Fantasy Football Week 13 Rankings: Guide for Top Players and Sleepers

Michelle Bruton@@michelle_nflFeatured ColumnistNovember 30, 2016

Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) prepares to pass against the Dallas Cowboys during the first half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)
Ron Jenkins/Associated Press

Many NFL fantasy leagues begin their playoffs in Week 13 or 14, and if you clicked on this article, chances are you are just starting yours (congratulations!) or are making a final attempt to get into them. 

Your many successes and failures this season no longer matter if all that stands between you and the postseason is one game. Setting your lineup this week becomes crucial, and one mistake could cost you. 

The following rankings should help you make decisions for your top positions, but don't be afraid to consider some sleepers, as well. Sometimes getting into the playoffs involves a stroke of luck from a dark-horse player. 



RankPlayerTeamWeek 13 Opponent
1Drew BreesNODET
2Tom BradyNELA
3Russell WilsonSEACAR
4Aaron RodgersGBHOU
5Ben RoethlisbergerPITNYG
6Matt RyanATLKC
7Andrew LuckIND@NYJ
8Derek CarrOAKBUF
9Colin KaepernickSF@CHI
10Matthew StaffordDET@NO
11Philip RiversSDTB
12Dak PrescottDAL@MIN

Sleeper: Kirk Cousins, Washington 

Washington's Kirk Cousins has been a bright spot on a 6-4-1 team that's in third place in the NFC East.

He was the third-highest-scoring quarterback in fantasy in Week 12, amassing 30.16 points thanks to his whopping 449 passing yards and three touchdowns. 

Cousins didn't throw any interceptions in Week 12 and, in fact, hasn't thrown a single pick since the Week 9 bye. In that span, Cousins has also completed at least 66.7 percent of his passes and has thrown for eight touchdowns. 

As numberFire's JJ Zachariason pointed out on Twitter, Cousins hasn't let his owners down much this season:

JJ Zachariason @LateRoundQB

Kirk Cousins has scored fewer than 17 standard fantasy points just twice this year, once since his awful Week 1 performance.

Cousins was only started in 20.4 percent of NFL fantasy leagues in Week 12, which was obviously a regrettable choice for those owners. If you own him, he's worth a start in Week 13. 


Running Backs

RankPlayerTeamWeek 13 Opponent
1Le'Veon BellPITNYG
2David JohnsonARIWAS
3LeSean McCoyBUF@OAK
4Ezekiel ElliottDAL@MIN
5Melvin GordonSDTB
6Matt ForteNYJIND
7Jordan HowardCHISF
8Spencer WareKC@ATL
9Carlos HydeSF@CHI
10Devonta FreemanATLKC
11Jay AjayiMIA@BAL
12Doug MartinTB@SD
13Lamar MillerHOU@GB
14Mark IngramNODET
15LeGarrette BlountNELA
16Latavius MurrayOAKBUF
17Todd GurleyLA@NE
18Rashad JenningsNYG@PIT
19Theo RiddickDET@NO
20Jeremy HillCINPHI
21Devontae BookerDEN@JAC
22Frank GoreIND@NYJ
23Jonathan StewartCAR@SEA
24Thomas RawlsSEACAR
25Rob KelleyWAS@ARI
26Wendell SmallwoodPHI@CIN
27Tim HightowerNODET
28Tevin ColemanATLKC
29Kenneth DixonBALMIA
30Terrance WestBALMIA
31Dion LewisNELA
32Darren SprolesPHI@CIN

Top Player: LeSean McCoy, Buffalo Bills

Buffalo's LeSean McCoy had a couple off-weeks this season, scoring fewer than 10 points in Week 2 and Week 7. 

But he's coming off his second-highest-scoring outing of the season against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 12, when he put up 27.40 points with 103 rushing yards and two touchdowns.

One of those scores came off a 75-yard rush, the longest of Shady's career:


That 75-yard rush was the longest of LeSean McCoy's career. https://t.co/ASPJinG7aa

Needless to say, McCoy is breaking new ground this season and could take his fantasy owners to their championship games. 


