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Week 13 Fantasy Football Start ‘Em & Sit ‘Em: Fire Up Brandon Aiyuk!

Matt Brandon Nov 30th 7:41 PM EST.

It’s the penultimate week of the fantasy football regular season. This could be a win-or-go-home type of situation for plenty of fantasy owners. With just two weeks left in the fantasy football regular season, you probably have tons of questions about who to start, especially with four high-powered offenses on byes (the Green Bay Packers, Tennessee Titans, Cleveland Browns, and Carolina Panthers). Fortunately for you, FantasySP has the answers. 

Managers will have to figure out who to start with top-tier talents such as Aaron Rodgers, Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt, Aaron Jones, AJ Dillon, Davante Adams, and more out this week. Plus, injuries took a toll on the NFL last week. D’Andre Swift, Dalvin Cook, Christian McCaffrey, and Deebo Samuel all went down in Week 12 and are unlikely to suit up in Week 13. 

Week 13 kicks off with a matchup between two teams that are both trending in the wrong direction. The 7-4 Dallas Cowboys who have lost three straight matchups head to Caesars Superdome to take on a 5-6 New Orleans Saints team that has dropped four straight. Despite playing at home, the Saints are currently four-point underdogs in this pivotal matchup with playoff implications. 

Be sure to use FantasySP’s Start / Sit Tool to help you make the most informed decisions in the industry. You know to start your studs each week, no matter what. But what about those flex players? What about those WR3’s? We don’t need to tell you to start Tom Brady, Jonathan Taylor, Justin Jefferson, or Travis Kelce. This article is reserved for less obvious options. If you don’t see a player you are curious about listed in this writeup, be sure to check out our projections and customizable rankings!

Now that you've checked out this week’s top waiver wire options, used Predictive Analytics, and have sifted through our exclusive Trade Value Charts, it’s time to optimize your seasonal lineups ahead of your pivotal Week 13 matchup. Get ready for this week’s edition of Start ‘Em and Sit ‘Em!

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Fantasy Football Quarterbacks To Start In Week 13

QB Start of the Week: QB Taysom Hill, New Orleans Saints

Hill is finally on track to play in Thursday’s primetime matchup against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 13. Although Sean Payton hasn’t officially announced Hill as the starter, it’s hard to envision Trevor Siemien starting after the Saints have dropped four straight with the journeyman under center. After all, there’s a reason the Saints are paying Hill so much money. During a four-game stint as a starter last season, Hill scored 28.6, 20.3, 27.9, and 25.9 fantasy points — all great fantasy performances. Hill has massive upside due to his ability to run the ball and score in the end zone, and he will also likely be playing from behind, meaning he’ll need to sling the ball to keep up with Dak Prescott and the Cowboys. Although the Dallas Cowboys have played well on defense this season, their secondary is definitely beatable. They just allowed 36 points to the Raiders on Thanksgiving day. If you need to replace Aaron Rodgers or Ryan Tannehill in Week 13, Taysom Hill could be your man.

Start: QB Carson Wentz, Indianapolis Colts

Wentz continued to exceed expectations, compiling his most passing yards (306) since Week 5 in Indy’s Week 12 loss to the Buccaneers. He also threw three touchdown passes, though he was also picked off twice. Wentz now has three touchdowns in four of his last six outings and faces a Houston Texans defense that he shredded for 223 passing yards, two touchdowns, and zero interceptions back in Week 6. Outside of last week’s contest, Wentz has done an excellent job at limiting turnovers. Although there is a chance that Jonathan Taylor absolutely takes this game over as he did against the Bills two weeks ago, Wentz has been one of the more trustworthy quarterbacks this season. He’s not a top-five option, but he certainly has QB1 upside on the road in Houston this week.

Fantasy Football Quarterback To Sit In Week 13

Sit: QB Mac Jones, New England Patriots

I love the way Jones has played this season, particularly over New England’s six-game winning streak, however, he’s in for an incredibly tough matchup on the road in Buffalo this week. The Bills allow the fewest fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks this season and should continue to play stifling defense even without Tre'Davious White. New England also employs one of the most run-heavy offenses in the NFL. Bill Belichick is most likely going to give Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson tons of carries to eat the clock and keep the ball out of Josh Allen’s hands. Jones is coming off perhaps his cleanest outing of the season in which he threw for 310 yards, two touchdowns, and zero interceptions in New England’s thrashing of the Tennessee Titans. This kid could very well win Offensive Rookie of the Year, but fantasy owners need to temper expectations in Week 13. If you have a better option, let the rookie ride the bench in Week 13.

Check out our Start / Sit tool to see which players to start. 

