Start vs. Sit: Who to Play, Who to Bench Week 13

Start vs. Sit: Who to Play, Who to Bench Week 13

This article is part of our Start vs. Sit series.


Cooper Rush, QB, Central Michigan (vs. Eastern Michigan)
Rush has had some issues with interceptions - he's thrown nine of them, but never more than one in a game – but he also has 23 passing touchdowns and two more scores on the ground. He's also passed for more than 330 yards passing in both of his last two games. On top of that, he gets to end the year with a home game against Eastern Michigan, the worst team in the MAC. It's a great chance for Rush to end the regular season on a high note.

Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis (vs. Southern Methodist)
It's been a rough few weeks for Memphis, and for Lynch. They have lost three straight games, and last week he only threw for 156 yards against Temple. Now, though, Lynch gets a chance to right the ship before bowl season against an SMU defense that is allowing over 44 points and 500 yards per game. Finally, Lynch should return to his early-season form.

Nate Sudfeld, QB, Indiana (at Purdue)
Sudfeld led Indiana to a win last week with five total touchdowns and 385 yards passing. He's been banged up a bit this year, but when healthy, he's played well. Indiana needs to win their finale to get bowl eligible, and fortunately they are playing lowly Purdue. It should be another high-scoring affair, and a healthy Sudfeld will be a big part of that.

Paul Harris, RB, Hawaii (vs. Louisiana-Monroe)
Hawaii is having a rough season, but Harris has been doing his best to carry their offense down the stretch. He has at least 126 yards rushing in each of his last three games, and in two of those games he's had at least 179 yards and a touchdown. Much like Hawaii, Louisiana-Monroe has already fired their head coach during a bad year, and they won't provide much resistance in his quest to get over 100 yards for the fourth straight game.

Wendell Smallwood, RB, West Virginia (vs. Iowa State)
While people usually think of passing when it comes to Dana Holgorsen's offense, \ this year West Virginia is actually 10th in the nation in rushing yards per game. They are led by Smallwood, who has gained 1,234 yards and eight touchdowns with 6.7 yards per carry. Iowa State is another team that has fired their head coach, and they are allowing 184.2 yards per game on the ground, so Smallwood should be in for another big game.

Zack Langer, RB, Tulsa (at Tulane)
Langer only has 700 yards rushing, but he missed two games, and in another game he was only able to run the ball once. Last week, though, he returned to action and scored twice, giving him 16 touchdowns on the year. He's scored a touchdown in every game he was able to finish, and Tulane probably won't be the defense to end that streak.

Bralon Addison, WR, Oregon (vs. Oregon State)
Addison has four touchdowns in his last four games, and eight overall, including a rushing touchdown. He only has two 100-yard games, but he is the leading receiver for an Oregon offense that has looked great recently. Perhaps counter intuitively, the Beavers' defense hasn't been as bad as the Ducks', but it has been bad, while Oregon's offense is exceptional. The Ducks should have another huge game offensively, and anything through the air will likely go through Addison.

Jonathan Duhart, WR, Old Dominion (vs. Florida Atlantic)
While Zach Pascal has had the better season for Old Dominion, Duhart has been the go-to receiver recently. He has seven touchdowns in his last four games, and he's gone over 130 yards in two of them. Last week Florida Atlantic gave up just 20 points to Florida, but that may speaks more to Gators' issues. Even with that, FAU is giving up 28.5 points per game, and 232.1 yards through the air. If Duhart remains hot, the Owls won't put up too much of a fight.

Ron Willoughby, WR, Buffalo (vs. Massachusetts)
Willoughby doesn't have a touchdown in either of his last two games, but he's gone over 100 yards on 16 catches over that span, and he had three touchdowns in his two games prior. Massachusetts has given up 31.9 points and 252 passing yards this season, and Buffalo needs to win to get to bowl eligibility. While Joe Licata has had some issues this year, if he can get the ball to Willoughby, both should have a good game.


