This is it folks. Smoke um if you got um. Some of you are sitting pretty with 9 or 10 wins on the season and can sit back and relax, but those of you who are 6-6 or 7-5 and are clawing for a playoff spot, this is do or die. If you have consistent players who have helped you reach this spot who have out performed some of the bigger names you may have drafted early, you are going with your consistent guys. You don’t always leave prom with the person you went with, but this is the case where you are sticking with who has been with you throughout this season.
With that being said, I am pumped to announce that I have added a columnist Jon Sousa to the blog. Jon is currently a minoring in Journalism at UNC- Charlotte, and Jon will be writing some weekly articles to help out all of our fellow fantasy players out there.
These are Jon’s Sit/Start Picks for Week 13. As some of you may know, I have had a weekly friendly competition for Sit/Start picks with The Fantasy Football Crew and the Fantasy Football Toolkit. You can find The Fantasy Football Crew’s picks here http://thefantasyfootballcrew.com/2013/11/27/fantasy-football-start-sit-week-13-by-jon-kelly/ , and these are the Fantasy Football Toolkits picks http://fantasyfootballtoolkit.com/2013/11/week-13-captain-jacks-sit-start-fantasy-football-challenge/
Good luck to everyone trying to make the playoffs out there and have a great Thanksgiving!
Sit Start Week 13 by Jon Sousa
Ahhhh, it is that time of year again. A crisp fall breeze can be felt in air around most areas of the country, turkey and stuffing is on the table, and your fantasy team is on the brink of the playoffs (hopefully). Week 13 is a crucial week, as most playoffs start in larger format leagues start around Week 14 or 15. With that being said, the trade deadline has past and for most playoff contending teams, you have to make some tough decisions with what you have rather than what you can get off of the waiver wire. Let’s dive in to my very first Start Em’ and Sit Em’ column on this site!
QB: Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys (Thursday, vs. Oakland)
Romo is coming off of a very solid performance against a New York Giants team that has been on a hot streak as of late. Romo threw for 250 yards and two scores, but it could have been a whole lot better. His receivers dropped a number of catchable balls, and his only interception of the game came off of a tip ball on a bobbled pass from Terrance Williams. Against an Oakland Raiders team that is currently ranked 25th against the pass and is giving up an average of 258 yards a game through the air, I expect Romo to dink and dunk his way on Thanksgiving Day to a top 10 fantasy QB performance this week. It is also of note that the Raiders give up the 8th most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks.
RB: Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville Jaguars (Sunday, at Cleveland)
I have had my own personal love/hate relationship with MJD this season. I drafted him in one league with very high hopes, and with only 27 points through his first five games, I decided to bench him. He then proceeded to have his best game of the season against Denver, producing 13 fantasy points. He’s been in my lineup ever since, and through all of the ups and downs, I firmly believe that Jones-Drew is a top 15 fantasy football running back. Coming off a 20 fantasy point game in which he ran for 84 yards with a touchdown and was more than relevant in the passing game (6 receptions for 60 yards), MJD faces a very tough Browns defense that only is giving up an average of 98 rushing yards. However, with his emergence in the passing game and guaranteed goal line touches, MJD remains a solid RB2 choice.
WR: Nate Burleson, Detroit Lions (Thursday, at Green Bay)
Nate Burleson put a very respectable stat line last week against the Bucs. What was even more respectable is that it was his first game back after suffering a broken arm due to a pizza related car crash in September. Burleson caught 7 balls on 10 targets for 77 yards and even hauled in a touchdown pass in his return. In addition, Burleson’s 10 target were second on the team behind Calvin Johnson’s 14. Megatron should see a heavy dose of Green Bays’ top cover corner Tramon Williams on Thanksgiving Day, which could open up opportunities for Burleson on the opposite side and in the slot. To top things off, Burleson is only owned in 3 percent of ESPN Standard Leagues, so he could be a great addition for your team this week and down the stretch. Consider Burleson a viable flex option and a borderline WR2 this week.
TE: Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans (Sunday, at Indianapolis)
If you are a person that likes to base your lineup on previous weeks performance, then you might not make Walker your first tight option this weekend. Walker had an okay game last week against the Raiders, hauling in 5 balls on 9 targets for 54 yards. It might also discourage you that the Colts are only giving up around 6 points to opposing tight ends this season. However, since Jake Locker got injured and Ryan Fitzpatrick has stepped in to the starting roll for Tennessee, Walker’s targets, receiving yards, and touchdowns have been on the rise. In fact, since Locker went out in the first half during the Titans’ Week 10 matchup against Jacksonville, Walker has 19 receptions for 199 yards and 2 scores. 10 of those receptions, 91 of those yards, and 1 of those scores came in Week 11 in a matchup against the Colts. Are you following me here? Walker should be treated as a top 15 tight end this week and for the rest of the season.
