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Inside the Matchup
Week 13
11/30/16; Updated: 12/2/16

By: Sal Marcoccio | Jason Katz | Nick Caron | Jake Gordon


SF @ CHI | HOU @ GB | KC @ ATL | DEN @ JAX



- Green highllight indicates plus matchup (top eight)
- Red highlight indicates negative matchup (bottom eight)

Cowboys @ Vikings - (Marcoccio)

Passing Game Thoughts: Despite being a rookie, Dak Prescott has been a fantasy QB1 when the matchup is right and has produced week in and week out. However this could be a difficult matchup as he faces a strong Vikings’ pass defense that is allowing only 206.8 passing yards per game and has allowed only one quarterback to finish in the top 15 over the past ten games. Prescott’s weapons and high floor, in part due to his rushing abilities, still makes him a viable option for fantasy teams however. Dez Bryant faces a difficult matchup whether he lines up against Terrence Newman or Xavier Rhodes as the Vikings have clamped down on outside wide receivers all season. Rhodes should see the most time on Bryant, and the corner has allowed his man to only score one touchdown all season. On the other hand, slot receivers have fared much better against the Vikings and Cole Beasley has been a Prescott favorite all season. Jason Witten has had somewhat of a resurgent season and the Vikings have fared poorly against tight ends, that is until they shut Eric Ebron out on Thanksgiving day (says this disgruntled Ebron owner).

MIN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.29
MIN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.21
MIN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.31
MIN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.17

Running Game Thoughts: Rookie Ezekiel Elliott is on a record setting pace and has surpassed 120 yards in eight of his last nine games. Running behind one of the best offensive lines in recent years and with the power, agility and balance that Elliott posses, his floor is high each week and he’ll now face a run defense in serious decline. Minnesota opened the season strong against the run but have allowed nearly 120 yards per game over the last six weeks. The game script should play into Elliott seeing another one of his patented high workloads as the Dallas defense has played much better than expected and Minnesota lacks the weapons on offense to pose much of a challenge.

Value Meter:
QB2: Dak Prescott
RB1: Ezekiel Elliott
W3: Dez Bryant, Cole Beasley
TE2 : Jason Witten
Bench: Terrance Williams, Alfred Morris

Passing Game Thoughts: Stefon Diggs missed last week with a knee injury but is practicing this week and is expected to play on Thursday Night. While the knee injury could slow him down, Diggs has been on fire recently and sees heavy targets from Sam Bradford. Dallas has handled outside receivers well this season but Diggs lines up in the slot 70 percent of his snaps and Dallas has allowed inside receivers to eat them up all season. In recent weeks Jamison Crowder, Steve Smith, Eli Rogers, Jordan Matthews and Randall Cobb have combined for a 38-347-4 stat-line against the Cowboys. Kyle Rudolph has seen his targets drop considerably since Norv Turner was replaced by Pat Shurmer but he has managed to remain an adequate option for fantasy lineups by scoring touchdowns, and this should be a favorable matchup for him.

DAL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.14
DAL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.30
DAL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.8
DAL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.5

Running Game Thoughts: Minnesota ranks 32nd in rushing yards and now faces the third-ranked Cowboys run defense which is allowing only 88.1 rushing yards per game and has yielded only 5 rushing touchdowns. While the two-man committee of Matt Asiata and Jerick McKinnon had one of its better games on Thanksgiving Day, it’s still hard to recommend either of them here. Perhaps Asiata can power his way to another score but even with a touchdown his upside is still limited as he sees only about 40 percent of the snaps. Making matters worse, the depleted Minnesota offensive line suffered another blow when it lost center Joe Berger last week to a concussion. It’s difficult to see the Vikings running the ball well on Thursday Night.

Value Meter:
QB2: Sam Bradford
WR2: Stefon Diggs
TE2: Kyle Rudolph
Flex: Adam Thielen
Bench: Matt Asiata, Jerick McKinnon, Cordarrelle Patterson

Prediction:Cowboys 28, Vikings 20 ^ Top

Dolphins @ Ravens - (Marcoccio)

Passing Game Thoughts: Ryan Tannehill has been on somewhat of a roll, with 697 passing yards, 7 touchdown passes and 1 interception in his last three games, but runs into a Ravens defense this week that’s been a buzzsaw at home. Overall the Ravens are allowing 222.9 passing yards per game with 20 touchdowns allowed and 11 interceptions. They have only allowed three top 10 quarterbacks this season. In other words Tannehill’s hot streak could be coming to an end. As far as his targets go, it’s starting to look like second year player DeVante Parker is overtaking Jarvis Landry as the team’s top option in the passing game. Parker’s targets are on the rise while Landry’s production is on the decline (WR39 over the last nine weeks). Landry was always a volume dependant fantasy producer, so his owners cannot like the fact that Parker and to some extent Kenny Stills are taking serious cuts out of the passing game pie.

BAL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.22
BAL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.32
BAL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.10
BAL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.29

Running Game Thoughts: Jay Ajayi’s production had nowhere to go but down after he burst onto the scene with back to back 200-yard games in his first two outings as a feature back. He had 529 yards in his first three games as the workhorse, followed by 201 yards in his last three games. Now he’ll be facing the top ranked run defense in Baltimore. The Ravens are allowing only 74.9 rushing yards per game and have only allowed four runners to cross the goal-line. With Ajayi not seeing much usage in the passing game, this could be a tough week for him to see much production.

Value Meter:
QB2: Ryan Tannehill
WR2: DeVante Parker
Flex: Jarvis Landry, Jay Ajayi
Bench: Damien Williams, Kenny Stills, Dion Sims

Passing Game Thoughts: Joe Flacco has only finished in the top half of quarterback scoring twice this season, and facing a resurgent Miami defense this week, he likely won’t increase that number. Mike Wallace and Steve Smith, on the other hand, have been fantasy starting options for most of the season, but will have a tough time facing off against the Dolphins who have allowed just two top 20 wide receivers over their past eight games. Overall the ‘Phins are allowing only 229.7 passing yards with 17 passing touchdowns on the season. This should be a low scoring affair on Sunday.

MIA FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.16
MIA FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.24
MIA FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.16
MIA FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.11

Running Game Thoughts: Kenneth Dixon has seen his snaps rise in each game since he returned which has rendered Terrance West not even RB2 worthy. The now near even split between the two backs has made it difficult for either to gain much fantasy value outside of bye weeks and deep leagues. West is used in goal-line situations while Dixon sees more passing game work further diluting their value, as each caps the upside of the other. Miami has yielded a lot of yards this season (132.2 yards per game), so one of the two could end up having a nice week, it’s just difficult to choose the right one unless Dixon eventually pushes West aside.

