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Jason Katz’s NFL Start ‘Em Sit ‘Em Week 13: Jamaal Williams to play, Chase Claypool to have a day, Alex Collins goes away

With the fantasy football playoffs inching closer, who makes the list of the top start 'em and sit 'em options for Week 13?

We’re entering the home stretch of the 2021 fantasy football regular season. With just two weeks remaining, making correct lineup decisions is more crucial than ever. Let’s take a look at the top start ’em and sit ’em plays for Week 13.

NFL Start’ Em, Sit ‘Em for Week 13: Quarterbacks

We are nearing the end of bye weeks, and most starting quarterbacks have returned to action. Which quarterbacks are starts and sits in Week 13?

Start ‘Em | Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders (vs. WAS)

Did you know Derek Carr leads the NFL in passing yards? It feels like something that should be discussed more than it is. Carr is on pace for over 600 pass attempts and is really airing it out.

Washington’s defense has allowed the most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season. Although they’ve played better recently, this is not a matchup to avoid. Carr has just one game without a touchdown pass this year. He’s thrown 2 touchdowns in seven games but has yet to throw 3 or more. Coming off a game where Josh Jacobs and Marcus Mariota stole a score, Carr is a good bet to return to his multiple-touchdown ways.

Sit ‘Em | Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals (vs. LAC)

Last week, the Bengals eviscerated the Steelers 41-10. In that game, Joe Burrow attempted just 24 passes and threw for 190 yards. This is how the Bengals want to play offense. All Joe Mixon, all the time.

The Chargers are a run-funnel defense. They allow the sixth-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks but sixth-most to running backs. Unless game script gets away from them, the Bengals are going to once again be very run-heavy. Burrow could always end up throwing multiple touchdowns, but the matchup points to another floor game for Burrow.

Running Backs

The running back position can be very matchup-dependent. Which running backs should fantasy managers start, and who is better left on the bench this week?

Start ‘Em | Jamaal Williams, Detroit Lions

This is one of those “I know, but do I have to?” situations. Yes, yes you do. Jamaal Williams is your classic replacement-level running back. He will never thrive in a feature role, but he can be useful in a pinch for a couple of weeks.

The Vikings allow the 10th-most fantasy points to running backs. After D’Andre Swift went down on Thanksgiving, Williams played the majority of the snaps, finishing with a 63% snap share. He saw 15 carries and 5 targets. His pass-blocking ability will keep him in the game on third downs. Williams is a safe RB2 this week with Swift out.

Sit ‘Em | Alex Collins, Seattle Seahawks

I feel like fantasy managers know not to start Alex Collins, but I still see him ranked as a top-36 running back. It just doesn’t make sense. Collins hasn’t finished above RB40 since Week 6, and he’s finished higher than RB37 just twice all season. Those games were way back in Weeks 4 and 6.

Fantasy managers don’t even need to have Collins on their rosters. He has no fantasy value at all and certainly has no business being ranked inside the top 40 of running backs.

Update: Fantasy managers likely won’t even have to think about Collins as he’s expected to be inactive following the team’s signing of 84-year-old Adrian Peterson.

NFL Start’ Em, Sit ‘Em for Week 13: Wide Receivers

Fantasy managers often struggle with which player to insert into that final WR3 or flex spot. Hopefully, these start ’em and sit ’em plays will help.

Start ‘Em | Chase Claypool, Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. BAL)

This feels like a make-or-break game for the Steelers’ season. They are going to need all hands on deck to beat the Ravens. While Baltimore is a middling pass defense, Pittsburgh’s offense has become very consolidated.

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Pat Freiermuth is recovering from a concussion and is mostly a red-zone option. The team is already without Eric Ebron, and JuJu Smith-Schuster is long gone. Chase Claypool has been coming on strong lately. Over the past two weeks, he’s accounted for 43.5% of the team’s air yards and has seen a 20.5% target share. Claypool has just 1 touchdown on the season, but I think that changes this week. Start Claypool.

Sit ‘Em | Mike Williams, Los Angeles Chargers (@ CIN)

This is three consecutive weeks with Mike Williams as a sit. For the third week in a row, this isn’t about the opponent. It’s about the Chargers’ offense. Justin Herbert’s primary target is Keenan Allen. Next up is Austin Ekeler. Williams is a distant third.

Allen has seen at least 10 targets in five straight games. Ekeler is averaging 6.8 targets per game over his last five. While Williams did see 8 targets last week, he’s still only caught more than 4 passes in a game once since Week 5.

The Bengals allow the seventh-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers. Despite the bad matchup and Williams’ lack of production, he remains a top-30 wide receiver in weekly rankings every week. I don’t understand it.

Whatever version of Williams we got over the first month of the season — he’s gone and isn’t coming back. He’ll pop up now and then like he did last week, but Williams remains a WR4/5 entirely reliant upon a big play or a touchdown to return starter-worthy fantasy production. Try and avoid Williams if you can.

Tight Ends

The tight end position is a disaster in fantasy football. With seldom few reliable options, can we find start’ em-worthy TEs?

Start ‘Em | Logan Thomas, Washington Football Team (@ LV)

Finally, Logan Thomas returned from his hamstring strain in Week 12. He was allegedly going to be eased in and on a pitch count. However, Thomas played 79% of the offensive snaps and saw 6 targets.

The Raiders allow the second-most fantasy points to tight ends. Moreover, Taylor Heinicke needs a reliable pass catcher beyond Terry McLaurin. Even if Thomas doesn’t return to his 100% snap share, 80% is just fine. I think Thomas finds the end zone this week.

Jason Katz is a Fantasy Analyst at Pro Football Network. You can follow him on Twitter: @jasonkatz13 and find more of his work here. Don’t forget to listen to the PFN Fantasy Football podcast and check out our free fantasy newsletter.

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