Week 13 of the fantasy football season is finally here, and the Rotoworld crew has everything you need to leave the weekend with a win. Patrick Daugherty answers your lineup questions with his Week 13 Rankings, Nick Mensio tells you who to start and who to fade in Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em, Ian Hartitz dives into which receivers are destined for production in his WR/CB Matchups Analysis, and Hayden Winks breaks down every matchup in his famous Fantasy Forecast Column.
I’m also here to shed some light on the most important injury situations facing fantasy owners heading into the weekend. The sister resource to this column is the Rotoworld News Page, which will have every single inactive and all the late-breaking news up to kickoff and beyond. I’ll also join Josh Norris and a rotating member of the crew every Sunday morning at noon ET on the Rotoworld Fantasy Football Show to answer all of your pressing start/sit decisions.
Editor’s Note: Need an extra edge heading into the fantasy playoffs? Want to dominate in DFS throughout the postseason? Find out how to get the NFL Season Pass, NFL DFS Toolkit and other products for free with our Black Friday sale! Click here to learn more!
Titans @ Colts
*Derrick Henry (hamstring) is reportedly “good to go” after leaving Wednesday’s practice early with a soft tissue injury. Having said that, imagine benching Henry in any format right now. Delanie Walker (ankle, IR) is also officially done for the year, locking Jonnu Smith into the exact role that allowed him to rank as fantasy’s TE19 with 21 targets and 16/190/1 receiving since Week 7. Don’t fear his goose egg in the box score from last week since it quietly included the third-year specimen running a route on 15 of Ryan Tannehill’s 22 dropbacks while logging a season-high 94 percent snap rate.
*T.Y. Hilton (calf) was officially ruled out after re-aggravating his hamstring in practice Wednesday. Zach Pascal will presumably play the same role that buoyed him into 95.5 percent of Indy’s snaps the past four games prior to Hilton’s return against Houston, but note the former’s total 10/125/1 on 5.2 targets per game despite that aforementioned every-down role. Jack Doyle is also ensured arguably the highest floor of any receiving option on either side of the ball since Eric Ebron’s (ankle, IR) trip to injured reserve vacates 4.7 targets and 20.4 routes per game at the tight end position. Backup Mo Alie-Cox (thumb) practiced in full but remains questionable. Jonathan Williams should also continue receiving elite usage as an RB2 with Marlon Mack (hand) sidelined for the foreseeable future.
Eagles @ Dolphins
*Philadelphia activated TE Josh Perkins from their practice squad Saturday morning, suggesting Zach Ertz (hamstring, questionable) won’t play after reportedly injuring himself two weeks ago and simply battling through it to this point. Dallas Goedert is an easy pick as the direct beneficiary of the nine targets and 75.6 air yards per game up for grabs with Ertz sidelined, but fantasy players should also expect more 11 personnel with Alshon Jeffery (ankle), Nelson Agholor, and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside. Miles Sanders should soak up some of that opportunity as a high-end RB3 with Jordan Howard (shoulder) ruled out again. His box scores haven’t popped, but Sanders has received bell-cow usage in averaging 11.5 carries and 100 percent of Philadelphia’s backfield targets on 85 percent of their offensive snaps in his last two spot-starts.
49ers @ Ravens
*George Kittle (ankle), Deebo Samuel (shoulder), and Emmanuel Sanders (ribs) were all removed from Friday’s injury report. Their matchup against Baltimore’s surging defense is a bigger concern than any injury. Getting Matt Breida (ankle, questionable) back would certainly help matters, additionally pushing Raheem Mostert out of FLEX consideration. How San Francisco stops Lamar Jackson without Dee Ford (quad, out) is another issue entirely.
*Nick Boyle (ankle) was slapped with the ‘Q’ tag but practiced in full on Friday. He’s fully expected to play.
Redskins @ Panthers
Jets @ Bengals
*Demaryius Thomas (old) went through the same routine as he’s been through the past few weeks but remains questionable for Sunday. He’ll be active and likely continue seeing 5.9 looks, as he’s done in his past eight performances since initially returning from injury.
*A.J. Green (ankle) hasn’t practiced since November 4 after re-aggravating his ankle injury and isn’t expected to return this year.
Buccaneers @ Jaguars
*Scotty Miller’s (hamstring, out) absence puts Breshad Perriman on the map in deeper leagues. The rookie speedster previously trumped Perriman on season-highs in snaps (35, 52%), catches (4), and receiving yards (71) against the Saints before leaving early in Week 12.
*Tre Herndon’s (shoulder, questionable) availability is crucial given his responsibility to lock down Mike Evans on the outside. That gig would instead fall to third-year UDFA Breon Borders (6’0/189) if Herndon’s ruled out.
Packers @ Giants
*Golden Tate (concussion), Evan Engram (foot), and Rhett Ellison (concussion) won’t go, pushing Sterling Shepard back into the slot where he ran a team-high 79.5 percent of his routes from in the team’s first four games without Tate. Shepard had run just 25 percent of his routes from the slot in the two games he played with Tate, firmly planting the former as a low-end WR2/3 against 36-year-old Tramon Williams in the middle of the field. Sixth-round rookie Kaden Smith also qualifies as a fringe TE1 and DFS cash game option since he (surprisingly) received elite usage ahead of Scott Simonson in his last performance sans Engram and Ellison, running a route on 100 percent of Daniel Jones’ dropbacks all the while logging 98 percent of the team’s snaps.
