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Sneaky Starts, Pivot Plays and Post-Waiver Pickups for Week 13

taylor heinicke fantasy football rankings news NFL DFS lineup picks

Week 13 might be the unluckiest week for fantasy football general managers.

Forget about the history of the number 13. Forget about the fact four more teams are on bye. Week 13 could be the unluckiest for fantasy footballers because it is one of the most crucial weeks in fantasy since the playoffs start in Week 15 or 16 in most leagues. So if you use a banged-up player who ends up not being able to suit up on Sunday, you may ruin your postseason hopes and championship dreams.

Without further ado, here are my sneaky starts, pivot plays and post-waiver pickups for Week 13 and the questionable superstars who you might need to replace at the last minute in your fantasy lineup:

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Sneaky Wide Receiver Pickups and Starts for Week 13

If Arizona’s DeAndre Hopkins (hamstring) is ruled out again before Sunday’s kickoff, you could pick up and play…

DeSean Jackson, Las Vegas Raiders (WR) vs WAS

Father Time has not sucked all the life out of Jackson’s legs yet. Jackson returned from the fantasy dead to rack up 102 receiving yards and a Turkey Day touchdown against Dallas on Thanksgiving. Due to the release of Henry Ruggs, the knee injury to tight end Darren Waller, and the inconsistency and ineffectiveness of other Raiders receivers not named Hunter Renfrow, Jackson has been handed a golden goose of an opportunity on a silver platter. He just needs to stay healthy and keep his legs fresh and quarterback Derek Carr, the league leader in passing yards, should be able to find him downfield.

Jackson will be running deep routes against Washington’s 30th-ranked pass defense this weekend. While Washington’s defense has steadily improved in recent weeks and has shored up some spots, WFT’s pass rush is not the same without defensive stalwart Chase Young anchoring the front seven. Jackson should have plenty of time to run long and Carr should have plenty of time to throw long. I think Jackson will be motivated against one of his former teams to have another long gainer and finish with 100 yards and a TD for the second game in a row.

If Chicago’s Allen Robinson (hamstring) cannot find the field this Sunday, you could pick up and play…

Josh Reynolds, Detroit Lions (WR) vs. MIN

Reynolds was not able to scratch the fantasy surface during his short stint in Tennessee this season even though Julio Jones could not stay on the field due to his hamstring troubles. Yet it only took Reynolds two games to find a new fantasy life in Detroit, of all places. Since the Lions receiving corps has been a season-long dumpster fire, Reynolds was able to walk in off the street and catch three passes for 70 yards and a score on Thanksgiving against the Chicago Bears.

Minnesota head honcho Mike Zimmer might be a defensive genius, but the Vikings pass defense has been underwhelming all season long. Over the two weeks the Vikes have allowed San Francisco’s Brandon Aiyuk and Green Bay’s Marquez Valdes-Scantling to post season-highs in receiving yards against them. In a game this weekend that the Lions will likely be losing from start to finish, the game script will work out perfectly for Reynolds. He should be able to add some garbage-time yards and receptions and be a nice buy-low candidate for fantasy managers either in standard leagues or DFS contests.

 

Sneaky Quarterback Pickups and Starts for Week 13

If Arizona’s Kyler Murray (ankle) is forced to stay on the sideline Sunday, you could pick up and play…

Taylor Heinicke, Washington Football Team at LV

I know Heinicke has a weak arm and cannot make all the passes an NFL quarterback should make. I also know he has failed to throw for multiple touchdowns in six of his last seven starts. Even his rushing yards have gone kaput as he has only scampered for 57 yards over his past four games after dashing for 95 yards against Green Bay in Week 7. The guy has more going against him than Neo did when he was fighting a room full of Agent Smiths in The Matrix Reloaded.

Heinicke will be throwing against a Las Vegas defense that is reeling. The Raiders have allowed 106 points over their last three games and let both Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes (406 passing yards) and Dallas’ Dak Prescott (375 passing yards) rip the secondary apart like a muscle man rips apart phone books. I believe Heinicke is due to for a two-TD game where he also runs for 30 yards, and this matchup screams for it to happen this weekend. Tight end Logan Thomas is back and gives Heinicke another top target to throw to. Pick up Heinicke and he should cushion the blow of not having mainstay Murray for another week if he bows out.

 

Sneaky Tight End Pickups and Starts for Week 13

If Chicago’s Cole Kmet (groin) misses his matchup on Sunday, you could pick up and play…

Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts (TE) at HOU

It was only a few weeks ago that Doyle looked like Indianapolis’ No. 2 tight end while Mo Alie-Cox was running around the field with his wide-receiver-like skills catching Carson Wentz’s passes. That is why Doyle is available in 96 percent of leagues. However, Doyle has been looking like Dallas Clark lately. The longtime veteran is coming off his best game of the season against Tampa Bay (6-81-1) and has scored three touchdowns over his past five games.

Doyle has a date with a Houston defense that is average against the pass but below-average in most other categories. The Texans have lost 9 of their last 10 contests and are in full-free-fall mode.  All signs point to Doyle riding his recent wave of newfound success to another solid start this Sunday. Do not bank on Doyle topping the 80-yard mark again, but five receptions for 45 yards and a TD is reasonable.



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