Start or Sit These Players on Thursday Night to Win Week 13 Fantasy
There are those in the fantasy community that follow the “When in doubt, Thursday is out” philosophy. Thankfully I am not a member of that line of thinking, especially considering I write this article weekly.
There are certainly variables to consider when setting your weekly lineup that includes players scheduled to be in action on a Thursday. First and foremost, not unlike any other matchup you need to watch the injury reports. If you have to choose between a questionable player and a player that is good to go of similar value, well you don’t need me to tell you which player to insert into your lineup.
One overlooked piece when setting a lineup that includes Thursday night action is your flex spots. Fill your positional spots on Thursday and leave your flex spots for Sunday. Lots can happen leading up to any given Sunday, and having the ability to be flexible with roster construction is an advantage you don’t want to give away.
Don’t let a Thursday matchup scare you. I get it, your fantasy assets are coming off a short week, but remember so are the defenses they matched up against. Good players typically are good players and good matchups are typically good matchups. The same can be said for the opposite. Long story short, my advice is don’t over think it. If player “X” was going to be in your lineup on Sunday, they should be in your lineup on Thursday as well.
With out further ado, let’s get into Thursday’s matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and the New Orleans Saints.
Dak Prescott – Dallas Cowboys
Sully’s Ranking: QB5
Dak Prescott enters the week as the QB11 with 209.6 points in 10 games played this season. He is averaging 21 fantasy points and game this season. Prescott has finished as a top-12 QB in seven of his 10 gmaes this season. Other than Week 2, (QB29), and Week 11, (QB28), Prescott has been as reliable as any QB in fnatasy in 2021.
The New Orleans Saints are the 4rd worst fantasy defense against the quarterback this season. They have given up on average 20.6 points to the position after eleven games. In those 11 games, they have yielded 2,931 passing yards a game and a total of 17 passing scores.
Dak should be getting CeeDee Lamb, and Amari Cooper back this week. With two pass catching backs, Lamb, Cooper, Michael Gallup, and Dalton Shultz all available, Prescott should fall within the top-12 for the eighth time this season.
Taysom Hill – New Orleans Saints
Sully’s Rank: QB16
Taysom Hill started four games at Quarterback for the New Orleans Saints in 2020. In those four contests he averaged 17.21 fantasy points and was the QB13. His fantasy production was driven by his 209 rushing yards and 4 scores.
The Dallas Cowboys come into this week ranked 20th against the opposing QB. The Cowboys have given up on average 18.7 points to the position after eleven games. In those 11 games they have yielded 3,064 passing yards a game and a total of 15 passing scores. Also of note, Dallas has allowed opposing QBs to run for a total of 142 yards and four touchdowns this season.
When I started my rankings this week, I was pegging Hill as a top-12 QB. The more I got into them the more QBs I came across that I liked more. Hill ends up at QB16, and if his foot was 100% he likely would be higher. He is a solid QB2 this week in my opinion, but in a 1QB league I would recommend he stays on your bench.
2. Running Back
All week we were hearing that the Dallas Cowboys were going to manage Ezekiel Elliott’s knee injury and perhaps shut him down for a few weeks. Well Jerry Jones came out yesterday and announced Zeke will be playing and expect him to see a massive workload. You’ll excuse me if I take this proclamation with a truck load of salt.
The Saints are the best fantasy defense against the running back position in 2021. New Orleans have given up on average 18.8 points to the position after 11 games. In those 11 games, they have held opposing backs to 3.15 yards per carry and a total of 726 yards, and four scores. This includes the outlier Week 11 against Philadelphia where they gave up 173 yards on 32 carries. This run defense is elite to say the least.
Elliott hasn’t looked like the Zeke we have become accustomed to in recent weeks. He has been startable but he has hit 20+ PPR points just once since Week5. I am concerned this week when factoring in this tough matchup. As a result I Zeke ranked at RB19 this week. Tony Pollard who has looked better than Elliott in recent weeks is a startable option as well. I ahve Pollard at RB24 this week, and he would be higher if not for this difficult matchup.
New Orleans Backfield
The New Orleans backfield is a lot like their offense in recent weeks, it’s a mess. Alvin Kamara has missed the last two weeks, and Mark Ingram missed a week ago. Last week the Saints leaned on Tony Jones and Ty Montgomery. Jones was RB, and Montgomery was marginally better coming in at RB39.
The Dallas Cowboys have been good against the RB this season and are 6th best after 12 weeks. They are giving up on average 21.4 PPR points to the position in 11 games.
Kamara and Ingram are practicing this week. Kamara has been limited and Ingram a full participant. I have cautiously ranked them both this week. Kamara at RB17 and Ingram at RB32. I am not expecting the Saints to do much offensively this week, but what they do accomplish I expect the majority of it to come from these two backs.
3. Wide Receiver
Dallas Wide Receivers
CeeDee Lamb will be back after missing Week 12, and Amari Cooper looks like he will be back after missing the past two weeks due to Covid-19. This is good news for both pass catchers, great news for Dak Prescott, and fantasy managers with shares in the Cowboys offense.
The Saints are the beatable via the pass and currently sit as the 6th worst fnatasy defense against the WR. New Orleans is giving up 37.7 PPR points a game to the position. In 11 games this season they have allowed 2,005 yards and 11 scores.
If I have to pick a Dallas receiver this week, it is CeeDee Lamb. I have Lamb ranked 11th, Amari Cooper 21st, and Michael Gallup comes in at WR36. All three are startable options this week.
New Orleans Wide Receivers
The Saints WRs are a mess as well. Another reason this offense has been in shambles in recent weeks. Michael Thomas has yet to appear this season and will remain out the rest of the way. Preseason darling Marquez Callaway, along with Tre’Quan Smith and Lil’Jordan Humphrey have been a disappointment. Entering Week 13, Callaway is WR37, Smith is WR86, and Humphrey is WR133.
The Cowboys are beatable with the wide receiver in 2021. Entering Week 13 they are the 5th worst fantasy defense against the WR. Thru 11 games this season, Dallas has allowed 2,101 passing yards and 12 scores to the opponents WR. On average they give up 39.4 PPR points a game to the position.
Even in this positive matchup, I have all Saints WRs on my bench this week. Marquez Callaway is my highest ranked coming in at WR54.
4. Tight End
I was really high on Dalton Schultz when it appeared that Amari Cooper was going to remain out this week. I still have a starting grade on Schultz, but with the trio of Dallas pass catchers available, I am not as hot for Dalton as I once was.
New Orleans is 9th against the TE this season allowing 10.6 PPR points a game. Dalton Schultz comes in as my 12th ranked TE this week. He remains a viable TE option regardless of the Dallas WR situation. I like Schultz to get you around 10 PPR points this week
The Saints are down to Nick Vannett at TE this week. Adam Trautman is on IR and Juwan Johnson has ben a healthy scratch on numerous occasions.
Dallas is a middle of the pack defense against the TE this season. The sit at 18th and are allowing 12.3 points to the position. Even with four teams on bye I can not get behind starting Vannett under any circumstances. HE is my 36th ranked TE this week, and he should not be on rosters let alone in lineups.
Thank you for reading Start or Sit These Players on Thursday Night 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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