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Favorites & Fades

Week 13

By: Nick Caron | HC Green | Kirk Hollis | John Fessel
Updated: 12/3/23



Sunday Early:



Sunday Late:





- Green highlight indicates plus matchup (top eight)
- Red highlight indicates negative matchup (bottom eight)
- Lines and totals updated Sunday morning

Seahawks @ Cowboys - (Caron)
Line: DAL -9.5
Total: 47.5

DAL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.26
DAL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.29
DAL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.30
DAL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.18

No Brainers: N/A

Favorites: RB Zach Charbonnet

With Kenneth Walker out for Thursday’s game, Seattle will again turn to rookie running back Zach Charbonnet to lead their backfield in a matchup against the Cowboys. This game has potential implications, so the Seahawks will really need to improve upon their lack of offensive success over the past two weeks if they hope to keep up with the high-powered Cowboys offense.

While he wasn’t very successful in his first game as the lead back in the Seattle offense this past week, it’s worth considering that he was playing against a very good San Francisco team in an ugly game script that didn’t really allow him to be utilized as much as Seattle would like him to be. He did, however, still carry the ball 14 times in that game and added four receptions. He’s now caught a total of 14 passes over his past three games, giving him a bit of an under-the-radar PPR floor.

This isn’t a great matchup against a very good Dallas defense, but the Cowboys have been able to be exploited by running backs at times this season and Charbonnet should see an extremely strong backfield touch share in this one. There are a ton of teams on byes this week, so don’t sleep on Charbonnet if you’re looking for an RB2. If Seattle wins this game, it's probably going to be because they kept the game low-scoring and fed Charbonnet a ton of touches in the process.

On the Fence: WR DK Metcalf

Wide receiver DK Metcalf has been very up-and-down as of late, but one thing that’s remained relatively consistent since Seattle’s bye week is that he’s had a very strong target share. Metcalf has seen at least a 22 percent target share in five of his past six games and he’s on the field for nearly 90 percent of the team’s offensive snaps each week.

Dallas has been a tough matchup for opposing wide receivers this season, but they have given up some decent fantasy numbers to a number of top targets in opposition passing attacks. There’s some question as to whether or not Metcalf fits that bill, but his opportunities make him a must-start in almost any matchup.

Fade: QB Geno Smith, WR Tyler Lockett, WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba

The Seattle passing game as a whole has taken a huge step back this season from what we saw during Geno Smith’s magical campaign in 2022. Obviously, we didn’t assume that he’d continue to be a borderline elite passer, but Smith has now failed to reach even 200 passing yards in four of his 11 starts and he’s only exceeded 300 yards in three games with zero contests where he’s thrown for three or more touchdowns. This lack of high-end performances combined with plenty of very low-end performances has made him and the rest of the Seattle passing game very difficult to trust for fantasy purposes.

Wide receiver Tyler Lockett continues to deliver some very strong spike weeks, but most of those have come against weaker defenses in games that turned into shootouts. While Dallas’ offense is capable of delivering a shootout, their defense has held opposing offenses to 20 or fewer points scored in eight of their 11 games played. That, combined with Seattle’s overall offensive struggles, just doesn’t look like the recipe for one of those patented big games from Lockett.

Rookie Jaxon Smith-Njigba continues to see far too few targets to be trusted for fantasy purposes at the moment. While Dallas has been exploited at times by opposing slot receivers, the lack of volume makes JSN a low-ceiling option.

SEA FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.14
SEA FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.4
SEA FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.11
SEA FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.21

No Brainers: WR CeeDee Lamb

Favorites: QB Dak Prescott

The bye week seems to have done incredible things for the Dallas offense, particularly their passing game, as Dak Prescott has now thrown a whopping 17 touchdown passes over the Cowboys’ five games since the bye. Prescott has also averaged over 320 yards passing in those contests while adding another touchdown as a runner, making him a truly elite option over the past month and a half.

The Seattle defense hasn’t actually been too bad against opposing quarterbacks, but they’ve also faced a lackluster group of QBs. Yes, they did hold Lamar Jackson in check when they played against him, but some of the other high-scoring fantasy QBs they’ve faced, including Sam Howell and Jared Goff, put up strong QB1 performances against this Seahawks defense. Prescott is red hot right now and the Cowboys’ passing game seems to be clicking, so look for them to ride that streak again this week at home against the Seahawks.

On the Fence: RB Tony Pollard

It’s no secret that Tony Pollard has been a huge disappointment for fantasy managers throughout much of the season, but he might be getting back into the good graces of those who took a chance on him as he’s now turned in back-to-back solid fantasy days, including touchdowns against both Carolina and Washington. Perhaps even more importantly, Pollard got back involved in the passing game over these past two weeks, catching 10 passes, tying the best two-game stretch he’s had all season in that department.

Pollard should be in line for another 15-to-20 touches this week and in a high-powered offense like Dallas’, that’s good enough to make him a low-end RB1 or at least a high-end RB2 for fantasy here in Week 13, especially considering how many usable fantasy running backs are on byes. Seattle has given up the fourth-most fantasy points per game to opposing backs this season, including a 114-yard, two-touchdown performance to Christian McCaffrey this past week.

Fade: TE Jake Ferguson

The Dallas passing game is certainly clicking right now and it wouldn’t be all that surprising to see Jake Ferguson get into the end zone, but it’s hard to not be concerned about the lack of volume that he’s seen in recent weeks. After a 10 and a seven-target performance in Weeks 9 and 10, Ferguson has seen his targets drop to five and three over his past two games, both of which were blowout wins for the Cowboys.

Seattle’s defense has also been quite good against opposing tight ends, which should give fantasy managers some pause as well. They’ve only given up one touchdown to the position and the most yards they’ve conceded to an opposing tight end in a game was 80 to Mark Andrews back in Week 9 when he was targeted 10 times. Ferguson has only seen more than seven targets in a game once this season, meaning that his chances of replicating that 10-target game from Andrews don’t look very strong. With Brandin Cooks getting much more involved in recent weeks, Ferguson is now firmly the third or perhaps even fourth option in this Cowboys passing game, which is just not enough to make him a must-start fantasy tight end at the moment.

