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Week 13 Start-Sit: Bouncing Back With Contrarian Plays

Week 13 Start-Sit
Photo Credit: Keith Allison

Coming off of my first sub-.500 week of the season, I need to bounce back in a big way. So as I tackled my Week 13 Start-Sit picks, I am looking the contrarian route.

If you think about a player “bouncing back” in general it is a contrarian way to think. If he had a good scoring week one week then logically the next should be good as well.

Obviously there are a large amount of other factors, but in general an object in motion one way will stay that way. As we know with Fantasy Sports this is rarely the case. We have to see when a player will slide out of a slump or fall off from a hot streak.

So that is what I am focusing on with the Week 13 Start-Sit predictions. I am trying to find the guys that I think will break out of a funk while in turn sitting the players whose hot streaks seem like they are about to run out.

Luck was not on my side last week as one of my “Starts” (Devonta Freeman) did not even play, while two others (Paxton Lynch and Greg Olsen) had their days cut short by injury which  also affected another play (Emmanuel Sanders). I am not complaining or making excuses, just trying to figure out a way to bounce back.

As always I am keeping track of my predictions. Going into the Week 13 Start-Sit picks I am 122-74-5 with 82 major wins. Just a reminder, a “win” is correctly picking a start that out-performs his rankings and under-performs as a sit. A “loss” is the opposite happening. A major win is when a guy over- or under-performs by 12 or more spots.

So let’s get to the Week 13 Start-Sit plays. For our Week 13 Start-Sit projections, I am going to focus on guys ranked outside of the Top-24 RB/WRs and Top-10 QB/TEs for my Starts. I will focus on guys inside the Top-20 RB/WRs and Top-8 QB/TEs for my Sits.

Week 13 Start-Sit

(All rankings based off of the Fantasy Pros consensus PPR rankings as of 11/30)

Start

Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, San Francisco 49ers at Chicago Bears (QB23)

Mitch Trubisky, QB, Chicago Bears vs. San Francisco 49ers (QB28)

I like both of the young signal callers against each other this week in a game that nobody wants to win. While the Vegas Over/Under is on the lower side of the slate this week (41 points), I feel like the level of defense played in this game will be somewhere between piss-poor and appalling. The 49ers are giving up more Fantasy Points to opposing quarterbacks than any other team in the league. The Bears started the year strongly on defense but have given up almost 550 yards the past two weeks with multiple touchdown passes in both games.

Adrian Peterson, RB, Arizona Cardinals vs. Los Angeles Rams (RB26)

This is definitely a contrarian play as the Rams shut Peterson down for just 21 rushing yards in their first meeting. With that said, Los Angeles has given up the third-most rushing yards and second most total touchdowns to opposing running backs. With Andre Ellington out of the mix, Peterson saw his work in the passing game increase significantly with a season-high four catches. Combine that with the 21.5 carries he has gotten in his time with Arizona and AP is a strong RB1 for the Week 13 Start-Sit predictions.

Orleans Darkwa, RB, New York Giants at Oakland Raiders (RB30)

After six straight games of solid to decent scoring, Darkwa fell off his streak last Thursday with a 4.9-Point stinker in a seemingly good match-up with Washington. Wayne Gallman was much more involved in the passing games and cut into Darkwa’s overall statistics. He is a perfect candidate to bounce back though, because, I mean, have you heard that Eli Manning got benched? I’m guessing we will end up seeing both Geno Smith and Davis Webb this week, meaning that New York will force-feed Darkwa to keep the raw signal callers from having to make too many decisions.

Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans vs. Houston Texans (RB39)

Once again, I know, Henry and the entire Titans’ offense was not good the last time they played the Texans as he had just seven yards on six carries. The running backs combined had just 41 rushing yards on 14 carries in their first meeting. But here’s a fun fact: in the last six Tennessee games, DeMarco Murray has just two more carries than Henry. Murray tends to fade late in the year and I think Henry will firmly take the job this weekend.

