Players I think have favourable/unfavourable match ups heading into week thirteen.
Recap article to be posted Tuesday.
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(CIN) QB Andy Dalton @ (SD) – Dalton had a very unique game last time he took to the field against the Browns. Dalton threw for only 93 yards on less than 50% completions, but thanks to some very short fields provided to him by his talented defence he was able to cash in on three touchdown catches. Dalton has had a couple of up and down games since going on a tear a few weeks ago, but has the chance to be a top-12 quarterback this weekend against the Chargers. Besides the Browns game, Dalton is averaging over 300 yards per game over his last five starts, with at least two touchdowns in least five of the last six. It helps that the Chargers are a bottom-five defence against the pass this season.
(CHI) QB Josh McCown @ (MIN) – It is tough to think that McCown could be a top-12 quarterback this week with the bye weeks over and considering he is yet to throw for more than two touchdowns in a start. He did however have a season high 352 yards last, but a pair of turnovers hurt the effort. The biggest reason he could be a top-12 quarterback this week is the fact he is facing the Vikings, a team that has allowed a season high 23 passing touchdowns so far this season. I would certainly consider starting him over Andrew Luck and the two quarterbacks on the Sit ‘em side of the list.
(NYJ) RB Chris Ivory / Bilal Powell vs. (MIA) – It is unclear who will get the start against Dolphins at the moment, but whomever it is deserves to be in your starting lineup. Ivory is still questionable for the start after hurting himself last week, but we have a few more days to find out. The Dolphins rush defence has been very rough this season, and with Geno Smith struggling so much, you would think that the Jets will be employing a very run heavy offence next this coming weekend.
(BUF) RB C.J. Spiller vs. (ATL) – It is extremely hard to think that Spiller deserves to be back in your starting lineup, especially after rushing for just 6 yards on 13 attempts last week against the Jets. If Spiller is going to have another good game before the end of the season, he is running out of opportunities like the one he is facing this weekend. The Falcons have been terrible against the run for most of the season, the last few weeks in particular. Ellington, Lynch, Bobby Rainey and others have all have amazing games against the Falcons. Fred Jackson is a must-start RB2, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Spiller ended up having a RB2 quality day himself. I understand if you just can’t bring yourself to do it though.
(ATL) WR Roddy White @ (BUF) – White is still recovering from his ankle injury, but has a great matchup against the Bills this weekend in Toronto. The Bills are allowing a ton of production to wide receivers this season, so I think Roddy can take advantage of the matchup and have his first 50+ yard game of the season with a touchdown. Harry Douglas has emerged as a solid wideout for the Falcons this season and will likely see more of the coverage from the Bills, which should allow some White some early chances for yardage. There is certainly a level of risk in starting White as he has yet to crack 50 yards, but this is a great chance for him to come back with a bang.
(TEN) WR Kendall Wright @ (IND) – Pretty much always a great PPR player this season, Wright is WR3 material with upside this week against the Colts. Wright has at least six catches in four of his last five matchups, going for 69 yards minimum in each. He only has two touchdown catches on the season, which limits him, but could definitely grab his third on Sunday. Wright had been limited a bit during practice this week but practiced in full on Friday. 70-90 yards and a touchdown are certainly in reach for Wright.
THURSDAY: (DET) WR Nate Burleson vs. (GB): 0 catch 0 yards– Sticking with the Thursday afternoon matchup between the Packers and Lions, I also like the odds of Nate Burleson having a solid game and being a worth a start in three receiver leagues. Burleson has only played in four games this season due to his broken arm, but he has six catches minimum in each of those starts, making him an even better PPR play.
THURSDAY: (GB) WR Jarrett Boykin @ (DET): 0 catch 0 yards – With four games of eight points or more in seven starts this season, Boykin has filled in well for the Packers this season. He also has five or more catches in five of those games this season, seemingly filling in the roll that was supposed to be Randall Cobb. Thursday afternoon when the Lions host the Packers, I think Boykin ha another great chance to go for another 80 or more yards and possibly grab his second touchdown in as many games. Matt Flynn will be starting as quarterback for the Packers, who had his career game against them two years ago and connected with Boykin for a touchdown last week.
THURSDAY: (OAK) WR Rod Streater @ (DAL) 3 catch 57 yards– While his less than 60% completion rating leaving something to be desired, Matt McGloin has still looked like a capable quarterback in his two starts, and has looked the way of Rod Streater a decent number of times. Streater had a season high nine targets last week with McGoin making his first official start, and had tied his previous season high with eight targets the week before. With at least nine fantasy points in his last three games, I like Rod again this week as a WR3/Flex with even better upside.
I will add some Sunday wide receiver Start ‘ems on Friday/Saturday.
