Fantasy Football Week 13: Last-Minute Start 'Em Advice

By Michael J. Igyarto

Fantasy football Week 13 is the final week of the regular season for many fantasy players. Some of us have playoff berths already locked up, some of us are still fighting for one, and others have already been sent home packing. For those who have made the playoffs, good luck the rest of the way and be sure to stay right here, as I will continue to prove that I’m not here to waste anyone’s time. I do not state the obvious, and I always try to find the value where others don’t see it. Here’s some last-minute advice for fantasy football Week 13, good luck.




Buffalo Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick

Fitzpatrick has not been great these past few weeks, throwing three touchdowns while turning the ball over four times in the past four weeks. He should be happy to have a home game against a pass defense like the Jacksonville Jaguars. Currently giving up the 5th-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks over the past five weeks, the Jaguars should be a team that helps Fitzpatrick get back on track. Jacksonville has surrendered 754 passing yards in the past two games. Fitzpatrick is a nice option for those in deeper leagues or in a 2 quarterback league, he should reach the end zone multiple times on Sunday.

Cleveland Browns QB Brandon Weeden

Risky play since Weeden did suffer a concussion last week, and running back Trent Richardson should have a heavy workload. However, the Oakland Raiders 30th ranked pass defense is something that cannot be ignored in this match up. Raiders currently giving up the 4th-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks the past five weeks. Oakland has also allowed 12 passing touchdowns in the past five weeks, so a multiple touchdown day for Weeden may be in the works if he can steer clear of any setbacks with his concussion.

New York Giants QB Eli Manning

Not really going out on a limb here, but Eli Manning owners should finally have full confidence inserting him into their lineups. He was very shaky in the games heading into the bye week, but he turned that around in week 12 against the Green Bay Packers. Look for him to keep the momentum going against a very soft Washington Redskins secondary. Redskins giving up the 2nd-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season, and Eli threw for 337 against them in week 7. Start away.




Jacksonville Jaguars RB Rashad Jennings

Complete bust for those who thought he would be a steal after Maurice Jones-Drew went down. Jennings was so bad, he was asked to grab some pine as Jalen Parmele took over as the featured back in North Florida. The misery continues in Jacksonville as Parmele is now on IR with a season ending groin injury, and MJD is still unable to return with a foot injury, so Jennings gets a chance to redeem himself. The Buffalo Bills are the exact type of rush defense that a running back that’s struggling would like to see. They currently rank 31st at defending the run, and have allowed seven rushing touchdown the last five weeks. If Jennings fails to have a fantasy relevant day against this weak run defense, he should be irrelevant to your fantasy game plan moving forward.

Pittsburgh Steelers RB Jonathan Dwyer

The Steelers backfield is a quite a mess. All four backs on the depth chart had a shot at making a case for the starting job this week, but all four failed pretty miserably against the Cleveland Browns in week 12. Not one player rushed for more than 19 yards, and those 19 were from Dwyer so by default, I guess he wins the starting job. Either way, QB Ben Roethlisberger is out again, so the old man Charlie Batch will get the start. The Baltimore Ravens weakness is stopping the run, as they have allowed the 11th-most fantasy points to opposing runners. The Steelers will be playing the short game in this battle, asking very little from Batch. Dwyer must be successful in this game for Pittsburgh to have a chance. If you need him, start him.

Carolina Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams 

To be honest, I’ve never owned a Carolina Panther running back on my fantasy team. It’s too big of a headache and nothing but a guessing game. You have Williams paired with Jonathan Stewart as well as QB Cam Newton to handle the rushing duties. Not too mention the bowling ball like back in Mike Tolbert when he’s needed. Well, part of the equation has been erased, as Stewart did not travel with the team to play the Kansas City Chiefs because of an ankle injury. That leaves Williams as the starter against a run defense that ranks 23rd in the league, and has allowed the 10th-most fantasy points to opposing running backs. With a steady workload against this defense, Williams should be considered a solid flex option this week.



Detroit Lions WR Ryan Broyles 

Broyles is owned by 5.8% of ESPN fantasy leagues, and that’s a joke if you ask me. This man should be scooped up now while he’s still there because he’s about to become a fantasy gold mine in my opinion. Broyles has caught a few breaks, with Nate Burleson and Titus Young enduring injuries, which paved the way for him to show his potential. Lining up opposite of Calvin Johnson is a dream come true for any receiver because of the attention Johnson rightfully gets on a weekly basis. Broyles caught two touchdowns earlier this season, but it was last weeks performance of 6 catches and 126 yards against a pretty good Houston Texans defense that really showed what Broyles is capable of. Now he gets to face the 27th ranked pass defense in the Indianapolis Colts, who have allowed the 4th-most fantasy points to opposing receivers this season. The Lions love to throw the ball, and Broyles saw 12 targets last week. This is a formula for success, so pick him up now and get him in those lineups if you need WR help.

