For most leagues, this is the last week of the Fantasy Football regular season. You’re in one of three possible positions: You’re already in, maybe playing for a bye, you’re already out, or playing to make it in to the playoffs.
This week is do or die for those who need to win to get in. Every line-up decision could be the difference between surviving one more week, or calling it a season. My expert advice is go with your gut on tough decisions, and hope for the best. Don’t agonize, or second guess yourself when trying to decide between two equal players such as Jamison Crowder or Devante Parker. Just roll with your gut.
I use a A-F grading scale for each player. I do this because I think many player values are equal. In DFS, if two players have the same grade, go with the cheaper option.
“A” Players are expected to have big games. “B” players are must starts. “C” players are borderline starters. A “C+” means I would lean towards starting them, and a “C-” means I’d lean towards not starting them. “D” players are not recommended starters, and “F” players are not listed.
As it related to DFS; These numbers are based on FanDuel’s player pricing. Grades are based on FanDuels’s 1/2 point PPR scoring system. A= $8,000 plus, B= $6,500-$7,900, C= $5,500-$6,400, D= $4,600-$5,400, and F= $4,500. Keep in mind QBs prices are inflated by around $1,000, and TEs prices are deflated by around $1,000.
Week 13 Game Previews and Fantasy Predictions
Denver Broncos at Jacksonville Jaguars
The Broncos are coming off a brutal loss last week to the Chiefs. They now find themselves in a battle to get a Wild Card birth. They will not take it easy on a 2-9 Jaguars team. Blake Bortles against the Denver defense spells disaster for Jacksonville.
Devontae Booker needs to break out in this game. Booker has seen 24 carries in each of the last two games, yet he had less than 80 yards in both games. His YPC is only 3.7. He also has just two TDs on the season.
Devontae Booker B
Emmanuel Sanders B-
Demaryius Thomas C+
Kapri Bibbs (Q) C-
Chris Ivory C
Allen Robinson/Allen Hurns (Q)/Marqise Lee C-
Blake Bortles/Julius Thomas (Q)/T.J. Yeldon (Q) D+
Houston Texans at Green Bay Packers
The Packers offense finally got back on track last week in Philly. DaVante Adams has emerged as the clear-cut number two target for Aaron Rodgers. CB Jonathan Joseph will likely be on Jordy Nelson. That should mean ample targets for Adams and Randall Cobb.
The Texan’s offense seems to be getting worse. As bad as Green Bay’s secondary has been, I don’t think Brock Osweiler is good enough to take advantage of it. Osweiler threw three INTs and zero TDs in last week’s loss to San Diego. There are rumblings that Osweiler could get benched for back-up Tom Savage.
Lamar Miller B-
Deandre Hopkins C+
Will Fuller/C.J. Fiedorowicz C-
Aaron Rodgers A-
Jordy Nelson/DaVante Adams B
Randall Cobb C+
James Starks D+
Detroit Lions at New Orleans Saints (Offensive Game of the Week)
Drew Brees has quietly been the No. 1 Fantasy QB this year. The Saints have also gotten their running game going. They now have the top ranked offense in the NFL. This offense is virtually unstoppable at home.
The Lions have found many ways to win this season. They will have to score at least 30 on the arm of Matthew Stafford to outscore the Saints. This is a dream match-up for Fantasy owners of all players in this game.
Matthew Stafford A
Theo Riddick/Marvin Jones B
Golden Tate B-
Anquan Boldin C+
Eric Ebron C-
Drew Brees A
Mike Thomas B+
Mark Ingram B
Brandin Cooks/Willie Snead B-
Tim Hightower/Coby Fleener C
Los Angeles Rams at New England Patriots
I don’t think the Patriots are as good as most people think. They’ve had an amazingly easy schedule since Tom Brady’s return. They lost to Seattle, the only good team they’ve played. There are serious question marks on defense. The LB position is very weak after trading away Chandler Jones and Jamie Collins. Rob Gronkowski will be out for the year after back surgery. That’s a big blow to Brady’s value.
