News & Analysis

Week 13: Previewing key NFL matchups, fantasy football and Greenline

Pro Football Focus' Preview Team has come together to provide every fan with the right information to best prepare and enjoy Week 13 in the NFL. We offer advanced stats on key NFL matchups, fantasy advice and a Greenline perspective for all the weekend's games and Monday Night Football.

Cleveland Browns @ Houston Texans

Key NFL Matchup/Stat:

Key Matchup: Myles Garrett (83.2) vs. Julie'n Davenport (48.9)

Key Stat: Myles Garrett (729) and Larry Ogunjobi (701) rank first and second, respectively, in snaps among defensive linemen this season.

Fantasy Stats to Know:

Sure, Baker Mayfield is rolling over his last two starts with seven passing touchdowns. But don't get too cute with your start/sit decisions this week. Mayfield has to face a Texans defense that has allowed an average of one passing score per game since Week 4. At best, Mayfield is just inside this week's top-20 fantasy quarterbacks, which means he shouldn't be started in most leagues.

Greenline/Predictive Analysis:

The line has moved from HOU (-6) to HOU (-5.5) periodically throughout the week. A road win for the Browns would have seemed preposterous just a few short months ago but now is about a 33 percent proposition against a likely division winner.

Related Articles:

Myles Garrett’s pressure-filled Sunday — and season — keeps the Browns rolling

Baker Mayfield isn’t playing any better, but his situation has improved

Indianapolis Colts @ Jacksonville Jaguars

Key NFL Matchup/Stat:

Key Matchup: T.Y. Hilton (82.8) vs. Jalen Ramsey (74.3)


Key Stat: Jalen Ramsey has shadowed receivers on seven different occasions this year, including the last time these two teams matched up (Odell Beckham Jr., Tyreek Hill, DeAndre Hopkins, Alshon Jeffery, T.Y. Hilton, Antonio Brown, Kelvin Benjamin).

Fantasy Stats to Know:

T.Y. Hilton has been a fantasy dynamo over his last two games with 100-plus receiving in each contest. But fantasy owners will want to temper their expectations this week, as Hilton projects to see his share of Jalen Ramsey. The Jags corner has held opposing wideouts in check with a 53 percent catch rate in his coverage.

Greenline/Predictive Analysis:

Jacksonville is just a few short weeks away from being just a 3-point underdog getting significant support in the betting market in Indianapolis. They are now 4.5-point underdogs at home to the same team – which likely presents some value should you think the market is overreacting.

Related Articles:

The upward trajectory of Eric Ebron is being realized in Indianapolis

Carolina Panthers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Key NFL Matchup/Stat:

Key Matchup: Jameis Winston (68.2) vs. Luke Kuechly (86.1)


Key Stat: 853 of Winston's 1,692 yards this season have come on passes targeted 0-20 yards downfield between the numbers.

Fantasy Stats to Know:

Over the last two weeks, rookie WR D.J. Moore is showing why he was the first wideout selected in this year's draft. He's racked up 15 catches on 16 targets for 248 yards and a score over that span. Better yet, Moore gets a plus matchup against the fantasy-friendly Bucs secondary. Moore is a top-25 wide receiver play this week.

Greenline/Predictive Analysis:

Carolina, on a three-game losing streak, goes on the road in what is likely a must-win game. We think they get this win roughly 67 percent of the time.

Baltimore Ravens @ Atlanta Falcons

Key NFL Matchup/Stat:

Key Matchup: Lamar Jackson (60.2) vs. Deion Jones (N/A)


Key Stat: Jackson has kept the rock on 25 designed runs in his first two starts.

Fantasy Stats to Know:

Lamar Jackson or Matt Ryan this week? Believe it or not, we prefer Jackson. Yes, Ryan enters the week as the No. 2 fantasy quarterback, but the Ravens have only allowed one 300-yard passing game on the season. Meanwhile, Jackson faces a Falcons defense that has struggled against the run and allows the second-most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks.

Greenline/Predictive Analysis:

This number has moved from BAL (-1.5) to ATL (-1.5) throughout the week, essentially pegging this game as a 50-50 matchup between two teams going in opposite directions heading into Week 13.

Related Articles:

Ravens RB Gus Edwards riding high after strong two-game stretch

Denver Broncos @ Cincinnati Bengals

Key NFL Matchup/Stat:

Key Matchup: Geno Atkins (83.7) vs. Elijah Wilkinson (57.4)


Key Stat: Wilkinson gave up two sacks and two hurries in his second career start against the Steelers last week.

