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It's Week 13 of the NFL season, and finally we're no longer burdened by Bye weeks. Great timing too as we are in the final regular season matchup in most fantasy leagues. What do you need to know in order to head into the playoffs on a high note? I've got you covered with my weekly matchup piece breaking down some of the best plays of the week. Happy Turkey Day by the way everyone.
A WEEKLY FANTASY BATTLE
Take on Ray Flowers. Show me that you've got more football knowledge than the arrogant one. Sign up for the Weekly Fanduel.com/BaseballGuys.com NFL Salary Cap Contest. Pick your one week squad based on salary cap levels for players. Finish in the top-15 in Week 13 and you will at least double your $10 investment (all top-15 finishers will receive at least $20). Win the battle and you're looking at a $250 windfall. Simple as that. You interested?
WEEK 13 MATCHUPS
*** All references to points and matchups below are using a PPR setup as the baseline.
Since Week 5 of the NFL season Keenan Allen is the 11th best wideout in football with more points than guys like Alshon Jeffrey, Dez Bryant, Pierre Garcon and Wes Welker.
As I pointed out in State of the WR, Tavon Austin has 13 targets the past four weeks. I can't trust him.
Montee Ball has fumbling issues but he scored twice the last time he faced the Chiefs.
Le'Veon Bell has three rushing scores in five games on the road. He faces a Ravens club that not only has won 18 of their past 21 at home but one that has allowed a mere rushing score this season, one.
Anquan Boldin has three scores the past two weeks while catching 11 passes from Colin Kaepernick. The Rams are middle of the pack versus wideouts, they allow the 14th most points, but they have permitted 12 scores.
Dwayne Bowe has two scores the last two weeks. He only had two scores the first nine games. The Broncos have allowed 12 scores to the wideout.
Tom Brady has 11 scores and three interceptions the last five times he's faced the Texans. He's also 41-6 in December in his career.
The last nine times Drew Brees has played on MNF he's 9-0 with 28 scores, five interceptions and an average of 320 passing yards a game. The Seahawks are dealing with two suspensions in the defensive backfield, so don't hesitate to start Brees with full confidence.
Andre Brown has nine rushing scores in his last 12 games. He's also averaging 103 yards a game this season. The Redskins allow only 112 yards a game on the ground but the 15 scores they have allowed are a league worst.
History says Donald Brown will have success running against the Titans. He's averaged 107 yards a contest the last three times he's faced them and the last time he faced them he had two scores on the ground.
Dez Bryant had eight receptions for 145 yards and two scores last Thanksgiving. Over his last 19 games he's scored 18 times. Terrance Williams has scored five times in his last seven games (too bad he's only had six receptions in his last four games and 64 yards the past three weeks). The Raiders have allowed 13 touchdowns to wideouts this season.
Reggie Bush has two scores an 546 yards from scrimmage in four games within the division. The Packers are ranked 16th, middle of the pack, in points allowed to running backs.
Riley Cooper has five scores in his last three games though twice in the last four games he's failed to record 40 yards. He faces a Cardinals defense that has allowed only eight scores to wideouts this season an allowed the 6th fewest points to wide receivers.
Victor Cruz has a touchdown, 12 receptions and 235 yards the last two times he's faced the 'Skins. Rueben Randle has six scores in his past seven games. The Giants face a Redskins club that allows the 8th most points to wideouts including 13 scores.
Andy Dalton is averaging 330 passing yards a game on the road this season. San Diego allows 276 passing yards a game while permitting 18 scores as they've picked off only six passes.
Harry Douglas is averaging 7.3 receptions and 102 yards over his last six games. The Bills allow the 4th most points to wideouts per game this season including a league worst 16 scores (tied with the Lions).
Larry Fitzgerald is averaging seven receptions and 114 yards per game in five matchups with the Eagles. Oh yeah, he's also scored nine times. The last three games he's averaging 137 yards and two scores per game. In fact, after each of the last two matchups he's been named the NFC Player of the Week. Teammate Michael Floyd has 13 receptions for 297 yards the past two weeks. The Eagles allow a league worst 300.1 passing yards a game this season.
Ryan Fitzpatrick is averaging 269 passing yards a week over the past three and he's thrown five scores an no interceptions. The Colts have allowed 244 passing yards a game with 16 scores and eight interceptions.
Joe Flacco is 37-8 at home. Unfortunately he's thrown six interceptions the past four games this season with two of the outings resulting in fewer than 165 passing yards. He threw for 215 yards an a score in the first matchup with the Steelers this season.
Coby Fleener lit up the Titans for a career best eight receptions and 107 yards in the last meeting.
The last time Matt Flynn started against the Lions he threw for 480 yards and six scores. You know what though? Flynn has one 300 yard game in his career, and he's thrown for two TDs in a game twice in a career that began in 2008. Be careful even though the matchup looks good on paper.
