Week 13 Fantasy Football Rankings: Lineup Advice for Every Position

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistNovember 29, 2016

NEW ORLEANS, LA - NOVEMBER 27: Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints throws the ball during the first half of a game against the Los Angeles Rams at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on November 27, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Sean Gardner/Getty Images

We're about to enter the 13th week of the 2016 NFL season. For many of you, this means that the time for the fantasy postseason is upon you.

Many fantasy leagues, especially larger ones, will be starting their playoffs this week. For those of you who are still in the regular season but are looking at a playoff spot, this is still a critical point in the season.

While you'll be watching the playoffs from your couch regardless, the wrong moves this week could have you watching from the consolation bracket.

We're here to help, though, with our Week 13 positional rankings. We'll be running down the top players at each position based on projected performance and will also examine some risers and fallers at each skill position.

All of our choices are based on factors like past performances, matchups, projected role and player health.

    

Quarterbacks

Week 13 QBs
RankPlayerMatchup
1Drew Brees, NODET
2Andrew Luck, IND@ NYJ
3Matt Ryan, ATLKC
4Derek Carr, OAKBUF
5Philip Rivers, SDTB
6Aaron Rodgers, GBHOU
7Matthew Stafford, DET@ NO
8Tom Brady, NELA
9Russell Wilson, SEACAR
10Ben Roethlisberger, PITNYG

Up: Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is playing about as well as he ever has. So far this season, he has completed 71.5 percent of his passes for 3,587 yards, 30 touchdowns and just eight interceptions.

The former Purdue standout has even proven effective against top-tier defenses. Last week against the Los Angeles Rams—who are rated seventh in overall defense by Pro Football Focus—Brees racked up 310 yards and four touchdowns.

This week, Brees and the Saints will host the Detroit Lions. Pro Football Focus rated Detroit just 31st in overall defense. Expect Brees to have another big day.

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Down: Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton has been a viable fantasy starter in the past, and you may have streamed him for a week or two this season.

The main problem for Dalton this season has been an inability to reach the end zone. Even with weapons like A.J. Green, Tyler Eifert and Giovani Bernard at his disposal, Dalton has only thrown 12 touchdown passes to go with nine turnovers.

To make matters worse, Dalton now doesn't have Bernard and Green to target. Bernard is out for the year with a torn ACL. Green is out for an extended period with a hamstring issue.

Last week, Dalton mustered 283 yards but just one touchdown with two lost fumbles. This week, he'll go against a Philadelphia Eagles defense that is rated third in pass rush by Pro Football Focus.

If you're still streaming quarterbacks, look elsewhere this week.

    

Running Backs

Week 13 RBs
RankPlayerMatchup
1David Johnson, ARIWAS
2Spencer Ware, KC@ ATL
3Melvin Gordon, SDTB
4Le'Veon Bell, PITNYG
5Ezekiel Elliott, DAL@ MIN
6LeGarrette Blount, NELA
7LeSean McCoy, BUF@ OAK
8Matt Forte, NYJIND
9Devonta Freeman, ATLKC
10Mark Ingram, NODET
11Todd Gurley, LA@ NE
12Jordan Howard, CHISF
13Theo Riddick, DET@ NO
14Darren Sproles, PHI@ CIN
15Jay Ajayi, MIA@ BAL
16Rob Kelley, WAS@ ARI
17Devontae Booker, DEN@ JAX
18Carlos Hyde, SF@ SF
19Jeremy Hill, CINPHI
20Latavius Murray, OAKBUF

Up: Spencer Ware, Kansas City Chiefs

Spencer Ware continues to show that he can carry the load for the Kansas City Chiefs on the ground. The LSU product is averaging 4.7 yards per carry, has rushed for 705 yards and has added 24 receptions for 372 more yards.

Ware has three total touchdowns.

This week, Ware and the Chiefs will visit the Atlanta Falcons. While the Falcons have an incredible offense—one averaging an NFL-best 32.5 points per game—the Atlanta defense leaves something to be desired, especially against the run.

The Falcons are rated just 25th in run defense by Pro Football Focus.

Ware should be able to produce strong fantasy numbers against the Falcons this week. Adding to the likelihood is the fact that rookie receiver Tyreek Hill has started stretching the field for the Chiefs offense. Atlanta won't be able to clamp down on the Chiefs' running game for four full quarters.

    

Down: Chris Ivory, Jacksonville Jaguars

Running back Chris Ivory was a true fantasy stud while playing with the New York Jets last season. In 2015, he racked up 1,287 combined rushing and receiving yards with eight total touchdowns.

Unfortunately, Ivory hasn't held nearly as much fantasy value this year with the Jacksonville Jaguars, who are averaging just 96.3 yards per game as a team. Ivory has produced just 350 rushing yards, 117 receiving yards and two touchdowns in nine appearances this year.

In Week 13, Ivory will have to go up against the vaunted Denver Broncos defense. That defense is rated eighth against the run by Pro Football Focus. This isn't a good week to take a chance on Ivory—or backfield mate T.J. Yeldon, for that matter.

