With Week 13 start/sit decisions already formulating in fantasy football managers’ minds, our early-week article uses data from the season to try and pinpoint some intriguing considerations. We look at fantasy points allowed in both recent weeks and the season as a whole to look at which players might over or under-perform compared to expectations.
This week, we will put the likes of Jeff Wilson Jr., Devin Singletary, Deebo Samuel, Christian Watson, and more under the spotlight and examine their credentials for Week 13.
Week 13 Fantasy Football Start ’ems
When we look at this article, we generally try to select players as potential start ’em options if they were in less than 40% of ESPN league lineups last week. Similarly, when selecting players to list as sit ’em options, we try to look for players who started in more than 50% of lineups the previous week.
This article can also double as the start of your Underdog Fantasy Best Ball and DFS research for Week 13. This article is helping us identify matchups to exploit in both of those formats this week potentially.
Trevor Lawrence, QB | JAX @ DET
The last two games have seen Trevor Lawrence post his third and fourth 20-fantasy point performances of the season. Prior to his performances in Weeks 9 and 11, Lawrence had not had a 20-point performance since Week 6. Now he heads into the best matchup in the league for opposing quarterbacks.
The Lions allow an average of 23.78 fantasy points per game to opposing QBs, nearly three points higher than the next worst defense. Included in that are three straight performances allowing over 24.5 fantasy points and four in the last five. Therefore, there is a great opportunity here for Lawrence to post a big number and reward fantasy managers.
Derek Carr, QB | LVR vs. LAC
Derek Carr has surprisingly been a productive fantasy asset in stretches this year. In the last four weeks, Carr has scored 17.9 or more fantasy points, including 20+ in each of the last two games. It hasn’t always been that easy, with four performances with fewer than 14 fantasy points in the first seven games.
When you look at the Chargers’ overall numbers against QBs, the matchup does not appear that juicy. Their average of 17.05 fantasy points allowed is the 13th highest this year and only marginally above average. Yet, in the past two weeks, they’ve allowed over 25 fantasy points to opposing QBs in each game. That should give Carr a great opportunity to be an option to start in Week 13.
Zay Jones, WR | JAX @ DET
If you’re playing Lawrence this week, then why not stack him with the player who appears to be developing as his favorite target? In the last two weeks, Zay Jones has had 19 receptions for 213 receiving yards from 24 targets. Jones is the most targeted receiver for the Jaguars in that two-game stretch, and he’s clearly a top-two weapon alongside Christian Kirk.
Additionally, the Jaguars WRs have a wonderful matchup against the Lions’ secondary. In the past two games, Detroit has allowed more than 40 fantasy points per game to WRs on both occasions. Over the course of the season, opposing receivers average 31.8 fantasy points per game against them. There should be plenty of scope for both Jones and Kirk to be starting options this week.
Christian Watson, WR | GB @ CHI
At this point, it’s impossible not just to start Watson and enjoy the ride. He now has six touchdowns in the last three weeks, topping 100 receiving yards on two occasions. It took a breakaway play with Jordan Love under center for him to produce in Week 12, but the play itself demonstrated why Watson can be so devastating at the drop of a hat.
This week, he faces a Chicago Bears defense that has allowed two 40-point performances in the past four games. While they’ve generally been a tough defense to face, teams have, at times, been able to get at their secondary. Last week, it was Mike White and the New York Jets who had a big day.
Whether it ends up being Aaron Rodgers or Love under center, Watson has a ton of potential. This matchup can also hopefully get Allen Lazard going again after he struggled with just three targets on Sunday night. Both Packers WRs have a lot of upside to consider this week.
Juwan Johnson, TE | NO @ TB
We saw a tough outing for Juwan Johnson last time out, as he was held without a catch by the San Francisco 49ers. However, prior to that, Johnson had three double-digit performances in a row and four in five weeks.
In Week 13, Johnson gets a matchup against a Buccaneers team that has had some recent struggles against the TE position. They just allowed more than 13 fantasy points to the Browns’ tight ends and gave up over 22 fantasy points to a Ravens team that lost Mark Andrews early. Johnson could be a Monday-night delight for fantasy managers in Week 13.
Week 13 Fantasy Football Sit ’ems
Jeff Wilson Jr., RB | MIA @ SF
Wilson is heading into Week 13 off the back of a strange game last week. He finished last week with more than 10 fantasy points in half-PPR scoring for the third straight game since arriving at Miami. However, he left for a portion of the third quarter with an injury issue that we are monitoring.
With that uncertainty over the injury, it’s a bad week for Wilson to have a really tough matchup against his former side. This first coaching matchup between Mike McDaniel and Kyle Shanahan will be very intriguing to see how they do at neutralizing schemes they both know well. That could make this game tough for Wilson to have success.
Additionally, the 49ers are an extremely good defense when it comes to fantasy points allowed to opposing RBs. Overall this year, San Francisco is the toughest matchup for the position, allowing just 13.24 fantasy points per game. In the last three weeks since their bye, the 49ers have allowed just 9.87 fantasy ppg to the position.
If you have other options you can lean on this week, it might be a time to consider sitting Wilson. The injury may yet take the decision out of your hands, but it’s a good time to start preparing for this to be a tough matchup.
Devin Singletary, RB | BUF @ NE
Things don’t get much easier for Singletary than his fellow AFC East RB. In recent weeks, Singletary has been a little more reliable. After seeing double-digit carries just once in the first five weeks, he has gone over 10 carries in five of the last six. It hasn’t always led to clear production, with three performances over 10 fantasy points in that stretch.
This situation with Singletary is always one where it feels like you need overwhelming evidence to start him, as opposed to needing to be convinced to sit him. This week’s matchup makes it a tough case to start Singletary. The Patriots have allowed 13.25 fantasy points per week on average and under nine per game in each of the last three.
Deebo Samuel, WR | SF vs. MIA
We saw Samuel come into Week 13 dealing with a hamstring injury that he appeared to hurt again before returning. Nevertheless, Samuel still saw seven targets and two carries, but it was tied for his second-lowest number of opportunities across the season. He managed just three receptions for 43 yards and two carries in which he added nothing.
Now, Samuel enters into a tough matchup against an opposing head coach that will know his game as well as anyone. That and the injury could make this a tough week for Samuel to produce for fantasy managers.
The Dolphins’ defense has also been really good against opposing WRs, allowing fewer than 24 fantasy points in each of the last three.
It’s always hard to sit a player of Samuel’s quality, but there is a lot working against him this week. It won’t feel great, but if you have other options, it might be a prudent move to consider.