Value Meter:
QB2: Joe Flacco
WR3: Steve Smith, Mike Wallace
Bench: Terrance West, Kenneth Dixon, Breshad Perriman, Kamar Aiken, Dennis Pitta

Prediction: Ravens 20, Dolphins 17 ^ Top

Eagles @ Bengals - (Marcoccio)

Passing Game Thoughts: Carson Wentz got off to a hot start during his first three weeks but since the team’s Week 4 bye, he’s only thrown for 6 touchdowns and has been a fantasy afterthought. It doesn’t help that the Eagles have arguably the worst collection of wide receivers in the league, with only slot man Jordan Matthews offering any kind of consistency or ability to make plays. Matthews left last week’s game early in the second half with an ankle injury, but is expected back for what should be a decent matchup. The Bengals have allowed slot receivers, Quincy Enunwa, Jarvis Landry, Cole Beasley and Jamison Crowder, to all record at least five receptions in recent weeks with all but Landry also scoring a touchdown. Outside of Matthews only tight end Zach Ertz has any fantasy appeal, with him seeing an uptick in targets and Cincinnati giving up the sixth most receptions to tight ends on the season.

CIN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.9
CIN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.12
CIN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.27
CIN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.4

Running Game Thoughts: Ryan Mathews is likely to miss another game, leaving the bulk of the carries to rookie Wendell Smallwood and veteran Darren Sproles. Smallwood has shown some flashes this season, but the team is likely to go pass heavy, as it has all season even when Mathews was healthy, despite Cincinnati fielding the 28th ranked run defense.

Value Meter:
WR3: Jordan Matthews
TE2: Zach Ertz
Flex: Wendell Smallwood
Bench: Carson Wentz, Darren Sproles, Dorial Green-Beckham

Passing Game Thoughts: Andy Dalton and the Bengals played last week without two players, A.J. Green and Giovani Bernard, who had accounted for 45.9% of the team’s targets and 49.4% of the team’s receiving yardage earlier in the season. It was tight end Tyler Eifert who picked up most of the slack seeing 24% of the team’s targets and hauling in 5 catches for 68 yards and a score. The Eagles are the second worst matchup in the league for opposing fantasy tight ends but Eifert should see enough work to be eligible for your line-up. Tyler Boyd was the more productive receiver over Brandon LaFell last week, but his ceiling is somewhat limited as a possession type receiver.

PHI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.24
PHI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.25
PHI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.13
PHI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.31

Running Game Thoughts: Jeremy Hill did see his workload increase last week with the loss of Bernard, but he was still out-snapped (52%-49%) by Bernard’s replacement Rex Burkhead. Hill owners have to be pleased to see an increase in targets (6) which should continue with Burkhead being far less effective than Bernard was in the pass catching role. The matchup gets better for Hill this week against the middle of the pack Eagles run defense. With the volume, the fantasy numbers should follow.

Value Meter:
QB2: Andy Dalton
RB2: Jeremy Hill
TE2: Tyler Eifert
Bench: Rex Burkhead, Tyler Boyd, Brandon LaFell

Prediction: Eagles 24, Bengals 20 ^ Top

Giants @ Steelers - (Marcoccio)

Passing Game Thoughts: Eli Manning started off the season slowly, but has thrown for three or more touchdowns in four games since Week 6. Manning’s hot streak of course coincided with Odell Beckham breaking out of his slump. The Giants started moving him around in formations in an effort to shake up the defensive attention he was getting and as a result, he’s scored 8 touchdowns in the last seven games. Manning personally apologized to rookie Sterling Shepard for not targeting him last week, which means the master route runner, should be peppered with targets this week. However the Steelers have done a good job with containing slot receivers, but perhaps the Giants will also move Shepard around, and the rookie has shown an ability to play outside like he did earlier in the season when Victor Cruz was seeing most of his time in the slot.

PIT FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.25
PIT FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.5
PIT FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.29
PIT FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.13

Running Game Thoughts: Rashad Jennings has been mostly ineffective this season and the Giants just have not been able to establish a running game. Things don’t get any easier this week as the Steelers field the league’s 8th ranked run defense, allowing only 95.3 yards per game. The team has been reluctant to get rookie Paul Perkins involved so it will be Jennings and his 3.4 ypc average plodding through yet another game once again. In a game where the Steelers could potentially put a lot of points up on the board, the running game is not likely to get on track this week.

Value Meter:
QB2: Eli Manning
RB2: Rashad Jennings
WR2: Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard
TE2: Will Tye
Bench: Victor Cruz

Passing Game Thoughts: One certainty in fantasy football is that Ben Roethlisberger at Heinz Field is a no-brainer start, each and every time. However, he will face a Giants team that has only allowed one top 10 quarterback all season so maybe expectations should be tempered a little. The revamped Giants defense is loaded in the secondary and has only allowed 10 touchdown passes all season. To make it worse on Roethlisberger, their pass rush is starting to come on strong which could force him into a few mistakes. With that said, Big Ben has tossed 15 touchdown passes in his four games at home this season and I will therefore refer you back to the opening sentence. While the Giants secondary is very strong overall, they do not possess one “shut down” cornerback that should scare off Antonio Brown owners. Outside of Brown only Eli Rogers should warrant consideration as the rest of the Steeler pass catchers have been inconsistent especially with Sammie Coates no longer a viable option after looking like a force during a hot streak earlier in the season.

NYG FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.31
NYG FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.20
NYG FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.22
NYG FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.16

Running Game Thoughts: Le’Veon Bell will also face a difficult matchup this week, but his owners surely do not care. Bell’s size, speed, quick feet, patience and pass catching ability make him one of the safest players in fantasy football. It took him five games to find the endzone, but now he has scored at least one touchdown in three consecutive weeks. He will face a Giants rush defense that is allowing only 89.1 yards per game, but even if he was somehow bottled up as a runner his usage in the passing game gives him an incredibly high floor. DeAngelo Williams may be back this week to return to the backup role, but Bell seldom comes off the field when he’s healthy, making Williams merely a handcuff for fantasy purposes.

Value Meter:
QB2: Ben Roethlisberger
RB1: Le’Veon Bell
WR1: Antonio Brown
Flex: Eli Rogers
Bench: DeAngelo Williams, Sammie Coates, Ladarius Green

Prediction: Giants 24, Steelers 23 ^ Top

49ers @ Bears - (Marcoccio)

Passing Game Thoughts: Since taking over as the starting quarterback, Colin Kaepernick is 6th in quarterback scoring per game, in large part due to his rushing statistics. Kaep has 373 rushing yards which ranks him 16th overall in rushing and second among quarterbacks despite playing in only six games. Tight end Vance McDonald has been Kaep’s favorite target when he does throw the ball seeing 18.3% of the targets since Week 7. The rest of the 49ers passing offense has been basically irrelevant since Kaepernick took over, but with him getting better in the passing game each week that could change. Jeremy Kerley and Quinton Patton have each had their fare share of decent outings, but the consistency just isn’t there.

