Food for Thought from the Fantasy Chef

Fantasy Football: Week 13 Thursday Preview

Fantasy Football: Week 13 Thursday Preview

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Week 13 Thursday Preview | Slide - 1 FantasyAlarm.com

First of all, I would like to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving full of great food and great football games. Today there are three games on the schedule, including two divisional games and one old school rivalry that will be renewed in between. With the fantasy playoffs right around the corner, today's games could have heavy implications, so let's make sure we are starting the right players at the most crucial time of the year. 

Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions--12:30 PM

Oakland Raiders at Dallas Cowboys--4:30 PM

Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens--8:30 PM

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Quarterbacks

Matthew Stafford (DET)--Not only has Stafford been a great start all season, but he has played his best games when playing in the friendly confines of Ford Field. In five home games, Stafford is averaging 348 passing yards and two touchdowns per game, so he is a must-start if on your roster.

Tony Romo (DAL)--Similar to Matthew Stafford, Romo is playing his best football at home this season, averaging 297 passing yards and 2.6 touchdowns per game. Outside of a terrible performances against Nick Foles and the Philadelphia Eagles, the Raiders defense has defended the pass very well this season, but it will be hard for them to stop all the weapons in the Cowboys passing game.

Ben Roethlisberger (PIT)--In the first meeting between the Steelers and Ravens, Roethlisberger was asked to do very little, finishing with only 160 yards and one touchdown. Since then, the Steelers passing game has taken strides forward, including two four-touchdown games for Big Ben in two of his last three games. The Steelers won't be able to run on the Ravens, so expect a nice game from Roethlisberger against a vulnerable secondary.

Matt Flynn (GB)--There really isn't many positive things to say about Flynn, but he has the potential to have a good game based off of his matchup. The Lions have allowed two or more touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks over their last six games, and we all know what he did to them last time he started against them (480 passing yards and six touchdowns).

Matt McGloin (OAK)--The Raiders will be traveling to Dallas to take on the Cowboys, who are giving up the most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks. However, McGloin will be without Denarius Moore for the second straight game, leaving him with only one reliable target in Rod Streater. He is a great story, but not a fantasy starter at this point in his career.

Joe Flacco (BAL)--If you are considering starting Joe Flacco you are likely not fighting for a spot in the playoffs. Considering the matchup, he is the worst starter of the six quarterbacks today, so hopefully you have other options. 

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Running Backs

Reggie Bush (DET)--Despite scoring only six fantasy points in standard leagues in his last matchup against the Packers, Bush stands as the top running back option for today. The Packers have allowed 14 or more fantasy points to opposing running backs in standard scoring over their last five games, and if you factor in his potential in a PPR league, he could be in for a huge game.

Eddie Lacy (GB)-- In the first meeting with the Lions, Lacy rushed for 99 yards on 23 carries, which marked the last game in which the Lions allowed 100 yards or more to an opposing offense. Over there last six games, the Lions have allowed 61 rushing yards or fewer, but Lacy needs to be started in all formats considering he is as matchup-proof as they come. 

Rashad Jennings (OAK)--Despite the fact that Darren McFadden will be active for today's game, the Raiders will start Jennings in their backfield after four straight solid performances. The Cowboys defense has allowed the most fantasy to opposing running backs this season, so even if McFadden takes some touches away from Jennings, he should still be able to be productive.

DeMarco Murray (DAL)--After missing a few games due to injury, Murray appears to finally be at 100 percent, posting solid stats over his last few games. The Raiders defense has been solid against opposing running backs this season, but his work in the passing game should help him make up that if the Raiders are able to contain him in the running game.

Le'Veon Bell (PIT)--The Ravens defense has been great against the run all season, having allowed only one rushing touchdown to their opposition. However, Bell was able to rush for 93 yards in the first meeting back in Week 7, and he has been getting the ball enough each week to make him a solid start despite the tough matchup on paper.

Ray Rice (BAL)--To say Rice has had a terrible season is an understatement. In standard leagues, Rice has only reached double-digits in scoring three times, having recorded only one 100-yard game on the year. Team's have been able to run on the Steelers this season, but considering Rice's track record, it is hard to recommend starting him in this bitter rivalry.

Darren McFadden (OAK)--The Raiders are expected to have McFadden back this week after missing three straight games with a hamstring injury, but is going to be limited considering the recent success of Rashad Jennings. As mentioned earlier, the Cowboys have struggled against opposing running backs this season, so if you have to start him, it isn't all that bad.

Joique Bell (DET)--At this point in the season, Bell isn't worth starting outside of very deep leagues. There is always the chance for a goal line carry, but you can't rely on that on a weekly basis.

James Starks (GB)--When given the opportunity, Starks has been very productive this season. However, he has totaled only nine carries over his last three games, making it had to be optimistic.

Bernard Pierce (BAL)--The Ravens continue to give Pierce a solid number of carries per game, but he has not been able to make the most of the opportunity. unless you are extremely desperate, he should not be started this week.

Lance Dunbar (DAL)--The matchup is not the best and should not be started in any format.

