Here we are. Just two weeks left in the regular season for most fantasy leagues.

Two weeks.

That’s all that separates you from getting the No. 1 seed and a first-round bye. Or making the playoffs as a streaking wildcard. Or at least not finishing last and needing to take the SAT as punishment.

In the words of Josh Lyman: “This is grind-it-out time. It’s three yards and a cloud of dust.”

It’s almost December. Winter stands on the doorstep.

Fallen leaves on the ground. Snow on the leaves. Blood on the snow.

Become the grindstone.

Freedman’s Favorites for Week 13

Here are my preliminary Week 13 favorites. These are the guys who (in some combination) …

  • Might be high in my fantasy rankings relative to the industry consensus.
  • Need to be started in most season-long leagues.
  • Must be added if they are on waivers.
  • Possess underappreciated upside.
  • Have advantageous matchups.
  • Appear in my DFS player pool.
  • Make for desirable dynasty acquisition targets.
  • Are on teams with player-friendly betting odds.
  • Catch my eye with their player projections.
  • Stand out in our player prop tool.

Some notes.

  • Updates: After I submit this piece (usually on Tuesday night), I won’t make any updates here. Rather, any changing opinions I have will be reflected in my rankings and my projections, which I will periodically update throughout the week.
  • Scoring & Ordering: All fantasy points are half-PPR scoring unless otherwise stated. Players are ordered within position roughly (but probably not precisely) according to my rankings as of writing.
  • Abbreviations: Check out the end of the piece for abbreviations I might use. (I don’t want to clutter up the intro by listing them all here.)
  • Sports Betting Data: Odds are as of 3 pm ET on Tuesday, Nov. 28, and based on the official Unabated Lines (the best representation of a market-making sportsbook consensus).
  • Bye Week: The Ravens, Bills, Bears, Raiders, Vikings, and Giants are on bye. May the fantasy gods protect us.

Freedman’s Favorite Week 13 QBs

Tua Tagovailoa (Dolphins) at Commanders

  • Dolphins: -9
  • O/U: 50
  • TT: 29.5

Last year, Tagovailoa was No. 1 in AY/A (9.2) and No. 2 in composite EPA + CPOE (0.148, per RBs Don’t Matter). This year, he’s Nos. 3 & 4 (8.4, 0.150).

I think there’s a common belief that Tagovailoa is an overrated product of his system, but maybe the guy who …

  • Went to college as the No. 1 dual-threat recruit in his high school class …
  • Came off the bench as a true freshman in the National Championship to lead Alabama to a comeback win against Georgia …
  • Finished No. 2 in Heisman voting as a sophomore with an efficient 3,966 yards and 43 TDs passing to just six INTs …
  • Entered his final undergraduate season as the presumed No. 1 pick in the upcoming draft before suffering a career-threatening injury …
  • Weathered reasonably well two years of offensive playcalling incompetence before finally getting a creative schemer capable of maximizing his abilities …

… is actually good at football?

The Commanders are No. 1 in most fantasy points allowed to QBs (21.8 FPPG), they have almost no pass-rushing threat after trading away EDGEs Montez Sweat and Chase Young at the deadline, and they could be in disarray following the firing of DC Jack Del Rio. 

I have a ticket on Tagovailoa as MVP at +2200 logged in our 100% FREE Fantasy Life Bet Tracker. I doubt he’ll win the award, but he’s currently +900 (Caesars).

You can also target Tua in the Pick'em market on Underdog Fantasy, where you can get a 100% deposit match of up to $100 when you sign up below with promo code LIFE!

Brock Purdy (49ers) at Eagles

  • 49ers: -3
  • O/U: 46.5
  • TT: 24.75

Since the Week 9 bye, the 49ers are 3-0 with 92 points scored, and Purdy has 838 yards and seven TDs passing to just one INT with a 75.3% completion rate. He’s on fire, and the 49ers are the No. 1 team in the Massey-Peabody Power Ratings.

For the season, Purdy is No. 1 in AY/A (9.8), composite EPA + CPOE (0.205), and QBR (75.6, per ESPN). The days of his realistic MVP candidacy are over — but those are MVP-caliber efficiency numbers.

