The Observer’s Fantasy Corner Week 13
The final week of the regular season of fantasy is upon us as Week 13 closes! We are thrilled to have brought you this content throughout the course of the season, and whether you are going to the playoffs or sitting out, let us help you finish your season with a bang.
Sam Ouhaj — Sports Writer
Who to Start: Alvin Kamara/Mark Ingram II, RB, New Orleans Saints
If Kamara can return this week, he should undoubtedly be in your starting lineup. However, if his knee limits him again, play Mark Ingram at all costs. The Saints will be facing the New York Jets this weekend, and needless to say, either running back will have a big day. The Jets’ defense currently ranks at 32, and they are not going to magically get better anytime soon. Since the playoffs are ultimately decided, this is more of a fun play of the week, but still, if you need to make one last push, this is a risk worth taking.
Who to Sit: DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Arizona Cardinals
It has been a rather disappointing season for Hopkins. While he has been battling a hamstring injury during the season, his game production has been subpar. There are plenty of targets to go around in Arizona, and Kyler Murray being a reliable runner limits Hopkins’ value already. The Arizona Cardinals are set to face the Los Angeles Rams this Sunday, and that means it will be Jalen Ramsey who takes on DeAndre Hopkins. When the two teams faced off last time, Hopkins only put up ten fantasy points that you do not want from someone who is usually a top 15 fantasy pick. I would look for other options at the wide receiver position this weekend.
Who to Pick Up: Amon-Ra St.Brown, WR, Detroit Lions (rostered in 6.5% of leagues)
John Kalemkerian — Sports Writer
Who to Start: Devonta Freeman, RB, Baltimore Ravens
Having surpassed the 20-fantasy point threshold in two of the past three weeks, it seems the Ravens have finally found their answer at running back. We’ve seen Freeman in the league long enough to know that he’s never going to put up monster, 25+ carry rushing lines, but his consistency is what you get when you give him a start. The eight-year veteran has gotten double-digit carries in each of Baltimore’s last five games and has even been reeling in passes at a decent clip, a trend likely to continue given Lamar Jackson’s affinity for checkdowns. Start Freeman as an RB2 or flex play against the Browns this week.
Who to Sit: New York Giants
As a Giants fan who has suffered through several years of “rebuilding,” this paragraph will pain me to write. It’s of little consolation that I’m positive it’s the right advice to be giving. Even as someone who, at the beginning of the season, had the utmost faith that Joe Judge, Jason Garrett, and Daniel Jones would start winning games, there’s no way around it: the 2021 Giants are their same old awful selves. With Daniel Jones expected to sit again, no receiver is even worth a second look.
The only player who could be worth a spot-start is Saquon Barkley, who might be fed enough touches to salvage a halfway decent fantasy line. With the way this offense has been playing though, I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re kept out of the endzone for a second straight week. Stay away from Giants this week (and for the rest of the season, if you have fantasy playoff aspirations).
Who to Pick Up: Dontrell Hilliard, RB, Tennessee Titans (rostered in 35.9% of leagues)
Gehrig Smalstig — Sports Writer
Who to Start: Russell Gage, WR, Atlanta Falcons
The matchup with Carolina’s defense might scare some away, but I would continue to stick Russell Gage in your starting lineup for the foreseeable future because of the role that he is now playing in the Falcons passing game. Gage saw 12 targets this past weekend and has seen 7 or more targets in each of his last 4 starts. Many saw this type of potential in Gage at the beginning of the season, knowing how productive the Falcons’ WR2 spot has been for fantasy owners in the past, but it simply did not amount to much at the beginning of the year. Now, with Calvin Ridley out indefinitely and Kyle Pitts getting much of the attention from opposing defenses, Gage is a reliable PPR wide receiver that could amount to one of the pivotal fantasy pickups down the stretch.
Who to Sit: Amari Cooper, WR, Dallas Cowboys
Anyone who has watched the Cowboys in recent weeks can see that there is a new alpha in the receiving core. Ceedee Lamb is better at the catch point and after the catch than Amari, and their production this season reflects that fact. This is of course also a product of Cooper’s injury status this season, but nevertheless, he hasn’t cracked double-digit points in his last three starts. Additionally, the Cowboys will be facing a much improved Chiefs pass defense that looks to build on their momentum towards a potential top seed in the AFC. If you can manage, I would wait to see Cooper break above 5 targets again before slotting him back in your starting lineup.
Who to Pick Up: Tevin Coleman, RB, New York Jets (rostered in 42% of leagues)
Jamison Cook — Sports Writer
Who to Start: Rob Gronkowski, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Gronk has been elite since coming back from injury in Week 11, racking up 17 catches for over 250 yards. He had two touchdown receptions this past week against the Falcons, and his connection with Brady makes him a worthy play every week. The Bills are up next for the Bucs and the Buffalo defense has been elite this season, but Gronk is playing too well to stay on your bench. Given Chris Godwin’s 15 catches — the most by any player in a game this season — this past week, the Buffalo defense will likely focus on stopping him, opening up opportunities for Gronk and Mike Evans to see more targets. Barring another injury, Gronk should be in your starting lineup every week going forward as the Bucs make a push for home-field advantage in the playoffs down the stretch.
Who to Sit: Ja’Marr Chase, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
Ja’Marr has struggled mightily in the last six weeks, not scoring more than 13.1 points in PPR formats since Week 7. The targets have still been there, but Chase has not been able to turn his catches into many yards or touchdowns. The elite level at which he was playing earlier in the season has dissipated, and other Cincinnati receivers such as Tee Higgins have really taken over in recent weeks. The Bengals will host San Francisco in Week 14, and the 49ers defense has been solid. The way that Chase has been slumping in recent weeks mixed with a less-than-optimal matchup on the schedule, I would advise keeping Chase on your bench this week. He needs to re-establish himself as Joe Burrow’s lead target before he should be started again.
Who to Pick up: Sony Michel, RB, Los Angeles Rams (rostered in 35.2% of leagues)