Fantasy Football: Marshawn Lynch Leads 'Start-or-Sit Battles' for Week 13
The following countdown details six "start-or-sit" scenarios for Week 13, factoring in competitions at quarterback, running back, wide receiver and tight end.
For the most part, the rushing and receiving conundrums were broken down with standard-scoring leagues in mind.
But, as routinely stated on The Fantasy Blog, it's hard to make rational decisions about wideouts and tight ends without factoring in receiving targets.
Enjoy the show!
Start: QB Jake Locker, Tennessee Titans
2012 Stats: 1,164 Yards Passing, 7 TD
Week 13 Opponent: Houston (Home)
Fantasy Reasons To Start Jake Locker Over Jay Cutler
1. In his last three complete games (dating back to Week 3), Locker has accounted for either 280 total yards or multiple touchdowns.
2. Earlier this week, the Titans replaced fired offensive coordinator Chris Palmer with QB coach Dowell Loggains, in a move to ignite the club's versatile passing attack.
3. Locker has a healthy set of high-upside playmakers (Chris Johnson, Kenny Britt, Nate Washington, Kendall Wright, Jared Cook) at his disposal.
4. The Texans (Locker's opponent) have surrendered 791 yards passing and 68 points in the last two weeks combined.
Sit: QB Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears
2012 Stats: 2,002 Yards Passing, 13 TD
Week 13 Opponent: Seattle (Home)
Fantasy Reasons To Bench Jay Cutler (For Locker)
1. Strange but true: Cutler has thrown for less than 200 yards in his last five home starts.
2. Cutler has enjoyed only one three-touchdown game this year (Week 9 at Tennessee), and that entailed receiver Brandon Marshall catching all three scores.
3. The Seahawks (Cutler's opponent) boast the NFL's No. 3 pass defense, barely allowing 200 yards per game. Plus, cornerbacks Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner will likely delay their PED suspensions, based on appeal.
Start: RB Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks
2012 Stats: 1,189 Total Yards (1,051 Rushing), 5 TD
Week 13 Opponent: Chicago (Away)
Fantasy Reasons To Start Marshawn Lynch Over Ahmad Bradshaw
1. For Weeks 7-10, Lynch posted four straight outings of 100 yards rushing. In that span, he also notched three touchdowns.
2. On the road this season, Lynch has racked up either 94 total yards or one touchdown five times.
3. In three career meetings with Chicago, Lynch has scored three TDs.
4. The Bears obviously have a stellar scoring defense, but it's hard to imagine one of the league's premier rushers struggling in back-to-back games.
Sit: RB Ahmad Bradshaw, New York Giants
2012 Stats: 916 Total Yards (733 Rushing), 5 TD
Week 13 Opponent: Washington (Away)
Fantasy Reasons To Bench Ahmad Bradshaw (For Lynch)
1. In the Giants' four road tilts, Bradshaw has tallied less than 80 total yards and zero touchdowns three times.
2. Bradshaw has averaged only 15.6 touches in his last five games.
3. The Redskins (Bradshaw's opponent) boast the NFL's No. 3 rush defense, allowing just 89 yards per game.
Start: WR Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers
2012 Stats: 58 Catches, 613 Yards, 8 TD (1 Kick Return)
Week 13 Opponent: Minnesota (Home)
Fantasy Reasons To Start Randall Cobb Over Dwayne Bowe
1. From Weeks 5-11 (spanning six games), Cobb racked up seven touchdowns.
2. Since Week 4, when receiver Greg Jennings suffered a groin injury, Cobb has collected seven-plus targets seven times.
3. Even with Jennings back in the Packers lineup, Cobb has likely done enough to garner consistent reps from this point forward. He's a viable threat for 90 yards and one touchdown every Sunday.
4. Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers has averaged 309 yards passing and 2.7 touchdowns in his last six games against the Vikings.
Sit: WR Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City Chiefs
2012 Stats: 53 Catches, 667 Yards, 3 TD
Week 13 Opponent: Carolina (Home)
Fantasy Reasons To Bench Dwayne Bowe (For Cobb)
1. Since Week 10, Bowe has accounted for only eight catches and 96 yards.
2. For the season, Bowe already has six outings of four or less receptions.
3. Bowe hasn't found the end zone in his last seven games—the second-longest drought of his six-year career.
4. Of course, Bowe is too talented to be this mediocre for a sustained period. But with Brady Quinn as Kansas City's quarterback, it's hard to start Bowe at the flex spot in 12-team leagues.
