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Fantasy Football Week 13 Lineup Land Mines (2022)

The premise behind this article is simple. Identifying fantasy football land mines — a guy you’re probably thinking about starting, but here’s why he might be a land mine that explodes your starting lineup — for the upcoming week.

Proceed with caution, and don’t be afraid to pivot to another option — preferably a higher-ranked option from my Week 13 fantasy football rankings.

Brace Yourself.

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QUARTERBACKS

Tom Brady (QB – TB)

  • The GOAT has a brutal matchup in Week 13 against the New Orleans Saints.
  • Their defense is allowing the 8th-fewest passing yards per game to QBs.
  • And since Week 7, they have allowed the fewest passing yards allowed per game at 192.
  • Considering the loss of stud left tackle Tristan Wirfs and the fact that TB12 hasn’t finished as a top-12 fantasy QB since Week 5…he needs to be avoided.
  • The Buccaneers have the 16th-highest implied team total.
  • No. 3 red zone defense vs. 25th-ranked red-zone offense.
  • Brady scored 9 fantasy points vs New Orleans back in Week 2.

RUNNINGS BACKS

Devin Singletary (RB – BUF)

  • Singletary finished Thanksgiving with 14 carries for 72 yards, but only saw one target despite running a route on 67% of dropbacks.
  • Meanwhile, No. 2 running back James Cook saw a whopping 5 targets on just 9 routes run (56% target rate per route run). The 65% opportunity share for Singletary was similar to what we saw in Week 11, with Cook getting more involved – this week as a receiver. Singletary is still seeing the vast majority of snaps – 78% snap share in Week 12 – but his grip on the high-value touches is starting to loosen with Josh Allen reclaiming goal-line rushes.
  • That will make him that much tougher to trust versus one of the league’s best run defenses in New England for Week 13.
  • The Patriots are allowing the fewest fantasy points per game to opposing RBs this season.
  • They have allowed just one rushing TD to an opposing RB.
  • Just last week, they held Dalvin Cook to 42 yards on 22 carries. His -8 total rushing EPA ranked dead last in Week 12.
  • Since Week 4 no single RB has surpassed 65 rushing yards vs the Patriots.
  • New England’s 76 rushing yards allowed per game to RBs ranks 5th best. Also 5th in run defense EPA and third in lowest yards per carry (3.7).

Jeff Wilson Jr. (RB – MIA)

  • Jeff Wilson Jr. got the RB1 treatment against the Houston Texans in Week 12 seeing all the RBs touches before he exited.
  • But Week 13 figures to be very different. Raheem Mostert is expected to return
  • Wilson’s fantasy ceiling won’t be easily attained versus the San Francisco 49ers stout run defense. They rank first in the fewest rushing yards allowed (59) and second in the fewest fantasy points allowed per game to running backs.
  • SF also ranks 1st in DVOA versus running backs in the passing game, making Wilson’s revenge game projection likely bittersweet even as the team’s lead back.
  • 49ers are allowing the fewest rushing yards before contact per attempt (0.99).

Latavius Murray (RB – DEN)

  • Since Week 6, the Baltimore Ravens have completely shut down opposing running games.
  • They rank fifth in fewest fantasy points allowed, facing the lowest number of rushes per game (14) and allowing just 36 rushing yards per game – the best mark in the NFL over that span.
  • On the year, they are allowing the third fewest rushing yards before contact per attempt (1.13)
  • With the Broncos abysmal 15-point implied team total forecasting another tough day at the office for Denver’s offense, Latavius Murray should be avoided where possible.
  • The Ravens have allowed zero rushing TDs over their last 3 games and rank 11th in rushing TD percentage allowed.

