haven't allowed a tight end to score since Week 5, and only Davis in Week 10 had more than three Fantasy points against Minnesota in the past six games.|
|5.2 projected points|
Tyler Kroft Cincinnati Bengals TE
|Kroft scored at Pittsburgh in Week 7 with four catches for 23 yards on four targets, and he has a touchdown in two games in a row. But he hasn't scored double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league in seven consecutive games, and Kroft is one of just two tight ends to score against the Steelers this year, along with Adam Shaheen in Week 3. Kroft is just a No. 2 Fantasy tight end this week.|
|6.5 projected points|
Austin Seferian-Jenkins New York Jets TE
|One of our podcast listeners has a great name for Seferian-Jenkins based on some of his failed attempts at scoring touchdowns this year, calling him "Almost Seferian-Jenkins." It seems weekly that Seferian-Jenkins either drops a touchdown or gets one called back due to a penalty or bad replay call. As a result, he hasn't scored four games in a row, and he's averaging just 3.0 Fantasy points in a standard league over that span. He also has a tough matchup this week against the Chiefs, who have allowed just one touchdown to a tight end all season.|
I'm nervous about starting Engram this week with Smith starting in place of Manning. It's a great matchup against the Raiders, but Engram has struggled of late with four catches for 27 yards on 13 targets in his past two games against Kansas City and Washington. Maybe Smith will continue to feature Engram, who could lose some targets with Sterling Shepard (migraines) coming back. Or Engram could continue to post mediocre stats, and it might be risky to start him. If you can find another option that might be the right move to make.
Chargers (vs. CLE) – 15.0 projected points
The Chargers DST is ranked No. 2 for me this week, and I expect Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram to wreak havoc against the Browns. This defense has feasted on bad offenses recently with 27 Fantasy points against Denver in Week 7, 11 points against Jacksonville in Week 10, 27 points against Buffalo in Week 11 and 24 points against Dallas in Week 12. This week will be the same story, and the Browns have allowed an average of 14.7 Fantasy points a game to opposing DSTs this year. The best part for the Chargers DST is the Browns have allowed at least four sacks in four of their past six games, and the Chargers have 14 sacks in their past five outings. They also have nine interceptions in their past three games, and they should be a dominant unit in Week 13.
- Redskins (at DAL): The Cowboys offense has been a disaster of late, and their past three opponents – Atlanta, Philadelphia and the Chargers – have scored at least 22 Fantasy points. Prescott has been sacked 14 times over that span with five interceptions, and the Redskins DST just dominated the Giants with 18 Fantasy points.
- Titans (vs. HOU): Tom Savage could get benched if he continues to struggle, and he has five interceptions in his past three starts. He's also been sacked six times over that span, and the Texans have been held under 17 points in two of those games. The Titans DST also scored 16 Fantasy points against the Colts in Week 12 with eight sacks.
- Raiders (vs. NYG): The Raiders DST is coming off their best game of the season in Week 12 against the Broncos, and they finally got their first interception in that game. That's amazing. They might start a streak this week now that the Giants are starting Geno Smith. It's risky to trust a defense like Oakland that has been mediocre this season, but the matchup with the Giants is worth it.
Seahawks (vs. PHI) – 9.8 projected points
The Seahawks are beat up defensively, and they should struggle this week against the Eagles. Carson Wentz hasn't thrown an interception in three games in a row, and he's been sacked just three times over that span. Philadelphia is also scoring an average of 31.9 points a game for the season, and the Eagles have scored at least 31 points in five games in a row. The Seahawks DST was held to five Fantasy points in Week 11 against Atlanta at home, and they will likely be in that range again this week.
Sebastian Janikowski (back) isn't going to return this season, so Tavecchio will remain Oakland's kicker for the rest of the year. He only has two games this season with double digits in Fantasy points, but he's facing a Giants team that allows the sixth-most Fantasy points to opposing kickers. Three of the past four opposing kickers against the Giants have made multiple field goals, and Tavecchio is a great streaming option in Week 13.
- Ka'imi Fairbairn (at TEN): Fairbairn is coming off one of his best games of the season in Week 12 at Baltimore with 10 Fantasy points, and he has a favorable matchup in Week 13 at Tennessee. He had 17 Fantasy points in Week 4 against the Titans with three field goals and six extra points, and Tennessee allows the fourth-most Fantasy points to opposing kickers. Two kickers in a row have made multiple field goals against the Titans.
- Josh Lambo (vs. IND): The Colts allow the third-most Fantasy points to opposing kickers, and Lambo had two field goals and three extra points at Indianapolis in Week 7. Lambo is due for a big performance after combining for 19 Fantasy points in his past three games, and this is a get-right spot against the Colts at home.
- Robbie Gould (at CHI): It's everyone's favorite, the kicker revenge game, since Gould spent the majority of his career with the Bears. He already played Chicago in 2016 when he was with the Giants and had one field goal and one extra point, but this is his first trip to the Windy City since being cut after the 2015 season. Having Garoppolo starting for the 49ers should help the offense, and Gould is worth using as a streaming option this week.
Walsh had 11 Fantasy points in his last home game against the Falcons in Week 11, but he only has three games with double digits in Fantasy points this year. The Eagles have only allowed four kickers to make multiple field goals against them, and only two kickers have scored double digits in Fantasy points. I hate sitting kickers at home when they have a good offense, but this could be a tough spot for Seattle, which should be bad for Walsh scoring a lot of points.