Joe Flacco, Quarterback, Baltimore Ravens
Fantasy owners still waiting for Flacco’s elite status to shine through will have to remain patient in Week 13 as the Baltimore Ravens host the Pittsburgh Steelers. Playing in below freezing temperatures for the late Thanksgiving evening game could make for a draining night for the Ravens. Pittsburgh’s pass defense has been ridiculously effective lately and they just recorded a season-high five sacks last week against the Browns. If you’re thin at quarterback and contemplating starting Flacco, who has 37 sacks and 14 interceptions under his belt, you may want to rethink your alternatives this week and find a quarterback with a friendlier matchup.
Projected Statistics: 20/32, 215 yards, one touchdown, one interception
Mike Glennon, Quarterback, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Glennon has become quite the fantasy gem if you picked him up as your quarterback when he landed the starting job in Tampa Bay earlier this season. His solid production makes him an ideal fantasy start most weeks, however owners should be cautious about starting Glennon in Week 13 as the Buccaneers travel to play the stellar Carolina Panthers defense. The Panthers, who currently give up the second fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, will surely create challenges and turnovers for Glennon and his receivers. Quarterbacks playing the Panthers at home seem to struggle even more, so in Week 13 expect Glennon’s numbers to take a plunge along with his fantasy points.
Projected Statistics: 21/35, 190 yards, one touchdown, once interception
Case Keenum, Quarterback, Houston Texans
Week 13 brings the New England Patriots to Houston to play the Texans. Over the past two weeks Keenum has been a severe disappointment, scrounging up a whopping total of 16 fantasy points. Once might like to think Keenum was faced with challenging defenses, however, this couldn’t be further from the truth as his last two matchups were against the Raiders 21st ranked defense and the Jaguars who rank 31st. Fantasy owners shouldn’t take their chances with Keenum where the weather forecast in Houston threatens rain and a legitimate Patriots defense.
Projected Statistics: 16/27, 152 yards, zero touchdowns, one interception
Eric Decker, Wide Receiver, Denver Broncos
Fantasy owners who start Eric Decker on a regular basis waiting for that breakthrough week where he scores a couple of touchdowns need to face reality. Decker has only two touchdowns in 12 weeks of play; a far cry from his 2012 season of 13 touchdowns. The Broncos play in Kansas City in Week 13, and you have to know the Chiefs will be prepared to avenge their loss from two weeks ago. Additionally, Peyton Manning has been off kilter with only two touchdowns in his last two outings. Decker will remain the odd man out once again in a crowded backfield of Wes Welker, Demaryius Thomas and Julius Thomas. He should remain out of your lineup in Week 13.
Projected Statistics: Two receptions, 49 yards, zero touchdowns.
T.Y. Hilton, Wide Receiver, Indianapolis Colts
Hilton and the Colts host the Tennessee Titans in Week 13. Without a touchdown since Week 9, Hilton’s fantasy value is rapidly declining along with his fantasy points. The Titans are stingy against wide receivers allowing the least fantasy points and will have Hilton’s number dialed in just like two weeks ago when they limited him to 44 receiving yards. Andrew Luck wasn’t able to complete any passing touchdowns versus the Titans in their last outing which doesn’t forecast a positive fantasy outlook for Hilton in Week 13. If you have to start Hilton, expect flex fantasy numbers.
Projected Statistics: Five receptions, 59 yards, zero touchdowns.
Danny Amendola, Wide Receiver, New England Patriots
In Week 13, Amendola and the Patriots will venture to Houston to face the Texans, who are a disaster at offense, but are fourth-ranked in defending wide receivers this season. Amendola has not been of much fantasy relevance all season and shouldn’t see any boost in value this week, as the Texans defense will focus on limiting the Patriots supposed No. 1 wide receiver. Rob Gronkowski is the only reliable fantasy option that Tom Brady targets, so Amendola, who has scored only once all season, has no business in anyone’s fantasy roster in Week 13.
Projected Statistics: Four receptions, 65 yards, zero touchdowns.
Le'Veon Bell, Running Back, Pittsburgh Steelers
Week 13 takes Bell and the Steelers to play Thanksgiving night in the blustery Baltimore weather. The Ravens boast a stingy rush defense allowing the second least fantasy points to running backs. Bell has yet to top the century mark in rush yards and has only two touchdowns in the last seven weeks. This matchup isn’t the friendliest environment to trust Bell to reward you with winning fantasy points. The Ravens held the Jets running backs to only 76 yards on the ground and no scores last week, so if you start Bell expect mediocre fantasy points in Week 13.
Projected Statistics: 16 attempts, 63 yards, one reception, 14 yards, zero touchdowns
Stevan Ridley, Running Back, New England Patriots
Speaking of New England Patriots who should be out of your lineup in Week 13 is Ridley. He may still find himself planted on the bench this week against the Houston Texans as a result of costly fumbles in back-to-back games. After Ridley was benched, the running game didn’t skip a beat with fellow backs Shane Vereen and Brandon Bolden more than adequately taking the reins. Don’t be surprised if the Patriots play it safe in Week 13 and limit Ridley’s carries which will in turn limit his fantasy value on your team. Select with a safer option if you have one.
Projected Statistics: Five attempts, 21 yards, zero receptions
Bobby Rainey, Running Back, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Fantasy owners who started Rainey last week expecting even half of the fantasy points he put up in Week 11, got majorly duped as he rushed for less than two yards per carry last week against the Detroit Lions, scoring a mere 3.5 fantasy points. Rainey and the Buccaneers play at the Carolina Panthers home field in Week 13. The Panthers defense is in the top 12 in defending running backs and they know what Rainey is capable of, so they’ll be on their “A” game to halt Rainey in action this week. Clearly sporting a boom or bust title over his head makes Rainey too risky to start this week.
Projected Statistics: 15 attempts, 63 yards, two receptions, 21 yards, zero touchdowns
Tony Gonzalez, Tight End, Atlanta Falcons
Gonzalez, who has been all over the charts as far as fantasy production this year, travels with the Falcons to play the Buffalo Bills in Week 13. Gonzalez, who was a must-start always last year, is facing multiple obstacles this season which make him a sketchy start certain weeks. This week, Gonzalez, who is dealing with a sore toe, is questionable as he faces the Bills defense, who allow the fourth fewest fantasy points to tight ends. Rain is also in the forecast for Buffalo which will not makes things any easier for Matt Ryan to accurately target Gonzalez. Consider better tight end options in Week 13 if available.
Projected Statistics: Four receptions, 52 yards, zero touchdowns.