CHI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.19
CHI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.28
CHI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.5
CHI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.20

Running Game Thoughts: The 49ers have gained 40.5 percent of their yards on the ground, the highest in the league and Carlos Hyde has been very effective when he’s been healthy. While Blaine Gabbert and especially Colin Kaepernick have been a big part of the team’s running game, the offense has flowed through Hyde and he’s handled the heavy workloads well. This week he’ll face a Bears team that is allowing the 5th fewest fantasy points to running backs this season, but with Hyde still likely to see 18-24 touches he’s still a solid option.

Value Meter:
QB1: Colin Kaepernick
RB2: Carlos Hyde
TE1: Vance McDonald
Bench: Shaun Draughn, Quinton Patton, Jeremy Kerley

Passing Game Thoughts: Matt Barkley threw two bad interceptions last week but played far better than anyone could have expected and ended up with a nice stat-line (316-3-2). He finished last week as a QB1 and a few bad drops kept him from even greater heights. The 49ers have allowed a second worst 26 passing touchdowns on the season. While it would be a risky move to insert Matt Barkley into starting line-ups during a crucial Week 13 matchup, the potential reward is a top 5 QB performance. Marquess Wilson saw 11 targets last week and turned them into 8 receptions for 125 yards and a score making him another high risk/high reward type play this week. The speedy Wilson had some nice chemistry with Barkley but a one game sample size is not an ideal baseline and Wilson did drop what should have been two other easy touchdowns.

SF FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.3
SF FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.1
SF FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.1
SF FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.18

Running Game Thoughts: Jordan Howard has 768 rushing yards since taking over as the Bears feature back. Those totals could be even better if not for the Bears constantly falling behind and needing to abandon the run. Howard has 520 of those yards in the first half of games. This week the Bears should be able to stay close throughout the game and Howard will face the league’s worst run defense (171 ypg and 14 TDs allowed). This could potentially be a monster game for the rookie.

Value Meter:
QB2: Matt Barkely
RB1: Jordan Howard
WR3: Marquess Wilson
Bench: Jeremy Langford, Ka’Deem Carey, Cameron Meredith, Eddie Royal

Prediction: 49ers 24, Bears 23 ^ Top

Texans @ Packers - (Marcoccio)

Passing Game Thoughts: Brock Osweiler has been the worst fantasy performer this season among all starting quarterbacks in the league. His deep ball accuracy and overall poor performance has destroyed the statistics of star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, who was able to thrive despite an anemic carousel of quarterbacks last season but has only caught 55 balls for 610 yards and three scores with Os under center. This week the duo will face a Packers team giving up the third most fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers and 260.6 yards per game with 22 touchdowns overall, yet it’s still hard to recommend Hopkins. Hopkins has been reduced to a WR3 at best, but he has some upside this week at least. Tight End C.J. Fiedorowicz has been one of Osweiler’s favorite targets but almost all of his targets come in close range of the line of scrimmage limiting his upside. This is a passing attack to avoid even in a favorable matchup.

GB FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.12
GB FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.22
GB FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.3
GB FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.8

Running Game Thoughts: Lamar Miller has been a solid RB2 all season based solely on volume but the poor passing game has limited his ability to put up huge statistics and he’s only managed two weeks as a RB1. Under 5% of his carries have come inside the 10 yard line, despite the fact that Houston really has no better short yardage options at the running back position. His heavy workload is all that he really has going for him right now until the passing game finds its way.

Value Meter:
WR3: DeAndre Hopkins
TE2: C.J. Fiedorowicz
Flex: Lamar Miller
Bench: Brock Osweiler, Braxton Miller, Will Fuller

Passing Game Thoughts: Aaron Rodgers is on pace to shatter his career high in pass attempts and has looked very sharp after a slow start to the season. He’s been a top six quarterback in six straight games, and with no running game to speak of Green Bay should continue to put the ball in the air. Davante Adams and Jordy Nelson have been the biggest beneficiaries of the high volume passing game, and each are at worst WR2 options each week. Houston has a tough pass defense allowing only 209.2 passing yards per game and only 14 passing touchdowns on the season, but has been more vulnerable in recent weeks and will be unlikely to slow down the surging Packer passing attack.

HOU FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.28
HOU FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.11
HOU FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.30
HOU FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.28

Running Game Thoughts: The Packers running game can best be summed up by the following: Since Eddie Lacy went down in Week 6, the Packers’ leading rusher has been Aaron Rodgers with 196 yards. James Starks’ return two weeks ago has made things slightly better but the veteran has seen his better days. He’s rushed for just 99 yards since coming back from injury but has been used in the passing game (13 receptions) enough to give him some fantasy value.

Value Meter:
QB1: Aaron Rodgers
WR1: Jordy Nelson
WR2: Davante Adams
TE2: Jared Cook
Flex: James Starks
Bench: Randall Cobb, Richard Rodgers, Don Jackson

Prediction: Packers 24, Texans 14 ^ Top

Chiefs at Falcons - (Gordon)

Passing Game Thoughts: Travis Kelce is making a run to finish the season as the top fantasy TE of 2016. As good as the targets and yards have been in making him a must start, his lack of touchdowns is a reminder that this offense’s ceiling isn’t very high. Alex Smith enters the week ranked 27th in fantasy points per game near guys named Osweiler, Keenum and Gabbert. Smith isn’t a good start any week but he should have the opportunity to post respectable numbers this week. The Falcons are the worst defense against the pass and will be playing without one of their best pass defenders in Marcus Trufant. Jeremy Maclin (groin) returned to practice this week and should be available barring a set back. His return casts a shadow on Tyreek Hill’s ability to be a productive fantasy asset with fewer targets. If healthy going into the weekend, Maclin should be a huge boost for the offense making him a low end WR2. Conversely, Albert Wilson gets pushed back down the depth chart and off of the fantasy radar for Week 13.

ATL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.1
ATL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.4
ATL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.15
ATL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.6

Running Game Thoughts: Spencer Ware has averaged 18 touches a game over Kansas City’s last three games but he doesn’t have a single touchdown over that same span. It doesn’t look like the Chiefs are going to give him the workload he needs to be a true RB1 and this week’s match up against the Falcons’ tenth ranked rush defense (98.8 rushing yards allowed per game) dampens his Week 13 outlook. However, Atlanta has been susceptible against running backs in the passing game, giving up over 200 receiving yards to opposing RBs in their past two contests. The Chiefs may not be a high octane offense but I don’t see them completely struggling to move the ball against this defense. Consider Ware a useful RB2 this week and hope the team gets him more involved in the passing game. Charcandrick West gets a decent amount of playing time for a backup running back (played 33 snaps in Week 12) but that has not translated into much work carrying the football. He’s bench fodder at this point with modest upside as a handcuff option for Ware’s owners with the playoffs just around the corner.