    

Wide Receivers

Week 13 WRs
RankPlayerMatchup
1Odell Beckham Jr., NYG@ PIT
2Julio Jones, ATLKC
3Antonio Brown, PITNYG
4T.Y. Hilton, IND@ NYJ
5Mike Evans, TB@ SD
6Larry Fitzgerald, ARIWAS
7Jordy Nelson, GBHOU
8Amari Cooper, OAKBUF
9Brandin Cooks, NODET
10Tyreek Hill, KC@ ATL
11Marvin Jones, DET@ NO
12Jamison Crowder, WAS@ ARI
13Michael Thomas, NODET
14Julian Edelman, NELA
15Doug Baldwin, SEACAR
16Mike Wallace, BALMIA
17Demaryius Thomas, DEN@ JAX
18Kenny Britt, LA@ NO
19Emmanuel Sanders, DEN@ JAX
20Tyrell Williams, SDTB

Up: Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs

As we mentioned above, Hill is beginning to establish himself as a big part of the Chiefs offense. Over the last three weeks, he has produced a total of 23 receptions, 194 yards and a touchdown. He has also rushed for 15 yards and a score in that span.

Perhaps more importantly, Hill appears to be earning the confidence of his teammates.

"He’s that fast and that electric," Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce said of Hill, per Vahe Gregorian of the Kansas City Star.

Hill is worth an add if you can get him—he's owned in 26.5 percent of ESPN fantasy leagues. Hill and the Chiefs face a Falcons defense that is surrendering an NFL-worst 282.2 passing yards per game.

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Down: Kenny Stills, Miami Dolphins

Wideout Kenny Stills had a standout game for the Miami Dolphins last week, hauling in three catches for 72 yards and a score. Over the course of the season, though, he hasn't been a consistent fantasy producer.

For the season, Stills is averaging just over two catches and 43 yards per game. On the bright side, he is scoring a touchdown about once every other game.

It had looked for a bit like Stills might be in store for a bigger Week 13 role, as fellow wideout DeVante Parker suffered a back injury on Sunday. However, Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald reported that the injury isn't serious:

This means Stills is likely to be in his regular role against a Baltimore Ravens defense that allows just 222.9 passing yards per game (sixth-fewest in the NFL) and is rated eighth in overall defense by Pro Football Focus.

    

Tight Ends

Week 13 TEs
RankPlayerMatchup
1Travis Kelce, KC@ ATL
2Jimmy Graham, SEACAR
3Greg Olsen, CAR@ DEN
4Kyle Rudolph, MINDAL
5Martellus Bennett, NELA
6Tyler Eifert, CINPHI
7Jason Witten, DAL@ MIN
8Zach Ertz, PHI@ CIN
9Coby Fleener, NODET
10Eric Ebron, DET@ NO

Up: Jimmy Graham, Seattle Seahawks

Even with the Seattle Seahawks playing inconsistently on offense, tight end Jimmy Graham has returned to being a fantasy star in 2016. So far, he has racked up 51 receptions, 706 yards and four touchdowns.

Hopefully, the Seahawks will be able to get back on track while playing at home this week. Regardless, Graham should remain a top-end tight end. He and the Seahawks are hosting the rebounding Carolina Panthers, who have improved on defense but still struggle at times.

Pro Football Focus rated Carolina just 26th in pass coverage. Graham is in prime position to take advantage of a favorable matchup.

    

Watch: Jordan Reed, Washington Redskins

We can't exactly say we're going to be down on Washington Redskins tight end Jordan Reed. If he plays, it's difficult to think about benching him. However, we will suggest caution with him this week—and are leaving him out of our rankings—because he recently suffered a shoulder separation.

As former NFL physician David J. Chao pointed out, Reed will be in position to play while injured:

However, we're not sure a less than 100 percent Reed is going to be a high-end play this week. The Redskins face the Arizona Cardinals, who are rated second in overall defense by PFF. If you're ever going to sit Reed in a week he's playing, this might be the week to do it.

At the very least, keep an eye on his status in the days leading up to Sunday.

    

Kickers

Week 13 Ks
RankPlayerMatchup
1Matt Bryant, ATLKC
2Adam Vinatieri, IND@ NYJ
3Justin Tucker, BALMIA
4Dan Bailey, DAL@ MIN
5Cairo Santos, KC@ ATL
6Dustin Hopkins, WAS@ ARI
7Josh Lambo, SDTB
8Caleb Sturgis, PHI@ CIN
9Brandon McManus, DEN@ JAX
10Wil Lutz, NODET

    

Defense/Special Teams

Week 13 D/ST
RankPlayerMatchup
1Denver Broncos@ JAX
2New England PatriotsLA
3Arizona CardinalsWAS
4Seattle SeahawksCAR
5Pittsburgh SteelersNYG
6Minnesota VikingsDAL
7Dallas Cowboys@ MIN
8San Diego ChargersTB
9Indianapolis Colts@ NYJ
10New York JetsIND

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