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Week 13 fantasy football matchups, starts and sits

Struggling to set the perfect fantasy lineup? Let us be your guide. Each week the NFL Fantasy staff will provide you with game-by-game, player-by-player matchup breakdowns in this column to help you set a winning lineup. Think of this as the one-stop shop to crushing your opponent in fantasy football.

Now, onto the best and worst Week 13 fantasy matchups.

Kansas City Chiefs at Atlanta Falcons: 1:00 p.m. ET on CBS


Alex Smith, QB -- SIT: Smith hasn't thrown more than a single touchdown pass in each of his last four games. He'll likely have to throw a ton to keep pace with Atlanta, but it'd be tough to make the case for using Smith outside of the deepest formats due to his limited ceiling.

Spencer Ware, RB -- FLEX: Ware posted his highest yardage total (96) in three games against Denver last week, but he hasn't found the end zone since Week 7. His high-volume usage provides a safe floor worthy of flex consideration but he's not putting up the kind of yardage we'd like to see given his primary role. He's got a great matchup against Atlanta, though, which makes him more appealing.

Tyreek Hill, WR -- START: Hill has led his team in receptions (26) during the four games that Jeremy Maclin has been out. He's a gadget-type player with incredible speed, but starting him in fantasy has been a risky proposition (one that paid off in Week 12). He's posted double-digit points in standard leagues in three of his last five games and makes for a low-floor, week-winning ceiling type of play against the Desmond Trufant-less Falcons.

Travis Kelce, TE -- START: Kelce's 675 receiving yards is third among tight ends for the season and despite just three touchdowns, he ranks as a top-five option at his position through 12 weeks. His 82 targets on the season are second-most among all tight ends and the Falcons allow the fifth-most fantasy points per game to tight ends.


Matt Ryan, QB -- START: Ryan has come back to Earth a bit in the last couple of weeks, but he remains a top-three fantasy quarterback on the season. He is an obvious must-start against a Chiefs defense that has surrendered the third-most passing touchdowns to quarterbacks this season (25).

Devonta Freeman, RB -- START: Freeman's consistent fantasy production has flown somewhat under the radar in recent weeks, but maybe that's because his owners expected more out of him while Tevin Coleman was sidelined with a hamstring.

Tevin Coleman, RB -- SIT:Devonta Freeman is the lead dog in the Atlanta backfield, and while Coleman did find the end zone last week, he was ineffective as a runner with just 13 total yards on 10 touches. Leave him on the bench until he gets back up to speed in the Falcons' offense.

Julio Jones, WR -- START: Yes, Julio has been a bit inconsistent as a fantasy asset this year, but he still leads the league with 1,140 receiving yards. He should bounce back against a Kansas City defense that has allowed the second-most fantasy points per game to wideouts this year.

Taylor Gabriel, WR -- FLEX: Gabriel has been on fire with at least one touchdown and no fewer than 65 yards in each of his last four games. He's got a basement-level floor but only needs one quality touch to hit a home run with his otherworldly speed. He's worth flexing in a deeper format, and is a solid DFS bargain play, too.

Mohamed Sanu, WR -- SIT: Sanu did haul in all eight of his targets last week but his fantasy production hasn't been consistent enough to consider starting in what is likely a must-win week.

Austin Hooper, TE -- SIT: With Jacob Tamme on injured reserve, rookie Austin Hooper is the Falcons starting tight end from here on out. Unfortunately he's only had eight yards in each of his last two games.

Detroit Lions at New Orleans Saints: 1:00 p.m. ET on FOX


Matthew Stafford, QB -- START: Stafford has thrown just one touchdown pass in his last two games, but don't let that hinder you from starting him this week. He's a legitimate QB1 option against the Saints suspect (but improving) secondary in what should be a shootout in the Superdome.

Theo Riddick, RB -- FLEX: Riddick hasn't had double-digit rush attempts in two straight games but he makes up for that with his looks as a pass-catcher. He has an extremely safe floor here in what should be a high-scoring game.

