Week 13 Start Them-Sit Them
By Steve Schwarz, Fantasy Sports Editor
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - We have put together our weekly "Start Them-Sit Them" list so you will know what to do with your fantasy lineup. Obviously, if Adrian Peterson, Calvin Johnson and Peyton Manning aren't walking on crutches you are going to start them.
This list targets the borderline players whom fantasy owners aren't sure whether to play or sit.
Jacksonville at Buffalo
Start - Chad Henne, Cecil Shorts, Justin Blackmon, Josh Scobee
Start - Ryan Fitzpatrick, C.J. Spiller, Stevie Johnson, Rian Lindell
Comments - The Jaguars have scored 61 points in their last two games after averaging 14.1 ppg in the first nine. Send your thank you notes to quarterback Chad Henne who has been the catalyst to the turnaround. Over the last two games he's passed for 615 yards and six touchdowns and made the Jacksonville passing offense a very real threat. Rashard Jennings will man the running game, but we still don't have enough confidence to start him. Both Spiller and Fred Jackson are back and healthy, but Spiller is the starter this time around and Jackson may not get enough work to be worthy of a start in your lineup. Johnson is the only viable Bills' receiver with Donald Jones and Scott Chandler too inconsistent to start even against a Jaguars' team giving up 274 ypg through the air.
Seattle at Chicago
Start - Marshawn Lynch
Start - Jay Cutler, Matt Forte, Brandon Marshall, Robbie Gould, Bears' defense
Comments - The game features two of the league's top-five defenses, so starting only the cream of the crop is recommended. It appears that Forte's injured ankle isn't as bad as feared and that he should get his normal workload.
Indianapolis at Detroit
Start - Andrew Luck, Vick Ballard, Reggie Wayne, T.Y. Hilton, Adam Vinatieri
Start - Matthews Stafford, Mikel Leshoure, Calvin Johnson, Ryan Broyles, Brandon Pettigrew, Jason Hanson
Comments - Luck was just average against Buffalo last weekend but should rebound against the Lions. Hilton has become a must start with three touchdown grabs in the past two games along with 133 yards to jump past Donnie Avery in the pecking order. Tight end Coby Fleener is expected to return, but figures to split time with Dwayne Allen. Leshoure (ankle) appears to be on track to start and with five touchdowns over the past four games is a must start. Wideout Titus Young returns from a one-game, team-imposed suspension, but we like Broyles ahead of him as Stafford has little confidence in Young's ability to run the correct route.
Minnesota at Green Bay
Start - Adrian Peterson
Start - Aaron Rodgers, Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, Greg Jennings
Comments - The Vikings' top receiver, Percy Harvin (ankle) can run in a straight line, but has been seen limping through cuts and that won't do. He'll likely sit another week. The return of Greg Jennings to the lineup should spell the end of any James Jones fantasy value, while Nelson and Cobb will continue to see their regular number of targets. Until Cedric Benson returns from the PUP list, the Packers' running game will continue to be futile.
Carolina at Kansas City
Start - Cam Newton, Steve Smith, Brandon LaFell, Panthers' defense
Start - Jamaal Charles
Comments - Newton is coming off his best game of the season and against a Chiefs' defense that is giving up 27.3 ppg should be able to stay hot. DeAngelo Williams is likely to start over the injured Jonathan Stewart, but Newton scored twice on the ground last week making starting any Panthers' running back a bad choice. LaFell had 167 yards and two scores over the past two games and has become a reliable WR3. Charles was the only Chiefs' offensive player to show up last week. Dwayne Bowe hasn't scored or cracked the 100-yard mark since Week 4.
New England at Miami
Start - Tom Brady, Stevan Ridley, Wes Welker, Julian Edelman, Aaron Hernandez, Stephen Gostkowski, Patriots' defense
Start - Reggie Bush, Brian Hartline, Davone Bess, Dan Carpenter
Comments - Brady continues on his year-long roll no matter who is on the other end of his passes. Rob Gronkowski goes down, Aaron Hernandez remains limited by an ankle injury, Brandon Lloyd has a thigh injury and through it all Brady always seems to throw for 300 yards. Edelman had a big game on Thanksgiving Day, but he's questionable with concussion symptoms. If he plays we like his chances to hit double-digits. Ryan Tannehill has been up and down as rookies frequently are and we don't like his chances against a Patriots' defense that has stepped it up over the last two games with nine turnovers and five defense/special team touchdowns. Bess has posted double-digit fantasy points in his last two games after reaching that total just once in the first nine games.
Arizona at New York Jets
Start - Beanie Wells
Start - none
Comments - Here's a game you will want to avoid. The visiting Cardinals rank 31st in yards-per-game (292) and the host Jets aren't much better (310.7). Wells' return to the field from the PUP list was successful due to scoring twice and we will give him the nod against a Jets' run defense yielding 142.8 ypg. Since his explosion in Week 6 (161 rushing yards, 3 TDs) Shonn Greene has reverted back to the disappointing runner we have come to know and resent. Bilal Powell gets the goal line carries and if you must start a Jets' back we suggest him over Greene as Powell has scored three times in the past two games.
San Francisco at St. Louis
Start - Colin Kaepernick, Frank Gore, Michael Crabtree, 49ers' defense
Start - Sam Bradford, Steven Jackson, Danny Amendola, Chris Givens, Greg Zuerlein.
