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As we enter the final week of the fantasy regular season, there are three types of teams out there. First, the teams that have been eliminated. You can still play spoiler and ruin your friend’s year, but unless there is a weekly points prize, you don’t have much to play for. Next, there are the teams that already have a playoff spot locked up. You get to relax for at least a week, and get your lineup set for Week 14, or even Week 15 if you’re lucky enough to have a bye. Finally, there are the teams who need a win to make the playoffs. For you, the playoffs have already started, as you’re truly in win-or-go-home mode. These are the teams who have no margin of error, and can’t afford to start the wrong guy. Don’t overthink things and get cute – Yes, Audie Cole looked great in place of an injured Erin Henderson, but you’re not starting him over Luke Kuechly. Stick with your studs, using matchups as tiebreakers if you have a close call, and then hope for the best.

Here are some players who are primed for a big Week 13:

Cameron Wake – He hasn’t lived up to his draft position, due to a combination of injuries, double teams and general ineffectiveness, but he’s got to be foaming at the mouth over his first matchup with Geno Smith. The Jets need to win this game to keep their slim playoff hopes alive, so they’ll need to rely on Geno more than they would probably like to. This bodes well for Wake as well as the other Miami pass-rushers, Olivier Vernon and Dion Jordan, who should get their share of juicy third-and-long chances. With Chris Ivory likely out, the less-explosive Bilal Powell will be running the ball, giving the D-Linemen plenty of tackle opportunities as well.

Justin Smith – Another highly touted DL in the preseason who hasn’t quite lived up to expectation, Smith is my pick for DL who single-handedly gives the most teams a playoff spot this week. The Rams have had some surprising wins mainly due to their devotion to the run, making Zac Stacy one of the only 20-carry per game backs in the league. This is good news for Smith, who is a beast against the run, and should benefit from Aldon Smith getting back into groove.

Vontaze Burfict – I’ve talked about him enough, but it can’t be overstated how good he’s played this year. I mentioned trying to buy-low on him during his bye, because I’m likely putting him as my LB1 for the rest of the season. That starts this week against San Diego, where Danny Woodhead should be brought back down to earth with Burfict chasing him around.

Brandon Spikes – It took a bit longer than I expected, but Spikes has emerged as the clear-cut LB to own for New England. Houston remains an ever-evolving matchup for IDPs now that they’re on their third-string QB and RB, but I like Spikes to be a big factor against them no matter who has the ball.

DeAngelo Hall – No one in the NFL is more inconsistently reliable (or is it consistently unreliable?) than Eli Manning. I always hesitate to predict things like interceptions and fumble recoveries for IDPs, but doesn’t it feel like Hall is just destined to come up with a pick-six against the Giants on Sunday? Even if he doesn’t take one to the house, he’s still a good bet to rack up some tackles, but I’m expecting bigger things from Hall this week.

Eric Weddle – I don’t know if anyone has had a more underrated IDP season than Weddle has this year. I’m a huge proponent of Weddle, but even I was shocked to see that he’s DB4 on the season heading into Week 13. Maybe it was his relatively slow stretch from Weeks 2-7, or maybe it’s because the Chargers really haven’t been notable in any way this year, but I have a feeling that we’re going to look up at the end of the year and see that Weddle is at the very top of the DB charts.

 

Week 13 IDP Rankings:


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From Around The Web

  1. Wilsonian says:
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    I have Dansby and Church as my two IDPs. I’m trying to get the best two for the rest of the season through the Playoffs. I wasn’t paying attention and someone grabbed Burfict yesterday so now I’m looking at second options. Would you lose either of my two guys for Worrilow, Alonso, or Wagner?

    In our league they aren’t usually game changers, but if you can get someone who is always in the 7-11 point range with a chance for more, you’re good. Thanks!

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:
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      @Wilsonian:

      In most leagues LBs are more consistent than DBs, so if consistency is the only thing you’re after, I’d probably go for Alonso or Wagner and get rid of Church. Worrilow has been great, but I’m still not as sold on him long-term as the others.

      However, the nice thing about pairing a consistent LB like Dansby with a DB like Church is that you get your solid 7-11 points from Dansby, and Church will either get you 4-5 points, or explode for 15.

      It’s a tough choice, but I typically like the LB/DB combo if I can grab top guys at each position, which you have.

      • Wilsonian says:
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        @Kevin Kumpf: yeah, I usually prefer to have two LBs, for the consistency. Since we only play two IDPs, you just don’t want to end up with 5 total points from them. I thought the same thing about Worrilow. Alonso was my first choice to replace Church. They’re seriously a half point different on the year.

        I like your point on the LB/DB combo, though. It makes sense. I may hang onto it for now to see how it works out this week. Our playoffs don’t start until week 15, and I have 1st place locked up already. Thanks for your help and Happy Thanksgiving!!

  2. Show Me Your TD's says:
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    Happy Thanksgiving, I am very thankful for your wonderful IDP help sir, keep up the solid work!

    Start: LB, DB, DL, and a flex

    I have a good problem with my defense, both Cam Wake and Chandler Jones…. Been trying to play the matchups with them. Do you think I should start them both, one at Dflex, which would leave me to start Burfict as LB, Skrine at DB. This leaves me with Worrilow and Derrick Johnson on the bench.

    Thinks its worth starting Jones over either of those LBs?

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:
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      @Show Me Your TD’s:

      Thank you sir, I am thankful to have you reading the articles!

