Week 13 Early Slate Fantasy Preview Part 2

  • Browns (-320) @ Texans (+7): O/U 47.5


    Key storylines/What to Watch

    The obvious massive storyline heading into the matchup between the Browns (4-7) and Texans (1-9-1) is DeShaun Watson’s return to the football field after a two-year hiatus.  And, of course, the NFL timed out the return of his suspension to take place on the road against his former team, the Texans.  There will be a ton of storylines heading into this game, but the main one from a fantasy perspective is, will Watson be able to regain his status as a top-5 fantasy QB?  There is going to be rust, but it is a very good game for him to ditch the rust, since the Texans are the worst team in the league.  It will be interesting to see how the offense flows with him under center instead of Jacoby Brissett, so fantasy GMs will have to pay close attention.  The Texans will be without Brandin Cooks for this game, while the Browns will be without David Njoku.


    Top Starts 

    Nick Chubb: Chubb has been one of the absolute best and most consistent fantasy RBs this season, sitting as the RB5 on the season. He has 12 touchdowns in 11 games and has never finished worse than the RB25 in PPR formats, ranking in the top-13 on eight occasions. His scoring baseline is one of the highest in the league,  as he is such a foundational part of the Browns’ offensive identity. With the return of Watson, things may change, but fantasy GMs should never consider benching him.


    Boom/Bust Dart-Throw

    Dameon Pierce: It’s tough to rely on anyone except Pierce on the Texans’ putrid offense and even Pierce has been shaky over the past few weeks. Fantasy GMs will be hopeful that he can either haul in several catches or find the endzone in order to return a strong fantasy performance.  Over the past two weeks Pierce has not surpassed 4.6 fantasy points and he has finished as the RB45 and RB53, receiving only 12 and eight touches in those two games. He is almost impossible to rely on simply because of how terrible the Texans have been this year, making him a RB3/flex option at best.


    Amari Cooper & Donovan Peoples-Jones: The duo of Cooper and DPJ have to be in the conversation for the most surprisingly productive WR tandem in the NFL this year. Heading into last weekend’s matchup with the Bucs, Cooper was the WR8 and Peoples-Jones was the WR28 in PPR formats since Week 4. DPJ had seven straight games with at least nine fantasy points, while Cooper has more games this year with at least 20.6 fantasy points than he does with games less than 10.4. With the change at QB, it will be interesting to see how that influences their fantasy production and a matchup with one of the best passing defenses in the NFL doesn’t help either. Cooper is very likely locked into starting lineups regardless of matchup, while DPJ could be worth a shot in deeper leagues this week.


    DeShaun Watson: It has been two years since Watson has played a meaningful snap of professional football, for many reasons that we won’t get into here. Before he chose to stop playing football, he was one of the premiere QBs for fantasy GMs. He definitely needs to be rostered in all formats, but whether or not fantasy GMs will start him depends on their other options. Hilariously, his first game post-suspension is against his former squad in Houston.


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    Jets (+3) @ Vikings (-155): O/U 45

    Key storylines/What to Watch

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