What to do if you're a Gronk owner? Will Matt Forte come through versus the Colts defense? Carson Palmer is this year's Peyton Manning. And the curious case of Tyreek Hill. Week-13 Start 'Em / Sit 'Em is upon us. If your league's fantasy playoffs have not yet begun, chance are they're about to so this week is most crucial for that last ditch playoff push and possibly into the $$ rounds. As always, Kevin Luss Jr. has ya covered!
Start ‘Em Sit ‘Em: Week 13
by Kevin Luss, Jr.
Welcome to the weekly Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em article. A quick disclaimer on how to view this article: The players in the “start” category are generally not going to be star players. We all know you should start Aaron Rodgers and Antonio Brown! In the “sit” section, these are guys who you should consider sitting if you have a viable replacement. This is not a warning to bench them for a nobody on the waiver wire. Sleepers are guys to consider if you’re willing to take a chance on player at a position where you don’t like your current options. With that, enjoy this week’s read…
Matthew Stafford, QB, DET
The Detroit Lions have been on fire lately, taking sole possession of first place in their division after their Thanksgiving Day win. Despite this, Matthew Stafford has posted very modest stats, with only 1 passing touchdown in his last two games. This week’s game against New Orleans provides an opportunity to end that streak, though, as Saints games tend to turn into shootouts.
Matt Forte, RB, NYJ
Forte had an awful game last week against the Patriots where he averaged barely two yards per carry. This week’s game against Indianapolis on Monday night will be a much better matchup, though. Forte will get back on track like the previous four games where he topped 80 yards each week.
Michael Thomas, WR, NO
Thomas broke out last week, reeling in 9 of his 10 targets, topping 100 yards and adding 2 touchdowns as well. Drew Brees clearly trusts the young receiver at this point and over the 3 weeks Thomas has pulled in 18 of 21 targets. Detroit has a good secondary, but as long as Thomas keeps pulling in the majority of the passes thrown his way he’ll be a solid WR2.
Doug Baldwin, WR, SEA
After his 100 yard performance in Week 11, he stumbled to a meager 34 yards in Week 12. This week is a great rebound opportunity with Carolina coming to town. The Panthers secondary is floundering without Josh Norman this season and the Seahawks are fighting for a top seed in the playoffs this year, so look for a big bounce back this week for Baldwin.
Kyle Rudolph, TE, MIN
Rudolph had a huge day on Thanksgiving with 9 catches on 10 targets. A big reason for that was the absence of Stefon Diggs, who could return to the lineup this week. Even if Diggs does return, though, Dallas is not a great defense against tight ends, as evidenced by last week’s performance by Jordan Reed. Rudolph should be a big part of the game plan if the Vikings want to move the ball this week.
Carson Palmer, QB, ATL
Palmer has not performed this year anywhere near the level he was at last season. He has thrown at least one interception in 4 consecutive games and has to look for openings in the Washington secondary. Josh Norman is going to lock down one side of the field and Palmer is going to have a hard time posting much yardage this week.
Jeremy Hill, RB, CIN
Hill has been going through a rough patch, finishing each of the last three games with fewer than 65 rushing yards. This week he faces a talented Philadelphia defense which has been stifling against opposing running backs. If Hill can’t get a touchdown, he’s unlikely to be of much use this week.
Todd Gurley, RB, LA
Gurley continues to disappoint, with only 50 rushing yards last week. Gurley hasn’t even had a 100 yard game yet this season. New England poses a decent challenge as a rushing defense, and the Rams don’t have the passing attack needed to draw attention away from Gurley. Don’t rely on him to be any more than a flex player this week.
Kelvin Benjamin, WR, CAR
Benjamin finally pulled in a touchdown last week, breaking a 6 game scoring draught. However, he only managed to catch 2 of his 6 targets. Benjamin has not been very effective for two straight games and this week squares off against Richard Sherman as the Seahawks, making him difficult to trust as even a flex player.
Martellus Bennett, TE, NE
Martellus Bennett has had two consecutive games with minimal production, and with Rob Gronkowski in front of him for targets, it’ll be difficult for him to provide much value. Bennett is dealing with multiple minor injuries as well, making him difficult to trust against a Los Angeles defense which already does well against tight ends.
Alex Smith, QB, KC
Smith is known for being a game-manager and hasn’t thrown for more than 1 touchdown since Week 7, but Atlanta’s defense is at the bottom of the league when it comes to defending the pass. If you’re looking for a guy with a good matchup to use for this week, Smith is probably available.
Tyreek Hill, WR, KC
Hill scored touchdowns receiving, rushing, and in the return game last week. While that isn’t likely to happen again, there is a good chance he remains a focal point in the Kansas City offense this week. Atlanta’s defense is easily beaten through the air and Hill is a good option in the flex position as a waiver pick-up this week.
Green Bay D/ST
The Green Bay defense lit up the Philadelphia last week, and run into the Houston Texans offense this week. Houston is not an intimidating opponent and Brock Osweiler has shown the capability to throw an inception or two in any game. While not the typical first choice for a fantasy game, Green Bay provides a good value for Week 13.