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Week 13 Rankings Analysis: Nick Mariano vs. Industry Consensus

Unfortunately the Eagles losing their starting RG to illness and #1 receiver to a right ankle sprain really hurt Carson Wentz and the Eagles, which was most unkind to my rankings.

At least Ryan Fitzpatrick proved to be worthy of QB2 status, and slipping Michael Crabtree and Demaryius Thomas down a bit was warranted. While I still finished in the top half of the FantasyPros experts, the bar we've set is higher than simply "above average". Let's get to it.

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Week 13 Quarterbacks - Rankings Analysis

My top 10 has plenty of shuffling, but nobody moved more than two spots and that doesn’t feel comment-worthy. The first big mover is Eli Manning (#13 vs. #17 consensus), as I think going into Pittsburgh against Big Ben and a beat-up defense has all the makings of a shootout. The Steelers can put up huge points at home and weren’t really tested last week against Scott Tolzien (who still led three drives down to the goal line against PIT), so I expect Eli Manning and Big Blue to push back.

Another riser is Matt Barkley (#20 vs. #25 consensus), and it’s not just because he got to tee off against a checked-out Titans defense in Week 12. Barkley nearly led the Bears to a win last week, but his receivers dropped a whopping 10 passes – including several in the end zone. While the relation of this to the caliber of his receivers cannot be ignored, those guys are still pros and many of the drops did not occur as a result of DBs contesting the catch. Even if those 10 drops turn into six, the game turns around. Barkley looked comfortable out there, and will take some confidence into a date with the horrible 49ers defense.


Week 13 Running Backs - Rankings Analysis

We’ve got a little shake up with the members of the top 10 here, as I’ve swapped Matt Forte in and Devonta Freeman out, with the former sitting at #8 and the latter, #11. The Jets may be in for a bit of a letdown spot after nearly clawing themselves to victory against the Patriots, but going to Indianapolis in that offense-happy dome to take on the league’s worst defense according to DVOA is encouraging. The Colts cannot stop much of anything right now, and the Jets will likely lean on a proven commodity in Forte to control the clock and make things happen in space. Meanwhile, Freeman has to take on a Chiefs defense that boasts a terrifyingly effective defensive line. Freeman is better than Booker, but you saw how strong KC looked there.

Robert Kelley (#21 vs. #26 consensus) also gets a bump, as the Cardinals are beatable on the ground and last week’s rather predictable dud against the Cowboys might yield some additional value this week. The Cardinals have allowed four rushing TDs to RBs over their past four weeks, which plays into where Kelley’s value is here. No one is going to vulture him, the only real question is whether Kirk Cousins and company will run the ball over passing it three times. That’s not enough for me to drop him out of RB2 consideration, and I can see Washington winning this game in a rather high-scoring affair, with Kelley notching one or two TDs.


Week 13 Wide Receivers - Rankings Analysis

It's been an ugly year for the Jets, and Brandon Marshall (#8 vs. #12 consensus) has suffered greatly as a result. He was able to tread water early in the season, but Weeks 6-10 saw him fail to top five catches, 70 yards or find the end zone in any of those games. He got back on the horse last week (6-67-1) against the Patriots, and now gets to feast on the Colts. We mentioned how Indianapolis' defense has been atrocious, and they specifically get posterized by opposing #1 receivers (31st in DVOA against them). The Colts are going to score against the Jets, and they'll probably score a lot. The Jets won't be able to fight back with just Forte, and they don't have a tight end to exploit Indy's other major weakness. Marshall is going to have to eat.

Briefly, I’ve got Tyrell Williams (#25 vs #17 consensus) down due to that shoulder injury of his. Reports came out Tuesday that it’s an issue with his labrum, and while he shouldn’t miss any time, his catch radius and effectiveness has to take a hit. Tampa Bay’s cornerbacks also just played one hell of a game against Seattle, so it’s hard to give Williams a matchup boost here.

You may have seen how Eli Manning apologized to Sterling Shepard (#34 vs. #43 consensus) for targeting him zero times in Week 12’s victory over the Browns, and we’re rolling heavy with that momentum here. Perhaps Eli will take a page out of big brother Peyton’s playbook here, and really give Shepard his due after a lackluster showing in a game that Vegas projects for 50 points. The caveat here is that Pittsburgh’s defense owns the fourth-best DVOA rating against #2 receivers, but Shepard should have a good chance at being a fantasy WR3 here in the fireworks show.


Week 13 Tight Ends - Rankings Analysis

This is a testy position considering Rob Gronkowski (back) and Jordan Reed (shoulder) are both less than 100%. They’re normally mortal locks for the top two, and now we’ve got them floating around in the back-end of the top 10 as the practice reports come out during the week.

Entering the top 12 is Vance McDonald (#11 vs. #16 consensus), as old McDonald is coming off of a season-high eight targets last week into a beautiful matchup against the Bears. Chicago’s defense has performed admirably given their circumstances, but have also given up the third-most fantasy points on average to tight ends over the last four weeks. McDonald has seen at least six targets in each of his last four games, as Colin Kaepernick has breathed some life into this offense. McDonald’s stellar athleticism could yield TE1 profits here.

This feels weird to type, but I’ve got Josh Hill (#20 vs. #32 consensus) smack dab in TE2 territory right now. He destroyed Coby Fleener’s (#23 vs. #16 consensus) ceiling in Week 11 despite Coby tallying 59 yards, as Hill out-snapped “Stonehands McGee” 57 to 18  for his best game of the season (6-74-0). While the Lions have performed a little better against TEs lately, it appears more by virtue of circumstances like strength of opponent and strange playcalling rather than true performance gains. And even with the recent “surge”, Detroit has still given up the most fantasy points to opposing tight ends. If you need a last-ditch dart throw, here’s your hill to die on.


I’d rather talk more about the skill positions than include kicker or defense, as they are far less interesting to me. Feel free to send me a vitriolic message should you want them back, I’ll listen I swear.

Check out all of RotoBaller's fantasy football rankings. Staff rankings are updated regularly for all positions and include standard formats, PPR scoring, tiered rankings and dynasty leagues.

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