Fantasy Football 2012: Week 13 Underrated Starters

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Fantasy Football Underrated Players for Week 13

Underrated
John Rieger-US PRESSWIRE

In Week 13 of the 2012 fantasy football season, some players are more valued than others. Regardless of where owners are in the standings, it is very difficult for them to correctly predict their optimum starting lineup from week to week. Whether it is deciding among the options they currently own to scouring available options for improvement in Week 13, owners must assess all of the games of the week, determine which available players may overachieve and find hidden gems amongst players that a majority of owners are not starting this week. Picking the right players to start each week could very well serve as the difference between success and failure in Week 13.

Making decisions on who to start every week is one of the unique aspects of fantasy football. With just one game a week for every player, good decisions by one owner can put them in a position to beat any other owner. In Week 13, there are decisions that need to be made in order to put up the best possible starting lineup. Here’s a look at some players at each position with great Week 13 situations and should be considered for starting in more leagues.

* The following players on this list are ranked and are started in under 50% of Yahoo! fantasy football leagues. Player percentage owned/started data and season statistics are accurate as of Saturday, December 1, 2012.

Austin Chang is a featured columnist and fantasy sports expert at Rant Sports and you can follow him on Twitter @_austinchang.

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QB Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals

Dalton
Frank Victores-US PRESSWIRE

QB Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals (at San Diego Chargers, 82% owned, 36% started)

Season statistics: 2,769 passing yards, 23 passing touchdowns, 11 interceptions, 93 rushing yards, 2 rushing touchdowns, 2 fumbles lost

Yahoo! Sports Staff Composite Ranking: 9

Dalton has been one of the most underrated quarterbacks this season. Excellent in his last three starts, all wins where he did not throw an interception, he faces a 20th-ranked Chargers pass defense this week. With good ball protection and smart decisions, Dalton will be a viable fantasy play in Week 13.

Other underrated quarterbacks of Week 13: Indianapolis Colts’ Andrew Luck (at Detroit Lions, 92% owned, 39% started), San Francisco 49ers’ Colin Kaepernick (at St. Louis Rams, 52% owned, 26% started), Houston Texans’ Matt Schaub (at Tennessee Titans, 79% owned, 30% started)

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RB Knowshon Moreno, Denver Broncos

Moreno
Denny Medley-US PRESSWIRE

RB Knowshon Moreno, Denver Broncos (vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 60% owned, 38% started)

Season statistics: 100 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown, 38 receiving yards, 1 fumble lost

Yahoo! Sports Staff Composite Ranking: 20

After being inactive for most of the season, Moreno has taken advantage of Willis McGahee’s knee injury. Taking a starter’s share of the carries in Week 12 over Ronnie Hillman, he continues to stay atop the team’s depth chart. Tampa Bay provides a nice matchup for Moreno, who should once again get a sizeable amount of action for consideration in deeper leagues.

Other underrated running backs of Week 13: Jacksonville Jaguars’ Rashad Jennings (at Buffalo Bills, 58% owned, 28% started), Oakland Raiders’ Marcel Reece (vs. Cleveland Browns, 72% owned, 35% started), Arizona Cardinals’ Beanie Wells (at New York Jets</strong>, 59% owned, 25% started)

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WR Pierre Garcon, Washington Redskins

Garcon
Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

WR Pierre Garcon, Washington Redskins (vs. New York Giants, 69% owned, 35% started)

Season statistics: 7 rushing yards, 244 receiving yards, 2 receiving touchdowns

Yahoo! Sports Staff Composite Ranking: 19

Instead of potentially having season-ending surgery, Garcon played in his first game in about two months and had great results (four receptions, 86 yards, one touchdown). Demonstrating great chemistry with Robert Griffin III since Week 1, he looks on track to play again on Monday night against a struggling Giants secondary.

Other underrated wide receivers of Week 13: Chargers’ Danario Alexander (vs. Bengals, 48% owned, 23% started), 49ers’ Michael Crabtree (at Rams, 79% owned, 42% started), Jaguars’ Justin Blackmon (at Bills, 67% owned, 42% started)

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TE Martellus Bennett, New York Giants

Bennett
Brad Penner-US PRESSWIRE

TE Martellus Bennett, Giants (at Redskins, 51% owned, 19% started)

Season statistics: 455 receiving yards, 3 touchdowns

Yahoo! Sports Staff Composite Ranking: 5

Ever since breaking out in the first three weeks of the season, Bennett has been a weak fantasy play to say the least. Mediocre as of late, a matchup against the Redskins, a team that he had a season-high 79 yards against in Week 7, is always a cure for struggling receivers. Bennett is a stronger play this week because of this.

