You ever wonder what organization begins decorating for Christmas first?
Probably the Browns, it’s not like they have much else to look forward to this time of year. I imagine Hugh Jackson is writing his letter to Santa right now asking for Josh Gordon to stop giving interviews to Sports Illustrated. Jimmy Haslam likely wants a lot, but a season without cycling through every quarterback on the roster is probably near the top of his list. Joe Thomas is asking for a speedy recovery because I’m sure, the only thing that’s worse than losing every Sunday is watching your team lose every Sunday at home. And finally, everyone is asking for a win. Just one.
Merry Christmas Cleveland!
Now to the Starts and Sits of week 13.
Robby Anderson – Start
It’s probably a given at this point that Anderson is a weekly starter after scoring 6 times over the past 5 weeks, but it should also be mentioned that he is facing a Chiefs defense that ranks near the bottom of the league in team defense. So if you have any fears regarding whether or not to start Anderson let that calm them.
Keenan Allen – Start
Keenan Allen has been lighting it up over the past two weeks with 23 receptions for 331 yards and a trio of touchdowns in that span. He will absolutely come back down to Earth at some point, but I don’t know if a payback game against the Browns is the game to bet on that happening.
Marshawn Lynch – Start
Lynch hasn’t been the same rock-toting beast this season as he had been in Seattle, but he has a tasty matchup against the New York Giants this weekend. The Giants are the second worst team against the run this season. Additionally, the Raiders are going to be without Crabtree and Cooper to suspension and injury respectively. So the carries should be there for Lynch to make an impact.
Jared Cook – Start
Jared Cook may be a sneaky DFS play and waiver addition this week because, well, Derek Carr has to throw the ball to someone. The Giants are a little better at protecting the pass than they are the run, but they are still tied for second most touchdowns allowed in the league at 22.
Carlos Hyde – Start
Most of the issues for players on the offensive side of the ball in San Francisco revolve around a lack of scoring opportunities. Hyde is a prime example of this. However, he has been active in the ground and passing game in route to some of the best yardage totals of his career. With Jimmy Garoppolo under center, scoring opportunities should be slightly better against the Bears this week. He probably won’t win the week for you, but his stats should improve with the new signal caller. He might make a solid contrarian pick in DFS If the stars align for him.
Mark Ingram – Sit
You shouldn’t feel the need to try and reach to replace Ingram this week, but I’m doubtful that he will produce in line with predictions. Ingram and the Saints are going to battle for the number one seed in the NFC South on Sunday. Much has been said about the double-headed monster that the Saints have a running back, but the Panthers have a very big and athletic front seven that is well suited to give Ingram problems. Kamara, on the other hand, might pose a potential problem for the Panthers especially with his speed in the dome and varying looks he receives in the passing game. If you own both, I would go with Kamara over Ingram this week.
Dez Bryant – Sit
This is kind of a given at this point in the season due to Bryant’s underwhelming stat line, but Bryant always underperforms when facing a tough corner. This week he’s got Josh Norman. Also, if you’ve noticed the tailspin that the Cowboys offense is currently trying to correct then you’d be wise to steer clear.
Isaiah Crowell – Sit
I’m hearing a lot about the matchup being good for Crowell this week. The Chargers are the leagues worst against the run, so naturally, folks are inclined to label this Crowell’s break out game. I don’t see it. The Browns are trying to win a game, and seeing as how they embarrassed the Chargers last season I’m sure they are hoping to do that again. Nothing so far points to Crowell getting over 20 touches as the most he’s had so far this season is 17. He’s averaging 3.8 yards per tote and he’s only seen the end zone twice. The Browns may try to get him going on the ground, but they will have to throw the ball to keep pace with Phillip Rivers and Keenan Allen.
Devonta Freeman – Sit
The Vikings are second to only the Eagles when it comes to defending the run, so this isn’t exactly the most opportune matchup for his return to action. Additionally, Freeman wasn’t exactly lighting it up before he went down with an injury. Since then the Falcons have managed fine with Tevin Coleman at the helm. Coleman’s play over the past few weeks warrants, at the very least, an even split of the snaps. There’s just not a lot to like here.
Evan Engram – Sit
Say goodbye to Eli Manning, at least for now, and say hello to Geno Smith. The Giants have a lot of problems, but Eli wasn’t one of them. Engram hasn’t been very productive the past two outings, but any hopes that he could return to the four-game span of touchdowns he had mid-season should be shelved until Eli Returns. For all intents and purposes, let’s assume that will be next week.