There’s a story of a British man, Ashley Revell, who bet his entire life savings on a color.
In April of 2004, Revell walked into the Plaza Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada and placed $135,300 on the color red at a vacant roulette table. A crowd gathered, cheering for Revell’s success. As the wheel spun, so did the Brit’s mind, thinking about all it took to get that $135,000, and what would happen to him if the little ball landed on the darker of the two colors.
The circular roulette device began to slow, and the ball soon had to make a decision. Would it be red, or would it be black? Would Ashley’s hard work go to waste, or would he soon be able to live a life he’d been wanting to live?
Red. It landed on red.
Revell’s story is one of guts, luck and insanity. And luckily for fantasy footballers like you and me, our skillful gambling doesn’t (hopefully) involve our life savings. Yet, the way that plenty approach the fake sport, winning fantasy football is oddly analogous to winning a huge bet at the roulette table.
With Week 13 looming, many fantasy managers are looking for an Ashley Revell moment. It’s typically the last regular season week, and big risks need to be made in order to get that extra push into the playoffs. So given this, “Really Neat or Take a Seat” will take more of a risk versus reward angle this week. After all, a plethora of you are in need to some big performances.
Who will be your red this week?
Really Neat Week 13 Players
Tony Romo is really neat.
The Eagles can’t stop anyone or anything right now, allowing six passing touchdowns over the last two weeks. And since Week 8, the Eagles have not allowed less than two touchdown passes to opposing quarterbacks. Romo is an absolute start this week.
Ryan Fitzpatrick is really neat.
Remember when Matt Schaub lit up Jacksonville’s secondary two weeks ago? Well, don’t expect that, but look forward to some solid numbers with big game potential for Fitzpatrick.
Brandon Weeden is really neat.
If Weeden ends up playing after his concussion he suffered last week, I’d expect a potential for a multi-touchdown game. Oakland has given up 11 touchdowns through the air over the last 4 weeks, including 3 to each of their last three opponents (Baltimore, New Orleans, Cincinnati).
Jacquizz Rodgers is really neat.
Remember, this week’s column is about players who have potential to break free for a big game. Rodgers had 10 carries for just the second time this season last week, and Michael Turner is averaging a measly 1.9 yards per carry over his last 3 games. Rodgers was far and away the better runner against New Orleans in their previous matchup, and I’d expect Atlanta to utilize his skills more this week.
Beanie Wells is really neat.
While Beanie isn’t anything to get excited about, his matchup is favorable and he scores touchdowns. Last week during his return, Beanie had two scores on 17 carries. The volume in and of itself is something positive for Beanie, and when you add in the fact that he’s playing the 27th ranked defense against running backs, he’s a great flex play.
Chris Ivory is really neat.
In their first meeting against Atlanta, Saints backs rushed for 149 yards. Chris Ivory had 72 of them (and a score). With the coaching staff having more confidence in him and the run game, there’s an opportunity for one of his highlight-reel, bruising runs.
Davone Bess is really neat.
Bess could be a great play in PPR leagues given the direction the Miami Dolphin’s passing game has gone in. As I noted in my “By the Numbers” article yesterday, Bess is 8th in the NFL in targets over the last 5 weeks, and has ranked 14th in receiving yards.
Ryan Broyles is really neat.
The Lions love to pass the ball, and now that Titus Young is out of the picture, Broyles has even more of an opportunity to shine. The more he gets to play as the number two guy, the more rapport he can build with quarterback Matthew Stafford. It also helps that the Lions are facing the 28th ranked defense against wide receivers.
Pierre Garcon is really neat.
He’s officially back after a nagging foot injury, and there may be only a handful of receivers that are bigger “big play” ones than Garcon. The Giants have been pretty bad against the pass this season, though they looked great last week against Green Bay. You’re starting Garcon because you’re playing red.
Cecil Shorts is really neat.
I never thought I’d be continuously writing about Shorts, but he’s one wide receiver that should be started each week. The Bills’ rush defense has improved over the last couple of weeks, but through the air, they’ve allowed a wide receiver touchdown in all but two games this season.
Dallas Clark is really neat.