Prediction: Cowboys 27, Seahawks 17 ^ Top

Broncos @ Texans - (Hollis)
Line: HOU -3.0
Total: 47.5

HOU FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.11
HOU FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.15
HOU FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.20
HOU FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.2

No Brainers: None

Favorites: RB Javonte Williams

In the last four games, the Broncos have given Williams 89 touches… and they’ve won all four games. I’m not saying Williams was the reason those wins took place, but I am saying why get away from a formula that is working. Add in the fact that C.J. Stroud is terrifying to play against right now and the Broncos will want to keep him off the field. Williams also hasn’t lost a fumble all season, so he’s earned trust from his coaches in that regard.

On the Fence: QB Russell Wilson, WR Courtland Sutton

On one hand, Wilson will likely be included in a conservative game plan aimed at keeping Stroud off the field (see above) and limiting turnovers (see above). On the other, the Texans are giving up lots of points to QBs in fantasy (26th at the position with an average of 21.8 points surrendered). As such, while the conservative plan may be in place at the outset of this game, a shoot-out could ensue instead. I think Wilson might be worth the risk this weekend as a result, but it’s still a sit on the fence proposition for me just the same. Sutton’s value is on the fence alongside Wilson’s for all the same reasons.

Fade: WR Jerry Jeudy

Do you really need me to tell you to fade Jeudy at this point? With Greg Dulcich still out, Jeudy should be a prime candidate for a break-out game, but the Broncos and his skill set just don’t seem to gel. An average of only 3 targets per game for each of the last four games says stay away for another week.

DEN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.8
DEN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.1
DEN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.26
DEN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.1

No Brainers: QB C.J. Stroud, WR Tank Dell

Update: Dalton Schultz is not expected to play. Brevin Jordan is a TE2 consideration.

Favorites: WR Nico Collins, TE Dalton Schultz (hamstring)

One of the league’s most prolific offenses, Houston lands no less than four players in the No-Brainer/Favorite categories this week with Collins and Schultz being the primary focus of the latter category. After a big start to the season, Collins cooled a bit and then missed Week 10 vs. the Bengals due to an injury. The last two weeks, he’s received 20 targets and appears to be a major part of the offense once again. Start him without hesitation.

As for Schultz, he has two things in his favor. First, he’s coming off a quiet game and they’ll want to involve him more this week as such. And second, the Broncos rank DEAD LAST in points given up to opposing tight ends. Start Schultz with confidence as well.

On the Fence: RB Devin Singletary

It has become clear to anyone watching Texans games in recent weeks that Singletary looks to be the far superior of their two main running backs, particularly in the passing game. That said, in the first five games of the season, Dameon Pierce was getting 19 touches a game and it’s hard to see them not ramping him back up to at least 10 this week. That makes Singletary a riskier play even as the Broncos don’t stop RBs much more than they do TEs (although that number is inflated dramatically by the Mostert/Achane avalanche in Week 3).

Fade: RB Dameon Pierce

Pretty simple reasoning here. It’s all about yards per carry. Singletary is averaging 4.1 yards per carry to Pierce’s 2.9. There’s just little evidence to suggest that Pierce has much wiggle to his game and his days of being a work horse back are likely over as a result.

Prediction: Texans 27, Broncos 24 ^ Top

Chargers @ Patriots - (Caron)
Line: LAC -5.0
Total: 38.5

NE FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.27
NE FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.17
NE FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.9
NE FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.30

No Brainers: WR Keenan Allen

Favorites: RB Austin Ekeler

Chargers running back Austin Ekeler has had some rough games in back-to-back weeks, but a matchup against the Patriots could be what’s needed to get him back on track. The Patriots defense hasn’t been particularly terrible against opposing backs, but their own lack of offensive success and a potential change at quarterback should mean that this game never gets out of control for the Chargers’ offense. Ekeler is under 4.0 yards per carry this season but he continues to see 15 or more touches in just about every game, giving him a reasonably high floor even when the Chargers aren’t scoring a ton of points, while also giving him a massive ceiling when they are.

On the Fence: QB Justin Herbert

Justin Herbert is certainly still the present and future of the franchise, but he hasn’t exactly been a must-start quarterback as of late. We could be in for another down game from the superstar QB. It’s not that New England’s defense is particularly scary, but the way their offense functions - or doesn’t - often causes opposing offenses to pull their foot off the gas pedal. Opposing quarterbacks have only exceeded 35 pass attempts four times against New England this season. By contrast, Herbert himself has attempted 35 or more passes in seven of his 11 games and he’s only thrown fewer than 30 passes one time. This lack of volume from opposing QBs has allowed New England to hold the position to the sixth-fewest fantasy points per game. Herbert isn’t necessarily a must-bench this week, but he certainly lacks upside in this matchup.

Fade: WR Quentin Johnston

Rookie wide receiver Quentin Johnston has had plenty of opportunities, but it’s increasingly looking like he’s just not going to break out this season. Worse yet, while he played on at least 85 percent of passing downs for the team in Weeks 9, 10 and 11, he saw his playing time significantly decrease this past week when he played on just 39 percent of pass plays. That also led to just an eight percent target share - his lowest since Week 7.

It’s possible that Johnston could still turn things around, but this isn’t likely to be a shootout game and we shouldn’t be looking for down-the-depth-chart options to play for fantasy in this type of game environment.

LAC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.3
LAC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.8
LAC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.3
LAC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.5

No Brainers: N/A

Favorites: RB Rhamondre Stevenson

With 20 and 21 carries over his past two weeks, Rhamondre Stevenson is beginning to look like the player that fantasy managers had hoped he would be when they drafted him this pre-season. Sure, it might be late, but it’s better late than never! Stevenson has also turned in his three best rush yardage performances of the season in each of his past three games, with 87, 88, and 98 yards in those contests. Not only that, but he’s still contributing in the passing game, having added 12 receptions during that stretch.

The New England offense is one of the worst in the league, but Stevenson remains the only player who can really be trusted as a weekly starter in fantasy.