Saquon Barkley (RB – NYG)

  • Saquon Barkley has been bottled up the last 2 weeks. He has just one carry over 10 yards and zero of 15-plus yards.
  • He’s averaged just 16 touches per game and 2.3 yards per carry. Dead last in rushing EPA (-10.3)
  • And his fantasy outlook does not look great against an elite Washington Commanders run defense.
  • They rank third in run defense EPA, fourth in fewest fantasy points allowed to RBs and fifth in rushing TD percentage allowed.
  • Their defensive line will also be getting a major boost in the form of Chase Young presumably returning to the starting lineup.
  • The Washington run defense has also allowed the lowest conversion rate of rushing TDs inside the 5-yard line (17%). 5th-lowest rushing TD rate faced overall in 2022 (23%).

Alvin Kamara (RB – NO)

  • The Tampa Bay Buccaneers run defense is no joke when they have defensive tackle Akiem Hicks back in the starting lineup.
  • Through Weeks 1, 9, 10 and 12 when Hicks was fully healthy and playing, opposing RBs totaled 63 carries for 224 yards. 13.3 PPR points per game. 56 yards per game at just 3.6 yards per carry.
  • Considering how poor Alvin Kamara has played when facing tough run defenses like the Ravens, Steelers, Rams and 49ers the last four weeks, I am not overly convinced he will be able to positively combat another tough matchup on the ground in Week 13.
  • Tampa Bay has faced just 5 rushing attempts inside the 5-yard line PER game this season. No. 2 mark in the league.
  • Kamara hasn’t finished higher than RB19 in the last month amid the aforementioned juggernaut schedule of tough run defenses.
  • The Saints running back also ranks last among all rushers this season at -31.42 rushing EPA. Leonard Fournette and Melvin Gordon round out the bottom-3 rushers in rushing EPA this season.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Adam Thielen (WR – MIN)

  • The Jets have allowed the fewest fantasy points per game to opposing WRs since Week 6.
  • They rank 5th in DVOA versus No. 2 WRs allowing the sixth-fewest receiving yards (40 yards per game) to opposing No. 2 WRs.
  • Adam Thielen has just a 18% target share since T.J. Hockenson joined the team as the Kirk Cousins‘ No.3 pass-catching option.
  • It’s a bad spot to rely on the boom-or-bust Thielen to deliver even after his big Thursday night performance.

Michael Pittman Jr. (WR – IND)

  • The Cowboys boast the No. 1 in pass defense EPA this season.
  • They have allowed the second-fewest targets per game to No. 1 WRs (6.6) and the third-fewest receiving yards per game at 52 receiving yards.
  • And since Week 6, Dallas ranks 5th in fewest receiving yards allowed to opposing WRs overall.
  • With a pass-rush that figures to give Matt Ryan fits all day long, Pittman doesn’t offer a massive fantasy ceiling in this spot after an impressive Monday night showing against a defense that ranked dead last in fantasy points allowed to WRs.
  • The matchup boosted Pittman’s output, which likely won’t be the case on the road in Week 13.
  • He was stuck on 4 catches for 26 yards before the final drive on Monday Night.
  • The Colts OL has the fourth-biggest disadvantage per PFF’s O/DL matchup chart when they elect to throw. Dallas is No. 1 in generated pressure rate.

TIGHT ENDS

Hayden Hurst (TE – CIN)

  • The Chiefs rank 1st in the NFL in fewest fantasy points allowed to tight ends from inline this season.
  • Hayden Hurst ranks 4th in NFL in routes run from inline.
  • Only 11 of his 57 targets (19%) have come from the slot this season, where KC has given up the majority of it’s fantasy production to TEs.
  • Not to mention, the return of Ja’Marr Chase figures to cap Hurst’s target ceiling making him a floor play at best in a game that has a chance for some fireworks with a 52.5 projected total – the highest number on the Week 13 slate.

Hunter Henry (TE – NE)

  • Buffalo ranks No. 2 in DVOA vs tight ends this season.
  • 5th fewest fantasy points to the TE position.
  • Only one tight end they have faced has gone over 45 receiving yards (Travis Kelce).
  • Zero receiving TDs allowed to tight ends this season.
  • Hunter Henry caught two passes in his last two games versus Buffalo in 2021.
  • The Bills boast the No. 4 red-zone defense.

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