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Week 13 Start/Sit PLUS: Taysom Hill, Michael Pittman, Elijah Moore (2021)

by Ben Wasley | @FantasyFirstDwn | Featured Writer
Dec 2, 2021


 
What a year it’s been for running backs! The list of injuries is long and filled with big names. The top four by pre-season ADP are all at best questionable, while a slew of others dealt with a range of injuries. This week we lost the big kahuna CMC for the season, and Dalvin Cook is one of many who appears to be out for at least Week 13. So did you heed our suggestions to pick up the backups? Are you struggling at other positions? Or have you already nailed in the bye, and you need help preparing for playoffs? Let’s help you out and get into some Start/Sit plus: We’ll be looking at six categories (which are described in detail here in our Week 1 article). And to ensure total transparency, I’ll also note at the bottom of each section how I went in last week’s article (I’ve logged it as 49 hits and 25 misses, meaning a 70% success rate so far this season, but you be the judge). If you disagree or have start/sit questions, hit me up on Instagram or Twitter.

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Start (Players who have become every week starters, regardless of matchup)

Taysom Hill (QB – NO)

We had a false start on Sean Peyton’s unique hybrid weapon when Jameis Winston went down. It seems we might finally be ready to rumble. Hill was the QB6 over the four weeks he started last season and has the sort of rushing upside you need to target. He’s a risk, but if you’re without a strong quarterback option, Hill is the guy.

Alexander Mattison (RB – MIN)

If you haven’t been staying up to date, Dalvin Cook is hurt, because of course, he is. We’ve seen Mattison with brilliant performances while deputizing for Cook, and though he’s never a guarantee, he’s the closest you’re going to get to a new clear-cut starter.

Jamaal Williams (RB – DET)

If you haven’t been staying up to date, Dalvin Cook D’Andre Swift is hurt, because of course, he is. We’ve seen Mattison Williams perform brilliantly deputizing for… well, Aaron Jones, but it’s the same idea, so you know he’s going to be a great starting option just like Mattison, assuming Swift is out.

Michael Pittman (WR – IND)

The Colts star has had a couple of poor weeks in the shadow of JT, but he’s still a viable starter moving forward, especially this week against the mediocre Texans.

Hunter Renfrow (WR – LV)

I don’t think anyone expected Renfrow to put in a Top 10 fantasy performance without a touchdown, but here we are! Week 12 also saw more yardage than the previous four weeks combined as the former Clemson walk-on somehow became the focal point of this offense. He can be started against WFT and likely moving forward in most leagues.

Amari Cooper (WR – DAL) and Michael Gallup (WR – DAL)

If he plays, Cooper is a start against the generous Saints secondary. Luckily, because he plays in TNF, you can wait patiently to ensure he’s active. Regardless, Michael Gallup is also a solid start, though more flex if Cooper plays.

Logan Thomas (TE – WAS)

I’m ready to start putting Logan Thomas back into starting lineups. He was working his way back last game, but he was a key target for Taylor Heinicke and got red zone looks, even on limited snaps. The WFT starting tight end has played close to 100% snaps throughout the season, and while Ricky Seals-Jones returning may impact that, I’d still consider Thomas a low-end starter.

Others:

Jalen Hurts (QB – PHI) – If he plays, start him.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire (RB – KC)

Miles Sanders (RB – PHI)

DeAndre Hopkins (WR – ARI)

Van Jefferson (WR – LAR)

Brandon Aiyuk (WR – SF)

Zach Ertz (TE – ARI)

Last Week:

Hits: Kirk Cousins, Antonio Gibson, Elijah Mitchell, Adam Thielen, Michael Gallup, Darnell Mooney, Dawson Knox, Rob Gronkowski, Dalton Schultz

OK: David Montgomery

Misses: Cam Newton, DeVonta Smith

Sit (Players you should consider benching if you have a viable alternative)

Russell Wilson (QB – SEA)

Russ finally had a good fantasy performance last week, but he still looked very rusty. He air-mailed receivers several times and struggled to move the ball on the league’s worst pass defense. The 49ers are a big step up, so I wouldn’t want to risk another dud game from Wilson. He’s a hold but nothing more.

Rhamondre Stevenson (RB – NE)

He was a lousy play last week, and he remains that way this week. Stevenson is getting less than half the carries, and the Patriots could easily fall behind quickly against the Bills. I’d avoid him if I could; otherwise, you’re praying for a touchdown.

