Is Eric Ebron worth starting this week against the awful Saints defense?
For most fantasy leagues, Week 13 is the last week of the regular season, meaning for some it could all come down to this weekend. So with even more pressure on those key start/sit decisions, let’s set the table for Week 13 by seeing how appetizing my Week 12 advice for wide receivers and tight ends turned out.
Start Rishard Matthews (12.4 fantasy points) – Another week, another solid fantasy day for Matthews
Sit Randall Cobb (4.1 FP) – Aaron Rodgers just isn’t looking Cobb’s way like he used to with Davante Adams emerging.
Start Jarvis Landry (4.7 FP) – With the emergence of Jay Ajayi and DeVante Parker, Landry is now an afterthought in the offense.
Sit Terrelle Pryor (13.1 FP) – Pryor is now basically matchup-proof and it doesn’t matter who is throwing to him.
Sit Tyler Eifert (12.8 FP) – So much for the Ravens double-covering Eifert with A.J. Green out.
Teams on bye: Cleveland, Tennessee
START THESE WRs...
Tyrell Williams, SD (vs. TB)
There was a slight injury scare when Williams hurt his shoulder last week, but Mike McCoy said he is fine. Now Williams can take his massive target totals (14 on Sunday for a ridiculous 46.7 percent target share) and tear open Tampa Bay, who has allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to WRs.
Brandin Cooks, NO (vs. SEA)
There's going to be a lot of hostility towards Cooks after he went without a single target last week in a game in which the Saints scored 49 points. But you should resist the temptation to bench him. He had received at least five targets in each of the team's first 10 games, while finding the end zone in four of the previous six. The hope is that last week was an anomaly, not the norm. Ultimately, it figures to be another big offensive day for New Orleans at home against a defense that is 23rd in the league in yards per pass allowed. Cooks should benefit, especially if Darius Slay sticks to Michael Thomas.
Doug Baldwin, SEA (vs. CAR)
Let's face it, Baldwin and the entire Seattle offense busted for our fantasy teams in last week's loss in Tampa Bay. I'm willing to forgive and forget, and this week's matchup against the Panthers makes him a solid option. Carolina's defense has given up the sixth-most yards (1,998) and the seventh-most fantasy points (25.3 ppg) to receivers.
MIGHT BE WORTH THE RISK...
Tyreek Hill, KC (at ATL)
If Jeremy Maclin is out, Hill is a must-play. If Maclin plays, Hill is still a phenomenal option against the Falcons who seem to hand out points to wide receivers like unwanted, soggy Thanksgiving leftovers (with a sad enthusiasm). He won’t run for a touchdown or return a kick all the way every week, but he can make plays happen, so roll with him. He’s hot right now and it’s Atlanta.
SIT THESE WRs...
Allen Robinson, JAC (vs. DEN)
Dealing with shoddy – at best – quarterback play, Robinson has been volatile with weekly WR finishes of 39th, 12th, 6th, 28th and 77th over his past five games. And now he has to deal with a Denver Broncos defense that shuts down receivers more than any other team in the league. Stay far away from this one.
Randall Cobb, GB (vs. HOU)
Cobb had a nice hot stretch for fantasy owners earlier in the season, but he's fallen backwards in the stat sheets in more recent weeks. He'll be hard-pressed to make a major impact against the Texans, who have surrendered just eight touchdown catches and the third-fewest fantasy points (18.6 ppg) to wide receivers. Keep Cobb benched.
Jarvis Landry, MIA (at BAL)
Unless you're in a deeper PPR league, it's going to be tough to start Landry with confidence this week. Despite a tremendous matchup against the 49ers last week, he mustered a mere 4.7 fantasy points. He's also failed to score double-digit points in a game since Week 3. There's just too much risk with Landry right now.
YOU’VE BEEN WARNED...
Kelvin Benjamin, CAR (at SEA)
Benjamin has shown to have a pretty nice yardage floor, hitting at least 50 yards in all but one game this season, but the touchdowns aren't coming quite as frequently as they were at the start of the year. He has found the end zone just once over the last seven games and he’s tallied a total of 10 targets over the last two contests. He’s likely to see a lot of Richard Sherman on Sunday, which does not bode well either. Benjamin always has the potential to salvage his day with a long gain, but his floor is scary low this week.
START THESE TEs...
Eric Ebron, DET (at NO)
He got one measly target on Thanksgiving. One! That’s not how you feed your TE on Thanksgiving! Ebron had 23 combined targets in the three games prior to last week’s, so let’s call Week 12 an outlier and hope everyone gets back on track for a game that’s shaping up to be a fantasy delight in New Orleans.
Zach Ertz, PHI (at CIN)
It's right around this time of the season that Ertz starts to heat up, and an upcoming matchup against the Bengals makes him well worth a look. Cincinnati has surrendered the third-most yards (760) and the fourth-most fantasy points (10.2 ppg) to opposing tight ends, so look for Ertz to make an impact this weekend.
C.J. Fiedorowicz, HOU (at GB)
You might not know it, but Fiedorowicz is the fourth-most targeted tight end in the league since Week 10. So, while his numbers have been inconsistent all season, he is seeing targets on a regular basis. He's a worthwhile option against the Packers, who have given up an average of more than 11 fantasy points per game to TEs since Week 9.
MIGHT BE WORTH THE RISK...
Lance Kendricks, LA (at NE)
Kendricks has quietly tallied at least seven targets and four catches in five of the last six games, averaging 7.5 targets, 4.67 receptions and 44.67 yards with two touchdowns over that stretch. He has shown a good rapport with Jared Goff, and while he doesn't have monster upside, he looks to be a safe option – especially in PPR leagues – for owners dealing with injuries to Rob Gronkowski, Jordan Reed or Zach Miller.
SIT THESE TEs...
Dennis Pitta, BAL (vs. MIA)
One of the most targeted tight ends in fantasy football earlier this season, Pitta has seen his opportunities decline in recent weeks. He's also been unable to exploit good matchups on a regular basis, so the fact that he's facing one this week against the Dolphins means little. Pitta isn't a great option, even in PPR formats, at this point.
Jared Cook, GB (vs. HOU)
Cook has the skills to be a viable fantasy starter, but he's never been able to put together a consistent stretch of production. That's been the case in his first year in Green Bay, and this week's game against Houston isn't favorable. The Texans have given up the fifth-fewest fantasy points (5.3 ppg) to tight ends.
Jack Doyle, IND (at NYJ, Mon.)
Remember when Doyle was a thing in fantasy football? Well, he's seen four targets in his last two games and hasn’t scored a touchdown since Week 7. If that weren't enough to keep him on the sidelines, consider a matchup against a Jets defense that's surrendered only three touchdowns to tight ends.
YOU’VE BEEN WARNED...
Jordan Reed/Vernon Davis, WAS (at ARI)
The Cardinals have shut down TEs all season long. Reed has an injured shoulder and more than likely won’t play. But even if he’s out, it doesn’t make Davis a must-start option. You may have to dig deep on the waiver wire, but it’s best to stay away from the Redskins TEs this week.
— Written by Michael Horvath, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Horvath is a Canadian who also happens to be a fantasy football (not to be confused with CFL) and fitness nut. Follow him on Twitter @realmikehorvath.