Week 13 Start'em/Sit'em

Wednesday, Dec 1, 2021 at 7:54 pm ET

This is the Fantasy Nerd's look at the best and worst matchups for Week 13 of the 2021 NFL season. Analysis is aggregated from multiple sources including FN. Rankings are based upon PPR (point per reception) scoring. Given the known conditions, these matchups are the ones to watch and/or avoid.

Please Note: This list does not generally include the elite players that you are going to start regardless of matchup. You don't need us to tell you to start Alvin Kamara, Travis Kelce, or Davante Adams. Instead, we take a look at other players on your team that we believe either have great matchups or should be avoided for multiple reasons. Factors like opposing defense, performance trending, and peer comparisons may influence our decisions.

Start 'em Kirk Cousins (MIN, QB)
Believe it or not, Kirk Cousins has been a Top 10 fantasy option this season. He's ranked inside our Top 10 this week facing a Lions defense that is average against the pass. Cousins is a low-end QB1 in this matchup.
12th Most Pts to QB
Start 'em Jalen Hurts (PHI, QB)
Last week was a bad week for many quarterbacks so don't let Hurts' 6.9 fantasy points shake you. He's been one of the most consistent QB's this season. While he only has four games with 200 or more passing yards, his rushing totals keep him in fantasy relevance. Assuming his ankle doesn't prevent him from playing, this is a great matchup.
UPDATE: Jalen Hurts will be inactive this week.
11th Most Pts to QB
Start 'em Alexander Mattison (MIN, RB)
Alexander Mattison has proven effective when playing in place of Dalvin Cook. He'll get that chance again this week in what should be an easy matchup for him. He racked up 26.3 points against Detroit back in Week 5 in a similar situation. He should be a high-end RB1 against the Lions.
5th Most Pts to RB
Start 'em Leonard Fournette (TB, RB)
4 touchdowns. You read that correct. Fournette turned in 4 touchdowns last week against the Colts. He's found a second life in Tampa Bay and that should continue this week against the Falcons who are giving up the 7th-most fantasy points to running backs this season.
7th Most Pts to RB
Start 'em Jamaal Williams (DET, RB)
This should be a run-heavy game from both teams. The Vikings have regularly allow double-digit days to opposing RBs including a whopping 27.8 points to Elijah Mitchell last week. With D'Andre Swift expected to miss this game, Williams should have all the work that he can handle.
9th Most Pts to RB
Start 'em Hunter Renfrow (LV, WR)
Hunter Renfrow is averaging more than seven targets per game and hauled in eight receptions last week while piling up 134 yards. That kind of volume warrants every week starting consideration. Assuming that TE Darren Waller is either out or limited, Renfrow could be in for another big day in a plus matchup.
4th Most Pts to WR
Start 'em Brandon Aiyuk (SF, WR)
He's not the most consistent player, but Brandon Aiyuk has a high ceiling this week. His big play making ability was on display last week when he turned three receptions into 91 yards. With Deebo Samuel sidelined, all eyes will be on Aiyuk even in a tougher matchup.
15th Most Pts to WR
Start 'em Brandin Cooks (HOU, WR)
Ranked 22nd this week, Brandin Cooks is the only positive fantasy play in what has been an awful Texans' offensive unit. When he faced the Colts back in Week 6, he went 9/89 and turned in a healthy 17.9 fantasy points. Double-digit production should be expected here.
6th Most Pts to WR
Start 'em Zach Ertz (ARI, TE)
This is a tough matchup, but Zach Ertz has been pretty solid since being traded to the Cardinals. He's turned in three touchdowns in those five games. The Bears have slipped a little recently surrendering an average of 16.3 fantasy points to tight ends over their last three games (Hockenson, Andrews, Freiermuth).
8th Fewest Pts to TE
Start 'em Rob Gronkowski (TB, TE)
We weren't sure what to expect from Gronk when he returned two weeks ago from multiple injuries that kept him out for six games. He has since turned in 32 fantasy points in those two games including 123 yards last week. While the Falcons will no doubt be focused on him, they'll have to contend with one of the best receiving corps in the league. Gronk put up 19.9 points when he faced them back in Week 2.
12th Fewest Pts to TE
Start 'em Philadelphia Eagles (PHI, DEF)
With rookie Zach Wilson back under center, it's the Eagles turn to pressure and batter him. The Jets are giving up the 6th-most fantasy points to D/ST on the season.
6th Most Pts to DEF
Start 'em Matt Gay (LAR, K)
