IDP Start em, Sit em – Week 13 (2022 Fantasy Football)
Thursday Night Football had its moments, but all in all was another disappointing prime-time game put on by the NFL. There were, however, some bright spots from a fantasy perspective. Stefon Diggs showed the world once again why he is one of the best receivers in the NFL, and the Bills had 132 rushing yards despite Josh Allen running for just 20, thanks in large part due to rookie running back James Cook rumbling for a game-high 64 rushing yards. On the IDP side of things, edge rusher Josh Uche continued his emergence beside Matt Judon and is now up to seven sacks on the season, with all seven coming in his last five games. For the Bills, the theme of the night was injuries. They placed Von Miller on IR before the game to get the clock counting but welcomed back Tremaine Edmunds, Greg Rousseau, and A.J. Epenesa. Looking ahead to this weekend, we will take a look at five players fantasy managers should do their best to plug into their lineups and five others who are better left on benches despite promising upside. Let’s dig in.
Jack Sanborn (LB – CHI)
Sanborn has been an IDP stud since becoming the starter for the Chicago Bears. The LB1 overall and LB2 in fantasy points per game since that time, Sanborn is a must-start regardless of opponent. Not only is he a must-start, but as alluded to above, it is time to put some respect on his name as an LB1 option. He has been a tackle monster, chipping in at least seven solos in each of his starts. His latest exploit saw him tally 10 solos, five assists, and one tackle for loss against the New York Jets. Fire him up as an LB1 for Week 13 despite the tough on-paper matchup against a Green Bay Packers team limiting the position to the seventh-fewest fantasy points per game.
Jaelan Phillips (DE/LB – MIA)
Jaelan Phillips had his best fantasy game of the season in Week 12, reeling off six solos, one assist, one sack, and one tackle for loss. Phillips has been a disappointment for most of the season but may finally be getting comfortable playing with Bradley Chubb. His snap share has dropped to the 63 percent range over the last two weeks, but it has not affected his production and, in fact, may be keeping him fresher after playing just 54 percent as a rookie. Start Phillips as a DL3 option for Week 13 despite the rough season and tough on-paper matchup against the San Francisco 49ers.
Anthony Nelson (DE/LB – TB)
Anthony Nelson was excellent in Week 12, racking up four solos, one assist, one sack, and two tackles for loss. While the world has been waiting for Joe Tryon-Shoyinka to breakout, most outside of Tampa Bay have forgotten about Anthony Nelson. Nelson had a solid five sacks last season despite playing behind Shaq Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul. It may be tough to find lineup space for him for Week 13 due to the light bye, but for those with defensive line options from the Cardinals or Panthers, Nelson should get a look as a DL3 option. He has a plus matchup on Monday night against the New Orleans Saints and should be back in the starting lineup after his success last week. Those in deeper formats should take a long look at Nelson where needed.
Julian Love (S/CB – NYG)
Julian Love was excellent in Week 12, reeling off six solos, four assists, one tackle for loss, one interception, and one pass defended. The DB3 overall and DB4 in fantasy points per game since he started on his tear back in Week 5, Love needs to be started in leagues of all sizes. While some may not be ready to start him as a DB1, he has been performing at that level and should be viewed as at least a DB2 going forward. Fire him up as a borderline DB1 despite the neutral at best Week 13 matchup against a Washington Commanders team surrendering the 23rd most (or 10th fewest) fantasy points per game to the safety position.
DeAndre Houston-Carson (S – CHI)
DHC looks set to make another start this week, this time for Eddie Jackson, who is out for at least the next four weeks with a Lisfranc injury. DHC was excellent in relief of Jaquan Brisker last week, recording six solos, three assists, and one tackle for loss. He is a much better option than seventh round rookie Elijah Hicks, so expect him to get the tap if Brisker can make it back to practice on Friday before playing this weekend against Green Bay. If Brisker cant go, both Houston-Carson and Hicks should start together. DHC is a solid DB3 option, especially if he remains in Brisker’s role. Start him where needed as a DB3, even with the light bye week.
Quandre Diggs (S – SEA)
Quandre was on fire in Week 12, tallying two solos, four assists, two interceptions, and two passes defended. Diggs has now put together back-to-back strong weeks, but the suggestion here is to avoid chasing his last two outings, at least not on a light bye. Give him one more week to prove that his improved play is not just an extended peak for a player known more for his IDP lows than his highs. Treat him as no more than a DB4 option for Week 13 with a tough matchup on tap against a Los Angeles Rams team limiting the safety position to the fewest fantasy points per game.
Andre Cisco (S – JAC)
Ande Cisco was excellent in Week 12, racking up six solos, one assist, and two passes defended. Cisco has flashed this season but has struggled for consistency. He looked like he was about to break out after strong performances in Week 6 and Week 7 but proceeded to put up three straight IDP stinkers before having a strong Week 12. Cisco is a fine DB4 option in the deepest of leagues but should be left on benches or even the wire in leagues where you are required to start three or fewer defensive backs. Look elsewhere for your Week 13 DB3.
Maliek Collins (DT – HOU)
Collins went bonkers in Week 12, racking up four solos, two sacks, and three tackles for loss. The production was nice to see, but the sacks were his first of the season. Week 12 was also the first time all season that he recorded more than two solos. He is simply not an option for Week 13 outside of leagues where you are required to start three or more defensive tackles. Look elsewhere for your Week 13 DT2.
Baron Browning (DE/LB – DEN)
Baron Browning has been struggling since returning from injury and may be giving the Broncos second thoughts about giving up on Bradley Chubb due to not wanting to extend him. With that said, the Broncos are going nowhere this season, and Browning has already proven to be a high-upside player, he just needs to show some consistency to become an IDP star. Browning should be viewed as no more than a DL3 option until he heats up, but should remain on rosters due to his DL1 upside. Keep him benched for Week 13 but keep him stashed where possible.
Jessie Bates (S – CIN)
Bates has been a shell of the Pro Bowl level player we have seen in years past, and it is becoming more and more evident that things are not going to change this season. Bates does not appear to be playing a full throttle while he is in a contract dispute with the Bengals, so it may be time to start treating him as a DB3 at best and as someone to consider dropping in shallower or novelty formats. Keep him out of lineups for Week 13 in leagues that require you to start two or fewer defensive backs.
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