Nick Foles last three games have included 932 yards, 10 touchdowns and no interceptions. He also set an NFL record with a 152.8 QB for the month of November, the highest mark by any quarterback, in any month, in NFL history. The Cardinals are allowing the 17th most points to QBs this season. Who will come out on top?
Matt Forte is averaging 140 yards from scrimmage in his last two against the Vikings.
Pierre Garcon has caught at least five passes in every game this season. He's also averaged seven receptions and 102 yards a contest over the last four.
Chris Givens had a career best 11 receptions against the Niners nearly a year ago to the day of this weeks matchup (12/2/2012). He has 11 receptions his last four games this season though he has gone for at least 54 yards in each of his last three outings.
Mike Glennon has four scores and no interceptions the last two weeks. He's also got a 10 to one TD/INT ratio the past six games. The Panthers are a tough matchup though having allowed only nine passing scores while intercepting 15 passes this season.
Tony Gonzalez has four scores in his last six games against the Bills. The Bills have permitted tight ends to score five times this season and they are the 5th stingiest D against tight ends on the year.
Josh Gordon had a Browns' record 237 receiving yards last week. With 12 more yards he'll become the first Brown since Braylon Edwards in 2007 to go for 1,000. The Jaguars allow 242 passing yards a game and have permitted 20 passing scores. A good matchup indeed.
Frank Gore is coming off two slow weeks but he does have 14 rushing scores in his last 13 games against the Rams who have allowed 12 rushing scores in 11 games this season.
Jimmy Graham has scored in 5-straight MNF games. He also has six 100-yard games in 2013, tied for the most in history by a tight end. The Seahawks have only permitted three scores to the TE position.
Jermaine Gresham might be relatively boring but he does have two scores in three games. The Chargers have allowed six scores to tight ends this season.
A.J. Green is tied for the NFL lead with six 100-yard receiving games. He's also averaging 92.7 yards a game this season including a league best 125 yards per game on the road.
Rob Gronkowski has scored in his last three games and he leads tight ends in catches (31) and yards (433) since he returned to action in Week 7.
Santonio Holmes is averaging 25.1 yards per reception on his 13 grabs. Who knew? Too bad he's caught four passes in his last three games.
Steven Jackson had a rushing score last week. He has two scores the last two times he's faced the Bills. The club from Buffalo has allowed only four rushing scores in 11 games this season.
DeSean Jackson has scored in two of the last three games against the Cardinals. He's only scored twice in his last five games this season.
Rashad Jennings has averaged 103.3 yards per game on the ground the past four weeks. Darren McFadden will likely get a handful of touches, I'm personally thinking 8-10, but Jennings is still going to get the bulk of the work. The Cowboys are allowing the most points to running backs of any team in football including a whopping 84 receptions in just 11 games.
Andre Johnson has 16 receptions and 190 yards the last two times out against the Patriots. The club from New England allows the 11th most points a week to runners but the often bend and don't break as they've allowed a total of six scores to runners this season (four rushing, two receiving).
Calvin Johnson has 861 yards over his last five games. That's the most in any five game stretch for any player in NFL history. Calvin has scored in 4-straight Thanksgiving games and he has 11 TDs in 11 games against the Packers.
Chris Johnson ran for 86 yards with two scores the last time he faced the Colts. The Colts have allowed 125.5 yards a week on the ground, 6th worst in the league, and nine scores.
Dennis Johnson ran for 74 yards on just 13 carries last week. Ben Tate is beat up, an it's not at all clear how the workload will be divvied up this week. The Patriots allow 140 rushing yards a game, the worst mark in the AFC though they've only allowed five rushing scores.
Maurice Jones-Drew went for a season best 144 yards from scrimmage last week. He's also scored in his last three games. The last three times he's faced the Browns he's rushed for an average of 107 yards a game. The Browns allow the sixth fewest rushing yards a game but they have allowed nine rushing scores.
Eddie Lacy leads the NFL with 755 rushing yards since October 1st and he's scored in five of the past six games. The Vikings are allowing 119 yards a game, a bottom quarter number, and 13 times a runner has scored on the ground.
No runner in football has more yards on the ground than Marshawn Lynch's 3,456 since November of 2011.
Peyton Manning has thrown for 3,722 yards, the most ever through 11 games. Don't give up on him after a poor game.
Brandon Marshall has faced the Vikings five times. His average outing has been eight receptions and 110 yards. He's gone for 110 an a score the last two time times he's faced the Vikes. He's also scored four times in his last four games this season. Alshon Jeffery has an eight game pace that would lead to a 16 game total of 90 receptions, 1,512 yards and six scores.
