Week 13 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em for Fantasy Football
By Larry Rupp
The fantasy football playoffs are right around the corner and the matchups over these next few weeks could determine whether or not you secure a spot. That means making the right decision as to who to start versus who to sit more crucial than ever.
With that in mind, here are The Duel's Week 13 start 'em, sit 'em picks for fantasy football.
Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 13 Quarterbacks
Start Derek Carr, QB, Las Vegas Raiders (vs WSH): Quarterback Derek Carr bounced back from a couple of poor performances by throwing for 373 yards and 2 touchdowns in Week 12. He also tossed zero interceptions for the first time since Week 6. The eighth-year pro has a great opportunity to keep his momentum going against a Washington defense that has posted the third-worst pass defense DVOA rating in the NFL. Overall, Washington is giving up the most fantasy points to opposing QBs, which includes a league-high 26 passing touchdowns. Start Carr with confidence on Sunday.
Sit Mac Jones, QB, New England Patriots (at BUF): The New England Patriots have won six games in a row and wouldn't be where they are without rookie quarterback Mac Jones. That doesn't mean he should be starting in your fantasy lineup, though. The former Alabama standout ranks as the No. 17 QB in fantasy scoring and has thrown for less than 2 touchdowns in seven of his 12 starts. Jones runs into a nightmare matchup on Monday Night Football facing off against a dominant Bills' defense. Buffalo has posted the best pass defense DVOA rating in the NFL and allows the fewest fantasy points to opposing QBs this season. Jones has proven to be a reliable QB2, but that is all for right now.
Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 13 Running Backs
Start Alexander Mattison, RB, Minnesota Vikings (at DET): Running back Alexander Mattison is set to fill in for injured starter Dalvin Cook on Sunday and couldn't have asked for a better matchup. The Detroit Lions have been getting torched by the run all year long, giving up an average of 133.9 yards on the ground per game (No. 29 in NFL). Mattison has shown that he has what it takes to carry a large workload as he has accounted for 324 total yards across his two starts this year (64 touches). With a spread set at 7 points, the Vikings are expected to get to an early lead. Look for head coach Mike Zimmer to lean on Mattison throughout the second half.
Sit Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants (at MIA): Fantasy managers can't help but be disappointed with running back Saquon Barkley this season. He was drafted to be a RB1, but he has failed to put together consistent performances when healthy. The 24-year-old has rushed for just 65 yards and 19 carries across his last two games and hauled in 10 receptions for 44 yards. This doesn't line up to be his breakout game, either. The Miami Dolphins are giving up the eight-fewest PPR fantasy points to opposing RBs, making Barkley a borderline FLEX play at best this week.
Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 13 Wide Receivers
Start Marquise Brown, WR, Baltimore Ravens (at PIT): One thing has become clear on this Ravens' offense and that is that wide receiver Marquise Brown is quarterback Lamar Jackson's go-to target. The third-year pro has seen a team-high 49 targets over his last four games played and has racked up 284 yards (1 touchdown) during that span. Brown has a chance to get open a ton on Sunday afternoon given the Steelers have posted the seventh-worst pass defense DVOA rating this season. Pittsburgh has also allowed an opposing WR to reach the end zone 12 times. Brown has WR1 upside in Week 13 and should be started across all league formats.
Sit Michael Pittman Jr., WR, Indianapolis Colts (at HOU): Wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. has played well this season, ranking as the No. 16 WR in PPR scoring leagues. However, the game script here does not bode well for his fantasy outlook. The Colts are slated as 10-point favorites and are facing a Houston Texans' team that has posted the eighth-worst rush defense DVOA rating. That means fans should expect to see a heavy dose of running back Jonathan Taylor in this one. In fact, quarterback Carson Wentz threw the ball just 20 times when these two team last met back in Week 6. Pittman finished that game with only 35 receiving yard on 2 receptions (3 targets). It'd be smart to avoid starting him this week.
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Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.