Framed differently: If Aaron Rodgers had been traded to the 49ers this offseason and done exactly what Purdy has this year, he’d be the easy MVP frontrunner.

For his career, Purdy is 12-6 ATS as a favorite (27.0% ROI, per Action Network), and the Eagles are No. 2 in most fantasy points allowed to QBs (21.5).

Kenny Pickett (Steelers) vs. Cardinals

  • Steelers: -5.5
  • O/U: 41
  • TT: 23.25

It’s disgusting, I know.

But in his first NFL game without former OC Matt Canada, Pickett had maybe the best outing of his career with 278 yards passing on a 72.7% completion rate and 8.4 AY/A. He looked functional.

Pickett

Nov 26, 2023; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett (8) throws the ball in the fourth quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paycor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kareem Elgazzar-USA TODAY Sports


Without Canada, the offense and Pickett could continue to improve, and it helps that he has one of the league’s best pass-catching trios in WRs Diontae Johnson and George Pickens and TE Pat Freiermuth.

The Cardinals are No. 32 in defensive dropback SR (50.8%).


Freedman’s Favorite Week 13 RBs

Travis Etienne (Jaguars) vs. Bengals

  • Jaguars: -8
  • O/U: 37
  • TT: 22.5

In the first eight weeks of the season, Etienne put up 849 yards and eight TDs (with two 2-point conversions) on 18.9 carries and 4.4 targets per game with an 81% snap rate (per our Fantasy Life Utilization Report).

But in the three weeks since the bye, Etienne has 189 scoreless yards on 14.3 carries and 4.3 targets per game with a 62% snap rate. His decline in usage is concerning.

This week, though, Etienne could have 20-plus touches with multiple goal-line opportunities as a sizable home favorite against the Bengals, who might be without LB Logan Wilson (ankle) after he exited Week 12 with an injury.

Derrick Henry (Titans) vs. Colts

  • Titans: +1
  • O/U: 43
  • TT: 21

The Titans are live to win as short home underdogs, and — despite his subpar season (82.4 scrimmage yards per game) — Henry has still balled out this year in five home outings (539 yards, five TDs) and four victories (426 yards, four TDs).

If the Titans win at home, Henry has a good shot to go off — and HC Mike Vrabel is 12-7 ATS (21.5% ROI) and 12-7 ML (61.3% ROI) as a dog at Nissan Stadium.

Henry is no longer the player he once was (125.7 scrimmage yards per game in 2019-22), but he has 12-plus opportunities in every game but one and could approach 20 touches in this spot.

The Colts are No. 30 in defensive rush SR (43.9%) and without three-time All-Pro LB Shaquille Leonard, whom the team cut last week in an attempted salary dump.

Rachaad White (Buccaneers) vs. Panthers

  • Buccaneers: -5.5
  • O/U: 37
  • TT: 21.25

I entered the season as a White skeptic, and I haven’t seen enough this year to make me change my mind: His career rushing efficiency is atrocious (3.6 yards per carry), and his average depth of target is uninspiring (-1.1 yards). 

But he’s the clear lead back in his offense: He’s had fewer than 16 opportunities in just one game this season. And since the Week 5 bye, he has 631 yards and four TDs on 93 carries and 33 targets in seven games. Volume is king.

He could go off this week as a home favorite against the Panthers, who are No. 32 in defensive rush EPA (0.076) and SR (44.7%) and without LB Shaq Thompson (leg, IR).

Zach Charbonnet (Seahawks) at Cowboys

  • Seahawks: +8.5
  • O/U: 46.5
  • TT: 19

No. 1 RB Kenneth Walker (oblique) exited Week 11 and missed Week 12 with an injury, and in his place, the rookie Chrabonnet served as the lead back for the Seahawks. He hasn’t done much over the past two games (127 scoreless yards), but his usage has excelled (29 carries, 10 targets, 86% snap rate, and 75% route rate).

I’m skeptical that Walker will return to action this week — he didn’t practice at all last week and was doubtful entering the game — and if he’s out, then Charbonnet will have an every-down workload.

The Cowboys are No. 31 in defensive rush SR (44.5%).