Fantasy Football Running Backs To Start In Week 13

RB Start of the Week: RB Alexander Mattison, Minnesota Vikings

Mattison is arguably the top handcuff in all of fantasy football and has a juicy matchup against a Detroit Lions defense that is currently the sixth-most fantasy point per game to opposing running backs. Running backs are averaging 1.5 touchdowns per game against the Lions this season. In Minnesota’s Week 12 loss to the San Francisco 49ers, Dalvin Cook went down and reportedly suffered a torn labrum. While he is being considered week-to-week, he has little-to-no chance of being healthy enough to suit up in Week 13. After Cook had to be carted off the field on Sunday, Mattison rushed seven times for 21 yards and a touchdown in the Vikings' Week 12 loss to the 49ers, adding two receptions for seven additional yards. 

In Mattison’s two spot starts for Cooks this season, he produced 255 rushing yards on 51 carries, 13 receptions for an additional 99 receiving yards, and a touchdown. In PPR formats, he finished as the RB7 (23.1 points) in Week 3 and the RB6 (26.3 points) in Week 5. That Week 5 performance was against the same Lions defense he’ll face this coming Sunday. In his last matchup against the Lions, he totaled 153 combined yards and a touchdown. Not only is Mattison a strong North-South runner, but he is also elusive and shifty out of the backfield and a very underrated pass catcher. He could very well finish as a top-five running back in Week 13.

Start: RB Jamaal Williams, Detroit Lions

On the opposite sideline as Mattison, J-Will is another running back whose value spiked due to an injury to the starter. D’Andre Swift exited Detroit’s Week 12 loss to the Chicago Bears with a shoulder injury. With Swift seeming unlikely to suit up, Williams is a must-start despite his recent lack of production. Following Swift’s injury in the second quarter on Thanksgiving, Williams accumulated 65 rushing yards on 15 carries as well as five receptions for an additional 18 yards. It was the most touches Williams had seen this season, but that could change in Week 13.

Williams began the 2021 campaign red-hot, scoring two touchdowns over the first three weeks of the season. However, due to injuries and Swift’s explosiveness, the 26-year-old product out of BYU has failed to find the end zone since. Against a Vikings defense that is allowing the third-most rushing yards per game this season, J-Will is going to have his best performance of the season. 

Fantasy Football Running Back To Sit In Week 13

Sit: RB Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders

Jacobs has been incredibly frustrating to own this season. He’s been one of the most inconsistent performers at the running back position this season and hasn’t had any games in which he has totaled a large number of rushing yards all season. His 87 rushing yards on Thanksgiving against Dallas was a season-high and he has only found the end zone once in his last four outings. 

Vegas will host a Washington defense in Week 13 that is allowing the fourth-fewest rushing yards per game in the NFL. And they allow the second-fewest rushing yards to opposing running backs. The Raiders are much more likely to move the chains through the air despite the absence of tight end Darren Waller. However, because Vegas is likely to have more success in the passing game, Kenyan Drake could see more playing time out of the backfield than Jacobs. While you probably can’t bench Jacobs in deep leagues, you may be able to find a superior option on the waiver wire in shallower leagues. 

Fantasy Football Wide Receivers To Start In Week 13

WR Start of the Week: WR Brandon Aiyuk, San Francisco 49ers

A preseason darling of many fantasy analysts, Aiyuk began the season very slowly. However, he’s finally arrived with four double-digit PPR tallies in his last five outings. And in his last four games, he has produced at least 85 receiving yards three times and scored a pair of touchdowns. Considering the 23-year-old speedster has seen at least six targets in four of his past five outings, the opportunities should be there when the Niners face their NFC West foes, the Seattle Seahawks. It also helps that Deebo Samuel is likely out due to an injury. Aiyuk will slot in as the WR1 against a Seattle secondary allowing the second-most passing yards per game. 

Start: WR Hunter Renfrow, Las Vegas Raiders

Renfrow is coming off of his biggest performance of the season when he caught eight of nine balls thrown his way for 134 yards in the Raiders’ Thanksgiving day victory over the Dallas Cowboys. With Darren Waller out and Bryan Edwards struggling, Renfrow should continue to be quarterback Derek Carr’s go-to receiver in a Week 13 matchup against Washington. Washington has been generous to opposing wideouts, allowing the fourth-most fantasy points per game to the position.  Considering this defense is much more equipped to stop the run, Carr is going to have to air it out if the Raiders want to keep their postseason hopes alive. In his last five games, Renfrow has caught 33 balls for 227 yards and two touchdowns. He’s a PPR gem and should continue to be peppered with targets. Fire him up as a low-end WR2 in Week 13.