Matt Breida (RB – BUF) and Devin Singletary (RB – BUF)

I have no idea what’s going on in the Bills backfield, but I’m still staying away. Breida has been productive, and Singletary was busy but poor last week, and it’s always possible Zack Moss will be active again. I’d avoid the whole mess if you can.

Jakobi Meyers (WR – NE)

This offense has moved in an odd direction, with Kendrick Bourne producing on limited snaps, the tight ends splitting targets, and an irritating RBBC. Meyers has been the WR1 throughout, but that has rarely made big fantasy points of late, until a boom game against the Titans last week. He faces a better Bills secondary this week, though, and I don’t want any part of that.

Courtland Sutton (WR – DEN)

If you missed the memo, I’d remind you. The Broncos’ offense sucks for pass catchers. Teddy B is spreading the ball around way too much on the rare occasions when he throws, and the three wide receivers and two pass-catching tight ends are often out-targeted by the running backs. What a colossal mess. I’ll likely be avoiding him for the remainder of the season, assuming nothing changes. And for now, I’m sitting Jerry Jeudy, Tim Patrick, Noah Fant, and any other receivers wearing orange and blue.

Elijah Moore (WR – NYJ)

I think we’ve allowed the hype to get a little out of hand for the Jets rookie. He looked great against the Dolphins and Colts but let’s face it, most receivers have. He struggled against the Texans, though, and he now faces an Eagles team most teams run on. While the underneath, inside targets will be available, I don’t think that’s enough.

Hunter Henry (TE – NE)

Henry’s routes and snaps keep dropping as Jonnu Smith becomes a heavier part of this offense. You’re praying for a TD here, and against the Bills, I don’t like your odds.

Others:

Mike Glennon (QB – NYG)

Trevor Lawrence (QB – JAC) – Even in Superflex

Alex Collins (RB – SEA)

Tevin Coleman (RB – NYJ)

Rashod Bateman (WR – BAL)

Marvin Jones (WR – JAC)

Emmanuel Sanders (WR – BUF)

Cole Beasley (WR – BUF)

Mike Gesicki (TE – MIA)

Last Week:

Hits: Tua Tagovailoa, Ben Roethlisberger, Trevor Siemian, Jeff Wilson, Zack Moss, Devin Singletary, Devonta Freeman, Latavius Murray, Rhamondre Stevenson, Jerry Jeudy, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Austin Hooper, Hunter Henry, Tyler Conklin

OK: D’Onta Foreman

Misses: Derek Carr, Damien Harris, Matt Breida, Hunter Renfrow, Van Jefferson, Odell Beckham Jr, Jarvis Landry, Gerald Everett, Jack Doyle

Stream (Players you wouldn’t usually start who should have a good week)

Derek Carr (QB – LV)

So who has the most passing yards so far this season? Tom Brady? Josh Allen? Patrick Mahomes? Nope! It’s good ol’ Derek Carr. His lack of touchdowns is badly holding Carr back, but against the WFT, you have to feel like his passing yardage floor is enough to sustain you, even if he only manages one or two scores.

Carson Wentz (QB – IND)

The Colts are highly likely to roll all over the Texans, so the main risk is who does the scoring. Jonathan Taylor can put big points on the scoreboard, but you have to feel like Carson Wentz has at least a couple of scores in him, given Vegas expects Indy to score at least four TDs.

Boston Scott (RB – PHI)

The Eagles play the Jets. That’s been gold for running backs so far this season, and Scott somehow seems to keep getting rushing volume and goal-line looks. I’d happily roll him out there, especially in non-PPR leagues. I’d only be concerned if Jordan Howard plays.

Russell Gage (WR – ATL)

The Falcons offense looks a little more functional with Cordarrelle Patterson back, and we’ve seen that teams need to throw on the Buccs. And with Kyle Pitts often in double coverage, who is Matt Ryan‘s target? Russell Gage, of course!

AJ Green (WR – ARI)

Surpassing 50 yards in six of his last eight games, the community is sleeping on Green. As the Instagram peeps would say, “Y’all disrespecting AJ!” He’s available in most leagues and has a great matchup against the Bears, with Nuk surely not back to full health. Assuming Kyler Murray is good to go, he’s a solid streaming option.