      This is a good problem to have, but as hard as it is, I would bench Jones this week. You can’t bench a top 10 LB for a DL unless that DL is 2012 J.J. Watt. I would roll with Johnson and Burfict this week.

  3. Prez says:
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    Sup kevin! Suggs or butler in my LB spot??

    Also, how do you feel about about brock vs stl? Think i should start him or go with deangelo hall?

    Thanks, stuff your face today!

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:
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      @Prez:

      Butler and Hall here. Not high on Suggs unless sacks are more than 5X solo tackles, and as you can see above, I’m very high on DHall.

      • Prez says:
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        @Kevin Kumpf: you da man! I figured you would say hall, but figured id run it by you anyway.

        Thanks man!

  4. Jeremy says:
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    I was thinking I might go Posluzny over Burfict, but I guess there’s a little more “big play” potential from Burfict

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:
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      @Jeremy:

      I’m all about Burfict, but his ankle injury at practice makes Poz a safer play this week. I’m waiting to adjust my rankings until we hear for sure, but if I’m planning on starting Burfict this week, I need to have a backup plan.

  5. Jimmy says:
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    Which defensive player do you like best this week given his matchup

    Vontaze Burfict vs Philip Rivers, Danny woodhead , Matthews (if he plays), Ronnie brown & etc

    Earl Thomas vs Drew Brees, Pierre Thomas, sproles, Ingram, colston, graham , Moore & kenny stills

    Antrel Rolle vs RG3, Pierre garçon, alf morris, Jordan reed, etc

    Patrick Willis vs Rams qb , etc

    Robert Quinn vs Kaepernick , etc

    Chandler Jones vs Case keenum etc

    Chris Long vs Kaepernick etc

    Eric Weddle vs Andy dalton (who’s been throwing picks) etc

    Thanks

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:
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      @Jimmy:

      Before his ankle injury, I’d go with Burfict for sure. If he plays on Sunday, I’d still go with him.

      But if Burfict is ruled out, then it’s a choice between Willis, Jones and Quinn. Willis is the safest bet, but I like Jones the most based on matchup.

  6. J-FOH says:
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    Any word on Audie Cole out ofMinnesota, guy looked ridiculous last weekend, would love to see him get another start

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:
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      @J-FOH:

      Everything I’ve heard has him starting over Henderson against the Bears. I picked him up in one league and I’ll be starting him and hoping for the best.

  7. Dr Sauce says:
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    Hey Kevin,
    Appreciate your insight!! Curious if you can give me so inside info. on Daryl Washington … his numbers have been very so-so (other than his 1st week back from suspension). What’s happening in ‘Zona? The defence seems to be playing well but Washington’s numbers have been pretty pedistrian. I was planning on playing Wagner over Washington this week but I see you have Washington ranked ahead of Wagner … thoughts??

  8. Evan says:
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    Hey Kevin,

    Thanks for your great analysis and writing.

    What do you think is going on with Smith and Ellerbe lately? They’d been fairly consistent, double-digit performers all season, until the last 3 weeks. Their numbers have been so bad, I’m thinking of benching them for LBs that, while generally lower-ranked, have been more consistent lately.

    I’m thinking of going with these 5 (3 LB spots + 2 DP flex):

    DeAndre Levy
    Audie Cole
    A.J. Hawk
    Mychal Kendricks
    David Harris

    I also have Ellerbe, Smith, and Von Miller on my roster. I’ll probably end up benching Harris in favor of Smith, just because it’s Daryl Smith–but Harris has outscored him each of the last 3 weeks. Either choice feels kinda stupid.

    What do you think?

    Thanks,
    Evan

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:
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      @Evan:

      I feel your pain on those two, but I still have faith. My Week 14 rankings (to be published tomorrow) will have them in the following order and ranks:

      Smith (11)
      Ellerbe (20)
      Levy (21)
      Miller (23)
      Cole (28)
      Hawk (34)
      Hendricks (36)
      Harris (50)

      Cole represents somewhat of a Wild Card due to Henderson’s presence, so his ranking is subject to change.

      It’s the playoffs now, so if you’re going to lose, it’s better to lose because you played your studs and they didn’t perform to their true level of talent, than if you benched them and watched them do their thing. I have all of your guys as top-50, but Smith and Ellerbe (and Miller to a lesser extent) have earned your trust. I’d roll with them.

      • Evan says:
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        @Kevin Kumpf:

        Thanks Kevin. I like your recommendation to roll with the trusted players, and so agreed on Smith and Ellerbe–though I’ve been wondering if Ellerbe’s still bothered by injury.

        Von Miller’s rankings seem a little off to me though–and not just you, everyone seems to like him. He did have one excellent game, but he’s also had a couple sleepers recently. I think of playing him more as a boom/bust type of choice. If I placed money on Harris outscoring Miller, 3 weeks in a row, I bet I’d win 2/3. But in that one where Miller was tops, he’d probably kill it.

        Anyways, that’s what makes this so much fun. Thanks again, really appreciate your help.

        Evan

        • Kevin Kumpf

          Kevin Kumpf says:
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          @Evan:

          That sums up Miller perfectly. The allure often outweighs the actual profits, but when he hits, he hits hard. So while he ends up around 20-25th among LBs for the season, he doesn’t hit that exact range once in a given week. That’s what makes him (and the Aldon Smiths of the world) nearly impossible to rank.

          Having a boom/bust guy alongside your other consistent producers isn’t a bad thing though, as he’ll either carry you or his down week won’t hurt as much as if he was your only LB.

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