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Fantasy Football Q and A for Week 13

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Fantasy Football Q & A for Week 13

Week Thirteen
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Here we go! It’s Week 13 of the NFL and fantasy football season. I am so excited! This is one of my favorite weeks of the season yet one of those weeks that you can get very stressed about who you are playing in your fantasy football league. This is the week that will either get many of you into the playoffs or out. It is also the week that you can lose or win your fantasy league by someone going down with an injury that you either have on your roster or that your playoff opponent has on their roster.

In this week’s addition of Q and A there were many “start ‘em or sit ‘em” questions that many of you had in order to help you get into the playoffs. The questions at running back that the Oakland Raiders have going into Week 13 dominated this week’s edition of this segment.

The best thing about this week is the holiday: Thanksgiving. It is a day when we can all sit back and be thankful for what we have in our lives. It is a day that we can sit around and enjoy the company of our family members and friends while eating tons of great food and watching the NFL on the TV. In this country we are very fortunate to be able to enjoy this type of holiday and be able to say, “I am thankful for this or that,” or even joke and say, “Boy, I’m thankful I drafted Calvin Johnson this year!”

To all of you that have been sending me your fantasy questions since I started this weekly segment, thank you! I am very grateful that you think so highly of me to ask me those very important fantasy questions that you have every week. I am truly honored and hope you all continue to send them my way.

If you are a new reader to this segment, please feel free to use the social media sites linked below to connect with me and ask me your questions.

Now, on to Week 13’s edition of Q and A!

Dom DeCarlo is a Fantasy blogger for Follow him @DomDecarlo1, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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I own the Colts and Chiefs defenses. Would you start one of them or should I get another defense? – Pete

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Pete, this is an excellent question to start this of this week’s edition. I actually do not like either defense this week. The Indianapolis Colts have let up 24 points or more in the past five weeks to opposing offenses. In Week 13 they will take on a Tennessee Titans team that put up 27 points on them a few weeks ago. The Kansas City Chiefs have the very difficult task of stopping Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. Yes, I know the Broncos' passing game did not look like itself against the New England Patriots this past week, but look for the Broncos to rebound big time against the Chiefs. If you could, try to pick up the Pittsburgh Steelers team defense this week against the Baltimore Ravens. You told me that they are available in your league and I would give them a shot. You know when the Ravens and the Steelers get together that the score is usually tight and the teams usually do not score many points.

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I need to start two running backs for this week: C. Johnson, S. Vereen, or Z. Stacy? – Shaun

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Nice question Shaun. Let me first comment on Zac Stacy. He went down in Week 12 with a concussion. This is one of those injuries that he has to pass NFL protocol to be able to suit up again. If he does play, he will play against the very tough San Francisco 49ers run defense. The St. Louis Rams have no passing game to cause the 49ers to focus on that instead of Stacy. I like Chris Johnson and Shane Vereen in Week 13. Shane Vereen is currently one of the only running backs that the New England Patriots coaching staff can trust to hold onto the football. The Patriots have a good matchup against the Houston Texans that have been surprisingly bad against the run this year. Now Chris Johnson ran for 86 yards and two touchdowns the last time the Tennessee Titans faced the Indianapolis Colts. Look for more of the same thing from him in Week 13.

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Would you start Coby Fleener over Tony Gonzalez in Week 13? – Shaun

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Shaun this is another great question. I really like Coby Fleener in Week 13 against the Titans. Fleener has been a big surprise this season ever since Reggie Wayne went down with a season-ending injury. On the other hand, it is really sad that Tony Gonzalez’s season is going to way it is for him. Gonzalez is a first-ballot Hall of Famer, but I cannot tell you to start him because of his name over someone who is on the up and up in Week 13.

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I need to know the 2 players you would start: G. Bernard, T.Y. Hilton, or P. Harvin? – John

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

John, as usual another great question asked about our boy Giovani Bernard and another answer from me on the matter. Yes, you have to start Bernard from here on out. He is such an electrifying player and is going against the San Diego Chargers' defense that has surrendered 157 yards and two touchdowns to Jamaal Charles in Week 12. I can see Bernard having a great week this week. I personally hate T.Y. Hilton in this match-up. He had a bad game against them just a few weeks ago and has not really been the same since Reggie Wayne suffered his season-ending injury. I would go with Percy Harvin over Hilton for the fact that Harvin is fresh, rested, and has had time to really practice with his Seattle Seahawks’ teammates over their bye week. With the Seahawks playing the New Orleans Saints on Monday Night Football, I see Harvin being a very important weapon for the Seahawks in this game if they want to match the firepower of the Saints.

