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Weekly Matchups: Strong Plays, Weak Plays Week 13

Kyle Fisher

Kyle Fisher writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire.


Matt Moore vs. OAK

Moore has been a decent fantasy play lately, scoring at least 13 fantasy points in standard scoring leagues in three of his last four games. This week he gets perhaps his best fantasy matchup of the season against the Raiders. The Raiders have allowed multiple touchdown passes in eight of 11 games this season and have surrendered the fifth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks. If you're in a quarterback bind as the season winds down, Moore could be a nice one-week start this Sunday.

Matt Hasselbeck vs. BUF

After a hot start Hasselbeck has really cooled down. Since his bye in Week 6, Hasselbeck has thrown just six touchdowns in six games compared to nine touchdowns in his first five games. Hasselbeck has the opportunity to be fantasy relevant once again as he faces a Bills pass defense that has really struggled. The Bills have been dreadful the last three weeks, giving up 10 touchdown passes to just one interception. Look for Hasselbeck to have numbers this week that more closely resemble his hot start.

Frank Gore vs. STL

Gore has been either a fantasy stud or fantasy dud in every game this season. He has five games with more than 100 yards rushing and five games with less than 60. Against the Rams this week, expect to see the stud Gore. The Rams have surrendered the fourth-most fantasy points to running backs this season and have given up the most yards (1,511) to running backs. All signs point to Gore going over the century mark this weekend and being one of the week's best fantasy plays.

Dez Bryant vs. ARI

Bryant has all-world talent but has not really put it together in year two. He was shut down against the Dolphins, catching just three passes for 35 yards, and for the season averages less than four receptions a game. This week provides a great opportunity for a breakout performance for Bryant against the Cardinals. The Cardinals have given up the fifth-most fantasy points to wide receivers this season, but have been especially awful in five of the last six weeks. With the exception of the Eagles game in which Philadelphia ran for 166 yards, the Cardinals have allowed 25.8 fantasy points to wide receivers in standard scoring leagues since their bye week. If Bryant is going to please his fantasy owners this year with a huge performance, it appears to be this week.


The Chargers have been far from world beaters on defense but have been solid against weaker offenses such as the Vikings, Dolphins, Broncos and Chiefs, allowing just 18 points per game. This year nothing has said good matchup for a defense better than the Jacksonville offense. The Jags have scored 10-17 points in each of the last six games and have given up the sixth-most sacks in the NFL. If your defense has a poor matchup, the Chargers should be a good one-week pickup.


Matt Ryan vs. HOU

Ryan has been hot the last four weeks, throwing for nine touchdowns against just two interceptions. However, those games would be considered favorable matchups while this week might be his toughest test of the season. The Texans have given up the second-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks and are on a six-game run of allowing just four touchdowns while picking off 10 passes. Furthermore, in eight of 11 games this season they have held opposing quarterbacks to less than 200 yards passing. Ryan might be too good to bench, but don't expect the same production he's offered in the last month.

Joe Flacco vs. CLE

Flacco is a big name on a very good team but has just 13 touchdown passes all season, and six came in two games. This week should be another pedestrian outing against the tough Browns pass defense. The Browns have surrendered the third-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks and have held opposing quarterbacks to fewer than 200 yards passing in five of their last seven games. They haven't allowed multiple touchdown passes since Week 4. Just like last week's matchup, Flacco seems suited to the bench.

Steven Jackson vs. SF

Jackson has been held in check the last two weeks; expect him to go for the hat trick this week against the 49ers. The 49ers have by far the best fantasy run defense, and even in their worst yardage performance of the season last week, they gave up just 90 yards on 29 carries. Look for Jackson to struggle as the Rams finish out another disappointing season.

Chris Wells vs. DAL

Wells is coming off a career-high 228-yard effort against the Rams but steps up in class this week against the Cowboys. Dallas ranks sixth in fantasy points allowed to running backs, and after two bad weeks in Weeks 8 and 9, the Cowboys have averaged just 80 yards allowed and no touchdowns. Look for Wells to come back down to earth after his great performance in Week 12.


For most of the season, the Lions have been one of the better fantasy defenses but have given up 33 points a game in their last three games. And things get no easier this week against the Saints. We pointed out last week the Saints have been hot at home, and they didn't disappoint, putting up 49 points against the Giants. While it might not be that bad this week, the Lions could be without Ndamukong Suh (he is appealing his suspension), don't be surprised if the Saints go past the 30-point mark, making the Lions a definite bench this week.