J.T. Barrett, QB, Ohio State (at Michigan)
Last week was rough for Ohio State's offense in general. While Ezekiel Elliott generated a lot of discussion, Barrett went 9-for-16 for 46 yards passing, while also rushing 15 times for 44 yards against Michigan State. The Spartans played them tough, but the Wolverines' defense is even better, and Michigan gets to play at home. They had a couple of off games against the run, but last week against Penn State the Wolverines found their defense once again. Expect Barrett to struggle a second consecutive week.

Keenan Reynolds, QB, Navy (at Houston)
Reynolds has more touchdown runs than any player in FBS history, but on three occasions he has been held without a rushing touchdown, and he only has two games with over 100 yards passing. While Houston has given up 259.1 yards through the air, the Cougars have only allowed 20.2 points per game overall and 114.8 yards per game on the ground. That makes it seem as if Houston will be able to at least make things tough for Reynolds, record holder or not.

Cody Kessler, QB, Southern Cal (vs. UCLA)
Kessler started the season hot, went through a bit of a dry spell, and now he's been pretty good the last few weeks. However, his numbers haven't been all that impressive, from a fantasy perspective, as he hasn't even thrown for 250 yards in his last three games. Meanwhile, while UCLA has struggled against the run, their defense against the pass has been good. The Trojans would be wise to rush the ball, which they have the skill and talent for, leaving Kessler a bit of an afterthought in this rivalry game.

Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State (at Florida)
Cook is having a great season, and completely shutting him down is unlikely. That being said, Florida has one of the stingiest defenses in the country, and they are barely allowing more than 100 yards per game on the ground. Cook has been under 100 yards a few times this season, and it would not be surprising to see that happen again.

Alex Collins, RB, Arkansas (vs. Missouri)
The times they are a-changing down at Arkansas. The Razorbacks are actually more highly ranked as a passing offense than as a rushing offense, and last week Brandon Allen and his seven touchdowns led Arkansas to victory. Collins is still having a fine year, of course, but Mizzou's defense allows 15.1 points per game and 125 yards per game on the ground. Now that the Razorbacks aren't relying so wholly on running the ball, they will probably turn to Allen again and that, combined with Missouri's run defense, should limit Collins a bit.

Jarvion Franklin, RB, Western Michigan (vs. Toledo)
As a freshman, Franklin was dominant, rushing for 1,551 yards and 24 touchdowns. Now, he seems to have been usurped by another freshman, Jamauri Bogan. He's only gotten two carries in each of Western Michigan's last two games. Even if Franklin were playing more, Toledo's run defense has been good, though it's Bogan that is the main issue facing Franklin.

Nelson Spruce, WR, Colorado (vs. Utah)
Spruce has caught 84 passes for 942 yards, which is good, but he also only has three touchdowns. Now, touchdowns can be fickle, but only three touchdowns in the course of 11 games is not a lot. Additionally, last week's game against Washington State was Spruce's first over 100 yards. Utah's defense is better against the run than the pass, but they are good enough against the pass to at least make things difficult for Spruce.

William Fuller, WR, Notre Dame (at Stanford)
Fuller, who has had a top-notch season, has only three catches in each of his last two games, putting up a total of 109 yards in those matchups. Could he turn it back around? Sure, but it seems like a stretch on the road against Stanford's defense, especially with C.J. Prosise doubtful for this game. That would make Fuller the only real threat in Notre Dame's offense.

Dominique Williams, WR, Washington State (at Washington)
For starters, Luke Falk is questionable for this game. While Wazzu's offense is fairly plug-and-play, not having Falk would definitely hurt. On top of that, the Huskies are allowing 18.5 points and 209.5 passing yards per game. It seems unlikely Gabriel Marks, the main outlet for the Cougars, will get shut down, Williams, the No. 2 receiver, could find himself limited, especially if Falk doesn't play.

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Chris Morgan
Chris Morgan is a writer of sports, pop culture, and humor articles, a book author, a podcaster, and a fan of all Detroit sports teams.
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