Week 13 - Players to Start and Sit

Wednesday, Nov 29, 2023 at 9:58 pm ET

This is the Fantasy Nerd's look at the best and worst matchups for Week 13 of the 2023 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 Tyreek Hill, Patrick Mahomes, or Christian McCaffrey. 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 Brock Purdy (SF, QB)
We saw Brock Purdy fail to throw multiple touchdowns after throwing three in the previous two games. Look for Purdy to bounce back from his 10.5 fantasy performance last week when the Niners take on the Eagles who are giving up the second-most fantasy points.
2nd Most Pts to QB
Start 'em Kyler Murray (ARI, QB)
The matchup isn't great, but since returning to action, Murray has averaged a solid 19.8 fantasy points per game. He also has a rushing score in each of these games. The Steelers have been pretty solid this year against QBs, and given the fact that six teams are on bye this week, Murray is more like a low-end QB1 or high-end QB2.
8th Fewest Pts to QB
Start 'em Kyren Williams (LAR, RB)
We had Kyren Williams on our Start list last week in his first game back and he certainly did not disappoint racking up 143 yards on the ground, nabbed six catches for 61 yards and two touchdowns. We did not see any adverse issues with the ankle injury that kept him out since Week 6 so it's full steam ahead. He won't put up another 38 fantasy points, but he's clearly back to RB1 status.
11th Fewest Pts to RB
Start 'em Zack Moss (IND, RB)
With Jonathan Taylor set to miss the next few weeks with thumb surgery, we'll see Zack Moss in the backfield once again. When JT was out this season, Moss averaged 21 touches and 106 yards per game. It won't be easy to deliver those numbers against the Titans, but the workload will be there to keep him in the RB2 discussion.
9th Fewest Pts to RB
Start 'em Tank Dell (HOU, WR)
Whether we're talking about Tank Dell or Nico Collins, both warrant starting consideration even in a bad matchup. C.J. Stroud is playing well beyond expectations and he's making Dell and Collins look like superstars. He's had four straight games with at least one touchdown, and while we certainly wouldn't guarantee a score against this defense, Dell and Collins should still deliver WR1/WR2 numbers.
5th Fewest Pts to WR
Start 'em Adam Thielen (CAR, WR)
Last week's game was Thielen's worst of the year (lowest number of targets since Week 1), but we anticipate a nice bounce back against a soft Tampa Bay secondary that is giving up the fourth-most fantasy points to the position this season.
4th Most Pts to WR
Start 'em Dalton Schultz (HOU, TE)
One catch for two yards was not what fantasy owners were expecting last week from Dalton Schultz. Still, the versatile TE has the opportunity for a great bounce back game against a very soft Denver defense that has given up more fantasy points to tight ends this year than any other defense. Look for Schultz to be a top option for Week 13.
UPDATE: Dalton Schultz has been ruled OUT for Week 13.
Most pts to TE
Start 'em Tampa Bay Buccaneers (TB, DEF)
This should be an interesting game. The Panthers have fired their head coach and promoted their special teams coach in the interim. OC Thomas Brown will be calling the plays, but unless Carolina suddenly changes radically, the Bucs are likely to keep them in check. Tampa Bay is our top-rated DST for Week 13.
4th Most Pts to DEF
Start 'em Younghoe Koo (ATL, K)
We're not expecting very much from the Falcons offense, but one guy that you can stream confidently is Younghoe Koo. While Koo has been limited to just one field goal attempt in his last two games, that should change this week. The Jets have been very generous to kickers this year including four straight games of double digits.
3rd Most Pts to K
Sit 'em Geno Smith (SEA, QB)
Geno Smith's woes will likely continue this week. Smith has averaged just 10 fantasy points over the last two weeks including a disastrous performance last week. Dallas is likely to overwhelm him with pressure. The Cowboys are giving up the 2nd-fewest passing yards and 10th-fewest fantasy points to QBs.
10th Fewest Pts to QB
Sit 'em Baker Mayfield (TB, QB)
Baker Mayfield missed a couple of plays last week with an apparent ankle injury. He returned to the game and tossed two scores, but ball control was an issue as he lost a fumble and threw a pick. He'll likely play through the ankle issue, but the injury combined with a very tough matchup (Carolina gives up the 5th-fewest fantasy points) makes Baker a sit for us.
5th Fewest Pts to QB
Sit 'em Jerome Ford (CLE, RB)
The matchup is ugly. The QB situation in Cleveland is ugly. There's not much to get excited about here. Defenses no longer respect the passing game which means that they can stack the box. Add to this the fact that the Browns are likely to be playing from behind and we can't be confident in the workload that Ford will see. After all, he was given just nine carries last week, and although he was targeted in the passing game, his production will likely be ugly. He may not warrant RB1/RB2 status, but he could still prove useful in the flex spot.
6th Fewest Pts to RB
Sit 'em Aaron Jones (GB, RB)
It's likely that the Packers will be playing from behind on Sunday night; however, that doesn't mean that Aaron Jones automatically belongs in our lineups. Jones has just two games with double digits and has been an overall disappointment given where fantasy managers drafted him. The Chiefs can be run on. Josh Jacobs proved that last week when he delivered 22.5 points and D'Andre Swift delivered 19.7 points the week before. Unfortunately, an injured Aaron Jones isn't in the same league.
15th Fewest Pts to RB
Sit 'em Cooper Kupp (LAR, WR)
A Fantasy Nerds user posted an interesting sit/start question last week. Should he start Tank Dell over Cooper Kupp. If he had asked that question at the start of the season, Kupp would have been an automatic start, but in Week 12, Tank Dell outperformed Kupp yet again. It's not as crazy as you might think. Kupp has five straight games of less than seven points. Having said that, we don't want to overlook Kupp's potential as he has the potential to go off at any moment...even against a brutal defense like the Browns. Still, Kupp is no more than a WR3/Flex option despite what the Fantasy Nerds rankings say.
2nd Fewest Pts to WR
Sit 'em Drake London (ATL, WR)
Drake London looked just fine last week delivering a solid 14 fantasy points which was more than he has delivered in the previous four games. We're anticipating single digits this week when he faces the NY Jets. Nobody is more stingy with fantasy points than the Jets. The only players to deliver decent days against them have been the elite guys (Tyreek Hill, Keenan Allen, Davante Adams, A.J. Brown, CeeDee Lamb, and Stefon Diggs). London is obviously not in that company. He's a risky play against New York.
Feweset Pts to WR
Sit 'em Tyler Higbee (LAR, TE)
Tyler Higbee's first touchdown of the season came last week. He followed that up with his second touchdown of the season, but don't expect a repeat in Week 13 when the Rams take on the Browns. Nobody gives up fewer fantasy points to tight ends this year than Cleveland. We fully expect Higbee to return to his normal form.
Feweset Pts to TE
Sit 'em Philadelphia Eagles (PHI, DEF)
The Eagles defense is going to be challenged this week to try and contain Christian McCaffrey - something that really no other defense has been able to accomplish this season. Focusing on CMC leaves Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, and George Kittle moving the ball through the air. San Francisco is too tough to contain leaving fantasy managers to stream another defense.
2nd Fewest Pts to DEF
Sit 'em Jake Elliott (PHI, K)
Jake Elliott hasn't had multiple field goals in any game since Week 5. His luck isn't likely to change against the Niners who are giving up the 7th-fewest fantasy points to kickers on the season.
7th 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.