Marvin Jones, WR -- SIT: Jones has officially been ruled out.

Golden Tate, WR -- FLEX: Tate leads the Lions in every receiving stat (targets, 85 and receptions, 57) except for touchdowns, two. He also has collected at least 50 receiving yards in four of his last six games so the floor is there. The question is what kind of ceiling can he achieve in what's predicted to be a high-scoring affair?

Anquan Boldin, WR -- SIT: You're banking on a touchdown if you start Boldin. And he has six on the season, so it's entirely possibly he finds the paint again here. The risk is that if he doesn't score, he's not going to tally more than about 35 receiving yards.

Eric Ebron, TE -- START: After laying an egg last week, there may be a huge overcorrection coming for the talented tight end. Look for him to bounce back against the Saints who have allowed 290 yards to tight ends over the last month.


Drew Brees, QB -- START: Brees has thrown more touchdown passes than any other quarterback in the NFL. What more do you need to know?

Mark Ingram, RB -- START: Perhaps the most interesting stat regarding Ingram is that he has scored more receiving touchdowns (four) than rushing (three) this year. He has clearly taken back the lead dog role in the Saints' backfield. Even if Tim Hightower spells him on a couple of drives, Ingram should do enough to produce RB2 numbers at worst.

Tim Hightower, RB -- FLEX: Hightower should see enough work in this game to warrant a flex start. He's had double-digit rush attempts and double-digit fantasy point totals in four of his last five games.

Brandin Cooks, WR -- FLEX: Maybe you got burned by Cooks' goose egg last week. Treat that game as the outlier it was: Cooks hasn't seen fewer than five targets in a game all season save for last week. He should be more involved against Detroit.

Michael Thomas, WR -- START: The rookie leads the Saints wideout corps in all receiving stats this year. He's the clear-cut No. 1 target for Drew Brees and should eat in a high-scoring affair.

Coby Fleener, TE -- SIT: The last time Fleener posted double-digit fantasy points was in Week 6. Feel free to roll him out there because of Adam Rank's "Doyle Rules" but we don't recommend it.

Los Angeles Rams at New England Patriots: 1:00 p.m. ET on FOX


Jared Goff, QB -- SIT: Goff is a rookie quarterback. Bill Belichick tends to dismantle rookie quarterbacks in Foxboro. This game is in Foxboro. Don't do this to yourself.

Todd Gurley, RB -- SIT: Gurley has not been able to do much this season for fantasy owners outside of the three games he has scored in. His 3.2 yards per carry average ranks him 39th out of 43 qualified NFL running backs, and that number is not likely to increase this week.

Rams WRs -- LOW-END FLEX:Tavon Austin and Kenny Britt both scored last week, so there is some appeal here. Britt is the more reliable option while Austin presents more of a home-run threat. If you're feeling lucky, you can probably roll with Britt as the Rams will likely be passing to keep pace with Brady and his minions.

Lance Kendricks, TE -- SIT: Kendricks has seven targets in each of the two games that Jared Goff has started thus far which is a promising sign. Unfortunately, the Patriots allow the sixth-fewest fantasy points per game to tight ends this year. Use Kendricks at your own risk. (Just because Marcas Grant got this one right last week, doesn't mean he'll hit again!)


Tom Brady, QB -- START: Brady might not be 100 percent healthy but it doesn't matter. He's still one of the best fantasy quarterbacks in the game and is a threat to post 350 yards and four touchdowns in any given week.

LeGarrette Blount, RB -- FLEX: The Rams' pass defense is much tougher than the run stopping unit. Blount is always a threat to find the paint making him a viable flex starter.

Dion Lewis/James White, RBs -- SIT: Both New England pass-catching backs got high volume last week as receivers, but they each sort of cannabalize each other's fantasy value.

