It's Week 13 which means this is most likely your final week to cement that all-important playoff spot! If this is a must-win week for you and your fantasy team, Shane and Matt have got you covered with those crucial start/sit decisions. @FFShaneB gives you his weekly starts and @MattFFDynasty gives you the players you shouldn't be relying on to grab that final playoff spot.
Teams on their bye week:
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Start Of The Week
Kirk Cousins (MIN) Vs JAX
Cousins has been on a hot streak lately and playing very well. He also has a fantastic matchup with the Jaguars who have holes everywhere in their defense. They have taken the term rebuild to a new level. Cousins should continue his hot streak this week and is a smash start. He was also available on the waivers in a lot of leagues, so he is a great streaming option this week.
Mitchell Trubisky (CHI) Vs DET
I promise I am not crazy. Trubisky has been the better QB for the bears. They have scored 25 points per game as a team with Trubisky at the helm. Trubisky also has his best games against...you guessed it, Detroit. Their defense is not very good this year and I expect a good game out of Trubisky.
Derek Carr (LV) @ NYJ
I know this one hurts, especially after the last week. I have no idea why Carr played so bad last week. But this week he can’t screw it up. The Jets are the worst team in the NFL and are clearly #TankingforTrevor. They need to lose this game. And I think Carr and the Raiders bounce back.
Sit Of The Week
Matt Ryan (ATL) Vs NO
Matt Ryan has had a somewhat up and down season, and last week was another poor showing where he finished as the QB17, admittedly due to the fact that the Falcons were in control against the Raiders for most of the game. This week I'm expecting another poor performance from Ryan but for a different reason. The Saints have been one of the better defenses in the NFL this year and Ryan had one of his worst games of the season against them just a few weeks ago in Week 11, scoring just 7.28 points after throwing for only 232 yards and 2 INTs. That, coupled with the fact that star WR Julio Jones is trending towards not playing, makes Ryan an easy sit for me this week.
Carson Wentz (PHI) @ GB
Wentz's struggles have been well documented this season, yet he is still the QB12 and put together a couple of 'OK' performances in recent weeks. However, he faces the Packers this week who are the 5th best defense against opposing QBs and allowing only 17.4 FPPG on average. With the Eagles struggling to protect Wentz in the pocket this season, the Packers will look to put the pressure on him early, so I expect a long evening for Wentz coming up.
Justin Herbert (LAC) Vs NE
Herbert has exceeded all expectations in his rookie season and is the favorite for the 'OROY' award, yet he had his first real wobble last week against the Bills (you know he's playing well when a 316 yard, 1 TD, 1 INT day is a 'wobble'). This week he gets the tough Patriots defense and I expect the Patriots to slow this Chargers offense down as much as possible by running down the clock on offense (currently rank 21st in offensive pace of play). I'd temper expectations on Herbert this week.
Start Of The Week
Nick Chubb (CLE) @ TEN
Chubb has been playing like a man possessed since he came back from injury. He is proving that he is one of the best RBs in the league. And Tennessee is not great against RBs. So I expect Chubb to keep his hot streak alive. This game also has important playoff implications, so they will want to control the ball as much as possible.
James Robinson (JAX) @ MIN
James Robinson is a start this week because I have benched him for two weeks in a row and he does not deserve this. He also has a MUCH better matchup this week than those previous two. I think he will also continue his hot streak against a bad Minnesota run defense.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire (KC) Vs DEN
Last time I put Clyde in here he scored two touchdowns. As a Clyde truther I would greatly appreciate the same outcome. Latavius Murray scored 2 TDs against this very same Denver defense that CEH is playing against. I believe CEH will have a “bounce back” game this week. I do not think last week’s game was anything more than the Chiefs were throwing at will against the Bucs, which I stated on the Fantasy Nightcap podcast. Start CEH with confidence this week.
Sit Of The Week
Kenyan Drake (ARI) Vs LAR
Drake has put up some impressive performances since coming back from the injury that forced him to miss Week 9, but he will struggle to keep that up this week. The Cardinals play the L.A Rams who are the 6th best defense against opposing RBs, so this matchup would be difficult enough, but he's also splitting work with Chase Edmonds which is capping his ceiling each week. I expect an early-season Kenyan Drake performance this week rather than what he's been able to produce the last few weeks.
Ezekiel Elliott (DAL) @ BAL
My oh my, how the mighty have fallen! Ezekiel Elliott has looked a shell of himself this season. Is that due to Dak's injury early in the season? Possibly. The Cowboys depleted O-Line hasn't been a help either, but Elliott is making plenty of mistakes himself. Now he gets a tough Ravens run defense and fellow RB Tony Pollard is becoming more involved each week, having arguably looked the better RB in flashes this season. You likely can't sit 'Zeke' as you will have drafted him as your RB1, but this isn't the week to expect a return to form for 'Zeke'
Todd Gurley (ATL) Vs NO
Gurley missed Week 12 due to injury, yet he's expected back this week and owners may be looking forward to playing him this week as he's currently the RB14, but with the Saints coming to town, I wouldn't rush putting him back in your lineups. The Saints are THE best defense against opposing RBs, allowing only 14.5 FPPG on average. He's been saving his season with TDs (9 rushing TDs) and with that in mind, and therefore the low floor he has, it's a high risk playing him this week.
Start Of The Week
Darius Slayton (NYG) @ SEA
Slayton has been a roller coaster this year. And not a fun one. However, I believe he will have a good week considering the Seahawks have THE WORST secondary in the league when it comes to fantasy production. The only concern I have with this is who is going to play quarterback, but Colt McCoy could rely heavily on Slayton.
Justin Jefferson (MIN) Vs JAX
This guy is a must-start in all leagues at this point. I mention him here though because he had 2 TDs last week and has a much better matchup this week. Thielen might be back from COVID list, but that would mean he would get the Jags #1 corner leaving Jefferson to do his damage elsewhere.
Jarvin Landry (CLE) @ TEN
Landry was probably in the dog house with a lot of you until last week and possibly even last week because he was probably on your bench. START HIM THIS WEEK. The 3 weeks prior to last week the Browns were basically playing in a mini hurricane. Rain and wind everywhere, making it very difficult to throw the ball. Last week they play in Jacksonville and he goes off. I think he is worthy of a start this week against Tennessee at Tennessee.
Sit Of The Week
Stefon Diggs (BUF) @ SF
This selection has the potential to leave me looking rather stupid, but I'm tempering expectations on Diggs this week. He may be the WR5 this season and QB Josh Allen's favorite target, but get's the tough 49ers defense this week and a likely tough matchup against 'future HOF' CB Richard Sherman. The 49ers kept QB Jared Goff quiet last week (198 yards, 2 INTs) so the Bills know they are going to be in for a tough matchup this week, so I think this will be one of Diggs' quieter weeks, but you likely aren't sitting him.
Amari Cooper (DAL) @ BAL
Cooper is one of the few Cowboys skill position players that hasn't seen a big dip in form since the Dak Prescott injury, yet a trip to Baltimore isn't ideal if your playoff hopes rely on a strong performance by Cooper. They are a Top 5 defense against opposing WRs and will look to put pressure on QB Andy Dalton early in this one. I'm expecting this game to be a slow, low scoring affair so all skill positions, for both teams, take a knock for me this week.