One of the most consistent kickers in fantasy, Matt Gay regularly delivers at least 8 fantasy points. He'll have an opportunity to flirt with double-digit production against the Jaguars this week.
5th Most Pts to K
Sit 'em Ben Roethlisberger (PIT, QB)
Last week was ugly. The last time the Steelers lost that bad to the Bengals was back in the 80's. Roethlisberger was pressured all day and turned in a single-digit fantasy day. Guess what the Ravens are going to do? Yep. Nobody in the AFC blitzes more than Baltimore.
14th Most Pts to QB
Sit 'em Matt Ryan (ATL, QB)
When Matt Ryan faced the Bucs back in Week 2, he put up a respectable 16.3 points. He hasn't been able to put up that many points in his last three games...combined. Other than Pitts (and Patterson out of the backfield), the Falcons don't have enough legitimate weapons in the passing game to scare anyone.
11th Most Pts to QB
Sit 'em David Johnson (HOU, RB)
With byes and injuries hitting the RB position, David Johnson's name has popped back up as a streaming candidate. We're not buying it - especially against the Colts. Although Leonard Fournette tore them up for 44 points last week, they've largely kept opposing running backs in check...including David Johnson who managed just 1 point against them back in Week 6.
5th Fewest Pts to RB
Sit 'em Matt Breida (BUF, RB)
With three touchdowns in his last three games, Matt Breida has earned a role on this team; however, that doesn't mean that he's startable as anything but a very low-end flex option against a Patriots defense that has been solid against the run this year.
14th Most Pts to RB
Sit 'em Mike Davis (ATL, RB)
Mike Davis has been ineffective this season averaging just 3.2 yards per carry and 7.9 fantasy points. With Cordarrelle Patterson back, Davis will once again take a backseat to the dynamic play maker and share duties with Wayne Gallman. He's not even a flex option any longer.
9th Fewest Pts to RB
Sit 'em T.Y. Hilton (IND, WR)
Last week, T.Y. Hilton found the endzone for the first time this season. He also put up a respectable 12 fantasy points against the Texans back in Week 6. While he might be able to reproduce that stat line this week, we're not counting on it. Hilton has averaged just 2.2 catches in the five games that he's played this year. There's very little chance of him returning to fantasy glory.
11th Most Pts to WR
Sit 'em Kadarius Toney (NYG, WR)
Kadarius Toney ended up not playing last week as he deals with a quad injury. As talented and dynamic as he is, he's a difficult option to trust given his inconsistency and his wildly inconsistent usage. Is this going to be a game where he sees one target or ten? Unless the Giants get him the ball frequently, he's going to continue to frustrate fantasy owners.
3rd Most Pts to WR
Sit 'em Allen Robinson (CHI, WR)
With the bye week included, Allen Robinson has had three weeks to heal up from his hamstring issue. That being said, even if he does suit up, he's just not reliable enough at this point to consider in fantasy lineups. He hasn't had more than four receptions since Week 1 and hasn't topped more than 10 points all year. It's OK to drop Robinson at this point if you need the roster spot.
9th Fewest Pts to WR
Sit 'em Hunter Henry (NE, TE)
Hunter Henry has become touchdown-dependent. He hasn't topped more than 37 yards since Week 5 and has been kept out of the endzone the past two weeks. A brutal matchup with the Bills is not likely to change that situation for him.
4th Fewest Pts to TE
Sit 'em Gerald Everett (SEA, TE)
With 21 targets in his last three games, Gerald Everett is becoming much involved in the passing game. In fact, he's had more targets in his last three games than the rest of the games this season combined. Don't be surprised if he struggles in this one though as the Niners give up the 3rd-fewest fantasy points to the position.
3rd Fewest Pts to TE
Sit 'em Seattle Seahawks (SEA, DEF)
It's safe to say that the Legion of Boom is no longer alive and well. While still talented, the Seattle defense has had trouble stopping the ground game which is exactly what San Francisco is going to bring in this one.
15th Fewest Pts to DEF
Sit 'em Younghoe Koo (ATL, K)
When the Atlanta offense is humming, Younghoe Koo has been able to put up reliable numbers. The problem is that the offense isn't humming and Koo has failed to even attempt more than one field goal in his last three games. There are better streaming options out there.
15th Fewest Pts to K

Join the Discussion

If asking a sit/start question, be sure to provide your scoring format and contribute to answering questions from other FN members as well.

