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Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 13: Let Russ Simmer and Other QB/TE/DST Fantasy Advice

Russell Wilson

Russell Wilson has had a rough go of things since coming off of IR a couple of weeks ago

If you are reading my start/sit Week 13 fantasy suggestions for quarterbacks, tight ends, and defense/special teams (DSTs), you are hopefully not in a dire situation. 

Because things could always get worse. Notice I didn't say "more dire." Do you know why? Because I learned something interesting this week. The comparative form of dire is actually "direr" not "more dire." Well, I guess you do learn something new every week!

With a Cliff Claven-like intro out of the way, we can skip to our start/sits for this week.

Related: Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 13 RB/WR Fantasy Advice

As a reminder, I will not be recommending any starts for options that are generally in the top dozen for QB, TE, or DST. Nor will I be recommending any "sits" for those beyond the top two dozen.

Week 13 Positional Rankings: QB I RB I WR I TE I DST I K I Flex

So regardless of how non-urgent or dire your situation is, here are a few potential start/sit options for this week.

Teams on bye: Carolina, Cleveland, Green Bay, Tennessee


Taylor Heinicke, Washington Football Team at Las Vegas Raiders

The legend of Heinicke continues to grow. He's currently fantasy's QB14. Not too shabby for a guy that was sitting on his couch retired from a football just a year ago.

I wouldn't bet on him throwing for 300 yards on Sunday, but he's one of the more accurate passers in the league. On the season, he has a 67.2 percent completion rate, but nearly 77 percent over the last three weeks. That might have something to do with Logan Thomas and Curtis Samuel recently returning.

And with the Raiders allowing the sixth-most fantasy points to QBs this season, this might be a great time to get a piece of the legend.

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Related: Fantasy Football 5 Up, 5 Down for Week 13


Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks vs. San Francisco 49ers

This is a bit of a huevos grande kind of pick, as we know Wilson can light up any team anytime. But since returning from the IR in Week 10, something just ain't right. Sorry to get all technical and sophisticated there. But Wilson is averaging only 205 passing yards since his return and is fantasy's QB30 during that time. And he looks even worse than his stats.

Seattle might be known for its ground coffee, but the Seahawks' offense has been grinding to a halt. Plenty of rainy days for the 12th Man lately, as Seattle is dead last in total offensive plays. I don't see that changing this week with San Francisco having to defend the second-fewest plays per game. The 49ers also are sixth in total defense. 

We know Russ can cook, but for now I'd leave him on the back burner.


Zach Ertz, Arizona Cardinals at Chicago Bears 

The matchup against the Bears is not great. But there's a whole lot to love here. First off, Ertz and the Cards are coming off of a bye and should be far more rested than the Chicago defense. Secondly, before that bye, Ertz had his best game of the season. He caught eight of nine targets for 88 yards and two touchdowns. And remember, that was with Colt McCoy under center. The Cardinals should get Kyler Murray back for Sunday's game.


Dawson Knox, Buffalo Bills vs. New England Patriots (MNF)

If you read my tight end rankings this week, you probably saw this coming. I think we've heard plenty of how strong that Patriots D is. And Bill Belichick can be beaten, but it's rarely with your top options. And we know Josh Allen loves to throw to Knox. But I wouldn't bank on it this weekend.

The New England defense is pretty good, but against tight ends no defense in the league is better. They are allowing just 6.78 fantasy points to opposing TEs. They are not even allowing 30 receiving yards per game on average to the position. If you're happy with three points from your TE, go ahead and start Knox. But as a Knox owner in quite a few leagues, I'll be benching him across the board. 

START This Defense/Special Teams (DST)

New York Giants vs. Miami Dolphins

This Giants defense is better than you think it is. For example, they are averaging better than an interception per game. And that Miami offense is worse than you think. The Dolphins have scored the ninth-fewest points in the league. And I'm not real impressed with 55 points against the Panthers and Jets combined. Are you?

This game has the lowest over/under of the week. There is a reason why.

SIT This Defense/Special Teams (DST)

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Baltimore Ravens 

We can hope that this game is one of those classic slobber-knockers that these two teams have so often had. But I wouldn't hold your breath. Despite an absolute turd of an offensive showing last week, Baltimore still ranks fourth in the league in yards per game. The Ravens are second in the league in rushing. Most years that would mean very little against a stout Pittsburgh front seven. But the Steelers are giving up the fifth-most yards per game. 

And the passing defense is below average as well giving up 235 yards a game. And it's been even worse lately as the Steelers have been torched for 82 points the last two games. This is not your father's Pittsburgh defense or even your older brother's. These Steelers stink and yinz might have to throw away your terrible towels.

— Written by Mark Strausberg, a member of the Athlon Network Contributor, who despite his youthful exuberance and good looks has been playing fantasy sports before Wildcats or Hoosiers even made it to VHS. Got a fantasy sports question or thought? Hit him up on Twitter @MarkStrausberg.