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Fantasy Football Matchups That Matter - Week 13

By Jared Smola | Updated on Sun, 03 Dec 2023 . 12:09 PM EST

Welcome to Week 13’s Matchups That Matter.

The goal of this article is to give you a look into the process that fuels our weekly projections and rankings.

The information below is all stuff that we use when formulating those rankings. Hopefully taking a look through it helps you make better lineup decisions each week.

As always, you should check the Week 13 Rankings and your Team Intel page for customized start/sit advice.

Good luck in Week 13!

 

Highest Game Totals

1. Dolphins at Commanders (49.5)

t-2. Seahawks at Cowboys (47.5)

t-2. Broncos at Texans (47.5)

t-2. Lions at Saints (47.5)

5. 49ers at Eagles (47.0)

  

Lowest Game Totals

9. Browns at Rams (40.0)

t-10. Chargers at Patriots (39.0)

t-10. Bengals at Jaguars (39.0)

12. Panthers at Buccaneers (36.5)

13. Falcons at Jets (33.5)

  

Highest Implied Points

1. Dolphins (29.25)

2. Cowboys (28.5)

3. Lions (26.25)

4. Texans (25.25)

5. 49ers (25.0)

  

Lowest Implied Points

22. Cardinals (17.25)

t-23. Patriots (16.75)

t-23. Panthers (16.75)

25. Jets (15.75)

26. Bengals (14.5)

  

Pass Rate Over Expected + Neutral Pace

Here's where every team ranks in Pass Rate Over Expected, neutral pace (average seconds per snap), and plays per game.

We’re now using just the past four weeks of Pass Rate Over Expected and neutral pace data to give us a fresher look at how these offenses are playing.

  

Total Points Per Game

Who's playing in shootouts? Who's playing in low-scoring games?

Here's where every team ranks in points per game + points allowed per game (with overtime removed):

    

Fastest-Paced Games

(Average of neutral seconds/snap over last four weeks)

1. Seahawks at Cowboys (24.4 seconds)

2. Lions at Saints (26.0 seconds)

3. Chargers at Patriots (26.2 seconds)

4. Falcons at Jets (26.4 seconds)

5. Browns at Rams (26.6 seconds)

 

Slowest-Paced Games

(Average of neutral seconds/snap over last four weeks)

9. Panthers at Bucs (27.7 seconds)

t-10. Dolphins at Commanders (28.0 seconds)

t-10. Cardinals at Steelers (28.0 seconds)

12. 49ers at Eagles (28.6 seconds)

13. Bengals at Jaguars (29.7 seconds)

  

Weather Concerns

Chargers at Patriots

85-90% chance of rain throughout the game. Winds will be light, but it still won't be ideal conditions for scoring. This over/under has dropped from 42.5 to 39.0

Falcons at Jets

95% chance of rain throughout the game. Wind shouldn't be an issue, but expect lots of running from both offenses in this one. A disgustingly low 33.5-point over/under.

Cardinals at Steelers

Potential for rain during the second half of this game. Winds between 7-14 mph. Not enough to impact our projections.

  

Quarterback

5 Best Passing Matchups 

(sum of pass offense DVOA and opponent pass defense DVOA)

1. 49ers at Eagles (+77.3%)

2. Dolphins at Commanders (+74.4%)

3. Texans vs. Broncos (+62.4%)

4. Chiefs at Packers (+44.4%)

5. Cowboys vs. Seahawks (+40.0%)

  

5 Worst Passing Matchups 

(sum of pass offense DVOA and opponent pass defense DVOA)

22. Jets vs. Falcons (-0.6%)

23. Browns at Rams (-6.5%)

24. Panthers at Buccaneers (-11.4%)

25. Cardinals at Steelers (-15.3%)

26. Falcons at Jets (-15.6%)

 

5 Best QB Matchups 

(based on 2023 adjusted fantasy points allowed)

1. Tua Tagovailoa at Commanders (+35.5%)

2. Brock Purdy at Eagles (+31.2%)

3. Patriots QB vs. Chargers (+30.3%)

4. Derek Carr vs. Lions (+24.4%)

5. Russell Wilson at Texans (+23.2%)

 

5 Worst QB Matchups 

(based on 2023 adjusted fantasy points allowed)

22. Justin Herbert at Patriots (-21.6%)

23 Baker Mayfield vs. Panthers (-24.3%)

t-24. Jalen Hurts vs. 49ers (-24.6%)

t-24. Matt Stafford vs. Browns (-24.6%)

26. Desmond Ridder at Jets (-30.3%)

 

Sneaky Starter

Russell Wilson, Broncos

Wilson ranks 14th among QBs in fantasy points per game over the last five weeks. He's finished as QB11 or QB12 in three of his last four outings.

He's done it despite averaging just 26.3 pass attempts per game over the last four.

How?

