Start or Sit These Players on Sunday to Win Week 13 Fantasy

Welcome everyone to Week 13 of the 2021 fantasy football schedule. This week when putting together your winning lineups, in addition to navigating injuries, you will have to do without players from the Carolina Panthers, Cleveland Browns, Green Bay Packers, and the Tennessee Titans. The good news is this is the second to last week to have to deal with byes. The bad news is these four teams that are off this week are loaded with viable fantasy assets.

I am here to do what I can to help you find viable starters with my start/sit recommendations for the Sunday match-ups. The goal is to aid you in setting the best roster possible and to assist you with your tough decisions each week. Often the recommendations here will be weekly flex plays.

Each and every week this season, I will give you my “Start of the Week” along with two “Start” recommendations and two “Sit” recommendations at each skilled player position. So without further ado, let’s take the first step towards your Week 13 victory.

1. Start of the Week

Start or Sit These Players on Sunday to Win Week 13 Fantasy
Start or Sit These Players on Sunday to Win Week 13 Fantasy

Elijah Mitchell – San Francisco 49ers
Sully’s Rank: RB9

Last week the “Start of the Week” was a flop. I selected Evan Engram, TE from the New York Giants, and he fell flat on his face. Engram landed at TE22 on the week, scoring 6.7 PPR points.

In Week 13, my Start of the Week is San Francisco 49ers RB Elijah Mitchell. Mitchell retuned to the Niners lineup in Week 12 after missing the previous week due to finger surgery. Mitchell not only retuned to the lineup, he returned to his feature back role in the offense. In the Week 12 win over Minnesota, Mitchell touched the ball a season high 32 times. It was his second consecutive outing seeing 27 rush attempts. With his last 54 carries, Mitchell has totaled 224 yards and a touchdown.

Mitchell and his 49er teammates travel to Seattle to face the Seahawks this Sunday afternoon. Seattle comes into this one fresh off a loss to Washington in which Antonio Gibson and J.D. McKissic combined to put up 130 rush yards, 51 receiving yards and a pair of touchdowns. On the season, the Seahawks are giving up on average 177 total yards, 1.09 touchdowns, and 31.7 points to the opponent’s running backs each week. The Seahawks are the second worst run defense in fantasy football in 2021.

Last week, Mitchell shared carries with WR Deebo Samuel, and to a much lesser degree, Jeff Wilson. With Deebo out this week, it’s wheels up for Mitchell. The Niners once again have run the ball more than they have thrown it this season (330-328), and if they want to stay hot and beat Seattle, (which they have struggled to do in Seattle), they need to keep the ball on the ground and shred this accommodating Seahawks defense.

I have Mitchell ranked at RB9 this week, and I believe that he has RB1 overall upside. If you roster Jeff Wilson Jr., don’t shy away from inserting him into your lineup as a flex play as well.

2. Quarterback

Start or Sit These Players on Sunday to Win Week 13 Fantasy
Start or Sit These Players on Sunday to Win Week 13 Fantasy


Jalen Hurts – Philadelphia Eagles
Sully’s Rank: QB5

If you started Jalen Hurst last week, I am sorry, because I did as well. Take comfort in your process, as starting him makes sense. In 8 of his 11 games this season, Hurts has posted 20+ points. In Week 12, he failed to score 10 points for the first time all year.

A matchup against the lowly Jets should be good for what ails Hurts, however. The Jets are a good matchup for any fantasy QB. They are giving up on average 18.7 points per game to the opposing QBs this season. Start the Eagles quarterback this week as he looks to get himself and his offense back on track in Week 13.

Kirk Cousins
Sully’s Rank: QB10

Entering Week 12, Kirk Cousins was the only QB in the NFL to rank in the top 10 in all of the following categories: Completion %: 68.2% (6th), Passing Yards: 2,775 (7th), Passing TDs: 21 (t-5th), INTs: 2 (t-1st), and Passer Rating: 106.3 (3rd). As a result I had him ranked inside my top-10 and started him with confidence. Cousins rewarded that call with a 16.52 point effort good for QB13. It could have been much worse, I suppose.

In Week 13, the Vikings take a short trip to Detroit to face the winless Lions. Cousins is a solid option this week. He’s had plenty of success against Detroit in the past, scoring 20-plus fantasy points in three of his last four games and five times in their eight career meetings.


Russell Wilson – Seattle Seahawks
Sully’s Rank: QB17

I listed Russell Wilson as a starter last week, mentioning that I was doing so with less confidence than I normally would when it comes to starting Russell Wilson. I started him based on matchup ignoring the fact this is not the same QB post finger surgery.

