Just hours before the start of Week 13 (for most teams anyways), I know many people have questions running through their heads. Whom should I start? Whom should I sit? Let’s take a look at how some of the recent news changes things:
DeAngelo Williams, Carolina Panthers, Running Back
Joe Person (via Twitter) is reporting that:
“Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart (ankle) did not make trip to Kansas City.”
Stewart had been listed as doubtful, so it’s no surprise that he is going to miss the matchup with the Chiefs. That will leave Williams to operate as the lead back and Mike Tolbert behind him. Williams enters the day averaging a mere 3.2 yards per carry (292 yards on 91 carries) with three touchdowns.
That said, the matchup is somewhat appealing as the Chiefs are allowing 126.1 rushing yards per game (ninth worst in the league).
However, they have allowed only seven rushing touchdowns and it is easy to imagine Cam Newton being used in goal-line situations. He’s very hard to trust and I would consider him as more of a FLEX option for Week 13.
Percy Harvin, Minnesota Vikings, Wide Receiver
After Harvin was initially listed as doubtful, Tom Pelissero (via Twitter) is reporting that:
Which running back with questions would you prefer to use this week?
“Vikings have downgraded Percy Harvin to out.”
Fantasy owners unfortunately need to move on for another week and keep their fingers crossed that Harvin can return for Week 14.
Marcel Reece, Oakland Raiders, Running Back
According to Jerry McDonald (via Twitter):
“McFadden, Goodson game-time decisions. Expect Reece to get lots of work, though.”
There had been concern about Reece this week, especially with McFadden (as well as Mike Goodson) expected to return.
However, it really should be no surprise that Reece will likely get the bulk of the work against the Browns. Remember, it wasn’t like McFadden was excelling prior to going down, averaging 3.3 yards per carry.
Reece, meanwhile, has averaged 123.8 total yards per game over the past four weeks. He has been a major cog in the offense and has a matchup against a defense allowing 362.1 total yards per game (11th most in the league). Utilize him as a RB2 in all formats.
Greg Jennings, Green Bay Packers, Wide Receiver
He hasn’t played since Week 4 against the Saints, but Jennings is listed as probable and will return for the Packers matchup against the Minnesota Vikings. However, what type of role will he really return to?
With the emergence of Randall Cobb as a major impact player, it is one more person Jennings has to battle for targets. While the struggles of Jermichael Finley “helps,” there could easily be weeks where Jennings comes up nearly empty.
This week could be one of those weeks, especially since Jennings could be eased back into the offense. Consider him a WR3, at best, until we see what his role will be.
Miles Austin, Dallas Cowboys, Wide Receiver
Listed as questionable, all the talk this week and his limited participation in practice give the indication that he is going to play. While fantasy owners should try to protect themselves with a fallback option playing either Sunday night (possibly Riley Cooper) or Monday night, Austin has upside against an Eagles’ defense that is in shambles.
He’s not going to be the best option, as Dez Bryant has emerged recently as the go-to receiver. Austin can be viewed as a low-end WR2, but more of a WR3 this week.
DeMarco Murray, Dallas Cowboys, Running Back
Murray is listed as questionable for this week’s game, but there has been optimism that he’s going to play. Coach Jason Garrett was quoted by Jim Burch of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (click here for the post):
“He’s looked pretty good. He’s been limited both days but he’s been playing football,” Garrett said. “It’s nice to see him out there running the ball, catching the ball and doing stuff we haven’t seen him do in a while.”
At this point, he should be considered a game-time decision. With playing in the Sunday night game coupled with the chance that he’s limited if he plays (the Cowboys could easily go with a committee), Murray is probably best left on your bench.
Ahmad Bradshaw, New York Giants, Running Back
There is always fear of injury with Bradshaw, as he is constantly dealing with foot issues. That said, with Andre Brown out, one would think Bradshaw would return to seeing goal-line duties (especially given the coaches' obvious concerns with rookie David Wilson).
That potential is going to make him a great play as a RB2 this week.
Julian Edelman, New England Patriots, Wide Receiver
It feels like almost every Patriots player is questionable, but Edelman is in real risk of missing this week’s game due to a concussion. However, according to the Boston Herald (click here for the post):
“I’m feeling a day better than yesterday,” said Edelman, who is listed as questionable. “But as far as what happened last game, that happened last game. Right now, I’m focusing on the Miami Dolphins and what we have to do to prepare to beat them.”
Considering the other options the Patriots have, even if he plays, he’s not a lock to produce. Plan on using another flier if you are in need.
Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers, Wide Receiver
Listed as probable, it’s nice to see Brown returning for the Steelers after being out of action for the past three weeks. Unfortunately, he’s returning to Charlie Batch under center as Ben Roethlisberger will once again miss the game.
With Batch showing little potential to make plays, Brown, Mike Wallace and the rest of the Steelers skill players are virtually unusable. Consider them only for the desperate at this point.
Beanie Wells, Arizona Cardinals, Running Back
Wells may not have played exceptionally well in his return to the lineup, but he did score two touchdowns. Taking on a Jets defense that is awful against the run (142.8 rushing yards/game, 12 TD), I would consider him a viable RB2.
Make sure to check out all of our Week 13 rankings: