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NFL Predictions: Matchups, Expert Picks & Projections for Week 13


Players outside the top 5 who will lead you to victory:



Top 5: Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Matt Stafford, Cam Newton, Philip Rivers

Alex Smith at Chiefs OTAs (cropped)Who to Play: Alex Smith (proj: 273 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT, 37 rushing yards)

Why:  The Kansas City defense is in trouble.  What does that have to do with anything? Well, the Chiefs are now going to have to keep up with the furious pace of the Broncos.  In Week 11 Alex Smith played well, throwing for 230 yards and two TDs (on 45 attempts).  Look for that same sort of output along with his ability to scramble, and you have yourself a legitimate contender to be a top-5 QB.  Add to this the fact that Denver has given up massive numbers to QBs, and you have yourself the best value in QB for Week 13.


Running Backs:

Top 5: Jamaal Charles, Matt Forte, Knowshon Moreno, Marshawn Lynch, Lesean McCoy

Who to Play: Adrian Petersen (proj: 147 yards, 2 TDs, 15 receiving yards)

Why: In case you don’t pay attention to football at all, the Chicago Bears couldn’t stop ME from running for 100 yards.  This is the worst defense in the NFL (much though it pains me to say it), and they are just straight-up bad.  Enter Adrian Peterson, the NFL’s best RB, on the fast track of the Metrodome. I almost expect that the above prediction might actually be too low. He could break the single-game rushing mark that he himself set, if not for the fact that his groin is a little banged up.  You’ll see Toby Gerhart get some nice production too, but fear not… All Day is about to eat.  He will be the highest scoring RB this week by a wide margin. Role with All Day no matter the cost, he’s locked and loaded for Week 13!


Wide Receivers:

Top 5: Calvin Johnson, Antonio Brown, Demeryious Thomas, Brandon Marshall Desean Jackson

Who to Play: Larry Fitzgerald (proj: 7 catches for 110 yards, 2 TDs)

Why: Everyone welcome Larry back to fantasy football relevance, as the Cardinals are streaking! Heading to the Northeast, taking on an Eagles team that is atrocious against  the pass (and pacing the league in fantasy points allowed to WRs). This is the WR version of Adrian Petersen, as the Cardinals have found their passing game.  What makes Fitz both lethal and scary as a play is the emergence of Michael Floyd.  With a legit #2 WR opposite him, that should leave more openings for Fitz to torch the Eagles. He’s healthy, he has a legit threat opposite him and Philly has the worst pass defense in the NFL.  Go with Fitz and reap the rewards!


Tight Ends:

Top 5: Jimmy Graham, Julius Thomas, Vernon Davis, Jordan Cameron, Jason Witten

Who to Play: Martellus Bennett (proj: 6 catches for 78 yards, 1 TD)

Why:  Last time out vs Minnesota he absolutely dominated, with 7 catches for 76 yards and 2 TDs. Minnesota hasn’t gotten much better since then, as they give up the fourth-most points to TEs.  Add in the fact that the Bears defense will force their offense to chuck it around, and you have yourself a nice TE option.  He’s the #3 option in the offense, but he's also the man who is going to get all the underneath checkdowns, and likely a few red zone targets. If Matt Forte is out, this line projects to bump to around 8 catches for 94 yards and a TD. Bennett is the best option outside the top five.


WORST OF THE BEST - WEEK 13: Players sure to fail your expectations:



Who to sit: Philip Rivers

Why: Rivers has played very well, but he hasn’t had to face the type of defense that Cincinnati brings in to San Diego.  They’ve had a bye week to prepare, and they'll be ready to come after Rivers. Outside of last week's explosion, he has been consistent but unremarkable.  Look for a line closer to his normal 250-275 for 2 TDs.


Running Backs:

Who to sit: Knowshon Moreno

Why: He’s questionable for the game, and even if he does go, expect a timeshare with Montee Ball. Lynch could also be in for a rough go, but expect Knownshon to be the one who isn’t worth a start.


Wide Receivers:

Who to sit: Antonio Brown

Why: This Thanksgiving evening matchup of division rivals is going to be HUGE.  Baltimore knows Big Ben and Co., and has shown their ability to stop Antonio Brown (six catches for 50 yards in their first meeting this season).  Brown is hot right now, but the Ravens defense is as well, allowing only five WRs to surpass 100 yards against them all year (Thomas- 161,Wallace-105, Nelson-113, Little-122, Green-151). Look for them to bracket Brown as they were able to do in Week 7, and force Big Ben to hit Emmanuel Sanders and the rest of the supporting cast.  I don’t like Brown this week, and if he’s in the top 10 WRs this week I would be very surprised.


Tight Ends:

Who to sit: Jimmy Graham

Why: This may end up being a replica of the 49ers game.  Seattle has maybe the best defense in the NFL, and even with the suspensions coming down, they'll be able to matchup Sherman on Graham if need be.  The Seahawks have the ability to put their #2/#3 corners on Colston and Lance Moore.  But even if they do put Sherman on one of the WRs, fully expect Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor to be able to slow down Jimmy Graham.  Our projections actually have the Seahawks winning, and by a wider margin that the six-point spread Vegas has them at.  I don’t think you can sit Graham if he's your only option, but if you have one of the others, roll with them!




As always, you can find all of our weekly waiver wire recommendations on the site, and join the best and largest fantasy Fantasy Football chat community on the web for live fantasy advice, sit/start questions, and more.


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