The Week 17 start em, sit em lineup advice post is up.
Well, I was not a very good QB prognosticator last week.
I looked at Tony Romo’s struggles and his matchup (OAK) and figured he was a good sit candidate. What I failed to consider was his consistently strong play on Thanksgiving Day. He ended up busting my QB sit ’em pick.
I looked at Carson Palmer playing the Browns and figured he was about as slam dunk a start candidate as there was, especially after the Browns made Matthew Stafford look like Drew Brees last weekend. Palmer, however, threw only one TD pass and had only 110 yards passing overall. Solid numbers, but probably not top 10 or 12.
Other than the QBs though, I was pretty solid, nailing the Justin Forsett start for the highlight of the week.
We’re now one monster fantasy game (New England-New Orleans on Monday night) away from Week 13, so let’s take a quick peek into the future and answer your burning start ’em, sit ’em questions for this week.
A quick look back at last week:
- Start ’em hits: Justin Forsett, SEA; Zach Miller, OAK; New York Jets D/ST; Derrick Mason, BAL
- Start ’em misses: Carson Palmer, CIN;
- Sit ’em hits: Kevin Smith, DET; Braylon Edwards, NYJ;
- Sit ’em misses: Tony Romo, DAL;
I’m posting this Sunday night, so I don’t know yet how Jeremy Shockey, and the New Orleans and New England D/ST units did.
Before we get into this week’s start em, sit em picks, here is a quick note from our sponsor, Sadler’s Smokehouse.
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Week 13 Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em Lineup Advice
Week 13 Start ‘em, Sit ‘em Picks: Quarterbacks
Start ’em: Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers (vs Baltimore Ravens)
This was a tough one to decide. My first instinct was to say Philip Rivers, who has a great matchup against Cleveland, but I figured that was too obvious. I almost put Carson Palmer for the second week in a row, but Week 12 proved that Cincinnati is content to ride its running game to victory even when more passing yards might be there. Other interesting guys are David Garrard (home versus Houston), Jay Cutler (home versus St. Louis), Alex Smith (at Seattle), etc.
I finally settled on Aaron Rodgers as this week’s QB start ’em because I don’t want you to see his matchup and get scared.
First of all, look at Rodgers’ numbers. He’s thrown 22 TDs against only five INTs. His QB rating is 104.9. He’s rushed for three TDs. This guy is really putting together an incredible fantasy season and is basically a must-start on a weekly basis. His biggest issue this year has been taking too many sacks, but he has been much better in this area recently.
As for Baltimore, they are still very good defensively but not as dominant as they once were. Going into Sunday night’s game, the Ravens had given up 11 TDs in ten games, but realize that they’ve played Cleveland twice this year. The Ravens also give up 217.9 yards passing per game. Plus, Baltimore is solid against the run, which means Rodgers may need to throw the ball more.
Ultimately, I just don’t want you to overthink it. Don’t look at Jay Cutler playing St. Louis and think that you should bench Rodgers. Obviously it’s possible that Cutler could have the better week, but Rodgers has earned my trust to be a start, even against Baltimore.
Aaron Rodgers Week 13 fantasy projection: 250 yards passing, 2 TDs, 0 INTs, 1 fumble lost
Other start ’em QBs for Week 13:
- Well, as mentioned above, I like all of the following: Rivers, Palmer, Garrard, Cutler, Smith
- Tony Romo is a good start this week. He seems to be back on track after a solid start against Oakland and the Giants have not been doing a very good job against the pass.
Sit ’em: Eli Manning, New York Giants (vs Dallas Cowboys)
It’s no so much that the Cowboys are a terrible matchup (they’ve given up a middle-of-the-pack 15 TDs this year and have only picked off seven passes), but there are just way too many questions surrounding Eli’s health and the Giants’ offense to trust him here. Even though guys like David Garrard, Alex Smith, and even Jay Cutler may not have the same “name value” as Manning, I’d rather have all of them starting this week.
Manning was awful on Thanksgiving night against Denver, and now apparently has a “stress reaction” in his foot that could lead him to be sidelined as soon as this weekend depending on how the week goes. None of this gives me confidence in Eli’s ability to recapture the momentum that he seemed to have in Weeks 9 and 11.
If I were you, I’d sit Manning until he proves that he and his offense are healthy enough to produce at a high level.
Eli Manning Week 13 fantasy projection: 210 yards passing, 1 TD, 1 INT
Other sit ’em QBs for Week 13:
- I’m not telling you to sit him, but Drew Brees is facing Washington’s very good pass defense. Make sure you have a really good alternative if you are going to do it, but this could be a week where sitting Brees is justified.
- Matt Ryan was injured in Week 12 and his status is unknown. Even if he does play, Philadelphia isn’t the greatest of matchups. Why not wait a week and see how much the injury affects him?