Foster Moreau (TE – LV)

If Darren Waller sits, Moreau takes over a moderately productive role. We saw him turn that into 60 yards and a TD against Philly, but this is a tougher matchup, so he’s just a low-end streaming option for now.

Others:

Tony Pollard (RB – DAL)

Chase Claypool (WR – PIT)

DeVonta Smith (WR – PHI)

Jack Doyle (TE – IND) – In deep leagues

Ryan Griffin (TE – NYJ) – In really deep leagues

Evan McPherson (K – CIN)

Jake Elliott (K – PHI)

Los Angeles Rams (DST – LAR)

Miami Dolphins (DST – MIA)

Last Week:

Hits: Russell Wilson, Javonte Williams, Tevin Coleman, Brandon Bolden, Dontrell Hilliard, Cedrick Wilson Jr, Russell Gage, Laquon Treadwell, Nick Folk

OK: Tyrod Taylor, Daniel Jones, Mark Ingram (INJ), Melvin Gordon, Rex Burkhead, Patrick Taylor (Jones played), Elijah Moore, John Bates.

Misses: Ty Johnson, Rashod Bateman, Sammy Watkins, Noah Fant, Evan Engram, Tyler Higbee, Zane Gonzalez, Chicago Bears DST, Philadelphia Eagles DST

Stash (Players you should pick up and bench)

Tua Tagovailoa (QB – MIA)

In my opinion, there’s rarely a good reason to stash a quarterback. I realize that some of you will be streaming and already feel very good about your playoff chances. Tua is a guy you can feel great about from weeks 15-17, with the Jets, Saints, and Titans on the schedule. That’s one nice run home!

Backup Running Backs

And we’re back again! Last week, I listed Alexander Mattison, Jamaal Williams, and Sony Michel as three of my favorite running backs to stash (I had Chuba Hubbard not far behind). Now all three may be locked-in starters. If you still haven’t paid attention, now is the time. Here’s my updated list, outside the apparent guys I mentioned earlier, I’d happily stash (in order): Tony Pollard, AJ Dillon, Mark Ingram, Devontae Booker, Rhamondre Stevenson, Darrel Williams, Khalil Herbert, Jeff Wilson, Carlos Hyde, Nyheim Hines, Ronald Jones, Samaje Perine, Latavius Murray, Jaret Patterson.

Chuba Hubbard (RB – CAR) and Ameer Abdullah (RB – CAR)

I have no idea what will happen in this backfield, and I’ve got little confidence it’ll be good for either back. I expect it to be a full split, but I’d still roster one or both to find out.

Adrian Peterson (RB – SEA)

Will he become the Seahawks starter? Probably not. Would it hurt to find out? Only if you would need to drop someone of value.

Jauan Jennings (WR – SF)

With Deebo Samuel likely to miss a couple of games, it’s worth looking into who will replace him. Brandon Aiyuk becomes immediately startable, but there will be a role for another guy, and that should be Jennings. I wouldn’t start him against the Seahawks, but it will be an excellent opportunity to scope him out and consider starting him the following week.

Curtis Samuel (WR – WAS)

He’s finally back! He’s not 100% just yet, but he’s worth stashing and monitoring for a possible, though unlikely, late-season explosion.

James O’Shaughnessy (TE – JAC)

With Dan Arnold on IR and O’Shaughnessy having proven his worth earlier in the season, it’s worth picking up the Jag to see what he can do. He has a Top 12 upside.

Others:

Cam Newton (QB – CAR)

Ty Johnson (RB – NYJ)

Marquez Valdes-Scantling (WR – GB)

Brevin Jordan (TE – HOU) – In dynasty

Last Week:

Hits: Taysom Hill, Backup Running Backs, Matt Breida, Phillip Lindsay, Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, Josh Reynolds, Logan Thomas

TBD: Alex Collins, Kenyan Drake, Kadarius Toney, Kenny Golladay, Tim Patrick, Joshua Palmer, Nick Vannett, Dan Arnold (INJ)

Misses: Josiah Deguara

Sell (Players who are likely to lose value in the future and could be sold now for a better player)

Josh Allen (QB – BUF)

The Bills QB has had some fantastic weeks this season, but he’s also had a lot of duds. His schedule gets more complex heading into the fantasy playoffs, and while I think he’s good enough to fight through it if you can get QB1 value for him, he’s worth selling.

