NFC South Week 13 Fantasy Preview

An intriguing NFC South battle going on in Carolina where the Bucs can help out the Saints with a win this week. Atlanta comes to Toronto to take on the Bills in a game that should have been better than it probably will be at this point in the year. Then we have probably the game of the year as New Orleans heads outdoors to Seattle to take on the Seahawks and the 12th man.

Tampa Bay at Carolina

Cam Newton has been up and down the past couple of weeks. Last week he had a poor passing game, but his fantasy day was saved by some rushing and a rush TD, which is what you hope for owning a guy like Newton. Stafford passed for 300 yards and 3 TDs on this Bucs D last week, though he did throw 4 INTs. I like Newton in this game and like I’ve said a few times before, you probably don’t have a better QB to play over Newton. Looking to Mike Glennon, its tough to like him this week. Carolina has an awesome pass rush and they also rank 6th against the pass. They’ve given up just 9 passing TDs this year. Not a week you’d want to stream Mike Glennon.

The Carolina backfield is still a committee, so don’t bother. Newton was the leading rusher with 51 yards last week, so I’ll leave it at that. Bobby Rainey came back to Earth last week against a strong rush defense and it doesn’t get any easier this week. Carolina ranks 3rd in the league in yards per game and 7th in yards per carry (3.8), not to mention they’ve given up just 3 rushing TDs this year. I would sit Rainey this week for sure.

Vincent Jackson is the only guy you want to start from Tampa Bay. Yes he had a down week in a good matchup, but after seeing what Mike Wallace did to this secondary, I really like V-Jax. If Glennon can have some time to pass, Jackson should have a great game since you know the targets will be there. Underwood had a great game last week but had just 3 receptions and most of his yards came on his one big 85 yard play, so its tough to expect that every week. Okay, I lied – Tim Wright is a decent TE option every week as Glennon looked for him a lot without his favorite toy Vincent being open to throw to. Moving to Carolina, Steve Smith probably won’t have a good game against Revis this week. Megatron couldn’t find the end zone last week but still had a good game. Thing is, Steve Smith is not Megatron. Last time he was up against an elite CB in Talib, he was held to just 62 yards on 4 receptions. Greg Olsen is a solid TE option as he has scored in 4 of the past 5 games. He isn’t putting up a ton of yards, but the weekly score helps. Either hope that he gets some more looks from Newton or gets a classic score.

Atlanta at Buffalo (In Toronto!!!!)

In Matt Ryan’s last 5 games, he had just 5 passing TDs to go with his 9 (yes you read that correctly) INTs. Buffalo ranks 11th in pass rushing according to PFF and Atlanta ranks 28th in the league in pass blocking. I think Matt Ryan is going to get beaten around against a solid Bills pass rush which won’t be great for his fantasy stats. He’s a sit for me this week as there are a lot of better options out there.

Over the past 3 games for Buffalo, they have not allowed a running back to eclipse 100 rushing yards. They held Jamaal Charles to 90 yards and they held Ivory to 98 yards on 15 carries (though 69 of those yards were on one run), so I don’t see a good game here for Steven Jackson. A short TD saved an otherwise unimpressive fantasy day against the porous Saints run defense.

Roddy White has not had more than 50 yards the past 3 weeks and has just 1 TD in that span. Tough to recommend a start for him this week. Tony Gonzalez is a little bit banged up, but chances are you don’t have a better option than him this week. Good news is that Cumberland scored against this Bills defense in their last game – bad news is he only had 25 yards. Don’t like the matchup for Gonzo this week. Surprisingly, the only real start on this team that is comfortable for me is Harry Douglas. He isn’t getting into the endzone a lot, but I would chalk that up to Matt Ryan’s play rather than Douglas. The receptions and the yards are there, so his value is better in PPR formats. I think he has another solid WR3 maybe WR2 game for you this week. Darius Johnson had a decent game against the Saints last week, but he’s more of a deeper league play.

New Orleans at Seattle

Drew Brees outdoors this year in 4 games – 7 TDs and 5 INTs. Tough to sit Brees as good as he has been and I can’t recommend it. This is one of those weeks where you have to roll with your stud QB and hope for the best. Can’t say I’m expecting a huge game but I do think there is hope since Seattle will be missing Brandon Browner and Walter Thurmond. Brees’ two games in Seattle in 2010 – 786 passing yards, 6 TDs and 2 INTs…..so there’s that.

I think this is going to be a big game for Pierre Thomas, especially if Sproles misses another game (which I think he won’t). Its very frustrating that Ingram is still getting carries, but PT is still heavily involved in the passing game, which I expect to continue and maybe increase in this game. Seattle is 2nd against the pass and they do have a very good secondary and pass rush, so PT could see a lot of short screen/dump passes, making him a PPR monster. Sproles I don’t think you can trust just yet, but if he is back and healthy, he could have a lot of usage similar to PT minus the carries.

Jimmy Graham you have to start obviously, but as I have mentioned before, Seattle may be one of the only teams able to match up to Graham as their secondary is full of big guys. He is Brees’ favourite target however and I think Sean Payton will find ways to get Jimmy the ball. I don’t think Colston will see Sherman so he could be a decent play if you think Seattle will focus on Jimmy/Sproles/PT. He obviously has some risk and I don’t think he finishes better than a WR3.

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