Fantasy Football Week 13 Rankings: Top 20 Players at Every Position

Gary DavenportNFL AnalystNovember 28, 2012

Fantasy Football Week 13 Rankings: Top 20 Players at Every Position

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    It's lucky Week 13 of the 2012 fantasy football season, and that means that it's the end of the line in many fantasy leagues, as this week's games bring with them the end of the regular season.

    That makes this week the most important game of the season for many fantasy owners, as it's really quite simple.

    Win and you're in the playoffs. Lose and that's all she wrote.

    No pressure though.

    So, as we prepare for the week that will define many seasons, here's a look at my Week 13 fantasy football rankings for point-per-reception (PPR) leagues.

Drew Brees and the Top 20 Quarterbacks

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    I will freely admit that I despise the Thursday night games.

    More often than not the short turnaround between the week before and the NFL's weekly cash grab results in sloppily played games that generate paltry fantasy production.

    However, if ever there was a week for that trend to get bucked it's this week, as an absolutely desperate New Orleans Saints team meets the 10-1 Atlanta Falcons in a game that has shootout written all over it.

    1.) Drew Brees - NO at ATL

    2.) Aaron Rodgers - GB vs. MIN

    3.) Robert Griffin III - WAS vs. NYG

    4.) Peyton Manning - DEN vs. TB

    5.) Tom Brady - NE at MIA

    6.) Matt Ryan - ATL vs. NO

    7.) Cam Newton - CAR at KC

    8.) Matthew Stafford - DET vs. IND

    9.) Eli Manning - NYG at WAS

    10.) Andy Dalton - CIN at SD

    11.) Andrew Luck - IND at DET

    12.) Tony Romo - DAL vs. PHI

    13.) Colin Kaepernick - SF at STL

    14.) Carson Palmer - OAK vs. CLE

    15.) Matt Schaub - HOU at TEN

    16.) Josh Freeman - TB at DEN

    17.) Jay Cutler - CHI vs. SEA

    18.) Ryan Fitzpatrick - BUF vs. JAX

    19.) Philip Rivers - SD vs. CIN

    20.) Chad Henne - JAX at BUF

Adrian Peterson and the Top 20 Running Backs

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    Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has accomplished a lot in his storied NFL career, but what the sixth-year pro is doing this season may be the most remarkable of all.

    Still less than one year removed from a serious knee injury, Peterson leads the NFL with 1,236 rushing yards, averaging a career-high 5.8 yards per tote.

    The 27-year-old has topped 100 yards in five straight games, and although the Green Bay Packers have been solid against the run in 2012, "All Day" has been as matchup-proof as they come this year.

    1.) Adrian Peterson - MIN at GB

    2.) Arian Foster - HOU at TEN

    3.) Doug Martin - TB at DEN

    4.) Ray Rice - BAL vs. PIT

    5.) C.J. Spiller - BUF vs. JAX

    6.) Trent Richardson - CLE at OAK

    7.) Chris Johnson - TEN vs. HOU

    8.) Frank Gore - SF at STL

    9.) Jamaal Charles - KC vs. CAR

    10.) Alfred Morris - WAS vs. NYG

    11.) Marshawn Lynch - SEA at CHI

    12.) Ahmad Bradshaw - NYG at WAS

    13.) Marcel Reece - OAK vs. CLE

    14.) Steven Jackson - STL vs. SF

    15.) Bryce Brown - PHI at DAL

    16.) BenJarvus Green-Ellis - CIN at SD

    17.) Reggie Bush - MIA vs. NE

    18.) Stevan Ridley - NE at MIA

    19.) Ryan Mathews - SD vs. CIN

    20.) Darren Sproles - NO at ATL

Calvin Johnson and the Top 20 Wide Receivers

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    Order has been restored to the universe.

    After a very sluggish first half of the 2012 season fantasy, owners of Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson are finally getting the return on their investment that they expected.

    The sixth-year pro has topped 100 receiving yards and caught a touchdown pass in three straight games, and with a matchup on tap with an Indianapolis Colts team allowing the fifth-most fantasy points to wide receivers in 2012, "Megatron" is the top fantasy play at the position this week.

    1.) Calvin Johnson - DET vs. IND

    2.) A.J. Green - CIN at SD

    3.) Brandon Marshall - CHI vs. SEA

    4.) Reggie Wayne - IND at DET

    5.) Julio Jones - ATL vs. NO

    6.) Demaryius Thomas - DEN vs. TB

    7.) Victor Cruz - NYG at WAS

    8.) Wes Welker - NE at MIA

    9.) Andre Johnson - HOU at TEN

    10.) Roddy White - ATL vs. NO

    11.) Dez Bryant - DAL vs. PHI

    12.) Marques Colston - NO at ATL

    13.) Hakeem Nicks - NYG at WAS

    14.) Cecil Shorts - JAX at BUF

    15.) Vincent Jackson - TB at DEN

    16.) Eric Decker - DEN vs. TB

    17.) Randall Cobb - GB vs. MIN

    18.) Steve Johnson - BUF vs. JAX

    19.) Jeremy Maclin - PHI at DAL

    20.) Danario Alexander - SD vs. CIN

Jimmy Graham and the Top 20 Tight Ends

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    With Rob Gronkowski of the New England Patriots on the shelf with a broken forearm, there's very little question as to who the king of the mountain is at the tight end position.

