Need any more evidence that a lot of luck goes into a fantasy football championship?Â Look no further than the situation surrounding Frank Gore.Â Gore owners are likely pulling their hair out right about now, since Gore has been fantastic this season, but is now out for the year with a hip injury.Â Whatâ€™s worse, the injury occurred after most leagues have had their trade deadline.Â If you donâ€™t already have Brian Westbrook, pick him up now, before one of your competitors can.Â Oh and try not to blame God if you donâ€™t get him (Iâ€™m looking at you Steve Johnson).Â Now on to week 13:
BEST:Â Â Â Michael Vick, PHI
Itâ€™s generally a safe bet to recommend quarterbacks not named â€œRustyâ€ against the Houston Texans.Â Since Vick isnâ€™t named Rusty I have a feeling heâ€™s going to have a big week against the porous Texansâ€™ secondary.Â Look for Vick to spread the ball around amongst DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, and Jason Avant on his way to around 300 yards and at least 2 TDs.Â He may even add a TD with his legs for good measure, make sure you start him.
WORST:Â Ben Roethlisberger, PIT
Big Ben had a rough fantasy game last week, only managing 246 yards and no touchdowns against the Bills.Â It doesnâ€™t get any easier this week as he faces the Ravens and their number 7 ranked pass defense.Â The Ravens have only been giving up about 206 yards per game this season.Â The only saving grace for the notoriously sack prone Roethlisberger is that the Ravens have only managed 19 sacks this season.Â If the Ravens rectify that, I think it will be a very ugly game for Ben, and even if he stays mostly clean throughout the game I would still look for less than stellar numbers from the Steelersâ€™ quarterback.
BEST:Â Â Â Michael Turner, ATL
He ripped through a relatively solid Packersâ€™ defense last week, and this week gets a Tampa Bay rush defense that ranks in the bottom third of the league.Â The Bucs are giving up 132 yards per game this season, and I fully expect Turner to top that number.Â I see him going for around 140 yards and a touchdown this week in what will be the most unexpected blowout of the week.
WORST:Â Maurice Morris, DET
With both Kevin Smith and Jahvid Best likely out this week, Morris will be getting all of the carries for the Lions.Â Because of that, some owners may be tempted to start him this week.Â Donâ€™t fall into that trap.Â The Bears have been extremely stout against the run this season only giving up about 80 yards per game on the ground.Â The only way Morris will be a factor this week is if he does it through the air, or happens to get some lucky goal-line carries.Â I donâ€™t see Morris getting over 50 yards this week, and will have a tough time finding the end zone.Â He may be a sneaky play in later weeks, but keep him stashed this week.
BEST:Â Â Â Roddy White, ATL
I just donâ€™t think the guy will be held quiet for two weeks in a row.Â The Packers did a very good job limiting White to only 5 catches for 49 yards, and I think Roddy will be very happy not to have Charles Woodson and Tramon Williams all over him this week.Â The Buccaneers have been solid against the pass this season, but I think the Falcons will want to show theyâ€™re the team to beat in the NFC South and will expose Tampa Bay as the mirage I think they are.Â Look for White to eclipse 100 yards and find the end zone in week 13.
WORST:Â Michael Crabtree, SF
He hasnâ€™t exactly been setting the world on fire anyway, but now with Frank Gore gone teams can stop stacking eight in the box against the 49ers.Â This means Crabtree is going to find fewer windows to sneak into in the passing game.Â Add to that he will be facing Williams and Woodson who, as I previously mentioned, held Roddy White to a sub-par fantasy game last week.Â Look for Crabtree to have an anemic game this week, make sure heâ€™s riding your bench if he isnâ€™t already.
BEST:Â Â Â Antonio Gates, SD
The Raiders have a tough pass D, but what can I say, Gates is the best in the game.Â I expect him to be Philip Riversâ€™ favorite target this week.Â Gates is the Chargersâ€™ most consistent receiver, and should be good for at least 80 yards and a score this week.Â If youâ€™re even close to a serious fantasy player you donâ€™t need me to tell you to start Gates, but I will anyway.Â Start Antonio Gates.
WORST: Tony Moeaki, KC
He was hot early in the year, but has really cooled down.Â Heâ€™s gotten only one catch in each of the last two games, even though that one catch did go for a touchdown last week.Â I think a lot of this has to do with the emergence of Dwayne Bowe as a Matt Casselâ€™s favorite target.Â So long as Bowe is playing at such a high level, IÂ wouldn’tÂ expect Moeaki to be a very consistent fantasy producer.Â I think heâ€™ll get more than one catch this week, but canâ€™t see him getting more than 50 yards through the air, and will be lucky to find the end zone.
BEST:Â Â Â Green Bay Packers
The Niners without Frank Gore?Â Where do I sign up?Â Green Bay has been an opportunistic defense this season, which usually spells fantasy success, and I see no reason for that to change against the 49ers.Â I think that Clay Matthews causes all kinds of problems for Troy Smith this week, and the Packers will turn San Francisco over at least twice.Â Start them with confidence in week 13.
WORST:Â Tennessee Titans
The Jags havenâ€™t exactly been amazing this season, but I think the Titans are in trouble right now.Â This seems like a team divided, and that usually spells trouble on the field.Â With distractions like Vince Young and Courtland Finnegan, I have a bad feeling about their performance this week.Â Look for the Jags to put up at least 21 points on the Titans this week as Maurice Jones Drew has a nice game.
SLEEPER OF THE WEEK
-Anthony Dixon, RB, San Francisco
Call me crazy, but I just have a hard time believing Brian Westbrook will be able to handle full time rushing duty with Frank Gore out.Â Westbrook has been notoriously injury prone, especially late in his career, and I have a feeling that this trend may continue into this year.Â If Westbrook does go down, Dixon will become extremely valuable as the only option in the 49ers backfield. Â I’m not usually big on rookie running backs, but I’m making an exception in this case, just because he’d probably take over a sizable portion of the Niners’ offense.
With how much San Francisco relies on its ground game, Dixon is worth a waiver wire flier in most leagues.
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