  1. Wilson has been super efficient, completing  72% of his passes with seven TDs vs. 0 INTs.
  2. He's running like it's 2014, averaging 7.5 carries for 24 yards and 0.3 TDs per game.

It's tough to say for sure that the rushing production will continue for the 35-year-old.

But the passing efficiency should against a Texans team sitting 26th in pass defense DVOA and 28th in adjusted fantasy points allowed to QBs.

Plus, Wilson's Broncos are 3-point underdogs, so game flow could lead to more passing.

   

Running Back

5 Best Rushing Matchups 

(sum of rush offense DVOA and opponent rush defense DVOA)

1. Dolphins at Commanders (+5.6%)

2. Steelers vs. Cardinals (+4.9%)

3. Lions at Saints (+4.8%)

4. Eagles vs. 49ers (+3.5%)

5. Patriots vs. Chargers (-4.9%)

 

5 Worst Rushing Matchups 

(sum of rush offense DVOA and opponent rush defense DVOA)

22. Seahawks at Cowboys (-24.7%)

23. Bengals at Jaguars (-30.0%)

24. Rams vs. Browns (-32.0%)

25. Panthers at Buccaneers (-33.1%)

26. Jets vs. Falcons (-38.9%)

 

5 Best RB Matchups 

(based on 2023 adjusted fantasy points allowed)

1. Texans vs. Broncos (+51.5%)

2. Steelers vs. Cardinals (+35.3%)

3. Buccaneers vs. Panthers (+25.0%)

4. Titans vs. Colts (+23.3%)

5. Falcons at Jets (+21.5%)

 

5 Worst RB Matchups 

(based on 2023 adjusted fantasy points allowed)

22. Saints vs. Lions (-17.4%)

23. Rams vs. Browns (-18.1%)

24. Seahawks at Cowboys (-21.0%)

25. Panthers vs. Buccaneers (-25.7%)

26. 49ers at Eagles (-32.8%)

 

Sneaky Starters

Devin Singletary, Texans

A quick glance at the box score doesn't show it, but Singletary dominated backfield work last week, despite RB Dameon Pierce's return.

Singletary played 82% of Houston's offensive snaps and set season highs with a 74% route rate and 19% target share.

I'm not necessarily banking on that level of passing-game usage continuing. Last week was the first time all season that Singletary topped two targets in a game.

But he's a good bet for nice rushing volume -- in an awesome matchup. The Broncos rank 31st in run defense DVOA and dead last in adjusted fantasy points allowed to RBs.

Denver's pass defense has been much better lately, but the run defense has not. The Broncos have coughed up 6.0 yards per carry to RBs over the past five weeks.

Antonio Gibson, Commanders

Gibson tallied six carries and four targets on a 46% snap rate in last week's blowout loss to the Cowboys.

It could be similar game script for the Commanders this weekend as 9-point underdogs to the Dolphins.

Gibson has averaged 4.1 targets in Washington's seven losses this season (vs. just 2.5 in four wins).

He's obviously a stronger play in full PPR leagues, where he sits 29th in our Week 13 RB Rankings.

 

Wide Receiver

5 Best WR Matchups 

(based on 2023 adjusted fantasy points allowed)

1. Dolphins at Commanders (+43.2%)

2. 49ers at Eagles (+31.9%)

3. Patriots vs. Chargers (+20.5%)

4. Panthers at Buccaneers (+20.3%)

5. Commanders vs. Dolphins (+20.0%)

 

5 Worst WR Matchups 

(based on 2023 adjusted fantasy points allowed)

22. Jets vs. Falcons (-15.6%)

23. Seahawks at Cowboys (-17.3%)

24. Rams vs. Browns (-23.1%)

25. Buccaneers vs. Panthers (-24.5%)

26. Falcons at Jets (-36.4%)

 

CB Matchup Upgrades

Dolphins WRs Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle vs. Commanders CBs Kendall Fuller, Benjamin St. Juste, and Jartavius Martin

Lions WR Amon-Ra St. Brown vs. Saints CBs Alontae Taylor and Isaac Yiadom

Chargers WRs Keenan Allen, Jalen Guyton, and Quentin Johnston vs. Patriots CBs J.C. Jackson, Jonathan Jones, and Myles Bryant

49ers WRs Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel vs. Eagles CBs James Bradberry and Darius Slay

Buccaneers WRs Mike Evans and Chris Godwin vs. Panthers CBs Donte Jackson, David Long, and Troy Hill

Panthers WRs Adam Thielen vs. Buccaneers CBs Carlton Davis, Zyon McCollum, and Christian Izien

Steelers WRs Diontae Johnson and George Pickens vs. Cardinals CBs Kei’Trel Clark and Marco Wilson

 

CB Matchup Downgrades

Texans WRs Tank Dell and Nico Collins vs. Broncos CBs Patrick Surtain and Fabian Moreau

Rams WRs Cooper Kupp and Puka Nacua vs. Browns CBs Greg Newsome and Martin Emerson

Drake London vs. Jets CBs Sauce Gardner, D.J. Reed, and Michael Carter

Cardinals WR Marquise Brown vs. Steelers CB Joey Porter

Broncos WRs Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy vs. Texans CBs Derek Stingley, Steven Nelson, and Tavierre Thomas

Packers WRs Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs, and Jayden Reed vs. Chiefs CBs L’Jarius Sneed, Jaylen Watson, and Trent McDuffie

 

Sneaky Starter

Curtis Samuel, Commanders

Samuel had his first big game of the season last week: nine catches on 12 targets for 100 yards.