Julian Edelman, WR -- FLEX: Edelman popped up on the injury report this week with a foot injury, which has nagged him all season. He'll likely be good to go on Sunday, and you can't really bench a guy who's collected 28 targets over the last two weeks.

Rob Gronkowski, TE -- OUT: It was reported on Thursday morning that Gronk will undergo back surgery Friday and will miss "several weeks."

Malcolm Mitchell, WR -- FLEX: Mitchell is the third-highest scoring receiver in fantasy over the last two weeks and his role in the Patriots offense is growing. With Gronk banged up, it could mean more looks for the rookie -- especially in the red zone where he scored twice last week.

Martellus Bennett, TE -- START: Bennett (ankle) played through his injury last week but he wasn't much of a factor. He has just 36 receiving yards over the last two games, so even if he does play he'll likely be limited and presents a risk in terms of fantasy value.

Denver Broncos at Jacksonville Jaguars: 1:00 p.m. ET on CBS


Paxton Lynch, QB -- SIT: A rookie quarterback facing a frisky defense on the road. Pass.

Devontae Booker, RB -- SIT: We're still waiting for Booker's breakout game. Judging by the looks of the Jaguars defense lately, it wouldn't appear to be this week.

Emmanuel Sanders, WR -- FLEX: The Jacksonville secondary has been tough, but Sanders seems to be the Broncos receiver who can most frequently excel in these situations.

Demaryius Thomas, WR -- FLEX: Thomas and Sanders have remained neck-and-neck in fantasy scoring this year. Pegging which one will take off in any given week has been a coin flip.

Broncos D/ST -- START: Take one of the best defenses in the league and put it against one of the NFL's most turnover-prone quarterbacks. It's fantasy gold.


Blake Bortles, QB -- SIT: There is a wide range of outcomes associated wtih Bortles this week. OK, maybe it's not that wide. But it certainly could involve negative points.

T.J. Yeldon, RB -- LOW-END FLEX: With Chris Ivory out, there's an argument to be made for starting Yeldon. We wouldn't advise it unless forced to, though.

Allen Robinson, WR -- SIT: Robinson has a bad quarterback and is facing a great secondary. This is why you hopefully traded him before the deadline.

Marqise Lee, WR -- FLEX: Weird, right? But Lee has emerged as the go-to receiver in an otherwise dysfunctional passing game.

Allen Hurns, WR -- SIT: Hurns is officially OUT.

Houston Texans at Green Bay Packers: 1:00 p.m. ET on CBS


Brock Osweiler, QB -- SIT: We're normally all for streaming a quarterback against the Packers defense ... unless of course that quarterback is Osweiler.

Lamar Miller, RB -- START: Miller tweaked his ankle in Week 12, but has practiced all week. He's a fine start against a Green Bay defense allowing 4.84 yards per carry and a league-high six rushing touchdowns over the last month.

DeAndre Hopkins, WR -- START: The Green Bay secondary remains an injured mess, and Hopkins has seen double digit targets in four of his last six games. This the week he finally does it, right? RIGHT?!

C.J. Fiedorowicz, TE -- START: Fiedorowicz has been losing some work to Ryan Griffin over the last month or so, but still owns 20.4 percent of the team targets since their Week 9 bye, averaging 50 yards per game in that span.


Aaron Rodgers, QB -- START: Tweaked hamstring or not, you're starting the highest scoring fantasy signal-caller playing at an elite level.

Packers RBs -- SIT:James Starks? Aaron Ripkowski? Christine Michael? Ty Montgomery? This crew splits work too evenly too trust in fantasy.

Packers WRs -- START: With Rodgers playing so well and slinging the rock 40-plus times per game since Week 6, Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams and Randall Cobb are all weekly plays.

Jared Cook, TE -- SIT: The Texans have been tough on tight ends, allowing just one double digit tight end outing all year (Jack Doyle, Week 6). Those chasing upside could give the enigmatic tight end a roll, though, as we glimpsed his upside two weeks back.