D/ST: Miami Dolphins (Sunday, at New York Jets)
It really pains me to say this, because outside of fantasy football, I am a New York Jets fan. But the offense is a mess, and if last week’s game against Baltimore was an indication of what’s to come in the home stretch of the season, any team that play against the Jets offense should be considered in all formats. With an inexperienced and mistake prone quarterback under center along with a banged up receiving corps and inconsistent offensive line, Cameron Wake and Company could have a nice fantasy day against the Jets.
QB: Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins (Sunday, vs. New York Giants)
RGIII is coming off of a horrendous Monday Night Football performance against the San Francisco 49ers, where he threw for a measly 127 yards with 2 INTs. There has even been questions of his character and attitude regarding the overall state of the team, and even 49ers LB Aldon Smith was quoted saying “He shouldn’t even be out there….he knows it, and (Redskins) know it too”. The Giants are actually respectable against the pass, and Pierre Garcon is Griffin’s only reliable option, as tight end Jordan Reed missed the Monday night tilt due to injury. RGIII should be treated as a QB2 in dual quarterback leagues, and a bench player in other formats unless you are desperate.
RB: Ray Rice, Baltimore Ravens (Thursday, vs. Pittsburgh)
Why the Baltimore Ravens organization or fantasy owners alike still continue to put their faith in Ray Rice is beyond me. Rice has really lacked the explosive quality that made him a top ten fantasy running back last season, and he has more games with 3 points or less (five) as games with above 10 points (3). The whole Baltimore Ravens offense seems to be leaning towards the pass as the season comes to a close; something that Rice has been next to non-existent in as well. Many people still start the former Rutgers Scarlet Knight just based on his name and previous glory instead of actual numbers and reality. Ray Rice should be considered a risk flex option at best this week and down the stretch unless owners a truly desperate, or he strings together two performances that make them think otherwise.
WR: Danny Amendola, New England Patriots (Sunday, vs. Houston)
Amendola has seemingly been a non-factor since returning from injury, with only one game against the Steelers (4 reception, 122 yards and 1 touchdown) that was really fantasy relevant up till this point. Yes, Amendola has been dealing with the injury bug this year, and Rob Gronkowski has emerged has Tom Brady’s favorite target since his return, but Amendola really doesn’t have the guaranteed 6-8 targets a game that is needed to be considered a decent starting wide receiver option in fantasy football. To make things even more puzzling regarding the former St. Louis Rams star, fellow wide receiver Julian Edleman came out of fantasy oblivion last week and put up solid number against a decent Denver Broncos defense. To top that off, the Houston Texans are allowing the 7th fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receiver this season. Amendola should be considered a low-end flex option in PPR leagues for this week, and until he can prove himself otherwise.
TE: Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers (Sunday, vs. Tampa Bay)
Greg Olsen has been a pretty consistent and reliable tight end this season. In fact, he has actually scored a touchdown in four of his last five contests, which has vaulted him into top 10 tight end status. However, during his Week 8 matchup with the Bucs, Olsen was kept in check by Tampa Bay’s linebackers and secondary, limited to only 3 receptions on 3 targets for 21 yards and a touchdown. Don’t let the touchdown change your mind; the score would not have happened had it not been for a great effort from Cam Newton to escape pressure in the pocket while the Panthers were in the red zone and find a wide open, broken-covered Olsen in the back corner of pay dirt. I love Olsen going forward, but not this week. Tampa Bay is giving up 7 points on average to tight ends this season.
D/ST: Baltimore Ravens (Thursday, at Pittsburgh)
The Ravens defense has been a solid unit this year, but nothing special. As I discussed earlier, people tend to still start the Ravens defense based on their previous accomplishments rather than current facts. The Ravens unit faces a Thanksgiving Day matchup with one of the hottest quarterback in the NFL the past couple of weeks, Ben Roethlisberger. Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders, and Jerricho Cotchery have all been relevant in the passing game (don’t forget about Heath Miller either), and the running game is starting to see some success in the Steel City. Stay away from the Ravens defense this weekend, although a nice matchup against the Vikings and Adrian Peterson looms next week.
Just some food (ha, Thanksgiving pun) for thought, football should be one of the things that you are thankful for this week. Be sure to take some time out of your line-up tinkering, game watching, and trash talking to spend some time with your loved ones, and celebrate the true meaning of the season. Good luck, and I’ll see you next week to recap all of the action in Week 13 of the NFL.
Categories: Fantasy Football