Quarterback Player Rankings – Week 13
Quarterbacks (Updated: Wednesday, Nov. 26 - 6:18PM CT)
1. Andrew Luck (vs. Was - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: FOX)
Luck has cooled over the past two weeks, with only 556 passing yards, three touchdowns, and one interception. Luck should regain his dominant fantasy form this week as he faces off against the Redskins, who are allowing quarterbacks 19.8 fantasy points per week, which is third worst in the league. This sets up even better for Luck, when you consider that Washington has faced some horrible quarterbacks this season: Teddy Bridgewater, Chad Henne, Brandon Weeden, Josh McCown, Charlie Whitehurst and Ryan Fitzpatrick. If those quarterbacks are having success against them, Luck is going to carve them up. The Colts still have no semblance of a running game left right now, and the key for their success is to throw the ball…Luck destroys the Skins this week.
2. Peyton Manning (at KC - Sunday Night, 8:30pm ET - TV: NBC)
Peyton got back on track last week at home versus the Dolphins, after three poor road performances, where he threw two interceptions in each game. Peyton was methodical against Miami’s defense, completing 80% of his passes, throwing for 257 yards, with four touchdowns, and no interceptions. This week he heads back on the road to face division rival Kansas City. When he faced them in Week 2, Manning threw for only 242 yards, but he did throw three touchdowns, with no interceptions. The Chiefs defense has been improved, and over the last six weeks, quarterbacks are only averaging 14 fantasy points per game against them. The last time Manning faced the Chiefs in Kansas City, he threw for 403 yards, with five touchdowns and two interceptions. Peyton is a must start as always.
3. Aaron Rodgers (vs. NE - Sunday, 4:25pm ET - TV: CBS)
Aaron Rodgers actually had his worst fantasy game of the last six weeks last week against the Minnesota Vikings, scoring just 19.8 fantasy points. Rodgers threw for 2 touchdowns and 209 yards and added 34 rushing yards on 6 carries. Rodgers has been one of the hottest quarterbacks this season and now has an incredible 30:3 touchdown-to-interception ratio on the season. Rodgers will now face his toughest test of the season since week 3, against a New England Patriot Secondary that is among the best in the league. The Patriots are allowing 15.4 fantasy points a game to opposing quarterbacks, but they are very good against opposing wide receivers allowing just 17.9 fantasy points a game. In two games against defenses that are top 5 in WR FFP/Game Rodgers has scored just 20.1 fantasy points TOTAL. Rodgers and this offense are playing at a totally different level though at this point in the season, so expect more of the same out of Rodgers this week.
4. Ryan Tannehill (at NYJ - Monday Night, 8:30pm ET - TV: ESPN)
Tannehill is coming off a three-touchdown performance against the Broncos, in which he scored 30.7 fantasy points. He will try to carry that momentum into this week, as he faces the Jets who have been horrible, allowing a league worst 20.3 fantasy points per week to quarterbacks. Tannehill should be able to exploit the Jets poor secondary, who have given up at least two touchdown passes in every game but one this season. Ryan should also be able to be very safe with the football, as the Jets only have three interceptions on the season. Tannehill is a must start this week, and has a great chance to have his first 300-yard game of the season.
5. Tony Romo (vs. Phi - Thanksgiving Afternoon, 4:30pm ET - TV: FOX)
Tony Romo is coming off his best performance of the season against the Giants in a Sunday night come from behind victory. Last week Romo completed nearly 70% of his passes for 275 yards and four touchdowns, two of those to Dez Bryant. Romo’s efficiency has been through the roof this season and he is completing nearly 69% of his passes on the year. Romo is thriving in the new offensive system and the only thing really holding him back is his back and future concerns for his health because of it. Romo will take on the Eagles for the first time this season, and the Eagles are allowing over 20 fantasy points a game to opposing passers on the season. Their defense is opportunistic in terms of creating turnovers but they are abt to give up yardage, which is great news for Romo and his owners. Romo has actually struggled a bit against the Eagles in his career, tossing 17 touchdowns against 13 interceptions in 15 career games. In the 1 game he played the Eagles last season (he missed the week 17 contest after suffering his back injury), Romo completed just 28 of 47 passes for 317 yards and 1 touchdown against two interceptions, but the Cowboys were able to claim a 17-3 victory. Romo’s increased efficiency and the fact the Cowboys should have the ball a lot in this game makes him a high end option this week, even with his struggles against the Eagles because it is Thanksgiving, and Tony Romo knows how to feast on defenses. In seven starts on Turkey day, Romo has a 6-1 record, with 18 touchdowns, just six interceptions.
6. Drew Brees (at Pit - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: FOX)
Brees and his Saints have lost three games in a row, but Drew finally came through for his fantasy owners last week. Against the Ravens, Bress threw for 420 yards, with three touchdowns and one interception. It was the first time this season that Brees had more than 400 yards passing, and it was his first game with more than 300 passing yards in his last four games. This week he faces off against the Steelers on the road, his nemesis. In five games on the road this season, Drew has only eight touchdowns, with five interceptions. The Steelers are doing a good job against quarterbacks, holding them to 16.4 fantasy points per game, but they have not faced many good quarterbacks this season. The top five quarterbacks they have faced to this point are Andrew Luck, Joe Flacco, Cam Newton, Brian Hoyer and Ryan Fitzpatrick, so don’t trust the numbers alone. Brees does struggle on the road, so expect a tougher outing for him, but he should be able to have more success than the numbers would indicate.
7. Ben Roethlisberger (vs. NO - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: FOX)
Ben Roethlisberger is coming off his bye week and hopefully, the Steelers spent some time finding ways to get their newest toy, Martavis Bryant the ball, because his emergence has helped take this team to the next level. With Martavis and Brown playing at a high level, Bell running and catching among the best backs in the league, and the constant hand that is Heath Miller, this offense has a lot of weapons for Ben to use at his disposal. This week ben gets to take on a dismal New Orleans defense that is allowing just 17.8 fantasy points a game to opposing quarterbacks. Roethlisberger has been very good when facing bad defenses this season, so look for Ben to post top ten numbers at the position this week.
8. Matthew Stafford (vs. Chi - Thanksgiving Day, 12:30pm ET - TV: CBS)
Well it would not be Thanksgiving if the Lions were not scheduled to play. On that note, it really would not be the Lions if they did not find some way to F it up. My God! Can one team possibly accumulate more suck? Oops, sorry Chicago. So, here we go, a matchup for the ages. Stafford only has 13 TDs so far this season, and has not even eclipsed 3,000 yards. This is certainly not what you expected when you drafted him as a tier 2 maybe tier 3 QB. So far, through 11 games, he has been sacked 33 times. His worst year was 2011, he was sacked 36 times, and of course that was out of 16 games. He is at home this week, where in 36 career games, he has a total of 74 total TDs. He has played the same amount of games on the road but has only amassed 59 total TDs. In 8 career games versus the Bears, Staff has 13 total TDs, but does have 10 picks. In 11 games this year, Chicago has allowed opposing QBs to go for over 20 fantasy points on 4 separate occasions, on 2 of those, they allowed over 30 fantasy points. In the last 5 games, the Bears have given up 13 passing TDs. No other team has allowed more in that time. This is a perfect opportunity for the Lions to get things back on track. Even though Staff has not passed a touchdown in the last 2 games, that dry spell ends Thursday. The Bears have 6 defensive players listed as questionable. As of Tuesday night, this list includes notable players such as Ratliff on the D-line, linebacker Lance Briggs, and secondary players Vereen and Kyle Fuller. I am rolling the dice on Stafford against a banged up Bears defense. This is a huge divisional game for the Lions and Coach Caldwell should have Staff and his boys prepped to play.
9. Eli Manning (at Jac - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: FOX)
It has been 5 straight games that Jacksonville has allowed an opposing WR to either score a TD or go for over 100 receiving yards. When ODB steps onto the field for the Giants, I think that streak will continue. On the season, the Jags are giving up the 9th most fantasy points to opposing WRs and the 11thmost to QBs. According to Pro Football Focus, their Defensive Ends rank 36th and 40th out of 52 Defensive Ends that play in the 4-3 scheme. Eli will have time to deliver. With targets like ODB and Donnell, he should put up multiple scores. Beckham is currently rated as questionable as of Wednesday. Coughlin cited soreness in ODB’s back earlier in the week, but he should be full go come Sunday. Certainly missing an incredible talent like this would negatively affect Eli’s rating. But if Grandpa Coughlin’s words ring true, and ODB is on the field, I like Manning this week as a decent stream play against the Jags.
10. Tom Brady (at GB - Sunday, 4:25pm ET - TV: CBS)
Brady has been on fire since Week 6, averaging 29.4 fantasy points per week. Last week he threw for 349 yards, which was his third 300-yard passing game in his last four. This week he will face the Packers in Lambeau Field, and the only other quarterback playing as well as him, Aaron Rodgers. The Packers defense has not faced much competition from quarterbacks since Drew Brees in Week 8, but is still allowing 15.9 fantasy points per game, which ranks them in the middle of the pack. This game has the makings of a shootout, and Brady will have to use all of his weapons to be effective. The Packers are a much better defense at home, so you are going to start him, but this may not be as good of a fantasy performance as the game is to watch.
11. Andy Dalton (at TB - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: CBS)
Andy Dalton completed nearly 69% of his passes for 233 yards with 1 touchdown and 1 interception against the Texans last week. Dalton did make sure to get his best passing game weapon, AJ Green, involved early and often, to the tune of 16 targets. This week Dalton and company have a great matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who have been torn up by every starting quarterback in the league sans Jay Cutler. The Bucs are allowing 17 fantasy points a game to opposing passers on the season. Dalton and the Bengals should come in with a balanced game plan, and if they stay balanced Dalton should have a nice fantasy game against a bad defensive team.
