Week 13 of the fantasy football season is here, and everyone knows how crucial every victory becomes as the playoffs begin soon in most leagues. That makes our research essential because it is do-or-die time within fantasy football.
This week, we want to remind you that a running back that most people hate is on the must-start list. We will also show you a defense you can stream if you have been crushed by this random Week 13 bye (we are looking at you, Baltimore Ravens managers). Finally, I’ll explain why a streamable quarterback can become your QB1 in Week 13.
Let’s begin our “4 Stats to Know” with the Pittsburgh Steelers, who face one of the worst rushing defenses, the Arizona Cardinals.
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4 Stats To Know Before Setting Your Fantasy Lineup
Najee Harris Is EXPLOSIVE
We understand the cool thing to do is push Jaylen Warren until you run out of characters on Twitter. However, don’t look now; Najee Harris is producing the same level of explosive plays this season. Let’s first look at the percentage of yards that come on explosive runs. Jaylen Warren sits at 37.6%. Najee Harris sits at 37.3%.
Exploring rushing yards on runs that go for 15+ yards, Warren has 225 yards in this category. Harris is just a little behind with 202 yards. Looking at the percentage of runs to go for 15+ yards, the “prodigy” Warren sits at 8.6%, and Harris is at 7.7%.
Warren isn’t blowing Harris out of the water with explosive plays, yet Harris has 50 more rushing attempts. Don’t let Twitter conversations lead you in the wrong direction. Najee Harris is a must-start in Week 13, facing an Arizona defense that allowed Kyren Williams to destroy them in his first week back.
“Go, Chargers, Go!”
You read that like Arnold Schwarzenegger, didn’t you? It’s OK, so did I. The Los Angeles Chargers face off against the New England Patriots this week. Los Angeles has the ninth-highest implied total on the slate. Therefore, Vegas expects the Chargers to score. According to their projections, we can expect around 23 points. The Patriots are allowing the ninth-highest reception totals this year to wide receivers. The Patriots’ defense is allowing the 11th-most yards to the same position while allowing them to score the sixth-most touchdowns. These stats combine to have the Patriots sitting 10th overall in most FPPG allowed to the wide receiver position.
With Keenan Allen dealing with an injury, we have a chance for players such as Jalen Guyton and (gulp) Quentin Johnston. With all the byes we deal with in Week 13, you may have to lean on these players to help guide you through. The implied points, the FPPG relinquished to WR and Allen’s knee injury lead us to believe these other wide receivers are viable flex plays within your lineups for Week 13.
Use the Colts’… Defense!?!
The Colts’ defense is something we usually target when picking our matchups. At one point, they couldn’t stop the pass. Now, they can’t stop the run. So what has us drinking the Kool-Aid on this Indianapolis defense? Will Levis is the opposing signal caller in Week 13.
The Colts’ defense prefers to play Cover 3 in 2023. They use this formation 52.1%, which is the highest amount in the NFL. Cover 3 prevents over-the-top passes and forces everything underneath. That style of passing goes against everything Levis wants to do. The rookie scores an abysmal .27 fantasy points per dropback against this coverage. That lands him 27th in the NFL for the 2023 season.
If those stats weren’t enough, he is struggling with a lower-body injury. This injury will limit his mobility. The damage will also hinder his mechanics, which weren’t fantastic to begin with. The Colts have a chance to be a sneaky defense for you in Week 13.
Brock Purdy QB1 for Week 13?
Brock Purdy has a juicy matchup in Week 13 against the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles allow the second-most fantasy points per game (FPPG) to the quarterback position this season. When facing the Eagles, most teams will throw the ball to score against them. So far, in 2023, the Eagles have faced 456 passing attempts, the most in the NFL.
Brock Purdy sits at .54 fantasy points per dropback, the highest in the league. The Eagles allow .51 fantasy points per dropback when in man, something they run at the 13th-highest rate in the NFL. Purdy can exploit this because his FP/DB against man sits at .76, the second-highest in the league this season.
The Eagles also love to use Cover 3. They use this coverage 33.2% of the time. Purdy loves to face this coverage style, as he has the third-highest FP/DB against Cover 3. Even if the Eagles move to their second-highest coverage usage and lean into Cover 1, Purdy is still in the favorable matchup. He has the third-highest FP/DB at .71 against Cover 1 this season.
Purdy can be someone who helps you reach your Week 13 victory this week, as sportsbooks believe the 49ers will score the fifth-most points this week with 25. If you have quarterbacks such as Jared Goff, Derek Carr and Sam Howell, consider starting Brock Purdy over all of them to help you win in Week 13.
As Week 13 approaches, check out all the fantastic resources available at FantasyPros to help you stay ahead of the competition.
If you ever need any assistance with your lineups, don’t hesitate to reach out to me on Twitter at @jpep20. I wish you the best of luck in Week 13 and beyond!