Sit/Start Week 13 Reviewing All Fantasy Relevant Players In Every Single Game

Our team tells you who you should be starting in week 13 of the fantasy football season

Game Info


Kickoff: Monday, December 7th at 5:00 PM ET

Location: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA

Betting Odds: WAS +9.5, 44 total via Oddsshark

Network: TBD


Washington Football Team



Alex Smith (Sit)


In three starts against Cincinnati, Detroit, and Dallas, three of the worst defenses in the league, Alex Smith is only averaging 10.8 fantasy points per game. Now, in a matchup against the best defense in the league, we’re supposed to think Smith is suddenly going to score 20+ fantasy points? I wouldn’t count on it. Sure, Smith is a veteran, a professional QB who hadn’t played football in nearly two years and who is still slowly working his way back into a football routine, but Pittsburgh is feisty and relentless. There is a scenario where Washington will be down big and Smith will have to throw it around often, but I wouldn’t count on it. Just steer clear of Smith this week.


Running Backs

Antonio Gibson (Start, Flex), J.D. McKissic (Sit), Peyton Barber (Sit)


Antonio Gibson broke out in a big way on Thanksgiving day in front of a national audience, and he’s quickly becoming a reliable option for anyone who took a chance on his high preseason ADP. That decision to take him is looking mighty good right now, but as we approach the fantasy playoffs in a week where many teams need a win to get in, the matchup isn’t great on paper for one of the hottest backs in the league. Pittsburgh has actually allowed 4.4 yards per carry this season, good for 15th in the league, so believe it or not they can be beaten on the ground from time to time. They’ve allowed over 100 rushing yards in a game only four times this year, and the only player to rush for 100 on his own against them is J.K. Dobbins in Week 7. Can Gibson become the second rookie to eclipse the 100-yard mark against the Steelers this season? There’s a chance, but I wouldn’t count on it, so he’s a Flex play with RB2 upside this week.


Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Terry McLaurin (Start, WR2), Cam Sims (Sit), Steven Sims Jr. (Sit), Logan Thomas (Sit, TE2)


Terry McLaurin is a must-start at this point, but you can’t discount the matchup in this one. Pittsburgh is the best defense in the league, and they’re capable of shutting out any opposing receiver at any time. However, I’m still rolling Terry out as a WR2 simply because Alex Smith should be looking his way often as they try to keep up with Pittsburgh’s stellar offense. McLaurin has five or more catches in all but three games this season, and he has double-digit fantasy points in all but one. I’m taking the chance unless I have three clear and obvious better choices this week, and I doubt many fantasy teams have the roster flexibility to bench Scary Terry.

The only other option in this offense I would consider starting would be Logan Thomas since he’s seen 14 targets in the past three games, but Pittsburgh has been the best team against opposing tight ends this season, and you can probably do better than Thomas in this one.


Pittsburgh Steelers



Ben Roethlisberger (Start, QB2)


Big Ben was let down by his receivers on Wednesday in a big way, as multiple drops ended up leaving points off the board and hurting Roethlisberger’s final line. He easily could have had another two touchdowns in the game, but instead, he had his second-worst fantasy performance of the season. The one worse game? Week 6 against Cleveland when he got banged up in the first half and hobbled up and down the field for the rest of the game. I don’t think the receivers will be as bad as they were in Week 12 again, but the matchup itself isn’t great for Big Ben and the rest of the Steelers’ offense. Washington is tied with Philadelphia for the second-most sacks on the season, and they will need to get pressure on Roethlisberger to throw off his timing with the receivers. One thing worth mentioning is that Roethlisberger has been getting rid of the ball quicker this year than he has in his entire career, which bodes well for his chances of success against Washington’s pass rush. Because of that, I think he should put up solid QB2 numbers with ease this week, with QB1 upside if his receivers can just hold onto the dang ball.


Running Backs

Benny Snell Jr. (Sit, Flex), Anthony McFarland Jr. (Sit)


Benny Snell Jr. had a respectable 12.3 fantasy points on Wednesday, but nothing about him really stood out. I was more impressed by Anthony McFarland Jr. in his limited touches, but it doesn’t seem like Pittsburgh is ready to lean on him quite yet. With James Conner out for this game against Washington due to a positive COVID test, Snell will once again be the lead back for Pittsburgh and I don’t really like him much in this one. Sure, he’s going to get 15-20 carries, and volume is crucial to fantasy success, but unless he finds the end zone his ceiling is capped. He’s nothing special, and without upside, I don’t want to start him as anything more than a Flex, and only if I have nobody else. One promising sign is that he caught three of four targets on Wednesday, something that isn’t normally part of his game but could be a huge boost to his PPR value. Hopefully, the targets will remain, because while I like Snell as a real-life football player, I just don’t think he’s all that good for fantasy purposes.


Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

JuJu Smith-Schuster (Start, Flex), Diontae Johnson (Start, WR2), Chase Claypool (Start, Flex), James Washington (Sit), Eric Ebron (Start, TE1)


I’m writing this just a few hours after the Pittsburgh receivers dropped basically every other pass that was thrown their way (only a slight exaggeration). Looking forward to Monday night’s game is tough after watching that, but we all know these receivers are better than they looked on Wednesday Diontae Johnson, especially, is a better receiver than he showed against Baltimore and I love his chances to rebound in this one. He’s the only Pittsburgh receiver averaging over 10 targets in their last three games, and when as long as he’s healthy he should get plenty of looks. He is the guy I want in this offense right now.

JuJu Smith-Schuster scored a touchdown on Wednesday, his sixth of the season, and he’s WR21 on the season overall. Meanwhile, Chase Claypool is WR20 on the year, and both of these guys have been consistently solid for most of the season. Washington has allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to WRs this year, and while both Claypool and Smith-Schuster are worth starting in the flex simply because Roethlisberger likes to spread the ball around, I’d rather take my chances with the target monster in Johnson.

Washington has allowed the 12th most fantasy points to tight ends this season, and Eric Ebron averaging eight targets per game in the last three weeks. He’s also getting used in the red zone, and he very nearly scored a touchdown in Wednesday’s game when he was tackled at the one-yard line after back-to-back looks near the goal line. He’s developed into a vital piece of this offense, and he should be a TE1 this week as long as the usage remains consistent.


— Ben Brown (@FelixTheDog23 on Twitter, iamatechnician on Reddit)

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