(IND) TE Coby Fleener vs. (TEN) – I was shocked to find that Coby Fleener was still available to be added in multiple leagues that I play in, and gladly added him to my roster in each. Fleener has an excellent matchup this weekend against the Titans, a team that is very stingy to opposing wide receivers but had been susceptible to tight ends. It also helps that Fleener and Luck have looked more on page in recent weeks, going for 162 yards and a touchdown in the last two games, one of them against these same Titans. I would not be surprised if Fleener had his fifth touchdown of the season this weekend.
Sleeper: (STL) RB Benny Cunningham @ (SF) – A hot pickup off the waiver wire, if Zac Stacy in unable to go for the Rams this weekend, I would try to find a way for Cunningham to making my starting roster. A hopeful low-end with upside RB2 against the ‘49ers if he plays, Cunningham has fresh legs while the ‘49ers have been bad against the run at times this season. I am playing him as a flex in the only league I could grab him in.
(ARI) QB Carson Palmer @ (PHI) – Palmer has been a pretty good option in recent weeks with many quality quarterbacks on bye, but should return to the bench for most people with those bye weeks now over. The Eagles have not had a great pass defence this season, but I still don’t trust Palmer to not turn the ball over and just think there is 12 quarterbacks with much higher potential than him, including the next Start ‘em quarterback.
(WAS) QB Robert Griffin III vs. (NYG) – As has been talked about all week long in the sports news cycle, Griffin did not look himself last week in the loss to the ‘49ers. If you own Robert Griffin and have managed to pick up another quarterback such as Josh McCown or Nick Foles, I would consider giving them the nod over RGIII this weekend. The Giants have played much better in recent weeks, which is almost entirely due to the defence. The pass rush looks much better for New York and should have Griffin on the move this coming weekend, and Griffin has not looked as mobile lately. I think Griffin is going to need to be efficient with his arm to succeed against the Giants.
(TB) RB Bobby Rainey @ (CAR) – Rainey fell back to earth last weekend when he ran for just 36 yards on 18 attempts against the Lions. The Lions however, have had a very stingy run defence this season, much like the Panthers. I don’t know that many running backs would fair to well against the Panthers given how incredible their run stoppers have looked lately. Rainey should be able to have another solid game or two before the end of the season, but I doubt it will be on the road against the Panthers.
THURSDAY: (PIT) RB Le’Veon Bell vs. (BAL): 16 rush 73 yards TD, 7 catch 63 yards – The Ravens have been a top-five run defence all season long and currently at the number three overall spot in most in standard scoring. Le’Veon bell himself has been pretty effective since taking over as the starting running back for the Steelers, usually gaining over 80 total yards and scoring four touchdowns. I think this week however will be one of his lesser performances. Bell is yet to rush for over 100 yards in a game, and while he has been a good pass-catcher, he is yet to catch a touchdown. I think Bell has a similar game to last week, capping out at about eight fantasy points.
WR Danny Amendola @ (HOU) – I don’t like Amendola’s odds of getting things going this week. The Texans have allowed a league low 1192 yards to opposing wide receivers this season, but rank outside of the top-five in fantasy due to allowing 11 touchdowns. Amendola however does not see a lot of red zone targets for the Patriots. Rob Gronkowski is the obvious first and second choice for Brady in the end zone. I don’t see Gronkowski catching a touchdown this coming weekend and could see him being held to around 60 yards.
(SEA) WR Golden Tate vs. (NO) – If you are depending on Tate for one his bigger games this coming Monday night against the Saints, I don’t like the odds. Tate has just four touchdowns all season long with two of them coming in the same game and the Saints defence has been one of the better against the pass in 2013. The return of Percy Harvin could be bad or good for Tate; I would think Percy sees a ton of targets being the type of player he is, but could open up the downfield pass for Tate more often. I am not a fan of waiting for big performances from players like this on a Monday night and would considering leaving him on the bench.
THURSDAY: (BAL) WR Torrey Smith vs. (PIT): 6 catch 93 yards TD – Torrey is such a frustrating player to own, the best bet it is to just leave him in and hope for the best, but his best is not always good enough for a guy with his talent. Often drafted as a WR2 quality player in recent seasons, Smith has only gone over into the double digits in fantasy points in three weeks this season. He had 4 games over ninety yards in the first five weeks, but caught only one touchdown; in the last five weeks his game-high is 78 yards with two touchdowns. I don’t’t trust him this week against Ike Taylor and the Steelers who have been playing like the better team in recent weeks. Take note that I have a grudge against Smith as he is prone to have good games when I expect bad one and vice versa.
(ARI) TE Rob Housler @ (PHI) – 11, seven and five points in his last three games aren’t terrible numbers for Housler, but there have also been a number of other random tight ends that have caught touchdown passes in recent weeks. There is also the astonishing fact the Fleener has been so under owned despite the Colts losing Wayne weeks ago. Housler cold grab you another 5-7 points if you want to play it safe, but if you need a win, there are other options out there with some upside. Martellus Bennett finally had a touchdown again last week while player such as Jared Cook, Ledarius Green, Brandon Pettigrew and Jacob Tamme all caught week twelve touchdowns.