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Start ’em/Sit ’em Week 13

Our fantasy writers look to give you their opinions on who to start and sit as owners scramble to set their lineups in crunch time. Below are their picks for week 13. Best of luck to all the Fantasy owners out there as the season winds down!

Starters This Week

Quarterback: Philip Rivers (Los Angeles Chargers) – The way Rivers is playing, and the amount the Chargers have been throwing the ball a ton. Rivers is coming off a long week after a Thursday game where he threw for over 400 yards and 3 touchdowns. Rivers has thrown the ball 30+ times over the last three weeks and seems to be getting better as the season goes on. Keenan Allen has been the main beneficiary of these attempts and has become the go-to target for Rivers allowing other receivers to stretch the field effectively. This week the Chargers draw a plus matchup against the Cleveland Browns who have struggled all season defensively. Rivers should be in all lineups this week. (Brett)

Running Back: Alex Collins (Baltimore Ravens) –  On a team that has very little fantasy production on offense, Alex Collins has been the most consistent option on the Ravens this season. As a solid flex option all season, Collins has only seen his role in Baltimore increase throughout the year. Through the last four contests, Collins has received 14 or more touches including a season-high 24 against the Packers. While his YPC average has dropped despite the added touches, Collins touchdown numbers have gone up as he has scored in each of the last two games. This week is a Lions defense that allowed 84 yards and a touchdown to Latavius Murray. The Detroit defense has struggled to stop the run all season and this week should be no different, Collins is a rock-solid RB2 this week. (Brett)

Wide Receiver:  Cooper Kupp (Los Angeles Rams)-  After watching the game this past week, it was clear that Cooper Kupp is the favorite target of quarterback Jared Goff. With Robert Woods out, Kupp had 8 receptions for 116 yards on 11 targets. It looks as though Kupp is in for another big week against the Arizona Cardinals as Robert Woods is once again unlikely to suit up. It seems unlikely that the Cardinals would task Peterson of shadowing a receiver like Kupp having vertical threat Sammy Watkins on the outside. Kupp is in the WR2/Flex territory this week but is a good start considering the high-floor he seems to have. (Brett)

Tight End: Jared Cook (Oakland Raiders) –  Cook has struggled as of late, but with the injury of Amari Cooper and the suspension of Michael Crabtree, QB Derek Carr will look to rely upon his TE this week.  Cook is coming off of a game in which he only had one reception for two yards but had a near toe-tapping TD.  I expect his reception total to be at least in the 5-8 range and he will even have the potential to score a touchdown for only the second time this season. (Nick)

Defense/Special Teams: Los Angeles Chargers – The Chargers are one of the hottest teams in the NFL and a large part of that success is due to their defense/special teams. Their opponent for this week is the winless Cleveland Browns. The Chargers have utilized their improving defense/special teams to score at least once in their previous two games. Don’t be surprised if that trend continues this week. (Nick)

Sits This Week

Quarterback: Matthew Stafford (Detroit Lions) – Stafford has numerous weapons at his arsenal, most notably Golden Tate and Marvin Jones Jr. With that said, Stafford has a tough road matchup against the Baltimore Ravens. Stafford is a consistent fantasy player, but there might be better options out there such as Jets QB Josh McCown. (Nick)

Running Back: Kareem Hunt (Kansas City Chiefs) – Unfortunately, both the Chiefs and Hunt have cooled down dramatically in terms of production. In his last 4 games, Hunt has been awful in terms of fantasy production making owners question what to do with the player that seemed to fill the RB1 role on fantasy rosters. While it is extremely difficult to do (being a Kareem Hunt owner myself), it is time to bench Kareem Hunt. The Chiefs are not passing or running effectively and as a result, they are not winning games. After a season-low twelve touches last week against the Bills, it seems as though Kareem Hunt has taken the biggest hit from the lack of production of the offense. (Brett)

Wide Receiver: Josh Gordon (Cleveland Browns) – Josh Gordon is expected to make his first NFL appearance since 2014. He is a talented receiver, but there is definitely a major concern in regards to his game shape and his chemistry amongst his team and his QB. Simply put, Gordon is too much of a risk to depend upon this week and should stay on your bench. (Nick)

Tight End: Austin Hooper (Atlanta Falcons) – Hooper’s performance has been extremely inconsistent this season. Factor that in with this week’s matchup against the Minnesota Vikings, one of the league’s top defenses and Hooper is a tough play to trust. With that taken into consideration, the TE position is weak in terms of consistency and dependability, so Hooper could be a starting TE this week because of that. Fantasy owners simply might not have a better option to add via free agency. (Nick)

Defense/Special Teams:  Seattle Seahawks-  Seeing a defense/special teams like the Seattle Seahawks on this portion of the list is uncommon. Year in and year out, they are one of the best in the league on the defensive side of the ball.  With that said, they are going against the team with the league’s best record in the Philadelphia Eagles. Eagles QB Carson Wentz has arguably been the best QB this season and the front-runner for MVP. The chemistry between Wentz and his TE Zach Ertz has been a lethal combination this season. Add in a receiving threat like Alshon Jeffery who has 5 TDs in the last 4 games (and just signed a 4-year extension yesterday), on top of a strong running game…I would look elsewhere for a defense/special teams this week, even with the Seahawks having the home crowd on their side. (Nick)

 

Authors: Nick Eberhardt and Brett Santos

 

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