It’s crunch time with playoff scenarios starting to take shape
NFL Week 13 kicks off in an exciting fashion when the 10-1 New Orleans Saints travel to Dallas to face a Cowboys’ squad sporting three consecutive wins.
Following this contest, the remainder of the 32 NFL teams will take to the field for the first time since Week 3. The bye weeks are a thing of the past, and now it is crunch time with playoff scenarios starting to take shape.
Is it too late for the Green Bay Packers to turn their season around? Will quarterback Aaron Rodgers fail to deliver the goods again against his next opponent?
On the AFC side, the Denver Broncos have been sneaking away with some surprising upset wins.
We think the winning continues as we share our stud and dud predictions for NFL Week 13.
Stud: Derek Carr, quarterback, Oakland Raiders
The Raiders’ season is in the toilet. But, that doesn’t mean that Carr won’t have a bounce-back personal performance in Week 13. Carr has a home matchup against a very friendly Kansas City Chiefs defense. This defense often makes its opposing quarterbacks look like rock stars. Carr should rise to the occasion, considering the Chiefs have allowed a league-high average of 297 passing yards per contest. Surely, the Raiders are going to have to pass a ton to keep up with that electric Kansas City offense, right?
Dud: Alvin Kamara, running back, New Orleans Saints
With the way the Saints spread the ball around, there is no guarantee Kamara has one of his spectacular performances when he faces the Cowboys. This game takes place on the road and against a Cowboys defense that has yielded only three touchdowns to opposing running backs in its last four games. Furthermore, the ‘Boys have permitted only 107.5 combined yards to running backs on average during this span. With Ingram sharing touches and Taysom Hill stealing plays, Kamara is no lock to perform off the charts.
Stud: Logan Ryan, cornerback, Tennessee Titans
Ryan led the Titans with a whopping 11 combined tackles in Monday’s loss to Houston. This marked his season-high. In Week 13, Ryan should continue to pile up the tackles and perhaps snag his first interception on the season playing a vulnerable New York Jets offense.
This would especially be the case if mistake-prone quarterback Sam Darnold makes his way back under center. Even if that’s not the case, New York’s offense should be a breeding ground for Ryan and the Titans’ defense to create all kinds of obstacles.
Dud: Jordan Reed, tight end, Washington Redskins
Reed has been quite productive over his past two games, catching 13-of-19 targets for 146 yards and one touchdown. This production stands to take a hit when his Redskins head to Philly to play the Eagles. Philadelphia has surrendered only two touchdowns all season to opposing tight ends and a mere 41 yards on average per game. Quarterback Colt McCoy would be wise to lean on other options in this particular showdown.
Stud: Case Keenum, quarterback, Denver Broncos
Say what? Keenum should benefit tremendously in Week 13 playing against a bad-to-the-bone Cincinnati Bengals. Struggling on offense and equally as awful on defense, the Bengals have allowed 25 passing touchdowns on the season as well as a 67.3 pass completion rate.
This also comes along with Cincinnati’s defense yielding the second-most passing yards per game. The Broncos’ defense could easily force mistakes, giving Keenum and Co. plenty of sweet short field opportunities.
Dud: Saquon Barkley, running back, New York Giants
Barkley has been on overdrive his past two contests, tallying 294 total yards and five touchdowns. Whew! But, the rookie stands to perhaps have a setback next facing the Chicago Bears. Chicago’s suffocating pass rush could easily trip up quarterback Eli Manning’s efforts to keep his offense on the field, which would in turn impact Barkley’s performance. Plus, the Bears have allowed only 3.6 yards per carry on average and a mere seven total running back touchdowns. Maybe Barkley will prove this prediction wrong.
Stud: Matt Judon, linebacker, Baltimore Ravens
This third-year linebacker was all kinds of entertaining to watch, producing three sacks and five combined tackles against the Raiders last week. Now, Judon stands to build on his sack count facing one of the most sacked quarterbacks in the league.
That would be Atlanta Falcons signal caller Matt Ryan. Ryan has endured a ridiculous 33 sacks in 11 games. His offensive line stinks, and should struggle to fend off Judon. Another multi-sack performance for the 26-year-old pass rusher is not out of the question.
Dud: Jarvis Landry, wide receiver, Cleveland Browns
Landry just isn’t getting enough love with his targets diminishing as of late. Over his past two games, Landry has caught a lowly total of just five passes for 52 yards and zero touchdowns. This awful production makes it hard to trust him moving forward. In Week 13, Landry has a road game in Houston. His rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield might also be challenged to produce. The Texans’ defense has surrendered the 11th-fewest passing yards per game. None of this supports Landry suddenly having a breakout game.
Stud: Todd Gurley, running back, Los Angeles Rams
Every now and then, Gurley disappoints with one of his lower-yardage games on top of failing to find the end zone. Just ask Gurley’s fantasy owners how they felt when he last recorded only 94 total yards and zero touchdowns prior to Los Angeles’ bye week.
Forget that performance here. Gurley is due for a major rebound next against a Detroit Lions defense giving up 4.7 yards per carry. This game could easily see the Rams gain a comfortable lead in which they would have plenty of time to feature Gurley to his fullest.
