I usually start this article after all the games are done but the 1 o’clock games this Sunday were flat-out awesome, so I was eager to get an early start. All six games were within a score of taking the lead in the 4th quarter. This is what I call football. No one wants to watch a blowout, as the more stress the better it makes the game. It’s Week 13 now and this is where the games matter most. Let’s keep enjoying this game we love so much while we can. Time to set those lineups!
QB Sam Howell, Washington Commanders (Mia)
The Commanders are having another rough season but it’s safe to say they have found their QB of the future. In his last 5 games, Howell is averaging 318 yards a game. He also has 11 TDs during that span. Howell is currently the league leader in passing yards, attempts, and completions. All that being said he’s still available in almost 30 percent of leagues. The matchup is also in his favor with Miami being a bottom-10 unit against the pass on the year. I expect nothing less than a shootout on Sunday and that means he should be in your lineup.
RB Devin Singletary, Houston Texans (Den)
Over the last 3 contests, the Texans are making an effort to get the ball in Devin Singletary's hands. During that stretch of games, he’s touched the ball 67 times. Yes, that’s only over a three-game span. This last week he wasn’t nearly as effective on the ground but still managed to haul in a season-high 6 catches for 54 yards. Now the biggest reason for him being a lineup lock this week is the matchup. He’s going up against the worst run defense in the league. The Broncos have allowed a league-high 1700 yards on the ground at a staggering 5.5 yards per carry. Look for the Texans to continue feeding Singletary. Even with Dameon Pierce back in the lineup, Singletary should be getting all the 3rd down reps.
WR Brandin Cooks, Dallas Cowboys (Sea)
The Cowboys offense has finally started taking off and all the receivers are reaping the rewards. One of the main guys is Brandin Cooks. After a languid start to the year, QB Dak Prescott has really been spreading the ball around. In his last three games, Cooks has 16 catches for 287 yards and 2 TDs. Those are some WR1-type numbers. I have no doubt it will continue this week as he has another great matchup against another bottom-ten secondary in the Seahawks. Cooks should be in your lineup for the foreseeable future.
TE Taysom Hill, New Orleans Saints (Det)
We discussed Taysom Hill a few weeks ago and he’s still holding steady as a top-10 TE on the year. I know he can seem like a risky play but there is no reason he should still be available in almost 40 percent of leagues. In today's fantasy game, all TEs are risky except for a select few. Hill gives you that beautiful high ceiling. Since Week 6 he’s only been under six fantasy points once. That’s more than consistent enough to be in your lineup. He only had two catches this week (they went for 55 yards) but ran the ball 7 times. He’s a clear focal point in this offense and the floor is better than you’d think. He should be starting in all leagues.
Defense: Tennessee Titans (Ind)
The Titan's defense is a bottom-5 unit in fantasy this season. However, when we take a step back and look at their games they haven’t played as badly as we would think. They’ve only allowed one team to score 30 points or more on the season and have allowed 24 or fewer points in 9 games so far on the year. They are also coming off a solid showing against the Panthers, holding them to just 10 points. The Titans also have another great matchup this week against Gardner Minshew and the Colts, as Minshew has just 1 TD in his last 3 games. With Jonathan Taylor out this week due to surgery, the Titans are set to have a good day for fantasy lineups.
QB Geno Smith, Seattle Seahawks (@Dal)
Consistency and a high ceiling are two essential things you look for from a fantasy-relevant QB. Geno Smith has been everything but, and has been one of the few boom-or-bust options. He’s gone over 20 fantasy points just twice and has gotten under 10 points four times. It seems every time he has a tough matchup he’s falling way short. Smith has thrown for under 200 yards four times this year and could have a similar performance this week. The Cowboys are a top-5 unit against the pass and have forced the 2nd most interceptions on the year. Smith shouldn’t be near any lineups for Week 13.
RB Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals (@Jax)
With star QB Joe Burrow out for the season, you would think the Bengals would feed their star RB. That was not the case in Week 12. Joe Mixon had his worst game of the year with just 8 carries for 16 yards. With no 100-yard rushing performances and only two games with over 80 yards rushing, Mixon is currently nothing more than a TD-dependent RB. He’s also averaging just 42 rushing yards over his last four games. To make matters worse, he goes up against the Jags who have allowed the 2nd fewest rushing yards this season. Find a better option at RB for the week.
WR Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks (@Dal)
I promise I’m not picking on the Seahawks. I just really don’t think this is an offense you currently want to trust this late in the year. We already talked about the woes of Geno Smith, so obviously the WRs are feeling those effects too. Just like his QB, Tyler Lockett has been boom or bust, as he has just three games over 18 fantasy points and 5 games with fewer than 40 yards receiving. With an impending matchup against the Cowboys, it’s going to be another bust game this week. Dallas has been relentless in defending the pass and is a top-3 unit against WRs on the year. Stay away from the Seahawks this week.
TE Jonnu Smith, Atlanta Falcons (@NYJ)
At one point this season Jonnu Smith was flirting with top-5 TE territory. It hasn’t quite stayed that way since, with Smith being another boom-or-bust player. In Week 9, Smith had a 5 catch 100-yard performance. That was his second game over 90 yards on the year. The thing is the two games before Week 9 and the two games after, Smith combined for just 5 catches for 41 yards. Additionally, in his last two games, he had just 1 catch for 3 yards. The ceiling might be high but there is no floor. Better options at TE are available.
Defense: New Orleans Saints (@Det)
The Saints have been a borderline top-10 unit all season. Lately, though, they haven’t looked the part, as they’ve had just a combined 3 fantasy points in their last 2 games. They also don’t get a lot of sacks, failing to get more than 2 sacks in a game since Week 2. When starting them you are just hoping for a low-scoring game. I don’t see that happening with them playing the high-powered Lions offense this week. Find a steamer because the Saints shouldn’t be in your lineup in Week 13.