Wide Receivers

RankPlayerTeamWeek 13 Opponent
1Antonio BrownPITNYG
2Mike EvansTB@SD
3Julio JonesATLKC
4Odell BeckhamNYG@PIT
5T.Y. HiltonIND@NYJ
6Jordy NelsonGBHOU
7Dez BryantDAL@MIN
8Amari CooperOAKBUF
9Michael ThomasNODET
10Tyrell WilliamsSDTB
11Doug BaldwinSEACAR
12Michael CrabtreeOAKBUF
13Brandon MarshallNYJIND
14Kelvin BenjaminCAR@SEA
15Donte MoncriefIND@NYJ
16Larry FitzgeraldARIWAS
17Brandin CooksNODET
18DeAndre HopkinsHOU@GB
19Davante AdamsGBHOU
20Demaryius ThomasDEN@JAC
21Julian EdelmanNELA
22Jamison CrowderWAS@ARI
23Sammy WatkinsBUF@OAK
24Allen RobinsonJACDEN
25Golden TateDET@NO
26Steve SmithBALMIA
27Emmanuel SandersDEN@JAC
28Tyreek HillKC@ATL
29Kenny BrittLA@NE
30Jordan MatthewsPHI@CIN
31Willie SneadNODET
32Randall CobbGBHOU

Top Player: Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers

Michael Conroy/Associated Press

It's no surprise that Antonio Brown continues to be near the top among wideouts in fantasy this season.

In Week 12, Brown was the top wideout, connecting with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for a whopping three touchdowns and 91 yards. His efforts earned him 27.10 points and gave his owners something to be thankful for on Thursday.

Brown faces a New York Giants defense in Week 13 that has given up an average of 264.7 passing yards per game, the ninth-most in the NFL this season. Needless to say, he should have a good day.  


Tight Ends

RankPlayerTeamWeek 13 Opponent
1Tyler EifertCINPHI
2Jimmy GrahamSEACAR
3Greg OlsenCAR@SEA
4Travis KelceKC@ATL
5Jordan ReedWAS@ARI
6Kyle RudolphMINDAL
7Eric EbronDET@NO
8Cameron BrateTB@SD
9Antonio GatesSDTB
10Martellus BennettNELA
11Jared CookGBHOU
12C.J. FiedorowiczHOU@GB

Deep Sleeper: Dion Sims, Miami Dolphins

He won't appear in the top rankings for Week 13 and is only owned in 0.1 percent of leagues. That's the definition of a deep sleeper, but if you like to stock your bench with sleepers, Miami tight end Dion Sims could be the player for you.

Sims, who was picked by the Dolphins in the fourth round of the 2013 draft, was the third-highest-scoring tight end in the league in Week 12, amassing 53 receiving yards and a touchdown for a total of 11.30 points. 

Omar Kelly of the South Florida Sun Sentinel pointed out that perhaps head coach Adam Gase brings out Sims' potential:

Omar Kelly @OmarKelly

There is so much more meat on the bone with Dion Sims. He's fallen short of my expectations the last 4 years, but maybe Gase brings it out. https://t.co/WeH4hpgfbE

In any case, Sims could see a spike in production in the coming weeks and should definitely be available in your league. 


Defense/Special Teams

RankUnitWeek 13 Opponent
1Denver Broncos@JAC
2Seattle SeahawksCAR
3Philadelphia Eagles@CIN
4New England PatriotsLA
5Baltimore RavensMIA
6Kansas City Chiefs@ATL
7Miami Dolphins@BAL
8Minnesota VikingsDAL
9New York Giants@PIT
10Arizona CardinalsWAS
11Los Angeles Rams@NE
12San Diego ChargersTB

Top Unit: New England Patriots

Julio Cortez/Associated Press

Matchups are everything in fantasy football when it comes to starting a defense/special teams unit, and for that reason, many fantasy owners choose to stream units from week to week rather than stick with one team for the season.

With that being the case, no one has a better matchup this week than the Patriots, who take on the Los Angeles Rams at home. The Rams are the NFL's lowest-scoring team this season, averaging only 15.5 points per game.

The Patriots may not be leading the league in sacks or interceptions, but they may limit the Rams to single-digit points in Week 13.  



RankPlayerTeamWeek 13 Opponent
1Cairo SantosKC@ATL
2Matt BryantATLKC
3Wil LutzNODET
4Dan BaileyDAL@MIN
5Brandon McManusDEN@JAC
6Dustin HopkinsWAS@ARI
7Justin TuckerBALMIA
8Mason CrosbyGBHOU
9Steven HauschkaSEACAR
10Sebastian JanikowskiOAKBUF
11Josh LamboSDTB
12Matt PraterDET@NO

Top Player: Matt Bryant, Atlanta Falcons

DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 9:  Kicker Matt Bryant #3 of the Atlanta Falcons in action against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on October 9, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

Though Baltimore's Justin Tucker is coming close, Matt Bryant continues to maintain his hold atop the NFL as the league's top fantasy kicker with 112 points.

Bryant is getting a lot of help from Atlanta's high-scoring offense. His 36 successful extra-point attempts are, unsurprisingly, almost the most in the league; he is outranked only by New Orleans' Wil Lutz. 


Rankingsscoring leadersaverage draft position and ownership stats via NFL.com, unless otherwise noted, and are current as of Nov. 23.  


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