Fantasy Stats to Know:

Who the heck is Jeff Driskel? Well, he's a former sixth-round pick who flashed major athleticism at the 2016 combine. He also showed last week that he can put up decent numbers as a passer with 155 yards and a score in relief duty. But the real key to Driskel is his dual-threat ability. It's that skill set that puts Driskel on the fantasy radar in 2QB leagues.

Greenline/Predictive Analysis:

There is support in the betting markets for Denver as they go for their third consecutive win, as this number has moved from DEN (-3.5) to DEN (-5).

Related Articles:

Keenum’s improvement gives Broncos cause for hope down the stretch

Buffalo Bills @ Miami Dolphins

Key NFL Matchup/Stat:

Key Matchup: Kenyan Drake (63.3) vs. Tremaine Edmunds (49.6)


Key Stat: Tremaine Edmunds' 15 missed tackles are the most of any linebacker in the NFL.

Fantasy Stats to Know:

If you play in deep re-draft leagues or dynasty formats, then you may want to remember the name Leonte Carroo. The third-year wideout has done a whole lot of nothing in his pro career. That is, until last week. Carroo only had one catch, but it was a 74-yard score. Carroo isn't viable in most fantasy formats, but he's worth monitoring especially considering he graded out 14th among college wide receivers in 2015.

Greenline/Predictive Analysis:

There is some math to support the Bills in this spot, as they are getting four points despite being on a two-game winning streak playing a division rival with an over/under of 40 points.

Related Articles:

2018 NFL Week 13 spread & over/under picks

Arizona Cardinals @ Green Bay Packers

Key NFL Matchup/Stat:

Key Matchup: Kenny Clark (89.9) vs. Mason Cole (54.9)


Key Stat: Mason Cole's 22 pressured allowed are the most of any center in the NFL.

Fantasy Stats to Know:

The Cardinals' offense has done little to impress for fantasy purposes this season, but don't let that get you down if you own David Johnson. Running backs feed on volume in fantasy, and Johnson is seeing just that. Through the first 12 weeks of the season, Johnson leads all NFL players with a massive 51 percent of his team's touches.

Greenline/Predictive Analysis:

While the Cardinals have been poor all season, with Josh Rosen generating less than a 30 passer rating when under pressure, 14 points is difficult to lay for a 4-6-1 team, even one with the pedigree of the Packers.

Los Angeles Rams @ Detroit Lions

Key NFL Matchup/Stat:

Key Matchup: Darius Slay (68.9) vs. Brandin Cooks (84.2)


Key Stat: Darius Slay has shadowed receivers on six different occasions this season (Pierre Garcon, Davante Adams, Kenny Stills, Aldrick Robinson, Devin Funchess, Allen Robinson).

Fantasy Stats to Know:

Gerald Everett is a popular tight end name in fantasy circles right now, but it may be wise to keep him on your bench. While the second-year player has scored three times in his last two games, his usage suggests regression is coming. Over that span, Everett saw just five targets, and perhaps more importantly, played just 39 snaps. That's 70 fewer snaps than Tyler Higbee saw over the exact same two-game span.

Greenline/Predictive Analysis:

Totals of 55 or more were largely unheard of until this season in the NFL. Given Detroit's struggles offensively and the favored team (LA) being the road team, leaning under is likely the smart play here.

Chicago Bears @ New York Giants

Key NFL Matchup/Stat:

Key Matchup: Khalil Mack (88.9) vs. Chad Wheeler (46.2)


Key Stat: Wheeler ranks 54th out of 58 tackles in pass blocking efficiency.

Fantasy Stats to Know:

The Bears have given up just three rushing scores to running backs this season, and all three were to the Lions. While that may not sound good for Saquon Barkley owners, don't overvalue the matchup data. Barkley's heavy volume (241 touches) and explosive upside are more than enough to neutralize a bad matchup.

Greenline/Predictive Analysis:

For the second-straight week, the Bears are short favorites on the road with Chase Daniel as their starting quarterback – in a lesson for how much mediocre starting quarterbacks are worth in the betting markets.

Related Articles:

After a slow start, Bears guard James Daniels is emerging as a top rookie lineman

New York Jets @ Tennessee Titans

Key NFL Matchup/Stat:

Key Matchup: Jonnu Smith (56.4) vs. Jamal Adams (88.2)


Key Stat: Smith ranks seventh among tight ends the last four weeks in yards per route (2.43).

Fantasy Stats to Know:

Corey Davis owners need to chill. Sure, Davis has been up-and-down for fantasy purposes this season, but the young wideout has been a top-25 fantasy option and is one of just 19 qualifying wideouts to post over 2.0 yards per route run. Davis should be in your lineups every week.