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Wide Receivers

Calvin Johnson (DET)--Fortunately for the Packers, Megatron did not suit up last time these two teams met, but this time around they won't be so lucky. Having allowed six touchdowns to opposing wide receivers over their last four games, the Packers will likely have a very difficult time containing Johnson, resulting in a huge day for the league's best wide receiver.

Dez Bryant (DAL)--Unless you are in a PPR format, Bryant owners can't be happy with the single-digit fantasy production he has provided over the last three weeks. This week on the other hand should be a different story. The Raiders have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers this season, so there is plenty of room for optimism.

Antonio Brown (PIT)--It was thought that Brown would have a terrible game last week against one of the best corner backs in the league, but he proved he is a matchup-proof option in all formats, finishing with six catches for 92 yards and a touchdown. Now with four touchdowns over his last four games Brown has been a major reason for the Steelers quick turn around. The matchup today isn't the best either, but considering how well he has been playing, he is a must-start.

Jordy Nelson (GB)--To say the Lions have been terrible about opposing wide receivers this season would be an understatement. Since Week 7, the Lions have allowed 12 touchdowns to wideouts, totaling over 30 fantasy points allowed per game in that time frame. Matt Flynn is under center for today's game, so Nelson will be downgraded slightly, but still a great option against in this great matchup.

Torrey Smith (BAL)--Due to the inconsistency of Joe Flacco, Smith's fantasy value has taken a hit, and at the worst time. However, considering the fact that the Ravens can't establish a running game, they will have to take to the air if they want a chance to win this game. So Smith should get enough targets to make him a viable fantasy option today.

Jarrett Boykin (GB)--No Aaron Rodgers, no problem. Over the last three weeks Boykin has finished with five or more receptions in each contest, including eight catches against the Eagles in Week 10. Today the Packers passing game has the best matchup and I expect Boykin to make the best of his added opportunities.

James Jones (GB)--With the emergence of Jarrett Boykin, Jones' production has taken somewhat of a hit this season, but matchups like today's don't come around every day. If you own any of the three Packers wideouts, they should be started in all formats. 

Nate Burleson (DET)--In his first game back with Week 3, Burleson picked right up where he left off, hauling in seven catches for 77 yards and a touchdown. Last week's performance marked the fourth straight game in which he had sox or more catches. As long as he is healthy he is a viable fantasy option opposite Calvin Johnson. 

Rod Streater (OAK)--The Raiders will be without Denarius Moore for today's game, leaving Streater the top option in the team's passing game. Since Matt McGloin has taken over the quarterback job, Streater has been targeted heavily in the Raiders passing game and that will likely happen again today against a below-average Cowboys secondary.

Emmanuel Sanders (PIT)--Sanders is coming off of a good game against the Browns in Week 12, in which he totaled six catches for 52 yards and a touchdown. However, having scored only nine fantasy points over his previous three games in standard leagues makes it hard to trust him at the most crucial time of the year.

Miles Austin (DAL)--After missing most of the season with another hamstring injury, Austin returned in Week 12, but was a non-factor in the Cowboys passing game, finishing with one catch for 17 yards on three targets. Unless there is an injury to either Terrance Williams or Dez Bryant, he is not a viable fantasy option.

Terrance Williams (DAL)--Despite scoring touchdowns in five of his last seven games, Williams have been a non-factor in the Cowboys passing game, totaling only six receptions over his last four contests. He is still ahead of Miles Austin on the depth chart, but that isn't saying much.

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Tight Ends 

Jason Witten (DAL)--Over there last four games, the Raiders have allowed 23 receptions to opposing tight ends, resulting in three touchdowns and two games of double-digit fantasy points in standard leagues. Witten is coming off of a two touchdown performance and considering his presence when in the red zone, he is a great fantasy option today.

Heath Miller (PIT)--Miller has scored only one touchdown this season and that came the last time the Steelers faced off against the Ravens back in Week 7. Over the last two weeks Miller has 13 receptions, and has a great chance of adding to that total today, considering how well the Ravens have been able to stop the run this season.

Brandon Pettigrew (DET)--Last time the Lions faced the Packers Pettigrew caught four passes for 59 yards, but since then has recorded more than 50 yards receiving only once. The matchup is appealing, but he is far from a great start today.

Andrew Quarless (GB)--Despite recording only five catches over his last three games, Quarless will likely be the starter for today with Brandon Bostick out with a concussion. The Lions have allowed only one touchdown to opposing tight ends this season, so he should not be considered for today.

Mychal Rivera (OAK)--The Raiders have listed Rivera as questionable for today's game, but he has passed all tests necessary to return to action. However, he has been far from consistent this season, so he is not worth starting this week.

Dallas Clark (BAL)--The Ravens have received little to no production from their tight end this season, having recorded only seven catches over his last four games. The Steelers held him to three catches for nine yards in the first meeting, so don't expect much better results this time around.

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COMMENTS

  • 64x64

    John 28 Nov 13:59 / Reply

    Happy Thanksgiving to you too Beck


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