The Start ‘Em Six
*Projections based on PPR formats & 6 points for a passing TD*
Case Keenum (MIN) at Falcons – Keenum has been a revelation for the Vikings and one of the more consistent quarterbacks in recent weeks. Over his last four games, Keenum’s put up a minimum of 280 passing yards per game with a 9:3 touchdown to interception ratio. The Falcons’ pass defense is middle of the road at best and top cornerback Desmond Trufant has been ruled out, heavily downgrading the Falcons’ secondary overall. Not too long ago, Case Keenum was a name no one cared about. However, in today’s NFL changes come fast and furious; Keenum is now a viable Fantasy option.
Projection: 25 FP
Devontae Booker (DEN) at Dolphins- Booker is slowly clawing his way into a significant role and has the most promise of the Broncos’ RB corps. Booker’s volume took a little hit in Week 12 under a new offensive coordinator, but he still received the most touches in the Denver backfield. I expect Booker’s touches to increase in Week 13 against the Dolphins who haven’t been able to stop anyone on the ground of late. Unless you have a stable of RB studs heading into the week, Booker is a viable flex option with upside, especially in PPR formats.
Projection: 15.5 FP
Jared Goff (LAR) at Cardinals- Last week versus a banged-up Saints secondary, Goff bounced back with over 350 passing yards and two TDs. In fact, Goff’s thrown for over 300 yards in three of his last four games with nine touchdowns and one interception during that stretch. Many quality opposing quarterbacks have put up big numbers against the Cardinals this season. Goff has clearly shown that he belongs in that class, and this match-up bodes well for him. Start Goff with confidence in the final week of the Fantasy Football regular season.
Projection: 28 FP
Evan Engram (NYG) at Raiders- Engram’s fantastic rookie campaign hit a wall a couple of weeks ago against the Chiefs, and he hasn’t bounced back since. Engram didn’t suddenly become useless. Instead, you should chalk up his underperformance to a lack of support from the Giants’ pass attack. The good news is Sterling Shepard is back in the mix, so things should open up for Engram, especially against a poor Raiders defense. The bad news is Geno Smith, but I’d still take the targets even with the potential disaster at QB. It’s easy to jump off the bandwagon, yet difficult to know when to jump back on; Week 13 sets up well for Engram’s bounce back.
Projection: 17 FP
Corey Davis (TEN) vs. Texans- Corey Davis hasn’t lived up to the post-injury hype he received after missing five weeks with a hamstring issue, and most Fantasy owners are in an unpleasant situation if considering him for their lineups in a crucial Week 13 matchup. However, he’s faced some difficult defenses and QB Marcus Mariota has been well below average. The Texans’ defense has allowed the sixth-most Fantasy points to wide receivers this season and the offense hasn’t produced since Deshaun Watson was lost due to injury. The game script lines up well for the Titans’ offense to get plenty of opportunities to score and with Rishard Matthews questionable, Davis may see an uptick in usage. Davis is surely a risky option for those fighting for a playoff spot, but if you’re looking for a high upside flex play to get you big Fantasy points, Davis is a top candidate.
Projection: 18 FP
Latavius Murray (MIN) at Falcons- Believe it or not, Latavius Murray has been one of the most consistent RB plays in both standard and PPR formats over the last six weeks. It’s becoming clear that Murray is the workhorse in the Vikings’ backfield. But will he continue his solid performance in Week 13? The Falcons don’t pose much of a threat defensively and with Keenum playing well, Murray could benefit greatly from multiple red zone opportunities. Also, the Vikings’ defense is good enough to hold the Falcons to a low score, which would allow Murray to put up yet another high-volume game; start him if you’ve got him.
Projection: 20 FP
The Sit ’Em Six
Matt Stafford (DET) at Ravens- Stafford has been very consistent recently, even against some of the stingier pass defenses. We often have to make extremely tough decisions during the Fantasy Football season, and if you’re a Stafford owner, Week 13 could be one of those occasions. Stafford faces a top of the line Ravens secondary and depending on your backup situation, he’s a borderline starter this week. Stafford may be safe in terms of how high his floor is, but if you’re in desperate need of points, there are better options.
Projection: 15 FP
Devonta Freeman (ATL) vs. Vikings- Many experts would recommend starting Freeman in his first week back from injury, but I beg to differ. I could understand plugging Freeman in your lineups if they were playing the Dolphins, but the Vikings are the number one team against the run. No, thanks. It’s generally risky to put in a player who’s just returned from a multi-game absence, so why trust Freeman coming back to face the top run defense? Because of the name? Prior to his injury Freeman was considered a “must-start” every week, but that’s no longer the case. Freeman’s upside is apparent but so is the risk. So, unless you clearly have no better option, I suggest you go the safe route for last game of the Fantasy season.
Projection: 10 FP
Bilal Powell (NYJ) vs. Chiefs- Powell didn’t get it done for his Fantasy owners in Week 12. Granted, he faced a strong Panthers rush defense. What’s concerning is the sub-par 10 touches Powell received with Matt Forte on the shelf. Forte is questionable for this Sunday and if he plays, Powell becomes super high-risk. Even if Forte doesn’t play this week it’s hard to trust Powell based on the low usage rate. It’s wise to take the safe route if you’re one of many looking for a Fantasy playoff berth, and Powell is currently not one of the safe plays.
Projection: 7 FP
Devin Funchess (CAR) at Saints- Since Kelvin Benjamin was shipped to the Buffalo Bills, Funchess has lit it up. Funchess has done so well he’s almost a must-start, especially when you consider how poorly the Saints’ secondary has played. The Saints recent defensive woes are clearly due to both of their top cornerbacks missing time, but Ken Crawley is expected to return in Week 13. With Crawley back to shadow Funchess on most downs, it could be a rough day for the wide receiver. If you have a similar option to Funchess with a better matchup, I’d plug him in.
Projection: 9 FP
Josh Gordon (CLE) at Chargers- Hey, I want Josh Gordon to go off as much as the next guy. But let’s face it, the odds are not in his favor. Hue Jackson can say all he wants. I still don’t trust the situation. Gordon hasn’t played in a live game of football in years, the Brown’s have one of the worst QB situations in the league, and the Chargers’ defense is bulldozing offenses every week. The only positive you can state about Gordon is the immense talent and upside he brings to the table. But after years of being inactive, you simply can’t trust him in his first game back. If you’re playing DFS this week and making multiple lineups, then you can throw Gordon into some of them. But in a season-long matchup of the utmost importance, no way.
Projection: 6 FP
Jerick McKinnon (MIN) at Falcons- As mentioned earlier, Latavius Murray has claimed the workhorse role for the Vikings. If one player’s usage trends up, then another player must trend down. McKinnon’s touches have trended down. McKinnon had 20 or more touches in three of four games before the Vikings’ Week 9 bye. He’s received 15 or more touches in one of three games since then. McKinnon has homerun hitting ability and PPR appeal, but you can find a better option on your bench this week.