Fantasy Football Week 13 Start 'Em Sit 'Em

Fantasy football sit-and-start advice should always be relative and league-dependent. Note that some players are targeted for DFS. Good luck with your Week 13 lineups!

San Francisco 49ers @ Philadelphia Eagles

Start: Brock Purdy, DeVonta Smith

Purdy has performed better at home but should throw more than usual against a pass-funnel Eagles defense. Philadelphia is allowing the fewest fantasy points to running backs but the second-most to quarterbacks this season. Opponents have averaged by far the most pass attempts (41.5) when facing the Eagles this year. The 49ers offense enters healthy, and San Francisco sports one of this week's highest implied team point totals. Don't let rain in the forecast shy you away from players in this potential shootout.

The 49ers defense ranks second (behind only the Eagles) in opponent passing percentage (66.6%) and third in pass attempts per game against. Smith is better against zone, and San Francisco doesn’t use a ton of man coverage. Moreover, Smith should see an expanded role with Dallas Goedert set to miss one more game, so he’s a top-12 WR this week.

Kansas City Chiefs @ Green Bay Packers

Start: Rashee Rice, Jayden Reed

Rice saw season highs in route participation (68%) and target share (31%) last week, when he became the first Chiefs WR to reach 100 receiving yards since Week 7 of 2022 and also sported a top-20 first-read target percentage (31.8). He still has plenty of room for growth as a route runner, but Rice is clearly KC's best wide receiver. He ranks top-three in fantasy points per route run and yards per route run against zone, a coverage the Packers use at a top-10 rate.

Reed should be busy Sunday with Aaron Jones expected to be out again and L'Jarius Sneed shadowing Christian Watson. Reed sees his target rate jump from 16.9% up to 27.8% when facing man, a coverage Kansas City uses at the league's sixth-highest rate.

While Reed expects to play through his chest injury, his status does need to be monitored. He's a fine fantasy start if active.

Arizona Cardinals @ Pittsburgh Steelers

Sit: Marquise Brown

Start: Jaylen Warren

Brown saw 12 targets last week and is among the leaders in fantasy points per route run versus man, a coverage the Steelers use at a top-10 rate. But Kyler Murray has struggled passing since returning, and most concerning for Brown this week is a shadow matchup against Joey Porter Jr. The rookie corner has emerged as one of the league's toughest matchups, ranking first in completion percentage allowed. Brown is also dealing with a heel injury, so he's a bench candidate (if he manages to play in this game at all).

Pittsburgh’s backfield remained a 50/50 split without OC Matt Canada last week, but the Steelers also reached 400 yards of offense for the first time in 59 games. Warren will bounce back after a rare down game versus an Arizona defense allowing the second-most fantasy points to running backs. Pittsburgh should rack up 30+ rush attempts Sunday as home favorites, giving Warren top-10 RB upside this week.

Miami Dolphins @ Washington Commanders

Start in DFS: Tyreek Hill ($43)

Start: Sam Howell

Hill is on pace to record the first 2,000-yard receiving season in NFL history and gets a Commanders defense allowing the second-most fantasy points to wide receivers. Washington also sports by far the lowest pressure rate since trading Montez Sweat and Chase Young, and Hill leads the league by a mile in targets per route run when his QB isn't pressured. Hill's big salary should be worth it in a highly favorable matchup.

Even when Howell struggles, he produces fantasy points. He's finished as a top-10 QB in seven of the last eight weeks and should do so again Sunday. The Dolphins are heavily favored and projected to score nearly 30 points, and the pass-happy Commanders throw the ball a league-high 74.3% when trailing by at least a touchdown. The only QB in the league with 20-plus big-time throws and 20-plus turnover-worthy plays, Howell is a fantasy manager's dream who also runs. He's a borderline top-five QB this week.

Denver Broncos @ Houston Texans

Start: Courtland Sutton, Devin Singletary

Sutton has relied more on touchdowns than volume during his bounce-back season, but he should see more work in Week 13. The Texans have one of this week's highest implied team point totals and defend the run well but just gave up 364 passing yards to Trevor Lawrence. Russell Wilson has been locked onto running backs this season, but Sunday's game script should force double-digit targets to Sutton, whom I rank as a top-10 WR this week.

Last week's box score showed a near-even split in rush attempts between the returning Dameon Pierce (five) and Singletary (six). But Singletary also finished top five among running backs in snap percentage and route participation. He also out-carried Pierce four-to-two in the red zone and two-to-zero inside the five (where he was stopped at the one twice). Singletary was top-10 in RB fantasy usage despite seeing just six carries, as he also saw a season-high seven targets (19.4% share).

The return of Pierce no doubt hurts Singletary, but he remains the Texans' lead back and gets a favorable matchup Sunday. The Broncos have quietly become an incredibly stingy pass defense but have ceded the most fantasy points to running backs this season. Houston has the third-highest implied team point total, so Singletary is a strong fantasy start.

Detroit Lions @ New Orleans Saints

Start: David Montgomery, Juwan Johnson

Montgomery saw most of the work before Jahmyr Gibbs took over in a negative game script on Thanksgiving. The backs have essentially rotated series over the last two games, with Gibbs the favorite for targets and Montgomery the preferred goal-line back. Montgomery returned to a full practice Thursday, and the already run-heavy Lions figure to hide a suddenly shaky Jared Goff. Montgomery is a borderline top-12 RB even while splitting work with Gibbs.