12. Russell Wilson (at SF - Thanksgiving Night, 8:30pm ET - TV: NBC)
Russell Wilson had a nice game against the Arizona Cardinals, mostly due to the strength of his legs yet again. Russell was efficient in the passing game, completing 17 of 22 passes for 211 yards and a passing touchdown, but the real value came from his 73 rushing yards on 10 carries. The Seahawks scored just one touchdown on the day but were able to drive the ball between the 20s against the Cardinal defense. Wilson’s rushing prowess has been on display this season as he has rushed for over 70 yards five times (that is the same number as Beast Mode BTW). Wilson is now on pace to rush for over 900 yards on the season, which is a great benchmark for QBs as few in the league have been able to accomplish this. If Wilson were able to average 79 rushing yards a game over the next five he would tie Michael Vick’s record of 1,039 yards, the NFL record for QBs in a season. This week, Wilson faces the 49ers on Thanksgiving night, and the 49ers are a team in which Wilson struggles against. In 4 games against the 49ers in the regular season, Wilson has completed just 54% of his passes for 634 yards with six touchdowns to 4 interceptions, and has rushed for just 74 yards on 20 carries. Wilson will be a borderline QB1 this week, but will really need to use his legs as the 49ers are currently allowing just 12.6 fantasy points a game to opposing quarterbacks, and have allowed just 73 yards on the ground to QBs this season.
13. Philip Rivers (at Bal - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: CBS)
Philip Rivers has been working through some issues over the past three weeks, and his fantasy production has taken a dive. In that span he has thrown for 622 yards, with two touchdowns, four interceptions, and averaging 13.1 fantasy points per week. This week he faces the Ravens, who have had their own issues over the past three weeks. In that time they have allowed 939 passing yards, with 10 touchdowns, two interceptions, and allowing 29.5 fantasy points per game, but two of those games were on the road. Rivers is definitely catching the Ravens at the right time, and the having Ryan Mathews for the threat of the running game helps. It is always tough for West Coast teams when they travel to the East Coast to play at 1pm game, and the Ravens are much better at home.
14. Joe Flacco (vs. SD - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: CBS)
Joe Flacco is coming off a Monday night performance in which he played second fiddle to Justin Forsett as he lit up the Saints the for 182 yards and 2 score. Flacco was efficient in his own right on Monday, completing 75% of his passes for 243 yards and a touchdown to the ageless wonder that is Steve Smith. This week has the San Diego Chargers on the docket, who are a pretty average against opposing quarterbacks allowing just 15.9 fantasy points a game. Over the last two weeks they have been very good however, allowing Derek Carr and Shaun Hill to score just 10.8 fantasy points combined. Look for Flacco to be needed a bit more this week and put up top 15 numbers at the position.
15. Zach Mettenberger (at Hou - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: CBS)
Mettenberger had his first 300-yard game of his career last week, throwing for 345 yards, with two touchdowns, one interception, but only completed 51% of his passes. That came against an Eagles defense that has struggled to stop anyone. This week he faces off against the Texans, who have held each of their last four opponents quarterbacks to less than 20 fantasy points. They have also only given up one passing touchdown in each of the last three weeks. Mettenberger is growing as a quarterback, and he has the ability to stand tall in the pocket, but he will be under a lot of pressure from J.J. Watt this week. There is potential for the future with Zach, but not enough to confidently start this week.
16. Mark Sanchez (at Dal - Thanksgiving Afternoon, 4:30pm ET - TV: FOX)
17. Drew Stanton (at Atl - Sunday, 4:05pm ET - TV: FOX)
18. Josh McCown (vs. Cin - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: CBS)
Josh McCown is coming off a loss against his former team the Chicago Bears, where he threw for a lot of yards (341) but also had some costly mistakes (2 interceptions). He did throw one touchdown as rookie wide receiver Mike Evans was able to beat his defender badly and make for an easy target in the endzone with his size. This week McCown and the Bucs take on the Cincinnati at home. The Bengals are allowing just 14.5 fantasy points a game to opposing quarterbacks and are the second best team against opposing wide receivers, which at this point in the season is the Bucs greatest strength.
19. Alex Smith (vs. Den - Sunday Night, 8:30pm ET - TV: NBC)
Alex Smith did Alex Smith things last week against the Raiders, he protected the football, completed passes to keep drives going, and threw for a couple touchdowns but it wasn’t enough from preventing the Chiefs to get their first victory. Smith threw for 234 yards and 2 scores and also ran for 5 more. This week Smith and the Chiefs take on Denver at home. Denver is allowing 18.8 fantasy points a game to opposing passers, as teams have had to throw the ball a lot to keep up with their high scoring offense. Smith however, was held to just 14.4 fantasy points a game earlier in the season against the Broncos and was held out of the endzone entirely as the Chiefs suffered the loss on the road. At home against Denver last season, Alex Smith threw for nearly 300 yards and 2 touchdowns against just 1 interception. Look for Smith to have another 15-18 point fantasy outing if you start him for your squad this week.
20. Matt Ryan (vs. Ari - Sunday, 4:05pm ET - TV: FOX)
Matt Ryan has not had a good season, and has struggled against poor defenses like Tampa Bay, Chicago, Cleveland, Carolina and the New York Giants. This week he is going to face a much tougher challenge against the Arizona Cardinals, who are limiting quarterbacks to 14.8 fantasy points per week, which is ninth best in the league. Ryan only has nine touchdown passes in his last seven games, and the Cardinals have only given up five passing touchdowns in their last six games. Don’t expect Ryan to overcome the Cardinals this week, and he should be benched for a better option.
21. Teddy Bridgewater (vs. Car - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: FOX)
The Panthers head west to play the Vikings in week #13. So far this season, there are only 5 teams that are giving up more fantasy goo to opposing QBs on a per game basis. Carolina has allowed 5 different gun slingers to amass at least 19 fantasy points against them. Out of 11 games played, there were only 4 games where the opposing team did not throw multiple touchdowns against them. DeCoud and Harper could quite possibly make up the worst safety duo in the league. Harper ranks 74th out of 78 safeties, and DeCoud is ranked 68th. Literally, there is not a team out there with two worse ranked players at the position, although the Steelers are giving it the old college try. Mario Addison is the 2nd worst defensive end in coverage situations. Carolina teammate Charles Johnson is not much better as the team is sorely missing Greg Hardy on the line. Bridgewater will continue to lean on their own Charles Johnson, who has quietly amassed 18 targets, 9 catches, 139 yards, and a touchdown in the last 2 weeks. Rookie disappointment, Cordarrelle Patterson, is listed as questionable. This would harm Bridgewater’s options in the pocket. I like the direction they are heading. I think Rudolph’s return will continue to help Bridgewater. A big question will be the health of their RBs, both of whom are listed as questionable as of Wednesday. If McKinnon or Asiata is not on the field, the defense can easily sell out to stop Bridgewater. Keep your eye on their health as the week progresses.
22. Cam Newton (at Min - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: FOX)
Newton has been better over the past two weeks, throwing for 598 yards, with four touchdowns, scoring 49.5 fantasy points. The downside is that he has thrown five interceptions over the past two weeks, and that was against two poor defenses (Philadelphia & Atlanta). This week he will face the Vikings, who have struggled over the past two weeks, allowing 52.5 fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. Prior to that they only allowed five passing touchdowns in their previous five games. Teams have used the run most effectively against the Vikings, so expect the Panthers to go the same route, which will limit Newton’s effectiveness this week.
23. Jay Cutler (at Det - Thanksgiving Day, 12:30pm ET - TV: CBS)
Jay Cutler plays on Thanksgiving this week, so if you are thinking of playing him you need to decide quickly as the game has a 12:30 ET kickoff. Cutty is coming off a great matchup against the Bucs in which he was relegated to a game manager, attempting just 27 passes as the teams offensive attack centered around getting Matt Forte the football. Cutler did sneak in a touchdown pass to Alshon Jeffery to salvage somewhat of a day, because without it he would have accumulated 130 yards and a fumble. Even with the touchdown, Cutler scored just 7.2 fantasy points which was good for 24th amongst quarterbacks, all this when facing off with one of the leagues worst defenses. This week against the Lions, a team that allows just 13 fantasy points a game to opposing quarterbacks Cutler is a tough sell, even though the Lions secondary can be beaten deep. Cutler has played some of his best football against the Lions in his career however, with 15 touchdowns to just 5 interceptions, but this defense is different than in the past and the will probably have to establish Matt Forte again in this game if they want any chance at a victory.
24. Colin Kaepernick (vs. Sea - Thanksgiving Night, 8:30pm ET - TV: NBC)
Kaepy has not thrown for multiple touchdowns since week #6. In fact, he has not thrown more than 300 yards since then either. Even when facing the 4th easiest defense for opposing QBs last week, he only managed 13.6 fantasy points against Washington. Well if he could not get it done then, he sure as hell will not turn it around for the Seattle matchup on thanksgiving night. On the season, the Seahawks rank #2 versus QBs in the fantasy realm. Seattle has only allowed 1 QB to amass more than 20 fantasy points this season: Philip Rivers, week #2. Rivers is also the only QB to throw at least 3 TDs. In fact, in the last 5 games, they have only allowed 3 touchdown passes. They have not given up any in the past 2 weeks. They have only allowed 1 QB to go for more than 300 yards, and that was Peyton freakin’ Manning (303 passing yards in week #3). Kaepy is at home, and although playing one less game on the road in his NFL career, he has thrown 8 more TDs when visiting. In 4 games versus the Seahawks, he has 2 passing TDs and 5 picks. His career accuracy versus Seattle is barely above 50%. Bench this bitch then give him a slap and put some Ike Turner stank on it!