Lamar Miller figures to get a nice boost in his touch total as Daniel Thomas is out of action. Too bad Miller faces a Jets' defense that that allowed a league low 72.6 yards a game this season on the ground.
Alfred Morris is averaging 122 rushing yards a game against the Giants. He's gone over 120 yards in both meetings.
Cam Newton has faced the Bucs five times and he has five rushing scores. In those five games he's also thrown for eight scores against just two interceptions while racking up a 106.6 QB Rating.
Carson Palmer has thrown for 300 yards in his last two games. The Eagles allow a league worst 300.1 passing yards a game this season.
Adrian Peterson averaging 108 yards a game on the ground versus the Bears and has scored 14 times in 11 games. He's also averaged 121 yards a game on the ground in the last three battles. The Bears are being shredded by runners for an NFL worst 145 yards a game.
Bilal Powell is an interesting play this week with Chris Ivory down. The Dolphins allow the 5th most points a game to runners but Powell last recorded a game of 10 fantasy points all the way back in Week 4.
Bobby Rainey has scored four times in his last three games. The Panthers have only allowed four scores to the running back this season. Tough matchup.
Philip Rivers has thrown for 390 yards four times to tie the all-time single season record (Dan Marino in 1984 and Joe Montana in 1990). The Bengals are tough against the pass permitting just 211 yards a game, the sixth lowest mark in the game.
Ben Roethlisberger has started 14 times against the Ravens (including the playoffs). The Steelers are 10-4 and he's thrown for 20 scores versus 13 interceptions. He's chucking it a lot of late averaging 40.4 passes a game over the last five with 12 scores.
Tony Romo is 5-1 on Turkey Day as he's thrown for 21 scores versus seven interceptions. The Raiders allow the 10th most points to quarterbacks this season.
Alex Smith likes playing at home with five scores and just one interception in his last two in Kansas City. The Broncos are third worst in the league allowing 283 passing yards a game and they have allowed 21 passing scores, the 4th most in the league.
Steve Smith has seven career games of 100 yards against the Bucs. Fellow wideout Brandon LaFell has three scores in his last four against the Buccaneers.
Torrey Smith had three receptions for 61 yards the first time he faced the Steelers this season. He's scored twice in the last three weeks.
Since the start of last season C.J. Spiller is second in the NFL with a 5.3 YPC mark (A.D. is in the lead). The Falcons are poor against the run allowing 4.6 YPC carry and their total of 130 yards allowed on the ground is 5th worst in the league.
Matthew Stafford threw for 441 yards and two scores last Thanksgiving. He's tossed eight scores the past three weeks and he's thrown 40 or more passes in six of his last seven outings.
Rod Streater has gone for 177 receiving yards the past two weeks and Denarius Moore has been ruled out again. The Cowboys have allowed 11 scores to wideouts in 11 games and the 13th most points a week.
Golden Tate enjoy MNF as he's scored four times in his last two games. He has to deal with the return of Percy Harvin as well as the fact that the Saints have only allowed three scores to the wide receiver position.
Demaryius Thomas has gone for 120 yards the last two times he's faced the Chiefs.
Shane Vereen has eight catches in each of his last two games and he caught seven balls in the other game he played this season. He's yet to score in the three games however. Houston has allowed only 43 receptions to runners, virtually half the league worst mark of 84 by the Cowboys.
Delaine Walker had a career best 10 receptions, and 91 yards, the last time he face the Colts. The team from Indianapolis is actually successful against tight ends holding the position to only two scores this season and the 8th fewest points per game.
Mike Wallace is coming off a season best game of the year with 127 receiving yards. The Jets have been beaten deep a lot in recent weeks and they are allowing wideouts the 9th most points on a weekly basis included 13 touchdowns in 11 games.
DeAngelo Williams is hit or miss each week given how the Panthers run their backfield, but he's scored nine times in his last 10 games against the Bucs. Mike Tolbert has five scores the past seven games this season. The Bucs are 9th best against RBs this season allowing a total of only five scores (two rush, three receiving).
Russell Wilson has never lost at home going 13-0. The Saints are allowing the third fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks this season making it a tough matchup for Wilson.
Kendall Wright has nine receptions the last time he faced the Colts, a career best mark. Since Week 2 of the NFL season he is averaging 6.3 receptions a game. He also leads the NFL with 25 third down receptions.
Tim Wright scored the last time he faced the Panthers. Carolina is the 12th stingiest D against TE's this season.
Ray Flowers can be heard daily on Sirius/XM Radio on The Fantasy Drive on Sirius 210 and XM 87, Monday through Thursday at 7 PM EDT & Friday's at 9 PM EDT. For more of Ray's analysis you can check out BaseballGuys.com or the BaseballGuys' Twitter account where he tirelessly answers everyone's questions.