Fantasy Preview: Week 13

Posted Nov 30, 2013

Three games have already been played, so you might have an idea of where you stand in your matchup. Since this is the final week of the regular season in most fantasy leagues, then you also know if this is a must-win game.

When you put the two together, you know if you need to swing for the fences or if it's smarter to play it safe. Regardless of your situation, we're here to help.

Here are some key numbers to know about every game, plus a stud, sleeper, stumbler or injury concern to watch for with a brief explanation why. Note that the “studs” are guys who are either better than most owners realize or established stars who owners might be foolishly thinking about benching.

Rams at 49ers

Stat to know: Frank Gore has been slumping and the Rams have been playing great defense, but there's just something about facing the Rams that gets Gore going. In 11 career games against St. Louis, Gore has 1,149 yards and 14 touchdowns. Keep him in your lineups.

Injury: RB Zac Stacy, concussion (The 49ers rank 17th in fantasy points allowed to RBs, so regardless of whether Stacy or Benny Cunningham starts, they'll be worth using.)

Jaguars at Browns

Stat to know: Maurice Jones-Drew has scored in each of his past three games, and he's had at least four targets in each of the past four games. Cleveland ranks a good-but-not-great 19th in fantasy points allowed to RBs, so Jones-Drew remains a solid play.

Stud: TE Jordan Cameron (Jaguars have allowed second-most fantasy points to TEs.)

Buccaneers at Panthers

Stat to know: Steve Smith hasn't had more than 6.9 fantasy points in a game since Week 7, and this week he faces Darrelle Revis. He's not a great start, but Brandon LaFell is a decent sleeper. Over the past four games, Tampa has allowed an average of 17.1 fantasy points to a secondary receiver.

Stumbler: RB Bobby Rainey (Panthers have allowed fifth-fewest fantasy points to RBs.)

Titans at Colts

Stat to know: Donald Brown ran all over the Titans two weeks ago (80 yards, 2 TDs), but he received just two carries to Trent Richardson's seven last week. Tennessee is allowing the second-most fantasy points to RBs, but it's tough to know which back to trust. Both are potential flex plays.

Stumbler: QB Andrew Luck (Titans have allowed fourth-fewest fantasy points to QBs.)

Bears at Vikings

Stat to know: The Bears' defense has struggled in general this year, but it's still made some big plays for fantasy owners. This week, it faces a Vikings' team that's allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to D/STs. Chicago is worth using, even on the road.

Sleeper: TE Martellus Bennett (Vikings have allowed fourth-most fantasy points to TEs.)

Patriots at Texans

Stat to know: It's unclear how carries will shake out in both teams' backfields. The only running back fantasy owners should be able to count on is New England's Shane Vereen. He's had eight catches and 11 targets in each of the past two games, and last week he added 10 carries.

Stumbler: WR Julian Edelman (Texans are tied for the sixth-fewest fantasy points allowed to WRs.)

Cardinals at Eagles

Stat to know: Philadelphia allows the most fantasy points per game (FPPG) to WRs (30.7), but it only allows 5.6 FPPG to TEs (third fewest). Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd are must-starts, but Rob Housler is a risky sleeper.

Sleeper: RB Andre Ellington (Eagles allow 45.6 receiving yards per game to RBs, seventh most.)

Dolphins at Jets

Stat to know: Both teams are dealing with an injury to one of their platoon backs (Daniel Thomas, ankle, for Miami and Chris Ivory, ankle, for New York). Thomas won't play, but that doesn't really help Lamar Miller against a Jets' defense allowing the second-fewest FPPG to RBs (11.8). Bilal Powell does have some value against a Dolphins' defense that has allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to backs.

Stud: WR Mike Wallace (Jets have allowed ninth-most fantasy points to WRs.)

Falcons vs. Bills (in Toronto)

Stat to know: Both teams are in the top eight in terms of fantasy points allowed to WRs. Buffalo's Stevie Johnson and Robert Woods are over their respective injuries, and both Roddy White and Harry Douglas have had 10 days to rest since they last suited up. All four are in play this week.

Stud: RB C.J. Spiller (Falcons have allowed the ninth-most fantasy points to RBs.)

Bengals at Chargers

Stat to know: Ryan Mathews (hamstring) is expected to start, but he's still not a recommended fantasy play. The Bengals are allowing just 13.6 FPPG to RBs (fourth fewest). Danny Woodhead is still an option, though, since he's more of a receiver.

Stud: Bengals D/ST (Cincinnati has averaged 15 FPPG over the past four weeks.)

Broncos at Chiefs

Stat to know: The Broncos are hoping Knowshon Moreno (ankle) will be able to play, just as the Chiefs are hoping LB Tamba Hali (ankle) will be able to go. If both start, that's bad news for Montee Ball. He can still function as a flex, but with the Chiefs having allowed just five rushing TDs to RBs, his margin of error is thin.

Injury: TE Julius Thomas, knee (Expected to play; remains a must-start if active.)

Giants at Redskins

Stat to know: Eli Manning has had a lot of good matchups recently, and he still hasn't topped 19.4 fantasy points since Week 1. This is another favorable matchup, but don't take the bait. You can take a chance on Victor Cruz, Rueben Randle and Hakeem Nicks (if active) and hope they're the receiver who takes advantage of a Redskins' defense that's allowing the seventh-most FPPG to WRs (26.2).

Injury: TE Jordan Reed, concussion (Expected to play; a good option against a Giants' defense allowing 10th-most FPPG to TEs.)

Saints at Seahawks

Stat to know: Fantasy owners will be eager to unleash Percy Harvin, but New Orleans has allowed the eighth-fewest fantasy points to WRs. There are still a lot of questions about Harvin's health and role in Seattle's offense. He's a risk if you're in a must-win situation.

Stumbler: Seahawks D/ST (Saints have allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to D/STs.)