Fantasy football: Biro’s Week 13 starters and benchwarmers
BY LADD BIRO Fantasy Fools November 29, 2013 10:02PM
Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton has a favorable matchup against a generous Chargers seconday. | Kiichiro Sato/AP
Updated: November 29, 2013 11:37PM
Wondering whether or not to start Marshawn Lynch and Brandon Marshall, or to bench Jacquizz Rodgers and Darrius Heyward-Bey? The network bozos specialize in that kind of advice. If you’re looking for help with your real starting lineup conundrums, read on.
Here are my picks to roll, and get rolled, in Week 13 of the 2013 season.
WATCH ’EM ROLL
Andy Dalton, QB, Bengals at Chargers. It’s all about the matchups with the up-and-down Red Rocket, so look for a stellar outing against San Diego’s generous secondary.
Though he’s been particularly susceptible to interceptions of late, the Chargers have only picked off opposing passers six times all season. With an extra week to prepare, Dalton and AJ Green should have their way with this porous pass defense.
Chris Johnson, RB, Titans at Colts. CJ1K got off to a great start against the Colts in Week 11, piling up most of his 86 yards and both TDs in the first quarter. Then he faded. But not as badly as Indy has since then. Johnson should excel on the indoor track and he might even treat us to a full 60 minutes of production.
Shane Vereen, RB, Patriots at Texans. Stevan Ridley keeps fumbling his way into his coach’s doghouse, while Vereen’s workload and production have grown steadily since his Week 11 return. Get the multi-purpose tailback in your lineup against the imploding Houston defense. If he doesn’t punch in a score on the ground, Vereen is a solid bet to take a swing pass the distance.
Alshon Jeffery, WR, Bears at Vikings. Starting your receivers against the Minnesota secondary is a bit like shooting fish in a barrel. Jeffery makes the decision easier now that he’s so frequently targeted by Josh McCown. Even better, the passing game won’t be disrupted by the elements.
Stevie Johnson, WR, Bills vs. Falcons. With his groin injury and the bye week behind him, Johnson is fully expected to suit up in Toronto for a tantalizing matchup with the vulnerable Atlanta secondary. Get him back in your lineup and enjoy the favorable returns.
More thumbs up (excluding the no-brainers): QBs Cam Newton, Nick Foles, Josh McCown, Eli Manning, Carson Palmer; RBs Andre Brown, Bilal Powell, Fred Jackson, Alfred Morris, Giovani Bernard, Rashard Mendenhall; WRs Josh Gordon, Michael Floyd, Harry Douglas, Riley Cooper, Antonio Brown, Mike Wallace, Brian Hartline.
ROLL ’EM BACK
Russell Wilson, QB, Seahawks vs. Saints. If you have a safer option this weekend, seriously consider sitting Wilson on Monday night. Though he’ll have the benefit of the rowdy home crowd, he’ll be hampered by a feisty Saints defense that has surrendered only 11 scoring passes all season. New Orleans also boasts a league-high 37 sacks, so Wilson’s effectiveness as a runner will also be compromised. Nasty weather is a possibility as well.
Knowshon Moreno, RB, Broncos at Chiefs. Moreno took a beating on Monday night but finally has returned to the practice field, albeit in a limited capacity. Though the team is hoping he’ll be ready to roll Sunday on his injured ankle, he could very well be on a snap count. Add in a tough opponent that held him to 79 rushing yards (without a score) in Week 11, and Moreno is a dicey start. Given the persistent fumbling issues of his backups, there’s no telling who would benefit most from Moreno’s limited workload or absence.
Andre Ellington, RB, Cardinals at Eagles. With Rashard Mendenhall seemingly back to full strength, Ellington’s fantasy star turn has fizzled in recent weeks. He’s even been unable to take advantage of favorable matchups, like this weekend’s tilt in Philly. It doesn’t help that Mendenhall is Arizona’s preferred goal-line horse and that Ellington apparently tweaked his knee in practice this week.
T.Y. Hilton, WR, Colts vs. Titans. Blame Andrew Luck’s funk. Blame Tennessee CB Alterraun Verner, who held Hilton to a paltry 44 receiving yards in Week 11. Blame Rio. Whatever the cause, Hilton is unlikely to break out of his two-game skid this weekend. You’ve been warned.
Andre Johnson, WR, Texans vs. Patriots. It’s hard to sit a receiver of AJ’s caliber, but it’s even harder to argue with his own assessment: “We suck as an offense.” Facing a surging New England defense that just clamped down impressively on Peyton Manning and his potent receiving corps, Case Keenum could be in big trouble this week. Which means Johnson could very well suck again.
More thumbs down: QBs Mike Glennon, Andrew Luck, Case Keenum; RBs Ryan Mathews, Lamar Miller, Bobby Rainey, Stevan Ridley, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Ben Tate, Mark Ingram, Steven Jackson, Benny Cunningham; WRs Steve Smith, Percy Harvin, Tavon Austin, Hakeem Nicks, Kenny Stills, Cecil Shorts, Tiquan Underwood, DeAndre Hopkins, Danny Amendola, Golden Tate, Lance Moore.
TAKING A FLIER
Donald Brown, RB, Colts vs. Titans. Brown was dreadful in Week 12 against the stout Cardinals run defense, which held him to minus-1 combined yards on the day. But the going gets easier when one of the NFL’s worst run defenses comes to town. Brown gashed this squad for 94 total yards and a pair of TDs two weeks ago. Meanwhile, Trent Richardson remains little more than a distraction.
DON’T BE THE BONEHEAD WHO… rushes to start the newly activated Michael Crabtree in his first game back on Sunday against the Rams. There’s little doubt he’ll be on a snap count in deference to his rehabbed Achilles, and it will surely take some time for the wideout and Colin Kaepernick to re-establish their mojo.