Week 13 kicked off on Thursday with three Thanksgiving matchups. While those games may have made it more tolerable to spend a day with our families, they certainly depleted the pool of available fantasy options for Sunday. For many, this is the final week of fantasy football’s regular season and offer a last chance to push to the playoffs and jostle for playoff seeding.
A day after posting last week's picks New England Patriots running back Jonas Gray overslept practice and was benched for last week’s game. It's been a struggle to find quality running backs on the waiver wire, and Jonas' big sleep sure didn't help. Let's take a look at last weeks picks.
Mark Sanchez, QB, Philadelphia Eagles
Projection: 320 Yards Passing, 2 Touchdowns, 1 Interception
Week 12 Results: 307 Yards Passing, 1 Touchdown, 2 Interception
Jonas Gray, RB, New England Patriots
Projection: 88 Yards Rushing, 1 touchdown
Week 12 Results: Benched Due To Lateness
Alfred Blue, RB, Houston Texans
Projection: 66 Yards Rushing, 1 Touchdown
Week 12 Results: 66 Total Yards, 3 Receptions
Jordan Matthews, WR, Philadelphia Eagles
Projection: 5 Catches, 88 Yards, 1 Touchdown
Week 12 Results: 8 Receptions, 77 Yards
Kenny Britt, WR, St. Louis Rams
Projection: 4 Catches, 82 Yards, 1 Touchdown
Week 12 Results: 2 Receptions, 37 Yards
Mercedes Lewis, TE, Jacksonville Jaguars
Projection: 5 Catches, 45 Yards, 1 Touchdown
Week 12 Results: 1 Reception, 5 Yards
With six strong teams playing on Thanksgiving, the players available on the waiver wire are severely limited but if you pay close attention to the most favorable matchups there are still guys out there than can help you sneak into the playoffs or improve your seeding.
Let's take a look at the picks for week 13...
Alex Smith. QB, Kansas City Chiefs
Projection: 215 Yards Passing, 2 Touchdowns, 35 Yards Rushing
Smith has been a fairly consistent fantasy option this year at quarterback, and this week presents a favorable matchup against the Denver Broncos. It promises to be an entertaining game to watch on Sunday night. Despite Denver's ability to rush the passer, I predict that both teams will tally at least 20 points. The Chiefs have a tremendous rushing attack so I wouldn't expect 300 yards passing from Smith, but 200 and 3 Touchdowns isn't out of the question.
Tre Mason, RB, St. Louis Rams
Projection: 88 Yards Rushing, 1 Touchdown
Mason has become the primary back in St. Louis in what seems to be a never-ending rotation of rushing options. With Shaun Hill under center the Rams have relied heavily on the rushing attack the last few weeks. Against a porous Oakland defense there’s no reason to expect that to change. Mason has been effective all season so long as he is getting primary-back touches. He won’t carry the ball 30 times but if the Rams can get the ball in his hands 18 - 25 times he will be an effective fantasy option this Sunday.
Isaiah Crowell, RB, Cleveland Browns
Projection: 65 Yards, 2 Touchdowns
With the release of Ben Tate, the Browns are sending a clear message—and fantasy owners ought to take note: Crowell is the real deal and will get the lion's share of touches in Cleveland. Cleveland, battling for playoff position, is facing a strong Buffalo defense. That may just mean keeping the ball out of Brett Hoyer's hands and letting Crowell and the other running backs do the heavy lifting. At minimum, when the Browns get into the red zone, Crowell is their primary option, making him a viable fantasy play against the Bills.
Charles Johnson, WR, Minnesota Vikings
Projection: 5 Receptions, 88 Yards
Coming seemingly from out of nowhere, Johnson has become the Vikings most targeted receiver over the last few weeks. He has developed a strong relationship with quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. As a result of Bridgewater’s comfort with him, Johnson has become a go-to target in the Vikings offense. In fantasy football it's all about how many targets and touches a player can get. So, if Johnson can keep up the rate he is being targeted he could be a fruitful waiver wire pickup for the remainder of the season.
Stedman Bailey, WR, St. Louis Rams
Projection: 6 Receptions, 110 Yards, 1 Touchdown
Like Johnson, Stedman Bailey has emerged as a top receiving target in St. Louis— due to a combination of injuries on the team and his own improvement as a receiver. Last week, the Rams focused on getting Bailey touches and he didn’t disappoint, putting up impressive numbers. This week, against Oakland, there’s no reason to think the Rams won't again focus on making Bailey an offensive priority. Bailey is poised for a breakout season next year and could get a jump start on that success this weekend.
Scott Chandler, TE, Buffalo Bills
Projection: 4 Catches, 42 Yards, 1 Touchdown
Tight End options are scarce this late in the season, but Chandler still has a low ownership percentage despite being a go-to red-zone target for the bills. Don't expect Chandler to blow you away with yardage or receptions. But if you are lacking at the tight-end position then Chandler is still a strong bet to catch 3 or 4 passes and take one to the house.
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