Value Meter:
QB2: Alex Smith
RB2: Spencer Ware
WR2: Jeremy Maclin
TE1: Travis Kelce
Flex: Tyreek Hill
Bench: Charcandrick West, Chris Conley, Knile Davis

Passing Game Thoughts: Matt Ryan failed to reach 300 yards passing in four of the Falcons’ past five outings but he still boasted an 11:3 touchdown to interception ratio. He’s having a fine rebound season but he seems to have settled into being more of a top ten fantasy option rather than a top five quarterback. The Chiefs have not been able to sustain their early success against the pass giving up the fourth most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks over the past five weeks. Similarly, they are one of three teams that have allowed receivers to gain over 1,000 receiving yards since Week 8. Adding more intrigue to Matt Ryan’s upside is the steady contributions of Taylor Gabriel who steps up when other team’s lock down Julio Jones. The five-foot, eight-inch 25 year old out of Abilene Christian has gone over 50 receiving yards in four straight games with touchdowns in three of them. He’s been the sixth best fantasy wideout over that stretch and should be owned in all formats. I was surprised Austin Hooper wasn’t worked into the offense more last week and fear he won’t be used much outside of the red zone where the team has multiple options to score. His inconsistency in the offense pushes him into the TE2 tier for Week 13.

KC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.4
KC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.18
KC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.2
KC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.30

Running Game Thoughts: Twelve weeks into the season and Devonta Freeman has only one game with over 18 carries. Kansas City has been great against the run lately and that could lead to a sub par outing for Freeman but five of Freeman’s seven touchdowns on the year have come at home. He will be a middle of the pack RB2 unless the team gives him more touches. That will be tough on a team that has repeatedly used Tevin Coleman to share the workload when healthy. Coleman’s return to the field last week didn’t come with a lot of success yet he still found pay dirt to salvage his fantasy day. The Falcons will need at least one or two big plays from Coleman, likely as a receiver, in order to secure a victory and stay out in front of the Bucs for the division lead.

Value Meter:
QB1: Matt Ryan
RB2: Devonta Freeman
WR1: Julio Jones
TE2: Austin Hooper
Flex: Tevin Coleman, Taylor Gabriel, Mohamed Sanu
Bench: Justin Hardy

Prediction: Falcons 26, Chiefs 24 ^ Top

Broncos at Jaguars - (Gordon)

Passing Game Thoughts: Trevor Siemian is dealing with a foot sprain making his status for this weekend’s game up in the air. He’s done a good job of turning things around but he didn’t practice on Wednesday or Thursday. HC Gary Kubiak has already started Siemian coming off a “no-practice” week and he has stated that he could do so again this week. I’d expect Paxton Lynch to be the starter and check back on Sunday morning to confirm. Whoever lines up under center for the Broncos this weekend will be in for an uphill battle so I wouldn’t recommend using Siemian or Lynch. Jags HC Gus Bradley has done a good job at defending the pass this season. Jacksonville has allowed the second fewest fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers over the past five weeks. That downgrades the outlook for Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders as well. Thomas and Jalen Ramsey will be more fun to watch on the field than in your starting lineup. I’m not expecting huge things for Sanders either but he offers more PPR potential. That’s why I would consider Jordan Norwood as a flex option in deep leagues, especially if Paxton Lynch is given the start. Virgil Green seems to fall short no matter how many balls come his way so it will be Norwood and the running backs that stand to see a few more check downs.

JAC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.26
JAC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.15
JAC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.26
JAC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.27

Running Game Thoughts: Devontae Booker has been a mild disappointment since taking over for C.J. Anderson in Week 7. During that span he has averaged just over 10 fantasy point in standard leagues making him more of a RB3/Flex than a reliable RB2. Over the past two weeks, however, Denver has made adjustments and the rushing attack is starting to rebound. Booker’s production over the past three weeks (which is only two games due to a bye) places him 23rd amongst all fantasy running backs. In standard scoring leagues he has been slightly better than Jay Ajayi, Spencer Ware, Carlos Hyde and Jeremy Hill during that span. On a week to week basis he may not bring the same amount of upside as those guys but Denver’s quarterback situation should lead to plenty of touches for Booker this week making him a low end RB2 for Week 13.

Value Meter:
RB2: Devontae Booker
WR3: Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders
Flex: Jordan Norwood
Bench: Paxton Lynch, Trevor Siemian, Kapri Bibbs, Virgil Green

Passing Game Thoughts: The good news for the Jags’ passing game is that Blake Bortles has consistently been finding a way to toss at least two touchdowns over the past month and a half. The bad news is that he has only averaged only 236.4 passing yards in that time and is playing the NFL’s best team at sacking the quarterback. The fact that Bortles hasn’t been able to shake his propensity for throwing interceptions only makes me sour on the fantasy prospects for the Jags even more. The only receiver with considering in this game is Allen Robinson and he proved last week how his luck changes when the passing game hits the skids. If your team doesn’t have anyone better than Robinson to start as a WR3/Flex then you probably aren’t headed to the fantasy playoffs. Marqise Lee has caught touchdowns in consecutive weeks but the lack of passing yards from this team make all of the secondary options a touchdown or bust fantasy option for Week 13. That includes TE Ben Koyack who is in line for snaps following injuries to Julius Thomas and Marcedes Lewis.

DEN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.32
DEN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.10
DEN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.32
DEN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.24

Running Game Thoughts: Jacksonville will need a solid running game to slow down the Denver pass rush but that’s no sure thing with Chris Ivory expected to be sidelined with a hamstring injury for this game. The injury would seemingly open the door for T.J. Yeldon (ankle) to assume a larger workload against a forgiving Denver rush defense but he too is nursing an injury. He’s made progress this week and appears to be on track to start but anyone thinking about using Yeldon will want to invest some time on Sunday to monitoring the pre game injury reports to be sure. Denard Robinson has had some success but he’s only worth a spot start in your flex slot if Yeldon is ruled out prior to game time. This looks like a situation that is more likely to hurt your lineup than help it so avoid it unless you don’t mind the risk of being burned.

