The Fantasy Football Matchups Column returns for Week 13 of the 2021 NFL season. The column will break down key matchups for the most important players each week to provide tips for NFL DFS, player prop bettors and season-long fantasy football setting lineups on Yahoo, ESPN, Sleeper and CBS. Let us dive into the all the NFL DFS tips matchups and daily fantasy football lineup decisions.
Week 13 Daily Fantasy Football Matchups & Player Props
Quarterback: Tom Brady
Tom Brady is in an absolute smash spot against the Falcons this weekend, a team he torched for five touchdowns in Week 2. The Atlanta secondary has improved at all since that point and ranks bottom 10 in the NFL in yards allowed per pass attempt and points allowed per play over the last three weeks. They are sixth-worst in the NFL in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed to opposing offenses, and most weeks, Leonard Fournette will not gobble up a massive percentage of the overall production, like he did in his four-touchdown game a week ago. Brady is simply in too good of spot to bet against in this spot, and in DFS, Brady should be a top priority, particularly paired with one or more of his pass catchers. His NFL player prop lines for completions and yards passing look equally appetizing. The Player Props Tool currently sees as nearly a 50% chance that Brady hits the over on both 26.5 completions and 300.5 yards passing, a feat he has accomplished five times already this season.
Quarterback: Carson Wentz
Wentz and the Colts had their three-game winning streak snapped last weekend by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but Carson Wentz played well enough to keep Indianapolis competitive throughout and has now all but guaranteed Indianapolis owing Philadelphia a 2022 first-rounder in exchange for Wentz’s services in 2021, based on the conditions of last offseason’s blockbuster trade. Wentz is still incredibly volatile from an efficiency standpoint week to week. He has passed for over 7.0 yards per attempt in 50% of his starts since Week 5, but in the other half, he has been below 5.5 yards per attempt three times. In all, the underlying metrics show Wentz as a middling-yet-capable quarterback, 13th in adjusted yards per attempt, 12th in QBR, and 15th in fantasy points per game, but most importantly, the Awesemo projections think Week 12 will be one of Wentz’s hot weeks, as the Colts face the 2-9 Texans who rank bottom 10 in points allowed per play in defensive EPA per game. The Player Props Tool indicates Wentz has a 68% chance of going over 21.5 completions, and an equally strong chance of hitting his modest 238.5 yards passing prop as well.
Wentz rates out as one of the best overall values at the quarterback — and on the entire Week 13 main slate — position in the Awesemo premium tools. For more value plays you should be looking at when building your DraftKings and FanDuel lineups this week, check out Billy Ward’s Must Play NFL DFS Picks article.
Running Back: Alexander Mattison
The Vikings already ruled out Dalvin Cook due to his shoulder injury, paving the way for Alexander Mattison to get his third start of the season. In two games with over 20 carries this year, Mattison is averaging 33 opportunities, including 7.5 targets, and 162 yards from scrimmage, including a 32-touch, 153-yard eruption against the Lions in Week 5, the same defense he happens to be facing this weekend. Mattison should see the field on at least two-thirds of the Vikings’ snaps and is a near lock for 25 total touches. And with the Detroit defense ranking bottom five in points allowed per play and 27th in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs, this looks like an ideal spot for the Vikings’ backup bell cow. Mattison’s prop lines seem off compared to his projected workload. If Mattison gets just 20 carries, an extremely conservative rush projection, Mattison would need to average just 3.8 yards per carry to reach his rushing prop line of 77.5 yards. Mattison hits that mark in nearly 80% of Awesemo’s simulations.
Running Back: Jamaal Williams
In the same game as Mattison, Jamaal Williams should receive the bulk of the backfield touches for the 7.5-point home underdog Lions this Sunday against the Vikings. Williams, who has missed time this season with injuries himself, should see upwards of 20 touches against a Vikings defense that ranks bottom-five in the NFL in yards allowed per carry and bottom three in points allowed per play. Williams, a victim of his team’s poor quarterback play and subpar offensive scheme, is not spectacular on a per-touch basis, ranking outside the top 40 running backs in evaded tackles per touch and breakaway run rate. But his 32 opportunities in Week 11, when teammate D’Andre Swift was knocked out of the game early is enough to be intrigued by Williams as a top value option in DFS this weekend. Like Mattison, the Awesemo projections are much more bullish on Williams’ production compared to his prop line, and Awesemo’s tools point to Williams having a strong chance to smash his current rushing prop of 59.5 yards, which Williams hits in three-fourths of Awesemo’s simulations. Williams hits the over on his receiving prop line of 61.5 yards in 66% of Awesemo’s simulations, as well.
