The key to a building a championship fantasy football roster is twofold. A lot of attention is paid to waiver-wire additions and weekly sleepers, which is one aspect, but getting production from star players is even more important to success.
Even if fantasy owners hit on their sleepers, a lack of points from their top players can sink a team, especially at this stage of the season. So knowing which options are going to score big and which might belong on the bench for a week is essential.
With that in mind, here are rankings for the top skill players in Week 13. The lists are followed by a closer look at the best option at each position. All projections are based on leagues with standard-format scoring rules.
Top Skill Players for Week 13
|1||Matthew Stafford||Adrian Peterson||A.J. Green||Jimmy Graham|
|2||Tony Romo||Jamaal Charles||Calvin Johnson||Rob Gronkowski|
|3||Peyton Manning||Matt Forte||Brandon Marshall||Jason Witten|
|4||Cam Newton||Frank Gore||Dez Bryant||Jordan Cameron|
|5||Drew Brees||Reggie Bush||Josh Gordon||Julius Thomas|
Fantasy Week 13
Breakdown of Best Options
QB: Matthew Stafford (Detroit Lions)
Stafford is one of the most reliable fantasy players in the league thanks to the pass-heavy Lions offense. He hasn't scored less than 14 points in any game and is averaging nearly 20, which is exactly what owners are looking for from their quarterback.
With Calvin Johnson dominating on the outside, Nate Burleson back in the lineup and a matchup with the 20th-ranked Green Bay Packers pass defense, there's no reason Stafford shouldn't post a big number in Week 13. A mid-20s total is well within reach.
Projection: 25 points
RB: Adrian Peterson (Minnesota Vikings)
Peterson has been unable to match his extraordinary pace from last season but still ranks second among fantasy running backs behind Jamaal Charles. He's averaging more than 15 points per contest and has scored at least 18 in three of his past four games.
Facing a Chicago Bears defense that ranks last in the league against the run should allow him to keep that hot streak alive. Chicago gave up 258 yards on the ground against the St. Louis Rams last week. Peterson should capitalize with one of his best outings of the year.
Projection: 24 points
WR: A.J. Green (Cincinnati Bengals)
Which of these stars will have the best week?
Green owners are anxiously awaiting a return to form. Two weeks ago, he had just two catches for seven yards, which translates to a lineup-killing zero. Then the Bengals had Week 12 off, so it's been three weeks since the Bengals superstar was a major asset.
He should get back on track on Sunday. The San Diego Chargers are 27th in pass defense and struggled to maintain a lackluster Kansas City Chiefs passing attack last week. Green and the Bengals should be able to rack up some serious points as a result.
Projection: 19 points
TE: Jimmy Graham (New Orleans Saints)
Graham could end up being the fantasy MVP at season's end. Even though Peyton Manning is on a record-breaking pace, the quarterback position is deep. The same can't be said at tight end, where reliable options are few and far between.
So far, the Saints tight end has totaled 156 points, which is 41 points more than anybody else at the position. He's a terrific red-zone target and is a vital piece of the offense every single week. There's no reason to think that will change in Week 13.
Projection: 20 points