Fantasy Football Week 13 Rankings: Projections to Love and Matchups to Exploit

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistDecember 3, 2021

Fantasy Football Week 13 Rankings: Projections to Love and Matchups to Exploit

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    Nick Wass/Associated Press

    Week 13 of the 2021 NFL season is up and running, and fantasy managers who had exposure to the Dallas Cowboys' 27-17 win over the New Orleans Saints on Thursday might need a lift this weekend.

    Dak Prescott was pretty pedestrian by his standards (238 yards, one touchdown and one interception). Taysom Hill showed some good (101 rushing yards, plus 264 passing yards with two touchdowns) and some bad (four interceptions). Ezekiel Elliott disappointed once again (15 touches for 47 scrimmage yards and no scores). Deonte Harris impressed (96 receiving yards and a score) for anyone with the foresight to start him.

    Chances are, though, if your roster was involved in that contest, you might have some ground to make up between Sunday and Monday.

    Coming here was the right decision, as we're laying out our top 10 positional rankings at the four skill spots, highlighting the player from that group with the most favorable matchup and projecting their production.


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    Michael Ainsworth/Associated Press

    1. Tom Brady, TB (at ATL)

    2. Lamar Jackson, BAL (at PIT)

    3. Justin Herbert, LAC (at CIN)

    4. Patrick Mahomes, KC (vs. DEN)

    5. Josh Allen, BUF (vs. NE)

    6. Jalen Hurts, PHI (at NYJ)

    7. Matthew Stafford, LAR (vs. JAX)

    8. Kyler Murray, ARI (at CHI)

    9. Derek Carr, LV (vs. WAS)

    10. Kirk Cousins, MIN (at DET)


    Best Matchup: Derek Carr vs. Washington Football Team

    There might be some stop-and-go with Derek Carr's statistics from one week to the next, but he should have a neon-green light in this game.

    Washington's defense has been a gold mine for opposing quarterbacks. It has yielded an average output of 24 fantasy points per game to the position. For context, no other team has allowed more than 21, and just four other defenses surrender 20-plus.

    The last three quarterbacks to face Washington and eight of the past nine all threw multiple touchdown passes. Look for Carr to continue that trend while clearing 300 yards for the second consecutive week.

    Projected stats: 317 passing yards, three touchdowns.

Running Back

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    1. Jonathan Taylor, IND (at HOU)

    2. Austin Ekeler, LAC (at CIN)

    3. Joe Mixon, CIN (vs. LAC)

    4. Alexander Mattison, MIN (at DET)

    5. Leonard Fournette, TB (at ATL)

    6. Elijah Mitchell, SF (at SEA)

    7. James Conner, ARI (at CHI)

    8. Najee Harris, PIT (vs. BAL)

    9. Darrell Henderson Jr, LAR (vs. JAX)

    10. Cordarrelle Patterson, ATL (vs. TB)


    Best Matchup: Elijah Mitchell at Seattle Seahawks

    Featured running backs might be falling out of favor in the NFL, but apparently, no one told 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan. San Francisco's skipper has entrusted Elijah Mitchell, a sixth-round rookie, with 27 carries in each of his last two contests.

    Over his last five outings, he has averaged 21.6 touches and 116.4 yards. His scoring plays aren't super-consistent, but he does have three rushing touchdowns during this stretch.

    Seattle's fantasy-friendly defense could spur Mitchell to another big game. The Seahawks have allowed the second-most fantasy points to running backs this season, and just last week they allowed Antonio Gibson and J.D. McKissic to combine for 202 scrimmage yards and a pair of touchdowns.

    Projected stats: 112 rushing yards, 37 receiving yards, two touchdowns

Wide Receiver

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    1. Cooper Kupp, LAR (vs. JAX)

    2. Tyreek Hill, KC (vs. DEN)

    3. Justin Jefferson, MIN (at DET)

    4. Keenan Allen, LAC (at CIN)

    5. Stefon Diggs, BUF (vs. NE)

    6. Diontae Johnson, PIT (vs. BAL)

    7. Marquise Brown, BAL (at PIT)

    8. Terry McLaurin, WAS (at LV)

    9. Ja'Marr Chase, CIN (vs. LAC)

    10. Jaylen Waddle, MIA (vs. NYG)


    Best Matchup: Marquise Brown at Pittsburgh Steelers

    With blink-and-he's-gone burst, Marquise Brown doesn't need a lot of touches to put big numbers on the stat sheet.

    Baltimore is upping his involvement anyway. The Ravens wideout has double-digit targets in each of his last four games, catching 28 of those passes for 284 yards and a touchdown.

    The Steelers, who have given up the 10th-most fantasy points to the position, could have trouble keeping him corralled.

    Projected stats: 91 receiving yards, one touchdown

Tight End

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    Daniel Kucin Jr./Associated Press

    1. Travis Kelce, KC (vs. DEN)

    2. Mark Andrews, BAL (at PIT)

    3. Rob Gronkowski, TB (at ATL)

    4. George Kittle, SF (at SEA)

    5. T.J. Hockenson, DET (vs. MIN)

    6. Kyle Pitts, ATL (vs. TB)

    7. Mike Gesicki, MIA (vs. NYG)

    8. Pat Freiermuth, PIT (vs. BAL)

    9. Logan Thomas, WAS (at LV)

    10. Dallas Goedert, PHI (at NYJ)


    Best Matchup: Logan Thomas at Las Vegas Raiders

    Logan Thomas just returned from a two-month absence with a hamstring injury and was promptly targeted six times, third-highest on the team and only one behind Terry McLaurin and Antonio Gibson.

    The Football Team will keep Thomas involved, and this tasty matchup should produce better numbers than Monday night did (three catches for 31 yards and no score).

    The Raiders have given up the second-most fantasy points to tight ends, and they're racing toward the No. 1 spot. Four different tight ends have caught a touchdown pass against this defense over the last four weeks, and another had a triple-digit yardage total.

    Projected stats: 61 receiving yards, one touchdown


    Fantasy stats used courtesy of Yahoo.