All that said, the Patriot’s cakewalk continues this week. The miserable Rams come to town after just getting blown off the field in New Orleans.
Todd Gurley C
Tavon Austin/Kenny Britt C-
Tom Brady A
Julian Edelman B-
LeGarrette Blount/Martellus Bennett (Q) C
James White/Dion Lewis C-
Kansas City Chiefs at Atlanta Falcons (Game of the Week)
This is big test for the Falcons. Atlanta’s offense has been great this year, and the Chiefs are as tough of a team as there is. Kansas City has forced the most turnovers in the NFL. Matt Ryan has only thrown six INTs all season. Marcus Peters versus Julio Jones will be a great individual match-up to watch.
The Chiefs offense has become more explosive the last few weeks. Tyreek Hill has come out of nowhere as a fifth round rookie to become a big play machine. Hill had a rushing, receiving, and return TD last week. Jeremy Maclin looks to return this week and that will only make this offense more dynamic.
Travis Kelce B
Tyreek Hill B-
Spencer Ware C+
Jeremy Maclin (Q)/Alex Smith C
Julio Jones B
Devonta Freeman B
Matt Ryan B-
Taylor Gabriel/Tevin Coleman C+
Philadelphia Eagles at Cincinnati Bengals
The Eagles have lost 4 of their last 5 games, but they have played a very rough schedule. They have a decent chance to get a win in Cincinnati versus a depleted Bengals team. Ryan Mathews and Jordan Matthews are both questionable. Whether they play or not is very important. The Eagles lack depth at the skill player positions.
With A.J. Green and Giovani Bernard out, Tyler Eifert, Tyler Boyd, and Jeremy Hill all saw more targets in the passing game last week. That trend should continue.
Ryan Mathews (Q)/Darren Sproles C+
Jordan Matthews (Q)/Zach Ertz C
Carson Wentz/Wendell Smallwood D
Tyler Eifert B
Jeremy Hill/Tyler Boyd C+
Miami Dolphins at Baltimore Ravens
This is a good game between two evenly matched teams. There are major playoff implications, as Baltimore is fighting with Pittsburgh for the AFC North, and the Dolphins are tied with Denver for the last Wild Card spot.
There’s not much Fantasy value in this game. Jay Ajayi has come back down to earth due to injuries on the Dolphin’s O-line and he’s a risky start versus the Raven’s No. 1 run defense.
The Ravens don’t offer much either. Mike Wallace and Steve Smith have been very inconsistent. Terrance West and Kenneth Dixon are splitting carries evenly on a team that struggles in the running game.
Devante Parker (Q)/Jarvis Landry C+
Jay Ajayi C
Ryan Tannehill/Kenny Stills D+
Mike Wallace/Steve Smith C
Joe Flacco/Terrance West/Kenneth Dixon C-
San Francisco 49ers at Chicago Bears (Worst Game of the Week)
This game is pretty much a battle for the No. 2 pick in the 2017 draft. The Bears will have to lose if they want a shot at it. Anything can happen in a game between 1-10 and 2-9 teams. It’s hard to trust any Fantasy players in this game.
Colin Kaepernick has been quite productive, but he still doesn’t crack the Top 12 QBS. Matt Barkley’s big game last week seemed a little fluky, but he should get another start with Jay Cutler likely out again.
Colin Kaepernick C+
Carlos Hyde C
Torrey Smith/Vance McDonald D+
Jordan Howard C+
Matt Barkley/Marquess Wilson C-
Buffalo Bills at Oakland Raiders
The Raiders have played with fire many times this year, but they currently sit atop the AFC at 9-2. The Bills are still in the Wild Card hunt at 6-5. They will play the Raiders tough. The Bills have the top ranked run offense, and the last ranked passing offense. The return of Sammy Watkins should give their passing game a boost. Watkins had three catches for 80 yards in his first game back from injury last week.