25. Kyle Orton (vs. Cle - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: CBS)
26. Blake Bortles (vs. NYG - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: FOX)
27. Ryan Fitzpatrick (vs. Ten - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: CBS)
Fitzpatrick was benched in favor of Ryan Mallett, but now Mallett is out for the season, so Fitz is the man again. The problem is that his return does not do much in the way of making waves in fantasy football. The Harvard grad has only 11 touchdowns in nine games, and did not throw for more than 300 yards in any game. The Titans are a defense that can be exposed with a good running game, which the Texans have. Fitzpatrick should not be played.
28. Colt McCoy (at Ind - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: FOX)
Things have gotten so bad for RG III and Washington, that he is riding the bench for the rest of the season, and McCoy is the one who is called on to take the reigns of the offense. In the two games Colt played in this season, he threw for 427 yards, with one touchdown, and one interception, but he did complete 86% of his passes. This week he will face the Colts, whose defense has struggled over the past four weeks, allowing opposing quarterbacks an average of 27 fantasy points per game. McCoy is going to play a conservative game, and he struggles throwing the deep ball, which is not going to produce a lot of fantasy points this week.
29. Brian Hoyer (at Buf - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: CBS)
MO-FINGER'S TAKE: With Josh Gordon back in the Cleveland locker room, you would expect two things. One, pizza deliveries to the Browns facility has increased 278%. Two, the Cleveland air attack just got far more dangerous. But, that did not translate to fantasy goo for Hoyer. Last week, Hoyer completed 57.5% of his passes for 322 yards, 0 TDs, and 3 picks. Hoyer was taking the blame at the press conference after the game. So while Josh Gordon had a successful fantasy day without a score (8 catches for 120) the same cannot be said of Hoyer. Now that Gordon has returned, it would be nice if Cameron could manage to stay on the field as well. Jordan Cameron has been limited in practice this week and is day to day. The weapons are there, but I want to see it translate to fantasy production first. Chances are, this is not the week to put it all together as Buffalo is a formidable defense. There are only 3 teams in the NFL allowing fewer fantasy points to opposing QBs than the Bills. Stephon Gilmore is ranked by Pro Football Focus as the #4 ranked corner back versus the pass. Duke Williams is their 10th ranked Safety. Tom Brady was the only QB to gain more than 20 fantasy points against the Bills so far this year. Hoyer is on the bench in Week 13.
STAGGS' TAKE: Brian Hoyer is coming off one of his worst performances of the season, if not the worst. Hoyer completed just 23 of 40 attempts for 322 yards and did not find the endzone while throwing three interceptions. This was also the first game back for Josh Gordon and Hoyer tried feeding his star receiver to the point he was just forcing some in there. The Browns did come away with a victory however, in spite of Hoyer’s play, as they toppled the Falcons on a last minute field goal. This week Hoyer and the Browns travel to Buffalo to take on a Bills team that is allowing just 13.7 fantasy points a game to opposing quarterbacks. Expect Hoyer to feed Josh Gordon again and that could result in some good things, but overall there is nothing to like in this matchup, especially when you remember that this is the team Hoyer tore his ACL against last season.
30. Derek Carr (at StL - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: CBS)
31. Shaun Hill (vs. Oak - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: CBS)
32. Geno Smith (vs. Mia - Monday Night, 8:30pm ET - TV: ESPN)
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Running Back Player Rankings – Week 13
Running Backs (Updated: Thursday, Nov. 27 - 9:27AM CT)
1. Le’Veon Bell (vs. NO - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: FOX)
Le’Veon Bell is coming off a bye week, which can only be a good thing for a back whose usage is way up and now lacks a backup without Blount shipped out of town. Bell has nearly the same amount of touches per game this season, but with his added efficiency his game has been taken to new heights. He will also now be the teams primary goal-line back on all plays with the loss of Blount, so we can expect his miniscule touchdown numbers (2 rushing and 2 receiving on the season) to increase, well because they can’t get much worse. This week Bell is a top option at the position, taking on the New Orleans Saints who are allowing 21.4 fantasy points a game to opposing running backs. Last week, Justin Forsett torched this team for 182 yards and 2 scores, so fire up Bell this week with no hesitation.
2. DeMarco Murray (vs. Phi - Thanksgiving Afternoon, 4:30pm ET - TV: FOX)
DeMarco Murray rattled off another 100 yard performance against the Giants last week, giving him 10 such performances in 11 games this season. Murray has been the model of consistency this season scoring over 13 fantasy points in all but one game this season. Murray has also been able to rip off over 5 yards a carry in nearly half his games, and stands at 5.1 yards per rush on the season. This week Murray takes on the Eagles on Thanksgiving, and he might have a tough bird to swallow after the Eagles stuffed him in the final game of the season last year, while the Boys were without Tony Romo. In their last matchup, Murray gained just 48 yards on 17 carries, but did add five catches for 39 yards on seven targets. Before that however, Murray had feasted on the Birds, rattling off 7.5 yards per carry on 21 attempts. The Eagles are allowing over 20 fantasy points a game, and with Dallas rolling on offense heading into this matchup expect to see more of the same from Murray as you have all season.
3. C.J. Anderson (at KC - Sunday Night, 8:30pm ET - TV: NBC)
4. Arian Foster (vs. Ten - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: CBS)
Foster is expected to return to action this week against the Titans, and if he does, it will be good news for his fantasy owners. The Titans have allowed six 100-yard rushers, and 13 rushing touchdowns this season. Over the last four weeks Tennessee has allowed 733 rushing yards, and seven touchdowns. If Arian plays, he is a must start who will score a lot of fantasy points. There is nothing else that needs to be said.
5. Jamaal Charles (vs. Den - Sunday Night, 8:30pm ET - TV: NBC)
One of the few top drafted running backs that actually panned out, Charles is ranked as the #6 back in fantasy with one week to go in the regular season (for the majority of leagues). Since Week 7, his lowest fantasy day has been 14.8, you cannot argue with that. Now Charles is facing Denver. On paper they look tough, only 4 teams giving up fewer fantasy points. But this is a Peyton led team that is often ahead, thus, opponents are generally putting the ball in the air. In fact on the season, Denver has only faced 243 rushing attempts. No other NFL team has been run on less. So it’s not that they have earned a tough defensive fantasy reputation, it is simply the fact that teams are not running the ball against them. You can’t build stats if you are not attempting carries. Jamaal is a stud, you are starting him no matter what. Clearly the Denver defensive numbers against opposing RBs are no what they seem. These are not the droids you are looking for. Start Jamaal and move along, move along.
6. Matt Forte (at Det - Thanksgiving Day, 12:30pm ET - TV: CBS)
Matt Forte was the driving force of the Chicago Bears offense once again, and his influence was great for both the Bears and Fantasy owners. Forte rushed 23 times for 89 yards and 2 scores against the Bucs, and also caught five of his six targets for another 23 yards. Forte has been one of the most consistent first round picks this season, and he will be needed again this week if the Bears hope to head home with a victory. The Lions are allowing 15.5 fantasy points a game to opposing running backs, but are much tougher on opposing quarterbacks and wide receivers. The Lions have also allowed the most catches in the league (67) to opposing running backs, so Forte should be able to keep his streak of 14 games of three or more catches alive. Forte hasn’t been held without a catch in a game, since the final game of the 2011 season, and he has been held catchless just twice in his entire career. Look for Forte to do a lot of damage through the air this week as he seems to do on a weekly basis.
7. Eddie Lacy (vs. NE - Sunday, 4:25pm ET - TV: CBS)
Lacy faces the Pats on his home turf. Lacy averages nearly a full yard more per attempt on Lambeau field (4.69 at home to 3.78 on the road). Although the Pats are ranked as the 12th-easiest for fantasy RBs on the season, they have been a heck of a lot tougher lately. In the last 2 games, Theo Riddick was the highest scoring fantasy RB with just 5.2 fantasy points. In the last 3 games, they have only given up 1 rushing TD and the most rushing yards was to Joique Bell with just 48. Lacy, who was sick last week, was not on the injury report as of Wednesday. While New England has only given up 5 rushing TDs on the season, they have given up 6 to RBs through the air. Lacy is ranked as #14 for running back receptions and has 3 receiving TDs. If Lacy can get it going through the air, I like his chances for a big day. Plus, the Pats currently have 2 defensive ends listed as questionable: Dominique Easley, and Chandler Jones. If they cannot go, I like Lacy all the more. Chances are, you are not sitting Lacy unless you have a gaggle of good RB options. I might do a quick check about the status of their defensive ends if you are looking for a way to determine who to start. I would only consider that if I had two other guys listed in Dawg’s top 10.
8. Justin Forsett (vs. SD - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: CBS)
I have always liked this guy, going back to his rookie season with Seattle. He started off promising, 619 rushing yards and 4 TDs that year. But, until this year, that was the high water mark. It seems the opportunity never came around again until now. Well, he has been making the most of it. Forsett has an amazing 5.8 yard average when he carries the ball. Out of guys who have toted the rock at least 50 times, no other back has better numbers. (Sproles has a 6.6 yards per carry average, but has only carried it 45 times. He is currently 5th in yards with 903. That total is impressive considering Baltimore’s running back by community approach for the first portion of the season. There were 3 separate games where he accumulated less than 10 carries. San Diego is far tougher than their defensive numbers appear. They have only allowed 1 RB to rush for over 100 yards. The next closest was Jamaal Charles who rushed for 95. Besides those two top rushing performances, the 3rd-best rushing day against the chargers was 80, 4th-best was merely 62 rushing yards. They have not allowed a running back to go for a double-digit fantasy day since Week 9. Look, I am playing Forsett for sure, the guy has such a high floor. But the Bolts have been tough against RBs. San Diego seems like a team being held together by duct tape, chewing gum, and a little MacGyver know-how, I could see the wheels come off the tracks here. But, I have tempered expectations; no one has really broken one off against the Bolts all year. They have only allowed 2 RBs to go for at least 15 fantasy points all year.