Philadelphia Eagles at Cincinnati Bengals: 1:00 p.m. ET on FOX


Carson Wentz, QB -- SIT: Wentz has three total touchdowns to six turnovers in his last four games. Pass.

Eagles RBs -- LOW-END FLEX: Last week was supposed to be Wendell Smallwood's game, but Darren Sproles outsnapped and out-touched the rookie. Ryan Mathews being out clears up the picture a little bit, but it's hard to trust either back as more than a risky flex play.

Jordan Matthews, WR -- SIT (INJURY): Matthews has been ruled out with an ankle injury, boosting DGB's value.

Dorial Green-Beckham, WR -- START: DGB led the Eagles in snap percentage (81) and targets (10) last week, and with Matthews out, the enigmatic receiver should see ample opportunities come his way.

Zach Ertz, TE -- START: Ertz has target totals of six, 11, seven, and eight over the last four games. The Bengals allow the third-most yards to tight ends on the year and a 71.6 percent catch rate. Ertz is a fine start.


Andy Dalton, QB -- SIT: Dalton has thrown for just one touchdown in each of his last four games, and will very likely still be without A.J. Green.

Jeremy Hill, RB -- SIT: It might be hard to sit Hill, but he's only averaged more than 3.9 yards per carry twice in 11 games, while the Eagles are giving up just 3.8 yards per carry over the last month. The increased passing volume helps his floor (32 percent of his targets targets this season came in Week 12), but he's still a huge risk.

Bengals WRs -- FLEX:Tyler Boyd and Brandon LaFell have seen 17 and 18 targets the last two weeks, respectively, though Boyd has been slightly more productive (11-116-1 to 7-70-0). Both are low-end flex options.

Tyler Eifert, TE -- START: With A.J. Green out, he's the best player in the offense. You can't sit him, even in a brutal matchup.

Bengals D/ST -- START: Wentz has six turnovers in the last four weeks, and has been sacked 13 times in the last five. The Bengals at home are a good streaming defensive optoin.

Miami Dolphins at Baltimore Ravens: 1:00 p.m. ET on CBS


Ryan Tannehill, QB -- SIT: Tannehill has multiple touchdown passes in three straight games, but the Ravens defense is tough and expects to have star cornerback Jimmy Smith healthy again.

Jay Ajayi, RB -- START: Ajayi is a must-start on volume alone, as he owns 77 percent of the backfield opportunities since taking over the job in Week 6, but expectations should be tempered against the league's top-ranked run defense.

Jarvis Landry, WR -- FLEX: With DeVante Parker (back) banged up and Ajayi in a tough spot, the team could turn to Landry more to move the chains. His volume has been down of late, but could bounce back here.

DeVante Parker, WR -- SIT: Between his back injury and Jimmy Smith returning to action, Parker could find it hard to get open on Sunday.

Kenny Stills, WR -- FLEX: At this point, we know what to expect from Stills. He's a boom-or-bust player, so start him if you dare.


Joe Flacco, QB -- SIT: Flacco has thrown one or fewer touchdowns in nine of 11 games this year. Hard pass.

Ravens RBs -- FLEX:Terrance West and Kenneth Dixon are splitting snaps and touches almost right down the middle. West has the touchdown upside as the preferred goal-line back, while Dixon has more PPR upside thanks to his prowess in the passing game.

Steve Smith Sr., WR -- START: Smith's mini hot streak came to a halt last week, but he's only had two games with fewer than seven targets in the last seven games. Look for Triple S. to bounce back.

Mike Wallace, WR -- FLEX: Despite his typical "boom-or-bust" label, Wallace has posted 57-plus yards in seven straight contests, with three 97-plus yard outings in that span as well. He has just one touchdown in those games, though, limiting his overall upside.

Dennis Pitta, TE -- SIT: It was fun seeing Pitta get a ton of targets early in the season. This is not early in the season.

