Fantasy Football Week 13: Top 20 Touchdown Targets You Must Play
Fantasy football in Week 13 is all about the playoffs. With just two to three weeks left in the regular season in most leagues, the time to make a last-ditch run towards the playoffs is now.
That makes these 20 players more important than ever. These are the guys you need to start this week, the touchdown targets, the end-zone residents who seem capable of posting solid numbers even if the yards aren't there.
Some of them are matchup plays, others perform through thick and thin, but all of them will get you the touchdown you need to be successful.
20. Chris Johnson, RB, Tennessee Titans
Why He’s a Touchdown Candidate: Johnson had the worst day of his career on Sunday (seven carries, five yards), but the Titans running back is still one of the best in the NFL, capable of burning defenses all game long. He's totalled nine rushing touchdowns in 11 games this season, and has the speed and size to score from anywhere.
Who’s the Matchup: Jacksonville ranks 22nd in the NFL against opposing running backs, and we've seen the kind of success Johnson can have against the league's shakier defenses.
Likelihood of a Touchdown: 6.5/10. Sunday's game was perplexing, indeed. Is Johnson hurt? Was it Rusty Smith's presence in the lineup? No one's really sure, but with the Jags' soft defense coming to town, expect Johnson to get rolling again.
19. Jacob Tamme, TE, Indianapolis Colts
Why He’s a Touchdown Candidate: For all that's gone wrong in Indianapolis this season, Tamme's one of the bright spots. The tight end has filled Dallas Clark's shoes to perfection since taking the injured star's spot in the lineup, and has found the end zone three times in five games.
Who’s the Matchup: Dallas ranks 16th in the NFL against opposing tight ends, but Tamme's role is unique when compared to other players at his position.
Likelihood of a Touchdown: 6.5/10. Tamme's going to get you between five and eight points each week regardless of whether he finds the end zone, but with Dallas' soft defense on tap, expect him to grab a bit more than that.
18. DeSean Jackson, WR, Philadelphia Eagles
Why He’s a Touchdown Candidate: Jackson has seen his production tail off in recent weeks, as defenses have started dropping safeties extremely deep to avoid getting burned by him. But this week's matchup is so favorable, it shouldn't matter to the lightning-quick wideout. He's scored five touchdowns on the season.
Who’s the Matchup: Can Houston's defense stop anyone, other than Rusty Smith? The Texans rank 29th against opposing wideouts in 2010, and have given up 16 touchdowns to the position this season.
Likelihood of a Touchdown: 6.5/10. Jackson's been slowed in recent weeks, but expect him to get revved back up to speed against such a soft defense.
17. Mike Williams, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Why He’s a Touchdown Candidate: Williams has blossomed into one of the NFL's more reliable wideouts in his rookie campaign, as he's assumed the role of primary pass catcher. He's racked up six touchdowns in 2010 and is capable of burning weak opponents for solid games.
Who’s the Matchup: Atlanta ranks 30th against opposing wideouts, and they've been vulnerable to just the kinds of plays Williams likes to make.
Likelihood of a Touchdown: 6.5/10. It's possible the Falcons secondary sorts itself out, or Tampa Bay can't find the talented rookie. But odds are that Williams finds his way into the painted rectangle.
16. Reggie Wayne, WR, Indianapolis Colts
Why He’s a Touchdown Candidate: Wayne's been as solid as they come in 2010, although he struggled against San Diego in Week 12. He's got the size to be a threat anywhere on the field, and, last week aside, he's got reliable hands to boot.
Who’s the Matchup: Dallas ranks second-to-last in the NFL against opposing wide receivers this season, and the Cowboys stand little chance of slowing such a pass-heavy offense.
Likelihood of a Touchdown: 6.5/10. Will Wayne's name be added to the list of the walking wounded in Indianapolis? That threat is the only thing keeping the talented top-tier wideout from the top 10.
15. Matt Forte, RB, Chicago Bears
Why He’s a Touchdown Candidate: Wait, Matt Forte can run the ball? The Bears' speedy back has been a formidable pass-catcher all year, but if he's gotten his running sorted out, he could be a force to be reckoned with in the coming weeks.
Who’s the Matchup: Detroit ranks 30th in the NFL against opposing running backs. I think Forte and his new-found rushing skills will be able to find the end zone, don't you?
