Week 13 Startability Index (Start ‘Em/Sit ‘Em)

There are many tense moments which make fantasy football so addictive. One of them is when your fantasy season comes down to this all-important in-or-out week.  It may be Week 13 in the “real” NFL world, but this it is fantasy’s Week 17.

You may be like me and simply need a win for a playoff berth. (If you’re really like me your anxiety is heightened by the fact that your husband is sitting atop the standings with a bye and all you want to do is be the scrappy wild-card team that e sends him and his absurd fantasy cockiness to their doom. Don’t get me wrong, I love my husband, but “RGIIIPO” can suck it! )

Whatever your scenario, this week is huge, the most important moment since the draft.  With that in mind I present to you a more robust than usual Startability Index. I have tried to cover every single one of your individual player requests, many of which were crossovers. If there is anyone you don’t see that you’d like a Startabiliy score for, please request and I will add. And if you are debating between two guys with the same score and you’d like my tie-breaking opinion, please request that as well.

Wishing you an extra dose of good luck this week!


Joe Flacco vs. Pittsburgh (4): The Steelers have not allowed a passer to eclipse even the 200-yard mark since Week 6 (which, of course, includes Flacco in Week 12). We know home Flacco is significantly better than road Flacco, but the Steelers are just too dominant to have any real expectations out of him.

Robert Griffin III vs. New York Giants (9): RG3 has thrown eight touchdowns in his last two games. If he can avoid the Giants pass rush (which he can), look for another big fantasy day. The still weak Giants secondary allowed Andy Dalton to throw four touchdowns in Week 10.

Colin Kaepernick at St. Louis (6): Kaepernick has all the tools to be an elite fantasy quarterback, but he’s not there just yet.  With all his explosiveness it seems like his numbers should be even better than 474 yards and 3 TDs he’s put up in his two games as a starter. He has a decent shot at improving this week.

Philip Rivers vs. Cincinnati (5): Rivers has put up six touchdowns over the last three games, and will likely get a high number of attempts. But the Bengals boast an elite secondary that has not allowed a 300-yard passer since Week 3.

Matt Ryan vs. New Orleans (10): I don’t throw tens around easily, but let’s look back to Ryan’s Week 10 performance against the Saints. 411 yards, 3 TDs. And that game was on the road. Need I say more?

Running Backs

Vick Ballard at Detroit (4) Ballard gained only 41 yards last week against the Bills and seems to be locked in a rotational situation with Donald Brown. He also has yet to score. Not a fan of starting him at Ford Field.

Bryce Brown at Dallas (6): Brown will not put up 178 yards again. In fact, I believe he’ll run a little more cautiously given his two fumbles on Monday night. However, this kid is a skilled back and has a decent matchup against a Cowboys front that has allowed 90-plus yard games from Trent Richardson and Alfred Morris the last two weeks.

Michael Bush vs. Seattle (4): Bush gets this number with the assumption that Matt Forte plays. It’s a loose assumption but Forte has practiced and supposedly looked fine. Even if Forte plays Bush will still be utilized for 3rd downs, goal line plays and general relief. But beware: the Seahawks have only allowed seven rushing touchdowns.

Marcel Reece vs. Cleveland (7): Reese has been a consistent producer since assuming the starter role three weeks ago. Owners have to be happy with his combined yardage numbers, which have topped the 100-yard mark all three weeks. Reese is also a solid receiver, and has amassed over 90 yards in two of his last four games. If only he could add a rushing touchdown to the mix!

Stevan Ridley at Miami (6): With a touchdown in each of his last four games, Ridley is officially fantasy reliable. He will probably carry the ball his usual 15-20 times. But beware of the Dolphins front, which completely shut down Marshawn Lynch last week (46 yards).  I still think the Patriots tire them out and Ridley ekes out a respectable day.

Jacquizz Rodgers vs. New Orleans (5): Like most teams, the Falcons running game matches up well against the Saints. Rodgers is still netting less carries than Michael Turner, but I could see him garnering enough to land in the 60-75 yard range in this one.

Beanie Wells at New York Jets (7): Wells made splashy return with two touchdowns last week.  There is not reason why he would not continue to carry to load, which is good news given his matchup.  The Jets allowed 152 yards and two touchdowns on the ground to the Patriots on Thanksgiving.

Wide Receivers

Justin Blackmon at Buffalo (6): Like teammates Marcedes Lewis and Cecil Shorts, Blackmon is thriving under the Chad Henne offense. It won’t be easy for Blackmon to add to his two-game touchdown streak – the Bills have only allowed four passing touchdowns over the past three weeks (and that includes a Tom Brady game.)

Ryan Broyles vs. Indianapolis (7): Titus Young’s one-game suspension was Broyles gain, as he busted out for 126 yards last week.  The most exciting part was Broyles’ TWELVE targets Young’s Week 13 status is unknown but either way Broyles should start and have a good game against a middle-of-the-pack Colts secondary.

Victor Cruz at Washington (8): When Cruz faced the Redskins early in the season, he amassed 131 yards and a long touchdown. While that was home and this is the road, the Redskins secondary has not improved.

Eric Decker vs. Tampa Bay (8): The frequency of Decker’s touchdown dances have diminished the past two weeks, but he is still a top target for Manning. Specifically Decker was targeted eight times last week (although he only caught half.) Decker gets a high number this week because the Bucs are dead last in pass defense and the Broncos are going for a division clinch, and will likely not be conservative.

T.Y. Hilton at Detroit (6): Hilton is explosive and has scored four times in the last four games. Facing a Lions secondary that has allowed 17 receiving touchdowns, look for another from this Andrew Luck red zone favorite.

James Jones vs. Minnesota (3): Thanks for the midseason success, James Jones, but now it’s time to say goodbye. Jones was held without a catch last week. Greg Jennings is set to return Sunday. And Aaron Rodgers has less and less time to throw each week. We need to see Jones’ targets rise before safely considering him again.

Wes Welker at Miami (7): Given that the Patriots have scored 109 points the last two weeks, Welker’s 151 yards and 1 TD are disappointing.  But as long as he reels in the usual 6-10 receptions, Welker will produce a solid fantasy day.

Tight Ends

Vernon Davis at St. Louis (5): I have no idea what to say about Davis. Two weeks ago the handcuffs were unlocked (83 yds, 1 TD) and Colin Kaepernick was suddenly Tom Brady-esque in Davis’ mind. Last week he got nothing, and Alex Smith was “the man” again.  The Rams defense has improved but it’s impossible to give sound advice on Davis given the inconsistency of Jim Harbaugh’s playbook. Ultimate high risk, high reward play.

Marcedes Lewis at Buffalo (7): There is no doubt Lewis is thriving with Chad Henne under center. In the past two weeks Lewis has 96 yards and two touchdowns.  Expect continued efficiency against the Bills.