On the Fence: WR Demario Douglas (concussion)

Wide receiver Demario Douglas has missed practice throughout the week as he’s dealing with a concussion and there’s no guarantee that he’ll suit up for Sunday’s game against the Chargers. If he does, Douglas does make for a somewhat interesting low-end Flex option, as he’s caught at least five passes in four straight games while being targeted at least seven times in each of those contests. The upside isn’t great given the overall New England passing game, but you could do worse than Douglas if you’re in a pinch and he’s active.

Fade: QB Mac Jones, QB Bailey Zappe

The Patriots have been very quiet about who will actually start for them this weekend, but no matter who it is, fantasy managers should be avoiding this situation at pretty much all costs. Sure, the Chargers have been terrible against opposing quarterbacks this season, having given up the third-most points per game to the position, but that doesn’t change anything - this New England passing game is terrible. It’s also looking like Demario Douglas might not play which would only make matters worse. Stay away.

Prediction: Chargers 23, Patriots 13 ^ Top

Lions @ Saints - (Hollis)
Line: DET -4.0
Total: 47.5

NO FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.19
NO FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.23
NO FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.28
NO FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.14

No Brainers: WR Amon-Ra St. Brown, RB David Montgomery

Favorites: TE Sam LaPorta

While the Saints defense is generally regarded as “stingy”, they are pretty generous when it comes to tight ends having surrendered more points to that position than all but three other teams in the NFL. Enter LaPorta, who seemed to get back on the same page as Jared Goff on Thanksgiving Day after going through a sort of mini-slump prior to that game taking place. Apart from Travis Kelce, LaPorta probably represents the best play at TE for this week as a whole.

On the Fence: RB Jahmyr Gibbs

Gibbs is going to be in almost all starting lineups this weekend, but his usage with David Montgomery back continues to concern me a bit. He’s only averaged 11 carries a game each of the past three weeks and while that’s enough touches to break off a long run or two, it keeps his floor much lower than it was when Montgomery was hurt. I would consider him a middling RB2 even with multiple RBs out on bye.

Fade: QB Jared Goff

The formula for success for the Lions this season has been smash-mouth football with an emphasis on limiting mistakes. The past two weeks, the smash-mouth part of that equation was executed, but the limiting mistakes part has been a fail with Goff personally responsible for six turnovers during that stretch. Look for the Lions to take fewer chances this week and keep the formula simple with the Saints limited in their receiving corps by injuries. Expect modest numbers, thus, for Goff at best.

DET FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.6
DET FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.30
DET FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.7
DET FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.13

No Brainers: RB Alvin Kamara

Favorites: WR A.T. Perry, TE Taysom Hill

This call is dependent upon Chris Olave and Rashid Shaheed not playing due to injury (see below). Derek Carr is going to have to throw to someone if one or both are out as Michael Thomas is now on IR. The biggest beneficiary of the all the injuries is probably Kamara given that he already averaged nearly 8 targets a game with the WR unit intact. That said, heavy doses of both Perry and Hill seem inevitable as well if last weekend’s injuries hold up. Perry hasn’t done much yet (3 catches, 45 yards, 1 TD), so consider him as a flex only.

On the Fence: QB Derek Carr

On one hand, what is written above should take Carr out of the running for starting purposes. After all, the team’s top 3 WRs may all be missing on Sunday. On the other hand, the Saints will likely be playing from behind and that means Carr has to throw a lot, even if check-downs to Kamara are the order of the day. Carr has thrown for 300+ yards five times already this season, with much of that yardage coming in the fourth quarter. The Lions have an improved pass rush this season, but still lack the ability to slow down QBs (27th in points allowed to the position).

Update: Chris Olave is expected to play. Rashid Saheed is Out.

Fade: WRs Chris Olave, Rashid Shaheed

This is a fade with a big asterisk. Olave and Shaheed may both play…or perhaps only one of them does. If either is a go, they obviously move out of this category and Perry is no longer a “favorite”. But, it’s just as likely that neither plays, so if you have one of the two on your roster, a back-up plan is likely in order.

Prediction: Lions 24, Saints 16 ^ Top

Cardinals @ Steelers - (Green)
Line: PIT -6.5
Total: 41.5

PIT FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.23
PIT FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.16
PIT FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.12
PIT FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.24

No Brainers: N/A

Favorites: TE Trey McBride

Ever since Zach Ertz (quad) was lost to a quad injury, McBride (groin) has stepped up. Over the last five games, the second-year tight end has racked up 33 receptions, 351 yards, and a touchdown. His lack of red-zone production is the only asterisk on what has been an impressive run, which spanned three different starting quarterbacks. He is dealing with a groin injury that kept him out of practice, so you’ll need to monitor his condition, but assuming he starts there is a lot to like against the Steelers, which allowed seven receptions and a touchdown to Cincy’s TEs last week. If healthy, McBride is a midrange TE1.

On the Fence: QB Kyler Murray

Murray has been solid but unspectacular since returning from his ACL injury. In three games, he has averaged 240 yards passing, 29 yards rushing, and 1.67 total TDs -- he has rushed for a touchdown each week. While that’s decent value, it’s those rushing scores that are keeping him as a viable option as he has yet to throw for multiple touchdowns in a game. The Steelers are a bottom-10 pass defense, so the potential is there for Murray, but there’s some downside as well.

Fade: RB James Conner

Like Murray, Conner has played three games since being activated from IR. The veteran back has been trending in the wrong direction, however, going from 73 yards on 16 carries in Week 10 to 14-62-0 in Week 11 and then 6-27-0 last week. Conner hasn’t scored since Week 3, which was also the last time he topped 100 total yards. Part of the problem last Sunday was falling way behind the Rams. With Arizona already all but eliminated from playoff contention and a Bye coming up in Week 14, this feels like another game that could get away from them. Don’t view Conner as more than an RB3.

ARI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.7
ARI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.2
ARI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.15
ARI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.22

No Brainers: N/A

Favorites: RBs Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren

A week ago, LA’s backfield tandem of Kyren Williams and Royce Freeman combined to carry the ball 29 times for 220 yards and a touchdown. Meanwhile, in Cincinnati, Harris (15-99-1) and Warren (13-49-0) were racking up 148 yards and a score. The Steelers are catching the Cardinals at a good time. They’re coming off a physical pounding from the Rams and could be looking ahead to their Week 14 bye. This week it’s possible to view both Harris and Warren as high-end No. 3 backs with upside.

