Fantasy Football Rankings Week 13: Quarterbacks Who Will Carry You to Victory

Andrew Tornetta@AndrewTornettaCorrespondent IINovember 26, 2013

Nov 24, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) during the first quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

The byes are over, the matchups are set and every week matters now in the fantasy football season.

Depending on your league, Week 13 is either the start of the fantasy football playoffs or the final week of the regular season, but regardless, winning is of the utmost priority.

Much like the real NFL, if your fantasy football team doesn't have a legitimate quarterback, the chances of you bringing home a title is slim to none. Quarterbacks are typically the highest-scoring players in fantasy so you simply can't afford to have your guy play poorly this late in the season.

Here is whom I expect to be the top four fantasy quarterbacks in Week 13.

FOXBORO, MA - NOVEMBER 24:  Quarterback Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots passes against the Denver Broncos during a game at Gillette Stadium on November 24, 2013 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images


4. Tom Brady (NE)

A month ago, you were likely cursing the day you ever drafted Tom Brady. The New England Patriots were winning games, but their quarterback was simply doing nothing to help your fantasy team.

However, a breakout game in Week 9 against the Pittsburgh Steelers put Brady back on the map, and he's been back to his usual form ever since.

Brady followed up his 432-yard, four-touchdown performance against Pittsburgh with a respectable game against a tough Carolina defense and a monster second half against the Denver Broncos on Sunday night.

This week he goes up against a Houston Texans defense that has been solid against opposing quarterbacks as of late, allowing just 225 passing yards per game over its last three contests.

However, don't let the numbers fool you, as those games have come against a then-struggling Carson Palmer and the likes of Matt McGloin and Chad Henne.

This shouldn't be breaking news but Tom Brady is better than all three of those guys. The last time Houston faced a top-flight quarterback, Indianapolis' Andrew Luck lit them up for 271 yards and three touchdowns in Week 9.

I'd expect a similar performance from Brady this week. 

FOXBORO, MA - NOVEMBER 24: Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos passes against the New England Patriots during a game at Gillette Stadium on November 24, 2013 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images


3. Peyton Manning (DEN)

Over the last two weeks, Peyton Manning has fallen off a bit from the video game-type numbers he was posting earlier this season.

Against Kansas City two weeks ago he threw just one touchdown pass—his first game with fewer than two touchdowns this year—and this past Sunday he threw for a season-low 150 yards in New England.

However, these two subpar performances were more blips than a downward trend for fantasy's most productive passer.

A matchup against the ferocious Kansas City defense this week may not be as tough as expected, since the Chiefs may be playing without two of its top defenders. Linebackers Justin Houston and Tamba Hali are both questionable for Sunday's game after Houston dislocated his elbow and Hali suffered a slight ankle sprain in Sunday's loss to the San Diego Chargers

Playing without two of its top players for most of the game, the Chiefs were lit up by Philip Rivers, who threw for 392 yards and three touchdowns.

Prior to his last two weeks, Manning had thrown for at least 300 yards and multiple touchdowns in every game this season (other than a 295-yard performance against the Jacksonville Jaguars).

With the weather forecast looking to be a clear 50-degree day at Arrowhead, Manning should be able to put up some big numbers. 

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - NOVEMBER 24:  Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers looks to pass the ball in the second quarter against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium on November 24, 2013 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Chris Trotman/Getty Images


2. Cam Newton (CAR)

Cam Newton has been getting plenty of publicity for the way he has led his Carolina Panthers to seven straight victories, but he has been flying somewhat under the radar in fantasy this season.

However, with the fantasy football playoffs getting underway that should no longer be the case, as Newton is the type of player capable of winning you your league.

Aside from one hiccup against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 10, Newton has averaged 230 yards passing since his Week 4 bye, while also throwing 17 touchdown passes this year. These aren't spectacular numbers, but they are enough when you factor in his ability to run, as he has rushed for 34 yards per game with five touchdowns on the ground.

Tampa Bay, meanwhile, has allowed 260 yards per game and 17 touchdown passes over its last seven games and may be playing without top cornerback Darrelle Revis

Expect Newton to put up Superman-like numbers on Sunday against a depleted Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense. 

DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 27: Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions celebrates with teammate Calvin Johnson #81 after a first quarter touchdown the game against the Dallas Cowboys at Ford Field on October 27, 2013 in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Leon Hali
Leon Halip/Getty Images


1. Matthew Stafford (DET)

It is really unknown at this point whether or not Matthew Stafford is an elite NFL quarterback or simply an average quarterback who is lucky enough to be playing with one of the best receivers of all time.

That doesn't matter much for fantasy purposes, as Stafford has played at an elite level when Calvin Johnson has been on the field this year.

Stafford has thrown for 323.3 yards per game and 23 touchdowns in 10 games with Megatron lined up out wide this season.

Those numbers should continue as Johnson is going to play this week and is going up against a Green Bay Packers defense that has struggled to stop the pass all season.

The Packers' pass defense has allowed 261.5 yards per game through the air this year—a number that would be even higher if not for three games against struggling quarterbacks (two against Minnesota's Christian Ponder and one against the Browns' Brandon Weeden)—while also allowing 19 touchdown passes as well.

While Stafford didn't have a huge game the last time he went up against the Packers, throwing for 262 yards and one touchdown, expect things to be much better on Thanksgiving playing inside the dome in Detroit.


Andrew Tornetta is a contributor for Bleacher Report. You can find his B/R archive and follow him on Twitter @AndrewTornetta.


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