Eric J Welle CommentedDec 1, 2021 8:39 pm

With the flex position I'm going to start three running backs this week. I can't believe I'm going to actually ask this but am I crazy for considering benching Zeke Elliot vs the tough Saints run defense? 2 of the running backs are no brainer's in Jonathan Taylor and Elijah Mitchell, but I am thinking about starting Jamal Williams (if Swift is out obviously) in place of Elliott. I should add because it could influence someone's advice that my starting quarterback is probably going to be Dak because that N.O pass defense has been trash recently. Am I trying to get too cute and overthinking this or is Williams over Elliot a legitimate option this week? Thank you in advance!

Nerd CommentedDec 2, 2021 8:49 am

I don't expect Swift to play. Do I think it's a crazy idea? Nope - not at all. In PPR, I think it's probably a coin flip here. Zeke has the safer floor in my opinion albeit in a tougher matchup. Williams has the more favorable matchup. He could have a great day, but I'm still old school in that I would start Zeke. Good luck!

jamisdiablo CommentedDec 2, 2021 4:22 pm

All that said, it's Zeke for me too... Lions may have to pass all day to keep up with the Vikings... Dallas should be leading the Saints all night tonight... I'd be more worried about Pollard stealing touches in garbage time though... tough call for sure, but I'm still with NERD here. GL!

mrock CommentedDec 2, 2021 6:42 pm

I would play Elliott as well.

jamisdiablo CommentedDec 3, 2021 12:36 pm

well that didn't go as expected! lol

Nerd CommentedDec 4, 2021 10:24 am

I was thinking of you during the game. I also started Zeke in a league and was wildly disappointed. There's some work to do in that Dallas offense.

I hate getting a recommendation wrong. Bugs me more than when I make a bad lineup decision for myself. So there's that...

Toph CommentedDec 2, 2021 12:00 am

Great question, I'm in the same situation regarding Zeke. Starting Harris and Gibson at RB, was thinking about flexing Zeke. My other options are Jamal Williams, Brandin Cooks and Pollard full PPR. Any advice would be appreciated thanks much!

Nerd CommentedDec 2, 2021 9:42 am

Same response as above. I think Williams could ultimately have the better day, but Zeke still feels like the safer pick. I believe our rankings have Williams over him but it's close. Good luck!

jamisdiablo CommentedDec 2, 2021 4:22 pm

Zeke for me...

mrock CommentedDec 2, 2021 6:42 pm


suicide watch CommentedDec 2, 2021 12:21 am

I am staying away from him this week also....Pollard's week I believe !!

jamisdiablo CommentedDec 3, 2021 12:36 pm

nice call

flipdunk CommentedDec 2, 2021 12:07 pm

trying to fill my flex in ppr league....beckham, christian kirk, or jerry jeudy?? any ideas??

jamisdiablo CommentedDec 2, 2021 4:24 pm

jeudy for me, that could be a back and forth game while the other WRs you have should be in blowouts that result in more run game fun than air yards...

flipdunk CommentedDec 2, 2021 12:07 pm

trying to fill my flex in ppr league....beckham, christian kirk, or jerry jeudy?? any ideas??

Nerd CommentedDec 2, 2021 12:34 pm

It's close. The Broncos rely heavily on the run but Jeudy is a solid WR3/flex option there. That being said, I think Beckham probably has the most upside. I'd probably roll with Beckham but I don't feel good about it if that makes sense. Good luck!

jamisdiablo CommentedDec 2, 2021 4:25 pm

don't you dare chase those beckham points! it's ova! lol

mrock CommentedDec 2, 2021 6:43 pm

I think Jerry Jeudy will do better than those guys

Timothy Paul Martinez Jr CommentedDec 2, 2021 1:30 pm

I have the same situation with Zeke Elliott. I have plenty of options at RB for starting this week. Right now, I am starting Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Devonta Freeman, and Boston Scott while benching Zeke and David Montgomery. Any advice would help. Thanks.

jamisdiablo CommentedDec 2, 2021 4:26 pm

Benching Zeke for CEH is nutz. just my $.02. Zeke, Scott, Montgomery in that order for me...

mrock CommentedDec 2, 2021 6:44 pm

Yeah I don't know that I would bench Elliott there either

jamisdiablo CommentedDec 3, 2021 12:37 pm

dallas now has a RBBC, be cautious ROS

jamisdiablo CommentedDec 2, 2021 4:30 pm

No reco to start Foster Moreau? I have Waller and feel great about my TE handcuff this week! LOL!

