Wondering whether or not to start Tom Brady and Calvin Johnson, or to bench Ryan Lindley and Jerome Simpson? Anyone can give you that kind of advice. If you’re looking for help with your real starting lineup conundrums, read on.
Here are my picks to roll, and get rolled, in Week 13.
Watch ’em roll
Matthew Stafford, QB, Lions vs. Colts. Coming off his huge Thanksgiving outing against the Texans, keep Stafford in your starting lineup as the Colts’ mediocre secondary comes to town. Stafford didn’t skip a beat without Titus Young, and he is finally starting to resemble the deadly quarterback he was last season.
Bryce Brown, RB, Eagles at Cowboys. Dallas’ defense is in a free-fall, thanks to injuries to several key players. Meanwhile, LeSean McCoy is still in the early stages of recovery from his concussion, leaving the backfield in Brown’s capable hands again.
Mikel Leshoure, RB, Lions vs. Colts. With scoring runs in each of his past two games, Leshoure is back on a decent roll. Now facing a lackluster Colts run defense, and blessed with excellent air cover from Stafford & Co., Detroit’s lead back is well-positioned for another good-to-great outing.
Stevie Johnson, WR, Bills vs. Jaguars. He has reached the end zone just once since Week 3, but Johnson has a good chance to return Sunday against the shoddy Jaguars secondary. Despite his modest production of late, Johnson is still being targeted frequently.
Brandon Lafell, WR, Panthers at Chiefs. Lafell has scored in back-to-back games, and he has actually been more productive than Steve Smith in recent weeks. Only the Redskins and Raiders have surrendered more passing TDs than the Chiefs.
Roll ’em back
Josh Freeman, QB, Buccaneers at Broncos. After a six-game stretch in which he posted 1,715 passing yards and 16 TDs, Freeman came down to earth against the Falcons in Week 12. He could remain grounded against a stout Denver defense that leads the league in sacks.
Stevan Ridley, RB, Patriots at Dolphins. With the rushing workload divided between three and sometimes four backs, Ridley will have a tough time racking up big stats against the stingy Dolphins run defense.
Darren McFadden, RB, Raiders vs. Browns. McFadden (ankle) is expected to reclaim his starting job this week, but Marcel Reece has earned a continuing role in the rushing attack going forward, thanks to his strong relief performances. If McFadden sits again, Reece is worth a start. Otherwise, consider benching both backs against a Cleveland run defense that has been playing its best ball of late.
Golden Tate, WR, Seahawks at Bears. Tate has been surprisingly effective when healthy; but, like his quarterback, he’s much more productive at home than on the road. And Chicago’s secondary presents a formidable challenge.
Antonio Brown, WR, Steelers at Ravens. Brown is on track to return from a three-week absence because of an ankle injury. Even if Ben Roethlisberger plays (which seems remote), Brown is too risky to start against a Ravens defense that has surrendered just nine passing TDs all season.
TAKING A FLIER
Michael Bush, RB, Bears vs. Seahawks. Matt Forte could suit up, but Bush would still be likely to see more touches Sunday, if only to reduce the wear and tear on the starter’s tender ankle. Miami’s rushers torched Seattle last week.
Don’t be the bonehead who … sticks with David Akers despite concerns over his pelvis injury. Still owned in 80 percent of fantasy leagues, Akers whiffed on 2 of 3 field goal attempts last week. The 49ers are auditioning temporary replacements.