With the final week of the regular season coming this week in many fantasy leagues, it's last gasp time for plenty of owners. That's why we're hearing your S.O.S. this week and doing our best to help you out with the Week 13 Fantasy Strength of Schedule report. This certainly isn't a definitive look at who to start and sit this week, but combined with the weekly waiver wire picks, it should give you a good start on where to look for help this week and beyond.
1. Cleveland Browns (at OAK, vs. KC, vs. WAS, at DEN)
With the Browns having played so poorly this season, it's easy to overlook how consistent Trent Richardson has been, scoring double-digit fantasy points in all but three games this season. With suspect defense on the schedule in three of Cleveland's final four games, he could provide a big boost heading into the postseason. The Browns passing game has been consistent as well -- consistently inconsistent. A weak schedule doesn't figure to change that too much.
2. New York Jets (vs. ARI, at JAC, at TEN, vs. SD)
With just about any other team, a schedule like this would look like fantasy gold down the stretch. But these are the Jets we're talking about, a team so bad that it has made its unofficial mascot call it quits. Someone on this team is likely to have a decent fantasy performance within the next month, but it will be too much of a headache to figure out who it will be. Gang Green's end-of-season scouting report looks a lot like its preseason scouting report -- avoid everybody.
3. Kansas City Chiefs (vs. CAR, at CLE, at OAK, vs. IND)
Last week's 23-carry, 107-yard performance gave Jamaal Charles owners a reason to be hopeful. The Chiefs won't see the playoffs without the aid of the Hubble telescope and their quarterback situation is an abject disaster. As long as they aren't being blown out early, there's no reason for Romeo Crennel not to feed his star running back. And against this season-ending slate, there will be plenty of chances for Charles to take charge.
4. Carolina Panthers (at KC, vs. ATL, at SD, vs. OAK)
If Monday night's win over the Philadelphia Eagles was any indication, the Panthers may be ready to just turn the offense over to Cam Newton and let him reprise his role from last season. Jonathan Stewart is dealing with a high ankle sprain and DeAngelo Williams has been a disappointment. Four touchdowns might not be in the cards every week for Newton, but if he's making plays with his legs, it should get easier for him to make plays with his arm. That's good news for Steve Smith, Brandon LaFell and Greg Olsen.
5. Indianapolis Colts (at DET, vs. TEN, at HOU, at KC)
On the surface, things look great. But there are two things that are immediately worrisome for Indy. First is the Week 15 matchup against the Houston Texans. Second, (and perhaps more importantly) it's that three of the final four games are away from Lucas Oil Stadium. Andrew Luck has been a very different quarterback away from home which could hinder his value as well as that of his top receivers, Reggie Wayne and T.Y. Hilton.
1. Seattle Seahawks (at CHI, vs. ARI, at BUF, vs. SF)
Marshawn Lynch has quietly put together a very nice fantasy season, but he was shut down last week against the Dolphins and doesn't many cupcakes left on the schedule. He becomes a cautious play the rest of the way, which bodes even more poorly for Russell Wilson and his hot-and-cold corps of pass-catchers.
2. Minnesota Vikings (at GB, vs. CHI, at STL, at HOU)
In this week's edition of Fantasy Feedback, I wrote that no one does more with less than Adrian Peterson. That's why he should be in your lineup every week. And considering the way Percy Harvin has played when healthy, he should be too. However, the rest of the Vikings offense has been mired in a slump. Their remaining four matchups won't do them any favors.
3. Arizona Cardinals (at NYJ, at SEA, vs. DET, vs. CHI)
The quarterback situation in the desert continues to deteriorate, Larry Fitzgerald's fantasy value continuest to plummet and the schedule is stacked against the Red Birds. The return of Beanie Wells is a potential bright spot, but even with his pair of rushing touchdowns, his 2.8 yards per carry average isn't going to reassure a lot of fantasy owners. Wells has been a matchup-based starter throughout his career and the matchups aren't going his way.
4. Baltimore Ravens (vs. PIT, at WAS, vs. DEN, vs. NYG)
The Ravens are currently the polar opposite of the Colts. Baltimore's season-ending schedule isn't nearly as forgiving as its division rival's. But with three of those games at home, there's a ray of hope that Joe Flacco could produce adequate numbers for fantasy owners needing a miracle. The Ravens other Ray of hope -- Ray Rice -- should be in your lineup every week. Now you just have to hope that offensive coordinator Cam Cameron decides to get his running back consistently involved. Can someone send the video of fourth and 29 to Cameron's phone?
5. Chicago Bears (vs. SEA, at MIN, vs. GB, at ARI)
An injury to Matt Forte isn't doing this offense any favors, even if Michael Bush is there to pick up the slack. The riddle of Jay Cutler has been hard to decipher all season long, although the most consistent element has been that he has struggled against the NFL's better defenses. If you're forced to start any Chicago players, soften your expectations and hope you can make up the difference somewhere else on your roster.