The call worked out, as Wilson put up 19.48 points and finished as QB9. Lost in the final stat line was the fact he was brutal for the majority of this one and was saved by a garbage time TD drive that was made possible by horrible officiating and the Football Team’s lack of a field goal kicker. I am out on Russ this week against divisional rival San Francisco. The Niners defense has allowed an average of fewer than 13 fantasy points a game to quarterbacks since Week 9. Wilson remains a viable option in your 2QB or Super-Flex leagues as a solid QB2 option.

Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh Steelers
Sully’s Rank: QB25

This season has been tough when it comes to starts and sits. Like most analysts, my season has more bad calls than good ones. When you get the chance to take a “sure thing”, it is hard to pass up. Sitting Big Ben is as close to a sure thing at the QB position this season. In 10 starts this season, he is averaging 14.35 points a game. He has gone over 16 points just twice and over 20 once.

This is a Hall-of-Fame talent is a shell of what he once was. It is not going to get any better for Roethlisberger anytime soon, and all signs point to the disappointment continuing this week. Ben and the Steelers face the Baltimore Ravens in Week 13, who have allowed just one quarterback to score more than 16 fantasy points against them since Week 9. What’s more, their defense has allowed just five touchdown passes in those four contests.

3. Running Backs

Start or Sit These Players on Sunday to Win Week 13 Fantasy
Start or Sit These Players on Sunday to Win Week 13 Fantasy


Alexander Mattison – Minnesota Vikings
Sully’s Rank: RB6

The injury to Minnesota Vikings’ RB Dalvin Cook was an unexpected and unwelcomed by his fantasy managers. When one door closes, another door opens. Mattison figures to have the lead role in the Vikings’ offense this week as a result of Cook’s shoulder injury.

Interestingly enough, last time the Vikings faced the Lions, it was without Dalvin Cook as well. In that one, Mattison scored a season-high 26.3 fantasy points with a massive 60% touch share. Mattison will be in the No. 1 running back conversation while Cook is sidelined. There is no reason to overthink this one. If you roster Alexander Mattison, he is a must start.

Antonio Gibson – Washington Football Team
Sully’s Rank: RB15

I was very high on Antonio Gibson entering the season, ranking him as a top-10 RB. That clearly looks like a mistake at this point in the season, although you can see what I was excited about starting to round into form.

Gibson saw a 51% touch share and scored 23.6 fantasy points last week versus Seattle. He was slowed earlier this season by a stress fracture in his shin, but it doesn’t seem to be an issue since coming out of their bye week. Since Week 10, Gibson has gone over 21 PPR points in two of three contests and is the RB8 during the three week span. Keep him in your starting lineups in Week 13 against the Las Vegas Raiders. Their defense has given up 13 total touchdowns and the third-most fantasy points per game to opposing runners.


Melvin Gordon – Denver Broncos
Sully’s Rank: RB28

Melvin Gordon continues to lead a backfield committee with Javonte Williams in Denver, which has capped each player’s ceiling from a statistical perspective. In addition to splitting carries with Javonte, Gordan is banged up and has missed a significant amount of practice the past few weeks. This week, he is a flex option against the Kansas City Chiefs and I don’t really love that call either. Kansas City has allowed just one running back to score more than 13 fantasy points against them in their last four games. The Chiefs defense is getting hot at the right time and they are no longer the cake matchup they were in the first half of the season.

Rhamondre Stevenson – New England Patriots
Sully’s Rank: RB34

I had Rhamondre Stevenson as a sit last week, and he remains in the sit category again in Week 13. Stevenson played just 20 snaps and had nine touches in a win over the Titans. He remains behind Damien Harris on the Patriots depth chart, and he’s not been a factor in either the red zone or the passing attack. The Bills defense has given up the third-fewest fantasy points per game to opposing backs this season. I would prefer to sit the entire Patriots backfield in this one.

4. Wide Receiver

Start or Sit These Players on Sunday to Win Week 13 Fantasy
Start or Sit These Players on Sunday to Win Week 13 Fantasy


Jaylen Waddle – Miami Dolphins
Sully’s Rank: WR8

Jaylen Waddle enters Week 13, sitting at WR10 with a total of 181.2 PPR points. In recent weeks, Waddle has caught fire with double digit fantasy results in six of the Dolphins last seven games. In the past two weeks, Jaylen Waddle has averaged 24.7 PPR points and has been the second highest scoring WR in Fantasy.

