IBM Smart Lineup Decisions for NFL Week 13

All eyes are on Minnesota Vikings deep threat Justin Jefferson to see if he can extend his run of strong play. Nick Wosika/USA TODAY Sports

Fantasy football is an emotional game, and that's a large part of why we love it. But "love" isn't the only emotion that comes with this game ... the flip side is just as strong of an emotion. What if I told you that it was possible to take the emotion out of the decision-making while retaining the sheer joy that comes with watching the games every week? That's where IBM Insights comes in, as it uses Watson AI to break down all of the content you're consuming and then some. And by "some," I mean every inch of the interwebs. Below are the highlights for NFL Week 13 -- good and bad. Now all you have to do is avoid the bust players and watch the points pile up!


Taysom Hill, New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons

Hill and the Saints are running a unique offense tailored to his specific set of skills, and that's great. It is. That's what you want. So why am I out on Hill for the week? Unique is no longer unique if you see it twice in three weeks, and that's the case in this divisional matchup. That worries me, and so does the fact that we've already seen this story. Cam Newton rushed for four scores in his first two starts of the season (30.1 fantasy PPG in those games), but his limited passing upside has held his appeal in check ever since (14 fantasy PPG). "I've got 99 problems" said one of the great philosophers of our generation 17 years ago. He was talking to you. This week. In your fantasy league. That is the number of instances we have seen a quarterback throw 40 passes in a game this season. Hill doesn't have 40 total pass attempts over the past two weeks combined. Be careful.

Watson's Insight: Hill comes in at QB8 in the projections this week, but be careful ... his floor ranks 22nd at the position.

Running Back

Kareem Hunt, Cleveland Browns at Tennessee Titans

The Eagles are a better run defense than you realize, and if you subtract that game from Hunt's ledger, he is averaging 5.1 yards per carry since Week 7. He scored just once in November and failed to catch a pass last week in Jacksonville, but the skills check out, so I'd caution you against overreacting to an underwhelming stretch. The Browns are the run-heaviest offense in the NFL, something that helps stabilize his floor to compliment a ceiling that includes 5-8 points as a pass-catcher.

Watson's Insight: Hunt is a fringe top-25 running back in terms of projected points, but he possesses the 10th-highest ceiling at the position.

Wide Receivers

Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

Tyreek Hill. There's your entire list of receivers with more points than Jefferson over the past three weeks. Jefferson has multiple deep receptions in four straight games, a skill set that will play just fine against a defense that is allowing the second-most yards per pass attempt this season. We will see if Jefferson's red zone rate from last week (four red zone targets after having just two previously this season) is here to stay with Adam Thielen expected back, but even without it, Jefferson should be viewed as a lineup staple in all formats.

Watson's Insight: Among players with a 10-point projection this week, no player has a higher boom chance than Minnesota's talented rookie.

Jamison Crowder, New York Jets vs. Las Vegas Raiders

Since Week 5, opponents are averaging 13 yards per slot completion against the Raiders (second most), a defensive flaw that you should be excited about exploiting in what figures to be a pass-heavy game script. Yes, I understand that Crowder hasn't been the fantasy asset since returning from injury that he was prior, but his clear role matches up perfectly in this spot, and that's enough for me to trust him more than our consensus ranks.

Watson's Insight: Crowder's upside is rarely considered, but this week, his ceiling game is currently 86.1% above his ESPN projection (third highest).

Nelson Agholor, Las Vegas Raiders at New York Jets

There are 12 receivers who have at least five catches in each of the past two weeks, and 11 of them are rostered in well over 85% of leagues. Agholor (47.8% rostered) is the lone exception, and I was encouraged by the dip in average depth of target last week (8.7 yards; season prior: 14.1). I'm expecting a nice bounce-back game from Derek Carr against a Jets defense that is allowing the highest completion percentage in the league (71.8%) and that makes Agholor a worthwhile deep league option or DFS punt play.

Watson's Insight: The difference between Agholor's Week 13 ceiling and floor is eight highest among the 110 players with a projection of at least 10 points.

Tight End

Hunter Henry, Los Angeles Chargers vs. New England Patriots

The tight end position is a mess, so it's really saying something to be out on one of the few viable options on the heels of a 10-target game. But you know what? I'm going to say something. Henry's yards per reception have declined each season of his career, and I'm not anticipating a bounce back in the touchdown department now that Austin Ekeler is back in the mix. In 2020, Henry is scoring once every 25.3 targets, a significant dip from his career rate prior (11.4). There is enough upside here to justify starting, but don't do so without acknowledging the risk.

Watson's Insight: There are two players who enter Week 13 with a 28% bust rate ... Henry and Justin Herbert.

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