Each week during the NFL season FST brings you our Fantasy Football Start’em column, which takes a look at favorable matchups and how they might impact lineup decisions for your fantasy football roster. Let’s take a look at some players that you’ll want in your starting lineup for Week 13. If you have any start’em sit’em questions feel free to post them in our Fantasy Football Forum.
Brees will be taking the stage on Monday Night football in Seattle with the NFC conference home field playoff advantage on the line. While it’s a daunting task to come into what is the loudest NFL stadium and come out with a win, Brees is still a reliable and excellent fantasy play. While Colston and some of his receivers will suffer from the physical and talented Seattle secondary, there are ways for Brees to score and put his team in a position to succeed. If you drafted Brees and are thinking of steering somewhere else due to the matchup, then trash that thought. If you’ve got Brees you roll him out this week in this big game.
Rivers made all those doubters who pegged him as average over the last 5 weeks look like an amateur hour freshman at a frat party drinking Mad Dog 20/20. Rivers put it on Kansas City to the tune of 3 touchdowns and was the statistical quarterback superstar for week 11. San Diego should be a nice place to him to go back to and fight for that lone other AFC wild card against a Bengals team that is relatively average against opponent’s starting quarterbacks. While the black and orange will likely bring pressure to Rivers, expect more throwing plays and passing yards as a result.
While this Thanksgiving special is typically low-scoring and extremely physical I envision there will be some plays made in the passing game for each team. Flacco’s only consistent target has been Torrey Smith and after watching Ike Taylor get dismantled by Josh Gordon, if Torrey can put up half that output then he’ll have a successful fantasy day. While the Ravens are trying to pound the football more, it’s the passing game where the Ravens have the best chance to find points against the Steelers.
After the bye-week here come the Seahawks ready to make a late season surge to secure home-field playoff advantage as a #1 seed. Harvin will be inserted and worked into a primary role for the offense. Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin still should play important roles but Harvin adds the burner speed and ability to take any pass the distance. While I’m not thinking monster numbers and understanding the Saints are much improved defensively, there is still great potential for a score and huge chunks of yardage.
While Morris has yet to score in a few games and the offense sputtered against the 49ers and all but one quarter against the Eagles, there is reason to believe he’ll get it going this weekend. The Giants can be run on – see Rashad Jennings, LeSean McCoy and DeMarco Murray’s 172 yards over 2 games against them this season. They are division rivals so the Redskins will be up for the game and expect a much more lively performance than what was seen on Monday night. Expect Morris to swing his imaginary baseball at least once in the end zone on Sunday.
While Jennings was a bit of fill-in and question mark when Darren McFadden suffered yet another injury earlier this season, he’s become the second leading rusher over the past 5 games to Adrian Peterson. So while I would not automatically plug him in as a starter every week, this matchup is juicy. Even though McFadden is likely to eat into some of Jennings’ carries as he comes back this week the Cowboys give up the most points to opponents running backs, which bodes well for him. Expect Jennings to feast on some vulnerable Cowboys run defense on Thanksgiving.
While Cleveland is jockeying for NFL drafting positioning as it’s done recently they have a great matchup against another team looking to secure the #1 or #2 draft pick. The Jaguars did succeed in pulling off their second win of the season against the reeling Texans last weekend. With Weeden inserted back as starting quarterback to replace the injured Jason Campbell it appears Cameron will see more targets. Cameron is a great red zone target and opportunities should be there at home against the Jags.
Olsen has seen his touchdown production increase in volume and this week is just another case of an opponent being over matched. While Tampa, much like Jacksonville, is fighting more than it did earlier this season they will find it difficult to cover a physical and athletic tight end like Olsen. Cam Newton has a solid rapport with Olsen in the red zone and as long it’s not too close to hand the ball off to Tolbert then Olsen should find a touchdown as a result.
New England Patriots
The Patriots are entering the soft part of their schedule down the stretch. Houston meanwhile is coming off its 9 straight defeat while transitioning back to their head coach returning to the sidelines. After failing to score a touchdown against a woeful Jaguars team and looking relatively lifeless behind rookie quarterback, Case Keenum and the Texans look ripe for a Patriots beat down. The Patriots are looking to get healthier there is a ton of upside in this defensive unit for a big day. Turnovers should be up and the score should be down as Coach Kubiak returns to help his team play with pride to close out the season.