San Francisco 49ers at Chicago Bears: 1:00 p.m. ET on FOX


Colin Kaepernick, QB -- START: Forget about what the Niners are doing on the field overall, Kaepernick has been dealing. As long as he can run, he's a viable fantasy QB.

Carlos Hyde, RB -- FLEX: The Bears have been fairly forgiving to running backs and Hyde has been productive regardless of the situation. That shouldn't change this week.

Jeremy Kerley, WR -- SIT: The ceiling isn't that high and the floor is very low. It's like "Tiny House." Only not as funny.

Quinton Patton, WR -- SIT:Quinton Patton aspires to be Jeremy Kerley.

Vance McDonald, TE -- SIT: Unless you're in a really deep league, the six to eight points McDonald could give you probably isn't worth it.


Matt Barkley, QB -- SIT: He didn't look half bad last week against the Titans. But that's not the kind of endorsement you want for your starting fantasy quarterback.

Jordan Howard, RB -- START: Howard had well over 100 scrimmage yards last week against a much better defense. He should be able to do even more against San Francisco.

Cameron Meredith, WR -- SIT: Remember those two weeks when Cameron Meredith was a thing? Man, those were the days.

Marquess Wilson, WR -- FLEX: Wilson was the only reliable Bears receiver last week and looked to have a connection with Barkley. If you're in a pinch, he's worth a look.

Buffalo Bills at Oakland Raiders: 4:05 p.m. ET on CBS


Tyrod Taylor, QB -- SIT: The Raiders have been better than average at slowing fantasy quarterbacks over the past month. You can probably find better options this week than Taylor.

LeSean McCoy, RB -- START: We could make a thumbs up joke about starting McCoy this week. Actually, we just sorta did. Whatever. Start Shady.

Sammy Watkins, WR -- FLEX: Keep an eye on the injury reports as Watkins continues to deal with his sore foot. If he plays, he's certain to be heavily targeted this week.

Marquise Goodwin, WR -- SIT: He's fast. That's a thing, right?

Charles Clay, TE -- SIT: If you're scrounging for a tight end on the waiver wire, you can hope that the Bills target Clay the way the Texans targeted C.J. Fiedorowicz. Hope is a good thing.


Derek Carr, QB -- START: Don't worry about his pinky. Carr's been slinging it well. Plus the glove gives him a cool, Luke Skywalker in "The Empire Strikes Back" look.

Latavius Murray, RB -- SIT: The Bills have been too stingy and Murray's usage has been too erratic to consider him a worthwhile start in Week 13.

Amari Cooper -- FLEX: Cooper's been slumping with fewer than 60 receiving yards in four of his last five games. You'll need him to score a touchdown for any real fantasy production.

Michael Crabtree, WR -- SIT: For a top-15 receiver, Crabtree's season has been one of peaks and valleys. After a big up last week, fantasy managers could be looking at a down.

Clive Walford, TE -- SIT: The Bills have been fairly vulnerable in the middle of the field this season, but even that is relative. This probably isn't the matchup you want.

New York Giants at Pittsburgh Steelers: 4:25 p.m. ET on FOX


Eli Manning, QB -- START: In his last two games, Eli has thrown five touchdown passes and zero interceptions. He's likely to stay hot against the Steelers' 23rd-ranked pass defense in what should be a shootout.

Rashad Jennings, RB -- SIT: Last week was the game we thought Jennings would go off against the Browns, but it didn't happen. We're back to dealing with an unpredictable and unproductive Giants backfield, and the Steelers run defense ranks ninth in the NFL. Nah, we're good.

Odell Beckham Jr., WR -- START: You start Odell Beckham every week. But just for some reassurance, OBJ has scored eight touchdowns this season, all of which have come in his last seven games.

Sterling Shepard, WR -- FLEX: Shepard didn't see a single target in last week's game, after seeing no fewer than four in every game this year. Apparently, Eli Manning apologized to his rookie wideout for the lack of looks (seriously, Google it) and promised to involve him more in Week 13. That's enough to put him in your flex and consider last week an outlier.