On the Fence: QB Kenny Pickett and TE Pat Freiermuth

Life without Matt Canada calling the plays seemed to agree with the connection of Pickett and Freiermuth, at least for one weekend. Pickett passed for 278 yards, which was his highest output of the season, and Freiermuth hauled in nine of 24 completions for 120 yards -- for reference, the tight end entered play last Sunday with a 9-60-0 line for the season. Can they duplicate it? Maybe. The Cards gave up four TD passes to the Rams in Week 12, including two to TE Tyler Higbee, so there’s a pathway to value for both. Then again, the Steelers might just push Arizona around like LA did. Freiermuth could be worth trying as a low-end TE1. Pickett, however, is a pure lottery ticket given his season-long struggles.

Fade: N/A

Prediction: Steelers 27, Cardinals 16 ^ Top

Falcons @ Jets - (Caron)
Line: ATL -2.0
Total: 33.5

NYJ FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.24
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.5
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.32
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.17

No Brainers: N/A

Favorites: RB Bijan Robinson

He went through a bit of a dry streak, but Bijan Robinson has been getting back in the groove over his past two games, having taken 38 carries for 186 yards and adding four receptions for an additional 43 yards and three total touchdowns. We’d love to see him get a bigger share of the rushing touches, but he’s still seeing enough to be very fantasy-relevant. Now he faces a Jets defense that has given up the fifth-most fantasy points per game to opposing running backs this season, including 94 yards and two touchdowns to Raheem Mostert this past week.

On the Fence: WR Drake London

It hasn’t always been pretty, but Falcons wide receiver Drake London has quietly put together a stretch of double-digit fantasy points in six of his past seven games and he’s done it while not scoring a single touchdown over that stretch. The Falcons offense is bad so we wouldn’t expect that he’d be scoring at a high rate, but this is a pretty unsustainably bad scoreless streak. This is a very difficult matchup against an excellent Jets secondary, so there’s no reason to force London into your lineup if you have comparable options, but he’s certainly his team’s top pass-catching weapon and isn’t a must-bench because of that.

Fade: TE Kyle Pitts

Kyle Pitts continues to run routes on at least 60 percent of the Falcons’ passing downs each week, but it just is not materializing into any sort of usable fantasy numbers. Pitts has now been held to fewer than 50 yards receiving in four of his past five games and he hasn’t scored a touchdown during that entire stretch. It’s been time to move on for awhile for fantasy managers, but now is definitely not the time to take a chance on him.

ATL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.10
ATL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.31
ATL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.25
ATL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.4

No Brainers: N/A

Favorites: WR Garrett Wilson

Garrett Wilson’s Week 11 dud against the Bills looked like it was nothing to be concerned about when it happened, but he proved it this past week when he caught seven passes for 44 yards and a touchdown against the Dolphins. Wilson has now scored between 13 and 18 fantasy points in five of his past six games, while seeing double-digit targets in every game other than the stinker against the Bills.

He might not have a huge upside, but Wilson is seeing a strong enough target share to make him one of the more reliable WR2s in all of fantasy.

On the Fence: RB Breece Hall

We’ve seen enough from Breece Hall to know that he’s objectively a talented young running back, but he’s now rushed for fewer than 30 yards in four of his past five games and hasn’t scored a rushing touchdown during that entire stretch. Thankfully, he’s been seeing an increase in his passing game usage and those receiving numbers have allowed him to decent enough fantasy numbers even during this bad rushing stretch.

This is a difficult matchup against a Falcons defense that has been quite good against opposing running backs this season, but Hall has shown a 10-point floor along with possessing week-winning upside to go with it.

Fade: TE Tyler Conklin

With Week 13 being another “bye-pocalypse,” there are quite a few tight ends out and fantasy managers might be scrambling to find someone to slot into their lineups. Jets tight end Tyler Conklin is one who should be avoided, though, in what could very well be the lowest-scoring game of the week. The veteran has been held to fewer than 35 receiving yards in four of his past six games and he hasn’t scored a touchdown all season long. Don’t be fooled just because you recognize his name from years past - he’s a player who should remain on waivers.

Prediction: Falcons 17, Jets 16 ^ Top

Colts @ Titans - (Hollis)
Line: IND -1.0
Total: 42.5

TEN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.21
TEN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.20
TEN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.6
TEN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.31

No Brainers: WR Michael Pittman Jr.

Favorites: RB Zack Moss

No one with a heart ever rejoices when a player gets injured, but managers with Zack Moss on their teams know what the absence of Jonathan Taylor this week likely means. The last time the Colts played the Titans this season (Week 5), Moss erupted for 195 total yards and 2 TDs. And that was with Jonathan Taylor actually playing in that game. The Titans are generally tough on RBs (14th overall in points allowed, but better than that minus what they surrendered to Moss last time out). Still, look for Moss to do damage…and lots of it.

On the Fence: WR Josh Downs

At first glance, Downs’s role in the passing game last weekend seems a bid subdued (5 catches, 43 yards), but a deeper look reveals a whopping 13 targets in that game- the first time in which he’s reached double figures in that category this season. I’m not sure that will be duplicated again anytime soon, but I do know that Downs is now firmly entrenched as Minshew’s second option behind Pittman. Considering the Titans are in the bottom fourth of the league in fantasy points yielded to WRs, you could do much worse at the flex spot this week.

Fade: QB Gardner Minshew

The last time these two teams met, the Colts only threw the ball 26 times total and relied on a heavy dose of the run. Add in the fact that Minshew hasn’t thrown a TD pass in either of his past two games and I think there are better options out there at QB this week… assuming you can obtain one of them.

IND FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.17
IND FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.7
IND FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.18
IND FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.9

No Brainers: RB Derrick Henry

Favorites: WR DeAndre Hopkins

Again, we look at recent history for this call as Hopkins’s best game of the season thus far came against the Colts in Week Five (8 catches on 11 targets, 140 yards receiving). Conventional wisdom says the Colts will double up on him this time around with few other threats to consider, but Levis will lock in on him often in spite of that (35 targets in 5 games), so don’t overthink it. Even if Treylon Burks can somehow return to the field this week, Hopkins is a worthy WR2.

