Week 13 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: Play or Bench Tips for Fantasy Football Owners

Theo SalaunContributor IIINovember 28, 2019

Washington Redskins running back Derrius Guice (29) jumps over Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Ronald Darby while carrying the football during an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019, in Philadelphia, PA. (AP Photo/Jason E. Miczek)
Jason E. Miczek/Associated Press

It's turkey time, and that means the fantasy football playoffs are just a week away.

If you're reading this instead of figuring out if your quarterbacks and defenses are set for the last three weeks, then you don't have a bye week and need to decide your team's postseason fate in Week 13.

In such a precarious situation, maximizing output from your roster's fringe is paramount. For each offensive position, we've laid out three starts, three sits and analyzed a particularly unsettling player to play and one to bench. 

The bye weeks are over and three games come on Thanksgiving Thursday this week. So all cards are on the table and the week gets off to a hot start.

The starts and sits are mostly fringe players (top 12 for quarterbacks and tight ends, top 24 for running backs and wide receivers) by FantasyPros' expert consensus rankingsand the analyzed players are further away from consensus.



Start: Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams (at ARI)

Start: Nick Foles, Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. TB)

Start: Tom Brady, New England Patriots (at HOU)

Sit: Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans (vs. NE)

Sit: Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills (at DAL)

Sit: Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks (vs. MIN)


Play: Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans (at IND)

If you can't get slept-on quarterbacks like Sam Darnold (at CIN) or Jared Goff (at ARI), then feel free to continue dipping into the endless cookie jar that is Ryan Tannehill's career renaissance. 

As noted by JJ Zachariason of FanDuel, Lamar Jackson is the only quarterback who has averaged more fantasy points than Tannehill in at least four starts since the former Miami Dolphins player began starting for Tennessee.

Over his past three games, the 31-year-old is averaging 257 passing yards and 1.7 passing touchdowns to go along with 38.3 rushing yards and one touchdown. 

In fantasy, that's 25.51 points per game in four-point-per-passing-touchdown leagues. The Indianapolis Colts aren't a fragile defense, but they're not invulnerable, and Tannehill is a good bet to continue having a higher floor than his ECR, as QB18 in Week 13, suggests.


Bench: Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys (vs. BUF)

Consensus has Dak Prescott at QB8 for Week 13. He has been mostly spectacular this season and respect is deserved. But this matchup is not ideal and the Buffalo Bills defense deserves respect, too.

The New England Patriots allow the second-fewest passing yards per game and the least passing touchdowns. Last week, Prescott faced them and completed just 57.6 percent of his passes for one interception and no touchdowns. 

Although it should be less rainy, it doesn't get much easier for Prescott in Week 13; the Bills allow the third-fewest passing yards per game and the second-fewest passing touchdowns.

It does get easier for the Dallas running game, though. Ezekiel Elliott should be able to bounce back against a defense that is strong but notably worse than New England against the rush.

If Prescott struggles against a stout secondary and the Cowboys are able to emphasize the run, then this should be an uncharacteristically low-scoring week for the quarterback. 


Running Back

Start: Jonathan Williams, Indianapolis Colts (vs. TEN)

Start: Benny Snell Jr., Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. CLE)

Start: David Montgomery, Chicago Bears (at DET)

Sit: Bo Scarbrough, Detroit Lions (vs. CHI)

Sit: Carlos Hyde, Houston Texans (vs. NE)

Sit: Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers (at DEN)


Play: Derrius Guice, Washington (at CAR)

In his first game back, Derrius Guice played just 29 percent of the team's snaps but outsnapped Adrian Peterson. In his second, he led the backfield with 43 percent. 

The second-year player has played just three games in his NFL career, but he's shown enough juice to intrigue fans and, hopefully, team management. It looks like Washington is readying to find out what it has with an offensive core of Dwayne Haskins, Terry McLaurin and Guice. 

Double-digit carries and a couple targets weren't enough for a big Week 12, but if that usage continues trending upward against a Carolina defense that has let up a league-worst 19 rushing touchdowns, then Guice should be a great play.


Bench: Devin Singletary, Buffalo Bills (at DAL)

You do not have to bench Devin Singletary. He has usurped Frank Gore as the starter, his rushes have increased in each of the last three weeks, and the Dallas Cowboys have had a couple injuries to a front that had already lost its invulnerable glow.

But you can bench him.

Singletary is electric, but his lack of involvement in the passing game is worrying and makes him fine to bench in a Week 13 matchup that could find the Bills playing from behind.

Buffalo's schedule is scary over the next few weeks, so this will be a fantastic test. But he has just three total targets over the last two weeks and 20 total receiving yards over the last three weeks, so feel free to follow the results of Singletary's test as he sits on your bench.


Wide Receiver

Start: Devante Parker, Miami Dolphins (vs. PHI)

Start: Christian Kirk, Arizona Cardinals (vs. LAR)

Start: Tyler Boyd, Cincinnati Bengals (vs. NYJ)

Sit: Courtland Sutton, Denver Broncos (vs. LAC)

Sit: T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts (vs. TEN)

Sit: DK Metcalf, Seattle Seahawks (vs. MIN)


Play: Robert Woods, Los Angeles Rams (at ARI)

As noted by ESPN's Field Yates, Robert Woods has the most receptions, at 51, without a touchdown this season. The Los Angeles Rams' passing attack has been sloppy, to say the least, and his production has been fittingly inconsistent.

Over the past two games, though, the 27-year-old is averaging 10 targets, 6.5 receptions and 96 yards. In Week 13, he gets an Arizona Cardinals secondary that is allowing the most passing yards per game (297.5) and passing touchdowns (29). 

Just like its defense, Arizona's offense likes putting points on the board. That means the Rams should have to accept their invitation to the uptempo party and throw the ball enough for Woods to have a great week and possibly his first touchdown.


Bench: Amari Cooper, Dallas Cowboys (vs. BUF)

Everything said for Prescott goes for Amari Cooper as well. Against the Patriots' Stephon Gilmore, he turned two targets into zero receptions for zero touchdowns. 

Dallas should make an effort to get Cooper more involved in Week 13, and it should get easier against the Bills. But not by much.

Tre'Davious White has been on a mission in 2019 and is locking down most top receivers. Cooper does have Thanksgiving magic, but White is from the real world and doesn't fall for many tricks.


Tight End

Start: Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts (vs. TEN)

Start: Jacob Hollister, Seattle Seahawks (vs. MIN)

Start: Noah Fant, Denver Broncos (vs. LAC)

Sit: Vance McDonald, Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. CLE)

Sit: Darren Fells, Houston Texans (vs. NE)

Sit: Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys (vs. BUF)


Play: Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings (at SEA)

Before Minnesota's Week 12 bye, Kyle Rudolph had scored five touchdowns over the Vikings' previous five games. He is illuminating the way for Kirk Cousins and Minnesota's passing attack.

Over those games, Rudolph only averaged 4.8 targets per game, so expectations can be somewhat tempered. But that red-zone usage, and the possibility Russell Wilson and Seattle can force the Vikings into passing the ball, makes the 30-year-old a more-appealing start than his TE15 ECR would suggest for Week 13. 


Bench: Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens (vs. SF)

Nothing against Mark Andrews as a talent, this is just against a usage rate that is impeded by injury woes and perhaps the league's most talented tight end corps. 

The 23-year-old has been outsnapped by both Hayden Hurst and Nick Boyle in all four of the Baltimore Ravens' last games.

The skillful giant is still averaging more targets than the two, but San Francisco is a difficult matchup and enough for a downgrade when coupled with Andrews' inconsistent usage (just 4.5 targets per game) over Baltimore's last four games.


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