Fantasy Football Projections: Early Look at Top Matchup Plays for Week 13
It's Week 13 of the 2012 NFL season, and that means this it in a great many fantasy football leagues because this week will bring with it the conclusion of the regular season.
That means that in effect the playoffs start this week for many teams, as those squads face must-win scenarios unless they want this week's matchup to be their last of the year.
For those owners every potential point could make the difference between victory and defeat, so to help you get every last point out of your lineup here's a look at some of the top less-than-obvious matchup plays for Week 13.
Chad Henne, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars (at BUF)
After watching Blaine Gabbert show what an NFL quarterback isn't supposed to do in every possible way, the Jaguars were forced to turn to backup Chad Henne when Gabbert suffered a season-ending injury. However, if the last two weeks are any indication then Gabbert's window of opportunity has closed.
For the second straight week, Henne played well in leading the Jaguars to a win over the Tennessee Titans. While the fifth-year pro's 261 yards and two scores wasn't earth-shattering, fantasy owners in a bind at quarterback could do worse, especially heading into another favorable fantasy matchup.
Other quarterbacks with favorable matchups: Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins (vs. NE), Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers (at KC), Ryan Fitzpatrick, Buffalo Bills (vs. JAX)
Jamaal Charles, RB, Kansas City Chiefs (vs. CAR)
It's been a maddening season for fantasy owners of Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles. As good as Charles has looked running the ball, the fifth-year pro's production has been hamstrung by the horrendous Kansas City offense.
With that said, if there was ever a week for Charles to leave his fantasy owners smiling it would seem to be Week 13, as the Chiefs play host to a Carolina Panthers squad that has allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to running backs this year.
Other running backs with favorable matchups: Jalen Parmele, Jacksonville Jaguars (at BUF), Michael Turner, Atlanta Falcons (vs. NO), Marcel Reece, Oakland Raiders (vs. CLE)
Eric Decker, WR, Denver Broncos (vs. TB)
The Denver Broncos have been chugging right along. However, as quarterback Peyton Manning has been making his case for a fifth Most Valuable Player award, the statistical production of wideout Eric Decker has tailed off. The third-year pro has made only eight catches for 102 yards and a touchdown over the past three games.
This week the stage appears to be set for a bounceback game from Decker. He and the Broncos play host to a Tampa Bay Buccaneers team that has been the friendliest fantasy matchup for opposing wide receivers in 2012.
Other wide receivers with favorable matchups: Denarius Moore, Oakland Raiders (vs. CLE), Ryan Broyles, Detroit Lions (vs. IND), Pierre Garcon, Washington Redskins (vs. NYG)
Martellus Bennett, TE, New York Giants (at WAS)
The New York Giants opened a can of you-know-what on the Green Bay Packers coming out of their bye week. Not only did the team play super on the field, but it was also heroic off of it. Tight end Martellus Bennett caught a man that was about to fall from a concourse according to Cindy Boren of The Washington Post.
Bennett, who has dubbed himself "The Black Unicorn" (you can't make this stuff up), had three catches for 44 yards in the game, and he faces a Washington Redskins squad in Week 13 that is surrendering the most fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season.
Other tight ends with favorable matchups: Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers (vs. CIN), Dallas Clark, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at DEN), Rob Housler, Arizona Cardinals (at NYJ)
New York Jets Defense/Special Teams (vs. AZ)
At first glance it may seem a bit odd that I'm recommending a team defense that just allowed 35 points...in a quarter.
OK, so it looks weird on second glance and third glance too.
That said, if there was ever a matchup that could make the New York Jets defense look good it's Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals. They have allowed the most sacks and fantasy points to opposing defenses and gave up a pair of defensive touchdowns a week ago.
Other team defenses with favorable matchups: Seattle Seahawks (at CHI), Dallas Cowboys (vs. PHI), Carolina Panthers (at KC)