9. LeSean McCoy (at Dal - Thanksgiving Afternoon, 4:30pm ET - TV: FOX)
McCoy broke out, and finally did right by his fantasy owners last week. LeSean was able to exploit the poor Titans defense for 130 yards, and a touchdown on 21 carries. This week he will face off against division rival Dallas, and a team he has not had a ton of success against in his career. McCoy has faced the Cowboys eight times, has only three touchdowns, and three 100-yard games against them. The last time he faced the Cowboys in Dallas, he had 131 yards on 27 carries, with a touchdown reception. The Cowboys have not allowed a 100-yard rusher since Arian Foster in Week 5, and are holding running backs to 17.5 fantasy points per game, which is middle of the pack. LeSean has three 100-yard rushing games on the season, but has yet to post back-to-back 100-yard games.
10. Marshawn Lynch (at SF - Thanksgiving Night, 8:30pm ET - TV: NBC)
Beast mode was kept in his cage last week, as he only mustered 39 yards on 15 carries, and added another 43 yards on three receptions, but was held out of the endzone for the second week in a row. This week he faces division rival San Francisco in a must win game. Lynch has not had a 100-yard rushing game against the 49ers since 2012, but he ran for 100 yards in both of those matchups. While the 49ers held Lynch under 100 yards in both their games last season, Marshawn did have three touchdowns. The Seahawks should lean on Lynch in this game, in order to take the crowd out, and take pressure off of Russell Wilson. Lynch knows that he will not be in Seattle next season, so every game from here on out is an audition for his next team, and a strong showing in San Francisco would go a long way.
11. Mark Ingram (at Pit - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: FOX)
Mark Ingram was held at bay against the stiff run defense of Baltimore last week. On his 11 carries he gained just 27 yards and was held out of the endzone. He did add two catches for 15 yards and has already blown away his career highs in the passing game this season. Pittsburgh is giving up 16.8 fantasy points a game, but they have given up double-digit fantasy points to TEN different running backs this season. Whether it’s due to a 100-yard game or a touchdown, expect Mark Ingram to be the Saints running back to top 10 fantasy points in this game as the Saints travel to Pittsburgh and try to secure another playoff birth.
12. Denard Robinson (vs. NYG - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: FOX)
13. Rashad Jennings (at Jac - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: FOX)
Since returning to action, Jennings has resumed the lead back role, and got back into early season form last week. He had 19 carries for 52 yards, and added another 68 yards on eight receptions against the Cowboys. The Jaguars have allowed 100-yard rushers in two of their last three games, and surrendered four rushing touchdowns. Rashad will continue to see the majority of carries, and will also be very active as a receiver once again. He will probably not rush for more than 100 yards, but he will have more than 100 total yards in this game.
14. Andre Ellington (at Atl - Sunday, 4:05pm ET - TV: FOX)
The DUKE saw a major reduction in his workload against the Seahawks last week, with only 10 carries for 24 yards, and 39 yards on five receptions. This week he will face the Falcons, and should see his workload increase. The Falcons are allowing 23.7 fantasy points per week to running backs, which is second worst in the league. Atlanta has also given up a league leading 14 rushing touchdowns to running backs. The DUKE should have no problem getting his game going in this game, and should be able to find the endzone.
15. Jeremy Hill (at TB - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: CBS)
The Bengals roster has been in flux lately. Giovani Bernard returned to the lineup, although at a seemingly reduced role. Now, they just lost their offensive tackle, Andre Smith, to season-ending surgery. This will likely affect their overall yards per carry slightly. Currently they are the 8th-best with an average of 4.2 yards per carry. This has mainly been due to the outstanding performance of Andre Whitworth, whom Pro Football Focus currently has rated as the 3rd-best OT through 12 weeks. As I said, Hill has certainly earned an increased role. In fact, in Gio’s first game back, Hill had one more carry than Gio, 18 to 17. As a fantasy owner, I liked seeing Hill get 4 red zone carries, although Gio was only 1 behind. Tampa is the 10th-easiest defense for a running back to face. In the last 3 weeks, they are actually giving up the 5th-most fantasy points to opposing RBs. As of early Friday, Tampa had 2 defensive lineman listed as questionable, unfortunately none were named McCoy, who is quite possibly the games best run stopping tackle. The good news for Hill owners is that Lavonte David, the team’s best outside line backer, is also listed as questionable. A banged up D, including a top 10 run stopping outside backer like David, could result in some nice yards for a Cincinnati team that should see a lot of opportunities on the ground. The Bengals should be out in front early in this game, thus they will rely on some heavy running. Gio might see some success through the air, but Hill is still a solid pay going forward.
16. Fred Jackson (vs. Cle - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: CBS)
Fred Jackson returned from an injury (again) against the Jets last week in a game that the Bills thoroughly dominated by a score of 38-3. Jackson was used sparingly in the game, but did accumulate ten carries for 32 yards and a score while adding 3 catches on 4 targets for 13 yards. Fred is a consistent force as an RB2 when he plays, as his effectiveness in the redzone and passing game make him a solid option each and every week. The Browns can be beaten by a opposing runners, as they have allowed over 19 fantasy points a game to opposing running backs and are the fifth worst team in terms of rushing yards allowed to running backs.
17. Isaiah Crowell (at Buf - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: CBS)
18. Alfred Morris (at Ind - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: FOX)
Well, the one good thing about RG3 (besides those darn kooky socks, what an unpredictable character he is hey folks!), Alfred Morris saw his best rushing totals to date. If you toss out the game RG3 was injured right away, Morris was averaging over 101 yards per contest with RG3 under center. If you add up his games when McCoy was in the huddle, Morris averaged 63.5 yards per game. Morris was the only Washington player I was comfortable starting. Now, I still say he is startable, but I am far less comfortable. Now, defenses will be able to stack the box all the more, McCoy does not have the kind of arm that keeps defenses honest. Morris is an RB2 until I see production with McCoy on the field.
19. Giovani Bernard (at TB - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: CBS)
Bernard returned to action last week, and he saw a good workload with 17 carries, but only mustered 45 yards. Jeremy Hill also saw a hefty workload with 18 carries, but he gained 87 yards with a touchdown. The Bengals are now going to a more equal timeshare in the backfield, and Hill is the back who is preferred in the redzone. This week he faces the Buccaneers, who are allowing 21 fantasy points per game to running backs, which is twenty-third in the league, but have only allowed one 100-yard rusher on the season. Gio is not going to get to 100 yards on the ground, and will have to do more damage as a receiver, because he is not going see the goal line carries. If you own both Gio and Hill and have to decide between the two, Hill is the better option this week.
20. Tre Mason (vs. Oak - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: CBS)
21. Latavius Murray (at StL - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: CBS)
22. LeGarrette Blount (at GB - Sunday, 4:25pm ET - TV: CBS)
23. Jerick McKinnon (vs. Car - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: FOX)
Jerick is averaging less than seven fantasy points per game over the last four weeks, and is still looking for his first touchdown of the season. McKinnon is still getting carries, with more than 14 carries in four of the last five weeks. The problem is that he is not used in the redzone, which hurts fantasy owners, with the lack of touchdown potential. The Panthers have allowed 11 rushing touchdowns this season, but that does not benefit McKinnon. They have also only allowed 111 rushing yards in their last two games.
24. Shane Vereen (at GB - Sunday, 4:25pm ET - TV: CBS)
Shane Vereen was once again the leader of the backfield in snaps, but was inefficient in the run game as usual, and very effective in the passing game against Detroit. On his 8 carries against the Lions Vereen could muster just 12 yards. In PPR leagues owners were satisfied however, as he caught 8 of his 9 targets for 48 yards. Against the Packers this week, Belicheck can choose to attack them in a number of ways, and Vereen will probably be the leader in snaps yet again, but the Pack have been fairly good against opponent passing backs, allowing just 49 catches for 431 yards and 1 score on the season. This game could turn into a bit of a shootout though with these two quarterbacks, and if that is the case expect Vereen to get more than his share of the work making him an interesting flex option this week.
25. Lamar Miller (at NYJ - Monday Night, 8:30pm ET - TV: ESPN)
Last week, Miller was questionable with a shoulder injury going into the weekend. He suited up and ran the ball 12 times for 59 yards. As of Thursday, he was listed as probable and was a full participant in practice. So while his health should no longer be in question, as Shakespeare once said (sort of): “to start or not to start, now that is the question”. Miller is going against one of the league’s toughest run defenses in the New York Jets. They have only allowed 6 RBs to even get into double-digits for fantasy. Since Week 7, the most rushing yards put up by an opposing RB was 78 by Jamaal Charles. I have Miller as a low end flex option this week.
26. Joique Bell (vs. Chi - Thanksgiving Day, 12:30pm ET - TV: CBS)
27. Frank Gore (vs. Sea - Thanksgiving Night, 8:30pm ET - TV: NBC)
Frank Gore was stifled yet again last week against Washington. On thirteen carries he gained just 36 yards. He was also held out of the endzone again as Carlos Hyde yet again got the endzone instead of Gore. Gore has just two rushing touchdowns on the season and it is really hurting his fantasy value. This week Gore gets to try and run through the Seahawks defense, who while not as dominant as last season, giving up only 16.4 fantasy points a game. Gore had a mixed bag of results against the Seahawks last season, with a 100 yard game at home and 20 carries for 30 yards in two games at Seattle.
28. Ryan Mathews (at Bal - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: CBS)
Mathews had a strong performance in his second game back from injury last week, with 12 carries for 105 yards and a touchdown. Mathews has been much better in the two games since returning than he was in his first two games before injury. He is going to have a hard time carrying that momentum this week against the Ravens. Baltimore is holding running backs to a league best 12.4 fantasy points per game, and have only given up three rushing touchdowns. They have yet to allow a 100-yard rusher, and the most rushing yards any running back has against them is 68 yards by Ahmad Bradshaw. Mathews is going to find it tough to score points this week.