He's been more of a floor play this year, catching 4+ balls in seven of 10 full games.

The Commanders should chuck it plenty again this Sunday as 9-point underdogs to the Dolphins.

Samuel's slot role will keep him away from Miami CBs Jalen Ramsey and Xavien Howard. Slot CB Kader Kohou ranks 93rd among 96 qualifying CBs in passer rating allowed in coverage.

   

Tight End

5 Best TE Matchups 

(based on 2023 adjusted fantasy points allowed)

1. Jaguars vs. Bengals (+30.0%)

2. Broncos at Texans (+28.8%)

3. Patriots vs. Chargers (+25.2%)

4. Browns at Rams (+23.9%)

5. Titans vs. Colts (+21.9%)

 

5 Worst TE Matchups 

(based on 2023 adjusted fantasy points allowed)

22. Packers vs. Chiefs (-17.2%)

23. Buccaneers vs. Panthers (-19.7%)

24. Eagles vs. 49ers (-21.8%)

25. Colts at Titans (-36.7%)

26. Rams vs. Browns (-45.6%)

 

Sneaky Starter

Juwan Johnson, Saints

WR Michael Thomas is on IR.

WR Rashid Shaheed is expected to miss Week 13 with his quad injury.

Even with WR Chris Olave cleared from his concussion, there's a ton of opportunity this week for Johnson, who caught four of seven targets for 45 yards last week.

He gets a struggling Lions defense on Sunday that's allowed 3+ passing TDs in three of its last five games.

Detroit ranks 20th in adjusted fantasy points allowed to TEs on the season.

  

Defense/Special Teams

5 Best DST Matchups 

(based on 2023 adjusted fantasy points allowed)

1. Falcons at Jets (+71.9%)

2. Dolphins at Commanders (+66.4%)

3. Buccaneers vs. Panthers (+58.5%)

4. Chargers at Patriots (+54.4%)

5. Rams vs. Browns (+30.4%)

 

5 Worst DST Matchups 

(based on 2023 adjusted fantasy points allowed)

22. Browns at Rams (-37.1%)

23. Broncos at Texans (-41.5%)

24. Patriots vs. Chargers (-46.7%)

25. Seahawks at Cowboys (-54.6%)

26. Eagles vs. 49ers (-61.4%)

 

Sneaky Starters

Falcons

QB Tim Boyle threw two INTs last week (although one came on a Hail Mary). 

That actually dropped his career INT rate to a still-pathetic 7.0%. For perspective, Jimmy Garoppolo "leads" 33 qualified QBs this season with a 5.4% INT rate. No one else has an INT rate higher than 3.8%.

Atlanta's DST, while not great in real life, has a high ceiling and floor in this matchup. The Jets' 15.75-point implied total is second-lowest on the week.

Buccaneers

The Panthers have topped 17 points in just two of QB Bryce Young's 10 starts. They're implied for just 16.75 points this week.

The Bucs are a high-floor Week 13 spot starter, especially in fantasy leagues that award more points for limiting opponent scoring.

   

Kicker

5 Best K Matchups 

(based on 2023 adjusted fantasy points allowed)

1. Younghoe Koo at Jets (+40.5%)

2. Jason Sanders at Commanders (+40.3%)

3. Nick Folk vs. Colts (+31.9%)

4. Greg Zuerlein vs. Falcons (+30.5%)

5. Dustin Hopkins at Rams (+23.6%)

 

5 Worst K Matchups 

(based on 2023 adjusted fantasy points allowed)

22. Jake Moody at Eagles (-19.3%)

23. Evan McPherson at Jaguars (-30.5%)

24. Lucas Havrisik vs. Browns (-30.7%)

25. Jason Myers at Cowboys (-33.9%)

26. Anders Carlson vs. Chiefs (-45.6%)

 

Sneaky Starter

Wil Lutz, Broncos

Lutz has nailed a whopping 16 FGs during Denver's five-game winning streak.

He gets to kick indoors this Sunday against a Texans defense sitting 19th in adjusted fantasy points allowed to kickers.

 

Jared Smola Author Image
Jared Smola, Lead Analyst
Jared has been with Draft Sharks since 2007. He’s now Lead Analyst, heading up the preseason and weekly projections that fuel your Draft War Room and My Team tools. He currently ranks 1st among 133 analysts in draft rankings accuracy.
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