Fantasy Football Rankings: Start 'Em, Sit 'Em for Week 13
This is a must-win week for many fantasy owners.
With the playoffs in most leagues starting in Week 14, your playoffs may start this week if you need to win your matchup in order to advance to the playoffs.
The start-sit decisions you need to make this week may therefore come with added pressure.
For a player to appear on the Start'em side of my list below, they need to be ranked inside my top 12 quarterbacks, top 24 running backs, top 24 wide receivers or top 12 tight ends for the week.
Players outside those rankings fall on the Sit'em side. If you play in a league that starts three receivers, is deeper than 12 teams or uses flex positions, please note that some of the players on the "sit'em" side may be worth a start.
Looking ahead to the rest of this week's games, here are some players to consider starting in Week 13:
QB - Colin Kaepernick, 49ers (at STL)
Whether or not we can "assume" that he will remain the starter going forward, Kaepernick has been named the starter for Week 13 against the Rams. Not only does he have one of the strongest arms in the league, Kaepernick has the ability to make plays with his legs.
Since coming in for the then-concussed Alex Smith in Week 10, Kaepernick has thrown three touchdowns and rushed for two more while throwing only one interception. Counting the game he played in relief, Kaepernick has at least 16 fantasy points in each of the past three weeks.
RB - Bryce Brown, Eagles (at DAL)
With LeSean McCoy out last week with a concussion, Brown delivered the top fantasy performance for running backs in Week 12. Although he lost two fumbles, he rushed for 178 yards and two scores and caught four passes for 11 yards.
Early indications are that McCoy is still in the early phases as he recovers from his concussion and is unlikely to play against the Cowboys.
RB - Beanie Wells, Cardinals (at NYJ)
In his first game back from injured reserve, Wells gained only 48 yards with a 2.8 yards-per-carry average. While those numbers are far from spectacular, he also rushed for two touchdowns.
This week, Wells and the Cardinals face the Jets, who have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season.
WR - Danario Alexander, Chargers (vs CIN)
In his past four games, Alexander has finished with at least three receptions and 61 yards each week. During that span, he has totaled 20 receptions for 365 yards and three touchdowns.
Although the Bengals have allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points to opposing receivers, Alexander has become the Chargers' most consistent option in the passing game.
WR - Stevie Johnson, Bills (vs JAX)
Johnson had his first 100-yard game of the season and was targeted a season-high 15 times last week. With a per-game average of 62.5 yards, he is on pace to finish with exactly 1,000 yards this season. If he does, it will be his third in a row.
The Jaguars have allowed the 10th-most fantasy points to opposing receivers this season. Since Week 3, they have allowed at least 19 fantasy points to their opponents' receivers every week.
WR - Cecil Shorts, Jaguars (at BUF)
Before the team's bye in Week 6, Shorts had a few big games but he was more boom (Week 1 and 3) or bust (Week 2 and 4). Since the team's bye, he has been consistently productive.
Shorts has scored in four of his past six games, including three consecutive games. During that span, he has three 100-yard games and has scored double-digit fantasy points five times.
Unfortunately for Shorts's owners, however, he missed practice on Thursday and you should monitor his status on Friday and this weekend. If he plays (and does not appear to be significantly hampered by injury), you should start him.
TE - Martellus Bennett, Giants (at WAS)
Although the Redskins have not allowed a touchdown to a tight end in their past three games, they allowed seven scores to tight ends in their previous eight games. Since scoring in each of his first three games as a Giant, Bennett has not scored since then. I expect Bennett's drought to end this week.
Here are some players to consider sitting in Week 13:
QB - Carson Palmer, Raiders (vs CLE)
Palmer is coming off a season-worst performance against his former team. He threw for only 146 yards and one touchdown and finished with five fantasy points.
All three of the games in which the Browns allowed at least 20 fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks occurred from Weeks 2 to 5 when shutdown corner Joe Haden served his four-game suspension.
The Browns have held opponents to less than 200 passing yards in four of their past five games and have allowed only two passing touchdowns during that span.
RB - Knowshon Moreno, Broncos (vs TB)
It was Moreno, not Ronnie Hillman or Lance Ball, that got the majority of work last week in the absence of Willis McGahee. In fact, Moreno had 20 carries while the duo of Hillman and Ball combined for three.
Moreno is a solid flex option for this week, but if you start only two running backs with no flex, I'd sit him this week against the Bucs.
Although the Bucs have allowed nine rushing touchdowns, they rank first in the NFL in rushing defense (81.5 yards allowed per game).
RB - Fred Jackson, Bills (vs JAX)
Against the Colts last week, Jackson had six carries for only 16 yards. Meanwhile, C.J. Spiller had 14 carries for 107 yards last week. On the season, Spiller and Jackson are averaging 6.7 and 3.9 yards per carry, respectively.
Going forward, the Bills' plan is to give C.J. Spiller a 60-40 majority of snaps between the two backs.
RB - Shonn Greene, Jets (vs ARI)
Although Greene should continue to get more work than Bilal Powell, Powell has seen his workload increase significantly. Powell has 23 carries (and three rushing touchdowns) in the team's previous two games.
Over his past four games, Greene is averaging only 15.5 carries and 67.5 yards per game and no touchdowns.
RB - Jonathan Dwyer, Steelers (at BAL)
The Steelers' offense played a game to forget in last week's loss to the Browns as they turned the ball over eight times. Dwyer, who fumbled just once, will get the start this week over Rashard Mendenhall, who fumbled twice, last week.
In his first matchup against the Ravens in Week 11, Dwyer rushed 12 times for 55 yards and added three receptions for 26 yards. Coming off his 19-yard performance last week, however, Dwyer is nothing more than a flex option this week.
WR - Mike Wallace, Steelers (at BAL)
Even if Ben Roethlisberger plays against the Ravens this week, which appears to be unlikely, Wallace may not be a top-24 receiver this week.
In his past three games, Wallace has a total of only eight receptions for 47 yards and a touchdown. He also has a lost fumble.
With Antonio Brown practicing fully and expected to return to the field this week, Wallace is listed as a co-starter with Emmanuel Sanders opposite Brown.
WR - James Jones, Packers (vs MIN)
Greg Jennings has not played since Week 4, but he is expected to make his return this week. Even if he is eased back into action, the player likely to be impacted the most is Jones.
After scoring two touchdowns per game for three consecutive games, Jones has scored only one touchdown in his past four games.
WR - Kenny Britt, Titans (vs HOU)
Although Britt scored a touchdown last week against the Jags, he has only two scores this season is averaging 37.4 yards per game. Although Britt has plenty of talent, it's unlikely that we ever see him perform up to his potential this season as he returns from multiple knee surgeries in the past 14 months.
TE - Brent Celek, Eagles (at DAL)
Celek finished last season strong and perhaps he will do the same this year. That said, he has underwhelmed up to this point. Since Week 5, Celek has less than 50 receiving yards every week. In addition, he has not scored a touchdown, his only of the season, since Week 5.
Note: All player designations and practice participation notes above are from the NFL.com's injury page.
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