Jaylen Warren (Steelers) vs. Cardinals

  • Steelers: -5.5
  • O/U: 41
  • TT: 23.25

Warren has a capped ceiling in his committee with Najee Harris, and he disappointed last week with just 62 scoreless yards and a lost fumble. Still, he at least had 13 carries and three targets, and since the Week 6 bye, he has 59 carries and 20 targets, which he has leveraged into 499 yards and three TDs in six games.

I expect him to see a similar workload as a home favorite against the Cardinals, who are No. 3 in most fantasy points allowed to RBs (24.6).

Devin Singletary (Texans) vs. Broncos

  • Texans: -3.5
  • O/U: 48
  • TT: 25.75

It’s hard to know if RB Dameon Pierces usage last week was representative of what we’ll see moving forward — he was returning from an ankle injury and entered the weekend as questionable — but he played as the clear No. 2 back behind Singletary with just five carries and one target on a 19% snap rate.

Singletary

Nov 26, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Texans running back Devin Singletary (26) runs with the ball during the second quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports


Since Week 9 — Pierce’s first missed game — Singletary has dominated the backfield with an 81% snap rate, 75% rush share, and 64% route rate.

With that usage, Singletary has 377 yards and two TDs on 71 carries and 13 targets over the past four games, and he could offer mid-range RB2 value if this utilization sticks as a home favorite against the Broncos, who are No. 1 in most fantasy points allowed to RBs (27.0).

A.J. Dillon (Packers) vs. Chiefs

  • Packers: +6.5
  • O/U: 42.5
  • TT: 18

Dillon has been a big disappointment this year (4.1 yards per opportunity and one TD after 4.6 and 14 in 2021-22). Still, he at least had 28 carries and seven targets over the past two games, with No. 1 RB Aaron Jones (hamstring) exiting Week 11 early and missing Week 12.

Given that Jones didn’t practice last week and has been hampered by this injury since the season opener, I doubt he’ll suit up on Sunday.

The Packers are notable underdogs, but I expect them to lean on their running attack in an attempt to control the ball and shorten the game against the Chiefs, who are No. 31 in defensive rush EPA (-0.001).


Freedman’s Favorite Week 13 WRs

Tyreek Hill (Dolphins) at Commanders

  • Dolphins: -9
  • O/U: 50
  • TT: 29.5

Hill last year was the No. 1 WR with 3.2 yards per route, and this year, he leads the league with 1,343 scrimmage yards and 1,324 receiving yards on 120 targets through 11 games. With his elite speed and playmaking ability, he’s also the No. 1 WR with 756 yards after catch.

Hill is the No. 1 fantasy WR this year (21.5) and is No. 1 in the Offensive Player of the Year market (+105, DraftKings).

The Commanders are No. 2 in most fantasy points allowed to WRs (35.7).

CeeDee Lamb (Cowboys) vs. Seahawks

  • Cowboys: -8.5
  • O/U: 46.5
  • TT: 27.5

Lamb is just 11 games into the season, and he already has his third consecutive campaign with 1,100-plus scrimmage yards.

He has been especially hot in the aftermath of the team’s devastating Week 5 loss to the 49ers, putting up 51-708-5 receiving on 69 targets and 4-33-1 rushing with a two-point conversion in six games.

Against No. 1 WRs, especially those with inside/outside versatility — Puka Nacua (10-119-0, 15 targets; 5-70-1, seven), Amon-Ra St. Brown (6-102-0, seven), Adam Thielen (11-145-1, 14), Ja’Marr Chase (6-80-0, 13), Amari Cooper (6-89-0, 11), and Deebo Samuel (7-79-0, nine) — the Seahawks have been vulnerable.

Keenan Allen (Chargers) at Patriots

  • Chargers: -6
  • O/U: 40.5
  • TT: 23.25

Allen entered the season with 9.8 targets per game over the past three years, and he has leveled up this year in 11 games with a league-high 129 targets, which he has leveraged into 97-1,117-7 receiving. (He also has a 49-yard TD pass).

Allen has a great matchup in the slot against CB Myles Bryant, a backup-turned-starter who has allowed an 84.3% catch rate this year (per PFF).

Michael Pittman (Colts) at Titans

  • Colts: -1
  • O/U: 43
  • TT: 22

Pittman entered the campaign with 2,007 yards and 10 TDs receiving over the previous two seasons, and this year, he has 111 targets in 11 games, which he has leveraged into 76-784-3 receiving.

