Can you believe it’s already Week 13, my fellow IDP Nerds? The season has been flying by, and we are already on the brink of the dynasty fantasy football playoffs. We had an extremely unlucky week, with three of our six misses injured before halftime and not returning to action last week. Last week we dipped down to just 53.8% accuracy. This moves our season total to 61.6% on the season. No reason to dwell on things that are out of our control, as injuries are part of the game. Let’s dust ourselves off and look at what’s ahead in Week 13.
Check out the teams putting together the start/sit columns this season. Follow us, friend us, and tweet at us. We look forward to hearing from you!
- Changing the Call (QB): Jayson Snyder (@Spydes78)
- The Cutback (RB): Jake Oliver (@DarthDbacks)
- Slant Pattern (WR): Tristan Cook (@THEtristancook)
- 12 Formation (TE): Ethan Wyatt (@ethanAwyatt)
- Flex on ‘Em (FLEX): Evan Brown (@FFEvanlution)
- IDP Start/Sit (IDP): Jon Glosser (@Glosser13)
NOTE: Rankings are based on a 12-team PPR league. So, saying WR2 means top 24, or TE1 means top 12, etc., and are pulled from Fantasy Pros consensus expert rankings.
Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears
Quay Walker LB, Green Bay Packers
The Green Bay rookie linebacker has been solid this season. Quay Walker has recorded 91 tackles this season in just 12 games. He scored double-digit fantasy points in all but one game. He’s filled in admirably as veteran linebacker De’Vondre Campbell has missed multiple games this season. Walker will start the second game of his career against the division-rival Chicago Bears. The former Georgia linebacker should be in line for another high-volume tackling performance and score well for IDP managers.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Atlanta Falcons
Minkah Fitzpatrick DB, Pittsburgh Steelers
The Pittsburgh Steelers defense has looked strong since the return of their two stars, Minkah Fitzpatrick and T.J. Watt. The former Alabama defensive back has turned in three double-digit fantasy performances over his last four games. Minkah Fitzpatrick is an impact play safety who can register matchup-swinging performances. Fitzpatrick and the Steelers defense will have a plus matchup this week against the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons’ offense allowed 19 combined tackles to both starting safeties in Week 12. If there were ever a time for dynasty managers to be confident in the Steelers’ safeties, it would be this week.
New York Jets @ Minnesota Vikings
Carl Lawson DL, New York Jets
The New York Jets will travel to Minnesota to take on one of the league’s best teams, the Vikings. While we will all be tuning in to see the matchup between Justin Jefferson and Sauce Gardner, this game has many interesting pieces. As much as I like the Jets’ defense and their chances to fluster Kirk Cousins in this game, Carl Lawson has been very inconsistent as of late. The former Auburn pass rusher has been dealing with nagging injuries, which have led him to play inconsistent snaps and score consistently as an IDP all season long. Dynasty managers simply cannot trust the pass rusher at one of the most crucial times of the season, with the playoffs approaching.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Detroit Lions
Kerby Joseph DB, Detroit Lions
Kerby Joseph has been a pleasant surprise for IDP managers this season. Align secondary has dealt with injuries all season long, and the rookie defensive back has risen to the challenge as of late. Kirby Joseph has six consecutive double-digit fantasy performances, including a 36-point performance. The Jacksonville Jaguars offense likes to throw the ball; last week against the Ravens, four different defensive backs registered 6 tackles or more. I think you can Bank on a seventh consecutive double-digit performance from the Illinois product in Week 13.
Tennessee Titans @ Philadelphia Eagles
Reed Blankenship DB, Philadelphia Eagles
The Philadelphia Eagles defense suffered a significant loss after C.J. Gardner-Johnson left last week’s game with a lacerated kidney. The team called on Middle Tennessee rookie Reed Blankenship who didn’t disappoint. In his first Real playing time, Blankenship tied for a team-high and tackles and recorded his first career interception. This is a case of the next-man-up philosophy which doesn’t always pan out, and IDP leagues, but it’s hard after watching a small sample size last week not to believe that the rookie can fill in while Gardner-Johnson is on the bench. I’m excited to see what impact the rookie can make trying to stop Titans running back Derrick Henry from controlling the game.
Cleveland Browns @ Houston Texans
Jerry Hughes DL, Houston Texans
Unfortunately, players like Jerry Hughes are a blessing and a curse for IDP managers. Hughes has been wildly inconsistent this season; he has yet to record a double-digit performance in a game in which he did not have a sack. This season he has found his way into too many managers starting lineups based on how thin the defensive line position is. At best, he’s a matchup based player with serious boom-bust potential. This week will be about Deshaun Watson making his first start as a Cleveland Brown against the team that drafted him, the Houston Texans. This is not a good matchup for Hughes and the Texans’ defense, as the Browns have given up the seventh-fewest sacks in the NFL this season. You can find better matchups this week.
