Fantasy owners may be getting used to the weird schedule (Tuesday games, Wednesday games… hey it's 2020 and anything goes!) but they need to be sure that they have active players in their lineups, regardless of when teams play.
With most fantasy leagues starting the playoffs in Week 14, this is the last week of the regular season. Fantasy owners need a win and it may not be easy. Some players are still on the reserve/ COVID-19 list and others are injured. There are plenty of backup quarterbacks starting this week, which affects all other positions on teams. Take stock of your team and make the best decisions possible.
Please note 5 Up/5 Down is a guide on players that should exceed or fall below their rank this week. This is based on past performance, injury status, and matchup. This is not a start/sit column, but rather a guide.
Teams on bye: Carolina, Tampa Bay
Derek Carr, QB, Las Vegas Raiders
The Raiders face the Jets this week, and while Carr had an opportunity in Week 12 to succeed against Atlanta and failed, he has another chance in Week 13. He's ranked No. 12 and if the team decides to go with the ground game and builds a lead, this could backfire on Carr. However, if they rely on him because Josh Jacobs is injured and could miss this game, Carr could easily be a top-10 quarterback.
Devontae Booker, RB, Las Vegas Raiders
Josh Jacobs has yet to practice this week and even though the team has downplayed the ankle injury he suffered in Week 12, it seems that at the bare minimum he is going to be limited this week. Booker is his direct backup and should have a great game against the Jets. He's ranked No. 37, but if he gets the start and a large workload, he should be ranked as an RB2.
James White, RB, New England Patriots
It's so hard to trust White, but with Rex Burkhead out, he had a great game (fantasy-wise). He had five carries for 18 yards and two touchdowns. It seems that the Patriots are going to either let Cam Newton run it in or give the ball to White. He didn't have the receptions that he is known for, but that should change. The Chargers are a good matchup for running backs and White should exceed his No. 40 ranking, especially with Newton struggling.
Tim Patrick, WR, Denver Broncos
Fantasy owners can't judge Patrick's stat line based on Week 12 when the team didn't have a quarterback. Rather, if you look back to Week 11, he had five receptions for 119 yards. He has three touchdowns this season and three 100-yard games. Clearly, Drew Lock trusts him and Lock will be back in Week 13. The Broncos take on the Chiefs and will likely be chasing points. That usually bodes well for Patrick, who should exceed his No. 48 ranking.
Jordan Akins, TE, Houston Texans
With Will Fuller out for the rest of the season, Kenny Stills no longer on the team, and Randall Cobb injured, the Texans need someone to step up for Deshaun Watson. Akins had a touchdown in Week 1, and has been mediocre since. He had no fantasy points in Week 12, but had five receptions for 83 yards in Week 11. With the void at pass catcher, Akins certainly can exceed his No. 21 ranking and be a solid TE2 against the Colts.
Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers have truly gotten the short end of the stick when it comes to playing teams with COVID-19 outbreaks, but they have stayed undefeated. At times, it seems they do just what is needed to win. They face Washington in Week 13 and this is a tougher matchup than it originally sounded. The only quarterback to have more than two touchdown passes against Washington was Matthew Stafford. Big Ben should be fine for fantasy purposes, but he may fall outside the top 10.
D'Andre Swift, RB, Detroit Lions
The good news for Swift is that he is now out of the concussion protocol, which forced him to miss two games. However, he then missed practice on Thursday with an illness. While there are no reports of it being COVID-19, it may still be related to the concussion. If he is still experiencing symptoms, he may end up back in the concussion protocol. If it is not related to the concussion, it still is more missed practice for a running back that just missed two games. He's ranked No. 11 this week against the Bears, but he's more of a low RB2.
DJ Chark Jr., WR, Jacksonville Jaguars
Chark is ranked No. 24 for Week 13 with a rib injury that has caused him to be limited in practice after missing Week 12 and Mike Glennon remains his quarterback. It seems that ranking is a bit high. Glennon showed in Week 12 (albeit without Chark or Chris Conley) that he really isn't a great quarterback. His stat line wasn't terrible (235 yards, two touchdowns) but he didn't look good. It's certainly possible he gets pulled at some point during the game as well. Chark is the team's best wide receiver, but he's not a low WR2.
Jalen Reagor, WR, Philadelphia Eagles
Honestly, it's hard to trust anyone in the Eagles offense, especially when they face the Packers in Week 13. Carson Wentz has been struggling all season, and it seems he is just looking to get short passes to his tight ends and running backs. With Dallas Goedert back and Zach Ertz potentially returning this week, Reagor should drop even further on the target chart. He's ranked No. 46 and while it is possible he hauls in a few passes, he should remain on fantasy benches.
Mark Andrews, TE, Baltimore Ravens
Andrews is on the COVID-19 list and will remain there until Tuesday, at the earliest. However, it just so happens that the Week 13 game is scheduled for Tuesday. Assuming Andrews is asymptomatic, he is eligible to come off the COVID-19 list, assuming he tests negative. However, it also will mean that he hasn't practiced with the team for more than two weeks. The Ravens' offense is going to be hard to trust as it's not clear who is playing and who is still dealing with COVID-19. Andrews is ranked No. 13, but it's possible he doesn't play and if he does, he's a low TE2.
Full Disclosure from Week 12
Up (2/5 correct)
Philip Rivers, QB, Colts (Ranked: 15, Actual: 11)
Frank Gore, RB, Jets (Ranked: 57, Actual: 21)
Damien Harris, RB, Patriots (Ranked: 21, Actual: 51)
Keenan Allen, WR, Chargers (Ranked: 15, Actual: 24)
Jimmy Graham, TE, Bears (Ranked: 19, Actual: 23)
Down (3/5 correct)
Matt Ryan, QB, Falcons (Ranked: 9, Actual: 15)
Ronald Jones, RB, Buccaneers (Ranked: 17, Actual: 13)
DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Cardinals (Ranked: 3, Actual: 40)
Robby Anderson, WR, Panthers (Ranked: 14, Actual: 13)
Jared Cook, TE, Saints (Ranked: 13, Actual: N/A with 0 fantasy points)
— Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.