On the Fence: TE Chigoziem Okonkwo

I know anyone who drafted Okonkwo will say that he belongs in the fade pile, but he is coming off his best yardage totals of the year last week (4 catches, 45 yards) and faces a Colts defense that gives up 7.5 fantasy points a game to TEs on average (25th in the league). That means a repeat of last week’s numbers appears feasible at worst and even likely at best.

Fade: QB Will Levis, RB Tyjae Spears

Since his breakout game in Week Eight, Levis has seemingly regressed having only thrown a TD pass in one of his past four starts and having been held under 200 yards passing in each of his past three games. It seems that with a little bit of film on him to analyze, defensive coordinators are making good adjustments. Likewise, Tyjae Spears hasn’t carried the ball more than 5 times in a game since the last time these teams met in Week 5. Hard to count on him for much even in a week in which RB options will be limited.

Prediction: Colts 19, Titans 13 ^ Top

Dolphins @ Commanders - (Caron)
Line: MIA -8.5
Total: 49.5

WAS FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.1
WAS FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.13
WAS FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.2
WAS FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.20

No Brainers: WR Tyreek Hill

Favorites: QB Tua Tagovailoa, WR Jaylen Waddle

Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was a serious dud this past week for fantasy managers, but things are looking up for him and the Miami passing game as they get to face the pass-funnel that is the Washington defense. The Commanders have already given up 28 passing touchdowns this season - five more than any other team - and there’s a great chance that Tagovailoa will bring them to or even over the 30 mark in this contest. He’s a strong QB1 this week.

We know that Tyreek Hill is a must-start, but teammate Jaylen Waddle also has to be looked at as a potential WR1 in this matchup. Waddle is coming off of an eight-catch, 114-yard game against an excellent Jets defense and he now faces a Commanders defense that has given up the second-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season, including three touchdowns to the Cowboys’ wideouts on Thanksgiving Day.

On the Fence: RB Devon Achane, RB Raheem Mostert

We don’t yet know Achane’s status for this week’s game after the running back missed Week 12 with a knee injury, but if he’s on the field then both he and Raheem Mostert become interesting RB2/Flex options for fantasy. We’ve seen this duo absolutely terrorize opposing defenses this season and the Commanders are a top-10 matchups for running backs this season. They’ve given up at least one touchdown to an opposing RB in each of their past six games game and a total of eight scores over that stretch.

If Achane is out, Mostert moves back into borderline RB1 territory in what could be a shootout with the Commanders.

Fade: N/A

MIA FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.13
MIA FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.27
MIA FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.10
MIA FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.11

No Brainers: N/A

Favorites: QB Sam Howell, WR Terry McLaurin

Washington quarterback Sam Howell had an ugly performance against the Giants back in Week 7, but otherwise he’s been red hot, delivering borderline QB1 numbers or even high-end QB1 numbers in practically every game going all the way back to Week 4. The Commanders continue to be in an abnormal amount of shootouts and with an offense as good as Miami’s, it seems reasonable to think that we could be in for another high-scoring game here in Week 13. Howell might make lots of mistakes, but he sure makes fantasy football fun.

With Howell being a great option this week, his top target, Terry McLaurin, should also be in fantasy lineups. McLaurin has been down in production over his past three weeks, but he’s continued to see a very strong target share, having seen at least seven targets in seven straight games. There’s plenty of reason to believe that he’s in for a bounce-back fantasy game this week, as he’ll be against a Miami defense that has struggled against opposing WR1s, particularly ones with some size, and McLaurin is the most physical of the three main Washington pass-catching weapons.

On the Fence: RB Brian Robinson Jr.

Brian Robinson Jr. has quietly been a borderline elite fantasy running back this season, but we saw this past week in the Commanders’ blowout loss to the Cowboys that he can sometimes be scripted out of games. He did show some pass-catching efficiency in Weeks 10 and 11, but he’s just not a naturally gifted pass-catcher and if the Commanders fall behind on the scoreboard then that could mean that he just doesn’t see the volume he typically needs to deliver for fantasy managers.

The Commanders have typically been able to put points on the board, but against an offense as high-powered as Miami’s, it’s possible that they do fall behind enough that Robinson becomes an afterthought. Still, he’s seen at least 14 touches in four straight games and should be a good bet to reach that number again this week.

Fade: WR Curtis Samuel

Curtis Samuel continues to be one of the most frustrating players in all of fantasy football as he turned in a nine-catch, 100-yard performance on 12 targets in the Commanders’ blowout loss to the Cowboys on Thanksgiving. That came after two straight absolutely nothing performances in which he totaled 11 yards receiving and no touchdowns against the Seahawks and Giants.

Samuel now faces a Miami defense that has struggled against opposing WR1s, but has mostly done a good job of containing complementary pass-catchers. Don’t be fooled by his one flashy performance - Samuel is not a player we want to be relying on at this point in a fantasy season.

Prediction: Dolphins 30, Commanders 26 ^ Top

Panthers @ Buccaneers - (Hollis)
Line: TB -3.0
Total: 36.5

TB FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.4
TB FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.28
TB FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.4
TB FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.8

No Brainers: None

Favorites: WR Adam Thielen

I know Thielen is coming off a brutal stat line in Week 12, but the Buccaneers rank 29th in fantasy points given up to wide receivers and Michael Pittman Jr. ate them up last week in a role very similar to what Thielen is tasked with doing in Carolina. No one knows for sure how all the coaching changes will shake out in Carolina, but the team relying on its most veteran WR to move the chains seems not only plausible, but probable at this time.

On the Fence: RB Chuba Hubbard

Hubbard continues to be the more effective of Carolina’s two running backs despite the team giving most of the money at the position to Miles Sanders. Both backs are averaging less than 4 yards per carry and the Buccaneers (8th in points given up to RBs) are better against the run than the pass, but Hubbard is also coming off his best game of the season as a receiver (5 catches, 47 yards). With six teams on bye this week, you could do worse than him as your RB2 or flex.