He’s the No. 1 red-zone receiver in the league with a 45% share of targets inside the 20-yard line.

The Titans are No. 31 in defensive dropback EPA (0.169).

Mike Evans (Buccaneers) vs. Panthers

  • Buccaneers: -5.5
  • O/U: 37
  • TT: 21.25

With 54-850-9 receiving in 11 games, Evans is on pace for his 10th consecutive 1,000-yard receiving season. With 9.3 yards per target this year, he’s still as explosive as ever.

The Panthers are uncertain to get back No. 1 CB Jaycee Horn (hamstring, IR), who hasn’t played since Week 1 and could be uneven if he returns.

Brandon Aiyuk (49ers) at Eagles

  • 49ers: -3
  • O/U: 46.5
  • TT: 24.75

Aiyuk came into his own last year with 1,015 yards and eight TDs receiving, and he has continued to impress this year with 42-838-5 receiving on 59 targets in his nine full games (he exited Week 2 early with a shoulder injury and missed Week 3).

The Eagles are No. 1 in most fantasy points allowed to WRs (37.9).

Tank Dell (Texans) vs. Broncos

  • Texans: -3.5
  • O/U: 48
  • TT: 25.75

Dell was a part-time player in Week 1 (48% snap rate), and he exited Week 5 early with a concussion that sidelined him for Week 6, but in his eight other games — all with a snap rate of at least 60% — he has 41-618-7 receiving on 67 targets and 9-55-0 rushing. 

WR Noah Brown (knee) didn’t practice at all last week, so I doubt he will return this week, which should ensure that Dell maintains his playing time.

The Broncos are No. 31 in defensive dropback SR (49.1%).

Adam Thielen (Panthers) at Buccaneers

  • Panthers: +5.5
  • O/U: 37
  • TT: 15.75

The team just fired HC Frank Reich, and there’s a lot wrong with the Panthers' offense, but Thielen isn’t one of the problems. Following his injury-impacted lackluster Week 1 (2-12-0 receiving, two targets), Thielen has racked up 75-716-4 receiving on 95 targets (and a two-point conversion) in 10 games.

Thielen

Nov 19, 2023; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Carolina Panthers wide receiver Adam Thielen (19) with the ball in the third quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports


With his shift from the perimeter to the interior, Thielen has reemerged as an attractive fantasy option in his first season with the Panthers, and he has a great matchup in the slot against undrafted rookie CB Christian Izien, who has allowed an 80.5% catch rate this year.

The Buccaneers are No. 5 in most fantasy points allowed to WRs (31.8).

Calvin Ridley (Jaguars) vs. Bengals

  • Jaguars: -8
  • O/U: 37
  • TT: 22.5

Ridley has been inconsistent throughout his 2023 return to action, but since the Week 9 bye, he has 14-212-3 receiving on 18 targets and 1-18-0 rushing with a two-point conversion in three games. Pretty good.

The Bengals are No. 30 in defensive dropback SR (48.9%).

Diontae Johnson (Steelers) vs. Cardinals

  • Steelers: -5.5
  • O/U: 41
  • TT: 23.25

Since returning from the hamstring injury that sidelined him for Weeks 3-6, Johnson has reclaimed his spot as the No. 1 WR in the Steelers offense with a 25% target rate, 28% target share, and 33% endzone target share to go along with his elite 93% route rate.

Johnson had a rough day at the office last week — he wasn’t given credit for a 15-yard TD catch that was ruled incomplete on the field and not challenged — but he still had eight targets in his first game this year without OC Matt Canada.

The Cardinals are No. 30 in defensive dropback EPA (0.154).

Marquise Brown (Cardinals) at Steelers

  • Cardinals: +5.5
  • O/U: 41
  • TT: 17.75

Brown hasn’t been notably productive in his three games this year with QB Kyler Murray (128 yards on 21 targets and one carry), but he has still dominated the offense with a 96% route rate, 33% air share, and 42% endzone target share since Week 10.

With that kind of usage, the production will eventually follow.

The Steelers have struggled this year against No. 1 WRs who play on the perimeter. I won’t list all the guys who have gone off, but last week — with QB Jake Browning slinging the rock — Ja’Marr Chase managed 4-81-0 receiving on six targets against the Steelers.