Williams is popular all over the board this week with Swift being ruled out on Friday afternoon. Eric Lindquist wrote at length about Williams being one of the best boom/bust plays this Sunday in his Slate-Breaking NFL DFS Picks & Boom/Bust Plays article.
Wide Receiver: Chris Godwin and Mike Evans
Last week, Fournette and Rob Gronkowski combined for over 69.1% of the Buccaneers’ total skill position fantasy points. That is a highly anomalous outcome for a team that typically relies on passing to their two superstar receivers (and Gronkowski, when healthy) much more often than they aim for massive production via the ground game. This week, it is hard not to imagine the Buccaneers returning to their pass-happy roots and torching an Atlanta secondary that has been torched in recent weeks by Dak Prescott and Mac Jones. Look for Brady to get his two primary wideouts involved early against Atlanta, especially Mike Evans, who had just five targets in Week 12, finishing with a season-low 16 yards receiving. In a high-total game and a perfect bounce-back spot, Awesemo’s projections love both Chris Godwin and Evans from DFS perspective, and Awesemo’s Player Props Tool is bullish on both players’ receiving prop line. Godwin hits his prop line of 65.5 receiving in 64% of simulations, and Evans has an equally strong 60% chance of hitting his line of 59.5 yards.
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Wide Receiver: Marquise Brown
The Ravens were a complete mess offensively last Sunday night despite ultimately beating the division rival Browns but turned over the ball more times than they had all season. The offensive sloppiness trickled down to the receivers, as start wideout Marquise Brown was limited to just 51 yards receiving despite catching eight of his 10 targets. Brown now has under 60 yards receiving in each of his last two games, though his volume has remained extremely high throughout the second half of the season. Brown now has four straight games with double-digit targets, and currently ranks eighth in the NFL in targets per route run. His 2.51 yards per route run ranks tenth among all wideouts, and his 17.4 PPR fantasy points per game ranks ninth, but with the offense struggling in Baltimore, Awesemo’s projections see Brown more as a contrarian DFS option rather than a locked-in value play. In just under 70% of Awesemo’s simulations, Brown comes up short of his modest 63.5 receiving prop line, making the under the bet this Sunday.
Tight End: Logan Thomas
Logan Thomas returned to action for the Washington Football Team for the first time since Week 3 and seemed to step right back into a solid 78% snap share, despite concerns he could be limited in his first game action in nine weeks. Thomas ranked third on the team with six targets against the Seahawks Monday night, and saw 25% of the team’s red zone targets, ultimately finishing with three catches for 31 yards. And while the matchup against the Raiders this Sunday has a relatively high 49-point total, and the Raiders’ defense is certainly bad enough to give up huge days from opposing tight ends, ranking third worst in the NFL in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed to tight ends, Awesemo’s projections see Thomas as having somewhat of capped ceiling. That is true even if he does manage to secure a larger snap share than he did against the Seahawks last Monday night. While Thomas may be fine in DFS, particularly if creating a game-stack based-around this matchup, it looks like Awesemo’s projections point to betting the under on Thomas’ prop line of 45.5 receiving, a number he has not hit since last season.
Tight End: George Kittle
After scoring in three straight contests from Weeks 9 through 11, George Kittle had an extremely quiet Week 12, in spite of the 49ers-Vikings game being one of the highest-scoring games on the slate. Finishing with a season-low two targets and one reception, Kittle burned many DFS players who saw Kittle as a value option in a positive game environment. But with Deebo Samuel already ruled out for the 49ers’ game this Sunday against the Seahawks, Kittle should have yet another chance to make his typically large impact on the game. Kittle still ranks third among all tight ends in target share, and sixth in targets per route run. As usual, he is one of the most efficient tight ends in the league on a per-touch basis, ranking fourth in the NFL in yards per route run and third in total yards after the catch despite spending a multi-week stint on injured reserve. In a plus matchup against a Seattle defense that ranks 25th in NFL in yards allowed per pass attempt over their last 30 games, and 29th in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed to tight ends, Awesemo’s Player Props Tool absolutely loves the over on Kittle’s middle prop line of 56.5 receiving. He hits that mark in two-thirds of Awesemo’s simulations.
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