29. Bishop Sankey (at Hou - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: CBS)
Sankey has been slowed the last two weeks, with only 75 rushing yards and one touchdown, while only adding another 21 yards on three receptions. Prior to that Bishop had over 50 rushing yards in three of his previous four games. He faces the Texans this week, and Houston has only allowed three 100-yard rushers this season, and six rushing touchdowns against them. The Titans have struggled on offense, and have found themselves trailing in games, which has forced them to abandon the run. They also struggle stopping the run, which has hurt their time of possession, and Sankey’s production. Bishop has yet to live up to his preseason hype, and in this offense just does not get enough touches to be effective week in and week out, and this will be an out week for him.
30. Theo Riddick (vs. Chi - Thanksgiving Day, 12:30pm ET - TV: CBS)
31. Jonathan Stewart (at Min - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: FOX)
32. Chris Johnson (vs. Mia - Monday Night, 8:30pm ET - TV: ESPN)
Chris Johnson continues to be a role player in the Jets offense, and has not scored a touchdown since Week 4. Johnson needs the Jets offense to be very effective getting first downs, so that he can find more open lanes, but that just doesn’t happen, and the Jets are usually playing from behind, which eliminates him from most games. The Dolphins are a tough defense, and a team that is fighting for a playoff spot. The Jets will be behind in this game, and Johnson should remain on your bench.
33. Chris Ivory (vs. Mia - Monday Night, 8:30pm ET - TV: ESPN)
Chris Ivory was relegated to a different role against the Bills, as the Jets were in catch up mode for the majority of the game. Ivory had just 7 carries for 31 yards but was involved in the passing game as he caught 3 passes for an additional 7 yards. Ivory has been having a good season under the radar, but his team tends to get down so much that he is an afterthought. Ivory hasn’t scored in the last three weeks, and that is one of the biggest drivers of his value. Against the Dolphins this week don’t expect much from Ivory, a team that is very average against running backs allowing 17.9 fantasy points a game. In two games against the Dolphins last season, Ivory gained just 80 yards on 17 carries and was held out of the endzone.
34. Dan Herron (vs. Was - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: FOX)
35. Pierre Thomas (at Pit - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: FOX)
Pierre Thomas returned last week from his shoulder injury and immediately stepped back into his role as the team’s passing down back. Thomas received 13 looks on the day and was nicely involved in the offense, per usual, taking his 5 carries for 19 yards while catching 6 of his 8 targets for 37 yards. Thomas is most beloved in PPR circles as being a consistent source for catches, a tradition that continued last week. Pittsburgh is above average defending running backs, allowing just 16.8 fantasy points a game, but are a top-ten team in defending opposing running backs in the passing game allowing just 42 catches for 365 yards and 2 scores.
36. Charles Sims (vs. Cin - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: CBS)
37. DeAngelo Williams (at Min - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: FOX)
38. Doug Martin (vs. Cin - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: CBS)
The “Muscle Hamster” has been a lot more ‘Hamster’ than ‘Muscle’ so far this season, as the third-year rodent has done nothing of value for any of his owners. Still, Martin led the Bucs in touches last week and even though he continues to look lethargic out there, none of the other Tampa RBs have looked much better. The Hamster wheel will likely be greased (i.e. - around 10 touches) one last time on Sunday against a mediocre Bengals rush D, but if he fails to do anything of note, he might not see the field for the rest of the season.
39. Trent Richardson (vs. Was - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: FOX)
Against an easy opponent in Jacksonville, the Colts ran the ball 35 times in Week 12. Many fantasy websites were pumping up Richardson, mainly because of the loss of Bradshaw, but also due to the matchup. My point last week, which clearly rang true, he is still Trent Richardson. That is exactly what we saw with his usual lethargic 3.2 yards per carry. Herron was the real beneficiary. Richardson’s numbers were just about the exact same, but Herron received 12 carries, only 1 less than T-Rich. The real interesting part was that Herron may just fill the Bradshaw role better than expected as he caught all 5 of his targets. Richardson, by the way, was targeted just once and ended the day with a bagel in the reception column. On the year, Washington is giving up the 3rd-fewest points to fantasy RBs. I don’t know about you, I am looking to win each week, and win big. Richardson is not part of that equation.
40. Terrance West (at Buf - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: CBS)
West had 14 carries for 62 yards last week, but it was Isaiah Crowell who was the more effective fantasy back. Terrance is now the second back in the offense, but he does not do much more than just carry the ball. Crowell is better as a receiver out of the backfield, and is more effective in the redzone. This week West will face a very tough Bills defense that has only given up four rushing touchdowns on the season. This is not a good matchup for West, and you should look for a better option if you have one.
41. Darren Sproles (at Dal - Thanksgiving Afternoon, 4:30pm ET - TV: FOX)
Sproles saw more touches last week (9), than he did the previous two weeks (6). He turned those touches into 39 total yards, with a touchdown. The problem for Sproles is that he needs to have the touchdowns to be effective. Sproles has 50 or more total yards five times this season, but only has two since Week 3. He has managed to score a touchdown every other week over the past six weeks, but this would be an off week if that trend continues. If you own Sproles, you have to be happy with the increased amount of touches last week, but remember that was against a poor Titans defense. Darren is going to have a tougher time getting loose this week.
42. Steven Jackson (vs. Ari - Sunday, 4:05pm ET - TV: FOX)
Steven Jackson found the endzone again and made a nice fantasy day because of it, finishing as the 16th back in fantasy scoring. Other than his touchdown Jackson was less than effective, gaining 34 yards on his 13 carries. He also snagged 2 passes for 17 yards. Jackson however goes up against a stiff run defense in Arizona, a team that allows just 12.7 fantasy points a game to opposing runners. On the season, Arizona has allowed just three players to score double-digit fantasy points against them, so Jackson is far from an ideal option this week.
43. Andre Williams (at Jac - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: FOX)
Williams saw 10 carries last week, which was a major increase from the two he saw the previous week, but he was once again ineffective as a runner with only 35 rushing yards, but he did score a touchdown. That is where his value is at this point, as Rashad Jennings is the lead back, and he is relegated to spot and goal line duty. He is not worth starting at this point, even with a good matchup against the Jaguars.
44. Benny Cunningham (vs. Oak - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: CBS)
45. Darren McFadden (at StL - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: CBS)
Darren McFadden got another start last week against the Chiefs but was quickly replaced by Latavius Murray in the backfield, and at this point we all know what he did with 4 rushing attempts. After Murray left with a concussion, McFadden again took the top spot in the rotation, mustering just 29 yards on 12 carries and “adding” 5 yards on 2 catches. Murray is expected to return from his head injury and handle a greater share of the workload, relegating McFadden to the bench, where he also belongs on your fantasy teams. Taking on the Rams isn’t a great thing either, as they are top ten against running backs allowing just 15.4 fantasy points a game. Keep McFadden on your bench or waiver wire where he belongs.
46. Anthony Dixon (vs. Cle - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: CBS)
47. Alfred Blue (vs. Ten - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: CBS)
48. Branden Oliver (at Bal - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: CBS)
Seemingly, San Diego has bounced back from their 3-game skid. They have won the last 2, but just barely, and that was only against Oakland and St. Louis. When you can only manage 13 points against Oakland, there is a problem. San Diego scares me. What should scare an Oliver owner even more is the 8.8 yards per carry Mathews put up against the Rams last week. That is double what the Rams allow on a per game basis. Speaking of doubles, I’m gonna go get ‘da papers, get ‘da papers. Whoops, wrong kind of doubles. Mathews however did double Oliver’s carries 12 to 6. This is going to be a tough match up for either back. Baltimore is only allowing 3.7 yards per carry. There are only 5 teams allowing fewer yards per tote through 12 weeks. Oliver is on my bench this week.
49. Matt Asiata (vs. Car - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: FOX)
50. Bernard Pierce (vs. SD - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: CBS)
Bernard may not play a ton these days, but he’s still getting a decent amount of touches averaging 8 of them over the Ravens’ last two games. That said, he’s a deep-league FLEX option at best this week.
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Wide Receiver Player Rankings – Week 13
Wide Receivers (Updated: Thursday, Nov. 27 - 9:53AM CT)
1. Calvin Johnson (vs. Chi - Thanksgiving Day, 12:30pm ET - TV: CBS)
Megatron was shut down by Bill Belichick and the Patriots last week, who held him to four receptions for 58 yards on 10 targets. That marked the second week in a row that Johnson was held out of the endzone, and had less than 60 receiving yards. This week Calvin will face the Bears, and he should be able to get back on track versus a defense that is allowing 23.3 fantasy points to wide receivers. The Bears allowed 100-yard receiving games to Vincent Jackson and Louis Murphy last week, while Mike Evans scored a touchdown. That was a game in Chicago, against a very bad Buccaneers team, which means they should have their hands full with Megatron. Add to that, rookie standout Kyle Fuller may not suit up for this game, which weakens the Bears secondary even more. Megatron should start your Thanksgiving off on a good note.
2. Antonio Brown (vs. NO - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: FOX)
Brown got back on track last week, with nine receptions for 91 yards, and a touchdown. Antonio has now found the endzone in three of his last four games, but has four touchdowns. Brown should have a good chance to keep the good times rolling as he faces the Saints this week. New Orleans has given up 13 touchdowns to receivers this season, and five 100-yard receivers. The Saints struggle even more on the road, which could mean the Steelers jump ahead and lean on Le’Veon Bell and the running game. That would take away the huge game potential for Brown, but he is going to do what he does, which is catch touchdowns and score fantasy points.
