Fantasy Focus – Week 13 Matchups
Two from three last week. The Bengals pleasantly surprised me, as they put the Titans to the sword. Last two weeks of byes, and we are quickly approaching the fantasy playoffs. Matchups and team run-ins will be important when looking ahead. Here are this week’s Fantasy Focus predictions:
Dolphins (8-3) @ 49ers (7-4)
By the time the Dolphins kick off on Sunday, they will know whether the Patriots have done them a favour in their division or not. Regardless of that result the Dolphins are in the battle for the AFC East and hosting the in-form 9ers won’t be an easy task. The 49ers played against a well organised defensively sound Saints team last weekend. Although the 49ers defence was barely tested, their star studded offence stuttered against Saints with a few injury concerns arising too. The Dolphins and 49ers are both explosive offences and this game could become a shootout very quickly.
Do the Dolphins force the run game to help their offence?
So far this season, Tua and his two receivers (Hill & Waddle) have taken the league by storm. They have been hugely productive and are able to put up scores quickly in games. Their running game has been somewhat sub-par compared to their pass offence. Wilson and Mostert will need to find their rhythm to help round out this offence. The 49ers are a good defence and should be able to cope with their elite duo. In order to win on the weekend they will need to fight both on the ground and through the air.
Was Week 12’s offensive stutter an alarm bell – or strong Saints defence?
Last week the 49ers beat the Saints 13-0. The game felt a little like an evenly contested chess match. The 49ers will be a little concerned that they struggled to put up the points and yards that they have become used to. However, credit should be given more to the Saints defence than alarm bells ringing for their offence. The 49ers have on offences able to keep up with the Dolphins explosiveness. Jimmy G will have to share the ball around as usual in order to keep up with the Dolphins. The neutral and fantasy fans should be excited by the players on the field for this game.
- 49ers win, total game points will be more than 55 points
- Tua 300 passing yards, Hill & Waddle 100+ receiving yards
- George Kittle and Brandon Aiyuk TD’s
Chiefs (9-2) @ Bengals (7-4)
When you look through the schedule for week 13, this is the stand out matchup. Mahomes is operating at MVP level and this Chiefs team will start to mentally prepare for a playoff run. Andy Reid is an incredible coach. He will use these important matchups to try things and learn and hone their game plan prior to the playoffs. The Bengals are hitting their stride too. An incredibly impressive victory over the Titans, reiterated to the league that last season was no fluke. Burrow is an elite quarterback and hopefully with Jamarr Chase back and healthy this game should be a thriller.
Can the Bengals force Mahomes out of fourth gear?
The biggest concern for the Chiefs is how easy their recent and remaining schedule is. They have just played a weak Rams team and in their remaining 6 games they play the Broncos twice, the Raiders and the Texans. This game will require them to be ruthless and instill that killer instinct in their squad again. Mahomes will have to play well here, manage the clock, keep the ball out of Burrow’s hand and feed Kelce.
Can Burrow keep up with the top tier quarterbacks?
There is no doubt that Burrow has the talent to be in the conversation of being one of the elite quarterbacks. But these are the matchups Burrow needs to start winning for these questions to stop being asked. Similar to last week’s victory over a strong Titans team. Burrow still has to go past Mahomes, Deshaun Watson, Brady, Belichick, Josh Allen and then Lamar Jackson before the end of the season. It is one of the toughest run ins but in order to be remembered as a great, taking this opportunity will help a long way.
- Mahomes will be the crowned MVP this season, Chiefs win by 5 points
- Mahomes 300+ passing yards, 3 passing TD’s, Juju 100 + receiving yards
- Burrow still a tier below Mahomes, 300 passing yards but 2 interceptions
- Chase back with 100 yard game
Saints (4-8) @ Buccaneers (5-6)
Just 2 seasons ago, this would have been one of the biggest matchups in the NFL calendar. This game is still going to be broadcasted on prime time Monday night. But these two franchises are both shadows of their recent selves. This Saints team can not put together the perfectly balanced game. Either their defence turns up or their offence turns up, never simultaneously. The Buccaneers are experiencing almost what most feel is a bit of a free pass season. They are lucky to be in this dreadfully poor NFC South this year and they are still favourites to be the top seed. Both teams will need to put the season so far behind themselves and treat this game as a playoff game. This should result in a cagey low scoring affair.
Saints’ last chance
The Saints have been woeful this season. Looking at last week’s result against the 49ers however, some positives do need to be considered. The Saints defence turned up to slow and almost stop the high powered San Fran offence. The Defence need to cut out silly penalties and they will have to play the perfect game to keep Brady in check. On the offensive side, the Saints will need to rally themselves and up the tempo. Olave and Kamara will have to play important roles this week if they are to win and keep their small chances of topping NFC South hopes alive.
Buccaneers still in the hunt
Brady will be fully aware of the anomaly and fortunate position the Bucs are in, by being in the NFC South this year. They currently sit top of the NFC South with a 5-6 record. They will be aware they are 6 games away from the playoffs, and once there it is anyone’s game. The Bucs defence is stuttering and struggling, but the small shining lights recently have been Rachaad White and Chris Godwin. Rachaad White will need to be that safety valve for Brady this weekend against a good defence.
- Bucs end Saints season with 10+ point victory
- Dalton struggles, sub 250 yards and 2 interceptions
- Rachaad White 100 all purpose yards, Cade Otton receiving TD
Nathan – @mountaindrew92