If you’ve been reading this column each week, you know I love to pick on Denver’s awful defense versus tight ends. Guess who Dallas Clark gets this week?
The Carolina defense is really neat.
The Panthers defense hasn’t been special all year, but I’m playing any defense that is facing the Chiefs.
The Dallas defense is really neat.
No, they didn’t look good against Washington, but anyone can look good against Philadelphia.
Other really neat players: Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Maning, Drew Brees, Robert Griffin III, Matt Ryan, Matthew Stafford, Arian Foster, Adrian Peterson, Trent Richardson, Doug Martin, Ray Rice, CJ Spiller, Frank Gore, Calvin Johnson, AJ Green, Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, Andre Johnson, Julio Jones, Roddy White, Brandon Marshall, Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz, Jimmy Graham, Tony Gonzalez, 49ers D/ST, Bears D/ST, Patriots D/ST
Take a Seat Week 13 Players
Carson Palmer should take a seat.
The matchup may look appealing, but realistically, Tony Romo has been the only passer who has thrown for more than 200 yards against the Browns defense since Week 7. I wouldn’t want to trust Carson, especially after his miserable performance in Cincinnati.
Joe Flacco should take a seat.
Flacco is much, much better at home, but he’s now facing the Steelers defense in Baltimore. I’ll pass.
Josh Freeman should take a seat.
The Broncos have yet to allow a quarterback throw 300 or more yards on them, and I’d expect that to remain consistent in a big matchup versus Tampa Bay. If I’m a Freeman owner, I’m keeping him for his favorable Week 14 and 15 matchups, but I’m not stating him this week.
Rashad Jennings should take a seat.
His matchup appears to be money, but the Bills have allow just 120 rushing yards over their last two games. When you factor in the fact that Jennings has been subpar since Maurice Jones-Drew injury, he’s simply not someone I want to rely on in my fantasy playoffs.
Knowshon Moreno should take a seat.
Moreno came back from the dead last week with a decent performance, but now has a tough matchup against the Buccaneers in Week 13. The Bucs have allowed three touchdowns to running backs over the last two weeks, sure, but they’ve also only surrendered 100-plus yards to running backs three times this year (Giants, Redskins, Vikings).
Oakland Raider running backs should take a seat.
Given the question marks surrounding how they’re going to be using Darren McFadden, I’m having a hard time endorsing any Raiders’ back against a soft(ish) Browns’ front seven.
Ravens wide receivers should take a seat.
The Steelers have allowed quarterbacks to throw for over 200 yards just three times this season. Why risk it?
Vincent Jackson should take a seat.
Jackson historically has been mediocre against the Broncos, playing in their division before moving to Tampa Bay. Champ Bailey will surely be all over him, and that doesn’t bode well for Jackson owners.
Denarius Moore should take a seat.
Moore has just two receptions for 29 yards over the last two games, and is now facing a Cleveland secondary who, as I noted above with Carson Palmer, has played well against the pass. Joe Haden will be looking Moore’s way, so I’d look elsewhere.
Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown should take a seat.
If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve seen that my displeasure with Mike Wallace is in full force. He’s been lacking physicality at the receiver position, and as a result, his numbers are down. Sure, we can blame Roethlisberger being out, but watch the tape. Wallace is a one-trick pony with focus issues.
Given Ben’s status, I’m putting both these receivers as take a seat plays. Keep an eye out later in the week.
Dustin Keller should take a seat.
The only time a group of tight ends caught more than 5 passes against Arizona was Week 2 when the Cards played the Pats. While Kendricks scored last week against Arizona, I wouldn’t trust Keller or the Jets’ passing game.
Kyle Rudolph should take a seat.
If Percy Harvin returns, Rudolph’s looks could suffer. The Packers, who the Vikings are playing this week, also haven’t allowed a tight end touchdown since Week 5.
Other take a seat players: Russell Wilson, Sam Bradford, Jay Cutler, Ben Roethlisberger, Daryl Richardson, Michael Bush, Felix Jones, DeMarco Murray, Earl Bennett, Marques Colston, Brandon Gibson, Malcom Floyd, Lance Kendricks, Brandon Myers, Dolphins D/ST