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Fantasy Football Studs & Duds: Week 13 (2023)

Fantasy Football Studs & Duds: Week 13 (2023)

With six teams on Bye during Week 13, fantasy managers were forced to rely on some secondary and tertiary players to fill the gaps, resulting in more high-risk fantasy lineups than normal. There were a few new prospects who turned in a stud performance for the first time this season, while others continued to surge and maximize fantasy production, returning to this coveted list of top-tier fantasy players.

As much as we focus on the studs who balled out in our fantasy lineups, there’s also an emphasis on the dud outings that likely tanked lineups in pivotal Week 13 matchups. Now that the fantasy football playoffs are only one week away, starting in Week 15 across most fantasy leagues, this is the time to recap some of these performances and assess whether or not the trend will continue moving forward into Week 14.

The final two teams in the league are on Bye in Week 14, which is only Arizona and Washington, so most fantasy managers will have accessibility to most of their roster, barring injury. The injuries were rampant in Week 13, eliminating players early and creating opportunity for the second and third-stringers to fill in and demonstrate their skillset.

NFL fantasy analyst Matt MacKay is back to share his Week 13 studs and duds, using half-PPR scoring to help assess whether these players should be inserted into lineups or cut to waivers and stashed on benches ahead of the final week of the 2023 fantasy football regular season.

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Studs

Brock Purdy (QB – 49ers)
San Francisco’s second-year quarterback shredded another opposing secondary in a highly anticipated Week 13 road game against Philadelphia. The 49ers’ personnel and scheme have benefitted Purdy, but his play has been at an all-time high this season, especially coming out of a Week 9 Bye.

Purdy has turned in three fantasy outings with 23 or more fantasy points across his last four games, throwing for at least three touchdowns and 296 yards during this recent hot streak. Purdy draws two more top-14 matchups against Seattle and Arizona during the next two games, making him an undisputed QB1 with top-five upside moving forward.

Alvin Kamara (RB – Saints)
Alvin Kamara finished Week 13 as the RB2 due to his ability to find the end zone and usage as a pass-catching running back out of the backfield against Detroit. The Saints’ season hasn’t gone well, but Kamara is holding it down for fantasy managers, producing 13.9 – 25.9 fantasy points in each of his last three games played. Earning five to eight targets a game keeps Kamara firmly in RB2 territory.

When he scores touchdowns, which has only happened three games this season, Kamara is a top-five fantasy running back option. His upcoming schedule against the Panthers and Giants presents two top-ten fantasy running back matchups, so keep Kamara locked into lineups as a fringe RB1.

Joe Mixon (RB – Bengals)
Despite playing on the road with Jake Browning (QB – Bengals) in Week 13, Joe Mixon managed to climb into an overall RB1 finish, scoring two rushing touchdowns and hauling in six receptions for 49 yards on seven targets during Monday Night Football. Mixon bounced back from an awful outing in Week 12 in what projected to be a poor matchup on paper against the Jaguars’ run defense.

Assuming the Bengals’ offense can move the football with Browning like they did against Jacksonville in upcoming games against Indianapolis and Minnesota, Mixon remains a mid-range RB2 with RB1 upside.

D.K. Metcalf (WR – Seahawks)
D.K. Metcalf finally turned in a stud performance in a prime time road game against Dallas’ pass defense, scoring three touchdowns in an explosive 34.4 point fantasy outing. Metcalf only caught six receptions on eight targets, but turned these into 134 receiving yards and three touchdowns to finish as the overall WR1.

Fantasy managers can expect more moderate production moving ahead against San Francisco and Philadelphia, however, both secondaries are vulnerable, presenting enough opportunity to keep Metcalf valued as a WR2.

Deebo Samuel (WR – 49ers)
San Francisco’s game plan against Philadelphia leveraged Deebo Samuel heavily in Week 13. Samuel caught only four receptions but turned them into 116 yards and two touchdowns, while also scoring a rushing touchdown, earning himself a trio of touchdown scores to catapult upward to the overall WR2 in Week 13. Samuel endured a multi-week slump, marred by injuries, but now, he draws two top-13 fantasy wide receiver matchups across his next two games, creating a WR2 floor due to his versatility within the 49ers’ offense.

Sam LaPorta (TE – Lions)
Another player who hadn’t been on the stud list in quite some time was Sam LaPorta, however, Detroit’s rookie tight end delivered for fantasy managers in a big way against New Orleans in Week 13. LaPorta caught all nine of his targets for 140 yards and a touchdown, scoring 24.5 fantasy points, surpassing his previous high of 18.4 points recorded back in Week 3 against Atlanta.

LaPorta is a low-end TE1 with top-three positional upside depending on game script and matchup. Next up, Chicago, which is a top-eight fantasy tight end matchup. LaPorta should remain locked into starting lineups in all fantasy leagues in Week 14.

Duds

Justin Herbert (QB – Chargers)
Justin Herbert somehow won a game without accounting for a touchdown in Week 13. This didn’t help his fantasy production though, which wound up being 7.98 fantasy points, dropping him to QB23 in a 6-0 win over New England. The Chargers’ offense has looked lackluster lately, whether due to injuries or scheme, but Herbert’s upside has also been demonstrated in several instances this season.

Herbert plays Denver in Week 14, which is the 13th-best fantasy quarterback matchup. Despite Herbert’s two-week slump, he should remain locked into lineups as a fringe QB1 against the Broncos during Week 14, as Denver just surrendered 292 passing yards to Houston in Week 13.

Jahmyr Gibbs (RB – Lions)
It’s weird seeing Detroit’s explosive rookie running back Jahmyr Gibbs on the duds list, but he was only capable of turning in 5.9 fantasy points against New Orleans in Week 13. Gibbs still averaged 7.5 YPC on eight carries, but his only reception went for -6 yards, while he was held out of the end zone in favor of David Montgomery (RB – Lions), who finished RB15, compared to Gibbs’ RB30 production. Chicago’s run defense is vastly improved but Gibbs should remain in fantasy lineups as a high-end RB2 with RB1 upside on the road against the Bears in Week 14.

Garrett Wilson (WR – Jets)
After scraping by and managing two 13 point fantasy games in Week 10 against Las Vegas and Week 12 against Miami, Garret Wilson’s situation proved too much to overcome in a rainy matchup against Atlanta. The Falcons’ defense held the Jets’ offense in check all game, resulting in Wilson catching three of seven targets for 50 yards, finishing with 6.5 fantasy points.

The Jets host Houston’s pass defense in Week 14, which is a bottom-12 fantasy wide receiver matchup, so without any quarterback stability, Wilson can be benched or deployed as a desperation play with low-end WR3 value.

Pat Freiermuth (TE – Steelers)
After scorching Cincinnati’s defense for 120 receiving yards in Week 13, Pittsburgh’s third-year tight end, Pat Freiermuth, finished as TE22 with 4.4 fantasy points against Arizona. Yes, the Cardinals’ defense is a tough matchup for tight ends to overcome, but an injury to Kenny Pickett (QB – Steelers) derailed any momentum the Steelers’ offense had started to show post-Matt Canada.

Freiermuth remains a volatile dart throw option in a bottom-six fantasy tight end matchup against New England in Week 14, which is being played on a short week on Thursday Night Football. There are plenty of other streaming options available, so Freiermuth doesn’t have to remain locked into fantasy lineups in Week 14.

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Matthew MacKay is a featured writer for FantasyPros. For more from Matthew, check out his archive and follow him @Matt_MacKay_.

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