3. A.J. Green (at TB - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: CBS)
Green has hit his stride his last two games, and notched his second straight 100-yard receiving game, with 12 receptions for 121 yards. He will look to make it three in a row as he faces the Buccaneers this week. Tampa is allowing 25.8 fantasy points per game to receivers, which is fifth worst in the league. They have also have surrendered 15 touchdowns to wide receivers this year. Green should be able to take advantage of the Bucs secondary, and come away with 100 yards and a score.
4. Emmanuel Sanders (at KC - Sunday Night, 8:30pm ET - TV: NBC)
5. Dez Bryant (vs. Phi - Thanksgiving Afternoon, 4:30pm ET - TV: FOX)
Dez Bryant had another big game last Sunday night against the Giants. Dez hauled in 7 of his 9 targets for 86 yards but made his presence known yet again in the endzone, hauling in two touchdowns and just asserting his dominance over defensive backs. Dez now has ten TDs on the season and has three straight season of double digit scores. This week Dez gets to feast on the Eagles instead of Turkeys and also should feast on their defensive backs as well as they are giving up the most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers at over 28 points a game. Expect Dez to push around Eagle defenders all game long as the Cowboys seek out a playoff birth when their main competition is the Eagles.
6. Demaryius Thomas (at KC - Sunday Night, 8:30pm ET - TV: NBC)
Thomas saw his 100-yard game streak end at seven, but he also ended his four game touchdown drought, with three scores. This week he faces off against the Chiefs, and when he saw them in Week two, he was held to 62 yards on five receptions, with a touchdown. In the two games he faced them last year, he had 100 yards in each game, but was held without a touchdown. Thomas has not had 100 yards and a touchdown against the Chiefs since the end of the 2012 season. You are starting Demaryius no matter what, and with a dinged up Julius Thomas, he should be the main target in the redzone.
7. Odell Beckham Jr. (at Jac - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: FOX)
Jacksonville has allowed 11 different wide receivers to either score a touchdown or go for more than 100 yards so far this year. Free Safety Josh Evans and cornerback Demetrius McCray are listed as Questionable as of early Friday. Dwayne Gratz, their healthiest starting defensive back, is listed by Pro Football Focus as 66th out of 112 ranked. That means that against the pass, there are 65 cornerbacks they have rated as better. Sure, some of those guys have been lost to injury, but you get the idea. Plus, Jacksonville has allowed 6 different QBs to throw multiple touchdowns against them. Besides, after what Beckham has shown us of late, do you really need any more reason to get him in your lineup? ODB is easily a top play this week.
8. T.Y. Hilton (vs. Was - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: FOX)
After being shut down by New England two weeks ago, Hilton wasted no time getting back on track last week, with four receptions for 122 yards and a touchdown. That ended his two-game skid without a 100-yard game, after notching three in a row. This week he should be able to feast upon a very weak Washington defense. Mike Evans and Anquan Boldin, who each had their best games of the season, combing for 16 receptions for 346 yards and three touchdowns, torched the Redskins over the past two weeks. Hilton should be able to make it three weeks in a row that Washington allows a 100-yard receiver, and is a must-start.
9. Randall Cobb (vs. NE - Sunday, 4:25pm ET - TV: CBS)
10. Josh Gordon (at Buf - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: CBS)
11. Jeremy Maclin (at Dal - Thanksgiving Afternoon, 4:30pm ET - TV: FOX)
12. Kelvin Benjamin (at Min - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: FOX)
13. Jordy Nelson (vs. NE - Sunday, 4:25pm ET - TV: CBS)
Jordy had eight receptions for 68 yards last week, which was the first time he had been held under 100 yards and without a touchdown in three weeks. He may find it tough to get going this week, as he and the Packers welcome the Patriots to town. New England has been fantastic at limiting receivers, holding them to 17.9 fantasy points per week, which is third best in the league. The Patriots have also only surrendered seven touchdowns to receivers this year and only two in their last five games. Bill Belichick takes away the opposing offense's best option, and Nelson is that for Green Bay. Look for New England to give Nelson many different looks in this game, making it difficult for him to break out.
14. Keenan Allen (at Bal - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: CBS)
Keenan had his second 100-yard receiving game of the season last week, and added his second touchdown of the season ta boot. Allen should be able to stay hot as he faces the Ravens this week. Baltimore is great at shutting down opposing running games, but they are giving up 27.3 fantasy points per game to wide receivers, third worst in the league. Their struggles have been more as of late, and that coincides with Allen getting hotter. This is a week that you play Allen, and he should give you nice results.
15. Julio Jones (vs. Ari - Sunday, 4:05pm ET - TV: FOX)
Jones found the endzone last week, which was his first score since Week 3. The score was great, but Julio continues to underperform, and only has one 100-yard game in his last six. This week he face the Cardinals, and will most likely see a steady dose of Patrick Peterson. The Cardinals have allowed five 100-yard receivers on the season, but the last one came in Week 8. Arizona is great at shutting down the run, which is not hard to do against the Falcons, and that will allow them to put extra coverage on Jones. This is not going to be a good week for Julio.
16. Mike Evans (vs. Cin - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: CBS)
17. Golden Tate (vs. Chi - Thanksgiving Day, 12:30pm ET - TV: CBS)
Tate was not very consistent last week, with only four receptions on 11 targets, but he did manage 97 receiving yards, and added another 13 yards rushing. Tate has been great to his fantasy owners this season, but the last two weeks against the Patriots and Cardinals slowed him down. Tate should have a great chance to score you some golden eggs this week, as he faces a Bears defense that has struggled against weak competition in the Vikings and Buccaneers the last two weeks. This is a must win for Detroit, if they want to stay close to the Packers, and remain in the wild card hunt. Megatron is going to get the majority of attention, and this is a great matchup for Tate to exploit the Bears weakened secondary. Golden is a must start this week.
18. Mike Wallace (at NYJ - Monday Night, 8:30pm ET - TV: ESPN)
Wallace got back into the endzone last week, but he only had four receptions for 35 yards. Wallace has now only found the endzone two times in his last five games, after scoring in five of his first six games. Mike is still looking for his first 100-yard game of the season, and has been held under 60 yards in each of his last six games. This week he has a chance for 100 yards and a touchdown as he faces the Jets. The Jets have allowed seven 100-yard games on the season, as well as 12 touchdowns to receivers. It has been even worse for the Jets as of late, allowing a 100-yard receiver in three of their last four games. Get Wallace in your lineup this week.
19. Alshon Jeffery (at Det - Thanksgiving Day, 12:30pm ET - TV: CBS)
20. Brandon LaFell (at GB - Sunday, 4:25pm ET - TV: CBS)
21. Brandon Marshall (at Det - Thanksgiving Day, 12:30pm ET - TV: CBS)
22. DeSean Jackson (at Ind - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: FOX)
DeSean will have a change at the quarterback position for the fourth time this season, as Colt McCoy resumes control of the offense. This is not necessarily good news for Jackson. He did have one good game when Colt was under center, but McCoy is more of a game manager than one to air it out. This week he will face the Colts, who have only allowed two 100-yard receivers on the season, but receivers have scored 10 touchdowns against them. If you own DeSean, you are most likely going to play him, but temper your expectations this week.
23. Sammy Watkins (vs. Cle - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: CBS)
Buffalo faces Cleveland this week. The Browns just lost their safety, Tashaun Gipson. Chances are, they will have to wait another week for the return of line backer Karlos Danby, as he has yet to practice this week. So, that is the good news. The bad news is Joe Haden’s play has picked up recently. Not only that, fellow corners K’Waun Williams, and Buster Skrine have been incredibly tough for opposing WRs. In fact, Pro Football Focus ranks Williams as their #9 corner against the pass. Skrine is ranked 39, and even Justin Gilbert is ranked at #41. There is no doubt about it, Cleveland’s secondary can play. It helps Gipson is out, as he was ranked as the #3 safety against the pass, but they will still be a formidable challenge. I’ve got Watkins as a low end WR#2 against a monster of a secondary.
24. Mohamed Sanu (at TB - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: CBS)
25. Martavis Bryant (vs. NO - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: FOX)
26. Jarvis Landry (at NYJ - Monday Night, 8:30pm ET - TV: ESPN)
27. DeAndre Hopkins (vs. Ten - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: CBS)
28. Jordan Matthews (at Dal - Thanksgiving Afternoon, 4:30pm ET - TV: FOX)
Matthews has become one of the more consistent receivers over the past four weeks, with 21 receptions for 362 yards, and four touchdowns. Last week Matthews was held out of the endzone, but still managed six receptions fro 77 yards on eight targets. This week he faces the Cowboys for the first time in his career, and they have been tough for receivers to score on, allowing only 19.6 fantasy points per game, which is sixth best in the league. Jeremy Maclin is going to continue to see the majority of attention, and Matthews should be able to take advantage of one-on-one coverage. The key to his success will be how well the Eagles can protect Mark Sanchez, and give him time in the pocket.
29. John Brown (at Atl - Sunday, 4:05pm ET - TV: FOX)
30. Torrey Smith (vs. SD - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: CBS)
Torrey had his biggest yardage output of the season last week, with 98 yards on five receptions, but was held out of the endzone for the first time in three weeks. Smith has actually been very productive scoring, with six touchdowns in his last eight games. This week he faces the Chargers, and they have only allowed two 100-yard receivers in their last five games, and they both came in the same game to the Broncos. Torrey is more involved in the offense, but he may find it difficult to score big this week.
31. Kenny Stills (at Pit - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: FOX)
Stills saw a nice bump in production without the presence of Brandin Cooks. Stills was targeted nine times, and had eight receptions for 98 yards. Kenny was targeted five more times than Colston, and was used in a variety of ways, like Cooks was being used. Stills is the most talented receiver left for the Saints, and he should continue to see the majority of the targets over Colston. This week he faces a Steelers team, that been much improved over the last month, and Drew Brees traditionally struggles on the road, especially late in the season. Stills has improved value, but this is not the best matchup for him.