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What do I do with Robert Griffin III? I heard he may be benched. Should I get someone else? – Danielle

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Man Danielle, you put me in quite the dilemma with this question. On one hand, you have beaten me twice in our fantasy football league and you are on the outside of the playoff picture looking in. On the other hand, I have to be professional about this! Since I am a good sport and would not want to win like that, I will help you out (it is the holiday season after all). Robert Griffin III has had a really rough two-week stretch. There have been some talks about him possibly being benched for Kirk Cousins this week. The Washington Redskins are going to take on the New York Giants in their Week 13 match up. I do not like this game for RGIII. If you have to play him, do it, but I think there is one guy on our free-agent list that you could grab up and be very effective for you this week. That guy is Carson Palmer. Palmer is finally getting things to click for him with the Arizona Cardinals. Let’s face it; this team loves to throw the football. The Red Birds will get plenty of chances to do that against the Philadelphia Eagles this week. If I were you, I would pick up Palmer. It is just the better, safer play this week.

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Any sleeper tight ends a nice play off the waiver wires this week? – Randall

tight end
Ron Schwane-USA TODAY Sports

Randall, I wish I could really help you out here this week with your tight end issues. Sadly, from the players you showed me on your waiver wire list, you really do not have many good options here. I do not like Jared Cook, especially against the San Francisco 49ers. I do have some advice for you on this one. I know you own Jordan Cameron from past conversations that I had with you. I actually like him in Week 13. I know, I know he has burned us before, but there are two silver linings this week. First off, the Cleveland Browns are facing the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jags can be beat, especially by the tight end position. Also, if the Browns have to start Brandon Weeden, Cameron and Weeden seemed to have a decent chemistry before Weeden was benched. He has to do well eventually, right?

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I need a receiver off of waivers, any suggestions? – Mike

Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Oh Mikey, the person that is in first place in one of my fantasy leagues has a question for the guy who is one game behind you. Since you are going to be my brother-in-law, I’ll help you out! I like Nate Burleson as a waiver wire addition this week as well as moving forward. Burleson has a huge advantage playing next to the best receiver in the game today, Calvin Johnson. In their Week 13 matchup on Thanksgiving Day, the Detroit Lions take on the Green Bay Packers. Look for the Packers to try their best to shutdown Megatron which will leave Burleson with many one-on-one situations that he can exploit during the game. This also give you another reason to watch the first game on Turkey Day.

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Should I start Philip Rivers or Peyton Manning in Week 13? – Pat

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Pat, if there is one thing that I have lived by in fantasy football it is this: Never doubt Peyton Manning. Manning did have a rough game in Week 12 against the New England Patriots. He has a huge match-up this week against the Kansas City Chiefs for the lead of the division and the AFC. Look for Manning to be on top of his game. The only worry you may have with Manning is if running back Knowshon Moreno misses due to injury, but word from Broncos camp is that Moreno has a “good chance” to play in Week 13. Philip Rivers does have a decent match-up against the Cincinnati Bengals and Rivers did have a great game last weekend. Again, I just cannot come to bench a guy that has led me to where I am right now at this point of the season. Start Manning, you just have to buddy.

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What do you think of Martellus Bennett over Antonio Gates this week? – Some Dude

Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

This is a very hard question to answer Dude. As we discussed on Twitter with others, Martellus Bennett has a very nice match up against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 13. If you look at the stats from last week, it would not say that it's a good match up because Toby Gerhart only had five yards receiving in the game. However, Washington Redskins tight end Jordan Reed had 62 yards receiving and a touchdown against them just two weeks ago. Antonio Gates, on the other hand, has not been as solid as he was earlier in the year. Gates always has a chance to do good in any particular week, but I would roll with Bennett and hope he can pull in a touchdown for you. Again, very tough question this week Dude!

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Got 4 running backs, need to start 2: A. Brown, D. Murray, A. Morris, or P. Thomas? – Randall

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Randall this is a great question this week. I personally like Andre Brown and DeMarco Murray in their Week 13 match ups. Here are my reasons. First, Pierre Thomas and the New Orleans Saints are facing the very stingy Seattle Seahawks’ defense on Monday Night Football. With Thomas sharing carries with Mark Ingram and Darren Sproles, this is not an ideal match-up. Alfred Morris and the Washington Redskins will face off against the up and coming New York Giants defense. This is not the best match up for Morris either, but he does have a chance to do well in this game. Morris will be leaned on heavily, especially due to the recent bad play of RGIII. I really like Andre Brown for the fact he is facing a Washington Redskins, who really have no idea what has happened to their team this season. Brown is the feature back now on the New York Giants and they want him to have the ball. Now, DeMarco Murray is taking on the Oakland Raiders on Thanksgiving Day. Players like Andre Brown and Ben Tate have run on this offense, so Murray has a good chance this Turkey Day.