Start: QB Brandon Weeden, Cleveland Browns
2012 Stats: 2,456 Yards Passing, 12 TD
Week 13 Opponent: Oakland (Away)
Fantasy Reasons To Start Brandon Weeden Over Ryan Lindley
1. Weeden has accounted for 300 yards passing or multiple touchdowns in all five road games this season.
2. Through 11 games, the rookie Weeden has attempted 35 or more passes eight times.
3. The Raiders (the NFL's 24th-ranked pass defense) have allowed 169 points in their last four games.
Sit: QB Ryan Lindley, Arizona Cardinals
2012 Stats: 376 Yards Passing
Week 13 Opponent: N.Y. Jets (Away)
Fantasy Reasons To Bench Ryan Lindley (For Weeden)
1. On the plus side, Lindley completed nearly 60 percent of his passes for 312 yards in his NFL starting debut last week. On the negative end, he threw four interceptions (and two pick-sixes to Rams cornerback Janoris Jenkins).
2. The Jets may be on the verge of an offensive implosion, but their pass defense still boasts a No. 7 ranking.
3. The Cardinals' season-long woes at quarterback have begun to wreak havoc with Larry Fitzgerald's fantasy numbers: Despite 19 targets in the last two games, the star wideout only has four catches for 42 yards.
4. Lindley may have tangible upside as a long-term asset in Arizona. But for his first-ever road start, we shouldn't assume anything above 240 yards passing and one TD on Sunday.
Start: WR Justin Blackmon, Jacksonville Jaguars
2012 Stats: 38 Catches, 548 Yards, 3 TD
Week 13 Opponent: Buffalo (Away)
Fantasy Reasons To Start Justin Blackmon Over Antonio Brown
1. Since Week 4, Blackmon has collected eight or more targets five times—including a season-high 13 against the Texans in Week 11.
2. For Weeks 11 and 12, Blackmon caught 12 balls for 298 yards and two touchdowns. This success coincided with the arrival of Jaguars QB Chad Henne.
3. It took a few games, but Blackmon is finally flashing the potential of a top-10 draft pick from last April. He's a viable candidate for 90 yards and/or one touchdown for Weeks 13 (Buffalo), 15 (Miami) and 16 (New England).
Sit: WR Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers
2012 Stats: 42 Catches, 499 Yards, 1 TD
Week 13 Opponent: Baltimore (Away)
Fantasy Reasons To Bench Antonio Brown (For Blackmon)
1. Brown has been limited by ankle soreness over the last few weeks.
2. As proven last week against Cleveland, Charlie Batch is a significant downgrade from Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger (shoulder injury).
3. Brown has scored only one touchdown, a major strike against him in standard-scoring leagues. He has just three TDs in three NFL seasons, as well.
Start: TE Dallas Clark, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2012 Stats: 31 Catches, 320 Yards, 3 TD
Week 13 Opponent: Denver (Away)
Fantasy Reasons To Start Dallas Clark Over Scott Chandler
1. Since Week 10, Dallas Clark ranks as the No. 6 tight end in standard-scoring leagues.
2. Clark has accounted for either 65 receiving yards or one touchdown in his last three outings.
3. Of his last six games, Clark posted a catch-per-target ratio of 50 percent or higher five times.
4. For what it's worth, Clark (with the Colts) scored three TDs in a single game against the Broncos in 2009.
Sit: TE Scott Chandler, Buffalo Bills
2012 Stats: 31 Catches, 406 Yards, 5 TD
Week 13 Opponent: Jacksonville (Home)
Fantasy Reasons To Bench Scott Chandler (For Clark)
1. In his last seven non-divisional home games (2011-12), Chandler has pedestrian averages of 1.7 catches, 24 yards and 0.7 touchdowns.
2. Chandler may be one of Ryan Fitzpatrick's favorite red-zone targets, but he's still just a low-key asset during non-bye weeks.