A.T. Perry (Saints) vs. Lions

  • Saints: +4.5
  • O/U: 45.5
  • TT: 20.5

The Saints could be without all three of their starting WRs: Michael Thomas (knee, IR) is definitely out, and Chris Olave (concussion) and Rashid Shaheed (thigh) both exited early last week with injuries.

Enter Perry, who has led the Saints WRs over the past two games with an 85% route rate and 42% endzone target share.

Playing mostly out wide to the left of the formation, Perry will likely run most of his routes against CB Jerry Jacobs, the most exploitable of the three starting Lions corners (56.2 coverage grade, per PFF).


Freedman’s Favorite Week 13 TEs

George Kittle (49ers) at Eagles

  • 49ers: -3
  • O/U: 46.5
  • TT: 24.75

As always, Kittle has been a boom/bust producer this season, but since the Week 9 bye, he has offered plenty of boom with 14-224-2 receiving on 18 targets in three games.

Kittle

Nov 19, 2023; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle (85) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the third quarter at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports


Even with new S Kevin Byard (acquired via trade with the Titans in October), the Eagles have continued to allow TEs to put up fantasy points after losing SS C.J. Gardner-Johnson, FS Marcus Epps, and LBs Kyzir White and T.J. Edwards this offseason.

In Byard’s four games with the Eagles, Logan Thomas (6-44-1 receiving, eight targets), Jake Ferguson (7-91-1, 10), Travis Kelce (7-44-1, nine) and Dalton Kincaid (5-38-0, six) have all had top-12 fantasy performances.

Trey McBride (Cardinals) at Steelers

  • Cardinals: +5.5
  • O/U: 41
  • TT: 17.75

McBride disappointed last year as a rookie (29-265-1 receiving, 39 targets), but this year, the 2021 unanimous All-American and Mackey Award winner has taken a big step forward: Since No. 1 TE Zach Ertz (quad, IR) was sidelined, McBride has 33-351-1 receiving on 44 targets in five games. 

The Steelers might still be without All-Pro FS Minkah Fitzpatrick (hamstring), who last played in Week 8.

Evan Engram (Jaguars) vs. Bengals

  • Jaguars: -8
  • O/U: 37
  • TT: 22.5

Engram has disappointed this year with … checks notes … zero TDs on 82 targets, 64 receptions, and 524 yards receiving.

That sucks, but he’s still No. 3 at the position in targets, receptions, and receiving yards. With his usage and yardage, the TDs will eventually materialize.

Why not against the Bengals? Without SS Vonn Bell and FS Jessie Bates, who departed this past offseason in free agency, the Bengals are No. 2 in most fantasy points allowed to TEs (12.2).


Abbreviations

  • Fantasy Points per Game (FPPG)
  • Against the Spread (ATS)
  • Over/Under (O/U)
  • Team Total (TT)
  • Moneyline (ML)
  • Return on Investment (ROI)
  • Adjusted Yards per Attempt (AY/A)
  • Expected Points Added (EPA)
  • Success Rate (SR)
  • Completion Percentage Over Expected (CPOE)
  • Defense-Adjusted Value Over Average (DVOA)
  • AirYAC (Air Yards + Yards After Catch)
  • Weighted Opportunity Rating (WOPR)
  • Average Depth of Target (aDOT)
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Matthew Freedman
Matthew Freedman
Matthew Freedman is the Head of Betting at Fantasy Life. He's a profitable sports bettor with 100K+ followers in the Action Network app. While he specializes in NFL (spreads, totals, futures, and player and draft props), he has also successfully invested in NBA, NHL, and March Madness player prop markets. Before joining Fantasy Life, he was the Director of Content at FantasyPros and BettingPros (2022-23), Chief Strategy Officer at FTN Network (2021-22), Lead NFL Analyst at Action Network (2017-21), and Editor-in-Chief at FantasyLabs (2016-21). Freedman started at RotoViz in 2013 and contributed to Pro Football Focus, DraftKings Playbook, and Fantasy Insiders before joining FantasyLabs on a full-time basis. As a fantasy analyst, Freedman is a five-time top-20 finisher in the FantasyPros accuracy contest.