Week 13 Starts and Sits
December 4, 2015 | Chet
The Week 13 Starts and Sits video below kicks off with a review of last week’s picks. It’s not particularly pretty. Matthew Stafford and Sammy Watkins as sits, for example, were colossal misses. If you benched either player on my recommendation, I apologize, but bad calls are an inherent part of a variance-based game. No one has all the right answers in fake football.
I apply these start/sit calls to my own leagues. When they succeed or fail, I succeed or fail with them alongside any readers who took the advice. It’s important to hone the skills and develop the tools that allow us to make the best decisions as often as possible. Trust no one. Never take fantasy advice from a single source as gospel. Ultimately, you are the manager of your teams, so become your own expert.
My goal with this series is to point out factors that can influence our evaluations of players or match-ups, then show how I apply those factors to relative rankings. I can recommend any group of players for you to start or sit, but player-specific recommendations are useless if those guys are owned by other managers in your league.
That’s why the Game Flowbotics page is presented alongside all of the videos and picks. Dive into it, look at the stats for the players and match-ups that matter to your teams, and make your own start/sit calls. You may make some mistakes, but as you’ll see in the weekly reviews of previous picks, “experts” like me make mistakes too. By making and living with these decisions on your own, you’ll learn a lot more than by leaning on equally fallible analysts to make choices for you.
Here are the tools and picks for Week 13:
- Jay Cutler vs. SF: San Francisco’s pass rush and overall pass defense stink. Cutler should have no trouble piling up points in this match-up.
- Ryan Fitzpatrick @ NYG: The Giants allow the 4th-most fantasy points per game to QBs and the 3rd-most fantasy points per game based on combined offense.
- Ryan Tannehill vs. BAL: I won’t buy into the new-new-coach narrative for Miami, but I will buy into this match-up against Baltimore’s 26th-ranked passing defense.
- Alex Smith @ OAK: Smith has a nice match-up and one of the safest floors in the fantasy QB business.
- Matt Hasselbeck @ PIT: It is much easier to pass against Pittsburgh than to run and the Steelers allow the 9th-most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks.
- Charcandrick West @ OAK: Reports are West will split time with Spencer Ware moving forward, but the bulk of the work should still go to West, especially when accounting for two-minute offense and passing packages.
- David Johnson @ STL: Ah, the glorious payoff for overly patient handcuffers! David Johnson finally has the Arizona backfield to himself. Don’t let the St. Louis defense scare you off of using him. The Rams haven’t been as formidable in recent weeks with Robert Quinn battling injuries and missing games.
- C.J. Anderson @ SD: It took 12 weeks, but Anderson is starting to look like the top-20 fantasy back we wanted him to be in the preseason. His early-season turf toe injury is partially to blame for the glacially slow start, but with fake football seasons on the line in Week 13, let bygones be bygones and fire up Anderson against the woeful Chargers run defense.
- Shaun Draughn @ CHI: Involvement in the passing game keeps Draughn relevant when the Niners fall behind and despite their overall improvement, Chicago still ranks 31st against the run by DVOA.
- Jeremy Langford vs. SF: For your consideration in deeper leagues, Langford has shown enough to merit continued usage and fantasy value alongside Matt Forte. Even earlier in the season, Langford was vulturing goal line TDs from Forte ala Karlos Williams and LeSean McCoy.
- Ameer Abdullah vs. GB: A deep-league call for TNF that worked out reasonably well based on my RB32 ranking of Abdullah. The Lions are looking ahead and the long view isn’t bright for Joique Bell.
- Danny Amendola vs. PHI: He could really shine in Gronk’s absence. Expect big volume, assuming he can stay on the field.
- Donte Moncrief @ PIT: See Matt Hasselbeck above.
- Anquan Boldin @ CHI: Somehow, someway, it was fantasy punchline Blaine Gabbert who saved Anquan Boldin’s fantasy value in 2015. I don’t understand it, but I’m cool with it. Boldin should see plengy of target volume against the heavily favored Bears.
- Kamar Aiken @ MIA: He proved he can be relevant with Matt Schaub under center last week and this week he faces Miami’s 27th-ranked pass defense that is worst in the NFL against #1 wide receivers.