Ben Roethlisberger, QB -- START:Big Ben is on a three-game streak with no interceptions and has thrown six touchdown passes in that span. He plays well at home with a 15-to-two touchdown-to-interception ratio at Heinz Field this season and is poised for top-five fantasy quarterback numbers in what will likely be a shootout with Eli Manning.

Antonio Brown, WR -- START: Brown leads the NFL with 82 receptions and is tied with only Mike Evans for the most receiving touchdowns, 10, on the season. He's working on a GOAT career to be quite honest. You're starting him, duh.

Le'Veon Bell, RB -- START: Bell leads the NFL with 142 scrimmage yards per game and has posted 100-plus total yards in seven of his last eight, including back-to-back 100-yard rushing games. He's also scored in three straight following a five-game touchdown drought to start the season. He's our consensus RB1 for Week 13.

Eli Rogers, WR -- SIT: It's pretty clear that Big Ben only has eyes for Antonio Brown and Le'Veon Bell as his main targets. Outside of a 100-yard game in Week 9 and a touchdown in Week 10, Rogers presents little to no fantasy value otherwise.

Steelers TEs -- SIT: Neither Ladarius Green nor Jesse James are involved enough in the concentrated Steelers passing attack that features Antonio Brown and Le'Veon Bell. We'll pass, again.

Washington Redskins at Arizona Cardinals: 4:25 p.m. ET on FOX


Kirk Cousins, QB -- START: Cousins has thrown for under 300 yards just four times all year, and threw for multiple touchdowns in three of those four, anyways. If Jordan Reed sits Cousins may struggle to hit his ceiling, so he may be just a low-end QB1 this week.

Rob Kelley, RB -- FLEX: We saw what can happen to Kelley when the Redskins fall behind in a shootout, as he saw just 14 carries for less than 40 yards last week in Dallas. Luckily, the Cardinals have not looked like a team that will force opponents to give chase too often.

DeSean Jackson/Pierre Garcon, WR -- FLEX: One of these two will likely post a strong stat line in this contest, but good luck guessing which one it will be. Both would be sits if Reed were to play.

Jamison Crowder, WR -- START: The Cardinals have struggled this season in covering slot receivers, so this looks like a spot where Crowder holds the matchup advantage over his opponents. If Patrick Peterson rarely traveled into the slot to shadow Stefon Diggs, it's unlikely he'll do so for Crowder.

Vernon Davis, TE -- SIT: Even if Reed is out there are better options than Davis. The Cardinals allow a league-low 25.6 yards per game to the positon and have erased bigger names like Jimmy Graham and Greg Olsen.


Carson Palmer, QB -- SIT: The veteran quarterback has posted a passer rating above 81 in just two games since Week 2. His play has truly cratered as the protection has crumbled the last two weeks with a 54.1 completion percentage.

David Johnson, RB -- START: The next time David Johnson posts less than 100 yards from scrimmage this season will be the first. We doubt it happens this week.

Larry Fitzgerald, WR -- START: Even when Josh Norman has shadowed top receivers, he has not traveled into the slot. Fitzgerald takes just 32 percent of his snaps from out wide this year. Fitzgerald should more than double his four targets from last week in this spot.

The rest of this bunch -- SIT: Don't chase Jermaine Gresham and we are done pretending like any of these other receivers will pay back value. It just isn't John Brown's year.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at San Diego Chargers: 4:25 p.m. ET on FOX


Jameis Winston, QB -- START: Rather quietly, this could be one of the highest scoring games of the week. The Chargers do give up over 270 passing yards per game, but their 16-to-14 touchdown-to-interception ratio makes Winston a low-end QB1, as he could certainly make his share of mistakes.

Doug Martin, RB -- FLEX: It's been anything but a hot start for Martin since his return from injury, and that's even with plenty of volume coming his way. He's had 47 carries the last two weeks. The Chargers rank 10th in yards per carry allowed and give up most of their production to running backs through the air. This could be another slow outing for Martin, who has caught more than four passes just twice the last two seasons.