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I need a sneaky defensive play this week, any good options? – The King

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

King, this is one of the toughest questions I have been asked this week. You are not the only person that has asked about team defenses going into this particular week. It’s very intriguing how important a good team defense can be at this point in the season, and I agree, play the match ups. On that note, you showed me who was available in your league and I recommend the New England Patriots defense against the struggling Houston Texans and the Miami Dolphins defense against the New York Jets. The Patriots shut down the Broncos in the second half of their game, and if they could do that to Peyton Manning and company then they should have no problem shutting down any quarterback the Texans throw at them. The Dolphins are going to go against a Jets team that has no idea who their quarterback is going to be in Week 13! Many people say it should be Geno Smith, and others say it should be Matt Simms. If you have these types of questions then you really do not have any starting quarterbacks on your roster, period. That is exactly why you need to try to pick up the Dolphins against the Jets. Hope this helps King!

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Which team defense would you play in Week 13: The Chicago Bears or New England Patriots? – Chuck

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Little brother, this is a pretty good question, and as I said in the previous question this has been one topic that many people want to discuss this week. I really like the Patriots defense. As I stated earlier, I like the Patriots a great deal because they are playing the struggling Houston Texans. In regards to the Chicago Bears, I thought about starting them but then one name came to mind and I figured I would not touch the Bears’ defense because of him: Adrian Peterson. The Bears surrendered 261 yards on the ground to the struggling St. Louis Rams offense. If players like Benny Cunningham rushed for 109 yards on 13 carries, then what do you think Peterson will do against them getting 20-25 carries? Ya, scary isn’t little brother? Go with the Patriots on this one.

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What is going on lately with the Kansas City Chiefs defense? – Jay

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Team defenses are dominating the conversation this week, Jay. The Kansas City Chiefs are a very interesting case. If you look at the schedule that the Chiefs had early on they did not face a winning team until they played the Denver Broncos. In the two games that they played winning football teams they have given up a total of 68 points. This is not exactly what you want to see from your team defense in these very important weeks of the fantasy season. I think it has been a case of match-ups lately. This week, the Chiefs will play the Broncos again, so do not expect them to rebound in this game. However, in the next two weeks, the Chiefs will take on the Washington Redskins and then the Oakland Raiders. I look for the Chiefs to be a nice play in those weeks, which is music to owners’ ears at this time of the season.

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Do you like McFadden or Jennings better in Week 13? – Pat

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Pat, I didn’t even know Darren McFadden was still playing football. I obviously joke about this, but seriously does he ever play anymore? In Week 13, the Oakland Raiders are going to play on Thanksgiving Day against the Dallas Cowboys. Yes, the Cowboys did surrender 127 rushing yards to Andre Brown in Week 12, but this is better news for Rashad Jennings and not McFadden. All reports coming out of Oakland say that McFadden will get some reps behind “starter” Rashad Jennings. Jennings has earned the job in Oakland, and until he gets hurt or boycotts playing for the Raiders then I would start Jennings over McFadden.

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Would you start Ben Tate or Rashad Jennings in Week 13? –Snap

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Snap, your question this week is a little easier than in past weeks, but still very important. The problem with Ben Tate in Week 13 is not that he is going up against the New England Patriots; they were run on in Week 12 by Knowshon Moreno. It is the fact that he gained one yard on seven carries against the Jacksonville Jaguars. This obviously is not very good, not to mention that backup running back Dennis Johnson gained 74 yards in that game. It is obvious that Tate is not fully healthy and I would stick with Jennings. He is the starter in Oakland and just has a much better upside than Tate.

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Is Colin Kaepernick going to prove that drafting him this season was worth it for the fantasy playoffs? – Me

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

This is a question that I have been asking myself all season long: Will Colin Kaepernick come up big when it really counts? This is a very tough question. If your fantasy football playoffs start next week then Kaepernick is going to have a tough time against the Seattle Seahawks who held him to almost nothing in their first meeting. However, things get very positive after that match up. In Weeks 15 and 16, the San Francisco 49ers take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Atlanta Falcons in your league's championship game. If you can grab a quarterback for Week 14, such as an Alex Smith who will take on the Washington Redskins, then I think Kaepernick will be the player you want him to be for the playoffs. Also, it helps out that Michael Crabtree should make his debut this week.