Welcome to the Starts and Sits for Week 13. I’ll be featuring better players than usual because there are no more bye concerns and most fantasy teams, especially those still alive, will be looking at better players when it comes to lineup decisions.
For those who have more questions than this article has answers for, you have two places to go: First, you can hit Rotobahn and consult our full lineup rankings, which will give you a ranking and a “Skinny” on just about any player you might be considering in any league. Second, you can come back to WEEI.com tomorrow and participate in our Sunday morning chat where I will answer all of your lineup questions. You’ll find a link to the Chat on the homepage in the “This Just In” section.
Tom Brady, Patriots at Texans
Just kidding, folks. This one is an ultra-obvious freebie–meant to do nothing but point out that Rotobahn had the future Hall of Famer on our trade-for list when others were running for cover. For those who stuck with Brady … or dealt for him, enjoy the next few weeks. He’s a QB1, period.
Josh McCown, Bears at Vikings
How often do we recommend a backup quarterback playing on the road? Not that often, but McCown has been very good so far in terms of fantasy production and this matchup is very solid. Start McCown in any format this week and you are in pretty good shape.
Colin Kaepernick, 49ers vs. Rams
Two things factor into the decision to make CK a start. First, he looked much better last week. Second, he gets Michael Crabtree back this week. The Rams are not an easy mark, but they can be had, especially when on the road, and this one is at Frisco.
Andrew Luck, Colts vs. Titans
He may not inspire the kind of confidence that he did a few weeks back, but a lot of it is perception. Luck is still a very sound fantasy play in 12-team leagues and has produced good fantasy numbers in games that were pretty ugly from the Colts’ perspective. He was serviceable against the Titans on the road in Week 11 and he should be able to handle them this week in Indianapolis.
Andy Dalton, Bengals at Chargers
He’s been a strong option for most of the season and he gets a decent road matchup here . We expect the Bengals to be ready after having an extra week to prepare. Dalton can start for you in any format this week. He always has nice scoring potential due to the quality of the weapons around him.
Carson Palmer, Cardinals at Eagles
The matchup is mediocre, but he’s playing well and has tons of good places to throw the football in Bruce Arians’ offense. The Eagles are playing well, but they will have trouble matching up with Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd. Palmer can help you in 12-team leagues this week.
Brandon Weeden, Browns vs. Jaguars
Here’s an option for those searching for an answer in a deep league. Weeden is not a great start, but he may be the best thing on waiver wires in 12-team formats and he could have a solid day at home versus the Jaguars. Weeden can be your QB this week if you are hurting and he might just surprise you if he can get Josh Gordon going and hit on a few deep balls.
Mike Glennon, Bucs at Panthers
The rookie has been pretty good so far, but he lacks the experience and the firepower to play against the Panthers’ defense on the road in a hostile environment. Look elsewhere if you can.
Andre Brown, Giants at Redskins
The Giants may be unpredictable, but that has little bearing on what Brown can do for you in fantasy. He’s really the only RB they have at this point and this is a matchup that he could really go off in. Start Brown in all leagues and all scoring formats.
C.J. Spiller, Bills vs. Falcons
He’s been killing his owners and I would not blame anyone for being hesitant with Spiller. That being said, he has looked more agile in recent games and he’s now coming off two weeks of rest. He’s also playing in a plus matchup at home. Not only is he a solid option, but he has big-game potential. I’m starting him in some big games this week. Take the plunge with me!
Giovani Bernard, Bengals at Chargers
He is fresh after his bye week and that helps backs that rely on burst and quickness. Gio has been getting the bulk of the touches in Cincy and that should continue due to the talent gap between the rookie and BenJarvus Green-Ellis. He’s a high-quality RB2 option in any format this week.
Brandon Bolden, Patriots at Texans
He always looks good when he’s on the field and he looked really well rested last week after struggling with knee pain for much of the year. He’s best deployed as a flex option, but when you consider the fumbling issues that have plagued Stevan Ridley, Bolden could play a lot of snaps. He’s a nice option in deep leagues and he can help in smaller leagues too if you are jammed at running back.
Donald Brown, Colts vs. Titans
He’s healthy and he is thoroughly outplaying Trent Richardson with the exception of Week 12, when they both stunk up the joint. If you are looking for an emergency RB2 or flex, Brown is a solid option. He performed very well against the Titans in Week 11.
Roy Helu, Redskins vs. Giants
Here’s a deep flier for those who may be in need. Helu is a clear backup to Alfred Morris, but since the Giants are most vulnerable when defending the pass, you could see more of Helu than you normally would. I like him as a reach play at flex in deep leagues with at least 12 teams.