Mike Evans, WR -- START: The vaunted Seahawks could not slow him down, so the Chargers certainly will not. Start with impunity.

Cameron Brate, TE -- START: The Chargers are a middle of the road defense at covering tight ends. However, this looks like a shootout game script, which will lead for more snaps to go on Brate's plate. Those are the games you want to use him in.


Philip Rivers, QB -- START: Despite the Bucs holding Russell Wilson to a mediocre line last week, this is still an exploitable defense. Don't fear Rivers' floor this week, as this should be one of the most pass-heavy games of the week.

Melvin Gordon, RB -- START: The second-year back gets more touches than just about any other back in the NFL. The Bucs defense has struggled of late, allowing over 4.5 yards per carry.

Tyrell Williams/Dontrelle Inman, WR -- START: If Williams misses this game with a shoulder labrum injury, Inman is a near must-start after playing over 90 percent of the team snaps. If Williams is on the field he is more of a flex-level whereas Williams is a top-12 option after seeing 14 targets last week and set to matchup with a pair of beatable outside corners.

Hunter Henry, TE -- SIT: If you're playing a tight end on this team, it's Henry after Gates put up a zero last week. Yet, he's difficult to trust as he played less than 50 percent of the snaps last week.

Carolina Panthers at Seattle Seahawks: 8:30 p.m. ET on NBC


Cam Newton, QB -- START: If you have Newton you are probably playing him, and he'll get a boost if Earl Thomas sits out another game. However, the Seahawks' 7.3 sack rate is the fourth-highest mark on the year, and we know the Panthers have issues in protection.

Jonathan Stewart, RB -- SIT: It's hard to say no to a running back that is a near-lock for double-digit carries. Yet, the Seahawks should force Carolina into a pass-heavy game script and allow just 3.6 yards per carry.

Kelvin Benjamin, WR -- FLEX: The Seahawks have been ripped by a few high-end wide receivers, and Benjamin did make a big play on a long ball last week. Benjamin has not gone over 100 yards since Week 2, so he's just a low-end WR2 in this game.

Greg Olsen, TE -- START: It's been a while since Olsen has registered a big game, and much of it has coincided with a lack of downfield attempts as the offensive line continues its decline. The Seahawks give up 7.97 yards per target to tight ends, so if he's a focal point Olsen could get back on track.


Russell Wilson, QB -- START: We'll take last week as an anomaly. The Panthers run defense has allowed over 60 yards just once since their bye week, so they should force Wilson to the air, where they gave up over 300 yards to Derek Carr last week.

Thomas Rawls, RB -- FLEX: The volume is there for Rawls, but that didn't help much last week. This could be another slow day, as the Panthers give up just 3.5 yards per carry. You are banking on a red-zone touchdown here.

Doug Baldwin, WR -- START: He's the best bet in the Seattle pass-catching corps. The Panthers best corner is rookie James Bradberry, and he strictly plays left corner. Baldwin should eat in the slot.

Tyler Lockett, WR -- FLEX: We are getting close to Lockett's breakout game. He owned the highest share of Wilson's intended air yards last week and finally out-snapped Jeremaine Kearse. The big play could finally be coming this week.

Jimmy Graham, TE -- START: The Panthers give up the third-highest touchdown rate to tight ends this season with 8.8. Graham is a fine play once again.

Indianapolis Colts at New York Jets: 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN (Monday)


Andrew Luck, QB -- START: Luck looks on track to clear the concussion protocol prior to this juicy matchup with a Jets secondary in shambles. Start him with confidence.

Frank Gore, RB -- FLEX: The Jets run defense is stout, but Gore's involvement in the passing game and overall bump from Luck being under center makes him flex-worthy.

T.Y. Hilton, WR -- START: Hilton and Luck versus a Jets defense prone to giving up big plays? Yes please.