Other underrated tight ends of Week 13: Carolina Panthers’ Greg Olsen (at Kansas City Chiefs, 71% owned, 38% started), Raiders’ Brandon Myers (vs. Browns, 53% owned, 30% started), Lions’ Brandon Pettigrew (vs. Colts, 76% owned, 48% started)

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K Shayne Graham, Houston Texans

Graham
Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE

K Shayne Graham, Texans (at Titans, 47% owned, 41% started)

Season statistics: 1 0-19 FG, 6 20-29 FG, 6 30-39 FG, 6 40-49 FG, 1 50+ FG, 37 PAT made

Yahoo! Sports Staff Composite Ranking: 2

Graham had an eventful Thanksgiving, as he made a game-tying 45-yard field goal in regulation against the Lions. In overtime, he missed a 51-yard field goal before winning the game with a 32-yard make near the end of game. Despite the miss, he receives more field goal opportunities than most kickers and should be in the same position this week against the Titans.

Other underrated kickers of Week 13: Denver Broncos’ Matt Prater (vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 51% owned, 42% started), Redskins’ Kai Forbath (vs. Giants, 5% owned, 4% started), Browns’ Phil Dawson (at Raiders, 19% owned, 14% started)

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New York Jets team defense

Jets
Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE

Jets team defense (vs. Cardinals, 59% owned, 41% started)

Season statistics: 270 points allowed, 17.0 sacks, 1 safety, 8 interceptions, 11 fumble recoveries, 3 defensive touchdowns, 2 return touchdowns

Yahoo! Sports Staff Composite Ranking: 1

The Jets defense has been a big disappointment this season. Ranked 19th in total defense this season, they will certainly welcome a matchup against a Cardinals offense that will still start rookie quarterback Ryan Lindley. The Jets defense should have little trouble taking advantage of this matchup against a floundering offense.

Other underrated team defenses of Week 13: Dallas Cowboys team defense (vs. Philadelphia Eagles, 46% owned, 37% started), Cardinals team defense (at Jets, 58% owned, 40% started), Panthers team defense (at Chiefs, 20% owned, 17% started)

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Fantasy Football Underrated Players for Week 13

Underrated
John Rieger-US PRESSWIRE

In Week 13 of the 2012 fantasy football season, some players are more valued than others. Regardless of where owners are in the standings, it is very difficult for them to correctly predict their optimum starting lineup from week to week. Whether it is deciding among the options they currently own to scouring available options for improvement in Week 13, owners must assess all of the games of the week, determine which available players may overachieve and find hidden gems amongst players that a majority of owners are not starting this week. Picking the right players to start each week could very well serve as the difference between success and failure in Week 13.

Making decisions on who to start every week is one of the unique aspects of fantasy football. With just one game a week for every player, good decisions by one owner can put them in a position to beat any other owner. In Week 13, there are decisions that need to be made in order to put up the best possible starting lineup. Here’s a look at some players at each position with great Week 13 situations and should be considered for starting in more leagues.

* The following players on this list are ranked and are started in under 50% of Yahoo! fantasy football leagues. Player percentage owned/started data and season statistics are accurate as of Saturday, December 1, 2012.

Austin Chang is a featured columnist and fantasy sports expert at Rant Sports and you can follow him on Twitter @_austinchang.

2 of 7

QB Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals

Dalton
Frank Victores-US PRESSWIRE

QB Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals (at San Diego Chargers, 82% owned, 36% started)

Season statistics: 2,769 passing yards, 23 passing touchdowns, 11 interceptions, 93 rushing yards, 2 rushing touchdowns, 2 fumbles lost

Yahoo! Sports Staff Composite Ranking: 9

Dalton has been one of the most underrated quarterbacks this season. Excellent in his last three starts, all wins where he did not throw an interception, he faces a 20th-ranked Chargers pass defense this week. With good ball protection and smart decisions, Dalton will be a viable fantasy play in Week 13.

