5 fantasy matchups to exploit in Week 13

Dan Schneier brings you his Week 13 Matchups Machine to help you pick your starters and optimize your daily fantasy football lineups.

| 11 months ago
(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

5 fantasy matchups to exploit in Week 13

Welcome to the Matchups Machine, which narrows down ideal matchups from around the league on a weekly basis using the tools we have available at PFF, the Las Vegas odds, and insight from yours truly.

PFF has all the tools to break down each individual matchup. Do you want to know how your wide receiver is going to do? Well, if he lines up as a split end on 90 percent of his snaps, we can pinpoint which cornerback he will be matching up with for those snaps. We can also tell you how that cornerback has performed.

Of course, as was the case in the past, this column will become more accurate as the season goes on and we compile more grades for the players and get a feel for the tendencies and overall strengths/weaknesses of the 32 teams.

The goal of this column is to help you with those tricky decisions in year-long leagues, but also to help you narrow down your best options in daily fantasy leagues. You will see a mix of big-name players and fringe starters. Without further ado, let’s get into it.

Carson Palmer at Rams

Just one week after carrying DFS lineups with 317 yards passing and four touchdowns against a tough Bengals defense, Palmer was a bit of a disappointment in Week 12 against the 49ers. His fantasy day was bailed out by a late rushing touchdown, but he couldn’t get much going in the passing game. However, there is reason to believe that Palmer will get back on track in Week 13 in a matchup that is much better than it looks on paper. Palmer should have much lower ownership due to his price tag and recency bias, and that is a good reason to get him going in your lineups.

Prior to throwing for just 271 yards and no touchdowns in Week 12, Palmer had been on a three-game tear where he racked up 1,055 passing yards and 11 touchdowns. During that span, he had all of his weapons firing — Michael Floyd and John Brown played huge roles, in addition to Larry Fitzgerald, who has been dominant all season. Both Floyd and Brown are getting healthier now and rounding back into form. Last week, Floyd was eased back into action, but he should be much healthier with another week removed. Brown racked up 99 yards and five receptions and looked fully healthy for the first time in over a month — his day could’ve been even bigger had Palmer not overthrown him on a long pass.

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Dan Schneier is a staff writer at PFF Fantasy and he covers the NFL for FOX Sports. You can find him on Twitter @DanSchneierNFL. You can also add him to your network on Google+ to find all of his past material.

Dan Schneier is a staff writer for PFF Fantasy, a former FOX Sports NFL scribe, and an auction format enthusiast.

  • JGaLaXY

    now second guessing Redskins D lol, I know Cassel is good for a pick or two though…What D do you like?

    • Dan Schneier

      Redskins D is still not an awful play, especially with Cassel. As far as sneaky D/ST plays go, I like TEN vs Bortles.

      • geo2209

        agreed, esp without hurns

  • Andy

    Dan, I have an RB cunundrum. I need to start 3 out of these choices in a standard scoring league: Forte, Langford, Buck Allen, Hillman, CJ Anderson. For upside feel I should go Forte, Anderson, Allen, but safer move is to start either Bears or Den backs plus Allen as flex? What do you recommend based on match ups, etc? Thanks.

    • Dan Schneier

      Tough call. The Forte/Langford situation is one I would stay away from. You may be losing upside, but it’s difficult to predict who will score. However, I can’t suggest starting both Hillman and Anderson, even in a matchup that is as great as SD. I would go Allen, Anderson and Forte.

      • Andy

        Thanks Dan. That’s the way I will go.

  • Andy

    Also, Chiefs D or Bears D this week?

    • Dan Schneier

      Gabbert has moved the offense better than anyone expected and he’s been surprisingly careful with the ball. I don’t love KC defense, especially if Houston sits, but I would go with them.

  • Andy

    Being a Chicago guy, I will probably start the Bears if Houston isn’t playing for KC. Feel like Carr could pick KC apart if he isn’t pressured.

  • dan

    hey dan rank these QB’s for me season long. Wilson, Fitzpatrick, Carr for week 13