The last week of the fantasy football regular season is finally here. Hopefully, all of the research you have done since August will pay off.
BYES: Tennessee & Cleveland
Week 13 is upon us ladies and gentlemen. It’s hard to believe another fantasy football season is about to come to an end. Hopefully you’re like me and made it to the playoffs in your fantasy football leagues. If you haven’t quite clinched a spot yet, I’m here to tell you who to pick up to ensure a victory in Week 13.
There was one winner from last week’s column – the New York Giants D/ST – which led all defenses with 22 points against the hapless Browns. Unfortunately for those of us who stream defenses, the Browns don’t play this week so finding a defense to dispatch might prove more difficult than normal.
Worthy Of Your First Waiver Claim:
The Ravens have been working their rookie running back into the fold more and more each week. That trend continued in Week 12 with 17 total touches for Kenneth Dixon to Terrance West’s 16. What’s more appealing, is that Dixon out-gained West in yards, 80 to 64. While West was hot earlier in the season, Dixon seems to have carved out a hefty share of the Ravens backfield which could make this a running back by committee situation. Picking up Dixon is important for any fantasy owner looking to bolster their running back situation heading into the playoffs.
The Atlanta Falcons offense is so explosive, they are able to keep even a player like Taylor Gabriel fantasy relevant. The wide receiver hasn’t surpassed five targets in any game this season, but he has made the most of his opportunities. Gabriel has turned 16 touches over the past four games into 5 touchdowns and 59 fantasy points thanks to his blazing speed. It would be hard for Gabriel to keep up this kind of pace in any other offense, but with Matt Ryan at the helm, he remains fantasy relevant. The Falcons face off against some very beatable defenses down the stretch, so Gabriel is worth the pickup.
Worthy Of Your Second Waiver Claim:
A similar situation to what is going on in Atlanta with Gabriel is happening with Malcolm Mitchell in New England. The Patriot wide receiver has emerged as Tom Brady’s favorite option in the red zone, securing his second and third career touchdowns against the Jets on Sunday. Mitchell was second among Patriots wide receivers in targets behind only Julian Edelman. With a lot of mouths to feed in the New England offense, it may be tough to rely on Mitchell for consistent fantasy production. However, he is at least worth a look if you’re in a deeper or dynasty league.
The man who is the exception to the “U after Q” rule has materialized into a viable option on a team that throws the ball a ton. Allen Hurns sustained a hamstring injury against the Bills in Week 12 which could leave him sidelined for a while. If that were the case, the receiver who would benefit the most would be Marqise Lee. The Jaguars are a team that is consistently trailing, so throwing the ball 30+ times per game isn’t a foreign concept to them. Pick up Lee if you own Allen Hurns or the struggling Allen Robinson.
Bye Week Fill-In QB:
I winced when I wrote this man’s name down in this section of the column. Ryan Fitzpatrick’s inclusion here speaks more to the Colts banged up secondary than it does his talent. He has been nowhere near the QB he was in 2015 at any point this season. However, his fantasy numbers aren’t that terrible. Outside of the two game stretch against the Chiefs and Seahawks where he threw a combined nine interceptions, he’s only thrown four INTs in the rest of his starts. In Week 13 he’ll face a decimated Indianapolis secondary that is allowing the second most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season.
The waiver wire is remarkably thin at the D/ST position due to the Browns having their bye this week. Another reason is that most of the top ten defenses are squaring off against sub-par offenses in Week 13. If you aren’t lucky enough to own one of those squads or your usually trustworthy defense has a game against the Cowboys, Falcons, or Raiders (looking at you, Minnesota, Kansas City, and Buffalo), then consider the Chargers defensive unit. The Chargers have forced multiple turnovers in seven of their 11 games this season and face a fairly turnover-prone Tampa Bay Buccaneers team this week. The Bucs are right in the middle of the pack when it comes to allowing fantasy points to opposing defenses. With that in mind, don’t expect a huge number from the Chargers on Sunday, but you can bank on a positive number from this unit.