Rashard Mendenhall, Cardinals at Eagles
I do not like this matchup for him though he’s certainly played better football in recent weeks. He’s not an RB2 in anything but huge leagues. Start him if you must, but lighten expectations on a mediocre road matchup. The one factor worth watching here is the health of Andre Ellington. If Ellington (knee) sits out, that would add some value to Mendenhall.
Michael Floyd, Cardinals at Eagles
Floyd is one of our favorite young receivers. Check out what we had to say about Floyd and Alshon Jefferey back in May. Floyd continues to break out along with Alshon, and I like the big receiver to do some damage this week against an Eagles’ secondary that lacks the requisite physicality to stop him or Larry Fitzgerald. Floyd is a WR2 in all formats.
Kendall Wright, Titans at Colts
He is playing the best football of his young career and Ryan Fitzpatrick can use his skills in the short and intermediate passing game because that’s where Fitz thrives. Wright is awesome in PPR formats and pretty solid in standard scoring too. Start him with confidence in all formats.
Percy Harvin, Seahawks vs. Saints
There is some risk here, since he’s yet to play a full complement of snaps, but he’s coming off of the bye week and we’ve heard nothing to indicate that his snap total will not rise from the 19 snaps he played in Week 11. I’m expecting twice that many this week or thereabouts. Harvin is a very nice WR3 option in all formats due to his upside potential.
Mike Wallace, Dolphins at Jets
Wallace got things going last week and he’ll be facing a Jets secondary that is in a state of disarray. He should draw Antonio Cromartie in coverage and Cromartie is not playing at full health. Wallace can be frustrating, but this is a week to play him because he has legit upside. The speedster has a good chance to make big plays. He can be started in any league.
Riley Cooper, Eagles vs. Cardinals
He’s coming off of his bye week and while you may look at this matchup and groan, I think there’s a window of hope for Cooper, who is unlikely to draw much of Patrick Peterson in coverage. Cooper has a very nice size advantage on all of the other Cardinals DBs and they will take shots with him. He’s maybe a bit hit or miss but he has solid upside in this matchup. He’s a WR3 in 12-team leagues.
Rueben Randle, Giants at Redskins
Randle has been a pretty stable asset since Week 6 and I expect that to continue this week on the road in Washington. The matchup is sweet and with Hakeem Nicks either playing at less that 100 percent or not at all, Randle is a very worthy WR3 in 12-team leagues.
Roddy White, Falcons at Bills
It’s a tough road matchup and White has yet to break the 50-yard threshold in any game this year, which speaks to just how bad his ankle injury was. Now he plays for a team without Julio Jones or a healthy Tony Gonzalez. Leave him on the bench this week if you have other viable alternatives.
Jordan Reed, Redskins vs. Giants
He was not part of last week’s debacle versus the 49ers and that’s no coincidence. Reed has become a staple in the Washington offense and he should return to that role this week as long as they choose to activate him and we suspect they will. Start Reed in all formats.
Martellus Bennett, Bears at Vikings
I am liking Martellus this week in a sweet road matchup and in a game that could end up being very high scoring. Bennett is a nice TE1 play in any league size or scoring format.
Jordan Cameron, Browns vs. Jaguars
Yes, he has been very tough to figure lately and he’s not been helped by the revolving quarterback situation in Cleveland. Having said that, he is going to get some good looks this week. You have to assume that the Jaguars are going to be hyper-focused on shutting down Josh Gordon, who is on a major tear right now. That will open up things in the middle of the field for the likes of Cameron. He’s a nice play in all formats this week.
Delanie Walker, Titans at Colts
He scorched them back in Week 11 to the tune of 91 yards and a score, so it makes plenty of sense to start Walker this week. We underestimated Walker eary on, but the tape does not lie. This dude is playing at a high level for Tennessee and he can start for you in most fantasy leagues this week.
Rob Housler, Cardinals at Eagles
He’s really been coming on and he’s now very much on the 12-team radar. With teams struggling just to matchup with Fitzgerald and Floyd, Housler is getting a lot of easy looks underneath and his speed allows him to get yardage after the catch. He’s no stud, but he can definitely provide you with serviceable production. He’s a viable option in 12-team leagues this week.
Jacob Tamme, Broncos at Chiefs
Unless they opt to hold starter Julius Thomas out, which we doubt they will, Tamme is not a player to use. It would be a mistake to chase last week’s stats given this week’s circumstances.