The NFL has yet to fully complete its Week 12 slate as part of this unique 2020 season, but Week 13 is now right around the corner. As the regular season inches closer and closer to its conclusion, fantasy football owners only have one week — or maybe two — remaining to see if reaching the postseason is a possibility this time around. With other fantasy football owners jockeying for position atop the standings as well, this week will still be crucial as everyone is looking to continue their chase for a championship.
If fantasy football owners are going to play on past Week 13, everyone is definitely going to need the right player under center. With plenty of running backs and wide receivers to choose from, there are not nearly as many viable options at the quarterback position.
Quarterbacks to Start in Week 13
Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans
The 8-3 Tennessee Titans are smoldering hot at the moment, with the surging AFC South franchise entering Week 13 fresh off back-to-back wins over the Baltimore Ravens and rival Indianapolis Colts, respectively. With the 8-3 Cleveland Browns up next for the Titans, this will be a pivotal matchup as far as the AFC playoff picture goes.
The Titans will obviously continue to lean heavily on Pro Bowl running back Derrick Henry, who currently leads the league in rushing yards after accomplishing the feat last season. The Browns will be fully aware of such a tactic, though.
With Cleveland surely slated to stack the box, Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill might be able to take advantage of a severely injured Browns secondary, a group that might find itself in a lot of single coverage against tight end Jonnu Smith and wide receivers A.J. Brown and Corey Davis. Tannehill can also use his legs alongside Henry with fakes and bootlegs, so Week 13 could be a huge day for both the Titans and the team’s starter under center for fantasy football purposes.
Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings
The Minnesota Vikings absolutely must keep winning, and the middling NFC North franchise will be served up a softball in Week 13. With the Vikings slated to take on the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 13, Minnesota should be able to take down the lowly AFC South franchise with ease.
The Jaguars are still a NFL franchise, however, and will be prepared to attempt to stop Vikings running back Dalvin Cook, who sits behind only Derrick Henry in terms of the most rushing yards in the league this season. Because the Jaguars will no doubt be keying on Cook in Week 13, quarterback Kirk Cousins could be in line for an impressive performance against Jacksonville.
With veteran wide receiver Adam Thielen potentially returning to the fold and rookie wideout Justin Jefferson scorching hot, Cousins could be the most important player on the field for the Vikings this time around — even with Cook still heavily in the mix.
Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders
The Las Vegas Raiders can ill-afford another stinker like this past week against the lowly Atlanta Falcons. Thankfully for quarterback Derek Carr and company, the historically awful New York Jets are next up on the docket for the Raiders, a team still vying for position in the AFC playoff picture.
When the Raiders have performed well this season, Las Vegas has relied heavily on the aforementioned Carr, who has shown flashes of brilliance at various points. However, Carr has also failed to live up to the hype on more than one occasion as well, making him somewhat frustrating for fantasy football owners.
With both Carr and the Raiders in need of a major bounce-back effort in Week 13, there is no better team to beat up on than the Jets. If the Raiders want to make the playoffs, they must come away with a victory against New York. Not only that, though, but a confidence boost to Carr and his game would go quite a long way for this inconsistent AFC West franchise.
Quarterbacks to Sit in Week 13
Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals
The Arizona Cardinals are headed in the wrong direction with the once-dangerous NFC West franchise coming up short of a win in Week 12 against the middling New England Patriots. With a divisional foe in the Los Angeles Rams up next for Arizona, the Cardinals could have really used an inferior opponent here in order to rebound from last week’s letdown.
Instead, the Cardinals will be encountering a hungry Rams team, who are also coming off a tough loss to the San Francisco 49ers. The Rams have a stout and well-rounded defense, a unit that will surely be looking to slow down Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray.
Most importantly, though, the Rams have one of the best — if not the best — cornerbacks in the entire NFL in Jalen Ramsey at their disposal. With Ramsey slated to shadow All-Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, it might be a really slow day for Murray with his top target taken away for at least some of the game.
Of course, Murray could utilize the presence of another Cardinals wideout in Christian Kirk, but the absence of Hopkins could still prove to be a major game-changer when it comes to fantasy football. Murray must use his legs to his advantage if he and the Cardinals are going to have any success in Week 13, but taking on the Rams will still be a tall task.
Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles
The Philadelphia Eagles are not a very talented football team, nor is the struggling NFC East franchise being coached very well at the present moment. After losing to the Seattle Seahawks on Monday evening to drop to a dismal 3-7-1 on the season, the Eagles now have to face the red-hot Green Bay Packers, a team that absolutely throttled the Chicago Bears in Week 12.
With the Packers currently oozing with confidence and the Eagles doing the exact opposite, this NFC clash should be a bloodbath in favor of Green Bay. With the Eagles struggling mightily this season, quarterback Carson Wentz seems to be the main target of all of the blame — and rightfully so as he has been absolutely awful.
With the Packers headed in the right direction and the Eagles floundering, the odds of Wentz stringing together an impressive fantasy football effort in Week 13 are slim to none.
Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans
The 7-4 Indianapolis Colts just suffered the team’s most crushing defeat of the season in Week 12 against the Tennessee Titans. With the Colts depleted on both sides of the football in Week 12 in addition to simply playing poorly, Indianapolis needs a game that will boost its confidence and push it back in the right direction toward postseason contention. As a result, there is a very slim chance that the Indianapolis defense doesn’t show up for a second consecutive week.
Luckily for the Colts as well, the Houston Texans are up next on the schedule right after losing not one but two players to performance-enhancing drug suspensions over the weekend. It is worth noting that one of those players is wide receiver Will Fuller, who had become quarterback Deshaun Watson’s favorite target this season. Removing Fuller from the equation will only hurt Watson’s chances of putting together an impressive fantasy football performance in Week 13.
Throw in an angry and talented Colts defense eager to rebound, and the Texans are headed toward a recipe for disaster.