Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em: Week 13

Trying to decide who you should start or sit this week? Let’s take a look at a few potential decisions owners have and try to sort through them:

Start – Matt Ryan – Atlanta Falcons – at Houston
The Houston Texans passing defense is the second best in the league allowing a meager 175.8 passing yards per game (as well as 11 TD vs. 15 INT).  So, why is Ryan still someone to use?  First of all, Ryan has been rolling of late with 1,204 yards, 9 TD and 2 INT over his past four games (including a pair of 300+ yard games).  Second is the fact that Houston has not faced the best of the quarterback class for the majority of the season.  Among the quarterbacks who led their team’s against the Texans are Blaine Gabbert (twice), Colt McCoy and Chad Henne.  Just ask Drew Brees (31-44, 370 yards, 3 TD, 2 INT) if it is possible to put up good numbers against them.

Sit – Andy Dalton – Cincinnati Bengals – at Pittsburgh
Dalton has been surprisingly good this season throwing for 2,509 yards, 16 TD and 12 INT in his rookie campaign.  However, this week the matchup keeps him from being a recommended option.  He is just a few weeks removed from facing off against the Steelers at home, throwing for 150 yards, 2 TD and 2 INT.  The Pittsburgh defense is tough against the pass (181.3 passing yards per game) as it is.  How can we expect Dalton to perform any better with the game now being played in Pittsburgh?

Running Backs
Start – LeGarrette Blount – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – vs. Carolina
Not only is he a must start, but he can be considered one of the better plays of the week.  The Carolina Panthers are allowing the fifth most rushing yards per game (137.5) and are tied for the most rushing touchdowns allowed (15).  Blount has finally started to turn things up as well, rushing for over 100 yards in each of his past two games.  Last season he faced the Panthers once, taking 19 carries for 91 yards and a TD.  Get him active in all formats.

Start – BenJarvus Green-Ellis – New England Patriots – vs. Indianapolis
It is tough to depend on a Patriots running back, but when Green-Ellis tends to lose carries is when the Patriots fall behind and need to go pass happy to get back into a game.  Does anyone really expect that to be the case this week (though, it is possible they rest him after getting a big lead)?  Throw in the fact that the Colts have allowed 15 rushing touchdowns and the second most rushing yards per game (150.6) and there’s a lot to like.  Green-Ellis scored 2 TD in Week 12 and should be inline to score a TD or two this week as well.

Sit – Mike Tolbert – San Diego Chargers – at Jacksonville
Slowly but surely things in San Diego are starting to look less like a timeshare and more geared towards Ryan Mathews.  Over the past three weeks Tolbert has a total of 21 carries and 90 yards.  Yes, he does add a little bit in the passing game (13 receptions for 80 yards), but it’s not enough to overcome things.  With Mathews coming off a big day (137 rushing yards), you have to think that he is once again going to handle lead back duties.

Sit – James Starks – Green Bay Packers – at New York Giants
The fact that he came out of Week 12 a little banged up isn’t even the reason that he finds himself in the sit column (though it doesn’t help).  The fact is Green Bay just doesn’t run the ball very much.  While the Giants defense has allowed 13 rushing TD, Starks hasn’t scored since Week 1.  His high for the year is 85 rushing yards and only twice has he managed 75 yards or more.  Look towards other options at this point.

Wide Receivers (Two Receiver Formats)
Start – Dwayne Bowe – Kansas City Chiefs – at Chicago
Even if it is Tyler Palko under center, Bowe has proven that he can still post pretty good numbers.  Over the past two weeks he has 14 receptions 156 yards.  What happens if the Chiefs realize that Kyle Orton really is the better option at some point?  Throw in the fact that the Bears are allowing 270.5 passing yards per game (third most in the league) and there is no reason to shy away from Bowe this week.

Sit – Santana Moss – Washington Redskins – vs. New York Jets
We all saw what Stevie Johnson did to Darrelle Revis and the Jets in Week 12.  Does that mean that it’s going to happen again?  In Moss’ return to the lineup last week he managed four receptions for 29 yards and is way too big of a risk to trust in shallower formats.

Wide Receivers (Three Receiver Formats)
Start – Mike Williams – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – vs. Carolina
After waiting 10 weeks for him to wake up Mike Williams is finally showing us why he was a highly sought after pick heading into the year.  Over the past two weeks he has 13 receptions for 167 yards and 2 TD (one in each game).  It is the touchdowns that make him alluring and what drew people to him (he had 11 TD in ’10).  The Panthers defense has been pretty good against the pass this season, but they have allowed 12 TD (12th in the league).  In deeper formats he is worth using depending on your other options.

