Thomason: Start 'Em, Sit 'Em For Week 13

Nick Foles and Jamison Crowder have favorable matchups this week.

Jack Thomason
November 27, 2019 - 9:39 am

(670 The Score) "Sit ‘Em, Start ‘Em" is a breakdown of some of the best and worst fantasy football matchups to help you navigate setting your lineups for the week.

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My goal with this article is to provide you with a player to start who may not be the most obvious of starts and to share a player to sit whom you normally wouldn't consider shying away from regardless of matchup. 

Let's get to it for Week 13.

Quarterback

START – Nick Foles, Jaguars (vs. Buccaneers) Foles is coming off of a mediocre outing in which he threw for 272 yards without a score. That being said, he has one of the best matchups of the week going against Tampa Bay, which ranks 31st in 4for4’s schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed (aFPA) and 25th in Football Outsiders’ pass DVOA metric. This game has the second-highest over/under total of the week, and Jacksonville has an implied team total of 25 points. Couple that with the fact that Foles has attempted a combined 95 passes over his last two contests, and we should see some fantasy points coming from him.

SIT – Philip Rivers, Chargers (at Broncos) There have been multiple plays and games in which Rivers has looked washed this season. Now he'll be on the road to face the Broncos, who held his offense to 13 points earlier this season. Denver is sporting the fifth-best aFPA ranking to opposing quarterbacks and ranks 15th in pass DVOA. The Broncos can get pressure on the quarterback, and Rivers is known for his costly mistakes, including turning the ball over a combined nine times in the last two weeks while taking seven sacks. With a mere implied team total of 20.75 points, look elsewhere to stream a quarterback.

Running back

START – Phillip Lindsay, Broncos (vs. Chargers) On the other side of the Broncos-Chargers game, Lindsay looks to be a solid play as he’s taken command of the Denver backfield. While the Broncos are only slated to score 17.75 points, Lindsay should have enough opportunity to do damage on the ground and through the air against the Chargers’ 27th-ranked run defense in both aFPA and DVOA.

SIT – Joe Mixon, Bengals (vs. Jets) Mixon has had a tale of two halves this season, which includes running hot over his last few games. Unfortunately, the Bengals can’t get out of their own way and have limited Mixon to just rushing production. They refuse to throw him the ball. Even with Andy Dalton being named the starter again, Mixon is unlikely to see a major bump in targets. And while his chance of scoring increases, Cincinnati is a three-point home underdog with an implied team total of just 18 points.

Receiver

START – Jamison Crowder, Jets (vs. Bengals) Crowder cooled off last Sunday after posting three straight games with at least five receptions, 75 yards and a score. This week, he’ll face a Bengals secondary that's one of the worst at guarding slot receivers. They rank 16th in aFPA to opposing receivers and 31st in pass DVOA. Meanwhile, the Jets are 3.5-point favorites on the road and Sam Darnold has their offense clicking during a three-game winning streak in which they’ve scored exactly 34 points in each victory.

SIT – Emmanuel Sanders, 49ers (at Ravens) The Ravens have been playing on another level the last seven weeks and since acquiring Marcus Peters, their defense has been up to the task of matching their offensive production. During its seven-game winning streak, Baltimore has allowed only two teams to score 20 or more points (New England and Pittsburgh) and in its last three contests has allowed an average of 8.3 points per game. Sanders has been banged up with a rib injury for a few weeks and while he’s on the road to recovery, this is going to be a difficult matchup to trust him in. The 49ers are 5.5-point road underdogs, and the Ravens are the third-best pass defense, according the DVOA.

Tight end

START – Jared Cook, Saints (at Falcons) Cook has bounced back in a big way of late and should be started as a weekly TE1. The Falcons rank 12th in aFPA to tight ends but 29th in pass DVOA, and with Drew Brees and the Saints offense seeking revenge and sporting the second-highest implied total on the slate, Cook is worth starting. He has at least 74 yards or a touchdown in each his last five games. 

SIT – Vance McDonald, Steelers (vs. Browns) Cleveland ranks ninth in pass DVOA but is 19th against the tight end in aFPA. I’m not sure we can trust Devlin Hodges to get him the ball consistently, not to mention McDonald has hit 40 yards just once this season. I don't think anything else needs to be said.

Other starts: Sam Darnold (vs. Bengals), Jonathan Williams (at Titans), Jakobi Meyers (at Texans) and Jack Doyle (at Titans).

Other sits: Baker Mayfield (at Steelers), Kalen Ballage (vs. Eagles), Amari Cooper (vs. Bills) and O.J. Howard (at Jaguars).