Carolina Panthers WR Brandon LaFell

Steve Smith is still a very good receiver, but the reality is that he is getting older, and he only has 2 more fantasy points than LaFell this season. That’s because LaFell leads the team in reception touchdowns with four. Two of those touchdowns came in the past two weeks as LaFell has posted two solid fantasy performances in a row. With a match up against the weak Chiefs defense, LaFell just might hit the trifecta in week 13. The Chiefs secondary has allowed 351 yards and three touchdowns the past two weeks to opposing wide receivers. LaFell is a borderline WR2 or a nice flex play this week, and he’s available in roughly 85% of leagues.

Philadelphia Eagles WR Jeremy Maclin

The Eagles stink. Nick Foles is not a very good quarterback and DeSean Jackson is out for the rest of the season. With the rest of the season looking like a bust, the Eagles will be playing from behind quite a bit. With that being said, what’s wrong with a little garbage time? Maclin should see the majority of targets from Foles this week, just like he did in week 10 against the Dallas Cowboys. Mike Vick went down in that game with a concussion, and Foles connected with Maclin 8 times, good for 93 yards and a touchdown. If Eagles are playing from behind, which is the most likely scenario, Maclin could be in for a big night.



New York Giants TE Martellus Bennett

Bennett’s best game of the season came in week 7 against the Redskins. He recorded 5 receptions for 79 receiving yards, and both of those have remained season highs for him. The Redskins defense is very vulnerable to tight ends, allowing the 2nd-most fantasy points to the position. With Eli Manning in good form, Bennett owners should have some confidence in him this week.

Jacksonville Jaguars TE Marcedes Lewis

Blaine Gabbert is no longer the quarterback, but you probably won’t hear Lewis complaining about it. It’s clear that Marcedes and QB Chad Henne have some chemistry going on, and the match up against the Bills is a favorable one. Buffalo is currently giving up the 9th-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends in the past five weeks. The Jaguars have become a passing team because of the messy situation in the backfield, and although I do expect Jennings to have a decent day, the probability of a Henne to Lewis touchdown is very high.



Dallas Cowobys

The Cowboys defense has forced four turnovers and scored three touchdowns in the past three weeks. Those three touchdowns came against this same lousy Eagles team in week 10. And that game was on the road. Now we get to watch Nick Foles go into the Big D without Jackson and McCoy. Not to mention, the Eagles offensive line is miserable, so DeMarcus Ware and the Cowboys front four should have a field day. Only owned by 48% of leagues, if you need D/ST help, the Cowboys are IT this week.

New York Jets 

There’s only one bright spot when it comes to the Jets, and it’s not a very bright one, but it’s their defense. Very quietly, the Jets have amassed 120 standard fantasy points this season. This weeks game is at home against QB Ryan Lindley and the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals are very generous to opposing defenses, allowing the 3rd-most points this season. Lindley has been sacked five times, thrown four interceptions, and fumbled once in the past two weeks. He also threw two interceptions that were returned for touchdowns last week against the St. Louis Rams. The Jets will win this game in style all while the D/ST racks up the points for you.


Houston Texans K Shayne Graham 

Graham is a top 8 fantasy kicker this season despite being 20-25 on the season. He’s not a very accurate kicker from long range (50+), but he is a perfect 13-13 from 39 yards or less. He is a perfect 37-37 on extra points this season, and only 2 other kickers in the league have made more extra points. This weeks match up against the Tennessee Titans is a favorable one, as they have allowed the 4th-most fantasy points to opposing kickers.

Dallas Cowboys K Dan Bailey 

Bailey has only missed two field goals all year, and both of those attempts were from 50+ yards out. His 22 made field goals are sixth-most in the league, and his match up this week against the Eagles bodes well for him. Philadelphia has surrendered the 6th-most fantasy points to kickers this season, and Bailey has made nine field goals in the past four games. Bailey should see at least three field goal attempts in this game. Start him if you own him.

Michael J. Igyarto is a featured columnist and fantasy football expert at Rant Sports

Follow Michael on twitter: @windycityiggy


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