Likelihood of a Touchdown: 6.5/10. It's possible Forte reverts to his old subpar rushing ways, but with a defense this shaky, it's unlikely.
14. Marques Colston, WR, New Orleans Saints
Why He’s a Touchdown Candidate: After a brutally slow start to the season, Colston has picked things up in recent weeks, scoring touchdowns in three of his last five games and posting four scores in that span, as well. He's rolling like a freight train right now, and with a soft matchup, he's a virtual lock to continue his torrid play.
Who’s the Matchup: Cincinnati ranks 25th against opposing wideouts this season, and they've looked incapable of stopping even pedestrian passing games in recent weeks, much less a high-powered offense like New Orleans has.
Likelihood of a Touchdown: 7/10. Colston might not find the end zone, but with the way he's produced in the second half, you can roll him with confidence.
13. Antonio Gates, TE, San Diego Chargers
Why He’s a Touchdown Candidate: Gates has yet to fully recover the form that made him such an invaluable asset in the first half of the season, but as his wounds heal, expect the big tight end to become more and more of a factor in the Chargers offense down the stretch.
Who’s the Matchup: Oakland ranks 16th against opposing tight ends this season, but Gates is almost more of a wideout than anything, given his skills.
Likelihood of a Touchdown: 7/10. His injuries are still hampering him, but you can expect Antonio to continue to get better. Look for him to find the end zone again this week.
12. Steven Jackson, RB, St. Louis Rams
Why He’s a Touchdown Candidate: Jackson struggled to find room to run against Denver last week, but don't be fooled; he's still capable of putting up the kind of numbers we saw from him in Weeks 6 through 8.
Who’s the Matchup: Arizona has taken over Denver's post as the worst run defense in the league, and the Cards have allowed 13 touchdowns in 11 games, including nine in their last five.
Likelihood of a Touchdown: 7/10. Jackson's Week 12 struggles were troubling, but expect the talented back to find his groove against another terrible run defense this week.
11. Steve Johnson, WR, Buffalo Bills
Why He’s a Touchdown Candidate: All everyone could talk about yesterday was Johnson's dropped touchdown catch in overtime, but the fact that people were so surprised tells you all you need to know about the second-year wideout's season. He's racked up nine touchdowns since Ryan Fitzpatrick became the starter, and is capable of scoring on just about anyone.
Who’s the Matchup: Minnesota ranks 22nd in the NFL against opposing wideouts in 2010, and they don't seem to have the skills to hang with a deep-threat passing game like Buffalo's been using.
Likelihood of a Touchdown: 7/10. Johnson's got the skills to score this week, the only question is whether he can make the most of the chances he's sure to get.
10. Jamaal Charles, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
Why He’s a Touchdown Candidate: Did you see what he did last week? That should tell you all you need to know about Charles' touchdown candidacy.
Who’s the Matchup: Denver might have slowed Charles in Week 10, but if you think the Chiefs are going to go down 28-0 early again, you're kidding yourself.
Likelihood of a Touchdown: 7.5/10. Charles is the real deal, and he'll keep his momentum going with Denver's soft defense this week, even if he has to catch a pass or two to do it.
9. Greg Jennings, WR, Green Bay Packers
Why He’s a Touchdown Candidate: Jennings has been one of the NFL's top wideouts in recent weeks, but he's shown a talent for finding the end zone all year, totaling nine touchdowns in 11 games this year.
Who’s the Matchup: San Francisco ranks 13th against opposing wideouts this year, but they have been vulnerable to strong passing games like Green Bay's.
Likelihood of a Touchdown: 7.5/10. Jennings couldn't find the end zone last week; don't expect the talented wideout to let it happen again against the Niners.
8. Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars
Why He’s a Touchdown Candidate: Over the last five weeks, Jones-Drew has been one of the NFL's best running backs, scoring four touchdowns, including three in his last three games. He's racking up big plays and scores much like he did all of last season, and has turned into a valuable asset once again.
Who’s the Matchup: Tennessee ranks 18th against the run in 2010, and the Titans locked down on Jones-Drew in Week 6. But this is a much different back than the one they faced seven weeks ago, and the Titans are reeling a bit right now.
Likelihood of a Touchdown: 8/10. Jones-Drew is fully capable of scoring and continuing his impressive run.
