Week 13: Start 'Em
When it comes to setting your lineups for each week of the fantasy season, a good rule of thumb is simply to not over think it. You drafted players for a reason and in almost all cases, it is to play them from the jump. Then again, don't let draft day pride interfere with a basic - or detailed - look at the match-ups, something you most likely do throughout the season. That's why we offer the "Start 'em" column, where we look beyond the obvious names to offer suggestions on potential lineup options, perhaps someone sitting on your bench right now that you may have simply overlooked. Throughout the season check back here for sleepers and oh so subtle plays and also sneak a peak at our Matchup Analyzer page.
Since week 3 we haven't heard much from Michael Bush, although that changed this past week as Matt Forte went down in the 3rd quarter with an ankle injury that could keep him out again this week. In Forte's absence Bush rushed the ball 21 times for 60 yards and scored 2 touchdowns (his 1st since week 3). The last time Forte missed a game, Bush rushed for 55 yards, scored a TD and also caught 2 passes for 18 yards. If Forte does miss the game and Bush does indeed get the start this week, you should expect much of the same production, making him a very solid RB2 or flex start.
For the 2nd straight game Jacquizz played for more snaps then Turner (31 to 23). Rodgers had one of his best games of the season, gaining a total of 79 yards, catching 2 passes and scoring his first TD of the season. We knew all season that at some point Rodgers would start to become a bigger part of the offense and it is finally happening. This week the Falcons face the Saints, who have been the NFL's worst rush defense, allowing a whopping 156 yards per game on the ground. So you can expect Rodgers to have a breakout game, gaining over 120 total yards and scoring his 2nd TD of the season. If you need a RB2 or flex start, make sure to get Rodgers in your starting lineup.
Considering this was his first game action since week 3, Beanie Wells looked pretty good early on, but didn't have the stamina to keep it up all game. He was able to rush 17 times (7 on the first drive) for 48 yards, but more importantly scored 2 touchdowns. Look for Wells' conditioning to improve each week as he gets back into game shape. Regardless, the Cards don't have any other real options at RB, due to being hit so hard with injuries. So they will continue to give Wells the ball, and this week that should be a good thing as the Cards face a Jets team, 3rd worst in rush defense, giving up 142 yards per game. If you need help at RB2 or flex, Wells might be your guy.
Looks like Jonathan Stewart will miss some time with the dreaded high ankle sprain, leaving the starting running back position to DeAngelo Williams. The last game that Stewart missed Williams put up 73 total yards and 2 receptions and that was against the Giants. This week, Williams will face an easier match up in the Kansas City Chiefs, so it should be no surprise if he gains over 100 total yards, a few catches and a touchdown. If you had Stewart or another injured RB, you should look to start Williams; he also makes for a decent start at flex. With Stewart not around to steal carries, don't be afraid to start Williams
While Bess might not be the PPR machine that Wes Welker has been over the last few years, he still puts up very solid numbers, despite playing on a much weaker offense. Bess has been his consistent self this season and if he keeps it up he will set career highs in receptions and yards. Bess has been at his best the last two weeks, catching 13 passes for 179 yards and his 1st TD of the season. This week Bess faces a Patriots team that hasn't been very good at defending the pass, allowing for many opportunities to put up fantasy points. Bess is much more valuable in PPR leagues, making him a good start as a WR3 or flex, and in standard leagues, he can be used as a flex.