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Slant Pattern: WR Start/Sit – Week 13

Making the playoffs is on the line, can you trust Mike Evans against the Saints? @THEtristancook helps break down which WRs you want in your lineup in Week 13!

Hello and welcome back, Nerds! The Dynasty Nerds writers are here to provide you with weekly starts and sits. I will be doing the wide receiver starts and sits for the 2022 season! We, as a group, will be making our recommendations based on weekly consensus PPR rankings from FantasyPros. Here is our squad and the position groups they will be covering to help you each week. Follow, DM, and Tweet us.

QB: Jason Snyder (@Spydes78) – Changing the Call

RB: Jake Oliver (@DarthDbacks) – The Cutback

WR: Tristan Cook (@THEtristancook) – Slant Pattern

TE: Ethan Wyatt (@ethanAwyatt) – 12 Formation

FLEX: Evan Brown (@FFEVanlution) – Flex on ‘Em

IDP: Jon Glosser (@Glosser13) – IDP Start/Sit

One thing to keep in mind when making your start/sit decisions, it will ALWAYS depend on who your other options are. The players listed below are WRs that I expect to finish above/below their respective rankings. But it doesn’t mean you need to take them out of (or put them into) your lineup unless your alternatives are worth it.

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.

RECAP

Well, Week 12 wasn’t my best showing of the season. My best call had Garrett Wilson as a ‘start’, who finished as WR5. He came into the week ranked as WR27 and exploded for a monster game with Mike White throwing passes. My worst call was DJ Moore as a ‘sit’. Moore was ranked as WR33 and finished as the 11th-highest wide receiver for the week. My other calls were to ‘start’ Courtland Sutton, Brandon Aiyuk, and George Pickens. They all underwhelmed to varying degrees. Hopefully, none of those calls hurt you too badly, as they all were able to eclipse the 10-point mark. Time to do better. Let’s ride.

START

Adam Thielen vs NYJ – WR 36

Week 12 Stats | WR 9 | FPts: 21.1 | Tgts: 10 | Rec: 9 | Yds: 61 | TDs: 1

My first ‘start’ this week is Minnesota’s Adam Thielen. He has had an up-and-down season in 2022 but is coming off his best statistical week. Thielen’s ten targets last week were his highest total since Week 10 of 2021. Normally I would be skeptical of relying on someone who has seen such a big spike in targets, but this case is different.

Adam Thielen has long been one of Kirk Cousins’ favorite targets but has understandably taken a backseat with Justin Jefferson’s ascension to an all-word receiver. This has relegated Adam Thielen to a more underneath/possession role. But that still has plenty of value in PPR leagues. The biggest reason for my optimism this week is the matchup, not the matchup for Adam Thielen but the matchup of Justin Jefferson vs. Sauce Gardner. It should be very entertaining to watch. But it should also mean a few more targets headed Thielen’s way. If you have Adam Thielen on your roster, make sure you put him in your lineup this week.

Courtland Sutton @ BAL – WR 32

Week 12 Stats | WR 30 | FPts: 13.5 | Tgts: 8 | Rec: 6 | Yds: 75 | TDs: 0

My next ‘start’ for the week is Courtland Sutton. I am once again rolling him out for my fantasy teams. The analysis here is fairly simple. Courtland Sutton is one of the only healthy weapons for Denver’s anemic offense. But that means he is regularly peppered with targets. Sutton is currently the WR30 in points scored but is the 13th most-targeted wideout. I know it’s a bit of a risky proposition to rely on this historically-bad offense, but Baltimore is one of the worst pass defenses in the league. Sutton should be a safe option with the potential for a bigger week if he (and the offense) can find the end zone. I’m trusting Sutton in this pivotal week.

Darius Slayton vs WAS – WR 35

Week 12 Stats | WR 54 | FPts: 9.3 | Tgts: 6 | Rec: 3 | Yds: 63 | TDs: 0

Darius Slayton is my third and final ‘start’ for Week 13. He has quietly been a valuable fantasy commodity of late. Over his last five games, Slayton is the WR26 but hasn’t received much recognition. It is a little perplexing to me that it took injuries, trades, and ineffectiveness just for Slayton to get regular playing time. But he’s taken advantage of his opportunity and is giving the Giants some much-needed wide receiver production. Slayton is dealing with an illness, so it’ll be worth monitoring his game status. However, if Slayton suits up for the Giants, he’ll be in my lineup.

SIT

Michael Pittman Jr. @ DAL – WR 20

Week 12 Stats | WR 14 | FPts: 19.1 | Tgts: 11 | Rec: 7 | Yds: 61 | TDs: 1

Michael Pittman Jr. is my first ‘sit’ this week. He comes into this game as the WR14 in 2022 but has underwhelmed a bit of late. Over his last five games, Michael Pittman is WR31. His performance last week against Pittsburgh was encouraging. However, he will match up against Trevon Diggs and the Cowboys’ secondary this week. Dallas is allowing an NFL-best 177.7 yards passing per game.

Simultaneously Dallas is a bottom-10 defense against the run. I expect to see a heavy dose of Jonathan Taylor for Indianapolis and therefore am low on Pittman. As always, it will depend on who else you have to replace Pittman with, but I am looking to get him out of my starting lineup this week.

DeVonta Smith vs TEN – WR 22

Week 12 Stats | WR 58 | FPts: 9.0 | Tgts: 9 | Rec: 4 | Yds: 50 | TDs: 0

My next ‘sit’ is DeVonta Smith. On paper, this looks like a great opportunity for Smith and the Eagles’ pass offense. The Titans allow the second-most yards passing each game and are the third-best team against the run. However, I’m hesitant to roll out DeVonta with too much confidence. We have seen the Eagles run the ball at will against basically everyone this year. Plus, this will be the first opportunity for AJ Brown to face his former team after the NFL Draft night trade

Not that I want to dive too far into a ‘revenge game’ narrative, but I believe there will be a concerted effort to get AJ Brown the ball. I recognize that this is a game where both Philadelphia receivers could succeed, but I’m going to look at my other options if I have DeVonta Smith on my roster.

Mike Evans vs NO – WR 17

Week 12 Stats | WR 75 | FPts: 5.1 | Tgts: 9 | Rec: 2 | Yds: 31 | TDs: 0

My third and final ‘sit’ in Week 13 is Mike Evans. He had a very poor game last week when he only caught 2 of his 9 targets. I would usually expect a bounce-back game here for Evans, but two big reasons change that. First, the matchup against the Saints is a tough one. New Orleans is allowing the 7th fewest yards passing per game. I expect Tom Brady to have some success, but that is a concern. However, the biggest reason for my concern is Evans’ history against New Orleans and Marshon Lattimore.

Mike Evans has played 16 games against New Orleans in his career. In those 16 games, he is averaging a measly 3.2 receptions, 49.4 yards receiving, and 0.31 touchdowns per game. Needless to say, Evans has struggled immensely. In what is likely one of the most pivotal games of your season, I’d be looking at my other options.

That’s it for Week 13. Feel free to reach out to me on Twitter (@THEtristancook) if you have any specific questions about who I would start. 

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