Week 13 Start ‘em, Sit ‘em Picks: Running Backs
Start ’em: Rashard Mendenhall, Pittsburgh Steelers (vs Oakland Raiders)
Honestly, choosing a start ’em running is pretty damn easy and formulaic. Go here and click on the “TD” column. This will show you which defense has given up the most rushing TDs this year, with Oakland and Buffalo “leading” the charge. You’ll notice other fantasy-friendly names like St. Louis, Houston, and Cleveland on that list.
Rashard Mendenhall is this week’s start ’em, very simply, because the Steelers are playing the Raiders. Oakland has given up 17 TDs on the ground this year and they surrender more than 161.1 rushing yards per game. Thomas Jones, whose Jets play Buffalo, was a close second.
I like Mendenhall because we don’t know yet if Ben Roethlisberger will play in Week 13. He probably will, but if not, the Steelers will no doubt want to pound the ball with Dennis Dixon at QB. And even if Big Ben is in the lineup, Mendenhall has been a pretty reliable runner this season. He’s averaging 5.1 yards per carry and has four TDs (going into Sunday night’s game), and that TD total will undoubtedly rise against Oakland.
Rashard Mendenhall Week 13 fantasy projection: 130 yards rushing, 2 TDs, 2 rec, 15 yards
Other start ’em RBs for Week 13:
- Thomas Jones has a great matchup against Buffalo, as does LaDainian Tomlinson against Cleveland.
- Matt Forte has been up and down this year, but Week 13 (vs St. Louis) is a great spot to use him.
- Knowshon Moreno has had three straight very productive weeks and has a nice matchup this week against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Sit ’em: Beanie Wells, Arizona Cardinals (vs Minnesota)
Damnit Beanie. Just when we all thought you were safe to start, you go and lay an egg like you did in Week 12.
Granted, Tennessee’s run defense has been much better lately, but I think we all still expected more. Considering that Wells is a rookie, I guess we should not be surprised at the up and down nature of his season.
I place Wells in the sit ’em column for a couple of reasons:
- Minnesota gives up only 81.6 yards rushing per game and has yielded just three TDs on the ground all year.
- A couple of weeks ago, Justin Forsett had a nice game out of the backfield for Seattle against Minnesota, but it was all as a receiver. Tim Hightower will be the one getting the receptions, not Wells.
- Wells is a rookie, and has a role that seems to shift from game-to-game. If you’re researching fantasy info in Week 13, it is probably because you really need a W. Why entrust one of your RB positions to a young guy with an undefined role and a tough matchup?
It would not shock me to see Wells rebound and score a TD, but it just seems unlikely. I know it’s tough to sit guys playing in primetime games, but if you want to do right by your roster, sit Wells in Week 13.
Beanie Wells Week 13 fantasy projection: 30 yards rushing, 0 TDs
Other sit ’em RBs for Week 13:
- You’re crazy if you play any Oakland RB with Pittsburgh on the schedule.
- With Tennessee’s run defense improving by the week, Joseph Addai isn’t as safe a start as usual.
- Ryan Grant is a guy I’d sit if I had good alternatives. Baltimore doesn’t yield many rushing TDs to running backs.
Week 13 Start ‘em, Sit ‘em Picks: Wide Receivers
Start ’em: Chad Ochocinco, Cincinnati Bengals (vs Detroit Lions)
Chad Ochocinco spent the first half of the season re-establishing himself as a weekly must-start at the WR position. However, over the past four weeks, he has not been anywhere near as productive, with only 14 receptions and no touchdowns. So I know that some of you will be questioning Ochocinco’s spot on your roster.
Don’t. At least for this week.
The Bengals play the Lions who I have watched for the last two weeks because they played my Browns and then because we all were forced to watch them on Thanksgiving. Their pass defense is absolutely terrible, and the numbers back that claim up: 27 TDs allowed in 11 games.
I bet Cincinnati relies heavily on their running game, as they did against Cleveland, but Carson Palmer and Ochocinco will hook up at least once for a TD this week.
Chad Ochocinco Week 13 fantasy projection: 6 receptions, 115 yards, 1 TD
Other start ’em WRs for Week 13:
- Jacksonville is at home, which means David Garrard will probably throw a TD or two. Mike Sims-Walker is usually on the receiving end, so I’d have him back in your lineup.
- Carolina’s passing game is awful, but I think even Jake Delhomme can get one deep ball on Tampa Bay’s secondary. If he does, it will probably be to Steve Smith, who I think should be in your lineup.
- Desean Jackson has a concussion, which puts his Week 13 status in doubt. If he’s out, look for Jeremy Maclin to be targeted more by Donovan McNabb, with a solid matchup against Atlanta.
- Pierre Garcon continues to impress and the Colts will no doubt be throwing against Tennessee. Start him.