Other underrated quarterbacks of Week 13: Indianapolis Colts’ Andrew Luck (at Detroit Lions, 92% owned, 39% started), San Francisco 49ers’ Colin Kaepernick (at St. Louis Rams, 52% owned, 26% started), Houston Texans’ Matt Schaub (at Tennessee Titans, 79% owned, 30% started)

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RB Knowshon Moreno, Denver Broncos

Moreno
Denny Medley-US PRESSWIRE

RB Knowshon Moreno, Denver Broncos (vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 60% owned, 38% started)

Season statistics: 100 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown, 38 receiving yards, 1 fumble lost

Yahoo! Sports Staff Composite Ranking: 20

After being inactive for most of the season, Moreno has taken advantage of Willis McGahee’s knee injury. Taking a starter’s share of the carries in Week 12 over Ronnie Hillman, he continues to stay atop the team’s depth chart. Tampa Bay provides a nice matchup for Moreno, who should once again get a sizeable amount of action for consideration in deeper leagues.

Other underrated running backs of Week 13: Jacksonville Jaguars’ Rashad Jennings (at Buffalo Bills, 58% owned, 28% started), Oakland Raiders’ Marcel Reece (vs. Cleveland Browns, 72% owned, 35% started), Arizona Cardinals’ Beanie Wells (at New York Jets</strong>, 59% owned, 25% started)

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WR Pierre Garcon, Washington Redskins

Garcon
Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

WR Pierre Garcon, Washington Redskins (vs. New York Giants, 69% owned, 35% started)

Season statistics: 7 rushing yards, 244 receiving yards, 2 receiving touchdowns

Yahoo! Sports Staff Composite Ranking: 19

Instead of potentially having season-ending surgery, Garcon played in his first game in about two months and had great results (four receptions, 86 yards, one touchdown). Demonstrating great chemistry with Robert Griffin III since Week 1, he looks on track to play again on Monday night against a struggling Giants secondary.

Other underrated wide receivers of Week 13: Chargers’ Danario Alexander (vs. Bengals, 48% owned, 23% started), 49ers’ Michael Crabtree (at Rams, 79% owned, 42% started), Jaguars’ Justin Blackmon (at Bills, 67% owned, 42% started)

5 of 7

TE Martellus Bennett, New York Giants

Bennett
Brad Penner-US PRESSWIRE

TE Martellus Bennett, Giants (at Redskins, 51% owned, 19% started)

Season statistics: 455 receiving yards, 3 touchdowns

Yahoo! Sports Staff Composite Ranking: 5

Ever since breaking out in the first three weeks of the season, Bennett has been a weak fantasy play to say the least. Mediocre as of late, a matchup against the Redskins, a team that he had a season-high 79 yards against in Week 7, is always a cure for struggling receivers. Bennett is a stronger play this week because of this.

Other underrated tight ends of Week 13: Carolina Panthers’ Greg Olsen (at Kansas City Chiefs, 71% owned, 38% started), Raiders’ Brandon Myers (vs. Browns, 53% owned, 30% started), Lions’ Brandon Pettigrew (vs. Colts, 76% owned, 48% started)

6 of 7

K Shayne Graham, Houston Texans

Graham
Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE

K Shayne Graham, Texans (at Titans, 47% owned, 41% started)

Season statistics: 1 0-19 FG, 6 20-29 FG, 6 30-39 FG, 6 40-49 FG, 1 50+ FG, 37 PAT made

Yahoo! Sports Staff Composite Ranking: 2

Graham had an eventful Thanksgiving, as he made a game-tying 45-yard field goal in regulation against the Lions. In overtime, he missed a 51-yard field goal before winning the game with a 32-yard make near the end of game. Despite the miss, he receives more field goal opportunities than most kickers and should be in the same position this week against the Titans.

Other underrated kickers of Week 13: Denver Broncos’ Matt Prater (vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 51% owned, 42% started), Redskins’ Kai Forbath (vs. Giants, 5% owned, 4% started), Browns’ Phil Dawson (at Raiders, 19% owned, 14% started)

7 of 7

New York Jets team defense

Jets
Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE

Jets team defense (vs. Cardinals, 59% owned, 41% started)

Season statistics: 270 points allowed, 17.0 sacks, 1 safety, 8 interceptions, 11 fumble recoveries, 3 defensive touchdowns, 2 return touchdowns

Yahoo! Sports Staff Composite Ranking: 1

The Jets defense has been a big disappointment this season. Ranked 19th in total defense this season, they will certainly welcome a matchup against a Cardinals offense that will still start rookie quarterback Ryan Lindley. The Jets defense should have little trouble taking advantage of this matchup against a floundering offense.

Other underrated team defenses of Week 13: Dallas Cowboys team defense (vs. Philadelphia Eagles, 46% owned, 37% started), Cardinals team defense (at Jets, 58% owned, 40% started), Panthers team defense (at Chiefs, 20% owned, 17% started)


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