 

Corey Coleman, WR, Cleveland Browns at Los Angeles Chargers (WR35)

I am still riding the Coleman-Train even with the return of Josh Gordon. The attention will be on Gordon while Coleman continues hoarding the targets. Fun Fact #2 of the Week 13 Start-Sit: only three receivers have at least 9.4 PPR Points in every game that they have started and finished this year. Those three are DeAndre Hopkins, Mike Evans and… Corey Coleman.

Zay Jones, WR, Buffalo Bills vs. New England Patriots (WR50)

Outside of the stupid Nathan Peterman start, Jones has at least 10.8 PPR points in his last three games. With no Kelvin Benjamin again, and facing the Patriots’ defense that has given up the second-most points to opposing wider receivers this season, I just do not see why Jones would be ranked this low. He is DEFINITELY in the Flex conversation and will probably inch closer to the WR2 territory.

Cameron Brate, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Green Bay Packers

With Jameis Winston coming back, I think Brate bounces back as well. He had at least 10 PPR points in six straight games before Winston initially was injured and I think that streak will carry over.

 

 

Sit

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Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks vs. Philadelphia Eagles (QB2)

Carson Wentz, QB, Philadelphia Eagles at Seattle Seahawks (QB3)

On the other end of the spectrum, I am playing contrarian against two of the MVP favorites this season. Shockingly, this game has the highest Vegas Over/Under (48 points). Without the majority of the Legion of Boom, the Seattle secondary is decimated. However, they have been hurting there most of the season. Yet, at home they have given up just 36.9 total Fantasy Points total in the four games they have played against someone not named Deshaun Watson. That list of quarterbacks includes both Kirk Cousins and Matt Ryan.

Both teams will want to slow the game down: they don’t want to give the opposing quarterback too many opportunities and they want to limit their own mistakes. This will be a grind-it-out, low-scoring affair which nether QB will live up to his lofty ranking.

Jamaal Williams, RB, Green Bay Packers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (RB10)

Williams exploded last week scoring the second most points of any back. He has at least 18 carries in three straight games and at least four catches in the last two contests. However this week the Packers’ backfield will be crowded with Aaron Jones returning. While Jones won’t take over the starting role, he will at least steal a significant amount of touches. Combine that with already sharing passing game duties with Ty Montgomery and Williams is a fringe RB2 this week.

Rex Burkhead, RB, New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills (RB16)

Just when you think you might have the Patriots’ backfield figured out, be ready for a different back to bounce back and be the lead horse for the week. Burkhead has scored 15 or more PPR Points in three of the last four weeks. He received the majority of the goal line touches last week and had a season high for carries. So why would I go against him this week against a leaky Bills defense? Because with Bill Belichick you have to always play the contrarian side of things. He will never do what you are expecting of him.

Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons vs. Minnesota Vikings (WR2)

The last three times that Julio had at least 149 yards receiving, he failed to crack even 67 yards the next game. In fact, his average stat line in those games is just three catches for 41 yards with just one score over those three outings. While you are probably not going to bench him, I am staying away in all DFS.

Alshon Jeffery, WR, Philadelphia Eagles at Seattle Seahawks (WR13)

Jeffery has scored in four straight games. I have already said I think that this game will be low-scoring, so if Jeffery does not score, he will not be start-able.

 

Evan Engram, TE, New York Giants at Oakland Raiders (TE6)

In Geno Smith’s two years of starting with the Jets, no tight end cracked the 400-yard mark. Coming from a college offense that did not use the tight end either, Smith is just not a quarterback that can utilize the position effectively. If he cannot get a single tight end to average 25 yards per game, then I do not want to start one that he is throwing the ball to.


That’s it for the Week 13 Start-Sit predictions! If you have any other questions, shoot them to me on Twitter @Tomlin3 !

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Michael Tomlin
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Michael Tomlin

Michael Tomlin is an ESPY-nominated, former college football player who stays associated with the game through Fantasy Sports. He has been writing his personal blog, Dirkland.blogspot.com, for three years and it focuses on Fantasy Sports, as well as handicapping. He was born and raised in the DFW Metroplex, and he follows all of the Dallas teams, along with Texas Tech athletics and Manchester City F.C.
Michael Tomlin
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