It's Week 13 of the fantasy football season. You can't pick a bust now. With the fantasy football playoffs on the horizon, many fantasy owners are agonizing over their lineup decisions for the final week of the regular season. They all have one goal on their minds. Avoid the bust. At this point in the year, start 'em, sit 'em decisions are made a bit more difficult by the lack of bye weeks, as owners have a choice of their full roster to plug into lineups. Theoretically, that should be a good thing but at the same time, it does create the opportunity to start a bust and have a high-scorer on the bench. And that's something that irritates fantasy players to no end.
Our busts last week generally didn't pan out. At RB, Adrian Peterson struggled while Alex Collins didn't even suit up for the Ravens. Matthew Stafford put up a dud at QB while Ben Roethlisberger posted a mediocre stat line because of his inability to get TDs. In terms of pass catchers, John Brown, Evan Engram, and Jimmy Graham all were largely disappointments. We'll try to keep identifying potential sit 'em candidates moving forward to help you dodge bad matchups in the most important part of the fantasy season.
These busts are meant to help guide you and identify tougher matchups that you may not want to target in this week of fantasy action. That said, if you don't have a better option than the players on the bust list, feel free to start them. Just don't expect them to have an excellent outing. If you need more guidance, check out our start 'em, sit 'em advice for Week 13.
Week 13 fantasy football busts: Running backs
Sony Michel, Patriots vs. Vikings (Jacob Camenker). The Vikings have allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points to RBs this season. Michel may end up sharing time with James White and Rex Burkhead, who is returning from injury this week. It’s hard to sit Michel, but just know that he might not do as well as we’re accustomed to seeing this week.
Carlos Hyde, Jaguars vs. Colts (Vinnie Iyer). There’s no good feeling he’ll do anything to provide a good fill-in for Fournette vs. T.J. Yeldon.
Peyton Barber, Buccaneers vs. Panthers (Matt Lutovsky). We’ve chronicled before how Barber basically does well in highly favorable matchups and disappears in mediocre-to-bad ones. Well, this is a bad one, as Carolina is 24th in fantasy points allowed to RBs. Expect Barber to disappear.WEEK 13 DFS CASH LINEUPS: Yahoo | FanDuel | DraftKings
Week 13 fantasy football busts: Quarterbacks
Dak Prescott, Cowboys vs. Saints (Camenker). The Saints have been shutting down quality QBs as of late. They allowed less than 10 points to both Andy Dalton and Carson Wentz, and they limited Matt Ryan prior to garbage time last week. Prescott may be in for a dud, barring a collapse of the Saints’ improving defense.
Philip Rivers, Chargers @ Steelers (Iyer). The Steelers’ secondary can contain his main guys and no Melvin Gordon actually hurts him.
Baker Mayfield, Browns @ Texans (Lutovsky). Mayfield has been on fire lately, but a string of favorable matchups certainly helped. The Texans aren’t so favorable. It took an almost perfect game from Marcus Mariota last week for Houston to allow it’s first QB to score more than 17.6 fantasy points since Week 4. Mayfield will look like a rookie on the road.
Week 13 fantasy football busts: Wide receivers
A.J. Green, Bengals vs. Broncos (Camenker). I know it’s hard to sit A.J. Green, but this is the matchup to do it in. The Broncos defense just limited Antonio Brown, thanks to the play of Chris Harris, and Green will be working with Jeff Driskel at QB now that Andy Dalton is out for the season. Plus, Green is still recovering from a foot injury, so it’s unclear exactly how healthy he is. Unless you don’t have any better options, it may be best to steer clear of Green this week.
Jarvis Landry, Browns @ Texans (Iyer). The Texans give up little to the slot, and he’s not being forced to produce for Baker Mayfield.
Calvin Ridley, Falcons vs. Ravens (Lutovsky). Ridley has noticeably better home splits (almost 17 more yards per game, six of eight TDs scored there), but that’s mainly because he tore up the Saints in an overtime shootout there in Week 3. The Ravens allow the fourth-fewest fantasy points to WRs, and even more important, secondary receivers have only scored three time against them.
Week 13 fantasy football busts: Tight ends
Vance McDonald, Steelers vs. Chargers (Camenker). The Chargers have been good against TEs since Week 10, limiting each TE they’ve faced to 5.2 or fewer points. McDonald is dealing with a minor hip injury and seems unlikely to have enough of a target share to matter against the Chargers.
Chris Herndon, Jets @ Titans (Iyer). The Titans give up the least points to the position and the QB situation in New York is in flux. Avoid Herndon this week as a result.
Jimmy Graham, Packers vs. Cardinals (Lutovsky). Even if Jimmy Graham wasn’t playing through a broken a thumb, this would be a prohibitive matchup. The Cardinals allow the sixth-fewest fantasy points to TEs.
Week 13 fantasy busts: Defenses
Washington Redskins @ Eagles (Camenker). The Redskins have been hot and cold all year. The Eagles will be desperate for a win at home and are playing in prime-time on Monday night. The Redskins just struggled to contain the Cowboys, so the Eagles game could go similarly.
Miami Dolphins vs. Bills (Iyer). The past numbers suggest they’re a play, but they’re not picking on Nathan Peterman or Derek Anderson anymore here.
Minnesota Vikings @ Patriots (Lutovsky). Minnesota has returned to form the past few weeks, but the Patriots just don’t allow fantasy points to D/STs, especially at home. It’s that simple.