Five must-read fantasy football stats for Week 13

I can't believe it's already Week 13! This week I am focusing on players with high ceilings that aren't in my top sevens at each position (listed in No. 1 below). To be clear, those lists are based on median projections like normal, but all the other players listed are ranked in terms of my upside projection. In other words, players that could help you edge your way into your playoffs, or provide exceptional value in a format like Perfect Challenge.

1) Projections

Note: These projections are based on my stat-line projection for each player translated into standard fantasy scoring. These are the median values.

Tip: Use the order and points as a way to compare ... e.g. if a running back is projected to earn 1.5 points more than the guy behind him, but only 0.15 points less than the guy in front of him, take the magnitude into consideration. Also, asterisks (*) mean watch out for injury report changes, but always do that anyway, even if there doesn't happen to be an asterisk.

2) In Weeks 9 through 12 the Steelers and Giants defenses BOTH recorded four interceptions and 16 sacks (tied-most in that span), and averaged 18 points per game allowed (tied for third-fewest).

The Steelers opponents during that run were the Colts, Browns, Ravens and Cowboys, while the Giants faced the Browns, Bears, Bengals, and Eagles.

Fantasy Impact: I just think this is fun trivia, so feel free to use it to stump your friends. Watch the weather here but Sterling Shepard and Eli Rogers the WR30 and WR33 in my upside case.

3) From Week 9 to Week 12 the Lions defense averaged only 16 points per game allowed (second-fewest in that span), while the Saints offense averaged 33 points per game.

However, the Saints have also turned the ball over seven times in the past four weeks. On the other side of the ball, their defense has forced eight turnovers over the past four games while the Lions have only averaged 21.3 points per game (19th-most in that span).

Fantasy Impact: Also fun, but this mostly served as a way to get into a game I wanted to talk about. First of all, if you need a tight end to replace Gronk and Coby Fleener is available, grab him. He has a great matchup and a high ceiling. In fact, he's the TE6 in my upside model. Speaking of, Eric Ebron is the TE1 in the upside model. Brandin Cooks is my upside WR15, Willie Snead is the WR26, and if Marvin Jones (questionable) doesn't play, then Golden Tate goes from WR23 to WR16 and Anquan Boldin jumps into the top 25 as well. Oh, and Mark Ingram is still on the injury report, so watch this one closely because Tim Hightower's value would take a huge leap if Ingram can't go.

4) Two snacks: Upside worth chasing at WR and RB

4a) High-upside wide receivers (in the top 30 upside WRs) that might surprise you: Tyler Boyd, Jordan Matthews, Kenny Britt, Tyreek Hill, and Mohamed Sanu.

4b) High-upside running backs (in top 25 upside RBs) that might surprise you: T.J. Yeldon, Darren Sproles, Rob Kelley, Rashad Jennings, and Dion Lewis. Lewis' value is in the passing game, so adjust accordingly for non-PPR.

5) Three If/Thens: Injuries

If you're wondering what I project for Tyreek Hill considering Jeremy Maclin is likely to play, then here it is: If Maclin plays my Hill projection is five receptions for 63 yards with just a little below a 50 percent chance of scoring a touchdown against the Falcons.

If you're wondering how the loss of Gronk impacted the Pats offense in my model, here's the quick breakdown. Since Gronk lines up in any one of six positions and we can see the trends without Gronk on the field, it decreased Tom Brady's projection by about 20 yards, increased Martellus Bennett's, increased Edelman and Mitchell's projections (though three of those four are currently questionable) and increased the overall run game volume. Right now (as of Friday) these are the MEDIAN numbers:

Brady: 271, 2 TD
Edelman: 6 rec, 67 yards, better than 50/50 for a TD
Bennett: 4 rec, 44 yards
Blount: 78 rushing yards, better than 50/50 for a TD
Lewis: 26 rushing yards, 3 rec, 28 rec yards

The Raiders' placed their slot corner DJ Hayden on IR and if their best corner, David Amerson, sits again this week, then give a bump to Bills pass catchers (ahem ... Sammy Watkins perhaps). And no, that doesn't diminish LeSean McCoy's value. Think of this as an also not and instead.

-- Cynthia Frelund is an analytics expert who appears regularly on NFL Fantasy LIVE and GameDay Morning. Follow her on Twitter @cfrelund

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