Fantasy Football Week 13: Who to Start and Who to Sit
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The word of the week is nervousness. Surely, a lot of you are feeling it this week (you are reading this in hopes of seeking Week 13 fantasy advice, after all).
I can understand why you would be nervous. Hell, I'm racking my brain trying to figure out what to do this week. I carry only one fantasy team. I feel like having too many takes away from the fun and dilutes the excitement of Sunday away.
"Aw, shucks. Player X just scored. At least I have him in three of my other leagues." Where's the fun in that?
Quite a few people have asked me who I have on my team. Now I've gotten to the point where I will oblige. Before I show you, I want to let you know that this team is somehow 7-4 and is now in a scenario where a win means the playoffs and a loss means 2013 can't come soon enough.
Here's the squad that normally starts for "The Hebrew Hammers" on a weekly basis: Robert Griffin III, Alfred Morris, Marshawn Lynch, Brandon Marshall, A.J. Green, Stevan Ridley, Jimmy Graham, then whatever defense or kicker I feel is appropriate for the week.
How is that team 7-4, right? In addition, I have Reggie Wayne, Cecil Shorts, Jonathan Dwyer, Pierre Garcon, Bryce Brown and the newest grab, Michael Bush.
Before I even think about what I'm going to do about those matchups that just scream, "Do or die! Get cute and play Cecil Shorts over Brandon Marshall!" I'm going to help you, first. This is fantasy football, after all. No one cares about someone else's team. So here we go:
Tony Romo (Dallas Cowboys)
Golly do the Philadelphia Eagles look terrible. Remember when Cam Newton was in a midst of what some were calling the biggest sophomore slump of all time?
Well, the Eagles didn't get that memo and allowed Newton to tear them limb from limb last Monday night.
On primetime again, I expect Romo to do the same thing. After looking absolutely lost in the second half and spotting the Redskins a huge lead, Romo rebounded nicely in the second half to put together a fantastic fantasy performance.
Don't forget, the Cowboys have had 10 days to prepare for this game. The Eagles have had six. This one is going to get ugly, fast. Romo owners (or Romowners as I like to call them) will benefit greatly.
Chad Henne (Jacksonville Jaguars)
A long time ago (early August), I wrote that Chad Henne would be the biggest sleeper on the Jaguars in 2012.
It took him a long time, but at least he's worked his way in to the top two. Obviously, Korey Beckett Fantasy Hall of Famer Cecil Shorts is ahead of him, but Henne has come on late in a big way.
After a 16-point performance last week against Tennessee, Henne gets another great matchup in Buffalo. Disclaimer: He is not the last Jaguar you will see on this list. You have been warned. No turning back, now.
Andrew Luck (Indianapolis Colts)
This one seems a little more obvious. He's a "tweener" since he is No. 10 overall in fantasy quarterbacks, but unless you have an elite QB, he's someone you have to start this week.
The Lions defense is always good for letting opposing quarterbacks get in the 16-point range. Wouldn't ya know it? Luck's average is about 17. Enjoy the easy 16 or 17 points this week, friends.
Bryce Brown (Philadelphia Eagles)
Um, wow. Didn't see that coming.
It's rare that a running back gets darn near 30 points even after losing two fumbles, but that's exactly what Brown did against the Panthers on Monday night.
With LeSean McCoy likely out this week against the Cowboys, Brown should have another solid week since there are no other cooks in the kitchen.
I'm expecting a 15- or 16-point game from Brown which should make him a starter in every league.
Alfred Morris (Washington Redskins)
After lulling his owners (myself included) over the previous two games with mediocre days, Morris rebounded greatly against the Cowboys on Thanksgiving.
That's a great sign for the Redskins as Mike Shanahan likes to lean heavily on Morris when he's producing. The Giants aren't the easiest matchup for Morris, but his highest yardage game was 120 against the same Giants earlier this season.
Beanie Wells (Arizona Cardinals)
Welcome back, Beanie. After missing the last 73 games or whatever it was, Wells found the end zone twice against the Rams.
With LaRod Stephens-Howling now back to his kick returning duties, Wells should see just about every carry.
This week, they take on the only team that may be struggling more than them, the New York Jets.
New York ranks No. 27 on defense against fantasy running backs and wells should see about 14 points added to his low season total.
Cecil Shorts (Jacksonville Jaguars)
You want to break me down? You want to hear me say it? Fine! I'll shout it from the rooftops! Play Cecil Shorts this week!
Are you happy, now!?
*Sigh* I just know I'm going to play him this week.
Eric Decker (Denver Broncos)
Decker has followed up three consecutive awesome games with three consecutive bad games. The good news this week is though that the Broncos play the Buccaneers.
