We have made it to Week 13 and have six teams on bye. The teams on bye this week are the Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills, Chicago Bears, Las Vegas Raiders, Minnesota Vikings, and New York Giants. The two teams that stand out the most with quarterback strength are Buffalo and Baltimore, which means Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson will be on the bench and you will need someone that can step up in their place. The other holes I see that may need filling are Josh Jacobs in Vegas and Jacobs Barkley in New York. We also lose some tight ends and pass catchers in D.J. Moore, T.J. Hockenson, Stefon Diggs, Jordan Addison and Zay Flowers, so there will be some room to grab cheap but valuable pieces on the wire to use in place of them. Whether you choose to keep some of the deeper plays more than this week, depending on injury and the schedule of matchups, is up to you. Just keep in mind that some players are better long-term pickups, and some are better for just this week.
Early Fantasy Football Streaming Options Week 13
Jordan Love, Green Bay Packers
Love started the season off hot in the first two games, throwing three touchdowns in each game and posting QBRs of 113.5 and 123.2. During Weeks 3-10, Love had some really ugly games and some okay games, but nothing to get excited about. In Week 11 against the Chargers, this Packers team seemed to come to life and actually start playing like a cohesive team. I am sure a lot of us were wondering if it was a fluke, but Love followed it up with his best game of the season the next week, winning against the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving Day.
The Packers and Love have the third easiest remaining schedule and their most difficult matchup will come this week as they host the Kansas City Chiefs at Lambeau Field. The Chiefs seem to figure out how to win games every week, but if I am being honest the Packers’ offense has looked better than the Chiefs’ offense in the last two weeks. The offense for Green Bay seems to have started to figure out how to work together and they have been playing well the last two weeks. As of right now, the Chiefs are favored by 6.5, and currently the public is favoring the Packers by 65%. Love may not be available in every fantasy league, but if he is, he is someone you need to pounce on quickly.
Jayden Reed, Green Bay Packers
I promise I am going to give you an option outside of the Packers, but Reed has been too consistent not to note, and he is a great stacking option with Jordan Love. Reed has scored two receiving and one rushing touchdown in the last three games and has put up 19.4, 19.2, and 15 fantasy points. He led the team with eight targets against the Lions in Week 12 and kept up with Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs in routes ran at 25. Reed reminds me of a younger Deebo Samuel as a receiver who also has rushing upside. If the Pack can use him to his strengths, fantasy managers and DFS players alike will reap the benefits.
Pat Freiermuth, Pittsburgh Steelers
After Freiermuth’s performance in Week 12, he will probably be snatched up in every league. If he is still available in yours, he is a great option and should be picked up immediately. Things came to life for the Steelers’ offense in the first week after the Matt Canada firing, and Freiermuth was the recipient of the resurgence. Pat led the team with 11 targets for nine catches and 120 yards. He was not able to get into the end zone, but we will take 21 fantasy points any way we can get them. Kenny Pickett seemed to have life in him also, and Pat could be one of his favorite targets to get the ball moving down the field.
Desmond Ridder, Atlanta Falcons
I wanted to leave this guy for the last deep option in the mix. Ridder is not someone everyone will be tapping their phones to get to in a hurry, but the upside here is the schedule that the Falcons have for the remainder of the season. They really have the easiest regular season schedule remaining. Their toughest matchup is against the Colts this week, and then they meet the Panthers, Bears, Buccaneers, Jets, and Saints again. Not one of those teams is over .500.
Ridder has been up and down this season and was even benched and replaced by Taylor Heinicke in Week 9. He said that he took that time to sit and reflect on how he could prepare and perform better on the field, agreeing with most observers that cleaning up the turnovers would be a good start.
Ridder has surpassed 20 fantasy points this season three times, so we know he is capable of putting up points. And let’s remind ourselves that Ridder was the optimal quarterback in the Week 6 Milly Maker lineup at only 4.2% owned. The Falcons lost that game to Washington, but Ridder was still able to put up 22.08 fantasy points, passing for 307 yards and two TDs while adding 18 rushing yards ( and three interceptions). Imagine him cleaning up the interceptions, and we could have a solid quarterback, especially with the use of his legs. He is a viable option with the beatable matchups ahead. Pick him up and play him if you are in a bind this week, or stash him on your bench just in case. You can also play him in DFS as a cheap quarterback. He opens up a lot of salary for studs in other positions.