7. Brandon Lloyd, WR, Denver Broncos
Why He’s a Touchdown Candidate: Lloyd's been one of the breakout stars of 2010, and he's been on a roll all year long. He's scored nine touchdowns in 11 games, and has posted a score in each of his last four games—six total during that span.
Who’s the Matchup: Kansas City ranks 25th against opposing wideouts in 2010, and Lloyd lit them up for a pair of touchdowns four weeks ago.
Likelihood of a Touchdown: 8/10. Lloyd ought to find the end zone again this week, thanks to a soft defense and Denver's pass-wacky offense.
6. Michael Turner, RB, Atlanta Falcons
Why He’s a Touchdown Candidate: Turner has delivered on his promise this season, racking up big games and touchdowns almost since day one. He's scored seven times on the year, and has found the painted rectangle in two straight contests.
Who’s the Matchup: Tampa Bay ranks 25th against opposing rushers this season, and let Turner run roughshod over them (107 yards, two touchdowns) in Week 9.
Likelihood of a Touchdown: 8/10. Turner's running as well as he has at any point in his career, and with a soft Tampa Bay run defense coming to town, expect another excellent performance and at least one score.
5. Calvin Johnson, WR, Detroit Lions
Why He’s a Touchdown Candidate: Calvin Johnson has been downright unstoppable all season long, racking up 11 touchdowns in 11 games this year. He's been held without a score all of three times, but has scored in three straight and seven of his last eight contests.
Who’s the Matchup: Chicago ranks fourth against opposing wideouts in 2010, but they don't have a Darrelle Revis to shut Megatron down like the Jets had in Week 9.
Likelihood of a Touchdown: 8.5/10. Look for Megatron to keep his streak alive this week, even against a formidable Bears defense.
4. Mike Tolbert, RB, San Diego Chargers
Why He’s a Touchdown Candidate: Tolbert's been blasting and blowing his way into the end zone all season as the Chargers' bruising power back, but he's been just as dangerous away from the goal line. He's totaled nine touchdowns this season, despite getting precious few carries in most of San Diego's games.
Who’s the Matchup: Oakland's run defense has been atrocious all year long, ranking 29th against opposing running backs in 2010. They've allowed eight rushing touchdowns and three receiving touchdowns to the position this season, and can't stop even the most lackluster rushing attacks.
Likelihood of a Touchdown: 8.5/10. Unless Tolbert doesn't get any carries, he's a virtual lock to score in this one.
3. Dwayne Bowe, WR, Kansas City Chiefs
Why He’s a Touchdown Candidate: Has there been a better fantasy wideout since Week 6 than Bowe? Over the last six weeks, the former LSU standout has scored in every game he's played, and totalled 13 touchdowns in that span. He's easily the hottest wideout in football right now, and with another soft matchup coming, you can expect more of the same.
Who’s the Matchup: Denver ranks 22nd in the NFL against opposing wideouts, and Bowe smoked them for 186 yards and a pair of touchdowns in Week 9. Expect more of the same here.
Likelihood of a Touchdown: 9/10. Bowe's been the most reliable touchdown scorer in all of football over the last six weeks; expect him to keep it going in this one.
2. Arian Foster, RB, Houston Texans
Why He’s a Touchdown Candidate: Foster has been a revelation in 2010, and his ability to find the end zone is a big reason why. The former Tennessee Volunteer has 13 touchdowns in 11 games, and has scored in five of his last six contests overall. He's been the best back in fantasy football this year, and it hasn't been all that close.
Who’s the Matchup: Philadelphia's defense has steadily improved against the run in recent weeks, but the Eagles still rank just 20th against opposing running backs.
Likelihood of a Touchdown: 9.5/10. The only certainties in life are death, taxes and Arian Foster scoring against a run defense ranked in the bottom half of the NFL.
1. Peyton Hillis, RB, Cleveland Browns
Why He’s a Touchdown Candidate: Peyton Hillis has been unstoppable in 2010. His combination of explosiveness and bruising strength make him tough to tackle, and his skills catching the ball ensure success virtually every single week. He's totalled 13 touchdowns on the season, and has scored in all but one game on the year.
Who’s the Matchup: The Dolphins rank eighth in the NFL against opposing running backs, but Hillis has blown up much more talented defenses than the one in Miami.
Likelihood of a Touchdown: 10/10. Hillis' touchdown is all but assured; all that remains is seeing how the bruising back gets it this week.