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Week 13 fantasy matchups


Here's a look at key fantasy matchups for Week 13:

49ers at Panthers

San Francisco still averages only 13.6 points per game, but last week's big game from RB Frank Gore gives hope he can have a strong stretch run. I like Gore to get some yards both rushing and receiving here. He's still the only 49er worth playing.

For Carolina, it all depends on whether Vinny Testaverde starts at QB. If he does, despite the Panthers' season-long struggles, I have a hunch they will score some points in this contest. You can play Testaverde, RB DeShaun Foster and WR Steve Smith.

Jaguars at Colts

Indianapolis is third overall in scoring defense, third in total defense and is a plus-8 in takeaways, so Jacksonville has its work cut out. I like RB Fred Taylor a little better than Maurice Jones-Drew in this game. QB David Garrard should be okay, but it's hard to pick any of his receivers over the others. The Jaguars have already completed more passes to tight ends this season than they did all of last season. That's good news for owners of TE Marcedes Lewis - especially since he's the only true TE on the team's roster that is healthy.

You've got to play RB Joseph Addai, but it's tough to run on Jacksonville. That said, the Jaguars are 28th on pass defense, allowing 246 passing yards per game and a total of 25 TD passes. The Colts have struggled a bit in recent weeks because of injuries at the left tackle spot, but you should still see success this week from WR Reggie Wayne, QB Peyton Manning and TE Dallas Clark.

Bills at Redskins

This is obviously a hard game to figure not knowing the mindset of Washington players in the wake of the Sean Taylor tragedy… For Buffalo we're going to see Fred Jackson start at RB - it's the first time I can remember a Division III player starting at RB in the NFL. That said, I like QB Trent Edwards and WR Lee Evans here, as it's hard to run on Washington.

For the Redskins, I like QB Jason Campbell, RB Clinton Portis and WR Santana Moss. Washington is starting a rookie RT, though, so beware.

Texans at Titans

If DT Albert Haynesworth plays for Tennessee -- and he's expected to -- then this is a totally different game. I'm not sure I like the Texans RBs here anyway, so the two plays are QB Matt Schaub and WR Andre Johnson.

For Tennessee, I like QB Vince Young -- Houston's near the bottom of the league in sacks. However, you never know which of his receivers will get the most action. RBs LenDale White and Chris Brown both will get carries, and I'm not sure either will get enough to be a factor.

Falcons at Rams

Look for Atlanta to make a big push running the ball with Warrick Dunn and Jason Snelling. You can play QB Joey Harington and WR Roddy White if you're desperate, but the run game will be a priority.

For St. Louis, I like RB Steven Jackson. It looks like QB Marc Bulger is out, but I still like WR Torry Holt. In his last two games against Atlanta, Holt has caught 20 passes for 282 yards and 3 TDs.

Seahawks at Eagles

The last time these teams met was in 2005 -- Seattle won, 42-0, but neither RB Brian Westbrook nor QB Donovan McNabb played. For the Seahawks, I like QB Matt Hasselbeck and WR Deion Branch (especially since WR D.J. Hackett is out). With RBs Shaun Alexander and Maurice Morris splitting time, neither is worth playing.

For Philadelphia, as usual, you have to play Westbrook. If McNabb plays he'll do well, though it is hard to score against Seattle, which is fourth in scoring defense.

Lions at Vikings

Minnesota is first in the NFL in run defense and 32nd against the pass, so I like QB Jon Kitna here for Detroit. I think WR Shaun McDonald will be his primary target, with Roy Williams second.

For Minnesota, it looks as if both Chester Taylor and Adrian Peterson will see action at RB. Even though the Lions have a good run defense (96 ypg and a total of 8 rushing TDs), I do think both Vikings RBs ar worth playing. If you're looking for a defense to play this week, consider Minnesota - I am confident the Vikings will register at least 5 sacks in this game.

Chargers at Chiefs

It's hard to run on Kansas City, and even though the Raiders had success last week, I do not expect RB LaDainian Tomlinson to have a huge game this week. You can play the other three Chargers mainstays - QB Philip Rivers, TE Antonio Gates, and WR Chris Chambers.

With the staring QB in question for Kansas City and the passing game pretty weak anyway, RB Kolby Smith is the only play here following his big week.

Jets at Dolphins

The Jets rank 30th in total offense and have only 2 rushing TDs all season. But I still think RB Thomas Jones will score this week, and it's also worth playing QB Kellen Clemens and WR Laveranues Coles.

For Miami, RB Jesse Chatman might have success against a Jets defense that ranks 31st against the run, allowing 150 yards per game. QB John Beck and WR Ted Ginn Jr. might do okay as well.

Browns at Cardinals

The average score of a Browns game this season is 29-28, so you probably can't go wrong with key players from either team here. For Cleveland, QB Derek Anderson, RB Jamal Lewis, WR Braylon Edwards and TE Kellen Winslow should all do well.

For Arizona, I like QB Kurt Warner, WRs Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin and RB Edgerrin James. Cleveland is 32nd overall on defense, 28th versus run and 30th versus the pass. The Browns allow 397 yards per game and have given up 25 TD passes in 11 games.

Broncos at Raiders

For Denver, I like QB Jay Cutler and WR Brandon Marshall. RB Travis Henry should play (unless there's a ruling from the league), and if so I think he'll be okay.

For Oakland, RB Justin Fargas and WR Jerry Porter are the plays. We usually like WR Ronald Curry, but teams are starting to double-cover him more -- look for his production to go down the rest of the season.

Buccaneers at Saints

Bucs WR Joey Galloway has at least one TD in six consecutive games against the Saints. The record for longest TD streak against one opponent is 9 - set by Mel Gray against the Cowboys… I like RB Earnest Graham here, simply because the QB is a question mark for Tampa Bay and the Bucs will look to run. If Garcia plays, he should have success against the Saints pass defense, but you have to check his status.

For New Orleans, QB Drew Brees will throw 40-plus passes - he and WR Marques Colston should do well. I don't expect much from RB Reggie Bush - it's hard to score on the Bucs, who give up 14.9 points per game.

Giants at Bears

The Bears' run defense has been terrible, but with RBs Brandon Jacobs and Derrick Ward both still banged up, you'll have to rely on the passing attack for the Giants against a Chicago defense that ranks 26th overall, allowing, allowing 26 points per game. That means QB Eli Manning, WR Plaxico Burress and TE Jeremy Shockey are the only plays.

For Chicago, I like QB Rex Grossman and WR Bernard Berrian to get some points. RB Adrian Peterson starts and he should do about as well as Cedric Benson has done all season - in other words, not good.

Bengals at Steelers

You might want to wait as long as possible here to check the condition of Heinz Field. That said, I like QB Carson Palmer and WRs Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh. I wouldn't expect much from the running game for Cincinnati.

For Pittsburgh, QB Ben Roethlisberger and RB Willie Parker always play well at home. You can also play WRs Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes (if Holmes is healthy).

Patriots at Ravens

For New England, QB Tom Brady is a must-start, of course. There should be a good chess match here, because Bill Belichick will do everything possible to allow WR Randy Moss to have a big night after he was held in check last week. The Ravens will do everything to slow him down, of course, so it's just a matter of whether the Patriots force it to Moss or switch over and start mixing in WR Wes Welker. I think RB RB Laurence Maroney will be a factor as well.

For Baltimore, RB Willis McGahee is the only worthy play here - and on ly if you really, really need someone.