Value Meter:
Flex: Allen Robinson, T.J. Yeldon (if healthy), Denard Robinson (if Yeldon is ruled out)
Bench: Blake Bortles, Marqise Lee, Chris Ivory

Prediction: Broncos 23, Jacksonville 7 ^ Top

Lions at Saints - (Gordon)

Passing Game Thoughts: For all the talk about Mathew Stafford having an MVP season he sure has fallen flat lately. There isn’t a single 300-yard passing game since Week 3 and he has thrown only five touchdowns over the past six weeks. The truth is that this passing game has struggled against teams that are deep in the secondary. The Saints are not going to be confused with such a team so I’m bullish on a nice bounce back game from Stafford and company. The numerous options that Detroit can deploy in the passing game will create plenty of mismatches and outlets to have success against New Orleans. Golden Tate and Anquan Boldin have been more successful in the short and intermediate passing game while Marvin Jones struggles to be a consistent deep threat. There should be enough need for the Lions to continue to pass the ball to allow more than one of Detroit’s pass-catchers to have a fruitful fantasy day in Week 13. The question is which one? Starting any Detroit receiver brings a very low floor so weigh your options carefully. I always prefer to rely on targets in tough choices and that means Anquan Boldin’s 18 over the past two weeks would make him the best fantasy option this week. Eric Ebron should see more opportunities in this game but he continues to be plagued by the sheer number of mouths to feed in this offense.

NO FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.17
NO FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.3
NO FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.19
NO FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.14

Running Game Thoughts: Theo Riddick has turned into this season’s Danny Woodhead. That skill set makes him extremely valuable in keeping pace with the Saints high scoring ways. He has been limited in practice this week with an ankle injury but that isn’t expected to keep him out of action. Make sure to check in prior to kickoff to ensure he will be active for Week 13. Dwayne Washington and Zack Zenner haven’t been able to carve out enough of a role in the offense to justify using them as a flex options this week. Justin Forsett has been inactive now that Detroit’s other running backs have returned to health so he is well off the fantasy map this weekend. Unless Riddick is unexpectedly held out of this game, there really isn’t any other trustworthy fantasy rusher on Detroit’s roster.

Value Meter:
QB1: Matthew Stafford
RB2: Theo Riddick (push him to low end RB1 in PPR leagues)
WR3: Anquan Boldin
TE1: Eric Ebron
Flex: Marvin Jones, Golden Tate
Bench: Zach Zenner, Dwayne Washington, Justin Forsett

Passing Game Thoughts: New Orleans sits two games behind the Falcons in the NFC South and takes on a Detroit team that is 2-3 on the road in 2016. New Orleans and fantasy owners alike have gotten huge dividends from Michael Thomas. Outside of Brandon Coleman, Thomas has excelled near the goal to the point where he is now tied for fourth most amongst NFL receivers with seven touchdown receptions. His 77 percent catch rate after eleven games ranks second in the league behind only Julio Jones so he doesn’t need much volume to keep his fantasy owners happy. Cooks is coming off a zero-target game against the Rams and you can bet Drew Brees will get the ball to his top receiver early in this contest to ease any concerns about his place atop the depth chart. Thomas and Cooks are quickly emerging as one of the best receiving duos in the league but that doesn’t mean you should overlook Willie Snead. He’s still the starter opposite Cooks and sees enough looks to be a consistent flex option in deep PPR leagues. Coby Fleener did his best to prove me wrong yet again after catching all four of his targets a week ago. He’s getting squeezed by the running backs in the passing game and isn’t likely to post huge numbers with Brees spreading the ball around.

DET FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.11
DET FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.26
DET FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.24
DET FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.1

Running Game Thoughts: I think it is fair to say that the Saints have finally found the right mix for the running game. Any doubt that Mark Ingram was bothered by an injury were erased following his huge Week 12 effort (167 total yards on only 15 touches). He’s been better while working in tandem with Tim Hightower and that plan shouldn’t change this week against the Lions. Detroit’s front seven have been better than average against the run this year so Ingram will have a tough time repeating his numbers from a week ago. That doesn’t mean he can’t be a quality RB2 but his owners shouldn’t be as bullish this week with the tailback still unlikely to see more than his typical workload. Meanwhile, Tim Hightower continues to be a quality flex option for over a month now while playing in an offense that has gained more yards per game than any other team in the NFL this season. He has reached double digit fantasy points in four of his last five games and has gone over 50 yards receiving in each of the past two weeks.

Value Meter:
QB1: Drew Brees
RB2: Mark Ingram
WR2: Brandin Cooks, Michael Thomas
TE2: Coby Fleener
Flex: Tim Hightower, Willie Snead
Bench: Brandon Coleman

Prediction: Saints 28, Lions 23 ^ Top

Rams @ Patriots - (Katz)

Passing Game Thoughts: Facing the eleven men posing as a defensive unit for the Saints, Jared Goff’s second career start looked far better than his first in the box score. Goff only managed 214 yards, but he threw three touchdowns against just one interception. He certainly looked better on the field than Case Keenum ever did. Much like Keenum, Goff keyed in on Kenny Britt (5-52-1). After a dud opener with Goff at the helm, last week’s game renewed my confidence that Britt will be fine with Goff. The Patriots just let Ryan Fitzpatrick throw for 269 yards and two scores and they should lead this week’s game wire to wire, creating plenty of opportunities for Goff to throw.

NE FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.15
NE FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.19
NE FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.23
NE FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.21

Running Game Thoughts: If you like low floor, low ceiling flex options, then Todd Gurley is the man for you. Gurley did his usual thing last week, rushing for 50 yards, catching a handful of passes, and otherwise a whole lot of nothing. Bill Belichick knows Gurley is the Rams’ best player. He will erase Gurley. The score will also likely erase the Rams’ running of the ball. All in all, this is a terrible spot for Gurley. Just like last week, if you have alternatives, bench him.

Value Meter:
WR3: Kenny Britt
TE2: Lance Kendricks
Flex: Todd Gurley
Bench: Jared Goff, Tavon Austin

Passing Game Thoughts: Tom Brady on one knee is better than your QB with two knees. That’s just how it goes. A hobbled Brady operating without Rob Gronkowski still threw it up 50 times last week. Drew Brees just threw for 310 yards and 4 touchdowns against the Rams. The Rams season is over and this team has quit on Jeff Fisher (rightfully so). After surprisingly playing last week, Gronk left last week’s game with a back issue and apparently he herniated a disc the previous week and never should’ve been playing to begin with. His season is over. Julian Edelman continues to see double digit targets and his PPR value appears to be restored. Malcolm Mitchell was the recipient of both Brady touchdown passes last week. He’s a raw, but talented player and will have games like this. There will also be games where Brady completely ignores him. Mitchell is going to be a nice NFL player, but he is not there yet. Martellus Bennett will start for the remainder of the season and while he’s not my cup of tea, this is a game where I expect four Brady touchdowns, so Marty B is a viable option.