Leonard Fournette (RB – TB)

I’m not saying Lombardi Lenny will be bad in the coming weeks; he could easily be ranked in the top 5 some weeks, but is he likely to score four TDs again this season? Well, given he only scored four in the first 11 weeks combined, that seems unlikely. I’d sell while the Buccaneer’s hot.

Jd Mckissic (RB – WAS)

He had a great game on MNF with two TDs, but this backfield is heading heavily towards Antonio Gibson. McKissic will have the occasional good game, but given WFT will likely be favorites most weeks, it’ll be tough to know when to start him. Especially given he’s currently battling a head knock, I’d rather sell him now if I can get anything worthwhile for him at all.

Tee Higgins (WR – CIN)

I don’t trust this Tee Higgins revival even slightly. While Ja’Marr Chase is the focus for defenses, Higgins has started to get more opportunities, but he has many ugly matchups coming up, so I’d instead make him someone else’s problem if I can.

Injured Players

At this stage of the season, it’s worthwhile selling off injured players on bad teams, as they’re prone to get shut down. On the other hand, if you’re in a good playoff position, it’s worth buying cheaply on injured guys to make your team loaded for the playoffs. If you’re in the playoff fight, though, and need a win now, you can have a good profit on Deebo Samuel and Dalvin Cook helping you make the finals.

Dawson Knox (TE – BUF)

He had a big game last week, but I’m not buying the Knox hype moving forward. He’s essentially the new Hunter Henry – TD-or-bust on limited touches. I’d rather sell him after his two big weeks.

Others:

Mac Jones (QB – NE)

Javonte Williams (RB – DEN)

Myles Gaskin (RB – MIA)

Kendrick Bourne (WR – NE)

Jaylen Waddle (WR – MIA)

Gerald Everett (TE – SEA)

Dalton Schultz (TE – DAL)

Last Week:

Hits: Taylor Heinicke, Devonta Freeman, Elijah Moore, Nelson Agholor, Darren Waller

TBD: Matthew Stafford, Justin Herbert, Jonathan Taylor, Austin Ekeler, Myles Gaskin, Rondale Moore, Zach Ertz

Misses: Aaron Rodgers, Jaylen Waddle, Tyler Lockett

Scrub (Players you should drop, assuming a viable alternative is available)

Daniel Jones (QB – NYG)

He’s been awful this season, and now he’s battling a neck injury. There’s no good reason to keep Jones in standard leagues.

Alex Collins (RB – SEA)

In shallow leagues, Collins is droppable. This backfield looks non-functional, and I wouldn’t even consider starting the Seahawks runner until Week 17. By then, Rashaad Penny, Adrian Peterson, or some other random could be the lead runner. Will I want to trust him then? It’s doubtful.

Amon-Ra St Brown (WR – DET)

I can’t justify starting Lions wide receivers now, and if I were going to use anyone, it would be Josh Reynolds in a deep league. St Brown doesn’t have a reliable role, and while he may have a good PPR game occasionally, it will be hard to predict when.

Tyler Higbee (TE – LAR)

You may not have better options, but I’m done with Higbee. I was hoping for a late-season blow-up after Robert Woods went down, but that’s not happening.

Others:

Zach Wilson (QB – NYJ)

Teddy Bridgewater (QB – DEN)

Salvon Ahmed (RB – MIA)

Zack Moss (RB – BUF)

Mecole Hardman (WR – KC)

Sammy Watkins (WR – BAL)

Cedrick Wilson (WR – DAL) – Assuming Amari Cooper plays.

Tyler Conklin (TE – MIN)

Dan Arnold (TE – JAC)

Nick Folk (K – NE)

Chris Boswell (K – PIT)

Washington Football Team (DST – WAS)

New Orleans Saints (DST – NO)

Last Week:

Hits: Matt Ryan, Justin Fields, Baker Mayfield, Ryan Tannehill, Adrian Peterson, Wayne Gallman, Chris Carson, Trey Sermon, Bryan Edwards, James Washington, Quez Watkins, Ray-Ray McCloud, Adam Trautman, Eric Ebron, Mo Alie-Cox, Younghoe Koo, Los Angeles Rams DST, Indianapolis Colts DST

TBD: Mike Davis, Rashaad Penny, Nico Collins, Cameron Brate, Ryan Succop

Misses: David Njoku

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Ben Wasley is a featured writer for FantasyPros. For more from Ben, check out his archive and follow him @FantasyFirstDwn.

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