Dud: Sony Michel, running back, New England Patriots
Michel last went wild, putting up 145 total yards and one score against the New York Jets last week. Though, Michel’s next opponent should prove much more challenging for him to run away with the farm. The Patriots next host a Minnesota Vikings defense that has allowed only 3.7 yards per carry and three rushing touchdowns to running backs all season. This could evolve into a game which forces Tom Brady to air things out. If so, James White will be the back who benefits most.
Stud: Amari Cooper, wide receiver, Dallas Cowboys
Cooper finally found his groove when he unloaded 180 receiving yards and two touchdowns at home against the Washington Redskins on Thanksgiving. And up next, Cooper has another shot for a great performance against the Saints. At home again, Cooper should put up some solid numbers facing a Saints defense that is yielding the third-most passing yards on average per game. With a script likely forcing a heavy passing game from Dallas, Cooper should be plenty busy this week.
Dud: Joe Mixon, running back, Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals’ season has been slowly going up in smoke. And it could be in full dumpster fire mode now that the team placed quarterback Andy Dalton on injured reserve. Without a seasoned starter under center, Mixon’s value could easily be on the decline. And, this starts when the Bengals host the Broncos in Week 13. The Broncos’ defense should feast over a backup quarterback and it could easily force Cincinnati’s offense to throw its run game out the window.
Stud: Kyle Fuller, cornerback, Chicago Bears
Fuller has been phenomenal in coverage thus far and leads the league with 20 defended passes. He also has recorded a career-best five interceptions on the season. So, might he have fun in his next matchup against Eli Manning and the gang?
Manning is never to be trusted. And to avoid turnovers, the veteran quarterback might easily avoid Fuller’s danger zone, which likely consists of the defensive back covering OBJ. Fuller might just have the last laugh here.
Dud: Ben Roethlisberger, quarterback, Pittsburgh Steelers
Big Ben won’t be a total dud, but he is unlikely to pass for the 462 yards he threw for in his previous game. He will face a Los Angeles Chargers defense that has given up just 227 passing yards on average per game. The Chargers have also surrendered only 16 passing touchdowns, which ties for third-stingiest in the league. Plus, Big Ben — sacked twice in his last game — will have to deal with pass rusher, Joey Bosa, who is coming fresh from a two-sack performance himself last week.
Stud: Mike Evans, wide receiver, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Predicting Evans’ production on a weekly basis this year has been a nightmare. Though, over his past two games, he has been quite dialed in. The big-bodied receiver has caught 12-of-15 targets for 236 yards and one touchdown during that span. Next up for Evans is showdown against the Carolina Panthers. Over their last four games, the Panthers have allowed the second-most fantasy points to opposing wideouts. This consists of the Panthers yielding 831 receiving yards and seven touchdowns during that stretch. Hopefully Evans can take advantage.
Dud: Matthew Stafford, quarterback, Detroit Lions
Stafford has not passed for over 300 yards since Week 8. And between then and now, he has thrown for only five touchdowns compared to five picks. Heading into Week 13, the Lions welcome the Rams to town. Normally, we would promote Stafford playing against a generous Rams defense that has given away 25 passing touchdowns (the second-most) in the league. But, with very few resources left in Detroit to help generate points, Stafford can hardly be counted on these days.
Stud: Tyler Lockett, wide receiver, Seattle Seahawks
Lockett leads the Seahawks in touchdowns and is on a hot streak, catching 93.8 percent of his targets over the past three games. In Week 13, Lockett should strike pay dirt again in a divisional showdown with the San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers have permitted 23 passing touchdowns while managing a ridiculously low two interceptions in 11 games. This should help the Russell Wilson-to-Locket connection continue finding success.
Dud: Frank Gore, running back, Miami Dolphins
Over his past two games, Gore has averaged 5.9 yards per carry, racking up 157 yards on the ground in the process. Though, Week 13 presents the 35-year-old running back with more of a challenging opponent in that of the Buffalo Bills. Gore and his Dolphins may find moving the chains difficult given Buffalo’s defense has yielded the second-fewest total yards per game all season. And with the Bills’ offense suddenly coming alive, it might lead to more opportunities for Ryan Tannehill in the passing game, which would leave Gore as an afterthought.
Stud: Aaron Rodgers, quarterback, Green Bay Packers
Rodgers is coming off a terrible performance that surely caused fantasy football despair across the country. But let’s move on from that and focus on Rodgers’ next opponent. Rodgers and the Packers should easily get back on course when the Arizona Cardinals arrive at Lambeau.
The Cardinals are utterly dreadful on both sides of the field and their defense has ceded 26.6 points on average to opponents. It is difficult to imagine any scenario that does not see Rodgers bounce back in royal form this week.
Dud: Calais Campbell, defensive end, Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars look to be completely imploding. And, Campbell — who failed to record a sack in his last game against the Bills– might just come up empty handed again. In Week 13, the Jags will be highly challenged trying to contain Andrew Luck and the Colts. Luck took one sack this past week, but it was his first time being taken to the ground since Week 5. His offensive line has since been doing a tremendous job of protecting him, which doesn’t bode well for Campbell’s chances to make an impact this weekend.