Washington Commanders @ New York Giants
Darrick Forrest DB, Washington Commanders
The Washington Commander’s strike again found another highly productive defensive back through the draft. The Commander’s rookie safety took over as the starter three weeks ago. In his last three games, he’s averaged seven tackles and scored 18.7 fantasy points per contest. The rookie from the University of Cincinnati is coming off a career-high 11 tackles last week against the Atlanta Falcons. Darrick Forrest has been a consistent contributor for a very good Washington defense that looks to keep their winning streak alive against the New York Giants.
Denver Broncos @ Baltimore Ravens
Marcus Peters DB, Baltimore Ravens
The veteran cornerback has been up to his old trick with back-to-back double-digit fantasy performances. Marcus Peters has registered 13 tackles over his past two games. The Denver Broncos offense has struggled to push the ball down the field this week, but if anyone can bait Russell Wilson into some bad throws, it’s the veteran cornerback. In CB-required formats, I like Peters to continue his high production and turn in a good performance this week.
Miami Dolphins @ San Francisco 49ers
Jaelan Phillips DL, Miami Dolphins
The Miami Dolphins pass rusher has been on a tear as of late, with one and a half sacks in his last two games. Phillips struggled to start the season after coming off an 8.5-sack rookie season. The former Miami Hurricanes pass rusher has come on as of late and is thriving in a pass-rushing role for the struggling Dolphins defense. The Dolphins face their toughest test of the season, traveling to San Francisco to face a 49ers’ offensive line that has allowed the third-fewest sacks in the NFL this season. I would fully expect Philips’s sack streak to end this week. You should be cautious starting him, although he has been on fire as of late.
Seattle Seahawks @ Los Angeles Rams
Ryan Neal DB, Seattle Seahawks
Ryan Neal has been nothing but consistent since stepping into a starting role. While Neal is not the biggest or fastest player, he does his job well and is always in a position to make a play. When you play in IDP league formats that allow you to play a combination of linebackers and defensive backs based on your roster construction, it’s nice knowing you have a player who will give you consistent production. The Seattle defensive back has seven straight games over ten fantasy points, and I expect that to continue in a game they should win against a beat-up Los Angeles Rams offense.
Los Angeles Chargers @ Las Vegas Raiders
Khalil Mack DL, Los Angeles Raiders
Khalil Mack’s revenge game 2.0 is on tap this week in Las Vegas. Mack recorded three of his seven sacks this season against his former team. This game has very big playoff implications for the Los Angeles Chargers, who have been dealing with injuries all season long. The Raiders are also very banged up, and this game should have plenty of fireworks, as we’ve come to expect in the AFC West this season. The former University of Buffalo EDGE rusher is projected at 12.25 points this week despite the Raiders being tied for sixth-best at allowing sacks this season. All signs point to Khalil Mack having another big performance in a divisional showdown.
Kansas City Chiefs @ Cincinnati Bengals
Willie Gay LB, Kansas City Chiefs
The IDP managers who held out hope for Willie Gay breaking out in his third season have been rewarded. Despite his troubled past costing him a four-game stretch in the middle of the year. Since his return, he’s averaged 17.8 fantasy points per game. The former Mississippi State linebacker has already set career highs in fantasy points, tackles, and sacks in 2022. He’s becoming an impact player for the Chiefs’ defense. This is the game of the week in the NFL, and all eyes will be on this one. I expect Willie Gay to continue his high-level play as he inches toward a contract year in 2023.
Indianapolis Colts @ Dallas Cowboys
Dorance Armstrong DL, Dallas Cowboys
This one isn’t rocket science, Nerds. The Dallas Cowboys defense has the most sacks this season (45), and the Indianapolis Colts have allowed the most sacks this season (43). Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Dorance Armstrong has been a diamond in the rough this season. Armstrong was claimed off of waiver wires in almost all IDP leagues and had a career-high eight sacks this season.
The Cowboys pass-rusher is six points shy of a career year in fantasy football scoring. Armstrong has scored 40 fantasy points over his last 57 snaps, which includes three sacks in his previous two games. The Colts offensive line should be no match for the Cowboys pass rush. I’m starting Dorance Armstrong with confidence this week.
New Orleans Saints @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tyrann Mathieu DB, New Orleans Saints
It always sits poorly with me not to have the Honey Badger in my lineup because I have truly enjoyed watching his career. The future Hall of Fame defensive back it’s coming off a three-tackle performance in week 12 as the Saints team struggled against the San Francisco 49ers.
Tyrann Mathieu recorded just three tackles in his last game against Tampa Bay. There is very little reason to believe that will change in prime time this week. Over his career, Mathieu has averaged just 4.2 tackles per game over his last five games against Tampa Bay. I would proceed with caution this week. There might be better options on the waiver wire.
That will wrap it up for this week, Nerds. For those dealing with win-and-get-in scenarios, we realize the importance of this week. As always, feel free to reach out to our staff to help in any way that we can. The payoff for all the work you’ve put in this season is right around the corner. Keep grinding and trying to improve your dynasty teams, and enjoy the games this weekend.