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Week Thirteen Fantasy Outlook
Authored by Martin Barna - 1st December, 2005 - 11:38 pm

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As regular seasons begin to draw to a close in the coming weeks, the significance of decisions on who to start, sit, pick up, or drop begins to increase exponentially. One wrong move could cost the few points that make the difference between advancing on to the fantasy playoffs or going home empty handed.

Teams with particularly easy schedules in the next two weeks are Minnesota (at Detroit, St. Louis), San Diego (Oakland, Miami) and Seattle (at Philadelphia, San Francisco). Teams with schedules you might want to avoid include Pittsburgh (Cincinnati, Chicago), Kansas City (Denver, at Dallas), and Philadelphia (Seattle, N.Y. Giants).

With a few shrewd decisions and a little bit of faith, you should be able to avoid an unlucky week thirteen performance.

On to the picks?


STUDS

Jake Plummer (@ KC) ? Denver needs this one to stay ahead of the streaking Chargers and Plummer hasn?t been dropping the ball in big games this year. Kansas City is ceding 240.5 passing yards per game and should have trouble with Denver?s balanced offensive attack. I see a pair of touchdown tosses and 260 yards.

Trent Green (DEN) ? With four touchdowns and 763 yards in his last three starts, Green is a great play at home against a Broncos secondary that?s given up 239.6 passing yards per game on the year. In this shootout atop the AFC West, Green will come up big with two scores and 280 yards.

Ronnie Brown (BUF) ? He may be splitting carries, but Brown has still been able to produce against weaker run defenses. Brown almost broke the century mark in Miami?s first meeting with Buffalo, but at home against the 31st-ranked run defense, expect him to get it done. Throw in a short TD run as well.

J.J. Arrington (@ SF) ? Marcel Shipp is listed as doubtful for Sunday?s match-up with San Francisco so Arrington will likely see the majority of the carries. With the 49ers giving up 120 rush yards per game and 15 ground scores on the year, Arrington is in for his best outing of the year with one score and at least 120 yards.

Marvin Harrison (TEN) ? The Colts are playing out of their minds right now. Quarterback/Offensive Coordinator Peyton Manning is shredding legitimate secondaries left and right. In his last four outings, Harrison has amassed 406 receiving yards and four touchdowns. Tennessee has give up 22 passing TD?s through 11 games so a touchdown and 100 yards are definitely in order.

Joe Jurevicius (@ PHI) ? After lighting up the Giants for 137 yards and two touchdowns, Jurevicius will continue to torch the NFC East when the Seahawks travel to Philly this week. He seems to be developing a strong rapport with Matt Hassebeck, so one score and 110 yards sounds about right.

Santana Moss (@ STL) ? Despite being doubled team against San Diego, Moss still managed 65 yards and a score. St. Louis has the 30th ranked pass defense and has allowed a league-worst 22 touchdown receptions. Expect one touchdown and at least 90 yards out of Moss on Sunday.

Jason Witten (@ NYG) ? Dallas might not be able to pull out this crucial win, but I expect Witten to have a big day against the 27th-ranked Giant secondary. The Cowboys will likely be playing from behind so look for Witten to get plenty of action. Pencil him in for a strong one score and 80 yards.

Todd Heap (HOU) ? Heap has been on fire of late with 174 yards and two touchdown catches in the last three weeks. With a weak Houston secondary coming to town on Sunday, you can bet Heap is licking his chops. Anything less than 80 yards and a score would be a big surprise.

Chicago Defense (GB) ? Simply put, they are the best defense in the league right now. Brett Favre may be 12-1 in his career at Chicago, but the Bears are different this year, and given Favre?s recent proclivity for turning the ball over, expect solid fantasy production out of the Bears defense this week.

Jacksonville Defense (@ CLE) ? With Byron Leftwich out for the season, the Jaguars defense will have to step up if Jacksonville is to have any hope of playing in mid-January. I see them manhandling the Browns here in a low-scoring affair.


DUDS

Michael Vick (@ CAR) ? Though he is still touted as one of the league?s best quarterbacks, his effectiveness has become increasing limited as NFL defenses begin to find ways to limit his mobility. The Panthers have 15 picks through 11 games and should have no trouble stopping Warrick Dunn. This translates to 130 passing yards, 40 rushing yards, and a possible score for Vick. You can do better.

Ryan Fitzpatrick (WAS) ? This Cinderella story runs into some conflict in week 13 when the Rams take on a strong Redskin secondary. Washington has only allowed ten passing scores on the year and will undoubtedly bring all kinds of blitz packages on the inexperienced Ivy League grad. If you picked him up after last week, do yourself a favor and leave him on the bench.

Lamont Jordan (@ SD) ? Jordan may have found a niche in the Oakland offense, but the Chargers feature the league?s second-best run defense. In San Diego in another must-win game for the Chargers, don?t expect more than 60 yards out of Jordan.

Rudi Johnson (@ PIT) ?.There won?t be too many big fantasy performances in this contest, and Johnson won?t be one of them. Johnson has been relegated to a secondary weapon in the Cincinnati offense. A touchdown is unlikely and anything more than 70 yards is completely out of the question.

Donald Driver (@ CHI) ? As was stated above, the Bears have the best defense in the NFL right now. With Favre struggling, Driver?s numbers will likely suffer. Driver has been hot of late, but the same could be said for the Bears defense. I see 5 catches for 65 yards.

Chad Johnson (@ PIT) ? I probably wouldn?t have included him here if he hadn?t run his mouth on Wednesday, but after creating so much build-up for his touchdown celebration on Sunday, I just don?t see him getting to show it. If Carson Palmer does find the end zone, it will be with Chris Henry or T.J. Housmandzadeh. Johnson might go for 60 yards, but the Steelers have only allowed just nine passing touchdowns all year, so I don?t see 85 upping that stat.

Donte Stallworth (TB) ? Stallworth has three touchdowns in his last three games, but only 124 receiving yards in that same span. His luck runs out against the league?s third-best secondary, Tampa Bay. The Bears are the only team that have allowed fewer passing touchdowns on the year, so don?t be surprised if Stallworth gets shut down and held under 50 yards on the day.

Alge Crumpler (@ CAR) ? As well as he?s been playing of late, I just can?t see him putting up decent numbers against the Panthers. Carolina knows who Vick?s favorite target is, and they will do anything and everything in their power to make sure Crumpler doesn?t get going. Expect 50 receiving yards and you won?t be disappointed.

Randy McMichael (BUF) ? The last two decent defenses that Miami has faced were both able to hold McMichael under three catches and 30 yards. Seeing as that Buffalo is among the five best passing defenses in the league, it might be prudent wise to sit McMichael down and find a quick filler on the waiver wire.

Denver Defense (@ KC) ? With seven interceptions, three fumble recoveries, eight sacks, and two touchdowns in the last three weeks, the Denver defense has been a big reason for the Broncos success thus far. However, Kansas City ranks third in the AFC in total offense and should be able to effectively move the ball at home. The Chiefs won?t score at will but 20-25 points should be about right.

Philadelphia Defense (SEA) ? Remember how I said that Kansas City had the third-best offense in the AFC and was a forced to be reckoned with? Well, Seattle has the best offense in the entire NFL and has scored over 30 points in five out of 11 games. With so many decent defense to plug in for one week, it?s just not a risk worth taking.

There you have it. Good luck in Week 13!

Thinking about starting a deep sleeper? Need advice on a tough trade? Ask RealGM?s fantasy football experts via e-mail at FantasySports@RealG.com.