Fantasy Football Week 13 Rankings: Position-by-Position Breakdown

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistNovember 25, 2013

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 24: Wide receiver Josh Gordon #12 of the Cleveland Browns completes a pass for a first down while under pressure from cornerback Ike Taylor #24 of the Pittsburgh Steelers during the second half at FirstEnergy Stadium on November 24, 2013 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Steelers defeated the Browns 27-11. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Jason Miller/Getty Images

Familiar faces like Josh Gordon, Knowshon Moreno, Philip Rivers, Jamaal Charles and Tom Brady topped all fantasy performers this past week, a gentle reminder that it is always best to trust your studs down the stretch. 

This week, fantasy owners will once again have their full complement of fantasy players as the bye weeks are now beyond us. It's a relief, but it also means all of the onus is once again on you to make the right lineup calls. There are no more, "well, I had to start that guy, I was crushed by the byes" excuses.

Any slip-up could cost you a spot in the playoffs. Luckily, I've compiled my top-10 rankings at every position so you don't have to worry about mistakenly benching one of this week's top performers.

Notes: All point totals for standard-scoring leaguesPoints against stats via ESPN.


Week 13 Quarterback Rankings
RankPlayerTeamOpponentProj. Points
1Matt StaffordDetroit LionsGreen Bay Packers26
2Tony RomoDallas CowboysOakland Raiders25
3Cam NewtonCarolina PanthersTampa Bay Buccaneers22
4Robert Griffin IIIWashingtonNew York Giants20
5Tom BradyNew England PatriotsHouston Texans19
6Drew BreesNew Orleans SaintsSeattle Seahawks17
7Peyton ManningDenver BroncosKansas City Chiefs17
8Andrew LuckIndianapolis ColtsTennessee Titans16
9Josh McCown*Chicago BearsMinnesota Vikings15
10Andy DaltonCincinnati BengalsSan Diego Chargers15
*Jay Cutler if he returns

Quarterback Notes

This is a tough week for top fantasy quarterbacks.

Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, Russell Wilson, Nick Foles, Philip Rivers and Colin Kaepernick all have tough matchups. You obviously are starting Brees and Manning every single week, but Wilson, Rivers, Foles and Kaepernick have all been relegated to QB2 status for the time being.

The Green Bay Packers have held an opposing quarterback to under 13 fantasy points in standard-scoring leagues just once this season, so Matt Stafford (and Calvin Johnson, for that matter) should have a field day against them.

Quarterbacks like Andrew Luck, Manning, Rivers and Foles have absolutely torched the Oakland Raiders, so don't be surprised when Tony Romo does the same. 

I don't care who is starting for the Chicago Bears this week—they're worth a start against a poor Minnesota Vikings defense. And coming off a bye and facing a poor San Diego pass defense, Andy Dalton returns to the land of the QB1 this week.

Running Backs

Week 13 Running Back Rankings
RankPlayerTeamOpponentProj. Points
1Adrian PetersonMinnesota VikingsChicago Bears24
2Matt ForteChicago BearsMinnesota Vikings22
3Frank GoreSan Francisco 49ersSt. Louis Rams20
4Eddie LacyGreen Bay PackersDetroit Lions19
5Marshawn LynchSeattle SeahawksNew Orleans Saints17
6Jamaal CharlesKansas City ChiefsDenver Broncos17
7Chris JohnsonTennessee TitansIndianapolis Colts16
8Reggie BushDetroit LionsGreen Bay Packers15
9LeSean McCoyPhiladelphia EaglesArizona Cardinals14
10Knowshon MorenoDenver BroncosKansas City Chiefs13

Running Back Notes

Nov 24, 2013; Green Bay, WI, USA;  Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) walks off the field after the Vikings and Green Bay Packers finished in a tie 26-26 at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bears just gave up 15 fantasy points to Zac Stacy in a half. Imagine what Adrian Peterson will do to them in a whole game...

Of course, the Vikings have given up over 20 fantasy points to opposing running backs in consecutive weeks, so Matt Forte is going to have a big game himself.

Truth be told, there really aren't many surprises in the top 10. Frank Gore, Eddie Lacy, Chris Johnson and Reggie Bush all have excellent matchups, while Marshawn Lynch, Jamaal Charles, LeSean McCoy and Knowshon Moreno have been too consistent to dismiss even when the matchup doesn't seem overly favorable.

One important player is Stacy, who misses this list more because of uncertainty with his injury and less because of a potentially tough matchup against the San Francisco 49ers. Stacy scored a combined 27 fantasy points against the Seattle Seahawks and Carolina Panthers, so he basically seems matchup-proof at this point. 

If he's healthy, he should be considered a low-end RB1. With 98 points in the past seven weeks—that's 14 points per week, folks—he's earned that right.

Wide Receivers

Week 13 Wide Receiver Rankings
RankPlayerTeamOpponentProj. Points
1Calvin JohnsonDetroit LionsGreen Bay Packers23
2Josh GordonCleveland BrownsJacksonville Jaguars20
3A.J. GreenCincinnati BengalsSan Diego Chargers19
4Brandon MarshallChicago BearsMinnesota Vikings18
5Dez BryantDallas CowboysOakland Raiders16
6Antonio BrownPittsburgh SteelersBaltimore Ravens16
7Jordy NelsonGreen Bay PackersDetroit Lions15
8Larry FitzgeraldArizona CardinalsPhiladelphia Eagles15
9Demaryius ThomasDenver BroncosKansas City Chiefs14
10Andre JohnsonHouston TexansNew England Patriots13

Wide Receiver Notes

Calvin Johnson notched 11 fantasy points on Sunday, and it felt like a down week. That's how freaking good he has been recently. Until further notice, his home is atop these rankings.