Sit – Darius Heyward-Bey – Oakland Raiders – at Miami
In reality, the Raiders receiving corps is just constantly in flux making any of the options tough to depend on.  Even without Denarius Moore or Jacoby Ford in Week 12 Heyward-Bey managed just 4 receptions for 42 yards.  What happens if Moore and/or Ford are back this week?  There’s too much risk to depend on him unless you are desperate.

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Make sure to check out all of our Week 13 articles:


Sunday Morning Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em Decisions: Week 13: Ahmad Bradshaw, DeMarco Murray & More
Start 'Em or Sit 'Em Decisions: Eagles vs. Seahawks


  1. Randy says:

    I have a tricky roster decision to make this weekend and would love to get your thoughts. We start 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE, 1 RB/WR/TE, 1 K, 1 DEF/ST, 1 DL, 1 LB, and 1 DB. My roster currently is:

    QB – Romo, Palmer
    RB – Foster, Murray, Felix Jones, Kevin Smith, Jonathan Stewart
    WR – Fitzgerald, Lloyd, Marshall, Austin
    TE – Fred Davis
    K – Kasay
    DEF/ST – Patriots, Broncos
    DL – Andre Carter, Elvis Dumervil
    LB – Desmond Bishop (Inj), Chad Greenway
    DB – George Wilson (DB)

    My dilemma is that George Wilson will likely be out this weekend, and I’m not sure which roster move to make to get a new DB. Wilson has been a stud this year, but do I drop him and hope no one picks him up? I’d have to replace him w/ someone like Bethea. Or, do I drop one of my other IDPs? Good DLs are hard to come by, though I only need to start one. Normally I start Bishop, but w/ his injury, I need to go w/ Greenway this week. Or, do I drop Felix Jones, who may never actually start for me but is insurance for Murray. Or Miles Austin? Any of these moves would be just for the weekend w/ the hope that Wilson returns next week , but who do you find to be the most expendable? Thanks!

    • Randy says:

      *these moves should HOPEFULLY just be for this weekend, but the risk that someone else picks up whoever I drop is the concern…

    • What is the scoring for the DB? If it’s not a big difference, I could see dropping Wilson and hoping to get him back. Same thing can be said for Bishop.

      If the scoring makes those guys to valuable to drop, Jones is the easy call at this point. He

      • Randy says:

        The scoring system is fairly “tackle-heavy”, and Wilson and Bishop have both been in the top 3 in scoring in my league all year. At DB, the drop-off from Wilson to the next available DB seems the most drastic, but there is a chance I could get him back. I’ll probably base it on who is least likely to get picked up based on people’s rosters and available alternatives. Thanks!

  2. Muddy Cleats 18 says:

    I have a spot open and was looking to “gamble” on a Michael Turner injury. Just don’t know who to get -Do I grab Snelling or rodgers? Might go with Javon ringer and see if he becomes relevant. it is not like I am praying for somebody to get hurt but you never know. Already got Hunter stashed…

  3. Ramblin' Wreck says:

    With AP out for the Vikings, does that make Harvin another good play at flex this week? I’ve been rolling AHer at flex most weeks, but last week with AP down I cashed in on a nice performance from Harvin. Witten is my TE, so is it AHer or Harvin this week?

    Thanks in advance for the help.

  4. Muddy Cleats – They are all basically wild cards at this point and on an even playing field. Flip a coin, because none of the three has any type of advantage over the others.

    Ramblin’ Wreck – Harvin did miss a little practice this week, so make sure he’s healthy and playing. Hernandez is a strong play, but you just don’t know what he’s going to do given all of the other options the Patriots have (Gronkowski, Welker, etc.). I’d probably roll with Harvin, but it is close.

  5. Triz says:

    NOW is it time to ask about McGahee vs Mike Williams at flex? 🙂

  6. Dale says:

    I have delanie walker and tony gonzalez I am leaning toward dropping gonzalez.walker looks to have the better schedule. Crazy or not.

  7. Dale says:

    Looks like Moreno is banged up. I have Donald Brown, Andre Ellington and LeVone Bell. Which two would you roll out this week?

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