Johnson should see an expanded role with Michael Thomas on IR, Rashid Shaheed likely out and Chris Olave questionable after suffering a concussion last week. Johnson saw a season-high seven targets last week and gets a pass-funnel Lions defense that’s been getting obliterated through the air recently. Johnson is top-12 TE this week.

Cincinnati Bengals @ Jacksonville Jaguars

Sit: Joe Mixon

Start: Christian Kirk

Mixon ran for just 16 yards on eight carries last week, as the Bengals badly miss Joe Burrow. The Jaguars have allowed an NFL-low 59.2 rushing yards per game to running backs this season, and the Bengals are big underdogs Monday night with this week’s lowest implied team point total. Mixon can be started if needed, but you should have RB3 expectations.

The Bengals have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to the slot and play man coverage at a top-10 rate. Kirk ranks top 12 in yards per route run against man, when he also sees his target rate jump to 31.0% compared to 18.5% versus zone. Kirk is a strong fantasy start this week.

Travis Etienne is also in a smash spot Monday night if healthy.

Indianapolis Colts @ Tennessee Titans

Start: Zack Moss, DeAndre Hopkins

Moss gets Indianapolis' backfield to himself once again, with Jonathan Taylor undergoing thumb surgery. It's not an ideal matchup against Tennessee, but Moss ran for a career-high 165 yards and put up 32.5 fantasy points (0.5 PPR) when he faced the Titans earlier this year. The Colts are slight favorites, and Moss has impressed all season, so he's a borderline top-five RB this week.

The Titans have attempted just 45 passes over their last two games but should throw more Sunday. Hopkins has seen an elite target rate from Will Levis and has gotten the 12th-most fantasy points per route run against zone, a coverage the Colts use at the league's highest rate. Derrick Henry struggled to run against the Panthers last week, so expect Hopkins to be heavily involved Sunday.

Cleveland Browns @ Los Angeles Rams

Start: Jerome Ford

Sit: Tyler Higbee

Ford saw 13 of Cleveland’s 20 RB opportunities last week and could be busier Sunday. Kareem Hunt and Amari Cooper are both dealing with injuries, and Joe Flacco could conceivably be an upgrade at quarterback. Ford’s situation limits his upside, but he’s a fine fantasy start this week.

Higbee was fantasy’s top tight end last week, catching the first two touchdowns by a Rams tight end this season. But he belongs firmly on benches against a Browns defense allowing by far the fewest fantasy points to tight ends. The position has averaged an NFL-low 3.3 targets, 2.3 catches and 20.6 receiving yards against Cleveland. Other than Mark Andrews, no tight end has reached 35 receiving yards versus the Browns this season. Sit Higbee this week.

Carolina Panthers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Start: Adam Thielen

Start in DFS: Rachaad White ($27)

Thielen has become a shakier fantasy start thanks to Carolina’s offense, but he gets a favorable setup this week. Tampa Bay is stout against the run but has allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to wide receivers this season. The Buccaneers are also dealing with multiple defensive injuries and have ceded the second-most fantasy points to the slot, where Thielen has run 73% of his routes this year.

White isn’t an efficient runner, but volume has made him an extremely valuable fantasy back. He ranks fourth in the league in touches and second among RBs in receiving yards. White has secured 43-of-46 targets this year and gets a Carolina defense allowing the third-most fantasy points to running backs. The Buccaneers are a 5.5-point home favorite against arguably the worst team in the league, so game script should be favorable as well. I rank White as a top-five RB this week.

Los Angeles Chargers @ New England Patriots

Fade in DFS: Justin Herbert ($34)

Start in DFS: Rhamondre Stevenson ($20)

Herbert isn’t a bad fantasy start this week, but you can do better in DFS. His salary is just $1 less than Tua Tagovailoa’s and more than QBs with much better matchups like Brock Purdy ($32) and Sam Howell ($30). With Austin Ekeler not himself playing through an ankle injury and Keenan Allen missing practice, the Chargers’ offense is thin. New England is stingy against fantasy quarterbacks, so play a cheaper Purdy or Howell instead.

Stevenson saw increased playing time coming out of the bye and a season-high 21 carries last week. He's topped 100 yards from scrimmage in three straight games after failing to do so over his first eight this season. Stevenson has a big role in the passing game, and the Chargers have allowed the third-most receiving yards to running backs. It appears Bailey Zappe (with some Malik Cunningham possibly mixed in) will see most of the QB reps in Week 13, but Stevenson figures to be the team's centerpiece on offense either way.

Atlanta Falcons @ New York Jets

Sit: Drake London

Start: Jets D/ST

It should be noted London has much better stats against man, a coverage the Jets use at a top-10 rate. But New York has allowed the fewest yards and fantasy points to receivers this season. The Falcons are the NFL's most run-heavy team, and the Jets sport the highest run rate over expected against, so Atlanta pass attempts should be limited Sunday (especially while facing Tim Boyle). Moreover, Desmond Ridder has one touchdown pass over five road games this season, so London belongs on fantasy benches this week.

Ridder has taken 17 sacks while averaging just 150 passing yards during five games on the road this year. The Jets have one of the league’s highest pressure rates and are just two-point underdogs despite Boyle starting. New York is a strong fantasy start in a game with this week’s lowest over/under (34.0 points).