Studs, Duds, & Sleepers: Week 13

December 2, 2021

With the new 17 game NFL season, most fantasy leagues have just two games left before the playoffs, and whether you are a lock for the playoffs or a lock for your league’s loser bracket, you cannot afford to set your roster before reading this week’s ‘Studs, Duds, and Sleepers’ article as our staff is rolling out our 13th straight week of ironclad, foolproof fantasy football knowledge!



Matthew Stafford, LAR: 

Only one team has given up fewer passing touchdowns than the Jaguars, but that stat is misleading – teams are usually ahead on the Jags, and therefore passing less. The Rams will pass regardless and I expect them to do so successfully. The Jags rank 31st in completion percentage allowed (71.3%) and opposing quarterbacks have a 101.7 rating against the Jags. 

Tom Brady, TB:  

At 44 years old, Brady is leading the NFL in touchdown passes (30) and second in passing yards (3,403). He didn’t play great against the Colts, but last time Brady played the Falcons, he threw for five touchdowns and the Bucs scored 48 points. 

Others receiving votes:

Jalen Hurts, Phi: 

Coming off his worst game of the season, I expect Hurts to bounce back this week against a Jets defense that ranks at the bottom of the league against both the pass and the run. No team has given up more rushing touchdowns (20) than the Jets. 


Running backs:

Joe Mixon, Cin:

No team gives up more rushing yards per game (145.3) than the Chargers, and in the two games since the Bengals bye, Mixon has 58 carries, 288 yards and four touchdowns. This should be another big week for Mixon.

Jonathan Taylor, Ind: 

Taylor leads the NFL in rushing yards (1,205), touchdowns (14) and yards per carry (5.8) and the Texans rank 31st in terms of rushing yards allowed per game (135.6) and rushing touchdowns allowed (17). 

Others receiving votes:

Leonard Fournette, TB:

Fournette is coming off his best game of the season, 17 carries, 7 receptions, 131 total yards and four touchdowns. I don’t expect four more touchdowns, but another 100+ total yards and a touchdown or two isn’t out of the question this week against the Falcons. 


Pass Catchers:

Cooper Kupp, LAR: 

Kupp is averaging 10+ targets, 8+ catches, 100+ yards and nearly a touchdown every game…and he gets to go against the worst team in the NFL this week.

George Kittle, SF: 

With Deebo Samuel out, I look for Kittle and Brandon Aiyuk to have big games this week against the league’s second worst pass defense.  

Others receiving votes:

Rob Gronkowski, TB: 

Given all the weapons Brady has in the passing game, it can be tough to rely on a Tampa Bay receiver from week-to-week, but, in the five games Gronk has been healthy, he has four touchdowns and is averaging nearly eight targets. It is clear that he is still Brady’s preferred option.




Matt Ryan, Atl:  

Ryan is struggling without his top receiver Calvin Ridley. In his last two games against teams not named the Jaguars, Ryan has 270 total yards, zero touchdowns, four interceptions…and the last time he played the Bucs, he threw three picks.

Russell Wilson, Sea:

Wilson has more games this year under 200 yards (3) than he has over 300 yards (1), and in two of his three games since he returned from his finger injury, he has zero touchdowns. You can find a better starting fantasy quarterback at this point on the waiver wire.  

Others receiving votes:
Josh Allen, Buf:  

In five games against the Patriots, Allen is 2-3, is completing just 56.4% of his passes and has only one more touchdown (7) than interception (6)…and both of those wins and four of those touchdowns came last year against a Patriots defense that was sans most of their talent.


Running backs:

Cordarelle Patterson, Atl: 

Patterson is coming off his best game of the season, but that was against the Jags, not the Bucs. Last time the Falcons played the Bucs, Patterson had just 69 total yards and that was when the Falcons offense had Calvin Ridley. I don’t like the matchup this week.

Najee Harris, Pit: 

Over the last two games, Harris has 20 carries for 62 yards, including a 12 for 39 performance against the league’s worst run defense. Now he and the Steelers get the league’s second ranked run defense. 

Others receiving votes:

Ezekiel Elliott, Dal:

If Elliott were 100% healthy, this matchup against the Saints would stll be a tough matchup…but he isn’t 100% healthy and he has now gone back-to-back games without double-digit carries. In fact, Elliott hasn’t had more than 14 carries in more than a month. 


Pass Catchers:

DK Metcalf, Sea: 

Metcalf has gone over 100 yards just once this season and hasn’t gone over 45 yards in more than a month. In his last three games, he has eight receptions, zero touchdowns and just 70 total yards. 

Darnell Mooney, Chi: 

If Andy Dalton were starting, I would like Mooney this week. With Dalton starting the past two weeks, Mooney has one touchdown, 10 receptions and 224 yards on 24 targets. In his past five games with Justin Fields starting, he has a total of 224 yards and two touchdowns. Assuming Fields is starting – and it sounds like he is – that is not good news for Mooney and Mooney owners. 

Others receiving votes:

Elijah Moore, NYJ: 

Like Mooney, Moore’s productivity is drastically affected by his rookie quarterback. In the four games with Zach Wilson out, Moore had 31 receptions, 336 yards and four touchdowns. In the six games Wilson has started, Moore has a total of 34 receptions, 125 yards and zero touchdowns.  




Ben Roethlisberger, Pit: 

The Steelers season in on the brink and while Roethlisberger is not having a great season, he hasn’t been terrible, and believe it or not, the Ravens have the worst pass defense in the league in terms of yards per game (275.7). I expect Ben to attack the Ravens secondary early and often this week.

Taysom Hill, NO: 

Assuming Hill starts – and it sounds like he will – I believe he has a lot of value against the Cowboys and not for his passing ability, but because of what he can do with his legs. 

Carson Wentz, Ind:

Wentz is performing again like a top ten quarterback and with the top running back in the NFL, he is worthy of a starting role on most fantasy teams – especially this week against the Texans. 


Running backs:

Tony Pollard, Dal: 

With Elliott dinged up and seeing limited touches the past few weeks, Pollard is an option as a Flex play…even this week against a tough Saints defense. On the season, Pollard is averaging double-digit touches and about 70 total yards per game. 

Sony Michel, LAR: 

If Henderson is healthy, Michel has no value. But, if Henderson is out this week – and it sounds like he may be – Michel could be an RB2 against the Jags.

Devonta Freeman, Bal: 

With Lamar Jackson taking a lot of carries, and now Latavius Murray as well, Freeman’s ceiling is low, but he is still the Ravens lead back at this point and the Steelers are a bottom five rush defense.


Pass Catchers:

Pat Freiermuth, Pit:

Given the Ravens struggles against the pass, all of the Steelers receivers have value this week, but the rookie tight end is the under the radar option. He has become one of Roethlisberger’s favorite targets and has 33 targets, 22 receptions and five touchdowns over his past five games. 

Brandon Aiyuk, SF:

In three of his past four games, Aiyuk has had 6+ targets and 85+ yards. With Samuel out this week, Aiyuk should see his opportunities go up. 

Hunter Renfrow, LV:

Renfrow is coming off his best game of the season, pulling in eight of his nine targets for 134 yards. In fact, he has seen 8+ targets in six of his last eight games. With Waller likely out this week, Renfrow is likely to see double-digit targets. 


  • Categories: NFL

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