The New Orleans Saints and your Fantasy Football team are heading into Week 13 looking for a win to push them to a playoff berth, and Jake Ciely (@allinkid) of RotoExperts.com *is providing exclusive expert Fantasy coverage for *neworleanssaints.com. Get ready for the playoff run, as Jake gives you the expert deal on Saints players from Fantasy perspectives.*
The Saints got a big win in Week 12 as they focus on their playoff push and get ready for Week 13. In the 49-21 win over the Rams, Drew Brees threw for 310 yards and four touchdowns, plus he added a one-yard touchdown dive for a huge Fantasy score of 32.5 points on NFL.com. Brees extended two of his NFL-records: consecutive home games with a passing touchdown, pushing that number to 60, and nine consecutive seasons with 30 or more touchdown passes. He'll look to add to both in a favorable matchup with the Lions in New Orleans. Brees should be locked into lineups every week.
Michael Thomas continued his impressive rookie season with nine catches, 108 yards and two touchdowns last week. Thomas leads the Saints in receptions, yards and touchdowns and is pushing his name into the WR1 conversation to go along with Brandin Cooks, who always brings the potential for a big game, especially at home.
Thomas and Cooks are must-starts, and most leagues will want to get Willie Snead IV in their lineups as well. Snead is averaging 13.4 PPR Fantasy points per game and has five double-digit scores on the season. With Brees at home and facing a favorable matchup, all three Saints receivers have plenty of upside, and deep leagues can take a flier on Brandon Coleman and his potential for a touchdown. Coby Fleener is a solid option as well with 10.7 and 9.9 Fantasy points in the last two games. Two of his three touchdowns have come at home, and the Lions have allowed the most touchdowns to tight ends in the league.
Mark Ingram returned from his Week 11 concussion in impressive fashion with 146 rushing yards, 21 receiving and a touchdown rushing and receiving. Tim Hightower also found the end zone with 105 total yards. Both running backs are worthy of starting in your lineups against the Lions defense, and Ingram is in the RB1 conversation. The Lions have allowed the 14th most rushing yards and ninth most receiving yards to running backs.
Ryan Fitzpatrick returned for the Jets and had 269 yards and two touchdowns against the Patriots. He faces the Colts, a team allowing the second most FPPG to quarterbacks, and is a decent streaming option for Marcus Mariota owners. Matt Barkley put up some nice numbers against the Titans with 316 yards and three touchdowns. The 49ers have allowed the second most passing touchdowns this year (26) with just seven interceptions. Those unable to pick up Fitzpatrick can find similar upside with Barkley. Don't assume that the Dolphins are an easy matchup because of their early-season struggles. They are allowing the second fewest FPPG to quarterbacks over the last four weeks with three single-digit games for quarterbacks in their last five matchups. You may want to look for a quarterback with more upside than Joe Flacco this week as a result.
Not only did Jordan Howard explode against the Vikings when he returned to the lead role, in the last three games, he's averaging 109 total yards. That's important because each week was a loss, yet Howard was still productive and now he faces the most forgiving run defense in the league, the 49ers. Howard is a must-start in all formats. Spencer Ware hasn't put up a big game since Week 7, but he's the Chiefs' top option, has at least seven points in each of the last three games on NFL.com and faces a Falcons defense allowing the third most FPPG to running backs. Keep him in your lineup. The Steelers give up the fourth most FPPG and have five games of 20-plus running back points allowed. Rashad Jennings has 297 yards on 61 touches over the last three games and is a good option this week. While Robert Kelley has been a great find, he was quiet in a tougher matchup on Thanksgiving (Cowboys) and now faces the second toughest defense against the run (Cardinals). You might be able to find better options in Week 13.
No team allows more points to receivers than the Packers, but you don't need that information to start DeAndre Hopkins. However, that does give Will Fuller a high ceiling for those looking for upside from their flex position/fourth receiver. Back to the matchup with the 49ers, they also allow the second most FPPG to receivers, which gives Marquess Wilson the potential for another good week. Of all of the Bears receivers, he looks to have the most chemistry with Barkley and is worth a deep-league lineup spot. The Chiefs are good at creating turnovers but they still give up plenty of Fantasy points to receivers, and that's why Taylor Gabriel is an intriguing option for those needing his upside. It's hard to be as productive as Gabriel has been on a per touch basis, but the Chiefs give Gabriel the opportunity to score his sixth touchdown in five games. The Broncos continue to stifle opposing receivers, and while it would be tough not to use Allen Robinson, Marqise Lee carries too much risk in Week 13.
Many owners might be surprised to find out, but the Bengals allow the fourth most FPPG to tight ends, which makes Zach Ertz a great play in Week 13 for Delanie Walker owners needing a replacement. Not only are the Packers weak against receivers, they're susceptible to tight ends too. With how well C.J. Fiedorowicz is playing, he's in the TE1 conversation given the matchup. If Jordan Reed misses time, people will pick up Vernon Davis, but those owners may want to wait to use him. The Cardinals are the only team to not allow a tight end touchdown this year and have allowed just 282 receiving yards to them.
If you're looking for DST streaming options, the Jets are intriguing at home against the Colts. While the Colts can score plenty, their offensive line presents the opportunity for several sacks. If available, the Eagles are a decent option against a Bengals team struggling without A.J. Green, and the Cowboys should create pressure given the struggles of the Vikings offensive line. The Jaguars and Giants allow the most and second most FPPG to kickers, which makes Brandon McManus and Chris Boswell solid plays this week.
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