Josh Gordon continues to prove he is an elite NFL receiver and excellent fantasy option. His 14 receptions for 247 yards and a touchdown on Sunday would put him at fifth on the Cleveland Browns this season in both receptions and receiving yards. 

With double-digit fantasy points in six of his past nine games, Gordon has firmly established himself as a weekly WR1.

A.J. Green, Brandon Marshall, Dez Bryant, Jordy Nelson and Larry Fitzgerald all have really tasty matchups, while Demaryius Thomas and Andre Johnson have earned our trust. And how about Antonio Brown absolutely torching Joe Haden this week for six receptions, 92 yards and a score?

I'll be honest, I didn't see that coming at all. Brown has turned himself into a legitimate WR1 in the past four weeks (all double-digit performances) and should be treated as such.

Tight Ends

Week 13 Tight End Rankings
RankPlayerTeamOpponentProj. Points
1Rob GronkowskiNew England PatriotsHouston Texans20
2Jimmy GrahamNew Orleans SaintsSeattle Seahawks17
3Jason WittenDallas CowboysOakland Raiders15
4Vernon DavisSan Francisco 49ersSt. Louis Rams14
5Julius Thomas*Denver BroncosKansas City Chiefs12
6Jordan CameronCleveland BrownsJacksonville Jaguars12
7Coby FleenerIndianapolis ColtsTennessee Titans11
8Tony GonzalezAtlanta FalconsBuffalo Bills11
9Jordan Reed*WashingtonNew York Giants10
10Delanie WalkerTennessee TitansIndianapolis Colts10
*If he plays

Tight End Notes

Nov 24, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten (82) scores a touchdown past New York Giants cornerback Terrell Thomas (24) in the first half during the game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Spor
Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY

Much like Megatron at wide receiver, until further notice Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham will continue to live atop these rankings, regardless of matchup. They are each just a step above anyone else at the position.

Jason Witten's matchup against the Raiders should translate into his third double-digit performance in his past four games, while Vernon Davis continues to be one of the steadier options at the position (even if one 30-point week has slightly inflated his value).

Jordan Cameron has a tasty matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars, while Coby Fleener torched the Tennessee Titans in their last meeting in Week 11 for eight receptions and 107 yards. He has now registered double-digit fantasy points in two straight weeks and has scored eight or more points in four of his past five games, making him a very intriguing option going forward.

If Julius Thomas is healthy, you start him. Plain and simple. 

Defense/Special Teams

Week 13 Defense/Special Team Rankings
RankTeamOpponentProj. Points
1Carolina PanthersTampa Bay Buccaneers20
2San Francisco 49ersSt. Louis Rams16
3Miami DolphinsNew York Jets15
4Dallas CowboysOakland Raiders14
5New England PatriotsHouston Texans13
6Cleveland BrownsJacksonville Jaguars13
7New York GiantsWashington12
8Baltimore RavensPittsburgh Steelers11
9St. Louis RamsSan Francisco 49ers10
10Seattle SeahawksNew Orleans Saints9

Defense/Special Team Notes

Nov 24, 2013; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Carolina Panthers defensive tackle Dwan Edwards (left), guard Nate Chandler (center), and defensive end Frank Alexander (right) tackle Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) during the second half at Sun Life
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

You don't want to start the Cincinnati Bengals against the San Diego Chargers or the New Orleans Saints vs. the Seattle Seahawks this week. Too risky.

But yes, I think you play the Seahawks unless you have one of my top nine options, solely because Seattle is at home. In Seattle, the Seahawks defense is averaging 12.6 fantasy points per contest. On the road, that number drops to 10.3 fantasy points per game. 

Seattle has won 13 straight games at home, and the crowd noise is going to make life very difficult for Brees and the Saints offense. There are very few moments when you should take the chance on a defense facing New Orleans, but this is one calculated risk that I think will work out for fantasy owners.

Carolina and San Francisco will dominate this week, but beyond that, trust the matchups. Teams like the Baltimore Ravens and New York Giants have played well in fantasy terms of late and should definitely be considered this week. 


Week 13 Kicker Rankings
RankPlayerTeamOpponentProj. Points
1Stephen GostkowskiNew England PatriotsHouston Texans15
2Dan BaileyDallas CowboysOakland Raiders14
3Matt PraterDenver BroncosKansas City Chiefs12
4Mason CrosbyGreen Bay PackersDetroit Lions12
5Adam VinatieriIndianapolis ColtsTennessee Titans12
6Robbie GouldChicago BearsMinnesota Vikings11
7Justin TuckerBaltimore RavensPittsburgh Steelers11
8Alex HeneryPhiladelphia EaglesArizona Cardinals10
9Dan CarpenterBuffalo BillsAtlanta Falcons10
10Steven HauschkaSeattle SeahawksNew Orleans Saints9

Kicker Notes

BALTIMORE, MD - NOVEMBER 10: Place kicker Justin Tucker #9 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates after kicking the game-winning field goal against the Cincinnati Bengals in overtime at M&T Bank Stadium on November 10, 2013 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Baltimo
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

In my primary league I have Matt Prater, and it has been a relief because streaming kickers is truly maddening. You can play the matchups and target players who have performed consistently, but kickers are so darn fickle you just never know.

If you have a kicker you trust and one that has remained a top option, stick with them. After 12 weeks of the NFL season, you should have a pretty good idea of what you have in them and don't need to risk weeks of frustrating kicker streaming as the playoffs approach. 

Hit me up on Twitter—I'll answer your fantasy lineup questions, tweet random fantasy musings and propose theories for how Antonio Brown overcame Joe Haden's fantasy kryptonite. 

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