    Jimmy Graham of the New Orleans Saints trails only Gronkowski in fantasy points per game at the position this season, and it's Graham and his opponent's counterpart who top the Week 13 tight end rankings.

    1.) Jimmy Graham - NO at ATL

    2.) Tony Gonzalez - ATL vs. NO

    3.) Jason Witten - DAL vs. PHI

    4.) Owen Daniels - HOU at TEN

    5.) Aaron Hernandez - NE at MIA

    6.) Brandon Myers - OAK vs. CLE

    7.) Brandon Pettigrew - DET vs. IND

    8.) Jermaine Gresham - CIN at SD

    9.) Antonio Gates - SD vs. CIN

    10.) Greg Olsen - CAR at KC

    11.) Vernon Davis - SF at STL

    12.) Kyle Rudolph - MIN at GB

    13.) Martellus Bennett - NYG at WAS

    14.) Scott Chandler - BUF vs. JAX

    15.) Jermichael Finley - GB vs. MIN

    16.) Brent Celek - PHI at DAL

    17.) Dallas Clark - TB at DEN

    18.) Jacob Tamme - DEN vs. TB

    19.) Dustin Keller - NYJ vs. ARI

    20.) Heath Miller - PIT at BAL

Matt Bryant and the Top 20 Kickers

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    In fantasy football the kicker position is easily the least predictable, as even if you find one with a solid matchup there's no guarantee that said kicker won't spend the day kicking extra points instead of field goals.

    Great for his team, but for his fantasy owners not so much.

    With that said, however, Matt Bryant of the Atlanta Falcons is fantasy's second-ranked kicker after 12 weeks, and the 11th-year veteran should see plenty of scoring chances against the New Orleans Saints Thursday night.

    1.) Matt Bryant - ATL vs. NO

    2.) Stephen Gostkowski - NE at MIA

    3.) Lawrence Tynes - NYG at WAS

    4.) Jason Hanson - DET vs. IND

    5.) Garrett Hartley - NO at ATL

    6.) Matt Prater - DEN vs. TB

    7.) Mason Crosby - GB vs. MIN

    8.) Shayne Graham - HOU at TEN

    9.) Dan Bailey - DAL vs. PHI

    10.) Mike Nugent - CIN at SD

    11.) David Akers - SF at STL

    12.) Sebastian Janikowski - OAK vs. CLE

    13.) Adam Vinatieri - IND at DET

    14.) Robbie Gould - CHI vs. SEA

    15.) Rian Lindell - BUF vs. JAX

    16.) Blair Walsh - MIN at GB

    17.) Justin Tucker - BAL vs. PIT

    18.) Kai Forbath - WAS vs. NYG

    19.) Phil Dawson - CLE at OAK

    20.) Connor Barth - TB at DEN

New York Jets and the Top 20 Defenses

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    Apparently the New York Jets decided that it was important to get into the true spirit of Thanksgiving in Week 12, because the team put up one turkey of a performance against the New England Patriots.

    Gobble gobble.

    However, in fantasy football it's important to have a short memory sometimes, and as bad as the Jets defense looked last week the fact remains that this week Gang Green draws a fantastic matchup with an Arizona Cardinals team allowing the most fantasy points to opposing defenses this year.

    1.) New York Jets - NYJ vs. ARI

    2.) Baltimore Ravens - BAL vs. PIT

    3.) San Francisco 49ers - SF at STL

    4.) Dallas Cowboys - DAL vs. PHI

    5.) Chicago Bears - CHI vs. SEA

    6.) Houston Texans - HOU at TEN

    7.) Green Bay Packers - GB vs. MIN

    8.) Pittsburgh Steelers - PIT at BAL

    9.) Denver Broncos - DEN vs. TB

    10.) Buffalo Bills - BUF vs. JAX

    11.) Seattle Seahawks - SEA at CHI

    12.) Cleveland Browns - CLE at OAK

    13.) Arizona Cardinals - ARI at NYJ

    14.) Carolina Panthers - CAR at KC

    15.) Detroit Lions - DET vs. IND

    16.) New York Giants - NYG at WAS

    17.) New England Patriots - NE at MIA

    18.) Cincinnati Bengals - CIN at SD

    19.) Atlanta Falcons - ATL vs. NO

    20.) Philadelphia Eagles - PHI at DAL