Fantasy Football Wide Receiver To Sit In Week 13

Sit: WR Jakobi Meyers, New England Patriots

Although Kendrick Bourne has been the more productive player in fantasy football, Meyers has certainly held his considering he only scored his first career touchdown in Week 10. Meyers had a season-high 98 yards in New England’s clutch Week 12 victory over the Tennessee Titans but will have to face a Buffalo Bills secondary in Week 13 that is allowing the fewest fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers. New England already used a run-heavy approach with Damien Harris in the backfield, but they may commit even more to the run now that rookie Rhamondre Stevenson has proven that he is also a capable running back. Because the Bills only allow 178.5 passing yards per game and Meyers’ difficulties finding the end zone, fantasy owners should let him ride the bench in Week 13. 

Fantasy Football Tight Ends To Start In Week 13

TE Start of the Week: TE Rob Gronkowski, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Whenever Gronk has been on the field this season, he has absolutely dominated. The veteran hauled in 12 receptions for 129 yards and four touchdowns in his first two games of the season. However, the big man went down late in Week 3 and didn’t return to the field until Week 11. Although he hasn’t returned to the end zone, Gronkowski has been a major point of emphasis for Tom Brady, especially with Antonio Brown still sidelined. The veteran tight end has been targeted 18 times since his return and has produced 15 receptions for 204 yards. Gronkowski is now averaging the third-most fantasy points per game at the position (15.1) and should be locked in as a TE1 at the most shallow position in fantasy football. Don’t forget that Gronk caught three passes for 39 yards and two touchdowns the last time the Buccaneers faced the Atlanta Falcons. 

Start: TE Pat Freiermuth, Pittsburgh Steelers

Freiermuth has surprisingly outplayed fellow rookie tight end, Kyle Pitts, as of late with a whopping five touchdowns in his last five outings. Although he is currently in the concussion protocol following Pittsburgh’s 41-10 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals last week, if the rookie can suit up in Week 13, he’s a must-start. Freiermuth has double-digit PPR points in five of his last six games and has proven to be Ben Roethlisberger’s go-to target in the red zone. In Week 13, Pittsburgh faces a Baltimore Ravens defense that has struggled all season long against opposing tight ends. The Ravens allow the most targets per game to tight ends and the fourth-most fantasy points per game to the position. Monitor his injury status, but if he’s good too, fantasy owners would be mistaken to leave him on the bench considering his volume and usage rate in the red zone.  

Fantasy Football Tight End To Sit In Week 13

Sit: TE Noah Fant, Denver Broncos

Fant has really struggled to get it going this season and has been in a massive slump in recent weeks. Despite a matchup with a Kansas City Chiefs defense that is allowing the eighth-most fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends, it’s impossible to trust Fant at this point of the season. The second-year pro managed just three receptions for 12 yards against a Chargers secondary that has allowed tight ends to dominate all season. Fant has now failed to produce double-digit fantasy points in five consecutive games and hasn’t scored a touchdown since Week 6. Ever since Jerry Jeudy returned to the lineup, Fant has had to compete with Jeudy, Courtland Sutton, and Tim Patrick for targets. Fant is nothing more than a low-end TE2 against the Chiefs in Week 13.

Fantasy Football Defense / Special Teams To Start In Week 13

Start of the Week: D/ST Miami Dolphins

Although Brian Flores’ crew was underwhelming against the Jets in Week 11, they bounced back in a big way last week against Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers. Miami sacked Newton and P.J. Walker five times, forced three interceptions, and returned a pick for a touchdown. The Dolphins have not allowed more than 17 points in four consecutive matchups and they have won each game over that span. In Week 13, the Dolphins face a Giants’ offense that has struggled all season and is far from healthy. New York is only scoring 18.4 points per game and is allowing the 11th-most fantasy points per game to opposing defenses. Miami is going to make life difficult for Daniel Jones in Week 13. I wouldn’t be surprised if they scored another touchdown against a quarterback who is prone to turnovers and making boneheaded mistakes.

Fantasy Football Kicker To Start In Week 13

Start of the Week: K Greg Joseph Minnesota Vikings

Joseph was averaging three field goals per game over his last five games before not even getting an attempt in Minnesota’s Week 12 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. This week, the Vikings face a Detroit Lions defense that allows 2.2 made field goals, 2.6 made extra points and the most fantasy points per game to opposing kickers. The Vikings should have no problem putting up points against the Lions. In their last meeting back in Week 5, Joseph converted 4 field goals and produced 19.5 fantasy points. He’s this week’s top kicker.

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Christian Kirk JAC WR +18.4
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Jamaal Williams DET RB +9.9
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Alvin Kamara NO RB -11.7
Skyy Moore KC WR -10.6
Nick Chubb CLE RB -10.0
Lamar Jackson BAL QB -8.9
Graham Gano NYG K -8.7
Rodrigo Blankenship IND K -5.6
Jameson Williams DET WR -5.2
Cade York CLE K -5.2
Dallas Goedert PHI TE -5.0
Ronald Jones KC RB -4.8
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Travis Kelce KC TE -4.3
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