LeSean McCoy B+
Sammy Watkins B-
Tyrod Taylor C+
Robert Woods (Q) C-
Amari Cooper B+
Derek Carr B
Latavius Murray/Michael Crabtree (Q) C+
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at San Diego Chargers
These might be the two most underrated teams in the league right now. Three weeks ago I had written off the Bucs, but they turned their season around with back-to-back upset wins against Kansas City and Seattle. Their defense is playing much better than earlier in the season, and Doug Martin is back to full strength.
The Chargers have won 4 of their last 6 games, beating quality teams in Denver, Atlanta, Tennessee, and Houston. Every game they play seems to be close. Both of these teams are better on offense than defense.
Mike Evans A
Doug Martin B
Jameis Winston B
Cameron Brate C
Philip Rivers B
Melvin Gordon B
Tyrell Williams (Q) C+
Hunter Henry/Dontrelle Inman C-
Travis Benjamin/Antonio Gates D+
New York Giants at Pittsburgh Steelers
The Giant’s six game winning streak is in jeopardy heading into Pittsburgh this week. Five of those six wins have come against teams with losing records. Two of the top QB/WR duos in Eli Manning/Odell Beckham and Ben Rothlisberger/Antonio Brown will face off.
The Steelers have a much better running attack with LeVeon Bell, and the Giants have a slightly better defense. Pittsburgh plays much better at home, and Vegas has them as a six point favorite.
Odell Beckham A+
Eli Manning B+
Sterling Shepard/Rashad Jennings C
Shane Vereen (Q)/Victor Cruz C-
Antonio Brown A+
LeVeon Bell A
Ben Roethlisberger B+
Ladarius Green/Eli Rogers D+
Washington Redskins at Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals have been a huge disappointment this season. After losing badly to Atlanta last week, their season is officially over. The play of Carson Palmer and the offensive line have been terrible. David Johnson is still having a monster season, and Larry Fitzgerald is on pace for a 113 receptions and 1,200 yards at age 33.
Kirk Cousins and the Redskins offense is on fire. They are the No. 2 offense in the league. They have three good WRs, and two great TEs. They’re also running the ball pretty well with Robert Kelley.
Kirk Cousins B
Jordan Reed (Q) B
Jamison Crowder/Robert Kelley C+
DeSean Jackson/Pierre Garcon/Vernon Davis C
David Johnson A
Larry Fitzgerald B
Carson Palmer C
Michael Floyd/John Brown/J.J. Nelson D+
Carolina Panthers at Seattle Seahawks (Defensive Game of the Week)
Just when you thought you could trust the Seahawk’s offense again, they go out and score five points against Tampa Bay last week. Russell Wilson had 150 yards passing and twoINTs, and Thomas Rawls had 38 yards in a game many thought he was set to break out. It will be difficult to trust either of those players in such an important week.
The Panther’s defense had played really well the last month before getting torched by the Raiders last week. The Raiders have torched every defense they’ve played though. I think this game is all defense. I wouldn’t feel great about having to start Cam Newton or Russell Wilson in this game.
Greg Olsen B-
Jonathan Stewart C+
Cam Newton C
Kelvin Benjamin (Q) C-
Doug Baldwin B-
Russell Wilson/Jimmy Graham (Q) C+
Thomas Rawls C
Indianapolis Colts at New York Jets
I guess before the season this looked like it would be a good Monday Night game. The Jets are playing pride alone now. The Colts still have some hope to win the awful AFC South. Andrew Luck appears to be ready to play coming off a concussion.
Luck should be able to take advantage of a suspect Jet’s secondary. The Jets should also put up some points against a terrible Colt’s defense. Matt Forte, Brandon Marshall, and Quincy Enunwa are all good starts this week.
Andrew Luck A-
T.Y. Hilton B+
Donte Moncrief B-
Frank Gore/Jack Doyle C
Matt Forte/Brandon Marshall B-
Quincy Enunwa C+
Ryan Fitzpatrick C-
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