Philip Rivers, QB (Los Angeles Chargers)
Philip Rivers has an excellent matchup this week against the Cleveland Browns who are giving up an average of 18.1 fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks which is the 8th-highest in the league. Rivers has been hot as of late, throwing for 7 touchdowns and only 1 interception in his last three games. This is a must-win for the Chargers to continue their playoff hopes, and with the Browns having a stout run defense, Rivers should be able to throw for at least 250 yards and a couple of touchdowns in this one.
Jordan Howard, RB (Chicago Bears)
Jordan Howard had a tough matchup last week against the Eagles and finished the game with 3.9 fantasy points. Owners shouldn’t be worried about starting Howard this week as he plays a 49ers team that is allowing the most fantasy points per game to running backs this year (28.6). Howard should be started with confidence and should help owners win that last crucial regular-season victory before the playoffs begin.
Cooper Kupp, WR (Los Angeles Rams)
Cooper Kupp has been great this year playing as a secondary and tertiary wide receiver for the Rams, and his production will continue this week. With Patrick Peterson more than likely shadowing Sammy Watkins all game, this will allow Kupp to feast against the other cornerbacks on the Cardinals. Kupp has seen 20 total targets over his past three matchups and has averaged 13.6 fantasy points over that stretch. Kupp should be in your lineup as a WR3/flex play with upside this week.
Jared Cook, TE (Oakland Raiders)
Vernon Davis disappointed against the Giants this week, but one performance won’t change the facts: the Giants allow the most points to tight ends on a weekly basis (17.8). This week Jared Cook gets the dream matchup, and the Raiders’ offense will be without both Michael Crabtree (suspension) and Amari Cooper (injury). Cook is a real threat to score double-digit fantasy points this week, and for those that stream week-to-week, there isn’t a tight end with a better matchup
Robbie Gould, K (San Francisco 49ers)
For those with a non-elite kicker, Robbie Gould finds himself facing the Bears who are giving up an average of 9.1 fantasy points, 9th most in the league. This game should be a close-scoring, competitive game and Gould has shown he can put up points in bunches. With new starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, the 49ers should find themselves in the opponent’s territory often.
Oakland Raiders, DEF
The Oakland Raiders Defense play against New York Giants’ starting quarterback Geno Smith who gets the nod this week over Eli Manning. While the Raiders defense has not performed well for most of the season, they are a long shot play for a boom-or-bust type week. Last week against a mix of Paxton Lynch and Trevor Siemian the Raiders were able to score 10.00 points.
Matthew Stafford, QB (Detroit Lions)
Matthew Stafford recorded his 3rd-fewest amount of fantasy points outing of the year (14.0) last week against the Vikings and now faces another strong pass defense in the Baltimore Ravens this week. Through 12 weeks the Ravens have only allowed 2 opposing quarterbacks to score 12.0 fantasy points or more against. For the second week in a row, Stafford is a ‘sit’ with their being multiple options available on the waiver wire to catapult owners into the fantasy playoffs.
Jay Ajayi, RB (Philadelphia Eagles)
Since joining the Eagles, Jay Ajayi has averaged only 6.7 carries a game so far, compared to 19.7 when with the Dolphins. This wasn’t a problem when Ajayi was able to break off a couple of long runs in the first two weeks, however, last week Ajayi was only able to gain 26 yards on 5 carries and seemed to only enter the game once the Eagles had the game wrapped up. With a four-headed rushing attack lead at the moment by LeGarrette Blount, it appears Ajayi will be reliant on breaking a long run to be relevant moving forward as the volume just isn’t there.
T.Y. Hilton, WR (Indianapolis Colts)
It’s no secret Jaguars’ star cornerback Jalen Ramsey has been dominant all season long. Last week he held Hall of Fame wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald to 12 yards on 3 receptions, who went on to say that Ramsey with one arm is better than most of the cornerbacks in the league. This week T.Y. Hilton faces him once again and if the last matchup is any indication of what’s to come, owners should sit him in favor of a better matchup. In Week 7 Hilton was limited to 27 yards on 2 catches, scoring only 4.7 fantasy points.
Austin Hooper, TE (Atlanta Falcons)
Austin Hooper has a difficult matchup this week against the Vikings who have only allowed 3 touchdowns all year to the position and are only allowing 10.7 fantasy points to teams’ opposing tight ends per game, good for 8th best in the league. Hooper has been very hit-and-miss this season, with 5 games over double-digit fantasy points, however his other 6 games he has less than 7.0 fantasy points. There are many other options on the waiver wire with a lot better matchups to take advantage of in Week 13.
Adam Vinatieri, K (Indianapolis Colts)
Adam Vinatieri and the Colts play the Jaguars this week who are allowing the 7th fewest amount of fantasy points to opposing kickers, with an average of 6.7 points. While Vinatieri has a handful of double-digit fantasy point games, he’s also had his worst outings when facing great defenses, including 0.0 points against the Jaguars in Week 7 when the Colts were shut out.
Seattle Seahawks, DEF
The Seattle Seahawks Defense has produced consistently this season even with the loss of Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor, scoring at least 8.0 fantasy points in 7 out of the 8 last matchups. This week the Seahawks play the Eagles who, since Week 3, have allowed on average only 1.6 fantasy points to opposing defenses.