Unfortunately for most us, Week 13 will be our final week of fantasy football in 2016. Week 13 is the last week for a majority of the fantasy football regular season, so we either have a huge game this week for a playoff spot or this week will be out last game to play until 2017.
Week 13 also marks the final bye week of the NFL season, with the Tennessee Titans and thankfully the 0-12 Cleveland Browns on bye. If you somehow have someone from the Browns in your lineup, drop them immediately and consider a few guys that GOAT and A-Mac have in mind. Here are GOAT and A-Mac’s start ’em and sit ’em’s for Week 13!
GOAT’s Week 13 Start Ems’
Sammy Watkins, WR, Buffalo Bills (ESPN 68.9% owned): Watkins has missed eight weeks because of issues with his surgically repaired foot. In his first game back he only saw the field on 45% of the Bills’ offensive snaps and still managed three receptions for 80 yards. Facing an Oakland defense that is ranked 26th in the league, according to Football Outsiders, makes him a must start this week.
Carlos Hyde, RB, San Francisco 49ers (ESPN 96.1% owned): While it is tough to bet on the 49ers offense to do much of anything, they are facing the Chicago Bears this week. Besides being an unwatchable matchup, Chicago’s defense is mediocre at a good day, atrocious on a bad one. Hyde is a must start even if San Francisco continues to look generally incompetent.
Carson Wentz, QB, Philadelphia Eagles (ESPN 32.3% owned): Wentz has been struggling quite a bit this season and not at all uncommon for rookie quarterbacks in the NFL. That last two weeks he has shown a little bit of life with week 13 looking like a sneaky matchup for a bounce back performance. While Wentz has struggled, the Bengals have also struggled mightily. If he can protect the ball this should be his best outing since week 4 in Detroit.
A-Mac’s Week 13 Start Ems’
Alex Smith, QB, Kansas City Chiefs (ESPN 25.6% owned): Smith and the Chiefs not as pass-happy as most 2016 NFL offenses, ranking 21st among quarterbacks in pass attempts this far. The Chiefs will visit the NFC South-leading Atlanta Falcons in what could be a high-scoring affair. With the Browns and Titans on bye, the Falcons have the worst passing defense among teams playing Week 13, so Smith could be in for a huge day.
James Starks, RB, Green Bay Packers (ESPN 56.6% owned): GOAT liked Starks two weeks ago, but I like him even more in Week 13 against Houston. Even though the Texans have not allowed a rushing touchdown to a running back since Week 7, they are still allowing an average of 18 fantasy points per game to backs. Starks has seen action in the passing game since coming back Week 10 and should see a lot more this week against Houston.
Green Bay Packers D/ST (ESPN 55.6% owned): The Packer defense has been one of the least-talked about fantasy disappointments in 2016, ranking just 24th among defenses this year. This week, the Pack face Texan quarterback Brock Osweiler who is tied for the league-lead in interceptions. If you are not confident in higher-ranked defenses going against high-powered offenses (i.e Vikings vs. Cowboys, Chiefs vs. Falcons) go scoop up the Packer D.
GOAT’s Week 13 Sit Ems’
Todd Gurley, RB, Los Angeles Rams (ESPN 99.5% owned): Gurley has the reputation for a top-ranked fantasy running back, but hasn’t broken 85 yards in a single game this season and has only made it into the end zone in three weeks. Since he facing New England’s top 5 rush defense and they will definitely stack the box to force Goff into making plays, he should spend the week on your bench.
Allen Robinson, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars (ESPN 98.7% owned): Robinson had three receptions for 24 yards last week in Buffalo. Some small boost in production should probably occur at home, but not enough to consider him a must-start against the Broncos number one ranked secondary. This will be his toughest matchup of the season and he has yet to show he has the heart to win those battles.
Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers (ESPN 99.1% owned): For two weeks in a row, Newton has completed less than 50% of his passes. Seattle is a top five defense backed by the Legion of Boom. I expect that receivers won’t have a lot of room to work and they will constantly attack the line of scrimmage with Michael Bennett and Bruce Irvin. This is a tough matchup for any quarterback, more so for one struggling to complete passes against a defense that are not even as good as the Seahawks.
A-Mac’s Week 13 Sit Ems’
Kirk Cousins, QB, Washington Redskins (ESPN 80.45 owned): Cousins has been playing like a man possessed the last few weeks, throwing eight touchdowns without an interception the last three games. Cousins faces a tough matchup, going against the second-ranked pass defense of the Arizona Cardinals who have only allowed nine passing touchdowns all year long.
Jay Ajayi, RB, Miami Dolphins (ESPN 97.4% owned): Ajayi has been a bust-out star in 2016, going from an absolute unknown commodity after the first four weeks to become the 11th ranked running back in ESPN standard scoring leagues. Ajayi faces a tough test when the Dolphins visit Baltimore and the Ravens number-one ranked run defense. The Ravens are even tougher to run against at home, allowing no more than 64 yards on the ground in six games at M&T Bank Stadium.
Minnesota Vikings D/ST (ESPN 91.4% owned): Even with a subpar effort on Thanksgiving in Detroit (just three points in ESPN standard scoring leagues), the Vikings allowed just one touchdown and still rank as the number one ranked fantasy defense. Minnesota has a huge game tonight against the Dallas Cowboys, who have pushed fantasy defenses into negative point totals in each of the last five games, averaging -2.6 fantasy points a game in that span.