Week 13 NFL Predictions: Top Fantasy Performers from Each Prime-Time Game
Week 13 of the NFL season concludes Sunday and Monday night with games that feature all four teams from the NFC East.
Not only will the games be important for playoff positioning down the stretch, but each has significant fantasy implications as the regular season in fantasy football season wraps up. Matchups and postseason spots will likely be decided across the fantasy landscape after the conclusion of the two prime-time games.
In the following slides, we'll break down which players we predict to score the most points the next two nights.
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QB Tony Romo
Romo was mostly efficient in the first meeting, throwing for 209 yards and two scores as the Cowboys ran away from the Eagles late. As long as Philadelphia doesn't jump out to a big lead (see: Washington, New York against Cowboys), Romo shouldn't be attempting 60 passes or throwing for over 400 yards. But is another efficient outing from Romo, especially against a struggling secondary, in the cards? Sure.
The Eagles are the NFC's most predictable turnover machine, which makes any defense playing them during a given week a must play. That's become just as true with Nick Foles at the helm. Remember, the Cowboys defense got two return touchdowns and 23 fantasy points against the rookie in Week 10. You can start them with confidence again Sunday night.
WR Dez Bryant
Bryant is starting to grow up in a hurry. In each of the last two weeks, Bryant has caught at least eight passes for 145 yards. He also has four touchdowns over the last three games. Despite another frustrating start to this season, Bryant is becoming safer and safer as a WR1 option.
RB Bryce Brown
LeSean McCoy (concussion) won't play, so the rookie running back will get another crack at carrying the load for the Eagles. Of course, most know that Brown rushed for an Eagles rookie record 178 yards against Carolina last week. The Cowboys haven't been the same lockdown run defense lately, so Brown has a chance to be worthy of a fantasy start again in Week 13. Don't expect 178 yards, but 80 and a score seems feasible, especially with a rookie quarterback at the helm.
WR Jeremy Maclin
The Eagles receivers have been big fantasy disappointments this season, but maybe now Maclin can come alive with DeSean Jackson out for the season. This week would be a good start, especially fantasy-wise. In the first meeting, Maclin caught eight passes for 93 yards and a score. There's precedent for a starting-caliber performance.
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QB Robert Griffin III
There's a little bit of a worry here after this Giants defense took Aaron Rodgers to the fantasy woodshed last Sunday night. But how can you deny RG3, especially after the last two weeks (eight passing touchdowns)? The rookie was effective in the first meeting, too (22 fantasy points). It would take another big effort from the Giants defense to corral the fantasy value of Griffin III Monday night.
RB Alfred Morris
Morris didn't score in New York a few weeks back, but he did tally the highest yardage total of his NFL career with 120 on 22 carries. He also caught two passes for 10 yards. Expect the Giants to be more active in stopping Morris this time around, but the Redskins are still one of the NFL's top rushing teams. Eventually, Morris will get his Monday night.
WR Pierre Garcon
Garcon's foot problem will be an issue for fantasy owners to monitor the rest of the season, but he certainly looked healthy in Dallas on Thanksgiving night. His acrobatic catch-and-run for a score looked like vintage Garcon. And for as often as the Redskins try to hit teams deep with RG3, Garcon is worth your start Monday night. It only takes one connection for his fantasy worth to be there.
New York Giants
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QB Eli Manning
It took a 77-yard touchdown from Manning to Victor Cruz to salvage his fantasy day back in Week 7, but it certainly looked like the Giants passing offense flicked on the switch Sunday night against the Packers. Manning threw for over 300 yards with three scores as New York's offense did whatever it pleased. Expect Manning to have a letdown game at your own risk.
WR Hakeem Nicks
Finally, Nicks started to look healthy Sunday night. He now has 14 catches over his last two games. Maybe the performance was just fool's gold, or maybe it was the start of a late-season surge for the veteran receiver. You don't want to be left with Nicks on your bench when he has one of those 150-yard, two-score games, do you?
WR Victor Cruz
More so than any receiver on the Giants roster, Cruz goes as Manning goes. Over the three games in which Manning really struggled, Cruz caught just 10 total passes with zero touchdowns. When Manning came alive Sunday night, Cruz found the end zone for the first time in over a month. It's now time for Cruz's volume numbers to increase Monday night.