- Kendall Wright vs. JAC: It’s hard not to like Tennessee’s receiving options against Jacksonville’s 30th-ranked pass defense.
- DeVante Parker vs. BAL: See Ryan Tannehill above. Rishard Matthews’ injury has presented the opportunity for Parker we’ve been waiting for.
- Ted Ginn Jr. @ NO: Purely a match-up play. The Saints can’t defend anyone.
- Delanie Walker vs. JAC: See Kendall Wright above.
- Julius Thomas @ TEN: He should continue to see high volume with Allen Hurns out. Meanwhile, the Titans allow the 9th-most fantasy points per game and rank 24th in DVOA against tight ends.
- Eric Ebron vs. GB: A pre-TNF call that panned out. I liked Ebron based on his usage in Detroit’s previous match-up vs. Green Bay and the Pack’s general susceptibility to tight ends.
- Cameron Brate vs. ATL: The Falcons allow the 3rd-most passes per game to tight ends and Brate has at least 47 yards and a TD in two straight games, so give him a look if you’re streaming a replacement for Gronk or Graham.
- Drew Brees vs. CAR: The Panthers’ defense is simply too good.
- Tyrod Taylor vs. HOU: It will be difficult to trust any offensive options against the revitalized Houston defense. They rank 6th against the pass by DVOA.
- Philip Rivers vs. DEN: The Broncos are best in the league against the pass. Get away from Rivers and get into the stream this week.
- Brian Hoyer @ BUF: Thanks to their improved defense, the days of the Texans passing 45 times per game are probably over, making Hoyer much less appealing in 2-QB formats.
- Teddy Bridgewater vs. SEA: Teddy should struggle against the still impressive Seattle defense. The Seahawks are particularly adept at snuffing out offenses that rely on one or two key receivers.
- Frank Gore @ PIT: See Matt Hasselbeck above. The Steelers have the 9th-ranked run defense by DVOA and Gore may not be 100% healthy for this game.
- Antonio Andrews vs. JAC: The combination of more potential work for David Cobb and the Jags’ #4 rushing defense make Andrews a very risky play.
- Matt Jones vs. DAL: His continuing struggles with fumbles are a legitimate problem at this point. Alfred Morris has taken back the upper hand in this committee.
- Rashad Jennings vs. NYJ: The Jets still have the best rushing defense in the league, which should entail more usage for Shane Vereen and less for Jennings this week.
- Joique Bell vs. GB: See Ameer Abdullah above.
- C.J. Spiller vs. CAR: See Drew Brees above. Carolina ranks 9th in DVOA against running backs as receivers.
- Stevie Johnson vs. DEN: See Philip Rivers above. The Broncos rank 3rd in DVOA against #1 wide receivers (and 4th against #2 wide receivers if you want to nitpick Stevie’s role in the San Diego offense).
- Travis Benjamin vs. CIN: The Bengals kept Benjamin in check the last time they played and the untrustworthy Austin Davis is his quarterback. Garbage time production is possible, but don’t count on it.
- Stefon Diggs vs. SEA: See Teddy Bridgewater above. The Seahawks allow the 2nd-lowest number of yards per game and rank 2nd in DVOA against #1 wide receivers.
- Willie Snead vs. CAR: See Drew Brees above. By DVOA, Carolina ranks 1st against #1 wide receivers, 7th against #2 wide receivers, and 5th against other wide receivers.
- Jamison Crowder vs. DAL: DeSean Jackson getting healthy has relegated Crowder back to obscurity.
- Terrance Williams @ WAS: The Cowboys’ Cassel has a dungeon in which he holds the fantasy value of all his receivers.
- Chris Givens @ MIA: Unlike Kamar Aiken above, Givens has not yet shown he can be usable with Schaub at quarterback.
- Charles Clay vs. HOU: See Teddy Bridgewater above. The Texans rank 5th in DVOA against tight ends.
- Jason Witten @ WAS: See Terrance Williams above.
- Coby Fleener @ PIT: He hasn’t been as involved in the Indy offense with Hasselbeck at the helm.
- Luke Willson @ MIN: He’s not a direct corollary to Jimmy Graham. The floor with Willson is frighteningly low.
Thanks for reading/watching and good luck this week.