Why is that good, you might ask? Well, the Bucs have surpassed their division rival New Orleans as the team that has allowed the most points against opposing wide receivers. Play Demaryius Thomas if you have him as well.
Dez Bryant (Dallas Cowboys)
Oh, those Eagles. Everyone on the defense has folded. Feel free to play whatever Cowboys you have including Bryant, who should have an enormous week.
Other WRs I like: Calvin Johnson, A.J. Green, Demaryius Thomas, Andre Johnson, Reggie Wayne, Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks, Wes Welker, Randall Cobb, Jordy Nelson
Marcedes Lewis (Jacksonville Jaguars)
I warned you about the Jaguars.
Jermaine Gresham (Cincinnati Bengals)
The Bengals are hot, Andy Dalton is hot, and as a result, Jermaine Gresham is hot. He's worked into the top 10 in tight ends and is hovering around "must-play" territory.
Will Kaepernick have a big game?
Colin Kaepernick (San Francisco 49ers)
I know he's had three good games in a row, but the Rams defense is liable to give opposing quarterbacks fits.
Granted, they play out of their minds against bad QBs and ho-hum at best against the good ones, but I still don't see Kaepernick having a big week.
Josh Freeman (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
Last week, Freeman struggled against the Falcons. It was the first time he struggled (and not coincidentally against the first good defense he's faced) since September.
Denver is red hot and the defense ranks in the top 10 against opposing QBs. This has the makeup of a mediocre game for Freeman at best.
Carson Palmer (Oakland Raiders)
You may not believe this, but the Browns have only allowed more than 20 points to an opposing fantasy quarterback just twice (both in the first four weeks).
The struggling Raiders, including Palmer, will have a tough time against the suddenly hot Brown defense.
There are no bye weeks anymore, so playing Palmer should be a last resort if you have injuries on your team that I haven't heard about.
Marshawn Lynch (Seattle Seahawks)
I want to say Lynch is a must-start so badly. I just can't do it this week.
I hate the matchup (Bears), I hate the location (Chicago), I hate the fact that he only got four points against the Dolphins.
I don't hate him personally, in case he's reading this. He could beat the tar out of me.
I just don't like anything about him on the field for Week 13, which is a shame because me (and thousands of other fantasy owners) really need him this week.
Steven Jackson (St. Louis Rams)
He's been alright the past few weeks, but the 49ers defense has been more than alright for the past 30 weeks. Hate this matchup.
Ryan Mathews (San Diego Chargers)
If you need big points this week, don't go with Mathews.
If you're looking for just eight solid gimme points, then he's your guy. That's about all he's good for, even against a No. 22-ranked Bengals defense.
Other RBs I don't like: Chris Johnson, Stevan Ridley, Ahmad Bradshaw, Marcel Reece, Reggie Bush, Jonathan Dwyer
Vincent Jackson (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) and Brandon Marshall (Chicago Bears)
All right, let's get this straight. Don't flat-out bench these guys but play them with caution.
Yes, they are ranked No. 4 and No. 2 at wide receiver, respectively, but the matchups put the fear of God into me.
Jackson has been boom or bust most of the year and takes on the No. 5-ranked Broncos defense.
Marshall has been much more consistent and will go against No. 2-ranked Seahawks defense.
You will probably play both, and I don't blame you, but don't be surprised if they each only get seven or eight points.
Are you going to the playoffs?
Denarius Moore (Oakland Raiders)
Let's say that touchdown grab against the Bengals last week slipped through his fingertips (and by golly, it almost did).
That would mean that he had one catch and nine yards over a two-week span. Which, for you folks scoring at home, is zero points.
The Browns defense will be watching him like a hawk. It seems funny to say, but I don't see him having a good game for the third week in a row.
Other WRs I don't like: Stevie Johnson, Danario Alexander, Torrey Smith, Larry Fitzgerald, Mike Wallace, Malcolm Floyd
Heath Miller (Pittsburgh Steelers)
No Big Ben? On the road against the Ravens? Avoid at all costs if you can.
Antonio Gates (San Diego Chargers)
I just want him to retire so that fantasy owners don't even have the option of playing "all or nothing" with Gates. It's frustrating.
Well, folks. It sure has been fun bringing you all of the fantasy starts/sits over the regular season and I will be back on Monday night with some playoff advice. If I don't hear from you then, I will have known you didn't make the playoffs. God speed.
For more advice, check me out on Facebook, won't you? It's right here: http://www.facebook.com/koreybeckettBR and even on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/koreybeckettBR the e-mail has gotten filled with a lot of spam so I'm sorry if I don't get to your questions, but if you want to roll the dice it's at firstname.lastname@example.org Good luck fantasy players!
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