Comments - Just three weeks ago the 49ers and Rams played to a rare overtime tie. It was also the game Alex Smith suffered a concussion and Kaepernick took over the reins of the offense for the first time. Following a zero-catch day in Week 12, Vernon Davis claimed that Smith should be the quarterback, which likely won't help him see more targets this Sunday against the Rams. Place-kicker David Akers has a bad hip and should be avoided this weekend. If healthy, Amendola is a must start, but he will be a game-time decision due to a heel injury and you will have to come back to our site when inactives are announced before making your final decision.
Houston at Tennessee
Start - Matt Schaub, Arian Foster, Andre Johnson, Owen Daniels, Shayne Graham
Start - Jake Locker, Chris Johnson, Rob Bironas
Comments - The Titans give up 129.8 ypg on the ground and the Texans love to run behind Foster. That's a bad combination for Tennessee and Foster should have a big day. With Tennessee focused on Foster the play action will work and will feature Andre Johnson and Daniels. After being one of the best defenses all season, Houston has yielded 68 points and 983 yards over the past two games. Most of that came through the air and Locker will attempt to continue the trend. Unfortunately, the Titans spread the ball among five receivers and none of the five have proven to be consistent enough to put in fantasy lineup.
Tampa Bay at Denver
Start - Josh Freeman, Doug Martin, Vincent Jackson, Connor Barth
Start - Peyton Manning, Knowshon Moreno, Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, Matt Prater
Comments - This game features two of the top six offenses in total yards and points. While Robert Griffin III and Andrew Luck will get most of the Rookie of the Year votes, fantasy owners know how good Martin has been. He's been a must start all season and the Bucs will likely feature him in this game to try and keep the ball away from Manning and the Denver offense. Mike Williams has disappeared from the Tampa Bay offense over the last three games while tight end Dallas Clark has started to become a factor and could be a low-end fantasy option. Moreno came out of nowhere last weekend to become the Broncos' primary running back to the dismay of fantasy owners who claimed rookie Ronnie Hillman following the season-ending injury the Willis McGahee. Moreno will continue to shine - until he inevitably gets injured.
Pittsburgh at Baltimore
Start - none
Start - Joe Flacco, Ray Rice, Torrey Smith, Justin Tucker, Ravens' defense
Comments - The Steelers' offense is mired in quicksand without Ben Roethlisberger and it's looking more and more like "Big Ben" will not play in Week 13. From a fantasy point of view you can't start any of the three Pittsburgh running backs as they will all see some of the workload. Must- start receiver Mike Wallace is in coach Mike Tomlin's doghouse and with Charlie Batch under center isn't a good option either. Flacco has a 108.3 QB rating at home and just a 70.2 rating on the road.
Cleveland at Oakland
Start - Trent Richardson
Start - Carson Palmer, Marcel Reece, Denarius Moore, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Sebastian Janikowski
Comments - Brandon Weeden has cracked the 200-yard passing mark just once in the past four games making him and his receivers un-startable. Darren McFadden is expected to return to the field, but we don't think he'll resume his workhorse duties. The team will ease him back because they have the luxury of Reece playing at a high level. DMC will likely see about 10-12 carries while Reece gets the remainder of the work and the third down receiving opportunities.
Cincinnati at San Diego
Start - Andy Dalton, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, A.J. Green, Mohamed Sanu, Mike Nugent, Bengals defense
Start - Philip Rivers, Ryan Mathews, Danario Alexander, Malcom Floyd, Nick Novak
Comments - The "Law Firm" has posted back-to-back 100-yard rushing games for the first time in his career and faces a banged up Chargers' defense which has to focus most of their attention on uber-talented A.J. Green. Sanu has scored in each of the Bengals' last three games, but an injury in practice now threatens his Week 13 status. If healthy, he's become a viable WR3. Rivers has struggled with the turnover for most of the season and an injured offensive line has exasperated the situation. Alexander has out-performed Floyd and Antonio Gates since becoming a starter three games ago. Gates has a legitimate excuse because the team needs him to help the offensive line block.
Philadelphia at Dallas
Start - Bryce Brown, Jeremy Maclin, Jason Avant
Start - Tony Romo. DeMarco Murray, Dez Bryant, Jason Witten, Dan Bailey, Cowboys' defense
Comments - With Michael Vick, LeSean McCoy and DeSean Jackson all sidelined, the Eagles don't have many weapons. Brown proved to be explosive, but will have to learn how to hold onto the ball after fumbling twice against Carolina. It appears that fantasy owners who have waited six weeks for Murray to return will finally get their wish though he's not going to get the full workload. Those who have enjoyed Felix Jones' production in Murray's absence will see his fantasy value drop significantly with the return of the starter to the lineup.
New York Giants at Washington
Start - Eli Manning, Ahmad Bradshaw, Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz, Lawrence Tynes
Start - Robert Griffin III, Alfred Morris, Pierre Garcon, Kai Forbath
Comments - The bye week did Eli Manning a lot of good as he threw for 249 yards and three touchdowns against Green Bay. With a vulnerable Washington defense and then New Orleans on the schedule, Manning should continue to produce solid statistics. Bradshaw's fantasy value should improve slightly with Andre Brown's season-ending injury as he'll likely get the goal line carries over rookie David Wilson and newly-acquired running backs Kregg Lumpkin and Ryan Torain. It's just a matter of comfort for coach Tom Coughlin who has seen his rookie fumble the ball and doesn't know the other two guys yet. Nicks caught five balls for 77 yards and a touchdown against the Packers, but he's not yet all the way back from his injured foot and it shows. It took Garcon 11 weeks to return to fantasy relevance, but now that he's back and playing he's a must start as the Redskins' No. 1 receiving option.
11/30 12:33:26 ET