Fantasy: Start, Sit, Stash, Quit - Week 13
SSSQ is a weekly look at under-the-radar fantasy players to consider starting and potential busts you should leave on your bench. We also identify breakout candidates to stash on your roster and players you can safely cut.
Derek Carr, Raiders
Carr enters Week 13 with more passing yards (3,414) than any other quarterback on the year, and he should remain near the top of that list if his connection with veteran speedster DeSean Jackson continues to grow.
This week's matchup pits him against a Washington defense that's allowing the most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season, in part because they've given up a league-leading 26 touchdown passes.
Carr can be started in your fantasy lineup as a back-end QB1.
Boone's projection: 292 passing yards, 3 passing TDs
Other QBs to start
- Kirk Cousins at Lions
- Carson Wentz at Texans
- Taylor Heinicke at Raiders
Javonte Williams, Broncos
Fantasy managers have been waiting for Williams to break out, and that opportunity might finally be here.
Melvin Gordon missed practice Wednesday and Thursday with hip and shoulder injuries, prompting head coach Vic Fangio to give the veteran "50-50" odds of suiting up this week.
Even if Gordon plays, Williams will likely see more work, making the rookie a top-20 fantasy option with significant upside.
Boone's projection: 87 rushing yards, TD, 26 receiving yards
Other RBs to start
- Miles Sanders at Jets
- Clyde Edwards-Helaire vs. Broncos
- Myles Gaskin vs. Giants
Brandon Aiyuk, 49ers
After an extended stay in Kyle Shanahan's doghouse early in the season, Aiyuk has emerged over the last five weeks.
The sophomore wideout is the WR20 in average fantasy points per game since Week 8, and his target share is about to rise.
With Deebo Samuel (WR2 overall on the season) expected to be sidelined for one-to-two weeks with a groin injury, Aiyuk will be able to showcase his skills as the team's top target - a role he's more than capable of handling.
Boone's projection: 87 receiving yards, TD, 12 rushing yards
Other WRs to start
- Jaylen Waddle vs. Giants
- Darnell Mooney vs. Cardinals
- Van Jefferson vs. Jaguars
Pat Freiermuth, Steelers
Since stepping into a bigger role in the Steelers' offense back in Week 6, Freiermuth is the TE4 overall in fantasy points per game.
The rookie has been remarkably consistent, too, with double-digit points in five of his six outings during that stretch.
There was some concern early in the week when Freiermuth was placed in concussion protocol, but he's made it through two full practices and appears to be on his way to getting cleared for Sunday's game against the Ravens.
Baltimore is the fourth easiest matchup for fantasy tight ends, so expect another top-12 performance from Freiermuth.
Boone's projection: 48 receiving yards, TD
Other TEs to start
- Dallas Goedert at Jets
- Logan Thomas at Raiders
- Tyler Higbee vs. Jaguars
Russell Wilson, Seahawks
Though Wilson showed some signs of life in last week's loss to Washington, it's clear he hasn't been himself since returning from finger surgery.
To make matters worse, the Seahawks and 49ers are both in the bottom half of the league in pace of play, which might explain why this game has one of the lowest projected point totals of the week at 45.5.
Playing Wilson in fantasy right now is like walking a tightrope in an ice storm. You might make it, but why on earth are you putting yourself in that position?
Let Russ prove he can cook again before you trust him in your lineup.
Boone's projection: 213 passing yards, TD, INT, 22 rushing yards
Other QBs to sit
- Mac Jones at Bills
- Ben Roethlisberger vs. Ravens
- Tyrod Taylor vs. Colts
Damien Harris, Patriots
The weather in Buffalo for this week's Monday nighter looks awful, which could grind these offenses to a halt and limit the scoring opportunities.
Since Harris is barely involved in the passing game, he's become a touchdown-dependent fantasy option.
Aside from a pair of monster rushing games given up to Derrick Henry and Jonathan Taylor, the Bills have been solid against the run this season and are getting defensive tackle Star Lotulelei back from the COVID-19 list.
Maybe Harris will fall into the end zone for you, but he's a very risky play in bad matchups.
Boone's projection: 43 rushing yards, 8 receiving yards
Other RBs to sit
- Matt Breida/Devin Singletary vs. Patriots
- Alex Collins vs. 49ers
- Tevin Coleman/Ty Johnson vs. Eagles
Kenny Golladay, Giants
Golladay hasn't found his groove since returning from a knee injury in Week 9.
The degree of difficulty could be cranked up a notch if Daniel Jones can't get cleared from his neck injury, which would force backup Mike Glennon into a starting role against a Dolphins defense that's tormented opponents lately.
The Giants may also get slot man Sterling Shepard back, potentially threatening Golladay's already fragile target share.
Unless you're desperate, there's no justifiable reason to use Golladay at the moment.
Boone's projection: 38 receiving yards
Other WRs to sit
- Courtland Sutton at Chiefs
- Marvin Jones/Laviska Shenault at Rams
- Emmanuel Sanders vs. Patriots
Noah Fant, Broncos
Fant has been held to 12 yards or less in two of his last three outings as he battles for targets in a loaded Broncos passing attack.
The Chiefs are a plus matchup for tight ends, but they've recently tightened up their defense to make this a tough spot to start Fant confidently.
Boone's projection: 34 receiving yards
Other TEs to sit
- Hunter Henry at Bills
- Gerald Everett vs. 49ers
- Jared Cook at Bengals
Samaje Perine, Bengals
So with bye weeks nearly over, you should be stashing as many upside backup RBs as possible. Perine would be next in line to take over lead back duties if Mixon got hurt, and he's somehow still available in the vast majority of leagues.
Jauan Jennings, 49ers
The 49ers tabbed Jennings (3% rostered) as the temporary No. 2 wideout until Deebo Samuel returns to action.
This is only a move for deeper leagues, but the 6-foot-3, 212-pound wideout has the potential to be an intriguing WR3/flex option during that time.
He gave us a glimpse of what could be when he caught two of his three targets for 24 yards and a score last week.
Hunter Henry, Patriots
We've mentioned Henry (74% rostered) as a sit several times in recent weeks, including earlier in this column.
The reality is that he's only topped 40 yards twice this year, so he's hurting your fantasy team when he doesn't find the end zone.
With so many young tight ends emerging this season, you should be able to do better than Henry, who has two difficult matchups with the Bills and a bye over his next four weeks.
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