LAR FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.20
LAR FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.13
LAR FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.17
LAR FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.25

Running Game Thoughts: Given that I’m writing about the games and Jeff Fisher is coaching them, I went ahead and looked up Patriots running backs named “Brandon” and “Danny,” because apparently those are the names of the guys Fisher is having his team prepare for. Is any head coach more of a joke than Jeff Fisher? How does he still have a job? As for players actually on the Patriots, LeGarrette Blount only saw eleven carries last week and although he was effective, managing 61 yards, that game showed what happens when Blount fails to find the end zone. The return of Dion Lewis has resulted in a three way timeshare for snaps. It couldn’t have been much more evenly split between Blount (27), James White (26), and Lewis (23). It is notable that White didn’t see a single carry whereas Lewis saw six. Lewis has probably passed White on the depth chart already, but White is not going away. If you combine their passing game numbers, you have a viable RB2 in PPR, but as long as they’re both around, you can’t start either.

Value Meter:
QB1: Tom Brady (#1)
WR2: Julian Edelman
TE1: Martellus Bennett
Flex: LeGarrette Blount
Bench: James White, Dion Lewis, Rob Gronkowski (back), Chris Hogan, Danny Amendola

Prediction: Patriots 38, Rams 20 ^ Top

Colts @ Jets - (Katz)

Passing Game Thoughts: Delving into the Colts’ numbers against the Steelers is wasted effort. Nothing this team does with Scott Tolzien leading the charge matters. The good news is Andrew Luck is on track to return Monday night. The Jets still sport one of the league’s worst pass defenses and Luck is long overdue for a monster effort and this could be the night he finally gets it. Helping him out will be Donte Moncrief, who has scored in every game since his return from injury. His touchdown prowess notwithstanding, Moncrief has yet to top 55 yards since his return. Last week’s six receptions were his season high. T.Y. Hilton is widely regarded as the boom or bust option, but Moncrief has been very touchdown or bust. I like his chances to get in this week, but if he doesn’t, you will be sorely disappointed with his production. As for Hilton, he took a vicious hit last week to the back that ultimately forced him to leave the game. He, too, is on track to play Monday, but be sure to monitor injury reports as the game gets nearer. Hilton had a dud in Moncrief’s first game back, but he’s been solid in the other two (I’m ignoring last week’s shortened effort). If healthy, I have no concerns about using Hilton.

NYJ FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.21
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.17
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.12
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.22

Running Game Thoughts: Frank Gore’s dismal performance last week also had a lot to do with Scott Tolzien. But prior to that, Gore hadn’t really been impressing anyway. Gore has just one 100-yard rushing game on the season (which required overtime) and has rushed for 61 yards or fewer seven times including each of the last five games. The Jets allow 85.9 rushing yards per game. This is a bad spot for Gore.

Value Meter:
QB1: Andrew Luck (mid-range)
WR2: T.Y. Hilton (high end, make sure he plays)
WR3: Donte Moncrief (touchdown dependent)
Flex: Frank Gore
Bench: Dwayne Allen, Jack Doyle, Phillip Dorsett

Passing Game Thoughts: The Jets insist on continuing to send Ryan Fitzpatrick back out there. We know what he is at this point and even in one of his better efforts, he still couldn’t beat the Patriots. I’m not sure what the Jets’ goal is here. Brandon Marshall returned to the end zone for the first time since Week 5 and Quincy Enunwa caught all five of his targets for 109 yards and a touchdown. The Colts have allowed 22 passing touchdowns on the season and somehow recorded just three interceptions. This situation couldn’t be much better, but I’m just not buying these Jets receivers returning to relevance. Enunwa’s usage is way too inconsistent and at this point, Marshall needs to score to produce. Those are not things you can rely on. The matchup is probably too good to bench Marshall, but do not expect the old Brandon to miraculously return.

IND FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.2
IND FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.9
IND FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.9
IND FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.7

Running Game Thoughts: And we’re back to bad Matt Forte. Just 27 yards on 13 carries and only 23 more yards on three receptions. The Colts can’t stop anyone on the ground either, allowing 4.6 yards per carry, but Forte’s performances tend to come in multiples and he’s on the downswing right now. With the Jets season over, one must wonder if there will even be another upswing. The remaining schedule is certainly favorable and Forte has proven to be able to exploit bad run defenses. That’s what we have here so despite last week’s outing and his season trends, Forte is a strong option this week.

Value Meter:
RB1: Matt Forte (low end)
WR3: Brandon Marshall
Bench: Quincy Enunwa, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bilal Powell

Prediction: Colts 27, Jets 23 ^ Top

Bills @ Raiders - (Caron)

Passing Game Thoughts: The passing numbers really aren’t there, but Tyrod Taylor continues to be a viable weekly play at quarterback mostly due to him being the league’s most efficient runner at the quarterback position. This, combined with a great matchup against a less-than-stellar Oakland secondary should make Taylor a solid QB1 this week with an admittedly low ceiling, but also a relatively high floor. As for receivers, with Robert Woods still expected to miss this weekend’s game, the only other viable fantasy option in the Buffalo passing game is Sammy Watkins who returned to the field this past week. Watkins immediately reminded fantasy owners of why he was considered one of the potential breakout stars going into the 2016 season when he caught three passes for 80 yards, including a deep bomb down the field against the Jaguars in Week 12. Unfortunately, Watkins re-aggravated his foot injury and has missed practice throughout the week. He’s questionable to play Sunday and will be one of the most important players for fantasy owners to watch on Sunday morning. If he does play, he’s an ideal high-upside Flex option, but his downside is also terrible, making him a very risky play.

OAK FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.6
OAK FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.7
OAK FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.7
OAK FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.9

Running Game Thoughts: The Jaguars held LeSean McCoy in check for the most part a week ago, but McCoy flashed the big play ability that makes him an excellent fantasy producer on a weekly basis when he broke off an impressive 75-yard touchdown. He’s dealt with a few injuries this season, but he’s still a top five fantasy running back and with a matchup against an Oakland defense that has surrendered over 100 rushing yards each game and a total of three rushing touchdowns over their past two contests, McCoy is a high-end RB1 this week.

Value Meter:
QB1: Tyrod Taylor (low-end)
RB1: LeSean McCoy
Flex: Sammy Watkins
Bench: Marquise Goodwin, Justin Hunter, Charles Clay

Passing Game Thoughts: He’s nursing a finger injury but Oakland quarterback Derek Carr continues to be one of the league’s biggest breakout stars. Carr has produced 18 or more fantasy points (standard scoring) in seven of his 11 games this season and the majority of that production has gone to his top two targets, Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree. Although the duo hasn’t been particularly consistent as of late, both receivers have been great fantasy producers this season and should continue to be low-end WR1’s or high-end WR2’s, depending on the size of your league. The Bills have given up six receiving touchdowns to opposing wide receivers over their past four contests. With Carr, Crabtree and Cooper arguably being the best QB-WR-WR combo in the league, there’s no reason to avoid any of them in a home game.

