Fantasy football 2017: NFL Week 13 cheat sheet

The Washington Post

Need some quick tips to assemble your fantasy lineup for Week 13? We've combed the far reaches of the Internet and culled only the choicest fantasy tips and advice for your quick consumption. Below you'll find easily digestible nuggets from multiple fantasy experts, addressing some of the critical situations fantasy owners will face from week to week.

Dig in. And dominate.

Injury Decisions

Ameer Abdullah, RB, Lions: Abdullah has been dealing with a neck injury and has not practiced in the open portion of team drills the past two days. It's not a great matchup and Abdullah hasn't produced much anyway.

Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Bills: Benjamin isn't likely to play in Week 13 as he works his way back from a knee injury.

Matt Forte, RB, Jets: Forte was limited in practice Thursday. He returned from a knee injury in Week 12, but failed to produce much as the New York backfield has been a frustrating committee.

DeVonta Freeman, RB, Falcons: Freeman has been fully participating in practice this week, having recovered from a concussion. Tevin Coleman has played well in his absence, plus it's not a great matchup against a stout Minnesota defense. That said, while Freeman owners have had to fill the void the past couple weeks, they'll be hard-pressed to do it again, given Freeman's ability to produce.

Chris Hogan, WR, Patriots: There's been no sign of Hogan at New England's practices this week. Given that the Patriots should be able to handle the Bills, Hogan will likely sit out for the fourth consecutive weekend.

Alshon Jeffery, WR, Eagles: After being limited in Wednesday's practice, Jeffery (foot) was a full participant Thursday.

Doug Martin, RB, Buccaneers: While Martin (concussion) hasn't officially been ruled out, he isn't expected to play this weekend.

Greg Olsen, TE, Panthers: Olsen aggravated his foot injury in Week 12 and has not practiced all week. While Carolina Coach Ron Rivera says Olsen could still play this weekend, it looks like a risky play.

JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Steelers: The Pittsburgh wideout has practiced in full this week after sitting out Week 12 with a hamstring injury. It's not a terrific matchup for the Steelers as the Bengals typically play solid defense. Martavis Bryant owners are also dealt a blow as he becomes the team's No. 3 wideout.

Robert Woods, WR, Rams: Los Angeles managed without Woods in Week 12, and may need to do so again as the wideout continues to sit out practice with a shoulder injury.

Fringe Starters

Isaiah Crowell, RB, Browns: Simply put, Crowell owners have not gotten the season they expected from the Cleveland tailback. But since Week 8, Crowell has three double-digit outings in four games. He ran for 95 yards in Week 12 and now gets to face the league's worst run defense in the Los Angeles Chargers. If you're an owner needing a win as you pursue a playoff berth, or perhaps you're looking to play spoiler, Crowell is a no-brainer in Week 13. Play him with confidence.

Orleans Darkwa, RB, Giants: Following three consecutive games with 70 yards or more, Darkwa was a dud in Week 12, tallying just 39 yards from scrimmage. New York has benched Eli Manning and the offense is not very good. The Giants visit Oakland this weekend and while the Raiders have improved their run defense significantly in recent weeks, it would seem doable that Darkwa could produce 60-70 yards again, and perhaps a touchdown. Darkwa is owned in 72 percent of ESPN leagues, but has only been started in 40 percent of lineups. If you're a Darkwa owner, it probably means you have needed him for a depleted backfield. With a new quarterback behind center, it's anyone's guess how things will go in Week 13. As a Darkwa owner, I have no choice but to roll the dice, having lost Dalvin Cook to injury early in the season and Ezekiel Elliott to his suspension. The guess here is that most owners are in a similar position, hoping Darkwa can give them double digits or a good eight to nine points. With Geno Smith's mobility, Darkwa is worth considering for a flex play.

Josh Gordon, WR, Browns: For a guy who hasn't played a regular season snap since 2014, he sure has been a hot topic heading into Week 13. While many pundits have advised owners to pick Gordon up in free agency, most are not ready to plop him into their respective lineups. If you can stash Gordon until he gets back into the swing of things, he may deliver during the final weeks of the season. But as far as this weekend, he's not someone you want to roll the dice with in what is typically the end of the regular season in fantasy leagues.

T.Y. Hilton, WR, Colts: An owner hit me up on Twitter a few weeks back, asking my advice about a trade involving Hilton. I cautioned against it due to the other players in the deal, and part of that was because Jacoby Brissett seemed to be much better than previous backups to Andrew Luck in Indianapolis. Hilton delivered one incredible week, but has otherwise been quiet. And now the Colts face the tough secondary of the Jaguars in Jacksonville. As an owner of Hilton in a 12-team league where I likely need to win to punch my ticket to the postseason, my other wideouts are DeAndre Hopkins, Martavis Bryant and the recently acquired Travis Benjamin. Hopkins is a must start for any owner, and Bryant is showing signs of being a serviceable option again, but admittedly I'm considering Benjamin as my flex play ahead of Hilton. The Colts' wideout has just one game with more than 27 yards since Week 5. Hilton is a difficult player to sit in any circumstance because all it takes is one play for him to produce a nice result. But the pundits and I are in agreement this weekend; Hilton is too risky to play in a brutal matchup. Look elsewhere.

Lottery Tickets That Could Pay Off

Seth Roberts, WR, Raiders: Here's the skinny: Michael Crabtree is suspended for Week 13 while Amari Cooper is dealing with a variety of injuries. When Crabtree sat out Week 4 due to injuries, Roberts played on 93 percent of the team's snaps. Oakland's matchup is against the New York Giants, who enter the weekend ranked 29th in the league against the pass. Basically, there's a lot to like about Roberts and for owners in desperate need of a WR2 or flex play, Roberts has tremendous upside as the Raiders are looking to get back into the playoff picture.

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