Fade: QB Bryce Young

Yes, six quarterbacks have the week off on bye, but that is the only reason Young would be in consideration for a start this week or any other week for that matter. Despite having some mobility at his disposal, Young has zero rushing touchdowns this season and less than 15 yards rushing per game. As such, the upside just isn’t there. As a manager with Allen/Jackson/Fields on bye, look elsewhere for support.

CAR FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.32
CAR FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.3
CAR FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.29
CAR FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.23

No Brainers: WR Mike Evans

Favorites: RB Rachaad White

One of the more under-the-radar pleasant surprises in fantasy football this season has been the play of White who despite not having a highly ranked offensive line, still has over 900 total yards this season, 5 TDs, and has been targeted 46 times in the passing game. As for his opponent this week, Carolina ranks 30th in points surrendered to running backs which makes him a prime candidate to keep scoring as he has in recent weeks. Start him with confidence that one of his best games of the season is coming.

On the Fence: TE Cade Otton

In three of the past four games, Otton has caught at least 4 passes for at least 45 yards. That’s not the stuff that will win you fantasy games, but in a week hampered by half a dozen byes, you could do much worse than that sort of production at the TE spot. I think Otton’s Week 13 floor is higher than most realize, but his ceiling is still somewhat low given how Evans, White, and Godwin dominate the targets in Tampa.

Fade: QB Baker Mayfield, WR Chris Godwin

Maybe it’s because they get behind so often and teams don’t need to throw on them all game as such, but the Panthers rank 2nd in points allowed to QBs which spells Tampa relying on the ground game and avoiding mistakes through the air as a path to victory. As for Godwin, he and Mayfield have nowhere near the same chemistry as Mayfield and Evans do, particularly in the red zone. Hard pass.

Prediction: Buccaneers 20, Panthers 10 ^ Top

Browns @ Rams - (Fessel)
Line: LAR -3.5
Total: 40.5

LAR FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.15
LAR FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.26
LAR FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.21
LAR FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.10

No Brainers: N/A

Favorites: TE David Njoku

Losing Deshaun Watson was bad news for the Browns – at least for everyone not named David Njoku. The Browns veteran tight end saw just 35 targets in Deshaun Watson’s six starts (and 9 of those came in a game that Watson left early). Meanwhile, in five outings without Watson, Njoku has been targeted 43 times and was only targeted less than 7 times in one game. Even if the Browns do turn to Joe Flacco (more on that below), the news is good for Njoku owners – Flacco’s long history of checking down to tight ends includes having targeting Tyler Conklin 28 times in four starts for the Jets last year.

If you need any extra encouragement, the Rams have given up the 8th most points per game to opposing tight ends this year. David Njoku is about as rock solid a TE1 as you can ask for right now, this side of Travis Kelce and T.J. Hockenson.

On the Fence: RB Jerome Ford, WR Amari Cooper

Jerome Ford isn’t an exciting back and he has brick hands (7 drops this year). But he’s protected the ball well (just 1 fumble on 180 career touches) and has ability to break tackles (11 this year). He’s running behind one of the better run-blocking offensive lines in the league and while he faces some competition from Kareem Hunt, his veteran counterpart is no long viewed as any every down back and Ford’s snap rate continues to grow. He saw a season high 70% snap rate last week, and has played at least 64% of offensive snaps in three of the last four games. Additionally, Kareem Hunt missed Wednesday’s practice, and while he was limited for Thursday’s, it’s possible that he may not play this week, or may see minimal action.

What goes against Ford this week is a tough Rams rushing defense that has surrendered just 5 touchdowns to opposing RBs. The Aaron Donald-led front seven of the Rams has been crippling to opposing runners at times, and they haven’t surrendered a double-digit fantasy performance to an RB since Week 9, while allowing just five such efforts all season. Being on the road also is less than stellar news for Ford, as a Cleveland team that has had just a 6-10 record in two seasons without Watson active could be seeing a lot of negative game script.

Ford is a real fence play this week, but if you are short at running back and/or flex – especially due to all of this week’s byes – his day may hinge of the Browns attempting to keep the game close with a ton of running to aid their talented defense.

Meanwhile, The Rams have also been solid against WR’s, though not quite as stingy as they’ve been against running backs. They’ve given up the 12th fewest points per game to the position thus far this year. The good news for Amari Cooper is that 7 of the 11 double digit fantasy outputs by Rams’ opposing receivers have come from a team’s WR1 (including a 35-point performance by CeeDee Lamb).

The bad news is that Cooper has 34 or less receiving yards in three of the five starts made by the Browns back up QB’s this year, and no receiving touchdowns sans Deshaun Watson. An experienced and likely still stronger armed Joe Flacco may help Cooper some, as will playing on the road in a dome, but - as with Ford – Cooper is a borderline play.

Update: Joe Flacco has been named the starting QB for CLE.

Fade: Any Browns QB

The Rams defense has been decent but not remarkable against opposing QB’s. The Browns just don’t seem to have a quarterback available who can put a dent in opposing defenses within this offense, though. While the team went 5-1 with Deshaun Watson, they’ve gone just 2-3 with Dorian Thompson-Robinson and P.J. Walker. Watson was hardly exceptional for fantasy purposes, but he did produce 8 total touchdowns against 4 interceptions, while his two replacements have combined for just 2 touchdowns against 9 interceptions, a woeful mark that screams avoid at all costs! Thompson-Robinson is dealing with a concussion, and it appears that recently signed Joe Flacco may get the chance to start rather than Walker.

Now 38 years old, it’s hard to say that Flacco will be much of an upgrade. Over the last four seasons since leaving Baltimore – where the Ravens rallied to make a playoff run after he took a seat for rookie Lamar Jackson - stints with the Broncos and Jets saw Flacco’s teams win just three of his 17 starts. He tossed just 20 touchdowns in 20 total games during that time. There are six teams on bye this week, but even the Jets QB situation may be more appealing for fantasy football purposes than the Browns, if you’re absolutely backed against the wall.

CLE FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.30
CLE FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.21
CLE FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.31
CLE FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.32

No Brainers: N/A

Favorites: RB Kyren Williams

Enjoying a virtually impossible to sustain 3.9 yards before contact this season, Kyren Williams is likely to slow down in production over the coming weeks. The fact that he has 9 touchdowns in 7 games just furthers this point. Truth is, at 19 touches per game, he’s still a must start, even with some regression in sight. This week is no exception.

