The fantasy matchup stats you need to know for Week 13
Jeff Ratcliffe highlights one of the keys for fantasy in each of this weekend's games.
The fantasy matchup stats you need to know for Week 13
Play the matchups in fantasy football, and you’ll win more often than you lose. Now that we’re in the thick of the bye weeks, knowing the matchups to avoid and exploit becomes even more important. Bellow you’ll find the key matchup stats to know from each of the 14 remaining games this week.
Don’t forget to also take a look at the best and worst wide receiver matchups for the week. Also, new this week, we have our fantasy positional matchups chart, which allows you to quickly identify all of the best matchups each week for all offensive and IDP positions. You may also find our O-Line/D-Line matchup chart helpful.
Just a quick note about the recommendations. Downgrading a player is not the same as sitting a player. If an RB1 is downgraded, that means he moves to an RB2 for the week, and vice versa for upgrades. These matchup recommendations and others are reflected in our weekly rankings, which are an invaluable tool in lineup decision making each week.
Kansas City @ Atlanta
Keep starting Spencer Ware.
Despite his struggles to find the end zone, Ware is dominating the touches in the Kansas City backfield. He also gets a fantastic matchup this week against a Falcons defense that currently yields the second-most PPR points per game to opposing running backs. Atlanta has given up multiple touchdowns to running backs in three of their last six games and have allowed the most receptions to the position this season. Ware is an RB1 play this week.
Detroit @ New Orleans
Coby Fleener is a TE1 option.
This season hasn’t worked out the way many had hoped for Fleener, but the former Colts tight end has flashed upside in his first season with the Saints. He’s startable this week against a suspect Lions defense that has gotten torched by tight ends for much of the season. Fleener is a volatile play, but he’s worth the risk in this strong matchup.
Los Angeles @ New England
Downgrade Todd Gurley.
It’s been tough to rely on Gurley for much of the season, but he at least does see heavy volume in the one-dimensional Rams offense. However, fantasy owners will want to fade Gurley in a tough matchup on the road in Foxboro. The Patriots have been strong against the run allowing just two scores to opposing running backs in their last nine games. Gurley isn’t a good bet to get much done against New England.
Denver @ Jacksonville
Fade Blake Bortles.
While he isn’t playing well on the field, Bortles has remained a viable quarterback streamer for much of the season. However, fantasy owners will want to look for another option this week. Denver has been absolutely brutal for opposing quarterbacks this season, allowing the fewest fantasy points per game to the position.
Houston @ Green Bay
Jared Cook isn’t the answer this week.
Just two weeks ago, Cook burst back into the fantasy conversation following a 100-yard performance in his return game. He quickly turned back into a pumpkin last week and looks like he’ll stay that way this week. Houston has been tough on opposing tight ends, allowing the fourth-fewest PPR points per game to the position. Cook certainly has upside, but he’s a very risky play who should be avoided in Week 13.
Philadelphia @ Cincinnati
Tough matchup for Tyler Eifert.
Tight end has been rough this season with injuries and general disappointments plaguing the position. While Eifert owners should continue starting the Bengals tight end, they should also be aware that he gets a terrible matchup. Philly is currently the second-worst matchup for the position, allowing just 27.5 yards per game to opposing tight ends.
Miami @ Baltimore
Downgrade Jay Ajayi.
The Dolphins look like they’ll get Branden Albert and Laremy Tunsil back this week, which is a good thing for the run game. However, Ajayi is best viewed as an RB2 option in this matchup. Baltimore has done well against the run this season, allowing just three backfields to top 100 yards. Opposing running backs have scored a rushing touchdown against the Ravens since Week 7.
San Francisco @ Chicago
Stream Matt Barkley.
As crazy as it is, Barkley actually played well as the starter last week. He’s in play as a potential streamer and DFS option in a plus matchup against the putrid 49ers defense. San Francisco has given up three-or-more passing scores in four of their last five games, allowing an average of 307 passing yards per game over that span.
Buffalo @ Oakland
Tyrod Taylor is another streaming option.
Oakland’s defense has certainly improved from their abysmal start to the season, but this is still a good matchup for Taylor. The Raiders have given up two passing scores in three of their last four games and currently yield the sixth-most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks. Taylor adds value with his legs and should have Sammy Watkins on the field for at least some of the game.
NY Giants @ Pittsburgh
Tough matchup for both quarterbacks.
This one is bad for the signal-callers on both sides of the ball. The Giants enter the week as the second-worst fantasy matchup for opposing quarterbacks. Ben Roethlisberger owners should continue to start him, but be aware that New York hasn’t allowed more than one touchdown pass since Week 5. Likewise, the Steelers have held quarterbacks in check with just five passing touchdowns allowed in their last four games. Eli Manning isn’t a streaming option this week.
Washington @ Arizona
Fade Rob Kelley.
Washington’s rookie running back has been a pleasant surprise this season, but it’s difficult to recommend him this week against a stout Cardinals defense. Arizona surrenders the third-fewest PPR points per game to opposing running backs. The Cards haven’t allowed 100-plus yards to an opposing backfield since Week 3.
Tampa Bay @ San Diego
Fire up Doug Martin as an RB1.
The injury issues that sidelined Martin for a good chunk of this season seem to be well in the rearview mirror, as the Bucs fed him 20-plus touches last week. Expect another healthy workload in a plus matchup against a porous Chargers defense that has allowed 12 rushing scores to running backs this season.
Carolina @ Seattle
Upgrade Thomas Rawls.
Fantasy owners might not be very happy with Rawls after his ugly Week 12 performance, but it’s wise to back to the well with him this week. The Panthers have been very strong against the run, but will be without their defensive anchor, Luke Kuechly, who is dealing with a concussion. With Kuechly sidelined last week, the Panthers gave up their first rushing touchdown to a running back since Week 4.
Indianapolis @ New York
Start all your Jets.
Seriously. There isn’t much not to like about this matchup for the Jets. The Colts give up the second-most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks, so Ryan Fitzpatrick is in play as a streaming option. Indy has also been very friendly to running backs, allowing the seventh-most PPR points per game to the position. Matt Forte is showing signs of decline as the season enters its fourth month, but he still has one more RB1 week left in him.
Jeff Ratcliffe | Director of Fantasy
Jeff Ratcliffe is the Director of Fantasy at Pro Football Focus. He produces all of our projections and is 2016's second-most-accurate ranker in the fantasy industry. Jeff also is the host of our show on SiriusXM fantasy sports radio and is one of the main hosts of our Fantasy Slant podcast.