NFL’s Week 13 is the most crucial week of the season for most, if not all.
To some NFL fans, Week 13 of the regular season is just another week. But, to those that partake in fantasy football, Week 13 is everything.
For some, it’s the last chance to get a win and some help to make it into the playoffs. For others, it’s securing a top seed and a possible first-round bye. Regardless of where you might be at going into this week, here are some tips for your lineups by position.
Top-10 Lock: Ryan Tannehill vs Cleveland
Tannehill has been the ninth-best quarterback this season in PPR formats mostly due to his consistency this season. He has yet to score below double digits this season and has been a top-10 quarterback in five of the 11 weeks he’s played this season – including the last two weeks against tough opponents in Baltimore and Indianapolis. I expect Tannehill to be a top-10 play and to be a possible league winner down the stretch just like Titans running back Derrick Henry considering their playoff schedule.
Top-Five Upside: Lamar Jackson vs Dallas
If Jackson is activated off of the COVID-19 list heading into his Tuesday matchup against the Cowboys, he should be started. Although he’s been underwhelming this season, his upside against a bad Cowboys defense is worth the risk. Consider him a possible top-five play this week.
Start Him: Kirk Cousins vs Jacksonville
For those in desperate need of a quarterback this week, don’t be afraid to pick up Kirk Cousins and start him. He’s coming off of a top-three finish last week against Carolina in which he led the Vikings back from a 21-point deficit in the victory. Although the passing volume hasn’t been there all season long, Cousins’ efficiency has been incredible. He ranks in the top-three in both yards per attempt and touchdown percentage. Start him against a depleted Jacksonville defense.
Top-10 Lock: Nick Chubb vs Tennessee
Chubb is quickly asserting himself into the list of top tier running backs in the NFL since coming back from injury in Week 10. He’s racked up over 100 yards in each of the three games and has been a top-15 running back in all three, including top-eight finishes in Weeks 10 and 12. If the Browns are smart, they should know they have a better chance of winning if they give the ball to Chubb over 20 plus times this week. If you held onto Chubb after his injury, it should be paying off for you now and I expect nothing less this week.
Top-Five Upside: Austin Ekeler vs New England
Ekeler came back last week and was a superstar in fantasy. He totaled 11 receptions and was the RB8 last week with 23.9 points. Look for that to continue against an always well-coached New England defense who will most likely look to try and take away rookie quarterback Justin Herbert’s favorite target in Keenan Allen. Ekeler was in for the majority of snaps last week and said he wasn’t even fully healthy. He’s another guy that is rewarding all the managers that held onto him while he was injured. Don’t be surprised if Herbert looks his way more in the passing game this week and he ends up in the top-five in PPR formats.
Start Him: Wayne Gallman vs Seattle
Gallman has been a top-16 running back each of the last five weeks and I don’t expect that to change against the Seahawks. Although Seattle has seen the least amount of rushing attempts in the entire NFL this season (mostly due to their secondary problems) the Giants could be without starting quarterback Daniel Jones. New York is fighting for a playoff spot in the NFC East despite their losing record and Gallman has proved his worth, especially in the last five weeks. He’s a must-start this week that contains a good amount of upside.
Top-10 Lock: Allen Robinson II vs Detroit
DISCLAIMER* Robinson is questionable with a knee injury. If he plays he is a top 10 lock.
Robinson is coming off his best performance of the season against the Packers on Sunday night in Week 12. It seems like Mitch Trubisky will be the quarterback for the Bears once again this week which is good news for Robinson owners. Trubisky looked better than Foles last week as the entire Bears offense looked rejuvenated. Robinson is an incredible receiver and deserves more credit. In this matchup, he will face a Lions secondary that is young and not very good at the moment. Look for Trubisky to target Robinson early and often as the Bears fight back to get into playoff contention.
Top-Five Upside: Justin Jefferson vs Jacksonville
The rookie wide receiver comes with the most upside of anyone this week considering his big-play ability. Despite the return of Adam Thielen against the Jags, Jefferson has top-five upside each and every week. I am not sure he meets those expectations this week, but I do believe he is due for at least one big play in this game which could get him close. Nonetheless, you should be starting him with confidence.
Start Him: Deebo Samuel vs Buffalo
Samuel returned from injury last week and was a huge part of San Francisco’s offense against the Rams. He hauled in 11 catches on 13 targets for over 100 yards receiving. Kyle Shanahan makes sure Samuel is heavily involved every time he is healthy and Deebo continues to produce. Samuel should be started on his volume alone. He could be another long-term injured player that could help teams sneak their way into the playoffs.
Top-10 Lock: TJ Hockenson vs Chicago
Hockenson has become an extremely dependable option at tight end this season and has to be started even in a tough matchup against Chicago. Stafford has had to rely on Hockenson due to his main weapon in Kenny Golladay being hurt for a lot of the season. I expect nothing less to happen in this matchup.
Top-Five Upside: Dallas Goedert vs Green Bay
Even if Zach Ertz is available this week, Goedert could be the leading receiver for the Eagles this week just like he has been the previous two weeks. Goedert will continue to be Carson Wentz’s security blanket this week against a Green Bay defense that can be susceptible to tight ends.
Start Him: Eric Ebron vs Washington
Ebron saw 11 targets last week and seems to be trending in the right direction in this offense. He should be started against a Washington secondary that has been more impressive against wide receivers than tight ends. Big Ben has shown his trust in Ebron, so managers must trust that Ebron should see a consistent amount of targets in this game, which is all you can ask for at the tight end position this year.