jamisdiablo CommentedNov 30, 2023 8:32 am

so based on this it’s purdy over stroud this week to make the playoffs right? who would you trust more in a flex spot up for grabs… PPR… NBrown, CSutton or DAchane? thx!

Nerd CommentedNov 30, 2023 2:26 pm

I would still start Stroud over Purdy. I like Achane in the flex but I feel like Sutton will be the safer play.

RogueRaider CommentedNov 30, 2023 8:52 am

Not sure I would trust Purdy in Phillie, outside, potential for bad weather, that compared to Stroud at home in the dome.
With Woods' status in question, toss up between Sutton and Brown IMO.

jamisdiablo CommentedNov 30, 2023 11:54 am

thanks, all good points... Brown ain't guaranteed to play either... which could make me lean more Purdy's way as well! UGH

Ed Chan CommentedNov 30, 2023 1:46 pm

Got 4 WRs - Cupp, Cooks, Pittman and N. Brown. Pittman seems to be the only viable must-start this week. Based on the above analysis, should sit Cupp and start Cooks? Brown is still questionable. Dotson and Godwin are available on waivers. Should I consider picking one (or both) of them up?

jamisdiablo CommentedNov 30, 2023 1:55 pm

Pittman, Cupp and Godwin for me. thx

Nerd CommentedNov 30, 2023 2:31 pm

I'd put them in this order: Pittman, Cupp, Cooks, Brown
If you can pickup Godwin, I'd put him in between Cupp and Cooks.