32. Steve Smith (vs. SD - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: CBS)
33. Andrew Hawkins (at Buf - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: CBS)
34. Julian Edelman (at GB - Sunday, 4:25pm ET - TV: CBS)
Edelman was held out of the endzone for the second straight week, but he caught 11 passes for 89 yards, on an astounding 15 targets. He may be called on to catch a lot of balls again this week, as the Patriots head to Lambeau Field for a major showdown with the Packers. Green Bay can be beat through the air, and they have allowed 14 touchdowns to receivers so far this season. The have done a good job eliminating the big game from receivers, with only two 100-yard games against them, but they have come in two of the last three games. Julian will be more productive in PPR formats this week, but he has a good chance to score a touchdown in this game as well.
35. Roddy White (vs. Ari - Sunday, 4:05pm ET - TV: FOX)
36. Malcom Floyd (at Bal - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: CBS)
37. Pierre Garcon (at Ind - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: FOX)
It has been a blue moon since I have felt comfortable enough to start a Washington receiver. Vontae Davis will likely go with Jackson, thus leaving Greg Toler to guard Garcon. Davis was seen in a walking boot, but is reported to be a go for the Washington game. Pro Football Focus rates Toler a deplorable 104 out of 112. McCoy, now back under center, has played in 2 games with Garcon. In those 2 games, Garcon was targeted 10 times, had 1 TD, and a total of 134 yards. In that same time, Jackson was targeted 12 times, was held without a score, and racked up 185 yards. With McCoy as their starter, the team is 2-0, including an overtime win at Dallas. Call me crazy, but I think the team will rally around McCoy. That said, if Garcon does indeed draw Toler, he could be a sneaky play. Again, I would not have touched him last week, but I could see it come together with Colt as the QB and an easy matchup with a mediocre DB, I give Garcon a low end flex grade.
38. Michael Floyd (at Atl - Sunday, 4:05pm ET - TV: FOX)
After nabbing two touchdown catches in Week 11, Floyd came back with no catches on two targets last week. Michael has had an up and down season, with most of it being down. If there were ever a chance for him to right the ship, it would be this week against the Falcons. Atlanta has allowed eight 100-yard games, and surrendered 11 touchdowns to receivers this season. Larry Fitzgerald is limited by an MCL strain, and the other option is rookie John Brown, yet Floyd has only been targeted 16 times over the past four weeks. He may tempt you to start him this week because of the matchup, but he is still a total crap shoot.
39. Kendall Wright (at Hou - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: CBS)
Kendall had a horrible game last week, with only one reception for 28 yards on six targets. It marked the fourth week in a row that Wright has been held out of the endzone. This week he faces the Texans, and this could be his chance to get right, pun intended. The Texans have yielded 17 touchdowns to receivers, which is the most in the league. In fact, Houston has allowed a wide receiver to score a touchdown in every game, but the season opener. In their meeting earlier this season Kendall had three receptions for 53 yards.
40. Andre Johnson (vs. Ten - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: CBS)
Johnson can’t be happy now that Ryan Fitzpatrick is back under center. Andre has struggled this season, and only has one touchdown, which will not be added to this week. The Texans are facing the Titans, who are horrible at defending the run, the thing Houston does best. Fitzpatrick is just going to manage the game, and will not throw enough to make Johnson a good option this week.
41. Anquan Boldin (vs. Sea - Thanksgiving Night, 8:30pm ET - TV: NBC)
42. Justin Hunter (at Hou - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: CBS)
43. Eric Decker (vs. Mia - Monday Night, 8:30pm ET - TV: ESPN)
44. Rueben Randle (at Jac - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: FOX)
45. Marques Colston (at Pit - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: FOX)
It was a good game for Marques last week, with four receptions for 82 yards, and his first touchdown since Week 3. He will look to carry that momentum into this week against the Steelers, but they have been playing much better over the last three weeks. In that span they have only allowed receivers 334 yards with two touchdowns. Colston also has to deal with the fact that he is falling behind Kenny Stills in the pecking order, who had five more targets than him last week. Marques just does not have the game breaking ability he once had, and is a possession receiver for Drew Brees.
46. Vincent Jackson (vs. Cin - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: CBS)
VJax was able to get his game going last week against the Bears, and finished with five receptions for 117 yards. That was his second 100-yard game of the season, but he has still been held without a touchdown since Week 4. This week he faces the Bengals, who are second best in the league, limiting receivers to only 17 fantasy points per game. They have only given up six touchdowns, and three 100-yard games to receivers this season. Jackson is going to have a hard time finding open space to work this week.
47. Allen Hurns (vs. NYG - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: FOX)
48. Reggie Wayne (vs. Was - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: FOX)
While Wayne still got his targets, last week was a tough matchup. I was doubtful about his performance going into the week, and his numbers attest as to why. Although targeted 9 times, he only caught 3 for a total of 10 yards. Jacksonville does a pretty solid job against #2 WRs. Granted, the Colts had the game in hand, so they ran the ball 35 times. This was to be expected against Jacksonville. I still like Wayne in PPR leagues, but as far as standard, it is a crap shoot for him to score. The guy only has 2 all year. While he will have a big game here or there, they are becoming fewer and fewer. He has been in decline the last few years, and the injury from 2013 seems to be taking a toll. That said, it is a good matchup this week. In the last 3 weeks, Washington has given up the most fantasy goo to opposing WRs. In 3 career games against them, he averages just over 72 yards a game, and has 1 total TD. According to Pro Football Focus, Washington has 3 Cornerbacks that occupy a place in the bottom 30 out of 111 ranked corner backs. Wayne might have an opportunity here because of the matchups. I like him more as a low end PPR flex than anything, but I would not be surprised if he puts up a decent day against some Washington corners that can be exposed.
49. Michael Crabtree (vs. Sea - Thanksgiving Night, 8:30pm ET - TV: NBC)
Crabtree has become a bigger part of the 49ers offense in the last four weeks, but he still has yet to produce a breakout game. His high yardage mark on the season is 85 yards, and he has only topped 80 yards three times. This week he faces his old friend Richard Sherman, and in their last two meetings, Crabtree only has a total of nine receptions for 92 yards, without a touchdown. It is not going to get any better for Crabby this week, especially since Kaepernick has only one touchdown pass in each of their last five games. In two games against the Seahawks last season, Kaepernick only threw for 302 yards, with one touchdown and four interceptions. Look for a better option on your bench this week.
50. Davante Adams (vs. NE - Sunday, 4:25pm ET - TV: CBS)
51. Kenny Britt (vs. Oak - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: CBS)
52. Charles Johnson (vs. Car - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: FOX)
53. Terrance Williams (vs. Phi - Thanksgiving Afternoon, 4:30pm ET - TV: FOX)
54. James Jones (at StL - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: CBS)
55. Cecil Shorts (vs. NYG - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: FOX)
56. Doug Baldwin (at SF - Thanksgiving Night, 8:30pm ET - TV: NBC)
57. Andre Holmes (at StL - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: CBS)
58. Chris Hogan (vs. Cle - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: CBS)
59. Eddie Royal (at Bal - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: CBS)
60. Dwayne Bowe (vs. Den - Sunday Night, 8:30pm ET - TV: NBC)
61. Percy Harvin (vs. Mia - Monday Night, 8:30pm ET - TV: ESPN)
After looking like the move to New York was going to be a good thing when he broke out in Week 9, he has shit the bed in the two games since. In those games he has been targeted 10 times, and only has four receptions for 25 yards, and six carries for 33 yards, with no scores. This week he faces the Dolphins, and he will be dealing with Geno Smith again. This is bad news, and reason enough to leave him on your bench. Before getting torched by the Broncos the Dolphins defense had only allowed two touchdowns to receivers in their previous four games. Find a better option this week.
62. Markus Wheaton (vs. NO - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: FOX)
63. Greg Jennings (vs. Car - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: FOX)
64. Robert Woods (vs. Cle - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: CBS)
65. Cordarrelle Patterson (vs. Car - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: FOX)
It continues to be more of the same for Patterson. He now has only has five receptions for 51 yards total, in his last three games. He is not worth starting, even when he has a good matchup. This is the time you need production, as you prepare for the fantasy playoffs, and he should not be in your starting lineup.
66. Donte Moncrief (vs. Was - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: FOX)
67. Nate Washington (at Hou - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: CBS)
68. Hakeem Nicks (vs. Was - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: FOX)
Last week, he had a decent matchup against a Jaguar defense that was particularly susceptible to #3 WRs. Although he did score, the Colts had the game in hand and were just not throwing the ball. Using the clock to their advantage, they ran the ball 35 times, not leaving much for the receivers. While I think Washington will surprise some folks and put up more a fight than expected, Nicks is done. In fact, if you are in a dynasty league, I would be targeting Moncrief if he is available. If you still have Nicks on your team, I would check Dawg’s rankings and do a waiver wire sweep. So long Hakeem, and thanks for the memories.
69. Miles Austin (at Buf - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: CBS)
70. Wes Welker (at KC - Sunday Night, 8:30pm ET - TV: NBC)
Welker found the endzone last week, his second of the season, but he only had 18 yards on four receptions. This was supposed to be his opportunity to get more involved in the offense, as Julius Thomas was not playing. Thomas will be back this week, and Welker will go back to being fantasy irrelevant. Wes is not recommended this week.