While the Browns defense has been elite, they are closest to vulnerable against the run (12th fewest points allowed to running backs). With Myles Garrett possibly missing this week’s game, the Browns front seven may be a bit overworked, making them seriously vulnerable. Expect the home team to try to get the upper hand in a grind-it-out battle, and that should mean a lot of work for Kyren Williams.

On the Fence: WR Cooper Kupp, WR Puka Nacua

After another virtually invisible performance by Kupp (3-18-0), it’s becoming fair to ask whether the repeatedly injuries have taken a serious toll on his ability to perform. Alarmingly, Kupp has not topped 4 receptions in his last five starts, and has an almost impossible to fathom 40% catch rate. This from a wide receiver who has had at least a 70% catch rate in each of the previous five seasons.

Playing the Browns doesn’t ease concerns, and I’d probably even recommend sitting Kupp until he shows he has something in the tank, if not for the fact that Denzel Ward has yet to practice this week after missing Week 12. Myles Garrett has also been missing practice due to a shoulder injury, so this may not be the Browns defense we’ve seen the rest of the year. How much Matthew Stafford is even going to throw this week is its own question, making Kupp absolutely in “proceed with caution” mode, despite his resume.

Meanwhile, Kupp’s stunt double Puka Nacua has been quiet of late, as well, but more consistent both in production and targets than Kupp. He’s had at least 7 targets and 3 receptions in each of the last four weeks, and had a 5-70-1 performance just two weeks ago. Still, he’s now had four performances with 43 or less receiving yards since Kupp came off the IR in Week 5, and after getting targeted at least 10 times in five of his team’s first seven games, he’s not been targeted more than 8 times since.

Nacua might be a better play than Kupp if Ward indeed sits out, as the thinner Brown’s secondary would presumably shift their secondary to focus attention on Kupp, but that is no guarantee, considering that Nacua has looked more alive than Kupp over the last month. This makes Nacua a somewhat high-risk play, as well.

Fade: TE Tyler Higbee

Tyler Higbee’s quiet season finally had a splash moment last week against the Cardinals, where he turned out a 5-29-2 line. Those 2 touchdowns were his first two of the season. It was Higbee’s first double-digit fantasy performance of the season, and just his third scoring at least 8 points. He’ll hope to maintain fantasy relevancy against the Browns this week.

In a Week 4 match up against Mark Andrews, the Browns defense gave up 80 yards and 2 touchdowns to the star tight end. For the entire rest of the season, they’ve given up just 147 yards and 1 touchdown to the position. More recently, Mark Andrews had just 2 catches for 44 yards against the Browns and two weeks ago – the week before a 100+ yard performance – Pat Freiermuth had just 1 reception for 7 yards against Cleveland.

All told, the Browns have given up the fewest points per game to tight ends in 2023 and Tyler Higbee’s Week 12 performance is likely anomalous. It’s a good fit for a sit.

Prediction: Rams 17, Browns 16 ^ Top

49ers @ Eagles - (Caron)
Line: SF -3.0
Total: 47.5

PHI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.2
PHI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.32
PHI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.1
PHI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.6

No Brainers: RB Christian McCaffrey

Favorites: WR Brandon Aiyuk

San Francisco’s top wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk has scored a touchdown and/or gone over 100 receiving yards in four straight games and now has the opportunity to face the NFL’s worst-performing secondary in Philadelphia. The Eagles have already conceded 17 receiving touchdowns to opposing wideouts and they’ve given up five 100-yard days. It’d be nice to see Aiyuk have more passes come his way than he has, but he’s been extraordinarily efficient with the opportunities he’s had and should be a good bet to finish with a strong performance in this game.

On the Fence: QB Brock Purdy, WR Deebo Samuel, TE George Kittle

49ers’ quarterback Brock Purdy does have a great matchup this week against a terrible Eagles defense, but fantasy managers have to be a bit concerned that their QBs has been held to exactly one touchdown in four of his past six games. He’s still been fine for fantasy in most games because he’s throwing for a good number of yards, but Christian McCaffrey remains the team’s go-to player near the goal line and they’ve been extremely effective with that strategy. Purdy isn’t a must-start, but he’s a fairly solid mid-to-low-end QB1 this week.

While Brandon Aiyuk seems to be delivering in almost every game, the other top pass catchers in the San Francisco offense, Deebo Samuel and George Kittle, seem to be having a tough time both delivering in the same game. They both have excellent matchups against an extremely weak Philadelphia defense, though, and with this potentially being a shootout, fantasy managers will probably want to take their chances on this pass-catching duo.

Fade: N/A

SF FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.29
SF FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.25
SF FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.14
SF FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.29

No Brainers: QB Jalen Hurts, WR A.J. Brown

Favorites: WR DeVonta Smith

We’ve seen a trend over the past few years that when Dallas Goedert is out, DeVonta Smith sees a significant uptick in usage and fantasy production. We’ve seen that play out over the past two weeks with the tight end being out and Smith delivering 13 receptions for 215 yards and a touchdown over that stretch. A.J. Brown is certainly still the top pass-catching weapon in the Eagles’ offense, and the 49ers’ defense isn’t a great matchup, but Smith is back into solid WR2 territory for fantasy purposes.

On the Fence: RB D’Andre Swift

D’Andre Swift was a stud RB1 to start the season, but things have cooled off for the former Detroit Lion over the past five weeks. Swift has scored just two touchdowns during that stretch and he hasn’t exceeded 80 rushing yards in any of the games, while also catching just 11 passes. He’s still been a fine RB2 most weeks, but his high-end production just hasn’t been there as the Eagles have been relying much more on their passing game along with Jalen Hurts scoring a ridiculous six rushing touchdowns over this five-game stretch.

Now Swift faces a 49ers defense that has given up the third-fewest fantasy points per game to opposing running backs this season, including the second-fewest total rushing yards. This isn’t a great matchup, but Swift is still a solid RB2.