And I have to say, stay the heck away from anything Philly except maybe their WR1. I started the defense and kicker last week thinking they'd handle the hapless and banged up G-Men. Nope, couldn't do it. I bet the Just End The Season team wins... ;)

mrock CommentedDec 2, 2021 6:45 pm

I have the Jets D so my fingers are crossed. Zach Wilson is not ready to be an NFL quarterback.

Nerd CommentedDec 4, 2021 10:25 am

Love the Moreau play there. Great handcuff. Let's see how he does.

mrock CommentedDec 2, 2021 6:46 pm

PPR - James Robinson or Javonte Williams?

Nerd CommentedDec 4, 2021 10:25 am

With Melvin Gordon doubtful, it's easily Javonte Williams for me.Good luck!

jamisdiablo CommentedDec 3, 2021 12:38 pm

Denver gonna let Javonte run wild this week I think! (Or at least they should, time to see just what they've got in their shiny new toy)

deibs81 CommentedDec 4, 2021 12:09 pm

Need 2 of these 3 RBs in Full PPR league this week. James Conner, Javonte Williams, Jamaal Williams. Thanks!

Nerd CommentedDec 4, 2021 12:10 pm

I like Conner and Javonte
Good luck!

mrock CommentedDec 5, 2021 11:48 am

What he said

jamisdiablo CommentedDec 5, 2021 11:53 am

/ \

OldGeezer CommentedDec 4, 2021 12:16 pm

Still battling for a playoff spot as WR's have been letting me down. Need to start 2 of these 4. C Godwin, DK Metcalf, B Aiyuk, and E Moore. Secondly would you start D Montgomery over the remaining to WR's in the flex spot. Half PPR. Thanks for your input.

Nerd CommentedDec 4, 2021 12:20 pm

Chris Godwin is the only must-start for me out of that list. I'd probably pair him with Aiyuk (no Deebo and frankly Metcalf has been very disappointing). I'd still play Montgomery in the flex.
Good luck!

mrock CommentedDec 5, 2021 11:49 am

Aiyuk has averaged more than 20 points when Deebo isn't playing so you basically have to start Aiyuk

jamisdiablo CommentedDec 5, 2021 11:51 am

Godwin, Metcalf and Aiyuk for me... not sure how much CHI will use Monty or not while Aiyuk may get a ton of run today with Deebo out... touch call though.

Dub1DMan CommentedDec 5, 2021 9:23 am

Trying to decide...Josh Allen against a tough NE defense or Kyler Murray possibly playing?

Nerd CommentedDec 5, 2021 10:36 am

It looks like Kyler Murray is going to play, but I'd still start Allen even in a more difficult matchup. Good luck!

mrock CommentedDec 5, 2021 11:48 am

not a bad problem to have

jamisdiablo CommentedDec 5, 2021 11:49 am

Murray if he starts, may be very windy in Buffalo...?

jamisdiablo CommentedDec 5, 2021 11:42 am

Full PT PPR league, BCooks over EMoore, right?

Nerd CommentedDec 5, 2021 11:46 am


jamisdiablo CommentedDec 5, 2021 11:49 am


deibs81 CommentedDec 5, 2021 11:59 am

Full PPR. Hopkins or Mooney at WR? Leaning toward Mooney due to Hopkins returning from the hamstring injury and potentially being "limited". Thanks for your input!

Nerd CommentedDec 5, 2021 12:02 pm

Mooney is probably the safer pick (no Allen Robinson today - not that he's been super involved), but I would take the risk with Hopkins.

jamisdiablo CommentedDec 5, 2021 12:16 pm

Mooney for for, UNLESS DHop AND Kyler play... then I'm going DHop!

jamisdiablo CommentedDec 5, 2021 12:17 pm

Asking for a family member (thank god!), standard league... Beasly or Breida in the flex? Thanks!

Nerd CommentedDec 5, 2021 12:45 pm

Breida in std

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