Donte Moncrief, WR -- START: Moncrief and Luck against a physically overmatched secondary? Yes please.

Colts TEs -- SIT: Friends don't let friends start the Colts TEs any longer.


Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB -- START: The Colts allow the third-most passing yards per game and have allowed 22 passing touchdowns on the year. Fitzmagic is a streamable option.

Matt Forte, RB -- START: Forte was riding a four-game streak of 95-plus scrimmage yards before last week's loss to the Patriots. The Colts defense will offer much less resistance.

Brandon Marshall, WR -- START: Fitzpatrick loves targeting Marshall, so you should love starting him.

Quincy Enunwa, WR -- FLEX: Enunwa has caught a touchdown in three of the last four games he's played with Fitzpatrick. He'll need to make it four of five for him to be fantasy relevant this week.

Completed Games

Dallas Cowboys at Minnesota Vikings: 8:25 p.m. ET on NBC and NFL Network (Thursday)


Dak Prescott, QB -- START: Dak has failed to eclipse 20 fantasy points just once in the last five weeks. Despite throwing for fewer than 195 yards and just a single touchdown pass on Thanksgiving, he used his legs to gain 39 yards and a rushing score. Even in an unfavorable matchup against the Vikings, you'd be remiss to leave the versatile rookie on your fantasy bench.

Ezekiel Elliott, RB -- START: Over the last month, Zeke has produced 553 total yards and seven total touchdowns. Perhaps you'll temper expectations for the rookie runner against a top-10 rush defense on Thursday night, but you're not leaving Elliott on the bench in the final week of the fantasy regular season. After all, he's probably the main reason why you're still competing at this point.

Dez Bryant, WR -- START: Yes, it's an unfavorable matchup, but the Vikings pass defense has softened up a bit recently. Half of Minnesota's eight receiving scores allowed to wideouts have come in the last four weeks. Bryant leads Dallas in targets (42), receiving yards (400) and receiving touchdowns (four) in the five weeks since Dallas' bye.

Jason Witten, TE -- SIT: Since Witten's Week 9 explosion (134 yards, TD) he's posted fewer than 60 yards in three straight contests. His targets have also declined sharply since then with totals of 10, eight, seven, and three over the last four games. There are more reliable options at the position than Witten this week.

Cole Beasley, WR -- FLEX: Since Dallas' Week 7 bye, Beasly owns a 21 percent market share of the targets (34) and is second in receptions (25). He has clear chemistry with Prescott and his production has been extremely consistent with no fewer than four receptions in seven straight games. His floor is high enough to warrant flex consideration.


Sam Bradford, QB -- SIT: While Dallas has been kind to opposing quarterbacks this season, allowing 19 touchdown passes and over 18 fantasy points per game to the position, Bradford has not done anything to warrant a fantasy start. He was the lowest-scoring quarterback who played in Week 12 and has now posted two straight single-digit outings.

Jerick McKinnon, RB -- SIT: The Vikings o-line is shot, and McKinnon has averaged 50 yards from scrimmage per game in his last three outings. We'll kindly pass.

Matt Asiata, RB -- FLEX?: In true touchdown vulture fashion, Asiata has scored in each of his last three games but has failed to eclipse 42 yards in any of those games. If you start him you're banking on another goal-line punch through. If you bench him, you won't miss much.

Stefon Diggs, WR -- FLEX: Diggs (knee) was out in Week 12 but has practiced in limited fashion ahead of Thursday night's game and is officially questionable. If he plays, he's worth a start as a flex receiver with major volume upside.

Kyle Rudolph, TE -- START: Rudolph's 12 red-zone targets on the season leads the Vikings, and while his production may be somewhat inconsistent, a cursory glance at the sorry state of the tight end position will make you realize why you shouldn't leave him on your bench this week. He's one of only six players at his position to score greater than four touchdowns this year and received 10 targets on Thanksgiving!

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