In Week 13, Waddle and the Miami Dolphins play host to the New York Giants. New York gives up on average 37 points to the opponents WRs and sit as the seventh worst fantasy defense against the WR position after eleven games played. Waddle is the go to wide receiver in Miami and it is evident based on his target totals from both Tua Tagovailoa and Jacoby Brissett. Waddle has seen 103 targets (22.4%), this season and the next highest in terms of targets is TE Mike Gesicki. Waddle is averaging 9.6 targets in his last seven games head and shoulders above anyone else in Miami. Waddle is a top-10 WR this week in a favorable matchup and should be in your starting lineup.

Brandon Aiyuk – San Francisco 49ers
Sully’s Rank: WR20

Brandon Aiyuk is out of the Kyle Shanahan dog house. With Deebo Samuel out this week, it solidifies Aiyuk’s role as the team’s No. 1 receiver. If you have been paying attention to the Niners of late, Aiyuk has been in that role for the past two weeks with Deebo spending more time in the Niners backfield.

In his past two games, Aiyuk has 13 targets for 10 catches, 176 yards and a touchdown, and he scored at least 12 PPR points in three of his past four outings. This week he’s facing a Seahawks defense that he torched last year in Seattle for eight catches, 91 yards and a touchdown. I like history, especially when I think it can repeat itself. I like Aiyuk as a solid WR2 this week.


Mike Williams – Los Angeles Chargers
Sully’s Rank: WR35

I like Mike Williams and eventually if I keep calling for you all to sit him, he will prove me wrong. Honestly, I hope he does this week. It’s hard to trust him given his recent lack of success. He’s scored seven PPR points or less in five of his past six games, and he’s had six targets or less in five of those outings. He started the season scoring at least 22 PPR points in four of his first five games, but he’s mostly disappeared since then. He’s still worth using as a starter as a flex option, but he’s no longer a must-start option.

Courtland Sutton – Denver Broncos
Sully’s Rank: WR49

Courtland Sutton is another player I was higher on than most this season, and he is a player that for the most part has been a major disappointment. Sutton has been bad lately, and it coincides with Jerry Jeudy coming back from his ankle injury. In his past four games, Sutton has combined for 16 PPR points with just 12 targets.

The Broncos are relying more on their running backs than their receivers with Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams carrying the offense, and it’s impacted Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, Tim Patrick and Noah Fant. I simply can’t keep starting Sutton and hoping for success.

5. Tight End

Start or Sit These Players on Sunday to Win Week 13 Fantasy
Start or Sit These Players on Sunday to Win Week 13 Fantasy


Logan Thomas – Washington Football Team
Sully’s Rank: TE8

Thomas was back in the Washington lineup for the first time in six games last week against Seattle. He finished with three catches for 31 yards on six targets, and he should have had a touchdown in the fourth quarter that was overturned by replay. This week, he’s facing a Raiders defense that has allowed eight touchdowns to tight ends in their past eight games. Thomas is worth trusting as a top-10 fantasy tight end in all leagues.

Kyle Pitts – Atlanta Falcons
Sully’s Rank: TE9

Rob Gronkowski returned to action this past Monday night, and he looked great in a win over the Giants. Gronk had eight targets, hauled in six passes, and scored 13.1 fantasy points in the game. He should be in starting lineups this week, too, as the Buccaneers face a Colts defense that has allowed six touchdowns and the sixth-most points per game to tight ends.


Hunter Henry – New England Patriots
Sully’s Rank: TE21

The last time I suggested sitting Hunter Henry he scored two touchdowns against the Browns in Week 10. I was just a week early is all. Since then he’s been shut out of the end zone and combined for just seven PPR points in his past two games against Atlanta and Tennessee. If he doesn’t score, then he’s useless, and he’s been at four catches or less and 37 yards or less in seven games in a row. Buffalo has only allowed three touchdowns to tight ends this year, and Henry will likely be a disappointment once again.

Evan Engram – New York Giants
Sully’s Rank: TE24

Evan Engram, as noted earlier, was last week’s Start of the Week. He failed to capitalize on the best matchup for tight ends this season against the Eagles with only three catches for 37 yards on six targets. He’s combined for just nine PPR points in his past two games with five catches for 49 yards on 11 targets over that span. With Mike Glennon starting this week, it won’t be getting any better for Engram. Add to that, the fact the Miami is a good defense against the TE position. They have allowed only 4 scores to the position all season.

Thank you for reading Start or Sit These Players on Sunday to Win Week 13 Fantasy

For all your start/sit questions be sure to reach out to me on Twitter @RotoHeatSully.

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