71. Stedman Bailey (vs. Oak - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: CBS)
72. Jermaine Kearse (at SF - Thanksgiving Night, 8:30pm ET - TV: NBC)
73. Jaron Brown (at Atl - Sunday, 4:05pm ET - TV: FOX)
74. Marqise Lee (vs. NYG - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: FOX)
75. Riley Cooper (at Dal - Thanksgiving Afternoon, 4:30pm ET - TV: FOX)
Riley Cooper has fell down the food chain this season, and since he has only scored 1 touchdown this season he has lost all his luster, Riley was a guy getting endzone looks last season and those have all but disappeared as he has been usurped by the rookie Jordan Mathews. Last week Riley was targeted six times and caught 3 passes for 49 yards. Riley has been getting about six targets a game and should stay in that range the rest of the season, but with his lack of open field playmaking and now a lack of redzone looks he is a guy who shouldn’t be started.
76. Jerricho Cotchery (at Min - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: FOX)
77. Jeremy Kerley (vs. Mia - Monday Night, 8:30pm ET - TV: ESPN)
78. Joseph Morgan (at Pit - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: FOX)
79. Brandon Gibson (at NYJ - Monday Night, 8:30pm ET - TV: ESPN)
80. Louis Murphy (vs. Cin - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: CBS)
81. Nick Toon (at Pit - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: FOX)
82. Stevie Johnson (vs. Sea - Thanksgiving Night, 8:30pm ET - TV: NBC)
83. Harry Douglas (vs. Ari - Sunday, 4:05pm ET - TV: FOX)
84. Brian Hartline (at NYJ - Monday Night, 8:30pm ET - TV: ESPN)
85. Danny Amendola (at GB - Sunday, 4:25pm ET - TV: CBS)
86. Vincent Brown (at StL - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: CBS)
87. Donnie Avery (vs. Den - Sunday Night, 8:30pm ET - TV: NBC)
88. Taylor Gabriel (at Buf - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: CBS)
89. Jarius Wright (vs. Car - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: FOX)
90. Andre Roberts (at Ind - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: FOX)
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Tight End Player Rankings – Week 13
Tight Ends (Updated: Wednesday, Nov. 26 - 7:13PM CT)
1. Jimmy Graham (at Pit - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: FOX)
2. Rob Gronkowski (at GB - Sunday, 4:25pm ET - TV: CBS)
3. Julius Thomas (at KC - Sunday Night, 8:30pm ET - TV: NBC)
4. Travis Kelce (vs. Den - Sunday Night, 8:30pm ET - TV: NBC)
5. Greg Olsen (at Min - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: FOX)
Olsen has been held out of the endzone for five straight games, and only has one 100-yard game in his last four. Olsen is still the one of the best receiving threats for Cam Newton, and this week he will face off against the Vikings. Minnesota is only giving up 5.8 fantasy points per week to tight ends, and have only given up three touchdowns to tight ends this year. Only three tight ends have had 50 or more yards, and the most yards gained against them by a tight end this season is 56 yards, back in the season opener. Olsen will get his targets, but he may find it hard to break out in this game.
6. Martellus Bennett (at Det - Thanksgiving Day, 12:30pm ET - TV: CBS)
7. Jason Witten (vs. Phi - Thanksgiving Afternoon, 4:30pm ET - TV: FOX)
Jason Witten finished Sunday night as a top 5 tight end, catching 4 of his 6 targets for 30 yards and a touchdown, something that only 8 tight ends were able to accomplish on Sunday. The Cowboys then took a flight home and ended up back in Dallas at 5 AM Monday morning and have a real short week ahead of them to get ready for the high paced Eagles. With the short week, old reliable should come out to play against an Eagle linebacking corps devastated by injuries. The Eagles have been decent against tight ends on the season, allowing a below average 6.2 fantasy points a game to opposing teams, but that number is a bit misleading as they have allowed just 1 touchdown pass on the season (to Jack Doyle, the Colts third string tight end). They have been torched by Delanie Walker last week for 155 yards, and by Greg Olsen for 119 yards this season, and are allowing nearly 60 receiving yards a game to tight ends. Witten could be a guy to score against the Eagles, as he has torn them up in his career, averaging nearly 6 catches for 67 yards and 7 scores in 21 games. Look for the guy with more catches than anyone on Thanksgiving to be able to make a big impact.
8. Coby Fleener (vs. Was - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: FOX)
9. Delanie Walker (at Hou - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: CBS)
10. Charles Clay (at NYJ - Monday Night, 8:30pm ET - TV: ESPN)
11. Larry Donnell (at Jac - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: FOX)
12. Jordan Reed (at Ind - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: FOX)
13. Brent Celek (at Dal - Thanksgiving Afternoon, 4:30pm ET - TV: FOX)
14. Jordan Cameron (at Buf - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: CBS)
Cameron is expected to make his return to the lineup this week, and he draws a tough assignment in the Buffalo Bills. The Bills have only allowed two touchdowns to tight ends on the season, and are only surrendering 5.3 fantasy points per game to tight ends, which is fourth best in the league. He has a ton of talent, but with this matchup, and being his first game back, play a better option if you have one.
15. Kyle Rudolph (vs. Car - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: FOX)
Rudolph returned last week and had three receptions for 50 yards on five targets. This week he will meet the Panthers, who have only allowed two touchdowns to tight ends this season, and give up 6.7 fantasy points per week to tight ends. The Vikings offense continues to be inconsistent, and Teddy Bridgewater is not a quarterback you want to bet on right now. Rudolph has potential, but the play at quarterback really limits his fantasy value.
16. Eric Ebron (vs. Chi - Thanksgiving Day, 12:30pm ET - TV: CBS)
Ebron continues to struggle to find his way through his rookie season, and last week was his third week in a row with fewer than 25 receiving yards. Ebron has not been able to take advantage of good matchups this season, but this week he has his best opportunity of the year. The Bears have struggled mightily trying to stop tight ends, and have allowed them a league leading 11.9 fantasy points per game. Even with this matchup, it is still a real strectch to go with Ebron this week.
17. Tim Wright (at Pit - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: FOX)
18. Zach Ertz (at Dal - Thanksgiving Afternoon, 4:30pm ET - TV: FOX)
Because of injuries and suspensions to their offensive line, the Eagles have had to rely more heavily on their tight ends for blocking. Because of this, Celek has been on the field far more than Ertz. In the last 2 weeks alone, Celek’s snap count has doubled that of Ertz. However, when he has been on the field, he has seen some action. Since Sanchez has taken the reins, Ertz’s production has risen. Last week, he was targeted 6 times despite being on the field for just 26 offensive snaps. Ertz left the game due to an oblique injury, but returned later to finish. He was able to get in a full practice this past Tuesday so he should be full go Thursday to face the Cowboys for the middle Thanksgiving day game. While the Cowboys look susceptible on paper to the TE position, like Archie Bell and the Drells, they have Tightened Up. In the last 7 games, they have only allowed 3 TDs to come from the Tight End position (6 TE scores came in the first 4 weeks). In their last 4 games, the most yards put up by a tight end was 40, (Jordan Reed week #8). While I like his trajectory and usage as of late, this matchup will be more difficult than it appears.
19. Mychal Rivera (at StL - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: CBS)
20. Vernon Davis (vs. Sea - Thanksgiving Night, 8:30pm ET - TV: NBC)
Davis continues to stink up the joint. To explain just how bad it has gotten for Davis, last week he had three receptions for 21 yards, which was his best game since Week 7, when he also had 21 yards. There is no way you can confidently start Vernon, even with the fact that Seattle is poor at defending tight ends, allowing them 9.2 fantasy points per weeks, which is twenty-fourth in the league. In the two games that Vernon faced the Seahawks last season, when he was scoring a lot of fantasy points, he only had seven receptions for 57 yards, with one touchdown in three games. It is not going to turn around for Davis this week.
21. Tony Moeaki (at SF - Thanksgiving Night, 8:30pm ET - TV: NBC)
22. Antonio Gates (at Bal - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: CBS)
Gates has caught all of his targets over the past two games, but that has only resulted in five receptions for 46 yards, with no scores. This week he faces the Ravens, who have only given up four touchdowns to tight ends on the season, and two of them went to Jimmy Graham in last week. Baltimore has also only allowed two tight ends to have more than 50 yards receiving. With all that in mind, Gates is better left on your bench this week.
23. Jermaine Gresham (at TB - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: CBS)
24. Marcedes Lewis (vs. NYG - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: FOX)
25. Andrew Quarless (vs. NE - Sunday, 4:25pm ET - TV: CBS)
26. Jared Cook (vs. Oak - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: CBS)
Cook was limited in Wednesday’s practice and is rated as questionable. With Hill back under center, Cook’s looks are increasing once again. In the last 2 weeks, Cook has been targeted 14 times, even though he was only on the field for 37 snaps in both games. Hill trusts him. In the last 3 weeks, no other team has given up more fantasy goo to opposing TEs than the Raiders. There have been 7 TEs this year that has either gone for at least 60 yards, or scored a touchdown on Oakland. As of Wednesday, the Raiders have 5 corner backs listed as questionable. Yup, 5 corner backs alone. One of the ones that is actually healthy, Brandian Ross, is rated by Pro Football Focus as the 4th worst cornerback in coverage. If he resumes full practice, I think he could be a low end starter, simply because of the matchup and the condition their defense is in.
27. Owen Daniels (vs. SD - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: CBS)
28. Luke Willson (at SF - Thanksgiving Night, 8:30pm ET - TV: NBC)
29. Scott Chandler (vs. Cle - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: CBS)
30. Niles Paul (at Ind - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: FOX)
31. Anthony Fasano (vs. Den - Sunday Night, 8:30pm ET - TV: NBC)
32. Heath Miller (vs. NO - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: FOX)
33. Ladarius Green (at Bal - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: CBS)
34. Austin Seferian-Jenkins (vs. Cin - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: CBS)
35. Garrett Graham (vs. Ten - Sunday, 1:00pm ET - TV: CBS)
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