Was it just me, or did everyone look at their roster this week and wonder how every player seemingly has a Week 13 bye? In such a pivotal week for getting into the fantasy playoffs, it’s important to find the best bye-week fill-ins as possible. Here are my favorite options, in order, for streaming at each position in Week 13.
Week 13 QB Streaming Options
Kenny Pickett (PIT) v ARI
ESPN 19%, Yahoo 17%, Sleeper 24%
There’s legitimate potential for this to be the only week I ever vouch for fantasy managers to start Kenny Pickett. In 19 career games through 2 seasons, Pickett has only scored above 16 fantasy points on 3 occasions as the Steelers have struggled offensively in the post-Big Ben era. My main reason for optimism for Pickett moving forward is Mike Tomlin finally moving on from offensive coordinator Matt Canada. Pickett threw for a career-high 278 yards in his first game outside of Canada’s system a week ago, and the offense gained over 400 yards for the first time in 58 games. There may be a whole new level to this Steeler’s offense that hasn’t been reached, and I believe those higher yardage totals will lead to more points against a porous Cardinals defense in Week 13.
Jordan Love (GB) v KC
ESPN 65%, Yahoo 60%, Sleeper 63%
Jordan Love had been passing for the eye test for multiple weeks after having a concerning mid-season lull during his first season as the full-time starter in Green Bay. He really put everything together on Thanksgiving in Detroit, putting up 26.6 half-PPR points in a game where it felt like he just couldn’t miss. The young receivers around him seem to be developing alongside him, but they’ll face a big test on Sunday night at home against Kansas City. The Chiefs have one of the league’s best defenses, so consider this a vote of confidence for the future of this Packers team when I tell you to feel comfortable starting Jordan Love this weekend. He’s getting better every week and has mobility that can provide a solid floor for fantasy managers.
Derek Carr (NO) v DET
ESPN 39%, Yahoo 38%, Sleeper 46%
Over the last 7 weeks, the only quarterbacks Detroit hasn’t allowed a top-10 finish to were Jimmy Garoppolo and Baker Mayfield. While New Orleans has struggled to score points offensively, they’ve moved the ball well and I expect this to be a shootout under the dome in New Orleans. Even if the Saints fail on some 3rd downs in the redzone, they may be forced to try and score as many touchdowns as possible in this high-scoring environment.
Would start if available: Sam Howell (WAS) v MIA
Week 13 RB Streaming Options
Antonio Gibson (WAS) v MIA
ESPN 46%, Yahoo 50%, Sleeper 60%
Gibson has been the primary backup to Brian Robinson all season, but in passing-game scripts he sees his most work out of the backfield. Washington are heavy underdogs at home against Miami this weekend, and Gibson should see plenty of checkdown opportunities as a result.
Samaje Perine (DEN) @ HOU
ESPN 27%, Yahoo 28%, Sleeper 39%
I’ll keep it real here, there’s not many low-owned running backs with great opportunity left in this bye-filled Week 13. This Denver backfield has been one of the most difficult committees to figure out all season, but Perine has received 8 opportunities in each of the last 2 weeks and capitalized on those opportunities. He saw 7 targets 2 weeks ago, playing primarily as the team’s 3rd down back while also receiving carries inside the 5 yard line last week. Those reception opportunities should continue in a high-scoring environment under a dome against Rookie of the Year front-runner CJ Stroud and the high-flying Texans offense.
Royce Freeman (LAR) v CLE
ESPN 7%, Yahoo 9%, Sleeper 13%
Cleveland has been ferocious defensively this season, but they’ve allowed top-12 finishes to running backs in each of the last 2 weeks. In Kyren Williams’ absence, Freeman played well enough to earn a role in this Rams offense even with Williams’ return a week ago. He saw 13 opportunities a week ago and averaged almost 6 yards a carry while scoring from inside the 10-yard line. I expect the Rams to try to mitigate this Cleveland pass rush by establishing the ground game on Sunday, and Freeman should to continue to have a role in the offense.
Would start if available: Kareem Hunt (CLE) @ LAR; Devin Singletary (HOU) v DEN
Week 13 WR Streaming Options
Curtis Samuel (WAS) v MIA
ESPN 42%, Yahoo 44%, Sleeper 49%
Washington passes the ball at a higher rate than any other NFL team, and it seems as if Eric Bieniemy’s offense features its slot receivers and tight ends more than any other position. Samuel had over 100 yards receiving a week ago and should be heavily involved in a game where Washington are 10-point underdogs. They’re expected to play catch-up all game, which only bodes well for their pass-catchers in fantasy this weekend.
Greg Dortch (ARI) @ PIT
ESPN 16%, Yahoo 16%, Sleeper 22%
Dortch has seen 8 and 9 targets over the last two weeks while playing as the #2 receiver behind Marquise Brown, and I don’t see his role diminishing here in Week 13. He seems to have a solid connection with Kyler Murray as an underneath target that has been an effective fantasy receiver each time he’s given the opportunity. Pittsburgh has bled fantasy points to wide receivers this season, and I expect that to continue in what could be a sneaky shootout on Sunday.
Demario Douglas (NE) v LAC
ESPN 31%, Yahoo 33%, Sleeper 37%
Douglas has seen plenty of opportunity in this New England offense over the last few weeks, receiving 6 or more targets in each of the last 5 games. This New England offense has been dysfunctional, so those opportunities haven’t resulted in many fantasy points for the 6th-round rookie up to this point. But with new starter Bailey Zappe taking over at quarterback this week, I expect Douglas to be able to succeed in half-PPR and full-PPR formats. He and Zappe had plenty of reps together over the Summer working with the second team, and Zappe’s lack of arm strength bodes well for an underneath target like Douglas.
Jayden Reed (GB) v KC
ESPN 59%, Yahoo 58%, Sleeper 63%
I’m not going to be afraid of this Kansas City defense this week, simply because Jayden Reed and Jordan Love have shown a legitimate connection over the last few weeks. They’re clearly both very physically talented, and it seems as if the mental part of their game is all coming together as well. The 2nd-round rookie receiver should see plenty of work on Sunday night, as Green Bay has found plenty of ways to give him manufactured touches as he continues to mature in this offense.
Would start if available : Josh Downs (IND) @ TEN
Week 13 TE Streaming Options
Juwan Johnson (NO) v DET
ESPN 12%, Yahoo 13%, Sleeper 20%
Rashid Shaheed and Michael Thomas will be missing this Week 13 matchup, which opens up potential targets for other receivers in this offense. Johnson saw 7 targets last week in the first game without Michael Thomas, and this Detroit defense has been lackluster against the pass over the last few weeks. Johnson is a big-bodied former wide receiver who I expect to get redzone looks here out of necessity for New Orleans this weekend.
Logan Thomas (WAS) v MIA
ESPN 63%, Yahoo 57%, Sleeper 67%
As I wrote earlier, this Washington offense throws the ball more than any other team in the league. Logan Thomas has been a major benefactor of that from a fantasy standpoint, and I expect him to get plenty of looks as Washington presumably plays catchup to Miami this weekend.
Would start if available: David Njoku (CLE) @ LAR
Image Credit: Mark J. Rebilas – USA TODAY Sports