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Week 13 Start/Sit: Monday Night Football Matchup Analysis


The Washington Redskins (6-5) head to Philadelphia to take on the Eagles (5-6) Monday night, and though the defending Super Bowl champion Eagles still appear hungover, while the Redskins optics went down the drain with Alex Smith, this game still provides a surprisingly ample level of intrigue.

For starters, the result looms heavy over crowning the eventual NFC East champion. Sure, this statement is nothing more than evidence supporting the NFC Least moniker -- shoutout to the Giants for somehow remaining irrelevant -- but this is the first of two matchups between these two playoff hopefuls over the season's final five weeks. And, with the Dallas Cowboys having rattled off four-straight victories, both of these squads find themselves in the proverbial "must-win" situation should they want to keep their division title, and to an extent, playoff hopes alive. Plus, it's a rivalry; rivalries are always fun. This should be a battle.

Flipping the script to the fantasy football side of things, ideally, our squads are not Redskins or Eagles laden -- neither of these offenses have been explosive -- but there are quite a few guys worthy of consideration (and you have to take what you're given should you be a dfs advocate)... Please find my shoddy outlook for said guys below. Thank you.

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Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles

Date and Start Time: Monday, December 3rd at 8:15 p.m. EST
Game Spread: PHI -6
Over/Under: 44.5
Notable Injuries and Status:

Offensive and Defensive Rankings (per game):

Redskins Eagles
Passing Yards 25th 13th
Rushing Yards 15th 25th
Pass Defense 24th 29th
Run Defense 8th 10th

 

Must Starts

Top Players That You Should Have In Your Lineup

Zach Ertz (TE, PHI)

The Redskins haven't exactly been good when it comes to defending the pass, but in terms of the tight end position alone, they've actually been pretty solid. No individual TE has gone over 50 yards against them, and they haven't allowed a touchdown to the position since Week 8 - surrendering just three TDs on the season as a whole.

Zach Ertz defies matchups, though.

Ertz's 26.9-percent target share rivals the league-leaders at the wide receiver position -- he's seeing more than 10 targets per game -- and by turning those targets to 81.4 receiving yards per, he's balling at a rate even the likes of Antonio Brown, Stefon Diggs, and T.Y. Hilton haven't matched heading into Week 13. I wouldn't be surprised to see a dip in the otherworldly production we see almost weekly, but benching Ertz simply isn't justifiable at this point.

 

Must Sits

Players To Avoid Putting In Your Lineup

Corey Clement/Wendell Smallwood (RB, PHI)

There are too many cooks in the kitchen, and neither guy has "Nailed It!"

Nelson Agholor/Jordan Matthews (WR, PHI)

Having seen a total of three targets over the Eagles last two games, Agholor appears to be taking the acquisition of Golden Tate the hardest. Meanwhile, Jordan Matthews never really was a thing this season, but he did make a few splashes early on... Neither guy is moving the needle in advance of this one with Ertz virtually guaranteed at least 20-percent of the targets, Alshon Jeffery and Golden Tate being the next in line, and to add salt to their Kool-Aid, Darren Sproles is expected to return - the logical assumption is that he'll see a few targets himself. The 36.7 passes Carson Wentz is putting up are good for the 10th-most in the league, but even with that, the pie just isn't big enough to consider either guy outside of a dice roll in a gpp contest.

 

Solid Options/Sleepers

Which Players Will Have Solid Games and Which Could Surprise?

Solid Option - Carson Wentz (QB, PHI)

Boy, the Wentz fall out has him looking more like Pete than Carson, but he's due for a bounce back after two less than impressive performances. This 'Skins defense has shown signs of dominance, but they've also shown signs of futility, and in a pivotal game, at home, my money is on Wentz getting the job done.

Solid Option - Adrian Peterson (RB, WAS)

The Eagles have allowed opposing backs to pick up an average of 151.7 yards on 6.3 yards per carry over three games since their bye, and while Peterson has seen his offensive linemen dropping like flies, he's also seen enough volume to remain a solid option against this Philly front which isn't exactly the model of health itself.

Solid Option - Josh Adams (RB, PHI)

Adams has run away with this job. Literally.

Solid Option - Alshon Jeffery (WR, PHI)

The recent Carson Wentz funk has effected every Eagles pass-catcher not named Zach Ertz. Alshon Jeffery's name is not Zach Ertz. Jeffery has averaged just 38.7 receiving yards per game over his last four contests and has not caught a ball in the end zone since Week 7. In fact, no Eagles wide receiver has. However, Washington has allowed four 100-yard receivers in their last five games -- to go with five TDs to the position -- and it's only a matter of time before we see this offense resemble the version we've come to know in recent memory.

Solid Option - Jordan Reed (TE, WAS)

Reed had not recorded more than 65 receiving yards in a single game prior to the Alex Smith injury, but he's now seen 19 targets over the Redskins last two while averaging 73 receiving yards and adding a TD. It appears Colt McCoy is the spark/QB he needed to turn his season around, and assuming he plays, it seems likely he'll be heavily involved once again.

Sleeper - Colt McCoy (QB, WAS)

Speaking of McCoy, given the myriad of injuries the Eagles are facing, a solid outing here isn't exactly far-fetched. He threw for 268 yards against a more imposing Cowboys defense on Thanksgiving Day, has had extra time to prepare, and surprisingly, is averaging 31.5 rushing yards over his two appearances - essentially adding a passing TD (four-point scoring) to his fantasy numbers without attempting a single pass.

Sleeper - Chris Thompson (RB, WAS)

Finally, Thompson is set to return after missing the Redskins last four games and his timing couldn't be any better - Philly has surrendered 53.4 receiving yards per game to opposing RBs (ninth-most). It'll be interesting to see how he's deployed in his first game back, but he figures to be involved by default as a much needed, non-Jordan Reed, safety valve for Colt McCoy in an offense which isn't exactly budding with receiving options.

Sleeper - Josh Doctson (WR, WAS)

The ominous six-catch, 66-yard Week 12 performance should be enough to cause concern here, but the 10 targets combined with a banged up Jamison Crowder and Trey Quinn, provide a solid indication of what we can expect to see in this one. Add to it, an Eagles secondary devoid of four defensive backs, and Doctson could make some noise by the time it's all said and done.

Sleeper - Golden Tate (WR, PHI)

It's been a rough start to Tate's tenure in Philadelphia, so much so that I've seen him referred to Copper, Bronze, and even Aluminum Foil Tate on Twitter. The internet is undefeated. Through it all, the eight targets he's seen in back-to-back games are an encouraging sign, and again, it's only a matter of time before the Eagles start soaring.

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