Bye weeks continue to play a major role in fantasy football each week, so secondary and tertiary starting options are as important as ever with the fantasy playoffs either here or starting soon. Riskier plays can be rewarded if discovered correctly and complacent managers rely too heavily on drafted players. Trust your instincts — coupled with solid PFF metrics, of course.
So, let's get to it: the Week 13 edition of fantasy football start ’em or sit ’em.
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That’s Kirk “PFF’s No. 2-graded quarterback” Cousins, to you. That stat might catch you off guard, but the Minnesota Vikings’ slinger has been dealing recently. In the past month, Cousins landed at sixth in big-time throw percentage and fifth in passing yards while leading the league with nine touchdown passes. He’s done this in the face of some solid defenses, too — none of his four opponents during the stretch ranked higher than ninth in fantasy points allowed to passers.
Now Cousins gets to waltz into a cake-walk matchup against the Detroit Lions to continue his streak. While the Week 5 Vikings-Lions game wasn’t pretty for the purple and gold, their offense has found its legs in recent weeks. And it’s been the opposite for the Lions, who gave up 317 passing yards and a score to Andy Dalton and the Chicago Bears in Week 12. Cousins should have no issue beating that mark.
This is definitely a one-week play, but Scott represents some serious upside against the New York Jets. The largest reason for this is that both Miles Sanders and Jordan Howard are dealing with injuries that will threaten their chances of playing this week. We should also consider that the Eagles have a Week 14 bye after the Jets, so sitting one or both of them is a likely consideration for the coaching staff.
The real benefit here is that Scott would be facing the stone-cold worst run defense in the league. No team has given up more rushing touchdowns this season than the Jets. Their benchmark of 17 touchdowns allowed is three higher than second place and six higher than third. Another point: The Jets not only give it up on the ground, but also allow the second-most receiving fantasy points to running backs. Scott saw at least two targets in his past three games. Start him.
Kyler Murray was limited in practice Wednesday — a welcome sign for the Cardinals. Though they won two of their past three games under Colt McCoy, it’s been tough to peg fantasy value for their pass-catchers.