As I'm typing this, I realize that I could have saved us all time by just saying "what jamisdiablo said".

Good luck!

yuh CommentedNov 30, 2023 4:57 pm

Pick 2.
1/2 ppr
Lockett, Cooper, Hubbard


Nerd CommentedNov 30, 2023 5:27 pm

I think it's Kupp -> Lockett -> Hubbard

jamisdiablo CommentedDec 3, 2023 10:46 am

agree with nerd

yuh CommentedNov 30, 2023 6:06 pm

Amari Cooper, not Kupp

Nerd CommentedNov 30, 2023 6:43 pm

I kind of like Hubbard and Lockett there.

yuh CommentedNov 30, 2023 7:48 pm


Cobras2015 CommentedDec 1, 2023 9:13 am

Nice call on Geno Smith

Nerd CommentedDec 1, 2023 9:36 am

You are right. Geno played incredible last night. He outperformed his projections and expectations (3x the projected TDs and about 100 yards more through the air). We (and certainly I) got that wrong. I didn't expect him to do so well against Dallas.

jamisdiablo CommentedDec 1, 2023 10:18 am

where and what was your prediction?? go be a hater somewhere else.

Nerd CommentedDec 1, 2023 10:51 am

No worries. I wrote the analysis and will own it when it's wrong.

Weighted Consensus Projections are published here: https://www.fantasynerds.com/nfl/weekly-projections

Here's what we had for Geno
Projected: 228.4 passing yards
Actual: 334 passing yards

Projected: 1.3 touchdowns
Actual: 3 touchdowns

He outperformed his projections. It happens. Everyone is always more accurate and critical after the game is played than it is before the game starts. That's the nature of the beast and it's part of this wonderful world of fantasy football.

mrock CommentedDec 2, 2023 11:02 am

I didn't start Geno Smith in my league. Not because he was on the sit list here but because he wasn't expected to do much. Seriously. In both my Yahoo and ESPN leagues, he was projected for way lower. Your comment would have been better if you said it BEFORE the game. Everyone's perfect after the game is already played. Dude.

Ed Chan CommentedDec 3, 2023 1:01 pm

My opponent has over 88 points already with Geno, DK, Lockett and Charbonnet all playing well. I don't know how he has the Seahawks' 4 major players. I don't know how I'm going to win this week!

Hinzie22 CommentedDec 2, 2023 10:03 pm

Bye week issues. Would you start Tajae Spears or D’ernest Johnson? .5 ppr. Thanks!

Nerd CommentedDec 3, 2023 8:14 am

Spears. Good luck!

jamisdiablo CommentedDec 3, 2023 10:46 am


jamisdiablo CommentedDec 3, 2023 10:51 am

I know you have Purdy in your start list... I have the same 'ol dilemma now since I was unable to move a QB before the trade deadline... PPR - Pick: Purdy or Stroud; Pick 2 from: Achane (risky back from injury), Swift (touch matchup), Brown (back from injury), Sutton (kind of hard to trust?). THanks!

Nerd CommentedDec 3, 2023 11:00 am

Would still start Stroud - tough to bench him.

For me, it's Swift -> Sutton -> Achane -> Hollywood

Could switch out Sutton for Achane if you're comfortable with the risk.

Good luck!

jamisdiablo CommentedDec 3, 2023 11:34 am

sorry, No ah Brown from the texans not doc holiday… lol. change anything? thx again and good luck this week yall!!

Nerd CommentedDec 3, 2023 12:23 pm

Doesn't change it for me, but of course he's guaranteed to go off now...
Good luck!

spittdogg CommentedDec 3, 2023 11:56 am

PPR league - J Warren or D Achane?

Nerd CommentedDec 3, 2023 12:24 pm

Warren is the safer play here. Achane is the homerun if you're comfortable with the risk.

jamisdiablo CommentedDec 4, 2023 1:57 pm

sutton paid off, as did achane (on my bench)... played stroud over purdy (wrong) but played sutton over NBrown, so all good. Between Deebo, Pacheco, McBride and Sutton I won; despite Swift and Rice being near noshows. lol good luck to those still competing tonight!

Greg Goldman CommentedDec 5, 2023 1:19 am

Sport experts have no clue based on this week projections and results.

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