With Thanksgiving games in the books and this being the last week of the regular season for most fantasy leagues, these last set of games for Week 13 could be your last chance at salvation for the fantasy playoffs.
Roster management is what it is all about right now. The right start and sit decisions could prove to be critical this week. It’s part science and also part gut instinct.
So, I’ll try to break down the science aspect and dissect the matchups that make certain players listed below either advised starts and sits.
So, good luck on your playoff quest.
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Carson Palmer: Arizona Cardinals
If you haven’t been paying attention, Palmer has been terrific lately, throwing for multiple scores in four straight games while racking up 1,146 passing yards and just two interceptions in the process.
While going east to play the Eagles for a cold-weather game does come with some risk, this is a guy who played a majority of his career in Cincinnati. Besides, the Eagles are dreadful against the pass, giving up 300 passing yards a game (last in the NFL).
So, ride the hot hand in Palmer and get him into your lineups.
Chris Ogbonnaya: Cleveland Browns
As we head towards the playoffs, it’s strange to be advising starting Ogbonnaya, as no could have ever saw this coming prior to the season. But things change and if you haven’t noticed, Ogbonnaya has become an integral part of what the Browns do on offense.
Ogbonnaya has a combined 140 rushing and receiving yards (on eight receptions) in his last two games. Willis McGahee, who had been the Browns’ lead back, has been pushed aside, giving Ogbonnaya a chance to make a name for himself.
And he might be in line for a good game this week, when the hapless Jags come to town. The Jags allow the most rushing touchdowns (15) in the league (tied with Tennessee and Washington) while giving up 133.5 rushing yards per game (30th in the NFL).
Fred Jackson: Buffalo Bills
Atlanta (the Bills’ Week 13 opponent) has been wearing down on defense and a game against run-oriented team in the Bills should allow Jackson to run amok on the day.
The Falcons are giving up 130 rushing yards per game (30th in the NFL) and with their spirit broken, expect Buffalo to feed the ball to Jackson, as well as C.J. Spiller, a ton in this game.
Both backs could actually be advisable starts this week.
Michael Floyd: Arizona Cardinals
Just as Palmer has been catching fire, Floyd has been one of the prime beneficiaries.
Floyd has 297 receiving yards and one touchdown in his last two games. With a matchup against a weak Eagles’ pass defense looming, Floyd makes for a very good No. 2 wide receiver or at the very least, a flex play for this week.
Kendall Wright: Tennessee Titans
Slowly coming on strong to close the season is second-year receiver Kendall Wright.
With Ryan Fitzpatrick relying on Wright more than Jake Locker, Wright has flourished recently. In his last three games, Wright has 22 receptions for 261 yards and a touchdown.
And this is good week to trust Wright, as he’ll face a Colts team that has given up at least two passing scores in four out of their last five game and who allow 244 passing yards per game (19th in the NFL).
In points-per-reception leagues, Wright is highly recommended. Even still, with the way he is playing Wright is at least worth flex consideration in standard leagues.
Delanie Walker: Tennessee Titans
Walker is another hot Titans player who you may want to trust heading down the stretch.
In his last three games, Walker has 19 receptions for 199 yards and two touchdowns. One of those games was against the Colts (who the Titans play this week) and in that contest Walker had his best game of the year (10 catches for 91 yards and a touchdown).
With Fitzpatrick also targeting Walker a lot lately, Walker is an advisable start.
Mike Glennon: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Glennon has been a revelation this year, throwing for 1,782 yards and 13 touchdowns (while only throwing four interceptions) ever since being named starter for the Bucs. He has thrown at least one touchdown in each of his eight starts. In fact, he has passed for multiple scores in five of those games.
However, a matchup this week against Carolina could get dicey, as the Panthers have not allowed a quarterback to throw for multiple scores in a game against them all year. The Panthers allow just 216 passing yards per game (7th in the NFL) while allowing just nine touchdowns through the air, which is second best in the league.
Expect a similar game from Glennon the last time these two teams played, in which Glennon threw for 275 yards and a touchdown (albeit a garbage-time touchdown).
Lamar Miller: Miami Dolphins
With the injury to Daniel Thomas, it may allow Miller to get more carries going forward, but it should not matter this week, as the Dolphins will face the run-stuffing Jets this week (who allow the least amount of rushing yards-72.6 yards per game).
Miller has been wretched of late, rushing for a measly 27 yards on 22 carries in his last three games. You can start me, Paul Greco or Dan Leason and get the same production that Miller is giving owners.
Stay far, far away from Miller this week.
Bobby Rainey: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
If you played Rainey in Week 11, when he ran for 163 yards and two touchdowns, kudos to you. But expecting him to come close to that again is fool’s gold. Last week, when he ran for 35 yards on 18 carries against the Lions, should be more in line from what you can expect from him going forward.
This should be another tough week for Rainey, as he and the Buccaneers will be up against the staunch Carolina run defense. The Panthers are third in the NFL in rushing yards allowed per game (81.5) and have allowed just three rushing scores (second best in the league).
So, the Rainey experiment may be all but over.
Marques Colston: Seattle Seahawks
While I would never suggest sitting Drew Brees, a few of his targets could be in for a long day in Seattle. Once such receiver could be Colston.
Colston could be matched up with Richard Sherman and it’s always a tough task to get open against him. As a team, the Seahawks are allowing just 180 passing yards per game (second in the NFL) and with the game on the road in noisy Seattle, expect a mediocre effort from Colston this week.
Percy Harvin: Seattle Seahawks
The last time I listed Harvin here was as a recommended start (when he was coming off the IR) and he proceed to go out and catch one ball for 17 yards.
Although he won’t be on a snap count this week, Harvin still could be in for a long night when facing the Saints on Monday night. The Saints are great at defending the pass, yielding only 198 passing yards per game while allowing just 12 touchdowns (tied for fifth fewest in the league) via the pass.
Between the Seahawks likely to count on Marshawn Lynch in this affair and Harvin still working his way back from injury, you should wait until you see concrete proof that Harvin can contribute before trusting him in your lineups.
Antonio Gates: San Diego Chargers
It’s tough to sit Gates, as he has been a trusted option for years, but between his matchup (vs. Cincinnati) and his nagging hamstring injury, he may be a prime candidate to bench this week.
Gates will be facing a Bengals squad that has not allowed a tight end to rack up more than 50 yards receiving against them this whole year. Gates has just three touchdowns this year and with Philip Rivers spreading the wealth, even getting backup tight end Ladarius Green some looks, this may be the week to sit Gates.