BUF FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.23
BUF FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.16
BUF FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.21
BUF FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.23

Running Game Thoughts: The yardage has been shaky, but the fantasy production continues to impress as Latavius Murray has now scored six rushing touchdowns in the five games he’s played since returning from injury. He’s dealing with an ankle injury that has limited him in practice this week, but Murray’s usage is among the highest of any back in the league as of late and that alone makes him a solid RB2 option. Buffalo has given up an average of 97 rushing yards per game to opposing running backs over their past five games and they’ve also given up a total of five rushing touchdowns over that span. The high-end upside isn’t there, but even if he averages under four yards per touch, the 20-plus touches he’s getting each week means that Murray’s floor is also quite high for an RB2.

Value Meter:
QB1: Derek Carr
RB2: Latavius Murray
WR1: Amari Cooper
WR2: Michael Crabtree
Bench: Jalen Richard, DeAndre Washington, Seth Roberts, Clive Walford

Prediction: Raiders 27, Bills 23 ^ Top

Redskins @ Cardinals - (Caron)

Passing Game Thoughts: He didn’t start the season off particularly strong, but there are few fantasy quarterbacks playing better right now than Washington’s Kirk Cousins. Cousins has thrown 10 touchdown passes with only one interception over his past four games and he’s averaging a whopping 386 yards per game over that stretch. While it’s unlikely that he’s going to continue that kind of pace, his high-end production should give fantasy owners some hope in this elite Arizona defense that has given up the third-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks so far this season. The biggest concern at the moment seems to be the health of tight end Jordan Reed. Reed’s shoulder could keep him out of this Sunday’s game, which would immediately make Vernon Davis a viable TE1. The Redskins receivers have all been performing lately, as well. New breakout receiver Jamison Crowder has been the best, but Pierre Garcon has now caught a total of 22 passes over is past four games and has reestablished himself as an option in PPR formats. DeSean Jackson is still a big play threat, but he’s also the riskiest of the bunch.

ARI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.30
ARI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.31
ARI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.25
ARI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.32

Running Game Thoughts: A successful pass-heavy approach against the Cowboys meant a lower-than-usual workload for Redskins running back Rob Kelley this past week. Kelley was held in check, rushing for just 37 yards on 14 carries – his worst fantasy performance since taking over the lead back role in Washington. Kelley had previously touched the ball at least 21 times in three straight games prior to his dud on Thanksgiving Day, though, so fantasy owners shouldn’t be so quick to write him off. Unfortunately, Kelley will be entering another tough situation this week as he’ll be up against an Arizona defense that has given up the third-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs on the season. Only once this season has an opposing team’s group of running backs eclipsed the 100-yard mark against the Cardinals and while Kelley’s high number of carries does give him enough of a floor to make him a low-end RB2 in standard formats, he falls down to a mid-level Flex option in PPR formats due to the pass-catching role continuing to go to Chris Thompson.

Value Meter:
QB1: Kirk Cousins (low-end)
RB2: Rob Kelley
WR2: Jamison Crowder
TE1: Jordan Reed, Vernon Davis (only if Reed doesn’t play)
Flex: DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garcon
Bench: Chris Thompson

Passing Game Thoughts: Carson Palmer and the Cardinals were one of the most successful passing games in 2015 and they’ve showed signs of that this season, but the consistency just has not been there. Even Larry Fitzgerald, who comes into Week 13 as the No. 13 fantasy wide receiver (standard scoring) hasn’t been great as of late. Still, the targets continue to be there for Fitzgerald and the other players in the offense are left to fight over the scraps. Michael Floyd, John Brown and J.J. Nelson have combined for just eight total catches between them over the past two weeks and none of the bunch is particularly standing out. Tight end Jermaine Gresham has made a bit of a splash on the stat sheet with touchdowns in back-to-back games, but he is not a high-upside option and should really only be considered in two-TE formats. Due to Fitzgerald’s ability to be moved all around the formation, including the slot, he doesn’t have the same risk that many other opposing WR1’s do when matched up against Josh Norman. Fitzgerald hasn’t caught fewer than four passes in any game this season so he can be safely deployed, as usual, but everyone else in this passing game – including Palmer – should probably be avoided in most formats.

WAS FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.18
WAS FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.8
WAS FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.20
WAS FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.10

Running Game Thoughts: While Ezekiel Elliott is getting most of the media attention at the running back position this season due to his pure rushing numbers, it is actually Arizona’s David Johnson who currently leads all backs in fantasy production, both in standard or PPR formats. Johnson’s usage in the passing game has been tremendous this season as he’s already pulled in 55 catches, giving him an impressive floor irrespective of the matchups he faces on a week to week basis. Johnson has not scored fewer than 10 fantasy points (standard scoring) in any game this season. Facing the Redskins’ 27th-ranked fantasy run defense, Johnson should once again be considered one of the premiere options in all of fantasy football this week.

Value Meter:
RB1: David Johnson
WR1: Larry Fitzgerald
Bench: Carson Palmer, John Brown, Michael Floyd, J.J. Nelson, Jermaine Gresham

Prediction: Cardinals 24, Redskins 21 ^ Top

Buccaneers @ Chargers - (Caron)

Passing Game Thoughts: As the NFL leader in targets with 133 this season, Tampa Bay’s Mike Evans has cemented himself as a top option just about every week. In fact, it might surprise some to hear that Evans is currently the No. 1 fantasy WR in standard scoring formats. Evans is a no-brainer stud option once again in what could easily turn into a shootout this week as he and the Bucs head to San Diego. The question in this passing game is whether or not Jameis Winston, who himself has been quietly creeping up into the QB1 option, is in for a good game. Winston is coming off of a 220-yard, two touchdown performance against the Seahawks, so a matchup against the Chargers should be a welcome challenge despite the Chargers being a better secondary than some might think. Tight end Cameron Brate is probably the only other player in this passing game who should be considered for fantasy purposes. Brate has had some nice games, but he’s been inconsistent and thus falls into the muddy waters of being a low-end TE1 or high-end TE2.

SD FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.13
SD FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.6
SD FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.18
SD FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.19

Running Game Thoughts: They’ve used a number of different running back this season because of injuries, but one thing has been sure – whoever starts in the Tampa Bay backfield has been touching the ball heavily. Doug Martin has been that player, having touched the ball an average of 23 times per game since returning from injury. His production hasn’t been overly amazing, but it’s tough time come across a running back who’s touching the ball 20-plus times per game. That type of usage could mean a very productive day against a San Diego run defense that ranks 26th against opposing fantasy running backs. The Chargers have only held opposing teams’ running backs without a touchdown in three of their 11 games so far this season, so Martin is a good bet to hit paydirt in Week 13.

