Week 13 is the last week of the regular season for most leagues. It's the week that can determine who finishes first, who finishes last and who lives on to fight for the league trophy. There are lots of implications in place when setting your lineup this week that can affect every single team in the league. Matchups are even more important, so we'll look at the best and worst for this week.
Fantasy Football Week 13: Fighting for a Playoff Spot
PSD Staff | Nov 28
10:56am EST | Nov 28
Final Playoff Push
Hopefully for most of you, a playoff spot has already been established and this last week is only important for rankings. For those of you sitting on the fringe and needing a big win (and a loss from your competition) there is nothing more nerve racking then trying to set your lineup this week. There are a lot of questions running through your head, and with 6 teams in action on Thanksgiving Thursday, decisions will need to be made quickly.
In this week, matchups are really important as there are diamonds to be found on the waiver wire that could lead you to a playoff spot. We’ll talk more about them in the Free Agent Finds section below.
Now, for those teams that are in no way going to make the playoffs, it is still important to set your best lineup and make smart moves as your matchup will be an important part of determining the fate of other teams in your league. Don’t be the guy that stops playing just because you’re out of the money and playoffs. It can still be fun to win your last matchup and screw up someone else’s season the honorable way.
No matter where you currently sit, remember there is always next season so just enjoy what’s left of this one and end the season with a win.
10:56am EST | Nov 28
Jamaal Charles Key to KC Success
This season has been a drastic turnaround for the Kansas City Chiefs. New coach, new quarterback and new sense of optimism in KC.
At the core of their success sitting with a 9-2 record and a playoff spot, is the play of Jamaal Charles. He has been the most consistent running back all season but has done it with a sense of modesty not seen in many athletes today.
There is no doubt that the addition of Alex Smith has taken some of the pressure off the young back, but I would make the argument the other way. Alex Smith, after his losing the starting spot in San Francisco, had a lot to prove when coming to Kansas City. What better way to do that than to utilize the versatility of Charles.
When Smith can’t find anyone open downfield, a quick dump pass to Charles and we all know what he can do with the ball in his hands. Passing game not working? Hand the ball off to Charles and same story. Try and stack the defense to stop Charles, Smith goes play-action and finds Bowe or McCluster in man coverage. Everyone benefits thanks to Charles, including a defense that is usually coming on to protect a two-score lead.
Luckily for fantasy owners, the Chiefs play in the same division as Peyton Manning and the Broncos who recently dethroned KC for top spot in the AFC. There will be no resting of Smith & Charles heading into the fantasy playoffs as they will want to do everything they can to ensure home field advantage and get back to the top of the conference. This should make Charles owners happy and opponents frustrated.
10:55am EST | Nov 28
Cutler’s ankle will keep him out again in week 13 against the Vikings. He is hoping to return for his week 14 Monday night matchup against the Cowboys, but Josh McCown should be picked up by any Cutler owners who can get their hands on him.
He’s been suiting up and throwing pain free for a couple of weeks, but the fear of doing long term damage while the fracture is not fully healed is too much to risk right now. It appears the wonderboy Matt Flynn will start in his place against the Lions this week. Don’t expect a repeat performance from the last time Flynn started in Rodgers place though, but he should be in line for a solid day as the Lions defense against the pass is mediocre at best.
Stacy suffered a concussion on Sunday and is forced to go through the proper protocol before he will be cleared to play. Benny Cunningham will start against the 49ers if Stacy is unavailable, and considering it will most likely be a game-time decision at this point, owners need a backup plan.
Seen in a walking boot and on crutches following the Broncos loss to the Patriots on Sunday night, Moreno looks doubtful against Kansas City this week. It is a bone bruise to his ankle that may mean Montee Ball finds the starting spot instead.
Forte suffered a “slight hyperextension” of his right knee last week. His ability to return to the game last week after suffering the injury would suggest that it was not especially severe. We’ll need to keep tabs on him as the week goes on, but everything is indicating he will play at this point.
10:55am EST | Nov 28
Josh McCown VS Minnesota Vikings
McCown has filled in nicely for the Bears who are fighting for a playoff berth. Luckily, they are up against the 2nd worst defense against the pass in the league. The Vikings have allowed multiple passing touchdowns in 4 of their last 5 contests. The Bears will have no trouble throwing against Minnesota.
Donald Brown VS Tennessee Titans
Having recently played against the Titans only two weeks ago, Brown found the endzone twice posting 80 rushing yards on 14 attempts. This game will be in the comfort of Indianapolis and Brown will want to bounce back from a poor outing against Arizona last week. He’s an easy RB2 or Flex start this week.
Dez Bryant VS Oakland Raiders
Thursday night, Thanksgiving football. The only bigger stage is the Superbowl, and given how much attention Bryant loves, expect him to put on a show against the Raiders this week. We know how talented he is and when he wants to have a big game, he will. With Calvin Johnson playing in the early game, he’ll have more incentive to outshine Megatron. Oh yeah, and Oakland’s pass defense has surrendered easy scores to weak offensive teams the last two weeks and we all remember what the Eagles did to them in week 9.
10:54am EST | Nov 28
Nick Foles VS Arizona Cardinals
Yes, Foles is having a great season in the place of Michael Vick but his best performances have come against weak defenses like Oakland, the Giants and Washington. He had a good game against Green Bay but the Cardinals have a sound defensive system that brought down Andrew Luck often in week 12. We know what happens when Foles is forced to make decisions under pressure, so this could be a tough week for him to prove he’s a solid fantasy QB.
Le’Veon Bell @ Baltimore
Division rivals on a cold November day in Baltimore. This is a big stage for the rookie, especially on short rest. Baltimore has the best run defense in the league and while Bell has been fairly good this year, expect the pressure of the stage and the defense to get the best of him this week.
Wes Welker VS Kansas City Chiefs
He suffered a concussion in their first meeting this season, but his struggles started before that game. Manning is still targeting the tiny slot receiver, but Welker is on a poor run of form and given the importance of this matchup, Demaryius Thomas will continue to be the main target. He’s more of a flex play this week as he has some work to do to gain back our trust.
10:53am EST | Nov 28
Free Agent Finds
We’ve discussed him in enough detail in this column to make him an easy pickup. He’s only owned in 12% of ESPN leagues right now, so he should be available for you.
He is back from his broken arm and scored a touchdown in week 12 against Tampa Bay. With all the coverage Megatron receives, Burleson should be able to take advantage against Green Bay. Only owned in 20% of ESPN leagues.
With the threat of Zac Stacy missing the 49ers game this week, Cunningham should be picked up if you’re desperate. The 49ers are good at stopping the run, so expectations should be kept in check if you do grab him. Owned in 0.7% of ESPN leagues.
He’s active and looks ready to play in week 13 against the Rams. Not sure what restrictions he will have in place, but he is a viable option for playoff bound teams. Stash him this week and play him once we have a clear indication of how he’ll be used as the 49ers fight for a wildcard spot. Owned in 12% of ESPN leagues.