Fade: N/A

Prediction: 49ers 30, Eagles 27 ^ Top

Chiefs @ Packers - (Green)
Line: KC -6.0
Total: 42.5

GB FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.25
GB FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.11
GB FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.23
GB FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.19

No Brainers: QB Patrick Mahomes, RB Isiah Pacheco, TE Travis Kelce

Favorites: WR Rashee Rice

For all their firepower, the Chiefs are an offense, at least in fantasy terms, built around the trio of Mahomes, Kelce, and Pacheco. Everyone else is interchangeable. That may be changing, though, with the emergence of Rice. The rookie broke the century mark for the first time in his young career last Sunday, turning eight receptions into 107 yards and a touchdown. He’s comfortably second behind Kelce in receiving for the season and is tied with the tight end with five touchdowns. Pencil in Rice as a high-end WR3.

On the Fence: WR Justin Watson

Thus far, things have not worked out for the young duo of Skyy Moore and Kadarius Toney, and it’s Watson that ranks third on the club in receiving. He’s been targeted 19 times over the last three games, and he has scored in back-to-back outings. The yardage numbers are suspect, but Watson absolutely looks like the most likely candidate to deliver as a flex candidate. In a week when six teams are on bye, owners may need to dig a little deeper, and that’s where Watson might offer some hope.

Fade: N/A

KC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.28
KC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.19
KC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.24
KC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.27

No Brainers: N/A

Favorites: RBs AJ Dillon (groin), Aaron Jones (knee)

As of now, both Jones and AJ Dillon (groin) are banged up, and neither one of them practiced on Wednesday. It seems like Dillon, who returned on Thursday, is a safe bet to play, which makes Jones the wild card. Arguably the team’s most explosive playmaker, Jones has appeared in just seven games this year due to injury, and he missed the Thanksgiving win over Detroit. The growth of Jordan Love gives Jones more upside if he returns for Week 13, as the young quarterback has been more effective in checking the ball down to his backs -- Dillon has 70 yards receiving over the last two games. If Jones is up, he’d be an RB3 with upside. If not, Dillon could assume that mantle.

On the Fence: QB Jordan Love

During his three years behind Aaron Rodgers, Love made one start. It came against the Chiefs and defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, who blitzed the Utah State product at every opportunity. The results: 190 yards passing, 1 TD, and 1 INT. Clearly, much has changed since then, and Love has thrown for 1,107 yards, 8 TDs, and 2 INTs over his last four games. Even if you put little stock in the 2021 meeting, the Chiefs are still arguably the toughest defense Love has faced. You can still slot Love in as a fringe QB1 option, but there’s downside here.

Fade: WR Christian Watson

Watson enjoyed his best game of the season on Thanksgiving, hauling in five passes for 94 yards and a touchdown. Fantasy owners that’ve been dying for the speedy wideout to show signs of life might be desperate to get him into their lineups. That may not be the best decision. Kansas City is fourth in the NFL in pass defense (176.6 yards/game), and Dontayvion Wicks, who led the Packers in receiving in Week 11, is set to return after missing last Thursday with a concussion. There’s still upside in Watson, as there is every week due to his size/speed combo, but he shouldn’t be viewed as anything more than a dicey No. 3 receiver for Week 13.

Prediction: Chiefs 27, Packers 23 ^ Top

Bengals @ Jaguars - (Hollis)
Line: JAX -9.5
Total: 39.5

JAC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.5
JAC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.18
JAC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.8
JAC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.12

No Brainers: WR Ja’Marr Chase

Favorites: None

It’s hard to trust anyone in this offense right now as the impact of Joe Burrow’s presence has become all too apparent. Even Chase isn’t a bona fide no brainer at present, although on a week in which so many players are on bye, he certainly is. The fact that Jake Browning completed over 73% of his passes last week is at least slightly encouraging, I suppose, but he only attempted 26 passes in the game- something that is likely to be repeated on Monday night. I would avoid all players connected the passing game sans Chase (more below).

On the Fence: RB Joe Mixon

Few RBs get the bulk of the carries the way Mixon does in Cincinnati, but in terms of snap share, he only got 65% last week, which was less than 16 other running backs. In theory, Burrow’s absence should lead to more dependence on the ground attack and thus better numbers for Mixon, but in reality, it means a stacked box that limits Mixon’s ability to be effective. His YPC and red zone opportunities will diminish with Browning under center, which is why he’s on the fence even as a primary ball carrier.

Fade: QB Jake Browning, All Pass Catchers not named Ja’Marr Chase

With Chase and Mixon accounting for over 55% of the receiving yards in Week 12, there’s just not much meat left on the bone for other pass catchers to feast on. Irv Smith has been disappointing this season and unless Tee Higgins returns this week, no other Bengal has been able to muster up more than 56 yards in a game sans Tyler Boyd in Week 10 in a shoot-out with the Texans. Some players are better left un-played after Elvis has left the building.

CIN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.9
CIN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.14
CIN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.16
CIN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.3

No Brainers: QB Trevor Lawrence, RB Travis Etienne, WR Calvin Ridley

Favorites: TE Evan Engram

Evan Engram has now gone eleven games this season without a touchdown. Last week, they were almost trying to force feed him the ball in the red zone to try to break that cycle. This week, the cycle will likely be broken given that only the Broncos give up more fantasy points to TEs than the Bengals do. Engram has been targeted 7 times or more in 9 of those 11 games this season. A break-out game simply has to be coming… and soon.

On the Fence: WR Christian Kirk

Kirk is a bona fide WR2 this week just based on the number of teams taking the week off, but there’s no denying that Calvin Ridley has become Trevor Lawrence’s preferred target in the red zone and on deeper throws. Kirk’s floor continues to be quite high for a WR as he is on pace for nearly 1,200 receiving yards this season and rarely has a “quiet” game. That said, he only has three touchdowns receiving all year in a high-powered offense and none since Week 7. He’s solid. He’s just not spectacular.

Fade: None

Trevor Lawrence has been on a tear the past two weeks, throwing for 626 yards and accounting for 6 TDs. It seems he’s finally found the stride most believed he’d find from the opening bell of the season on. Just as there are no favorites to be found on the Bengals’ sideline, I don’t see any Jaguar fades. There are six worthy starters factoring in kicker Brandon McManus.

Prediction: Jaguars 31, Bengals 13 ^ Top