*Davante Adams (toe) was limited throughout the week but removed from Green Bay’s final injury report.
Browns @ Steelers
*JuJu Smith-Schuster (knee) and James Conner (shoulder) are out again after failing to practice this week. Benny Snell’s an intriguing RB3/4, but expectations need to be tempered considering Jaylen Samuels (22 snaps), Trey Edmunds (12), and even Kerrith Whyte (7) were all involved behind him. Snell of course ran a pathetic 4.66 40-time out of Kentucky and couldn’t eclipse the century mark against Cincinnati despite getting fed 21 carries last week. Diontae Johnson is the best guess to lead this team in targets from Devlin ‘Duck’ Hodges, but that’s all it is. James Washington has caught two passes from Duck all year — one which just so happened to go for 79 yards and a score.
Rams @ Cardinals
*Without Gerald Everett (knee, out) available, Tyler Higbee is projected to play an every-down role as a streaming low-end TE1 and DFS cash game option. If you have any doubts, note backup TE Johnny Mundt’s season-high mark of 3 routes run (lol) in six appearances. If all are available on waiver wires, I would rank this week’s streaming options Goedert > (Kaden) Smith > Higbee.
*Chase Edmonds (hamstring) wasn’t even listed on the injury report after getting in a full week of practice. Best guess is Kenyan Drake handles a 60-30 role ahead of Edmonds while David Johnson sprinkles in on the remaining touches. It’s also plausible Johnson’s healthy scratched. Either way, Drake remains the safest RB3/4 option among the trio with an every-down workload in his range of outcomes. Kyler Murray (hamstring, questionable) was given a designation but there’s nothing to suggest he’ll sit — especially after practicing in full on Friday.
Chargers @ Broncos
*Starting tackles Russell Okung (groin, questionable) and Sam Tevi (knee, questionable) are trending in the right direction but remain game-time calls. Their presence may not even matter if Von Miller (knee, questionable) misses his first regular season action since 2013.
*Drew Lock’s first career start is terrific news for both Melvin Gordon and the Chargers’ defense. Reminder the No. 42 overall pick was one of the preseason’s spotlighted frauds, completing 31-of-51 passes for 254 yards and 5.0 yards per attempt. The rookie’s wild inaccuracy should allow Gordon to tee off on short fields with an uptick in play volume — especially if Miller’s scratched. Derwin James’ and Adrian Phillips’ return to the lineup is also a nightmare for Denver’s offense.
Raiders @ Chiefs
*With Hunter Renfrow (rib/lung) shelved for the foreseeable future, Darren Waller should return to seeing the team-high 26 percent target share and 8.3 targets per game he accounted for in Oakland’s first eight contests out the gate. He’s quietly seen as many targets as the rookie in their last five games together, plummeting his per game tallies to 5.6 targets and an 18% share in that span.
*LeSean McCoy and Darrel Williams will carry the load another week for Damien Williams (rib, out), planting both as RB3/4 options for Week 13. McCoy saw a season-high six targets before leaving with a concussion in Mexico City, but Darrel is arguably the more complete back between the two, having buoyed his hurry-up role into two top-15 performances to date (as a backup, nonetheless). McCoy projects to handle 12-14 carries but I would start Darrel over the 31-year-old runner in a vacuum if only for the latter’s entrenched receiving-game role. Williams should handle 8-10 touches plus the two-minute drill as McCoy’s direct backup. You’re on your own guessing Darwin Thompson‘s involvement (if any).
Patriots @ Texans
*Bill Belichick’s up to his old tricks, listing 17 as ‘questionable’ behind Ryan Izzo (illness) as the only confirmed ‘out’. The official injury report can be found here. Mohamed Sanu (ankle) is the only skill player that should truly be weighed as a game-time call, but pivoting to Phillip Dorsett (concussion) is an easy move if the vetern slot wideout is in fact scratched.
Vikings @ Seahawks
*Dalvin Cook (chest) was upgraded to full participation on Friday, leaving no doubts about his final status. The looming question mark remains Adam Thielen (hamstring) since he’ll likely play, but did reportedly sustain a scare with his hamstring mid-week. His availability as a whole would likely tank Kyle Rudolph’s fantasy outlook since the latter totaled 11 targets in his first six games with Thielen on the field and 24 over his last five. Setback is always a finicky issue but Thielen belongs in the Top 20 at his position if he’s active, anyhow.
*Tyler Lockett (shin) was downgraded mid-week, failing to practice at all on Friday. He only saw two targets against the Eagles in his last fight through injury, but did notably play 85 percent of Seattle’s offensive snaps in that one. Presumably active Monday night, Lockett warrants Top 10 consideration since his usage in Week 12 wasn’t a step down despite hauling in a single 38-yard catch. Jacob Hollister (toe) has also been limited to this point but is fully expected to play.