Photo: Getty Images/Al Messerschmidt
Week 13 always has the potential to be one of the most important in the fantasy football season.Teams are looking to punch their ticket to the playoffs, secure a first-round bye week, and ensure all the stress of the season was worthwhile.
These are the weeks that count the most and often frustrate fantasy owners.
We’ve done our best to pick the players that we believe will lead in the hunt for the title and the players we think you could leave you sulking about your failure to make the playoffs. One lineup change could make the difference.
The advice is based on standard 10-team leagues.
Schaub has improved dramatically for the Texans, putting up more than 800 yards in the last two weeks.
Chad Henne beat the Titans a week ago, and they have given up the second-most touchdowns to quarterbacks (22) of any team in the NFL this season. Schaub is more threatening now than at any point this season.
Season Total: 245/378, 2,855 yards, 19 TDs, 9 INTs
After a solid run, Freeman struggled against the Atlanta pass defence, failing to register a throwing touchdown for the first time all season.
The Denver Broncos have a formidable pass defence that has caused other elite quarterbacks some problems earlier in the season, never surrendering more than 300 yards. It'll be a tough game for Freeman on the road.
Season Total: 199/349, 2,761 yards, 21 TDs, 7 INTs
28 carries, 98 yards
Fantasy owners who cast Jackson aside after his dismal start are kicking themselves. In the month of November, Jackson has ran for 321 yards and a touchdown.
The Rams offence has looked better since showing a dedication to the run game. We're riding the hot hand despite a tough matchup.
Season Total: 174 carries, 724 yards, 2 TDs
16 catches, 129 yards
Mathews has failed to crack the century mark rushing the football this season and has scored just one touchdown all season long.
That doesn't bode well for a fantasy matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals have allowed just two rushing touchdowns since Week 7 and two 100-yard rushers all season.
Season Total: 146 carries, 594 yards, 1 TD
33 catches, 219 yards
Moreno was elevated to the starting role last week against the Kansas City Chiefs in Willis' McGahee's absence and impressed, rushing for 85 yards on 20 carries.
We saw that Moreno was a capable starter in 2009 and 2010 before he got injured, so he's a worthy flex option against the Bucs this week, and perhaps moving forward.
Season Total: 28 carries, 100 yards, 1 TD
5 catches, 38 yards
Last week was Bush's highest rushing total of the season when he ran for 60 yards against the Vikings. He added two touchdowns for a stellar fantasy week.
But that stat line is what worries fantasy owners. He relies heavily on touchdowns and less on yards to produce good fantasy numbers. And this week, he goes against the stout Seattle rush defence. He's flex at best.
Season Total: 106 carries, 366 yards, 5 TDs
9 catches, 83 yards
Let's hope that the Bill coaching staff can brush aside Johnson's comments that Fitzpatrick should be calling plays instead of head coach Chan Gailey because Johnson has been on a tear.
Johnson has three straight weeks with six catches and at least 79 yards receiving and goes up against the spacious Jaguars secondary this week.
Season Total: 53 catches, 687 yards, 4 TDs
Heyward-Bey totally disappeared last week, which is troubling considering many believed he had turned the corner after three solid weeks. The fact that he didn't register a catch was bad enough, but he wasn't even targeted.
He simply can't be trusted at this juncture of the fantasy season.
Season Total: 28 catches, 440 yards, 3 TDs
Robert Griffin's favourite target from the beginning of the season reemerged last weekend, catching five passes for 93 yards and a touchdown against Dallas. The Redskins are doing everything to keep him fresh after an injury early in the season and it seems to be working.
The Giants, meanwhile, have given up the most touchdowns (16) to wide receivers this season.
Season Total: 16 catches, 251 yards, 2 TDs
The panic in Pittsburgh began last week when they turned the ball over eight times, completely stalling the offence.
There's a 50-50 chance that Roethlisberger returns this week, but he could still be limited even if he does. Wallace's numbers will continue to be effected by the uncertainty at quarterback.
Season Total: 47 catches, 572 yards, 6 TDs
The most frustrating thing about Bennett has been that he hasn't found the end zone since scoring in each of the first three weeks of the season.
But he continues to be targeted, and with Eli Manning back playing at a high level, we expect things could get better this week. The Redskins have given up seven touchdowns to tight ends this season.
Season Total: 61 catches, 455 yards, 3 TDs
Keller is another tight end that struggles to keep up consistent production from week to week. He's had two great games against New England (12 catches, 157 yards, 2 TDs), but those two games are where the majority of his production have come from.
Arizona does well defending the tight end, giving up less than three catches and 40 yards per game to opposing tight ends.
Season Total: 26 catches, 300 yards, 2 TDs
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