Week 12 is finally over and fantasy owners can start looking ahead to Week 13. For many leagues, this is the last week of the regular season. It's pretty amazing how quickly time flies, and if you made the playoffs, congrats already.
It's been a tough year with injuries, COVID-19, and the usual fantasy busts. If you are still fighting for a playoff spot, this is your last chance to put your best lineup forward. Drop any dead weight, scour your waiver wire and cross your fingers.
Teams on bye: Carolina, Tampa Bay
START These QBs
Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Cousins finished in the top five among fantasy quarterbacks for Week 12. He threw for 307 yards and three touchdowns, his second straight 300-yard, three-TD performance. The Vikings were trailing, which helped his stats, but Cousins faces the Jaguars in Week 13. It's possible the Vikings do get a lead, but Dalvin Cook is banged up and they may throw the ball more often than usual, especially with Adam Thielen removed from the reserve/COVID-19 list. Cousins is a risky start, but those looking for a QB2 with a high ceiling can gamble on him.
Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams at Arizona Cardinals
After Goff's less-than-stellar performance in Week 12, it may be hard to trust him for Week 13. However, he faces the Cardinals in what could be a high-scoring game. Goff did have a streak of three 300-yard games prior to last week. He threw four touchdowns in those games as well (he also threw four interceptions). If your league doesn't penalize you too heavily for interceptions, Goff is a decent QB2 this week.
SIT These QBs
Mitchell Trubisky, Chicago Bears vs. Detroit Lions
For those just looking at stats, Trubisky's looked pretty good for Week 12: 242 passing yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. Depending on league scoring, he may have even ended up in the top six at his position for Week 12. However, for anyone that actually watched the game, you could see how brutal Trubisky was. Most of his scoring came in garbage time in the fourth quarter, when the Packers were already leading by more than 30 points. The Bears face the Lions in Week 13 and it has already been announced that Trubisky will start for the team. Just don't start him for your fantasy team.
Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles at Green Bay Packers
It's not quite clear what happened with Wentz this year, but he cannot be trusted in fantasy, regardless of how good the matchup may be. The Seahawks were one of the best matchups for opposing quarterbacks, and Wentz only threw for 215 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. If he couldn't get anything going against the Seahawks, don't even consider starting him in Week 13 against the Packers.
START These TEs
Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles at Green Bay Packers
Even though Carson Wentz is a sit, he will be throwing the ball. Since he has not had success getting the ball downfield, he's relied on Goedert. Watching Week 12, it was clear that Goedert was the one Wentz was looking at. He had the most receptions (7) and the most yards (75) on the team. The player with the second-most receptions was running back Boston Scott. The player with the second-most yards was the other tight end Richard Rodgers. It's clear Wentz isn't looking to throw the ball far, so that's a bonus for his tight ends. It's possible Zach Ertz returns this week, but Goedert is still the recommended start over him.
Eric Ebron, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Washington Football Team (Mon.)
It's hard to read into anything from the Steelers/Ravens game which was postponed nearly a week, but on Wednesday, Ebron's 54 yards led all Pittsburgh receivers. He had 11 targets, which were second only to Diontae Johnson's 13. Because Ben Roethlisberger is looking for Ebron, especially in the red zone, he is a decent tight end when such a thing is hard to find.
SIT These TEs
Jonnu Smith, Tennessee Titans vs. Cleveland Browns
Smith is a touchdown-dependent tight end. He's one of those guys where you don't start him and he has a touchdown on your bench, and when you do start him, say in Week 12, he gives you a goose egg. Alas, that is how you can sum up the 2020 fantasy season for tight ends. Smith missed practice on Wednesday with a knee injury, which may be simply a day of rest, but between the lack of production and the potential injury, keep him on the bench this week.
Jimmy Graham, Chicago Bears vs. Detroit Lions
The Bears face the Lions in Week 13, a team that is the bottom five in terms of fantasy points allowed to opposing tight ends. Graham had three receptions for 34 yards in Week 12 and was out-snapped by Cole Kmet. Perhaps Mitchell Trubisky had more time to practice with Kmet and Graham was better with Nick Foles, but since Trubisky is the starter for Week 13, sit Graham if possible.
START This Defense/Special Teams (DST)
Las Vegas Raiders at New York Jets
The Raiders face the Jets, the team every DST wants a crack at. New York is winless and hasn't really shown much fight now for several weeks. The Jets are struggling on all fronts, and even though the Raiders didn't look great themselves in Week 12 in getting blown out by the Falcons, this is the best streaming DST for Week 13. The Dolphins (vs. Bengals) are another appealing DST starting option.
SIT This Defense/Special Teams (DST)
Los Angeles Rams at Arizona Cardinals
The Rams face the Cardinals for the first time this season. Kyler Murray has been fantastic (for the most part) and the Cardinals' offense has been great. While the Rams DST has been decent against some opponents, they also have struggled, especially on the road (at Tampa Bay, San Francisco, etc.). This is game is in Arizona, so this might be an opportunity for fantasy owners to bench the Rams. Just don't drop them if you have room, as the schedule gets better for the fantasy playoffs (vs. Patriots, vs. Jets, at Seahawks).
— 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.
(Top photo by Karl Roser/Pittsburgh Steelers, courtesy of steelers.com)