Sit ’em: Terrell Owens, Buffalo Bills (vs New York Jets)
I know that T.O. is currently the feel-good WR story of the last few weeks, but I’m not buying him in Week 13. Despite consecutive weeks with a touchdown, I think Owens will go back to being his relatively unproductive self in Week 13 when he has to face the New York Jets and Darrelle Revis.
Question: do you think T.O. is better than Steve Smith? I don’t. Well, Smith was held to one catch and only five yards in Week 12 when Carolina played the Jets. And yes, I know that Jake Delhomme has sucked for a while now, but do you really trust Ryan Fitzpatrick?
The Jets-Bills tilt on Thursday night is going to be a terribly boring defensive battle. I do not expect a lot of big plays in the passing game because both QBs are inexperienced and both secondaries are outstanding. So even though you may have enjoyed two straight weeks of the old T.O., I think you’ll just the old (as in age) T.O. in Week 13.
Terrell Owens Week 13 fantasy projection: 4 receptions, 31 yards
Other sit ’em WRs for Week 13:
- I wouldn’t play any Jets WRs either, including Jerricho Cotchery.
- Chris Chambers has been a very nice late season for many of you, but he plays Denver and Champ Bailey this weekend, which is not all that attractive.
- I know that Santana Moss had a TD in Week 12, but he still is too hit-or-miss for me to trust him, even against a secondary that is dinged up like New Orleans’.
Week 13 Start ‘em, Sit ‘em Picks: Tight Ends
Start ’em: Greg Olsen, Chicago Bears (vs St. Louis Rams)
Olsen has not scored since his three-TD outburst in Week 9, but he continues to catch 6-7 balls per game, and that is excellent production from the tight end position. He is clearly a favorite of Jay Cutler and has a very favorable matchup this weekend. Outside of Vernon Davis, Tony Gonzalez, Dallas Clark, and Antonio Gates, there aren’t many guys I’d rather have as my TE than Greg Olsen.
Start him this week, and make sure that you have a pretty damn good alternative in any week that you decide not to start him.
Greg Olsen Week 13 fantasy projection: 7 receptions, 80 yards, 1 TD
Other start ’em TEs for Week 13:
- Fred Davis continues to be a solid start for those of you were burned by injured or ineffective TE draft picks.
- Jason Witten has not caught many TDs this year, but he is still getting five catches per game and had 100+ yards in Week 12. Keep in your lineup and hope for a red zone target or two against the Giants.
Sit ’em: Kevin Boss, New York Giants, (vs Dallas Cowboys)
I generally like Boss because he does get a decent amount of red zone targets and seems to do his best work at the end of seasons. However, he has two 2-catch games in the last four weeks and faces a Dallas D this week with very good linebackers and that does not surrender many TDs through the air. Combine that with Eli Manning’s injury issues and there are just too many guys I like more than Boss for this week.
Kevin Boss Week 13 fantasy projection: 3 receptions, 30 yards, 0 TD
Other sit ’em TEs for Week 13:
- Dustin Keller has to face a very good Buffalo pass defense.
- Dante Rosario had a nice game in Week 12, but I don’t trust Jake Delhomme or Rosario, and neither should you.
Week 13 Start ‘em, Sit ‘em Picks: Defense / Special Teams Units
Start ’em: Cincinnati Bengals D/ST (vs Detroit Lions)
Cincinnati allows the fewest points in the NFL and swept through the AFC North, yet their D is currently only owned in 81% of Yahoo fantasy leagues. I think that needs to change.
Yes, the Bengals have had the good fortune of playing the Browns twice, but the fact of the matter is that they have played very well defensively against everyone. A primary reason for that is the fact that Cincinnati has two very good cornerbacks who make the entire defense better.
With INT-machine Matthew Stafford on the other side of the ball in Week 13, the Bengals are an easy start ’em pick.
Cincinnati D/ST Week 13 fantasy projection: 14 pts or less, 3 sacks, 3 turnovers
Other start ’em D/ST units for Week 13:
- You know I always recommend whoever is playing the Browns, so here you go: start the Chargers’ D/ST.
- I like both the Bills and Jets in Week 13. They play eachother on Thursday night and I think it will be an ugly game.
Sit ’em: New York Giants D/ST (vs Dallas Cowboys)
Did you know that the Giants have not held an opponent to less than 21 points since Week 5 when they played Oakland? This team has lost five out of its last six games and looks like a shell of its formerly dominant self. Could they come out with their backs against the wall in Week 13? Sure, it’s possible. I’d rather see it before I believe it.
New York Giants D/ST Week 13 fantasy projection: 21 pts or more, 2 sacks
Other sit ’em D/ST units for Week 13:
- If Kurt Warner is healthy, you might want to consider sitting Minnesota’s D. If Warner doesn’t play, then obviously keep the Vikings in there.
- I know that San Francisco’s D played well in Week 12 against Jacksonville, but I don’t think they’ll hold Seattle to three points in Seattle.
That’s it. The comment section is yours. Good luck in Week 13!