Greenline/Predictive Analysis:

The Titans are one of the more enigmatic teams in the NFL this season – able to cover a number like this (-7.5) against a team like the Patriots just a few short weeks ago, but unable to do so against a team like Buffalo in Week 5. Monitor the Jets' quarterback decision before making any sort of play on this one this weekend.

Kansas City Chiefs @ Oakland Raiders

Key NFL Matchup/Stat:

Key Matchup: Dee Ford (88.6) vs. Brandon Parker (50.1)


Key Stat: Parker ranks 55th out of 58 tackles in pass-blocking efficiency.

Fantasy Stats to Know:

Patrick Mahomes is back from the bye and is set to pick right up where he left off. The Raiders have allowed two-or-more passing scores in nine of their 11 games this season, with four of the last six signal-callers they've faced tossing three scores through the air.

Greenline/Predictive Analysis:

15 points is quite a bit to lay on the road, even for a team as good as Kansas City against a team as… engaged… as Oakland.

Related Articles:

Chris Jones is gaining momentum, building on impressive two-year stretch

Minnesota Vikings @ New England Patriots

Key NFL Matchup/Stat:

Key Matchup: Adam Thielen (91.2) vs. Stephon Gilmore (89.3)


Key Stat: Gilmore has shadowed receivers in eight different games this year.

Fantasy Stats to Know:

Tight end has been utterly dreadful in fantasy this season, and that might make Kyle Rudolph tempting to use after he posted seven catches last week. While that total is encouraging, it's wise to not chase last week's stats. Rudolph offers limited fantasy upside with just 9.9 yards per catch in 2018.

Greenline/Predictive Analysis:

This number has bounced around this week but appears to have settled in the -4.5/-5.5 range in favor of New England. We like the Pats.

Related Articles:

Mike Zimmer pulls the strings for the best blitzing football team in the NFL

San Francisco 49ers @ Seattle Seahawks

Key NFL Matchup/Stat:

Key Matchup: Matt Breida (78.1) vs Bobby Wagner (90.1)


Key Stat: Bobby Wagner hasn't missed a single tackle on 91 attempts this season.

Fantasy Stats to Know:

Over the last three months, David Moore went from a relative unknown to fantasy darling. A big part of his success has been his usage in the red zone. Moore's nine end-zone targets are more than all but nine players in the league right now. With his arrow pointing up, Moore is in flex consideration this week.

Greenline/Predictive Analysis:

In what was supposed to be a tough year for the Seahawks, they sit at 6-5 and are over 80 percent to win their first of two battles against the 49ers en route to the playoffs, with an over 60 percent possibility.

Related Articles:

Fred Warner is the future at linebacker for San Francisco, and the future is bright

Los Angeles Chargers @ Pittsburgh Steelers

Key NFL Matchup/Stat:

Key Matchup: Casey Hayward (76.9) vs. Antonio Brown (73.2)


Key Stat: Hayward has shadowed opposing receivers in seven games this season (Kelvin Benjamin, Amari Cooper, Antonio Callaway, Corey Davis, Jordy Nelson, Courtland Sutton, Christian Kirk).

Fantasy Stats to Know:

With Melvin Gordon sidelined, Austin Ekeler figures to dominate the work in the Chargers' backfield. But sharp fantasy players should keep an eye on Justin Jackson. The rookie runner notched 57 yards on just seven carries last week and could be a factor in early downs.

Greenline/Predictive Analysis:

We like the Steelers as 3.5-point favorites at home against a Chargers team that is riding high on a weak schedule and some unsustainable brilliance from Philip Rivers.

Related Articles: 

Chargers are in good hands with Austin Ekeler taking over for Melvin Gordon

Washington Redskins @ Philadelphia Eagles

Key NFL Matchup/Stat:

Key Matchup: Fletcher Cox (92.2) vs. Tony Bergstrom (52.9)


Key Stat: Bergstrom has allowed multiple pressures in six of his seven starts this season.

Fantasy Stats to Know:

Josh Doctson hasn't been the fantasy breakout some had hoped, but the young wideout finally showed some signs of life last week with six catches on 10 targets for 66 yards. Doctson is a sneaky deep play this week against the decimated Eagles secondary.

Greenline/Predictive Analysis:

After the Cowboys' upset Thursday night against the Saints, the Eagles are installed as 6.5-point favorites against a fading Washington, a number that seems difficult to lay considering their struggles against the spread throughout the season.

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