Week 13 Fantasy Football Versus | Decision-Maker
Last week I took a hiatus from the Fantasy Versus column, having Trevor Gunn step in and help out a bit. He ended up helping fantasy owners out just fine, as he made two stellar calls by suggesting Matt Ryan and Andy Dalton over Tim Tebow and Carson Palmer.
I’m back this week, as we take a look at some of the toughest fantasy matchups heading into week 13, and try to help fantasy owners make the final call. Here are the top matchup picks for the QB, RB, WR, and TE positions:
Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Tim Tebow, QB, Denver Broncos
Big Ben should have solid numbers again this week, as Pittsburgh will struggle to run on a tough Bengals run defense. However, something tells me the Bengals give the Steelers an even better game this time around, and that could possibly turn into disappointing numbers from Roethlisberger.
Tebow, on the other hand, will likely have to throw more than usual, as his run-dominated offense takes on a Vikings defense that can still stop the run when they put their mind to it. I still think Tebow will get points on the ground, but I also like his chances against a bad Vikings pass defense. Over 200 passing yards and 20+ fantasy points isn’t crazy. Roll with Timmy Teebs.
Eli Manning, QB, New York Giants vs. Tony Romo, QB, Dallas Cowboys
This is a good battle, as both Manning and Romo face very weak pass defenses in the Packers and Cardinals. However, Green Bay is more likely to force some turnovers against Manning, which means Romo is the safer option.
Kevin Smith, RB, Detroit Lions vs. Toby Gerhart, RB, Minnesota Vikings
Kevin Smith was a freak in week 11, but then showed why he’s a major risk last week by injuring his ankle and exiting the game. Still, he’s an effective back when healthy, and draws a beatable Saints run defense this week. As solid as he could be this week, I’m still going with Gerhart. People are down on him after a so-so week 12, but he still put up 50+ total yards and a score on a Falcons run defense that allowed Chris Johnson to run for 13 yards on 12 carries. I’ll give him a mulligan. Gerhart gets a fairly soft Broncos run defense at home this week, so I like his chances.
C.J. Spiller, RB, Buffalo Bills vs. Peyton Hillis, RB, Cleveland Browns
Spiller could be in for a solid day against a so-so Titans run defense this week, while Hillis has a brutal matchup with the Ravens. As interesting a play as Spiller could be this week, I say give Hillis one final chance. He destroyed the Ravens when he was healthy last year, and he’s fully healthy in 2011 for the first time in a while. He ran hard in his first game back in a tough matchup with the Bengals last week, and I think he was just warming up. He could shock some people this week, and he’s in my top-10 at the position.
A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals vs. Laurent Robinson, WR, Dallas Cowboys
Green did a solid job against the Steelers last time and I like him to put up solid numbers again in the rematch, but I can’t work against Robinson, and you shouldn’t either. Robinson has been a freak lately, scoring seven touchdowns in his last five game, and at least one score in each of those five contests. With Miles Austin still out, Robinson could go off on the Cardinals weak pass defense this week.
Jordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay Packers vs. Victor Cruz, WR, New York Giants
I love Nelson and will suggest playing him over a lot of other receivers this week. He’s a stud in any given week, and even more than usual as he faces a weak Giants pass defense this week. However, with Mario Manningham out and Cruz tearing it up regardless of his role these days, I’m taking Cruz without looking back.
Fred Davis, TE, Washington Redskins vs. Jermichael Finley, TE, Green Bay Packers
Davis has been getting it going lately with Rex Grossman back in the lineup, while Finley has been utterly disappointing. In fact, Finley has just six catches and no scores over the last three games. Those numbers are pathetic, to be sure, but I think this week is his time to breakout. He’s been talking about getting it going lately, and a weak Giants pass defense is as good a matchup as any to finally do it. Both of these guys can be good options, but I think the reward is worth the risk with Finley this week.
Vernon Davis, TE, San Francisco 49ers vs. Tony Gonzalez, TE, Atlanta Falcons
This one is close by name, but not by production. Gonzo has 24 receptions over his last five games, while Davis has just 16. Gonzalez plays in an offense that throws it more and he’s a bigger (and more consistent) red-zone factor. Davis easily has the easier matchup this week against the Rams, but Gonzo is just one of the most reliable tight ends out there right now. Stick with what works and keep plugging Gonzalez in.
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