Value Meter:
QB1: Jameis Winston (low-end)
RB1: Doug Martin
WR1: Mike Evans
TE1: Cameron Brate (low-end)

Passing Game Thoughts: The hot streak continued this past week for Philip Rivers who has now passed for multiple touchdowns in four straight contests. His interceptions have been a bit high as of late, but his overall numbers continue to impress enough that he’s a viable QB1 in just about every format. Tampa Bay is coming off of their best defensive performance of the season, having held Russell Wilson to just 151 yards and no touchdowns through the air this past week, but the Seattle passing game and the San Diego passing game really are not comparable at this point. Wide receiver Tyrell Williams has been spectacular as of late, having put up 12 or more fantasy points (standard scoring) in four of his past five contests and he has now established himself as the team’s top pass catcher. Unfortunately, Williams has missed significant practice time this week, leaving his status for Sunday’s game in question. If Williams cannot play, Dontrelle Inman figures to see an uptick in targets. Inman has also been quietly productive as of late, including a six catch, 119-yard, one touchdown performance a week ago. Inman is a Flex option even if Williams does play, but he could be a WR2 if he’s the team’s top option this week. The San Diego tight ends continue to produce at a very high level together, but they’re vulturing targets from one another, which makes both of them a fairly risky play so long as they’re both on the field.

TB FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.8
TB FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.14
TB FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.14
TB FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.15

Running Game Thoughts: Melvin Gordon’s fantasy production has taken a bit of a dip over his past two games, but there’s no question that he remains a high-upside option with a nice floor to go along with it. Gordon has not touched the ball fewer than 14 times and he hasn’t scored fewer than eight fantasy points (standard scoring) in any game this season. Tampa Bay is coming off a great game against Seattle when they shut down a depleted Seahawks running game. They haven’t been particularly good against the run so far this season overall, though. The Bucs have allowed opposing running backs to exceed 100 rushing yards against them in six of their 11 games. With Gordon being among the most likely backs in the league to get 20 or more touches this week, he should be in most fantasy lineups as an RB1.

Value Meter:
QB1: Philip Rivers
RB1: Melvin Gordon
WR2: Tyrell Williams
TE1: Antonio Gates
Flex: Dontrelle Inman
Bench: Travis Benjamin, Hunter Henry

Prediction: Chargers 28, Buccaneers 21 ^ Top

Panthers @ Seahawks - (Caron)

Passing Game Thoughts: Cam Newton’s struggles through the air continue as the reigning league MVP completed fewer than 50 percent of his passes for the second straight game this past week. Newton’s fantasy production has been equally as shaky and it’s really affecting his receivers. Greg Olsen, who started the season off red hot, has now failed to eclipse even five fantasy points (standard scoring) in four of his past five games. Wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin finally got into the end zone this past week for the first time since Week 4, but in a matchup against arguably the best secondary in the entire league, Benjamin and fellow wide receiver Ted Ginn just don’t seem like great fantasy options. Newton is a borderline QB1, but understand that his upside is limited in this game and he does have a fairly low floor as well.

SEA FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.27
SEA FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.23
SEA FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.28
SEA FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.26

Running Game Thoughts: With the Panthers passing game struggling to get much going, the team has to be happy with what they got out of Jonathan Stewart this past week in what ended up being a shootout against the Raiders. Stewart rushed for 96 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He has now scored an impressive seven touchdowns in about seven and 1/2 games. He hasn’t yet cracked 100 yards and that’s highly unlikely to happen against a Seattle defense that has allowed the seventh-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs. Yes, the Seahawks have given up 100 or more rushing yards to opposing running backs in five of their past six games, but no team has rushed for more than 122 yards against them over that stretch. With the Carolina offense struggling to do much and going on the road to one of the most hostile environments in the league, this is simply not a great matchup for Stewart and the running game. Still, he’s a low-end RB2 given his usage near the goal line.

Value Meter:
QB1: Cam Newton (low-end)
RB2: Jonathan Stewart (low-end)
WR2: Kelvin Benjamin (low-end)
TE1: Greg Olsen
Bench: Ted Ginn Jr., Devin Funchess

Passing Game Thoughts: He had been red hot, but Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson got back to his early season struggles this past week when he had a disastrous fantasy day, throwing for just 151 yards, no touchdowns and a pair of interceptions. For the first time this season, however, Wilson seemed to finally be getting things going with his legs. Wilson had not rushed for even 20 yards in any game prior to Week 12, but surprisingly rushed for 80 yards against the Buccaneers in what ended up being a Seattle loss. With Wilson struggling to get things going, only Doug Baldwin is a viable wide receiver in the Seattle. Fortunately, he’ll be up against a Carolina defense that hasn’t been great against opposing receivers this season. The Panthers have given up at least 15 receptions to the position in five of their past six contests. The only exception over that span was Week 10 against the Chiefs. The other player to watch in this game is tight end Jimmy Graham who may be as good as the best overall tight end in Week 13. The Panthers have given up the second-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season and Graham has been a great fantasy tight end even in tough matchups this season.

CAR FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.7
CAR FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.29
CAR FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.11
CAR FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.3

Running Game Thoughts: With C.J. Prosise out for the remainder of the season, fantasy owners got their first taste of the Thomas Rawls show with the youngster being the feature back in Seattle. Unfortunately, the results were not anywhere near what we saw when Rawls was among the best fantasy running backs toward the end of the 2015 season. Rawls rushed for just 38 yards on 12 carries against a beatable Buccaneers defense this past week. The entire Seattle offense was off in that game so it might just be an aberration, but it was the second straight game in which Rawls has failed to rush for even 60 yards. This trend is definitely not a good thing as heads into an extremely difficult matchup against a Carolina defense that has given up the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs so far this season. The Panthers have only given up 80 or more rushing yards to opposing backs in three games this season and they’ve only given up two total rushing touchdowns to the position over their past 10 games. No one else is really touching the ball in the Seattle backfield which does give Rawls a respectable floor, but his upside is also quite limited in this game. Feel free to roll him out as a low-end RB2 in standard formats, but he’s more of a Flex in PPR formats.

Value Meter:
QB1: Russell Wilson (high risk)
RB2: Thomas Rawls
WR1: Doug Baldwin
TE1: Jimmy Graham (high-end)
Bench: Tyler Lockett, Jermaine Kearse, Alex Collins

Prediction: Seahawks 24, Panthers 17 ^ Top