Matt Schaub (Houston Texans, Week 13: @ Tennessee, FantasyPros.com rank: 14, My rank: 11)
The obvious concern with Schaub is Houston’s penchant for finishing off drives on the ground. And the Titans run defense is bad enough that Foster is sure to find the end zone against them at least once. But their pass defense is just as bad if not worse. There should be enough points to go around for everyone.
Jonathan Dwyer (Pittsburgh Steelers, Week 13: @ Baltimore, FantasyPros.com rank: 29, My rank: 17)
There is an obvious concern with Dwyer as well, and it’s the uncertainty surrounding the Pittsburgh backfield. But Mike Tomlin has given Dwyer the nod saying he will receive the bulk of the work this week. Dwyer has been good this year with an average of 3.07 yards after contact per attempt (6th best in the league). That kind of talent should have success against a below average run defense if he does actually get most of the carries.
Brian Hartline (Miami Dolphins, Week 13: vs. New England, FantasyPros.com rank: 34, My rank: 24)
Davone Bess (Miami Dolphins, Week 13: vs. New England, FantasyPros.com rank: 41, My rank: 30)
Teams throw a lot against the Patriots averaging 38 attempts per game (6th highest average in the league). The Dolphins don’t throw it a ton, but when they do, the lion’s share of it goes to Hartline and Bess who each get about 26% of all Miami targets. Assuming New England scores early and often, Miami is almost assuredly going to throw it more than 38 times. That means Bess and Hartline each have a decent chance of seeing double digit targets.
And teams don’t throw it a lot against the Pats just because they’re playing catch-up. They throw it a lot because the Pats pass D isn’t great. They allow the 4th most fantasy points to wide receivers, so the Miami wideouts should be able to do something with all that work.
Martellus Bennett (New York Giants, Week 13: @ Washington, FantasyPros.com rank: 12, My rank: 7)
Pure matchup play. Only one team has allowed more yards to tight ends than the Redskins, and only two teams have allowed more touchdowns to tight ends. Bennett had a nice game in Week 7 against the ‘Skins with 5 catches for 79 yards.
Dallas Clark (Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Week 13: @ Denver, FantasyPros.com rank: 15, My rank: 12)
Rob Housler (Arizona Cardinals, Week 13: @ New York Jets, FantasyPros.com rank: 26, My rank: 16)
Looking for a sleeper tight end this week? Look no further. Clark (4.8% owned) is facing one of the two teams that has given up more touchdowns to tight ends than the Redskins (Denver). He’s also been pretty decent lately with touchdowns in two of the last three games, and 123 yards in his last two games. And Housler (0.1% owned) was targeted 11 times by rookie Ryan Lindley last week (8 catches for 82 yards). Lindley will start again Sunday.
Cleveland D/ST (9.5% owned, Week 13: @ Oakland, FantasyPros.com rank: 13, My rank: 9)
Were you aware that the Cleveland D ranks 9th in fantasy points this year? This week that top ten fantasy defense will face an Oakland team that footballoutsiders.com ranks 25th in offensive efficiency. If you’re a mix-and-match defense fantasy owner, go see if Cleveland is available on your waiver wire.
Andrew Luck (Indianapolis Colts, Week 13: @ Detroit), FantasyPros.com rank: 11, My rank: 14)
The Luck hate has been plentiful in this article throughout the year. But his appearance in the sit section this week has less to do with a perceived lack of talent and more to do with the fact that all the other guys in this 9-15 range have pretty damn good matchups this week. Romo faces the non-existent Eagles D, Eli faces the team that allows the third most fantasy points to quarterbacks, Dalton faces a less than intimidating Chargers D (not to mention that he’s 9th among QBs in fantasy points), Kaepernick and his legs just make him a safer bet, and then there’s the aforementioned Schaub.
Knowshon Moreno (Denver Broncos, Week 13: vs. Tampa Bay, FantasyPros.com rank: 19, My rank: 23)
Steven Jackson (St. Louis Rams, Week 13: vs. San Francisco, FantasyPros.com rank: 18, My rank: 24)
These are a couple more matchup plays, pure and simple. The Niners and the Bucs are the two teams that allow the fewest yards per rushing attempt. Yes, Jackson had a nice game in San Francisco in Week 10. And yes, Knowshon appears to have the job in Denver. But in a week where so many people have to win to get in the playoffs, it’s too hard to trust backs with these matchups.
Ryan Mathews (San Diego Chargers, Week 13: vs. Cincinnati, FantasyPros.com rank: 17, My rank: 25)
In eight of his nine games, Mathews has ended up with between five and eight fantasy points. Why does everyone continue to rank this guy as a startable option?
Torrey Smith (Baltimore Ravens, Week 13: vs. Pittsburgh, FantasyPros.com rank: 22, My rank: 32)
In the start section last week, Torrey is on the warmer side of the pillow this week. Which doesn’t sound so bad. But Stu Scott always seemed to think the cool side was better.
This is mainly a matchup call (Pittsburgh allows the fewest fantasy points to WRs), but this is also another one of those things where you have a guy who is hard to trust in such a crucial week. Because Smith is such a deep threat, he’s even more prone to inconsistency that other receivers. There’s just too much risk that Smith doesn’t hit a big play, especially in such a tough matchup.
Brandon Myers (Oakland Raiders, Week 13: vs. Cleveland, FantasyPros.com rank: 10, My rank: 14)
A regular in the start section of this article, Myers is seeing how the other half lives this week because he’s facing the top ten Browns defense mentioned above. The Browns defense who just so happens to allow the fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends.
Broncos D/ST (Week 13: vs. Tampa Bay, FantasyPros.com rank: 10, My rank: 13)
Denver’s defense was middle-of-the-pack last year (16th in DVOA), but they’ve been an elite unit this season (3rd in DVOA). The only problem is that this week they’ve got a touch matchup against the Bucs who rank 8th in offensive efficiency. Because they’ve been so good, you wouldn’t be wrong to just stick with them this week. Especially considering the fact that they have Oakland, Cleveland, and Kansas City left on the schedule. So this isn’t a defense to drop. But if you have an extra roster spot and could afford to carry two defenses for a week, it might not be the worst idea to do so.
Written by Brett Talley exclusively for thefantasyfix.com. If you have any further questions about this particular topic, feel free to ask him on Twitter (@TheRealTAL) or email him at [email protected].